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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.

Grad Photo Beauty 101

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By Andrea Claire · March 19, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

You may remember that my daughter Sage and her friend Vivien made an appearance on my blog when they went to prom and suckered me into dolling them up then. Well, congratulations to them both! They have made it through the year a) remaining friends and b) graduating high school!!!

And as with prom, Sage and Vivien took advantage of me again to get them ready for their grad photos.

Dear All Young Ladies: Keep in mind these photos are forever and mainly for your parents to celebrate the inevitable; you're moving out!!! You are not going clubbing so keep your makeup simple and clean.

First in my hot seat: Vivien.

Vivien uses Proactiv on a regular basis which has left her skin very dehydrated. I based her skin with Dermalogica's Skin Smoothing Cream and Multivitamin PowerFirm under the eyes. I advised Vivien that she needs to exfoliate and take care of her skin. Overly dehydrated skin will show aging prematurely; it is important to Age Smart. If you don't exfoliate regularly your skin will look dull and makeup won't apply as smoothly as it could.

Makeup on Vivien:

Dermalogica's Treatment Foundation in 1G layered with FACEatelier #4.


High Definition Liquid Concealer $20.00 at Smashbox


NARS Bronzing Powder, Casino $34.00 by NARS at Beauty.com


M·A·C Powder Blush in The Perfect Cheek (not as shown) $20.00 by M·A·C at Bloomingdale's


Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner $19.00 by Benefit at Bloomingdale's I know, quelle surprise - I use it all the time.

RMK Ingenious Natural Eyes in #7

I layered two mascaras:


L'Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes $8.99 by L'Oreal at Target

 


Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Waterproof Mascara $7.99 by Revlon at Ulta

Clean & Clear Lip Balm

Sage's skin is smooth because she steals my Dermalogica on a regular basis when she runs out of her own. I based her with Dermalogica's Active Moist and Multivitamin PowerFirm.

Makeup on Sage:

Bobbi Brown's new BB Cream in Light


For Sage's massive dark circles Armani Beauty Master Corrector-2 $36.00 by Armani at Barneys New York


NARS Bronzing Powder, Casino 34.00 by NARS at Beauty.com layered with


Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick - Pink Quartz $39.00 by Bobbi Brown at Sephora


Urban Decay Naked Palette $50.00 by Urban Decay at Macy's

I gave Sage the same mascara and lip combo.


School Photo Tips:


 

 

 

  • Don't over-do it. You aren't clubbing. [ I know I said this earlier so I'm just driving the point home]
  • Check your teeth, inner eyes for goop, comb your eyebrows and tame flyaway hairs
  • Look for your light - the photographer will guide you but keeping in mind, the soft box of light will have diffusing effect on your skin, an added benefit to hide imperfections.
  • Powder your t-zone only as the glow to your skin is pretty.

 

Now go get a job or a UNI degree!

 

Prom Night! Beauty DIY

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

 

This is Sage the morning of prom. She just woke up. Frankly she could have eaten her wheaties and then thrown on her prom dress and gone. But like every girl, she likes to play dress up.

The Canadian International School, Singapore Masquerade Prom 2011!

Sage's dress is from BCBG. Watch our shopping for prom video blog here! The mask is from Far East Plaza aka Teen Shopping Paradise [for me too - love Far East Plaza, cut tag shops galore!]

Get The Look


 


SKIN: A spritz of Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner followed by Barrier Repair

Foundation: Rae Cosmetics Climate Control 25*


Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow/Liner

$19.00 at Benefit

Eyes: Base with Benefit Birthday Suit [I LOVE this. It's a great shimmery base/primer for shadow. I use this one A LOT]

In Sage's crease I started with Yaby Cosmetics Abyss eye shadow and then layered MAC loose pigment in The Family Crest. I used the MAC pigment under the eyes for the smokey look.


