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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.

VLOG || #AZMondayMakeover: Vivian Pei

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By Andrea Claire · October 14, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

Welcome to week three of the AZMondayMakeover! You can recap the first two here. 

 

There is a video above here. Don't see it? Please click on the post title.

Today's lovely lady is Vivian Pei. Vivian is a whiz in the kitchen. No really. She has an F&B consultancy business, does recipe development, teaches cooking, food stylist, organizes food tours.... Viv - am I leaving anything out?

before and after photos by Zurina Bryant

Now Vivian's before looks way more frazzled than one would expect. In all fairness she did just arrive after a frantic day of work and errands and we plunked her down without any real warning for her pic. (I don't even think she glanced in a mirror upon arrival) We let her open a bottle of champagne prior to sitting into my beauty chair - hey, we can be nice!

On Vivian I used:


Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm Compact SPF 30 in Medium Plus $30.00 USD at M·A·C mainly under the eyes for added brightening.

 Followed by FACEatelier foundation in #7 (Tan)


Benefit fakeup hydrating crease-control concealer, medium $24.00 USD at Macy's


Laura Mercier Mineral Finishing Powder $34.00 USD at Nordstrom


Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder $30.00 USD at Ulta

NARS 'Pro Prime' Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base $24.00 USD at Nordstrom 

This eyeshadow primer is clear and allows a smooth base for shadow. I applied it from lash line to brow bone.


Benefit creaseless cream eyeshadow in R.S.V.P, $20.00 USD at Macy's 

Applied solely on Vivian's lid.


Laura Mercier Lustre Eye Colour USD at Nordstrom 

With Vivian's eyes open, I applied LM Lustre Eye Colour in African Violet into the crease - pretty sure the image is of Chocolate and not African Violet but it shows the same shimmery quality.


Maybelline EyeStudio Baked Color Pearls Marbleized Eyeshadow Persuasive Plum $6.79 USD at Walgreens

I applied a sheer layer of this marbleized eyeshadow. I love these shadows! The way they pick up light is pretty and Hello! Cheap and cheerful!!


Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner $23.00 USD at Macy's

I used a deep plum / black that is no longer available. Sorry Dudettes.


Lip Lacquer $25.00 USD at NARS Cosmetics

I applied foundation onto Vivian's lips which isn't necessary - and after hearing what Vivian had to say (watch the video) about her lips I wish i hadn't chosen to take them down so much but she still pulls off this look nicely and hey - it's not a lip tattoo. ;)

For Vivian's hair:



I blew out Vivian's hair with Marc Anthony bye bye frizz blowout cream, tonged in some waves, pinned one side back and then set the final look with Original Mineral Original Queenie.


CHI Air Tex Tourmaline Ceramic 1" Curling Iron-Red $60.00 at jcpenney

I gave Vivian what I have dubbed as 'The Hollywood Mullet' (sleek on one side; sexy, wavy party on the other)

This is the CHI iron closest to what I could find to my vintage CHI with the Marcel arm. sigh I m not a fan of the wands nor the spring armed irons. 

Let's talk about Vivian's dress by Lion Earl! I freakin' love this Singaporean label (I have yet to own one). Jewellery supplied by Singapore-based Killari.

find the team online:

Zurina Bryant

and me, Andrea Claire 

**Sure, we could make everyone over all slick and Vogue-y but I don't know anyone who can maintain that daily. Zurina and I wanted to show you - the feminine masses, that you can look great on your own terms without photoshop and scalpels.

Want to participate? Send us an email with  your photo and azMondayMakeover in the subject line to me and Z.

Beauty Lust Haves || July 2013

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

Ok, a little later than the normal time frame for my Beauty Lust Haves. Apologies as I was in Thailand for a shoot then travelled to Canada (where I am now) to visit family and do a little work - so without further delay, my beauty picks for July:

Let's start with this MiraCurl by Babyliss! Beautiful curls in 10 seconds (per section, not your whole head!)  Um... I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it! Watch my Instagram video here of Stuff Zoie Says gettin her hair did and then of course the little Diva telling me to 'stop touching her hair!' LOL

What the MircaCurl is, is a nano-titanium curling machine! And... DUAL VOLTAGE!! Yes - friends in Singapore - when I am home I can create MiraCurls with your hair!!

