Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sammy Reviews: H&M Nail Polish In Clean Slate

Hello again, everyone!
I mentioned in a previous blog entry that I will be reviewing the nail polish I had on for my close friend's wedding, so here is a quick one!

Actually, I was torn between two blue shades, but I ended up choosing the lighter one because it isn't too close to the darker hues I was wearing.
I like it when nail colours are a little bit different so they can shine on their own.

The colour is a dusky blue tone with grey undertones, nothing too loud but enough to make a statement.
Personally, I think this is a great shade to wear with all sorts of denim!

The texture of this nail polish is creamy, which I had already expected since most of the H&M nail polishes I've tested are quite decent despite some streakier lighter shades.
Application was very easy and smooth, and I think one thick coat would've been good enough.
Knowing me, I went for two coats for a more opaque look, and I love how glossy it looks on my nails.
For longevity, this lasted about three days before the first chip appeared, which is pretty standard.

I missed taking a photo of this shade in harsh lighting; I'll remember to add a photo here when I paint it on my nails again!

Overall, this is a shade that I would definitely wear often, since jeans are my closet staple, haha!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Sammy Reviews: Catrice ICONails Gel Lacquer In 13 Mermayday Mayday

Hello, everyone!
I'm actually still on Penang island, and the only reason I could put out this blog post is because I managed to snag a bottle of nail polish on sale, hehehe.
*rubs palms together with glee*

Besides H&M, the other brand of nail polishes I really wanted to try was from Catrice Cosmetics, which is highly-recommended by my best friend.
Their beauty line is only carried by selected Guardian Pharmacy outlets, and during my search, I found out that not every store carry the same stock, and finding specific colours can be a pain in the butt unless you're looking for the usual pinks and reds.
There is no possible way for us to know what colours are stocked in which location unless you physically check each store, but I'm not one to let anything stop me from getting what I want, so find them I did!
Just don't ask my husband how many times I spoke to him about looking for the Catrice Cosmetics counter in all the different Guardian pharmacies, WTF.

I've only had a top + basecoat and satin matte topcoat from Catrice Cosmetics, and I do love them for the price I'm paying.
Their quality and finish is good enough for me, especially now that I'm REALLY into painting my nails.

I've been following their Instagram account for awhile, so I knew they released a new nail polish collection called the ICONails Gel Lacquer awhile ago.
Actually, this shade is the second bottle I've purchased from this line, which means I liked it enough the first time to get more!
I will be reviewing the other colour soon; let me just get back to it in Selangor first, LOL.

Without further ado, here is how "Mermayday Mayday" looks like under natural lighting:

The nail polish actually looks darker in this lighting, but let's jump to my review on it first before I post more photos!

So according to the product website:
Lasts up to 7 days – without a top coat!
The innovative nail polish formula ensures a perfect gel-shine finish and maximum durability on the nails.
Thanks to the GLOSS SEAL’RTM technology, the nail polishes have a spectacular high-shine finish.
The shock-shield complex offers a perfect balance of elasticity and stability for optimal resistance against chipping and a long durability of up to 7 days.
The ICONails Gel Lacquers are enriched with acai oil, which provides pampering care for the natural nails in addition to intensive colour – Colour & Care at its best!
Acai oil is renowned for its nourishing, moisturising and regenerating effect, and supports the high-shine finish.
The exclusive packaging is particularly practical: the slim, round cap with the professional brush allows an especially simple and accurate application.
It is easy to apply just the right dosage of texture without any streaks.
For a perfect manicure, apply two coats of the highly pigmented texture on the nails to achieve the desired colour intensity.

Sounds good, right?

Reading all that, I decided to betray my cardinal rule of nail-polish-application to test this out: I forwent the first layer of base coat to give the oils a chance to work itself into my nails.
I wouldn't recommend doing this often, but I'm sacrificing my nails just this once to see if it lives up to its promise!
Upon applying the first layer, I would say that it is streakier than the H&M nail polishes I was used to, but still pretty creamy and fairly easy to apply for a noob.
It definitely needs a second layer, and even then, the application was still a wee bit streaky but definitely more opaque.
I'd either go for a third thin layer, or just make sure my second layer is thick enough so I can cover up the streaks properly, or I could just practice and improve my application method.
*cricket chirp*
As for the top coat, I decided to forgo it too, to test if it can really last 7 days without a single chip!

