Monday, 31 March 2014

Speckled Fade

When the Speckled Egg collection first came out there were tons of swatches around, but one really caught my attention. Caroline, aka Burkatron, had combined two of the polishes to create a fade and it looked absolutely stunning (check it out here)! I even overheard people talking about Caroline's design in a Models Own Bottleshop last week! I felt inspired to create a speckled fade of my own.

The mint, Magpie Green, is my favourite of the five shades (trust me that was a tough choice!) so I knew I wanted to use it. It took a while to choose a companion but eventually I opted for Goose Yellow as I thought this would create a nice summery, almost fruity, look. I call this the Magpoose fade, or maybe it should be a Goopie? 

As the yellow is the paler polish I started with two coats of it to form the base. Once this was dry I added a swipe of green along the cuticle and then pulled the colour up across the nail with the polish brush (wiped clean). To get better colour density and gradient I repeated this process again, but didn't pull the polish up as high the second time. Some of the nails needed a couple more dabs of yellow to improve the blending, but I was surprised how easily the colours fed into one another. 

Using a speckled polish gives a basic fade a bit more kick, and I didn't feel the need to add any nail art or other embellishment. I'm tempted to start trying fades with things like textured polishes, or glitters, what do you think?

Thanks for the inspiration Caroline!


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

It's Mothering Sunday in the UK today - we hope you all remembered your good ol' mums! My mum lives quite far from me so I won't be seeing her today but she probably prefers it without me under her feet! In honour of the woman who gave me life I have done a pretty mani - a fair exchange I think! To create this I used a base of Rimmel's Mary Mary Quite Contrary and drew on some black tattoo letters with my Barry M nail pen. The pink flowers were drawn on with a dotting tool, highlights with a white nail pen and mint-green leaves painted with a nail art brush. I topped it all off with a matte top coat. 

Happy Mother's Day to all you lovely mums! 


Saturday, 29 March 2014

Hawaii 5.0

Hawaiian print nail art
I hope you are all enjoying the sunshine this weekend if you're living in the UK. After suffering in the freezing cold this last week I for one am glad to be having a little fun in the Sun. What better way to celebrate than with some tropical print nails? These are slightly understated as it's not quite full on summer weather. 

I used a base of Barry M's new Rosehip Gelly and drew on some white Hawaiian flowers with a white nail art pen. To top it all off I used a coat of Seche and I was good to go! 

I'll keep it short and sweet today so that you can all go off and enjoy the rest of this lovely day! 


Friday, 28 March 2014

Something's Fishy

Before I even discuss the motive behind these little fishies I have to talk about my new bulb! As I work a 9-5 I have to do most of my nail art in the evenings and that has led to some pretty iffy photography. When I look at other blogs I'm always jealous of their light set up. So I finally bought a daylight bulb (and my lovely boyfriend fixed the lamp we broke at New Year!) and the improvement is immense! I still need to make/buy a light box to soften the glare, but the colour of my photos are now so much more true to life and the overall look is miles better. Yay!

Moving swiftly on to nails, I was inspired to create these little fishies by Nail It Magazine. The magazine often asks readers to submit nail art based on certain themes and a few will be selected to appear in the magazine, fingers crossed. The fishy theme also reminds me of my lovely friend (and hand model) Marielle, who has just got engaged, so these work as congratulations nails too!! 

I used Models Own - True Blue as the base for this, it's such a gorgeous blue and was perfect for the little fish to swim in! The fish were super easy to draw on with a white nail art pen, although some turned out a bit wonky. I debated whether or not to add eyes, but I'm glad I did as it brought the little critters to life! I just used a small dotting tool for the eyes. 

Have you ever tried fish themed nails?



Thursday, 27 March 2014

Galaxy - Take Two

The first time I tried galaxy nails I was pretty unimpressed with the outcome. This is the second attempt, and although it's noticeably better, I'm still not content. I've seen some amazing galaxy nails around but for some reason cannot seem to master it. 

