Half-Moon Nail Art is Officially the New French Manicure

Half-Moon Nail Art is Officially the New French Manicure
Photo: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

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Back in the day, rarely did I see a woman leave the local nail salon without a french manicure. It was the nail design du jour for everyone, regardless of other nail art designs that I’m sure were just as readily available (though I never saw them). The beige and white combo was about as classic as it got and a status symbol of sorts. If you had a french manicure, I assumed you knew a thing or two about beauty. But fast forward to 2019 where half-moon nail art is the new classic and a french mani just doesn’t have that modern appeal.

Today, it’s quite the opposite. Though it’s by no means banished from the nail art scene, it does feel a bit outdated and old fashioned compared to the recent wave of new-age innovation, like rainbow nails and towering Swarovski-embellished stilettos. Half-moon art is the perfect median, both simple and intricate in design. In the simplest terms, it’s placing a color over or outlining that small, rounded shadow at the base of each nail, otherwise known as the lunula. Some of us have it and some of us don’t. Regardless of whether it exists or not, half-moon nail art can still be drawn on by a seasoned manicurist or novice with a steady hand.

And because of its versatility, the trend can be worn in a myriad of ways; from a simple negative space design to full-on mini portraits on each nail. It’s no wonder everyone’s trying it and thus, turning it into a modern staple. Need proof? Keep scrolling for half-moon nail looks that cover the entire spectrum; from minimalist to full-on maximalist.

Over the moon.

Touch of sparkle.

Reverse moon.

Fresh talons.

Gold dots.

Purple love.

Pretty in pink.

Baby blues.

Foot action.

White accents.

The eyes have it.

Negative space.

Melon matte.

A little sparkle.

Classic black.

Purple moon.

Walk the line.


Fruity patooty.

Taste the rainbow.

Mad for color.


Do the polka.

Lavender mattes.

What a gem.



Too galactic.

Vacation vibes.

Color for everyone.

On point.