Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Most Popular of 2013

Before heading in to the New Year we thought we'd take a little look back on some of our most popular posts of 2013. From left-right:

1. Cath Kidston Floral Mani Our most popular post this year and rightly so. Who can resist a bit of Cath Kidston? Especially when they are so pretty in mint green?
2. Breast Cancer Awareness Month Mani Bringing awareness to a good cause has never been so  much fun. 
3. Thug Life An old timer from our very first day of blogging. Thug Life was inspired by the WAH lettering guide which we still love to practise. 
4. Snow Love We're glad you loved these cute snowmen as much as we did.
5. Magnificent Movember Mani Another feel good mani. This time we were doing it for the boys. 
6. In the Nude There's not much we love more in life than a good nudey nail. 
7. Easy Aztec Tutorial We take you through an easy yet effective Aztec look. 
8. Barry M Berry Cosmo One of the colours of the season from Barry M. 
9. Remembrance Day Poppies A striking mani for Remebrance Day became an instant hit. 

Have you got any favourite looks that didn't make the top nine?



Monday, 30 December 2013

Nails Inc.redible

Unsurprisingly this Christmas I was showered with nail related gifts. Best. Day. Ever! I was kindly given a total of 12 new polishes and 2 nail pens, I knew there was a reason I'd stopped myself buying polishes this month!

My brother and sister-in-law chose a gorgeous Nails Inc gift set with 6 polishes wrapped in individual little crackers. I would include a piccy but they only lasted about 3-4 minutes before I'd ripped open all the packaging to investigate, oops! It was so exciting to find out which polish was in each little sparkly wrapper. 

1. Kings Road - a champagne-esque metallic polish from the Foil range.
2. Baker Street - what an amazing blue! Perfect for a colour pop with an all black outfit.
3. Mayfair Mews - a dark purple feather effect glitter polish from the Fibre Optic range.
4. Trafalgar Crescent - a silvery, iridescent, slightly holo polish from the Galaxy range.
5. Marylebone Lane - a Special Effects dark red glitter with a hint of pink, yum!
6. Kensington High Street - somewhere between a dark burgundy and red wine, absolutely gorgeous!

After all the novelty xmas nails I thought it was time to go for something a little more glamorous. So, for my first mani with my new Nails Inc's I chose to team Kensington High Street with Marylebone Lane. I couldn't resist a glitter fade, firstly because I was feeling a bit lazy, secondly because I love them!!

I've been looking for the perfect silver glitter polish for a while, so can't wait to create something fun with Trafalgar Crescent, watch this space!



Sunday, 29 December 2013

Seasonal Sparkles

I'm not sure when glitter became synonymous with NYE but I'm not about to go changing the rules. With the big night just around the corner I dug out my favourite glitters and got to work. When I think of party nails I usually end up with some combination of black and glitter, the dark background just seems to make the glitter sparkle even more. 

For this mani I chose Barry M's Amethyst Glitter over their Black polish. I love this glitter polish as it has a gorgeous combo of silver, blue, pink and purple. I added glitter tips to the black base by dabbing glitter along the end of the nail, and dragging it down with a dry brush. I chose to include an accent nail of full glitter just to mix it up a little.

You can either finish this mani with a gloss top coat, or for something a little different you could use a matte top coat like I have here. I used Essie's Matte About You which has a lovely formula and if you're careful the matte effect will last at least a couple of days!

Perfect party nails to go with any outfit!!


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Vintage Florals

I get jealous when Jo creates pretty nails like these so decided to give some vintage-inspired florals a go. I was inspired by some of the Cath Kidston prints for these nails - they just work so well together. I used a mixture of nail paints to create this look and a small nail art brush for the flowers. I am afraid that I can't remember all of the colours but I think they are predominantly Barry M shades. 

It was recently (rudely) pointed out to me on Facebook that I don't paint my entire thumbnail. I never noticed before and unfortunately I had already created these by the time this was highlighted. So if you do feel the urge to mention it - I know! I will try not to do it again. 

