Every manicure should start with a good base. First, make sure your nails are buffed, smooth and clean. Apply a clear base coat. Ensure it's completely dry before you continue to the next step.
Next, choose the color that will appear on the "moon" of your nail. You can choose any color you like -- but we recommend you pick something that will contrast with the color you'll be putting on the rest of the nail. Most ruffian manicures feature a lighter color on the bottom and a darker, opaque color on the top. A popular color combination is gold for the "moon" and black for the rest. It's very striking and tends to elongate the nail.
Paint the entire nail with the color you want for the "moon." Wait for it to dry completely. It's crucial you let it dry all the way, or you'll risk streaking or mixing the two colors.