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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.

Beauty Lust Haves || October 2013

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By Andrea Claire · October 10, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

Have you been following my Beauty Lust Haves?? Recap!

Now on with October!

Seeing that this is a list of my beauty faves, October being Breast Cancer Awareness month and in celebration of the newly launched Think Dirty app, I thought it was apropos to start off with this must have app.

Think Dirty insists that your products come clean. Think Dirty is a new app designed by a Canadian (go Canada!!) where you scan the UPC codes to see the potential health risks lurking in your latest beauty haul.

After hearing about the app via fellow makeup artist Jackie Shawn, I had to get it. Especially being a beauty pro I wanted to see what evil may be hiding in my professional kit. Think Dirty is definitely something I will be using when adding potential products to my beauty arsenal.

Hey, Think Dirty: You could consider offering grade badges to beauty companies just like we see in restaurants. Grade A, B, C and so on so we consumers know if they are a pass for purchase. A little idea from me (Andrea Claire) to you.

(I'd love to see this type of app for buying groceries too - just what killers linger in a Twinkie anyway??)


Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder $24.00 USD at Macy's

Introduced to me by the lovely and talented Dee Daly; a powder for under the eyes that actually has me rethinking using powder under the eyes! I love it. It has  this great setting and brightening effect without creasing and accentuating fine lines.

Dermalogica MAP-15 Regenerator, a highly active vitamin C as well as other anti-aging goodies to firm up the skin. Use as a spot treatment for eyes and lips or add into your moisturizer for extra brightening and firming. Part of Dermalogica's Age Smart line that I personally use, as well as use to prep my models /celebs/brides etc...

AGE Smart® contains scientifically advanced ingredients proven to impact the major biochemical reactions that contribute to skin aging before they start, so your skin is left smoother, firmer and healthier. AGE Smart® is the intelligent investment in your future skin. Dermalogica.com

GOSH Velvet Lipliners a cheaper version of the Givenchy lipliners that I love. They glide on smooth without tugging the skin and are waterproof as well! The downside - they need to expand their colour selection as it's a little sparse.

What are your latest beauty faves?? Beauty school the rest of us!

xo AC

VLOG || #AZMondayMakeover: Nadia Daeng

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By Andrea Claire · October 7, 2013 · 0 Comments ·
Nadia Daeng, freelance PR-ista (kinda like fashionista but for PR)

Busy Bee Nadia D has a passion for red; her favourite colour. Of course I had to resist the urge to give her a red lip.

(If you don't see a video below here - please refresh the title.)

Moroccanoil Medium Ceramic Round Brush 35mm A$25.50A$23.50 at Catwalk

Nadia's hair was blown out using a medium round brush, Original & Mineral Rootalicious on Nadia’s roots for added root lift and Morroccanoil Volumizing Mousse on the rest of the hair for a closer to god effect. Blowing out natural curls when you intend to use tongs gives you a smoother hair shaft, of course you can tong diffused curls as well.

BaByliss Curl Secret Hair Curler. £119.99 at Argos

On a recent trip to Canada I bought the Babyliss MiraCurl (Curl Secret in the UK) aka the curling machine that you will see in action in our makeover video. To my surprise I saw them for sale at Jeric Salon here in Singapore – I guess if the PR for Babyliss would have actually returned my call I would have had that info and perhaps would have also known that the Babyliss is not dual voltage (I'm using a Conair transformer thingy) like they told me at the supply store in Canada. Subtle enough?

KEVIN.MURPHY Texture.Master A$34.95 at Adore Beauty

I finished Nadia’s hair with Kevin Murphy Texture Master. I love the sexy, big, tousled beach hair. I did not tease her hair aside from a smidge on the top – that spray truly is a miracle.


Nadia before and after. Photos by Zurina Bryant. Jewelry by Killari
**FYI: NO PHOTOSHOP

dermalogica Skin Kit, Age Smart $52.00 at Walgreens

With her skin based with all of my Dermalogica faves I moved on to my other fave: FACE atelier Ultra Foundation in #7.

*Nadia mentions that she often skips foundation because of the heat here in Singapore. Living in hot humid climates can be makeup challenging as sweaty skin can cause makeup to melt and powders to coagulate. If this is you then a primer for oily skin is a must unless you sweat like you are halfway through a Bikram session, in that case, primer is a waste of time.