(thanks to Le Salon in Kitchener for the demo!)

SK-II Signs Eye Mask were part of a package given to me to fall in love with prior to me speaking at an SK-II event in Singapore. Loaded with antiaging benefits and vitamins to hydrate and diminish fine lines -- this has become part of my personal skincare regimen and pro-kit staple as a pre-makeup prep for some of my models. Excellent for those who feel that their under-eye area needs extra TLC. I love how concealer glides on without caking post use.

Sheene Choco lip balms from Thailand that I found in Singapore are gorgeous. Not as thick as the NARS lip lacquers that I love but a similar look for a fraction of the price. Contains cocoa butter and camellia japonica seed oil to moisturize and protect with a splash of sheer colour. Pictured above is me wearing all three!

Duty-free beauty gets me everytime and my recent shoot in Thailand was not exempt.

My faves from my recent plane purchase:

Bobbi Brown Illuminatiing Face Base - a primer that adds to the glow from within as well as contains 25 broad spectrum sun protection. Safe to say I have a little Bobbi Brown in my kit. [this product doesn't seem to be on their website so possibly Asia exclusive or limited for purchase on Cathay]

Armani Maestro foundation my bad; it's not a foundation- this does however remind me a lot of MAC's Face & Body (Foundation) and an original Hollywood starlet oil-based foundation that the name escapes me but I can visualize the delicate glass bottle... eventually the product name will pop into my head.

“It’s not a foundation, it’s a complexion perfector. A whole new generation of make-up that feels incredible, looks invisible and makes skin appear luminous every time. Anyone can wear it!!!”- Linda Cantello, International Make-up Artist for Giorgio Armani Cosmetics from Georgio Armani online

Beauty behind the scenes. A pretty lip must be shared.

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By Andrea Claire · February 14, 2013 · 0 Comments ·
image source: me with my HTC ONE S

This is Melissa, Singaporean model/actress represented by Looque in a behind the scenes photo that I just had to share - I mean - look at that lip colour! I'll get there...

On Melissa's already flawless skin:

Skin: Prepped with Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream and IPSA On the Peak Eye Aesthetics - an amazing eye cream (why am I sharing this with the models - note to self: covet)

Foundation:  A combination of Dermalogica's Covertint in Medium with FACEatelier Ultra Foundation #1

Cheeks: Again with a combo, in order of application: MAC Cosmetics Posey Cheekblend Blush , Bobbi Bown Shimmer Brick Bronze in the hollows and Jemma Kidd All Over Dewy Glow in Iced Gold as a highlighter.

Eyes:
based with black|Up Cosmetics Intense Radiance Eye Shadow in ME04 from lid to brow bone and Mono Eye Shadow in MP04 at the top & bottom lash line
Tom Ford Onyx Eye Defining Pencil in the waterline
NARS Hollywoodland soft touch shadow pencil on the inner corner
Revlon Photoready 3D Volume mascara in Blackest Black

Le BIG finish:

Lips: GOSH lipliner in Pink Peony with Tom Ford Flamingo lipstick

The past couple of days I've been shooting with globe-trotting photographer David Dobson - his work is gorgeous AND he's a nice guy. See, fashion isn't just full of bitches... I kid.

Speaking of... 

Here's another behind the scenes I took from our shoot with members of [the] Collective - left to right: Angelique Nicolette Teo, Linda Black and Mohini Sule.

I know - I work with really ugly people. sigh

A Coral Flush: fresh Spring makeup

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By Andrea Claire · January 5, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

Happy New Year! [It's the 5th so still ok to say this for 2 more days.]

