Best Beauty Buys from around the World
Guest Post by Andrea Claire

Please welcome my second guest post this week, from make up artist Andrea Claire.  As most of you know, my actual job for the past 15 years or so has been as a television host.  One of the many shows I hosted was a makeover show where we travelled around the province giving women in small towns makeovers.  Well.  I didn’t actually do any of the making over.  I did the talking.  We had a clothing stylist and a hair/makeup person.  Andrea … was that hair/makeup person.

Please take everything she says with a grain of salt. She’s incredibly jealous of me and once tried to push me down a set of stairs.   She *does* know her stuff though. She’s good.  Really good.  If you need beauty, makeup, hair advice she’s your gal.  Lucky you, she has a website.

And a guest post!








Karen and I met in auditions for Stylin’ Gypsies, I had a talent, she didn’t, but nonetheless, we both got the show. Go figure.

I was surprised that we actually still kept in touch, when we weren’t shooting Karen had her Walkman headphones on (yes, Walkman, she’s old and nostalgic which now keeps her in touch with the hipsters which in turn keeps her young.)

A C T U A L L Y….

Let’s be honest here…

Karen is amazing and puts up with my attempt at humour. [or did she edit out the above…]

I learned a lot from stalking working with Karen. The way she makes people feel at ease as she covers their faces with sliced cheese is a gift. Ok; so that happened once. I learned from Karen the proper behaviour to expect when being mic’ed by your sound guy. [You mean he isn’t supposed to pull your shirt out three feet and stare at your cleavage??]

Maybe you are like Stylin’ what?!?!? Stylin’ Gypsies was my second on-camera TV show experience, the first was a guest appearance on Romper Room when I was 4… True story.

Time to get serious about beauty…

I grew up in Canada. As a hair & makeup artist I got to appear on various makeover shows, talk shows, Canadian Idol, bla bla bla ecetera… I then remarried and moved to Singapore.

Bites nails!!

After an established career in Canada, I met the man of my dreams and dragged my preteens overseas.

As a workaholic I went from shooting in Canada 5-7 days a week to hearing a pin drop with my career in Asia. [This is a cross many trailing spouses must bear.] I landed into a new market: Asia. Singapore is known as Asia-light since it’s very Westernized and everyone speaks English.

Within the first few weeks I discovered that I was preggers with Zoie Jean, #stuffZoiesays on my Twitter. [ Who btw, is now 4.]

Agencies for hair & makeup were nonexistent at the time, so with a bun in the oven, new culture, I went about my usual ways as a freelancer spamming cold calling clients. My first shoot was ground-breaking in Singapore; a nude calender for the Gallery Hotel. Nudes are illegal here. It went through the censorship board who granted permission for printing after many conversations over a nipple [which btw: was in silhouette so not even a nipple but the shape of one.]

Since my first job here 5 years ago, I have gone on to shoot for Singapore editions of Bazaar, ELLE, Seventeen, Designare, L’Official – to name a few.

I’ve shot in Thailand and had to turn down shoots in Mauritius, Paris and the Philippines. sigh.

I have so many interesting stories but I am sure that Karen wasn’t thinking of my guest blog post as a pitch for a feature film on my life story.

I have had the pleasure and luck to do a lot of travelling so I thought I would share with you my faves of:

Beauty from around the world!

Austin, Texas Y’all! Rae Cosmetics You can survive a desert, well at least look fabulous while wandering in one. I lived in Austin for a year where I discovered Rochelle’s amazing brand. SPF-laden, sweat and heat-proof PLUS she will deliver internationally. Her ambassadors are female athletes.

Singapore: Skinfood A Korean brand that I discovered partaking in the Singapore Olympic sport of shopping; to say that there are many malls here in Singapore is an understatement. Korea is known for their beauty innovation. This brand is based on natural food therapies. My faves are their skin sprays/toners that you can apply over makeup throughout the day targeting skin issues at the same time.


Paris: Can you believe my first time in Paris was this year?! I know 22 years in fashion and I finally get there. I got to shoot for ELLE Singapore on location, my friends Sarah Slean and Royal Wood were performing there so I attended their performances; and of course shop!



Although Tom Ford Beauty is not exclusive to Paris the Printemps Beauty Maison is where I discovered it. The eye quads are gorgeous textures and he has gotten me to love lipstick again. Going to Paris? You have to see the Printemps Beauty Maison. Another Paris mention is Paris-based brand black|UP Cosmetics available at Sephora. black|Up, like Iman, was developed with the women of colour in mind which means the pigments are more saturated.


China: China is known for their markets, mass amounts of knock offs and… real hair extensions. I bought some fantastic hair pieces that would have been at least five times more expensive anywhere else. Travelling to China? Learn to say Tài guìle! Which translates to: Too expensive! This will start your bargaining experience.

Canada: Of course I need to bring it back home to my home country. FACE atelier. Absolutely the BEST foundation that I have ever used. This foundation was given to me to try coincidentally when I was shooting Stylin’ Gypsies which quickly found it’s way into my kit. Along with the foundations, I would recommend that you try the Peach Glaze blush and Cameo lip glaze – frankly the whole line is totes amaze!

