Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Couple of St. Patrick's Day Looks

Last week got a little hectic with an impromptu visit from my dad, the cleaning that frantically came before, and some apartment projects (hello new bookcase and chair!).  My nails took a brutal beating, so I'm cut down to uneven shorties now (see 2nd photo), but so it goes.  In the chaos, I didn't get my St. Patrick's day looks up, so here's a quick post with both.

First up:

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Color Club Holiday Splendor
*2 coats Sinful Colors Snow Me White
*1 coat Salon Perfect Champagne Toast
*1 coat Out the Door

I LOVE Holiday Splendor!  It's a bright green jelly packed with holo awesomeness and looks much more opaque on the nail--somehow nail lines appear out of thin air when I photograph!  It dries a bit gritty and totally comes to life under a top coat.  I'm a little concerned that I can't find an back up bottle online and I'll have to ration this one--I do NOT want run out!  I added an accent with a little gold glitter and yet another adorable RLR Creations decal--St. Patty's day cupcake!

This is what I actually wore today:

*1 coat Gelous Base
*2 coats Revlon Posh
*3 coats Color Club Gingerbread
*Zoya Severine
*1 coat Out the Door

Gingerbread was from the same holiday line as Holiday Splendor and is also gorgeous!  It's a chunky gold holo glitter in a clear base.  I added a 3rd coat to try for good opacity for photos, but it still looks much more sparse here than in real life--you can easily wear 2 coats and look opaque off camera. 
There was a commotion at my neighbor's last night just as I started polishing, so I had to change my plans and go for something simple and quick after spending about a half hour looking through my peep hole at our landing (yeah, I'm a total busybody).   I used Posh, a really beautiful jade green that looks a bit darker in real life, and dotted on gold with Severine.

So, there you have it--another holiday for 2015.  I hope it was a lucky one for you!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

End Endo: Bloomin' Uterus love

This is a special post for me because it's a post for a special lady.

I work with Lisa. 
Lisa is a badass.
Lisa rides motorcycles and fights fires and makes me laugh like no other at work.
Lisa is brave and strong and incredibly open and vulnerable.
Lisa is fighting endometriosis.

She is incredibly candid and inspiring as she goes through life with her diagnosis, which unfortunately came much later than it should have.  She has a blog, Bloomin' Uterus, where she writes about life after surgery, the disease, how she copes, and life.  She has begun to build an inspiring community of people who are in this battle together, because she took the leap and spoke about her own experience.  I get chills when she tells me about the women she's meeting, online and in person, who all feel the same--they think they're the only ones.  They want to hear someone else understands.  They want community.  She is giving them that.

Lisa is a rockstar. 

One of the things she did, to remind women with a disease that attacks what's fundamentally female that they are still beautiful and feminine, was create the Bloomin' Uterus.

Isn't it adorable?!  It's a reminder that endometriosis doesn't break you.  It doesn't ruin you.  There's life and beauty after diagnosis and strength in numbers.  I'm so proud to carry my pin on my bag every day.  If you are interested in one for yourself (or a bunch for your friends) check out her GoFundMe page: End Endo.

So, since March is endometriosis awareness month and the awareness color is yellow, I'm going to do some yellow manis for Lisa and women like her.  Today's is obviously inspired by her brilliant Bloomin' Uterus:

*1 coat Gelous base
*3 coats Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow
*1 coat Julep Tilda
*2 coats Out the Door

I used Mellow Yellow, a cream base, for my (duh!) yellow.  I used thin coats and it streaks a bit, so I went with 3 coats.  I added Tilda, a teal shimmer topper, for a little sparkle.  Then I added some rhinestone flowers, which I love, for my accents.  I really like how these turned out and like even more that they make me think of Lisa and her beautiful work every time I look down.

I would love it if you'd take a moment to check Lisa's pages out this month, especially if you or someone you love are dealing with endometriosis--there's strength in numbers!