Now that we got 2012 out of the way it's time to plan getting out of hibernation for our Spring makeup hauls! Living in Singapore makes it a little easier to visualize warmer weather makeup because it's tropical here and summer all year 'round. *bragger alert!*

Yesterday I was on set with Cosmo Singapore for a March fashion story - since it's not a beauty shoot I can show you the makeup that we were all loving! *pats self on back*

image source

This is the lovely Oksana S with Upfront models Singapore. I predict, like a few other models that I have worked with recently, that she is going places.

On Oksana I used:

Let's start with the lips since that colour is gorgeous!

  1. I based her lip with Givenchy lip pencil #4. Givenchy has the best lip pencils on the market. The colours are lush and apply smoothly - zero tugging! I line and fill in so you don't end up with the harsh lip lined look which is very Soccer Mom *shudder*
  2. I then applied the OCC Lip Tar in Cha Cha. I have a love/hate with OCC Lip Tars. I find that they are a little messy - you have to use them extremely sparingly otherwise before they set the colour creeps into the teeth - but once they set OCC Lip Tar is going no where. I find they work great as a primer since anything you apply over top goes on like silk.
  3. I finished with FACE atelier's Lip Glaze in Paradise. Totally digging this combo.

Now we can rewind from the start:

Face


Dermalogica - I know - quelle surprise! Everyone I doll up gets Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream [  [{$39.00 USD at Ulta] on their skin as it gives me that best skin texture to work with. The key to great makeup is the skin you are starting with and I find the smoothing cream helps in giving me a smooth base... can I use smooth one more time in a description? Urgh - can you say thesaurus?


Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35- Light  $42.00 USD Barneys New York mixed with a little FACE atelier Ultra Foundation #1

Savoir Faire Concealer $46 SGD - I didn't use the powder - not a fan of powder under the eyes unless you are trying to look older - not many of us are... just the 15 year olds trying to get served.

Eyes

On the lid I used a MAC colour that of course, is discontinued. sigh I have a habit of that - but you could use MAC Gorgeous Gold - that's close to what I used.


Soap & Glory Solar Powder £11.00 at Boots I used this both as an eye contour and a cheek contour.


I used Onyx (middle colour) top and bottom at the lash-line from the Bobbi Brown 'Extreme Party' Eye Palette (Nordstrom Exclusive) $75.00 USD at Nordstrom


At the brow bone and inner corner of the eye I used NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Hollywoodland $24.00 USD at Sephora

I filled in her brows with a Brunette MAC brow pencil from their new brow line which has recently launched! The Strawberry Blonde brow pencil is perfect for me so those who ask me in person if my hair is brown can stop... clearly I am a redhead - temper and all.


MAC 'In Extreme Dimension Lash' Mascara (Premiering at Nordstrom)  $20.00 USD  at Nordstrom I LOVE testing out new MAC products. This mascara is amazing - zero clumping, no smudging and holds a curl.

Cheeks

As I mentioned above - I had sculpted Oksana's cheeks with Soap & Glory's Solar Powder first.


MAC Powder Blush in Supercontinental $20.00 USD at Nordstrom with its satin finish it has a light-refractive sheen-style finish adding subtle highlights to the skin - but I love a good highlight so I added more with two products - the NARS Miss Liberty and...


Jemma Kidd makeup School DEWY GLOW in Iced Gold £18.95  at Zalando - I have heard the rumour that Jemma Kidd is going under... anyone have the full scoop?? I hope that's not true but if you haven't added this to your beauty arsenal then hop to it Beauty Bunnies as this is a LUST HAVE.

TIP! Apply this FIRST before you add any powder product - you can layer the Dewy Glowy over powder but powder finishes will get a little disturbed so best to layer your creams and liquids together before your powder products.

Oksana's behind the scenes selfie. You can follow her on Instagram.

Holiday gift ideas for her (pt 1)

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By Andrea Claire · December 12, 2012 · 0 Comments ·


Monique Péan Rose Cut Diamond Necklace $117,915.00 at Barneys New York From the Monique Pean Atelier collection, recycled 18k white gold necklace set with 29.64ct antique white rose cut diamonds.

