First Time Here?

How is this blog different from all other blogs?

My goal is to bring the experience of visiting the makeup counter online. I swatch all of something (a brand’s entire winter collection, or a whole category of permanent items, like MAC lipsticks) on my arm, and take a picture, in sunlight. I make notes: is it sheer? Sparkly? Scented? I also ask the sales associates a bunch of questions: Does it have any special ingredients? What skintype is it best for? Is it limited edition? And that information, along with the photos, gets posted here.

You’ll find several different types of posts. There are sneak peeks of upcoming collections, Tips from a Makeup Artist (TFMA), and a few breakdowns of makeup looks from runway shows or red carpet events.

But most of the posts are swatches. You can read straight through chronologically, or you can browse by brand or type of product. (Mouse over the menu bar for a drop-down list of brands or product types — OR if you want to search within a category, select it from the drop down menu next to the search field.)

I also recommend the “Hot Topics” tab. That’s where I put the most commonly referenced posts.

Think you’ve got the hang of it? Great! These articles are some of my favorites (and I think they make a great place to start):

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33 Responses to “First Time Here?”

  • Diane says:

    Do you know any site that shows “swatches on the arm” of Chanel Aqualumiere LIPSTICKS?

  • Linda says:

    What a great site you have. Love it and will be back! You helped me to choose two colors of the new Chanel lipsticks!

  • Kris says:

    Hi Karla,

    I absolutely adore your site!
    I will not even consider a purchase unless I check your your outstanding swatches first!
    I live in Germany and many of these products aren’t readily available, so your swatches mean the world to me.
    You have saved me so much time and money and the ‘black’ line you use to separate the color swatches… genius!
    No Karla Sugar swatches… no sale!

    Would it be possible for you to do some swatches of: Urban Decay – Brow Box?

    I know you are super busy, if you can’t do it that’s fine.

    Thank you so much for everything, it is truly greatly appreciated!


  • Mia says:

    I know you are getting a thousand of these but I was just wondering if you ever thought of swatching the Le Metier de Beaute products. I’m personally interested in seeing the Lip creme lip glosses but the other stuff would be nice too.


  • Jennifer says:

    I was wondering (really hoping) if you could swatch the Giorgio Armani Maestro Eye shadows?
    I live in Alaska and Giorgio Armani is not sold in this state. The closest counter is in Washington.
    Thanks so Much


  • Wendy says:

    Hi, Today was my second time on your blog and let me say that you do indeed tell me everything I want to know! I want to extend my gratitude and wish you further luck with your blog.

  • Rebecca says:

    Hello :-)

    Yesterday, I was surfing the internet for some mac collections and hurrray what did I find?
    Yes, your site. It’s sooo cool here. :-)
    It’s totally what many girls need, I think. :-P
    I also found your recent contest. :-)
    I take part in =) Maybe I win. It would be my first time. hihi

    Well. Have a nice day. :-)

    kisses and hugs Becci

  • Michelle Moore says:

    Looking forward to reading your stuff.
    There’s some book out that I was told I should bring shopping with me ANY time I go out to buy makeup.
    Don’t know the name of it, but I’ll find out, or if you know it would you mind telling me the name.

  • Eunice says:

    Aaah! I finally made it! and WOW~ i’m impressed Karla! Yes it’s me who tried selling u the concealer @ your BB counter @ Nordtroms! not there anymore…is working for 20th Cnetury FOX & NBC for upcoming fall tv drama (was an eagle captured in a chicken coop..was bound to get out) but i had to stop by and see!!!
    I got a new gig with D mag, maybe you can help me out! keep i touch!

  • Daisy says:

    I LUV your site! So helpful and Iluv how you are so current with all your information and products. THANKS!!!!!

  • lauren clark says:

    Hey, i was just looking for a “donate” option. I think you should add one. your site is so helpful

  • Xuxu says:

    Hi there! I just came across this website (dunno how) and I think it is just marvellous!! It’s so good I can see how the real colours of different items are before purchasing them! :D

    thank you so much for such a website!!

