My Equipment and How I take my swatches

If you’ve found yourself here, you’re interested in some of the more technical stuff. We all know blogging requires the basic PC/laptop and a camera to take good pictures but there are a few items of equipment that make it easier to produce better content.

Camera Stuff

I use a Nikon D5100 to take 99% of my blog photo’s. It’s an older model SLR (released 2011) that has since been discontinued but I chose it because 1) It was on special since it was the last one in stock and 2) It outperforms newer models such as the Nikon D500 (released 2016) and the Canon 60D (released 2015).

Most of the time I use the standard 18mm-55mm lens that came with the bundle. If I want to take photo’s of the kids or am looking for a blurred background effect, I opt for my Nikkor f/1.8 AF lens which has a great depth of field. I also picked up a Phottix Macro Lens Kit from Camera Stuff for when I need to get up close and magnify detail on certain products.


I always use my Vanguard tripod when taking photo’s. Not only does it allow me to take the perfect flatlays, it also helps to stabilize the image so there is no movement blur since I’m quite shaky when holding the camera. I also have a remote which comes in handy when taking face shots or video.

I also like to keep a spare 8GB SD card because these things can be quite finicky and need to be formatted before you can use them again. I invested in a Mobi 8GB WiFi SD Card when I purchased my camera so that the images would transfer automatically to my laptop or phone. Last week it cracked when I tried to insert it into my laptop and I’m struggling to find a replacement one. The WiFi feature makes things much easier as well as being an instant backup to my phone in case anything goes wrong.

How I take my swatches

I love swatching makeup. Walking out of the store with an armful of colours gives me some sense of accomplishment even if I don’t purchase anything. However, I find that this works for me because I know what I am looking for in terms of texture, formula and application. Sharing these swatches with you on the other hand, is a whole different ball game.

I take swatches on my arm with no primer underneath so that you can see the true colour and formula. Swatching lipsticks, foundations and concealers is pretty straightforward. I swatch using my finger on a clean arm with no primer or base. What you see is what you get.

Previous eyeshadow swatches were done using just my fingers which can make them look better than they actually are. Now my swatches include side by side of a finger swatch and a brush swatch. For those of you that are concerned you might not get the exact colour payoff, I use the Essence cosmetics eyeshadow brush to swatch. They retail for R30 ($2) so it’s very affordable.


Between each swatch I use my Vera Mona Colour Switch to remove any eyeshadow off the brush before dipping in to the next shade. If the brush is stained with darker colour then I use my RubyBox Fresh in a Flash Brush Cleaner to remove any trace of eyeshadow.

When wearing the eyeshadows to test on my lids I always use an eyeshadow primer so that it stays. It’s best practice for makeup application and something you should also always do. When editing my photo’s I use natural light and do not edit my swatch photo’s whatsoever.

For foundation swatches and comparisons, you can view a list of the foundations and the shades I use here.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to send me a message using the form on my contact page or email me directly at