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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.

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.

Done.

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.

Beauty Lust Haves || primer & foundation 2013 roundup

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By Andrea Claire · January 1, 2014 · 0 Comments ·


hair & makeup by me for Bazaar (Singapore), styling Alli Sim
photographer Jingna Zhang

Many artists become known for various traits of their expertise and one that I commonly hear back about myself is my detailed attention to skin and my ability to create a flawless finish. A flawless finish isn't only in the hand of the artist but also the products used. Skincare plays a huge part of course, but the next few steps are crucial too.


I'm sure by now many of you know that if you want your makeup to last, you need to use primer; Dermalogica Age Smart Skin Perfect Primer SPF 30 $48.00 USD at Ulta. Skin Perfect Primer is one of my faves because the active ingredients are pharmacy grade which means the actives are more powerful providing added skin treatments versus a simple cosmetic primer.

Velvety silicones create an instantly smooth surface. Peptides and Age Smart actives help firm and shield against MMP and free radical damage, as sunscreens shield against sun damage. Wear alone over your moisturizer for visible smoothness and luminosity, or after moisturizer application and before foundation to help fill fine lines for a lasting makeup finish. Formulated without artificial fragrances and colors.


Nars Light Optimizing Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 $34.00 at Barneys New York

This NARS primer I've used many times as well. It's radiance under makeup is beautiful without looking shiny. There's a difference between radiant skin and shiny skin. This is a great primer to use when you're looking tired and puffy - either after a night of indulgence or hard work keeping you up to the wee hours.

Primed. Revived. Radiant. NARS Light Optimizing Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 dramatically extends and transforms the appearance and vibrancy of makeup. Weightless and oil-free, it minimizes signs of fatigue to leave the skin luminous and revived. Get primed for a vibrant complexion.



FACEatelier Ultra Foundation will forever make this list. Do you live in Asia? It's on sale here.

Ultra Foundation is a silicone-based emulsion that floats on top of the skin, doesn’t crease or flake, and lasts all day long.  Hydrating yet oil-free, it obscures tiny lines and pores to ensure a smooth finish.  No primer needed!  It's built into Ultra Foundation, thanks to the super sophisticated, silicone-based formula.   Another bonus - it sets without powder, preserving the youthful, dewy finish.

The silicone molecule is bigger than the human pore, allowing Ultra Foundation to form a lightweight, breathable second skin that is both moisture and oil resistant.  It is truly non-comedogenic and is ideal for troubled or mature skin. Ultra Foundation's top-secret formulation creates an optical blurring effect that diminishes fine lines and wrinkles and gives the illusion of a smoother, more uniform and naturally dewy finish.  No wonder it's the foundation of choice for stars like Fergie and Lady Gaga! FACEatelier.com [and I confirm every word. Nothing but LOVE for FA]


MAKE UP FOR EVER Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation $36.00 USD at Sephora

This liquid is shine controlling, oil-free and water-resistant. Formulated to hide imperfections, even out skintone, and mattify with a non-oily, perfectly powdered finish. The result is flawless and lasts for hours. I've started using this recently and although it has a complete coverage it doesn't feel heavy on my skin.

TIP! In the digital world where everyone seems to have become paparazzi, you need to be flawless for those surprise tagged photos that you wake up too. Balance your foundation's finished look by using MAT Velvet in the T-Zone and your other fave foundation everywhere else.


Yves Saint Laurent Youth Liberator Foundation SPF20 $69.00 USD at Neiman Marcus

Youth Liberator Serum Foundation offers medium-to-full coverage and skin-firming benefits which now at the young age of 42 I need to reap. With its 24-hour hydration and SPF 20 coverage you can look dewy and flawless as the fine lines start to dig deeper. I bought this recently at Changi airport enroute to Cambodia. Flying out? Check your airport's Duty Free shops. Many beauty counters offer travel-only deals that are worth perusing. 

