Vintage Hollywood Nail Art Inspiration

We might be a generation of nail art enthusiasts, but we weren’t the first.

While the original mani dates back to ancient Egypt and China, where women used dyes such as henna to stain their nails, it was the advent of tinted liquid nail lacquers at the turn of the 20th century that allowed women to become more creative. They started developing their own decorative flourishes from contrasted tips in the 30s to embellished cuticles in the 50s.

In keeping with our Iconic Hollywood Collector’s Edition GLOSSYBOX for April, be inspired by these vintage nail art ideas from the golden age of cinema.

Nude with a twist


Step 1: Paint your nails with two coats of Color Club Barely There Nail Polish, £7.95. Fill in the shape you’ve made with your oval outline in white. Once the painted tip is dry, paint over it with the Color Club Barely There Nail Polish, £7.95 nude in from your April box.
Step 2: Use a red nail art pen such as IZ Beauty Ink It Nail Art Pen in Red, £2.92, or a thin brush dipped in red polish, to draw scarlet french tips along the free edges of the nails.
Step 3: Retrace the french tips you’ve created to thicken the line and finish with a glossy top coat.

Embellished half moon 


Step 1: Paint your nails with a classic red, GLOSSYBOX loves Revlon Nail Enamel in Revlon Red, £6.49.
Step 2: Using a tapered nail art brush or Barry M Nail Art Pen in White, £4.99, trace the half moon shapes at the base of your nails and fill in.
Step 3: Paint simple white french tips along the free edge of the nails and apply a protective top coat.

Contrasted tips


Step 1: Starting with fairly long nails, file the tips into sharp oval shapes.
Step 2: Paint your nails red and once that’s dry, use a white nail art pen to draw a curve where tips meet fingers.
Step 3: Paint the rest of the tips white. While you could finish there, a layer of Color Club Barely There Nail Polish, £7.95, over the white polish looks chic.



Writer and expert