You know that little white semicircle at the base of your nails? It’s technically called the matrix, but most of us refer to it as the half-moon. It’s an element of the nail that can be used to guide nail designs ranging from uncomplicated to intricate. “A half-moon design on nails is when a semicircle is either polished or left unpolished at the base of the nail,” says celebrity manicurist Julie Kandalec. “Sometimes if I don’t know what look to do, I’ll start with a line at the moon and let it guide me to what should come next.”
Another bonus of this look is that when you leave the half-moon blank, it gives the polish a bit of grace as it grows out, allowing you to hold onto it for just a bit longer. With the half-moon as your guide, the options for nail designs are endless. Find inspiration for 20 half-moon manicures ahead.