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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.

Spicing up a stale hairstylist / client relationship

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By Andrea Claire · July 21, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

One complaint I hear from new clients that come to me to get their hair done is that they say their previous hairstylist would never do anything different. Sometimes this is just an excuse to move on but this is also a sign of a stale relationship with your stylist. Hey! It happens. You just need to spice things up a little!

If you adore your stylist and therefore reluctant to make a switch just come in with a few tearsheets from magazines of your favourite hairdos expressing that you are wanting a change and you were thinking of these ideas... this may give your stylist that little creative boost for fresh ideas.

Communication breakdowns happen to everyone. The horror: even me. I had a client who's friend is a friend of mine. In the game of telephone... my friend told me that her friend switched to a new stylist because she wanted her hair cut short and I 'refused' to give her short hair... Refused is a strong word. I'm not that Diva. The only hairstyle I refused to give in my 22 year career was a woman who had literally asked for a mullet in Kitchener-Waterloo about 15 years ago. A mullet. C'mon. I had to refuse. She begged me. Said she wouldn't even tell people I did it... Sister, I was saving you from yourself and the biggest hair mistake one could make! It wasn't even the rock chic 80s anymore... other than that, my ego isn't that big to refuse to do a cut. My tres petite salon atmosphere isn't overly posh and some people prefer a posh environment over quaint and relaxed. I am ok with that.

I love change. I love to change up hair. Being in the fashion world and my 7 seasons of on-air makeover tv experience influences my love for change. [Which btw- I love to play on occasion so, if you are interested in a free makeover by me with the exchange that I use it on my blog - dm me as I am aiming to start one makeover a month. Makeover means: minimal restriction from you cuz if you just want a trim it doesn't make for an exciting post. In Singapore only - sorry. I live in Asia]

OK....

So I think you may be familiar with Faz aka thedramadiaries.

When I met Faz she had luscious locks and was a fashion stylist. She had never coloured her hair...sometimes you just need a change. I said one day: Let's put in some eggplant highlights!! She said: Sure!

As our friendship grew and many highlight and hair trimming sessions later I said: Let's chop it off!

To my surprise...

 

Faz said: Sure! This was two years ago. Images lifted from thedramadiaries

Now Faz has shorter hair and does PR, fashion and travel writing, my editor for inSing.com... she hates lugging bags as all fashion stylists do. Prada, LV, Miu Miu, Bottega - all sound glam until you are pulling for a job toting around eight bags with a client telling you get high-end luxury brands and oh yeah: don't go over budget.

Here's a little playtime I had with Faz's hair during her last visit to mon petit salon. In the vein of baliage but a little more controlled, I applied two colours into each foil. At the roots I put an eggplant hue and the ends I applied a slightly lighter and brighter mahogany hue.

Here is one of Faz's back of the taxi photos. See how the sun just picks up the colour? I love this type of colouring - you wear the colour not the colour wearing you. Sun-kissed.

The current Faz. [This is her taxi photo, coiffed and made up by herself. Pretty.]

Looking for new ways to communicate with your hairstylist? Look here for some keywords.

Looking for odd tips and tricks to keep your colour fresh like beetroot juice rinses? Look here. No seriously, click there even if you are a seasoned hairstylist. I knew most of these but a couple new tips that are FAB!

Beauty Ambushed!

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By Andrea Claire · October 29, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

Come rain or come shine Luxola delivers to your door wherever you are in Singapore and yesterday we had both! Thankfully we had a driver so we never got stuck in the rain... or the heat...

If you had seen my blog, Twitter, Facebook this week or Luxola's Twitter or Facebook, you would have seen that CEO, Alexis and I were delivering your ordered goodies ourselves! A little 'tip & treat' the Friday before Hallowe'en.

Faz ordered Kajal liner and FACEatelier FACADE blush. Tip: The blush can double as a lippy too!

Tips galore with Shefali who had ordered the Dare to Scare package that came with lashes, Deborah Lippmann Bad Romance nail polish, DuWop The Ambers eye palette, a lip venom and Mario Badescu Oil-Free Moisturizer - all this for $97 SGD!

This is the DuWop The Ambers palette; a great eye palette for everyone.

TIP: Dampen your brush slightly for more pow to your pigment. [Andrea speak for: richer shadow application]

Need some eye shadow palette tips? Click here.

Aside from Zoie Jean, this is the other cutest 3 year old in the world. Adorbs. Love her hair! [She needs to be in the next Bazaar Junior!]

