Victoria Facelift (Singapore) Review: Free Trial, Price, Products

Victoria Facelift products

I spotted an offer on Facebook regarding a free 90-minute facial trial at Victoria Facelift some time back. And as it was near my place (yet I had never heard of the company despite its 7 outlets around Singapore), I decided to sign up for a facial treatment on the same day.

This is a screenshot of the ad on Facebook that I’d clicked on:

Victoria Facelift free trial

Interestingly, if you book the trial online, it’s FREE. But if you go to the outlet, you’ll see the poster outside which says the 90-minute trial costs $48 (U.P. $388) for the first 50 walk-in customers daily. Wouldn’t folks feel silly if they had paid the $48 then realized you can get it free online?

When I arrived about 10 minutes before the appointment, I was told to get a seat while they took my IC – perhaps to check that it was indeed my first visit. Then a consultant asked me the usual questions regarding medical history, last facial session etc. I felt the lady was just going through the motions, like she really wished she was elsewhere (not very friendly this one).

Then a more senior-looking consultant took over to do a scan of my skin. First, the inner side of my arm (not as tanned) then my face. I have no major skin issues so they could only point out the few small milia seeds that I have in the undereye area and also warn me about the dangers of not using sunblock and how pigmentation might result.

*She asked what my skin concerns were and what I hoped to achieve in that session. I told her I was only bothered by dark eye circles and slightly dry skin. She asked if I wanted to top up for the eye treatment. I said nevermind, just give me what’s in the free trial. 😀

The facial treatment itself was awesome! Yes, awesome! 😀

Victoria Facelift review

The room was really small though. Actually it’s not even a room. It’s one room partitioned into many smaller cubicles. But my therapist, a lady in her mid-20s (let’s call her A), was evidently skilled. Starting from the facial cleanse… I knew I was in good hands, literally.

There were 3 masks used during that session… before a machine was utilised for that final facelifting effect.

The first mask was (if I remember correctly) to help soften the skin / exfoliate / open the pores. There was also a “cold steam” (like a hydro mist) blowing on my face.

Then a hyaluronic hydrating mask.

Then finally a collagen mask.

In-between, there was extraction, simple eyebrow shaping, neck and shoulder massage, and a facial detox massage. I was left wondering how come this was free-of-charge. I contemplated giving A a $10 tip (the only money I had on me).

The ‘machine’ treatment has a 3-ball tip. After using it on the right side of my face, (as can be expected) she held up a mirror in front of me to let me see how the right side had been ‘lifted’. Then she worked on the left side.

*And oh, before and after pictures were taken, which I’m not concerned about since I don’t usually wear makeup anyway. 😉

Post-treatment, it was the sales pitch, of course. I was first given a collagen drink – ‘cos it’s not cold, it tasted a little weird. And I was then told about the pricing and installment plans for payment via credit card.

Victoria Facelift Collagen drink

Apparently it’s $3,880 for 20 treatments (the more senior lady explained it as 10 treatments + another 10 “free” 😉 ). With GST, it’s over $4K. But using a credit card, e.g. POSB’s, you get 10% discount. So the total amount is $3,736.44 which you can pay via 12, 24 or 36 months in interest-free installments.

And here’s the free 3-piece product kit I got to take home:

Victoria Facelift reviews

I didn’t sign up for the package as I am concerned about 2 things: (1) it’s quite common for companies to fold and there are no refunds for the unused portion of the packages, and (2) the service standards noticeably ‘dip’ after the first (trial) session.

I’d rather pay a la carte pricing whenever possible.

If you find yourself in a bit of a pickle after going for a free trial and consultants are trying to ‘hardsell’ you a package, here are some tips:

1) Be nice to staff. It’s hard to hardsell someone who’s sweet to you.

2) Have an exit strategy even before entering the shop. Even if the treatment is awesome, and you are tempted to purchase a package, you DESERVE to be able to think it through at home FIRST. So whether you want to arrange for someone to call or come in and ‘rescue’ you, or whether you want to leave your wallet at home, it is up to you. Just have a plan before heading for a free trial, whether it is at a facial salon or a gym or spa.

3) Ask the consultant other questions to get her off her guard. They have practised sales pitches so try to break their momentum. Once the momentum is gone, they will find it hard to get back on the hard-selling track. When she’s talking about the packages, try to change the topic to something else (I ended up chatting about traffic accidents. LOL).

