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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: May

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

Glamolash Eye Lengthening and Thickening Serum    $75.00 USD at DERMSTORE

What can I say besides: this works!!! Many of these lash enhancers have a side effect of brown spots on the eyes. I noticed one brown spot so I quickly compared my eyes to a picture of me from years ago - apparently I don't stare dreamily into my own eyes enough - it was already there. Conclusion - my lashes are longer, fuller with zero (new) brown spots! (and I somehow manage to get this into my eyes each time which stings like a MF'er)

PS - as we age we suffer 'hair fall' - an aging hair term referring to our hair losing it's lustre and thickness - a similar thing happens to our lashes. Mine aren't the 'come hither / bedroom eyes' like they used to be... but they are becoming rejuvenated with my Glamolash. ;)


Aveda 'pure abundance' Hair Potion $24.00 USD Nordstrom

Have you tried the latest in hair 'dust' products? I was loving Schwarzkopf Dust It but found it a little overkill in the mattifying department; then I discovered the Aveda Hair pure abundance Potion - LOVE! This will make meh hair into a magic hair party! It builds the hair up creating amazing fullness. I love this on hair that's been curled with tongs - instant sexy times hair. You can squeeze it directly into the hair or liquefy it into your palms and then scrunch into the hair. I was telling a client about this little gem and as I went to shake out some powder to my horror it had liquefied! I am not sure if that's because of the humidity in Singapore but Aveda has this on their website: Product that has liquefied will not affect performance. (...except for the fact that I can no longer squeeze it directly into the hair which I like to do with a lovely cloud of sexifying powder)

*See Aveda Hair Potion in action; I used it on the blonde beauty here.

Alison Raffaele Reality Base foundations and her concealers. The medium coverage is neither flat nor dewy; it's just a lovely skin texture. With a colour range from 1-7 (the 6 and 7 seem quite dark, which means the range is pretty good). I feel like I have finally found the concealer that I was searching for all these years. Again, it's about the texture which sets nicely but it's a hydrating texture which doesn't dry out under the eyes accentuating fine lines; nor does it travel adding creases. The concealer has a doe's foot applicator for easy application. I prefer to apply a few dots across the under-eye and tap to blend. I have these both on many shoots as well as myself for daily wear and am super happy with the results I get. Gluten-free as well as talc, mineral oil, paraben free and vegan! Why the importance of gluten-free? I tell you here.

*Get up to date on all of my Beauty Lust Haves here.

Super Awesome Super Secret

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By Andrea Claire · September 2, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

This is a 'behind the scenes' from my shoot today. [Those hot white spots are not makeup - they are hot white spots because this was taken off of the computer screen with my mobile phone..They will not be present in the final image.]

I'm dying for this shoot to come out and the photographer, Scott A. Woodward has okayed me to 'sneak peak' this. If there is one thing that I can say about myself, it's that I have no patience.

I relate this to a 'kid in a candy store' or 'a kid on Christmas morning'; even if you don't eat candy or celebrate Christmas you will understand this.

Social media makes it hard to hold back sharing...

Note that I have permission to share this image. There are PLENTY more and I can't wait for you to see the final project... check back. It's going to be super duper wicked awesome.

Makeup used:

MAC lipstick in Rebel

Kryolan Supracolor Palette


PAPERSELF Deer & Butterfly Eyelashes $19.00 by DKNY at Sephora or available in Singapore at Luxola.

Update On The 'S' French Braid Updo: Step By Step How-to

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By Andrea Claire · January 22, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

I am flattered that the response is so great on the French Braid Updo.

Here is a series of steps in photos that hopefully sheds some light on how to do it.

Brush your hair. If it goes big, that's OK! Better actually.

*For curly hair, don't brush it, just run your fingers through your hair.

 

Start slight off centre of your crown. I started on the left. Break the section into 3 to start the braid.

Braid slightly diagonally towards your ear.

Curve back from your ear and braid in the same manner to the other side.

Keep braiding as per above back and forth until you run out of hair. Tuck up ends and pin.

