I Ran A Half (Spa) Marathon at Hado Beauty Wellness, Sophia Brow House & Porn’s Restaurant

Two Sundays ago, I went for a spa marathon organized by the folks at Street Directory.com.

The flag-off point was at Hado Beauty Wellness at 26A Liang Seah Street which is a stone’s throw from Bugis Junction!

Hado Beauty Wellness facial

The most relaxing start to a marathon I have ever encountered:

I dare say this is one of the best facials I’ve had so far. The therapist did a “spring cleaning” for my face as I don’t do facials religiously nor regularly as I should. She stuck plastic (or paper? I don’t know which) onto my face. They resemble the oil control film ladies use for oily T-zones and noses. What happened was they had the effect of waxing strips and removed the majority of the whiteheads on my face! It was painful, but oh so worth it! My skin felt very smooth after the Gua Sha facial.

Here are the products used for the Gua Sha facial:

Gua Sha facial products

I’ll not traumatize you with my post-facial complexion but the subsequent result was good!

And after the facial, another blogger and I went for a pedicure at Sophia Brow House next door. Despite its name, it does more than just brows. Services include manicures, pedicures, face threading, mole removal, eyelash extensions, etc.

I chose an OPI pedicure using a rich red polish. Because my skin’s considerably dark, pastel or lighter nail colors don’t suit me well. I’ll usually pick a dark red, purple or brown for my nails.

pedicure

And the marathon ended for me after lunch at Porn’s restaurant – the restaurant started by celebrity Pornsak and given a suggestive name which has raised more than a few eyebrows.

Porn's Restaurant menu and serviette

I had a Kway Tiao Pla (Thai noodle with clear fish soup) that costs $9.90 and a Nam Ga Jeab (Thai roselle with lime) priced at $3.90. The food’s decent enough, though I would have tried something spicier if I wasn’t nursing a sore throat.

Thai Roselle with Lime

It was a refreshing end to half a day of pampering. While one other blogger continued the marathon and headed for a massage, I had to run off to my next appointment! 🙂

If YOU would like some pampering too, here’s some good news – For this blog’s readers: try the Gua Sha facial at only $68 (U.P$280) Call 6338 4532 to book an appointment slot. 🙂

Sophia Brow House also has a number of promotions available. View them here: http://www.sophiabrowhouse.com/services.html

[3-in-1 Blogpost!] The Truth About Bone Marrow Donation, My Experience At A Boutique Spa, & Free Burgers On Meat-Free Monday!

When you do what I do, you’ll realize that your knowledge about various things increases exponentially by the week! This blogpost explains why I nearly stormed out of a meeting with people I’d only just met, what I’ve learnt about the spa and beauty industry, and why I may one day quit Prawning altogether!

First up, what people are not telling you about Bone Marrow Donation…

I was invited by an executive of a PR company to meet up with the President of the Bone Marrow Donor Programme and (upon my request) one of the donors for a “chat”.

I walked into a meeting room where video-recording equipment had been set up, apparently to film us when it was supposed to be a “chat”. I let the guy know I was inappropriately dressed for a “video interview” and so there was no video-shooting.

Later, as the “talk” progressed, he started taking photographs. I was very irritated by the distraction. Despite my discomfort, here’s what I learnt about Bone Marrow Donation:

Fact #1: The donor had signed up because of a booth at his school’s campus. He had not expected to be called up anytime soon but “a few months” later, he got the call and he did feel “scared”. The President requested that I state on this blog that the call came in “the first quarter” of this year, instead of “a few months”. Truth is, The Call Can Come Sooner Than You Expect!

Fact #2: The Doctor Decides The Method Of Donation Based On The Patient’s Medical Condition. Yes, there are two ways to donate. The Bone Marrow Harvest done under general anesthesia takes less time but is more painful. The Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Donation is less painful – the donor shared that short needles were used on his abdominal area and he could walk to Maxwell Food Centre for some chicken rice after the donation!). However, your commitment for 5 days is required. You can expect muscle aches and flu-like symptoms thereafter.

From the BMDP website:

Fact #3It May Not Be A One-time Donation. Upon my probing, the President said that there is a chance the patient may require “a quick top-up” or you may be asked to donate again for another patient.

