From runway inspirations to one-of-a-kind designs, our picks are sure to keep you up on your nail game while giving you the 411 on how to recreate many of the looks yourself. This week we caught up with veteran nail tech Vicki Adams—from Nail Mogul Nail Salon in Houston, Texas—for her expert opinion on creating a perfect half-moon manicure.

The Trend: There is no better way to exude elegance than with a half-moon mani in classic black and white. This high-street take on a retro favorite has donned the nails of style mavens Rihanna and Ciara. What we love most about half-moon nail art is its understated glamor. Read one to learn how to achieve this super-simple look.

EBONY: How did you create this design?

Vicki Adams: I started by applying a white base polish in two coats. (Editor’s Note: To recreate the base color of this look, we recommend using two coats of Nail Inc. London in Floral Street, $14.24.) Next, apply the first coat of Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Don’t Tell Mama ($17), starting from top corner of the cuticle. Place your brush, slowly guiding it in a half-moon shape to the opposite side of the cuticle. Next, use your brush to polish in the lower part of the nail. Repeat this process by using Don’t Tell Mama starting at the top corner of the cuticle, following the path you made previously, and then polishing over the lower part of the nail. Seal in the polish with a topcoat of your choice to give your nails a long-lasting shine. (Editor’s Note: We recommend ORLY poliSHIELD, $10.)

EBONY: Where are you currently based, and how long have you been doing nails?

VA: I have been a nail technician for 17 years, but I’m also a nail instructor. What sparked my interest in nails is the fact that you can take a product and make a fingernail! That just excited me!

EBONY: Have you worked with any brands?

VA: I have worked with Deborah Lippmann at New York Fashion Week several times. She is a wonderful lady, so sweet!! I was also previously an educator for CND Shellac Power Polish; it’s a wonderful company.

Minajiah Scott