Long-wear Gel Eyeliner

$21.00 at Bobbi Brown

To finish the eyes I used Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink. TIP: Apply this onto the waterline - it sets nicely and since the gel liners aren't 'flat' they add a little catch light [sparkle] into the eye. Mascara Bad Bad Black Opulash from the MAC Wonder Woman collection


Shimmer Brick Compact - Nectar

$38.00 at Bobbi Brown

Cheeks: To add definition into Sage's cheekbones I started with MAC Taupe Powder Blush layered with Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Nectar. NOTE: Taupe Blush is not for medium-to-dark skin tones as then it will look chalky. Try a matte bronzer two shades darker than your skin for your cheek hollows! Need to know where to put your taupe/bronzer suck in your cheeks... put it there [Referred to as 'fish face' in Allure]

 

Sage found her 'mask' at Far East Plaza. They were quirky glasses. She removed the arms and then attached black ribbon to tie on. Clever runs in our family.

Since Sage is spoiled her friends might as well be too.

This is Vivian. I dolled her up as well. [PS Vivian designed and made her dress! It's STUNNING!]

Here's the back of her head:

She picked a pretty style. This is braided in two sections AND two types of braids. [yes, I know there are stray hairs - I'm a fan of the deconstructed hair - not the helmet]

  1. I set Vivian's hair on velco rollers for lift. TIP: Curl each section first with a medium/large barrel ceramic curling iron which will add shine and help smooth flyaways
  2. Then I sectioned her hair into two - essentially the top and bottom - think from ear to ear
  3. I teased the roots from the top section and brushed lightly to smooth the outer layer of the teasing, divide into three sections and french braid loosely [without tension] to the occipital [bone bump you feel 1/2 way down your head] secure with an elastic

 

AT THIS POINT YOU SHOULD HAVE A 1/2 UP 1/2 DOWN STYLE WHICH IS PRETTY TOO AT THIS POINT

4. The bottom section is a fishtail braid. Start at one side and fishtail horizontally, include the tail section from the above braid and continue until you run out of hair.

5. Wrap an elastic to secure the ends and tuck up hiding into the hair.

Curse my name or thank me as you try!

Zoie Jean [sans frock] is always upstaging!  

How To Go Prom Dress Shopping

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

Nothing takes me back to high school more than... Prom Season!!

My prom dress was from Le Chateau! It was white and it had shoulder pads!

Well it was the 80s. This truly was my high school. I was Andie. I was... am cool.

Fast forward to 2011 and I have an excited 16 year old daughter off to Prom at the end of May.

If you are just joining the AC Blogisphere than you don't know that we live in Singapore where shopping is an Olympic sport. I currently hold the Gold (card) for Canada!

Shopping here can be done. Many expats complain about the shopping... I am not sure why. I have TOO much success. [They do walking tours, I am considering hosting 'shopping tours' as I have a gift that I should use for good and not evil.]

The malls consist of many UK and US brands and NO, they are not 'resized to fit Asians' like I hear many claim. Sizing in general changes from brand to brand. I personally fit into three sizes depending on the designer and the fit. If the brand is a brand from China or local Singaporean designer then yes, it's a smaller fit than we are used to and may need to go up a size or three BUT if, for example, it is GAP size 8 made in China, it is still a North American 8.

We also have these wonderous random stores unofficially known as 'Cut Tag' stores. These are not generally chain stores and the stock is forever changing AND you will find Chanel, Prada, Miu Miu, BCBG (lots of BCBG), Lanvin, Dior, Karen Millen and on and on and on... Now, I have tried to figure out the cut tags... they are the real deal and an average dress is $149.00 SGD. Some of the stock is a season or so behind but, today I saw some Prada, current season. I had to ask. The lady at the 'cut tag' counter said that they buy from the outlets and bring them into Singapore - apparently all on the up and up - legal. Being in fashion I feel loads better. Now, if you have ever shopped factory outlet before you know that many of these probably have defaults. IE patterns don't match up, dye lot is off, too much tension in the hem stitching etc... I own cut tag Prada, Lanvin, BCBG, Miu Miu, Moschino, DKNY... I can't see the defaults and my wardrobe has gone from fab to fabulous!

Let's regroup and get back to topic!

Riiight... PROM DRESS shopping tips....

