Kenyon Krafts: Half Moon Nails

Wall art by Paul Hoehn ’14

Thanks to NYC Fashion Week 2012, nail art is big this year. And, as we already know, Kenyon students like to keep their style fresh. So: check out this step-by-step guide to a modern take on a retro manicure classic.

Step 1. Gather your materials.

  • Clear topcoat (and optional but recommended clear base-coat). I used an Essie top/base set I borrowed from the ladies who live in New Apts C6. Thanks grrrls!
  • Colored base-coat. I used “Gilty Pleasure” by LA Girl Flare (borrowed from my housemate).
  • Colored topcoat. I used “Green with Envy” by Sally Hansen (also borrowed from my housemate).
  • Reinforcement labels (to use as stencils).
  • Scissors (to cut the reinforcement labels in half).

Step 2. Prepare your reinforcement label stencils.

Cut five reinforcements in half. Do not peel them off of the paper. Leave them in an easily accessible pile–you’ll need them soon.

Step 3. Apply your (optional) clear base-coat. Wait five minutes to avoid bubbling in the polish.

Step 4. Apply your colored base-coat.

Only apply one thin layer. Don’t worry about how even the polish looks, most of it will be covered by your colored topcoat. Wait for your nails to dry (probably around ten minutes) before you move on.

Step 5. Apply the halved reinforcements to both of your hands.

For a traditional half moon nail, your stencil should only cover the bottom fourth of your nail. I wanted a more ‘contemporary’ half moon, so my stencil covers the bottom third of my nail. Follow your heart!

Step 6. Paint on your colored topcoat.

Two coats of color is customary. Before moving on, wait for your nails to dry almost completely. You’ll want the polish to still be maleable, but not too tacky.

Step 7. Peel the reinforcements off. Be careful! Otherwise you run the risk of stripping off more nailpolish than you intended.

Step 8. Paint a thin layer of clear topcoat over your entire nail. This helps even out the ridge between your colored topcoat and colored base-coat.

And you’re done! If you’re too lazy to complete all 8 steps yourself, you can buy Dita Von Teese press-ons nail designs instead.

Obligatory nod to Jezebel for inspiration (though I taught myself how to do this when I was a 12 year old latchkey kid with a subscription to Vogue).

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