4)*MOST IMPORTANT: if you have never been in the sales line before, have a very thin skin, and have difficulty saying ‘no’ to people… say no to the free trial instead.

I don’t mind going for free trials because (1) it’s free and facials (usually) don’t hurt, (2) I get to practise my “skills” when it comes to offering objections and (3) those trial sessions offer the best facial treatments (it’s true). I’ve read too many reviews of various facial salons which provide really good facials the first time, so customers sign up for packages and then the subsequent treatments are not as good – the therapist might be a different (less skilled) person, or there’s more up-selling of ampoules and various add-ons EACH time you visit the centre. That’s really stressful.

That said, I don’t mind (discounted) paid trial sessions too. Went for a few via Groupon. The bonus is that if you’ve paid something (even if it’s $20), you don’t feel so bad (paiseh) when you have to tell them you’re not signing up for a package, whatever the reason may be.

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All in all, I’m more than pleased with the free trial at Victoria Facelift. It truly was an awesome experience. I do understand that companies only offer discounts to people who sign up for packages with them but with the current economic climate, perhaps the company can consider staggering the discounts for those who prefer a la carte pricing, e.g.:

(after trial session)

1st visit: pay 100% of facial price

2nd visit: pay 90%

3rd visit: pay 80%

and so on…

Thus, the more times the customer returns for a la carte treatments, the cheaper each session costs. It’s an incentive for the customer to come back if he / she likes the service here, and it also protects the customer from being left stranded if a company suddenly folds. 🙂

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La Source Spa: If You Need A Really Good Massage

La Source Spa Singapore

I went to La Source Spa today for the very first time – it’s their 10th anniversary! When the founder, Jane, looked me in the eyes and said it has not been easy at all, I really did believe her. The spa’s prime location along Scotts Road (opposite Far East Plaza and to the left of Galleria) doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. Locals would not usually walk along that stretch, I suppose. But the spa has won fans such as socialite Jamie Chua (who’s known for her collection of Hermes bags and appreciation of the finer things in life).

I enjoyed a complimentary neck + shoulder + hand massage today. It was most enjoyable even though the seating arrangement was a little weird. We sat on acrylic chairs – two rows facing each other – in one of the spa’s treatment rooms (where people usually get facials done, I believe). The therapist, Yaya, helped alleviate the stiffness in my neck, shoulder and arms. SO GOOD!

Didn’t manage to visit the various ‘stations’ (I think there was angel card reading and who knows what else). Just had a massage, some finger food and I left for lunch at Saveur.

I really do love those balloons – stared at them for a while 😀

La Source Spa review

I’m not usually one to reach out for cake pops but these golden blobs were really tempting. And tasted as good as they looked, which was a surprise!

La Source Spa

I liked the mini lobster charcoal burgers as well. Delish!

Mini Lobster Charcoal Burger

And the Ethereal Garden Tiramisu Pot looked so real – like little plants sprouting out of soil. I wonder if any of the guests would eat this…

Ethereal Garden Tiramisu Pot

If you’re in the Orchard area and would like a good massage, I’d highly recommend you pop by La Source Spa. Their in-house range of products smell heavenly and there’s nothing quite like a mid-day massage. You’ll need it if you want to shop till you drop!

Must Try: Lab Visage’s Nano Infusion Facials

Lab Visage Novena Medical Centre

Thanks to Lab Visage’s invitation, I got to try their facial treatment that uses nano infusion technology, and the results really blew me away. I know the bosses of Lab Visage have good skin, so I’m usually happy to try any treatments they recommend, and they have been raving about these nano infusion ones recently.

They shared with me some information about nanotechnology that I did not know about beforehand. For instance, how small is a nanometre? Do you have any idea? It’s actually one millionth of a millimetre, and thinner than a strand of human hair! Lab Visage’s Nano Infusion uses needles that are no bigger than 100 nanometres. This technology was first used to treat diabetes, and is now also being used as medical-grade treatment in skincare and aesthetics, and it is set to revolutionize the aesthetics industry.

The device they use has some 82 nano needles on each disposable needle head. The nano needles help penetrate the skin so as to deliver the skincare products right into the dermis layer. Unlike micro needles used in the past, these nano needles do not cause any bleeding:

Lab Visage Nano Infusion Facial

And even though they are called needles, they don’t actually prick as bad. It feels more like ant bites. And for the more ‘fleshy’ parts of your face, such as the cheek area, it’s actually pretty painless – feels kinda like waxing with upward strokes. The area around my cheekbones, forehead and nose are sensitive so the combination of stinging + tickling was almost unbearable. However, let me just say that the results are AMAZING!

