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All things beauty and then some. Andrea Claire has been a hairstylist and makeup artist for 23 years now. A Canadian based in Singapore since 2007, she has appeared on Asia's Next Top Model, Yahoo Asia, Canadian Idol, So Chic and more.

Nikkie Plessen was recently in town to launch Nikkie at Takashimaya!

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By Andrea Claire · March 22, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

If you are a woman who wears clothes, but are not familiar with the Nikkie line, I suggest you peruse Nikkie.com. With a price point similar to Karen Millen or Ted Baker, Nikkie's clothes are versatile and can layer with a rock'n'roll edge. ❤️❤️ 

It's always a pleasure to have Nikkie in my hotseat! 

The obligatory tricky mirror shot that reveals both hair & makeup. Nikkie wanted an exaggerated upsept hair look.

Maria-Rosa who is Nikkie director of sales and marketing for Asia. 

Flashback to our December shoot

From Vogue.NL

Team Andrea!! Sian (my assistant) and I in our Nikkie A-lister caps!!

Thanks Nikkie!

*hair & makeup by me, assisted by Sian Payne.

Flying reimagined with Etihad Airways

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By Andrea Claire · March 20, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

Etihad Airways
now sits in as one of the top 10 airlines globally and with it's #6 spot it's no surprise considering the many on-board perks! These perks include: headsets that can be used to communicate with other passengers who are seated on your flight, and in any class; plus a nanny on-hand for extra help when flying with small children. We fly tomorrow to Dubai, but sorry, Etihad... on another airline that we already booked before my tour! I would have loved to see your nanny in action with #stuffZoiesays  

'The Residence
' as seen in the TV commercial with Nicole Kidman also comes equipped with its own butler for you (don't expect someone named Keith)  - and don't forget to book your limo ride to and from the airport - that comes with your room in the sky too!  

For those who have flown to the U.S, you know how frustrating it can be to clear customs. Well, Etihad, staying ahead of the curve, has a U.S customs clearance in Abu Dhabi which, for those living the expat li(f)e, why not puddle jump through Abu Dhabi where no matter which class you fly in, this is just part of their service! 

Going to Paris? A direct SQ flight to Europe is approximately 12 hours, alternatively you can choose 1-stop with Etihad connecting in Abu Dhabi. The arrival time is the same as the direct flight, but the stop allows you to stretch your legs for those who need it. I know sometimes you just want to get there... but if 12 consecutive hours on a plane doesn't tickle your fancy, this option might. [I know my fancy hurts sitting on it for 12 hours]

As any airline, you have a plethora of airplane food with choices; an Arabian-inspired dish, Western (chicken or fish), and a vegetarian option. When booking flights most airlines will cater to dietary restraints so if you are on an all carb diet, let them know upon booking... err... or if you are gluten-free. However, the GF guests will miss out on the in-house bakery items where one roll is an exclusive secret recipe. Yum! 

With Etihad they take pride in you being a guest in their home no matter which class you are in. Guest response is important to them; for example: your food choice ran out? Expect a letter of apology upon arrival and in some cases that letter is accompanied by points or even a flight voucher! (I wish I had that last year offered to me on my Air Canada business class flight to Paris from Toronto, where my movies wouldn't work and the flight was full - *cough cough* Air Canada...) 

Thanks to Etihad Airways for offering the tour and tastings with other Luxury Network members! 

GREAT TRAVELER TIP Flying out of Singapore? Changi airport has a special services office for those who need to bypass the lines, whether you are Nicole Kidman or someone like me, on crutches. Check out your options here

Fresh opens in Singapore at ION

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By Andrea Claire · March 19, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

From Fresh beginnings in 1991 in Boston to it's 2015 premiere opening in Singapore at ION, the chain's stores' mosaic flooring still mimics the original where customers feel at ease globally with the sense of artisanal familiarity and comfort like a classic pair of your favourite jeans.  

image source 

The ribbon-cutting event was complete with rose decorated cupcakes, champagne and a lion dance. I skipped the cupcakes and lion dance - 1/3 ain't bad. *wink*

There is a gift bar where all purchases can be gift wrapped, a reading corner and a sink for customers to take a sensorial tour by testing their plethora of products. 

