Author Archives: Mary S.

Zoya Thrive Collection Swatches & Review

Zoya Thrive Collection Swatches Review

Nails get hopping with Easter-Bunny-approved shades from the Zoya Thrive Collection that resemble sweet treats!

Fill your nail basket with the cremes, shimmers and a topper from the Zoya Thrive Spring 2018 Collection.

Which ones would I highly recommend? Which have that classic and effortless Zoya formula I’ve come to expect and love? See the rest of this post to find out!

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Zoya Party Girls Collection Swatches & Review

Zoya Party Girls Collection Swatches Review

The Zoya Party Girls Collection was released last year for the winter/holiday season, but, at the time of preparing this blog post, it’s still readily available on Zoya’s website.

My manicure philosophy? Enjoy wearing whatever colours make your heart flutter whenever you want. Who cares if it’s from last year? Don’t let seasonal norms and beauty conventions hold you back from sporting a shade you love or want to experiment with! If you want to wear neons in the winter, do it. If you want to wear a brooding shade in the summer, go for it!

The Zoya Party Girls Collection features twelve shades that I feel virtually anyone could pull off. These are what I think lots of people would consider shades in their comfort zone and would reach for multiple times because they’re just so easy to wear.

As with the vast majority of Zoya nail polishes that I’ve tried, these are no exception: the formulas are wonderful and easy to apply. To achieve full opacity, I needed two coats for all colours, except for one. Which one? I tell you later on in this post! 😉

Purple Power:

  • Isadora: you’ll “adora” this magenta-based plum with a subtle pearl effect
  • Landon: this aubergine cream nail polish has landed…on your nails
  • Delaney: nails walk down the lane with a soft purple metallic refrain
  • Danielle: I scream. You scream. We all scream for this rich purple cream!

Red Zone:

  • Fallon: a pearly violet magenta that I wish was named after Jimmy Fallon
  • Ming: you’ll be the lady in red (or the fella in red) with this scarlet beauty
  • Sheri: nails, stay classy, but steal the spotlight, with this garnet-red cream

The Others:

  • Nadia: bring a little sparkle wherever you go with this gingery gold metallic topper
  • Tawny: skip The Hunger Games and play Catching Fire with this coppery rose
  • Solstice: nails get fruity with this persimmon-orange soft metallic
  • Kelsey: on Wednesday (or any day), we wear a cute pink-cream polish
  • Blake: cloak your nails in mystery with this near-black blue with subtle olive-green shimmer

See the rest of this blog post for individual swatches of each of the 12 colours in the Zoya Party Girls Collection!

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Essie Winter 2017 Collection Swatches & Review

Essie Winter 2017 Collection Swatches

I hope that 2018 is treating you well and that the New Year is full of adventures, challenges and learning opportunities.

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. The other day, I was going through my old computer files and came across some swatches I took last year of the Essie Winter 2017 Collection. While this isn’t the newest collection, I still thought it was worth sharing, especially because the formula on these is fantastic!

All these swatches of the Essie Winter 2017 Collection are two easy coats per colour. I was able to achieve full opacity, and the shine on these is undeniable.

My favourites are On Your Mistletoes (blue), New Year, New Hue (plum) and Ring in the Bling (shimmery red). They’re the bold and the beautiful.

These are the six shades in the Essie Winter 2017 Collection:

  • New Year, New Hue – Beat the nail drum for this saturated plum.
  • Be Cherry! – A retro red that you’ll love ‘cherry’ much!
  • On Your Mistletoes – Tip-toe towards this bold blue.
  • Social-Lights – A unique soft grey with a warm, autumnal shimmer.
  • Suit & Tied – This dusty peach is muted, sophisticated and easy to wear.
  • Ring in the Bling – Set your nailphile heart on fire with this flaming red.

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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! 😉

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.

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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! 😀

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.

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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. 😉

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.) 🙂

  • 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.

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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!) 😉

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:

  • Éclair 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 Soufflé – Iridescent white with the look of whipped cream

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