Author Archives: Mary S.

OPI Iceland Collection Swatches

OPI Iceland Collection Swatches

It’s been so long since I posted that I feel rusty. Pass me the oil can, Tin Man!¬†ūüėČ

Thanks for being patient with me, especially when we live in a society where “instant” isn’t fast enough and people are continuously racing to the finish line.

As you will have noticed, I’ve taken a more relaxed style to blogging compared to what I used to do. It’s mainly because of three reasons: (1) I don’t want to burn out, (2) I’ve been diving deeper into another hobby (the planner world), and (3) I’ve been spending more time with friends and family. I am still passionate about blogging here, so I will continue to share my thoughts (and my nails!) for as long as I can.

Today, I have swatches of the¬†OPI Iceland Collection¬†for Fall/Winter 2017! Autumn’s my favourite season, so I was really excited to try out all the colours.

I appreciate the diverse colours included. There’s something for everyone from the posh grey and slate blue to the retro green and rich brown.

In all of my OPI Iceland Collection swatches, I used two coats to achieve full opacity, except for¬†Reykjavik Has All the Hot Spots (the frosty pink), which required three coats. (This one was my least favourite of the bunch. I’m not a fan of frosty-shimmer finishes that show brushstrokes.)

My top picks from the collection:

  • Less Is Norse¬†– You’ll want more of this medium slate blue.
  • Turn On the Northern Lights!¬†– This dark blue with pink sparkle is lit.
  • Suzi & the Arctic Fox¬†– A vampy blue for foxy nails.

I’m in love with this one because of the name:

  • Check Out the Old Geysirs¬†– Teach an old dog new tricks with this light blue.

The other shades:

  • Icelanded a Bottle of OPI¬†– The nail-polish has landed with this pale taupe.
  • That’s What Friends Are Thor¬†– A dark, earthy brown.
  • I’ll Have a Gin & Tectonic¬†– Pale, classy peachy pink.
  • One Heckla of a Color!¬†– A purple so pretty, it won’t get heckled.
  • Reykjavik Has All the Hot Spots¬†– A sizzling frosty pink.
  • Aurora Berry-alis¬†– ‘Pink’ about this rosy hue.
  • This Isn’t Greenland¬†– A retro green has nails singing Sam Cooke’s¬†“You Send Me.”
  • Krona-logical Order¬†– Get your nails in line with this dark mushroomy taupe.

Continue reading

Share

Swatch And Learn’s 7-Year Blogiversary Worldwide Giveaway

Swatch And Learn 7-Year Blogiversary Giveaway

Update (Sunday August 6, 2017): Congratulations, Jen! You’ve won my giveaway! Please check your email and reply within 48 hours to claim your prize. Thank you to everyone for participating. Stay tuned – I plan to have another fun nail-polish giveaway.

Blow out the candles on the cake! Today marks¬†Swatch And Learn’s 7-Year Blogiversary!

Blogging has taken me along a journey filled with happy memories. I’ve met many people along the way, learned new things about myself, and enjoyed sharing one of my passions with fellow nailphiles. I really appreciate you joining me on this adventure. May we build more wonderful memories together! ūüėÄ

To celebrate, and to say thank you to my readers who take the time to visit, I’m having a¬†worldwide giveaway. (Yes that’s right – anyone can enter!)

From now until August 4, 2017, enter for your chance to win the Zoya Wanderlust Collection!

I thought long and hard about which collection I should purchase for the prize, and Zoya Wanderlust won because the formula on each shade is amazing. Also, there’s a nice variety of colours, so I feel that there’d be something for everyone to enjoy.

(If you haven’t already seen my Zoya Wanderlust Collection swatches, check out my previous post, and you’ll see why I love it.)

Read the rest of this post for the full details on how you can enter my giveaway.

Continue reading

Share

Zoya Wanderlust Collection Swatches

Zoya Wanderlust Collection Swatches

The¬†Zoya Wanderlust Collection¬†for Summer 2017 consists of 12 colours that make this little one’s heart race fast like a nail NASCAR driver!

There are eight cremes, and yes, they all apply beautifully. If they went on any easier, they would apply themselves all while feeding me grapes one by one, fanning me with palm branches and playing Lana Del Rey’s new Lust for Life¬†album. ūüėČ

Full of sizzling personality, the remaining polishes are shimmers that are fun to look at when you move your fingers around and admire your manicure like a vain polish peacock.

For all the swatches in this post, I used two coats of nail polish and no top coat, so you could see the original finish and shine that each one has. With a glossy top coat, however, you’ll add even more brilliance and extend your manicure mileage, of course.

