Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Mani Steal: Winter Aztec

I often look to other nail artists for mani ideas as there are so many talented people coming up with original designs that it is hard not to be inspired by them. One who I admire most who I have never thought to look at is my very own partner in crime: Jo! As the blog is joint-owned I always think of 'our' designs rather than as individual looks so it hadn't really crossed my mind until recently when I was flicking through some of our older posts. I came across Jo's Winter Aztec - which I thought was such a cute idea - and decided that I was going to try it myself. 
I used Topshop's Birthday Suit for the base shade in this mani. It's a beautiful pale blue that is wearable on its own or as part of a winter look. I can envisage using this a lot in the coming months. 
To create this simple look you need a base colour (I chose Topshop's Birthday Suit, Jo's original has Models Own's Utopia) and a white nail art pen. 
1. Paint two coats of your base colour.
2. Once the colour is dry draw an even number of stripes with your white nail art pen. 
3. In between the lines draw some triangles.
4. In between the other lines draw some dots (just dot the pen).
5. Top it all off with a quick drying top coat (I used Seche Vite)
I wish I didn't have a horrible chip on my index nail but otherwise I am super happy with this look. I might have to steal some of Jo's designs more often!


Monday, 20 October 2014

Barry M and Bora Bora Navajo Nails

These navajo nails were actually inspired by Emma. I loved her navajo mani back in summer and couldn't resist creating my own design! You can see Emma's mani hereI started with a base of Barry M - Almond* from the Spring Gelly collection. I then drew the navajo design onto two nails using a Barry M black nail art pen. I wanted to add a splash of colour so picked out four more Barry M polishes - Bikini*, Greenberry, Berry Ice Cream and Pink Flamingo, and added them into the gaps!

I decided not to go navajo on all the nails as I am in love with Models Own - Bora Bora so wanted to incorporate it somehow. I added a thin coat of Bora Bora over the remaining three nails so the Almond* still comes through from below. Adding a glitter top coat is a really cute way to liven up a mani without going all out! Finally I finished it off with a matte top coat - again, loving matte over glitter at the moment, such an interesting look. 

I know these are fairly summery, but I refuse to put all my bright colours away for winter. We need something to cheer us up on these dark miserable days! I say yes to brights all year round!


Sunday, 19 October 2014

They're Creepy And They're Kooky

Do you ever create a design that is so far removed from the original idea you had? This is one of those manis for me. I adore The Addams Family and was desperate to create a look in homage but these didn't turn out quite how I expected. I think it's Cousin It on my ring finger nail that's throwing things off a bit. He looks a bit more like a tree than hair! Oops. 

Anyway, although they weren't quite what I had in mind I don't hate them and I managed to include some of my fave characters: Pugsley, Lurch (LOL), Wednesday, Cousin It, Morticia. My favourite is Wednesday for sure so for Hallowe'en I might do all back with a Wednesday accent. 

We are still fully in Hallowe'en mode so any designs you want us to try,give us a shout in the comments and we'll try and get them done before the big day! 


Saturday, 18 October 2014

Pink Glitter Fade

We're continuing to fly the pink flag here at Dahlia Nails today for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Jo brought you a pretty pink mani earlier this week and no doubt we will bring you another before the month is out as it's such a good cause to get behind.
I think Jo and I are a bit too in sync as we both went for pretty pale and sparkly manis. I used two Barry M polishes for this simple look: Rosehip* and Princess*. If you want to show your support, this look is super easy to create but just wearing any pink on your nails and donating as much as you can afford here


Friday, 17 October 2014

Hedonistic Houndstooth

I've always lusted after the perfect houndstooth nail design, but never quite managed to achieve it. WAH Nails are particularly impressive at getting it spot on. I haven't had a go for a while and recently uncovered some old swatch wheels with a houndstooth pattern on so I was inspired to have another go. 

I chose Models Own - Hedonist purely because I haven't used it for ages and it's one of my faves! It's really bright in person but the camera hasn't caught that very well. Maybe it's just teamed with the pattern it takes away some of the starkness. The white I used was Rimmel - White Hot Love*, from the Rita Ora range, as it's nice and dense. Some whites can be thin and watery which wouldn't have worked for this mani!

To create this pattern I started with two coats of Hedonist. Once the base was dry I added vertical stripes in white, and then topped them with horizontal stripes, creating a grid. I then used a small brush to add the detailing. Finally I topped it with Barry M - Matte Top Coat. I definitely did not nail the design, but I think I'm getting better, maybe. 

This is one geometric design that always seems to beat me! I'm determined to get it right eventually. Have you tried houndstooth? Does anyone have any tips?


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Baby Stripes

Today's design was inspired by my gorgeous niece and her unbelievably cute outfits! We love to see what she's wearing and receive outfit of the day photos nearly every day. One of her recent ensembles was a pale blue and white striped top with hot pink pockets. The colour scheme instantly screamed out to me and I knew I'd have to create some nail art!

I used three Barry M polishes, White, Huckleberry* and Grapefruit, to match the colours as best I could. Starting with a white base I added the stripes with a striping brush. I was a bit cack handed with it so had to do some tidying again with the white afterwards. I chose to add the pink at the tips of the nail, with two wide blue stripes above it. 

I don't often go for a matte topcoat as the convenience of Seche's drying time and staying power is too tempting. However, these just seemed to need a matte topcoat to bring it all together. Also, I'm struggling a little with glossy nails in my lightbox (damn winter and your lack of natural light!) Does anyone have any tips how to get rid of glare?

The colours of this mani are very summery, so not exactly an autumnal mani, but they are so cute together I couldn't resist. I love how this mani came out. It's almost nautical but with a girly twist!

Watch this space for more baby clothes inspired designs...


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Cute Ghost Nails For Hallowe'en

I know I did a ghost mani for Hallowe'en last year but I just find them so cute that I had to use them again. This time I went for multiple ghosts on a purple background. I was going to use a lilac base to make it a bit more girly and cute but opted for this gorgeous shade by Rimmel instead. It's from their Lasting Finish range and is called Keep Calm and Party*. On top of this I drew on some white ghost shapes with my white nail art pen and dotted some eyes and mouths using my black one. Simples!

We do love a good Hallowe'en mani here at Dahlia Nails. Last year Jo created a whole wheel of designs to inspire you and this year we have a ton more ideas coming your way so watch this space over the next couple of weeks. 

Share links to your own designs below as we'd love to check them out. 

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