How to Paint Your Fingernails Like a 1940s Pin-Up Girl

Written by yvonne van damme
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Paint Your Fingernails Like a 1940s Pin-Up Girl
Red is a classic retro nail polish colour. (Paul Tearle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The pin-up girls of the 1940s, with their perfectly coiffed hair and vividly painted fingernails, were the ultimate vixens. Deep red was a favourite nail polish colour at the time, as were other dark hues, such as reddish-brown, navy blue, and black, since it was the style for women to coordinate their nail polish colour with their clothing colour. A popular nail style was the half-moon manicure. To achieve that look, but with a modern twist, consider using a colour other than the classic deep red.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Dark nail polish
  • Light nail polish
  • Clear nail polish
  • Tape

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Paint your entire fingernails in the colour that you want the half-moon portion (lunula) of your nails to be. The lunula is the crescent-shaped whitish area at the bottom of each fingernail, near the cuticle. Use a colour such as light pink or creamy white. For a modern, edgy look, use a colour like silver or taupe. Apply two coats of the polish. Let your nails dry completely.

  2. 2

    Place a piece of tape over the lunula of each fingernail.

  3. 3

    Paint the uncovered part of each fingernail with a dark-coloured nail polish. Red was the traditional nail polish colour worn by 1940s pin-up girls, but consider tyring a different colour, such as blue or black. Remove the tape when finished. Let your nails dry completely.

  4. 4

    Add a shiny, clear top coat of polish to each fingernail to pump up the glossiness and help make your nail colour last longer.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.