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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


Image via MediaOne studios

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

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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

La Roche-Posay- ACD

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

milkmakeup.com

I Tried It – Murad Dark Spot Corrector

I am not sure what the cause of my dark spots are on both cheeks, I suspect a by product of taking the pill for 20 years as it also happened to others I know on the same one (not in production anymore). Following its appearance, they have only become darker over the years and it has been a real point of contention since it’s right in the middle of my cheeks and is absolute hell to cover with makeup.

I have tried lighteners, a variety of skin care products from high end to drug store all with no success. I though I was destined to never be able to wear dewy, light coverage makeup and would always have to have a full coverage face at all times.

Enter Murad. First of all, my research on the brand provided me a little inspiration as it seems to be well founded in science rather than marketing. Murad has built up a reputation for a solid basis for fact based results. So I decided to take the plunge and invest in their Dark Spot Corrector Kit and signed up for their rewards program (see the link below for details)

Sign up to Murad’s Beauty Rewards program today & earn a bonus of 50 points! Join now!

The results were nothing short of astounding, these photos are my skin untouched with a 10 day window. For the first time I was seeing a clear difference in my skin and the color of the spots. I was using less foundation and concealer and overall had more confidence in the apperance of my skin.

Before treatment

After treatment

I am not only totally sold, I decided to try a few more and absolutely loved the new products. I have since picked up the day time moisturizer, the night time detox moisturizer and the skin peel pads. I was completely thrilled.

If you are interested in any of the products, click on the banner below to be directed to Murad. I do receive a small commission should you purchase via this link but this review is NOT sponsored, all products were purchased with my own money all opnions are my own.


Acne

Week Two – My Modern Fit Journey

So I have been continuing using my guide from Modern Fit and I am genuinely struggling finding food options that make me feel satisfied. It’s not that I am feeling hungry but great food has always been a huge part of my life. I have worked around chefs and restaurateurs as long as I can remember and the idea of removing things like great cheese from my life whenever I want has become the biggest challenge.

I know this sounds strange to most, like I should magically have gained some sort of control over my urges and impulses by being dedicated to being healthier but it’s not that easy. When you have been a poor eater your whole life, it’s a entire shift to start making decisions regarding food.

What keeps me going is the measurements being taken on the My Fitness Pal app, I decided to pay the $9.95 for the monthly access and it was a good decision because I got a huge variety of features to keep me motivated and help me understand my progress. It has been a great help to understand my macro nutrition such as how much fat, protein and carbs are going in as just counting calories can be tricky.

Since this journey has begun I have lost 5.6 lbs. Not enough to make a huge difference in my clothing but enough for me to feel like something is happening. I know it’s also important to consider non scale victories but until I start seeing some improvement in other areas of my life, that feels like the most tangible. Stay tuned for a further update and see below for my list of items that I added to my workout routine.

Clarity R

Image via Michelle Portion Fit

Eloquii

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.

Clarity R

Want to try it? Click here: HoneyLove

https://www.honeylove.co

Also random; Milk Makeup has a new offer!

Get a Free Beanie + Pin on all orders of $50 or more! Valid 2/26-2/28.

I Tried It…the Elf Versus Tatcha primers

I think by now everyone knows about the E.L.F. Poreless Putty primer being hyped as a dupe for the Tatcha Silk Canvas primer and because of the significant cost difference (ELF is $8 versus Tatcha $52) I though it would be worth a try. I used each primer product exclusively for 15 days straight with varying foundations and with my normal skin care routine and I was pretty surprised.

The Tatcha wins for its luxurious packaging. That little scoop is too cute though I had a hard time finding it most days and just rubbed my fingers onto the product for application. I did not use a rice grain for my entire face but it did blur my pores. Bonus points, it made an excellent eye primer which is rare for a primer product to be eye safe. It did give my shadows some sticking power but did not give them any extra depth as it was not a solid base. The price however is frightening. I own a great deal of Tatcha skin care products but $52 for a primer is sticker shock for most no matter how good it is. 5 out of 5 stars.

The ELF primer comes in pretty basic packaging and was applied directly onto my skin using my fingers like a balm. It certainly filled in my pores but did not have a flawless a finish as the Tatcha primer. However, to notice the difference you had to be really up and close and personal, for any normal conversation there was no difference in the appearance of my makeup. This was not an eye safe primer, or I didn’t see that info anywhere so didn’t try that. At $5? Sign me up. 4 out of 5 stars.

So was there a clear winner? Tatcha is a superior product but unless you are being photographed for everyday use the ELF does the trick and when I can literally get 10 for the price of 1? ELF has my vote.

Clarity R

Image via Jeffrey Star (I recommend his video review)

This review was not sponsored and all thoughts are my own. Links are affiliates and I make a small commission of any sale.

Want this primer? Click on banner to the right for access to ELF

PS I adore this mist!