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder $24.00 USD at Bergdorf Goodman

Start by applying the foundation with Bdellium Tools Studio Precision Kabuki 957 brush and contour with foundation one to two shades darker (on Nadia I used FA #9) Take time to blend with a Beauty Blender in a soft stippling motion. Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder (an eye brightener) can be used on it's own or over concealer - I love this powder introduced to me by Dee Daly

I based Nadia's eyes with Bikini-Tini from Benefit Cosmetics and played with a few loose metallic pigments, gold copper and bronze mixing them with Bio-Oil for an added wet look/glow. MAC's Shroom was applied to the inner tear duct and the brow bone.  Black gel liner at the lash line and inner waterline to give the eye some me-ow effect finished with Revlon mascara. 
 

Bio Oil 125ml £15.00 at Very

Bio-Oil is known for many skincare uses but it also makes a great addition to your makeup. Traditionally Vaseline is used on the eyelid for shine but overtime can travel and crease - I find that the Bio-Oil will crease with eyeshadows a smidge but so minimal it's barely worth the mention. Another great use for this? Replacing the 8 Hour Cream used on the lips. I've never understood my peers' love for that cream and Bio-Oil has a smoother feel without the greasy leftovers.

I applied MAC Antonio Lopez for M·A·C 'Coral' Face Palette (Limited Edition) $46.00 at Nordstrom for added contour, colour and highlight. 


Anyone can be Pretty in Pink! These are my lips in the same colour as what I used on Nadia: CoverGirl Spellbound. On Nadia I lined her lips first with Gosh lipliner in Pink Peony.

Find us on social media

Nadia on Twitter

Zurina on Twitter

and me, Andrea Claire

This was our second AZMondayMakeover see our first here.

Deets on the Babyliss Curl Secret / MiraCurl

I do love this but then again I am a Gadget Queen. Anything new comes out and I have to play with it. I don't believe that this is a tool for every consumer unless someone is there to help you do the back of your hair - but it is fun. Watch the video above.

  • Hair is automatically drawn in to the ceramic curl chamber and softly held to heat the hair from all directions to form a curl
  • 2 heat settings, 200 degrees and 230 degrees for long lasting results
  • 3 timer settings with audio beep indicator for different curl effects
  • Automatic alternating curl direction for a natural finish
  • 2.3m swivel cord
  • 3 year guarantee
  • Ground breaking technology effortlessly creates beautiful, long lasting curls. Close the styler and the hair is automatically drawn into the ceramaic curl chamber where it is softly held and heated from all directions to form a curl. Then simply open the styler to reveal the perfect curl
  • Professional heating system for fast curl formation and long lasting results

 

Shop my beauty faves on Luxola's Tastemakers

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By Andrea Claire · October 6, 2013 · 0 Comments ·





Shop my faves on Luxola's Tastemakers.

Introducing: Stretch City and YogaFly

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By Andrea Claire · October 4, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

Let’s kill two birds with one stone shall we?? (I guess that intro isn’t very ZEN now is it?)

On September 26th I was invited to Stretch in the City at Upside Motion, an event introducing Stretch City and Upside Motion hosted by Stretch City founder / international model, host, actress, yogi and all around genuine person, Liv Lo.

Bird #1: Stretch City is an online yoga lifestyle directory with a growing list of organic restaurants, shops, events and promotions within the wellness community and of course yoga studios. You will also find reviews helping you source out the best place for you.

Bird #2: Upside Motion is a wellness studio with classes available in Pilates, Xtend Barre and YogaFly. I was one of the lucky 10 who got to try the YogaFly. YogaFly is a hybrid of yoga, pilates and aerobatics.

“The practice is only a relatively new addition to the many ways of doing Yoga. Its creator Michelle Dortignac started holding classes of this particular practice in New York City only January of 2006. She combined traditional Yoga with her background on dance and the circus art of tissu. She says that once in the air, the body has to learn to align itself properly, thanks to the effects of gravity.” ABC of Yoga


image via Faz's blog

Hanging by a thread – actually it’s a hammock-like system suspended from the ceiling made from special material that can hold up to 1000lbs. If you have taken drama in school you may recall the game of trust. This is the feeling you have while back-flipping in the stretchy sheer cloth – you need to trust the cloth and yourself.

This is me post back-flip. I'd pat myself on the back but... a little busy.

As you may recall I have some health issues and I’ve been trying to push myself so my autoimmune disease doesn’t control me. I enjoyed the class immensely. Not only was it fun but there were poses that I didn’t think I would manage but I did!  

My pain afterwards was two days later. My hands felt the most which is part my joint issues but I bet also from the death grip I had holding onto the cloth while I was upside-down (see Faz's photo above)

They do have YogaFly classes for children which I am dying to get Stuff Zoie Says into. I guess that part's not to hard - I just need to pick up the phone.

