Category Archives: Makeup Reviews

Hard Candy Look Pro! Illuminate & Strobing Mix-in Drops Review

Hard Candy Look Pro Illuminate and Strobing Mix-in Drops

When I attended the Hard Candy event back in March, one of the goodies I received in my swag bag to test out was the Hard Candy Look Pro! Illuminate & Strobing Mix-in Drops!

It’s one of the first liquid highlighters that I’ve ever tried, and its selling point is the multiple ways you can incorporate it into your beauty routine.

Customize the effect to your taste by adding as many or as few drops to your favourite foundation or moisturizer.

It can also be used at its full potency and blended directly onto your cheekbones with the warmth of your fingertips or a damp beautyblender.

How did this affordable liquid highlighter perform? There’s only one way to find out!

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Tarte Grav3yardgirl Swamp Queen Eye & Cheek Palette Swatches & Review

Tarte Grav3yardgirl Swamp Queen Palette Review

Like magical gator wings, the Tarte Grav3yardgirl Swamp Queen Eye & Cheek Palette has been flying off shelves, as it is easily one of the most sought-after makeup launches this summer.

The palette contains:

  • Nine eyeshadows
  • A bronzer
  • A blush
  • A highlighter
  • An eye-makeup brush

A powerhouse collaboration between YouTube personality, Bunny Meyer (aka Grav3yardgirl) and Tarte combine for makeup madness (in a good way)!

(Previously, I reviewed and swatched the Tarte Tarteist Texas Toast Lip Paint. Check out that blog post for my thoughts on Grav3yardgirl. I wrote quite a lot about her there, so I won’t be repeating it here.)

Those in the United States could find the Tarte Grav3ywardgirl Swamp Queen palette in some ULTA and Macy’s stores. My fellow Canadians were only able to track it down on Sephora’s website, however it’s now out of stock.

If you’re a Swamp Family member or a beauty junkie looking to add Tarte Swamp Queen to your makeup collection, don’t worry. You still have a shot of getting your hands on it, as it will officially debut in Sephora stores tomorrow (July 8)!

I decided to review the Tarte Grav3yardgirl Swamp Queen Eye & Cheek Palette in-depth today in case it helps you decide whether or not this is something worth splurging on.

See the rest of this post for photos of the palette, close-ups of each colour, swatches of everything, and my thoughts on the formula and packaging.

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Grav3yardgirl x Tarte Tarteist Texas Toast Lip Paint Swatches & Review

Grav3yardgirl Tarte Tarteist Texas Toast Lip Paint Review

The Roast Yourself Challenge is the latest trend, and while I am a fan of the clever and punny Ryan Higa (aka nigahiga on YouTube) who started it, this beauty junkie is sticking to the Texas Toast Yourself Challenge. What? You haven’t heard of that one? Probably because I just made it up now. 😉

Raise your cup of sweet tea, and give a toast to Texas Toast!

Grav3yardgirl x Tarte Tarteist Texas Toast Lip Paint is a collaboration between the brand that creates my favourite everyday eyeshadow palettes and a popular YouTuber, Bunny Meyer (aka grav3yardgirl), who is in her 30s and has over seven million subscribers.

The Tarte Tarteist Texas Toast Lip Paint stirred up a frenzy in the beauty community, as fans and makeup enthusiasts scrambled to get their hands on one of three items in the collection. (The collection also includes the Swamp Queen Eye & Cheek Palette with brush and another Lip Paint called Swamp Family that’s red and an online exclusive, which sold out in a flash.

Nudes aren’t usually my thing, but since it was more of a muted mauve than something that resembled a concealer, I decided to give it a try. (Spoiler: Turns out, I enjoy it and found that it works very well with the warm, smoky eye look I created using the coordinating Swamp Queen palette. By the way, in the selfie above, I’m also wearing the eye shadows, blush, and highlighter from the same collection.)

Before I get into my detailed review of Tarte Texas Toast, I’d like to say a few words about Bunny and her ever-growing YouTube channel.

Grav3yardgirl: “Give an alligator its wings!”

I don’t watch every Grav3yardgirl video, but I have seen the majority of her hard work to get a good sense of her channel.

Bunny Meyer has an entertaining, quirky personality that grabs your attention by the collar and pulls you into places that you never thought you’d go!

Although we have very different personalities and aesthetics, what I respect and admire about her is that she is a free spirit who is comfortable in her own skin. She frequently vlogs without a stitch of makeup, with her hair in a sassy bun or other fun style, and while wearing t-shirts with intentional holes. Bunny also sometimes goes all out with a full face of makeup, has her own paper-doll book, and is known for wearing red lipstick that plays up her captivating blue eyes.

But what I love about her most is that she has an inclusive mentality to bring people together and to not discriminate or have a Mean Girls attitude. Even if you’re the outcast you are welcomed, appreciated, and accepted into what Grav3yardgirl has coined her Swamp Family.

Openly speaking about dealing with anxiety and her phobia of hospitals, she courageously touches on many issues that not a lot of big YouTubers discuss.

I applaud her for this because sharing helps us all learn and grow. Her experiences may indirectly help those who are dealing with something similar.

If you just graze the surface and are too quick to judge her based on her loud voice, large teeth, and seemingly unkempt appearance (when it comes to unrealistic beauty guru standards), you may not even give her channel a chance.

But as you watch her reveal funny thoughts, her love of creepy dolls and uncommon objects, and her ‘addiction’ to sweet tea, you develop a soft spot for her. And all those things you made snap judgments on, like her teeth, quickly become endearing characteristics, and you can’t imagine her looking any other way. That’s how I feel. She owns her look!

Her channel appeals to children, teenagers, adults, and seniors, which is quite remarkable. This is because her videos run the gamut from testing out As Seen on TV products, letting you follow her along while shopping (I always laugh when she does her Earth Worm Mode), swatching makeup, opening Swamp Family mail with a large kitchen knife, and casually car vlogging while doing her Sippy Sippy.

She is a unique snowflake.

I’ve never met her, but based on the content that she’s created over the year and how entertaining I find her, I support what she stands for: inclusivity and togetherness!

Check out the rest of my post to see photos, swatches, and to hear my thoughts on the Grav3yardgirl x Tarte Tarteist Texas Toast Lip Paint!

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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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