  1. Decide on a budget with your mom/dad/grandparent/parole officer
  2. Try on A LOT at first so you decide what does and doesn't work then start weeding out certain necklines and hemlines
  3. Don't buy the first one unless you know in your heart that it's THE ONE. I doubt dress number two is really 'the one'. Put your faves on hold for the day. If the salesperson tells you that she can't hold it - ask her politely as you 'just started and really like it but want to be sure as pressure shopping is not cool'. Most stores will hold items until end of day.
  4. Start with the dress and not the shoes. Accesorize AFTER the dress purchase.
  5. Don't buy too early as that may make you second guess your choice. Wait 24 hours if you tend to impulse buy just to be certain.
  6. Unlike my daughter - shower and shave your legs and armpits before you go shopping (ok, Sage showered).
  7. Bring a helpful sibling or BFF for input. Notice we brought one helpful and one not-so-helpful.
  8. Wear a little makeup but realize it's not your prom yet - just shop with minimal makeup to make you feel good in the horribly lit changerooms.
  9. Tote a pair of heels close to what you will be wearing the night of.
  10.   Break for a snack as low blood sugar and trying on dresses don't mix.

 

**Check back end of May to see the reveal of Sage on her prom night!

Live in North America and don't have money for a dress? Don't fret! You can check out consignment stores that sell highend second hand, rework a dress from Goodwill (Andie did it in Pretty In Pink) or pick up a dress for free from charities like the Princess Project  or Donate My Dress in the US or The Corsage Project in Canada.

Prom over? Donate your dress to the above organizations! Give another Princess a glam night out!

AND REMEMBER!! You are too young to drink but if you do: Don't Drink and Drive!

Behind The Pages Of Seventeen Singapore: May 2011

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

What can I say? Shooting with the peeps at Seventeen is always nonstop fun!

For the May issue I did makeup only - too many high maintenance teens to do on my own... I kid.

Our models: Sage [my daughter] and two of her expat brat friends and some other local lovelies from Singapore.

Nails were done by Yani from Serendipity.

Makeup by Andrea Claire (moi) 

Hair by Reds (who knew they were such a big chain!)

Styling by Alisa Chopard

UPDATE: 

    1. In the mag: a button nose makeup tip says that I say to 'use Espresso by MAC on the sides of the nose to make it more prominent'. OOPSY! I didn't say this and you would never use Espresso on the nose; if you did you would have 2 dark lines. I said 'bronzer or foundation 1-2 shades darker than your skin will have a slimming/shaping effect when applied to the sides of the nose and then finish with a highlight on the bridge of the nose.'

  1. One of our models changed her makeup ever-so-slightly. *SIGH. She added more mascara and black liner which made her lashes look clumpy and the black liner changed the look adding a smokiness and not just the pop colour that I was going for. I understand that if you are a 'real person' sometimes a makeup artist may do something out of your comfort zone; however, if you are a model it's your job to wear it. We aren't ogres. Well, maybe some are, but I'm not! Simply ask your makeup artist if she could do anything for your comfort zone - you see, if you change it you are messing with an artist's work and if it goes to print then you both look bad. I keep kicking myself for that slipping under my radar.

 

This red is the Givenchy Rouge lip pencil that I used on Chica in the montage above. The texture is very moist and it wears very well. I was amazed that it lasted all day on me without bleeding, not cheap though. $32 SGD

Day 4-6: Shanghai to Beijing

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By Andrea Claire · April 6, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

Sometimes it really is worth hitting the built up touristy venues, frankly I think it is worth checking out what gets the top rated touristy vote and risk it being a trap of a money waster. For example, in Cambodia we asked our concierge where we could see some traditional dancing. We got taken too an awful buffet and although traditional dancing was there, there were other more local places that weren't so fabricated to suit tourists. I loved the Dead Fish Restaurant.

But, in the case of the Shanghai acrobats, I found them AMAZING and a MUST SEE! I was leary when all the tourist buses showed up to the arena but... hands-down, amazing. We had actually booked the front row centre VIP seats. I short-sightedly tweeted that you could sit anywhere and still see and not to waste your money. I would like to retract and reword: YES! Buy the VIP seats, if you have the money. Yes you can see from anywhere, it's not a huge venue - so you will have your money's worth anywhere inside BUT the VIP seats are killer. Our daughters at one point had all three jaws dropped to the floor, as did we. No nets, and the acrobats were soaring high, leaping throw hoops, driving 6 motorcycles in a big ball... just WOW. This is the original Cirque Du Soliel.