MEXICO-CIRQUE DU SOLEIL

It will take me a little more practice to get to this point though.

Upside Motion has two locations: 36 Armenian Street 02-03 and 100 Turf Club Road 01-02L/X

VLOG || #AZMondaymakeover: RynaQue

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By Andrea Claire · September 30, 2013 · 0 Comments ·
I am so excited to bring to you #AZMondayMakeover, an online makeover series where I am collaborating with profile photographer Zurina Bryant.

As the title suggests this is something to look forward to as you are drudging your way to work on a Monday morning (or perhaps a Sunday night for those in other parts of the world).

You can expect a few tips and perhaps a giggle or two (we're shooting video - if you don't see the video at the end of this post click the title to refresh) and of course a before and after.

The photos are not retouched. We didn't want to makeover real women and then D.I them to death.




First up: RynaQue, a lifestyle/beauty plus size blogger. I met Q while doing some collaborations and attending events orchestrated by the fabulous Singapore PR firm Access Communications. Recently turned 21, Q has got a lovely, bubbly personality. Always smiling and happy. She is after all, happy in her skin.



For Q's hair I blew it out with Marc Anthony Curl Envy Strictly Curls cream since her hair is naturally curly it needs a little hydration thus the creamy texture with this product. I know it says for making perfect curls - I also find this product is great for a perfect blowout with bounce. For fine hair opt for the lotion version.

After blowing out her hair I flat ironed it and while the hair was still warm, I popped in Velcro rollers (you can see the glam happening in the video below). Velcro rollers are not used to create curl - it gives the hair a soft feminine texture. I lightly misted the hair in rollers with Kevin Murphy Session Spray. For the final setting spray I used Original Mineral Original Queenie to hold her blowout.



Can you guess the foundation?? FACEatelier in #8!! It really is the bomb dot com. If you are living in Asia you can order it from Luxola and from the rest of world you can use FACeatelier locator here.


The only cake that should be near your face... sorry Q - stalking your Instagram!

After my general foundation application I stippled more on Q's stubborn blemishes with the Beauty Blender sponge - bye bye blemishes! I like the buildable foundation method better then caking on concealer - the skin looks more like skin. (The above pic is later on the same day! Pretty right?!)

I chose to give Q a smoky eye using grey and pewter eyeshadows and a black gel liner using a mash-up of Ben Nye, MAC, Clio, Ardell and Revlon.

MAC M·A·C Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow Palette

Chantecaille Gel Liner Pencil – Jet


These but in brown.



This is RynaQue's own dress. I believe she got it from ASOS where women globally love to shop. Jewelry provided by Killari

UPDATE!! Although like every woman RynaQue has success at ASOS this dress she is wearing is actually by FLOW. FLOW is a line under the Valiram Group, Malaysia. Recently it made its debut in Singapore at a pop-up site at ISETAN Scotts last month. It's only available online now for ladies staying in Singapore.

Find Q online
Website
Facebook
Twitter

**Musical side note: I have tried adding music to our time-lapse but alas - YouTube then restricts the videos to be played via mobiles now. le sigh I originally had tried editing with the empowering song Big Girls (you are beautiful) by Mika; then Q's request Happy in my skin by Philippa Hanna and then my friend Sarah Slean's vintage yet beautiful song Sweet Ones - all of these songs I have actually paid for. When I watch videos on YouTube whereas I like the music I buy it. I don't download - maybe I am not the norm but I can't steal which is what downloading illegally is. The naive person in me thinks: What the hell YouTube!! You are taking possibilities away from people buying and discovering new music... am I wrong?

Are you a musician with music I can use linking and crediting you? Please send me an email.

Find Zurina online

Find me, Andrea Claire online

A denim hospital?!? Jeanius!!

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By Andrea Claire · September 27, 2013 · 0 Comments ·
[There's a video here. If you don't see it click the post title.]

The face of 42 || my skincare quotes and more that hit the cutting room floor for FLARE magazine

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By Andrea Claire · September 26, 2013 · 0 Comments ·


I remember the first time I saw my credit in Canada's FLARE magazine tagged to my hair & makeup work. I toted it around like a beauty trophy proud to share it around to anyone who would indulge me; that was 16 years ago. Some things never change.

Wing Sze Tang, writer and editor included me in her October story Eastern Promises for FLARE and since many of my answers had to be streamlined (I tend  to go on) I thought I would share my complete answers.

