Saturday, April 21, 2018

Sammy Reviews: H&M Nail Polish In Beet It

Hi, all!

I decided to put on a new nail colour to turn thirty in!
I took a really long time to decide though; I couldn't pick between brights or pastels or metallic...
*eenie meenie miney moe*

In the end, I picked a shade that is vivid and matches one of my favourite bags.
*bricked*

Anyway!
I've always wanted to try this nail polish colour, because it is not something I'd normally wear for myself.
Pastels and dusky tones have always been my favourite, but I wanted something punchy for my big 3-0.

And what could be better than something as saturated as fuchsia?!
With a dash of gold, of course.
*gets heavy-handed while applying gold flake polish*

Here it is in natural lighting:


I would say that this colour applies pretty smoothly, and it has the creamy texture that I love in most H&M nail polishes.
Although one coat would definitely be enough, I went with two coats for complete opacity.

Funny story: My husband grazed through my freshly-painted nails THRICE; on my good hand too!
*head desk*
I have never wanted to scream out so badly.
BUT, he will live to see another day.
For now.
*sharpen cleaver*

So here are my nails in harsh lighting:


In case you are wondering how I got that many gold flakes on my accent nails, I swipe the brush on the tip of the bottle, making sure I only pick up the flakes with little to no polish.
I then apply the flakes directly onto my nails, slowly placing them in empty spots until they fill up.
Alternatively, you can also use a toothpick to pick the flakes up and strategically place them on your nails, but...
Ain't nobody got time for that!
Or, you can paint your flakes on a sponge that will absorb all the clear polish, leaving only the flakes and you dab it onto the nails, but I've never tried this method because I feel that it's a waste of product, heh.

Here are the nail polishes I used for this manicure:


From left to right: "Beet It" and "Flake It".

I'm pleased with how they turn out, and I definitely will wear this colour again.
So happy birthday to me!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Nail Design: Messy Dots

Hi, everyone!

I am finally back to my nail polishes; bare nails feel so foreign to me now.
*nervous laugh*

I was given a bunch of nail polishes and a dotting tool by my bestie before I left Penang, so I was super excited to put it to good use!
I have also been wanting to paint my nails blue for awhile; the idea of matching my nails to denim seems very appealing right now, haha.

Here are my nails under natural lighting (their colours are closest to real life in this photo):


To create this nail design, you will need:
1.   A base coat and a satin matte top coat
2.   Three different-toned nail polishes from the same colour family
3. Dotting tool with two different sizes

First, always apply a layer of base coat:
I cannot stress the importance of this step; seriously, don't skip this step, peeps!

Next, moving on to the coloured-nail polishes:
Apply the darkest nail polish first.
Make sure every layer of nail polish dries thoroughly before adding another to avoid bubbling, which can ruin any good nail design.
You can apply up to three layers of polish until you get the right opacity; I love my nails to be completely covered until no light can pass through, haha!

Moving onto the deisgn:
I then used the larger dotting tool and dip it into the middle shade before dotting them at the base of my nails.
Then, dip the smaller dotting tool into the lightest shade and dot them above the bigger spots.
I like my dots to be imperfect, so I applied more pressure on the tool to flatten the spots out.
As you can see, I didn't bother with aligning the rows either!

Finally:
Seal the design with a layer of satin-matte topcoat.
I love how this top coat makes my manicure look like I used nail stickers!

As usual, here are my nails under harsh lighting:


These look so cute in real life; the colours work really well together, too!

Here are the colours I used for this design:


From left to right: "Prussian Wool" and "Clean Slate" by H&M, and Ultimate Nail Lacquer in "The Sky So Fly" by Catrice Cosmetics.

So there you have it, another lazy nail design!
I'm already thinking about my next set, but I really like this look!

What colours would you choose to do this nail design with?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sammy Reviews: Storets (South Korea)

Hi, all!

