Category Archives: Makeup Reviews

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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Maybelline Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Pencil Swatches & Quick Look

Maybelline Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Eye PencilsEyeliner is a staple for me, and I wear it on a daily basis. It defines your eyes, bringing the focus to the ‘windows of the soul,’ as they say.

Ever since grade 10, I’ve been sporting eyeliner. That’s probably why I could give up all my other makeup if I was forced to, but eyeliner would be the one product I’d cling onto.

I love the ease of using a pencil, but I’ve also enjoyed the drama and lasting power of gel liner in a pot form. But with the latter, you need to use a brush, which isn’t exactly travel-friendly or I-need-to-rush-and-get-ready-for-work-but-I-have-to-clean-my-brush-first-friendly. 😉

So when PR provided me with several shades of the new Maybelline Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Pencil that hits Canadian stores in July, I was thrilled!

My standards for a pencil eyeliner are very high because I’m set on what I like and what I don’t like. And I’ve had many years to see what works for me and what doesn’t.

(Black eyeliner is a staple for me, but I love adding a pop of colour along my lower lash line. The black and the blue gel pencils work very nicely together!)

I’ve already worn all of these Maybelline gel eyeliners several times, so you can expect an in-depth review of at least one of these.

For now, I’ve done a Quick Look post to show you swatches of all five colours, and I have the official press release, should you require further information.

P.S. Today is the LAST DAY to enter my China Glaze Baby Beats Micro Mini Set worldwide giveaway! (Ends tonight at 11:59 pm EDT)

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Maybelline Color Blur Matte Pencil Swatches & Quick Look

Maybelline Color Blur Matte PencilAs a fan of bold, matte lipsticks, I was incredibly excited to receive a surprise package from PR featuring the new Maybelline Color Blur Matte Pencils by Lip Studio!

The Maybelline Color Blur Matte Pencils hit stores across Canada in August, but I am too excited to wait until then to share photos and quick swatches, so I’m showing you now!

What appeals to me is that the Maybelline Color Blur Matte Pencil is a slender stick that’s narrower than a traditional lipstick, but it’s not as thin as a lip liner. This makes it easier to have more control during application, which is very important, especially when using bright or vampy shades that aren’t as forgiving as nudes.

Right off the bat, I like the packaging because it has that modern-and-clean look, and the tube is a nice size that can easily fit into your purse without being overly chunky.

It’s retractable. By twisting the bottom of the tube (near the smudger), it pushes more product up. This is great because you won’t have to bother with a pencil sharpener.

There are lids on either end. One covers the lip colour, and the other houses the smudger. The smudger feels rubbery and soft, much like an eraser. (P.S. When I was little, I used to collect novelty erasers of ones that were shaped like grapes, houses, butterflies, soccer balls, basketballs, rainbows, etc.)

The smudger can be used to blur the lip colour, and you can create an ombre effect. (Later in this post, I tested it out by combining two colours in a swatch.)

P.S. In case you missed it, I’m having a worldwide giveaway until June 19th, 2015! Enter for your chance to win the China Glaze Baby Beats Micro Mini Set!

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