WST: Is it accurate to say that North American women prefer multi-duty products and simpler skincare routines, whereas women in Singapore (or Asia in general) prefer hyper-specific products and multi-step routines?

AC (me): Yes, in fact an example of this is BB creams. Women in North America have taken this on as a do-all when really it shouldn't take the place of your skincare.

Face wipes too! They are huge for women to skip washing their face properly back home. We have them in Asia but women here don't use them in place of cleansing.

WST: How did your own skincare routine change when you moved to Singapore? (Please briefly detail what steps/products you used to use in Toronto, and what you do currently.)
My Instagrammed #faceof42

AC: I have to say that I was on a multiple-step program already introduced to me by Dermalogica (circa Stylin Gypises 2004) double cleansing was already part of my beauty vocab followed by exfoiliant, toner, eye creams and moisturizer. But since moving here I have added serums and pre-serums.

WST: Was there anything that surprised you when you talked to other beauty industry pros in Asia about what they use/do for skincare? Any beauty "revelations"? (Feel free to describe specific anecdotes if you have any.)

AC: What surprises me the most are the injectables women get here and how early they start. I worked on a print ad where the model in her early 20s had pig fat injected into her upper cheek area - she said she had it done in Korea under the advice of a dermatologist there. Injectables (Botox is huge) are common here at a young age and people are surprised when I tell them I haven't had any... Yet...

Also - you may recall the viral video of the women slapping faces for lifting in Thailand? Well, I have had many facials in Singapore where the slapping isn't as violent but they apply serums with a subtle slapping motion. After living in Asia and seeing first-hand how Asia influences the rest of the [skincare] world I figure it's only a matter of time before that craze 'hits' the globe so I have been (subtly) slapping on my serums for a couple of years now. Hey - can't hurt!! ;)

WST: I've read that in certain parts of Asia, it's not unusual for women to use 14 or more skincare/beauty products throughout the day. Is this true? And what are the commonly followed steps (for day, and for night)? For example, I've heard of:

1) double cleansing (first oil cleanser, then foam cleanser)

4) layering serums plus emulsions, in addition to regular lotions or creams

5) putting on multiple SPFs (sunscreen + pre-makeup primer with SPF + BB/CC cream with SPF)

AC: Women are definitely into pre-cleansing with oil here which helps to breakdown pollutants and makeup before using your cleanser. There are the same options here of cleansing bars, cleansing milks, gel cleansers or foam cleansers etc... It is still about preference.

And yes, followed by masks, serums, moisturizers - targeting treatments are big here too - no one wants to see one sun spot of freckle. I often joke that I see more umbrellas on sunny days vs rainy days - not far from the truth. Women do take the steps they need to maintain a 'milky' complexion so in Singapore many women do invest and use separate sunscreens for the face vs a multitasking bb/cc etc.

I have heard that Chinese women here will save cooled water from rice to rinse their face as it has natural exfoliating and brightening qualities - interesting since SKII is based on rice water fermentation.

Skin Inc is a brand here that has many serums targeting specific needs which I love. It's not about generic skincare anymore. Bespoke your needs.

WST: Do you find that women in Asia are generally more obsessed with skincare compared to North Americans? Do they invest more in anti-aging skincare, or begin using them at an earlier age, than women in North America?

AC: Yes! Women in North America tend to leap for creams at the first signs of fine lines and hope for the reversing miracle cream whereas in Asia skincare is used as prevention and anti-aging.

WST: Are there any skincare practices or skincare products common in Asia that you would rarely or never see in North America?

AC: Whitening. It's huge. Sadly. Even the advertising here ignores the diverse colours of skin. Just because a woman's skin tone is darker than a level 2 or 3 doesn't mean she isn't beautiful. Many brands here - at least Singapore - don't carry darker shades of foundation. Yes, you can find them but not with all brands, even the counter artists oversell makeup that is too light. The obsession for skin that is light, free from 'spots' is not fading.

Also, carbon cleansers are creeping up. Do you have those yet? I believe they are geared to more acne prone / oily skin

WST: What other observations do you have about women's different attitudes and approaches to skincare in Asia vs. North America?

AC: Women in Singapore will try anything and everything that promises the fountain of youth. I think women in N.A are more skeptical and want to hear about it after the research and development teams have conclusive results - neither approach is wrong - although I can't say I will be injecting pig fat into my cheeks anytime soon...

