Author Archives: Mary S.

L’Oréal Le Vernis à l’Huile Violet de Nuit Swatches & Review

L'Oreal Colour Riche Le Vernis a l'Huile Violet de Nuit Swatches Review

L’Oréal Le Vernis à l’Huile Violet de Nuit comes from a new line that launched this month, which features over 20 shades. (A handful of additional colours will be coming out in November 2016.)

The line  boasts the first oil-based nail colour that contains Rose Oil, Lotus Bloom Oil, Camellia Seed Oil, and Argan Oil, all of which help to enhance the colour depth.

The L’Oréal Le Vernis à l’Huile nail polishes come in a unique rectangular bottle with a beveled design that’s aligned with the brand’s elegant branding.

The Flexor brush has wide, rounded bristles, which is particularly handy if you have wide nail beds and want to cover more surface area with a single stroke. (According to the press release, there are 440 soft bristles.)

This sultry deep purple creme was the first of all the L’Oréal Le Vernis à l’Huile nail polishes that I wore as a full manicure.

Here’s what I thought of the colour, formulation, and patented brush.

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Hard Candy Spring/Summer 2016 Event Recap

Hard Candy Swatch And Learn

Back in March, I had the pleasure of attending an exclusive Hard Candy Spring/Summer Preview, which was located at The Richmond in Toronto’s Fashion District.

If you follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Snapchat (username: swatchandlearn), you got to see a few photos and/or videos that I published in real time.

This blog post contains many more photos that I snapped with my phone, so you can feast your eyes on all the makeup goodies.

The displays show a sprinkling of older and newer products from editorial lip colours to strobing kits.

Thanks to PR, not only did I have a great time checking out the latest Hard Candy products, but I was excited to receive a swag bag from them that was filled with makeup!

Before I get into the Hard Candy products, I want to give a special shoutout to Tami (@tamielsombati on Instagram), a makeup artist who I met at the event. She’s the gorgeous woman standing next to me in the above photo. (She shows lots of her work on her Instagram.)

Tami was extremely sweet and helpful, answering my questions and giving me loads of valuable tips and tricks. I always find it refreshing when I meet talented people who are still down-to-earth and nice. (She even complimented me on my skin and my makeup, which made me feel on top of the world!)

Hard Candy is available exclusively at Walmart, and if you want to read up on more specific information on each item, check out the Hard Candy website.

Hard Candy Spring Summer 2016

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Zoya Cece Swatches & Review

Zoya Cece Swatches Review

Who says that it isn’t easy being green?

It’s the first day of summer – go green!

Kick up your heels, and indulge your nails in Zoya Cece from the Seashells Collection. It’s the lime zest that gives your manicure a zing like sipping on a refreshing, cold mojito at a patio party!

With its fine PixieDust finish, Zoya Cece comes to life with a burst of matte citrus sparkle and a fun texturized finish.

This is a great green to wear because it is lively and has delicate gold woven into the mix. Together, the colourful duo is a match made in leprechaun heaven, but don’t wait until St. Patrick’s Day to pull this treasure out!

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Happy Father’s Day

Father's Day 2016

This is a photo that I took of my dad around 2000 or 2001. (Unlike me with an extremely heavy eyeglass prescription, my dad had excellent eyesight, even in his 70s. He only needed glasses for reading, and his prescription was very light.)

Today’s post is my annual tribute to my dad for Father’s Day. He passed away in 2010. He had an aneurysm and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, but didn’t make it out of the ER. Needless to say, it was devastating, and it all happened so quickly that you couldn’t prepare for this tragedy.

I had a very close and loving relationship with my father, which is why I continue to write about him each year. Sometimes, I sprinkle memories about him in my usual beauty posts, too.

(You can read the previous posts about my dad that I published on the blog in 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012. For those who are only interested in my nail or beauty blog posts, things will be going back to usual in the coming week.)

I almost can’t believe that it has already been six years. Time flies, whether or not you’re having fun. But life isn’t always about having fun and the good times. It’s about growing and learning, as well as having the courage to pick yourself up and carry on, even when your instinct is to curl up in a fetal position.

Each year that I sit down to prepare a Happy Father’s Day post, it’s always a struggle where I’m fighting back tears and thinking about aborting the task several times.

But the drive to honour my father propels me, and I remind myself that I have already accomplished tasks that I previously thought were impossible. (What you are capable or incapable of doing is up to you.)