The Creme Ancienne line is handmade by monks and I'm currently coveting the Nourishing Honey Mask; $140.00 USD at Neiman Marcus where the anti-aging benefits from honey and various oils include improving the skin's elasticity, enhancing glow, antioxidents and overall skin health.  

"For centuries, monks have used natural ingredients to create effective remedies. We sourced superior honey made from the Buckfast Bee, a hybrid species selected for only the best qualities developed by Brother Adam in the early 1900s at a monastery in England. This exceptional treatment offers an experience and results like none other and is truly a testament to the monks' scientific expertise."

Attendees of the opening were given a Fresh Life, not quite the do-over some of us wish for, but a vegetable-based soap enriched with moisturizing Shea butter and infused with a citrus scent. Their luxurious soaps with a high-end bespoke appeal, make a lovely gift for him, her, co-worker... anyone, whether to top-up a gift basket or on its own.

Obligatory 'I was there' photo.

Have you been using Fresh? What's your Fresh fave?   

Recent news: How to cut your own hair, concealer uses, the history of my career and more

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By Andrea Claire · March 15, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

From time to time I'm asked to share some beauty tips for hair and / or makeup, as well as frequently asked 'how did I get into this crazy business of beauty'.  I've had a few stories with my quotes and interviews that I've linked below. If you have a beauty blog, write for any publication or if you are a peer (junior, senior or anything in between) where you would like to pick my beauty brain, please get in touch with me here. I'm always pleased as punch to share what I have stored in my grey matter.

Thanks to The Loop and Vanessa Grant for including my quotes. Read the full story here.

Model Management interviewed me. Read the whole story here.

Her World Plus
has quoted me on many stories. Click here to find the story to suit you. Everyone loves concealer tricks.

Want to stay in touch? Please like my FB page for the latest up-to-date projects, tips and ramblings.

How-to: Kim K is blonde and you want to DIY, like yesterday....

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By Andrea Claire · March 6, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Cream Kit $40.00 USD at Macy's

Just as we were seeing a multitude of contouring kits popping up, we are now going to see DIY bleaching kits on the rise for at-home bleach outs. Before you get in on this action, you need to understand bleaching and how it works.

Balmain : Front Row - Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2015/2016

I quite like it actually. Many people will say nasty things cuz let's face it - mean people aren't going anywhere just like the Kardashians are here to stay too.

But as a hairstylist, I'm not here to open that can of worms. I just want you to be kind to your hair and know what you are getting into.

Bleach, in theory, eats away at the colour in your cortex (second layer of your hair shaft that holds the pigments whether natural or artificial) until the desired level is achieved - this process may need to happen more than once in order to reach your desired colour. All this depends on if you're starting with strong, virgin (not treated with chemical processes) hair or hair that's already been artificially coloured, porous or damaged.

You need to be careful as I'm sure Tygra is not your hair muse. 

Colour does NOT lift colour and simply bleaching it out can get you into a whole mess of trouble. Think neopolitan or Thundercats (pictured) - neither of these leave you feeling gorgeous.

Let's take a mo' with the colour doesn't lift colour rule. I saw THE BEST explanation online and you can see it here unless you understand this:  take a white piece of paper. Colour it with brown crayon; now get your white crayon... Hm... Page doesn't go back to white doesn't it...

This is the same for those who colour their hair dark brown and try to go blonde again. You have to strip out the artificial hair colour molecules in order to maintain hair health to go blonde or Kim K blonde.

It's no easy task especially for the folliclely challenged.

Now let's say that your hair is shoulder length, virgin brown at the roots to mid-lengths, dyed black at the ends and you want to bleach it out Kim K style... So you buy the home bleach kit, apply it, time it, wash it. WTF. WHY, oh why are your roots white, mid-lengths orange and the ends still black...??

The heat from your head speeds up the process, the mid-shaft doesn't have as much scalp heat and the ends well... Did you strip out the black or saturate them with enough bleach...? Maybe... not...

You can't just redo the process either. Some parts that are bleached enough could end up with a chemical haircut (breaking off) or turning into a cotton candy texture, which is the hair at the point of no return.