Et Voila.

Helps??

Let me know if this a) helps or b) confuses more.

Even though I've been a hairstylist for 20 years, I swear you can do this if you can master a French braid.

TIP: Next time you see your hairstylist, ask her to watch how you French braid and correct any mistakes you may have. 

 I know, this just may be the Rubik's Cube of hairstyling. Sorry. :)

 






Bazaar Beauty Judge

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By Andrea Claire · August 4, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

I was recently asked to participate as a Beauty Judge for the Harper's Bazaar (Singapore) Beauty Awards, November issue (2010).

Being a hairstylist and makeup artist of 20 years, I pride myself in keeping up with the Beauty Joneses remaining current in my field. This includes reading up on ingredients, recommendations and testing out new products. As you can imagine, I, beauty geek, was honoured to be given this task!

Well, the magazine called to confirm that I was home to accept my boxed beauty bundle as the courier was about to leave their office; 20 minutes later my concierge rang up to my suite 'M'am, you have some hair product delivery. Shall I send it up?'

Ok.  First, hate being called 'M'am'.

Second. Some hair product??? This is not how I would have described it.

I opened the door to find the courier with a dolly full of crates!

I was a kid in my very own candy store! For roughly 6 weeks, donned in my inconspicuous labcoat (the fashion industry uniform: an LBD) my life was immersed in luxurious creams, lotions, gels, fragrances, masks, powders, pigments.... you name it - I tested it.

If this wasn't work related you would have had to do a Beauty Intervention ala SATC's Charlotte and the rabbit episode! And this felt probably as good - if not better!

Now, I don't feel its right to point out my favourites until the issue is out, (mark your calendars to purchase Bazaar, November 2010!) but from time to time I will post a breakdown of what beauty products I tested and the results I have found. (here's one) Some products I was amazed by in an 'if I hadn't seen the results myself, I would never have believed it' fashion. And, yes, yes, OH yes! I did see some ageing reversal from tubes at home.

 I have... err.. HAD a shallow-ish wrinkle in-between my brow that was taken care of within 2 applications... no word of a lie.

Glamoxy Snake Serum

'This revolutionary oxygenated, viper-inspired serum contains syn-ake; a neuro peptide that mimics the effects of the Temple Viper's potent venom to instantly lift the face, freeze muscles and plump fine lines and wrinkles.'

Now, the key word here is 'mimics'. I don't like snakes unless they are on my feet. (I kid; illustrating that I don't like snakes - they give me the hee-bee-jee-bees.)

Check back to see what product had me looking like an organic beef-steak tomato.

 Desired result or no? You be the judge - you know I was.

Beat The Heat Beauty

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By Andrea Claire · August 3, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

There is nothing worse than living in a climate where no matter how beautiful you look and feel, as soon you walk out of a room full of air-conditioning, you suddenly feel like the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of OZ as she gets the bucket of water thrown on her.  Avoid crying out ‘I’m melting! I’m melting!’ with these beat the heat beauty tips by Andrea Claire.

Combating the Makeup Meltdown

 Lather, rinse, repeat: not just for hair anymore. Double cleansing your skin will help reduce excess oils which interfere with your makeup’s longevity. Try Philosophy’s Never Let Them See You Shine Cleanser

 

Makeup primers are the step after your skin care, before your foundation.  Primers create a smooth barrier protecting your skin from environmental pollutants as well as protect your makeup from breaking down with your natural oils, a summer sun beauty essential. Try Anastasia Hydrating Oil or Laura Mercier Secret Finish in Mattifying

Sunnier months tend to be more forgiving on the skin’s texture, so with the heat, a light water-based tinted moisturizer is all you need. Try Rae Cosmetics Climate Control Mineral Tint spf 20, a water-resistant formula stays on all day, even when you sweat. Use a foundation brush, best for applying liquid and cream textures, leaving you with a flawless, airbrushed quality.

Flaunt your sunless tanned skin with water-resistant bronzers that withstand the heat and sweat. Try Too Faced Aqua Bunny Bronzer or Jemma Kidd for Target Show Stopper Water-Resistant Bronzer.

