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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.

Mother's Day Week!! Mommy & Me #4: Grand Hyatt afternoon tea

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By Andrea Claire · April 17, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

[please refresh the title if you don't see a video above here]

"You know, British is the most fanciest place on Earth!" This said to me by Zoie after I taught her that British people drink tea 'pinkies up'

Every little girl who is familiar with Eloise at The Plaza romanticizes about living in a hotel. Heck, I romanticize about living in a hotel. (Yup, heck; I have to keep it PG this week.) But, if you aren't able to reside in a hotel the next best thing is a fancy high tea. Zoie and I visited 10Scotts at the Grand Hyatt for just that.

It's a lovely mix of free flow savories and sweets. 

"Pretty much this whole thing is dessert" according to stuff Zoie says. 

Balancing your cheesecake is tough. 

The art of the clotted cream and jam being mastered. True clotted cream comes from a specific region in England but the Hyatt did a pretty darn good dupe!

Success! 

According to Zoie this is how we test our hot chocolate to make sure it has cooled enough to drink. *sigh* you can lead a kid to hot chocolate... 

Interest was perked at the mention of an edible flower cake, so the chef sent one out for Zoie to try. 

"Girls that are older put their hair to the side" Really?! Lol. She might be right actually. 

"My favorite thing is coming here and spending time with mommy" 

Now THAT is why a great gift for Mother's Day is an afternoon tea! 

FYI, the quotes are truly unedited and what Stuff Zoie Says.

Thank you to 10Scotts at the Grand Hyatt for hosting Zoie and I for high tea.

Mother's Day Brunch is approaching! Don't forget to book in! And Moms will all receive a special gift from the Grand Hyatt as well, one complimentary bottle of champagne to each mother who dines with us in mezza9 for Brunch on the 11th of May!!

Mother's Day Week!! Mommy & Me #3: The Photo-Op

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By Andrea Claire · April 16, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

I love getting photos done with my family. Over the years it shows how we change and age (maybe me not so much anymore since I broke the seal and got Botox this year)

As I mentioned previously, my older daughters are not here (Singapore) and I don't have the budget to Photoshop them into my photo-op with Zoie.

Why have the run of mill photo when you can be goofy?

These images reflect the relationships we have with our mothers and daughters; the ups and downs. Always better to shoot these when you are in a fun mood vs arguing. Although stuff Zoie says is 5 (AND THREE QUARTERS!! she insists on that), and should love and adore her mother (me), place her (me) on a pedestal, she keeps me humbled by telling me that I am the meanest mother EVER. It is tough when one doesn't get their way. We need to learn that, the earlier the better. If we didn't learn that could you just imagine me shouting at an editor, creative director etc "You're the meanest EVER!" Although I have seen similar behaviours from adults on my sets over the years...  

So - of course you need one to appeal to family members overseas (hi mom!)

Happy Mother's Day!! May 11th! Which, by the way is significant to our family as it is Zoie's birthday;and in 2008, the year she was born, it fell on Mother's Day. A lovely gift - minus the labour pains.

A gift to your mommy dearest can be a spa treat, jewelry or a photo session.

Zurina Bryant took these photos for me. She has a mini portrait session that is 30 minutes for $250 and that includes 5 high resolution images in soft copy. You come camera ready with your makeup. Alternatively you can request a  hair & makeup artist, which is fun as well to kick it up a notch but that highers the price tag.

Mother's Day Week!! Mommy & Me #2: Jewelry or Jewellery

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By Andrea Claire · April 15, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

Jewels. Jewelry. Jewellery.

Who cares where y'all are from; we moms, mums, mothers and Mommy Dearests love accessories.

Stones That Rock Co-owners and designers, Leah Lambert and Annie Tsinonis believe strongly that beautiful, quality pieces do not need to come with a big price tag. Their range of handmade jewellery using fresh water pearls, semi-precious stones and crystals, reflects this philosophy. Materials are personally chosen by Leah and Annie and then hand crafted by skilled artisans. Emphasis is given to quality craftsmanship at an affordable price. Only a limited production is made of each style to further ensure that quality is never compromised.


Fay bracelet
: Platted leather bracelet with freshwater pearl & quartz crystal. Magnetic clasp


Corelli short necklace
: Chunky short necklace with Individually attached turquoise stones on chain

Girly long necklace: Long quartz crystal necklace with tassel


Effie
: 7 string turquoise and pearl mixed necklace with gold chain feature.