When it comes to filling up (or in my case, overflowing) my wardrobe, I have been thrift-shopping with my parents while shopping retail on and off.
It has been awhile since I online-shopped on new websites, but that doesn't mean I haven't been window(online)-shopping around!

I have been admiring Storets for the longest of time since I first read about them in WhoWhatWear.com, and I have seen many beautiful things come and go without them entering my closet, haha.
The company is based in South Korea, which explains their very girly aesthetics with a touch of edge here and there.
They had free international delivery for a limited time only for items featured in their "Summer Romance" range, so I jumped at the opportunity to pop my Storets cherry!
I also got a 10% discount coupon code, so I thought if I don't buy anything now, I probably never will.
#YOLO

So let's take a quick look at the dress I chose, from the website:


Isn't it dreamy?
*sigh*

I chose their Bella Shirred Midi Dress because it was the sweetest summery dress that will be perfect for any occasion, and it is inexpensive.

Anyway, here are the shipping basics according to the website:
Delivery fee: USD15 (FREE for orders over USD75+)
Oversized or special delivery items may be subject to a delivery surcharge.
International Shipping method: Expedited Shipping (i.e. FedEx/SF express/EMS)
Estimated shipping time is 2 to 5 business days after dispatch.
One day delivery is not available.
Storets reserve the right to select the courier for each order.

Now, on to my shopping experience!

The site is pretty easy to navigate through, with really large and bright photos that really attract your attention (and probably your squealing wallet).
Each product has quite a number of photos taken at different angles to help you understand the product better.
They also have different colours for one product sometimes, but I like the fact that they list each colour individually while still allowing the buyer to pick other options within the listing itself.
In other words, no stone (or listing) is left unturned!

So initially, when I tried to checkout on my phone, I noticed I was still charged the shipping fee.
Refreshing the page, selecting other promotional items, and doing it all again on my laptop didn't fix the problem, so I sent an email to their customer service team.
I got a reply about three hours later; there was a system glitch but it was fixed and I was told to try again.
I went back to the website on my laptop to try, and it finally worked!
So I excitedly clicked on the "PayPal Checkout" button, went through the payment process, only to be redirected to the website that loads and reloads on loop.
Then, I tried checking out on my phone, but the same thing happened still.
I was getting a little frustrated at this point (so much work for one really cheap but pretty dress!), but a lightbulb went off in my head that made me try the normal checkout button instead.
Thankfully, there was an option to select PayPal, and the payment went through without any glitches.
WOOHOO!

In short, I successfully made the purchase at night on 10 April 2018.
On 11 April 2018 afternoon, I received an email saying that my item has been picked up and will be shipped via FedEx.
In terms of processing time, that is crazy fast, considering they are running a few promotions right now.
Estimated arrival is on 12 April 2018, which sounds crazy impossible to me, but I would be happy to be proven wrong since the parcel is coming in from South Korea.

And guess what?
My parcel was safely delivered the next afternoon, just like they said it would!
*pops imaginary confetti*

While the whole delivery process was a breeze, I'm most curious about their quality, which is precisely why I made this purchase.
Storets have been putting out really adorable stuff that looks great on their site, but research showed that there were many complaints about the lack of quality for the price you're paying.
Although I cannot speak for all their items since I only bought one, we shall see if this dress alone lived up to my expectations.

Here's how the dress came in:


Fancy sticker on a nice brown box...


WHERE IS MY PIZZA?!

Hahaha joking joking, don't stop reading please.
*kowtow*

As you can see, the dress came wonderfully-packaged, and was folded neatly.
The colour was exactly what I expected, so that's good.
Material-wise, it is 100% polyester so it isn't the most comfortable dress, but they did mention this in the product specification on the website.

In terms of workmanship, this is where I personally feel it isn't worth paying full price for.
While I don't think it's entirely terrible (believe me when I said I've seen MUCH worse), it isn't exactly top-notch, either.
It definitely has a fast-fashion feel to it, with untidy finishes mostly on the underside.
In comparison, quality-wise, I'd say it is more H&M than Zara.