 We left Shanghai with a bang!

Onto Beijing.

Upon our arrival to Beijing I found it very cold in comparison to Shanghai; not in temperature but more uninviting. Bear in mind, this is early spring so the lack of green can certainly add to that feeling. The heritage areas are certainly awe-inspiring.

First stop: The Temple of Heaven. [I used to get here often prior to marriage.. Dear HB, just kidding]

 I found it amazing that locals just hang around there playing cards. There was a slight wind in the air and they had tied a piece of string around the wood to help hold down their cards. Hm. Learn something new everyday, right?

Second stop: The Silk Market. Four floors of market shopping, by market shopping I mean factory seconds and knockoffs. Being in the fashion industry I can't condone the purchasing of knockoffs. It's a little funny that when you walk into the front door they have a huge banner that states something about protecting IP (intellectual property) - there is no way these vendors are looking out for anyone's IP. Many vendors have secret shelves that open to back rooms full of mainly LV knockoffs. Why they think we all want LV's is beyond me. LV = Louis Vuitton. I have a real LV, thanks to a special someone; and yes the design/pattern of the classic LVs are lovely - they are getting a little over satuarated in the world; just like Coach. You don't really feel special carrying one unless it has some personal meaning, like mine. I would think all the political / IP arguments would come into play here so I'll bow out of this one.

At the Silk Market I did manage to haggle to buy two more wigs. Yes, more wigs. Very good quality synthetic that originally she was asking for $150 each and I paid $20 each. See the room you have to haggle?  (Now I just need a photographer who wants to shoot a wig story as I have MANY!) I looked at the makeup brushes thinking I hit the jackpot spotting Bobbi Brown brushes - the sets were a combinition of crappy hair and nice hair but I own a lot of her brushes and I can tell you the quality is not the same. Another reason why you should just buy the real thing.

The Silk Market had a soft shop called 'Cloarkes' inside. Familiar with Clarke's shoes? Yeah. Same font, just another letter added in.

The market certainly was a little eye opening. One vendor got angry with us - not sure why but she called my husband a 'stupid man' and then yelled at me 'I hate you stupid white people!!' And while I can agree that us 'white people' can be a little annoying individually, it's unfair to lump us altogether.

Interesting experience. Moving on.

As we waiting outside for our driver (yes, we hired a private driver) there was a woman holding a lethargic toddler begging for money. The women/young girls hoding babies gets me everytime. My hb handed her some money. If you travel, ask locals or your concierge about giving money to beggars. Every country has various reputations as to need and where it actually goes; but I think 'small child in rags = dig into your pockets and fork it over. Maybe I'm a sucker and maybe this woman had no thoughts of this money feeding her baby but I can't turn away a mother with a baby. She walked from us to a group of businessmen who ignored her.

Sigh.

Back home to  the Grand Hyatt Beijing for a little R&R; room service and rest. We booked a suite with two bedrooms, livingroom and kitchenette. The window views are not as grand as the Marriott in Shanghai but we can deal. We have two TVs too many - there are 3.

We are attached to a mall so the next morning my eldest and youngest came along with me for a grocery shopping / Starbucks adventure. Little tidbit about me: I LOVE to check out grocery stores in other countries. Weird, I know but I find it fun. We were warned not to let Zoie drink the milk here unless we are certain that it's imported - obviously this causes me to stress over the chocolate milk she had already...

Our first stop was the Forbidden City. Stunning. Amazing. Gorgeous. Our teenagers didn't share our opinion. Without markets, haggling or Starbucks they just wanted to fast-track outta there. [Please tell me all teens devalue trips and cultural experiences and not just mine]

We visited a Hutong which is a old alley/street filled with shops and restaurants; I highly recommend this to be on your list, and it will perk up any complaining teenager.

Check out the girl in the BG wearing the ears. Sorry. Don't get it. Yes. Bought them for Zoie. But Zoie is 2 so...

Yup. Mojito to go.

