Friday, 28 February 2014

Nail Art Feb: Galaxy

I have been meaning to try galaxy nails for a while as I absolutely adore the way they look. Jo has created a galaxy mani before which I loved but I had to search for a tutorial so that I didn't recreate the exact same look for you. I found the perfect look at Pretty Squared. What I loved about this mani is that there were two different types of galaxy nails: coral and navy based. Mine didn't turn out anywhere near as good as the originals but I was quite pleased with my first attempt. This is definitely a look that I will be trying again - maybe without the crosses as they ruin it a bit for me. 

Have any of you created a galaxy tutorial that we could try?

Hugs
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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Peace and Love

A colleague of mine, Taz, is always coming up with new nail art ideas for us to try. A while ago I even received a design drawn in MS Paint via email! At this point I thought I should try to harbour some of these ideas, so I printed her a sheet of nails to fill up. It didn't take long for her to return the sheet entirely covered with patterns!!

I decided that, to repay all her hard work, I would try out one of Taz's designs. The peace sign stood out to me as something that would translate well into nail art. Ideally I'd use a decal for perfect circles, however, I wanted to go for a slightly rougher-edged look so used a nail art pen. I love the look of the hand drawn peace sign as it reminds me of hippies and that peace isn't all perfect and organised. 

If you have any designs you'd like us to try out email them to us at dahlianails1@gmail.com!


The gorgeous blue base for this mani is Rimmel - Mind The Gap, Victoria. I love it so much I've almost run out and am going to have to buy a new replacement!!

My nails are pretty short at the moment. I'm trying to square them off but as they are brittle they keep breaking at the corners. I'm using hand and nail cream religiously, and Nail Nurse when I can. Does anyone have any recommendations for a good strengthening treatment?

Peace & Love,
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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Models Own Hed Kandi Reviews and Swatches

OK, I know what you're thinking  - "you guys are so 2000 and late" - but who cares, I am going to swatch this collection for you anyway! So this is the Models Own Hed Kandi collection from around two years ago but I have only just got around to buying it. The reason for this is that I didn't actually want the whole collection (at first). I wanted Balearic Cool. I ordered a single bottle from a website that I can't remember and when it arrived it was definitely off. It had turned into a weird greeny-blue sludge. Back it went and the search continued. I think Models Own must have discontinued this shade as it was a real nightmare to find. So when I found this set on Amazon for £17.99 and decided to just buy the whole blinkin' collection! 
I am really glad I did this now as the whole collection is beautiful. However, I was disappointed with the formula of Balearic Cool. I had really high hopes for it after swatching Hedonist and Beach Party but it is super sheer and needs a good three or even four coats to become opaque. The colour is gorgeous though so, for now, I'll let it off. 

Here's a little run down of what I think of the polishes:
Beach Party This is the brightest of bright oranges and is my favourite shade in the pack. It will look amazing in summer - I can't wait!
Balearic Cool I couldn't wait to try this and while I really like the colour the formula is a bit pants. I got it to look OK here but look up swatches on Google and you will see what I mean. 
Disco Heaven This is the most beautiful glitter I have seen in a while. It looks like a plain and simple gold but it has little specks of indigo/blue throughout which just makes me think of the beach. You can kind of see what I mean in my swatch on the nail wheel but I think you need to try it to get the full effect. 
Ibiza Mix This, again, is a pretty glitter but I have seen similar elsewhere. I recently tried this over a white base and it looked really good (I'll post this at a later date!). 
Hedonist I actually already owned this so knew what I was in for! Like Beach Party this is an insane neon shade which looks amazing. Jo used it for her simple mani recently but had trouble snapping the colour to its fullest. I think the swatch on the nail wheel shows it off best. It dries semi matte like most neon shades. 

So yes, I am a little late with these swatches but it's coming up to summer again (we hope) and time to dust off the old Hed Kandi collection. Better late than never, eh?

What old favourites or new discoveries will you be pulling out this summer?

Hugs
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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Nail Art Feb: Simple

Today's #nailartfeb design is 'Simple' so naturally I elected a geometric design. Geometric shapes are beautiful for their simplicity and I'm always amazed by how impressive such simple designs turn out. 


For this geometric pattern I used two colours Barry M - White and Models Own - Hedonist. Hedonist is a super bright polish, bordering on fluoro, especially when used on top of a white base. This pair of colours reminds me of summer and festivals! I'm a little bit sad that the true fluoro glow of this polish doesn't come out on the camera. Trust me I tried everything to show that it's a bright, bold coral, not a flat orange shade. Emma has some swatches of it coming up soon so I'm hoping she will have better luck! 