Is your mom living on the edge, a rock'n' roll mom? Killari Jewellery has got you covered. Meaning "moonlight" in the ancient Incan language, Quechua, the jewellery line focuses on hand-selected stones and minerals sourced from around the world and creatively handcrafted into sophisticated and refreshingly original designs.

I LOVE this Barbed Wire Grey Necklace. Find it in black & gold, white or tea rose and with worldwide shipping you have enough time to get 'er done!

And if you have a spare $25,000+ - Delfina Delettrez has a little something that I would die for.  FYI: Ms Delettrez belongs to Fendi's family fourth generation.


Special Order Skeleton Hand Bracelet

$25,553.00 by Delfina Delettrez at LUISAVIAROMA

Mother's Day Week!! Mommy & Me #1: The Glamourous Factory

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By Andrea Claire · April 14, 2014 · 0 Comments ·
I've decided to dub this: Mother's Day Week to hopefully share some ideas for you to treat you mother. Sure we all love flowers but why not branch out a little.

Mother's Day is approaching (May 11th!) and I sincerely hope my teenage daughters in Canada remember poor mommy here in Singapore...

even though they missed out on a mommy and me day at The Glamourous Factory with Zoie and I... 

This is my Bling-it-on manicure. The detailing is amazing! The nail techs did this freehand. I'm always amazed at nail art done freehand. I think I drink too much coffee to draw a straight line - however, being a hairstylist and makeup artist I can cut a straightline and draw straight eyeliner... I guess we all have our strengths.

With a few locations around the island we visited the location in a quiet corner at Plaza Singapura, the manicurists were happy to inspire from my picture reference for me and inspire from... Wait for it... Can you guess??

Frozen for Zoie Jean. ZJ dubbed it the Ice-icure

A little FYI: apparently the mommies of the world are flipping their lids because every little girl wants a Frozen birthday party theme but Disney can't keep up with the demand. Read more on Jezebel about parents losing their shit. I'm sure my mommy redhead fury will fuel up too because Zoie's birthday is in May and guess what themed party she wants this year...? MF.

Onto brighter things...

Mother's Day is all about pampering and indulgence and what better way to show mom the love but a spa treat! Turn it into a bonding session by booking yourself in too. Definitely a great way to share some rest and relaxation... and a little ohm to calm the icy nerves.
Mother's Day Promotion (From 2-11th May 2014)
Only $168  (Up to $362)
*         Spa Manicure
*         Spa Pedicure
*         Quick Dry Top Coat
*         Underarms VPL (Variable Pulsed Light) treatment (I can't do this one since the carpet matches the drapes and the underarms... you need dark hair for VPL)

The Glamourous Factory

I am a proud ambassador for The Glamourous Factory!! And you, my Singapore readers, are entitled to 10% off beauty services quoting "Andrea Claire" and upon liking the Facebook page of The Glamourous Factory. SWEET!! Thanks GF! We all love deals.

Stay tuned for the rest of the week here on Beauty & The Blog for some other Mother's Day gift ideas!!

Luxola presents Rachel K Cosmetics || A Google Hangout

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By Andrea Claire · February 28, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

It's been a crazy year for me to say the least and we haven't even started March yet.

I've had two surgeries - one on January 13 and one just a week ago; thus the very few blog posts to 2014 too.

And needless to say, I haven't been working. In fact I am officially not taking clients (sorry) or able to do hair and makeup on set for another 3+ weeks, so when Luxola asked if I could particpate as a beauty expert on their Google Hangout, where I didn't have to leave my house and could sit the whole time, I was all like "YES PLEASE!!"

I was very excited to be participating in Luxola's first ever Google Hangout and turns out, Rachel K's first hangout, as well as mine - we are were all just a bunch of virgins.

I've tried to join a few hangouts in the past with TV host Angelique Teo; I failed that join; and I also tried to join with Zurina Bryant and Angela Jacobson (Oz Supernanny), failed to join that one too. I didn't think I was a tech spaz... or am I?

