Author Archives: Mary S.

Pretty Serious The Singing Seed Swatches & Review (Layered Over OPI Amore at the Grand Canal)

Pretty Serious The Singing Seed Swatch Swatches

When I was a kid, I couldn’t resist shaking jingle bells when I was in craft stores. It would sometimes annoy my mom because I had the urge to not just ring one bell, but as many as I could get my grubby little hands on.

(I blame the classic Christmas film, It’s a Wonderful Life. Once I learned that every time a bell rings and an angel gets its wings, I wanted to ring all the bells, so that none of the angels would have to wait for their wings!) 😉

It’s that time of year when festive manicures are coming out in full force! With Christmas just a few weeks away, it’s time to start busting out the glitz and traditional combination of red and green.

I was already wearing OPI Amore at the Grand Canal from the Venice Collection, and the moment I laid eyes on Pretty Serious The Singing Seed, it was like the money-maker high E above middle C that launched Christina Aguilera’s singing career – it felt right in every way!

Pretty Serious The Singing Seed is a glitter topper that features short gold bar glitter, as well as green and gold glitter. It’s the ideal complement for any holiday reds that you already have in your nail wardrobe, taking them from everyday classic to Christmas classic with just a single coat.

P.S. I hope that my U.S. readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday and are having a fun and safe Black Friday today. (Here in Canada, we also have Black Friday deals! I’m going to keep my eyes peeled like a banana for something good. I’ve been thinking about upgrading my washer and dryer.)

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The Body Shop’s Black Friday Tote

The Body Shop Black Friday 2015

Today’s Black Friday, so I thought it was fitting to share with you The Body Shop Black Friday deal going on now until this Sunday.

Read on to learn how you can get The Body Shop Black Friday Tote plus goodies (valued at $100 CAD) for just $30 CAD!

Also, stay tuned later today because, in a few hours from now, I’ve scheduled a second blog post. It will feature a festive manicure and an in-depth review on Pretty Serious Cosmetics The Singing Seed from the Naileontology Collection!

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OPI Amore at the Grand Canal Swatches & Review

OPI Amore at the Grand Canal Swatches & Review

As we get closer to Christmas, I’m trying to wear more festive red nail polishes. It’s not that I don’t like reds other times of the year. It’s just that greens capture my heart. 😉

I’ve received numerous compliments about OPI Amore at the Grand Canal from the Venice Collection, and even though it’s a simple red creme nail polish, it just shows you that sometimes, simplicity is appreciated!

In the next little while, I plan to bring you some freehand nail art. I’m going to try painting some fun designs, so stay tuned.

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Zoya Giada Swatches & Review

Zoya Giada Swatches & Review

Zoya Giada should move in with The Royal Family because a dark, glossy purple this impressive deserves a crown and a majestic title like “Her Royal Grapeness, Concordia van Winereesa!” But, okay, Zoya Giada will do.

You know the feeling you get when you’re in the close proximity to a polish that you’re itching to wear? Your pupils dilate to focus on the sheer beauty, your palms get a little sweaty, and you even start to plan the next day’s outfit to complement your fresh manicure! (Any fellow nailphiles relate to this? Hehe!)

Giada was one of the nail polishes in the Zoya Flair Collection that caught my attention when I saw it in person.

While it’s dark and vampy, this purple doesn’t tip-toe into black or near-black territory. Instead, it frolics after hours with the fairies a few minutes before the stroke of midnight, so it remains purple and doesn’t sway to liquorice.

Yes, I saw them frolicking. I got in trouble for trying to Instagram the secret event.

They saw me peeking from behind a giant red-spotted mushroom in the enchanted forest, and the Fairyland Mayor (who wore the cutest olive-green suede jumper, by the way) approached me sternly, and told me to leave the premises. He said that the fairies’ rituals were not to be documented on Instagram, so unless I was a board member of the Secret Magical Society and had a rare press pass, I had better take my business elsewhere! 😉

He softened up a little when I told him that I blog for and when he learned that green was my favourite colour. (When he smiled, his cheeks bunched up, and I felt the urge to pinch them, but wisely refrained from doing so.) He said that in order to preserve the magic of nail polish, I had to leave.