To get the sharp angles and clean edges you need in geometric designs I used striping tape to outline the triangles before filling them in with Hedonist using a small brush. Striping tape is the best thing since sliced bread for someone with a bit of a thing for geometry! 

I've got a few more geometric designs forming in the back of my mind, so hoping to have some more for you again soon. Of course that's if I don't pack it all in and just paint unicorn nails for the rest of my days, can't get over how cute they turned out!!

Love,
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Monday, 24 February 2014

Fading Southern Lights


I love Models Own - Southern Lights and haven't used it for a while, so when I had the urge for a quick glitter fade it was the first polish I reached for. It's so sparkly!! The way the holo glitter pieces catch the light is completely mesmerising, this is definitely a distracting mani! One drawback is that the formula is quite thick, meaning that if you use it with Seche you are likely to get shrinkage. To avoid this I used the thinnest coats possible and layered them up to my preferred glitter density. 

The base colour is Rimmel - Little Bo Peep which is an absolutely gorgeous pale grey. This shade is perfect for the transition between winter and spring.

I usually do glitter fades with darker polishes so it was nice to do a lighter version. I love the wintery effect of the blues and greys, they remind me of the skiing holiday I already wish I was back on!! Although we've already started on our spring nail inspiration it's still only February so thought we'd throw in some frosty nails for you!

Love,

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Sunday, 23 February 2014

Nail Art Feb: Animal Themed

As tempting as it was to go for cat nails for this day of the #nailartfeb challenge I decided on owls. Owls remind me of my mum as she loves them so they were the natural second choice. I used a pretty lilac shade as my base (Barry M Prickly Pear) and then got to work with my white nail art pen. I used the white to draw the tummy and eyes and then filled in with my accent colours: pastel orange and yellow. To finish up I outlined everything in black and drew on some little spots. Some of the black lines are a little shaky but other than that I was pretty pleased with these.

We have been really enjoying this challenge. Are any of you taking part?

Hugs,
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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Mythical Mani

I Scream Nails are an Aussie based pop up nail salon with a serious love of all things colourful. I'm always mesmerised by their designs - I mean, pugs with googly eyes, come on that's incredible!! 

I've been wanting to try one of their designs for a little while and finally decided to give it a go. I chose this awesome smiling unicorn head (who doesn't love unicorns right?!) and adapted the original a little to include a flowing mane. To complete the mani I added cute little white polka dots.


The base for this is Rimmel - Mary Mary Quite Contrary, a gorgeous super pale lilac. It's quite a sheer polish so I needed to use three coats to make it opaque, it dries quick though so it wasn't an issue. The white, pink, green and yellow are all Barry M shades along with the black nail art pen.

I absolutely love how this came out! Thanks I Scream Nails - I will definitely be getting inspiration from your wonderful designs again! 

What's your favourite mythical creature?

Love,
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Friday, 21 February 2014

Ziba Giveaway!

So I recently treated myself to this stunner of a ring from Ziba! This beauty is the Khandan ring, made from purple aventurine nestled in gold plated wire, and I love it. It's a great chunky ring which is perfect for my slightly manly hands! 
 
The thing I love most about this ring are the colours, the rich deep purples are perfectly framed in bright gold. So gorgeous! As soon as I saw it I was inspired to create a new nail art design. I've been wanting to try a gold outlined stone look pattern for a while, so it was perfect. 
 

To create the perfect colour match I ended up mixing a couple of polishes together. The base is made up of Barry M - Raspberry and a little unnamed purple from Boots Seventeen range. The Raspberry really helped give the warm slightly pinkish glow. I used Rimmel's Blue My Mind and Ultra Violet for the detailing and Barry M's Gold Foil for the outline. 

I wasn't sure how this would turn out as it was my first attempt (been meaning to try turquoise stone nails for ages!) but I was amazed. This design is so easy to create and it looks beautiful - if I say so myself! Next time I need to work on neatening up the gold edging, but I didn't mind too much for this as the stone in the ring has an uneven surround. 

This is not the first time I've been inspired by Ziba jewellery and will definitely not be the last. Their range  is incredible with a range of beautiful pieces from simple stacking rings to awesome statement necklaces! I even gave Emma a few of their cute bracelets for her birthday last year. 