 *Apply in the cheek hollows for a subtle slimming effect.

 Whether layering colors creating a dramatic eye or just wanting one splash of color, cream-to-powder eye shadows are made to stay put in any condition. Apply swiftly as creams tend to set at once. Your fingertips or synthetic bristle brushes are the best tools for this product. Try Bobbi Brown’s Metallic Long Wear Cream Shadow or Urban Decay cream shadow in Midnight Rodeo

 Use water-resistant mascara which will keep you from looking like the morning-after rock star. Try Jemma Kidd Semi-Permanent Mascara, mascara that glides on with rich color and zero clumps.

Freshen up your makeup or cool off from the heat with a soothing spray that has anti-reddening calming properties. Try FACEatelier FACE Finish, a spray you can use throughout the day to refresh without disturbing your makeup.

De-Harry your Hair

Summer heat, excessive sun and sticky weather can leave your fashionista coiffe falling flat. A few hair rules to live by will help keep your hair ‘do’ from becoming a ‘don’t.

Over washing your hair can strip your hair of its natural oils. Try to simply rinse your hair every second day. A dry shampoo which absorbs excess oil is a great alternative to avoid over-washing. Try Batiste or Psssssst dry shampoos, just spray on roots and brush through.

Summer beauty trends show many hairstyles up off the neck so you can look chic and be cool at the same time! Try a ballet bun, a high messy ponytail or even a side ponytail. 

Ballet Bun how-to: Pull your hair into the nape of your neck as if to tie into a ponytail, while holding the hair at the nape (base) tightly twist the tail until you feel the base twist in your hand, let go of base and continue twisting, the bun automatically forms. Secure by crossing 2 bobby pins in an ‘X’ shape which locks in hairstyle. Bobby pins should be placed in a clock formation, i.e 12, 3, 6 and 9. For thicker hair add pins in-between the ‘hours’ as well.

*A quick blast of air over your hair from your blow dryer will give your bun an effortless, deconstructed look. 

Chic Messy Ponytail: Using a brush with a mix of boar and synthetic bristles, brush hair straight back and secure slightly below the crown using a grip elastic or for thicker hair use bungee elastics. For added texture, spray a little sea salt spray into the ends of your hair and scrunch up with your hands while aiming a quick blast of air from your blow dryer. Try John Masters Sea Mist Sea Salt Spray with Lavender

*Back brush ponytail for a more dramatic ‘straight off the runway’ style.

 Side Pony: For side ponytails it’s best to comb with your fingers so hair is not too slick. Secure just behind your earlobe as if it’s too high you will look like the Cheer Captain. Once secure, while pressing fingertips gently on your scalp, gently shake your fingers while sliding down the hair shaft to loosen for a more casual appeal.

Chic Hair Bow Chignon (DIY here)


Yes, this is the back of my head.

*For other on-trend hairstyle ideas check out Style{dot}com and check out the backstage confidential!

*DIY Updos with only 8 bobbypins- yup! See it for realz here.

 Many product lines are finally seeing the [sun]light. With new formulations and products geared to preserving more than just hair color from sun damage, hairdos are getting protected too. Use a humidity blocker that aims at keeping the moisture out of your hair so your hair will remain bouncin’ and behavin’. Try Joico Humidity Blocker finishing shield or Oribe Impermeable Anti-Humidity Spray.

*Original version of this article by Andrea Claire can be seen in the pages of austinwoman magazine.

The Art Of The DIY Updo: Only 8 Bobby Pins Required

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By Andrea Claire · July 23, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Updos can be costly and keep you in the salon for hours. Not every occasion requires such posh styling. What you didn't know is that most updos can be created with a maximum 8 bobby pins. True story!

I say most updos as some of the more intricate styles or thicker hair may require extra pins, elastics or even hair extensions.

