Category Archives: Nail Polish Swatches

China Glaze Red-y to Rave Swatches & Review

China Glaze Red-y to Rave Swatches & ReviewChina Glaze Red-y to Rave from the Electric Nights Collection is a neon reddish orange that supposedly glows under a black light.

(I wore this a while ago after trimming my nails short. I tend to let my nails grow long and then I cut them very short instead of maintaining a particular length. Anyone else the same way?)

Unfortunately, I don’t own a black light, so I couldn’t show you how it lights up.

Interesting thing that one of my friends pointed out: China Glaze seems to really like using the “Red-y” pun in the names of their polishes. ;) There’s Adventure Red-y and Red-y & Willing, off the top of my head.

Several weeks ago I purchased the cute China Glaze Baby Beats Micro Mini Set that includes six of the shades in the Electric Nights Collection. Mini bottles are so fun and collectible, so I find them difficult to resist. (Plus the small brushes are ideal for my tiny toes. I don’t give myself a pedicure too often, but when I do, I love using a neon nail polish!)

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a-england Elaine Swatches & Review

A-England Elaine Swatches & ReviewGlossy with rich drama, a-england Elaine from The Mythicals Collection is saturated with attitude.

It’s the kind of nail polish that has such a smooth finish, it’s glass-like.

This is the colour that I imagine villains like Ursula (from The Little Mermaid) or Maleficent would wear because a-england Elaine has a badass personality, an air of mystery, and a seductive quality. (This is a femme-fatale nail polish!)

I wore a-england Elaine in early March, and I was really digging how vampy this made my nails look.

I only have a few a-england nail polishes in my collection, and all of them have top-notch formulations. So whenever I try out a new a-england lacquer, it is judged with very high expectations in that department.

(If you’re curious, click here to view my other a-england nail polish reviews, and you’ll see what I mean about the brand consistently churning out quality lacquers!)

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OPI Color Paints Swatches & Bottle Shots

OPI Color Paints Collection PhotosYesterday, I had the pleasure of playing around with the new OPI Color Paints, which hit stores between the eyes in May.

(You probably remember the OPI Color Paints press release I posted on here earlier, and you may have seen the quick photo I uploaded yesterday on my Instagram and other social media accounts.)

Like you, I was curious like a cat watching a mouse hole.

Would the 2015 OPI Color Paints just revisit the OPI Sheer Tints from 2014 and expand the colour selection? Or would they be completely different?

In this post, not only do I directly address that, but I show you side-by-side swatches, so you can see that the OPI Color Paints are much more pigmented than their OPI Sheer Tints baby sister!

I’ve also included OPI Color Paints swatches on a nail wheel with one coat and then with two coats, so you can see that OPI’s claim about these being buildable is true.

The silver nail polish included in the OPI Color Paints Collection is intended to be used as a base to make the colours pop, although I liked how they looked solo as well. (They have an almost creme-jelly finish to them.)

You’ll see swatches of that alone, but also with what it looks like with a single layer of another OPI Color Paints shade on top.

These OPI Color Paints are really fun to play around with, and I tried blending them and layering different colours on top. They work very well that way, too. (I may do a post later with photos of how they blend and layer.)

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Flashback Friday: Easter Egg Nail Art

Hey everyone!

The other day, I was brainstorming a bunch of nail-art ideas. My schedule is usually so packed, and I haven’t had time to do any nail designs since Christmas! *Tsk tsk* I need to change that, especially because I have awesome Bundle Monster Secret Garden nail-stamping plates! ;) (A post on them is coming soon.)

Today, I wanted to take a trip down Memory Lane.

Come stroll with me! :)

Back in 2012, I painted this Easter Egg Nail Art. It’s super easy, and you can whip it up with just a few colours.


Click here to see my step-by-step tutorial with written instructions and photos!

When I was little, I always looked forward to Easter because my parents would buy an Easter basket filled with goodies. (My favourite was the white-chocolate bunny and the Cadbury Creme Eggs!)

I always asked my parents if I could dye eggs, but strangely enough, we never did.

Once, I went on an Easter-egg hunt. I remember how excited I was, and since I’m competitive, I was hoping to find more Easter eggs than the others.

It was funny when a lot of the Easter eggs were hidden in places that were out of reach for shorties like me. (I’m around only 5’3″ now, and back then, well, I was waaaaaaay shorter.)

I would spot the eggs, and I remember asking a guy who was taller if he could grab them for me. What did he do? Yes, he grabbed them, but then he put into his own basket. WHAT?! Haha! Yeah, I remember that moment so clearly! I thought, “Why would he do that?” Clearly, I was so innocent, and that day made me realize a lot of things about the world.

Are there any nail designs that you’d like me to do a tutorial on? Do you celebrate Easter? Have you ever been on an Easter egg hunt?


