I spent my long weekend mastering (through trial and error) the nail trend of the moment, a half-moon mani, so you don't have to. Here, time-saving tips and tricks.
It gets its name because the nails are completely polished, except for the lighter, half-moon shape at the base of your fingernails. Those areas are left bare, creating a clean, cool silhouette that is so 1940s. (No surprise, Dita Von Teese is rarely spotted without the look.)
"It's a classically glamorous look," says Amanda Fontanarrosa, a CND nail artist who created variations of the style for the Fall 2009 runway shows of designers Ruffian and Thakoon.
While the style may seem very fashion-for-fashion's sake, an exposed moon was meant to signify your good health to others, says Fontanarrosa. Now it just signifies your superior, forward-thinking taste.
The easiest way to get the look is to paint your nails in your favorite medium-to-dark color (for contrast), skillfully avoiding the bottom portions (closest to your cuticles). If you have prominent "moons," you can actually try to paint just along their edges, using them as a guideline. Let the polish dry completely.
Using a synthetic paintbrush with an ultra-fine pointed tip (Fontanarrosa gets hers from art supply stores), dip the bristles into a fragrance-free, acetone-based polish remover. Use the brush to carefully tidy up the bottom edges of your polish, shaping them into smooth, clean arcs. And there you go -- the half-moon mani.
If you find it tricky, be patient.
"It may take a couple of tries, but it's worth it," says Fontanarrosa.
Once you get more advanced, you can try painting in the moons with another color, but I may need another long weekend to perfect that technique for you.