  • Kim says:

    I love you site. Best swatches I have ever come across. I was interested in getting some mac lip pencils but my mac store is quite a distance from me. I was wondering if you can put up some lip pencil swatches. Love you site.

  • Gina Sillart says:

    You have the BEST SWATCHES EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you sooooooooooooooo much !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Fondly, Gina

  • Lorraine says:

    how can i subscribe to your site? it’s beyond great!!! please put me on ur list karla!!

  • reeny says:

    great website! loveee it!

  • Linda says:

    I am so glad I found this site. It is really awesome!! I have to say I appreciate all the work you do showing us all the swatches, they are a godsend, especially to someone like myself who is a makeup whore(sorry) but you know what I mean, and I live in no-mans land and haven’t been to a decent “mall” in 7 yrs since I moved to this hell hole of a state, FL.
    Anywhooooo……….Thank You

  • Stacy says:

    Thank you so much for your swatches of the MAC blushes. They have helped me so much. This is a really great site. I appreciate your hard work.

  • Meghan Mae says:

    I love your site! Have you ever tried Jane Iredale mineral makeup? Its gives you great coverage and is actually good for your skin! Would love to know your thoughts on it!

  • ritatminsky says:

    How can I order a blush

  • Kim says:

    Karla: I live in the DFW area and need your help please. BTW your blog is so informative and entertaining. Can you recommend someone or a particular cosmetic line (Northpark, etc.) that can help me with a concealer? I have dark circles and am in my late 40s and need something that doesn’t creep into my fine lines. I have tried several lines including Le Metier de Beaute. I am also having a problem with a color match. Thanks!

  • Melissa says:

    First time here and I wanted to say what an incredible site you have. I also really appreciate you posting info Dallas beauty events – live in Oklahoma and I’m gonna have to go check some out. Thanks so much! Love the swatches too!

  • Monika says:


    Your blog is really helpful, and I need more input regarding Chanel foundation. What is the different between Perfection Lumiere and Vitalumiere Aqua?
    My skin normal combination to dry (oil in T zone area in afternoon and I think it is normal)
    I am looking everyday foundation that I can wear to work and can cover my face and looks natural and flawless.

    Please pleaser help me with one the perfect one for everyday?


  • sefa says:

    thanks for the foundation chart, I’ve been looking for it and your articles are very helpful. But there’s no post about powder, why so?

  • Deb says:

    Love your site! I just found it today and will be back often.

  • Katie says:

    I am new here, and bookmarked this blog so I can come back and read up at my leisure. Thank you; this blog seems so down to Earth, while speaking about a topic that usually has a lot of flair and pomp. You seem very approachable, where to get this kind of service in a store, or even more so at a fashion show would be rare. Thank you!

  • Carmen says:

    I really like your site, Karla, and also appreciate the time you take to do the swatches and post them.
    They are very helpful and give a really good perspective on the shades. Keep up the good work!

  • Trina says:

    Hello Karla,

    Boy I wish I found your site sooner! I have wasted so much time and $ trying things that look gorgeous in the container and/or under the store lights only to hate it when I got home! I also shop a lot more online now and your site is sooo helpful! What a service you are doing for people like me, a makeup junkie, always wanting the lasted and greatest! :)

    Thank you!

  • kiku says:

    I love your site! It is SUCH. A. GODSEND.

  • Mae T. says:

    I was online searching for tinted moisturizers and came across this site and now I’m in LOVE!!! As a dark skinned Black woman, I find it time consuming, discouraging (and annoying) going to cosmetic counters, only to find that there’s no shade even CLOSE to my skin tone. But now I can just check your swatches first and save myself some time! Thanks so much!! :-)

  • Yenni Fan says:


    First visit here, and I LOOOVE that you do colour swatches. Takes so much of the worry out of my purchase decisions.

    I also really like the interview features and product reviews are pretty amazing too.

    Thank you!

  • Samantha says:

    Just knocked out by your info thanks to a random search for info on NARS foundations

  • Jerilyn says:

    omg am completely in love with your site!
    Am going to mention to my audience of my podcast The Because Show next week, we talk a lot about beauty product reviews and recommendations (among other things).

    Keep up the good work! xxoo

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