I Tried It – Shapewear

HoneyLove Sculptwear - Next Generation Shapewear

We all know that many of us struggle with weight but even those who don’t understand the power of great shapewear. With the advent of Spanx many years ago, we all expect women to have a flat and seamless appearance under the tightest dresses and with not an ounce of extra showing.

Although I don’t hold myself to that impossible standard, I do appreciate the help of great shapewear to give me an added boost of confidence by making me feel that rolls have been firmly tucked away. A good shapewear piece can actually make clothes fit a little better and give you a confidence booster. So I tried 3 of the biggest at all price ranges.

Spanx of course being the absolute innovator in the industry was my first choice. For the purpose of the experiment, I bought a similar style in all pieces tested, a short type piece which pulls up just to under the rib line and extends mid thigh. Next I went with HoneyLove, a new player in the game that promises to not rolls down (a big claim) and last, Maidenform, a brand readily available at most shopping malls and at a significant lower price point than the others.

Spanx – does is exactly as it says, it is Tight! Pulls in all those little ripples and rolls to provide a seamless and smooth finish under clothes. Can be pricey but made me feel great. One con is is rolls down on the tummy after time and I found myself heading to the bathroom to pull and yank the waistband back into place.

HoneyLove – More expensive that I anticipated but kept those tummy and back rolls firmly in check, and get this…It Never Rolled Down! I thought that was quite the claim to make but it has proven me wrong. This was a shocking experience as I never tugged, yanked or anything else all day. It kept me in without strangling me and I couldn’t believe how well it stayed up.

Maidenform – By far the most affordable and had the softest material, a cotton and spandex combo that felt soft against the skin. These were the closest to real underwear and felt gentle against the skin. It didn’t have the level of control the others did. It did roll down a little but not as much as the Spanx and really were the most comfy all day.

My vote? HoneyLove for the win. This was a game changer for me and I foresee myself using this far more often.

I Tried It…HoneyLove Shapewear

HoneyLove Sculptwear - Next Generation Shapewear

When most people think of shape-wear the image of these horrific medieval torture devices often flash through our minds. Contraptions made of thick, unforgiving material that require power tools to get in (and out) of and most of all, as the most unflattering thing we can put onto our bodies. I have to say I fell into that category until recently. I wrote a comparison and review of my experiences with several brands (click here for that article: https://clarityreviewed.com/2019/02/21/i-tried-it-shapewear/ ) and HoneyLove (a brand covered) reached out to me to try even more of their selection.

I jumped at the chance because in my first review, I had no relationship with the brand and they were the clear winner so what else did they have to offer and was it any good? If you follow me, you will know I put items through the ringer. I wear and test for up to 30 days including how items wash because that’s what real life is and I was taken aback. The items sent to me were the Power Brief and the Queen Brief and they were sexy!

For once, I did not feel like I was wearing some awful and shameful garment. The sheer appearance around the bum area gave the illusion of a high cut panty and was more like lingerie than shapewear on the bottom. The waistband held true to their claim, it did not budge, roll down or even fold once. I have worn them both now to work under dresses, under rompers for events and even under a jeans and t-shirt combo for a more flattering silhouette.

HoneyLove Sculptwear - Next Generation Shapewear

The kicker though is what HoneyLove does for me personally. It’s not about trying to look skinny, it’s not about fooling anyone into thinking I don’t have rolls somewhere. It’s about giving me a sense of confidence and putting a little strut in my step when I leave the house. It’s about making me feel like my clothes look good because I am not constantly tugging or adjusting the little spots that we all have that make us self conscious.

The overall experience was empowering and comfortable. Strange bedfellows I know but that’s my feedback. I was gifted these products but as always my readers are more to me than any brand so this is 100% my own opinion and not sponsored. I look forward to the brand bringing out even more options in the future and have to say that I’m all in with HoneyLove .

Clarity R

Some links are affiliated and I will receive a small commission if you purchase through them which I will use to buy stocks in magazines and have them fire all the photo retouchers.

HoneyLove Sculptwear - Next Generation Shapewear

Orange You Glad? NEW Monochromatic Palette!

Does fashion end at 40?

I want you to think for a moment of a 40 year old, not yourself of course, but someone else that is around that age. Do you think of them as old or young? That’s the question I think I ask myself every time I do an IG post or look at Twitter. This fashion and beauty world has a nasty habit of presenting beauty as no older than 25 and it makes many of us question if we are being considered or spoken to by many of these brands.

Carmen Dell Orefice Image via Pinterest

Rihanna, being who she is, was one of the first to have a model over 40 for her Fenty clothing line launch. She is stunning, embodies confidence and elegance and defies categorization. She can also probably afford Rihanna’s clothes, how many 25 year olds can?