Here is a simple chignon:

  1. Hold hand tight at base of tail
  2. Twist tail until you feel the tail twist in your hand
  3. Keep twisting and let bun shape naturally go in shape (trust me - it really does)
  4. Pin with 2 bobby pins crossing in an 'X' at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock (the 'X' pinning locks hair in place therefore less pins and longer-lasting style)
  5. For a twist on the texture braid tail (pics below) and twist into bun shape

 

 

You can be Red Carpet worthy in moments.

 

 

Below is the how-to for the above deconstructed 'do. Note, I did it 2x. The beauty about this style is each time the updo is slightly different - organic beauty!

 

  1. Separate the hair in 2 sections
  2. Twist each section in your hands
  3. Cross over the sections and twist the ends together
  4. Tuck and roll the ends, secure pins in 'X' formation

 

A reverse twist, a new take on a ponytail with a french twist seam. This is from a bridal editorial I did but you can easily DIY this hairdo.

 

Here's the how-to:

 

  1. Gather hair at the sides as if to secure in a 1/2 up style
  2. Roll hair continuously downwards as if you are gathering and rolling a ponytail (maybe the visual is better than the description)
  3. Pin along the seam in 'X's' with one pin going pointing down and one pointing up
  4. Tail can be left out, curled, teased or even twisted into a chignon/bun shape

 

Want a more finished appeal to your style? Set hair on ceramic hot rollers first and then continue with how-to's.

Looking for a hairdo with a modern approach? Why not your hair in a bow? Check out that how-to here.

 Special thanks to Faz for working the camera for my hair-brained idea and to Winnie C for the input and holding up some white curtains to bounce some light in!

 

Andrea Claire's How-To: Sexy Summer Hair in Parents Magazine

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By Andrea Claire · July 21, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Amongst the pages of how to deal with temper tantrums (quite timely as I need those tips for cute Zoie Jean); you can see the how-to get your Sexy Summer Hair in the August issue of Parents magazine.

(Yes this is a snap of the page not a scan as I am in a temporary apartment with my life on a boat working it's way from the beautiful hill country of Austin, Texas to the tropical paradise of Singapore!)

Where Does A Hairstylist Get A Haircut?

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By Andrea Claire · July 21, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Here I stand, under bad elevator lighting on my way to see a new hairstylist.

I've been full of apprehension and second guessing my decision on accepting a complimentary haircut. (Why the drama? I'm a licenced hairstylist of 20 years and sometimes with free, you get what you pay for.)

I had a hairstylist here in Singapore already; I went to him for the entire 2 years that I had lived here before, 2007-2009. His haircuts were perfectly fine. Zero complaints.

Well... I received an invite for a wash, cut and dry with: 

Komachi The Hair Cult, a Japanese-influenced hair salon where all the stylists are from Japan and have years of experience in the hair industry, with one of them even studying and working with the prestigious Vidal Sassoon Salon in London.

Intrigued with the invite and of course checking out the salon online - I eagerly accepted... then started back-peddling in my mind. I even sent a high maintenance email to the pr person requesting that I get a hairstylist with similar experience as me to cut my hair. Yes... I really did request.

I have to be honest; I HATE HAVING MY HAIRCUT. I hate sitting in front of a mirror with soaking wet hair looking like a drowned rat in an ugly cape, with bad lighting - HATE IT. I could choose to flip through magazines as I have my haircut, but then I feel like I am being distant and not present with my stylist. Yes, I am high maintenance.

Tsuji began to analize my hair. Confident but quiet, she asked me questions with broken English: Do I style every day? Tongs? Round brushing? Air dry? Do i want change? etc etc... She made some suggestions, I loved them all; a fringe was on the list but as I told Tsuji, my husband is not big on the fringe. (must be love, I take in account my husband's opinion) A short while into the haircut she said 'Your husband does not like the fringe because you would look cute with the fringe and he wants you sexy.' (I shared this insight with him, he did not deny it)

 I always tell stylists to 'layer and texturize the snot out of it'; but this time I just embraced the suggestions and watched the SHEAR MAGIC happen. *cough* I know: 'Good one!' (thanks!)

I really love her cutting style which is quite familiar to me as it's how I like to cut; watching the flow and movement of the hair and working with it, not against it.

