Saturday, 30 November 2013

Passionate Polish

I needed a quick mani before embarking on a city break to Budapest recently. I always like to have something jazzy on my nails when I go away, gets me into the holiday spirit! Emma and I had been having a blogging day, which we spent watching Hunger Games instead of working on our nails, so I needed something speedy but fun, leopard print was a no brainer! I love leopard nails and they are so quick and easy to do. 

I chose Rimmel Pro Cocktail Passion as a bright base colour. It's a bold pink tone, verging on coral. The Rimmel Pro formula is lovely, long lasting and their round brushes make it so easy to apply. We won this Rimmel shade in their Nail The London Look - Nails of the Week competition. I used my trusty Models Own nail art pen for the leopard print detailing. 

To add a little extra sparkle to the mani I added a couple of coats of Barry M's Crystal Glaze, another from our Halloween competition win! This polish was more subtle than I was expecting, but added a lovely shimmer to my nails. I think I'm going to try it over a pale baby pink next for a super girly mani. 

What do you wear on your nails for holidays?


Friday, 29 November 2013

Nudey Nails

For my first foray into the Barry M Matte collection I tried out Caramel, which is a lovely light brown shade. It's a gorgeous nude and works really well with my skin tone. I wasn't convinced that a matte polish would be as good as a matte topcoat, but was pleasantly surprised. The polish has a really good formula (as we expect from Barry M!) and was smooth and opaque in two coats. You could probably even get away with one coat if you were in a rush. 

I was a little worried that without a top coat to harden the polish it would take forever to dry but the polish dried quickly and lasted really well. Excluding a couple of smudges caused by my impatience during the drying! The matte effect didn't last quite as long as I hoped for, but I was travelling, so they took a bit of a battering!

Emma and I won the whole Classic Matte Range from Barry M in their Halloween nails competition, you can see our entry here

My boyfriend isn't a big fan of nude nails as he thinks they make it look like I have mannequin hands, he just doesn't understand!! We love nude nails, tweet us yours @dahlia_nails.


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Betty Blue Bows

Bows are a super cute nail design, and they are great for adding a little something to a plain mani. I did these bows for a friend a while ago and have just found the photos! 

The mani needed to be work suitable, but she wanted a little nail art too. We chose Models Own - Betty Blue for the primary colour. It's a gorgeous, rich, not quite navy tone, perfect for work. To make the bows stand out we chose a paler blue, Barry M - Blueberry Ice Cream, and outlined them in white.

I did the middle of the bows a little bit too big on this mani so I think they look a little bit like sweeties, but cute nonetheless. 


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Make Mine a Mint

Soooo I may have a little addiction to mint nail polish. It seems to be raging out of control actually. I have even more than are in the pic too as I picked up a couple the other day - eek! I just love all varieties for a muted but fun colour-pop throughout the year. 

Here are the shades: 1. Barry M Gelly-Greenberry 2. H&M-Matte Green 3. Bourjois-Amande de File 4. MUA-Pistachio Ice Cream 5. H&M/Disney-On Ice 6. Models Own-Apple Pie 7. Barry M-Mint Green 8. Rimmel Salon Pro-Peppermint 9. H&M-Mint Madness 10. L'Oreal-Perle de Jade 11. Topshop-Gone Fishing 12. H&M-Metallic Green 13. Primark - (no name) 14. Barry M Textured-Ridley Road 15. Models Own-Jade Stone

And here are my faves. I think my all time favourite is L'Oreal's Perle de Jade. It is just the most beautiful shade of mint. It is subtle yet pretty with a very faint hint of shimmer. I love it!

Are any of you mint polish addicts? I know that Jo is, she has two mint manis so far on this blog: here and here


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Diamond in the Rough

I am a little bit obsessed with black and nude combos at the moment. I think it's because I have mostly been wearing nude nails during the day and then getting a little bored and over-excited with my black Barry M nail pen when I get home. Tonight I chose a simple diamond shape. To create this look I chose a nude base - I went for H&M's Nerd - and then drew the outline of a diamond with the nail art pen. I then coloured in the outside black. I wish I had taken a bit more time to get my diamonds perfect but I was quite pleased with the look. 

What do you get up to when bored?



Monday, 25 November 2013

Flapper nails

'The Candlelight Club is a clandestine pop-up 
cocktail bar in a secret London venue, a stunning, 
tucked-away den with a 1920s speakeasy flavour, 
completely lit by candles.'

It was a real treat to be invited to The Candlelight Club with a group of friends recently to celebrate a birthday. When we go to events like this it's hard to deny that we are growing up, despite our best efforts not to! The evening was hosted by the Porchester Hall in Royal Oak where a decadent ballroom was laid out with all the trimmings, and entirely lit by candles. The room itself was impressive, but this was surpassed entirely by the guests' outfits. Every single person embraced the theme and was dressed to the nines! All this was topped off with a live jazz band, plenty of champagne, dancing and friends.
Part of my outfit was of course my nails, and I went full Gatsby on them! A base colour of Models Own - Gold Rush, tipped with a silver fade from Ciate. I then cut up over 50 strips of striping tape and set to work on designs. I decided to do a different design on each nail, mainly because I couldn't remember quite how I'd done each one once the black had gone on! I got inspiration from a mixture of Gatsby-esque mani's I've seen. Once the tape was in place I painted over it with a coat of Barry M - Black. Peeling the tape away you're left with lovely patterns showing the gold and silver beneath.


