Swatching products

Along a similar vein as how I photograph products, I thought I would do quick post about how I swatch products for this blog.  I’m not sure if people delight in these “how I do things” entries, but I personally enjoy taking a peek behind the scenes on other blogs / youtube channels.This isn’t indicated to be a how-to guide, it’s just to show you what I use to achieve the swatches you see on this blog.


cotton buds (aka Q-tips) – I don’t like dipping my fingers into my products, especially into powders because any oils from my skin may interfere with the products’ performance (even if I’ve washed my hands, it’s possible that there’s lingering oil or soap residue).

tissue / toilet paper squares – I like facial tissue to clean off product packaging because they’re fairly lint free, but I like toilet paper squares to clean off my fingers as they’re much more absorbent.

all purpose wet wipes – I don’t use makeup remover wipes on my deal with (too harsh) so I got these for general usage (bought these for the gym, actually). These are low-cost ones from Walmart and they get the job done.  I like that they’re unscented and don’t leave any film or residue behind.

micellar water – I prefer using micellar water rather than makeup cleaner to clean up between swatches since it does not leave the skin feeling oily.  This amber coloured one is from Nuxe – it’s not my much-loved and I’m just using up the product (decanted into a travel bottle).

eye shadow primer – to create a clean canvas on my skin for the product to adhere to.  This particular one is from PUPA ($15 Rexall) and it’s a bit drying on my eyes but it’s ideal for swatching – it doesn’t have much colour but it smooths out the skin.

PUPA Smoothing and taking care of Eye Primer
It’s not rocket science, I first apply a thin layer of the eye shadow primer with a cotton bud onto my forearm (a rectangular patch roughly 1″ x 3″ in size, depending upon how numerous colours I need to swatch).  Then I take a clean cotton bud for every colour and apply the products in a stripe pattern onto the primed area.  Then I photograph the swatches in various angles and try to get the most accurate colour representation I can.  Once I’m done photographing, I use an all purpose wet wipe with a bit of the micellar water to clean off the swatches.  I have to allow my skin a few minutes to return to its natural colour – after scrubing off with a wipe, it gets a bit red and blotchy – and then start the whole process again for the next around of swatches.

Sneak peek: these are swatches for my upcoming top 10 MAC eye shadows post – enjoy out for that post coming up this week.
The aftermath: I try not to be too wasteful.  In the future, I may play around with recyclable sponge-tipped eye shadow applicators and muslin cloths.

Hope you found this of interest!

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