Behold! The fruits of our (Luxola) labour! [there's video below, if you don't see it please refresh the title]

incrEDIBLE: Fantasia by Escribà

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By Andrea Claire · February 15, 2014 · 0 Comments ·
Pastry Chef Christian Escribà (pictured), together with his wife, Patricia Schmidt (also a pastry chef) and a team of various creative talents that include architects, actors, fellow chefs and more are bringing to Singapore Fantasia by Escriba, the Cirque du Soliel of the pastry world!
Escribà has "always worked with actors. We are trained to make the cakes but not to present them. That is why it's important for Fantasia to have actors."
A real trip into the fantasy world comme Charlie (Christian) and the Chocolate Factory and Singapore has been given the Golden Ticket!

The entrance to Escribà's fantasy world comes from a dream.  "One day I had a dream that my pastry truck exploded - cakes flying, everything in the air.  This is how it starts."

Expect to arrive with an empty belly and leave after your four hour journey on a sugar-high tasting cakes built several metres high, moving cakes, edible walls and luxury edible pieces. Known for landscape cakes that feature places like Madrid and New York I can't wait to see what's in store for Singapore!

*Luxury boutique of Barcelona - you will find the high end of what they do; perfection and elegance with some items apparently for sale too!
*a just for kids area consisting of 2000 sq metres of sugar heaven
 
At the press conference someone asked: How does Singapore weather effect the structures? The answer: aircon on 24hrs otherwise we will have a river of chocolate.
For those with dietary restrictions who want to partake in eating their way through, not to worry there will be sugar and gluten-free treats available. 
There will be an adults only show too! I think I'll be going twice - once with little Zoie and then onto sexy chocolate times! *wink*

From nature to luxury to play, this will be an edible extravaganza not to miss!

"Together with the passport, shaped just like a credit card is a map of Fantasìa. Presentation of your Fantasìa Passport at the different stations within Fantasìa will reward you with the opportunity to sample a wide array of sweet and savory signature Escribà foods, confections as well as beverages throughout different points within Fantasìa." FantasiaEscriba.com

Fantasia by Escribà
27 to 29 June 2014
Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre
10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956

Fantasia by Escribà on Facebook

Believing that the pastry world is a big family globally, Chef Christian is here now to promote the event, but to also publicly invite some Singapore chefs to participate! And! Some lucky young and talented Singaporean pastry chefs will be hand selected to attend a 6 week course in Barcelona!

I have actually visited Escribà in Barcelona years ago. YUMMY!

Pilates || Taking the bull by the horns with Vicki Berman

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By Andrea Claire · January 26, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

This was written today:

After suffering from a mosquito illness in Singapore 2008 I've been on a decline with my health and joints. Now suffering from an autoimmune condition I've decided to take the bull by the horn! I went from enjoying walking, bike riding, boxing, light hiking and excursions to the zoo with my family to being limited on physical activity. Knowing that this is not what I wanted for the rest of my life and from sharing my medical drama with Toronto-based Pilates/Yoga instructor Joyce Fredericks when we were on set in Bangkok, she told me about the reformer. I live in Singapore and chanced upon Vicki Berman at Como Shambhala. A godsend. Pilates is for everyone!

This was written post-surgery last week with some added updates today:

 [refresh the post title if you don't see a video above here]

If you are following my medical drama on Instagram then you know that I am currently recovering from surgery, so this Pilates video is not exactly current. I'm on Pilates hiatus.

But what a good time to share my experiences with Pilates as well as a little bit about the surgery I had.

  image source of Maria Kang

I am sure that there were many out there, like me, who suffer from one kind of one ailment or another that had to remind themselves not take offense to the 'what's your excuse' craziness. I don't know the whole story because I do not care to jump onto the whole trolling bandwagon but I know that when that image popped up with skinny mini and her cut body and three bambinos at her feet with the headline what's your excuse I immediately felt defensive and starting to list my excuses. 

I had to stop myself because, clearly I am not her target market. I really feel that her what's your excuse is targeting the people who really have the ability and the choices  but just choose to be happy in their skin; which is not wrong if you're happy.

 Her target is not somebody with an autoimmune disease; her target is the healthy but who are just not that into being fully cut like a human Barbie doll.. Of course maybe she should have consulted a PR department as starting off with what's your excuse is really just putting the people on defensive. Duh.

And you know, it seems like it's her J.O.B. She is in the world fitness world of looking good so she better be a walking billboard, perhaps just with a better tag-line.