If your regular facial treatments are not giving you the results you desire, you should consider nano infusion because it achieves a high level of penetration of the skincare product into the dermis layer. It’s practically painless, has almost zero downtime and is fast and highly effective.

I’d requested for the hydration level of my skin to be tested before and after the facial because I am not really good at determining the effectiveness of a facial just by relying on the naked eye. Why not use technology to tell us if a hydrating facial actually worked?

Lab Visage Facial Review

That’s my hand holding the device and those are my actual results! Before the facial commenced, the result indicated “very dry” skin with “very low” elasticity. OMG. The numbers at the bottom may be too small for you to read but it’s ‘6’ for elasticity value and ‘7’ for moisture value. And this was taken before the therapist did anything to my face. I didn’t have makeup on, I’d taken the train to get to the clinic, and I’d figured there should be at least some facial oil on my face so the reading can’t be that bad, right? I was wrong.

After the facial, with the residue from the hydrating mask wiped off, the reading came as a shock to me. I suddenly had “very moist” skin that had “very high” elasticity, with an elasticity value of ’92’ and a moisture value of ’99’. WOW. I was sold on the facial.

My skin did feel a little dry the day after the facial because of the skin renewal process – older skin cells are pushed to the surface. So I returned to Lab Visage for a hydrating facial experience, and totally loved it.

Lab Visage Facial

You can contact Lab Visage to find out more about their current promotions for their facial treatments. There are introductory prices which are very, very attractive.

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Lab Visage is located at #11-17, Novena Medical Centre. Tel: 6397 6009.

Interview with Fon Ho from Envy Hair and Nails

Envy Hair and Nails

Located close to Tanjong Pagar MRT station is Envy Hair and Nails, which is owned by an accomplished individual in the finance industry who decided to start this business because she couldn’t find a salon which met her needs of being spacious and with affordable pricing. She is none other than Fon Ho, the bespectacled lady with the short cropped hair you see in the picture below:

Fon Ho Envy Hair and Nails

5 Questions for Fon:

1) You work in the finance industry but you’ve started Envy Hair and Nails. Why venture into this industry that seems so different from your work?

There are some overlapping skills even though they appear to be entirely different industries on the surface. Because of my many years of working and management experience in MNCs, I am able to understand operations, finance, human resources which help me run this business well. Also, this business grows on me because I get to talk to our customers and I enjoy speaking with them, especially over a glass of wine (which we provide free-of-charge at Envy). I find this interaction very meaningful, keeping in touch with people from all walks of life and hearing first hand about varied experiences.

2) You’ve done extremely well in the banking industry, and you have described yourself as a perfectionist. So is it easy to work for you?

I respect people for who they are. It is important not to think that everybody is like you. My stylists’ strength is in crafting hair and making people look great in their mane. That is their strength. For me, I may be successful in banking but at the salon, I sweep, man the drinks bar and wash cups! When there is nothing for me to do, we can have a chit-chat over wine, of course.

It’s important that we work together as a team and respect my staff and their opinions. For our recent Spring Launch Party, I gave my staff a ‘wardrobe upgrade’. They already look good, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that as a team, we want everyone to ‘shine’ together, and be at their best especially for such events. Truth be told, I don’t think that clothes have to be expensive; they just have to be stylish and express your personality. Ours is a service-oriented industry and looks help; because my staff are happy at work, they keep our customers happy too.

3) You used to own a boat, then sold it so you could start this salon. Any regrets?

Yes, I used to own a boat because it was all about the “lifestyle” then. After some time, you will realize that the lifestyle can only be so lifestyle. I have to choose between spending my weekends in a boat or shop so eventually I made up my mind to sell the boat. As many have said, the two happiest days in a boat owner’s life are, namely, the day he buys the boat and the day he sells it. So true! Setting up a salon means time and money can be better spent on improving the lives of others. I believe I’m blessed and giving back makes my life more meaningful and purposeful.

4) Were you born into a rich family, so you felt that you needed to maintain that lifestyle?

No, on the contrary, my family used to stay in a 3-room flat and everyone ate from one bowl of rice. I have very good people guiding me along the way and I am grateful for that. To me, it is not what you have but what you are content with. A lot of life is about perspective and you have to be able to see beyond that.