This anti-aging foundation is infused with our award winning serum, Forever Youth Liberator Serum. Youth Liberator Serum Foundation combines 24 hours of nonstop hydrating properties to smooth and nourish the skin with our patented Color Tune-Up Complex to correct dullness giving you a newer, brighter complexion. From fair to dark complexions, Youth Liberator Serum Foundation corrects, unifies and evens all skin tones, giving the skin an instantly younger appearance.

Available in 10 universal shades. SPF 20 broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.


Illuminating Powder Foundation Refill - 20 Watts $28.00 USD at DERMSTORE

It's no secret that I'm not a pusher of powder. The dangers of powder on the skin can leave your looking chalky and full of lines. True story: us makeup artists, when on a job where we need to age someone by a few years we simply add powder. So with that being said, I also need to be up on various products that suits everyone's needs. The only powder that I've stumbled upon so far that I love - this Stila Illuminating Powder Foundation, a silky, lightweight powder that conceals imperfections and illuminates the skin.

Tip: Just like liquid foundation, you shouldn't be reaching for your powder foundation for touch-ups throughout the day. Instead, touch-ups should be with a blot film ( to control oiliness) or a skin brightener (revive tired skin). Foundation should only be reapplied if you have the flu and just snotted off your foundation or post make-out session. 

What's your go-to primer or foundation?

Review my complete Beauty Lust Haves 2013 roundup here.

Beauty Lust Haves || skincare 2013 roundup

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By Andrea Claire · December 28, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

I decided that the Lust Haves for December could be delayed and then I'd stretch it out over a beauty fave series wrapping up 2013.

 Starting with step one: skincare

If you follow my blog or my Instagram you won't be surprise that I am starting with Dermalogica's Special Cleansing Gel

Recommended for all skin conditions, its a soap-free, foaming gel designed to thoroughly remove impurities without disturbing the skin's natural moisture balance. Calming Balm Mint and Lavender extracts soothe the skin while natural Quillaja Saponaria gently foams away toxins and debris. Contains no artificial color. Gently lather a small amount of gel on moistened hands and apply to dampened face and throat. Rinse with warm water and repeat for professional cleansing results. Follow with Multi-Active Toner and recommended Dermalogica Moisturizer.


I ran out of my above favourite cleanser and in a pinch I bought The Body Shop's Vitamin C Facial Cleansing Polish 3.38 fl oz (100 ml) $16.00 USD at Beauty.com

Truth be told, my skin which resembles a delicate flower tends to break out with The Body Shop's skincare so I was hesitant but know that the Vitamin C helps to brighten dull skin (and I was having a dull skin moment) I bought it.

I do find that I can't double cleanse like I do with my Special Cleansing Gel because it makes my skin tight if I do, but I did see my skin brighten up after using it for two weeks. Yay for birght skin!

This Body Shop cleanser removes dull skin cells and reveals a radiance with a gentle, exfoliating face wash that will leave your skin smooth and revitalized. Contains Amazonian Camu Camu berry which is known to have one of the highest contents of Vitamin C in nature. Antioxidant Vitamin C encourages production of collagen, improves elasticity and protects against damaging environmental aggressors. We have never tested on animals. Similarly, we insist that our suppliers have not tested their ingredients on animals for cosmetic purposes. This product is 100% vegetarian.


SKII 'Facial Treatment' Essence (2.5 oz.) $100.00 USD at Nordstrom

This toner was given to me in an SKII package when I spoke at an event for them. The smell is a little off-putting at first but as it absorbs into your skin it goes away. I speak to many women who avoid toners because they claim they make their skin tight - if this is you then you are using toners that 99.9% of beauty pros would NOT recommend. If anything makes your face feel tight then you need switch products.

This unique pitera-rich product moisturizes to improve texture and clarity for a more beautiful, glowing complexion. It also helps stimulate the natural renewal process of the skin's outer layer to rebalance and bring harmony to your skin. Women are so passionate about it that they describe it as their 'holy water.' It contains over 90% pure pitera, the seemingly magical ingredient found in all SK-II products. Rely on it daily to moisturize instantly and renew skin's surface for a smoother texture. Skin absorbs the benefits almost on contact. The result is supple, smooth, radiant skin.