Or if that's a buck or two out of your budget, try these:


Mini Body Gift Set by REN A great stocking stuffer featuring four travel size bottles of REN's best-selling body products, including the zesty and uplifting neroli and the relaxing and luxurious rose . Features - Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash 50ml - Moroccan Rose Otto Body Cream 50ml - Neroli and Grapefruit Body Wash 50ml - Neroli and Grapefruit Body Cream 50ml 

For that shoe addicted friend of yours Heels Diva are shoes accessories jazzing up simple heels. Shop online here. [Great stocking stuffers too!]


Tangerine Vert Eau de Parfum 100ml, Miller Harris £90.00 - Sicilian green tangerines share a fragrant basket with grapefruit and lemon, seductively muted with herby marjoram, geranium and orange. A base of cedar, moss and sweet musk ensure equal appeal to both sexes.

Now I used to think that fragrance was a useless gift. How do you know what scent to buy someone?? Ok - sure - if you know what they wear then fine, easy peonesey BUT then what? I met up with the ladies at Escentials and picked up a few tips on buying perfume for others:

  • Do they have favourite everyday scents? If your wife/GF/sister is cutting a lemon does she express how much she loves lemons? Note that!
  • Whatever she enjoys doing could have a say in scent. Is she active? Love the outdoors? Fresh cut grass? Note that!
  • Is she a clean freak? Always cleaning - likes things fresh? Believe it or not - note that!

Escentially take note of any possible hint at what she loves to smell or even taste as these can be the making of a fine scent.


Bobbi Brown 'Extreme Party' Eye Palette (Nordstrom Exclusive)  $75.00 USD at Nordstrom or $129.00 SGD at Tangs. Tangs has an estore but not everything is available from their site which they don't seem to tell you... this palette is available in the stores.

*If you are buying for a makeup junkie then the holiday palettes are a great gift idea. There are so many and they do have different price ranges. FYI, holiday palettes are usually seasonal so she is guaranteed not to have it... unless she is a shopaholic.

You can give the gift of a two hour makeup lesson with a makeup artist or a wardrobe revamp with a fashion stylist but this I caution you: MAKE SURE SHE WANTS IT. No woman wants to be told by way of a gift that she needs a makeover - save that to submit her to be on a makeover show!

On the topic of education - why not gift a class?



Image source

You can learn to ReStyle your furniture by DIY'ing some furniture updates.

Learn how to do basic manis & pedis for fun or for a side business.

Cooking vacations!?! Sure I'd love to learn how to make pasta... IN ITALY[HB... hint] of course you can check locally if a flight to Italy isn't in the budget after that schwanky necklace purchase (see above). Many local restaurants are offering hands-on experiences with their chefs.

Whole Foods offers workshops too - for those lucky enough to have Whole Foods in their city.


NM Virtual Gift Card, $1,000 at Neiman Marcus of course there is always the gift card [cop-out] option in which case the dollar amount shows how much you really care... Available in other amounts.

I have so many ideas for us gals so this will be a bit of a series. Stay tuned for part 2!

Have a guy to buy for? Check out my gifts for him

 

#TotesAdorbs! Therese's tresses get chopped, coloured & coiffed! (by me)

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By Andrea Claire · June 30, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

I've said it before: I love a makeover; especially when I am in control. *wink*

Therese has a fabulous blog, articulate and interesting. We first met when I had a Twitter giveaway for MINX nails.

Therese popped by my petite studio for another go in the beauty hot-seat.

Luscious locks right? A hairstylist's dream to be given carte blanche. Thanks Therese!

With all the mirrors covered Therese could only guess how silly she looked at this point.

After cutting the perimeter and point-cutting her layers with my scissors I wanted to add a little texture with my razor.

NOTE: Don't shy away from a hairstylist's razor as the effect can be quite cool. I love it for added texture and volume for free-style hairstyles. You just need to make sure your stylist's razor is sharp otherwise your hair will split. I put in a new blade minutes before cutting Therese's hair. Need a middle-woman for your hairstylist? Take my tips with you.

The big reveal...

Ta da!!!

