Today I’d like to introduce you to Andrea Claire, a hair and makeup artist I first met many magazine jobs ago—and whose down-to-earth manner belies her impressive CV and INSANE talent.
I can’t remember much about the story I was working on when I contacted Andrea, but I do remember that she very generously invited me over to her home in Toronto for a marathon makeup sesh! I brought my haul of products, which she went through one by one, telling me which to keep and which didn’t suit me. At the end, she did my makeup—and to this day, it remains one of my favourite looks EVER (I took pictures). All the while, she dispensed an unreal amount of advice—in fact, Andrea was the first one to teach me about lining your lower lashes with coloured liner, a look I’ve loved ever since.
Andrea has since left us for the tropics—she’s now based in Austin, Texas, and moves to Singapore next month! (Check out her pool video from yesterday and you will be très jealouse.) But you can get a near-daily dose of her wisdom at her beauty blog, Beauty & The Blog, or follow her on Twitter. I got to pick her brain about her all-time fave products and tips, so read on:
Beauty Insider Credentials Well. I am a licensed hair stylist and makeup artist with print, runway and on-air makeover experience in Toronto, Singapore, New York and parts in between. My television and on-air makeover credits include Canada’s Stylin’ Gypsies, So Chic, Canadian Idol, and various TV guest appearances. My work has been seen in campaigns for L’Oréal Paris, Revlon, Lancôme, Unilever and P&G, and I’ve led teams for fashion weeks in New York and Toronto. My celebrity clients have included: Lady Antebellum, Great Big Sea, Kelly Rowan, Miranda Richardson, Sarah Slean, Alanis Morissette, Bill Nighy, The Veronicas, Natalie Imbruglia, Dayle Haddon, Hot Hot Heat and others.
Beauty Icons I think the best icons of beauty come from the Old Hollywood screen starlets. Woman then had such a glamorous, sophisticated beauty ease about them but seemed empowered (maybe it was some of their femme fatale characters), all in one package. Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Veronica Lake. (Although politically and for equality, we have come a long way, baby!) Watch Adam’s Rib or Roman Holiday—I’ll refrain from listing them all! I have about 30 old movies—love them!
Top Five Beauty Products L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Volume Building Mascara—it NEVER bleeds and you see LASHES. (With mascara, wear it—don’t let it wear you—and don’t be too subtle about it.) Jemma Kidd Make Up School Dewy Glow All Over Radiance Creme. I have used this for years now! It’s the best highlighter for on top of blush, on your brow bone—where ever you want a great glow. FACE atelier Ultra Foundation. This silicone-based foundation gives great coverage but it looks like skin—weightless and breathable. I wear it and this tends to be my number one go-to in my kit for shoots too. Cargo’s EyeLighter. If you haven’t tried this then go get one! (How’s that for an articulate makeup tip! LOL.) It is a brightener—if you see the little dazzle in the tearducts that celebs have on the red carpet, this will get you that! A perfect compliment to any eye makeup or on its own to brighten up tired eyes. I actually gave my new one to a celeb I worked on recently so I need to get another. NARS Blush in Orgasm—cuz if you ain’t gettin’ it you might as well apply it! Okay, bad joke. This is a gorgeous blush though for most skin tones and certainly brightens up any face. M.A.C Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Grey Utility. More subtle than using black and I am not a fan of brown eyeliner—don’t even own one, not in my makeup kit nor for personal use. Grey is a great day shade. Or, if you want to attempt a smoky eye but are fearful, try it on with grey to ease into the drama of black. Okay, that was six! Sorry! My faves all combined make great day makeup for everyone though.
Beauty Bargain Scrimp on mascara for sure! For trendy looks that you won’t use for a long period of time, I would scrimp, but for your basic everyday go-to beauty bag, invest in it.
First Fragrance Christian Dior Poison. I practically bathed in it.
Current Fragrance I do not wear fragrance now. One year for my 32nd birthday all my friends bought me perfume—I think I got eight bottles that day. I wondered if I should shower more often than once a day… I thought it was a hint! LOL.
Biggest Beauty Fail I was a teen in the ’80s so I did all the beauty fails! The big hair, asymmetrical Sassoon cuts, perms, highlights, Flirt gel haircolour, rat-tail (ok, THAT was a fail!). The only thing I regret was that rat-tail!
Beauty Pet Peeve Eyebrows. A constant repeat of bad. There are enough articles written on how-tos, I think. Ladies, come on! Drives me crazy. Hard not to bother a perfect stranger and say ‘here’s my card, please, it’s on me, let me fix them.’ It should almost be a sponsored public service announcement.
Best Beauty Tips Take vitamins and drinks lots of water. Cliché I know but it makes a WORLD of difference. And don’t stop moisturizer at your face. Cream your entire body. Be happy—happiness does radiate to your outward glow. It truly is what’s inside that counts…. well, plus good eyebrows!
Beauty Career Advice Follow your dream. If you have a passion for beauty and being a hair and makeup artist, then just do it! I’d do it again. Follow your heart and your dreams, stay focused and positive and everything will be okay. Be prepared for good and bad—it can be stressful, it can be feast or famine, it can be catty. (Although the catty part seems to be diminishing—no one tolerates that anymore.) I’ve been sooo lucky with my career. Yes, I know I have talent but I mean lucky that I got to work with great people. M.A.C Fashion Cares, L’Oréal Fashion Week (lead hair for three seasons), Canadian Idol (lead hairstylist for two seasons) Stylin’ Gypsies, So Chic etc etc. Just follow your dreams—it happens and I thank my lucky stars for my persistence that I learned from my mother.
Stay tuned for next week’s profile of ex-fashion editor-turned-publicist and Gifted blogger, the gorgeous Alison Lawler-Dean!