Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Our Yearly Favourites: 2014

We rounded up our year in a lot of details for our blogiversary in September so thought we'd give you more of a visual treat for the end of the actual year. Click on the links to go to the original post. 

We picked one of each of our designs per month. If you have a blog we recommend doing this as you discover some old faves lingering in the archives.

We had so much fun creating all of these designs for you in 2014 and cannot wait to get started on some new creations for next year. Please let us know if you want us to do anything in particular, we're always open to new ideas. Choose them as simple or complex as you like, we'll give it a go! Also, let us know if there's anything you'd like to see that we don't do or that you'd like to see more of - tutorials, product reviews, personal posts, anything! 

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Nails in Aurora

Looking for something special yet slightly subtle for your NYE celebrations? Why not try a multi-tonal polish like Aurora by Topshop? My friend gave me this polish for Christmas and I absolutely love it. Emma's going to be very disappointed in me but I have to admit this is my first ever Topshop polish. It's also my first multi-tonal polish, althought I've admired Models Own's Beetlejuice collection for years.
The photos don't really do this polish justice, as it looks like a simple gold shade. However, when you move your fingers the gold changes to dark blue and greens, kinda like a petrol effect. You can see the shades more if you look at the polish bottle The different tones make this polish really interesting and I definitely felt like my nails stood out more.
I often find metallic polishes have tricky formulas, but this one is great. It's leaning towards the glitter end of metallic so you don't get the streaking issues much at all, and the larger metallic particles give it that extra sparkle and depth.
I often struggle to decide on nail art designs when I choose a metallic base. As this polish has so much going on already I didn't want to over complicate it so stuck with simple small polka dots. Easy yet impressive and works well with the multi-tonal base. Perfect if you like a bit of sparkle but don't want to go all out bling!
Nails in Aurora, Topshop, £6 - you can view this polish online here


Monday, 29 December 2014

Uptown Funk You Up

Like a lot of people I have been completely obsessed with Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk for a little while now. It is so blinkin' catchy, I can't take it! I'm waiting to overplay it to the point that it becomes super annoying but I'm not there yet. 

This mani was inspired by the retro video. As soon as I saw it my mind went into overdrive for nail art ideas as there are so many prints and colours. The vision I had for this look was completely different to what I ended up with but it worked out OK. I wish the bandana print on my pinkie had come out better but you get the drift.

Anyone else obsessed by this tune?



Sunday, 28 December 2014

Do Not Disturb

It's time to move away from Christmas nails and onto party nails for NYE, woohoo! This super simple but impressive mani is easy to do but does require a little patience. Do Not Disturb* is one of my favourite blues at the moment, it's such a rich and unusual shade, I haven't found any dupes of it yet! 

I started with two coats of Rimmel - Do Not Disturb* and whilst still wet I added the gold beads. I used a dotting tool to apply the beads. I found that if I wet the end of the dotting tool a little it picked up the beads nicely and made it easy to place them on my nails. I pressed down slightly to ensure they were well stuck. You can add a top coat for added stick but I haven't this time. If you're going out partying I'd advise running a thin layer of top coat over the beads to keep them in place!

I've done this design as an accent nail in the past, a long while back, but never for a full mani. I don't know why I hadn't as they look awesome! These are also simple enough to do on both hands so I didn't have to beg Emma to come and help me out. 

Have you started planning your NYE outfit yet?


Saturday, 27 December 2014

Orchid Accent

I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas. Mine was very relaxing but I'm back to work today. No rest for the wicked, eh?! My nails and cuticles have really been suffering this week. Cuticles are dry as a bone and my nails seem to be getting thinner. Except my thumb nail which I trapped in a door and which has now gone insane! I'm not exaggerating; I have two moons, one of which is in the middle of my nail. Crazy. 

Anyway! Enough about my raggedy old nails. Today's look is one that I have attempted twice now. The first time didn't make it onto the blog and this one was nearly skipped as well as none of pics were particularly in focus. The first attempt was a real fail as I used Barry M's Coconut* as a base on the accent nail and you could barely see the white orchid on top. This time around I used Lychee. The purple shade is the aptly named Orchid* from Barry M's Silk collection which I love. 

