A Short Guide To The Swatch Forum


Veteran Moderator
Staff member
The Swatch Request forum is one of the most-viewed, most-searched sections of Specktra.net. In this subforum you can request specific swatches, post swatches from past, current and upcoming collections, or post a swatch that you've made that doesn't fit into either of the above types of thread. It's an amazing resource that's entirely driven by Specktra members, and it couldn't be as fantastic as it is without your posts and pictures.

How do I know which thread to post in?

  • Swatch request thread: in this massive thread you can request a particular swatch ("Can someone please post a swatch of Politely Pink lipstick on unlined lips, please? Thank you!") or you can fill a swatch request that someone else has posted. This is the only thread to post in if you have a swatch request or can fill a swatch request. There are more details about the swatch request thread within the thread itself.
  • Colour story threads: these incredibly helpful threads contain swatches specific to individual colour stories. These threads contain swatches and product images that you have photographed yourself. For the sake of clarity, we ask that official product images and swatches (those that you would find on a mailer postcard or posted on the official MAC website) are not posted in these threads. As before, these threads are sensitively moderated to ensure that they remain easily searched and indexed, so I ask that posts consisting of "wow, I love them all!" or "thank you for the pictures of X and Y!" are not made.
  • Individual swatch threads: if you've decided to make a swatch of all your red lipsticks and want to share them with the rest of Specktra, you can post an individual thread to showcase your swatch picture. In the interest of keeping the Swatch Request forum as lean and mean as possible, please search the swatch request thread first to see if it matches any available requests. Again, these threads are sensitively moderated to ensure that they remain easily searched and indexed, so I ask that posts consisting of "wow, I love them all!" or "thank you for the pictures of X and Y!" are not made.

The four most commonly-asked questions about the Swatch Request subforum:

  • What is a swatch? A swatch is a picture of product applied to a neutral base in a controlled manner in order to show colour, finish and texture. In other words, make-up products applied cleanly to paper, or the back of the hand or wrist (or in the case of lipstick and glosses, on unlined lips) and photographed clearly so you get a true idea of what the product really looks like. An EOTD (eye of the day) or FOTD (face of the day) picture is not a swatch.
  • What is a product image? Different yet equal to official product images (the ones that MAC releases to promote a collection, usually consisting of products artfully displayed and shot in a studio environment), these are shots of the make-up item itself as photographed by you. This can be a close-up on an eyeshadow pan, the packaging of a lipstick or a pigment jar, or anything along these lines.
  • I wrote a post telling someone how much I liked their swatches and it later vanished, why?
    In order to make the swatches posted here relevant and easy to find when searching, it's important to keep the text used in this forum as precise as possible. By keeping the chatter and pictureless posts to a minimum, it increases the likelihood of someone getting the exact results they want when doing a search. For example, if someone searches for Russian Red lipstick, I want the results to be a captioned picture of Russian Red lipstick and not someone saying 'hey, thanks for the picture of Russian Red!'. Chatter posts will be removed by a moderator.
  • I made several swatch posts one after the other and they were merged by a moderator, why?
    If several posts have been made in quick succession in the same thread by the same user, generally these posts will be merged together and marked as 'merged relevant posts'. For the purpose of moderating, quick succession is considered within 24 hours. If your post has been in any way altered by a member of the moderating or administration team, a reason will always be listed below your signature at very bottom of your post. Because these swatch threads can grow very, very large, we want them to be lean, mean and quick to load! When in doubt, aim for one post in each thread per day.
  • I posted a link to my blog and it was removed, why?
    Spamming links to your personal or business website is against the Specktra TOS.
    The purpose of the Specktra swatch subforum is to collect and display our swatches in a single unifying place. Linking out to your blog just defeats that goal entirely. You are encouraged to watermark your images with your blog url and have a link to your blog in your signature, but apart from that, please refrain from using this as a self-promotion space. Your post/s will have the blogspam links removed.
If you have any questions about the swatch forum, please contact a member of the moderation team and we'll be more than happy to help you. Thank you for reading!

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