Category Archives: Makeup Reviews

Zoya Cream Lipstick Swatches & Review (Candy & Mellie)

Zoya Candy Lipstick Zoya Mellie Lipstick

Zoya’s claim to fame is their ever-growing collection of nail polishes, but did you know that they also offer lipsticks?

They have a solid formula for their nail polishes, but I was curious to see how their lipsticks would fare.

Zoya Candy Lipstick and Zoya Mellie Lipstick both have cream finishes and were released with the Zoya Seashells & Sunsets Collection for Summer 2016.

(Click the link to see the official press release that includes the lipsticks and the nail polishes. Interested in just the nail polishes? See my Zoya Seashells Collection swatches and Zoya Sunsets Collection swatches.)

Something about the Zoya lipsticks surprised me. What was it? There’s only one way to find out. Check out the rest of this post for all the details.

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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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Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette Swatches & Review

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea

The limited-edition Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette exclusive to Sephora is a palette that called out to me because neutral eye looks have become my everyday staples.

Years ago, I was all about colourful eyes, but as I began wearing bold and bright lipsticks, I opted for neutral eyes to balance things out. It’s interesting how tastes can change over time.

I’m a fan of Tarte’s eyeshadows. The Tarte Tartelette In Bloom Eyeshadow Palette houses my most-reached-for eyeshadows and the Tarte Tartelette Eyeshadow Palette is my second favourite.

Since I had such a great experience with the quality, performance, and packaging of those, I felt compelled to try out the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette. (It also didn’t hurt that it has a summery design with cute packaging!)

When it comes to eyeshadows, I have to be extremely picky, and I must read the ingredients list thoroughly (including the ‘may contain’ section). This is because I’m allergic to one popular eyeshadow ingredient. However, oddly, that ingredient only affects me when it comes into contact with my eyelids and/or face, but not with my nails when it’s in nail polish. (Thank goodness…because it’s also a popular ingredient in nail polish!)

After checking the ingredients list of the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette several times, I was so happy to see the ‘villainous’ ingredient was nowhere to be found. This meant that I could use all the colours – yay!

I’ve been trying out this palette for several weeks, and this post contains my thoughts, as well as if I think this palette is worth hunting down.

On my nails: OPI Rich Girls & Po-Boys from the New Orleans Collection.

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blinc Mascara Amplified, Eyebrow Mousse, Eye Shadow Primer & Eyeliner Pencil Quick Look

blinc eye cosmetics makeup

I ate my blinc mascara! 

(Hehe, don’t worry – it was a designer cookie created by Hello Baked. I haven’t gone completely bonkers. Just a little bit…)

Are you a beauty enthusiast? If so, blink once. Love eye-makeup products? If so, then ‘blinc’ twice!

Designed to enhance your beauty and play up the windows to your soul, blinc eye makeup promises to offer long-lasting wear, yet ease of removal. Create beautiful eye looks in a ‘blinc!’

You’ve probably seen blinc cosmetics praised in many major beauty publications including print magazines like Allure, Marie Claire, and Oprah.

Founded in 1999 by Lewis Farsedakis, blinc has continuously ranked as one of America’s fastest-growing private companies on the Inc. 5000 list. Its headquarters are in Florida, and the brand focuses solely on innovating eye products. (They created the world’s first tube-forming mascara and eyebrow mousse.)

blinc cosmetics has a fresh take on eye makeup. Instead of allowing you to make a mutually exclusive choice between long-lasting wear or easy removal, their products offer the best of both worlds!

You can find blinc cosmetics at, Sephora stores, and

These four products in the blinc Discovery Collection landed at Swatch And Learn headquarters recently:

  • blinc Mascara Amplified (Black)
  • blinc Eyebrow Mousse (Light Brunette)
  • blinc Eye Shadow Primer (Light Tone)
  • blinc Eyeliner Pencil (Black)

After I test-drive all of them substantially, I’ll prepare an in-depth review. In the meantime, I want to share this post that contains a quick look at each product, swatches (at the very bottom of the page), and more information.

blinc Mascara Eyeshadow Primer

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Maybelline Master Precise Skinny Gel Liner Pencil (Defining Black) Review

Maybelline Master Precise Skinny Gel Liner Pencil Black

One of the newest gel liners to hit the drugstore is the Maybelline Master Precise Skinny Gel Liner Pencil, shown here in the Defining Black shade.