In terms of bottle design, I like how simple and clean it looks.
It is definitely something that will look wonderful on your dresser or Instagram account, haha.
The black rectangular cap pops on and off easily to give the bottle its sleek design, and there is a rigged round cap underneath that holds the brush.
The brush on its own is thick and wide enough, which guarantees instant application without making much of a mess.

In terms of the shade, I would say that the colour is a gorgeous teal green with turquoise undertones.
It is definitely an eye-popping colour that is a fun shade to clash with your outfits!

However, it is worth noting that when I first saw the nail polish bottle on the beauty counter, it looks more like emerald green.
So understand that the shade may look a lot darker or duller in the bottle than it is in real life.
I would advice you to check online reviews or test the shade out first.

Now here it is under harsh-lighting, which I feel is truer to its real colour:

As for longevity, despite not having my usual gel top coat, the polish is still smooth and glossy after a whole week, which is pretty amazing!
Most of my H&M nail polishes will dull a little, even with the Catrice gel-like topcoat, especially after many rounds of harsh errands.
It lasted four days on my nails until the very first teeny tiny chip appeared after I washed my hair; most of the H&M ones would have larger, more apparent chips after a hair wash.
Another thing I noticed is, the chips of this nail polish that appear as the days go by are really small and negligible, compared to the H&M ones that look more like chunks that were peeled off.
Considering I didn't apply any base coat and top coat for this review, this formula has proven to be quite revolutionary for me!

I usually remove my nail polish as soon as it starts chipping, but I left it on for a few days more; a week on my bare nails to check if there are any improvements (or damages, eeps!) from the essential oils of the nail polish.

Here are how my nails look like on the seventh day, which I think is pretty impressive:

Left hand.

Right hand.

As you can see, there is more wear to the polish on my right fingernails, but that is to be expected since that is my dominant, hardworking (HAH!) hand.
But you gotta admit, my left fingernails are still lookin' good!

So after a week, I removed the nail polish and upon scrutiny, my bare nails look really good!
It looks as if I did put on a really good base coat, as my nails appear smooth and strong with no apparent signs of damage like spitting or brittleness or yellowing.
My nails look just like before nail polish-applicaiton, SO COLOUR ME IMPRESSED!
With that said, I think I will still switch between different nail polish brands, and I'd likely use Catrice ICONails Gel Lacquer to help restore my nail health.

Overall, this is definitely my kind of colour and it is something I'd wear until the last drop!
It is a pretty kind of green that is quite unexpected and exquisite; far more versatile than it looks.
I also don't mind getting more colours from this line; they recently released new colours and I'm aiming for a yellow!
Anybody wants to sponsor me one???
*puppy dog eyes*

The Catrice ICONails Gel Lacquer range also has a lower retail price (RM17.90) compared to H&M ones (RM24.90), so it is definitely more value for money.
I think Catrice ICONails Gel Lacquer wins in many aspects, but H&M is not very far behind in terms of bottle design, ease of application, and colour range.

In conclusion, it is safe to say that you will continue seeing swatches of these brands on my blog!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Candy Girl

Hello, everyone!
This is the very rare case where I am updating more and faster than usual when I'm back on my beloved island, so enjoy this while it lasts, LOL.

I went out on a movie date with my husband yesterday (of course it was with him, DUH) and decided that I should dress up while I have the energy to.
We finally got to catch "The Avengers: Infinity War" and it was AWESOME!!!

I decided to wear it and I can officially confirm that ironing a polyester dress with that many details is truly a bitch!
However, that aside, I still think it's a pretty dress!

So here's my Sunday movie day look (prepare yourself; there is A LOT of pink going on, even for myself LOL):

I love off-shoulder dresses, and I'm very much into bishop sleeves nowadays, so this was the perfect combination for me!
I also love the ruffle hem; so flamenco-worthy and makes you wanna swing the skirt around.
The material isn't the best to wear on a super hot and humid day, but I was in an air-conditioned mall and the cinema was cold, so it was bearable!

Dress; Storets
Sneakers: Vans
Clutch: Clarins
Vintage earrings: Kenneth Jay Lane

I'm dealing with very limited accessories when I'm back in Penang, until I have to use my cosmetics pouch as a clutch!
I love it with this look because of its candy-coloured stripes, and it somewhat matches my favourite pair of sneakers!

