Category Archives: Primer Reviews

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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OPI Natural Nail Base Coat Review & Pictures

OPI Natural Nail Base Coat Pictures & ReviewAlthough I often shine the spotlight on nail-polish colours as they tap dance across the stage with their top hat and cane, it’s important to remember that wearing a good base coat is vital for any manicure to go the distance. And what works for one person could be Chip City for another.

Over the years, I’ve worn many different base coats, and since I’m reaching the bottom of my OPI Natural Nail Base Coat, I thought I’d better review it now while you can still see a bit of product left in the bottle! 😉

If you’re a regular Swatch And Learn reader, you may have noticed that I like to rotate the base coat I use. For this reason, it’ll probably take me forever to finish all the bottles I’ve accumulated. (Hehe, when I first started collecting polish more seriously in 2008, I also started collecting base coats!)

So did the OPI Natural Nail Base Coat impress me? Let me go into further details!

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The Best of 2011: Nail Polish, Nail Art, Makeup, Skincare & Fragrance

Swatch And Learn The Best of 2011It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it?

I’ve tried all sorts of new beauty products including nail polishes. And I’ve had tons of fun coming up with nail-art designs!

Now that it’s the last day in 2011, it’s time to reflect upon the year.

I’d like to share with you my Best of 2011 list! I still have a ton of favourites from last year, so these picks are strictly new ones that I’ve blogged about in 2011.

You’ll see it broken down into the following categories: nail polish (duh), nail art (double duh), fragrance, makeup, and skincare. All lists are in no particular order. (It was difficult enough to whittle down my picks for the nail polishes!)

Feel free to click on the links – they’ll take you to the blog post with the swatches, reviews, and tutorial (where appropriate).

Now I’m so curious about what you think!

Is there a lacquer that you feel I sorely missed including? Have you found your Holy Grail facial cleanser? What nail-art design have you worn in 2011 that you would consider wearing again in 2012?

Please weigh in with your picks! We’re all different, but our love for beauty products brings us together. 🙂 Continue reading


Orly Bonder Rubberized Basecoat Review & Pictures

Orly Bonder Rubberized Basecoat Review & PicturesA good base coat sets the stage for nail polish to give a performance of a lifetime and to receive a standing ovation.

A bad base coat has you booing, throwing rotten tomatoes at it, and heckling even though you know it can’t hear you.

I’ve put the Orly Bonder Rubberized Basecoat through a manicure marathon.

For the most part, it held up well under pressure despite having some performance anxiety. And it gave all the right answers to the cute reporter:

“At the end of the day,” Orly Bonder said with sweat dripping down its brows, “if I’ve done my best, I can sleep at night.”

So how did Orly Bonder fare? Am I handing it a medal or heading to the store for juicy tomatoes? You’re about to find out in seconds… Continue reading


Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Greed Review & Swatches

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Greed Review & SwatchesEye-shadow primer changed my makeup life!

In the morning, my eyelids tend to be normal to dry, but as the day progresses, they get oilier, so shadows tend to crease very easily by 3 in the afternoon.

When I discovered primers, I was disappointed that most of them contain bismuth oxychloride. You see, I’m allergic to it. If I wear stuff with that ingredient on my eyelids, they turn scaly, red, and itchy. Plus they swell. Yeah, it makes me look like a million bucks! 😛

So you can imagine how excited I was when I discovered the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Greed!

Not only does it not contain that allergen, but it has a pretty shimmery gold colour and makes sure my eye shadow doesn’t crease!

Layering this over shimmery shadows really makes them look more brilliant, and it looks pretty as a brow highlight.

Have you tried this and/or other primers from Urban Decay? Or do you like a primer from another brand better? Continue reading


What’s in My Travel Makeup Bag

I’ve been seeing a lot of cool What’s in My Travel Makeup Bag YouTube videos and blog posts this summer. Thought I’d join in and show you what products I take. Plus this is very timely since I’m actually going on a short romantic ‘trip’ soon. I’m staying within the city, but he and I always have a great time.

Whats in My Travel Makeup BagBut before I go into the details about what I’m taking with me, I’d like to blab a little bit about myself first. If this bores you, you can scroll down this post to get right to the makeup. 🙂 Continue reading


NYX HD High Definition Eye Shadow Base Review & Swatches

NYX HD Eyeshadow Base Review & SwatchesA lot of US shoppers are frustrated and angry because of the major fail that took place recently during the NYX 12-year anniversary sale.

Sometimes crap happens, but at least they’re issuing out coupon codes to let their customers know they’re trying to right the wrong. Sure, the new offer isn’t as good as the original, but at least they’re doing something.

As a Canadian, I never got to participate in any of the crazy NYX online deals, but even after hearing about what happened, I’m still a NYX customer. I appreciate their dedication to providing affordable makeup – their prices are typically already very inexpensive whether or not they go on sale.

Today, I’ll be reviewing the NYX HD High Definition Eye Shadow Base, which costs much less than its counterparts by Too Faced, Urban Decay, and Smashbox.

What I love about this NYX eye primer isn’t just the low price. I’m willing to spend a lot for a product that works instead of paying less for a craptastic one that will spend more time collecting dust. The NYX eyeshadow primer really works well, and that’s why I find myself reaching for it very often. Continue reading