Women are so obsessed here with looking perfect that there are a lot of iPhone apps that give you big eyes and clear skin. Check out Cymera that comes out of Korea (I believe?) - it's fun to give yourself 'big eyes'

**Get FLARE magazine in the app store

Yes, I am 42. le sigh And without Botox or any other outside help except a great skincare regimen which I am often asked about. This is what I use:

There are a few things missing from my skincare arsenal. My Dermalogica eye cream, Bio-Oil, Skin Inc placenta (don't worry - it's plant) and my Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum... These need replenishing.

Are you looking for Botox?? I have sent many clients in Singapore here. I have heard nothing but rave reviews on this place. I made an appointment but cancelled 20 mins before my Botox because I just don't feel I need it right now... but I am really curious... Have you Botoxed and regretted it? Loved it? Recommend it? Do tell!!

**Read my interview on A Fashionable Leo for more of my favorite beauty products

Nap like an ostrich

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By Andrea Claire · September 25, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

Social media is great for many things including a laugh.

This Napping Pillow by Ostrich Pillows is apparently a real thing.

By the way... I sent through the link in reply to a thread with my daughter's kindie class list with this:

"I'll have a look through the Canadian Back Bacon encyclopedia and see what recipe I can fandangle.  [UN Day apparently is short in dish making volunteers. Zoie goes to the Singapore American School]
On another note - we could consider adding this to the teachers' gift wish list  -I'm sure it could be put to great use at some point in the day [link here to above napping pillow] "

Is it just me or do people really do band together to buy teachers' thank you gifts? My older daughters went to public school in Toronto and in Singapore at CIS. Christmas I did give various gifts but on my own - a box of chocolates, beauty products, gift certificates for manicures.. not all at once and certainly not for every birthday and holiday as per the current suggestion.

If we are getting teachers gifts thanking them for educating our children then I would like a thank you gift for supplying said children giving them a job. Ok. Partially kidding.

My husband is on that thread as well. He came home from work - asked me if anyone replied to the email.
ME: 'No.'
He is pretty sure that the email thread which includes doctors, lawyers, teachers (list every occupation except artists) thinks I was serious. le sigh

Zoie's teacher asked me in a separate email if I could spearhead making the PTA Eco-friendly- this came after my suggestion of the children bringing their own Tupperware to use for their UN Day samplings vs the paper plates that someone is buying. Maybe I am under-thinking but isn't a project to make the PTA Eco-friendly over-thinking? BYOPS. Bring your own place setting... then take it home and wash it.  I don't think we need a 'project' and PowerPoint presentation on this... I was trying to decide if he was using my Canadian sarcasm against me. I'm still unsure. But just to be safe, I replied with: Not sure if this is bad to admit but... I'm not the PTA kinda parent.

Happily volunteer. Happily cook some bacon. But...

I kid. I'm a [often misunderstood] kidder - well, misunderstood in Singapore at least. 

Nothing will compare to the time where I told the VP of the Canadian International Middle School to 'Bite me.' - which was an intended email for my husband. Then I wished I could have stuck my head in the sand. Whatever. Told you social media can be good for a laugh.

How to use leftover nail strips that have dried out

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By Andrea Claire · September 25, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

Being a beauty pro / beauty junkie I have a LOT of products and some of these products, just like a Red Carpet dress, get only one use. Take for example the nail strips that come sealed so tight that air can't get in. How many of us have 16 fingers that we can use them all at once?

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips $7.59 USD at Target

Salon EffectsTM Fast, Flawless, French Manicure. Salon Perfect French Tip ∙No Dry Time ∙Lasts up to 10 Days
1. Start with clean, dry nails
2. Select best-fitting French Tip for each nail
3. Remove clear plastic cover, then peel French tip from backing paper
4. Position tip onto edge of nail and smooth over nail edge. File off excess.
5. Apply clear / sheer strip to nail. Press strip to nail and smooth over entire nail.
6. File away excess from nail edge.

Great. So now we have 10 used but 6 leftover...

I have tried flattening out the package and sealing the leftovers in with packing tape - apparently I don't possess magical air-sealing powers as I later discover my dried out nail strips. Determined to not waste them I decided to try basing my nails with OPI Base Coat prior to sticking on the dried out nail strips and like magic - it worked! I then added a top coat to seal them in. It kind of defeats the purpose of the zero drying time required for the nail strips but at least now you don't have wastage.

Have you discovered a trick to replenish the dried out nail strips better than this one? Feel free to share your info and link.

**There is a video in this post. If you don't see it please click on the post title but the video is just 1970s porn music as I paint my nails with clear polish to get the dried out nail strips to stick. Mind-blowing video. Must see really.

Bobbed at the Emmys

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By Andrea Claire · September 23, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

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