I used a variety of polishes, starting with Barry M's Black Multiglitter to give a sparkly holo base. On top of this I added Models Own Emerald City glitter and a range of blues, greens and whites. Finally I added a few hints of Models Own Hedonist, Nails Inc's Galaxy glitter and some white dots. Most of the polish was applied using the edge of an old sponge, to get the colours to blend.

I've come to the conclusion that less is more with galaxy, so I tried to simplify these from my first try. However, I think they're still too complicated. I think next time I'm going to limit myself to 3 or 4 polishes and see what I can achieve. 

Have you tried galaxy nails? Any hints or tips?


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

We've Got A Sweetie Crush

This is Rimmel's new textured collection - Sweetie Crush. The range includes five bright and sugary shades: Voilet Swizzle*, Candyfloss Cutie*, Sherbet Sweetheart*, Fizzy Applelicious* and Blueberry Whizz* - standard brilliant names from Rimmel HQ, although I'm having a nightmare spelling Applelicious! Rimmel describe the collection as 'Textured, sparkling, sugar sweet nails' and we certainly agree!

L-R: Violet Swizzle*, Candyfloss Cutie*, Sherbet Sweetheart*, Fizzy Applelicious*, Blueberry Whizz*

I'd seen a few swatches of this collection before I got my hands on it which didn't fill me with much hope. The colours looked a little translucent, and not as bright as the advertising would suggest. However, those swatches gave me the idea of using a thin coat of white polish as a base in order to brighten the colour, a tactic I often use with fluoros to really bring out the brightness. This seemed to make all the difference as when I swatched the polishes the colours came out really nicely! They are a little thin so I used three coats of each, and no top coat, in the photo above.

The polishes have a sugary textured finish which is great fun for summer, and adds something a little different. You can also add a top coat, if you prefer a gloss finish, although you may need two coats as with all textured polishes it tends to sink in a little on the first coat. The glitter in the polish makes it sparkle in the sunshine and each of the colours catch the light a little differently. 

I have to admit this collection is not something I'd wear regularly, being in my *cough* late twenties, but I imagine a younger audience would go mad over it. A perfect little present for any younger nail polish fans.

Sweetie Crush are out now across the UK with an RRP of £3.99 per polish. 

What do you think of the collection? Are they on your wish list?


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Cornflower Gleam

The Models Own Hypergel collection has some absolutely stunning new shades in it. I chose Cornflower Gleam, White Light, Lilac Sheen, Pink Veneer and Naked Glow for my first haul. This mani uses all but the nude as I wanted to put them to the test!

I used Cornflower Gleam as the main colour for this design as I'm slightly in love with this shade. So much so, it turns out I already have two other, nearly identical polishes: M&S - Ultraviolet and Rimmel - Mind The Gap, Victoria. Oops! I think I need to do a polish inventory as I keep finding similars or dupes. I've started adding a sticker to the top of each polish lid so I can see the colours more easily, which is showing just how many dupes there are, I'm worried by the number of nude polishes I own!

To create the accent nail design I used a new technique starting with a white base. Onto this I drew the geometric pattern with Barry M's white nail art pen, which was only just visible but gave a framework for the design. Using the white outline I filled in the triangles with alternating colours using the smallest brush I could find. Top it all off with a generous sweep of top coat and voila! I think I'll use the white outline trick again as it made this intricate design really easy, although it was still a pretty slow process which is why I only did one nail!
Yep, I'm bringing geometrics with us into spring peeps, not giving up on this addiction just yet.


Monday, 24 March 2014

Revlon Parfumerie: China Flower

I have been wanting to try the Revlon Parfumerie collection for a while now so when I saw a few of them in Boots I snapped one up pronto. Now I have to admit that the only reason I wanted to try this collection was the bottle. It is just too cute! I hadn't read too much into the range before buying one so I didn't really register that they were scented (I know - doh!) until I got mine home. More on that later. 