When it comes to sizing, it's a little weird because most of the items on their website are listed in size S, just like my dress.
Honestly, I thought they listed it as such because it is free-size, but it should be able to fit other sizes, right?
WRONG!
Although the dress fitted me alright when I tried it on, it is a little tight where my shoulders are, but note that I'm actually a size M with broader shoulders.
This means that it fits true to size!
I think you can still cheat a little when it comes to loose-fitting clothes, but for anything that doesn't stretch, steer clear if you're larger or more voluptuous.
Another thing to note is, a lot of their items are professional-clean only, so be careful not to stick them into the wash!

So this is how the dress looks like in real life, after a brief round of extreme ironing (needs more rounds of that, but at least it is presentable):


I do like the dress, so I won't be making any returns, but I read their return policy and it's pretty lengthy, phew!
Here it is for reference sake:
Merchandise must be returned to us (arrive at our office) within 30 days of delivery to the customer.
Merchandise must be in its original condition, without fragrance and make-up residue, unworn and unwashed and any gifted items must be returned.
Merchandise must have all tags, including any Storets hang-tags, attached.
Any merchandise marked "outlet" cannot be returned.
Any merchandise in "sale" category cannot be returned.
Any merchandise with discounted price cannot be returned.
Discount codes are not considered as discount price, hence orders which used discount codes are eligible for return.
In the interests of hygiene, all accessories - including but not limited to jewelry, headbands, hats, underwear, hosiery, belts, footwear, socks and bodysuits - cannot be returned.
All swimwear returns must have hygiene liners still intact, and also be in their original condition - items with discoloration caused by lotion, sunscreen, oil and chlorine are not eligible for return.
Home products such as ornaments, blankets, candles and air fresheners, are not eligible for return.
All returned merchandises will be granted either as loyalty points, or a refund to the original payment method (i.e. credit card, PayPal). Please note that original shipping charges of flat rate of US$15 for orders under US$75, if separately charged, are non-refundable.
Returns received at our warehouse after the 30 days window will only be granted back as loyalty points.
Contact our customer service team (cs@storets.com) with (i) your order number, (ii) desired items to return and (iii) the return reason, to get an authorization code (RMA code). Write this return code outside the package for correct identification.
Note that without the RMA code, it is difficult to identify the package, so refund process may be very slow or may even pass the deadline.
Use any kind of courier that you like (doesn't have to be Fedex or DHL) but make sure to declare it as return merchandise under US$50 for fast clearance. 
Once return merchandise packages are received, we will contact you with the results of processing and the refund options.
Refunds will be processed within approximately 1-2 business days after your selection of refund option.
Original shipping charges are non-refundable (refer to #2-9 above).
Defective or wrong items must be claimed, with images of the defects, within 7 days of receipt and must be in its original condition, unworn and unwashed.
Defective item is granted as exchange to the same item without defect and refund is not allowed unless the item is no longer available.
For swimwear, discoloration caused by lotion, sunscreen, oil and chlorine are not manufacturing defects.
Return shipping for defected garments will be granted the same amount of loyalty points.

I've read reviews online that said their return process is a huge hassle and is expensive, but I've also read some that said it was a breeze.
Truth to be told, I'd rather keep the item or resell it than send it back and still risk not getting refunded, but that's just me!

So in conclusion, will I buy from Storets again?
Likely, but it definitely depends most on ongoing sales or specials!

And that finalizes my online shopping experience with Storets!
I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience, and hopefully my review will be able to help you make an informed decision on whether to shop with Storets in the near future!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sammy Reviews: H&M Nail Polish in Imaginarium

Hi, all!

I've had this manicure awhile ago, but just got around blogging about it!
I really like this iridescent nail polish; it switches colour when the light hits and it is the coolest thing EVER.
They remind me of scarab beetle wings!

They come out a bit more sheer than I like though, so I used a dusky purple nail polish as base.
Alternatively, you can use black nail polish to make the colours pop.



Aren't they awesome?!

