Category Archives: Product Reviews

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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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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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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Zoya Yves Swatches & Review

Zoya Yves Swatches & Review

Some things that are fast: Usain Bolt as he gloated towards the finish line, buttery popcorn that sounds like mini fireworks in the microwave, and Zoya Yves, a too-cool-for-school blue nail polish from the Matte Velvet Collection!

If you’re ever in a pinch and need to slap on some quick colour that dries quickly before you rush out the door, Zoya Yves is a good choice. (It’s designed to be worn without a top coat.)

There’s just one thing that you should be aware of. What’s that? Find out later in this post!

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Pray for Paris & Pray for the Entire World

Pray for Paris

In the wake of the Paris attacks that continue to cause devastation, tearing apart loved ones suddenly and unexpectedly and bringing fears of uncertainty to the surface, my heart and prayers go out to the families who are picking up the pieces. (You are strong, even if you don’t feel like you are.)

Violence against innocent civilians goes against a cardinal rule of life – The Golden Rule. It reminds us that we are vulnerable and that we are mortal.

This tragedy affects the entire world, not only the Parisians who were hit the hardest. It’s a time when people may begin to question their faith, their future, and their fears.

Terrorist attacks scare me because you never know when or where they’re going to happen or even if the casual passerby will be behind some evil scheme. But you can’t mentally torture yourself with these thoughts on a daily basis, or you’ll become paranoid and blind to living your life.

There are an alarming number of fatalities, people who were injured, and many who are in critical condition. It’s enough to make your head spin because innocent lives were destroyed.

At times like these, it is incredibly challenging to see any silver lining, but we must push ourselves.

Now, more than ever, it’s important for us to promote love and peace because we should try to never let go of hope. (Hope is one of the few things that can help us survive even the worst situations. It’s like a secret weapon that’s not-so-secret because we all have the power to tap into it.)

Even when corruption runs rampant, a kernel of light will always exist. For instance, it touched my heart when I read about the brave and loving Parisians who lined up for hours to donate blood, even though the French government instructed civilians to remain indoors for safety.

I believe that these are our everyday heroes, the people who selflessly make a difference in the lives of strangers. They don’t get medals or awards. They don’t need or want those. They’re doing it because they feel that it’s the right thing to do, and that unconditional love is a miraculous gift we need to appreciate and seek inspiration from.

The power of the human spirit to rise above adversity is a real-life story that I always want to hear and, if possible, participate in.

Even if you don’t donate blood (some can’t, due to their health condition), you can still promote the message of love and peace.

We all must do our part to ensure that hope’s flame continues to burn brightly.

Pray for Paris, but also pray for the entire world.


Zoya Hannah Swatches & Review

Zoya Hannah Swatches & Review

When I went to the Contessa Awards 2016 on the Sunday that just passed, I wore Zoya Hannah from the Focus Collection. (Yes, 2016, not 2015. No, I didn’t go ‘back to the future,’ Marty McFly…although just drop the ‘t’ and you’ll get MARY McFly. It has a ring to it, don’t you think?) 😉

Red is a nail colour that isn’t my first pick in the bunch, but I’ll occasionally get the strong urge to wear a spicy red, especially closer to Christmas.

If you followed me on my social media, particularly Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat (under the username ‘swatchandlearn’), you’ll remember that for the Contessas, I wore all black, except for my gold statement necklace.

I reserved the pop of red for my lips with MAC RiRi Woo (which is extremely close to MAC Ruby Woo), and for my nails with Zoya Hannah.

As I get older (“Hand me my cane there, Sonny Boy!”), I find myself enjoying the combination of black and gold in my wardrobe a lot because wearing bright and bold lip and/or nail colours becomes more dramatic!

While in the car in the parking lot, about to walk over to the Westin Harbour Castle for the Contessa Awards, my friend, who I invited to join me, noticed my red nail polish. Haha, he’s not the type of guy to comment on nail polish (at least not with me), so I was somewhat surprised that Zoya Hannah caught his eye. (I say ‘somewhat’ because the colour red is psychologically known to attract attention. That’s why you’ll notice it strategically used for call-to-action prompts in marketing campaigns.)

He grabbed my hand and inspected my nails suddenly and unexpectedly. (Whenever people do that, whether they’re friends or strangers, I always feel shocked. I’ll never get used to that, and I never grab people’s hands, unless I’ve asked first.)

After studying each nail at an unforgiving three-inch distance, he asked me if they were press-on nails! Hahahahahaha! I laughed so hard and told him that they are my natural nails. He replied, “But they’re all so perfect!” He looked at me like I was telling a tall tale before carefully inspecting my nails again.

I told him that there are most definitely imperfections. And, as I always tell my readers, it’s not about being perfect. It’s about being happy, trying your best, and learning how to get better! :) (I don’t really believe in anything being ‘perfect’ because I don’t believe that anyone should stop trying to improve.)

I’m sure that if he were to look at the photos in today’s blog post that are magnified to larger-than-life proportions, he’d easily see the flaws on each nail…and I am totally comfortable with it.

P.S. If you haven’t already entered, you still have until Friday November 13, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST to participate in my Canadian giveaway for your chance to win 12 Hard Candy nail polishes!

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