For instance, if possible, I’ll wear $2 t-shirts all the time. I don’t want to waste time choosing what to wear. $2 t-shirts are not very different from $100 t-shirts. The $98 difference goes to marketing, models, advertising, etc.

5) Final question: While other salons serve tea, coffee, and perhaps, water, your salon serves wine too. What has been the response from customers? 

As you know, people in Singapore can be a little skeptical. They will question me about the wine, and whether it is indeed provided at no extra charge, before they take a sip. And yes, it’s free! I believe that when you’re getting your hair done, it should be a chill and stress-free environment. This is why you’ll find a wide aisle here, lots of space so customers can rest and relax, and wine is especially effective in helping them unwind after a stressful day at the office.

Also, we don’t advocate the selling of packages here. We don’t provide packages unless our customers themselves ask for one. We want the customer experience here to be a happy one – relaxing, stress-free, no selling of packages. And everyone walks out looking good, thanks to my capable team of stylists who are passionate about their craft.

Satisfied clients at Envy (*And at least one has had a glass of wine) 🙂

Envy Hair and Nails influencers

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Besides its enviable (pun fully intended) location close to the MRT station, I think Envy Hair and Nails offers a very comfortable environment for customers to relax (and enjoy some wine) in a chic and spacious setting. So if you work or live in the Tanjong Pagar area, pop by for a pampering session. 🙂

*All pictures in this blogpost are courtesy of Envy Hair and Nails

Envy Hair and Nails is located at 46 Peck Seah St. Tel: 6221 1220.

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Quote ‘GRACE’ to get 20% + additional 5% discount off any hair services!* 😀

*Promotion ends 30 June 2016. Subject to changes w/o prior notice. Check in-store for details.

FREE SK-II GenOptics Samples At Paragon: Go #ChangeDestiny Now :)

SK-II GenOptics Review

If I’m not mistaken, there’s a new SK-II product launched every single month. I love the brand, but I kind of gave up (early on) trying to own every new product. Unless I bathe in all that pitera goodness, there is absolutely no way I’ll be able to use them all. However, I thought the new GenOptics range sounds interesting, so I went to check it out at Paragon today, and also to do the auntie informed consumer thing and grab some free samples. I highly recommend that you do the same too! 🙂

Good stuff must be shared:

SK-II GenOptics Samples

So… I’ve tried the SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence and the Cellumination Deep Surge EX samples. One thing you should note when opening these samples is that tearing off the top part of the packaging, according to the perforation, is not very wise because there’s a label stuck to the back of each sample pack and it’s not going to tear off nicely. And the product inside will end up on the sticky part of that label when you’re trying to squeeze it out. Best to just snip off the top with a pair of scissors so it comes off clean!

As for my review of the SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence, I think it’s rather sticky and a little oily. It’s just a small 0.7ml pack but it’s enough for your whole face and neck. Perhaps use less of it to avoid having your face feel too sticky. The 2g worth of Cellumination Deep Surge EX is very generous as well. Go ahead and share it with a friend or family member, or use the excess for any very dry area e.g. the back of your elbows, or your knees.

Here’s the pricing for GenOptics Spot Essence and Aura Essence:

  1. SK-II GenOptics Spot Essence: (SK-II website) 30ml $187, 50ml $274, 75ml $359 (iShopChangi duty free shopping) 50ml $199, 75ml $269
  2. SK-II GenOptics Aura Essence: (SK-II website) 30ml $199, 50ml $299, 75ml $400 (iShopChangi duty free shopping) 50ml $231, 75ml $320

*Seems like we can really save a lot of money by shopping at iShopChangi. Will take note of this for my next overseas trip. 🙂

Pop by Paragon from now till 20th March 2016, and you can even check out the displays. There are Facial Treatment Essence bottles in their various pretty designs, and also a chart to show the history of SK-II.

History of SK-II

Best of all, members get to earn double points on their purchases. And those who refer friends who end up buying SK-II products will also get rewarded with SK-II Facial Treatment Masks. 🙂

SK-II GenOptics AuraGoals

Will test the SK-II GenOptics Spot Essence tomorrow, ‘cos my face got too sticky today after the Aura Essence. LOL. And, before I forget, in order to get the samples, you play a 30-second game at the SK-II roadshow event at Paragon. Spots will appear on a photo of a lady’s face and you have to tap on the touchscreen to ‘eliminate’ those spots. Quite smart. Getting potential customers to ‘take action’ to remove black spots from what is supposed to be a flawless face. 😉

Sometimes I get rather fearful after watching too many advertisements about what my skin could look like in some 20 or 30 years’ time. Then I take a look outside, and old aunties and uncles still look presentable. There are not so many black spots on their faces that the spots have all merged so their face becomes one big black spot. *phew* So I’m not too concerned about spots, but I do know that things like crow’s feet and wrinkles will happen. And so will sagging of the skin. Worrying will not help, so we might as well just age gracefully and face those changes when they happen, ya? But if you want to be kiasu, then go ahead and start using SK-II products. I’ve been using them and I know they help my skin look more radiant.