With its 1.8mm micro tip and automatic-pencil construction, it promises to be always sharp and to deliver a smooth gel intensity to help you define the windows to your soul.

I’ve been playing around with the Maybelline Master Precise Skinny eyeliner since late December (ahead of the January launch in Canada), thanks to PR. (I also have the other shades that it comes in: Sharp Brown and Defining Charcoal, but I decided to do the in-depth review on Defining Black, since black is what I wear most often.)

See the rest of this post for additional photos, as well as my detailed observations on this new drugstore eyeliner.

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Maybelline Creamy Mattes Lipstick Swatches, Quick Review & Press Release (NEW Limited Edition Shades for 2015)

Maybelline Creamy Mattes Lipsticks Review

Like nail polish, lipstick is a quick and easy way to change up your look, coordinate with an outfit, or make a statement that ends with more exclamation marks than a campy episode of Batman featuring Adam West punching villains in the nose. ZOWIE! BAM! ZAP!

I’m a fan of the Maybelline ColorSensational The Creamy Mattes that I’ve tried before (Touch of Spice is one of my favourites), so you can imagine how thrilled I was to try their 8 new limited-edition shades.

The United States already had them for a while, but they’re officially set to launch in Canada starting October 27, 2015. Circle your calendars, and get ready for the drugstore dash!

This post contains a quick look at the new Maybelline lipstick shades: Clay Crush, Nude Nuance, Blushing Pout, Rich Ruby, Electric Pink, Pink N Chic, Vibrant Violet, and Burgundy Blush.

I’ve swatched them on my arm and on my lips, so you can see the formula in action.

This is the first time that I’ve swatched 8 lipsticks in a single photo session. (I did it while listening to Justin Trudeau give his victory speech on Monday night on TV.) After applying and removing each lipstick, I was expecting my lips to feel raw by the end, but surprisingly, they didn’t! To me, that speaks volumes about its great formulation.

My bare lips were on the dry side to begin with, but I resisted the urge to reach for a lip balm because I wanted to show you what the formula looks like when you don’t exfoliate, prep your lips, and do a belly dance to appease the lip gods.

(Clearly, I’m not afraid of showing unedited, larger-than-life photos where you can see the natural lines. I’m not afraid of showing my true colours and stripes, so why hesitate with lip lines?)

I was so impressed with how creamy and lightweight they felt, and I will be wearing all of the colours again, except for the bright pinks. (There’s nothing wrong with those, but they don’t suit my personal taste nowadays.)

I may do a review on some shades on the blog or Instagram, so I can go into detail about the wear time after I’ve tested each out individually for longer.

Also, in case you were wondering, the lipsticks have the same frosted red-toned brown lid that the original Maybelline Creamy Mattes have. (The photos in this post are all of the lipsticks going topless. Oh, how scandalous!) 😉

Vibrant Violet, Rich Ruby, and Burgundy Blush are my favourite colours out of the bunch. (You have to carefully apply Vibrant Violet and Burgundy Blush to get an even application, but those shades are worth it.)

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Maybelline Color Blur Matte Pencil Lip Swatches & Review

Maybelline Color Blur Matte Pencil Swatches Review

In early June, I got to wear all 10 of the new Maybelline Color Blur Matte Pencils that were released this August in Canada, thanks to PR sending me these and other Maybelline goodies!

In the above collage, I show 9 of them, but in this post, I’ll show you all 10 and let you know my thoughts on the general formula and packaging, as well as each shade.

If you follow me on social media, you already saw these lip swatches, but since I realize that not all my readers use social media, I decided to post them here. 🙂

Which one do you like the most? My favourite is funnily enough the first one I ever wore – Berry Misbehaved!

As you know, I don’t post too many photos of myself (excluding my nails, of course), so this was a lot of selfies that I snapped with my phone.

I wore one colour each day I went to work, so that’s why the lighting is different. Sometimes I faced the window, other times I relied on office lighting, and some days were really sunny or dim. I didn’t swatch them. Each of them I wore for the entire work day and into the night until I washed up and went to bed.

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