The colour I went for was China Flower. It's a gorgeous coral/red shade which was the best of an odd selection in my local Boots. When I realised it was scented I took the top off and sniffed the bottle. I nearly threw up. It smelt like every other polish I've ever had and I began to think the scented thing was just a gimmick. A bit disappointed I started to paint my nails and was pleasantly surprised at how well the polish glided on. Hands down this is one of the best polish applications I have experienced. The formula is just right and the little knobbly lid actually makes it easy to apply. Top marks. I painted on two coats, waited for them to dry and then headed outside to take pics. Then the magic happened. I started to smell this floral, plummy, powdery smell which was beautiful. And it was coming from my fingers! So the scented part does actually work. Impressive!

No Dahlia post would be complete without a bit of nail art. I went for some big flowers in white for my China Flower polish. I drew these on with my nail art pen, added some mint green leaves and outlined in black. 

Have you tried the Revlon Parfumerie range? 


Sunday, 23 March 2014

Gelly on a Plate

Recently Barry M added three new pastel shades to their Gelly collection, just in time for spring. Sugar Apple*, Rose Hip* and Huckleburry* are a beautiful trio of pale mint, pink and baby blue. We were super excited for these polishes to be released as you know how much we love a good pastel! Barry M have got it spot on with these shades, they are perfect for adding a subtle splash of spring colour to your nails. 

According to Barry M the Gelly Collection are Hi-Shine Gel effect polishes, with a super glossy finish. I admit, I did debate whether or not to add top coat to these swatches as they really are glossy. In the end I added a thin coat of HK Girl just to even out the surface and add extra shine. 

Clockwise from top left: Sugar Apple, Rose Hip, Huckleburry, all three
I used to struggle with the Barry M Gelly polishes, as the gel effect seemed to thicken the polish formula and make them difficult to work with. Either I've just got better at it or Barry M have adjusted the formula as these new ones are brilliant. For the swatches I used three very thin coats to ensure full even coverage, but for everyday wear I just use two coats as normal. Models Own take note - gel effects that are thick and hard to use are no fun! 

Gel effect polishes are often associated with a longer lasting manicure. I'm often dubious when polishes claim to last a certain number of days and am relieved that Barry M weren't tempted to go down this route. They never seem to live up to expectations and then you're left disappointed. However, I've had Huckleburry on most of the week and, excluding a few chips where I've picked at it, the polish is almost perfect! 

Seeing as nail art is our thing, we thought you might like to see one of these polishes in action. I used Rose Hip, Gold foil effects and a nail art pen to create a simple and sleek half moon design. This design was inspired by a studded thumbnail by @handjobsbyallison. I love how cute it looks and am happy that my half moons are improving, almost symmetrical now! 

Sugar Apple, Rose Hip and Huckleburry are available now in Superdrug and Boots for £3.99 each. 

Let us know what you think of them!


Saturday, 22 March 2014

On Cloud Nine

I don't buy half as many magazines as I used to but when I do I always find something to inspire my nail art. Last time I was flicking through Grazia I came across these fun shoes by Sophia Webster. I was instantly attracted to the cute cloud print. The coral outline makes it a little bit different to the usual white and blue cloud prints. 

For this look I used one of my favourite blue shades - Nails Inc's Portobello Road - as the base. I used a white nail art pen for the clouds and a fine brush dipped in Barry M's Coral for the outline. I topped it all off with Rimmel's Matte Finish top coat as I am still in love with matte nails. 

I was a bit disappointed with how the coral outline turned out as it's a bit patchy. This could probably have been helped if my brush wasn't starting to fray and also if I was a bit more patient to go over with another coat. I think the greatest help though would be if Barry M made nail art pens in every colour! 


Friday, 21 March 2014

Speckled Aztec

I love the Models Own Speckled Egg collection. The colours are a beautiful mix of pastels, and the specks make your nails look like cute little mini eggs! As soon as I saw the collection I started planning nail art designs. 