Ladies, Meet Randi Zuckerberg This Weekend At MBS! :D

Women of Wealth And Abundance

I’m very excited about meeting Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, this weekend at Marina Bay Sands! 😀 I’ve been told that Randi has a net worth of $100 million (like… WOW?!) and she’s the former Director of Marketing at Facebook. Most of the seats have been snapped up already (‘cos tickets are FREE!) so hurry and register here if you want to grab one of the last few seats available: http://wowalive.com/grace-gift

But wait… WHAT IF you already have other plans for this weekend?! 

Well, it’s the first time this event is being organized, and if you miss it, I really have no idea when the next run will be. So if you like the lineup of speakers, and believe that you will learn something of value that will change your life for the better, then do whatever it takes to be there this weekend at MBS. 🙂 Here’s what you can expect from the speakers…

A Sneak Peak At The Speakers’ & Topics:

Randi Zuckerberg – “Finding the Balance, how to be a three-dimensional woman in today’s digital age”
Former head of Marketing at Facebook and sister of Mark Zuckerberg (CEO & Founder of Facebook). Randi is an entrepreneur, best selling author, investor, public speaker, and media personality, passionate advocate for women in entrepreneurship and leadership. Net worth over $100 Million.

Yassmin Abdel-Magedi – “Making a Difference, Being the Change”
Top TED Talk speaker, best selling author, mechanical engineer, social advocate.

Brenda Tan – “Regain Your Power”
Best selling author, event host, women’s relationship coach, entrepreneur.

Alexi Panos – “Woman’s Secret To Happiness”
Author, TV presenter (HGTV, MTV), actress, philanthropist… the “IT” girl in the personal development world.

Emma Tiebens – “Relationships = Success”
Author, relational marketing branding expert, network to success, entrepreneur.

Linda Hollander – “Fund Your Cause, Charity or Passion Project”
Author, passion project funding and sponsorship acquisition expert.

Lynn Rose – “Speak From the Heart & Reach Your Goals”
Author, founder of the WOW Factor for speaking & communicating,
connecting to your authentic self.

Suria Mohd – “Positive Parenting – Pays Big Dividends”
Author, positive parenting speaker, women’s empowerment trainer.

There are many fringe activities (lucky draws, fashion show, yoga session, etc) so I know this weekend is going to be pretty exciting! But what I’m looking forward to THE MOST is getting to hear from all these amazing women. Lots of love to the organizers for putting this event together, and OH MY GOODNESS for bringing Randi Zuckerberg here to meet us all. It’s incredible! 😀

Ladies, do whatever it takes (I know you can do it) to make sure you secure a seat at this event. It’s free for you to attend, and there’s so much value the speakers will be bringing to us. I’ll see you there! 🙂

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12 – 13 Mar 2016
9am – 6pm
Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, Level 4, Roselle Grand Ballroom

-> http://wowalive.com/grace-gift <-

FUJIFILM Makes Skincare Products. Bet You Didn’t Know That! ;)

When I first heard that FUJIFILM has a skincare line for women, I was like ‘HUH?! What? HOW??!!’ And the tale of how this happened is somewhat magical. Like its competitor, Kodak, FUJIFILM could (reasonably) have been expected to fade into oblivion as people ditched film for digital photography. However, as its revenue from its camera film business hit (near) rock bottom, FUJIFILM was diversifying and exploring other sources of revenue, such as from cosmetics. And its beauty brand is called… ASTALIFT 🙂

Astalift White product range

Interestingly enough, 50% of camera film is made of collagen, or so I was told during the media launch.

“Film is a bit like skin: both contain collagen. Just as photos fade because of oxidation, cosmetics firms would like you to think that skin is preserved with anti-oxidants. In Fujifilm’s library of 200,000 chemical compounds, some 4,000 are related to anti-oxidants. So the company launched a line of cosmetics, called Astalift, which is sold in Asia and is being launched in Europe this year.” – The Eonomist, 2012

ASTALIFT was launched in Japan in 2007 and in Singapore in 2011. The press release I received also stated that FUJIFILM “reformulated the ASTALIFT anti-ageing skincare series in 2013… (and) now delivers two of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, nano-Lycopene and Astaxanthin in high concentration via nanotechnology”.

