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 enjoy these “how I do things” entries, but I personally enjoy taking a peek behind the scenes on other blogs / youtube channels.howiswatch1This isn’t meant 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 since 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 since they’re fairly lint free, but I like toilet paper squares to clean off my fingers as they’re more absorbent.
  • all purpose wet wipes – I don’t use makeup remover wipes on my face (too harsh) so I got these for general usage (bought these for the gym, actually). These are inexpensive 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 remover 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 favourite 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 perfect for swatching – it doesn’t have much colour but it smooths out the skin.
PUPA Smoothing and Fixing Eye Primer

The process:
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 on how many colours I need to swatch).  Then I take a clean cotton bud for each 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 rubbing 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 – watch out for that post coming up this week.

The aftermath: howiswatch4I try not to be too wasteful.  In the future, I may play around with reusable sponge-tipped eye shadow applicators and muslin cloths.

Hope you found this of interest!

9 thoughts on “Swatching products

  1. I have a question. I want to do swatches of NYX jumbo pencil , should I do it on my eye or should i do it on my arm. Which would think is better? or should I do both. I know I could swatches on the arm in one day but the eye would be separate days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think your idea to do both is great! I do swatches on my arm mainly because I don’t post pictures of my face on the blog. I think if you were to do swatches on the eyes, maybe do some eye looks showing how the pencils perform?


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