I liked it so much that I only added the black trims a day later, and come to love it even more!


Click HERE to see the Boomerang video of the manicure in action!

To get the edges, I just adjust the tape according to how much black I want and then paint over it for precision, haha.

I forgot to snap a photo of the manicure in natural lighting, so these will have to do for now...
*twiddle fingers*


Left to right: Neo Noir (black), Mauve On Up (dusky purple), and Imaginarium (metallic purple teal).

So my first round of nail polish reviews are done and dusted!
But if you read my previous blog post and follow me on Instagram, you'd know that I just got 10 new bottles and a new top coat last week...
#FML

But yay to more manicures and accompanying blog posts, LOL!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Nail Design: Modern Pastel Art

Hi all!

I recently tried painting my nails with a specific design in mind, but ended up with something completely different again because I butchered my fingernails, LOL.

I enjoy painting my nails now, but any ideas that require too much effort (a.k.a. DRAWING) goes right out the window.
Obviously I'm too lazy and unskilled for that; special effect topcoats and can-be-found-at-home tools for the win!

I have readers requesting for me to blog about my lazy nail designs, which is exactly what I will do from now on, in case you'd benefit from my methods, haha!
Please check my older nail blog posts after this too, but the steps won't be as organized as this one because they have less than three steps, LOL.

I used completely new shades for this manicure, but I won't be posting a review on them yet because you can't see the swatches clearly here.
However, I am in love with this nail design because not only is it pretty, it is totally idiot-proof!

Here it is under harsh lighting:


And here it is in natural lighting:


It's a sorbet wonderland on my nails, and it puts me in such a great mood!
This nail design also has my favourite gold flakes, and that doubles up my good mood, LOL.

To create this manicure, you will need:
1.   A base coat and top coat
2.   Pale-coloured nail polishes (three is ideal, but I used five because I'm indecisive like that, heh)
3.   A gold flake nail polish with clear base
4.   A black nail polish
5.   Toothpick


First, always apply a layer of base coat:
Mine is Catrice Gel Like 2-in-1 Base and Top Coat and it's the best thing ever!
Scroll down to the photo section below for a visual of the product.

 Next, we move on to the coloured nail polishes:
Swipe the nail polish brush at the edge of the bottle a few times; the key is to have a very thin layer of polish left because we want the swatch to be streaky.
Then, paint the brush at random spots and in different directions on your nails; make sure each layer dries up before you add the other so you won't ruin your brushes.
Feel free to reuse and layer some of the colours to add more depth and balance to your design; I purposely left some spots of my natural nails to make it quirkier.
The best thing about this manicure is that it doesn't have to be perfect; the messier it is, the better!

As for the gold flakes nail polish:
Apply one layer of it; we want them to appear completely random and only as accents.
At this point, the manicure already looks insanely pretty; you can opt to skip the next step if you're already happy with it, which I almost did, but itchy hands are itchy hands...

Moving on to the black nail polish:
With a toothpick, dip one end into the nail polish bottle and place random black spots to give the design a modern art feel; again, it doesn't have to be perfect.

Finally:
Seal your design with a layer of clear top coat.

So there you have it!
It looks like a lot of work, but trust me when I say it’s a really easy nail design to do.
It just sounds tedious because I’m long-winded, LOL.

Here are the nail polishes I used this time, featuring my life-and-nails-saving base and top coat!
Since I haven't featured it in any of my blog post, it is definitely an unsung hero, haha.


From left to right: 2 in 1 Gel Like Base + Top Coat and Iconails Gel Lacquer in "Mint Map" by Catrice Cosmetics.


From left to right: "Whiteout", "Chalky Pink", and "Lilac Whimsy" by H&M.


From left to right: "Neo Noir", "Clean Slate", and "Flake It" by H&M.

Good luck with your attempts, and please let me know if you know of any other lazy nail designs for me to try.
I'm always open to suggestions, so drop me a comment or email me at theopulenthippo@gmail.com!