Polka Dot Half Moon Mani: Today's Obsession

by Anna Norman, Birchbox

As much as we love nail art, we're better at admiring designs than coming up with them ourselves. That's why we've enlisted Anna Norman, the smarty pants behind Glitter, She Wrote, to be a regular contributor. Every week, she'll be sharing her latest lacquer inspiration-you won't be satisfied with plain ol' polish again.

Anna Norman's Mani this week: this unbeatable polka dot half-moon look.Anna Norman's Mani this week: this unbeatable polka dot half-moon look.

You don't need to buy a fancy tool to add polka dots to your nail art repertoire. Take a look around your room-if you have a paper clip, Q-tip, push-pin, or even the tip of a pencil, you're in business. Today I'm sporting a half-moon manicure, but rather than filling in the half-moon with a solid wash of polish, I'm kicking it up a notch with spots. What you'll need: -Two contrasting polishes. I'm using Essie Boxer Shorts and RGB Dew, a pale green I've been loving all summer. -Paper clip or other dotting tool -A good top coat. My nails take so long to dry during the hot and humid NYC summer, so I'm using Seche Vite, a powerful quick-dry top coat that gets me out the door faster.

Step 1: Paint your nails with your base color and let the polish dry completely.

Step 2: Collect a small dot of contrasting polish on the tip of your paper clip or other tool. You'll end up with too much polish if you dip the paper clip straight down into the bottle. Instead, I lift the brush out of the bottle and carefully get a small dot of polish by dabbing my paper clip on the brush.

Related: VIDEO How To: Polka Dot Manicure

Step 3: Begin applying dots in a half-moon shape at the base of each nail. To steady your hand, rest your arm on a tabletop or your leg as you paint. Don't worry if your dots aren't evenly spaced or sized-you don't need perfection to achieve great results here.

Step 4: Allow the polish to dry completely before applying a top coat. You don't want to ruin your efforts by smearing the polka dots! Now that you've got the hang of polka dots, try a take on a classic French mani by creating a horizontal line of dots across the tip of your nail, or outline the perimeter of each nail with a single row of dots for an on-trend "framed" manicure.

Looking for another summer-perfect nail look? Try a stylish ombré mani.

See more from Birchbox:

A Wine-Lovers Guide to Fragrance

How To Get a Newspaper Manicure

Do You Have A Sunday Night Beauty Ritual?