Not Globetrotting anytime soon? Here are my Universal beauty picks:

Foundation: L’Oreal True Match

Blush: NARS Orgasm

Eyeshadow: Benefit Creaseless Cream shadows, they make great eyeshadow primers too. Birthday Suit is a colour must for all!

Eyeliner: Bobbi Brown Gel Liner or MAC Cosmetics Powerpoint liners

Mascara: L’Oreal Voluminous

Lipsticks: Bobbi Brown or MAC Cosmetics

Lipgloss: Lancome Juicy Tubes


A new online beauty segment called Glam Up! on YAHOO!

Twitter: Globalbeauteh

FACEBOOK: Andrea Claire h&m/ beauty host

Singapore Agent: UglyD

Canadian Agent: Judy Inc

and finally my blog for rants, raves, beauty reviews and random thoughts: AndreaClaire.OnSugar


Note from Karen!  Of the products Andrea mentioned I use the L’Oreal Voluminous mascara and the Face Atelier foundation and Peach Glaze blush.  I can’t recommend any of them enough!  And yes, Andrea is the one who introduced me to these things years ago.  As luck would have it, one of my sponsors, Ellënoire carries Face Atelier.  You can find the Face Atelier foundation here, and the  Peach Glaze blush here.  (It isn’t always easy to find.)


  1. nancy says:

    Karen, you are so good to us! I mean, I love Laura Ingalls Wilder too. The bookmobile always had all the Little House books. When I was 12 years old. But, that was a long time ago. No, I do not want to make yogurt or fold bottom sheets. Yes, I do want to fish a lampshade out of a pond and make it all fresh, but also, I want to love lipstick again. Thank you Karen, I hope you are having fun on holiday. Thank you, Andrea.

  2. Gayla T says:

    Well, this was interesting. I thought what’s her name went to the N.Pole but now it seems she is selling make up door to door in China of all places. I sure hope someone is taking care of the chickens. I have a feeling she’s gonna be gone a loooong time. I didn’t recognize any of those names so I guess she isn’t selling Avon. I bet they have fake Avon in China, don’t you? If they can knock off a $500 purse they can make fake Skin So Soft. Did she mention Skin So Soft? It removes paint and keeps bug away. I wonder if those fancy smancy cosmetics do that? I’ll just wait till what’s her name comes back and buy it from her. I don’t miss her a bit, do you? How long did she say she was going to be gone?

  3. Deborah says:

    This is truly a great idea, having a makeup artist let us all in on the best stuff to use. I hate shopping for makeup with all the makeup companies screaming theirs is the best in ads (print and tv) and my biggest peeve is trying something that is lauded as the next best thing since sliced bread and it ends up being crap….not to mention the darn stuff is ‘muy caro!!’ (Spanish for very expensive!!…just in case you get to Mexico and want to barter with the street vendors there) 😛 Thanks for being a guest hostess! Your Singapore (and other wordly) experiences are fascinating!

  4. Andrea Claire says:

    That stair thing was clearly an accident. 😉


    Thank you!

    I hope your readers enjoy. 😀

  5. Kasia says:

    Ummm… what IS that hanging in that picture of the bridge??
    It looks like a blurry human. Is it a blurry human?? I just have to know!

    Love the post on make-up – a bit different, but useful!

  6. Andrea Claire says:

    Glad you all like my beauty ramblings etc.. ;). And no, I did not see any knock off Avon in my travels but lots of knock off MAC in Bangkok.


    That’s my blurry Instagramtastic butt on the bridge in Paris that we shot at. You can watch the behind the scenes video in your spare time if you click on ELLE Singapore.


    I love Mexican food and hope to put that phrase to good use some day!

  7. Lisa says:

    It’s so tough to buy foundation online. *sigh* And not many of these websites have return policies posted.

    grumble. I hate the makeup counter, and stores like Sephora REEEEEK of perfume and I can’t stay in there too long.

  8. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Thank you for the info Andrea Claire!!

  9. Elen Grey says:

    Karen – Thank you for inviting Andrea Claire to guest post while you are away. Yes, we are still reading your blog. Blog it, and they will come. (Sorry, Kinsella!)

    Andrea – Thanks for the stories and the tips and making me laugh. I am always overwhelmed buying beauty products and need all the help I can get. 🙂

  10. Andrea Claire says:

    Karen is always so great with you, her readers, following up on your comments so I want to make sure I live up to such high standards!

    Lisa – some beauty sites do have a return policy you just have to look around… Luxola in Singapore [yes, I know – a little far for some] will send out samples of foundation before you commit to a full size so you get your colour match. I believe FACE atelier will send your samples at $1.00 each… just an option should you want it.

    I’m not brand specific and I will tell you honestly whether by email or via my blog what I like, use and swear by.

    Again – thank you all for reading and I’m happy you are enjoying the guest posts.


  11. Nicola Cunha says:

    It would be great to have Karen and Andrea MC something! You two should look into hosting the Geminies together! Great post Andrea!

  12. Andrea Claire says:

    Thanks Nicola!

    Sure! I’m in for the Geminis. Do you know people? 😉

    BTW: Karen was nominated as Best Host for S.G many moons ago.


  13. Marti says:

    Geez, Karen, about time you offer something RELEVANT to my life.

  14. Andrea Claire says:




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