Show us your pretty designs on Twitter (@dahlia_nails) or Instagram (@dahlianails). 



Friday, 27 December 2013

Winter Woollies

Santa brought me a couple of new Barry M nail art pens for Christmas and I couldn't wait to try them out. Luckily I have a very obliging sister-in-law who lent me her nails for some testing.

The reindeer design was actually inspired by a present tag which she had saved from the wrapping paper chaos on Christmas morning. One of my new pens is pink so we chose a pink and white theme with Models Own Utopia as the base. To accompany the little Rudolphs I chose a woolly knit style design which varied slightly on each nail.

The pink pen was a little thick which made detailing difficult, but I think that's just because it's brand new and full of polish (not for long!).

How long are we allowed to wear Christmassy nails now it's over?!


Thursday, 26 December 2013

DIY Indie Nails

There is a vast amount of indie nail polish available on Etsy, so much so, I've never known which ones to try. Emma and I have been talking about how cute they are and are considering reviewing a few to see what the formula is like. I can't really believe that people make such high quality polishes at home! A lot of indie polish is glitter filled and has an almost milky effect. I really love the bright colours and unusual combinations you can find, Happy Hands even created a yellow and white polish called 'Mayonegg'!

I got the idea for a DIY indie polish mani from @nailsbyjosse on Instagram. Josse layered up a few polishes to get a similar milky glittery effect and it looked great. For my version I used Barry M's Matt White and Pink Sapphire Glitter, topped with Rimmel's sheer Princess Pink. You can use any colour combo to create this look, but make sure you use a sheer polish for the top coat so you can see the glitter through it.

Step 1 - Base coat of a bright matt colour
Step 2 - Layer of glitter polish
Step 3 - Top coat of sheer polish which will show the glitter through

Do you have any indie polishes? If so, which brands would you recommend? Definitely want to try some out, but want to make sure we go for the best!

If you try your own DIY indie nails make sure to share them with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!



Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick note today to say Merry Christmas to you all! We hope you have a wonderful day filled with happiness and joy. 

Jo's Christmas Day Nails
Love & Hugs,


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Nail Wheel

I enjoyed creating my Halloween Nail Wheel so much that I couldn't resist doing a Christmas one too. It's a great way to try out new designs before committing to a full mani. Those of you with a keen eye will notice that the Christmas jumper and penguin nails have already been honoured with their own posts! 

I think my favourites out the rest are the Christmas pud and gold bell! 

What nails do you have planned for the big day?


Monday, 23 December 2013

Blame It On The Weatherman

I don't know about you but this weather is confusing the Hell out of me! I am currently sat in Dorset listening to the rain and wind coming down a treat. I can't complain too I suppose, we actually had a snowy January this year and a scorching summer. I even got about a week of my all time favourite weather: icy cold with blue skies and glorious sunshine. So I suppose it's only fair to have some stinking weeks. 

Anywho, the most exciting thing about weather is the inspiration it gives for my nails. How cute are these little clouds? I used nails inc's Portobello Road as my base (little bit obsessed with this shade at the mo) and a selection of Barry M pastels for the colourful bits. I used Barry M nail pens for the outline and the clouds. 

Little tip: Use a white base underneath the pastels to make the colours stand out more.  



Sunday, 22 December 2013

Gingerbread Nails

So, as I don't have the baking expertise, or the patience to build a real gingerbread house, I decided to create a gingerbread mani instead.

Mushrooms aren't usually part of a gingerbread recipe, but Barry M's was crucial to mine as this is what I used as the base colour. The smarties were also from Barry M - Strawberry Ice Cream, Lemon Ice Cream, Mint Green and Blueberry Ice Cream. 

The detail was done with a Models Own nail art pen. I haven't used one for a while but it was perfect for such a detailed design. You can get much thinner lines and tinier dots, but my hands did start shaking towards the end!

