Saturday, 28 February 2015

Raindrops On Roses

Soooo this mani didn't turn out quite how I expected. The polka dots were supposed to be raindrops but my nail art pen was a bit too fat to create nice drops and I couldn't really be bothered to get to work with a brush. So I'm afraid you'll have to put up with spots! I wanted raindrops as the inspo for this came from watching The Sound of Music and the classic tune 'My Favourite Things'. 


Friday, 27 February 2015

Red Nose Day - Take 2!

Red Nose Day Nail Art
Last week we showed you Emma's super cute Red Nose Day nail art, created in partnership with Rimmel London. Today it's my turn!
The idea was for Emma to design a creative mani and for me to do something slightly more simple, however, I got a little carried away. Emma included five of the red nose faces but luckily for me she didn't draw my favourite one - Astrosnort! He's just so cute and I can't help thinking he looks a little shocked like he's thinking 'Err excuse me, I don't know how to be an astronaut, help!' I couldn't resist building on this idea and recreating a few mini Astrosnorts floating around in space looking helpless. The idea backfired a little though as now I feel really sorry for them...

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Then and Now: Lilac Aztec

Jo and I love to look back at some of our old designs and see how far we have come. We've done a few Then and Now posts. You can check some out here, here, or here. The thing that always makes me cringe/die inside is the condition of my nails and cuticles. I clearly had no concept of how to care for my hands! The picture below actually makes me feel a bit ill just looking at my dry skin! 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Barry M Pastel Hearts

Barry M Pastel Hearts Nail Art

Seeing as we deprived you of hearts over the Valentine's period I thought I'd create some for you now. This design is a real quick and easy one, all you need is a couple of pastel polishes and a white nail art pen. I chose Barry M's Lap Of Honour* and Eat My Dust* along with their white nail art pen. 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Sophia Webster Turquoise Tribal

sophia webster inspired nail art

Today's design was inspired by a Sophia Webster print which is now being used by Toni&Guy on their products! It's a gorgeous turquoise blue aztec/tribal print which covers the whole wedge heel of the Lula Printed Sandal. 

I saw the print on @heatworld's Instagram feed and it caught my eye straight away. I was just looking for some nail art inspiration and it was perfect. I usually resort to black lines when creating an aztec-esque print design but the blue and white looked so fresh and summery I had to try it out. I ended up just using elements from the print, rather than recreating it exactly. 


Monday, 23 February 2015

Emma's Top 5 Polishes for Spring 2015

Jo and I are worried that we are becoming the same person. We both decided to write a top five for spring post without discussing first. It's mainly odd as it's not the sort of post we usually write and we both decided to do them this weekend. Freaky! We also both chose quite similar colours which, I'm afraid, is a bit boring for you guys! Sorry. 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Jo's Top 5 Polishes for Spring 2015

Top 5 Nail Polishes For Spring 2015

All the new Spring/Summer polishes releases seem to have come out during February which is uber exciting! This, plus the fact that we are creeping towards March and the snowdrops and daffodils have started coming out, has inspired me to pick my top five polishes for this Spring. The selection is based on colours expected to feature heavily this season - information collected from Pinterest 'research' (yes I used it as a legitimate reason to browse Pinterest for hours!) I've picked out favourites from my whole collection, not just from new releases, so you may already have a couple!

This Spring seems to be all about muted 'dusty' shades and my top five definitely reflects that. I've swatched them all for you and added a bit more detail on each, so read on to find out why they made the cut!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Happy Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year kicked off on Thursday and there's a whole heap of celebrations going down in London this weekend. In all honesty I don't really join in with the festivities but I love seeing all of the decorations in Soho and, of course, all of the themed nails, Last year I did a cherry blossom design but I thought I would do a reprise of my lucky cat for this year. 


