CLOSED: Huge Milani Giveaway for Canadians on Swatch And Learn!

Congratulations, Nicole!

I e-mailed Nicole and she replied to claim her prize. πŸ™‚

Thanks to everyone for participating! I’ll be having another Canadians-only giveaway really soon. πŸ˜‰


Did you go trick-or-treating last night? Well, this Milani giveaway is all treat and no trick. There’s tons of loot to win!

I think the Dirty Harry quote is very fitting for this:Β “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” πŸ˜‰

Milani Giveaway on Swatch And Learn November 1 to November 11, 2011

As a special thank you to my Canadian blog readers, I got in touch with the kind people from Milani and organized this massive Milani giveaway. I was blown away by their amazing generosity – it far exceeded any of my expectations, and I am very grateful!

Starts: Now

Ends: Friday November 11, 2011 @ 11:59 pm (Eastern)

Who Can Enter: Canadian residents of any age

Grand Prize: Everything you see in the above photo is what one lucky Canadian reader will receive!

Complete List of Milani Products in the Grand Prize:

  • 1 Liquif’Eye Eyeliner in Black
  • 2 Crystal Eyez Shadow in Green & Purple
  • 2 Infinite Liquid Eyeliner in Blue & Green
  • 1 Distinct Lash Mascara in Black
  • 2 3D Glitzy Gloss in Pink & Orange
  • 1 HD Lip Gloss in Pink
  • 1 Lip Flash in Brown
  • 1 Runway Shadow Kit in Haute Couture
  • 1 Sharpener
  • 1 Baked Bronzer
  • 2 Neon Polish in Teal & Pink
  • 2 Nail Art Polish in Orange & Blue
  • 1 Baked Metallic Eye shadow in Black
  • 1 Runway Singles in Beach Sand
  • 2 Crystal Glosses (pinks)
  • Gift Basket is a Cosmetic Bag

How to Enter:

Leave a comment on this post answering both of these questions:

  • What is a beauty tip or trick that you’ve learned? (Feel free to mention more than one if you want.)
  • Why do you visit Swatch And Learn?

When you fill out the comment form, please make sure you’ve included your valid e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win.

Important Rules:

  • Only one comment per person, please.
  • I’ll choose the winner randomly using sometime on Saturday November 12.
  • Afterwards, I’ll announce the winner on this page, the giveaway tab page, Twitter & Google+.
  • I’ll e-mail the winner & the winner has 72 hours (from when I send the e-mail) to reply, or I’ll have to choose a new winner.
  • The winner will need to provide me with their name and Canadian mailing address, which I will forward over to Milani.
  • Milani will then send the lucky winner everything you see in the photo above!

Let’s Build Bridges Instead of Walls:

While it isn’t mandatory for you to follow me on any of the below avenues, I would appreciate your support and input. I enjoy connecting with my readers, so feel free to say hey! (I don’t bite…unless you’re a cookie. Yum!)

  • Twitter: @SwatchAndLearn
  • Google+: Mary S. (Please +1 your favourite posts!)
  • Beautylish: Mary S.
  • Google Friend Connect: In the sidebar on the left, there’s an option to join my site.
  • E-mail Subscription: If you want to have every new blog post e-mailed to you, please click on the photo in the left sidebar of Pingu (my mom’s cat who’s wearing a top hat & monocle) to sign up.

And if you have time to look through some of my other blog posts and leave a comment, I would be delighted!

(I reply to every single comment, so please check back for my reply if you’re interested. Sometimes it may take me a day or so, but I definitely take it very seriously and always reply because I want you to know that you’re heard!)

Good luck to everyone!


88 thoughts on “CLOSED: Huge Milani Giveaway for Canadians on Swatch And Learn!

  1. Carmela

    I tend to do my foundation last and do my eye makeup first. Less clean up if there’s any fall out from the eyeshadow and I find it just makes the process more systematic.

    I visit Swatch and Learn for great reviews, swatches and an awesome community. πŸ™‚ Plus, I really like the Cheshire Cat. Also, Hammie tells me it’s part of my duties, whatever that means.

    Yay for giveaways!!! πŸ˜€ Thanks, Mary! Thanks, Milani! I would love, love, love to try these products. πŸ™‚ Very excited! (No, I did not stay up for this. lol)
    Carmela recently posted: Nuance by Salma Hayek Perfect Lips Lip Quad in Warm

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      I’m the same way about doing my eye makeup first. Great tip! Nothing’s worse than having finished your foundation only to have shadow fallout ruin it or give you raccoon eyes.

      Haha, even if you stayed up for this, I wouldn’t judge. πŸ˜‰

      You’re very welcome. Good luck in the draw!