The colour breakdown: I put 2 shades of foils in her hair, cinnamon and dark mahogany; leaving the top of her hair and hairline her natural colour. Why? Her natural shade is beautiful. Asian hair has a tendency to absorb light without dimension so my goal was to create dimension and a low maintenance but fun style for her. Find more Asian hair colouring tips here.

Prepping for makeup. One of my favourite things that I have found in Singapore is this dohickey velcro hair thingy. It works great for keeping a fringe (bangs) swept out of the way without a clip mark left in the hair when you remove it. Beauty Geek loves these too!

Another fave of mine: Shadow Shields, they catch the eyeshadow fallout. I do have some for sale if you live in Singapore and want some. DM me for details.

The finished makeup.

What I used:

FACEatelier Ultra Foundation #5


Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Nectar

 

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in RSVP [I constantly give them love and no one from Benefit has ever tried to reach out to me so I mention them out of pure love for the product with zero industry perks. Translation: it's THAT good.]

A light brown Ben Nye eyeshadow in the crease or you can get Wedge by MAC Cosmetics, same thing.

Bobbi Brown Gel liner in Bronze

Mascara on top of Therese's beautifully permed lashes! OMG - totally seeking eyelash perming now... I WANT!

Lips were glossed with a bronzey-lipgloss I got in one of my BellaBox boxes. Beauty subscriptions are such a fab idea!

The new Therese!!

I blew out Therese's hair with a medium size round brush using Marc Anthony's [no, not the singer] Anti-Aging leave-in treatment and the Strictly Curls spray for loose bounce and waves.


We had soooo much fun. Click to see Therese's blog about her makeover experience.

Who's next??

Meet Mr & Mrs McDreamy of Singapore

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By Andrea Claire · April 8, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Image: Zurina Bryant, grooming on the dear boy (said with a Brit accent) by Andrea Claire (c'est moi) using Dermalogica and FACEatelier, a great base for boys on film. (You must get that spin of Duran Duran... yes?... no?)

Oli Pettigrew is a TV host here in Singapore. I met him briefly at the launch of [the] Collective and then I had the pleasure of appearing on Cash Cab Asia's celebrity episode alongside TV host Anita Kapoor. We were playing for charity... I learned that we aren't as smart as we look. Anita: agree? LOL

Image: Zurina Bryant, hair & makeup: Andrea Claire (c'est moi encore) using an array of Dermalogica, FACEatelier, Bobbi Brown, Benefit, MAC, Urban Decay... I think that about covers it... Not that I'm saying Linda needs THAT much...

Texas transplant Linda Black, a former model turned TV host and you know why - girl can keep up with her husband's banter and then some. (PS her HB is Oli, if you haven't figured it out)

The quick-on-their-feet TV power couple are always a joy to see on screen and off.

Check out [the] Collective to see what other company they keep.

Oli's Twitter

Linda's Twitter

Zurina's Twitter

 

 

Grad Photo Beauty 101

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By Andrea Claire · March 19, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

You may remember that my daughter Sage and her friend Vivien made an appearance on my blog when they went to prom and suckered me into dolling them up then. Well, congratulations to them both! They have made it through the year a) remaining friends and b) graduating high school!!!

And as with prom, Sage and Vivien took advantage of me again to get them ready for their grad photos.

Dear All Young Ladies: Keep in mind these photos are forever and mainly for your parents to celebrate the inevitable; you're moving out!!! You are not going clubbing so keep your makeup simple and clean.

First in my hot seat: Vivien.

Vivien uses Proactiv on a regular basis which has left her skin very dehydrated. I based her skin with Dermalogica's Skin Smoothing Cream and Multivitamin PowerFirm under the eyes. I advised Vivien that she needs to exfoliate and take care of her skin. Overly dehydrated skin will show aging prematurely; it is important to Age Smart. If you don't exfoliate regularly your skin will look dull and makeup won't apply as smoothly as it could.

Makeup on Vivien:

Dermalogica's Treatment Foundation in 1G layered with FACEatelier #4.