Dear all at BMDP, help us save lives. Educate us in a fashion that lays bare all the facts and let potential donors make an informed decision. If we decide to back out at the last minute because of something we weren’t told of earlier, the patients will have been given false hope which will likely add to their suffering. And, if possible, inform me in advance if you want a video-recording so I can look my best. It’s only polite this way. 🙂

[My Boutique Spa Experience @ My Cozy Room]

I was treated to a Hotstone Massage, Rose Quartz Facial, and a Gelish Manicure at My Cozy Room which is a great venue for private spa parties because of its “doll’s house” interior.

The Hotstone Massage was really good for getting rid of the knots in my shoulders and back [typing this makes me want to go for a massage now. LOL!]. Interestingly enough, the facial was relaxing but I didn’t fall asleep. Simply because the therapist didn’t leave the room! At most facial places, the therapist will say in a sweet voice “You have a rest first. I’ll be back soon” and she goes off to attend to other customers. At My Cozy Room, she won’t. You’ll get a head, neck & shoulder massage as the mask does its work on your face.

It was my first time getting a Gelish Manicure. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time for cuticle-shaping as the next customer was heading over. Hence, it was just some quick color & sparkles:

I had fun chatting with Celine, who left her corporate job at age 30 to start this spa.

First up, here’s a quick tip for ladies who buy ampoules: The concentration determines the price. If it’s inexpensive, you likely won’t know the content. It’s better to choose products which are “Made In Germany” over those “Formulated In Germany”/”Germany Technology”:

Before starting My Cozy Room, Celine spoke with beauticians about the business and they generally were unsupportive of this non-beautician who wanted to enter the industry, thinking her business was unlikely to survive. Hence, Celine sought to prove them wrong. 🙂

I found it interesting that her co-founder and business partner is one Kenji Lim, instead of another female. Celine says this ensures there’s an yin-yang balance. For instance, Kenji ensured Celine didn’t overdo the floral aspect of My Cozy Room, which is likely a good thing! 😀

One USP of My Cozy Room has to be the BABOR Skincare range, which is used to  serve “1st class travellers of Air Emirates, Lufthansa Airlines, Ritz Carlton Hotels & Four Seasons Hotels worldwide”.

Check out My Cozy Room at:

56A Cairnhill Road, Singapore 229667 (Tel: 67320030) *Within walking distance of Paragon, Orchard*

 [Guilt-free Fast Food @ VeganBurg]

On the first Monday of each month, enjoy a Meat Free Monday combo at VeganBurg. You get an additional FREE burger with every combo you order.

Here’s what I ordered last Monday to share with my vegan friend, Amanda:

Amanda blogs at http://sgvegan.wordpress.com/ and she has been introducing me to the healthiest food places in Singapore.

Hanging out with her more often will mean I eat healthily and (likely) lose some weight. And maybe (just, maybe) I’ll be convinced to quit Prawning (and anything else that could possibly constitute ‘cruelty to animals’) forever. Hmm…  😉

Interview with Lee Lian & Eileen from TOUCHE™

Lee Lian, Grace & Eileen. Lee Lian & Eileen are the founders of TOUCHE™ .

Whenever I ask image consultants or beauty queens for tips on how to look good, they tend to give the cryptic “There are no ugly women, only lazy ones” reply. I think the statement is flawed because a woman need not be lazy, just disappointed by the way some beauty places are run and thus not go for their facial (or other) treatments as often as they should. Case in point, spa and beauty centres which have folded and left customers stranded.

If you’ve been following my status updates on Facebook, you’d have noticed in July that I was extremely dissatisfied with my Groupon purchase of a $28 for 2 90-minute facial treatments plus facial kit package. I redeemed the Groupon voucher at the outlet in Vivocity (I shall not mention the company’s name). To cut a long story short, here’s what happened:

  • Groupon voucher costs $28 (which I paid), while walk-in customers paid $18 for the EXACT same package in the SAME promotion period. Very strange business practice, don’t you think?
  • Upsell pitch for $300 BEFORE treatment and upsell pitch for $2688 after treatment. I said I’d discuss this with my boyfriend when we got home. The consultant invited my boyfriend into the consultation room, told us she’d give us 5 minutes to decide whether to sign up for the $300 OR the $2688 package and left the room, shutting the door behind her. (Those of you familiar with NLP will know what an awesome double bind this was; used in the wrong way!)
  • She pulled out the records of my friend, whom I’d mentioned to her is a regular customer of theirs. She pulled out all his records (last transaction, last visit, total amount spent, packages paid for, credit card used, etc) just to convince me that $2688 is a small amount as my friend had spent over $7K! And I didn’t even show her proof that I knew this guy; just mentioned his name.

