Mhmm, good morning.

“This is the start of something beautiful
This is the start of something new -
This, Ed Sheeran


A few weeks back, I went on another early Sunday morning shoot (after shooting Kah Wai, read more here) with Alex, to catch the sunrise and then to shoot his friends. It was Crys, we were supposed to shoot but turns out we couldn’t fit our busy schedules together.



Shooting nature; the flowers and leaves is bit different with a micro four thirds but I still love how these pictures turn out to be.

_1220712So, this is Lynx.

_1220761And Suzie, with Lynx.

_1220710Our models, for the morning.

So, here is the thing. Alex and I, we, actually it was more of he, kept swapping the cameras with me throughout the shoot so, I can’t say I took all the pictures in this post but I did do the post-processing. :) Which was a joy to do, because the sun was so nice and there wasn’t much to edit.




These pictures are loves, not just because I took them but the camera that did is just gorgeously amazing. I’m smitten by the micro four thirds for portraitures, and I really cannot wait to get my hands on one. I’m pretty much thorn between the EPL-5 or the OMD-5; getting EPL would mean I get to buy a prime lens for portraits for the price of an OMD-5 with kit lens. But in exchange of that, I have to settle on a plain EPL-5 versus, the solid OMD. #iamsothornyouhavenofreakingidea


So, anyone up for shoot? Just let me know. Let’s do Sundays mornings.

Swatch: Elianto’s Turquoise


Like the neon pink polish I got from Elianto (read the swatch review here), it was natural for me to expect that this polish would have the same formulation. My expectation was a reasonably logical one but yet I was, somewhat disappointed by it. Read on to find out why. Before that, some pictures. The polish may have sucked but it is still a gorgeous colour. I am usually not a fan of blue or any shade of it, but with this Turquoise polish, I wondered why I hadn’t gave this colour a chance before. Haha.

Review: Before my first coat of polish, I saw that the formulation wasn't too thick and I had assumed that it meant that the polish would be easy to apply since it's not too thick. Only to be proven otherwise after applying the first coat. It was super mega streaky like i-want-to-cry-and-throw-the-polish-away type. Yes, I did get that frustrated.
Even so to the point that I removed the polish and then re-applied it again just to see if the polish was really that streaky or it was just my nails. Still streaky, so I ended up painting 4 coats of it and then hoping that my Seche Vite will be able to smooth out the imperfections, which thankfully it did.

Guess what, that isn't the end of this terrible polish experience. Later in the evening (I painted my nail in the afternoon), I realised that my nail colour have turned a bit more yellowish than its original colour. I'm guessing this happened because of the Seche Vite top coat. But then again, the Seche Vite top coat has never made any other of my polished go yellow, only this one. So I'm thinking it must be some kind of a reaction. Hopefully.

But it could also be the polish because before applying them, I saw a layer of yellow which I assumed was a layer of oil which is normal for polishes that have been kept for some time.

IMG_3898This picture taken under fluorescent lightning.
In the pictures, you won’t see any of the yellowing, because I took the pictures before the polish changes colour. I still find it hard to believe that the polish could actually changes colour, but I guess it happens. I think it is probably similar to how oxidation makes colour changes as well. It could be because of that but I cannot be too sure.

To be honest, lately I have been having naked nails because I am too lazy to paint my nails. I’m not happy about it because I know how painting nails keep me happy but sometimes, my manicures are quite tedious coupled with the shoots that follow to get nice pictures. So, I’d rather leave it naked. :s But I’m beginning to paint my nails again, because I do need that dose of happiness. :D

Till next time, lovelies! xoxo

So, good morning?

