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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.

New work || Women's Weekly

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By Andrea Claire · December 16, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

I love Women's Weekly for a few reasons -

1) The pages offer everything from fashion to beauty to lifestyle.

2) Real women are often featured which you, the reader, can relate to better.

Sophia has her hands full with three adorable boys. It was a pleasure being in her apartment - full of love. Sophia's husband is a performer - check out his site: creamofmaestro to see what tricks he has up his sleeve.

Celeste is the owner of Heels Diva, accessories for your shoes.

and 3) ...
They included me not only as the hair & makeup artist this time around but as part of their closet raid story! GULP!

My outfits top left Calvin Klein, BCBG (6 years ago), Sabrina Goh (the hot pink) and finally American Apparel leggings, Mango tunic and a splashy fun capelet by Bolongaro Trevor

If you read my blog regularly then you have seen this word before that was noted in Women's Weekly: Chikungunya aka F*cking Mosquitos.

In 2005 this (then) single mother of 2 finally met the man of her dreams. He swept me off my feet for two years in a dating whirlwind full of travel. In 2007 I married a cute, funny (for a lawyer), intelligent, caring, adventurous man. We had a shotgun wedding - he joked; not from pregnancy but from a job perspective. We moved to Singapore.

Fast forward...

2008, my third daughter, Zoie is 5 months old and I am in the hospital with a viral fever; later to be diagnosed as the glamorous chikungunya - gets the name from 'walks like a chicken'. Bloody hell. I am in fashion! Can't it be a fashionable disease??

Fast forward...

We are at the end of 2012. I still have massive issues growing from one mosquito - as an example - I cannot take my daughter to the zoo because I cannot do that walk around and I refuse to ride the motorized scooter chairs that scream: GET OUT AND WALK LAZY BUM! Anything over a ten minute walk cripples me. I don't take public transit because I don't want to ask someone for their seat when I look perfectly capable of standing and I am but I could really use the seat.

I was recently in the U.S seeing a team of doctors for more opinions and tests. Holy M.F U.S!! I am pretty sure my tests paid for the three doctors and their residents to take their families on a week holiday - and I had ZERO procedures! You see, that one mosquito from 2008 has really wrecked havoc on my body. I now have cysts on both of my hip joints caused by that one minuscule blood sucker. I have pain daily. This is something no one would know unless I tell you because I am not ready to roll over yet. Eventually I will need both hips replaced. Many people I do tell, tell me stories about their parents or other relatives who get hip replacements - they are all 60+. I am 41. I know they mean well but being compared to someone 20+ years your senior is hard to swallow. It doesn't help. I could go on and on about what ails me and what limits I have but I will save that for much later.

The mosquito has caused my body to be in auto-immune disorder mode - they call it a 'response'. Um. Ok...

To simplify: I have reactive seronegative rheumatoid arthritis with dormant lupus (drs had a different word other than dormant) - the dormant lupus I may have had anyway or it may be another mozzie triggered gift that revealed itself in my blood work.

I used to do kick-boxing. I *proudly* did a mean roundhouse - probably inspired after watching Charlie's Angels - the Flower Power editions. There is no more kickboxing for me. I tried the stationary bike two years ago and then spent five days crying in pain on the couch - no exaggeration. Needless to say - my waistline has expanded a little...sigh. Ageing isn't helping either. I need to figure this part out...

Women have it tough. {click that.

We have comments made about our bodies from strangers in store dressing rooms to friends or relatives we haven't seen in months - even co-workers week to week. Whenever I am asked if I have lost weight I know it's just an excuse for opening dialogue, but honestly - it's not a conversation I want to have - nor do you want my answer. I'll rant. I'll rant about why do we think weight should be an opening to a conversation? I had a woman who I haven't seen in 6 months tell me that I lost weight - she 'knew' she said that she could tell. Well, if she could tell that to my jeans that don't fit that they're clearly mistaken then perhaps my day would look brighter. (Cheese with your whine Ms Claire?)

Sure. I have issues. We all do. Mine are stemmed from a little pest that the local fog couldn't control and now I am stuck with it for life BUT - as much as I whine, rant and cry I need to share with you this: I love my family, my friends, my career and I love helping others. Sure - I risk sounding cheesy. Don't care. My greatest joy is feeling like I have made someone's day. I know - le grande fromage - I made a career out of making people feel good. Sure - it's about hair and makeup - one could argue that is superficial but - you are how you feel and how you look adds to that becomes it is a forever moving cycle. Being a woman - we have bad hair days - they throw off our days.

The question then shouldn't be 'How Do I Look?!' The question is: How do YOU feel? Because they do go together but how you feel is a little more important than how you look. I don't think everyone understands that.

What makes me feel good? Aside from private moments with my family - Smiles on faces of people in my chair when our coiffey time is done. Models whom I have helped look good - therefore feeling good in front of the camera. A day well spent.

I think I am rambling now. Happens. meh

Again... I could go on and on about what I have learned dealing with a degenerative illness and perhaps my life story will get inked when I can no longer work on my two feet -  the doctors agree that that is at least 10-15 years from now - perhaps longer with successful surgery (10-15 years from now). Sounds dramatic doesn't it? I do have that flare. Actually - it does kinda suck.

Let's summarize:

LOVE the Lovelies at Women's Weekly. Thrilled to be in their pages. THANK YOU! I always have fun with you and the flip-side of the camera is always fun.
Don't let an illness stop you - let it motivate you. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger and trust me - I am an awfully strong person...

I have not let it stop me. Almost the opposite - I am on a race to do as much as I can until my illness potentially cripples me (15+ years from now) - this is how much I love what I do. I want to shoot as many shows as I can, lead as many teams as I can, cut as much hair as I can... Am I ridiculous? Maybe. Do I have bad days? Yes. We all do.

I could go on and on and on and...

moving on...

You can see me on Yahoo Glam Up - my beauty tip-driven online series and of course countless shoots. Recently I had a Priceless moment with Seal!! You read: Seal - right? Yup. Although it is not new for me to work with A-list celebrities I thought Seal was an added cool factor. He was a joy to work with. Oh - and I do have something else coming up soon - watch this space.

Angelique Teo - a TV host here in Singapore had posted once: "Don't judge my path if you haven't walked my journey."  Author unknown. I remember when she posted it. I was having a particularly bad day. I am not sure if that had helped me but I remember thinking how much that rings true.

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