Her mommy ordered the Sleek Storm i-Divine Eye Shadow Palette. I did an on-the-spot smokey eye for her which you will be able to watch soon because we also shot the ambushes to use as webisodes! [This was my first time using this palette - very risky because I may not have liked it! BUT OMG What a steal! $20 SGD!?! They carry an eye primer palette that I want for my kit, same price]

The Luxola Beauty Ambush with Andrea Claire was so much fun that we decided to do it again! Check the above social media links for future ambush dates as well as when you can watch the webisodes of these ambushed lovely ladies and get some tips for yourselves too!

A huge thanks to the women who ordered and let us into their homes for a little trick & tips tete-a-tete!

 

PS: Our initial meeting point for our ambush day was outside of a Subway... I kinda look like I should be in their ad, non?

Beauty Fundraiser For Japan!!

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By Andrea Claire · March 30, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

Get excited guys – for the first time ever, thedramadiaries creatives [Faz's new creatives company!] is organising an event, and it’s a fundraiser for Japan!

APRIL 19th from 10am - 12pm at Seb's, 7 Rochester Place [on facebook]

For a minimum donation of $50, get yourself prettied up with your morning coffee by Singapore’s most talented makeup artists including, the internationally renowned Andrea Claire, who has worked on Lady Antebellum, Alanis Morisette, and locally, MTV VJ Holly Graberek [to name a few... PS I've also worked on Mini Me] Andrea will also be doing a how-to makeup talk! [OK - Faz wrote 90% of this - I will interject in square bracketts. At about 10:20am I will conduct a how-to get glam in 10 minutes in the a.m. TRUE STORY! You can do this!]

You can bring makeup palettes you’re not sure how to use, or anything else you’ve had on your dresser that you can’t quite figure out for a one-on-one makeup consultation and makeover [think camera ready tricks, tips and touchups]. Post-makeover, there’ll be a photobooth ran by pro photographer, MaryAnn from Studio Loft who’ll be snapping photos for keepsake. [Please don't think full on makeover as seen here, I wish we had the time and artist power for this but if we get the turnout that match our RSVPS, I'm sorry but you won't get a major over-haul. BUT I promise loads of fun, tips and just a great morning o' beauty! We are talking to many beauty peeps for things like express manicures, hairstylists, massage people...]

RSVP AT FAZ@THEDRAMADIARIES.COM TO RESERVE SEATS.

Mums with kids should take note that there’s a little play area within Rochester House so kids will be taken care of while you’re getting prettied up! Child-minding services are free for the first hour.

Coffee, tea & soft drinks are also complimentary!

 

FEATURING THE FOLLOWING MAKEUP ARTISTS: ANDREA CLAIRE, JOANNA KOH, SARAH CHAUDHRY, DEWI MAHONEY [Sarah and Dewi - gimme your links]

 

Kindly contact Faz at faz@thedramadiaries.com or me andrea.claire@hotmail.com  if you’d like to lend any services to this event. [We need volunteers too, not just beauty people !]

This event is jointly organised by thedramadiaries creatives & aclairebeauty.com

Ladies Who Lunch

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By Andrea Claire · February 13, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

Around the globe one thing we can say that unites us all is food. I would think we all appreciate good food, non?

I have brunched at The Belmont in Austin, Texas, The Charcoal Steakhouse in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario and countless places in Singapore.

I would have to say that Singaporeans are the 'Olympians of Brunch.'

Shangri-La, The Hyatt, The Fullerton.... I've been around the brunch block. No one does it better. [So far the Shangri-La is hands-down my fave]

Well, today Faz and I went off to brunch at Gattopardo, Italian Grill & Pizzabar tucked away in the tranquil location of the boutique hotel, Hotel Fort Canning, just steps away from the heart of Singapore.  

We ate. We laughed. I champagned.

[FYI: Zoie is in this video for those who have missed seeing her in the vlogs lately]

 My fabulous pink bag that makes a cameo, Rebecca Minkoff, Morning After Bag

Faz's blog about our brunch can be read here.

*We paid for our brunch. Children under 5 are free. Faz, Sage & Blaire were $78 each (sans alcohol) I was $128 since I was a lush and had champagne. The food was fantastic! The service A1. The minded children's area is a huge plus. However, quite honestly, I'm not sure if the steep price is worth it.

My Eyes Are Up Here! How To Fit A Bra

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By Andrea Claire · January 29, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

 

Text by Faz

Considering it’s a piece of clothing most of us have on everyday, we make so many mistakes with it – whether it’s the wrong colour, the wrong type, or the most lethal of all, the wrong size. When you have on a wrong bra size, a lot of things can go wrong – unflattering pockets of flesh will bulge out in unsightly places, you can’t breathe, or on the other side of the spectrum, if the bra is too big, it won’t give you the support that your bosom buddies need.