I've been using Sheep Placenta serum for about a year now. It doesn't smell at all so I don't get the heebee jeebies. At first I thought it was weird and a little gross but the results are truly amazing. I know I've joked about the #nobotox #faceof42 but the truth is - I don't have Botox and I'm reaching 43. sigh From the neck up I'm doing ok... 

Baaa-nefits of sheep placenta:

- Stimulates skin cell renewal thereby reinvigorating old cells and generating new healthy cells. The result is an increasingly youthful appearance.

- Provides intense hydration to skin, returning firmness and suppleness while reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

- Reduces pigmentation and diminishes appearance of age spots, blemishes and discolouration.

- Promotes a smooth, translucent skin complexion.

- Increases skin elasticity thereby reducing saggy appearances.

- Encourages rapid healing and reduces scars.

- Returns vigour to dry, aged skin with young and radiant looking skin.

- Help balance skin's natural sebum production and reduce open pores

If animal products give you the willies (I bet readers in the UK have a different visual here) then let me suggest to you SKIN INC whose wide variety of serums come from plants. They have a plant placenta that I've tried - the sheep placenta gives me better results but the vegan one does work. I also have a customized Daily Dose by SKIN INC that I use every day.

Frankly I'd be better of financially to just get the Botox vs the investment into my skincare arsenal. I kid. Kinda.

I see many clients who share their Botox and filler stories with me. Some have left me in shock and awe at how great they look and they can make facial expressions! LOL. I believe that one day I'll break that no Botox/filler seal; and when I do it will probably be here with Dr. Komathy Rajaratnam. I had a client who moved away but had her work done here and raves about her and since I've sent many her way with the same rave reviews.

WAIT! How did I go from skincare to where to get your Botox??!! Moving on.


Hands-down the best moisturizer that I have ever used: Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream $40.00 USD at Ulta

I love this under makeup for anyone I work on too - regardless of age and skin type. It really helps glide the foundation on. 

A medium-weight cream that maintains skin's moisture balance while improving its texture. Deep-moisturizing Lecithin and Aloe Gel nourish while extracts of Mallow, Cucumber and Arnica soothe and hydrate the skin, helping to restore suppleness and tone. Antioxidant Grape Seed Extract plus vitamins A, C and E reduce free radical activity while the light, emulsive protection helps shield against dehydration and pollution. Contains no artificial fragrance or color. Professional recommendation advised.


SK-II Signs Eye Mask $110.00 USD at Saks Fifth Avenue

I've stashed a few of these in my makeup kit. They're great for models and celebs who are jetlagged and overworked. I also love them for pre-Red Carpet or pre-bridal makeup.

Designed to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the delicate eye area. A soft cotton mask, drenched with moisturizers enhanced with Pitera and an exclusive Cell Treatment complex, hydrates deeply, smoothes fine lines and revives the eye area. Comes with 14 pairs.


Dermalogica Age Smart MultiVitamin Power Firm $56.00 USD at Ulta

If you are a skincare company with an eye cream that you believe is better than this please send it to me. I'd kindly review it. I've used this since 2004. I've tried other eye creams along the way. It is part of my job to be in the beauty know. La Mer? Creme de la break the bank. Don't waste your money. Tried it. Not a fan. And if you are a cry-baby about silicones in your skincare and makeup then you need to research more. Silicones are not bad for your skin. I actually look for silicone in foundations because of the non-comedogenic and slip properties.

Combat visible lines around the eye area with this powerful firming complex of skin-rebuilding antioxidant vitamins, protective Silicones, and Red Seaweed Extract. Contains no artificial fragrance or color. An infusion of vitamins A, C, and E help accelerate skin's natural repair process, strengthen elasticity, improve smoothness, and defend against Reactive Oxygen Species (free radicals); Silicones melt gently into skin to help diminish fine lines and smooth texture; Green Tea helps soothe irritation.

Do you have a fave skincare product? Wrote a review on one you'd like to share? Go ahead and link it in my comments.