Sure. There are the lucky ones in the world of DIY roulette hair colour. Why didn't your hair turn out like Ms Suzy Q's? There can be plenty of reasons why. Perhaps her spirit animal is a hair fairy. She has straight hair, yours is curly. She started at a natural level 7 where you're a level 4... many reasons as to how and why this happened.

72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards - Arrivals

You may buy the latest Kim K Kontour special - that my friends will wash off when bad makeup happens to pretty faces, but a head full of bad bleaching can take up to a year and a half of recovery time, depending on the length of hair you're trying to keep.

L'Oreal Paris SFX Super Blonde Creme Lightening Kit, Bleach Blonde $10.39$8.31 USD at drugstore.com [BTW: this one claims to bleach even artificially coloured hair] 

Can you get a bleach out? Probably. Should you attempt it at home... The odds are not in your favour. Some of the more adventurous with the 'meh, it's only hair' attitude I say do it and share your experiences either here in the comments or wherever you may have your podium for sharezies.

Oh and by the way... Be prepared for scabbing. Scalp sores are a common bleach-out side effect.

Do you need to use bleach or just get a platinum blonde hair colour? Yes Virginia, there are high-lift colours. It depends on the level that you are starting with. (1 is black 12 is the lightest blonde)  

L'Oreal Feria Absolute Platinums Hair Color, Very Platinum $8.99 USD at Amazon.com; the innovative ammonia-free formula lifts hair up to 7 levels for absolute lightening and uncompromising clarity. The exclusive anti-brass (no Tygra hair) conditioner provides cool tones to help prevent brassiness while leaving hair conditioned.

Read here for some more great hair colouring info.

And because you want to be sassy, not brassy!

Paul Mitchell Platinum Blonde Shampoo 10.14 oz $17.50 USD Paul Mitchell at Amazon.com

Platinum Blonde ShampooTM Platinum Blonde ShampooTM BRIGHTENS AND ENHANCES BLONDE, GRAY OR WHITE HAIR Brightens - Cool violet pigments help to brighten and/or enhance blonde, gray or white hair while neutralizing yellow tones. Hydrates and Adds Shine - A powerful combination of conditioning agents and extracts provides ample moisture and intensified shine. Gently Cleanses - Mild ingredients cleanse while retaining moisture and softening the hair.

You're gonna need this too: 

Aveda Damage Remedy Intensive Treatment 5 oz $35.31 USD at Amazon.com

sMACdown: It's a sin not to own this MAC lipstick

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By Andrea Claire · February 24, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

All of these images here I am wearing MAC Cosmetics SIN lipstick.

You don't need to be fearful of dark, vampy lips. 

Stain it on (L): Apply straight from the tube with a light, dabbing technique and smudge with your fingers

Matte Queen (R): Lined with Vino liner for precision and then simply fill in directly from the tube. If you use a lipbrush you will have a less intense application.

For the beauty junkie (above): Continuing on from the simple Matte Queen, I added Rose pigment in the middle of both top and bottom lips with Nylon eyeshadow accenting the bow of the lip. Blend and finesse edges with a Q-Tip and foundation. Have a smudge? Roll the Q-Tip vs 'blending' out as then a smudge will turn into an unwanted smear - and no ladies are fans of the smear.

Pictured: Nylon eyeshadow, Vino lipliner, Sin lipstick, Rose pigment: all MAC Cosmetics

A 12 year old boy is mastering the art of hair

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By Andrea Claire · February 22, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

From Minipops to the Mouseketeers to artists to mathematicians; there has always been a select few child prodigies, the younger generation of talent whether in music, tv, artists or scholars. 

"child prodigy is a person who, at an early age, develops one or more skills at a level far beyond the norm for their age. A prodigy has to be a child, or at least younger than 18 years, who is performing at the level of a highly trained adult in a very demanding field of endeavour." via Wikipedia  

Let me introduce you to one child I stumbled upon in my search feed on Instagram. Adam known as Hair by Adam, is a 12 year old boy.

Serious WOW factor here... let's take a moment and clap. He's 12... 

Someone on Ellen's staff needs to get on this story now. 

And let's add a clap and standing ovation to Sophia, a British hairstylist who has been mentoring Adam. She may just be helping the next Sassoon to hone his skills. 