 One texturizing technique that she was doing I did find very cool and unique - I wish i had a video to show you; the best way to describe it was as if her scissors were mini swords slicing into the hair, but more texture than the typical 'slicing', it was also her wrist movement as the blades glide through the hair shaft - it was a very cool and fluid looking motion that resembled a Tim Burton scene - but  more on a serious 'Andrea's getting a haircut' level.

*Tsuji tells me during my cut that I naturally have more hair on one side than the other. I know, I tell her. (follow up note below)

Well - here is my reveal:

 FYI: I am truly thrilled with my cut.

i have found a new hairstylist.

*Sidebar: Nearing the end of my haircut Tsuji asks me 'How did you know you have more hair on one side? Clients don't normally know this.'

I reply 'Um. I'm a hairstylist.'

Poor thing - starts nervously laughing and tossing out funny comments - think of an episode of Punk'd, but for hairstylists. She obviously wasn't told that I was a fellow stylist; not that it's any big deal. We laugh and I make a joke to her publicist that she should remember she is working with someone who has sharp tools and not to upset her.

 BTW!! If you happen to have seen this tweet:

@fazabdulgaffa Overheard in Komachi Hair Cult: @AClaireBeauty barking orders at her hairstylist. Hair gurus make demanding clients!

SOOO not true! My Diva-esque colleague and friend Faz was getting a complimentary treatment at the same time, (no cut as she is loyal to her hairstylist: Me). Check out Faz's blog to see what she says about her treatment.

 

You can also check out Komachi's Facebook page here

Hair Speak: Getting the most out of your salon visit

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By Andrea Claire · June 28, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Hairstylists and clients have had decades of communication issues. If it was a marriage, you and your spouse would seek counseling to help you with your communication skills which are key to any successful relationship. The stylist/client relationship is no different.  While it may be hard to drag your hairstylist to a couch, hopefully you can find some solace as you read on – Andrea Claire can help you have GORGEOUS hair!

Sharon Blain, 2009 Hair Expo Australian Educator of the Year, notices that clients are definitely becoming savvier. “I do think they need to be informed and hairdressers must learn to communicate better with their clients. It is no longer acceptable to ‘pull the wool over their eyes’ but in saying that, there are still some people who don’t care about words and just want their hair done; it’s a double-edged sword.”

Mini Glossary of Hair Terms

Baliage – the hand painting of hair colour to specific areas, a resurfaced 80s trend, popular for the ‘grown out’ beach hair colour look.
Beveled – a cutting technique promoting hair to roll under
Blunt cut – hair sections are cut straight across which creates weight. Layers can be blunt or you can have a blunt style, this tends to be a severe, sophisticated look
Bricklaying – a freehand chunky texturizing, technique that promotes sexy voluminous hair 
Chignon- a low-riding bun shape that sits in the nape of your neck
Clipper cut – traditionally a barbering technique, used in current trendy haircuts, think Rihanna’s hair with the buzzed sides
Demi-Permanent – semi-permanent (stain) hair colour that gradually washes out with no demarcation that you get with permanent colour
Foils – a controlled way to highlight hair enabling the stylist to use more than one colour
Freehand – a haircutting style that is not so technical, working with the clients own movement and texture, resulting in looser, sexier shapes
Fringe – a border of hair that covers the forehead
Graduation- a wedge shape stacked around the exterior of a cut, think Victoria Beckham’s bob
Highlights – lightening of the hair generally to look naturally sun-kissed with your natural hair colour shining through; trendy colours can be used for a more contemporary look
Interior – pertaining to the ‘inside’ shape of the hair
Inverted – a reverse cut where the hair is longer on the outside than the inside, a common example is the classic inverted bob, think Katie Holmes
Layering – multiple lengths of hair is created within the interior of the haircut, layering can also be found around the face for framing
Lowlights – darkening of the hair to create depth with your natural hair colour shining through – a great technique for growing out too light of an artificial hair colour
Nape – the area at the back of your head below your occipital bone
Occipital bone – find by running your hand down the back of your head, the bone ‘bump’ sticking out in the middle of your head? That’s your occipital. A ponytail naturally looks best when tied at your occipital.
Perming – chemically restructuring of the hair to create curls, proceed with caution as it can be a very dated look
Point cutting – best for curly hair as blunt cuts fight with the curls natural movement or to create softness to any haircut
Precision cutting – extremely technical style of cutting using equal tension for each hair section
Rebonding – chemically restructuring the hair to create long-lasting straight hair
Razor cutting – a sharp blade is used to cut the hair creating uneven textures and wispy ends
*The stylist’s razor must be sharp or hair will fray and split, this technique is NOT for curly hair.
Slide cutting or Slithering – scissors literally slide through the hair taking out weight and adding softness to the ends
Texturizing/Thinning Sheers – this technique is great for removing weight from the hair or adding in a shaggy, tousled texture, if done too close to the scalp it will create spiky hairs
Undercut - shortening layers underneath the hair in order to have the hair lay flatter and therefore create sculpted styles, commonly used for shorter hairstyles
Updo – hair piled up in a fancy way, as in for the Red Carpet to accept your Mother of the Year Award
*The key to a gorgeous updo is not seeing the hairpins!