Now I'm seriously craving some gingerbread, so if anyone fancies making us some please feel free!!


Saturday, 21 December 2013

What A Cracker!

Q. What do you get if you cross Father Christmas with a duck?

There are so many lovely Christmas nail designs around at the moment, and Emma and I are well and truly aboard that train. However, I couldn't resist a sneaky little novelty design too!

Although it's a little uneven this mani actually turned out better than I thought it would. It was really quick and easy to do, I just outlined the cracker, filled it in with gold, added some dots and then outlined again to neaten it up. With the Barry M nail art pens you can create anything! 

I seem to have all the Barry M Christmassy colours as they were the only polishes I used for this mani. They have such a good range of bold, bright colours that lend themselves really well to nail art. Team that with a good formula and a great price and it's easy to see why we love them so much! 

A. A Christmas Quacker!!


Friday, 20 December 2013

Lilac Leopards

Leopard print was the first nail art design I ever tried, and now I feel a certain affinity to it. It's my go-to design if I'm stuck for inspiration. I chose a leopard print for today's post as we haven't had one on here for aaggeess.

There's an infinite number of colour combinations so this design really is one for any occasion! I saw a nude leopard on Pinterest a little while ago and the idea stuck in my noggin. I chose Rimmel's Princess Pink as the nude, it needed three coats as it's so sheer but I love the end result. Sticking to the Rimmel theme the blue is Mind The Gap, Victoria and the purple is Ultra Violet. Barry M contributed the little bit of sparkle with their Amethyst Glitter. 

In an earlier post I outlined the three (yes, just three!) easy steps to create your own leopard print mani, you can see them here

We'd love to see what colour combos you come up with, please tweet us your leopard nails @dahlia_nails


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Easy Splodge Mani

I have been a little bit obsessed with Nails Inc's Portobello Road recently. It is a beautiful pale blue shade which works well in winter and summer. I created a mani similar to this earlier in the year with pinky shades and liked it so much that I thought I would update it for winter. For the tutorial check out the old post here

I am having a bit of trouble with my cuticles at the moment - they are dry and I can't seem to stop nibbling at them. Do any of you know any wonder products for dry hands/cuticles? I have been using a cuticle oil but it doesn't seem to be helping much. I know you guys will have some cures! 


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Mr & Mrs Penguin

I'd like you to meet my new friends, Mr & Mrs Penguin! There are lots of festive nail designs around at the moment and I couldn't resist having a go at some little critters.
These penguins are really easy to do, just start with a black base, add a fat white belly and then use a small brush and/or nail art pens to add the detailing. Unfortuntely, Mr Penguin has had a few too many sherries and now his bowtie is a bit skew whiff!  

The base for the snowy nails is Models Own Blueberry Muffins, and I just drew the snow on with a Barry M nail art pen, easy peasy!


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Snowflakes That Stay On My Nose And Eyelashes

Oh dear! I seem to have gone a bit Christmas nail art mental. I can't get enough of it at the moment. I'm not even all that into Christmas this year. It seems to be creeping up on me at an alarming rate and, other than my nails, I am wholly unprepared. 

I created this mani using Portobello Road by nails inc. for the base colour and my free Barry M sparkly nail polish as an accent. To create the dots and snowflakes I used my white Barry M nail pen. 

Have you all prepared for Christmas this year? What are you looking forward to most?


Monday, 16 December 2013

This is a story all about how my life got twist turned upside down

Everyone loves the occasional OTT mani and when my friend Lucy asked if I could do her nails for a 90s hip hop themed Christmas party I knew this would be one of them! Lucy is actually the person who first introduced me to nail art by taking me to WAH Nails. One WAH mani and I was hooked!

The mood boards
I was very glad when Lucy produced a couple of mood boards filled with ideas as I'm not exactly overloaded with knowledge on 90s hip hop! We didn't bother with any kind of colour theme just the brighter the better. 

