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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.

I never promised you an herb garden

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By Andrea Claire · October 28, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Having children sometimes gets you to do things that are not really your thang - like gardening. You've heard of green thumbs I'm sure - I have two brown thumbs. I killed a cactus once.

[the unintentional hipster gardening shirt]

Well - Zoie started talking about having her very own garden. I knew as much to hit a nursery - my mother dragged me around White Rose in Canada enough times that I knew nurseries were not just full of babies.

Here we planted basil, thyme and I think coriander... or is it parsley...? I know they are herbs...

I follow my friend Karen at The Art of Doing Stuff who has lots of info on stuff and doing it... well, not it... moving on... between broken childhood memories of being dragged around gardening shops and Karen who will talk to me like I'm five with simple instructions via 140 characters or less, I can grasp the whole planting in clay pots concept - Zoie and I set off on an afternoon of herb planting. [ok - so it was a fun project that lasted an hour and a half.]

Karen's tips:

  • Full sun if you can find it. [Singapore... tropics] Pots will dry out quickly though depending on how big they are. Herbs love dry heat. [It's humid K - is that ok??]
  • They also love pots if you keep em watered!
  • Just make sure they get lots of light.

[A fair exchange as I give her hair & makeup tips in 140 characters or less too.]

A little shower whilst potting herbs. Why not?

We got these what were labelled as 'Mosquito plants'. I asked the guy if they were citronella and clearly the light bulb came on as he looked very excited that I knew what citronella was... I bought five Mosquito plants and am planning on buying more - a little late for me since I've been suffering the degeneration after affects from Chikungunya since 2008... I'll save that glamorous story for another post when I am feeling less sorry for myself - more facts less whining then. (just don't believe everything you read - it does not clear up within 6 months - actually I think all the reports say within 15 days...liars...four years later... see - I'm whining...)

As a Canadian expat in Singapore, the events they have to help you settle in are fine and purpose serving. I for one, even though I work, would LOVE to see one of these coffee mornings chit chat about how to grow your own herb garden... or any garden for that matter... or combine it with a restaurant lunch since us ladies have been known to take in a meal or two... Enough with the coffee talk on how to hire your maid domestic helper.

We got our plants at CORONA Florist & Nursery. They are bringing in U.S Christmas trees mid-November for those who are interested.

H&M for UNICEF || All For Children

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By Andrea Claire · October 24, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Image source: ME using my HTC One S!

This is Zoie Jean, my 4 1/2 year old wearing H&M's Pink Flamingo outfit. Totes adorbs.

"All for Children is a unique collaboration between H&M and UNICEF. Together we work to protect the rights of some of the poorest children in the world. Today, we reach out to more than 2 million children and the adults around them in two projects in India and Bangladesh. 25% of the sales price of our annual All For Children collection and additional donations from H&M fund these projects with around USD 12.5 million." HM.com

"The five year project targets 1.2 million children with special focus given to the about 300,000 most vulnerable children aiming to prevent the causes of child labour, provide education and improve access to health care and good nutrition." HM.com


Aside from the cutest dress up clothes (that I already have plans to do a family portrait with), the H&M All For Children Collection includes toys and this playhouse - kinda reminds me of Simon and the land of chalk drawing... I'm not sure who would want the playhouse more - me or Zoie Jean....me

See more of the collection here.

Images: All H&M except for the images of Zoie Jean.

Nicole by OPI Kardashian Kolor Pretty Petites

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

I am not ashamed to admit that I love the Kardashians. Judge away if you must. [Actually don't. Judgey people annoy me]

I love their [sur]reality TV show; probably real to them but surreal to most watching. I know I am not flying my family to a private island in Hawaii anytime soon but they, like any family have trials, tribulations and tie-ins... ok, maybe not the tie-ins for us.

The latest:

Kardashian Kolor Pretty Petites, two mini packs each offering four bestselling Kardashian Kolor nail lacquers.

Celeb-bities is a collection of feminine pink and red hues. If not for the tie-in buy them for the OPI reputation, the polishes are always amazing. I love the mini bottles for me as when I am on set for a photo shoot it's easier to tote around mini bottles vs the full size. The petites are also great for four year old manicurists like Zoie Jean.

“Pretty Petites offer the best of the Kardashian Kolor lacquers in a mini size that’s perfect for gifting or using on-the-go,” explains Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, Nicole by OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director. “Whether you like to change your nail lacquer often or want to experiment with an ombré look, these two mini packs offer variety of color at a great price.”