_1220516 copy

I think Sunday mornings should always be a lazy, stay-in one. It’s the day before Monday comes and if you have to work on Monday, Sundays are precious. Especially, the mornings and the extra few hours of sleep you can get. But then again, if you have friends like mine, in this case, my friend, Patrick who insists we shoot in the wee hours to the catch sunrise. If that is the case, you have to be up early to catch that. If you’re a girl, here is a reality check, you have to wake up even earlier to look good. [read: 5am for makeup]


Meet Patrick [the photographer] and Kah Wai [the model]. So, Kah Wai is my sister and Patrick, well actually his first name is Alex or in my blog, A. But I found out recently that his middle name is Patrick. So I thought if he is Patrick, I’m Spongebob. :) If you don’t get my logic, it’s okay. A lot of people don’t anyway. From the picture, you can see that we obviously missed sunrise, cause I had a bad start to the day – missed the first alarm, BB cream got on my beige shirt, had to change. My bad.

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So here are the pictures; this is my first attempt of portraiture with a four thirds camera. So, feedback would be awesome. :)




_1220526Alex getting the sister to relax and angle her face.

P1050221Kah Wai loved this shot. :) Alex used this picture to make a meme/9gag; “Nobody cares”. You can head over to his blog to see it.


Throughout the shoot, Alex and I shot by alternating the cameras (Panasonic GF1 and GX1). He had attached a long prime and a short prime to each of the cameras, and by varying the cameras it gave me a chance to have a feel of the lenses. Frankly. I am in love with the four thirds, and the lens. I cannot wait to get my own baby!

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And that’s about the pictures I took, by 9am the sun was up in all its glory and it got a little too hot to shoot. Besides, the lighting was too harsh then too.

P1050256Alex shot this picture and this was about 9ish am then already. It was one of our last better shots.

P1050250As shot by Alex.

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As much and as awesome as this cameras feel like, I am still thorn to get a DSLR or a four thirds. :( I know it’s essentially still a camera, but getting this new camera is like the next milestone for me. Haha. It’s like a commitment I make towards my pass for photography, which is why I do hope I get a good camera.

2012, the year that was.

Before I begin this post, let me wish you a “Happy New Year”. May this year be filled with awesome and so much more. *hugs*

It had been at the back of my mind to finish up on my backlogs of posts from 2012 and also, to blog about the highlights of 2012 for me. I have been meaning to, but somehow I never got to it until today, the 1st of January 2013. I did try to start on it a few weeks back but then, my mind drew a blank as I thought through the months, beginning with January. To put it simply, if I cannot remember what I ate last Sunday, how could I remember what happened in January. Either nothing much significant happened, or I have an fish’s memory.

So, I decided to take a different approach. I am just going to chunk in whatever I remember from 2012 into the post, beginning with the freshest memory.

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Hair Cut

Went to Miko Hair to get a new hairstyle before the new year kicks in, now my hair shoulder length when it’s wet. But when it’s dry and the curls bounces, my hair poufs up. I love this new hair nevertheless. Also, I love how the stylist was friendly and didn’t try to hard sell their other products to me.

When I finally decided to keep my curls mid of this year, it was one decision I never regret but it was a tough choice to make nevertheless. I have had straight silky hair as a little girl, all through kindergaten, I think. But then my parents thought having a long hair for me was troublesome and that changed the texture of my hair. It got curly and frizzy that my hair poufs up. As a kid, I had no choice then but to keep a very short hair. Then, as I grew up, I started growing my hair out hoping the texture of my hair would change. But it didn’t, it was still huge and frizzy. Then, I made the decision to rebond my hair and I done that every year without fail, spending 5 hours at the salon to have flat, straight hair. For 4 years, I did that. 2012, I finally decided I wasn’t going to do that anymore. So, hello super duper huge curly hair. :) I’ve been blessed with curls, so why try to change that?

Christmas PotluckHad a Christmas Potluck party with the college mates, so nice to see everyone again after so long. Exchanged gifts too, and had a mini epic BBQ after that.

CLEO ShootWent for a shoot for the CLEO magazine because they were going to feature my story on how to happy socially as part of their “How to Be Happy” feature for the January 2013 issue. :)

IMG_5328And here’s the story I wrote and the picture they chose from the shoot. :) Thank you Ruz for hooking me up on this and to some of my close friends who helped me proof read the story.

