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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.

Antiaging magic happens at The Lifestyle Clinic

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By Andrea Claire · February 12, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

Update: mention this post and my name at The Lifestyle Clinic and get 10% off!! That's a sweet deal! 

Taken by The Lifestyle Clinic staff in their office. From top and bottom left: the 'before', January 2014; top right and bottom middle: April 2014; bottom right: November 2014.

I cringe at the angles with no makeup or blasted light for complementary diffusion but one cannot deny the results! 

"Wow! I've seen her before she started with The Lifestyle Clinic treatments and she's looking really good now!"  

I choked on my Botox when I heard that one. LOLZ as the kids say. A hug and a slap - I love backhanded compliments from the socially awkward full of good intentions.

My montaged mug from July 2014-January 2015. You can check out my #faceof42 and #faceof43 Instagram pics, soon to become #faceof44! FML

Definitely there are things about my visage that I am thankful to Dr Komathy for:

The mesotherapy on my cheeks to reduce the pinchable. Serious difference. I'm vain and I've hated my cheeks - but they are a thing of the past now all thanks to Dr Komathy and her meso needles. Painless and bruise-less. FYI: some people do experience bruising. 

The Thermage I had a year ago, as you can see has given me awesome results. 

"Thermage is a proven radiofrequency treatment that transforms skin by working below the surface and addresses a wide range of surface imperfections that result from age and environmental factors. Benefits include the smoothing of wrinkly or uneven skin, better definition of facial features around the eyes, jaw and neckline, and even the smoothing and toning of unsightly bulges, dimples and wrinkles on the face and body. Thermage radiofrequency energy works with your body, remodeling your collagen to help your skin get that smooth feel and youthful look you want. Thermage treats targeted problem areas – so the results are focused and effective." Thermage.com

Ladies, you know that crepe-ing that happens to your eyeshadow? That's the result of lack of firmness on the eyelids; Thermage can help with that. In December 2014, I was offered to try Thermage** on my eyes. I'm approaching 44 (March 9th. Send gifts.), and while there's nothing wrong with that, I'm not ready for aging to win without a fight.

Thermage is a heated RF process that helps firm and lift with discomfort levels during the process being from different person to person. For me, it occasionally got too warm but this is what you need to vocalize with your doctor during the process as they control it. 

When you have Thermage done, while you do see results immediately, the process continues to firm up over 2-3 months post noninvasive procedure. I promise to do an eye recap in the upcoming weeks so you can be all judge-y for yourselves.

The price of vanity can be high, so if you can't afford Thermage or don't care so much about it, crepe-y-free eyeshadow can still be achieved. Eye primers or cream-to-powder finish shadows are your flawless friends.

Here are my go-to eye basing products:

Benefit creaseless cream eyeshadow $20.00 USD at Macy's  

This is my ABSOLUTE fave for any age and skin tone. If you don't own that, pause and order it. If they discontinue this I'm going to have to double up on my therapy sessions. #truestory

M·A·C 'Prep + Prime' 24-Hour Extend Eye Base $22.00 USD at Nordstrom is a colourless base. 

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24Hr Eyeshadow, Edgy Emerald $6.99 USD at drugstore.com

Who doesn't love the cheap and cheerful that actually works?? Just like the Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow, zero-creasing and crepe-ing with your makeup. Choosing a bold colour like this is also a nice base to a smokey eye or cat eye with an edge; just ask Lady Gaga.  

This is me with Zoie just yesterday. I'm on the left just in case you are unsure - antiaging isn't THAT good. 

**I have paid for most of my treatments. Thermage actually offered the eyes to me via The Lifestyle Clinic because they saw my Thermage post last year and wanted to give back to me for it. Um... THANKS Thermage!! Any time you want to give me an antiaging gift, I'll take it!!

 Do you live in Singapore and want a little of this? Call up and ask The Lifestyle Clinic for the 'Andrea Claire' special. *wink* There's no real special unless Dr K's office wants to offer one... Hey man, I just putting it out there for my readers. I'm doing this for you. :*

My list of what I've done there so she isn't breaking Dr/patient confidence if my name comes up:

  • Botox (minimal so you can't show a movie on my forehead)
  • Thermage (face and eyes, both just once)
  • Mesotherapy (not the miso soup)
  • Peels - I've had two types, my most recent being Blue Peel Radiance. I'll chat about that on my next beauty thesis. ;P 

The Lifestyle Clinic

1 Orchard Boulevard, #16-03 Camden Medical Centre

65-6733 0788

Boaring beauty will have you squealing your way to the cosmetic counters

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By Andrea Claire · January 31, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

via SASA

The 'latest' anti-aging craze is being tagged as originating from Korea but that just may get the goat of the porcine industry and have the US all up in hooves over it. 

