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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.

Tips for those who just can't stop picking their face

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

Sure - us beauty experts say 'paws off your mug!' - but sometimes you just gotta squeeze that one zit or attack the army of blackheads. What you don't know is that you can make your skin from bad to worse as that one pesky pimple can multiply. The juicy insides of a pimple contains bacteria and when you squeeze it exploding all over your mirror, some of that can and probably will spread onto your face or a simple blackhead that you declog is now open to refill and if you aren't careful picking, prodding and poking can lead to scar tissue and/or infection.

  • Before touching your face always wash your hands first with soap and water - preferably fragrence-free soap because even a hint of fragrance on your fingers can be an irritant when squeezing a zit
  • Wash your face too. Clean fingers but dirty skin can still cause zits to multiply or become infected
  • After you are done poking, wash your hands and face again - this is a great time to apply Dermalogica's UltraCalming relief masque to soothe your skin
  • Know when to call in the experts. Underground pimples that are the size of Mt Olympus may need to be injected with dermatologist's magic

have some products to declutter your nose of unsightly blackheads and help control the oil.

The Skinmiso Pore Beauty Nose Pack is a multi-step blackhead removal that takes the old Biore nosestrips one step further - and a lot more effective from my opinion. I have tried both - if you have a blackhead problem you are going to LOVE Skinmiso.

Step 1 Remove blackheads and whiteheads with the first nose mask formulated with plant extracts.
Step 2 Contract pores with the second nose mask with ingredients such as witch hazel extract and keep skin moisturized with its patented materials.
Step 3 Control sebum and absorb oil keeping your skin smooth and dry.

For those blackheads playing hard to get you can give them a gentle push but careful! Although this Comedo Remover by SKINMISO has no sharp edges you need to handle with care. My mother had a Revlon blackhead pusher-outer-thingy when I was in high school that I almost shish-kebabbed my eyeball because my nose was too slick from oils - so trust me when I say -wash your face first! Gently press onto blackheads - don't force them - the stubborn ones will eventually come out. And wash your comedo tool with soap and water plus spray with rubbing alcohol before and after use.

SKINMISO is available through BellaBox.

Holiday gift ideas for her (pt 2)

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

More gift ideas for the woman in your life saving you from a year of 'Why did you get me that vacuum cleaner? What the h-e-double hockey sticks were you thinking??' Or were you trying to tell her that she sucks?

Beauty Subscriptions

Just like Singapore's Vanity Trove or BellaBox, beauty subscriptions are a no-brainer. Every month a box of new beauty goodies arrive at the doorstep to be discovered. The deliveries have included trial sizes to full sizes and products such as OPI, Laura Mercier, Storyderm, Savoir Faire, OCC and more.

Refinery29 has a great roundup for the U.S

Give her specs appeal

Marc Jacobs

Alexander McQueen

For the eyewear addict and how fitting to get all glitzy for the season!  Trust me - there is such a thing as an eyewear addict... *fingers pointing at myself* {click that for a 2013 eyewear preview!

Acknowledge that she shops by buying her a wallet

I need a new wallet and this is the one I've been eyeballing. Hint to the HB. The snake embossed leather is a great texture but living in the tropics this may have me screaming every time I open my bag actually believing that a python slivered in so possibly deterring my desire to dig it out... anything to convince the HB that I need a Kate Spade wallet... Kate Spade New York Lacey Snake Embossed Leather Zip-Around Wallet  $228.00 USD at Saks Fifth Avenue I love the zip-around closure since I tend to jam everything in. It has an inside zip pocket with two compartments, twelve credit card slots and two bill compartments. Perfecto.

Chic Business Gal on the go!

Glam Silver Flap Card Holder $250.00 SGD at Swarovski, shines in silver metal calfskin with Crystal Silver Shade Mesh on the flap. The interior reveals one flat pocket, one window pocket, and one gusset pocket for business or credit cards.

Shower her with jewels

Erickson Beamon Crystal drop earrings, $256.00 SGD, available on TheOutnet.com

Erickson Beamon Gold-plated Swarovski crystal necklace
$443 SGD on TheOutnet.com

Um.... new found love... TheOutnet.com!! Net-a-Porter.com's outlet sister... where the hell have I been? And if you order now you should be ok for holiday gifts... International shipping!

Gifts for her part 1.

Gifts for him.

Charity gifts.

Last chance for your December Vanity Trove!