Friday, 20 February 2015

Black Daisy Print Mani

daisy nail art

I really felt the urge to create a floral design today, but felt like it didn't really match the miserable weather. I decided to go for white daisies on a black base, aiming for a more winter appropriate floral design. This is similar to a WAH Nails mani (from their first book I think) and one I've always loved. It's fun and funky and can be worn all year round - perfect!


Thursday, 19 February 2015

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Dahlia Nails
I don't know about you guys but I am absolutely obsessed with Pinterest, Tumblr and We Heart It. Even though a lot of the pictures doing the rounds are quite similar on all three I just end up scrolling for hours through people's pictures and boards. I'm obsessed! 


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Going Dotty with Models Own Diamond Luxe

We were lucky enough to receive a little Models Own parcel recently including some of their newer polishes. Nestled between the Colour Chromes which we swatched here were two from the Diamond Luxe collection. As a self-proclaimed Models Own fanatic I am ashamed to admit that I hadn't tried any from this range before now, so I was particularly intrigued. The opulent Diamond Luxe polishes contain real diamond dust to deliver a 'completely unique, multi-dimensional, super-sparkly finish', according to Models Own, so I had some high expectations.


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Happy Pancake Day!

Dahlia Nails
Happy Pancake Day everybody! I cannot cook a thing so will not be eating pancakes today but I am off to My Old Dutch tomorrow to gorge on them! Hopefully going tomorrow will mean beating the rush, Maybe! 


Monday, 16 February 2015

Fashion Inspo: Versace

Today's mani is a little unusual, a bright and bold mix and match with a variety of patterns! If you hadn't guessed it was inspired by an outfit post I spotted on Instagram by @versace_official. The skirt and jacket combo had a really eye catching colour scheme and the patterns were so snazzy that I saved the photo for future inspiration. The start of the Fashion Week period seemed the perfect excuse to give it a go! We love Fashion Week season as Instagram is chock-a-block with inspiration, so many patterns and colour mixes that we can recreate or use to influence our designs. This outfit is slightly nuts but it's so simple to take small elements and mix them into a cute mani. Plus, you already know that the patterns will work together so there's not the usual mix and match mani risk element to consider! I pulled out the stripes, chevron type things and the Greek-esque banding for today's design.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Spring Dotticure

Easy peasy spring-ready manicure for you today. I picked a few pretty colours, got out my dotting tool and went to town. I used a few Barry Ms for this: Peach Melba, White, Sugar Apple* and Prickly Pear. I hadn't anticipated on covering quite so much of my nail but it was hard to stop once I'd got going! 


Saturday, 14 February 2015

You Are My Cuppa Tea

valentine's nail art
As Emma mentioned earlier in the week, we're not too fussed about Valentine's day here at Dahlia Nails. All the lovehearts just don't do it for us! However, I do find cute little un-Valentine's cards absolutely captivating, there are so many funny/rude ones on Etsy! I didn't think it would be appropriate to recreate them as a lot are fairly obscene, but they did give me the idea for a cute Valentine's nail design that wouldn't make my stomach turn!
Emma and I absolutely LOVE tea, especially when accompanied by a chocolate digestive. The only thing we don't agree on is the colour, Emma's is like warm muddy milk whilst I take it black or with very little milk. Looking back recently I realised that we haven't created any tea-based nail art since we've had this blog and I couldn't believe it! I knew I had to do some and Valentine's was the perfect excuse.

valentine's nail art

I love a good pun so couldn't resist incorporating an image of a mug of tea into a cute phrase mani. I wasn't sure whether to go for a traditional teacup and saucer or a hefty great mug, but went for the mug as who am I kidding - none of us bother with fancy china!
The base colour is Lap Of Honour* from Barry M's new Speedy Nail Paint collection. It's a stunning lilac with a hint of grey to tone it down a little. The fast dry formula makes it perfect for a base colour as you don't have to wait long at all before starting on your nail art - however, this makes it tricky to use within the actual art so we'd advise avoiding that. I used Barry M nail art pens to draw the mug and the writing, with the help of a tiny brush for some of the detailing/touch ups. The tea (as it's mine) is dark brown Mushroom, I'm sure Emma would have gone for something like Coconut instead!! I topped it all off with a generous coat of Barry M's Matte Top Coat* which I think suits the design quite well.

valentine's nail art

My boyfriend and I don't tend to bother with Valentine's as it comes so close after Christmas, our anniversary and my birthday. We've usually run out of ideas by then! I have got him a card but as you'd expect, it's not particularly soppy.
What do you have planned for Valentine's Day?