Recap of the previous Beauty Lust Haves

#AZMondayMakeover || Adlena, Platform PR

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By Andrea Claire · December 16, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

*If you don't see a video above here, please refresh the post title

Our latest #AZMondayMakeover is

yummy mommy-to-be Adlena, Platform PR. Beautiful both before and after.

Get the look:

First I applied some Dermalogica skincare to Adlena's skin which included the SkinPerfect Primer to help smooth the texture for an even application of my favourite FACEatelier Ultra Foundation.



Then I applied Too Faced Sun Bunny Natural Bronzer ($30.00 at Macy's) to beef up that pregnancy glow.


 
Nothing wrong with a little drama-mama! That pop on the eye is Stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow in Metallic Merlot (not pictured) $32.00 USD at Sephora


MAC Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow: Smokeluxe ($40.00 USD at Dillard's) If blending is an issue for you then get these Pearlfusion palettes. They are so easy to blend. We makeup artists like that too - sure we can blend that powdery matte stuff with our trained fingers but why bother?

*In the video we chat about the typical Asian eye makeup: black liquid liner smothering the top lid. Now, although this look isn't bad (it is a look after all); it won't give you an opened eye look. Dark colours will typically recede. So, if you have Asian eyes or even a hidden eyelid that's hooded with ageing choose something a little more vibrant on the lid and create a shape with a fake crease. Refer to the video for a visual on this.

Eyebrows are softly defined with Starlash brow pencil.


 
 I lined Adlena's eyes using Maybelline's Color Show black kohl and then applied this miracle mascara that landed in my lap during a recent shoot for Cosmo - love it! That pink/green tube - not a fan, but this? Yes. I like it a lot. Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Big Eyes Washable Mascara Blackest Black 202 $8.99 USD at Walgreens

I'm a fan of focusing the drama on one thing or the other so I chose a subtle lip with NARS Prego Prego Pago Pago.



Hair is straightened for a little edge with my beloved CHI Dual Voltage Ceramic Hairstyling Iron, 1 Inch Plates $170.00$119.00 USD at drugstore.com

Creates Silky Shiny Hair Instantly Versatile "all in one" ergonomic design Straigten, curl, flip, style Professional salon model Flash quick heating Swivel cord 1" Ceramic plates Heats up to 200°C/392°F Automatic dual voltage adjusts to where you plug it in.


Photography



Want to participate? Email me a photo with the subject line AZMONDAYMAKEOVER.

Why our little makeover project? Speaking for myself, I am tired of women being bullied into beauty with visions of photoshopped perfection that is impossible for us to actually achieve day to day. Beauty should be fun that doesn't breed insecurities but empowers. I feel that enough voices are out there putting the beauty industry to task; let's actually do something about it.

Our images are proudly photoshop-free!  

xo
Andrea Claire

#AZMondayMakeover || Mylinh

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By Andrea Claire · December 9, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

After a slight #AZMondayMakeover hiatus - we couldn't get our sh*t together because I was having to rush a colonoscopy. (see what I did there) My life = glamour 24/7.  (don't worry, that part of me is ok) And because I am so full of useful tips: If you ever need a colonoscopy / gastroscopy, mix that crap you have to drink with orange pop. Seriously... enough with my medical drama - these makeovers are becoming my therapy. :)
   

*If you don't see a video above here, please refresh the post title

Monday Makeover!!!

Today's beauty is PR exec Mylinh Cheung, CEO/Founder of Epic PR. Honestly, her barefaced before is super cute - the swan remains a swan. just a little glammed up.


I prepped Mylinh's skin with Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Serum and Make Up For Ever HD Primer.

FACEatelier Ultra Foundation #4


Benefit Cosmetics Fake Up Concealer $24.00 USD at Sephora

An ultrahydrating crease-control concealer. What it does: Cover-up goes incognito. This moisturizing crease-control concealer with vitamin E and apple seed extract hides dark circles and diffuses fine lines for a silky smooth, ultranatural look. Available in three shades, it’s proven to keep skin hydrated for six hours and won’t cake, crease, or settle.


Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Dixie (colour not as shown) $26.00 USD at Bloomingdale's

Lightweight formulation delivers a radiant finish. Apply Cream Blusher to enhance your cheekbones, use over foundation for impact or under for a captivating glow. Key Benefits: 1. Hydrates: contains moisturizing Vitamin E 2. Versatile: can be used on cheeks and lips Application: Build and blend with fingers or brush.


Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Light/Medium Matte Bronzer $30.00 USD at Sephora

A light matte bronzer infused with real cocoa powder and long-wearing pigments. What it does: Too Faced has combined the natural detoxifying effects of real cocoa powder with their signature bronzing pigments to create a lighter version of their bestselling Chocolate Soleil original matte bronzer. The Milk Chocolate shade is perfectly suited for pale to medium skintones for a touch of summer warmth all year-long.


Benefit Cosmetics Ooh La Lift $22.00 USD at Sephora

This product is great for applying even on top of your makeup throughout the day under your eyes to reduce tired looking eyes.

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Taupe is what I used as a base colour for Mylinh's eyes. I love these on their own or as a primer. They grip shadows and don't budge through the day which means your eyeshadow will not runaway from you.


Tom Ford Beauty Eye Color Quad, Golden Mink $78.00 USD at Neiman Marcus

The Tom Ford quads are pricey but if you seldom invest in makeup I recommend his shadows. The pigments are beautiful, easy to blend and long-lasting.

Brows are Star Lash brow pencil in Golden Brown; loving this twist up pencil as it has a lovely angle for a no-brainer application.  I always prefer to add a brow colour slightly lighter than the natural brow for a softer look.

*TIP: Blend the edges with a cotton swab dipped in highlighter.
 

Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Washable Mascara Very Black 281 $7.79 USD at Walgreens

Unique flexible wand helps to lift and separate lashes to provide the look of more lashes. Patented spoon brush and kera-fiber formula instantly build 8x more volume without clumping to complete the false lash look.


Ardell DuraLash Naturals Flare $3.49 USD at Walgreens

I used the medium brown flares (clusters as I call them). I tell you why I use brown vs black in the video.


NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Club Mix, $25.00 USD at Nordstrom

Hair.

Another sigh with the technical difficulties. Any production company interested in shooting with us you can hit me up here.


Aveda 'phomollientTM' Styling Foam $19.00 USD at Nordstrom

I blew out Mylinh's hair with AVEDA Phomollient at the mid-lengths and ends with Original Mineral Rootalicious at the roots.
I did a round brush set which means with each section, I left the round brush in as the hair cooled for a stronger set. See a visual here.

Photography by:


Hair & makeup: moi.

Want to participate? Email me a photo with the subject line AZMONDAYMAKEOVER.

Why our little makeover project? Speaking for myself, I am tired of women being bullied into beauty with visions of photoshopped perfection that is impossible for us to actually achieve day to day. Beauty should be fun that doesn't breed insecurities but empowers. I feel that enough voices are out there putting the beauty industry to task; let's actually do something about it.

Our images are proudly photoshop-free!  

xo
Andrea Claire

Beauty Lust Haves || October 2013

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By Andrea Claire · October 10, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

Have you been following my Beauty Lust Haves?? Recap!

Now on with October!

Seeing that this is a list of my beauty faves, October being Breast Cancer Awareness month and in celebration of the newly launched Think Dirty app, I thought it was apropos to start off with this must have app.

Think Dirty insists that your products come clean. Think Dirty is a new app designed by a Canadian (go Canada!!) where you scan the UPC codes to see the potential health risks lurking in your latest beauty haul.

After hearing about the app via fellow makeup artist Jackie Shawn, I had to get it. Especially being a beauty pro I wanted to see what evil may be hiding in my professional kit. Think Dirty is definitely something I will be using when adding potential products to my beauty arsenal.

Hey, Think Dirty: You could consider offering grade badges to beauty companies just like we see in restaurants. Grade A, B, C and so on so we consumers know if they are a pass for purchase. A little idea from me (Andrea Claire) to you.

(I'd love to see this type of app for buying groceries too - just what killers linger in a Twinkie anyway??)


Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder $24.00 USD at Macy's

Introduced to me by the lovely and talented Dee Daly; a powder for under the eyes that actually has me rethinking using powder under the eyes! I love it. It has  this great setting and brightening effect without creasing and accentuating fine lines.

Dermalogica MAP-15 Regenerator, a highly active vitamin C as well as other anti-aging goodies to firm up the skin. Use as a spot treatment for eyes and lips or add into your moisturizer for extra brightening and firming. Part of Dermalogica's Age Smart line that I personally use, as well as use to prep my models /celebs/brides etc...

AGE Smart® contains scientifically advanced ingredients proven to impact the major biochemical reactions that contribute to skin aging before they start, so your skin is left smoother, firmer and healthier. AGE Smart® is the intelligent investment in your future skin. Dermalogica.com

GOSH Velvet Lipliners a cheaper version of the Givenchy lipliners that I love. They glide on smooth without tugging the skin and are waterproof as well! The downside - they need to expand their colour selection as it's a little sparse.

What are your latest beauty faves?? Beauty school the rest of us!

xo AC

The face of 42 || my skincare quotes and more that hit the cutting room floor for FLARE magazine

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By Andrea Claire · September 26, 2013 · 0 Comments ·


I remember the first time I saw my credit in Canada's FLARE magazine tagged to my hair & makeup work. I toted it around like a beauty trophy proud to share it around to anyone who would indulge me; that was 16 years ago. Some things never change.

Wing Sze Tang, writer and editor included me in her October story Eastern Promises for FLARE and since many of my answers had to be streamlined (I tend  to go on) I thought I would share my complete answers.

WST: Is it accurate to say that North American women prefer multi-duty products and simpler skincare routines, whereas women in Singapore (or Asia in general) prefer hyper-specific products and multi-step routines?

AC (me): Yes, in fact an example of this is BB creams. Women in North America have taken this on as a do-all when really it shouldn't take the place of your skincare.

Face wipes too! They are huge for women to skip washing their face properly back home. We have them in Asia but women here don't use them in place of cleansing.

WST: How did your own skincare routine change when you moved to Singapore? (Please briefly detail what steps/products you used to use in Toronto, and what you do currently.)
My Instagrammed #faceof42

AC: I have to say that I was on a multiple-step program already introduced to me by Dermalogica (circa Stylin Gypises 2004) double cleansing was already part of my beauty vocab followed by exfoiliant, toner, eye creams and moisturizer. But since moving here I have added serums and pre-serums.

WST: Was there anything that surprised you when you talked to other beauty industry pros in Asia about what they use/do for skincare? Any beauty "revelations"? (Feel free to describe specific anecdotes if you have any.)

AC: What surprises me the most are the injectables women get here and how early they start. I worked on a print ad where the model in her early 20s had pig fat injected into her upper cheek area - she said she had it done in Korea under the advice of a dermatologist there. Injectables (Botox is huge) are common here at a young age and people are surprised when I tell them I haven't had any... Yet...

Also - you may recall the viral video of the women slapping faces for lifting in Thailand? Well, I have had many facials in Singapore where the slapping isn't as violent but they apply serums with a subtle slapping motion. After living in Asia and seeing first-hand how Asia influences the rest of the [skincare] world I figure it's only a matter of time before that craze 'hits' the globe so I have been (subtly) slapping on my serums for a couple of years now. Hey - can't hurt!! ;)

WST: I've read that in certain parts of Asia, it's not unusual for women to use 14 or more skincare/beauty products throughout the day. Is this true? And what are the commonly followed steps (for day, and for night)? For example, I've heard of:

1) double cleansing (first oil cleanser, then foam cleanser)

4) layering serums plus emulsions, in addition to regular lotions or creams

5) putting on multiple SPFs (sunscreen + pre-makeup primer with SPF + BB/CC cream with SPF)

AC: Women are definitely into pre-cleansing with oil here which helps to breakdown pollutants and makeup before using your cleanser. There are the same options here of cleansing bars, cleansing milks, gel cleansers or foam cleansers etc... It is still about preference.

