All posts by clarityreviewed

Sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night and wonder “why wasn’t I doing this all along?” This started as a passion project but has become a way for Caribbean people to connect with what we love most focusing on fashion, beauty and more with our unique perspectives in mind. After all, they have no clue how important Carnival is to us!

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


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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

Trash or treasure, my empties this year.

I always love empties videos on YouTube because they often receive so many products that what the beauty gurus actually finish can be of interest. I have to say I’ve built up quite the little collection myself so I started using the Kathleen Lights approach and putting a little container in my makeup area to make sure I don’t just dump them and it actually surprised me what got cleared out. So let’s get cracking and see what I would buy again. I will put links below everything so you can also check out details and current prices on each product.

Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask https://amzn.to/2JagkMp

This was an incredible find, it felt my skin feeling luscious and plump and is a great travel mask for a quick shot of hydration, there is a light scent to it but it’s not off putting so I can live with it.

Too Faced Peach Perfect Mattifying Setting Powder Peaches and Cream Collection https://amzn.to/2LzPXkE

I love the finish of this powder for light baking and setting under the eye area, it has a brightening effect. Be forewarned if you are sensitive to scent this is NOT for you. However, it is a lovely soft finish with that perfect fine consistency

Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer https://amzn.to/2xx1tVS

The key to this concealer is the applicator, the sponge tip allows for flawless full coverage hiding any proof or my prior late night. I think the thinner formula also allows for better coverage without looking cakey and the price can’t be beat

Catrice Prime and Find Multi Talent Fixing Spray https://amzn.to/2JctZCH

I was very surprised but this one but I found myself reaching for this setting spray more than any other. It really was amazing at keeping my makeup intact even in 95 degree weather without changing the finish.

E.L.F. Cosmetics Hydrating Coconut Mist https://amzn.to/2XoNXmt

This is my 3rd empty of this because it has a lovely refreshing scent and makes my skin dewy on my “no makeup” days. This is always in my purse and car too, it’s just that good.

Hope you enjoyed my empty list and keep in mind the reason these all got good reviews is because they are the only things I use until empty (would you empty a product that sucked?) nothing is sponsored, all products purchased with my own $ and I do make a small commission if you shop through my affiliate links (to support my ELF mist habit)

Clarity R


My Skincare Fixation

When you are younger you think you are bullet proof, especially my generation in the late 90’s early 2000’s who were on the cusp of the social media age but were no where as savvy as the the current 20 something year old who have a 12 step skin care routine and can contour by middle school. We grew up in the grunge era, where a face mask was not exactly common and the idea of wearing sunscreen on a day to day basis hadn’t yet taken hold.

Now, looking back, I wonder how much I could have saved my skin if I had taken care of it even a little in its more resilient days. Too late now but brings us to my current topic, my skincare fixation. I am obsessed with masks, peels, treatments, moisturizers, serums, I want them all. I have no budget for skin care either, this is where I will spend $300 for a single cream if I think it will have a positive impact on my skin.

My face mask collection is staggering, I could probably do a mask a day for a month and not run out at this rate. I do have a few favorites which I will list below (not sponsored) given my parched and abused skin needs all the help it can get.

So the idea is what works for me? 40, with dry skin, redness and dark spots is a complicated mix but here are some holy grails at all price points and in no particular order.

Murad Resurgence Replenishing Multi Acid Peel. – this gentle peel allows for awesome exfoliating but does not strip my skin of essential oils and makes keeping a smooth texture easier

Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask – nothing like super deep hydration for those who sleep in AC. This gel like consistency makes me feel plump and dewy by morning

Bliss Ex Glow Sion Radiance Boosting Eye Cream – again just the right dose of moisture and gentle on my aging skin, helps solve dark circles by replenishing moisture where I need it most

Revolution Skin Care London 10% Matrixyl – this anti wrinkle and fine line serum has been a game changer and has smoothed out so many tiny crinkles and prevented new ones from appearing

Summer Friday’s Jet Lag Mask – My Sunday Skincare joy, this deep and soothing mask makes me feel like I am at a spa and makes be super glowy which I love

Laneige Essential Power Toner – I never knew I even needed toner until I tried this one which helps me tighten and smooth the skin in prep for other products

If you are interested in any of these check Ulta, Sephora or click to the homepage and check out my Link in Bio page which has some special offers when you buy however these reviews are not sponsored, not PR, only my hard earned cash and what works for me.