So when I received a card via post, which included a Gift Certificate for a Grape Wine facial treatment, I was unimpressed. Not again! But now I have to admit – these Gift Certs are awesome birthday gifts! I redeemed the treatment at TOUCHE™ in Simei Eastpoint and TOUCHE™ managed to salvage the reputation of these facial places. I was impressed enough to later ask the founders for an interview, and I’m glad I did.

What I loved about the experience:

(No, they didn’t offer me any red wine to drink) 😀

*Very polite and welcoming staff even though I came with a Gift Cert and didn’t fork out any cash

*A very plush comforter, made me feel right at home and ready to snooze

*The pre-treatment massage was awesome. Too much blogging makes my back and shoulders stiff but that massage really hit the right spots

*I was adequately briefed about the procedure, what to expect, and what to do and not do after treatment – e.g. no swimming or other activities requiring prolonged sun exposure

*No hardselling involved. After the treatment, the sales consultant told me about the packages she had to offer, heard my need to think about the commitment first before signing, and bade me a cheery farewell. I guess that’s why they got their CaseTrust accreditation (when the company in Vivocity did not) and certification for Good Business Practices

What could have been better: better soundproofing (so I don’t hear any noises from outside the room), massage after instead of before the facial treatment (as the lymphatic drainage was so good; it gave me the sudden urge to visit the washroom AGAIN), briefing about the treatment process before instead of during the treatment (so I can sleep in peace) 🙂

The treatment itself was relaxing and rejuvenating. But of course, that is to be expected from all facial treatments. What impressed me was the afterglow, and the improvement in my complexion. It was even possible for me to go out shopping without any makeup – this has always been a dream of mine! Having said that, we need to go for these treatments regularly because our skin still gets affected by our environment, diet, hormonal changes, stress levels, etc.

My recommendation to my lady (and sometimes, guy) friends would be TOUCHE™ , which has 4 outlets: Orchard Hotel, Palais Renaissance, Bugis and Simei. In all my 25 years, I’ve gone for only 2 facial treatments: the first left me deeply disappointed, the second impressed me.

So here’s the interview with the TOUCHE™ founders, Lee Lian & Eileen, conducted at their TOUCHE™ Elite outlet at Orchard Hotel. I like that outlet a lot and can’t wait to visit again! You’ll see why in the video:

Credit: Adrian Lee and Rai Suraj from VideoLane.com for the lovely video

Some things I learned:

  • I have to use makeup removers as part of my skin cleansing regime. I used to just use a facial cleanser to get rid of my makeup; obviously it’s not good enough.
  • Sunblock is essential! I went to TOUCHE™ with a bare face, expecting it’d be much easier for them since they wouldn’t have to remove my makeup for me. The consultant said I shouldn’t have worried about that, and at least put on sunblock to prevent any damage to my skin. Oops!
  • Toners act as cleansers too.

I asked TOUCHE™ for a special promotion for my blog readers, and I’m glad they agreed!

Exclusively for readers of this blog:

Grape Wine AntioxidantPLUS Treatment at S$39 (Usual Price: S$350)
+ FREE Anti-fatigue Illuminating Eye Treatment
+ FREE High Precision DermaMap Skin Diagnosis worth S$175

*This is only for Singapore residents aged 21 and above who are first-time customers of TOUCHE™
*Advanced booking is required and you need to quote “Grace’s Blog” when you call any one of these outlets for the special promotion:

TOUCHE™ Elite 6221 6612
442 Orchard Rd #01-13 Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade Singapore 238879
Orchard 6738 8441
390 Orchard Rd #04-02 Palais Renaissance Singapore 238871 (opposite Hilton Hotel)
Bugis 6238 0500
No. 9 Tan Quee Lan Street #01-02/#02-07 TQL Suites Singapore 188098 (Opp. Bugis Junction)
Eastpoint Mall 6789 6616
3 Simei Street 6, Eastpoint Mall #02-45/46, East Ave Wing Singapore 528833
(Next to Simei MRT Station)

I don’t know about the other treatments offered at TOUCHE™ , but I have tried this Grape Wine one and can vouch that it really works. Just try it once and you’ll know what I mean!