Andrea [that would be me, but Faz is the wordsmith on this one] and I took on the task of sussing out how to bra fit with the help of the good people at La Senza (Singapore). Find out how to find your right bra size, what bra to wear with a low-back top or dress and find out how my bondage gear for Halloween looks like! There’s a lot of boobs in the [above] video, both mine and Andrea’s, so be warned.

How to measure your boobies

[(A) Using a tape measure, measure around your ribcage (in inches) The tape should rest snugly and smoothly against your skin.

(B) Add 5 inches to that first measurement to determine your band size. [if you are an odd number choose the smaller band size ie 37 inches try a 36 inch band]

(C) Next is to determine your cup size. Again, using a tape measure, measure the fullest part of your bust, holding the tape measure straight, but not too tightly. Take the initial measurement of your ribcage in (A). The difference is the basis of your cup size; each inch of difference equals one cup size:

  • less than 1 inch = AA cup
  • 1 inch = A cup
  • 2 inches = B cup
  • 3 inches = C cup
  • 4 inches = D cup
  • 5 inches = DD cup (E)
  • 6 inches = DDD cup (F)
  • 7 inches = DDDD cup (G)

 

How to tell if a bra doesn't fit properly

  • Shoulder strap digs in
  • Bra band rides up at the back
  • Centre front is lifted – the centre front of the bra, right in the middle of your breasts should sit flat on your body.
  • Underwire digs in
  • Bulging cups – if your breasts bulge out over the top of the bra, it’s probably way too small for you.
  • The bra looks baggy.

 

For Valentine’s Day, La Senza has put together a wicked offer for those who would like to get their partners some hot lingerie. For only $105, you get a sexy babydoll set, a delectable range of body essentials including a body lotion, nail polishes and lip glosses, all tucked into a hot pink box. In addition, the first 100 customers to purchase this Valentine’s Day special get a bouquet of flowers for the loved one. Pretty awesome deal, I say!

My (Andrea Claire's) 2 cents

Tip: Strapless Bra

To make a strapless bra work for you, choose a band one size smaller and a bigger cup size.

Convertible Bra

Did you know there are over 100 ways to wear a convertible bra?! Yeah, we got confused with that one too. In our video above we are shown 2 ways 1) the plunging back and 2) the one shoulder or TOGA!

No matter how 'perky' you feel you look in an outfit, especially strapless, low back, toga etc... You need a bra. Breasts do not defy gravity. Trust me, I wish they did. And on another boobie note... Don't forget to self-exam, find out more info on that here.

Special thanks to: Siti Radhiah Binte Hassan, Asst boutique manager for Las Senza Vivocity; The staff of La Senza ION, Jennifer, Daphne and Ruth from FJ Benjamin, and of course, Andrea and my boobies – without them, we’d have a lot less adventures.

*Note: Andrea is a bit shameless as she likes to entertain while she spreads some tips; she actually thinks she's quite funny. Seven seasons on TV as a witty, talented makeover guru and spokesperson on Canadian Idol will do it to you.  Ask her about crashing a Vespa into a parked car during one Canadian Idol shoot.  (That was unintentional and yes, Andrea was mildly hurt - she won't ever do her own 'stunts' again)

La-La-La-La Senza!

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

Often the males in my family vocalize jealousy for what I do. It's not all glitz, glam and lingerie, however, I was invited to the opening of the La Senza store at ION, Singapore. [Sorry to my cousin Jared who was unable to attend... Oakville, Ontario is a little far from here]

 Well, being Canadian, I, of course had to support a Canadian company who has 'supported' me and ... um...my girls [wink, wink] for many years!

 I've always loved La Senza. The bras and panties fit nicely, the staff are always knowledgeable and helpful in a not-invading-your-space way. [Aggressive store clerks drive me bonkers]

PS - If you are an expat woman in Singapore these are American sizes; and they are now owned by Victoria Secrets. I'm hoping they bring in the makeup line sold at La Senza in Canada and Victoria Secrets in the US. The Beauty Rush lip glosses are a cheap version of Lancome's Juicy Tubes - love them!.

The girls were supposed to be flight attendants; reminiscent of Gwyneth Paltrow in View From The Top.

The styles are cute.

And some for those sexier needs...

Damn! The paparazzi has found me again!

Rough job for the poor guy. Event shooting for La Senza.