Faded holo

I hit a bit of a "polishers block" last week.  I REALLY wanted to use one of these polishes, Fashion Addict, and was trying hard to find something creative to do with it.  Honestly, I really just wanted to wear it all on its own, but my polish and photo skills aren't up to par to be a swatcher.  After agonizing and finally settling on something much too late at night, I had to remind myself that my blog started as a way to remember looks and polishes I liked--not to impress anyone.  I might need to gently remind myself again, but next time I  really just want to enjoy a pretty polish, I am going to let myself be okay with that :)

So, here's how I enjoyed the beauty that is Fashion Addict:

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Color Club Fashion Addict
*4 coats LynB Designs Defender of the Downtrodden
*1 coat Out the Door

Fashion Addict is a gorgeous dense scattered/linear-leaning lavender polish.  I used 2 coats to even out a couple of thin edges, but this one is actually a one-coat polish if you want.  I love the dusty shade of purple and the intense holo--can you blame me for itching to wear this one?

I bought Defender of the Downtrodden in one of LynB Designs' recent sales (which she generously has all the time--take advantage!).  This soft dove gray has scattered holo throughout.  I used 4 VERY thin coats that dried really fast.  It sounds like a lot, but really wasn't bad at all--the pale gray just needed some layers to cover my nail line, but would be perfect over another gray cream.  I added a little lavender rhinestone to the gray to tie them together and sealed it all up in top coat, which made the holo come alive!
For winter, I really liked this faded coloring and this was a look that I couldn't take my eyes off of in the sun!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fat Tuesday 2015

A couple of years ago I visited a dear friend of mine in New Orleans and fell a little in love.  I know the city has plenty of problems, but my when you first fall, you only see the good things: wonderful hospitality, delicious food and drinks, gorgeous architecture, beautiful old neighborhoods nestled in sweeping trees, a joyful, resilient people, and a deep, in the moment, love of life.  I was smitten.

So, on this, their day, I celebrate a little Mardi Gras hundreds of miles away.

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Zoya Haven
*2 coats Zoya Logan
*1 coat Salon Perfect Champagne Toast
*Zoya Severine
*1 coat Out the Door

Haven is a beautiful, shimmery purple.  When I saw swatches online I knew this was one color I really didn't have and wanted for my collection and I am NOT disappointed!  Logan is a pretty dark green packed with gold shimmer.  There is no hint of nail line in real life, so I'm really surprised it's so pronounced here.  For swatching I guess you want 3 coats, but 2 is just fine for wear.  I added some gold holo micro glitter on top because you can't sparkle enough for Mardi Gras!

I added some gold polka dots and love them so much with Haven I kind of wish I had covered the whole nail.  My trusty Golden-I is M.I.A., so I used Severine, one of the Zoya mini mystery trio (totally disappointing, but it got me 3 other full-sized for $15, so I can't complain too much!).  The coverage was great, not much different from my other gold.  I preface this with the fact I am not a stamper, but it was easy and opaque and might be good for stamping too.

So there's my little love letter to NOLA, where the streets are now quiet.  Fun fact I learned: the only time bars are required to close in New Orleans is at midnight on Mardi Gras so that they can clear and clean out the French Quarter.  (I also learned that if you've made it to midnight on Mardi Gras you weren't doing it right, because most people begin "celebrating" very early in the day and are goners long before the stroke of 12)

A Couple of Late Valentines...

As I've focused on decorating my apartment (only about 6 months AFTER moving in) and trying my hand at a Pinterest craft or two, my posts got a little forgotten, but the manis didn't! 
Overall, I really enjoyed my Valentine's Day manis this year.  Here are the last 2 that I wore:

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Sinful Colors Cream Pink
*2 coats Sinful Colors Snow Me White
*1 coat China Glaze Make A Spectacle
*1 coat Out the Door

This one was inspired by this pin (if you know its origin, please let me know so I can credit the creator!)  Cream Pink was a bit brighter than I remembered, but just as pretty.  It's not a cream at all, but a gorgeous pink packed with golden shimmer.  I used Make A Spectacle, an iridescent multi-sized glitter, to add some sparkle to my white accent and added a heart sticker that I recently found while cleaning out my mani drawer.  I didn't love the sticker, but overall liked this bright look!

Then there was my actual Valentine mani:

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Sinful Colors Snow Me White
*2 coats Zoya Gaia
*Zoya Kimber
*Zoya Rory
*1 coat Out the Door

This was a twist on a Christmas mani I did, inspired by The Swatching Sprite.  I'm not sure why, but I think I liked the first one better--maybe I sized the dots a little better.  This was still fun, though!  I used Gaia, a sheer "white" polish that is really more of a gold shimmer, over my base.  Then I used the amazing Kimber (magenta) and Rory (lavender-pink) from the Surf collection shimmers that I NEVER get tired of.  I was a bit down on this one at first, but it really grew on me.

So that's the end of Valentine's 2015 (although it's never the wrong time for a pretty pink mani)!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Young Love

Despite some coverage issues that killed me with this one, I'm sorta adoring it!
Here's the quick and dirty:

*1 coat Gelous base
*4 (and 5 on my ring finger) coats of OPI I Think In Pink
*1 coat Out the Door

This is SUCH a sheer pink--I always forget how many coats it takes to get mostly opaque.  I love the shade, though, so I get sucked back in...I had to add an extra coat on my middle finger because I smudged it and couldn't recover.  It didn't make much of a difference, though.

Coverage aside, I like the pink and red combo for Valentine's day.  The adorable stick figure decal is from RLR Creations and part of the same sheet I used on my last mani.  The kid-o drawing just makes me smile :)
I was tempted to add some shimmer or sparkle, but restrained myself (mostly) and added a red rhinestone to the cream finish and called it a night.  I'm glad I did--I was pleasantly surprised by this one!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Fairy Love

My love-hate-mostly-love relationship with Valentine's day is in full swing.  Bring on the pink!  Bring on the sparkles!  Bring on the hearts!  Bring on the love!  (Pretend to ignore my lonely singleness!)
Here's my first mani for the season.  I wanted to have some sparkling red on my nails, and went from there once I got some new decals in the mail that I ordered from RLR Creations.

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Zoya America
*2 coats Sinful Colors Snow Me White
*3 coats Butter London Fairy Cakes
*1 coat China Glaze Fairy Dust
*1 coat Out the Door

America is 2 easy coats for perfect red coverage.  Adding Fairy Cakes as a second accent was a last minute decision, but I'm glad I did it.  Sometimes too much red makes me feel...old.  I like breaking it up like this.
I used Snow Me white as a base for my red heart decal.  This comes in a really cute Valentine's set.  I was kind of off as I was finishing up this mani and left the first decal in the water WAY too long and it got folded as I slid it off.  This one lost a little bit of the red as I patted it on, which is really only noticeable up close.  I've never had this happen with these decals, so I'm assuming it was a fluke--we'll see with some of the others from this set that I can't wait to use!

I was having a rough day when I I painted this, so I figured a little more sparkle was in order.  I added a coat of Fairy Dust, the perfect micro holo glitter, and then shined it all up with a top coat. 
I've been doing a lot of cleaning/decorating/crafting lately, so I've gotten some chips on my right hand.  At first I was bummed because this was such a fun look, but now I'm a little happy because it gives me an excuse to move onto the next festive look!

Do you have any "love" looks you love?  Let me know!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Crumpet's 31DC: Blue Base

I wish I had thought of this for contrasting/complementary colors.  I added a different colored accent at the last minute and kicked myself for not thinking of this a couple of days ago because I'm diggin' it!

*1 coat Gelous base
*5 (that's right, 5) coats Zoya Phoebe
*5 (again) coats China Glaze Sun Worshiper
*1 coat Maybelline Color Show Polka Dots
*1 coat Out the Door

I know, 5 coats?!?!  These polishes are so sheer.  It was only after the second that I thought "wow, I should have started with a white base" under Sun Worshiper.
The upside?  Both polishes are mattes.  The downside?  Both polishes are mattes.  This means that my first nail was dry by the time I hit the last.  The coats went really fast.  Too fast.  I tend to stroke over the nail to even out coats and this causes major dragging and bald spots because the polishes had already started drying before I was done with the nail.  This was another reason why I went with so many coats, but mostly because they were SO sheer.

I am not so keen on mattes, so in addition to the amazing black and white glitter, I added a shiny topper.  I LOVE how the glowing shimmer comes out in Phoebe with a topper!
Do you have any polishes that take a ton of work but are totally worth it when you're done?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Crumpet's 31DC: Topper - Non-glitter

This prompt really only left me with one option: matte top coat.
I have a lot of flakies and shimmers, but I felt like those were still in the realm of "glitter," so matte it is.
All of my ideas for a matte mani also included glitter, though.  If you haven't noticed, I kind of don't feel like a mani is finished without it.
As I scrolled through my Pinterest board, I rediscovered this awesome mani by none other than the Nailasaurus herself, Sammy.  Decision made.

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out
*2 coats Zoya Storm
*Hard Candy Matte-ly In Love
*Out the Door

This was nicely straightforward.  Black base, matte topper, then shiny top coat on the tips.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Crumpet's 31DC: Recreate One of Your Own Old Manis

This was a tough one for me!  I originally started this blog for 2 reasons: to earn extra entries in giveaways by sharing the information and remembering/documenting polish looks I tried and liked.  I've felt a lot of pressure NOT to recreate old looks. which is really why I liked this--silly, huh?
There were plenty of designs or color combos that I LOVED and thought about wearing again, as well as looks I...butchered, for lack of a kinder word...that I'd like a second chance on.
With so much to think over, I went simple and obvious.  This is the first mani I ever posted:

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Zoya Zuza
*2 coats Icing Lemme See Your Peacock (accent)
*1 coat Out the Door

This was actually a combo I loved then and love now.  The glitters work well with Zuza, which I never get tired of wearing.  (The whole Surf collection was gorgeous and remain some of my favorite polishes).  Zuza is 2 easy, thin, perfect coats, just as it was then.  Lemme See Your Peacock got super thick, so I dumped polish thinner in.  While it revives, it's still a little difficult, so I had to dab a bit.  No biggie!
So there it is--where this blog, though DEFINITELY not my love of polish and nail art, started.

What have you revisited that you love better/improved upon?  What do you think I should give another try?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Crumpet's 31DC: Rainbow

I'll keep it short and sweet tonight since it's later than I had planned.  I've been dying to try a mani like this one by Bregje at Oooh, Shinies! and decided to do a variation on it for my rainbow mani.

*1 coat Gelous base
*3 coats NYC Skyline Blue
*Zoya America
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Sun Kissed
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mellow Yellow
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Green With Envy
*Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Blue Me Away!
*China Glaze Gothic Lolita
*1 coat Out the Door

I picked up Skyline Blue at Target on clearance (under $1!) and thought it would make a nice sky for my rainbow.  It's a slightly shimmery pale blue.  I had some dragging patches, so I went with 3 coats for evenness, but you could do 2 careful thick ones too.
I dotted on my colors, overlapping between nails a bit.  My only regret is that my base is darker than I thought, so Green With Envy doesn't have enough contrast to really pop.  Other than that, I'm liking this one!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Crumpet's 31DC: Fire

I wasn't super keen on this prompt because I wanted to think of something creative, but was coming up blank.  I was going to try a fireworks mani, and KNOW I saved a link somewhere to a cute look, but can't find it anywhere.  I almost skipped today, but then...
I was torn.  I thought about going straight Fantasy Fire, but my swatching abilities leave something to be desired, so I'll leave that to the pros.  I thought about some layering and finally came up with this:

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats China Glaze Smoke and Ashes
*2 coats Finger Paints Flashy
*2 coats Darling Diva Ringer (accent)
*1 coat Out the Door

Instead of trying for flames, or some of the gorgeous gradients I've been working my way up to, I went a little dark.
I used Smoke and Ashes, a black base with green shimmer, for my base, like coals.  On my accent I went with Ringer, a pink to green shifting shimmer made to resemble Fantasy Fire's shift. 
On the other nails, I used Flashy, a red to green shifting flakie.  My fire's a little more abstract, but I think I'm liking it.

I forget that I have some awesome flakie polishes tucked away that always win me over when I pull them out!

Crumpet's 31DC: Tranquility

I'm a bit behind with this prompt, ironically, because I was relaxing.  On Friday I just didn't feel like doing anything after work, so polishing waited.
I thought through so many calming and soft colors, but pretty quickly realized what I wanted to do for this prompt.
I'm from a small town in wine and redwood country.  I now live in a big city on the beautiful Pacific.  There are a lot of things I love about San Diego, but a lot of things that I've grown tired of.  When I go home, there is quiet.  There is stillness.  There are old, towering redwoods. 
There are stars.
I miss dark skies full of stars.  They make me feel calm.

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Zoya Song
*2 coats Zoya Dream (accent)
*1 coat Wet 'n' Wild Kaleidoscope
*Cover Girl Boundless Color White Knight
*1 coat Out the Door

I did a simple "starry" sky with Song on most nails, a pretty, shimmery navy blue that is much darker in person than my photos.  I did a thick coat of Kaleidoscope, a favorite silver holo glitter, on top for "stars."  Then, on my accent, I used Dream, an almost perfect match to Song except that it's full of scatter micro holo glitter.  On top, I dotted on the big dipper, which I always look for when I'm home.  I sealed it all with a shiny top and fell in love.
As Switchfoot says, "When I look at the stars, I feel like myself..."
What do you find calming to see on your nails?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Crumpet's 31DC: Green Base

So, full disclosure: I'm not digging today's prompt.
Green's not really a go-to color for me.  Also, I totally loved yesterday's mani and was NOT ready to see it go.  Also, I had just shy of a 13 hour work day today, and was ready for bed long before I ever got home.
But I'm trying, so here it is:

*1 coat Gelous Base
*2 coats Revlon Posh
*1 coat Cult Nails Hypnotize Me
*2 coats Out the Door

This picture really isn't true to color for Posh.  It's a pretty jade green cream with perfect coverage in 2 thin coats.  It's a richer, slightly bluer green than the flash creates.  I added a coat of the A-mazing Cult Nails Hypnotize Me.  It's a gorgeous teal/iridescent dense glitter and gives Posh a pretty blue sparkle.  I added a couple of rhinestones for a little extra, but am not thrilled with how they look. 
To keep the stones in place and to give Hypnotize Me an extra-squishy look, I used 2 thick coats of Out the Door.  I really don't actually mind this color combo in real life, or even in the distorted photo.  I was just so sad to see my pretty polka dots go that I think anything would not quite satisfy me today.  So it goes.
How do you make your not-so-fave colors more lovable?  I'd love to broaden my repertoire a bit!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Crumpet's 31DC: Holo

Too many options again!
If you look at my tags over yonder ==> you'll see that "holo" is one of my most used.  I thought about holo glitter toppers, linear holos, scattered holos, holo accents...there are too many options and I really struggled to narrow things down!
So, I went relatively simple.  I stopped myself from going overboard and am enjoying the end result!

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Color Club Halo-Graphic?  Miss Bliss?
*2 coats Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Black Out
*1 coat Out the Door

Due to a tragic disaster in shipping, a broken polish bottle in the Halo Hues collection ruined my other bottles and most are missing their bottom labels, so I'm not entirely sure which of the pinks this is, but I think it's Halo-Graphic.  It could be Miss Bliss.  It is gorgeous!  My photo skills are basic, at best, and even I can't take a bad picture of this one! 
I went simple and dotted the Halo Hue over Black Out for an accent.  It looked a little plain, so I added a second accent reversing the polishes.  I almost continued and dotted all the nails, and it probably would have been cute, but I'm really loving this as is! 
What's your favorite way to rock a holo look?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Crumpet's 31DC: Inspired by Pinterest

Also known as "My Blog."

I try to be as up front as possible about where my ideas come from, and they are 70% Pinterest ideas, 28% blogs I already read, and about 2% my own.  I'm a word girl, not an art girl.  I do, though, enjoy trying new things, so I'm so thankful for all of the ladies out there who ARE art girls and creative and inspiring.  I also try to always give as much credit as possible where it is due.
So, this post is basically any other post for me :)  I browsed through my nail board and decided to go for a subtle-ish look that I love:

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Essie Lady Like
*3 coats I Am Strong (middle)
*2 coats China Glaze I'm Not Lion
*1 coat Out the Door (2 on I'm Not Lion)

The colors that Anne at Grape Fizz Nails used in the original mani are a bit more muted and a little different in tone, but I like how these went together (and now have hers on my wish list).  While I Am Strong is brighter than I thought it would be, I like how the 3 colors work together.
I'm becoming more and more of a double accent nail fan, so I'm digging this.  I'm also learning to let creams be and NOT add shimmer/glitter/sparkle on top. 
What have you found on Pinterest that I need to see?  (Honestly, what ISN'T on Pinterest that I need to see?!)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Crumpet's 31DC: Film

I learned in college that I am more creative with more restrictions.  When my options are wide open, I drown in them.  This happened with today's prompt: "film."
I thought through a hundred different movies to try to use for inspiration.  I looked at pictures and manis of actual film.  I thought about film on things, like bubbles.  I started to stress, and that's not what this should be about!
So, I thought of what color/polish I wanted to use, and then made it work.

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats China Glaze Altantis
*2 coats China Glaze Gothic Lolita
*1 coat Sinful Colors Pearl Harbor
*2 coats Out the Door

I got Atlantis for Christmas last year after falling in love with swatches online (seriously, this picture does NOT do it justice--check out Scrangie).  I'm kicking myself for just trying it now!  The teal jelly base is packed with holo glitter.  I only did 2 coats because this will come off tomorrow, but would either layer it or go for a third if I were wearing it longer to cover the visible nail line.  Honestly, though, it's gorgeous and I'm totally over any bald patches now (which are far more noticeable in photos that real life) :)  This is a very gritty glitter, though, so I used 2 thick top coat layers and would probably add a 3rd tomorrow if it was going to stay on longer. 
I used Gothic Lolita, a gorgeous lavender almost-creme with a subtle shimmer for my accent, then added Pearl Harbor on top for a little added shimmer.

So, have you figured out what I did for "film?"

I went with my favorite movie as a girl (that I may still be able to recite every line of...): The Little Mermaid!

How do you narrow down idea when there are so many options?  I'd love your advice!

Crumpet's 31DC: Reversed Polarities

Reversed Polarities?!
Basically no one knew what that meant.  Some examples were photo negatives, but that really didn't sound appealing or...right.  The only thing I could think of for that prompt was magnets--I couldn't get past the "polarities" I guess.  So, I went with a magnet look:

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats OPI Danke-shiny Red
*Sally Hansen X-treme Wear Gunmetal
*1 coat Out the Door

Since I couldn't get the image out of my head, I went for an old fashioned magnet.  I used Danke-shiny red, the ever-gorgeous glow, for my base, and added Gunmetal on the tips using striping tape for a guide.
For all of my fails with striping tape at Christmas, this all came out crisp and clean--let's hope I've gotten my touch back!
So what would you have done with that prompt?  If you haven't added to the InLinkz below, please share your ideas!

One last Christmas look...

Oh man, life can really get in the way of plans sometimes, you know?
I had this mani, which I LOVED, and another one that I had been waiting a long time to do, to show for Christmas.  But then I had to pack and fly home and a week had gone by before it started chipping and I hadn't snapped a picture. 
Then I was SO ready to start the new 31 day challenge.  But it had to wait until I got back from vacation.  Which was when I promptly came down with the flu.  Ugh.
So, there have been a couple of manis that didn't make it to my camera, but I'm fever-free and ready to start postin'!
So, this is a Christmas mani I originally saw on The Swatching Sprite (I'm so sad she's stopped posting--I loved this blog!) and had been dying to try.  Except for some pesky topcoat smearage, I LOVED how these turned out!

*1 coat Gelous base
*2 coats Cover Girl White Night
*1 coat Zoya Ginessa
*Revlon Posh
*Zoya America
*1 coat Out the Door

I loved these polka dots!  Ginessa is a gorgeous white shimmer that, for opacity, is best layered over a white cream, and it's such a pretty base!  I fought every instinct and let the red, green, and white cream dots stand alone.  I like the lighter tone of America and Posh together.  I even liked the design of the dots (which I am so excited to do again and again for different holidays/color combos!).  I even waited a full 15 minutes but it still dragged the red :(  In real life, it was totally not as noticeable. 
Any tips for keeping a topcoat from dragging colors below?  Please share!