The end result was a total mashup of fades, glitter, leopard, slime, aliens, diamonds, dollars and our fave, RUN DMC. I was a bit nervous to try the RUN DMC nail as it's such an iconic logo but it turned out really well. I also love the Adidas logo but this would have been better on a wider nail as it's a bit skinny!

The finished mani
This mani was great fun to do and gave me a chance to try out some new things, thanks Lucy!!

What theme was your Christmas party?


Sunday, 15 December 2013

Christmas Jumper Dreams

After spending hours looking at Christmas themed nails on Pinterest we created these two of our own. They say great minds think alike so it was no surprise that we both decided on Christmas jumper style nails this winter. Despite the different colour themes we both went for similar patterns with the aid of our trusty Barry M nail pens.  
We're still on the hunt for fun and interesting Christmas nail designs so leave your links in the comments below or send us Twitter pics @dahlia_nails.



Saturday, 14 December 2013

Little Bit of Lace

I recently started a new job, and it didn't take long for the girls on the team to discover my love for nail art! Within two weeks I found myself doing a quick floral mani for one of my new colleagues. I've never had, or painted on, acrylic nails before so this was something new for me. 

My brief for these nails was 'dark and floral', and I instantly thought of a lace strip which I've been wanting to try for a while. The blue base is Models Own Betty Blue, my absolute fave dark, but not quite navy, blue. It's a beautiful rich colour and a perfect match for the pink roses. I painted the white strip onto the nail once the blue was dry, and added the lacy frills with a Barry M nail art pen. You can see how to do these sweet little roses on an earlier blog post here

I love how pretty and girly this design is, it would work perfectly in a Cath Kidston/retro mani. 


Friday, 13 December 2013

Midwinter Heat Wave

This mani was created using the following Barry M products: Prickly Pear, Greenberry, Mango, Grapefruit, Pure Turquoise, and Yellow  nail paints & black nail art pen. 
I love this time of year but I am seriously craving some heat and sunshine at the moment. The days are just going a little too quickly for my liking but I am loving wrapping up with a cup of tea in the evening (I know, I live a sad life!). Instead of feeling down about the lack of sunlight I thought I'd inject a bit of summer into my nail art this week. Et voila! Leopard print, bananas, pineapples and palms. Perfect combo for summer in winter. 



Thursday, 12 December 2013


I first tried paisley on one nail in my Pick and Mix mani and loved how it came out. I always thought it would be really tricky but was actually pretty simple. Just draw on a teardrop shape and decorate it with some edging and detailing.
For this mani I wanted a fade as the base so picked out four shades from white to dark grey. I painted on a coat of white and added the other three polishes using a sponge. You can see how to create a fade here.
Once the base had dried I drew the paisley design on with a Barry M nail art pen. The pen is quite thick so it's hard to get a really thin line and lots of detailing. In order to add some intricacy to the design I kept the shapes relatively large, wish I had bigger nails so I could fit more of the pattern on!

I wasn't 100% happy with this mani as I couldn't get as much detail into the design as I had wanted to, but overall I think they looked pretty good. I love the grey fade so will definitely be recreating this, especially with the black nail art over the top!


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Nail Inspo: Burberry Love Hearts

As soon as we saw the Burberry Love heart collection this autumn we knew that some nails had to be done to match. Not only is the little heart print the cutest but the colours are bang on for this season: caramel, burgundy, black, and navy. 

Having already used some little love hearts in a previous mani, Jo allowed me to take the reins on this one. I used some trusty Barry M tools: Crush, Caramel and Black nail paints as well as my black and white nail art pens. 

After painting my base shades I added some little love hearts to two accent nails and waited to dry. To finish I used Rimmel's Matte Finish top coat as I am obsessed with matte nails at the moment. For those who aren't feeling the matte trend, just finish with a glossy top coat like Seche Vite for ultimate shine. 

Which designers are you inspired by this season?


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