 [I need to know his name as I have seen this photographer at a few events and don't know who the heck he is! Sorry Dude]

Nothing says 'Fun in Lingerie' like Jell-O shots. Bill Cosby would be proud I'm sure. (J-K, I never had one so I can't say if they had alcohol or not)

Now you can have your lingerie and eat it too... actually, that would be outfits from a whole other store entirely!

But these cute cupcakes were in our swag bags!  I devoured mine.

Dear La Senza Singapore: Who the heck made these cupcakes for you?! YUM! And, please invite me to the next event!

On Location: Haji Lane, Singapore

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By Andrea Claire · September 14, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Last week I was on location for Simply Her magazine at the store, Wonderwool on Haji Lane. Watch the video to see just how cool the location is.

A huge benefit to shooting on location, you get to see your surroundings!

Haji Lane is a very hip street that is certainly NYC Fashionista-worthy. With cool shops and cafes, there are many great finds to be had!

I bought a dress... and a top.

I need help.

 

Vlog: Luxe For Less

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By Andrea Claire · September 7, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

How does one go from this:

To this:

 

Recently I had the honour of being shot for Simply Her for their Luxe For Less page. (Thanks to Faz, my partner in crime for suggesting me.) It will be out in November! I was thrilled to be asked!! And, apparently, I'm told a little ground-breaking for the Singapore magazine to feature a Western (ang moh)  woman! (above photo and guest appearance on the video below courtesy of Alisa.)

Where do I shop to find my Luxe For Less?

Well, I do travel so that is an added perk to great finds but here's a list of my go-to stores, including online:

JCrew Quite frankly, I only hit the sale link. I love their dresses! (I fit the JCrew U.S size 8 perfectly, makes online shopping a little too easy) 

JoeFresh is a MUST when I visit Canada.

 Target is my U.S must. When I was living in Texas I went to Target more often than I changed underwear. However, my thoughts on their designer collaborations, although cool in photos, the fabrics and wearability tend to be a little disappointing with the odd exception.

AllSaints I discovered ALLSaints while working with Lady Antebellum. Hint: check out Hillary's dress! I double-checked my measurements with their size chart; according to that I would be a UK 12 - I could actually have a UK 10 in everything I bought. I believe they would exchange it but what I bought does not require a tailored fit.

BCBG is another line that takes up a huge collection in my wardrobe. I think I own 10+ of their pieces! My plea to BCBG "Dear BCBG, please sponsor me a dress a day for a year - I will wear it wherever I go. Even to get groceries." Click their sale link too!

Winners, a brands for less store. Seriously. For. Way. Less. I got a Kate Spade bag for $98! Everytime I travel back to Canada, I shop, [to my husband's dismay] and one main stop on the shopping trail is Winners. You should go!

Nordstorm Rack , Saks Off Fifth, DSW.... oh my list could go on and on!

It's the thrill of the find! At Saks Off Fifth I found, sitting lonely on a shoe rack, calling my name.... python leather knee high boots. They were my size. It was a sign. Regular price $1500. What I paid.... $100.

To sum up:

  1. Yes, I realize that I may have a problem and retail therapy may not be the answer.
  2. If I am an example of LUXE For Less then one of many reasons to subscribe to Simply Her to get the inside scoop on where to shop and get stretch your dollar!

 

 International Sizes

Tod's & Toddlers Don't Really Mix...

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

Tonight Zoie and I went with Faz (fashion editor/writer) and Xiao (NYC based model) to a renovated Tod's Boutique reopening at Takashimaya, in Singapore.

Hindsight, maybe the toddler should have stayed home - but, she was entertaining... at times.

I loved the ballet flats and so did Zoie Jean.

There was a special guest appearance by some Hong Kong actor... sorry I don't know his name. Many around us were actually muttering 'Who is that?' Maybe not a great sign but there were others who were pushing forward excitedly cameras a-blazing so he wasn't an unknown.

 

 

Blow Like A Pro

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By Andrea Claire · September 2, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

 

 

It's funny how in life you meet people and just click. Faz, my dear friend/fashion stylist/writer is, as she says, like a 'sista from another mista' - [and mother too]. We are like sisters for sure - me, being the older (way older) but not necessarily wiser sister - still, we have fun none-the-less and we are both cheeky!

Faz's Blurb: Here’s the thing – you waltz into a salon, get a spiffy cut and look fabulous but you can never get that exact same blow-out. Hair and makeup genius Andrea Claire teaches the Beauty Idiot [i.e.: Me] how to blow dry my own hair! And trust me – it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Back to me: Here's the vid. Hope you like. And yes, I repeat a few words - you would think it was my first 'tv' shoot - it's not; see here. It will get better and like Faz says, we have a lot more instore!

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