Love,




*GIVEAWAY* *GIVEAWAY* *GIVEAWAY*

To celebrate their wonderfulness Ziba have offered us a £20 gift voucher AND a Khandan ring to give away to one of our very lucky readers! Yes, they really are that awesome. All you have to do to win is enter your details in the box below and the winner will be picked at random. You can earn extra chances to enter by liking us on Facebook, following on Twitter and sharing the giveaway! We're super jealous and sad that we can't enter ourselves! 

The giveaway will close at 12 noon on Friday 28th Feb. The winner will be notified by email. Open to UK only (sorry!) - GOOD LUCK!

Make sure you keep an eye on the Ziba Facebook page for more chances to win their beautiful jewellery!

If you have any issues entering your details into the widget below just drop us at email at dahlianails1@gmail.com and we'll make sure to enter you!

Love & Hugs,
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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Nail Art Feb: Floral

Day 20 in #nailartfeb is Floral. We've done a lot of varieties of floral designs before, so I wanted to make sure I tried something new. I usually use reds and pinks in floral designs, and also draw quite large flowers. Today's mani was inspired by a Liberty print depicting bundles of small purple flowers on a white background. I tried a design based on this print before but it was a complete nail fail, I feel that my second attempt was much more successful!


Starting with a white base I added small purple dots of various size and shape using a dotting tool. I then added some detailing using lighter and darker purple shades. As the flowers were so small I didn't worry too much about creating petals. I then added green leaves around and in between the flowers using two shades of green. 

I really love this floral design and will definitely be recreating it again soon, I'm thinking blue flowers next!

Love,
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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride

source
I have been on holiday from work this week and with no particular plans and a lack of TV (thank you wind for mis-aligning my Sky dish), I have been re-watching some of my favourite films. One film I thoroughly enjoyed re-watching was Lilo and Stitch. I loved it when it first came out and still find it absolutely hilarious. Lilo is one of my all time favourite Disney characters. No, she isn't a princess and no, she isn't all blowy hair and willowy arms like Pocahontas but she is so cute and funny - I just love her. 
While I was watching the film I had my beady little eyes out for some nailspo and found it in all of the Hawaiian print clothes worn by various characters. The first two prints were worn by Lilo, the third was worn by Stitch and the last was worn by Lilo's dance teacher. My favourites are the two red and white prints. I think I will do another mani in the summer using just these two prints. 

Who are your favourite Disney characters? Have you ever created a mani for them?

Hugs
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Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Cherries

My Mum recently dug out some old photos. When sorting through them I noticed that I had some pretty cool clothes back then. Other than the dozens of pairs of dungarees there were some cute little swimming costumes I almost wish I had now! This cherry covered number inspired me to do some nails based on the design. 


I've done tons of nail art designs on a white base recently so I decided to mix it up slightly and use a cream/nude base instead. In hindsight I think white may have worked better.

I used Models Own - Cloud 9 as the base, and a variety of Barry M's for the detailing. To draw on the cherries I used a dotting tool and a small brush. 

Do you have any swimwear which might inspire some nail art?

Love,
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Monday, 17 February 2014

Nail Art Feb: Studs

Today we have another #nailartfeb design - studs! I don't use studs a lot, but have decided that I should do more. I need to invest in a few different types, especially the spiky scary looking ones!


For this design I used two coats of Models Own - True Blue. It's a lovely shade of dark blue, but not quite a navy. It's a great colour for winter as it's dark, but also rich with colour, and goes very nicely with gold. I added the studs when the polish was still wet so I didn't need to use nail glue. To secure these studs I added a thin layer of top coat.

I think this design would have worked better with square studs, and also if I'd managed to get them in a straight line! 

Love,
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Sunday, 16 February 2014

She Sells Sea Shells

Ultra Violet*, Cocktail Passion, Reggae Splash, Peppermint
When the boyf and I went travelling he managed to pick up shells from just bout every beach we visited. Now, I love shells but I really didn't like the idea of carrying them around in my backpack for four months. I am glad he persevered though as the shells are now sat in my bathroom looking all pretty and reminding me of happier times when life was carefree and warm.

Jo and I won a load of Rimmel goodies around Christmas time including the amazing 'Ultra Violet' shade from their Salon Pro range.   This wasn't my first Salon Pro polish as I went a bit crazy last summer and picked up three beautiful shades: Cocktail Passion, Reggae Splash, and Peppermint. I love the formula of these polishes - nails are opaque pretty much after one coat but I always do two to even things out. The wide, flat brush really makes a difference to application as well making it really easy to get good, even coverage. 
When put together the colours looked super summery and I just couldn't resist drawing some little white shells on to complete the look. To draw the shells I used Barry M's white and black nail pens; I drew the white shapes first and then outlined in black. All shells were drawn using my own little collection as inspiration. 