  2. Vivian

    What is a beauty tip or trick that you’ve learned?
    1. If you don’t want to shell out the big bucks for make up remover (*cough lancome cough*, a small bottle of baby oil will do the trick. I don’t suggest to use it on the face, but it’s great for mascara/eyeliner/shadow.
    2. To make false lashes look more natural, cut invisible band lashes into thirds and glue them UNDER the eyelashes instead of ontop. On the waterline between lashes and eyeball. It sounds daunting, but it doesn’t hurt or bother your eyes.
    3. Priming eyebrows before you color them in makes it last longer. Brow fillers/shadow are a lot like eyeshadows.
    I think I could go on, but 3 is a lucky number? πŸ˜€

    Why do you visit Swatch And Learn?
    Because Mary is the most awesome canadian gal. I love that you reply to all your comments, and honestly that is the number one thing that draws me back. I enjoy having a conversation with you. Secondly, I love reading your detailed reviews! I love that you explain products in depth along with your swatches. I remember stumbling onto SwatchandLearn after googling OPI muppet. You were the only person who layered them over all sorts of colors, and commented on their consistency, opacity, removal..etc! I knew I had found a blog that was a keeper!

    good luck everyone and thanks for holding this giveaway! (awesome, lots of eye products!)

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Vivian!

      Wow, thanks for including 3 beauty tips! I was particularly interested in the third one about priming eyebrows. I leave my eyebrows natural (other than plucking), but one day, I might try filling them in for fun just to see how I’d look. And priming them makes sense to make it last. I can imagine how awkward it’d be if you did your eyebrows in the morning only to see them fade in the evening. (My mother, however, draws on her eyebrows daily, so I’m going to suggest this to her.)

      Haha! “Mary is the most awesome canadian gal” Hehe! Awww…shucks! πŸ˜› Of course I reply to all the comments left on my blog. It’s really fun, and I enjoy getting to know people. Plus I know the feeling of leaving a comment on someone’s blog and not even knowing whether or not they read it. I want to make sure that my visitors know that I do read what they have to say and that their opinion is important (even if it differs from mine). Interacting with others is how we learn, so it would be crazy if I didn’t do it especially on a blog called Swatch And LEARN…hehehe!

      Good luck in the draw! πŸ™‚

  3. Ashesela

    1. What is a beauty tip that I’ve learned?

    Sleep and water and exercise. So many people go through life neglecting these three things, and they really make a huge difference. I’ve also learned:
    *it is best to pluck your eyebrows after a shower so it doesn’t hurt as much
    *you can use baking soda and water to create a pore cleaning solution (BEWARE: be very careful with this… I did this and although it works, it can burn like FIRE!!)*the older I get the more forgiving I am about my appearance
    *it can be helpful to brush your lips with a toothbrush and water to remove unwanted dry skin and achieve a temporary lip boost. For best results, slather on lip balm right after to lock in moisture!

    2. I visit to check out nail polish reviews!! πŸ˜€ Recently I’ve become very interested in nail polishes, and I really enjoy that this site is Canadian, which makes the posts relevant to me. πŸ˜€

    Good luck everyone!!! πŸ˜€ ^-^
    Ashesela recently posted: I’m Still Here

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Ashesela!

      You make a valid point. So many people focus on the external when really you have to take care of the internal. I’m definitely guilty of that a lot of times because I go to bed late and sometimes don’t drink as much water or get enough exercise. As cheesy as it sounds (VERY!), health is wealth. Without health, it doesn’t matter if you have all of the latest nail polishes because you may not be able to enjoy them. I’m really glad that you brought this up.

      Oh, I didn’t know about plucking your eyebrows after a shower. I’ll try that next time. Thanks! πŸ™‚ And good luck in this giveaway!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Nivedita!

      Thanks for the well wishes! πŸ™‚

      Yeah, I try to include everyone, but sometimes it’s not possible. As a Canadian, I often feel like we get the short end of the stick…and after American visitors, Canadian visitors make up the second most-popular demographic on my blog, so I wanted to give back something extra special. Also, it’s cool to see who else is in Canada.

      Don’t worry – I’ll try to set up another international giveaway again like before. πŸ™‚

  4. Lawren

    1. I’ve learned so much that I can’t even think of them all. A few things would be that drinking water flushes the skin. I never used to drink water because it was so tasteless and what not, but eventually I grew out of that attitude, started drinking more water and wearing less makeup, only to notice that my skin is beautiful. I’ve had tons of compliments on my complexion. Another thing I’ve learned is to not wash my hair so often, especially since I dye it a lot. In recent years I’ve been good with washing my hair only 1 or 2 times a week to maintain my color. Some people think it’s gross, but I find that my hair stays beautiful longer and doesn’t get oily too fast.

    2. I come to Swatch and Learn because for one, I love that it’s Canadian! It’s always good to know and be familiar with the stores we have here and I easily recognize the products. I also love your nail swatches and beautiful and creative creations!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Lawren!

      Yes, it’s amazing how dramatic just upping your intake of water can be. Even when you’re not feeling well. It really does flush out your system and hydrate your cells…especially your skin cells, so your complexion improves.

