How to Do an Easy Reverse Half-Moon French Manicure

Amanda Bellantoni
by Amanda Bellantoni
3 Materials
30 Minutes

If you’re looking to up your at-home manicure game, this tutorial is for you. Personally, I absolutely suck at nail art and dislike crazy designs. But this reverse half-moon French manicure is simple and sophisticated. You don’t need to be an expert to try it, so follow along and see for yourself.

Tools and materials:

  • 2 Nail polish colors, 1 light, and 1 dark
  • Top coat
  • Cuticle oil
Painting nails with a light-colored polish

1. Paint the light polish

First, paint one coat on all of your nails, making sure that you completely cover the nails as close to the cuticle as possible.

Painting nails with a second coat

2. Paint a 2nd coat

Once that layer is fully dry, paint a 2nd coat of the light, base color.

Adding a dark nail polish over the top

3. Add your darker nail polish

Next, go in with the darker color and paint almost up to the cuticle, leaving a small crescent of the lighter shade at the nail bed. This is what some call a reverse French manicure or a reverse half-moon nails. 

Applying a second coat of polish

4. Apply a 2nd coat of the darker color

Let the polish dry, then go in for a 2nd coat of the darker polish. Try to create as smooth of a line as possible. It’s ok if it’s not perfect. That’s why I love the Olive & June brand because the brushes mimic the shape of the nail bed which makes it easier for you.

Applying a clear top coat to nails

5. Apply a top coat

Now, once the polish is completely dry again, go over all your nails generously with a clear, top coat. Make sure you cap the tips.

Applying cuticle oil

6. Apply cuticle oil

For a final salon touch, apply oil to your cuticles and rub it in.

This was my first time attempting a reverse French manicure, and I’m so pleased with the results:

Reverse half-moon French manicure

Reverse half-moon French manicure

This was such a fun manicure to create and this blue nail design looks so chic! You can swap with any colors that you like. If you try this half-moon French manicure at home, let me know in the comments below which colors you used. 

Suggested materials:
  • 2 Nail polish colors, 1 light, and 1 dark
  • Top coat
  • Cuticle oil

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation