Friday, 19 September 2014

Off The Wall. Vans Inspired Nails

Before going to New York earlier this year I purchased my first ever pair of Vans. They are Blue Chambray slip-ons with little white polka dots and I love them! They did give me blisters at first but I wore them in and now I wear them everywhere as they are so comfy. I was looking for other pairs to buy (black perforated slip-ons consider yourselves mine) when I thought how cute some of the patterns might look on my nails. I was tempted to go for a full on mix and match but stuck with classic checks and my own polka dots. 

Despite having 400+ polishes in my collection it was very difficult finding a blue to match my trainers. In the end I settled on 2True's Athena* which is a very pretty metallic blue. I'm not a huge fan of metallic polishes but this blue looks kind of cute with the dots. The formula of this one applied relatively streak free which helped. 

For the checks I used OPI's Yoga-Then-Yogurt* from the Nicole range and drew the checks on with my black Barry M nail art pen. The checks would probably have looked better if I'd drawn the lines straight but I did not have the patience time for that!
I can't wait to purchase some more Vans. I have been banned from buying the checked ones as I wouldn't wear them as much as I like to think I would. Plus I'm not 15 any more so they look kind of silly on me. I guess you could say the same about the dotty ones but I don't care too much as they are so gosh-darned cute!

Do any of you have Vans? What pattern is your favourite pair?


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Autumn Florals with Barry M Gelly

This week I got to do some nails for a friend and the brief was simply - autumn shades. Obviously I brought out the new Barry M Gelly shades and she picked a couple of favourites, Mustard*, Chili* and Chai*. We decided to go for an autumnal floral design, using Mustard* and Chili* for the flowers and Chai* for the details. 

Since I first used grey with florals, here, I have fallen in love with it. I think it works especially well with these autumn tones as adding green leaves might have made it a bit garish. I've never used these shades for florals before but they were perfect, a great way to bring florals with us into autumn, yay!

I used Models Own - Coconut for the base as it's softer than plain white, and mixed in some simple dotted Chai* nails. The flowers are just dabs of polish with grey outlines, and petals added on. 


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Fruit Pastels

I am so sad that summer is coming to a close and it's time to start thinking about autumnal nail designs as I have really enjoyed creating some bright looks for you all. It's odd for me to say that as I am SUCH an autumn person - an October baby - and I usually relish this time of year but most of the summer collections have been great. It'll be hard to tuck them away for the winter even if the autumn ranges look like they're going to be just as good. 

To cheer myself up and make the most of the end of summer I decided to do one last (maybe) fruity mani. The fruitiest of all the fruity manis, a fruit salad of the fingers! 
I used an array of pastel Barry Ms for my bases: Huckleberry, Sugar Apple, Peach Melba, Strawberry Ice Cream and Lemon Ice Cream. I then used my white Barry M nail pen to draw on some little dots and the base for my fruit. Then I filled in the shapes with some other polishes that I can't quite remember all of the names of (sorry), and outlined in black, I topped everything off with a coat of Seche. 

Et voila! My last fruity, summery mani for a little while. Never fear though, I have soooo many autumn ideas already that I'm sure the end of the year is going to be good! 


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Harlequin Diamonds

Last week I made my most exciting nail related purchase yet - a lighting set up! As the evenings have started getting darker I was really struggling to find time to photograph my manis in the daylight after work. I found a little set on Amazon which included a small, pop up light box and two daylight lamps for around £30. It's perfect for nail photos! I need to play around with it a bit more to get all the light levels right, but straight off it has made such a difference. 

The first mani to grace the new lightbox was this fun harlequin design. I've seen diamonds on Instagram a few times and wanted to give them a go. I just used a Barry M nail art pen to draw them on, so they're not dead precise, but I think they look ok overall. I started with a white base coat and draw on the diamond shape using a white nail art pen. I then used the white guidelines to fill in the black diamonds - almost evenly! 

I teamed the monochrome diamonds with Down To The Core-al* from O.P.I, as you know I love a good black white and neon combo! For a final flourish I added my new favourite gold glitter - Bora Bora by Models Own.

This is a perfect party mani, and a great way to bring neons into the cooler months. I love wearing bright nails with an all black outfit - they're my best accessory!


Monday, 15 September 2014

Dahlia Nails One Year Blogiversary!

We can't believe that Dahlia Nails is one year old! It feels like only yesterday that we were sat around brainstorming about names and designs, trying to figure out the right photo width and html. Now here we are, one year later and so much seems to have changed. 

We thought we'd look back on some of our favourite blog moments of the past year to mark our blogiversary. Hopefully some of yours are here too. 

15 September 2014: Dahlia Nails is born
Our very first post - yay! We spent a long time deciding on a name for the blog and even longer to create the first logo, social media sites, and general feel of the blog. We had both been creating designs for a little while before starting the blog so many of our first posts were pre-DN. Looking back they look so different to our nails now - we're so glad you stuck with us through the raggedy cuticles and uneven filing! 