      Some people say that there’s a period of time when you stop washing your hair as often that you feel gross and greasy, but then your hair adapts to the change and produces less oil. Unfortunately, I’m still a daily hair washer…but I really should try to wash it less. I’m just having a hard time even thinking about the initial stage when it feels gross before it feels better.

      Thank you! πŸ™‚ I’m always excited to share products that can be found in Canada (or shipped to Canada) as well as sharing nail art and nail swatches. Sometimes I do feature great products that aren’t available to Canada (I have a great friend who lives in the States)…and I’ll feel bad that fellow Canadians can’t enjoy it, too.

  5. Jennifer

    THANK YOU for this canadian giveaway! In the makeup world, it seems like canadian always get the less out of everything. (For example, Sephora prices, UGH! Canadian dollar is almost EQUAL to the US dollar, but yet, everything at Sephora is 10$ more expensive than the US prices!)

    1. What is a beauty tip or trick that you’ve learned?

    I think that the greatest (most essential) beauty tip I’ve ever learn was how to use foundation WITH A BRUSH! It changed everything!

    2. Why do you visit Swatch And Learn?

    The pictures are of INCREDIBLE quality! The nail polish “swatches” are the most beautiful and the most clear I’ve ever seen.
    Jennifer recently posted: Come again

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Jennifer!

      You’re very welcome! And, yeah, I hear you! It’s not fair – even outside of makeup prices, even clothing prices are marked up compared to the US prices. I guess it goes into paying for the duty, but still, it stinks. That’s why I was overjoyed to be able to single out my fellow Canadians for this giveaway. After being left out a lot, it’s nice to be included.

      Oh my gosh – thank you SO MUCH for saying that about the photos. πŸ˜€ I’m flattered and surprised, actually! You know, I use this old (5-year-old) digital camera that used to be my dad’s, so I’m taking it as a HUGE compliment! (One day I hope to be able to afford a DSLR that can capture everything insanely well.)

  6. Kee

    Yay Mary!! It’s giveaway time!!

    1) My fave beauty tip that I learned from a while back was to stipple your liquid foundation first then buff it into your skin. Before that I was using sponges, fingers (ugh), and flat foundation brushes. I used to have to worry about streaks and such but by stippling, I can get an even and dare I say, airbrushed look!

    2) I visit Swatch and Learn because I love the wide variety of reviews that you do! Not just nail polish or just make-up but also candles, wax strips, perfume etc. I also love that you personally reply to evry comment. This site really helped me while I was starting out as a beauty blogger and I wanna thank you for that!

    All the best to everyone and thanks again Mary for hosting this!

    PS, I still have to show you how I get lucky at Sears and Winners. Get your wallet ready!!!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Kee!

      Y’know, I still haven’t figured out how to wear liquid foundation. But I love using powder mineral makeup – I can apply it really fast, which is huge for someone like me who tends to rush in the morning.

      YAY! I’m so happy to hear that you appreciate the variety of reviews on here. Although I’m head over heels over nail polish and nail art, I definitely love a lot of other products, too. (Just maybe not quite as obsessed about. Hehe!) And I’m glad that you found it helpful when you started blogging. πŸ™‚ That means a lot to me.

      Haha, I need to save up a lot before we go shoppppping! I have this funny feeling that I’m going to drop it like it’s hot, especially because we’ll be enabling each other like crazy! πŸ˜‰

  7. Valerie

    Hi Mary,

    I’ve been lurking for a long time, but I guess giveaways are when everyone comes out of the woodwork πŸ™‚

    A beauty tip that I’ve learned is to apply powder blush over cream blush to make it last longer. Before, I would use powder blush only, and it would rub off in a couple of hours. With a base of cream blush, though, it lasts way longer. The only thing I have to work on now is to apply with a very, very light hand, because after applying the cream, then the powder, I always end up with tons of blush on.

    The main reason I read Swatch and Learn is your thorough, honest reviews. I like that you don’t have a lot of PR content (only one PR-type post that I can remember) and that you tell us exactly what you think about products. I also like that you review tons of different products, from nail to skin to hair products, so there’s something for everyone. I think you’re doing a great job, and I definitely enjoy reading your blog every day!


    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Valerie!

      I’m glad that you decided to enter and that you’ve been following Swatch And Learn for a long time! πŸ™‚ It’s nice for me to get to know a fellow Canadian. Please feel free to leave a comment even after the giveaway. I swear I won’t bite…unless you’re a cookie. Well, then, I can’t resist, now can I? πŸ˜‰

      Great tip about applying powder blush over a cream blush. It totally makes sense that it would improve the longevity! Thank you for sharing!

      Yeah, I don’t include a lot of Press Releases…just a few about nail-polish collections. πŸ™‚ When I get excited about something that’s going to come out, I just have to share it. And even when I receive items from PR companies, my loyalty is to my readers. If I don’t like it, I’ll say so, even if I got it for free. I think that’s really important because free doesn’t necessarily equal good.