So here is my fundamental question to brands in all categories. Who do you think is buying your $60 primers and $40 lipsticks? Certainly not the 20 something saddled with student loans and living with 3 roommates. It’s us. Financially secure women (and men) with disposable income and a desire to pamper ourselves. It is this demographic so sorely lacking in marketing materials, campaign ads and more that can afford to buy the entire lipstick collection for $150 and not ask for a discount. Why then are we the least represented in fashion, beauty and more as having no desire to be on trend or experiment with our look.

Pia Gronning 64 Image via JCrew

The cardinal rule that fashion dies at 40 ended years ago so we challenge both the fashion and beauty brands to wake up and smell the high credit scores of people who could potentially make or break your business. Recognize and appreciate that this category must be represented as a factor for diversity, the same way shade range is considered for foundation launches (again Rihanna leads the pack, seeing a trend here). No offense meant to the 20’s crowd but move over, mommy’s got some shopping to do.

Clarity R

Image via :Refinery 29


I

Amazon Prime Day. – Part 2

As a continuation of our Prime day series, part 2 covers a lot more! Some of our favorite essentials as well as an add on or two for fun. It’s a long one so settle in with a snack but all the links are clickable so I tried to save you some trouble! Haven’t read part one yet? Take a look at our Amazon list for a flawless base https://clarityreviewed.com/2019/07/11/amazon-prime-day-means-makeup/

L’Oreal Paris Brow Stylist Shape & Fill Pencil: There are a million brow products on the market, both high and low end but this meets every need without breaking the bank. With a spoolie on one side and an angled point at the other, the shape allows for both fine strokes and fill with rich color that’s not too waxy and easy to spread for a more natural look

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel Clear: Just the opposite from the above, this one I went with the only option in my opinion. This brow gel keeps all the micro hairs firmly in place without a white cast and a visible gel texture. For on place, no budge brows, this is my first choice.

Physician’s Formula Bronzing Veil: Any one who knows me will realize that the Fenty Bronzers are my die hard choice but this bronzer from Physician’s Formula is something special. With a rich warmth for that just off the island finish and a subtle glow, it’s am amazing summer bronzer with a bit of dew

Wet N Wild Megaglow Highlighting Powder: This highlighter gives you a liquid shine that beats highlighters 10 times the price. Available in a wide variety of colors, it gives the option for a subtle sheen or a glow to make the stars envious. Your choice.

Essence Lash Princess Mascara: An undiscovered treasure for many, this Vegan Mascara provides a full and rich volume without clumping or transfer. Again, it compares to come high end mascaras even some as much as $35 (a big savings)

Lorac Pro Contour Palette Plus Brush: Maybe a little pricey compared to other options but you do get a great brush and the key is a range of tones that don’t have that awful gray or green cast. These rich shades are skin like and a great blendable formula for even an amateur.

NYX Professional Makeup Matte Liquid Eyeliner: This is my go to eyeliner for a sharp wing, I prefer a matte finish so this is perfect and is just as good as many luxury brands without the price tag. To be honest, my holy grail is the Beauty Bakerie Lollipop Liner but this one is no slouch.

EM Cosmetics Infinite Lip Cloud: This is a brand you may it be familiar with but should be, this lip cloud is the dreamy name suits this mega long lasting liquid lip. With a lighter than air texture and in 11 shades it’s one of my favorite secrets

Karity Nudes and Rudes Eyeshadow Palette: How on earth do you choose just one eyeshadow palette? I decided to stick with a good range of neutrals that allow for a sultry, smoked out look or a soft day time option and Karity was a clear winner. This indie brand has amazing pigmentation and a great formula that allows building up of pigments and a variety of looks.

Honest Beauty Setting Spray: As a leader in the clean beauty movement, Honest has been at the forefront of this change for healthier and environmentally friendly choices. This setting spray has a lasting effect on my makeup and contains hyaluronic acid that gives me an added boost.

Told you this one would be epic! So this is my Amazon guide to a full face (of course there are so many other I could include like lip balm, eye primers, lip pencils but I’m tired and it’s Sunday so….

If you buy through my links I become an instant millionaire and stop writing immediately

Clarity R

Super Shocks are 40% off at Colourpop!

Super Shocking

Amazon Prime Day means makeup!

So when I was thinking about my next post my little pop up reminded me that Amazon Prime Day is coming up on the 15th. Now we never know what’s actually going to be featured in the sale or how fast it may change but I thought it would be fun to post some of my favorite makeup products available through Amazon Prime.

