How^2torial : Naked Half Moon Nail Art

I’m a fairly proficient artist — painting, drawing, hell yeah, it me. But despite having a load of brushes and tools (and 500+ shades of polish), elaborate nail art just isn’t really my thing? I lack the patience for good execution, and I get bored with manicures too quickly to be willing to invest HUGE TIME in them.

But! This is a CRAZY SIMPLE way to do a fun negative-space look, and it’s almost impossible to screw up, AND chances are you’ve already got what you’ll need, so there’re no random mysterious products or accessories to hunt down at a nail supply boutique.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED : 

  • Your usual clear base coat,
  • Whatever color(s) of polish you want to use,
  • Top coat(s) of choice, AND
  • Band-Aid Clear Spots!

Very helpful : tweezers, ideally flat/blunt/non-pointy ones.

 

HOWWWWWW?

  • Paint your nails with your usual clear base coat(s) — mine is, as always, three coats of Nailtiques 2. Let dry THOROUGHLY. No, not just “yeah they’re dry to the touch.” They need to be DRY.

  • Get out three Band-Aid Clear Spots. These are the tiny square ones that’re about 1″ wide. They’ve got a teensy quilted pad in the middle, but the outer part is very thin and flexible. Cut them in half horizontally, and then vertically, so you end up with four quarters — each quarter will have one nicely rounded edge (the four “corners” of the bandage, pre-cutting), and opposite the rounded edge, a little chunk of the quilted pad.

  • Mask off the areas you want to leave nude with your Band-Aids! Carefully place a bandage-quarter on each nail, positioned however close to / far from your cuticle you like. Depending on how long my nails are at the moment, I like to place them so I’ll have about 1/4″ of bare nail. So, the rounded edge is placed pointing toward the tip of your nail, and do your best to get them centered and level. Press down gently for a good grip once you get them positioned, and be sure you get a solid seal at the edges.

  • Do one coat of color, and let dry for just a few minutes — not bone dry.

  • Do your second coat, nail by nail — this means do the second color coat on a nail, and IMMEDIATELY pull off the Band-Aid piece off of that nail (tweezers are helpful here, but the presence of that little chunk of quilted pad is tremendously helpful — since it isn’t sticky, it’s like a built-in tab for easy removal). You want to remove each Band-Aid “mask” while your polish is still wet — if you let it dry with the mask on, when you peel it up it’ll take chunks of your color with it. The secret to a neat line is to remove them before your polish sets!

  • After you’ve done your second coat and removed the Band-Aids on all your nails, let them dry a while. Then, do your top coats as usual, covering the whole entire nail. I generally do a coat of GlassyAF — since it’s thick it helps minimize any bump or ridge between the “naked” area and the color tips, as well as smoothing out unruly glitters — and then follow with Insta-Dri. If you’re not doing an intermediate “bulking/smoothing” top coat, do your quick-dry topper immediately after finishing your second color coat and removing Band-Aid masks (remember, quick-dry top coats should be applied to wet polish, not dry).

 

OOOOOO!

BOOM, you’re DONE. WHOA THAT WAS SO EASY.

And ALSO! You can of course use this same process with a COLOR base, let dry, apply Band-Aid masks, and then do a contrasting color on your tips. I like to do a neutral base color like white or black or grey, and then a BIG SHOUTY GLITTER on the tips, because funnnnnnn.

 

Note : Depending on the size of your fingers/nails, you might find these Band-Aids are too small to get a suitably-sized arch area, especially on thumbs. (This is the case even on my quite-small hands.) Generally, I either just do my thumbs totally solid/no nude area, OR I freehand the arch with no mask, OR I use one of those round file-folder color-coding stickers from the office supply section — they’re a good size for it, but they’re harder to get a good seal with at the edges of your nails since they’re paper and not at all flexible. You can also use different/larger bandages for a different/larger arch.

 

Note 2 : Yes, other Band-Aids will work, but not all. I adore their stretchy-fabric Tough Strips bandages, because hoo boy those will NOT come off your feet so they’re A+ blister-preventers, but their rougher edges and absorbent fabric texture make them ill-suited for this application. I prefer the little Clear Spots because you can get a WHOLE BOX of just those squares, instead of trying to fish them out of a variety pack.

Got a favorite easy nail-art technique? TELL TELL TELL.