Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween!

Well sadly our run of Halloween manis must come to an end as today is the big day! If you are off out tonight I have the world's easiest Halloween manis for you to try. They are perfect if you're in a rush as they just involve a scary shade with a topper. 

1. Maybelline Chalk Dust with Rimmel It's A Scorcher*
This top coat could really be used over any Halloween-y shade. Red, green, purple, or like I chose, pumpkin orange. 

2. Barry M Black Crackle with OPI You Are So Outta Lime!*
I am not a huge fan of a crackle top coat but I love it for this look. It's very Frankenstein but with minimal effort. 

Friends laugh at me when I wear looks like this as they know that I can create really intricate designs but I rarely have time to do my nails properly so I am a huge fan of a novelty top coat for a quick fix. 

Here's a roundup of the fancier designs we have created this Halloween:
Which one is you favourite?

Happy Halloween!



Thursday, 30 October 2014

Cross My Heart

Want an easy way to jazz up a simple polka dot mani? Easy - add a few more dots! For this design I started with a regular polka dot pattern and then went back and added four extra dots to each of the originals, creating a cross shape. 

The base is the gorgeous Coconut Cream by Models Own, I'm still loving this even as we move into winter. This creamy polish is the perfect base for nail art and was the obvious choice for this design. I just used a Barry M nail art pen to add my dots. Annoyingly you can see some of the polish coming through where the pen pushed into the polish, grr!

I'm really pleased with how this came out, as I was worried it would be one of those designs that only looks good in your head! I think it's got a classic and stylish look so it's easy to wear but more interesting than plain nails. 

What do you think? Are crosses the new polka dots?!


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Mr & Mrs Dracula

How cute are these two?! I really don't know what came over me when I created this look. I was trying to stop myself from creating any more Halloween manis but couldn't get past this idea. So I just went for it. I would like to say it will be my last Halloween look for you but I can't make any promises! 

I used a couple of Rimmel polishes for this look: Little Bo Peep (the most perfect grey), and Mars* as well as OPI's Yoga-Then-Yogurt*. I also used my black and white nail art pens for the details. 

I'm afraid I had to put a filter on this pic as we are back to that time of year where natural light comes and goes quicker than my ideas so had to take this pic indoors with a horrid tungsten light. The filter softens it a little bit. Eeeek, they're too cute!



Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Tough Mudder

This weekend my other half participated in his third Tough Mudder - a 12 mile, 26 obstacle, mud and ice filled challenge. Although I opted out of joining in, I did have the pleasure of the 5:30am start to go along as a spectator! As we had to set off so early one of his team mates, Lauren, stopped at ours for the night and I got the pleasure of doing her nails.

We opted to the Tough Mudder colours of black and orange with some trademark flames (there is actual fire involved in the course). We didn't get the chance to get the lightbox out for proper photos so sorry for the iffy quality.

I started with two coats of Rimmel - Oragasm* for the main orange theme. Once this was dry I used a small brush to outline the flames and fill in the black area with Barry M - Espresso. I then added Barry M - Lemon Ice Cream at the base of each nail, again with a small brush. Finally I finished off the flames with a smattering of glitter - a little H&M miniture polish I picked up a while back.

For the thumbs we ditched the flames and just added 'Tough Mudder x3' with a Barry M nail art pen.

Lauren's nails with her bib on the day
I've been wanting to try flames for a while (had them planned for bonfire night) so I was quite glad when Lauren requested them. We didn't have too much time so they're not my best work and I'm a bit disappointed that they're patchy in places. Maybe I will try them again soon and see if I can improve.

I was surprised how well they fared, 4 hours of crawling through mud and over obstacles and there were only a few chips!

Have you ever competed in a challenge like Tough Mudder?


Monday, 27 October 2014

Calavera Catrina

I decided to create a cute sugar skull mani as Mexico's Day of the Dead coincides with Halloween but is a bit more colourful which I like. I really like this look. The skull is colourful and out there but the whole mani is wearable and quite quick to create. I will definitely be wearing something like this come Dia de los Muertos! 

We should have done a Halloween week as we have thrown so many themed manis your way recently. We have more to come too so sorry if you aren't enjoying them! 

Do you celebrate Halloween or the Day of the Dead? Or both?!



Sunday, 26 October 2014

Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas, despite it's title, is synonymous with Halloween for me. I'm amazed that we didn't create any NBC nails last year, how did that happen?! For an extra creepy look I went for a version of Jack from early on in the film, when he's still his super scary self (we like him better like that!) I teamed Jack with some black and white stripey nails to represent his rather snazzy suit. 