Korea apparently has the one of the lowest pig populations in the world with China now hailing 1st place for boss hog; for many years the U.S was the 'hog capital of the world'. I guess it is possible that the labs order in the pig skin to render the collagen? I'm stretching. I have no clue.

A great piece on this collagen craze can be read on Daily Mail  and has a comment from someone who claims to work in biotech who says this:  "...it is almost impossible to break it up unless you're using the most severe methods. I doubt it is ..." read more 

Korea is definitely known as the beauty pioneer, not to mention that I had worked with a model years ago (she was roughly 23 at the time) who told me that she had just been to her dermatologist in Korea for pig fat injections... for anti-aging... Gosh those poor aging 23 year old's... 

image source

I wonder if this 'recent' trend just gained some legs because someone took a trip and then their Instagram likes skyrocketed adding to a new found popularity...  
I've been doing my best to collect a lot of information on this to share with you (lord knows I have time) - I've found the earliest tidbit of info dating back to 2006 on pork collagen in supplements, but there isn't much to read there and the link is broken so I'll save you that wasted time. 

Using animal by-products for beauty is certainly not revolutionary and neither is pig fats in beauty. Pig by-products can be found in hair care, cosmetics, ice cream and more. Fatty acids from pig gives you that pearl-essence in shampoo?! Also high street creams with glycerin... most likely pig glycerin.

Abattoirs (less grim word for slaughterhouses) typically look for ways to sell everything but the squeal; chances are you've already smeared snout on your snout.

see also

Modern Farmer


I even have the name of my skincare line picked out: The Farmer & the Belle copyright Andrea Claire.

So - would you try these products or only when pigs fly?

Andrea Claire 2.0

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By Andrea Claire · February 1, 2014 · 0 Comments ·
I've been somewhat chillin at home post-surgery; I had a labrum tear fixed in my right hip. 

Being told to sit on the couch and relax for 2-3 weeks is like torture for me. I've started this little post-surgical vay-cay by cleansing my condo; ridding it of trash and demons. Long overdue.


Now what?

Caught up on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Now what.

I've been considering fighting the aging process with a little help from injectables for a while now. A common topic of course in my industry but also amongst my private clients who see me to get their hair done. I have to say, I had preconceived notions about Botox, fillers etc all based on Hollywood.

I have no desire to look like the notorious cat lady, nor do I care to own Nicole Kidman's forehead; plus there are many stereo typical ladies who lunch here in Singapore who aren't capable of revealing their emotions with simple facial expressions. But, after many conversations with clients who have revealed that yes, in fact they have had Botox or fillers done - well, I was a bit surprised at my own naïveté leading me to believe that Botox = crazy face. 

My Botox trepidation reminds me of my mother who said to me when I was in labour with my first daughter (Sage) : "Don't be a hero; if you want pain relief, take it."
Proudly,  I never did. Popped that baby right out as well as her sisters, all sans doping. *pounds chest*
But aging, that's something different. 
I have been lucky that my genes allow me to age extremely gracefully, I'm sure my freckles help too - often mistaken for being years to a decade younger than I am. 
So why jump on the Botox bandwagon? I have often counseled clients who have asked me if they should get it done by responding with:

Don't get things done for others. Get tweaks and enhancements done because YOU want them.