I liked the idea of an all white design with peeks of colour showing through from underneath. To create this mani I started with a 'skittle mani' meaning I painted each nail a different colour. I used two coats of speckled egg on each nail to achieve a good colour density. Once this had dried I added two stripes of tape to each nail to mark out the central column. I then carefully filled each side with white polish. I used Models Own White Light Hypergel as it's quite thick so covered the black specks well. I did contemplate leaving it as it was, but couldn't resist adding a little Aztec into it to tie the two white sides together. For this I just used a nail art pen, but it wasn't behaving very well which is why the lines are irritatingly blotchy!

I'm really pleased with how this design looked once it was finished. I wasn't sure if the speckled effect would be very prominent but it really does shine through. I don't think I would have been so pleased had I just used plain polish. Another twist on this would be to create a base from sponging a few different colours together, maybe adding some brights in with the pastels.  

I love this look for summer, but it would work just as well with a black top coat, so I have a few wintery colour combos in mind too!


Thursday, 20 March 2014

Tattooed Love Boys

After numerous love-themed manicures earlier in the year it was nice to have a little break from hearts and flowers as the excitement of Valentine's Day died down. However, today I was in the mood for a little love again. I used three of the new Rita Ora for Rimmel polishes to create this look: White Hot Love* (the dots), Let's Get Nude* (the base), and Raw As Night* (the rose). I then used my black Barry M nail art pen for the rose outline and the writing. The white highlight on the letters is done with the white Barry M nail pen. I used my go-to green for the leaves - Max Factor's Cactus Green. 

My initial plan was not to have the writing but to have roses on each nail. I decided against this after doing the rose and thinking it would be a bit much on every finger as well. Sometimes I do designs on my thumb first so that if it completely messes up or my plan changes it doesn't ruin the entire thing - I can just leave the thumb out of the pics!


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Models Own: Sticky Fingers

Models Own seem to have an unlimited supply of new polish ranges at the moment. We've seen three launches already this year and it's not good for my bank balance! 

There are seven polishes included in the Sticky Fingers collection, although only one of them is a new colour. I chose to test out the new colour, Green Gladiola, a gorgeous fresh spring green. Each polish comes with cute little nail stickers; POW, Pastel Petals, Blobs & Drops, Sweet Candy and Bows. I got sweeties and flowers with my bottle. 

The polishes are £6 each, so slightly more than the standard polishes, but they are included in the current 6 for £20 deal (which I took advantage of).

I chose to test out the floral stickers for you, as they go so well with the gorgeous pastel green. You get enough stickers on each sheet for two or three full manis, depending on how densely you use them. I picked out all red flowers here, but you also get some blues, yellows and pinks. 

The stickers are really easy to use, just peel them off and apply to your nail. Be aware that you need to get them in the right spot first time as once they're on you'll struggle to move them! I stuck these on before I added topcoat as I read on Flails and Nails that they don't adhere well to top coat. However, when I added topcoat over the stickers I did find that it sunk in around the edges, causing the stickers to look a bit strange. Based on these two findings, it looks like it's best to forego the top coat with this range! The stickers aren't too hard to remove as they break down with nail varnish. It does take a bit of scrubbing, but nowhere near as bad as glitter!

I must admit that I would usually draw on florals myself using a small brush, but these stickers are great for a quicker result, or if your less confident drawing flowers. 

Have you tried any of the Sticky Fingers range out yet?


