Category Archives: Blog News

Blog News: I Attended the Inglot VIP Beauty Blogger Event Yesterday Evening

Inglot Toronto SwatchAndLearnI had the incredible opportunity to attend the exclusive Inglot VIP Beauty Blogger Event yesterday, and I have so much to tell you because it was chock-full of inspiration up the whazoo! (A makeup Picasso would go nuts at Inglots!)

No doubt you’ve read glowing reviews of Inglot makeup products on many beauty blogs. (I sure did!) Strange thing is that I never dabbled into Inglot makeup before, despite hearing rave reviews. Well, that all ends now because I think that I’m in love!

Haha, I bought stuff on Saturday and then during the VIP Beauty Blogger Event, I ended up buying more. (The makeup addiction is real, people!)

In case you didn’t know, Toronto has a new makeup gem at Yonge-Dundas Square. Yes, that’s right – Inglot’s only store in Canada is in the heart of downtown! How exciting is that? (For those who are local Torontonians like I am, it’s across from the H&M at the Toronto Eaton Centre, near the Hard Rock Cafe. This location is so convenient!)

Yonge-Dundas Square is full of life, and if you ever visit Toronto, it’s the place to go. There are always lots of things to see and cool events going on. Plus in the summer, I’ve seen free music concerts and public movie viewings. Trust me – you can’t get bored here! (If you do get bored, I think you should invest in a defibrillator. Haha!)

Especially after attending the Inglot VIP beauty blogger event yesterday, I feel that the location fits the brand’s image perfectly.

Inglot is a company with products made in Poland that takes it to the next level and doesn’t play it safe. I applaud them for thinking outside the box and for not following the flock. They put out so many different colours, so even if you want bright blue lipstick, you’ll find it here! (Later in this post, I’ll show you photos of blue lipsticks I found at the Inglot Toronto store.)

In the photo above, I’m standing beside the Inglot presidents, Marcin Bielen (left) and Silver Laus (right).

In addition to getting a tutorial by Asha Houghton featuring the new Inglot HD Perfect Cover Up Foundation, I also got to speak with Marcin Bielen in-depth about Inglot. (How many makeup company presidents do you know who will give you the time of day and actually chat with you one-on-one, treating you with respect instead of as your superior?) My conversation with Marcin quickly made me realize that Inglot is a company that’s doing things differently and better

Why better? They put customer service first. They treat everyone like they’re VIPs. Even bloggers like me who aren’t makeup artists or who don’t have tons of followers on social media get attention and are made to feel like we’re important and that our opinion counts! (More on this later.)

In this post, you’ll see tons of photos that I snapped during the event of Inglot makeup, and I’ll share my thoughts on everything I saw and learned! (This is a new-to-me brand, so I soaked it all up.)

Also, if you have any questions about Inglot, feel free to leave a comment and ask me. I will be more than happy to reach out to Inglot to get your questions answered!

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IMATS Toronto 2014 Recap

IMATS Toronto 2014 Recap PostI’m excited today to bring you my IMATS Toronto 2014 Recap!

As I announced in this blog post a few days ago, I attended IMATS Toronto 2014. (Click that link if you want more detailed background information.)

IMATS stands for International Make-up Artist Trade Show, and it’s an event presented by Make-up Artist Magazine that I’ve been going to every year since 2010, with the exclusion of 2013.

It’s open to anyone aged 17 or older, and you don’t have to be a makeup artist to purchase tickets.

So why do I attend IMATS when I’m not a makeup artist? Simple. I am a beauty-and-creative enthusiast who appreciates artistic inspiration and learning from thought leaders who not only think outside the box, but who break the box wide open.

I’m never disappointed in my trips to IMATS Toronto because it’s like a condensed version of going to summer camp, except everyone who’s there shares a similar passion for makeup, artistry, and an undeniable drive to do something different.

Although commercial beauty is lovely, it’s the editorial looks that inspire me on a whole other level, and IMATS Toronto gave me inspiration galore.

