Category Archives: Primer Reviews

Skindinavia The Makeup Finishing Spray & The Makeup Primer Spray Review (Oil Control Version)

Skindinavia The Makeup Finishing Spray Review Primer SprayWhen I first began using face makeup primers, I reached for the kind with a gel-like consistency that came with pumps or in tubes, such as the Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Primer (reviewed back in 2010) and the Make Up For Ever All Mat Face Matifying Primer (reviewed in 2011).

(Wow, I just took a walk down memory lane, and it made my eyes water a bit because of some happy thoughts. I forgot about those old posts until I sat down to write this review. I’ve been on quite a blogging journey when you compare posts from back then to now. Hopefully I continue to improve for years to come!) :)

Then, I was curious about the makeup setting sprays on the market and tried those. (You may remember me reviewing the Urban Decay All-Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray back in early 2014.)

Makeup priming and setting sprays are my favourite because they feel lightweight, and you just need about three sprays of each for your entire face. One regular-sized bottle lasts for several months, and they are quite affordable.

The Skindinavia The Makeup Finishing Spray and Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Spray in the Oil Control version are my favourites, and they’re the only makeup sprays I have used since finishing up my Urban Decay setting spray.

This review was a long time coming because although I’ve ordered from Skindinavia several times now and went through about 2 or 3 bottles of each, I finally am sitting down to share my thoughts.

I always order these sprays from the Skindinavia website when I’m running low, and by the time they arrive, I need to use the new ones right away. By the time I remembered that I needed to photograph them so I can work on a review, the bottles have some foundation on them from my fingers or have other smudges and marks.

Finally, this time I decided to order the set of Skindinavia makeup sprays a little early to ensure that I wouldn’t just crack open the bottles before photographing them. Hehe, my plan worked, and here we are with this review!

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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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The Body Shop WONDERBLUR Review & Pictures

The Body Shop Wonderblur Review & PicturesDesigned to be applied as the final step in your skincare routine before putting on your makeup, The Body Shop WONDERBLUR is a silicone-based face primer that claims to provide a lightweight blurring effect.

This blurring effect reduces the appearance of fine lines, while it minimizes the look of pores.

It will be available to purchase in March, which is right around the corner. (Time is flying by pretty fast, isn’t it? But I really can’t wait for spring and the warmer weather to arrive. The frigid winter weather has been going on far too long for my liking.)

To see how it performed, I incorporated The Body Shop WONDERBLUR into my everyday morning routine to see how it would fare over the duration of the day and into the night.

P.S. Today is the LAST DAY to enter my worldwide Instagram giveaway for your chance to win some nail-polish goodies!

P.P.S. You still have until February 27 to enter my Canadian giveaway for The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Deluxe Gift Set!

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OPI Glitter Off Base Coat Review & Pictures

OPI Glitter Off Base Coat Review & PicturesNot long ago, I published the press release for the OPI Glitter Off Base Coat on here, and you’ll remember that I was really intrigued by the concept, especially considering that I haven’t tried any of the do-it-yourself PVA glue base coats.

Designed to be worn on your natural nail, the OPI Glitter Off Base Coat is supposed to protect the nails from stains while also making it easy for you to simply peel off heavy-duty glitter nail polish. You can forego using removers and scrubbing your nails raw.

I really put this new OPI base coat to the test because when I was moving to my new home and had to unpack a lot of cardboard boxes, I was wearing this underneath OPI Blush Hour, an unapologetic glitterbomb from the OPI Spotlight on Glitter Collection!

Note: I will update this post soon to show you photos of the brush and the polish’s consistency.

Edit: (April 7, 2014) I updated this post to also include the full ingredient list since a lot of readers were interested.

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CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat Review & Pictures

CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat Review & PicturesSince getting into polish more seriously in 2008, I not only built my collection of colours, but also of base coats!

(I have way too many, but I’m determined to work through them all before I buy any new ones.)

The CND Stickey Anchoring Base Coat was the first base coat I ever used. Believe it or not, it wasn’t until 2008 that I began painting my nails properly with a base coat and top coat.

Prior to that, not only did I not bother with them, but I also used to paint over old manicures with new polish. *Shivers* (Not sure what I was thinking! Oh yeah, and I used to think myself to be very clever by peeling polish off my nails instead of using remover – really bad for the nails!)

Now, I never paint without using base and top coats. Talk about 180 degrees!

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Nubar Foundation Base Coat Review & Pictures

Nubar Foundation Base Coat Review & PhotosYou’re used to seeing me review various nail-polish shades and dabble into the fun world of nail art, but it’s always important to remember that what you use to prime your nails is what can make or break your manicure.

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you may have noticed that I like to try different base coats, but I prefer to use each one for a long while (until I use it up) before I move on and try another.

This time, I have a review on the impressive Nubar Foundation Base Coat! While I literally have dozens of different base coats, this one is my new top pick.

Let me tell you more about it!

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Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 Light Review, Pictures & Swatches

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 Light Review, Swatches & Pictures smallerThe name Smashbox makes me laugh. I always picture some Luddite with a mallet going ballistic on a desktop computer.

Then my mind wanders over to Smashmouth. Remember that musical group from back in the day? “All Star” and “Walkin’ on the Sun” were huge. Now I hardly ever hear their songs played…and when I do, I always laugh.

Back to the star of this post!

The Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 is the very first beauty balm that I’ve ever tried. And I’ve been curious about beauty balms for a long time.

I decided to get this one because it had a colour that closely matched my skin, and even though I do wear a separate sunscreen, I want my BB cream to always have SPF for added protection.

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