Just as Kevin Spacey has said:

Read about what I do here to send the elevator back down and please feel free to share what you do/did or others that you know in the comments below.

The circle of successful life. 

DIY Bridal Beauty with Luxola's CEO

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By Andrea Claire · February 18, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

There are two things that we can bank on for positive vibes in this world: weddings and babies. Not necessarily having to go together, unless you're in grade one, since according to my six year old, she's never getting married because having a baby will hurt... I'm ok for her to believe that until she's 30.

In the colder climates, like my home and native land of Canada, they are just starting to gear up for wedding season, but here in Singapore my home for now (and the past 8 years), wedding season is all year 'round, but one thing we can say: bridal beauty is global for brides and their beauty basics. 

Meet Alexis (bottom left is before, right is after) whom many of you in Asia may know already and certainly know of her company: Luxola. Last year, Alexis was having a destination wedding and found that she was in the most likely position of doing her own makeup. I've done many one-on-one bridal beauty classes for brides-to-be and when Alexis asked me we thought, why not film it so you all can benefit from the tips?  [which never got posted because the sound was blah proving why sound techs are important... you can still shop the look!]

Bridal beauty generally has a rule of thumb: be you, only better. Princess for a day. What comes to mind in this short description is not trendsetting runway but classic beauty. Think subtle highlights, luminous skin with some definition which was our theme here for Alexis. 

Here's what we used:

ZOEVA Sunpower Blush and Bronzer Palette n/a
MODELCO Summer Classics Peach Bellini - top left is where I demonstrate that blush should be applied two finger-widths away from the side of the nose so you aren't dolly-blush heavy.
*EDWARD BESS All Over Seduction - a must have star highlighting product! Use on your highlight points including decolletage and inner corner of your eyes
*TWEEZERMAN Precision Eyelash Curler LOVE this curler! Better than the Shu! I had great tips here. Too bad you miss out... essentially you gently squeeze & pump as you turn your wrist up towards the ceiling, this gives you a smooth curl. Don't curl after mascara and don't do one forced bend at the roots.   

EDWARD BESS Ultra Slick Lipstick 

Top right: is that a) how to keep a bridezilla quiet or b) a makeup artist trick for locking in lipstick with powder being delivered through the pores of a single tissue ply?

I've '*' my must-haves from this list as I know it can be over-whelming for the noobs. 

NOTE: You aren't limited to natural looking makeup of course; smokey eyes and the bride are dramatic for sure while still remaining classic. Most professional makeup artists will recommend classic looks vs trendy because you want the timeless appeal in your photos. Those poor 80s brides... 

ENABLER ALERT! The power of your selfie

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By Andrea Claire · February 17, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

It's a funny, funny world we live in these days. Everyone is an expert and everyone has an opinion. Personally, I like people with opinions – I prefer if they share mine, but unlike my elevator selfie, it's not obligatory. Opinions lead to conversations and for the most part, conversing is good; unless you're my child, then just do as you're told.

I'm not retouched because I'm a) not that dedicated and b) have no idea how, but I am lit with an LED light. I'd link it here but I can't find it online. $150 at a camera shop. You can also just buy a $5 camping light from Walmart which does the same thing - just the LED has a controllable dial which has the power to blast fine lines.

One controversial conversation these days is the selfie. I personally don't get why it's so controversial; maybe I don't understand because I am a player in that game so...don't hate the player… Selfies instill such anger in many who cry accusatory words of narcissism. Really, why do we care so much?

In the beauty world in which I live and breathe, I have to say what I'm not a fan of are arm swatches, yet I understand them. Why I'm not a fan is simple: the skin tones that are swatched on aren't always relevant to a makeup artist. I work on many skin tones and age brackets so as a pro – they mean nada to me. BUT, I can see how if you follow someone with a similar complexion to you, to a layperson, this would make sense to you. There are more laypeople in the world vs makeup artists. This is the theory behind what I think of for the selfie; it's relate-able.

I understand that me, as a redhead, most of the world is not going to relate to me however, there are many who are and just may want to know what blush I wore or a fellow makeup artist might have a shoot day with a ginger and peruse what I've worn to get some inspirations. There is nothing wrong with inspiring each other.