This year, I mainly went for the experience, to attend seminars, and to check out the competition. Those are my favourites, and the shopping is just secondary.

This blog post is photo-heavy, hehe, but if you’re a regular reader of Swatch And Learn, you know that it’s the usual here. I always like to share many photos.

When I participated in IMATS Toronto 2014, I took several photos along the way, which you may have seen on my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, especially. By providing live coverage during the event, it was my little way of taking my dear readers with me, so that you could see some of the exploding talent and get a glimpse into how amazing the experience was!

Since I brought both my smartphone and my DSLR camera, I snapped photos with both, and you’ll see a bunch more photos that didn’t make it onto my social media.

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Blog News: I’ll Be Attending IMATS Toronto 2014 Today

It’s that time again for IMATS Toronto 2014! :)

Every year, except for 2013, I attended IMATS (the International Make-Up Artist Trade Show). All the years I went, it was held in Etobicoke at the Toronto Congress Centre. Then, last year was the first time it was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. I’m very much looking forward to experiencing IMATS at the new venue!

IMATS Toronto 2014

Although makeup artists definitely attend, it’s also open to people like me – beauty enthusiasts. (Also, you have to be 17 or older to attend.)

It’s an opportunity to get great deals on makeup, brushes, and more from brands such as beautyblender, Eve Pearl, Kryolan, Make Up For Ever, Naked Cosmetics, NARS, and more!

But it’s not all about shopping. There are also student competitions, which are always inspiring and fun to watch, as well as seminars led by professionals in the makeup industry, so you can learn new techniques and tips. (I actually enjoy the seminars and competitions more than the shopping aspect because it’s neat to see the personality of industry greats.)

The people who are scheduled to hold seminars today are: Thomas E. Surprenant, Siân Richards, Eve Pearl, Kevin James Bennett, Randy Daudlin, Sébastien Tardif, Barney Burman, and Gina Bettelli.

IMATS is also a great place to network for bloggers. In past years, I’ve bumped into many beauty bloggers, and it’s nice to see familiar faces and people who share a similar passion.

Unfortunately, the general admission tickets for $45 CAD have already sold out for today, but the Pro-Card Tickets are still available, according to the IMATS website at the time I wrote this blog post. The general admission tickets are still available for tomorrow, though.

IMATS Toronto 2014 will be running this weekend only:

  • Saturday November 22 – 8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST
  • Sunday November 23 – 10:00 am to 5:00 pm EST

I’ll be taking some photos and possibly a few video clips and sharing them live during the IMATS Toronto 2014 trade show, so if you can’t make it and just want a little glimpse, please follow me on social media this afternoon.

I plan to post specifically to my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. (Although, I may also post on Google+ and Pinterest.)

Haha, since I already did a lot of damage during the Sephora VIB Sale, I probably won’t go buck-wild buying things, but I am on the lookout for a good fan brush to apply highlighter. And if there are really good deals on the beautyblender, I may have to stock up. I’m actually falling more and more in love with it since using it damp with the Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. (I’ll need to update that review to reflect my change of heart.)

I’m going to IMATS mainly for the experience and to learn some new trends and tips, not really for shopping. Because of this, when I post my recap post later, it’ll be more focused on that and less of a haul-type post.

P.S. If you see me there, I’ll be the one wearing freehand snowman nail art!

Whatever your plans are today, I hope you have a wonderful day! :) Thanks for stopping by Swatch And Learn!

Edit: In case you’d like to see some posts I did in the past about IMATS, please see below:


Blog News: I’m Attending the Contessa 2014 Awards Tonight

Happy Sunday, everyone!

I’ll be attending the Contessa 2014 Awards tonight, which will be hosted by Noah Cappe, the TV personality and host of Food Network Canada’s Carnival Eats!

(You may remember that last year, I attended and blogged about the awesome time I had at the Contessa 2013 Awards. Last year, there was a circus theme. This year, there’s an elemental theme – i.e. earth, air, fire, and water.)