And yes, followed by masks, serums, moisturizers - targeting treatments are big here too - no one wants to see one sun spot of freckle. I often joke that I see more umbrellas on sunny days vs rainy days - not far from the truth. Women do take the steps they need to maintain a 'milky' complexion so in Singapore many women do invest and use separate sunscreens for the face vs a multitasking bb/cc etc.

I have heard that Chinese women here will save cooled water from rice to rinse their face as it has natural exfoliating and brightening qualities - interesting since SKII is based on rice water fermentation.

Skin Inc is a brand here that has many serums targeting specific needs which I love. It's not about generic skincare anymore. Bespoke your needs.

WST: Do you find that women in Asia are generally more obsessed with skincare compared to North Americans? Do they invest more in anti-aging skincare, or begin using them at an earlier age, than women in North America?

AC: Yes! Women in North America tend to leap for creams at the first signs of fine lines and hope for the reversing miracle cream whereas in Asia skincare is used as prevention and anti-aging.

WST: Are there any skincare practices or skincare products common in Asia that you would rarely or never see in North America?

AC: Whitening. It's huge. Sadly. Even the advertising here ignores the diverse colours of skin. Just because a woman's skin tone is darker than a level 2 or 3 doesn't mean she isn't beautiful. Many brands here - at least Singapore - don't carry darker shades of foundation. Yes, you can find them but not with all brands, even the counter artists oversell makeup that is too light. The obsession for skin that is light, free from 'spots' is not fading.

Also, carbon cleansers are creeping up. Do you have those yet? I believe they are geared to more acne prone / oily skin

WST: What other observations do you have about women's different attitudes and approaches to skincare in Asia vs. North America?

AC: Women in Singapore will try anything and everything that promises the fountain of youth. I think women in N.A are more skeptical and want to hear about it after the research and development teams have conclusive results - neither approach is wrong - although I can't say I will be injecting pig fat into my cheeks anytime soon...

Women are so obsessed here with looking perfect that there are a lot of iPhone apps that give you big eyes and clear skin. Check out Cymera that comes out of Korea (I believe?) - it's fun to give yourself 'big eyes'

**Get FLARE magazine in the app store

Yes, I am 42. le sigh And without Botox or any other outside help except a great skincare regimen which I am often asked about. This is what I use:

There are a few things missing from my skincare arsenal. My Dermalogica eye cream, Bio-Oil, Skin Inc placenta (don't worry - it's plant) and my Rodial Glamoxy Snake Serum... These need replenishing.

Are you looking for Botox?? I have sent many clients in Singapore here. I have heard nothing but rave reviews on this place. I made an appointment but cancelled 20 mins before my Botox because I just don't feel I need it right now... but I am really curious... Have you Botoxed and regretted it? Loved it? Recommend it? Do tell!!

**Read my interview on A Fashionable Leo for more of my favorite beauty products

How to protect your skin from the pollutants and irritants caused by the haze

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By Andrea Claire · June 21, 2013 · 0 Comments ·
I am getting many requests from my Singapore friends and clients for a beauty list of how to protect your skin from the haze which we are currently dealing with here in Singapore.

Skin flare ups and redness are the most common complaints. For starters, I recommend lots of hydrating inside and out: water and vitamin C are key to remain hydrated and maintain healthy immune support.


Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser available island-wide in Singapore at Aster Spring.

#1 cleansing skin two to three times a day using a gentle cleanser will help to rid your skin of surface pollutants and irritants. Try Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser

#2 create a protective barrier by using treatment moisturizers and protective primers. Try Dr Jart V7 Vitalaser followed by Dermalogica Barrier Repair

#3 rinse irritated eyes with an eye bath and soothe afterwards with cool cucumber slices.
Update: I almost forgot - if you wear contacts you must stop until the haze clears! 

#4 DIY your own soothing facial mist with sliced cucumber in water, cool in the fridge for an hour+, poor into a spray bottle and store in the fridge. Mist as often as you like. 


The Body Shop Mango Lip Butter

#5 protect your lips by reapplying lip balm frequently throughout the day.