So…just trust me when I say that there’s magic in every bottle of nail polish! 😉 Hehe!

P.S. Remember, the Zoya Black Friday promotion is still going on until November 30! If you want some colour inspiration, click here to see all the Zoya nail polishes I’ve featured on my blog.

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Zoya Black Friday Deals 2015

Zoya Black Friday Deals 2015

Zoya has some of the best and most consistent nail-polish formulas on the market, and if you browse Swatch And Learn, you’ll know that I’ve tested out many lacquers over the years.

After snapping a quick photo showing a few of the Zoya nail polishes in my collection, I put together this post to share some huge nail news!

The Zoya Black Friday Deals for 2015 are live, and if you’ve ever wanted to get your hot little hands on these polishes, now’s the optimal time! Plus these deals make your holiday shopping a cinch, if you have a nail enthusiast on your list.

Since there are limited quantities, be quick on the draw, and shop before November 30, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST, or risk missing out. Once they’re gone, they’re gone!

For all of the below, use the coupon code “DEALS” to get both:

  • The special offer
  • Free shipping

Here are all of the Zoya Black Friday Deals available at the time of preparing this blog post:

Need some colour inspiration?

Check out all the Zoya nail polishes I’ve featured on the blog!

Happy shopping, and happy polishing!


Q & A with Cris Urena, the New Face of Maybelline New York

Cris Urena

This month, Dominican-American fashion model, Cris Urena was named the new face of Maybelline New York.

You probably recognize her, as she appeared in several publications including Elle, CR Fashion Book, Muse, W Magazine, and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue (as one of their 2014 rookies). Additionally, she has appeared in advertising campaigns for Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Ralph Lauren, and Topshop, while walking the runways for DKNY, Phillip Lim, and Rag & Bone.

She grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts and moved to the United States when she was in elementary school.

As a teenager in high school, Cris Urena volunteered at local nursing homes and hospitals. This is where she developed her passion for nursing, and it’s what motivated her to study that in school.

Although she was enrolled in nursing school and aspired to become a nurse, her path was about to change.

One of her friends sent Cris’ pictures to a modelling agency. The New York City agency contacted her, and Cris decided to pursue a career in modelling and relocated to New York City in 2011.

See the rest of this post for an insightful Q & A with Cris Urena, which shows you her personality and her style!

My favourite response that she gave during the interview was when she described what makes a woman beautiful: “A woman is beautiful when she is confident with herself and shows her happiness from within.”

Also, I’ve included the official press release about her being the new face of Maybelline.

All the information and photos in this post were provided to me by Maybelline Canada‘s PR.

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FedoraHarp Chocolate Gold Rush Swatches & Review (Layered Over Zoya Giada)

Fedoraharp Chocolate Gold Rush Swatches & Review

While wearing a gorgeous purple, I felt like dressing it up with some bling. (Sometimes you need sparkly tips to bring out your inner diva.)

FedoraHarp Chocolate Gold Rush is an indie nail polish that’s full of glitter, giving nails the Midas Touch!

Here, I used one coat over Zoya Giada, and you can see how FedoraHarp Chocolate Gold Rush is densely packed enough to satisfy your desire for sparkle, but it’s also not full coverage, so the base colour can say, “Peek-a-boo!”

FedoraHarp nail lacquer is hand-mixed by the talented Leah, who also is a Swatch And Learn reader! (Be sure to check out her Etsy store – she ships worldwide from Israel. Also, you can place requests for custom creations, which I think is awesome because you could get polish to commemorate an important occasion or give it to a special nailphile.)

P.S. To celebrate an exciting milestone of 200 Likes on FedoraHarp’s Facebook page, Leah is having an awesome giveaway for nail polish and jewelry. (It ends November 24th, 2015.) Check it out, and shower her with support!

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