High Definition Liquid Concealer $20.00 at Smashbox


NARS Bronzing Powder, Casino $34.00 by NARS at Beauty.com


M·A·C Powder Blush in The Perfect Cheek (not as shown) $20.00 by M·A·C at Bloomingdale's


Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner $19.00 by Benefit at Bloomingdale's I know, quelle surprise - I use it all the time.

RMK Ingenious Natural Eyes in #7

I layered two mascaras:


L'Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes $8.99 by L'Oreal at Target

 


Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Waterproof Mascara $7.99 by Revlon at Ulta

Clean & Clear Lip Balm

Sage's skin is smooth because she steals my Dermalogica on a regular basis when she runs out of her own. I based her with Dermalogica's Active Moist and Multivitamin PowerFirm.

Makeup on Sage:

Bobbi Brown's new BB Cream in Light


For Sage's massive dark circles Armani Beauty Master Corrector-2 $36.00 by Armani at Barneys New York


NARS Bronzing Powder, Casino 34.00 by NARS at Beauty.com layered with


Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick - Pink Quartz $39.00 by Bobbi Brown at Sephora


Urban Decay Naked Palette $50.00 by Urban Decay at Macy's

I gave Sage the same mascara and lip combo.


School Photo Tips:


 

 

 

  • Don't over-do it. You aren't clubbing. [ I know I said this earlier so I'm just driving the point home]
  • Check your teeth, inner eyes for goop, comb your eyebrows and tame flyaway hairs
  • Look for your light - the photographer will guide you but keeping in mind, the soft box of light will have diffusing effect on your skin, an added benefit to hide imperfections.
  • Powder your t-zone only as the glow to your skin is pretty.

 

Now go get a job or a UNI degree!

 

New Work Alert! Seventeen magazine April

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By Andrea Claire · March 12, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

My favourite shot. I wrapped loads of coloured hair extensions around her ponytail. Easy peasy pretty.

Hard to see in my scans but the little detailing I did on the nails with MINX Nails

If you want to see the full story you'll have to head to a magazine rack and purchase it.

 

 

 

My adventure on Sri Lankan Airlines

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By Andrea Claire · February 14, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Flying around the world certainly changes your outlook on many things and your thoughts tend to broaden... and well, some close. Those who travel know what I mean.

Sri Lankan Airlines was my mode of transportation this past weekend; I was off to do hair and makeup for a wedding party in Galle, Sri Lanka. Schwank.

At the airport check-in I asked for an aisle exit row or bulkhead seat (seats that are immediately behind business class with extra legroom. ) Also known as 'bassinet' seating when traveling with infants they are very helpful; cots are fastened to the wall so you can place your babe in there for naps. Tip: Want these seats? Get to the airport early to request them!! They are very helpful for the long haul flights if you are at the back of the bus.

Anywho... The check-in counter girl pleasantly promises me that I had a great seat. Now since I don't have the seating plan memorized for any aircraft I just had to go by her guarantee. I board the plane, find that I have crappy seat and notice that 1/2 the bulkhead is still available and same with the exit rows... Um...? I despise this type of ‘friendly but do nothing’ customer service. She obviously knows where she put me.

Once the plane takes off I plan to ask the flight attendant if I can move. I know many people who don't ask and just reseat themselves but I try to be courteous of the staff... Well, when the time is right I ask if I can move. The flight attendant walking down the aisle cuts me off mid-question and as she is still walking, waves her hand at me saying 'yes, yes, yes' over her shoulder. There is no way she heard my question, very dismissive. I am so adamant on great customer service that maybe at times I'm a little tough but then once you fly with some of the other Asia-based airlines you know that seamless in-flight service is not difficult to maintain.

Sigh. I move.

Food comes. As appetizing as the 'fresh' fruit looks I turn my nose up on hairy fruit. Ok so there was ONE hair... still a hair that never shed from my head. Frankly, hair or not, airplane food is never amazing.

Overall, Sri Lankan Airlines is quite comfortable and I'd fly them again, but not in economy. I was on an airbus A320, which means absolutely nothing to me. No matter how much I nit-pick SLA they will never be as bad as the crabby ladies on Amercian who need a makeover and a retirement home in Florida.

