House of Trixie Blue

Enterprise of Burlesque Entertainment

Vintage Showgirl Manicure by Scarlet Rose

Whisker Wednesday: Half-Moons for Halfwits* (* title only for alliterative purposes, I think you’re a wholewit really)

There is a high proportion of fabulous nail art within the burlesque world, indeed my own Whisker Sisters are often found sporting some gorgeous and complex nail designs.

However, when you already have a make-up/skincare/beginnings of a haircare product addiction, you really have to draw the line somewhere. And nails scored that line for me.

My favourite nail look that you will often see me wearing is the half-moon manicure and I do get compliments from people that ask about the ones I paint on myself (and thank-you very much!).

So I thought I would write the step by step guide for how I paint this classic pinup/burly manicure, including pictures, so you can all have a go yourselves! Although the technique is relatively simple, the key requirement is ensuring you have enough time for each layer to dry, or they will peel off/smudge. 


Before you start, you will need:

-Your main nail colour of choice
– A paler base colour of choice
– A clear top coat (Barry M Plumpy top coat)
– Stationary “washers” (see the picture below, you will know what they are)

– Scissors
– A free evening 
– A good boxed set
– An empty bladder. 

Step 1

Ensure your nails are free of polish. I’d just taken off a lovely navy (Chanel Blue Satin darrrling, in case you’re interested) which is why my nails have a slight tinge.


Step 2

Relatively simple, paint your nails your chosen base colour! Top Tip: if you can find a nail varnish that dries quickly for this step it will really help to speed things along. I used the Barry M Silk Polish for this reason but I also have Natural Collection one that dries very fast and they’re only £1.99! Wait until it is completely dry. 



Step 3

Take your stationary washers and cut them in half while still attached to their backing. Peel a half off and stick to the base of your nail, curve up and relatively central (see picture). This will create your half-moon. You will probably need to fold the ends back on themselves so you can press the washer firmly down on the nail with NO GAPS. This is very important for neatness, it must be completely adhered to the nail. Don’t let me catch you doing otherwise!

You can decide how big a half-moon you’d like by how far up you stick your washer, so hopefully this nail design should be accessible to any length! Just stick lower down for shorter nails, higher up for a bigger moon. 


Step 4

Paint on your chosen bold colour. Mine was Rimmel’s Rapid Ruby but you can pick whatever you’d like. You can go over the sticker (that’s why it’s there) so don’t worry about being too neat. If the colour needs two coats just go one straight over the other while the first is still wet, it saves drying time. 




Step 5

WAIT!!! Wait a good hour (that’s what the boxed set is for), and then wait some more after that. Once the initial wet coat has begun to dry you can get on with some laptop admin etc if you’re so inclined (which I am. I’m writing this as my top coat dries). Or just indulge in a night off. Whatever is best!

Side note: you may find, especially if you’ve treated yourself to a glass (or few) of wine or a lovely cup of tea, that you may need to pop to the loo now. Tough. Wait it out because nothing will frustrate you more than waiting 90 minutes for a coat to dry for you to them smudge them as you wash and dry your hands. Yes, I am speaking from experience. However, if desperate times call and can’t be avoided, you can still…


Step 6

Top coat! Saviour of nails, hider of smudges and improver of polish longevity, the top coat comes into its own with the half-moon manicure. Once you’ve waited the allocated 15,383 hours for your bold colour to dry, slowly peel off the washers. Admire the job they did keeping your lines tidy and then fix the whole thing together with a clear top coat. And then begin the waiting game again. Oh and you might want to cross your legs. 

                                            (Before and after topcoat. Shiny shiny!)

And there you are! Simple technique, but just requires lots of drying time. If you accept this challenge (and I hope you do), please do post your finished nails online and tag me in them so I can have a good neb! Oh and if you hashtag Whisker Wednesday, even better. I’m looking forward to seeing your efforts!


Love & Tassels

Scarlet Rose



Thank you for reading. Head on over to our Facebook page to join in The Sapphire Whisker fun.  Our next show is The Carnival of Tease. We hope to see you there.


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