I recently caught up with Canadian International Celeb makeup artist Andrea Claire, who has lived in Singapore since 2007. Chances are, you’ve seen her work among the pages of Bazaar, ELLE and L’Officiel. Her top clients have included Lady Antebellum, Kelly Rowland, Miranda Richardson, Alanis Morissette, Bill Nightly, Natalie Imbruglia and Dayle Haddon.

Can you share a few of your favourite spots in Singapore?
One of my favourite ‘wow’ moments was turning the corner in Arab St to see the mosque at sunset. It was a stunning not to miss moment.
I love Chinatown, especially at night – I find it more colourful then other Chinatowns I’ve seen – I’m sure it’s because of the shop-houses that look like they’ve been painted with milk paints.
Restaurants here are aplenty. It’s like Toronto or New York on steroids: Asian, Italian, French, etc and a little Quebecois (I’ve found poutine)!
Din Tai Fung  is a MUST! The lineups can be long but the dim sum is worth it.
Da Valentino Italian owned by a small family. Mama will even come by your table.
Bistecca a great Tuscan style steakhouse.
El Shiekh located on Arab St – best humus ever! They have great ice mint tea too.
The French Stall – Sadly they no longer have duck breast with the orange sauce nor do they have the frites anymore but the food is still amazing. Owned by a French chef and parked in an old coffee house at the edge of Little India.

You definitely need to take in the view from Marina Bay Sands (the boat on top of the building as everyone refers to it). I’ve gotten a little
anti-climatic with it since I’ve been up there so many times, either for photo shoots or taking guests to visit. I’ve been lucky enough to hang with the band Metric after a concert (yeah, I’m that cool…lol).
-The Fullerton Hotel chocolate buffet is not to miss for those chocoholics.
Ann Siang Rd for late afternoon local boutique shopping. Make sure to stick around for cocktail hour!
-Local designers are great here too. Lion Earl has some great dresses, Sabrina Goh, Raoul and Ashley Isham have amazing red carpet wear.
Charles & Keith and Pazzion are a must for shoeaholics.
ION is a crazy big mall on Orchard Rd (or Mall Alley as I call it). It’s worth a visit.
-Oh, and you have to hit Mustafa Centre in Little India – it’s a landmark!

Have you picked up any Singaporean beauty secrets you can share?
-I have certainly added serums to my list. It’s now part of my daily beauty routine.
-It’s very common to tote an open umbrella to avoid sun exposure but I’ve yet to do that.
-Several beauty counters sell whitening creams. One woman grabbed my arm and told me she could help with my ‘ugly spots.’ (I’m a freckled redhead!)

Any amazing products in Singapore that the world should know about?
-Korean line SkinFood  is great! It’s feeds your skin on food grade ingredients.
-I discovered in Chinatown a store that has handmade combs and mirrors. They have double layered combs which are great for detangling, combing for circulation, etc… Goody has developed a comb with double layers too. Honestly, after living here and seeing product development (and releases) I’m wondering who are the brains in the beauty biz? I’m thinking Asia!
SKIN INC they have the best serums – get their Daily Dose. A bespoke serum for your specific skin needs.

What are your beauty survival travel tips?
Avoid powder. I am not a powder fan anyway but in the heat of tropical Asia, if you powder, your skin it will cake. Better to use blotting film. I love carrying around Dermalogica’s UltraCalming spray. It calms redness and cools you down and you can still mist over your makeup without disturbing it. I get my eyelashes tinted blue-black on a regular basis too which helps when travelling – you don’t have to worry about bleeding mascara then. Lip balm with SPF is always a must-have.

Being a hair and makeup artist can require lots of travel…where’s the best place that your job has taken you and why?
-Thailand. I’ve been twice for work. Once I was shooting with photographer Scott Woodward at a newly opened 6 star hotel. I was five months pregnant with my daughter Zoie and had to share my room with a young model. I was a little apprehensive about having a roommate but it turned out to be fine – those models who travel overseas grow up fast! The weather was hot and my job, as the hair & makeup artist had me standing outside all day. The entire crew were so sweet and kept trying to usher me inside to escape the hot weather.

What must have items do you always pack when travelling?
-In Asia – mozzie sprays (mosquito spray) are a must! I also bring a little medication kit for food poisoning. Trust me, even in the nicest hotels you can get struck with a grumbly belly!

Who is your style icon and why?
Katherine Hepburn. Because she was always elegant but also down to earth.

What’s on your current playlist.
Would I be publicly attacked if I said Miley Cyrus? I’m in love with Eblouie par la nuit by Zaz, French Cancan by Inna Modja, Hurt Me Tomorrow by K’NAAN… I like a lot of music, so I’m constantly changing what I listen to.

Window or Aisle?
-Now that depends where my seat is on the bus and who I’m travelling with. When I fly home (Canada) it’s always in business! Bubbles in hand. I am seated in my own little world. If I’m travelling on my own and in economy, then I always ask for the bulkhead at check in.

Chicken or Beef?
-Well it really all depends on the sauce!



Daniel MacKinnon