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

<a target="_blank" href="https://www.vanitytrove.com/?r=9543">

</a>I LOVE VT! And Vanity Trove beauty subscriptions make awesome holiday gifts!<a target="_blank" href="https://www.vanitytrove.com/?r=9543">

</a>A great way to try coveted and new products without committing to a full size - although some months you get a lovely surprise of a full retail-sized product! See some previous troves here.<a target="_blank" href="https://www.vanitytrove.com/?r=9543">

</a>BellaBox is another beauty subsciption - get both! ;) Great for the beauty addicts as they have different coveted products!

Vanity Trove

By Andrea Claire · May 15, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

I know it's May but let's recap Vanity Trove's April beauty treasures.

Okuma #3 orange/beige concealer. Orange cancels out dark circles. I think that the above photo proves that it works even in bad lighting.

The tips provided by VT says to blend outwards... actually... blend inwards. Why? Because your skin around your eye is so delicate that if you blend outwards over time you add to the skin aging stretch causing more fine lines and *horror*: wrinkles!

Here's some more great concealing tips I was quoted on in Huffington Post

I had a set of Star Lash lashes in my April trove too. These lashes are a soft synthetic, the next best thing to real hair lashes and like the real hair, you can get up to 10 wears per pair. Save your box and clean with a gentle makeup remover and rubbing alcohol. Tip: use a cotton swab with both the remover and the alcohol so you are sure to use sparingly.

Other monthly beautiful surprises include vouchers for discounts on spa services and blogshops.

The beauty subscriptions are such a fab idea! No need to feel 'brand loyalty' pressure; it's like a beauty shoe you try on, if it doesn't fit, no worries as you didn't break the bank for a full [non-returnable] size and the bonus: some brands can't be sampled so you get the full size anyway!

Jumping ahead to June...

In line with VT's mission to finding the best beauty brands, subscribers get to join their sampling group to test some extra goodies (on top of their regular trove) when you share about June’s “Best Friends Summer” edition on their Facebook page! These will include samples from Egyptian Magic and The Body Shop!

Why not have something monthly us girls can look forward to for a change? A Vanity Trove subscription can be yours too! Just click here.

Filed in: beauty subscriptions
Tagged with: Vanity Trove

Beauty-Full Weekend Part 2: High Tea with Bella Box

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

A day in the life of Andrea Claire on occasion includes (beauty) party hopping.

Stop two of my day was to the Bella Box High Tea at Arteastiq hosted by Renee from BeautyFool, a spring chic chick at 23! [Go Renee! BTW: I am half Danish too]

Bella Box's 5 W's:

Like a magazine subscription, around the tenth of each month four to five various hair/skin/makeup products in various sizes from testers, travel and the odd full size product will grace your doorstep. Bella Box believes in building relationships with the beauty industry and their customers introducing you to the newest products, brands and trends.

Bella Box works closely with their suppliers launching new products into the market with their engaged customers - you! You get to save money by testing products before diving in with full retail. Of course there is a rewards program when you refer friends.

What makes Bella Box different is that they are the only box that works directly with brands or distributors (reinforcing their relationship philosophy). Products are brought in fresh direct from the company so no warehouse samples that have been sitting around.

At the event we were given bracelets with our names - a little more adorbs than 'Hello my name is' tags.

Announced seconds to this photo was that we were able to visit the beauty stations to build our own beauty boxes - kind of like Build a Bear for big girls. As the vultures honed in on their kill, I stood back and waited for the dust to settle before collecting mine. A fun way to engage everyone and get off our seats to work off the cupcakes!

What I collected after the she-wolf pack was done:

LAQA & Co - BMX Bandit Nail Polish Pen

LAQA & Co - Fairyblood Fat Lip Pencil



HC Cosmetics Instant Volume Lip

PS The 5 W's I learned back in grade six, so in case you aren't familiar: it's the Who, What, When, Where and Why to answer in a written article or grade 6 paper on the platypus.

Vanity Trove || Beauty Subscription

By Andrea Claire · February 4, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Vanity: excessive pride in one's appearance

Trove: a valuable collection : treasure; also : haul, collection

Vanity Trove: a teaser-sized collection of new and coveted beauty products for you to try while keeping your gorgeous appearance that you so proudly take care of; all delivered monthly to your door in a cute little box, complete with a menu of what's inside and how-to use.

Vanity Trove menu card

Flip the monthly greeting card over for the menu of what's in store for your beautification.

January's Beauty Trove consisted of a a haul of 6, pictured above.