A chicken cart. With heads and everything... from bugs to cotton candy, heck we even saw a churros booth!  I just don't recommend peering too close the roasted bugs to eat. I felt so sick after just inhaling the fumes. I'm sure locals love to eat such delicacies but I'll stick to a MARS bar (I know, annoying white girl.)

Getting our ducks in a row.

Our day ended with another must while in Beijing; Peking duck. We ate at Chef Dong's which is supposed to be one of the best. We went with some friends who live locally and say it's their favourite restaurant. It was good but after trying many duck dishes over the years I'd have to officially say that  I am a French Duck Confit girl.

 *I did have a lovely pic of some 'art' from the Hutong. It was penis sculptures. More funny than art. I'd post it here but I posted it on my twitter and immediately lost two followers who apparently have zero sense of humour. Sorry to offend but keep in mind, I am funny.

Hello Shanghai!

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

My children are spoiled.

It's school break for the girls in Singapore so here we are in China for 10 days, Shanghai for 3 days and then off to Beijing. 

Day 1:

Flying off to Shanghai

A travel with toddler tip: buy them a new something - a toy, a book. Something new will keep their interest versus some old book or toy that they will get bored with. Zoie has over 10 countries on her passport from Asia to Canada to the U.S to Argentina and parts in-between, I may look like a bag lady with all that I tote to keep her happy but i have had great success! [toot toot goes my horn]

This 'computer' we bought Zoie is a Barbie learning toy. Matching games, letter recognition, numbers etc. I bought this at Changi airport for $45 SGD. [ps: apologies to all those around us as there is no volume control and this little pink toy is ridiculously loud!]

We booked a three bedroom executive apartment at the JW Marriott. It's pretty schwank.

 This is our view.

And... another view

We had dinner at the 56th floor of the Hyatt in the Italian restaurant Cucina. I had the beef tenderloin with walnut cream sauce. (the 5 year old in me scraped off the porcini mushrooms)

View from the Hyatt's restaurant

Night view from our hotel.

Some park with a few larger than life size snail sculptures.

Day 2 morning photo... hm. What  to do? Where to go?

FYI: Apparently Twitter and Facebook are tricky to get on so any updates I do will be via my blog!

Please leave me suggestions below on where to shop, eat and avoid!

 PS: Via my andriod picplz application I am able to post pics to twitter! So if you want to see what we are up to [hint: Mom] follow my twitter! Looks like for the next 10 days all my twitter posts will be pictorials!

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.

Living With A Hairstylist Has Its Up[do]s

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By Andrea Claire · January 20, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

Sage, my 16 year old daughter will never learn how to do her own hair.

Some mornings I have to pretend to be sleeping otherwise she gets me to do it. (Diva)

This morning she came to me with pins, a brush and a hair plea.

I liked her idea so I agreed to not charge her. [kidding] I know, the back of her head is RIDICULOUS, riiight?

Sage found an image on Tumblr with a French braid done in an 'S' shape. I duplicated it for her for school. 

DIY: French braid following from the crown around to the side hairline, back to the other side and along the neckline; just like the pic above. Tuck up the ends and pin - don't forget to 'lock' your pins by crossing two in an 'X' formation.

Have fine hair? Blow-dry upsidedown with some mousse which gives added volume and texture. Don't worry about flyways as it adds to the texture. But if the flyaways really bug you, use a soft toothbrush with a hint of pomade to gently comb them down.

Recent Work: Gallery Hotel Calendar, 2011

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

Model: Sage Dakota

Hair & Makeup: Andrea Claire

Styling: Vernon Sim

 

To see more of the calendar you must check into the Gallery Hotel Singapore!

[Video of the behind the scenes of the calendar shoot here.] 

The Gallery Hotel 2011 shoot

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By Andrea Claire · November 8, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

This is what happens when you bring your daughter to a meeting - she gets booked as the model. (She has modelled since she was 2)

You may recognize Sage as the Nutella girl. (Warning: not my youtube, Dude says a swear word)

She shot this commercial 6 years ago and it's still on rotation! Sage is now 16. *sigh*

This shoot was for the Gallery Hotel 2011 calendar. Update: This cool calendar is not for sale but you can see it if you are at the hotel!

Hair & Makeup (and model) by Andrea Claire

 

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