Let me toss out another proven perspective:


Now, I'm not going to mention any names here and I mean no disrespect – but an internationally respected industry person was publicly bashing fellow artists and their selfies (I'm sure there's been more than one); saying that selfies are for amateurs… I've been doing hair & makeup for 25 years, I ain't no amateur; and I know plenty of other pros who selfie as well.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Let me share something with you… come closer to your screen and shield it from others so they don't learn our secret:

Pros: you can get work from your selfies!!

I have gotten actual paid work from my selfies!

It's true. And odd. Never my intention for clients to book me from my personal hair and makeup applications. In fact, I've had discussions with clients on set:

Me: "Oh, you've seen this look 100x in my book haven't you? I've gotten known for that look."

Them (more than one client with the same reply): "Oh – no! I saw your selfie."  (I've had clients admit that they've never even seen my portfolios: horror face.)

Even before this personal experience I've always told my juniors and assistants: Practice. And if you don't have a face or head of hair to practice on, then use your own. Take photos with and without flash, natural light etc so you see how the makeup reacts in different lighting situations. And be constructively critical of your own work. To this day, I see my work drop and go over it with a fine-toothed comb mentally noting what I love and what I would do differently.

The one thing we can all agree on from what we've learned with the internet is: you can't please everyone and there will be Negative Nancys, Judgemental Judys and Guffawing Garys* in the world. They can scroll through their feeds or unfollow you. Who cares? Sure we just want to be liked by and get along with everyone but that isn't our [sur]reality.

Not only work comes from our selfies, but they can also be ego-boosting. Who doesn't want to be told they look pretty? Seriously, if it's narcissistic, who cares? And if you feel inspired to try something new on yourself, buy a product or hire [me], than I say 'selfie away!' At least selfies keep us out of the troll-filled forums (BTW -thanks to those people who called me a fat-aging smurf. You're super classy.)

It is all about lighting and angles, as you can see in the above photo demonstrating angles that I can't believe that I'm sharing... LOL - so if you want to jump on the selfie-bandwagon look here via TheLoop for some selfie tips and if you are in the position of taking photos of others, please take note of these tips because snapping a photo of someone is more than just pointing and shooting.

And since I couldn't leave you with the last horrible image of me... LOL

*no offence to the Nancys, Judys and Garys of the world. 

Just in case some of you aren't fully aware of the dictionary meaning;

NARCISSIST: a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish.

I know many selfie artists who are truly giving and kind-hearted.

Do you selfie? What are your best tips? 

ICONS || paying homage to fashion's greatest

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By Andrea Claire · February 16, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

The unique constant with these images are the fact that we had no real clothes. Allison illustrated them all. The cropping is not what you see here. I've cropped them because, well, some people are offended by breasts. If you want to see the full imagery, please check out photographer Scott Woodward's blog.

Featuring models: Amanda, Hiroko, Indila, Kristina, Morgan & Paula

Illustrations: Allison M. Low

Hair & Make-up: Andrea Claire [that's me]

Digital Imaging: Agnes Teo & Liisa Maria

Photographer's Assistants: Zam & Fried Rice

Director/DoP: Mike Rogers

Second Camera: Mark Chau

Editors: David Flood & Mark Chua

Music: Tara Mackey [on our BTS videos]

Look closely at the bottom middle image... basket-weaved chignon. It was my second cursed-filled, yet fun attempt. It's actually not hard to do, it's just about combing the sections as you go so you get a smooth weave. I do love hair sculpture

The various hair & makeup products I used include but not limited to: 

O&M Original Queenie Spray $25.95 USD SpaceNK

NARS Lipstick, Jungle Red 0.12 oz (3.4 g) $27.00 USD at Beauty.com

Ardell Duralash Naturals Flare Long Black (56 Lashes) (3-Pack) with Free Nail File $9.88 USD at Amazon.com

MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil $16.00 USD M·A·C at Dillard's

Other products used: Da Lish, Kevin Murphy, Maybelline, Benefit, Charlotte Tilbury and lord knows many, many more!

Have you done some homage portfolio work? Have you seen any? Share the links below!  

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