Sunday, 24 November 2013

Purple Rain

Working close to H&M is a nightmare for me. I find it really difficult to walk past without nipping in to buy something. Usually nail polish. On my most recent trip I was clearly in some sort of purpley mood as I picked up these two lilac shades. The glitter was just asking to be snapped up in its sparkly goodness. 

I like H&M polishes. The formula is smooth and the brush is nice and flat meaning less strokes for full coverage. I like the range of colours as well. The only downside is the longevity. After two days I find little chips springing up, even with a good top coat. This isn't too much of a problem for me as I don't keep polish on for very long at all but if you're a fan of the long-term mani these polishes will get on your nerves. 

Misty Lilac is a very pretty, true lilac shade. Lollipop Lullaby has more of a blue tone which I found a bit overpowering on every nail. Jo Is In The house (great name, right?) is just so much fun I would quite happily wear on every nail every day of the year. I used my Barry M black nail art pen for the little black diamond. 



Saturday, 23 November 2013

Sparkles for Shaz

So it's officially party season, which means we are bringing out all the glitters and sparkles we can find! A friend of mine requested some serious bling for her 30th birthday party this weekend, to match her super snazzy dress.

The Dress! Picture courtesy of Miss Selfridge
For this mani we stuck to the dress's three colours, gold, silver and black. Barry M's Black formed the perfect base, a couple of coats and it's dark, glossy and ready to be adorned. For most of the nails we chose a simple glitter fade, using Model's Own fabulous Goldfinger glitter. I love a glitter fade as it's so so easy to do but adds an element of glamour to any mani. It looks especially striking on a dark polish, so worked perfectly with our black base.

Each hand had a single accent nail where we pushed the boat out a little more. After much deliberation (and convincing that I couldn't form a juggling man out of diamantes), Shaz picked out gold studs and silver diamantes to form an 'S' on each ring finger. I don't often mix gold and silver together, but we were inspired by the dress and both loved it when it was finished.

What are you planning for your seasonal manis? I can't wait to try out more party season nails! Bring on the bling...


Friday, 22 November 2013

Love Hate

After trying some Old English lettering on my Pick and Mix Mani I really wanted to give it another go. I chose Barry M - Peach Melba as a base as it's a gorgeous colour and I haven't used it for ages. It's a summery shade but not too bright so thought I'd be able to get away with in winter.

For the lettering a used a Barry M nail art pen once the base layers were fully dry. I've discovered that you can't use these pens easily if the varnish hasn't set completely as they can indent or ripple it. I found it a bit tricky to make sure all the letters were the same size as my nails are not very uniform in shape of size! My typing fingers seem to be particularly stunted.

I was happy overall but definitely need more practice at lettering, think it could do with neatening up a bit. The Old English style is fun to do, and it's simple enough to achieve with nail pens. Not sure what font to try next!


Thursday, 21 November 2013

Ice Ice Baby

Now a fully fledged member of 'the real world', in a past life I donned my neon headband (a genuine 80's number handed down by my older sister) and joined a band of Seasonnaires headed for winter in the Alps. Always a keen skier it was this season that cemented my love for the mountains. Something you cannot fully appreciate on a yearly holiday is the power of the astounding beauty the mountains can offer. I cannot describe the feeling, when you are running on empty, on the verge of throwing in the towel and most probably hungover, that is instilled by the sight of sunrise, illuminating the snow caps in a soft pink glow.
A pretty rubbish photo of sunrise
Possibly one of the most beautiful and mesmerising sights the mountains have ever offered me was presented on a cold (we're talking around minus 14 degrees), clear, still day when the air seemed to fill with millions of ice crystals. It was as if someone had filled the air with the finest glitter imaginable and unlike anything I have ever seen. Everywhere you looked the air sparkled. It was this sight that inspired today's ice themed mani.

For this mani I used three Models Own polishes. I started with a thin base of pale Blueberry Muffin. Then a coat of super sparkly holo glitter Southern Lights. Finally, a bit of extra sparkle from Snowflakes. I love how glittery this mani is, and the icy look is perfect for winter!
Snowflakes, Blueberry Muffin, Southern Lights

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Simple Art Deco Mani

Heading out at the weekend I was in desperate need of a nail polish refresh, but didn't have much time. Deciding on sticking to a single colour I slapped on a few coats of Rimmel's gorgeous Little Bo Peep. However, once it was on it looked a little lonely without any nail art.