Sophisti-cuties is a mix of  green, brown and gray glitters and crèmes

“The four shades in the Celeb-bities pack lend bright pops of color and glitter to any look,” adds Weiss-Fischmann. “Meanwhile, the four Sophisti-cuties lacquers give nails a classic but edgy feel, thanks to hot neutral hues like taupe, gray and chocolate brown.”

Nicole by OPI Nail Lacquers and Nail Treatments contain no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde. Nicole by OPI formulas are long-lasting, fast-drying, and salon-quality. Pretty Petites will be available July 2012.

For more information, visit nicolebyopi.com.

Follow Nicole by OPI on Twitter

Become a Facebook fan 

AND...

OMG - they have an iPhone app (like I needed more excuses to waste time in the day)!! Alas, no iPhone

Mobile review || HTC ONE X

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By Andrea Claire · July 2, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Many who have been on set with me have seen me with my current beloved mobile phone. The problem however, with all mobile phones is that they are not made to withstand being dropped on a studio cement floor five times in a row. Yes. I did that. No. I wasn't drunk. It was comical and probably proving to be an expensive drop.

Sadly my fab large screened mobile is no longer available on the market so I have been asking everyone I know about their phones. What do they love about them and what do they hate about them.

I do not want a Blackberry. I know, how un-Canadian of me. I need and love the bigger screens. Size matters.

Image source

HTC ONE X was introduced to me by celebrity photographer Zurina Bryant and the lovely people at HTC gave me one to try for three weeks! [career perk alert]

I love the big screen. There's a lot of punch packed into this light-weight mobile.

Let's talk about the camera.

"With this camera you never miss a shot. Capture every moment with a camera that starts-up in less than a second, and has rapid-fire continuous shooting. You’ll never again have to choose between capturing a video or a picture—with Video Pic you can get both at the same time. And you’ll get the best images even under the worst conditions: low light, no light and back light… None are a problem." HTC.com

My photo thesis essay:

If you are a foodie hipster (aren't we all these days) then you can snap happy! These photos I took are of the yummy lemon cupcakes and other goodies from Da Paolo

 

Are you a beauty blogger? [ps. I'm not and god help you if you call me that. I'm a hair & makeup artist with a blog. Please don't dismiss my 22 year career by sending me blogger invites. I did say please. For example, I don't think Lady Antebellum would have had a beauty blogger do their hair & makeup] These fabulous lashes were applied on me by a Shu Uemura artist at a BellaBox blogger event. LOL. Yes I see the humour... where was I? Riiiight. Takes great photos for those beauty bloggers.

*I believe it was the lovely ladies at ERIIN who asked if I prefer the word Influencer. Yes I do. There are beauty bloggers who are amazing [Beauty Fool] and there are beauty pros like me who just don't shut up with the beauty share who also happen to blog [Diana Carreiro]... but nothing hits my every nerve more than being called a beauty blogger.  Having a beauty event? Extend your invites to media, bloggers AND hair & make artists / influencers... and do your homework on your invite list. Sorry. I don't mean to sound like a full on beyatch...mini-rant over...

HTC ONE X can make you feel like the artistic parent with some soft focus and blur; actually due to the fact that we were sitting halfway up in the auditorium at Sage's high school grad! Whew! One down, two more to go!!!

Capture your aspiring Prima Ballerina.

When boredom strikes when you are out with a four year old, the camera has an in camera edit so you can warp your face for giggles. Pretty sure I would look like this if I had a face-lift...

Be an expert portrait photographer.

For my fellow Fashionistas: take behind the seams photos. This photo was taken on set at the Japanese Gardens in Singapore for Style Weddings. [I think August 2012 issue?? I'll put it on my Facebook when it drops]

Side notes:

The 4.7-inch Gorilla Glass screen is both durable and scratch-resistant.

Gorilla Glass, manufactured by Corning, is an alkali-aluminosilicate sheet glass engineered specifically to be thin, light and damage-resistant. Source: WIKI

*I think this means I can play hockey with my HTC ONE X... no? yes? [I kid. I don't play hockey]

The HTC ONE X syncs with your google calendar, Facebook, Twitter and is Instagram-tastic friendly!

I shot some video which I will share on my next HTC novella... I mean blog post. ;)


Do you own an HTC ONE X and have some tips for me? Leave them in my comments. I have this one for another week... then I may just buy one.