      Thanks for being a daily reader! πŸ˜€

  8. Tari

    My beauty tip is never apply too much blush. Makeup should look natural (in my opinion). Also, buying expensive makeup is not necessary, you can still have the Kim Kardashian look for less. A beauty trick- after washing your face moisturize w/ a little olive oil. You’ll see a difference!
    I visit Swatch and learn for the reviews and swatches of nail polish! I can never have enough shades! :D:D
    Tari recently posted: Black Women NOT Attractive?

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Tari!

      Definitely people don’t need expensive makeup. It’s a luxury, and now more drugstore brands are upping their game and even providing lots of affordable dupes or ‘similar-enough’ products. I love that!

      I’ve never tried moisturizing with olive oil, but I’ve heard many people say how it really improved their skin.

  9. Aylene Stoner

    Beauty Tips: To keep hands smooth and soft, slather your favorite cream on your hands before bed paying special attention to your nails and cuticles. Then cover up with white cotton gloves. In the morning your hands will look and feel ten years younger. This is especially important in the wintertime. Purchasing new or expensive hand creams is not always necessary. You may wish to use up some of those face cream products that haven’t lived up to your expectations, I know I have a bunch of them!
    I subscribe and read “Swatch and Learn” to keep up to date on all the newest and best beauty products. I especially like to see swatches of nail colours. It helps me to make more informed choices in purchasing new nail polishes and new beauty products. Because it is a Canadian site, I know I am able to find or purchase most products locally. A big thank you!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Aylene!

      I’m going to be taking your tip with the white gloves this winter for sure. My hands always get drier during that time of year. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚ And good idea to use up face creams that didn’t perform well on your face.

      Thank you for subscribing to Swatch And Learn! πŸ˜€ I really appreciate your support, and I’m glad that you enjoy it.

      P.S. Tomorrow I have a nail-polish post scheduled. πŸ˜‰

  10. Magda

    Beauty tip: When applying mascara, use the tapered tip to spread mascara on your roots and them use the brush to distribute it throughout the length. Also, it MUCH more useful to test lip products on your fingertips, rather than your wrist/hand, as it more closely resembles your natural lip colour.

    As like visiting this site because you get an array of things, and a helpful, honest opinion on things. Also, Mary’s humour is quite entertaining! πŸ˜› By subscribing, I know instantly when the next, new tidbit of info has arrived….

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Magda!

      Oh, interesting tip to test lip products on fingertips instead of on your hand. I’m going to try that one next time. Thanks!

      P.S. Thanks for subscribing, Magda! πŸ˜€

  11. Chrissy Bridges

    My favorite beauty tip/ trick is when you don’t want heavy foundation and want more of a sheer coverage you can mix a bit of your liquid foundation in with your facial moisturizer and voila! you have a tinted moisturizer πŸ™‚ This is great for going to the beach or when its really hot out and you just want a bit of coverage without it melting off your face

    I visit swatch & learn because I love that you have reviews on Canadian products and I love that your reviews are so in depth and you explain everything about them. You’re awesome!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Chrissy!

      I like your tip because you’re using what you already have instead of going out to purchase a new product. Resourceful!

  12. MDH

    The one tip/trick I’ve valued is to use primer on both the eyes and face. Where was it all my life? πŸ™‚

    I read Swatch and Learn for the reviews of new products. Reviews help me in my purchases and I’ve saved a lot of money from reviews of products that were sub-par, thus preventing me from purchasing them. So…thanks!!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey MDH!

      Oh yeah! I understand exactly how you feel, especially about eye primers. I only started using them a few years ago, and it made a world of difference – no more annoying creasing or fading. And it’s such a simple step, so it doesn’t add too much time onto the beauty routine.

      While I’m glad to enable people to buy amazing products, I’m equally thrilled to help people SAVE money, too. So I’m happy to hear that I helped you save some green! πŸ™‚

  13. Tegan

    Long time lurker, first time poster πŸ˜‰

    1) Best beauty trick I’ve learned? When it comes to skincare, keep it simple, and resist the urge to switch up your routine every week (especially if you have sensitive skin like me!). Your skin needs time to adjust to the products, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see an immediate difference.

    2) Why do I visit Swatch and Learn? Because it’s great to see an honest, informative CANADIAN makeup blog. And I love all your awesome nail polish swatches!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Tegan!

      I’m happy to hear that you’ve been following Swatch And Learn for a long time. And thanks for posting your comment for the first time! πŸ˜€ Please feel free to leave a comment and say hey from time to time. πŸ™‚ I love hearing what my readers think, and that’s how I learn a lot, too.

      That’s a good point you make with your beauty tip. I also have sensitive skin and try to stick with a few products for a longer period of time before judging their effectiveness. Patience is definitely key when it comes to skin issues.

  14. Nicole

    What is a beauty tip that I’ve learned?
    Great products can come from anywhere, I use these great facial wipes that I buy at the dollar store to remove my make up nightly – they contain vitamin E and only cost $1.25!
    Hands Down Ultra Nail and Cosmetic Pads By: Graham Professional are AMAZING for removing glitter polishes.