As I started writing I realized how epic a post this could be so I have decided to break it up and post a few sections. This one concentrated on the base, with primer, foundation, powder, concealer and even a little glow to make things special. You will be surprised what you can find on Amazon and with Prime, that means free, quick shipping on whatever catches your eye. In no particular order, here we go.

The Pores No More Primer by Dr. Brandt has been a go to for me for some time now. I was pleasantly surprised to realise that such a high end brand was being stocked on Amazon and loved the poreless finish this primer gave me. Spoiler, I actually like this better than the Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer because it seeps into my skin and gives me a touch of moisture.

L’Oreal Paris Makeup True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer Highlighting Lotion was a real find for me. I love that dewy look and was eyeing the Huda Nymph Body Glow for some time. This was an amazing substitute available in 4 shades that I added to both body lotions and under foundation for that golden glow. This mixes so well with other foundations in my arsenal that I have bought several shades.

The Elf foundation packs a punch, with its’ unassuming price you don’t expect much but it is a beautiful satin matte finish that builds to a fantastic full coverage without looking cakey. I think this gives a number of my more expensive foundations a serious challenge and mixed with a little of the Lumi from above, becomes a bullet proof, no budge wear that lasts at least 9 hours in tropical heat.

A combination of Caribbean weather, coupled with a heavy travel schedule makes my skin drier than the Sahara. This Hydra Powder from L’Oreal is one of the few that lets me set down my base for a budge proof finish without creasing and making my aging skin seem drier than it is. There is certainly a blurring effect and it creates a smooth, almost satin finish to the skin.

If you haven’t been under a rock all year you already know about Age Rewind. With a thinner consistency and a sponge tip applicator, this concealer covers up some of the worst transgressions (and your dark circles) with a flawless finish. There are alot of places to pick this up but because of it’s overwhelming popularity, shades are often slim. Amazon is one of the few places to pick up a wide range in stock.

So there you have it, my Amazon Prime must have list for the base. A second post will be coming soon on the rest of it but even I need sleep. This is not a sponsored post, the Amazon links are affiliates but I saved you all the trouble of looking for everything individually so give me my 3 cents!

Clarity R

16 hours traveling, my full face routine

So as usual, I’m off again for another work related trip but things are a little different now. Since the advent of my beauty adventure, I have really changed up the items that I carry with me and how I get ready. I think that keeping your skin refreshed with recirculated air is key and started with a hydrated base does that.

Let’s start with the basics. I really am more conscious now of skin care and flights which wasn’t a factor prior. In my hand luggage, I have the Laneige Lip mask in Vanilla and a mini bottle of the Caudilie Mist for a bit of moisture. I know I have a 3 hour layover in Miami and will take the chance to freshen up the face without applying more product.

To get ready, the routine was simple (because I had to be be at the airport at 3AM for all day flying. Start with a good base, moisturized with Bliss Glow Explosions for rich hydration and followed with the Too Faced Primer, one of the most moisturizing primers I own. Step 2 was application of a thin layer of LOreal Infallible 24 hour foundation with my damp Sonia Kashuk sponge for creating an even skin tone but no cakey coverage. A little Fenty concealer and Fenty setting powder in Butter with a liberal spritz of the Morphe Setting spray to merge it all together.

Final touches are a little Fenty Bronzer and Hourglass Ambient Highlight, Tarte Lifted Mascara in brown, Laneige Lip Mask and some setting spray to lock it all in place. It actually is very quick though it sounds like a lot of steps and keeps me looking finished but not overdone.

It worked out too, I saw 2 clients at 5 AM in the airport and felt put together and professional. So that’s my flight routine, I’ll spritz a little and reapply my lip mask on my layover but no extra product is needed to make me feel fresh and finished by the time I land.

And just for reference, I’m wearing my fav Aldo sneakers styled with the gold zip, and FashionNova for black high waist jeans, a black 2 sided cami and a faux suede moto jacket in a deep wine color for a pop. super chic and very comfy for the airport.

I’ll be doing a lot of IG stories and more during my trip so stay tuned for updates and let me know if there is any must see activities in Chicago.

Clarity R

Memorial Day Deal | 20% OFF SALE ON SALE CODE: SOEXTRA

A little support to Tati…

Sometimes, when you least expect it, your efforts are rewarded in a way you could have never imagined. For me, this blog has been a cathartic experience allowing me to have a recreated identity in a world that doesn’t love people getting out of their lane.

When I turned 39 (a little over a year ago) I discovered Tati (@glamlifeguru) and she changed my world. I suddenly realized that you didn’t have to be 22 to have success in the beauty community. She showed me that consistent content, solid reviewing and a strict regimen of truthfulness could get you somewhere. As I write this, the entire drama unfolds with her and James Charles and it reinforced my thought process even more. People are awful, this is still a business and many will step on and over those around them to get where they need to be.