IMG_5329Published in Seventeen in 2011 and one year later, in CLEO. Life have been great, haha, Did I change after one year?

Shoot w Joe & Pearl

Had a photoshoot with the extremely talented portraiture photographer, Joe and Pearl, an awesome make up artist. This was my first time doing a creative shoot and it was definitely an eye-opening experience. I have always been curious to know what and how shoots are like and now, I know. Btw, this was a collaboration and the nails for the shoot was done by me.


Went to shoot with Alex, wanted to shoot at some city ruins but ended up getting our best shots at the coffee table in restaurant for breakfast. Just like how his best shots of me are often at restaurants over food.


Had my first hand experience of shooting portraits with the sister being my subject. I have yet to post more pictures of her, I keep delaying that post. Anyway, I seem to find joy in doing portraiture and am leaning towards getting a four thirds camera to shoot. This year, I’ll get my new baby. :D

i am not for sale

Volunteered to model as a live mannequin for Change Your World’s Human Trafficking campaign, “I Am Not For Sale”. It was held at the Offline Blogshop in Sunway Pyramid, where they had various volunteers to portray different ‘victims’ of human trafficking. I was portraying a prostitute, hence the super thick make up and skimpy outfit. Read more about the campaign here.

makeupMy tired face after the event. By the way this was how thick the make up was. But, it was so flawlessly done that when the make up artist was done, one of the guys just went and said, you look so beautiful.

BLGSaw my all time favourite boy band, Boys Like Girls play live in Rockaway Festival Showcase. I was so close to them, it was an awesome concert, dream came true. To top things up, I got to attend a pre-listening party for their then up-coming but is now released album, Crazy World. Got a chance to interview them at the party, and even chatted with them online before the party. :DD Read my post here. Too bad I don’t have a picture with them. I also saw Avril Lavigne, when she was in Malaysia and I’m telling you she sings awesome live.


Celebrated my 20th birthday with a surprise from the college friends, who came all the way to my place. Super sweet of them. :) My 20th birthday was really memorable, it’s one that I would always remember. Blogged about it here. :P Go read it, the details there.

SelfportraitsStarted dabbling with taking self portraits of myself, it all started out with an idea, an inspiration. Looking back, I had taken quite a number of self portraits. It almost saddens me to look back now and think how I have since lost inspirations to create more shots like that, :s But I ought to be happy because most of the good portraits were driven from disappointment, which reflects in the pictures right? So, yes I am happier now and I guess this actually helped me expressed myself in ways I couldn’t. May I be able to find inspiration through happiness instead. :)

IMG_1970-4Bought a Groupon deal for 100 prints, and decided to use them to decorate my wall with a photo collage. Seeing my pictures in print, really is one of the best feeling ever. To have and to hold them, admiring them up close instead of only from the computer is just feels so good. Click here to see the animated gif of the process of doing up the random photo collage, it’s really nice. :)


Helped ICAEW organized a Movie Night for universities students, which was a first time experience for me. I know I have been organizing events but I was never one to head it, like really overlooked and took charge. But for this, I did and I have never been more thankful to have worked together with a such a strong team. Like any events planning, ideally it would be great if everything went as planned but the chances of that happening was definitely close to negative zero. We had a few hiccups here and there, and GSC was being an absolute bitch. We booked the whole lounge and they had the cheek to tell us later that we’ll have to share with another event when we had already booked and agreed on the whole lounge. That aside, things actually went pretty smooth on that day. :)

cfab exchange

Was roped in to help ICAEW and Sunway TES organize another event called the CFAB Exchange. This time, I was the Project Coordinator (for Movie Night, I was called the Project Director, heh.) I love all this fancy names, but with the fancy names, of course there is responsibility and real stuff to do. This event was a much larger scale and again, I had my team to help me. I called them my core team, and seriously, these guys are the best persons I have ever worked with. Reuben, the man is forever fantastic (like seriously, he is the man), Danny, can be an ass sometimes, but still great, Eugene, always able to make things work. You guys are awesome, I would have been able to do what I did if it wasn’t for them.