    Why do you visit Swatch And Learn?
    I love being able to a Canadian blog for reviews. I know that I will be able to access almost all the products you list – which is great! Plus I love all your clever nail designs.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Nicole!

      What a steal of a deal on those facial wipes! Definitely use what works best for you instead of buying a product because of its name. I’m guilty of trying some products because of their name. Sometimes the more popular brands just get more coverage than small-time brands that work just as well, unfortunately. In the end, I stick with what works because that’s what’s most important. You make a very good point!

      Thank you for saying that about my nail designs! πŸ™‚ I have a lot of fun painting them.

  15. Carole

    Tip I learned is to keep it simple. I started to grow out my natural nails using olive oil! I saw a video on YouTube and thought it was worth a try, for the first time in my life I have long natural nail and I love them.
    I love the swatches on swatch and learn, many a lemming has been born here. Also the product reviews. My hubby loves the candles I have brought home based on reviews I have seen here!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carole!

      Oh, I’ve never heard of growing out natural nails with olive oil. That’s pretty cool, and I like how you don’t need to go out to buy a special treatment. You can just use what you have in the kitchen! Awesome how it worked so well for you.

      Haha, I feel both happy and guilty for creating lemmings. πŸ˜‰

      Oh YAY! I’m glad that the candles were a hit with your husband!

  16. Natalia

    One beauty trick I’ve learned is what a difference eye primer makes! I love how you reviewed all the different ones. SO happy I discovered the NYX HD Eye Primer from you that is a fraction of the price than the others and, for me, works the exact same! I just order mine from the States cause even with shipping it’s still cheaper than at Rexall.
    I visit Swatch and Learn because I love love that you are from Canada and post products that I can actually buy in Canada, you do great product reviews saying where I can get the product, and it’s very informative!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Natalia!

      That’s great! Yes, that NYX eye primer is amazingly affordable and performs just as well as Urban Decay’s. When I found that out from personal experience, I had to share my discovery because I’m most interested in promoting (hehe, and hyping up) products that work rather than ones that are necessarily popular.

      I’m glad that you find my reviews informative. πŸ™‚

  17. Amy

    What have I learned? So much! The most interesting, I think is how to use nail image plates! I didn’t know how those things worked at all! Then I came here, and how to’s and tutorials were everywhere! I love the nail art!

    I visited Swatch and Learn the first time while researching nail polish swatches. I noticed the site because of the awesome name haha love it! I continue to come back for their in depth swatches and great reviews. And, of course, it’s Canadian!! I love supporting fellow Canadians πŸ™‚

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Amy!

      YAY – glad that you’re now into doing your own nail art. It’s so rewarding! πŸ™‚ And I’m pleased that you really enjoy the reviews, tutorials, and swatches on my blog. πŸ™‚

      Good luck in the draw!

  18. Joan

    Favorite Beauty Tip:
    Recently I started eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and I have found my nail are so much stronger. They used to break and peel and now they are so strong. I now have nice long nails to polish which has now become my new hobby(and obsession if I’m honests).
    Why Do I Visit Swatch and Learn:
    This is my first visit. I was looking for a review for OPI Swimsuit Nailed It and this was the first place I came. I am blown away. I love your reviews and have spent quite a bit of time going back to look at other reviews. It’s so nice to see such an indepth view of things. I love your blog then I saw you are Canadian and I actually jumped up and down in my chair clapping my hands. It’s just so great. Then I saw the give away only for Canadians and hyperventilated from all the jumping and screaming. OMG I just love it hear. I will be back. Thanks so much for all the time you put in. I’m glad to see someone else so into polish.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Joan!

      Welcome to Swatch And Learn! Glad to hear that you’re having a good time here. Hope you’ll comment again on another post, and join the friendly community. πŸ™‚ My readers are so helpful and very kind.

      Haha, I like your sense of humour! (I’m picturing you jumping up and down right now…hehe!)

      Better nutrition can definitely help improve the health of your nails. It’s great that with your change in eating habits, you were able to see such a significant change!

      Good luck in this giveaway! πŸ˜€

  19. Lourde

    here’s a few beauty tricks that I can think of off the top of my head…
    1. apply moisturizer before you put on perfume. it makes it last sooo much longer.
    2. mix 1/2 water and 1/2 witch hazel and about 15 drops of tea trea oil — spray on your pillow every morning after you wake up – prevents bacteria and breakouts in a natural way, plus you wake up with fresher looking skin… but maybe this only works if you actually sleep on your side, which I do..
    3. highlighters! the shimmery stuff you put on the tops of your cheeks! I just found about these not too long ago, and they really amp up any look! love it!

    I am so happy I found this site! it’s so frustrating watching videos or reading reviews of products that seem so amazing and by the end of the video/review, you know you must have it, but find out it is only available in the U.S. I’m always so happy to find canadian sites. The reviews are so in depth, and the swatches are so wonderfully done. thanks for putting time into this! πŸ™‚

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Lourde!