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*Lycopene is found in tomatoes and fruit like watermelon and pink guava. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. Likewise, Astaxanthin can be found in salmon, lobster and other seafood, and when applied to the skin, can offer protection against sunburn. [These nuggets of information are from webmd.com]

** Exercise caution regarding use of these products if you are pregnant. Consult your doctor first!

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From a business perspective, it is interesting to note how FUJIFILM pulled ahead of its competitors and continues to thrive. Many people credit FUJIFILM’s leadership team for having the foresight and gumption to venture into new markets. As for me, I think it’s brilliant in its simplicity: leverage on existing know-how and resources, and put out new products people desire. Genius!

“Kodak’s monopoly was the problem … It always believed it had a God-given right to 100% of the market,” he says. “It never bothered to look over its shoulder at what was coming up from behind.” Instead, Kodak relied on its brand. – The Economist

I highly recommend that you click on the links I’ve included, and read the two articles from The Economist. You’ll gain lots of insight. 🙂

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ASTALIFT Ambassador: Belinda Lee

In Singapore, ASTALIFT has entered a second partnership with Belinda, following her appointment as the ambassador of the FUJIFILM X series of digital cameras in May 2015. I find this extremely intriguing, as I’ve been looking up to Belinda for the longest time possible for being such a role model in defying beauty trends – when celebrities are slapping on sunscreen, and hiding behind massive sunglasses and UV-blocking umbrellas, she is out getting a tan while filming travelogues. Unfortunately, I’ve been told that Belinda is currently unavailable for interview. Anyway, I have done a review of Belinda’s new book ‘Larger Than Life‘. <- Click to read.

Products Launched on 1st March 2016:

Astalift White Perfect UV Clear Solution

#1: ASTALIFT White Perfect UV Clear Solution

I’ve probably said this on my blog multiple times: I really dislike sunblock. Many brands produce sunblock that is rather ‘heavy’, oily or sticky. This one from ASTALIFT has SPF 50+ and PA++++. It offers pretty good coverage, I’d say.

ASTALIFT says this sunblock offers UV protection against DEEP UVA and also doubles up as a make-up base. It is way more interesting than many other brands because it comes with a special UV censor cap that changes color when exposed to Deep UVA. The intention is to alert users to the presence of invisible UV rays. Sounds pretty awesome right?

And here I put it to the test:

Astalift Sunblock

Indeed, it changes to a beautiful shade of purple when it’s out in the sun.

It is très, très cool, without doubt. However, from a practical dollars-and-cents approach, I wonder how much this sunblock would cost if it didn’t come with this fantastic UV censor cap. Because I don’t go around town with a tube of sunblock hanging from my necklace, I don’t think this sunblock will actually be alerting me to the dangerous UV rays outside when it’s stashed in my makeup pouch at home most of the time. Hmm. If I buy a second tube and recycle the cap from the first tube, can I get a discount? 😉 😛 And oh, this sunblock actually smells good too! 😀

Price: $72 (30g)

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Astalift White Brightening Mask

#2: ASTALIFT White Brightening Mask

I hoard masks. Yes I do. And this one is interesting because it has a dual-layer structure so as to target the cheeks and temples (areas prone to age spots and skin dullness).

It has Nano AMA, Nano Astaxanthin, Arbutin, and 3 types of collagen, yeast extract, peony extract, and also comes with a “sweet damask rose scent”.

I’ve only received one sheet of this mask, so I can’t really offer a qualified opinion after just one use. [*Feel free to send me more. Haha!]

Price: $22 for 1 piece or $92 for 6 pieces ($40 cheaper if you buy 6 at a go)

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Astalift White Drink

#3: ASTALIFT White Shield Drink

This beauty supplement is caffeine-free and suitable for daily consumption. It contains 4mg of Nano Astaxanthin and comes in a peach & lemon flavor. You can buy a box of 10 and share it with family or friends – I think you’ll get some mixed responses. Some of my media pals liked the drink while I thought it was quite sour. (Sorry lah, I like sweet stuff)

What is impressive, though, is how the drink contains “Pure Collagen, whose bitterness-causing impurities are reduced through FUJIFILM’s proprietary manufacturing process.” Who knew that collagen is actually bitter in taste? Well, I guess a sour-tasting drink is better than a bitter one.