Zoie Jean & The Bunny Easter

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By Andrea Claire · April 6, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

This post was originally up April 6th 2010!!! I thought I'd repost for a little vintage ZJ. Time flies. Zoie is still as cute as ever. I can't wait to eat her chocolate on Sunday. *wink*

Hoppy Easter everyone! xo

Now on with the original post:

It is my job as the mother to say I have the cutest baby EVER - but, I do.

Zoie Jean, 22 months calls the Easter Bunny... Bunny Easter.

Notice the hyper child near the end... yes, well - anyone who says chocolate does not affect children would be lying.

Effect vs Affect?? If you are an English scholar please comment. I chose affect, but maybe I am incorrect? It has happened once or twice; me being wrong.

I Only Give Birth to Supermodels aka Zoie Jean in Harper's Bazaar

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By Andrea Claire · October 16, 2011 · 0 Comments ·


Ok. So it's the Junior version, but all Supermodels need to start somewhere right? This is not Zoie Jean's foray into stardom. She has been in many publications already including Bazaar Hong Kong.

Yup. To the left is Zoie Jean's 8 month old bum. Adorbs. [I did the hair on the Bazaar HK shoot] All I have are lo-res scans. *sigh* I could never track down the tears. I also told them that I was not responsible if she peed on the Bottega... or the model.

Aside from being on the editor's page, Zoie was also featured on her own page. Speaking of children with their own pages... yes, I am THAT kind of mother. [Proud mixed with a little wit and sarcasm]

You can watch the behind the scenes to see that Zoie was fully enjoying her day with zero Stage Mom pressure. [Mommy Bragger Alert: That song she is singing... it's Chinese]

The shoot took place at Seb's Bistro on Rochester Park, Singapore. [No, Zoie was not flown in for the day; we live in Singapore]

 *Zoie's hair & makeup was done by Joanna Koh, assisted by Mag Yang. No, Zoie is not that difficult that she needs a glam squad in attendance. The lovely ladies had about 10 superstars to coiff.

Zoie Jean, 3 Year Old Manicure Prodigy

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By Andrea Claire · September 14, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

All my children have the gift of beauty. It's a curse. Blaire can do a mean herringbone braid, Sage can contour and blend...

 

Zoie has mastered the art of painting on nails, just watch:

 

Kidding aside, you can find MANY tres cool DIY manicures on YouTube. YouTubers and bloggers have taken pros out of the high intricacy game. You can watch and learn how to bedazzle your own nails. The feather manicure, marble manicure, the newsprint mani, etc… can all be found under the tutelage of a beauty blogger... well, maybe not Zoie's. This manicure is hard to master.

 

 

Pamplona Purple by OPI was the colour Zoie Jean chose. Purple is her thing right now.

For more info on current nail trends check out my article on Yahoo! Singapore.

Miss Singapore Made Me Cupcakes

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By Andrea Claire · September 10, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

Today was a very big day for Ms Zoie Jean and I.

First, noticing that Zoie was in need of shoes; [poor growing child, her fancy KORS no longer fit], we set off to Vivo.

Two pair of shoes and ZJ's first Barbie later we made our way to...

Francisca on Emerald Hill to pick up a little bag of goodies.

Colleen Francisca, [Miss Singapore 2006/model/designer/cupcake baker and all around super sweet lady, made Zoie and I some Red Velvet cake pops. Yea. We were honoured... but you can have these too! Colleen has started a cupcake business. Her equally stunning and sweet sister Scarlet, passed me the bag today and said that Colleen is in the process of revamping her cupcake company name so please check back here for an update or contact Francisca for more details.

I know. How unfair that a woman as gorgeous as Colleen, be both stunning AND talented??

Zoie Jean was impressed too!

Guess which one she has her eye on?

 

Her patience is waning...

... the pay off...

 

Delicious things comes to those who wait.

 

Taste testing successful! [BTW: We had volunteered our services]

The little red devil is about to come out... sugar + Zoie = CRAZY, but cute...

A huge thanks to Scarlet and Colleen, always a joy to see them. Watch for the stunning sisters on Luxola's site,. The online beauty boutique will be launching soon with some fun surprises!