Besides handling the details (back-end of the event), I was also the emcee for 500+ students event. Oh dear, it was massive. I have spoken in public, emcee-d before but never to such magnitude of people. We were so busy I didn’t have any time at all to really rehearse my lines, I did manage to write my script which I ended up not using. Started out a little nervous but just after lunch, when it was my session, I actually did the session spontaneously with no scripts! It’s really amazing to see how the crowd reacts to what I’m saying, when you know that they are really interested and definitely isn’t bored out. Best memory from this would be getting the crowd to cheer and chant, following what I say. I didn’t know that would be such an overwhelming experience. Organizing the CFAB Exchange was an invaluable experience, and really, from the way people worked with each other under pressure, you get to see how each person reacts differently. An eye-opening experience nevertheless. ;)


Started dabbling with make up, specifically just the lips. I actually done these designs for a contest, and they were so many other fantastic designs, like one shaped like a crab. I thought my designs were pretty simple, just play with colours (love the ombre one!) and some stickers used. Turns out, I actually won a prize for my designs. :) Am definitely going to continue doing lip make up more often, when I get inspired especially. Haha.


Okay, you can totally call me self obsessed for taking so many pictures of myself but I wanted to see how much I have changed over the year. And I probably didn’t, judging from the pictures I could grown chubbier even. :?/ Gahh. I did change my hairstyle, I have finally embraced my curls, chopped off my rebonded hair and happily sporting a huge pouffy hair. And whenever I look into the mirror, all I think of was coiffure, hair coif·fure.


At times like this, being able to look back at 2012’s nail designs, I really can’t help my beam at the collection of designs that I have done and attempted. All in all, I did about 23 nail designs, in one year. It’s great, but I wished I did more designs. Well, that is what this year is for. It’d be easy to exceed such an *ahem* low target this year. It also helps that I’m on Instagram (@itscarmenhong) so, I’ll never run out of inspirations. Up till now, I probably have save hundreds of nails pictures already. Haha.


The highlight, best thing to have happen to me in 2012 would definitely be winning the La Senza’s contest. :)

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2012 has been the year of many ups and downs, somehow it feels like there had been more downs. Of course, I remember the happy times; someone who could make me smile and laugh when I didn't know how to anymore and really, over the littlest possible thing.  That was such a blissful time, one that I will cherish and appreciate.

And then, there's someone who could put up with all the crap I throw at him, after it all is still my close friend and so much more that. Here's to many more years to our friendship.

Of course, then there is this other person who would do so much just because I asked, because it meant a lot to me. You've been an awesome friend and a bro to me, I'm glad to have known you and I know things have been rough for you this year, (I do hope I've been there for you) but next year, it'll be better.

And this other person who could make me smile silly at my phone, reading those messages. Thank you for keeping me company with your humour, love you to bits. May our friendship always be frank, open and hilarious. Also, who cared for me so much more than what I deserved. Who still accepted me after the mistakes I made.

And here's to another, the one who had to put up with my constant annoyance for the past few years. Who have nothing but patience for my nonsense, who have listening to all my stories, who watched me make the same mistakes again and again but still stood by me after it all.

Just as she did, here is to another who been there for me at my lowest, who feels so much for me and who unwittingly makes me laugh over the crappy issues in my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It hasn't been a great year for you, but as much as you have been here for me, I want to do same as well. If you to talk or a shoulder to lean on, I'm always here.

And to all my friends, thank you for everything, thank you for making my 2012 amazing. To my readers, thank you for reading my blog, even if all I write is nails, life, make up and occasionally food. To my family, thank you but I can’t thank them enough. There is never enough, for family.

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I have learnt that happiness is only temporary but then so is disappointment. And life is what you make out of it. Oh, also, nothing is ever what it seemed to be.