For instance, when my father passed away, the last thing I wanted to do was to write a eulogy. Emotions were high, and the act of writing seemed trivial at a time when my world was caving in.

But I did it. And I read it aloud to friends and family during the visitation at the funeral home because I wanted to honour my dad’s life, his legacy, and what his love for me meant.

I also was one of the pallbearers.

If I can do that, then I can certainly do this.

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Misa Queens of Summer Collection Swatches

Misa Queens of Summer Collection Swatches

Crown vivid colour with the Misa Queens of Summer Collection that has a pop of colour to make the mercury rise!

Be a queen for a day…or more! 😉

From a sweet peach to a bubblegum pink, the Misa Queens of Summer Collection has brilliant shades that spell summery vacation!

As expected, the Misa formula was wonderful to paint with, and I used only two coats of colour for all the quick swatches. The nail polishes were pigmented and smooth, and as you can see, they are glossy on their own. (However, to maximize your manicure mileage, it’s always a good idea to wear a base coat and a top coat.)

This collection is available to purchase from the Misa Cosmetics website and Trade Secrets. (If you order from the Misa website, you can get free shipping on orders over $30 USD when shipping to Canada or the United States.)

Check out the Misa Queens of Summer Collection press release that I published earlier for the details on this collection, and view the rest of this post for collection swatches and bottle shots.

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Misa Pastel Me All About It Collection Swatches

Misa Pastel Me All About It Collection Swatches

The Misa Pastel Me All About It Collection for Spring 2016 contains a slew of soft shades to make your nails whisper oh-so-sweetly. But, as you can see from my collage above, there’s one colour that can’t help stealing the limelight!

Typically, pale hues tend to be streaky, but I was incredibly impressed with the formula of all of these because even the lightest shade was extraordinarily pigmented and streak-free!

I applied a thin first coat, and I was surprised how well it covered right off the bat. Then, I added a second coat out of habit.

The Misa Pastel Me About It Collection gets a solid A+ on the beauty report card because they all apply like a dream with minimal effort needed.

Their formula is forgiving, as it remains wet enough, so you can run your brush over the same area several times to ensure that you get even coverage and achieve your best manicure!

Tiger Lily (coral) and Fairy Dust (periwinkle) are my two favourites because I enjoyed the contrast against my skin.

This collection is already available to purchase from the Misa Cosmetics website and Trade Secrets. (If you order from the Misa website, take advantage of their offer for free shipping on Canadian and US orders over $30 USD!)

See the rest of this post for my swatches of all six colours, as well as bottle shots.

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CND Craft Culture Collection Swatches

CND Craft Culture Collection Swatches

A few days ago, I shared with you my CND Craft Culture Collection preview event recap and the press release.

Today, I’m excited to show you swatches of the CND Craft Culture Collection, which officially launches in July at Trade Secrets, Chatters, and

There are eight CND Vinylux shades in total, and those are the ones you’ll see. (For nail enthusiasts who enjoy stretching the manicure mileage even further, note that there are six corresponding CND Shellac nail polishes. Only Brass Button and Fern Flannel are exclusive to the Vinylux line.)

The formula on the CND Craft Culture Collection Vinylux nail polishes were wonderful, as I only needed two coats of each to get full coverage.

I was particularly impressed with the opacity of Blue Denim (blue) and Brick Knit (red/orange creme). The coverage was incredible, even with one very thin coat!

A special mention also goes out to Hand Fired (shimmery red/orange) and Fern Flannel (shimmery teal) because they come to life on the nails.

The darkest colour in the bunch, Oxblood, was watery compared to the others, but it wasn’t difficult to apply. Just make sure that you don’t overload your brush, and you’re golden.

CND Craft Culture Collection

As usual, when it comes to quick collection swatches, I did not wear a base or top coat, so you can see what the finish is like on its own.

Of course, when you’re wearing a nail polish as a regular manicure, make sure that you always wear a base coat and use a trusty top coat to maximize the wear time and appearance.

CND makes a special top coat to be used with the Vinylux polishes: the Weekly Top Coat. It is designed to improve the durability with the exposure of natural light over time. (If you don’t have this top coat, it’s not a deal breaker. I’ve used my regular top coat with Vinylux nail polishes in the past, and it has worked fine, too.)

The nail technician from the CND Craft Culture Collection preview event reshaped my nails into almonds, and here’s a closer look at the ripped-jeans nail art she created using CND Shellac nail polishes, Cream Puff and Denim Patch, as well as two CND Additives pigments.

CND Craft Culture Nail Art

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