“We all have our specialties, our platforms, the details that define us, set us apart and drive what we do. I love beauty. I love how the simplest thing can energize a woman, make her feel pretty and just a little bit stronger. I’m passionate about empowering women, demystifying the beauty industry and helping people redefine the way they see themselves. Whether it’s a bride on her wedding day who wants to look like the best version of herself, a mother of the bride who needs a little extra confidence, a new mom who’s beyond exhausted and thinks she’ll never feel pretty again or a model prepping to go on camera, we are all just women and we all essentially want the same thing : to feel pretty. Hair + makeup isn’t everything, it doesn’t define us or outweigh inner beauty, but it does have a powerful, simple ability to make us shine. And I love to make you shine.”
- Claire Balest Celebrity Hair & Makeup Artist
Sun50: Why are you passionate about empowering women?
“Women are incredible creatures who wear so many hats and balance so many things in life, and it has always frustrated me how critical and unforgiving they are of themselves. I hate that so much of what’s coming from the beauty industry is so overwhelming that it’s just become this additional burden, one more thing they feel they aren’t doing right. When I became a mom, I realized how unbelievably strong and unique women are and how tragic it is that most can’t see it. I try to be a voice speaking against the criticism, encouraging women to identify the things they love about themselves. Women need to celebrate the amazing, powerful beings that they are - and I love being able to help them get there.”
Sun50: What do you mean by “demystifying the beauty industry”?
The beauty industry is an overwhelming place, overflowing with products and inundating women with messages. I think the whole thing leaves the whole of them feeling confused and discouraged. I have clients come to me all the time telling me how bad they are at makeup. The fact that contouring has become something every woman thinks she is supposed to be doing on a daily basis is just insane to me. Beauty is so simple, it’s the industry that’s complex. There’s nothing wrong with having lots of options, but most women are just looking for the basics. I love breaking things down into manageable pieces for women to feel like they have it in their power to use a few key products or techniques and feel great about themselves. There’s just so much out there, I like helping them navigate that confusing terrain and walk away feeling a bit more knowledgable and empowered.
Sun50: What are your secret beauty weapons - your bag of 3-5 must haves?
Joanna Vargas’ face masks are amazing for giving me glowing, hydrated skin. You can’t have gorgeous makeup if the skin isn’t properly prepped and hydrated. And always, sunscreen. Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40 is my current favorite because of the gorgeous glow it gives my skin. I mix it with just a touch of foundation and it gives the prettiest light, glowing coverage. Glossier Cloud Paint in Puff is such a pretty pink, just the perfect shade of blush. Bobbi Brown Lip Balm has been my go-to for lips for years - it’s absolutely the best balm and enhances your natural lip color. And I can’t live without a great under eye concealer, concealers are my superpower. I start with Chanel Le Correcteur in Rose to cancel the darkness under my eyes and then use the Chanel concealer on top of it. Using a corrector and concealer works infinitely better than just a concealer to brighten the under eye.
Why is sun protection so important for our skin?
Sun protection is the ultimate beauty product, it’s the best prevention against sun damage, aging, and skin cancer for your skin. I love that sunscreen is marketed for everyone now. When I was growing up sun protection was just about whether or not you got burned when you were out too long. Now there’s so much dialogue about using sunscreens for anti- aging, to protect against blue lights, wearing rash guards. Now there are incredible companies who create hats and clothing with UPF, it’s amazing. This is truly beauty simplified - and who doesn’t look chic in a great sun hat?