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

60 Seconds with Rita Ora

L-R: White Hot Love*, Lose Your Lingerie*, Pillow Talk*, Breakfast in Bed*, Let's Get Nude*, Oragasm*, Don't Be Shy*, Raw As Night*, Do Not Disturb*, Blindfold Me Blue*, Midnight Rendezvous*, Rita Rouge*
As soon as Rimmel asked us to join their new nail blogger programme we crossed our fingers that we would receive the Rita Ora collection. We had seen them reviewed on a couple of other blogs and had fallen in love instantly so imagine our excitement when a cute little box arrived with these lovelies inside. Despite having a few favourites from the off, we were pretty impressed with the whole collection. There aren't any shades that felt out of place or that we wouldn't wear which is quite unusual for a bigger range like this. 
The collection consists of 6 cool shades and 6 hot. Now we've been scratching our heads a bit over this - maybe you can help - because it looks to us as though the range is set into 5 cool and 7 hot. Perhaps we are completely off the mark. Maybe rather than cool being pale and pastel it means blue/green whilst hot is pink/orange? What do you guys think? At the moment our faves mostly lie at the paler end of the range  as they have a beautifully subtle shimmer which is incredibly pretty but we just know that come summer our nails will be splashed in the brights. 
We each picked a fave shade to showcase a little nail art for you. Emma's is the beautiful mint green 'Breakfast In Bed' while Jo went for the bold 'Don't Be Shy'. We went for some simple spots and stripes so as not to detract too much from the base colours. 

Rimmel's 60 Second range is one that we already know and love so we weren't surprised at all by the formula and application of these polishes. The flat, rounded brush makes it really easy to get good results with this range while the quick drying formula makes them perfect for impatient people like us! 

Overall we were really impressed with this range. You know the colours are good when you can't quite settle on a favourite and ours keep chopping and changing. The names are amazing too - Oragasm? Genius!

The Rimmel 60 Second Rita Ora collection is available now in store and online at Boots and Superdrug. Each polish retails at £3.69. 

Love and hugs, 


Monday, 17 March 2014

A Little Bit of Seasoning

I started this year with the intention of buying more indie polishes. My first purchase was a selection of five mini bottles from Polish Me Silly including this monochrome number, Salt 'n' Peppa. I had been wanting to try this for ages after seeing it on another blog and I am pleased to say that it did not disappoint. Salt 'n' Peppa contains black and white pieces in various shapes and sizes as well as some very fine glitter bits. I love the mixture of round, square, and strand shapes and, although I think the polish would be just as good without it, the glittery bits add some depth. 

I used Salt 'n' Peppa over Models Own's Utopia for a subtle work look but I know that it works over almost any shade, It obviously shows better over pale shades but is fun over brights too. All in all I love this polish, even though it's a bitch to remove! 



Sunday, 16 March 2014

A Load Of Waffle

Last week I saw my first cherry blossom of spring, the sun was out, it was perfect. Of course that was until 7pm rolled around and the heavens opened just as I stepped onto a netball court, typical!! Anyway, spring is officially on its way woohoo! To celebrate I reached for two of my favourite pastels and set to work.

The two polishes I have used here are Blueberry Muffin and Apple Pie, both part of the Models Own Fruit Pastel collection. The collection which strangely claims to be scented, but is defo not! I struggle to choose between the Fruit Pastel range and Barry M's super beautiful Ice Cream pastel collection. You'll be seeing both a lot on here over the coming months so feel free to get excited!

I have to admit that I painted the base before I had a clue what design to put on top. Usually this tactic ends badly for me and I regret it. Thankfully, this time I was pretty pleased with the outcome! I chose to add a waffle design on to the blue and green pastels using a Barry M nail art pen. I used a nail art pen instead of a striping brush as I wanted that slightly uneven, almost vintage, feel, rather than just a white grid! 

The design reminds me a lot of some of Boom Nails creations so I assume this idea was inspired by Emma somewhere in my brain! 

Unfortunately when I painted these I didn't have access to my usual light set up, so the photo leaves a little to be desired, and doesn't really do the nails justice. 

What nail art do you have planned for spring?