Contessa 2014 Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards

The Contessa Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards celebrates 26 years of Canada’s top hair talent, and it’s a grand event taking place at the Westin Harbour Castle in downtown Toronto.

I’m not a hair professional, but PR was thoughtful and generous – they invited me to the event and provided me with a courtesy ticket for myself and my “date”. :) (Good thing, too, because earlybird tickets were sold for $175 CAD, and afterwards, leading up to the Gala night, you can buy a ticket for $200 CAD!)

A portion of the proceeds from the Contessa 2014 Awards ticket sales and corporate sponsorships go toward Look Good Feel Better, which is a national, non-profit organization that supports women living with cancer through workshops, which help improve self-image of women fighting cancer.

It includes cocktails, the awards show with artistic presentations, and dinner! There are going to be over 1,000 guests attending, so yes, it’s a big, elaborate event, and I’m looking forward to soaking it all up! (Learn more about the Contessa 2014 Gala.)

While the main stars of the show will be professional hairstylists, there will also be categories for makeup artists and nail artists.

Tonight, check me out on social media, especially Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, as I will do my best to post photos and video clips from the event live. (It’s my way of ‘taking you with me’ and sharing the experience, which is way more fun!)

Also, there will be an official Contessa 2014 Awards Webcast, sponsored by CND. This webcast begins at 7 pm EST.

The entire event is presented by Salon Magazine, and you can see from the image above that there are a lot of professional haircare companies who have sponsored the Contessa 2014 Awards.

I’ll do a recap blog post in the near future, so you can see more from photos of this event that don’t make it onto my social media.

Yup, I’ll be busy working on a bunch of recap blog posts for my lovely readers:

Please stay tuned for those, and be patient. As you know, I blog as a hobby, and these days after my full-time job, socializing, and doing personal projects, I come home feeling pretty exhausted. I’ll do my best to get the posts up as soon as I can. I hope you will find them worth the wait! :)

If you’re not familiar with the Contessa Awards, please continue reading the rest of this post because I’ve included the press release that PR provided me with. It includes background information.

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Blog News: I’m Attending the OPI Spring/Summer 2015 Media Launch Today

Suzi Weiss-Fischmann OPIHappy Hallowe’en, everyone! I hope that you have some fun plans tonight. (Hallowe’en is my favourite holiday!)

Yesterday, if you visited Swatch And Learn or followed me on my social media, you know that I got to enjoy a wonderful blogger dinner unveiling the Nicole by OPI Spring 2015 Collection!

Well, I hinted that the nail-news train would keep on chugging.

Guess what? I’m attending the OPI Spring/Summer 2015 Media Launch this morning, and Suzi will be there to talk about the creativity and inspiration behind it all. (Needless to say, I’m beyond excited! Maybe I should breathe into a brown paper bag to calm myself? Haha!) ;)

Keep your eyes glued to my social media this morning starting at around 11 am EDT because I’ll be sharing photos and more, especially on Twitter during the event! (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest)

As usual, I’ll be whipping up a detailed blog post in the near future covering the event to walk you through everything I see, hear, taste, and maybe smell! ;) (In case you didn’t see, it’ll be a post something like the one I wrote the first time I met Suzi, the second time, and the third time!) :)

Thanks to PR and to you, my encouraging and kindhearted readers. Without incredible readers like you, I wouldn’t have opportunities like this!

(Also, thanks to my boss for letting me take the day off work! I rarely take vacation days for relaxation. Haha, they’re always for things like meeting with people at the bank or the law firm to sign papers when I bought my home, unpacking after moving, helping my mom shop for a winter jacket, etc. Finally I took a vacation day that is relaxing and exciting at the same time!)

Edit: Click here to see my Quick Look post featuring OPI Hawaii Collection Swatches, Photos & the Press Release!


