Circus Style

Last week when we all swapped blogs over at the Purple Crumpet Fairy, this is what I did for Debbie as a guest poster to her blog. I also did a tutorial, so if you'd like to see how to do this mani and not just the piccies, go check it out HERE.

I've decided to call this design Vintage Big Top, because it totally reminds me of an old circus flyer, with the tan/parchment color of aged paper and the roughed up and faded blacks of the ink.

Here is what you'll need:

Base Coat (I used a strengthener first, then a base), Light tan/Cream color, Black, Matte top coat, makeup sponge, star stickers, striping tape (and not shown, tweezers and scissors and either a dotting tool or paintbrush)

Start with nail strengthener.

Apply base coat, I use CND Stickey

Apply your cream color. I used Essie Barefoot & Topless.

Here is 3 coats of Barefoot & Topless (no cleanup here, sorry!)

Now you wait. Because I used 3 coats of the Essie, I did not want to add a quick dry top coat as another layer, and I had time, so I waited. I waited about 2 hours. If you don't have the time and either don't mind the extra layer of polish or didn't use as many coats of polish on your cream shade as I did, I would for sure suggest you use a quick dry top coat to speed this along. You want to make sure your polish is very very dry, because next you will be taping off and don't want your base polish getting pulled off!

Next you will need to get out your stars and striping tape.
The stars can be found at any office supply store in the labels section.
The striping tape I got off of ebay.

Apply your star sticker to your pinky, I like to do most designs slightly askew/off center.
Make sure it's stuck down good so no polish seeps under.

Get your sponge!

Get your black polish! The more pigmented/opaque the better. I used Finger Paints Black Expressionism.

Apply a few drops of polish to your sponge, like so.

Dab the sponge once to get the excess color blob off.

Sponge on your black over the entire nail until it begins to get tacky. Don't overdo this step or your black polish will begin to pull back up. If this happens, no big deal, just apply a little more to the sponge and re-sponge the nail until you get the coverage you want. You want it to look sponged and not full coverage, that's what gives it that vintage look when some of the light base shows through.

Remove your star sticker, use tweezers if necessary.

Apply your striping tape to make a few pinstripes. Again, make sure its tacked down on the nail good so that no polish seeps under.

Sponge it up!

Remove your striping tape.

Take a dotting tool or end of a paintbrush and make some polka dots on your middle finger, like so!

Next do another striping tape situation for the index finger like you did for the ring finger.

Apply a couple of off center star stickers to the thumb and sponge!

Remove those stars - voila!

Now is when you will want to clean up with a paintbrush and some acetone.  At this point, do your other hand, mix it up. I did one nail on the other hand black with
cream dots to change it up a little. Black with cream stripes would be cute as well.  After you've done both hands and cleaned up both hands you should be dry enough to
top coat. Make sure you give the color time to dry, as you can see in a few places I didn't wait long enough and my black smeared.

I used Hard Candy Matte Top Coat. I did 2 coats for thorough matte-ness!

And here is what you get! It takes time, but it's worth it!

Thanks so much for reading! Hope you enjoyed!

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