An Interview with KarlaSugar

Dear Readers,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my survey. You guys are brilliant (I knew you were), and I got a lot of insight from your responses. A few site improvements are already in progress, but I thought I’d get started by addressing some frequently asked questions.

Q: Do you own everything you swatch?
A: No, every weekend I visit makeup counters and make use of their testers. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Sephora, MAC, Neiman Marcus, Saks, and most of all the Nordstrom makeup department for allowing me to do what I do.

Q: Are you a makeup artist/do you work for any of the brands you swatch?
A: No, I’m just an amateur who loves makeup. TNBTTGSY got started because I have a friend in Tennessee (a state without an Armani counter). She likes Armani lipstick, but the “swatches” on Armani’s website aren’t very accurate. Since I live in Dallas — a shopping mecca — I said I could easily swipe a few colors on my hand and send her a picture. I made the same offer to a Chanel-loving friend who lives in a small town in Greece (lucky!). People said the pictures were useful, so I kept swatching.

Q: How do you make your swatches?
A: The answer has changed over time. Earlier eyeshadow swatches were made with Q-tips (this is why they’re narrower), but I have since switched to sponge-tip applicators. Blush is done with a triangle sponge. I don’t use any kind of primer — these are swatched directly onto a dry arm. I do swatch everything heavily to best show color.

Q: Will you swatch _______?
A: Of course! I absolutely want to swatch what you want to see. I only regret that I can’t guarantee a timeframe within which I’ll have them done and posted. You’re welcome to send swatch requests (or write to me about anything else) at KarlaSugar [at] I regret that I do not have easy access to Becca, etailers, or most Asian brands.

Q: Why don’t you swatch more drugstore brands?
A: Because they don’t have testers, and it is beyond my budget to buy for the sake of swatching.

Q: Will you ever swatch nail polish?
A: I don’t plan to. I am sometimes alarmed by the quantity of makeup that’s out there to be swatched, and there’s even more nail polish than there is makeup. Fortunately, there are several brilliant and dedicated polish swatchers. My favorites (in alphabetical order) are e-polishblog, Scrangie, The Nailphile, and The Polish Addict.

Q: What’s your skintone?
A: I wear MAC Face and Body Foundation in N1. In concealer, I wear Studio Finish in NW20. I also matched MAC’s MSF Natural in Light, Armani Face Fabric in shade 2, Chantecaille Real Skin in Fresh, Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer in Porcelain. I prefer sheer foundation, which can be color-flexible, and shades are not usually direct translations from one brand to another. I am not the palest person I know.

Whew! I hope that answered some burning questions. Thanks so much for reading, for taking the time to give me your feedback, and for helping me spread the word about TNBTTGSY. I have some really thrilling swatch projects to share with you in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

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16 Responses to “An Interview with KarlaSugar”

  • Valerie says:

    >Yes, this is all very interesting, but the real question remains… boxers or briefs?

    *sits in Tennessee with no Armani counter in sight*


  • Katee "e-polishblog" says:

    >Thanks for the mention! Keep up the good work. I thoroughly enjoy your swatches. Before I head out the the makeup counter I always check here first to see if you’ve swatched what I am looking for. It really is the next best thing to going shopping!!

  • Vichaya says:

    >Don’t you worry. You just got yourself a huge trouble coz I’ll be here everyday! ;)

    Thanks a lot for all the hard work you’re doing. I really want to thank you for doing it. It helps a lot of people who doesn’t have access to the counter and yes! we all have curiosity and it’s just get intensify when we want to go shopping! ;) Yeah… and it also help with the lemming. ;)

  • verybecca says:

    >Don’t stop swatching!! xoxoxo.

  • Amina says:

    >i soooooo appreciate your swatches because before buying anything, i come here!!!

  • Carrie says:

    >Wow, Dallas, I would have never guessed. I’m in Richardson. It’s so exciting when you learn about local makeupphiles.

  • jojoba says:

    >love this post!!! hey girl, it solved a lot of mysteries! :P

  • Elle Y. says:

    >Hi, girl, I have been a fan of your blog for a long time and this is my first time to leave you a feedback. Your blog is so so impressive and helpful!!!! I have a swatch request actually: I’m getting crazy for red lipsticks and can you swatch a few that you recommend? I am in particular interested in true red, blue red, and all the deep reds. Thank you so much, girl!

  • Heather says:

    >I really enjoy your blog and I think I’ve gone through all of your swatches! I love them all – thanks so much!!!

  • mermaidmaenad says:

    >karla is my MU queen………

  • smjw says:

    >I LOVE your swatches!!
    **newflash** There is one Armani counter in Nashville, TN. I've been there myself!! ;->

  • SephoraMAC says:

    >You have helped so many ppl who are on the fence with whether or not to buy certain products online. Thanks soooooooooooo much and keep on swatching :D

  • resham says:

    >Highly commendable job!!
    I wonder how you could get amazing pictures at every click. I mean swatching tons….then getting it right…WOW!!
    Its a lovely site..n i love ur "endless arms"…


  • Emmy says:

    >Could you please swatch MAC blushes?

  • Maggie says:

    >Just moved to China, if you want me to help you with swatching or "dealing" makeup just let me kno! :) I love your blog so I'd love to help

  • Maggie says:

    >Just moved to China, if you want me to help you with swatching or "dealing" makeup just let me kno! :) I love your blog so I'd love to help

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