      Thanks for sharing 3 tips! πŸ˜€ I’ve always been curious about trying tea tree oil. Heard great things about its antibacterial properties.

      I’m glad that you enjoy my reviews and swatches. πŸ™‚ I really try hard to only showcase stuff that can be obtained by Canadians like myself. πŸ™‚ (Although I do have a hook-up in the States, which is how I manage to get a few exceptions!)

  20. Halifax

    A tip I learned: bringing the eyeshadows above the crease to help make Asian eyes a little bigger lol

    Love the gazillion pics you include in each post, so I make sure to tune in

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Halifax!

      That’s a really good tip!

      Glad that you’ve been enjoying all the photos. πŸ™‚ I’m praying that this old camera still has some juice in it to last until at least Christmas when there will be better sales. (My camera’s been conking out quite often lately – it’s about 5-years-old. “Happy birthday!” πŸ˜› So I need to replace it soon.)

  21. Leann Lindeman

    I’ve learned as I grow older that I don’t have to leave the house everyday with makeup on… As long as my face is clean and moisturized I am good to go!

  22. Leann Lindeman

    Gah. I realized after I hit send that both comments were supposed to go together, sorry. I am new to this site… But I come here to look at reviews and Check out the giveaways.

  23. JoΓ«lle

    Yay for awesome giveaways…for Canadians πŸ˜‰
    Ok, here we go:
    My tip: prime! Face, lips, lashes, everything…it makes a huge difference. Makeup is brighter, smoother and it lasts so much longer.
    I visit swatch and learn for the amazing nail polish swatches and because it’s Canadian. It always sucks reading a whole post about a product, get super excited and then feeling so disappointed when you realize that the item is not available in Canada or they don’t ship to us. I don’t have that problem here πŸ™‚

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Joelle!

      Priming is such a worthwhile step, especially when it comes to my eyes. It makes a big difference. No more annoying creasing!

      Good luck in the draw!

  24. Tracey m

    I learned how to apply eyeshadow to make my small eyes look larger and where to use the shades to make them look farther apart. I just discovered swatch and learn, I love how you cover drugstore products too! I also love that you compare dupes!

  25. Cori

    Hello! A beauty tip I’ve learned is to always use top coat when doing my nails. Im 29 and only *just* started doing this. It makes the polish last so much longer. I know, I know, I should have figured this out earlier. πŸ˜‰ Also, using a wet brush when applying foundation helps it go on smoother. πŸ™‚

    I visit Swatch and Learn because I’m tired of wasting money on products that don’t work very well. Your reviews are so incredibly helpful..I no longer deal with as much disappointment, Thank you!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Cori!

      I agree – a top coat makes a WORLD of difference! Back when I was a teenager, I never used base or top coats because I didn’t want to deal with the extra steps. But as soon as I started using them, I realize that it doesn’t take that much extra time, yet it extends the wear and makes your nails even shinier.

      I’m glad that you find my reviews helpful. I like to help people make smart shopping decisions.

  26. Karen

    Here are a few tips that I use:
    1. If you are looking for more volume to your hair and the hair products are just not doing the trick i would suggest BEER. It adds volume and helps remove buildup. Use after you have used your regular shampoo.
    2. If you have a cold sore or are prone to them, I have found that kosher WINE will remove them. Dab on with kleenex and it will disappear within a few days.
    3. Have a nagging pimple, simple thing to use is either LISTERINE or TOOTHPASTE. Just dab on and leave. Wash off in the morning.


    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Karen!

      Good tips! I’ve heard about washing your hair with beer, but haven’t tried it yet.

      To have a valid entry in this draw, you need to answer the 2 questions. If you see this, please just reply to this message with your second answer, and you’ll be entered. πŸ™‚

  27. maddy

    My favorite beauty tip is that when you do water marbling for nail polish or just can’t keep the nail polish off your, but a bit of Vaseline around your nail. When your done painting your nails, use a Q-Tip to wipe of the Vaseline and the nail polish will come off with the Vaseline!

    I visit Swatch and Learn because it gives me lots of detailed reviews about nail polish and lots of other products like hairare products and skincare products. Swatch and Learn is also one of the few blogs that reply to every comment and quickly too.

    Thanks Mary, for the giveaways and reviews!

    I hope I the tip helps and I hope I win! πŸ™‚

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey maddy!

      You know, I was supposed to try my hand at water marbeling a long time ago. I still haven’t gotten around to it. πŸ™ But, I’m going to try out your tip about Vaseline because it seems easier than having to use tape all around my cuticle.

      Good luck in the draw! πŸ˜€

  28. Emily

    Hi Mary ,
    A beauty trick I have learned is that you can use a tooth pick or the ends of your make up brushes as a great dotting tool for nail art and also if you do your foundation before your eye make up you can just sweep a bit of concealer below your eye and it will clean it up and make the eye-shadow look sharp.
    I always visit Swatch and Learn to see what are the pros and cons of some products; like if a nailpolish is too shear of learn which you would recommend. I also love seeing your swatches since they give me an idea of what the products look like since they can be deceiving in its packaging.