Friday, 13 February 2015

Mr Grey Will See You Now

Dahlia Nails
Fifty Shades nails today in honour of the film's release. I was really intrigued by the lovely Rebecca's post over at Flails and Nails yesterday. It got me thinking about why I enjoy the books so much, especially when I have to agree that they are poorly written. I'm still not entirely sure. Before you start, no, it's not the sex (OK not just the sex)! I cannot deny that I am drawn to the elusive Mr Grey. What's not to like? He's rich, he's powerful, he's possessive, a little bit stalkerish, OK he likes hitting women who look like his mum which is a bit weird but he always makes sure you're 'taken care of' if you know what I mean! With all the press around the film I am quickly learning that not everyone has the same feelings for Christian but hey, each to their own I guess! Whatever your pleasure, here are my FSOG nails...
Dahlia Nails
Reasons for the nails if you aren't familiar with the story:

Thumb - 'We Aim To Please' Said by Christian to Ana a few times during the book. The most famous/most used quote from the book is 'Laters baby' but it's one that I absolutely HATE, especially when I try to say it in an American accent. It just doesn't sit right with me. 

Index - Rope Heart With Christian being into BDSM this seemed fitting, especially as he visits Ana at her job in a hardware store to buy rope among other things.

Middle - Silver Silk Tie On the cover of the novel as well as being a running feature of the series. Christian uses his woven tie to bind Ana's hands during one of their sessions. 

Ring - Biting Lip Ana has a habit of biting her lip which drives Christian wild. One of my favourite lines from the book: 'I want to bite that lip'.

Little - Key The key to Christian's playroom. No it's not for his Xbox! 
Dahlia Nails
I used the OPI Fifty Shades of Grey collection to create this mani. I swatched them here for you in December and would highly recommend them even if you aren't a fan of the series as there are some great colours in there. 

Well I will be off to watch the film on Sunday with one of my gal pals. The reviews have been a bit negative so far but I'm just excited to watch Jamie Dornan for a couple of hours. Watched The Fall yesterday, all eleven episodes, and cannot wait to see his face a bit more! 

On a side note, I came across this article yesterday and it made me laugh so hard that I thought I would share with you all. It's from Marie Claire and be warned, it is not one to read in the office! 

What do you guys think about the FSOG phenomenon? If they aren't your thing, what about the shades from OPI?