**Can I just add, Scarlet and Colleen are two of the nicest women that I have ever met. EVERYTIME I see them, they are full of genuine warmth and smiles. I am so thrilled to have met them. [and yes, I am saying that in hopes to get more cake pops... which were delish... notice the word 'were'... yes, they are all gone already... 2 hours after getting them]

Youngest Paparazzi at Massimo Dutti FW 2011

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By Andrea Claire · August 21, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

Zoie Jean may have just found her calling. Hopefully it's not paparazzi. [Move over Tavi, there's a new rookie in town]

Zoie and I attended the Massimo Dutti Singapore FW '11 show where they were launching the children's collection too. As I was 'entourage Mommy' carrying all of her things I could not take any photos but you can see more event photos at thedramadiaries and SuperAdrianMe.

Above photo was taken by Faz / thedramadiaries where you can also click to see some of Zoie's photos from the event - she had the best eyeline for the mini models.

Zoie was having her picture taken a lot; as were all the children in attendance. Zoie was very pleased "They are taking pictures of me because they like my dress." [Dress by Carters purchased at Bonnie Togs, Canada]

This was my first time in the Massimo Dutti store, not sure why as I am a shopaholic, I think I was deterred by the location as it's beside Hermes that made me think it's not my desired price point. [Maybe I had visited the chain in Spain but that was in 2006 and memory fails me...]

Note: Being a redhead the FW collection has a perfect colour palette for us pagens! I bought two tops that were $60 SGD each.

"Massimo Dutti was founded in 1985 and acquired by Inditex in 1991. Today it has more than 525 stores in over 50 countries.
The brand originally focused on men’s fashions, yet 1992 saw the launch of its collections for women, ranging from über-urban to casual lines, enabling Massimo Dutti to consolidate its position as a rapidly expanding name on both the Spanish and international markets with a staff that currently exceeds 4,000. In 2003 Massimo Dutti launched its kids fashion range under the name Massimo Dutti Boys & Girls. This line is gradually being introduced into those stores that are large enough for this specific space in various countries."

**This was certainly a more successful event for Zoie vs the Tod's event we went to where Zoie got a little overwhelmed.

Georgie Ohlsson: jewelry designer extraordinaire

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By Andrea Claire · May 23, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

My darling little lepshin, Zoie Jean, had a ballet class... cancelled. It wasn't relayed to me in such a way that 'cancellation' stuck in my head. Apparently I was told BUT many other mothers showed up toddlers-in-pink in tow as well. But, a blessing in disguise as the fancypants area known as Loewen Gardens was having a fair that day.

So my afternoon wasn't a complete waste of time, we had a little snack at The Pantry, always yummy! Usually it's the post-ballet stop for cupcakes and the occasional quiche. This time some pumpkin gnoochi and to-die-for shortbread was in order. FYI: Cash or Nets only (aka pain-in-the-ass payment) I rarely have oodles of cash on me and for those not in Singapore, NETS is a bank card type payment, but not like in North America where your bank card works everywhere, that would be way to easy! NETS is offered by specific banks - of course neither of which I deal with. Where VISA is not accepted and it's only NETS or cash, you will find it quite amusing to watch Andrea Claire swear in frustration. [potty mouth]

ok... so you want to hear about this jewelry designer that I built up so much in my title?

I have seen many 'jewelry designers' at fairs here in Singapore. Sorry to say, but many look like bored expat housewives looking for a creative outlet. The jewelry links are not quite right, the prices tend to be too high, the collections are not thought out and they remind me a little of a theme for a Christoper Guest/Best In Show type movie. [Yup, I just said all that. Sorry. If you feel that you have a great collection please leave your link below.]

 

Maybe a new movie called 'Be Jeweled' could be on Mr Guest's next shooting schedule?

On with the extraordinaire: Georgie Ohlsson, jewelry designer.

Her collection is a true line of jewelry. Well thought out with highend bead work and quality controlled to the hilt. Not to mention, her branding reflects the quality. I thought the lovely woman behind the table was the distributor! [shame on me] I asked her where it was from. Ms Ohlsson's cheery reply: Me!

As a truly impressed shopaholic, I am thrilled to share with you that she has an open house sale this Friday May 27th from 9 am - 3:30pm!

51 Shelford Road, Watten Estate. Cash and Cheque only Call Georgie 9850-4371

PS: So to all of you who make and sell jewelry: Please don't hate me: It's totally cool if you make and sell jewelry just make sure your price point reflects your level of experience/expertise.

NOTE: The Pantry link above is correct but they are having an IT issue so check it out again later! :)

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