Price: $60 for 10 bottles, 50ml each

ASTALIFT’s Singapore stores are located at Wisma Atria (#03-30) and JEM (#01-20).

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Interesting Reads:

1: The last Kodak moment? http://www.economist.com/node/21542796

2. How Fujiflim survived: http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2012/01/how-fujifilm-survived

Original Source Shower Gels: Now In Cheaper, More Eco-Friendly Packs

Original Source shower foam Batam

[ Picture taken in Batam ]

The inspiration for this post came from a recent trip to Batam. I’ve been using Original Source shower gels since the time I got some for free after attending a Shopee media event. And since then, I’ve been trying the various scents (I’ve definitely got my favs: ‘Lavender & Tea Tree’ and ‘Mango’). While in a personal care store in Batam, I spotted Original Source shower gels that came in big 500ml packs which cost 49,500 rupiah, and claim to have been made using 75% less plastic! Compare this with the usual size (250ml, which is HALF of the big pack) and which costs 40,400 rupiah. It’s a no-brainer. Pay S$1 more, and get twice the usual amount of shower gel! And the packaging is more eco-friendly now too.

Original Source seasonal edition Batam

[ Picture taken in Batam ]

So, Original Source fans, please buy the 500ml packs and save more money, and help save the environment too.

I’ve just bought two of the 500ml packs from Shopee, at a discounted price of S$11 (using a promo code that I received together with my handphone bill).

Here they are:

 Original Source 500ml packs

Disclaimer:

Before you make any decisions about purchasing any products, please check the ingredients label. For instance, these shower gels I’ve bought contain ingredients like Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Propylene Glycol. (I’ve only just noticed) You can do a Google search to find out more about the ingredients, then make your purchasing decision after being fully aware of what goes into the products you are buying. 🙂 Sometimes I find it such a hassle to check what ingredients are used and whether they are good for my health or pose any risks to it. I’ll start taking a more active approach to this, starting today. 🙂

If you’re just too lazy to bother (I’m not judging you), then please just pick those with more environmentally-friendly packaging, ok? It’s likely better for your wallet too. 😉 😛

Winter Organics’ Chamomile Facial Cleanser: Good For Your Skin & The Environment

[Advertorial]

Winter Organics Chamomile Facial Cleanser

I’ve been using Winter Organics’ Chamomile Facial Cleanser for about a month now, and I think it’s a great product I’d like to recommend to all my pals. I like how the product is certified cruelty free, contains organic ingredients, and most importantly, comes in biodegradable packaging – the tube and even the cap is biodegradable! How awesome! 🙂 And if you’d like to try this product, I have a discount code for you at the end of this blogpost.

Winter Organics Cruelty Free

I’m very careful with the skincare products I use because my skin is rather sensitive to certain ingredients and even weather changes and environmental pollution – I get bad breakouts in countries with polluted air.

This Chamomile Facial Cleanser is made using 100% Natural ingredients, 85% of which are certified organic ingredients. Another reason to support this brand is that it’s a Singapore brand though the product is manufactured in Australia!

I have been advised that there are many natural brands in the market these days with hidden chemical ingredients and claims of being “organic” even though the organic ingredients only make up 1% – 2% of the formula! Not so for Winter Organics. Under the Australian Certified Organic Standards (ACO) and to be ‘USDA Certified Organic’, all their products have to undergo a rigorous certification process to ensure they are only made with 100% naturally derived ingredients. The certification process and random manufacturing audits separate the truly natural products from the rest. I truly appreciate having this peace of mind. 🙂

And there are no complicated steps to using it. Simply wet your face then massage the product in circles onto your face and neck. Then rinse it off. 🙂

Facial Cleansing

I also like that this Chamomile Facial Cleanser foams up well. A little goes a long way. Simply mix a twenty-cent coin-sized amount of the product with water and rub it between your palms and watch it foam up:

Winter Organics Cleanser

Impressive, no? 🙂

Plus here’s a tip for people who often have skin woes: After washing your face, dry your face using a clean piece of tissue, instead of your face towel or bath towel! This is to prevent the spread of bacteria from your towel to your face. 🙂

With a pH value of 5, Winter Organics’ Chamomile Facial Cleasner is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin! You also get added reassurance that it’s good for your skin as it is chemical-free: there are no Parabens, GMO, SLS, SLES, ALS, and Artificial Colours/Fragrances.