Blog News: I’m Attending the Nicole by OPI Spring 2015 Collection Launch Blogger Dinner Today

Nicole by OPI

I am honoured to have been invited to attend an exclusive blogger dinner tonight for the Nicole by OPI Spring 2015 launch!

A select few bloggers were chosen to participate in this intimate event, which makes it even more special. (It’s not every day that I get to chat with fellow bloggers!)

It’ll be nice to see some familiar faces and to meet new-to-me bloggers. We’ll all share the common thread, so it’ll be interesting to hear what they have to say about their experiences.

Not only will we be able to stuff our faces with what will no doubt be delicious cuisine, but we’ll get to chat about the latest Nicole by OPI Spring 2015 Collection!

Also, Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, the Co-Founder, Brand Ambassador, Executive VP, and Artistic Director of OPI will be answering any questions I have via e-mail after the event! Very cool – I’ll be sure to share my questions and her answers with you all in a future post.

If you have any questions that you’d like me to ask Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, please feel free to leave a comment here to let me know.

I’ll also be active on my social-media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest), but especially Twitter and Instagram, so follow me there to get my live tweets during the event and as many photos as I can take without looking like a paparazzi creep. ;)

You can also tweet any questions you have for Suzi:

If you tag me in the question, I’ll make sure that I include your question when I send my interview questions to Suzi.

Then, stay tuned, because I plan to write an in-depth post on the whole experience.

Thanks to PR for giving me this incredible opportunity! And a huge thank you to my blog readers. Without you, I wouldn’t have doors like this opening! You are so supportive and inspiring!

P.S. Stay tuned tomorrow because the nail-news train keeps on chugging! ;) Yup, I have more exciting things to share with you. Hint hint!


Worldwide Giveaway: OPI Don’t Speak 18K Gold Top Coat

OPI Don't Speak 18K Gold Top Coat GiveawayEdit (October 26, 2014 at 5:30 pm EDT): Congratulations, Katherine! You’ve won! Please reply to the e-mail I sent you within 48 hours to claim your prize.

Thanks to everyone for participating! (Stay tuned because really soon, I’m going to have another fun giveaway.)


Today is Canadian Thanksgiving, and I thought it was very fitting to have a surprise worldwide giveaway to remind my amazing blog readers of how much I appreciate you all.

From now until Friday October 24, 2014 at 11:59 pm EDT, you can enter for a chance to win the brand new OPI Don’t Speak 18K Gold Top Coat, which is a collaboration with Gwen Stefani! (You may remember me posting Instagram photos here and here.)

(OPI Don’t Speak features yellowish-gold flakes and iridescent glitter. The OPI Mariah Carey gold top coat has white gold flakes. The OPI Man with the Golden Gun gold top coat has yellowish-gold flakes. They’re all different.)

Blogging can be very challenging, especially when you’re going through personal or work issues and dealing with life’s obstacles. It can be hard to stay positive when you’re feeling crummy or having a bad day. But readers like you somehow manage to boost my spirits, and I take it to heart because it’s so amazing how people I’ve never met in person show me how much they genuinely care. It touches my heart!

The past week has been pretty insane after work, and you may have noticed that the posts weren’t as frequent as usual. (There’s always a lot going on, but that week was highly stressful and jam-packed.)

Thank you to my loyal readers who stayed and were patient and understanding! :)

I want to reciprocate all the love and support you give me, even though there’s no way I can match your sky-high level that you give me on a daily basis.

Check out the rest of this blog post to get the full details on how to enter my giveaway. (Please read it carefully so that your entry qualifies.)

P.S. I’ll be attending the IMATS (International Makeup Artist Trade Show) in Toronto on Saturday November 22, 2014. So, if you’re also going and see me, don’t hesitate to say hi! :) (The trade show is open to the public. You don’t have to be a makeup artist to attend. I’m not a makeup artist, but it’s fun to see the creativity and trends in the industry. Plus there are plenty of great shopping deals and seminars from which you can learn new tips and tricks from professionals!)

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