I feel like Christmas is well and truly over now. Time to focus on non-festive nails. I can't wait as it won't be long before I can get my crazy-bright summer shades back out. Let us know if there are any designs you want us to try this year. 


Friday, 26 December 2014

Festive Leopard Print

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day and are suitably stuffed full of xmas treats! We've stuck with the festive colour theme for today as Christmas isn't really over yet, right? It's been ages since I've done a leopard print design so thought I'd try it out in red and white.

The red is Blood Orange by Barry M and the detailing was done with Barry M nail art pens. In hindsight I'm not sure how well the colour scheme works. Leopard isn't exactly the most festive of patterns!

Hope you're enjoying the traditional Boxing Day activities - eating and sleeping! I'll definitely be making the most of a few days off work (and off my diet!)



Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!! To celebrate the big day we've put together a collaboration of this year's festive designs. We loved creating all of these for you, but are glad Christmas has arrived as we're running out of ideas! 

We hope everyone has a wonderful day full of family and love (and that Santa brought you that handbag you had your eye on...)

Love & hugs,

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Eve Garland

Happy Christmas Eve everybody! Some simple Christmas garland nails for you today. I think I am well and truly Christmassed out! I have no more ideas running through my head for Xmas manis and am quite looking forward to business as usual with non-festive nails. 

Hope you all get what you've asked for from Santa! 


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Underneath the Mistletoe

We're almost there folks, only two more sleeps to go!! I'm like a little kid this year, I just can't stop buying presents and planning Christmassy fun. I just can't wait to hand out all the prezzies I've been stockpiling - I keep forgetting what I've bought so it will be great fun watching everyone open them. John Lewis got it right with their Christmas ad a few years back - giving gifts is just as enjoyable as receiving them! I know Emma has got the giving bug too as I received a gorgeous MAC lippy from her as an early gift :)

Today's mistletoe design came about from some office doodling. It turns out it's a lot harder to draw than I thought it was so I ended up simplifying a fair bit. I used Rimmel - Pillow Talk* as a base and then painted on the mistletoe leaves using Round and Round the Garden. I hightlighted the leaves with a bit of Barry M - Spring Green and used their white nail are pen for the berries. Finally I added a big red bow at the top, although it annoys me that I didn't get the placement of this quite right. I used another Barry M nail art pen and filled it in with Rimmel - Mars*

Are you hoping for a special kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas?

Monday, 22 December 2014

Give Me The Sun, Moon And Stars

I saw the Tiara dress by Motel Rocks on their Instagram page and was immediately drawn to it. I am loving the 90s grungey revival that's happening at the min as it reminds me of my youth! I was totally into this moon, stars, yin-yang sort of stuff but I never thought it'd come back.
I wish I had done the print a bit more justice. Whilst I think my design is kind of cute I think I should have used a thinner nail art pen to get a more detailed line. I do love the base colour though: Nicole by OPI, I'm a Pool For Love. It's a beautiful violet/navy shimmer. 

Are you a fan of the 90s grunge trend?


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Forest of Christmas Trees

Yep, we're still firmly in the Christmas spirit! However, today's post takes more of a toned down approach to Christmas nails. I used just two colours to create this Christmas tree pattern, Barry M - Forest* and White. Forest is my favourite from the silk collection and perfect for these little trees, even the name is apt! 

I love over the top Christmas nails, but felt the need to mix a more simple one into the bunch too! I started with a white base and then drew on the trees with a small brush. They were really easy and simple but the repetitive pattern makes them look impressive! 

In hindsight I probably shouldn't have done one large tree on my pinky but as the nail is small I wasn't sure the little would fit very well. Alternatively I could have added some decorations to the large tree to jazz it up a bit. 

Only 4 days to go! Are you excited?


Saturday, 20 December 2014

Pastel Jumper Dreams

Last year Jo and I came up with very similar Christmas jumper designs so I thought it was only right that I did another similar one this year. I decided to mix things up a little with a muted palette of pretty pastels. 
Colours used from thumb: Rimmel Little Bo Peep, Models Own Apple Pie, Rimmel Mary Mary Quite Contrary, Models Own Utopia, Models Own Blueberry Muffin.

These fairisle kind of prints are still some of my favourites at this time of year. Creating them can be tricky - I seem to have trouble getting them straight! - but they look really special once complete. 

