The Travel Must Haves

I can safely say I am a travel expert. I have travelled all of the world including most of Asia and Europe and do short haul flights (5 hours or less) at least 8 times a year for business. As a result I can say with confidence that I am the one to turn to for how to get as much as you can out of your packing routine. For the sake of expediency, this particular article is about packing must haves, if you want to know what’s in my Travel Makeup kits click here (…)


For those who don’t know what BauBax is you having been missing out. Think of it as a smart wear for travel. With hidden pockets, great access points and a spot for everything including your travel documents, headphones, devices and more you may be hard pressed to see if you really need a carry on. They have several styles for men and women including full outfits but the jackets are my fave. Well worth the investment at $199 for the women’s bomber. It will be the only jacket you ever wear again for travel.

I am not 100% sure how I travelled before packing cubes. They keep clean and dirty items nicely separated and act as compression bags for your clothing so you can fit a great deal more. If you are packing cold weather clothing these are indispensable because large items take up very little space. I love these for shopping trips because everything can fit without paying for extra bags.

Laneige lip balm has been my go to since its inception for preventing dry, chapped lips on a flight. The moisture is incredible but the formula is not sticky. It’s glossy finish with just a hint of tint also makes me feel a little more polished after landing.

Bose headphones have been my ultimate for years. They are crazy expensive compared to some of the items on the market but for good reason. Without the sound on, the noise canceling feature has blocked out many a chat happy neighbor or background noise. In addition, the oval shaped ear piece gives me comfort without pressure on my ears. I don’t tug or pull on cords and wires and don’t have to figure out how to keep them in.

Don’t know how many of you get a chance to go on trips that include shopping but even if you don’t a good pair of scissors has saved me more than once. Get rid of the tag, bulky packaging, weird ties before you attempt to pack. Get rid of threads hanging from your clothes, old baggage tags and more. A sharp pair has saved me trying to chew through some things or mangled my nail clipper in an attempt to remove a tag.

A luggage scale. All women will know the stress of getting your luggage into as few pieces as possible without crossing the overweight limit. Even if you are lucky enough to be flying first class, one pound over can equal some hefty fees or repacking luggage on the floor. This little luggage scale keeps my weight where it should be (exactly 1 lb below the max) and helps me rearrange before I step foot in an airport.

A pair of cute but disposable sunglasses. We all have our super luxe statement pair that we love but let’s be practical about vacations, things get lost, scratched or stolen and no one needs that happening to their Fentys. Quay sunglasses have been proven to be both reasonably priced and suitably stylish that I can carry a few pairs. Just as cute are Aldo accessories which has done some amazing pairs that are very trendy. Pick the right pairs and they many even survive the trip back home.

An amazon prime subscription. Sound like a strange thing? Not if you read at the pace I do and take the kid free opportunity to actually finish the page of a book without interruption. Books can get expensive and the Prime subscription allow me to borrow up to 10 books at a time without cost. I make this program work for me and go through about 300 books a year at last check. That far outweighs the Prime membership cost and can of course has other benefits like Prime Video and 2nd day shipping in case you forget to pack anything above.

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This is my little snapshot into packing must haves for me. It’s not an exhaustive list but somethings that I can’t live without on my frequent jaunts. I would love to hear from you in the comments as to what is on your must have’s list.

Clarity R

Some of these links may earn me a small commission if you purchase through them which I will use to start a charity for those who still travel with bags that don’t have 4 wheels (poor souls).

Call It Whatever – Palette of the Season!

I Tried It…ABH Luminous Foundation

It’s sweltering in Trinidad, 90 plus degrees with a touch of menopause and you have a cocktail from humidity hell. I start like this for you to understand that I am beyond hot, I feel like my body has rebelled and the environment is participating but in spite of this I did a foundation test.

I have had the Anastasia Beverly Hills Foundation since it’s launch day as I was lucky to find it at Ulta in my shade and with my dry skin and climate, I figured a dewy foundation should be right up my alley. The claims sounded like my dream combo, a luminous foundation with no requirement to set with powder and medium coverage? Sign me up.

Zero makeup in all my glory

My shade (315N) is quite possibly the best foundation match I have ever had in my life. It’s truly neutral undertone does not pull grey at all and compliments my skin. I tried both application with a brush and a sponge but lean heavily in favor of the sponge because of the finish being more even. I ended using the Juno sponge (I love the pink one) and found a power couple.

Primers were tough, I felt like a gripping primer under this foundation did it no favors. It’s a thin formula and for it to really shine it needed a lighter base. My best combo thus far is the Farsali Skin Tune Blur with a little Elf Poreless Putty Primer in the T Zone. With that done I achieved flawless medium coverage with no streaking that lasted ALL day in the unceasing tropical heat.

Mid application 1 thin layer with no add ons

I almost found that as the day wore on, the foundation became more luminous but in a pretty way, almost like I had touched up with a highlighter and was flattering without being shiny. I experienced no breakup over time, even around the mouth and nose and loved how I still felt like it looked like skin rather than a mask.

All in all, I haven’t experimented too much with ABH yet, I own the legendary Amrezy highlighter but this is my first dip into the other products and I am impressed. This may become my go to day to day foundation as I feel it’s pretty enough to wear all the time. Who knows? One day when I’m famous enough maybe I can be next to have my own collab, one can dream.

Picture taken with studio lighting and and IPhone (like my towel backdrop?)

Clarity R

All products have been purchased with my own money, this review is not sponsored and Norvina and I are not personal friends (Though that really needs to happen)

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: ) 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


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

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 - Banner Image - 728x90

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! 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.


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