So yes. I look young for my age but lately when I've been putting on my makeup, time is fleeting; I see more fine lines developing around my eyes. Duh, I am 42 but those fine lines slowly turn to crevices and that's NOT ok with me, for me. This is not me telling you, my reader, if you have fine lines go get Botox; this is me saying it is a case by case basis and how you feel about you. 
I went to the dermatologist whom one of my clients swore by, Dr Komathy Rajaratnam. I've been recommending her to clients for years and they've all been über happy but I've never ventured in.
Walking into her office she smiles with eye contact "So what brings you here to see me today?"
Fine lines, and they are not crossed. 
She listens as I tell her about my apprehension. I have been proud of my slow aging process. I am a religious Dermalogica user. She does acknowledge that for my age and skin tone I am doing remarkably well and actually do look ten years younger than my age. I could hug her.
I tell her that the fine lines appearing around my eyes are seeming to be rapidly increasing, heavy eyelids run in my family, which I am starting to see signs of and my jowls,  I am not happy with. Again, this is for me and how I feel. 
I told her that I am not interested in looking overly injected and that I do want people to see that I can express emotion. 
The doctor examines me more closely and says that it's perfect timing, getting something done just as the signs of aging start - at 42!  She suggests a total of 16 units of Botox that would go around my eyes and slightly across my forehead and some Thermage on my face. 

So moving forward - I commit to clinging on to my youth. [video above - if you don't see it please refresh the post title]
Starting with Thermage 

Thermage treatments are all about energy – focusing radiofrequency energy to kick start the body’s own natural renewal process. Like most smart technologies, the process is relatively simple – it’s a combination of heat energy to treat deep tissue, and cooling effects, to protect the skin surface and deliver better patient comfort. And our latest evolution of Thermage includes patented Comfort Pulse Technology – gentle vibrations and interspersed cooling that make your Thermage treatment even more comfortable. Even so, it’s important to remember every patient’s circumstances are different, so for specifics, it’s best to consult your Thermage physician. Thermage.com

My face is cleansed and prepped to begin the Thermage.

Thermage works by stimulating the collagen cells with radio frequency for reproduction, lifting, firming and melting some of your fat away. 
At times it is mildly hot and painful. The doctor expresses that my tolerance is higher than the average - a trait of us redheads. It is key to tell the doctor when it's feeling too hot so she can turn it down. She gave me a pain scale of 1-5 and told me to vocalize when I'm leaving a 3; you can get burnt.

Seeing one side done, you immediately see the difference.  I have gotten RF facials regularly at Qi Mantra where the results are less dramatic but you can see them. The difference is Thermage results will last 2 years vs an RF facial where results last 2 months at best. 
Next up: Botox. You can see me get injected in the video earlier on in this post.
Seriously. What took me so long?!? 
I kid. 
I have booked appointments with the Lifestyle Clinic and then cancelled last minute, but this time I was truly ready. 
I am thrilled with the results and stare at myself in the mirror frequently raising my eyebrows and crinkling my face to see the results. I am not frozen in surprise, I am freshened and relaxed looking. Lord knows I could use a little relaxing.
Just enough. I tended to have a slightly lazy right eye too which I believe now looks to be more open and balanced.
I have heard from many clients that Botox can hurt or feel like a bee sting. Dr Komathy had applied numbing cream - I never felt a thing. 

Granted the before (left) is slightly different lighting-wise but... Behold! Youth restored! 

The marionette lines are diminished immediately and apparently Thermage continues to accumulate results 2-3 months post-treatment. Things are definitely looking up.

Yes. I succumbed to Botox. And Thermage. I think I can deal.

Spa Detox Scalp Therapy by Phyto

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By Andrea Claire · December 20, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

image is of my scalp magnified 200x. The top two are my before treatment - bottom are the after.

Another post about scalp health - I know... CRAZY!

But a few more tidbits I learned about scalp health in my second treatment that affect hair health:

  • a healthy follicle has 2-3 hairs growing out of it, whereas an unhealthy follicle 1 (or none)
  • the healthy follicle has a 2-6 year cycle
  • an unhealthy follicle has a 6 month cycle
  • hair regrows 25x in a lifetime, so a healthy scalp could aid in escaping balding, hair-fall and even reverse premature greying
  • putting your hair up or throwing on a ball cap ['m looking at you guys!] when your hair is wet, actually prevents oxygen from circulating, follicles clog resulting in an unhealthy scalp [hm.... which came first the baldness or the ball caps???]
  • silicone - known as a great ingredient to skincare and makeup is not advised for hair products, especially at the scalp as it seals the scalp causing weaker follicles.

Think of this as a scalp facial!

Do you live in Singapore? Read here to find a discount code for first time Phyto Hair Spa clients!

*Disclaimer - My first two treatments were gratis but I loved the results so much that I bought a package and FYI - the package can be shared with family!

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