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Colourpop No Filter Foundation Review

The Colourpop line has been a God Send for many of us on budgets who would love access to great variety without crushing our savings goals but their foray into face products in 2018 was touted to be a game changer. A great, full coverage foundation product with a low price point ($12 with no coupon or sale) and in a huge variety of shades.

Like many others, I waited for the beauty gurus to launch their reviews and came up just as confused as many others. Tati (@glamlife guru) who I have come to respect had no love for it but stated that you have to try things for yourself to really know. Others raved about it but it felt forced with some and I was not 100% sure the review I was getting was accurate but at $12 I took the plunge and ordered the two shades I thought a best match.

When I first tried this, it was with their primer and setting spray with I also ordered and it was an unmitigated disaster. It broke up very easily, the setting spray smelled like pure alcohol and even burned me a little and the foundation did my dry skin no favors. It emphasized texture, coverage was not lasting and it aged my skin. I was ready to dump it but I decided to try again.

This time I use the Too Faced moisturizing primer and the Catrice Dewy setting spray and to my pleasant surprise it looked a lot better. Not just better, flawless. With a healthy dose of the right base products, this has become my go to foundation for everyday use and with a sponge provides medium coverage at a great price point. Since then I have restocked and turned my sister onto the foundation (with correct directives for use) and I am in love. Often there are codes floating around for the foundation so I often get it around the $8 point which makes this an even more stellar deal.

Throw out the spray, dump the primer and stock up on the foundation and I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

Clarity R


ASOS Design

IG Queen in the making

So a couple of weeks later, where am I in my quest to becoming an IG Queen (have no clue what i’m talking about? See my prior posts!). Step one, I got on track with my Modern Fit Journey (also covered in prior posts). I have lost 4.3 pounds in 6 days and I already feel both elated and tortured.

The change in my diet and overall choices has been dramatic, the free My Fitness Pal app from Under Armour (not sponsored) has been massive help in helping me track my food intake and ensure I stay where I should for meals vs activity. It’s amazing how a coca- cola addict has been converted to drinking water and cranberry juice and eating quinoa and salads instead of my beloved fried chicken. My clothes aren’t quite changing fit yet but the struggle to do up the buttons has eased somewhat and I am going to continue to stick to my twice a week training and walking when I can.

I got my nails done too, like full on acrylic set, long curved and nude just like the IG Queens. My manicurist is a damn magician (pics to follow on IG) and made my short, breaking nails look perfect. I love them but from a practical point of view I am going to have her take down the length when I go for the fill. I am struggling to type and don’t start me on buttons! Though she does say “Divas adjust”.

So nails? Check. Body? Working on it…

Clothes? That’s coming and I am just as curious as you are to see how it goes. I placed orders from Shein, Fashion Nova and Boohoo, sites I see posted all the time on IG by influencers of ALL sizes so I cant wait to see not only how long it takes to get here but what the quality and fit are like. That may be my first IG stories foray if it works out!

Stay with me on my IG journey and have suggestions as to totally IG things you want me to try in real life? Leave me a comment!

Image: Um that’s Kylie man in her Fashion Nova

Shop SHEIN for the latest in Fall and Winter Fashions

Reverse makeup

So I watched Samantha Ravandahl on YouTube try a technique called reverse makeup where she applies bronzer, highlight and the rest first and then foundation on top. Color me intrigued, I like the idea of using cream based products under my foundation to give me that elusive “glow from within” that everybody and their mother is always selling. Just try it with a more sheer foundation and we should be good to go right?

Hmmm, not so easy. I experimented with several product types and brands until I found my Holy Grail to this technique and I swear to you, I wasn’t just glowing from within, I was an angel descended from the make up Gods who clearly has reached the pinnacle of beauty. Laying it on a little thick? Yeah. But truly, I found this technique to be a game changer and especially because I am now on the cusp of 40, I am always looking for ways to look finished but not overdone and this was certainly a step in that direction.

I think that they key to this technique is using cream products that are buildable but don’t cake and I found that with Milk Makeup. This brand has been around for a bit and the super cute stick application for many of their products made it easy to get products exactly where you need it to be. I used the Holographic Highlighter on my cheekbones, nose, Cupid’s bow and a little on the forehead, their blush stick on my cheeks and the contour stick for a little chisel action on the cheeks, forehead and chin.

I did not use their Blur foundation simply because I don’t own it. Instead I used the Benefit Hello Happy Foundation which I have found to be a lightweight coverage (what I normally use on no makeup – makeup days) and found it to be a perfect compliment. The highlighter was sublime under this foundation and gave me a luminous finish in all the right places without a stripe of highlight on my cheeks. I still had definition and a pretty flush of color from the contour and blush so with a little bronzer in the crease and a light shade all over the lid I looked super model natural (i.e. like a team of professionals spent hours on me).

All in all, a wonderful experiment, with my new routine down pat I am looking forward to my all new glow from within.

Clarity R

Shop products mentioned below. This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own. Links are affiliates and I do make a small commission if you purchase.

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