    Thanks so much for the great giveaway!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Emily!

      Great tips! Before I bought dotting tools, I used the ends of makeup brushes. Works just as well.

      Glad that you’re enjoying the Pros and Cons list as well as the nail-polish posts. πŸ™‚

  29. Michelle

    What is a beauty tip or trick that you’ve learned?
    To suck your finger and pop it out after you applied lipstick. It get rid of the excess lipstick if you get it inside your lip and gets on your teeth.

    Why do you visit Swatch And Learn?
    I really like the candle fragrance reviews from Bath and Bodyworks!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Michelle!

      I do that little lipstick trick, and it has saved me the embarrassment of having lipstick on my teeth.

      YAY – glad you like the candle reviews. There’ll be plenty more to come. I kind of have a candle obsession, so I haven’t even reviewed half of the ones I own. (I blame Bath & Body Works for always having candle sales and coming out with so many different scents. Haha, it’s hard to resist picking up 2 new ones during the sale.)

  30. Michelle

    What is a beauty tip or trick that you’ve learned?
    To suck your finger and pop it out after you applied lipstick. It get rid of the excess lipstick if you get it inside your lip and gets on your teeth.

    Why do you visit Swatch And Learn?
    I really like the candle fragrance reviews from Bath and Bodyworks!

    Er. I don’t know if the first one posted since it didn’t give me a confirmation

  31. Jennifer

    A trick that I learned is using my ringer finger to apply my concealer and applying white eyeliner to the waterline to brighten up my eyes. I visit Swatch and learn because of the great reviews and I’m also glad it’s a canadian blog!

  32. maria

    I have learned that you must make sure your foundation actually matches your skin and that you are not piling it on.

    I visit this site because i love make up and reading about it before i buy.

    Amazing giveaway!!!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey maria!

      Ah yes…finding the perfect foundation shade. πŸ™‚ I remember once, I picked the wrong shade (it was too dark) and it also oxidized on me by the end of the day pretty badly. YIKES!

      Good luck in the draw! πŸ˜€

  33. sydney

    What is a beauty tip or trick that you’ve learned?
    To apply concealer in a triangle underneath the eye to make it look lifted!

    Why do you visit Swatch And Learn?
    To see swatches and reviews to help me decide if I want to buy a product.

  34. Sarah

    I have learned that to do an easy cat-eye eyeliner, just start from the outside of your eye instead of the inside! Use an angled brush too and gel liner πŸ™‚ I LOVE swatch and learn, everyone is so great to convo with and I’m always trying out new looks that have been posted and searching for products mentioned to try out! Thanks so much for the giveaway! XOXO

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Sarah!

      I’m still trying to do winged liner – it never turns out right or it’s lopsided! Practice, practice, practice! I’ll try it again and start from the outside like you mentioned.

      Good luck in the draw! πŸ™‚

  35. tessa bailey

    A beauty tip that i learned is how to properly apply nail polish without getting it all over your cuticles and making a huge mess. I could never get applying polish right so seeing how its done and practice has really helped create perfect nails.

    I visit swatch and learn for the helpful reviews, beautiful swatches, great tips and tricks and most importantly your honest opinion.

    Thanks so much for the giveaways!!!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey tessa!

      Since I’m a huge nail fanatic, it especially brought me great joy to hear that you’ve found a way to paint your nails even better now. πŸ™‚ It’s such a satisfying feeling to be able to do it yourself and achieve a great end result.

      And I’m glad that you come here mainly for my honest opinions. That means a lot to me because no matter how much hype there is surrounding a product or brand, I’m always dedicated to speaking the truth about what I think about them.

  36. Anabel

    What is a beauty tip or trick that you’ve learned?
    Instead of buying all new lipsticks, layer my existing shades or mix them with eye-shadow to create different options.
    I visit Swatch and Learn for the Moroccan Oil reviews

    Thank you for the giveaway and good luck!!!!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Anabel!

      I love that you’re using what you have instead of resorting to buying new things. πŸ™‚

      Hehe, I’m glad you liked my MoroccanOil review. Wish I could try out more of their products – still using what I have, too. πŸ˜‰

  37. chantel

    1. when you need a deep detox bath. shower powder which you can find in asian market, works way better than any bubble bath you can find on the market. For some reason its exfoliate while you taking the bath. so by the time you finished your bath. Nothing but left you perfect raidiant skin.
    if you dont have foundation around you, cream conceler+++lotion= beautiful foundation.

    2.Visit swatch and laern. today is my first day visit. im LOVE LOVE LOVE beautiful nail art. and you happen to be a great nail artist. i found your lot of work are beautiful.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Chantel!

      Interesting tip about the deep detox powder. I’ve never tried anything like that.

      Thank you so much for saying that about my nail art! πŸ˜€ Means a lot to this nailaholic! Hehehe!