I was expecting this mani to be a lot more complicated than it ended up. I started with a white base and once this was dry drew on a circle for Jacks head with a Barry M nail art pen. I then added a neck and filled in the outer area with the black pen. I used the same nail art pen to draw on the features, and a white one to clean up any errors (so useful!) Jack does look a bit wobbly, but I quite like that as he's not exactly smooth and perfect in the film.

I used a metal nibbed nail art pen to draw the thin stripes onto the rest of the nails to complete the monochrome design. I'm a bit disappointed that the stripes aren't very even and vary a lot between the nails - more concentration needed next time!

Ah man, writing this up makes me want to watch the film again. Such a good'un!

What's your favourite spooky film?


Saturday, 25 October 2014

Neon Triangles

With autumn on the brain I felt like I needed a little light relief in the form of some neons. I came across a print on Pinterest that reminded me of a brash late 80s/early 90s print like those found in Clarissa or The Fresh Prince. I knew I had to give a similar style a go to get me out of my mustard-hued funk. Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely loving the autumn manis that are around at the mo but I just needed something different to brighten my day. 
For the base of this mani I went for one of my all time fave daily shades: Rimmel's Little Bo Peep. I then drew the shapes on with my black nail art pen and filled with a selection of neons from OPI. I then re-outlined the triangles. 

Just what I needed to lighten the day! Are you still enjoying brights this autumn?



Friday, 24 October 2014

Simple Skulls Tutorial

This week I created a quick skull mani for Halloween, and thought I'd include a mini tutorial for you to go with it. All you need are two polishes, a small brush and a dotting tool. See the five simple steps below...

Step One: Paint two coats of your base colour, I chose 
Rimmel - White Hot Love*, and let it dry

Step Two: Fill the corners of each nail in with your second colour, 
mine is Rimmel - Blindfold Me Blue*, using a small brush

Step Three: Continuing with the small brush, add three stripes into 
the bottom half of your skull shape

Step Four: Using your dotting tool add large dots for eyes

Step Five: Back to the small brush to add a little upside 
down V for the nose and you're done

Now just add your fave top coat and here's what you'll end up with!

As soon as I finished these I had a rather strange realisation... although they look like skulls on first impression, they also look a lot like sad jellyfish. Now all I can see are the poor little jellyfish!! They look so upset!

Apologies for the awful chip on my middle finger, I had a catastophe. If you follow us on Instagram you may have seen this already. I thought about going back to round nails to cover it, but decided to wait it out and stick with square. So sorry that they'll be a bit wonky for a while!

If you do give our little skulls/jellyfish make sure you share your efforts with us!


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Autumn Leaves

I have been without my trusted Sky TV for a while as the box isn't working which in a way is soooo annoying as it means I have missed the end of Teen Mom 2 (gutted) and other pivotal TV moments but it does mean that I have watched some things on catch-up internet TV that I wouldn't usually. One such show is Graham Norton. I really enjoy Graham as a chat show host so am not sure why I don't usually watch his show. ANYWAY! Major TV ramble. There is a point - when I was watching Graham Norton (the one with Taylor Swift) I was inspired by his autumnal shirt to create this mani. 
To create this look I used a base of Barry M's 'Blackberry' and then drew on some leaves using my white nail art pen. On top of the leaf shapes I used a small brush with Barry M's Mustard* and Paprika*. I outlined everything using my black nail art pen and added some little dots. 

Blackberry was the perfect shade for this mani. I forgot quite how great the colour is for autumn. It's not quite navy which means that more of the blue comes through (does that make sense?). 

Sorry for my TV ramble but I am so sad to be missing some of my favourite shows I just had to share! 



Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Bloody Fingerprints

I was a massive Dexter fan, so must admit these nails were slightly inspired by the series (about a normal-ish serial killer who only kills the bad guys and works as a blood spatter analyst for Miami Metro Police). The idea crept into my mind a while ago but I wasn't sure whether or not it would actually work. I then saw someone on Instagram had created something similar (I'm really sorry I can't remember who it was now!) As Halloween rolled around I thought it was the right time of year to give it a go so here they are.

These were so quick and easy, the only tricky part was being patient enough to let the base coat dry. I used two coats of Barry M - White, and a thin layer of Seche to hurry up the drying process. I then dipped my finger in some Barry M - Blood Orange, dabbed it off a bit and then pressed it onto my nails. Voila! Finger print nail art. 

I must admit, it's a little strange seeing finger prints on the other side of your hands! Close up I think these nails look awesome as you can really see the fingerprints coming through. From further they just look like red/pink slightly patterned nails, but that's cute too I suppose. You could experiment with the amount of polish to get different effects.

If you're after a simple Halloween nail design, this is it, easy quite and creepy!


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?

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