Hard Candy Sky Nail Polish & 20th Anniversary Goodies

Hard Candy SkyIf Hard Candy Sky means anything to you (and it should, if you’re a nailphile), you’ll be in the same corner as me, jumping up and down, squealing with joy!

I came home from work the other day to this wonderful surprise: Hard Candy Sky Nail Polish & 20th Anniversary Goodies!

Yes, that’s right – Hard Candy is celebrating their 20th anniversary this month. (Edit: These items will be available in May.) The spring-themed box immediately brought a huge smile to my face. I remember the 1990s very well. I read Seventeen and YM magazines, soaking up every fashion pictorial, reading each advice column, learning beauty tips, and drooling over the cute guy of the moment.

Hard Candy Sky is a light-blue nail polish that was advertised in many of the magazines I pored over with friends, and its iconic shade brings back so many memories of when I was coming of age.

No, I never had the original Hard Candy Sky nail polish. Money was tighter than shrunken hipster pants when I was growing up. (I rarely had the fashion or makeup that was trendy or ‘cool’, but that didn’t stop me from being happy and appreciating what I did have.)

It really meant so much to me that Hard Candy surprised me with this special 20th anniversary box! :)

Also, in case you haven’t heard, Hard Candy is relaunching Sky (the nail polish that started it all) and other classics. Avid makeup and nail junkies, take note! (They’ll be available at Wal-Mart stores.)

In this post, I share with you some quick photos of Hard Candy Sky, the Top Ten Eyeshadow Collection, and a cute USB key. (How did they know that I needed a new USB key? Hehe, and it’s shaped like a Hard Candy nail-polish bottle, which is even better!)

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Essie Bridal 2015 Collection Swatches, Photos & Press Release

Essie Bridal 2015 CollectionToday’s post features a closer look at the Essie Bridal 2015 Collection with swatches, bottle shots, and the official press release!

I’ll also include some photos that I snapped from the pretty booklet that PR sent me along with the nail polishes.

There are six colours in the Essie Bridal 2015 Collection, most of which are soft shades.

The bold pops of colour come from the red and pink. (It reminds me of my sister-in-law. On her wedding day, she had pink nails with subtle nail art.)

While the rich shades are more my speed, I’m going to give the softer ones a go. (If you have a shade in particular that you’d like me to review first, let me know, and I’ll try to get around to it before the others. So far, I haven’t worn any yet!)

After I met Rita Remark (Essie’s Lead Nail Artist) on Friday night at World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto, I’m curious to try more nude polishes. I asked her how to choose a flattering nude, and she suggested looking for one that has a bit of pink and that’s two shades lighter than your skin tone. If you go darker, it could look muddy, and if you match your skin tone, it can look like a Band-Aid.

(See my Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ accounts for a few photos that I posted during Fashion Week. I may blog about it later, too, because I have plenty more photos and even some video clips.)

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OPI Nail Envy Review & Pictures

OPI Nail Envy ReviewWhile I’m normally a law-abiding citizen, sometimes I realize that certain rules are meant to be broken. Such is the case when it comes to base coats!

I’ve tried nearly every mainstream base coat under the sun, beyond the dark side of the mood, and around the corner.

You name it, since 2008, if it’s a popular base coat, I gave it a run for its money.

I can’t remember the exact date when OPI Nail Envy waltzed into my life with its cummerbund, but I know that it should’ve been sooner!

If you’ve followed Swatch And Learn for a while, you know that for pretty much every single nail-polish review, my base coat of choice is, well, not a base coat! It’s OPI Nail Envy, which is classified as a nail strengthener.

My natural nails are very strong like Hercules. (Thank my mom and dad for that because I don’t do anything special, and I’m always using my nails to pick at labels and other things that will make a nailphile cringe. I’m extremely rough on my nails, and I’m constantly typing on the keyboard at my full-time job. Then, I come home and work on my blog – haha, more keyboard typing!)

So…it’s understandable that I used to steer clear of nail strengtheners. But, so many readers kept raving about OPI Nail Envy, and, like any nailphile, my curiosity got the better of me. I had to see if it was worth the hype or not.

Well, I’m so glad that I was curious like a cat because my search for a Holy Grail base coat came to an end the day I tried OPI Nail Envy (the original formula)!

I use it as a base coat, so this review is only judging it that way. (I can’t judge how well it strengthens nails, as my nails aren’t weak, thin, or peeling. Plus when I used this, I didn’t notice any difference in terms of nail strength.)

For those with nails that need to get buff, you’ll be happy to know that this is a maximum-strength formula with hydrolyzed protein and calcium. This combination helps nails grow harder, longer, and stronger, while resisting peeling, cracking, and splitting, according to the official OPI website.

Read this review to learn why I’m no longer looking for a great base coat. I’ve found it!

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