The Olivella Shampoo & Conditioner trial sizes are great for travel! Tip:You can use the shampoo to clean your makeup brushes! And when using condiitioner [which everyone should use to help maintain your hair's vitality and shine], comb through with a wide-tooth comb prior to rinsing in the shower. Conditioner is mainly needed from the mid-lengths to the ends so if you find conditioner weighs your hair down, avoiding putting it on your roots. Finish with a final cool rinse to seal your cuticle and boost shine.

Angel Lip Tint is being billed as a strong competitor for Benetint as you can use it on the lips and cheeks as well. But, I beg to differ. Benetint: You better watch out! I've always loved the look but found Benetint almost impossible to blend as the stain set really fast on the cheek.

Angel Lip Tint

Angel Lip Tint is a lovely sheer rouge that blends! Here I am with it on my lips and cheeks and that is all that I have on... oh and a dress too.

I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to try a snail collagen mask. I've been eye-balling the huge tropical snails on steroids in my yard... this mask makes it a little more sophisticated...

Feeling left out? Don't be. You can jump on the beauty subscription bandwagon.

Don't forget your Valentine! A Vanity Trove beauty subscription makes the perfect gift for your lover, wife, mistress, favourite hairstylist *wink*...  You can order here by clicking.

Find VT (Singapore) on Facebook and Twitter

FAB GIFT IDEA!! A Beauty Subscription!

By Andrea Claire · December 19, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

Every month we girls have to endure pain and suffering - you know what I mean. A 4-7 day visit from Aunt Flo.

Why not something to look forward to each month that isn't full of cramps and bad things?

The latest craze is Beauty Subscriptions. You register online for a monthly box delivered that is packed full of the latest beauty products to try. AWESOME gift for your mother, wife, mistress, girlfriend, administrative assistant/ mistress...

I list a few countries below so read on...

BellaBox sent me their December beauty box o' treats... um... this would have cost me only $15.00??! [Note: that's in Singapore dollars]

Seriously?? I don't need to breakdown what's in this box as my fabulous photography shows it all minus the $50 gift certificate for Sothys Professional...

What is great about a monthly beauty subscription is that you can try the latest most coveted beauty products, delivered to your door. Most of the products are trial size so there is minimal waste if it's not for you, minimal amount of money spent at only $15!!! [Sorry, I'm having a hard time getting over how inexpensive it is!]

This December box is entitled Party In Style - and what perfect timing with the holiday season - fetes and soirees galore!

Eylure Naturalites 140, $5.99 USD by Eylure at Ulta in the U.S

The Eylure Intense lashes are lightweight but a little too intense. Not many women can carry these off - unless you are looking for drag queen lashes.I can use these on a fashion shoot. BellaBox does sell other styles on their site that are more wearable. Look here.

I LOVE the feel and the flavour of the Savoir Faire lipstick but the colour in this month's box, Miss You, is very frosty pink - a colour that I made my Aunt's stop wearing years ago. Not all is lost as you can layer this on-top of a 'blah' neutral colour to jazz it up. I would only recommend you wear Miss You alone if you are a true Swedish blonde, ya. I love the packaging. It reminds me of Burberry's lipsticks with the magnet in the base so your lid doesn't pop off in your bag. Genius.

Inside this box o' beauty I also found two tubes of the coveted OCC Lip Tars; which I had just ordered from Camera Ready Cosmetics not knowing that BellaBox sells them here* too... it's ok, the colours are different! Wahoo! I have heard that it's impossible to have samples of the Lip Tars so the tubes BellaBox sent are full size... um... $15 for the entire box!?! Application tip: This stuff goes a LONG way. When I first tried the red Lip Tar it went all over my teeth so I looked like I was a vampire that just had a meal. Apply sparingly.

SEPHORA by OPI Glimmer Wonderland Six Piece Mini Nail Colour Set.$22.00 USD at Sephora [Sephora OPI set available at Sephora not BellaBox]

The OPI Not Like The Movies nail polish in a mini bottle. Adorbs! I love these little bottles. Great for stocking stuffers too! Buy a package of minis and divide them up for little girl gifts.

Faust Awake Potion Awake Potion For Discerning Nightowls - aka a hangover helper perhaps? Perhaps. And more benefits too! You can buy more as needed on the BellaBox site.

For Beauty Subscriptions near you:

U.S: Birchbox

France: Jolie Box

Canada: Luxe Box

UK: GlossyBox

Singapore: BellaBox and Vanity Trove

*Here is Singapore. I live in Singapore. I am Canadian. Life is an adventure. :)




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