I met up with a close friend later that day, and it is worth noting that this is the most dressed-up I have ever been to see her, HAHA.

Here is a close-up on my vintage earrings which I have worn in this blog before, but can never get enough of:

With that settled, I don't think I'll ever wear head-to-toe pink again, unless my head is wonky or I'm, somehow limited to pink clothes and accessories, LOL.

Would you wear this much of a pink past the age of 30???

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Modern Traditional

Hi, all!

I just attended a close friend's wedding, and dressing up is a definite because all of us in the group loves fashion!
I even made it a point to paint my nails and put on eyeliner; that is maximum effort on the beauty department for me, okay?
So if you see my nails done AND with winged eyeliner, I must love you very much!

It was a Malay wedding, so I decided to stick to a more demure look.
I wanted to go with a pink dress at first, but I decided at the last minute that polyester is my enemy during this crazy hot weather in Penang (which didn't last by the way; it rained nonstop the same night WTF).

Since this was a traditional wedding, it was the best time for me to wear a batik sarong skirt!
I love the mix of colours and how the prints are tiled on the fabric.
If you have been following me for awhile, you'd recognize that lace top (wore it on my birthday last year), which is from the H&M Conscious Exclusive 2014 line.
It is one of my favourite tops ever because it's so ornate; even with the off-shoulder and trumpet sleeves, it doesn't feel too trendy.

I chose this ensemble because I like how the lace instantly updates the look without me having to try too hard to stick to the traditional theme.
If you're thinking about dipping your toes into mixing trends, I highly recommend wearing lace with every other texture you can think of.
There's something very "done up" about the fabric; you can just put on a lace dress and instantly look like you're ready to go.
Basically, lace is something you can easily wear without appearing like you didn't look in the mirror before you left the house, haha!

Top: H&M
Skirt: From a thrift store
Flats: J. Crew
Clutch: From an online shop
Vintage earrings: Kenneth Jay Lane

Here is a bonus close-up image on my barely-there makeup while showing off my earrings (of course I had to post it; I have winged liner here!!!):

You can only see a subtle glow on my lips, but I actually had my favourite gold glitter lipgloss on.
I also matched my nails to my blue-tinged outfit; review on the exact colour will be up at the blog soon!

Here is a close-up on the earrings I was wearing for this special day:

JEWELRY TIP: Filigree jewelry goes hand-in-hand with lace; both are ornate and romantic!

So that wraps up another wedding-guest outfit!
I'm not sure when will be the next wedding I'll attend, but it has been a great run so far.
What are your favourite looks so far?

Friday, April 27, 2018

Sammy Reviews: H&M Nail Polish In Sweet Talk

Hi, everyone!

I'm barely halfway in reviewing my nail polish stash, but I hope you enjoy reading the previous blog entries so far.
Today, I will be reviewing (another) H&M nail polish, and this one almost didn't make the cut!
My mom persuaded (more like forced) me to get it because it is a beautiful shade that will make my hands look very bright.

So here it is in it's full glory in natural lighting:

I love how the colour looks like bright tomato red in the sun; something cheery!
This nail polish has the same creamy consistency that I love, and the amazing brush ensures a clean and smooth application almost every time.
I don't know if I was getting better at applying nail polishes, or there is some magic in this bottle because my right manicure looks fantastic, too!
Before this, it was never really the case since applying the nail polish with my non-dominant left hand is always a challenge; I almost-always end up butchering the manicure.
*pops imaginary confetti*

However, my joy was a little short-lived because just a few hours after application, the nail polish on my right hand started chipping.
Which was very odd; it normally gets botched because I am too impatient to wait for it to dry completely before doing chores, but these just chipped like I had them on for days.
I don't know if it was the nail polish formula, or just an issue with this bottle, or it has something to do with the spare Revlon topcoat I was trying to finish up.
H&M nail polishes normally could last at least a couple of days with minimal chipping, so this was a bit out of character.
Nevertheless, I will try applying this nail polish again next time with a different top coat and see how it goes!

Anyway, here is how it looks like under harsh lighting:

 If you noticed, the colour looks more orange here, somewhat like dark coral.
I think this is a very fun colour to replace traditional reds, and it looks good in almost any outfit, too!

I love this colour, and I'm glad my mom made me buy it, haha.
It's not something I'll usually go for (I like pastels, jewel tones, and darks), but it's good to switch it up in awhile!