**Please seek out a medical professional when dealing with severe reactions
Have any haze survival tips or found some helpful links? Please link them in the comments! 

The Red Carpet Effect || Linda Black for AFF2013

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By Andrea Claire · May 24, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

Loving what you do as a career certainly puts you ahead of the curve and working with people you adore is certainly winning.
TV host Linda Black had me over for lemon squares (she makes the best lemon squares) and another hair & makeup red carpet session.

Safe to say this image is from LifestyleAsia.com - Linda Black is in the centre if you aren't familiar with her fabulousness.

The look for the final night of AFF2013 was inspired by the outfit that stylist Azawi David pulled from Bernard Chandran. We were all feeling Fifth Element: the sequel.

If you don't see the video above - please refresh the link - Onsugar has hiccups. 

Skin

Dermalogica Clearing Mattifier - keeps oils at bay so great for anyone anticipating a photo-op.
FACE atelier #6 and Alison Raffaele #5. I applied the FA where I wanted slightly more dewy texture with extra coverage
NARS Casino layered with MAC The Perfect Cheek
 
EYES

Benefit creaseless cream shadows in Birthday Suit on the brow bone and Skinny Jeans on the lid.
 

SEPHORA COLLECTION Cat Eye Velvet Eyeliner Applique $7.00$3.00 at Sephora

Dior velvet eyes eyeliner appliqués that Linda had just lying there begging to be used -  my first hand with these. Loved them! The Dior velvet eyes is no longer available. I found these Sephora ones on sale in Paris - hurry to your nearest Sephora to avoid missing them.

Dear Dior: Pretty please get me on your PR list - I could have used these on so many occasions including editorial and celebs...


Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking-$30.00 USD at Barneys New York

*I passed on using fake lashes this time since it was a risk using something new for red carpet we opted out of too many layers of appliqués and glue - no one wants to be on the worst anything list.

LIPS

FACE atelier Tango lip liner with Black UP Cosmetics RGE13 lipstick

HAIR

I first blew out Linda's hair with O&M Rootalicious then curled her hair using my CHI 3/4 inch tong. I used my fingers mainly to shake and break the curls while using Aveda's Pure Abundance Hair Potion (love this stuff x1000 - I used it here on some fabulous ladies hitting up a gala) - of course no hairdo is complete without the final touch from a Queen: O&M Original Queenie (FYI: I do Linda's haircolour using O&M CCT colour)

Thank you Linda for letting me time lapse again!

Time lapse video || hair & makeup on TV host Linda Black for AFF Red Carpet

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By Andrea Claire · May 15, 2013 · 0 Comments ·
If you can't screen cap a barefaced friend who can you screen cap?? TV host Linda Black is no stranger to baring it all for the public, in fact she encourages you to do the same; nothing like a makeup hiatus at least one day a week to give your skin a little breather.

Lash Cards! These fabuLASH dohickeys are great for a clean mascara application. I got these to test drive in my recent Bella Box.


Ready for a little beauty time lapse? [There should be a video here. If by chance you don't see it, click on the blog title again; there seems to be an onsugar hiccup...]

And yet another screen crab grab - I kid. No crab - just a big tease!

See how happy I make people? Or maybe she's just a little cray cray...

What did I use??

FACE
Dermalogica Clearing Mattifier (love that for brides, red carpet and press junkets to keep oils at bay)
FACE atelier Ultra Foundation #6
Alison Raffaele #5 and setting powder

Eyes
Benefit creaseless cream shadow in Skinny Jeans on the lids
Laura Mercier Sable eyeshadow in the crease
Stila Black Cat to tight line and add a smoky touch
Laura Mercier Sunlit in the inner corners
Ardell Lashes in demi-wispies (black)
L'Oreal Collagen mascara

Cheeks
NARS Casino in the hollows

Lips
MAC Twig

I totally swiped this from Oli Pettigrew's Instaglam! [Oli is Linda's arm candy / TV host]

Oli is wearing a suit by Sacoor Brothers and fashion stylist Azawi David pulled a Vikas Dayal dress for Linda to wear.

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