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] gmail.com. 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!