Clarity R

aldoshoes.com USA

25% off Select Styles! (6/26/19 @ 10am EST – 7/7/19 @ 11:59pm EST)


I Tried It…Tarte Babassu Foundation

I have had my eye on this product for a while after watching multiple reviews swear up and down that this was great for dry skin. That alone was enough to capture my attention but the $39 price tag held me back. Not just that to be honest, one of the worst foundations I have ever tried was from Tarte and it left a bitter taste in my mouth.

I wanted to give it another shot so years later, we roll into Ulta in Chicago (which one matters I promise) to see if we can try it. Surprise, the day I arrive Tarte happens to be hosting an event in store where a lovely Ulta rep (his name escapes me) was their to help me shade match and do a little try on. I am unsure if you are like me but often I feel a weird sense of pressure to buy something if a rep spends a great deal of time working with me so instead on waiting like I normally do I picked it up right away.

This happened to be day one of my 6 day trip and it was cold. The weather was rainy, my skin was ultra dry and I decided to wear the foundation the entire time I was there along with my regular regimen of travel products (see my earlier blogs on what’s in my travel makeup kit). To say I was disappointed was putting it mildly. The coverage was light to medium and if I tried to build on it, it got cakey and looked awful. The shade was perfect but after 6 days of wear I was unimpressed.

Fast forward to being back home this weekend in tropical weather and 85 degree days and I just couldn’t accept I had to throw this away or give it away when it was supposed to be the perfect mix of skin care and foundation, so with my full arsenal of products at home I tried again.

Sometimes love grows and I wager and this is one of those cases, after some experiments with my skin care and application, the past couple of days have totally changed the way this sits on my skin. In fact, I am probably picking up another at the Tarte sale next week. the coverage is now flawless, perfect semi dewy transfer proof so here are my tips for making Tarte work.

Use a gripping primer: I use the CoverFX gripping primer as I know this works for me

Use a sponge not a brush: This foundation sits better when pressed in with a beauty sponge, I use the Sonia Kashuk sponge from Target.

And most critical, you have to set this foundation with powder, something I normally avoid at all costs but the Fenty powder does a great job without drying me out.

What you end up with a is a dewy finish, with medium to high coverage that lasts all day. As I write this I am on a plane to Milwaukee with this foundation on 12 hours and going strong.

So from yet another plane, I am happy to say that Tarte came through. Let’s just hope my next try is as successful as this one

Clarity R

Laneige


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

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My Sephora Sale Wishlist

It’s amazing to watch how many of us wait for the Sephora sale with bated breath. It’s an opportunity to pick up some pricier products with a little price break. I fall into the VIB range so 15% off here I come! This is my how and why wishlist of must haves and must try items that I will be picking up this sale cycle.

Stila All Fired Up Glitter & Glow Eye Shadow Set Mini – this set at $25 before discount gives me a chance to try these popular liquid shadows that promise to pack a punch and give a high shine finish to my look, I also love the tones in this combo

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra Fine Mist – clocking in at $28 this is more pricey than some of my favorites but I have heard rave reviews and after the sale I won’t feel so bad about the price

Tarte Babassu Founcealer Skin Care Foundation SPF 20 – Tarte and I have a love/hate relationship with their base products but as a person with dry skin, I have been curious about the formula and at $39 before the sale I am willing to risk it for the sake of my parched skin

Clinique Take Off The Day Cleansing Balm – after reading a ton of reviews, this balm seems like the one to try for my first product in this category at $29.50 it’s price is significantly lower than other options as well

Patrick Ta Major Glow Highlighting Mist in We Love Her – come on, have you seen the videos? This looks like dewy goddess dreams in a spray and I can’t wait to try it though at $32 I don’t know if I would have bought it without the sale

Farsali Unicorn Essence Primer Serum mini – $22 plus the sale seems like a worthwhile bet as I have recently been testing some other products from their line and love them all

Pat McGrath Mini Lust Gloss Trio – another opportunity to pick up a value item with even more of a discount at $25 before sale. I have always wanted to own something from her lines and her quality is bar none

Laneige Time Freeze Sleep Mask – at $39 plus sale I will jump at the chance to try this because this brand overall has been amazing for my skin. I adore the results.

That’s the end of my list of must haves, there are a few restock items like my Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, Murad Spot Corrector and others I will pick up as well but all of the above are new! Happy shopping and tweet me at @reviewsclarity to let me know what you picked up!

Honorable mention: I had planned to pick up a couple Fenty powders and bronzers but they were kind enough to send them my way so thanks! I’ll keep you updated on the review dates.

Clarity R

NEW! Super Shock Shadows Extreme

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