Nailspiration: Water For Elephants

It doesn’t matter what I’m doing I always notice people’s nails! Watching movies is no exception. Water For Elephants is set during the 1930’s meaning the fashion and beauty in the film were just wonderful to look at. But one manicure in particular caught my eye.

During a rather dramatic scene in the movie Marlena (played by the gorgeous Reese Witherspoon) has both a half moon manicure and french manicure on her nails. This isn’t something I would ever come up with myself but it looked so chic on Reese I had to try to recreate it 🙂

To recreate this manicure I first used two coats of Essie Mademoiselle. I let it dry completely then did a half moon manicure using reinforcement labels (for a more in depth explanation check out this post). I decided to use OPI St. Petersburgundy for the red. I think it matched up quite well to the red Reese was wearing in the movie. Lastly I just free handed French tips using Orly Rage and topped it all with inm Out the Door top coat.

I ended up LOVING this manicure. It wasn’t near as difficult as I thought it might be. Granted, it didn’t turn out perfectly, but the imperfections aren’t really noticeable to the naked eye.

Check out the original manicure below the jump and let me know what you think!


  1. I would love to try this 🙂 I was doing ‘flapper’ 1920s makeup this week for the make up art course and the nails were much like this. Having the half moon and tip showing showed you were wealthy enough to have your nails done by a manicurist, as it was very hard to do this at home in the 1920s. Very glamourous. You did a great job 🙂 I hope you do more like this!

  2. I love this!!! I wanted to do a half-moon manicure but not leave the tips bare as my nails don’t get long so I’d have to apply tips…perfect nailspiration! 🙂

  3. I still remember this post 2.5 years later. I find Alli’s declaration of picking up on people’s nails in EVERYTHING particularly familiar. 🙂 On my blog today I show my version of Marlena’s nails – just like these (and include a link to this post). Thanks for the inspiration!

What do you think?