Thursday, June 25, 2009

Half moon mani attempt with Opi Time-Less is More and Color Club Fast Woman

The half moon manis have been bubbling around - at least in burlesque circles. Dita von Teese has been sporting the style quite a lot.

And lately the half moon circles have been seen in the runway, too: in Dior, Thakoon, Ruffian...

The manicure definitely has the retro vibe in it. The origins of this style are on 30's and 40's. Personally I remember seeing it first long time ago on Imelda Marcos in some magazine. Images of Imelda, her perfect manicure and several thousand pairs of shoes was contrasted to strong photography from Manila protests for 1986 election...

As you can see, my first half moon attempt was not an immediate success, but I definitely learned something in the process.

I started with two coats of Opi Time-Less is More, this is nice cool but soft shade of white. The two coats i used here were perhaps bit too sheer for this purpose. The red polish is Color Club Fast Woman, a rich deep cool red. For some reason this polish is really hard to photograph, it easily looks brown based.

On the pinky I tried freehand application - a total disaster, I did not even bother to clean up the mess. On ringfinger I tried a paper guide - it bled. On middle and forefinger I went back to freehand method, but this time I rolled the finger I was painting instead of trying to achieve the shape with brush stroke. This provided quite decent results.

For line painting it is essential that there is not too much polish in the brush. But after creating the arch shape you need quite a thick coat of color to disquise the stroke painted to vertical direction. Add the top color immediately after the stroke so that the vertical stroke still blends to the color area. A thick coat can be easily applied close to the color border, the vertical stroke will act as a light barrier for bleeds if you are careful. The blending is not perfect in the previous image, but I made another round with better success. I'm sure that practise will help with this.

And few random thoughts and ideas about this kind of mani. For top colour I would pick shades that are decent looking with just one thick coat - the half moon circle will not get prettier with several applications of top color. The classic way is to use pale base and strong contrasting top color, but I quess that inverting the colours could be nice effect. I can easily see the half moon mani done with more subdued shades - or bright contrasting ones - and different textures could be utilized as long as the base shade leaves a surface smooth enough to work with - a rough glitter base might not be the best idea. I would not try to paint the moon over the main color, but with steady hand and small decoration brush even that could be possible.

Glamour magazine has a clever trick for half moon manis, the editor uses the paper hole reinforcement stickers as guides for the half moon. I certainly will try this, although I think that the guides usually create a little too harsh edge between the colors. Plus one has to wait the base color to be completely dry before applying the stickers, otherwise the stickers will ruin the base.

I guess that the best results could be achieved by shaping the arch with small, sharp brush and remover afterwards leaving the half moon area bare (that's the classic way to go) - but of course then I could not use two polish colors for this. And I quite enjoy the strong contrast that the white base creates... Maybe I just purchase a separate precision brush, perhaps a small slanted one for painting the first line with dark polish? Or maybe a thin one with long and flexible bristles would be even better? That kind of extra brush might also help with french tips and cuticle cleaning... ...perhaps I should take a closer look to my artists brush collection!


  1. I love this manicure is fashionable :-)

  2. Snap! Great minds think alike. I attempted a mani like this too - yours looks much neater :) I love the colours you've chosen. I picked silver and red for mine and used stick on dots as a template! :) Lovely blog you have here! May I follow?

  3. Sakura: thanks, I really like it too and want to learn to do it decently.

    Diva: How funny! Just don't look my pinkie and ringfinger ;-). Of course you can follow!