The Swatch Gallery
You might have caught my mention of working on a project (which I have now determined may be never-ending!) last week, and it was all about breaking down every single swatch in the Swatch Gallery into additional characteristics: how light or dark the shade is, how cool or warm the shade is, and how much shimmer the shade has. The driving force behind this project is just the sheer number of swatches we have in the gallery and rather than continue to add colors (e.g. light brown, medium brown, not just brown), why not really drill it down into a range so that it’s never an issue again?
I’ve combed through over 30,000 swatches in the last two weeks to assign these characteristics to them, and I’ve gone through them twice more. My goal is to try to be as consistent as possible with how I categorize everything, and I know I’ve changed quite a few shades from one color category to another as well as switched some undertones since this project gave me the opportunity to really see all swatches and go through them (so if you see review text that doesn’t quite line-up, that would likely be why).
I still have more tweaking to do over the next couple of weeks to really get the shades in the best order I possibly can. The process has been truly overwhelming (which I should have anticipated, as we’ll celebrate our ten-year anniversary in the fall!), from trying to better understand exactly what is warmer, what is warm (in the case of brighter purples), how to categorize desaturated shades that don’t look right alongside much brighter shades, even though they seem like they’re both medium in lightness/darkness, and the like.
It is also designed to help me help you faster by making it a little easier to narrow down dupes or easily grab a bunch–say for a medium to medium-dark, copper eyeshadow, which there are numerous ones–or I can easily bypass light blues when I know I’m only interested in navy blues. I know I’m looking forward to being able to refine brown eyeshadows or pink lipsticks better (those colors, by the way, were the most numerous in number of swatches)! You can also do neat things like sort by editor’s highest rated and see what the highest rated medium, very cool-toned fuchsia lipstick is.
So while this allows for even further refinement should you be browsing swatches, it also enables us to provide much more accurate “possible dupes.” I hope this helps readers in three ways: 1) when I’ve uploaded a swatch but have not reviewed yet, you’ll now be able to see possible dupes in a meaningful way; 2) for older shades that may have less dupes, a better list of possibilities will be there; and 3) to catch any similar shades that I might have missed (I think I will miss less now, though!). (Here’s an example: MAC Invite Intrigue has not yet been reviewed, so you can see possible dupes and how very close are! I’m on the way to eliminating myself out of a job! Haha!)
We have configured the possible dupes section to be slightly broader than what would generate near-perfect dupes so that slightly lighter or darker possibilities might show as some colors have lots of dupes and others might have only a handful that are much lighter/darker so we didn’t want to go so narrow that there’d be no results too often!