Tutorial: Upgraded Half Moon Nails

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half moon nails

Half moon nails or the Reverse French manicure, is one of my favorite nail designs. It’s versatile so it suits any nail shape or length and it also allows for a lot of experimentation. You can do anything from loose glitter half moons to tiny edgy half moon details.

If you’re good with a nail art brush then this design is also quick to do. The key to a great looking half moon design is getting each nail identical. That’s the tricky part, particularly if you’re doing a more complex version like today’s Upgraded Half Moon design. There’s three identical lines on each nail but fear not, it’s still totally doable with just a nail brush. But if you’re not a brush-master yet, we’ve got an easier way of doing it. You’re going to love today’s tutorial!


  • Peach, bright orchid and silver nail polishes
  • A fast-drying top coat
  • A thick striping nail art brush
  • Classic French manicure guides

half moon nails how toHOW TO:

  1. Apply your favorite base and follow up with two coats of peach nail polish. Apply 1 coat of fast-drying top coat. Let it dry for 10 minutes.
  2. Once the base is is dry, apply French manicure guides* (as pictured) on all nails.
  3. With a striping nail art brush, apply silver nail polish as pictured on all nails.
  4. Accurately remove the tape.
  5. With a striping nail art brush, use bright purple nail polish fill the space between the silver lines.
  6. Accurately clean up around the cuticles and apply two coats of a clear fast-drying top coat on all nails.

*Make sure you attach the stencils really well to the nail. Poor adhesion may cause the polish bleed under the stencil (see the Step 4 photo).

upgraded half moon nailsmediterranean print half moon nailspretty half moon nails

Used: Platinum Polish Peach, Wild Orchid  and Dance Legend Katana, Essie Good To Go top coat and Classic French manicure guides.

Wearing: Dainty midi ring.

Are you a fan of Half Moon nails? What do you think about the Upgraded look? Would you give it a go with a brush or you do you think it’s easier to use stencils?

– Maria, xx

P.S. As always, if you try this nail design, I’d love to see you work – Tweet or Instagram me a photo with the tag #sonailicious.

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