Issac Ng, Salon Director at The Heeren, explains that for first time visitors at the TONI&GUY Heeren salon, it is imperative to allow a 30 minute window for a hair consultation. This allows the stylist to get to know the client as well as understand his or her hair needs and expectations short and long-term. Building a rapport with your client is a crucial element and serves as the foundation for a loyal and happy clientele.
*Seeing your regular stylist but want a change? Ask for a longer appointment to allow time for the discussion.

What makes an Uber-Stylist a cut above the rest?

A Star Stylist has the ability to decipher clients’ desires and translate them into a hairstyle that not only appeals to their wishes but also their hair type and lifestyle. Bringing in a picture can show your stylist exactly what you are hoping for and your Uber-Stylist can work with you explaining what about your hair works towards your desired style and/or what doesn’t work, therefore offering alternatives.

Hair Do’s

• Do comb thru your conditioner with a wide tooth comb prior to rinsing it out
• Do take care in the tropics, summer time is the most damaging time for your hair and as we have this season all year round it is imperative to care for your hair in order to keep it healthy. To prevent long-term damage you need to prepare your hair so that it is in an optimum condition and TONI&GUY has the ultimate tool with the System Professional (SP) Diagnosis System, professionally analyses your hair and scalp condition in close detail, so that your hairdresser can then recommend the ideal SP treatment for your specific needs.
• Do ask any hair questions no matter how trivial they may seem as the more educated you become about your hair and its care, the better
• Do keep in mind that celebrities have a GLAM SQUAD to keep them looking hot when in front of  the lens, some styles may be high maintenance for you to care for at home

Hair Don’ts

• Don’t put elastics in your hair when its wet, this can result in breakage as hair shrinks as it dries and if secured in a hair tie with nowhere to shrink, it will just snap.
• Don’t expect miracles. If your stylist suggests a long term program for your hair it’s probably with good reason; i.e., fast tracking chemical services could result in damaged hair.
• Don’t try any major hair colour changes at home

It has been said the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut is 2+ weeks – with the right communication you may never get a bad haircut again.

**Andrea Claire has been a licensed hairstylist for 20+ years, most of this info is gathered by her own training; excluding the lovely Ms Blain and Mr Ng's contributions.

***A version of this article by Andrea Claire was originally printed in Motherhood magazine.

Vlog: Testing Waterproof Summer Makeup: Cargo Cosmetics Get Wet Kit

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By Andrea Claire · May 19, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

 

On Andrea Claire:

Bathing Suit - Target

Earrings - H&M

Sunglasses - Gucci

Makeup: Get Wet Kit Cargo Cosmetics

  

 On Zoie Jean:

Bathing Suit - Stanley Market in Hong Kong

Life Jacket -  Target

 PS: Verdict? Yes, waterproof!

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