Thursday, 12 February 2015

Models Own Colour Chrome

We were very lucky to be sent a few of the new Models Own Colour Chrome collection to test out this week. There are ten polishes in total and we received five. L-R; Pink*, Green*, Cerise*, Rose* and Silver*. The other five are; Indigo, Gold, Mauve, Olive and Blue. We were super excited when the package arrived as it contained our preliminary favourite - Rose! We're totally obsessed with rose gold at the moment so this shade absolutely bowled us over when we saw the first swatches.
Due to timing and light issues I have swatched each colour on one finger to show you what they look like.
Thumb: This is Colour Chrome Green*, although it's a pretty shade of spring green this is probably my least favourite of the bunch, purely as it's a shade I can't really get away with! It also reminds me of a green chrome wrapped Lamborghini I saw in Monaco once, it was hideous and has put me off most chrome green things. I must admit it's a little strange that I don't often get on with green nail polishes as growing up lime green was firmly my favourite colour, even my bedroom walls were painted the luminous shade!
Index: This is Colour Chrome Pink* a really interesting dusty pink shade, verging on purple. It is much paler than Colour Chrome Mauve though so if you're after a deep purple go for that. Due to it's pale shade I found that this polish looked close to silver when viewed on it's own, it's a softer alternative to bright silver if you're looking for something snazzy to brighten up an outfit.
Middle: Ah, Colour Chrome Rose* our early favourite and still firmly in the lead. This colour is stunning. It is a very similar shade to Models Own Champagne polish but the chrome finish gives it a totally different effect. I don't often wear chrome/metallic polish but I couldn't take this off, once I'd finished swatching I applied Rose* to all my nails ready for a night out.
Ring: This is Colour Chrome Cerise* a bright pink shade with far greater colour density than any of the others we tested. We found that the additional pigment caused it to lose a little of the chrome effect, the others had much more silver shining through to reflect the light. However, the rich colour does make this polish stand out and the shade is that perfect deep, rich pink!
Pinky: Lastly we have Colour Chrome Silver*. This polish is a really bright silver shade with very little grey at all. It's a stunning polish and I couldn't stop staring at it, but also found the cold, bright tone a little difficult to wear. It's not one I could see myself applying to all nails, however, it would make a great accent nail polish! When applying Silver* I did find myself wishing that Models Own had included a soft grey, or even gun metal shade in the collection. Who knows, maybe there will be some later additions?
When it comes to formula these polishes were all fairly comparible, and frustratingly all just as difficult to apply. I always find that chrome polishes show every single imperfection in your nail so had a plan to counteract this - two coats of nail smoothing base coat. I let the base coat dry completely before applying the chrome polishes but found that they still dragged the clear polish and left patchy sections. I made the mistake of applying the second coat too soon on the first nail and ended up with a gloopy mess, so started that one again and waited even longer on the rest. Even when the first coat was completely dry the second was tricky to apply and I was left with patches and some thicker sections. I eventually needed three coats for a smooth and opaque finish.
Once the polish was dry and I'd applied a trust coat of Seche the finish was gorgeous, but you do have to have a little patience in order to get there!
Colour Chrome polishes are available in Superdrug stores, online at and in Models Own Bottleshops, RRP £5.
Do you have any of the Colour Chrome polishes? Which one is your favourite?

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

GOSH SS15 Swatches

We were lucky to receive a tip-off on GOSH's SS15 press launch by the lovely Vicky from The Polish List and found ourselves heading to the W hotel to have a sneak peek at their new products. Naturally we headed straight for the nail polish stand and were instantly intrigued by the shades on offer. Annoyingly the polishes were housed in a dark corner so our pics on the night weren't great but we got the jist of the palette. The shades are very pretty, a combination of dusky pastels and brights with a couple of curve balls that could fit in an autumn collection. 
Moroccan Night* This is one of the shades that we thought could fit in a more autumnal collection as it is quite dark for spring. Having said that it's one of my favourite shades of the collection. It also applied easier than the others and could be a one coater. This is two layers with a top coat. 
Sunkissed* Whilst I like this shade I have come to the realisation that oranges do not really suit my skin tone. This coral has a very orange tone to it and it does not mix well with my pale pink! This is two layers with a top coat. 
Apple Bloom* This colour is lovely. It is similar to Barry Ms new Pole Position, a gorgeous chalky green that is lovely for spring. This is two coats and a top coat. 
Sea Foam* This colour is one for later in the year. I'm afraid that my camera didn't seem to pick up the colour in full as it's actually a tad darker, a little bit more navy, than it shows here. This is two coats with a top coat. 
Pretty Ballerina* This is my favourite shade of the collection. It's so pretty. A beautiful and pale dusty pink. This is three coats with a top coat. 
French Dream* This is another of my favourites. The shade is beautiful, a pale lilac/grey. It also reminds me of one of the new Barry Ms: Lap of Honour. A great shade for the office this spring. This is three coats and a top coat. 
Snow White* This colour intrigued me the most as we overheard one of the PR ladies talking about it at the event. It apparently has a blue undertone with tiny flecks of glitter to prevent it from looking like Tipp-Ex. Well I couldn't see any glitter at all and I found it still looks a bit Tipp-Ex-y. Luckily that's a look that I enjoy. It did cause panic though as it was the first polish I swatched from the collection and it was SO hard to apply. The new brush did not help at all as it didn't spread the polish very well so for someone like me who doesn't use a clean up brush my lines are a bit jagged. Thankfully not all of the polishes applied like this. 