It's all about choices for example my choice as I'm writing this with no one to help me make food since I just had the surgery, is to order McDonald's cause yes in Singapore, they deliver. 

My Pilates instructor Vicki and my husband are probably both cringing is they are reading this.

[funny story, as my McD's arrived I paid and actually tossed it in the garbage - cringe released] 

I've happily been on an upswing since discovering Pilates. Thanks Joyce & Vicki!

This is my glamorous hip during surgery. Oddly pretty.

My hip labral tear was fixed by Dr Leslie Leong. These are two of the three keyholes. I have to change the bandage now so figured I'd gross you out. (current photo taken January 26, 2014)

You bet once the stitches come out I'll be healing the scars with my Bio-Oil!

AND... since discovering last May that I've also been saddled with a hernia! Yay me! My GP has said that the Pilates has actually helped pull it together a little but not enough so I will be getting that surgery done too. The ugly side of motherhood.

 image source

It's the Year of no Horsing around.

Taking that horse by the reigns.

Get Fit. Be healthy.

Positive thinking.

*NOTE that I'm still in recovery mode and on painkillers, so don't judge my grammar.

Beauty Lust Haves || concealer, brightener and finishing powder 2013 roundup

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By Andrea Claire · January 2, 2014 · 0 Comments ·

Eye brightener vs concealer causes confusion in many.

Here's the thing:

* If you look a wee bit tired, not full of dark circles, then an eye brightener may be all you need. 
* If you have dark circles, sunken eye sockets, scars, acne etc... then you may need concealer or possibly both 

Conceal first then foundation? Only if you're doing makeup in the 80s or going on stage.

Generally when you conceal first you are putting on too much makeup. Foundation formulas are so good now with many having a blurring effect to soften fine lines and cover imperfections, so the modern approach to concealer is to apply after your foundation, but only if you need it. Some chose concealer for touch-ups leaving the skin free of foundation. That's fine too.

Speaking of 80s; sculpting and highlighting a la the Kardashians is not a new technique. It's what us makeup artists learn - of course it's done well on them, but they aren't doing it themselves, and this flawless sculpted look is super high maintenance makeup. Sure, you can learn to DIY but bear in mind, it translates better on film than in real life so if you are starring on a (sur)reality show being followed around with LED lights and wind machines, then why not; sculpt and highlight away.

Of course a less cake-face way of doing it that beautifully translates to reality is to use a bronzer, blush and highlighter which is subtle but with enough shaping for selfies and buying groceries.

Concealers. Every company makes one and with my career spanning 23 years and still counting, I finally find a concealer that I like love.


Benefit Fakeup Concealer $24.00 by Benefit at Bloomingdale's

This hydrating crease-control concealer with Vitamin E and apple seed extract-hides dark circles and diffuses fine lines for a silky smooth, ultra-natural look. Yes, yes and YES! I love the coverage. It lasts as long as I need it too. You can reapply in the day without it creasing or caking. The downfall, it's available in only three shades which aren't fully universal.

Benefit Oh La Lift Eye Brightener $22.00 USD at Macy's

An instant under-eye brightening boost. One of the most sensitive areas to stress: your eyes. Relief is in sight with Ooh La Lift-a formula of lightening botanicals and reflecting pigments that de-puff and firm the eye area. The great news is that it can be worn throughout the day and over makeup.

So, yea, what they said. I also like it around the laugh-line area to brighten and diffuse the deepening signs of aging. Laugh-line and funny bones; not so humourous.


Saint Laurent Touche Eclat $40.00 USD at Barneys New York

Light, luminosity, radiance. The award winning, must-have, take anywhere instant highlighter that banishes shadows, erases signs of fatigue and leaves your skin looking radiant. Touche Eclat is ideal at any time of the day over bare skin, under or over foundation, creme or powder. Suitable for all skin types.

See! Not once did they use the word concealer in their description. This not a concealer wand is handy though. Everything it is you can pretty much get the same with the aforementioned - so just pick one. I have both but then again - it's my j-o-b.


Master corrector $37.00 USD at Giorgio Armani

Corrective concealer in four color-balancing shades designed to target specific complexion concerns. Exclusive micro-fil technology allows for targeted correction, visibly concealing imperfections while light-reflecting pearls impart a halo of light imparting a seamless, flawless facial canvas. Corrective concealer shades include:

  • 1. pink: counteracts sallow, dull skin and effectively corrects yellow and olive pigmentation.
  • 2. orange: targets olive or darker skin tones to conceal under-eye circles, freckles, dark spots and hyper-pigmentation.