The cremes covered the best, and I was able to achieve full opacity at the two-coat mark. For the shimmers, you could get away with full coverage if you use medium coats. Alternatively, you could apply three thin coats, if you don’t want to see the nail line. I was happy with two coats.

My instant favourites from the Zoya Wanderlust Collection are the greens. No surprise there for my regular readers! Green continues to wrap me around its little finger, as I paint it on all of my nails.

These are my top picks:

  • Arbor¬†– Olive-green creme makes your nails see the forest¬†and¬†the trees
  • Scout¬†– Floss like a boss with this moss-green shimmer
  • Sonja¬†– A coral-based creme sets the red-hot stage for a pinup-worthy manicure
  • River¬†– Cry me a river…of happy tears with this shimmery blue

The others are also gorgeous, and if you’re just starting your collection, they’re wonderful ones to add to it.

The formulas on all the Zoya nail polishes in this collection are very consistent, which I appreciate. This is particularly great if you’re new to polish and need an easy-to-use polish that allows you to concentrate more on your painting technique rather than struggling with a lacklustre formula. (By the way, if you’re new to polish, WELCOME! Welcome to the highly addictive drop down the rabbit hole of colour, creativity and self-expression.) ūüôā

  • Lois¬†– Take the ‘grape’ escape this summer with this purple creme
  • Winnie¬†– Nails play ‘pink’-a-boo with this flirty light creme
  • Esty¬†– Crown your nails with a princess pink-creme tiara
  • Byrdie¬†– A little birdie told me this deep pink creme is to tweet for
  • Mandy¬†– Sweet shimmery berry pink that’s reminiscent of ribbon candy
  • Journey¬†– Orange-based red shimmer will take your nails on an adventure
  • Cora¬†– Orange cream is a tangerine dream
  • Sawyer¬†– Pale peach cream has pastel prowess

Did you pick up any of these? Which are your favourites? If you could add an extra colour to the Zoya Wanderlust Collection, what would it be?

See the rest of this post for a closer look at all twelve colours, as well as the official press release that gives you the colour story and more details.

Continue reading

Share

Essie Summer 2017 Collection Swatches & Review

Essie Summer 2017 Collection Swatches

It feels like forever and a day since I blogged on here. So much has happened behind the scenes.

After the recent passing of my best friend’s dad and someone else suffering a stroke that paralyzed half of her body, I was reminded of the importance of stopping to smell the flowers and appreciating little moments.

I’ve had my needed ‘Me Time,’ and now I’m ready to get back to blogging – it was sorely missed! However, going forward, I plan to have a more relaxed schedule to ensure that I don’t get burned out. (Despite concerned emails that I received in my absence, I want to assure you that I don’t have any intentions of abandoning my blog, which I worked so hard on. I will keep the fire burning brightly! Stay tuned – more swatches are coming. Lots of exciting new nail-polish collections have made their way to Swatch And Learn’s headquarters!) ūüėČ

Today, I’d love to share with you the¬†Essie Summer 2017 Collection, which officially launches on June 13!

This Parisian-inspired collection graces nails with six sweet shades ranging from pastel blue and pink foil to soft lilac and iridescent white.

My first impression was that the Essie Summer 2017 Collection reminded me more of traditional spring colours, but, if you’ve poked around my blog for a while, you should get the memo that I’m a big believer in wearing whatever you want, whenever you want. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to nail polish. Express yourself, and have fun!

I really love how mainstream companies are breaking away from “what’s expected” for a given season. It adds that ‘wild card,’ which I appreciate.

All of these swatches have two coats, except for the white, which has three coats. All of the nail polishes have easy-to-work-with formulas that glide on like a dream with David Beckham. Plus they are buildable, so you can cover the nail line.

My snapshot thoughts on each shade in the Essie Summer 2017 Collection:

  • √Čclair My Love – A red-hot creme for a Harlequin nail romance
  • Blue-La-La – A pastel blue creme that says ohh-la-la
  • Baguette Me Not – You won’t forget this soft lilac creme
  • Fondant of You – You’ll be fond of this shimmery apricot
  • S’il Vous Play – Celebratory pink foil that sparkles like a disco ball
  • Sweet Souffl√© – Iridescent white with the look of whipped cream

Continue reading

Share

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Bouquet of Tulips

This rainy evening, I came home to a thoughtful surprise! ūüôā

With a charming assortment of¬†imPRESS nails¬†and gorgeous tulips in a myriad of cheerful hues, it’s most certainly a¬†bouquet of beauty!