I will not comment on he said, she said (that’s what drama channels are for) but right or wrong, the divinity and elegance with which Tati has carried herself through this debacle shows me two things. Money can’t buy class, and with age comes wisdom. Cliches with some value as the poise she has maintained is what happens when you are a grownup.

I am old enough the be the parent of most of the popular gurus on YouTube so let me hand out some unsolicited advice. Take a long, hard look at your choices and then look to Tati. She has been here before you and will be here long after.

Clarity R

Shop QUAY x JLO Collection


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My skin is angry but I’m working on it…here’s how.

I travel extensively for both work and personal reasons and I am not a stranger to the effects of dry, recirculated airplane air and drastic changes in climate having massive impacts on my skin. Even more, the never ending march forward of time has finally hit my skin like a ton of bricks so it’s time to take action. Let’s rewind…

I turned 40 this year and my skin rebelled. From nothing to hyperpigmentation, redness and extreme dry patches, I got slammed by the skin Gods. I deserved it. Like most, I thought I was invincible. I never moisturized, wore sunscreen or took care of my most face forward asset until it was too late and now I am paying the price but it has given me insight into some of the most amazing skin care which has been life changing so let me give you a peek into the saviors of my skin.

Start from scratch, I paid big bucks and went to a specialist for a skin review and it was money well spent. I got a thorough skin assessment that saved me tons of cash because I didn’t purchase the wrong skin care. Details on that experience are in my blog (I Tried It…An Oxygen Facial).

Once your skin is back to basics, invest in the proper combination of skin care that starts with washing your face, every night. I’ll say that again for the people in the back. Wash your face EVERY night. No exceptions. I employ the Bliss Wipes (picked mine up at Target but they are widely available). Then in with a Foreo Mini and Murad Vitamin C cleanser or the Laneige Foaming cleanser.

Following such I break out the moisture products. Day time, I rotate between the Laneige serum and the Ole Henriksen Vitamin C serum followed by the Bliss moisturizer. I let that sit for a minute and then follow with Murad spf. My regular makeup routine then begins.

At night, we break out the big boys and swap our bliss and Murad for the Laneige water cream in lavender. A little goes a long way so being sparing about application and apply down the neck. Laneige lip mask follows and I’m out for the night.

Let’s talk weekend, without fail I do I mask every Sunday. I am a bit of a fanatic and collect them at every turn so I have built myself a wide variety. I use whatever I feel my skin needs the most at the time, last weekend I did an Anti-Redness mask and coming up I think I will be a coconut water detox mask. I am not super brand loyal but you can get great ones from the Yes To brand as well as the house K brands at Ulta and the drugstore. Take your time in the Walgreens or Target beauty aisles for some gems.

So that’s my current routine that has almost totally changed my skin and the way it looks in less than a year. Yes that sounds like a while but I spent the prior 39 messing it up so, not too bad. I also don’t have a 12 step skin care routine because I am a real person. I have a family, a job, pets and more that don’t afford my an hour a day to move through a complicated ritual. I can get all of the above done within a ten minute window and still have put some effort in. I do some specialized add ons every now and then (see prior blog for I Tried It…Murad Dark Spot Corrector) but generally this is the run down.

I hope by putting it out there I have given you some options to try, a few simple steps to follow and of course the reality check needed to take care of your skin. Some the products I have mentioned are linked below – a few are affiliate links I just listed everything I use, love and have tested myself.

Clarity R

This is not sponsored, is my actual skin care routine and damn if I don’t look good!

The same lightweight sleeping mask you know and love, but now with a new Lavender scent.

Get a FREE Rapid Age Spot & Pigment Lightening Serum ($26 value) Duo Kit on orders $65+ at Murad.com! Use the code SPRING at checkout. Valid 4/1-4/30

I Tried It…Jeffree Star/Morphe Brush Collection

So both the names Jeffree Star and Morphe tend to ignite either intense loyalty or amazing disdain from many people. I am not one of those, I am not here to take a political stand of any kind regarding an individual or a company, all I am doing is trying an uber-popular launch and giving my opinion.

Now that we have that out of the way, I purchased the entire brush and sponge collection and have been using them for a month as is my standard for reviews so I can have a better feel and overall impression of the products. Let’s start with the sponges.