My Picks
Pretty Ballerina
Moroccan Night
Apple Bloom

One to Miss
Snow White - purely based on application

What are your thoughts on GOSH's SS15 collection?


This collection is available from today exclusively in Superdrug. RRP £3.99.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Lips Are Movin

Meghan Trainor Lips Are Movin Nail Art

Meghan Trainor sings the most catchy songs ever. Fact. That, combined with the radio playing her new song at the same time each morning I've had 'Lips Are Movin' stuck in my head for days! There's an old wives tail that states the only way to get a song out of your head is to get it into someone else's so here goes!

The inspiration for these nails came from the cover art for the single. Can we still call it cover art now? Do shops even still sell single cds? Anyway... the 'cover art' shows Meghan wearing a cute monochrome lip print tshirt with an overlay of pink dots. I loved the pattern combo and that sort of things tends to work well on nails so I gave it a shot!
I used brand new Gelly Cotton* for the white base. It's opaque in two coats and doesn't take forever to dry so works well for nail art! I then used a really small brush to add on the lips. Instead of using a normal black polish I used a blob of the Barry M nail art pen polish as it's thinner and easier to do detailing with. It also dries really fast so that's helpful! My lips were pretty uneven so I had to go over them again in an attempt to even them up a bit! I used the same small brush and polish from the white nail art pen to add the opening between the lips. I only drew the lip pattern on half of my nails as I wanted to create an overlap effect between the two patterns.
To create the right shade of pink I mixed Barry M's Ballerina* and Strawberry Ice Cream together. I then used a large dotting tool to apply the pink spots. The spots overlapping the lips needed two coats to cover the black polish underneath, in hindsight I should have added a white dot first as a base for the pink.
 Meghan Trainor Lips Are Movin Nail Art
Meghan Trainor Lips Are Movin Nail Art

This mani encompasses two things we love, mixing patterns and adding pink to a monochrome design. We tried the pink, black and white look recently (Charlotte Love - Colour Pop) and you guys seemed to love it as much as us, so expect a few more appearances of this colour scheme in spring!
We've been inspired by music before, for example Emma created nails based on Katy Perry's Dark Horse video and I've recreated a number of Iconic Album Covers. Visuals are really important to musicians so we've found that the music industry is a great place to look for creative inspiration! Do you ever feel inspired by your favourite bands/artists?


Monday, 9 February 2015

Mario and Peach Nails

princess peach nail art
Jo and I kind of agreed not to do too many Valentine's related nails as we're both a bit sick of the celebration. It's a bit weird us saying that as we are both loved-up individuals but we really hate V Day. Some of the nail art that people create is amazing but there's only so many hearts we can take! 

Saying that, I couldn't help getting a little swept up and created this cute little couple mani. One of the best couples in gaming history - Super Mario and Princess Peach. Growing up with an older brother meant that many of my younger years were spent playing video games as trusty sidekick. Yes, I was lumped with Luigi! 
princess peach nail art
I used a whole array of Barry M's, predominantly from the new Speedy collection. Kiss Me Quick*, Eat My Dust*, and Road Rage* are the plain nails. When I first conceived of the design I knew that I wanted to create a pastel look as I wanted something a little softer for Valentine's Day. 