Our First Posts

Getting Featured
One of the most exciting things as new bloggers was (and still is) getting featured by some of the brands and sites we love. The first we can really remember is Models Own's Swatched! page. It was so exciting seeing our design on a page that wasn't our own and we were inspired to try and get featured as many places as possible. We have since featured on quite a few sites including Superdrug's Look At Me, Hello Giggles, and Nail It! Mag. We still feel a buzz when we see our work spread across the interweb and are keen to focus on this even more in our second year. 

Up, Up, Up!
The texts between us are quite funny when we get to a new Instagram milestone. We are our own biggest fans - so sad, but true - so seeing other people appreciate our efforts is amazing. We have found the Instagram nail art community to be one of the best. There seems to be a lot of negativity on Facebook, not with us per se, just in general but on IG we have seen nothing but love. 

Brand Notice
One of the best days for us was being asked by Rimmel to be part of their nail blogger program. We could've died of excitement. Rimmel is a brand that we are both huge fans of and to be asked something like this when we are still relatively small was a huge privilege. 
We were invited to a Coty PR event which was so much fun. We still chuckle at being troublemakers and knocking over the large nail polish props (I may have knocked them over but Jo definitely aided by making me have my picture in there - Emma). One of the best things about the event was getting to meet our nail heroes - Sammy, Allie, and Alice - we were fangirling hard at lunch with them and kind of wondering what we were doing there as they are all so amazing. 

Another exciting moment for us was when Barry M showed us some love by sending us some products to review. This was a huge moment for us as we had always been such huge fans of the brand. 

We didn't start the blog to get freebies or grab the attention of our favourite polish brands but it sure has been nice to see our manis feature on their social media sites. 

Mani Swaps/Guest Posts
One thing that we have enjoyed more than anything is becoming part of a really inviting and supportive community of nail bloggers. This was something that we hadn't really anticipated when we started out but it really has been so nice reading people's comments and getting involved on social media.

We were so shocked when Alice from One Nail To Rule Them All asked us to do a mani swap as she is what we'd consider one of the big guns of the nail blogging world. Although her version of our design kind of put us to shame it was so much fun picking manis and reaching a new readership. Definitely one of our blog highs. 

Our Biggest Fans
Other than ourselves we have two bloggers who consistently make us smile with their constant support: Jayna from The Sequinned Nail and Robin from Roaring Nails. Thank you girls for taking the time to read and comment on our posts - it is much appreciated!

Favourite Posts

We have taken up quite enough of your time today so just wanted to say a massive THANK YOU to our readers. From the bottom of our hearts it means so much that you take the time to look at our blog, comment on our posts, and interact with us on Twitter and Instagram

What have been your favourite posts or moments from us this year?

Love and hugs,

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Rimmel Urban Bohemian Collection

We received the Rimmel Urban Bohemian collection at the Coty press event back in May and whilst I was keen to get them swatched for you, I thought they were better suited to late summer. As I have left it a bit late you have probably seen these colours around but I thought I'd give my two cents about the collection, especially as it is a really beautiful offering from Rimmel. 
I'm not sure how much input Kate Moss actually has into her collaboration with Rimmel but these shades really remind me of her. I can't really put my finger on why. I think it's the fact that they are quite bohemian as the title suggests, an unusual combination of shades that compliment each other. 
Goddess* When I first got this collection Goddess was the stand out shade. It's such a pretty, shimmery peach that I couldn't resist creating some nail art straight away which you can check out here. Whilst I do still love it I have to say that another shade in the collection has overtaken it as my favourite. You'll have to read on to find out which! 
Seduce* This is probably my least favourite shade from the collection but only because it doesn't really suit my skin tone. I would say it's a very blue-based purple, an indigo?! It applies like a dream so if this is your kind of colour I would highly recommend it, it's just not for me.
Nymph* This shade is much more beautiful in real life than this photo shows. It is a deeper, teal colour and I'm sorry that I couldn't capture it better. The swatch above, on the nail wheel, is more accurate. I love this shade but it's not my favourite. 
Bewitch* THIS is my new favourite of the Urban Bohemian range. I love it! I think this shade, wine bottle green, is going to be big for autumn/winter. I got so many compliments when I wore this to work and it made me feel uber classy! Such a gorgeous colour. 

The Salon Pro polishes are great. The flat but rounded brush helps the polish glide on, coverage is fantastic and they last on the nails really well. The Kate Moss ranges tend to be a bit more edgy and this selection is no exception. Two very big thumbs up from me!

What are your favourites from the Urban Bohemian collection?


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Love Shadow Letters

I've been doodling a lot recently and one of my favourites is this shadowy lettering. It's really easy to draw and looks so cute. I did find it quite difficult to transfer onto my nails though, it's way more wobbly than I would have liked!
I started the mani with two coats of Misty Grey from Models Own - I'm absolutely in love with this shade at the moment, a perfect summer/autumn transition shade! Once this was dry I drew on the main part of the letters using a pink Barry M nail art pen. I then outlined the letters and added the shadowing with a metal nibbed black nail art pen.
To be honest this was a bit of a nail fail for me, the design is cute, but the execution was not up to our usual standards. Think I need to practice this one a bit more!

I need to think of more four letter words for nails as we use 'love' a lot, but all I can think of is rude ones! Any ideas?
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