The imPRESS Press-on Manicure allows you to achieve the look of gel nails in a single step. In mere minutes (and without having to wait for polish to dry), it’s a great solution for those who are always busy and on-the-go.

The patented dual-layer SuperHold adhesive technology ensures solid manicure mileage, even through frequent hand washing. You won’t have to worry about fake nails flying across the dinner table like the escargot that Julia Roberts in¬†Pretty Woman¬†struggled to get out of the shell! ūüėČ

imPRESS nails retail for $9.99 CAD at Walmart, London Drugs, and Jean Coutu.

Tulips and Nails by imPRESS

Doesn’t this scream spring?

These tulips are from Tonic Blooms, a Toronto flower-delivery service.

(You can use the coupon code “KABLOOM” on their website to get 10% off one order. This is not an affiliate code. I don’t get any commission or benefit from sharing this, but I thought I’d let you know, in case you want to brighten up someone else’s day.)

Tulips and imPRESS Nails

The bow is a Kate Spade head scarf!

I love the gold detailing and the sophisticated-yet-playful print.

Years ago, I used to wear head scarves on a near-daily basis. It’s been a while since I’ve worn one, and this will quench the dry spell.

There’s a significant amount of denim used to wrap around the tulips. I’m planning on sewing a makeup bag with it.

Kate Spade Scarf

Kate Spade Head Scarf

A huge thank you to imPRESS and ROI Relations for bringing a huge smile to my face and for reminding me to stop and smell the flowers, no matter how busy I am! ūüėČ

Disclosure: This post contains press samples provided by PR.

Share

When Your Nails Match Your Yummy Gelato

CND Creative Play Amuse-Mint Playland Collection Fiasco Gelato

If you haven’t tried¬†Fiasco Lavender Vanilla Bean Small Batch Gelato, you’re missing out!

I’ve oinked my way through several flavours by Fiasco Gelato, and they’re all so delicious, you could easily finish the entire jar in a single sitting.

On my nails, I’m wearing¬†CND Creative Play Amuse-Mint from the Playland Collection.

(On the weekend, I swatched all the colours in the collection, and as soon as I have a chance to carefully put together a blog post, I’ll share photos with you! Thanks for your patience.)

Disclosure: This post contains a press sample provided by PR.

Share

Zoya Charming Collection Swatches & Review

Zoya Charming Collection Swatches

As polite as a curtsy in a 1900s ballroom and as captivating as a graceful ballerina’s fouett√©, in comes the¬†Zoya Charming Collection¬†for Spring 2017!

Surprisingly, although I’m a green lover, the purples (Abby, Tina and¬†Millie)¬†stole the show for me.

  • Abby is a great transition hue because the whisper-soft lavender is white-based and wintry, yet has enough saturation to keep the Easter bunny hopping.
  • Tina is a medium purple private dancer on your nails with a youthful spirit that’s simply the best when you need a pick-me-up.¬†(Bonus points for those who saw what I did there.)
  • Millie¬†is the showgirl in Vegas with an extravagant sequin mini dress accented with oversized feathers! In every lighting condition, this shimmery plum catches the light and takes centre stage without hesitation.
  • Amira¬†is reminiscent of the scales on a mermaid’s tail that shimmer softly yet with gusto as the sun kisses them with summer dreams.
  • Lacey¬†is a muted sage that twinkles like it’s full of little stars amidst a nail-polish sky. (Even if you’re not as big of a fan of green as I am, this could be your gateway green. Hehe!)
  • Jordan¬†is a bubblegum pink that has a princess personality. If it was a person, it would wear a seven-layer tulle ballgown with satin corset to the prom.

Let’s talk about the formula. It’s not always just about the colour. Substance versus beauty. Even though I’m willing to put in more effort for a tricky formula if the colour is a showstopper, the less effort I need to exert, the better.

I’m happy to report that the formula for all of these shades is great! They are easy to work with, and you can build up opacity quickly.

In all of my swatches, I used two coats of colour and no top coat. (For these quick collection swatches, I don’t use a top coat, so you can see the finish of the polish by itself. For future in-depth reviews on individual colours, I always wear a top coat, unless it’s a textured polish that’s designed to be worn solo, of course.)

I applied a thin first coat and then a generous second coat. The cremes are solid at this point. For the shimmers, you could apply a third coat if you want to intensify the colour, but I was very happy with the second coat.

See the rest of this post for a closer look at each swatch, as well as bottle shots and the official press release (to give you details about the colour story).

Continue reading

Share