Choose the all-natural cleanser for your face, and start enjoying clean and radiant skin 🙂

Chamomile Facial Cleanser Winter Organics

Get 25% OFF:

Get 25% off your purchase with my discount code “GRACE25”. The usual price is $25.90. (This code will only be valid till 6th March, so hurry and order now – simply head over to http://www.winterorganics.com/ ) You can also enjoy free delivery within Singapore, and free international shipping for orders over S$50!

p/s: Follow @WinterOrganics on both Instagram and Facebook 🙂

Shopee: Buy And Sell In Less Than 30 Seconds

Shopee Door Gift [ Door Gift from Shopee‘s launch: necklace from White Fiction and Original Source Christmas Limited Edition Gift Pack from Original Store ]

This blogpost can be summed up in two words: Carousell, beware!

But here’s why they should keep an eye out for Shopee…

Shopee was “soft-launched” early this year in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Taiwan. And it appears to me that they are a strong contender for a (huge) slice of the mobile e-commerce pie. Let’s start with finding out who the CEO is…

Shopee’s CEO, Chris Feng, is also Garena’s Head of Mobile Business for Southeast Asia and Taiwan. He was previously the Regional Managing Director of Zalora Southeast Asia, and Regional Managing Director and Chief Purchasing Officer of Lazada Southeast Asia.

Shopee Singapore

In his own words, Shopee allows users to “buy and sell in less than 30 seconds, anywhere and anytime”. As a seller, you simply snap a picture of the product, add a description, set a price, and you’re ready for business. Shopee charges no listing fees, no commissions, no credit card fees, or any other fee right now.

And if you’re wondering how Shopee will make money without charging fees, Chris says they will follow Taobao’s model soon: charge search and placement fees, and also get advertising revenue.

Shopee Guarantee

Buyers will love the Shopee Guarantee: if products are not received in the previously agreed-upon condition, payment will be refunded to the buyers in full. This helps to eliminate fraud and transaction risks. Shopee’s CEO admits that escrow services are nothing new, but they will keep the money first to ensure buyer satisfaction. I do wonder what will happen if buyers don’t confirm that they have received the product, and the money doesn’t get released to the seller – I suppose Shopee will step in at some point.

For sellers, there’s Shopee’s Seller Assistant which aims to help individuals become successful entrepreneurs. But the best part probably is that you don’t have to register a business in order to make some money by selling products online. 🙂

The Live Chat function and hashtag functions are also popular with buyers and sellers. With live chat, you get to send your questions to the seller; the person who knows the product best, and with the relevant hashtags, you can find trending products easily.

At the media launch, we also got to meet 4 of the current Shopee vendors:

Shopee Vendors

[ Shopee vendors Belinda, Randy, Andy, and Hazel fielding questions ]

Andy is from Original Store – I received their limited edition Christmas gift pack in the door gift…

Original Source Singapore [ Mint & Tea Tree, Mango, and Strawberry & (pink) Peppercorn, with a free loofah ]

I’m currently using the Mango shower gel and I love it! 😀 Do check out Original Store on Shopee – they are the authorised sellers of personal care products from Original Source. I ordered these 6 products below from them too (Buy 5 Get 1 Free, for S$25, inclusive of delivery). Each one came individually wrapped in bubble wrap, and were delivered within 4 days of my placing the order. I got to use the Live Chat function on Shopee too! 😀

Original Source Singapore

The only two drawbacks for me when purchasing from one of Shopee’s limited-time-only campaigns is firstly, the lack of a filter – so I’m seeing perfume, clothes and shower gels all in the same page when I’m actually only looking for shower gels. Secondly, as I’m shopping using my mobile phone, I can only scroll through the pages with 2 items per row. And it takes a really long time for me to scroll through them all. I cannot simply rotate my phone for a ‘horizontal’ view and scroll through, say, 4 products in a row. Something for the Shopee folks to work on, I guess.

The other vendors featured are from:

Imperial Studio: sells locally-sourced and imported licensed Marvel, DC, and anime figurines

White Fiction: sells women’s apparel and has a wholesale store in City Plaza

SD Perfume: sells perfume at 5 brick-and-mortar outlets in Singapore but likes Shopee because there is no need to apply for VISA terminals (customers’ handphones become “VISA terminals”) and there’s no high rental and labour cost

~

You can download Shopee for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play. If you want to list items for sale, do it while there are (still) no fees charged. 😀