I know that some of you enjoyed seeing my notebook and how ideas are translated from there to my nails so I thought I'd give you a look at the page for this design. The splodges are from when I'm actually creating the look on my nails; I put a little of the colour on the page and use a brush to apply to my nails. 

As you can see, the original design idea was more complex than what I ended up doing. As I was drawing it with a biro I recognised that a lot of the detail would be lost with my nail art pen. I'm just not that skilled unfortunately! I had also thought of adding hearts to the plain nails and I still think this could look nice but, as I said, we aren't that into hearts for V-Day this year so I steered clear. 
princess peach nail art
I was really happy with how these turned out although my matte top coat did something funny to my black lines. You can see in the pics that they look a bit gappy. Other than that though I just love these nails. I think they're cute enough to pass for Valentine's nails but hopefully don't offend Jo too much by being all hearts and flowers. 

How do you guys feel about Valentine's Day? Do you have any designs that may convert us to lovers this year? 


Sunday, 8 February 2015

Vintage & Bright Birthday Nails

The last 10 days have been packed full of birthdays, seriously, I think everyone I know was born in the same week! The fun started with my own birthday, then my Mum's and finally my sister's. You may have seen on Instagram that we celebrated with a girls night out to the theatre to see Matilda on Thursday. The run of birthday activities ended last night with a trip to the pub to celebrate my sister and her friend turning 30-something (on the same day - see, everyone!). I was drafted in to paint birthday nails for the guests of honour and am sharing both the designs with you today. 

vintage nail art

I used Eat My Dust* from Barry M's new Speedy Nail Paint collection as the base colour. It's a lovely pale duck egg blue with a cool grey tint. I was amazed at how fast drying it really was, I hardly had to wait any time at all before starting the nail art - handy for someone as impatient as me! Of course my sister had no idea what she wanted so I was given free rein on the design. I decided to go for a vintage-ish theme with florals dots and a cheeky glitter fade!

I used Models Own - Gold Finger for the glitter fade. The dots were added using a Barry M nail art pen, I really need a new one as it's running out and you can see all the dots are uneven grr. The florals were draw on with a small brush and various polishes including - Rosehip*, Chai*, Pink Flamingo, Red Wine and Road Rage* all from Barry M. I love florals and dots together and the touch of glitter just makes the mani a bit more special. 

birthday nail art

The other birthday girl went for a more themed design with birthday candles and embellishments! The base is Barry M - Matt White and the candles are Greenberry, Blueberry Ice Cream, Pink Flamingo and Berry Ice Cream. I can't remember which orange I used for the flames but it was by Rimmel. The accent nail is Pink Flamingo embellished with tiny beads, the other accent nail has the rest of her new age but I won't reveal that on here! The candles were so simple to draw on with a striper brush and dotting tool but I think they look awesome! I've seen the design around a lot but have never tried it, now I wish I'd done it sooner, they're so cute. 

smarties cakeAs well as doing the birthday girls' nails I tasked myself with baking them a cake. I love baking and like to set myself a challenge. Luckily both their names start with L, so I chose an L shaped cake decorated with smarties. The cake was three layers of vanilla sponge sandwiched together with buttercream and strawberry jam. I then iced it with chocolate buttercream and stuck on each smartie individually. I ran out of smarties and had to run out for more, I used 20 tubes in total, thank god they were on special at Sainsburys! It look absolutely forever to stick them all on and my hand was cramping up by the time I finished - just before the girls came round for their nails, oops!! I was so pleased with the finished product as it massively exceeded my expectations *proud face*. The boyf was roped in to sneak it down to the pub so the girls were totally surprised when we brought it out. I think everyone enjoyed it and it was great fun to make! Sorry to digress away from nails!! 

I'm a little sad that the big birthday period is over, I'll have to wait til summer for the next run of celebrations. I'm sure I'll find another excuse to bake before then though!

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