Last Saturday before Christmas - hope you are finishing the last touches to your Christmas presents and not rushing around like me panicking that you haven't got ANYTHING! 


Friday, 19 December 2014

Prince George Guards Nails

George is obviously enjoying himself - here he is captured flashing a cheeky grin during the photography session
We're total suckers for Prince George's cute little outfits here at Dahlia Nails HQ, and this week's Christmassy tank top is no exception. How adorable is this little chap in his Cath Kidston Guards Jumper! I'm not sure why guards seem Christmassy to me, but I assume it's the Nutcracker connotations, or maybe just that I've gone Christmas mad this year.
Prince George's wardrobe is so coveted that this tiny tank is already sold out across the UK, imagine being a style icon before your 2nd birthday!

It's not the first time I've been inspired by baby/kids clothing. The patterns are just so cute and they tend to be bright and bold which translates across to nail art well!

To create this Prince George inspired mani I started with a base of Rimmel London - Navy Seal*, which is the exact same shade as the tank top. It's one of my favourite blues as it's dark enough to be easily wearable but not so dark it looks black. I drew the guards shape on with a Barry M white nail art pen and then filled the colours in with a small brush. The red coats are Rimmel - Mars*, the yellow belts are Maybelline - Electric Yellow, the trousers are Barry M - Elderberry*, the faces are Rimmel - Let's Get Nude* and the black detailing was done with a black Barry M nail art pen.

The little chaps didn't come out quite as well as I'd hoped and you can see the imperfections on close inspection. However, overall I think they're pretty cute. I usually don't get to keep my mani's on for work, but as it's Friday (and Christmas) I'm wearing this one today, they make me smile every time I catch a glimse!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

OPI Fifty Shades of Grey Collection

Today we bring you swatches of OPI's Fifty Shades of Grey collection*. I was so excited to receive the six-shade collection as I had seen the press release and couldn't wait to try out the array of greys. 

Now, I have read a few reviews of the polishes and my other nail blogger pals haven't been all that taken with the book and don't seem to be booking tickets to the film but I am (quite ashamedly) a big Fifty Shades fan. I have read all the books (more than once) and am looking forward to seeing how they are converted to the Big Screen. I'm most excited to sit down and ogle after Jamie Dornan for a few hours! 

Even if you aren't a huge fan of the series I think there is still a lot you will like from this collection. 
Cement the Deal*
The lightest of the bunch this creme polish ticked a lot of boxes for me. The formula is perfect as with many other OPI polishes I have. This is two coats with a thin top coat. The colour is nothing I haven't really seen before but it is a stellar grey that has already got my mind thinking about designs to put on it. 
Embrace the Gray*
This is kind of the next shade up on the OPI Fifty Shades scale. It has similar undertones to Cement the Deal* but is obviously a bit darker (doh!). Again, the formula was great. This is two thin coats and a top coat. This is more wearable for me than the lighter shade as it looks quite classy and is less in your face. 
Dark Side of the Mood*
This is my second favourite shade from the collection. It is a deep, dark grey that looks super shiny and is so chic. The formula worked flawlessly for me but I have heard reports from other bloggers that it seemed a bit thin. I wore two coats with a top coat. I just love this colour!
My Silk Tie*
I am not a huge fan of foil polishes. The colour of this is lovely but as with most foils it applies quite streaky. I found it difficult to work with as I am so impatient but someone with a steady hand may be able to get this to look beautiful. 
Shine For Me*
Another finish here, this time a glitter/texture. This is a super shiny silver with specks of blue glitter. I didn't use a top coat here but I would recommend it as the finish is gritty. I am not a huge fan of this but I can see that it compliments the collection and will be fun for this time of year. 
Romantically Involved*
I am in love with this colour; it's the red that I have always been looking for! The formula was the best of all six polishes, applying like a dream, and the colour is to die for. 

As I said, I think there is something for everyone in this collection and the shades keeps it from being too gimmicky and make it wearable. 

If, like me, you are looking forward to the film it is released 14th Feb 2015 with some cinemas taking pre-orders. The OPI Fifty Shades of Grey Collection will be available from 7th Jan 2015. A mini collection (our recommendation) will also be available RRP £19.95. 

My recommendations: Dark Side of the Mood* and Romantically Involved*

What are your thoughts on the collection? 


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