I have owned Morphe sponges before and this doesn’t seem any different except for its signature pink color. The sponges are soft, expand easily and wash well and I am loving the tiny one for under my eyes as I don’t really love brushes tugging in that area. They come in a 3 pack which I also appreciate because I keep one of the smaller for concealer and another for highlight or cream products. The large one applies my foundation just fine as well but I always lean to my Sonia Kashuk sponge or Juno sponge as they both give a better overall finish.

The brushes however are a 50/50 split for me. The handles are beautiful, easy to hold and have a great finish but the eye brushes shed very easily and more than once I have had to take a tweezers to my face to extricate an errant brush hair. The larger brushes are not too bad, the powder brush is actually pretty nice but again, when compared to my Juvia’s Place powder brush, it can’t come close.

All in all, as pretty as it is, the quality simply seems like a miss on this. I have used other Morphe brushes before including their eye kits and I haven’t had any issues but this simply missed the mark. To be honest, I am a little surprised Jeffree allowed this to be released at this quality level because his own products have a stellar reputation but maybe it’s a contract issue or behind the scenes story we are unaware of.

I look forward to seeing more from both brands but this collab simply flopped for me.

Clarity R

As always, this review is not sponsored. All opinions are my own and products purchased with my own money.

Laneige

$5 off your first order of $10+ with “colourpoppin”

I Tried It…The IG Salon

Ever flip through your IG and see salons post these incredible before and after photos and you think…

I would love that! Is that real? How much did that cost ?!

So did I, so I tried it, after IG stalking a few places, I settled on Reinvention Beauty Bar. Out of all the options, I chose this one because the color work looked fantastic and because the owner would occasionally post photos of herself. I know that sounds like a strange criteria but the fact that she looked just a great as her client photos and clearly put effort and energy into her own look spoke volumes to me. (That’s her in the cover shot).

Fast forward to my impulsive self knowing I had an upcoming function and calling begging for a next day appointment. Not only did she give it to me (though she clearly was busy) she was honest and open about pricing and options, gave great directions and was very friendly on the phone.

The salon itself is lovely, with an open airy floor plan and a light color scheme that felt minimalist but still had personality. Tools and tech were top class, she even had a ring light to take before and after pics! ( I am in love).

With a consultation in place, I found the owner to be both insightful and accommodating. I wasn’t helpful at all, my directives were “no orange, no teal…do whatever you want and I’m growing out a pixie” I was pretty shocked that she managed to turn that into a stunning deep rose gold/magenta (without bleaching) and a shape that suited my needs.

This is what you want from a stylist, a perception that borders on eerie coupled with a pragmatic approach of what is possible. Best part? She was incredibly reasonable price wise. After loads of great conversation and a wonderful end result, I think she has made a loyalist of me. Check her out on social media @reinventionbeautybar

Before Above

After above

Clarity R

As always this post is not sponsored, I spent my own coin and my hair looks damn good!

Eloquii

I Tried It…Lash Lift Edition

Lately I have been scrolling through Instagram with more purpose, since I found the incredible Forever Radiant spa and had such a wonderful treatment (see The Oxygen Facial from my I Tried It series) who else could be hiding?

One thing I have always been very curious about is lash lifts and lash extensions. I really rarely wear falsies though I love how they make a look pop. After some costing research and details on how often I would have to attend to both options, I chose a lash lift. The cost was not as overwhelming as lash extensions (due to the need for fills) and lasted longer (up to 8 weeks with proper care) so I jumped in head first.

After extension research and call, I decided on Polish as my choice and booked. The owner was polite and professional with great directions and answered all my concerns right away. In addition she was having a special that included a pedi which I sorely needed. The next day I was booked and ready.

The location itself was not ideal, tucked away behind a major building, it seemed a bit odd and I had a little trouble finding the entrance but once inside uptempo music was in order and the space was clean and tidy if a little dated. (The proprietor mentioned she would be moving to a more modern space shortly).

After laying down she placed caps over my eye lids and I felt the liquid being applied and lashes pulled back. It felt so strange, not painful, just odd. I kept thinking I felt something in my eye but it was mind over matter knowing all these liquids were being so close the eye area. To be honest, I lost track of time a little as I fell asleep for a short while. Soon enough it was over and she removed the pads and cleaned up with instructions to keep them dry for 24 hours, not to use waterproof mascara or rub at them too hard and a little spoolie for brushing.

Surprise, this morning my lashes were curled right back and made a huge difference in the appearance of my makeup. If I had know about this I would have done it years ago. Here are my before and after pictures with the proof and after I added my Milk Makeup Kush Mascara, I looked invincible. (Photos are just after the lift).

Would I do it again? Hell yeah. Now I want to try the extensions! Find the lash tech @polish_tt if you are this way.

As always, all opinions are my own, I paid for this service and this post is not sponsored.

Clarity R

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