Thursday, June 16, 2011

1940s half-moon nails

Putting on my 1940s historically accurate dress is such an important piece of getting into character for me. However, it's quite a long process that involves much more than the dress.

It includes, nails, hair, garters, seamed stockings, a 1930s bra, glamourous makeup, and then, oh yeah, the shirt dress!

Perhaps the most time-intensive component is painting my nails into 1940s half-moon shapes.  So, I thought I'd share my process for that:

First I pull out my mailing envelope sealers from my wedding 5 years ago. Good thing I don't throw anything away because they came in handy! I cut them in half so they don't peel up around my skin so much. If they are full-size they have so much trouble trying to conform to the curve of my finger that they don't even bother trying to stick to my nail.

Then I use the blunt end of a cuticle remover stick (see below) to press down the sticker onto the nails. Then, I paint away, trying not to coat all the edges of my nails; that's impossible for a klutz like me. Man is it a pain to clean up the nails later though, so the more precise you are, the better.

I wish blogger would let me rotate images. Here's my cuticle stick and my polish.

This time I waited only 15 minutes between the first and second coat of red.  Hopefully I waited long enough... I'm just tired of these nails taking up my entire day.

So, second coat goes on and let it dry even longer.

Then, peel off the stickers. I've read that you should pull them away from the nail so it doesn't peel off any of the polish.  Sure, works for me.

Lastly you've got to clean up the mess-ups. Of course, there is always some paint-bleed under the stickers.  And then there are the messy cuticles.  If I had a tiny craft brush I would use that to get rid of the mess-ups, but I have to use my medium one instead... Kind of a pain, actually.  Works a bit, though. So, after it dries for HOURS (which is what needs to happen with me since I have a tendency to bang up my nails on every ledge in existence) then you COULD put a topcoat on, but I don't for a few reasons:

First, that would require me to not hit my nails for even MORE time out of my day.  Geesh.

Second, red nail polish already takes forever to get off of my skin and nails. I don't need another layer sealing all that crap in.  Maybe I'll do a topcoat tomorrow, but this is already too much work for a Thursday.

Anyways, then they are done and gorgeous.  I'm actually surprised that my nails didn't really chip very much this past week. I thought I would have to remove the polish on Sunday on the grounds that it would start looking like crap. However, I only just removed it last night. Hmm... and this was without a topcoat. Go figure.


  1. Hi! I've been following your blog for a while now -- love reading about your sewing experiments. Especially loved the "Regency walking party" thing!

    I was just curious why you have to wait so long between coats? Do your nails last longer that way? I always just apply another coat immediately. But then again, I usually have to re-do my nails within 1-2 days.

    Hint on top coat: I've been using Seche Vite top coat by Seche for years now, and it is amazing how quickly it dries my nails. I've tried lots and lots of top coats but nothing has ever worked this well. By the time I paint my last nail, I can usually touch the first nail I've painted without harming it. Of course, it's a little pricier than most top coats....

  2. Well, I think I must be doing my nails wrong, because they get dented SO easily. Perhaps I put too thick of a coat on my nails. I once read that it should take only three swipes with the brush to coat your nail. Yeah right.. takes me about five to cover my nail.

    Thank you for the top coat help!!! THese current nails last a week without getting nicked, and then I redo them for the next week's shows. However, they get dented because they take freaking FOREVER to dry. Ugh. It must just be me.

    Could it be the cheap nail polish I use? I would never buy the $8 Sally Hansen polish.. too pricey! I buy the cheapest paint I can find!