The Retro 'Half Moon' Manicure Trend Is Making A Comeback

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Trends run in cycles, and nail art is no different. The popular lava lamp nails are a perfect throwback to the '90s. Janet Jackson's pierced nails from the '80s have come back on the hands of celebrities like Kim Kardashian. Short nails beloved by the hippies in the '60s have returned as a cute, low-maintenance manicure. If a design is out, you just have to give it a few years before it is in style. And the half-moon manicure was a style worth the wait.

It does not get more retro than the half-moon manicure. This design dates back to the 1920s when nail polish first graced the market. "The minute there was nail polish, there was nail art," editorial nail artist Miss Pop told Mashable. "Revlon red came out, and the half moon was happening." It is no surprise why this classic design is trending. Why it hasn't happened soon is the real question.

The peek-a-boo of bare bottom nails

The half-moon manicure gets its name from the semicircle at the bottom of your nail beds. These marks are called the lunula. They are shaped like a half moon hence the nail style. Lunulae are typically visible on your thumb and hide under the cuticle on your other fingers. A half-moon manicure mimics the visibility of the lunula on every nail. The bare base of your nails creates a simple design that highlights your nail beds, not just the polish.

These peek-a-boo nails are a play on the modern French manicure. A classic French tip decorates your nail's free edge and leaves its body bare. A deep French manicure can cover up to half the nail in color and is usually seen on longer nail styles. The half-moon trend takes the deep French manicure to greater depths. It is a simple design but far from basic. Here's how you can get the half-moon manicure and pay homage to the 1920s.

How to join in on the half-moon trend

Perfecting your half-moon nails requires precision. Without it, your lunar crescent will be a crooked semicircle. A thin nail brush can help create a slick outline of your half-moon. You can find these brushes designed for fine art at a beauty store or online. Amazon has a super fine brush set for just under $10. After tracing your half-moon, fill in the rest of your nail bed with your desired color and design.

There is an easy nail hack to get perfect semicircles each time. All you need is a circular sticker. Place the sticker at the base of your nail beds to create the moon shape. Layer on your polish, and like painter's tape, remove the sticker to reveal your untouched semicircle. Although traditional half-moon manicures leave the bottom of the nail bare, there's no law that says you have to. Your lunula is perfect for watermelon slices, eyes, the sun, and any other circular decal. You can paint your half-moon and leave the rest of the nail bare or add a contrasting design to pack on the art.