As I was headed out to Carriage 34, a vintage train inspired bar in London's Waterloo, I opted to go for an art deco-esque design. I was inspired by simple geometric patterns from the art deco period, which were perfect for a quick and easy mani. I drew three chevrons onto the base of each nail, starting at the cuticle and moving into the middle of the nail using my Barry M nail art pen. If I had more time I would have used a striping brush instead, as the lines are a bit wobbly!

I was pleasantly surprised how great this simple quick-fix mani looked when it was complete. Also, I got lots of compliments while wearing them, which proves that sometimes less can be more with nail art. I'm loving geometric patterns and triangles at the moment, so this design really floated my boat!

Have you tried any art deco nails?



Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Pick and Mix

It's been forever since I've done an elaborate mix and match mani. I usually have meetings to go to where mental nails would probably not be appreciated. However, this Friday I had nothing booked in, team that with a weekend filled with three parties, and it's the perfect excuse!! I already had a few ideas of designs I have been wanting to try, and filled in the gaps with some inspiration from the WAH Nails Blog. I love the bright, bold designs from WAH, mixed with some unconventional colour schemes. I was planning to match each hand, but changed my mind after ending up with 11 designs! With a different design for each finger this mani needed some serious planning, I've included my doodles below.

To maintain some kind of flow between each nail I stuck to the simplest colour scheme I could. I chose Rimmel's Mind The Gap, Victoria as the base colour, with accents of Models Own Southern Lights gorgeous holo glitter. For the detailing I used black and white nail art pens from Barry M and Models Own. 

It's been really tough to choose a favourite nail. I love the diamond as the hint of glitter makes it sparkle, and I'm already really pleased with how the 'J' came out (will be attempting a full letter mani soon!). It was also the first time I tried paisley and I was amazed at how easy it was.   

Which one is your favourite?



Monday, 18 November 2013

Party Cat

Back in October a good friend posted a nail art idea to my Facebook wall that I just HAD to try. For those of you that don't know me too well, I am a crazy cat lady. And proud! There is never a bad season for cat nails. 

For the party season, what better way to showcase cat nails than with a sparkly base? I chose Bora Bora from Models Own as it's a gorgeous, glittery gold that works well both in summer and winter. I used Barry M's black nail pen for the lines, Primark's neon green for the eyes, and Models Own's pink nail pen for the little heart nose. 

This look was super easy to create. I just painted my nails with Bora Bora and then chose a nail for the cat face. I started the face with the pink heart nose. Next I added the eyes. Lastly I drew on the black details. Easy peasy! 



Sunday, 17 November 2013


A simple cutout section adds a little something to a monochrome set of nails. Halfway through applying a quick classic red coat of varnish, I decided to exclude a heart shaped area. 
I was really pleased with the overall effect of the cutout and amazed at how easy it was to do. Just paint on an outline of your cutout with a small brush, then fill in the surrounding area. Once you've added another layer and a top coat the colour will be full and deep so the brushstrokes won't be visible.



Friday, 15 November 2013

NOTD: Turquoise Tips

Base: Nerd, H&M Tips: Pure Turquoise, Barry M

I love a good French manicure every now and then. I really enjoyed wearing turquoise tips this summer but thought I would reintroduce it into my winter look as my bland wardrobe needs a little pick-me-up.

How do you incorporate bright colours into your autumn/winter nails?



Itsy Bitsy, Teenie Weenie, Silver Polka Dot Pinkini!

I was given a sample bottle of Clinique - Pinkini (great name!!) by a friend and I tried it out for the first time recently. Now I know pink is a girly colour, but this is super girly pink! So much so I was compelled to top it off with a generous covering of Barry M - Pink Sapphire.

This is the first Clinique polish I've used and it was lovely. Silky smooth, easy to apply, perfectly glossy and a gorgeous colour, but you'd expect so at £12 a bottle! I'm not sure Pinkini is in the shops anymore, but you can still get hold of it on ebay. They have some gorgeous autumn/winter shades available from the same range on their website. I'm eyeing up Man Of Steel and Call My Buff, hint hint...

I've read mixed reviews regarding the longevity of this polish. Unfortunately, I didn't keep mine on long enough to comment. Next time I wear it I will make sure to provide an update.



Thursday, 14 November 2013

Geometric Monochrome

I often browse through prints and patterns on Google images to get ideas for nail art, pretty sad, I know! I like to look at how different designs and colours work together. Recently I stumbled across this image and had to have a go!

The original pattern is very complex so firstly I simplified it. By taking some of the busy-ness out of the patten it enabled me to replicate some elements and retain the same style. As my nails are so small it would have looked a complete mess if I'd tried to include all the detail. 

Due to the complexity of the design I chose to stick to two accent nails and a monochrome colour scheme. The polishes are trusty Barry M Black and White. For the design I debated between a nail art pen, which is thinner but messier, or a striping brush, which creates neater straight lines. Eventually I chose to use a nail art pen as the lines needed to be as thin as possible. I randomly placed the lines, making sure they interlocked and filled the space evenly. 

I'm really pleased with the end result and definitely intend to do this again, can't wait to mix it with neons in summer!

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