  38. Kimberly


    A trick I’ve learned with applying nail polish is:
    – Apply cuticle oil all over your cuticles, don’t worry if it gets on the nail
    – Use a nail dehydrator (e.g. OPI Chip Skip) or acetone to clean just the nail
    – Apply polish
    – If you get polish on the skin, it will be really easy to remove!

    This is the first time I’m viewing your blog. I was referred by a friend and will definitely look thru your posts =)
    Kimberly recently posted: Let’s Get "Dusty"! ~ Kim’s Dusty Hunting How-To!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Kimberly!

      Glad that your friend referred you – welcome to Swatch And Learn! Hope you’ll visit again soon. I update this blog daily. πŸ™‚

      Good luck in the draw!

  39. Alison

    Greetings and salutations!

    I actually just discovered your website today while I was looking for swatches of DL Happy Birthday dupes! It’s a great site and super helpful! I’ve already looked through many of your Milani swatch posts and really want some Milani polishes now.

    What is a beauty tip or trick that you’ve learned? (Feel free to mention more than one if you want.)
    A beauty trick I have learned actually came from a Youtube guru and it was to cut a business card/stock card in a curved crescent shape against your eye. This is used as protection from your mascara smudging onto your eyeshadow.

    Why do you visit Swatch And Learn?
    As I said above I only discovered Swatch and Learn today but I have already looked through a few posts. I like that you have many swatches of the specific nail polishes I like or am interested in getting and I just like how easily accessible it is and how consistent and organized the sections in your posts are. I will continue visiting because I am a nail polish fanatic and like that this site is Canadian because so it’s much easier to find things in local stores that I have.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Alison!

      Welcome to Swatch And Learn! πŸ˜€ So glad you found me. I haven’t swatched too many Milani polishes – back in the day, Fiona did. (She stopped blogging a few months ago.) But I’m going to be swatching some more Milani in the future. It’s on my to-do list. Just took a look now, and wow, the only Milani polishes I swatched were the one for the dupes post you mentioned and the Cookie Monster nail art. I’ve gotta really get on that and swatch some Milani! I have a bunch of polishes I’d like to share with everyone.

      Good luck, Alison! πŸ™‚

  40. Candy

    Hey Mary!

    I’ve learned many great tips and tricks for nail and makeup, but one that has changed my life is using rubbing alcohol to strip the nails of all oils completely before applying a base coat to the nail. It honestly makes my at home manicures last for a couple of extra days. And the nail polish seems to go on smoother. It’s cheap and definitely works!

    You write about many things on your blog but the reason that I had first started reading it was for the honest reviews you have on wide array of items.

    Whether I win this or not, I’d like to thank you for putting in so much time and dedication into this blog and doing this amazing giveaway. I know you’ve also had some in the past. You’re an amazing writer and I can honestly lose myself in your blog for hours.

    Much love,

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Candy!

      That’s a great tip about using rubbing alcohol to make your manicures last longer. Never tried it. I usually paint my nails right after removing my current polish, so I’ve just been using my nail-polish remover.

      Thank you very much for taking the time to tell me how much you appreciate my work on this blog. πŸ™‚ It makes me feel so good to read that! And the fact that you complimented me on my writing, too, makes me incredibly giddy because I’m extremely passionate about writing. πŸ˜€ THANK YOU!

  41. Christine

    β– What is a beauty tip or trick that you’ve learned? (Feel free to mention more than one if you want.)
    One of my favourite beauty tricks that I’ve recently come across is the sock bun. You cut the end off of a sock and roll it into a donut shape. You can use this to add volume to pretty, ballet-like buns (I’m a dancer myself, so it helps give my bun that extra OOMPH since my hair is thin), but the most awesome thing about it is the way your hair look when you take it out. If you go to bed with a slightly damp sock bun right on top of your head, when you wake up you will have the most gorgeous curls! It actually works, and I love being able to have pretty, curled hair without harmful heat styling πŸ™‚

    β– Why do you visit Swatch And Learn?
    I’m a nail polish fiend. I came here looking for swatches of a particular nail polish and quickly saw that there was so much more to look at – I love that you post so much more than just nail products! (It also doesn’t hurt that you’re Canadian!)

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Christine!

      That is a really smart tip about the sock bun! If my hair were longer, I would totally use this tip – it’s easy and it uses something you already own, so it’s also very frugal. I like that! Thank you for sharing, and good luck in the draw!

  42. Nicole

    Hi Mary,
    Got your second email, but not your first. So excited to win. Just responding here to make sure you did get my email and it didn’t get lost in spam. Thanks to both you and Milani for having this amazing contest!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Nicole!

      I’m so glad that I decided to e-mail you a second time then! I really didn’t want to have to pick another winner.

      I e-mailed your name and address to Milani. If they have a tracking number for the package, I’ll send it over to you. πŸ™‚

      You’re very welcome – I’m as excited as you are about your prize! πŸ™‚ Enjoy it. And please let me know which ones you like the most after you’ve tried a bunch. I haven’t even tried all of those, so I’m curious.


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