[I do want to point out that flight attendants do go beyond the duty many times. For example: This flight, as I was in line for the toilet, a male flight attendant checked the conditions prior to another passenger using and with a horrified look came out and asked who had just used the toilet. A glamorous looking elderly woman was ushered back to the toilet and asked to clean up her 'mess'. The flight attendant then spent another 5 minutes cleaning after she had cleaned it. Fast forward another hour, it had happened again after a male patron used the toilet! It always amazes me the condition of public toilets. There is a fairly simple rule that the masses of the world seem to have a hard time following: Don't be a pig!]

Kudos to the attendant that further cleaned the toilets, I would have quit my job on that spot. Customer service is important but I don't think one should take shit from anyone, nor do I think you should have to clean it up either.

Travel math. Know what I am talking about? Time zones and currency exchanges. I cannot grasp them. I have called my husband when he has been in other countries and the first thing I say is "what time is it there?" or I will google "current time in [insert the country]" before calling him. Usually I just call and he grumbles that it's some ungodly hour and can I please workout the time zone change. Whatever Dude, you married an artist. Deal.

If you see my itinerary showing travel to and from Columbo from Singapore, one can guess that there is a time difference. The flight out was to touch down in Kuala Lumpur for an hour but they changed it to a direct to Columbo; take off was 7:10 arriving at 8:40. An hour and 30 mins! Easy flight!! Return schedule 11:00 pm landing in Singapore 6:05 am... 7 hour flight. Wait... What?? Maybe we fly a figure 8 around mountains a few times or.... maybe I'm a dumbass.

When shopping I constantly ask my HB: “How much is this in U.S again?" I don't know why I ask for it in the U.S currency either since I am Canadian and we live in Singapore.

Clearly I'm an idiot.

While in Sri Lanka my HB has asked me not to venture much on my own. I thought it was out of jealousy that I'm hitting a country that he hasn't been to yet. Maybe concerned of his wife's safety from naivety? As I think about his request, I'm thinking it's more due to the combo of my math skills, money and markets. Oh well, there's always duty-free!!

Sidebar: After I decided for 2012 to not buy makeup for a while and use up the thousands worth that I have in my kit...

My duty-free trove this trip: Bobbi Brown. $400 Singapore dollars. [I'm a Shimmer Brick diehard]

The wedding went off with only one hitch... I'll give you a minute... [come on... that's a good one!]

While after the wedding, sipping champagne a guest flourished me with compliments on how "fabulous" the bridal party looked, me beaming proudly: ‘Thank you!’ He then added how great I was and 'cheap'… um… what?!

Dear Brit Event Planner: Sweetie, never call a woman ‘cheap’ in any conversation and since you never booked me you clearly have no sense of my rates.

I was elated by how lovely the ladies looked, how kind the family was and how amazing The Sun House in Galle was as a venue. The 2.5 hour car ride to the airport [pleasant driver but still a long car ride] mixed with memories of the flight into Sri Lanka led me to the decision that this cheap girl was bookin’ up into business class. [An upgrade to business class was not that much and since the bride had covered all my other costs on top of my fees, this was really nothing]

Well... Long story later, I’m sipping' bubbly in the lounge and told the flight was delayed... I kept asking and when I saw the 'now boarding' sign, the attendant on the desk assured me: "M'am it's just economy boarding we will come get you" I went over and asked 3x. Same answer each time. Well, I have travelled a lot and I was getting increasingly suspicious... Finally I saw 'gate closing' ahhhh... What?!?! I go over and the same woman ushers me out the door, says she had been looking for me (no, she hadn't) and that the gate was closing... Oh... And I was to run!! I race to the gate to meet up with a rep who is rushing me through the line saying that they were calling my name in the airport...well, if they were, they weren't calling in the lounge where I was the whole time. As she is rushing me through I tell her that I had asked numerous times and that the attendant was obviously lacking in her job. No apologies. She just smiles and says 'Never mind'.

Sure.

Never mind cuz Singapore Airlines flies to Sri Lanka.

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