Here's the thing with the Master Corrector - if you have dark panda eyes - get this. Apply it under your foundation. Mircle in a tube. Don't thank me, just send flowers.


Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage $32.00 USD at Neiman Marcus

Secret Camouflage contains a unique two-shade system, one to match the skin's depth of color and one to match the skin's undertone, making it possible for every woman to custom-blend her own perfect shade. The high level of pigment requires very little product to achieve perfect coverage.

  • After applying foundation, pick up the product with the Secret Camouflage Brush by dragging across both pans, saturating both sides of the brush.
  • Using the back of your hand as a palette, use the brush to warm and mix the two colors until you find the shade that matches your skin tone. Secret Camouflage is a true makeup artist's formula, so the more you work with the product the more easily you will be able to achieve perfect results.
  • Using feather-light strokes, apply Secret Camouflage to the darkened areas of the face: blemishes, shadows, scars, capillaries, the area around the nose, shadows under the bottom lip, and any imperfections that the foundation does not cover.

*Notice that final sentence: "any imperfections that the foundation does not cover" What I said above. Now, LM does mention using this under the eyes. I personally find this product way too drying and anyone that applies it I can see the creasing. In my opinion, it's better used for covering acne scars and mountainous oily zits because of it's dry texture.


LAURA MERCIER Secret Brightening Powder

$24.00 by Laura Mercier USD at SpaceNK

I have never been a powder fan. OK, maybe when I was in high school; but this 80s New Waver used so much CoverGirl compact powder that my face cracked and bled one night. True story. Horrified with what powder did to my skin, I've stopped using it and highly encourage others to take a pass as well.

But.... This (insert arrow pointing up). Shared with me via Dee Daly (who was once one of my assistants many moons ago, and now that girl's portfolio rocks like the rockstar that she is)

Dark shadows are a thing of the past when you use this weightless powder. The micronized pigments brightens and doesn’t settle into fine lines or pores. Do NOT apply it all over your face but I do like it on the highlight points as well. They say that it's formulated for all skin types but it will lighten on darker skin a little too much so be careful. Also - skin types doesn't say skin tone to me. Type would be oily, dry, sensitive. Tone is the darkness/lightness and cool/warm. Watch for your product's beauty wording so you don't get suckered in.


Transparent Finish Powder - Clear $28.00 by Alison Raffaele at DERMSTORE

A lightweight finishing powder for setting makeup and controlling shine. Alison Raffaele Transparent Finish Powder - Clear

See that word 'Clear' ? Yes. It is. Faz and I prove it here on xovain It's finishing which means the final step before you move on to colour. However, if you use a cream blush I would apply that under your foundation or just before your setting powder. I'll get to that and more in the next beauty roundup.

Beauty Lust Haves, 2013 roundup or click directly to the roundups on:

Skincare 

Primers and Foundations 

#AZMondayMakeover || Dina

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By Andrea Claire · December 23, 2013 · 0 Comments ·

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

Dina is our latest #azMondayMakeover subject. The eldest twin (her sister Diana is Zurina's assistant), Dina works in the shipping trade.

Shop Dina's makeup look


MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm Compact SPF 30 in Medium Plus $30.00 USD at Dillard's


Alison Raffaele True Concealer, Skintone 4 - $25.00 USD at Beauty.com


Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer $30.00 USD at Macy's My fave for sculpting and shading.


Blush NARS The Multiple in Puerto Vallarta $39.00 USD at Lord & Taylor


MAC Palace Pedigreed
(pictured) is what I used but it is unavailble so try Plum Dressing instead!

Star Lash Brow pencils have a great angled tip for a seamless application, even if you are brow-application challenged.


Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies Mascara - Black Drama $6.99 USD at Ulta is the mascara to have. Cheap and cheerful!

I used Black Up Cosmetics 2n1 Jumbo pencil in #4. Off to Paris? Visit the Black Up counter at Sephora or their free-standing store.

*Hint* Their store gets you more 1-on-1 attention.

photography by


hair, makeup, directing, editing, concept and sarcasm by

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.

xo
Andrea Claire

ps - I am home with the flu so I reserve the right to make corrections here later.

#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

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