Category Archives: Lifestyle

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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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Let’s clean up

So I just moved houses and managed the entire thing in two days flat but everything has a down side. My beauty collection has overwhelmed me in the move and I have realized that I am not making the full use of my collection because not everything was accessible to me. I have scoured videos and the net for organization inspiration and I think I am finally ready to start getting things into place but to be honest it’s overwhelming.

Reach out to me on IG @clarityreviews or tweet me at @reviewsclarity with your vanity set ups and your best tips for getting that tabletop in order and the best systems in place for all the tiny moving pieces. I would love input and info and maybe we can help each other.

Clarity R

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Making the jump

Writing for me is cathartic, an experience like no other. I feel completely at ease and often empowered because I can and do state my mind without reservation but since this blog has started a little over a month ago I have come to a conclusion, people don’t read anymore.

I know that’s a massive generalization but content now has to be a put into bite size chunks and really pushed in a different way to get traction. With all the content out there, it’s damn near impossible to pick up an audience with genuine follow up through mere writing. I do have a decent IG and Facebook following (though I know I haven’t really pushed through with Facebook in an age) but the same things are happening. With the very strange algorithm instituted by IG and the rumors of shadows banning accounts that don’t buy ad space, it’s hard to really connect or be noticed by an audience.

Twitter is far more dynamic and especially since the great Norvina Hunt is happening there is more engagement there than ever. But Twitter really chucks the ability to have a thought down to the lowest denominator and then add to it their hatred for decent quality pictures and that’s not a perfect system either.

And we are back at where we stared, YouTube. I have been dying to start recording content, I think it’s even possible for me to get real traction on that platform but I am honestly terrified. I take comfort in seeing some of the amazing content that is possible from the most simple circumstances. I see people filming in their bedrooms, in living rooms, with kids running around. I am also terrified on the potential cost of starting something like this at my age. Who wants to hear the opinion of a 40 year old? But I hold faith in the fact that just like me, makeup was discovered late in the game and our needs and content interests are different.

All I know is that to continue to grow I have to learn to suspend my own sense of concern for making a fool of myself and hope that the makeup Gods have some mercy on me. I’m not looking to be James Charles but it would be great to have a group of like minded subscribers with whom I can have a dialogue.

Clarity R


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Your daytime solution to hydrated & kissable tinted lips IS FINALLY HERE!

I tried it…an Oxygen Facial

It’s been an absolute age since last I had a facial and I have been meaning to go since I have gotten serious about my skin care regime but I could never quite find the right fit when it came to a spa that provided the service. Today I swear an IG ad popped up on my feed for a place called Forever Radiant. The photos looked great, the spa looked welcoming and modern and their website had all the information I required including an online appointment request form and all the prices of services.

Once I saw all these details I was hooked, I filled out the form but called as soon as I knew they were open and requested and an appointment today and I got one! The person I spoke to on the phone was knowledgeable, gave me directions and parking advice and I already felt like I had a winner. I pulled up at my appointment time excited for a bit of spoiling and got a little nervous when I saw the parking but made the block and walked into an innocuous little gate.

Boy was I surprised by the cool, modern interior with lots of light, great product displays and a welcoming waiting area. Kristy (hope that’s how you spell her name) was a consummate professional from the time I walked in. She was incredibly detailed in he 20 minute skin assessment and emailed me the results for review. She discussed treatment options, follow up and was up front with pricing immediately, something I loved. What I loved even more was although they had great products, she never pressured me or pushed products at me when I have often experienced at spas.

We decided on the oxygen facial to hydrate and plump my skin, while still addressing my dark spots concerns. The treatment was crazy but relaxing even with the loud pumping sound the oxygen machine makes. My skin felt blasted with hydration, the oxygen was cooling and invigorating at the same time and I came out of the treatment with less redness and more plump skin.

Will I try it again? Yes, it was a pricey treatment compared to the others but the level of service, standard of treatment and my over all results made it well worth. Next treatment? Light therapy! I’ll keep you updated.

Clarity R

This review is not sponsored, I paid for all services with my own money links are not affiliate links. Image via Forever Radiant.

Interested in this spa? See them at https://www.beforeverradiant.com

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Ready to shop?

So on my way to do a a little trip with the fam and multitask. The little one needs a check up, we have some basics for school to get as she is growing like a weed. The other half needs to do some shopping as well so he’s out his own agenda but me? I’m in town for for 40th birthday and Ulta and Sephora.

I was often either not around or too embarrassed to take advantage of all the little makeover perks that these companies provide but baby this year I am going to make sure I am glammed to the gills for my birthday. Most people look at 40 as a milestone, I don’t know if I feel any different or if I feel like this is some line I should be noticing but to be honest I am going to revel in it. I try to stay under the radar for birthdays, I don’t really have a huge friend pool so it often felt kind of silly celebrating. This year however I am going full tilt.

Let’s start with the fact that I am so getting them to our that Hourglass Seamless Vanish Liquid Foundation on me. I have been dying to do a wear test as the stick and I really didn’t agree and this is a great excuse for it. I’ll also be there in time for the launch of the new Beauty Blender primers which look like they could be of interest.

I have also ordered for collection another round of Fashion Nova clothing as I have decided to do a dedicated post to the line and want to see the full range (spoiler alert, the jeans are amazing!). I can’t wait to walk into Ulta too now that so many brands have started appearing in store for testing and you know I have points I’ve been hoarding to buy all my favorite skin care (they have a fabulous selection I actually prefer their range in this over Sephora).

And last but not least? Shoes baby. I am heading to Tory Burch do not pass go, do not collect $200. I intend to snag a cute pair or blue flats I saw in store and hoping they still have them in my size.

So shopping spree much? Yes! And I’ll be taking pics the whole way of you want to follow on IG @clarityreviews and might even being doing some stories and polls of you want to get involved and guide me on my shopping path. I am ready to remake my style and I’m on the way, join me.

Clarity R

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