Hugs

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Saturday, 15 February 2014

Hello Kitty!

I spotted the cutest little Hello Kitty nail art tutorial by @shaystylista on Instagram this week. It's been on there for a while but I hadn't seen it, so was very glad when someone re-posted. You can see it here.

The tutorial made it seem so simple so I couldn't resist having a go. I only used one polish for the base, the rest was done with nail art pens. The best tip I got from Shay's tutorial was to draw on the bows and nose in black first, then fill in the colour on top. This gives you perfect thin and even outlines. I'd never thought of doing it that way before, but I will definitely be doing bows like this from now on!! Absolute revolution!


I love how cute these little Hello Kitty faces turned out and can't believe how simple and quick they were! 

Love,
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Friday, 14 February 2014

Nail Art Feb: Match OOTD

With my day-to-day uniform consisting of predominantly black I had to make sure I picked an OOTD with a bit more oomph for this #nailartfeb challenge. I decided to match my nails to my trusty H&M star print shirt today. At first I tried to recreate the blurred stars but it really did not work out on my nails so I just went for mix-and-match sized ones instead. I stuck with basic black and white except for on my pinkie where I went for a nude and white for a bit of a difference. 

I enjoyed this quite a lot, even though it i not my fave mani. I will definitely be raiding my wardrobe for more nail art ideas in the near future. 

Hugs, 

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Thursday, 13 February 2014

Love Is All Around

I have very nearly had just about all I can take of Valentine's nail art for this year. Nearly. Here's what I will be wearing on my nails this Friday. A little homage to the boyf (sorry Jo, the J isn't for you!) for putting up with me for ten years and the never-ending smell of nail polish for maybe the past two. 

The problem I have found with all of the nail art at this time of year is that it's a bit moreish. Once you see one heart design you want another and then another until this happens:
It kind of makes me want to be sick! I had so badly wanted to do an anti-Valentine's mani as well but I got well and truly sucked in to a pink and red vortex. Sorry! 

What will you be wearing on your tips this V-Day?

Hugs

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Mosaic Mani

I saw a lovely colour scheme by @armstrongnails on Instagram recently which inspired me to create a mani of my own. The combo of grey, white, yellow, turquoise and coral is so lovely for this time of year, and a great way to bring some brighter colours into winter.

I used striping tape to create the design on the middle two fingers, and filled in the coloured sections with a small brush. The dots were drawn on with a Barry M nail art pen. 


The colours I used for this are Barry M - Grey, Greenberry, Passionfruit and White, along with Maybelline - Electric Yellow. 

Love,
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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Nail Art Feb: Pastel

I chose to try my hand at a gradient for the pastel day of the #nailartfeb challenge. Jo is a pro at the gradient (she has even done a tutorial for y'all) but I am most definitely a novice. However, I was pleased overall with the way these turned out. The only nail which didn't turn out too well was the mint green/blue. It looks like one shade rather than a gradient which is a bit annoying. 

I think my downfall is that I am not patient enough as I did not wait for my base colour to dry 100%. I also do not like having to clean up my nails after a mani so tried to create the look with no mess round my skin. This was pretty much impossible so by the time I got to my pinkie there was polish all over my finger! 
I preferred this mani when I used a glitter top coat. I think it added a bit of interest and disguised the fact that the gradients weren't perfect. I think it might have looked even better with a black and white confetti top coat. Maybe next time. 

I can't wait to see everybody else's pastel manis for this challenge. There's not much I enjoy more than a pastel nail polish! 

Hugs


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Monday, 10 February 2014

Kiss Me Margate

A good friend of ours moved to Margate for work and since then the seaside town has been getting a lot of attention from the fashion world. My fave homage is Topshop's fifties inspired trend, Kiss Me Margate. It is packed full of pretty pastel shades and interesting textures like broderie anglaise, knitted lace and metallic leather. I knew as soon as I saw it on the Topshop website that I would have to create a mani. 
I got quite a lot of inspiration from this trend so my ideas spilled over onto a nail wheel. I could probably have filled two with the ideas I had from this trend but decided to stop myself from taking it too far! 

I haven't been to Margate since I holidayed there as a child but am thinking I need to visit soon as I hear it's all hip and cool nowadays. Have any of you visited Margate recently? What were your thoughts?

Hugs,


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