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Jorey Hurley Pink Triangles

I stumbled across Jorey Hurley on Pinterest while looking for nail art inspiration. I love taking inspiration from art prints and Jorey had tons of gorgeous prints to choose from. My favourite, probably due to its semi-geometric design, was Pink Triangles. The pattern was perfect for nail art - simple, repetitive and pretty! I used Models Own Utopia as a base as it's pale dusty pink colour was just right for the design. Instead of pink triangles on every finger I chose them just as an accent, with black triangles on the rest. The triangle design was so quick to draw on with Barry M nail art pens. Although, judging  by the photo I need a new black one, sorry it's so splodgy!

This design would work in any colour, and will be a great one for summer and festivals, perhaps even mixed with some aztec? The triangles remind me of little birds perched on electricity lines!

I find it funny how the shade of Utopia seems to change on the pink nail, as the colour contrasts differently. The human eye works in strange ways! In reality the ring finger looked like it had a completely different polish as a base colour.


Friday, 14 March 2014

Dark Horse

I am (shamefully) in love with Katy Perry's video for Dark Horse. I quite like the song so having it on repeat to create this mani wasn't too annoying. The colours in the video are amazing. I imagine they have saturated them a bit (like I did on my photograph) to make them really pop. The Egyptian theme is used in a fun way what with the cats and all so it was really easy to be inspired by the symbolism. Katy has a lot of nail art in the video but I couldn't quite see all of the different looks so copied three on my own nails and then did two designs using the symbols and colours. 
The looks in Katy's video are the gold with turquoise tips, the turquoise with thin black outline, and the black with white ankh. I chose a bright pink with gold pyramid and white with blue eye of Horus. I used an array of Barry M polishes to create the look: Turquoise, White, Black, Gold and Shocking Pink. I used my trusty Barry M nail pens to create the lines and a nail brush to paint on the eye. 

Have you been inspired by any music videos recently?



Thursday, 13 March 2014

Barry M - Aquarium Collection

This is the beautiful new Aquarium collection from Barry M. I don't usually get polishes as soon as they come out because I have to have a little argument with myself about whether or not I really need them. However, these I bought on Tuesday, the day before they came out (I think our local shop put them out a little early)! I don't have many metallic polishes, especially not in the bluey-green shades so I just couldn't resist. It wouldn't have been fair to split up these siblings so I felt like I had to buy them all! Yes, that's my justification and I'm sticking to it. 

The collection is made up of six polishes; three on the pinky gold side, and three bluey greens. As suggested by the collection and polish names, this group perfectly reflect a range of marine shades. Ideal for those summer holidays we're all starting to dream of!

L-R: Treasure Chest, Caspian, Mediterranean, Pacific, Arabian, Mermaid
Clockwise from top left: Pacific, Caspian, Arabian, Mediterranean
I've (rather poorly - will leave swatching to Emma in the future!) swatched the four coloured polishes for you. It's difficult to catch the colour shifts in this collection on camera. For example, Pacific has a green tinge, while Arabian has an edge of gold. The colours are rich and the formulas are smooth, although they are a little sheer, especially Caspian, which could probably benefit from 3 coats rather than the standard two. Caspian's saving grace is it's beautiful purple glow which comes from somewhere deep within it's gold base. I've found with a lot of metallic polishes (especially foil effect types) that every imperfection in your nail becomes visible through the polish as it dries. This range seems to keep its thickness as it sets, so didn't find that too be much of a problem.  

L-R: Treasure Chest, Mermaid
The glitters are formulated from mixed glitter pieces, of varying sizes and colours, suspended with a medium density in a clear base. Mermaid (my fave) is made up of royal blue and dark turquoise with hints of gold. Treasure Chest is a mixture of gold and dusty pink which goes perfectly with Caspian - expect to see a combo of these two! 

Barry M have kindly offered to send us a set to put to the test (damn my impatience buying them early!), so Emma will soon have the whole range too, and I'm sure she'll let you know her opinion of them. We'll also be working them into some nail art I'm sure, so keep an eye out for these shimmering shades!
What do you think of Barry M's new collection? Will you be heading out to buy any of them?

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