With Chinese New Year just around the corner, there’s no better time to shed the fatigued look of the old to enter the new year refreshed and rejuvenated.
Located at the heart of the central business district, the newly opened Tanjong Pagar Centre and its slate of beauty, lifestyle and wellness services is a game-changer for time-strapped working folk like me.
Its accessibility meant I could indulge in treatments during lunch or after work. And it’s just a short walk from the office.
Instead of piling on the makeup to mask flaws as us ladies are often guilty of, I sussed out four lifestyle parlours which focus on revamping one's outlook – not just superficially, but from within, allowing one’s inner and natural beauty to shine through.
Pixie Nail Spa, #B1-20
I have always admired the nail art that I see on my girlfriends’ gel manicures, but the thought of sitting two hours in an armchair had been a huge turn-off.
So when I emerged from the cosy nail studio at Pixie Nail Spa after less than half an hour with shiny, new gel-capped nails, I was totally sold. It helped that I went to the nail studio on a quiet afternoon, which meant I had two friendly manicurists working on my nails at the same time.
Keeping with the spirit of Chinese New Year, I was recommended a cheery yet demure shade of pink with shimmery glitter tips. The manicurists made sure I was comfortable before giving me the works – cleaning and buffing my nails before working magic with a delicate design. I liked that they added just the right amount of glitter specks for a touch of bling, ensuring that my nails were photo-worthy without being over the top.
Razzle dazzle! For a festive touch, an adorable chick design was added as accents to my demure but shimmery set of new nails, in a nod to the new year’s zodiac animal, the Rooster.
Besides leaving the salon with fabulous nails, I was also treated to a hand and neck massage, a hot towel at the end of the treatment, and a chocolate snack and tea. It’s perfect for restless individuals and time-starved busy executives in need of a cozy space for a quick recharge and beauty pick-me-up.
First-time customers can enjoy a Gelish manicure at $48 (U.P $78) or a classic manicure & pedicure combo for $39.90 (U.P. $48).
Starting from 17 January 2017, the promotional classic gel manicure and pedicure combo will be subject to a festive peak season surcharge of $38. A $10 festive season surcharge will apply to ala carte services.
For enquiries and appointments, contact Pixie Nail Spa at +65 6384 2001.
Monday – Sunday, 11am to 9pm
Porcelain Signatures, #01-02
Porcelain Signatures is the latest and largest flagship addition to the brand’s family of premium face spas. The visually-captivating space evokes a state of zen and boasts a retail bar, a skin analysis counter and seven treatment rooms with a full range of beauty treatments.
While I’ve always found facials relaxing and pampering, there’s nothing that puts me right on edge like an overzealous therapist armed with a blackhead extractor. Fortunately, there’s no such worry at Porcelain as the spa is famed for its soothing facials and gentle extraction techniques.
From the treatment regime, right down to the individual toners and serums used, everything was customized to fit my skin profile, in line with the spa’s philosophy that no two people have the same skin.
After a thorough double cleanse and skin consultation, I was recommended the Sun Rescue Facial. An ultra-soothing treatment suitable for stressed skin, the CyroProbe and Cryo-Electrophoresis procedures worked wonders in smoothing out niggly bumps while the custom-blended mask helped to restore the natural collagen in my skin.
The OxySpray Mist Therapy was pure bliss and my favourite step of the treatment. With each spray of the cooling mist, my skin felt lighter, lifted and quenched for days to come.
Pre- and Post-facial. The skin is visibly smoothened, hydrated and less-fatigued after the Sun Rescue facial.
For those on the go, a powder room was available for a quick post-treatment touch-up. After the luxurious treatment, my tired skin lit up with a luminous glow befitting a Disney princess.
In the days that followed, my post-facial complexion was hydrated, bright and visibly less fatigued. Who says going foundation-free was impossible? After all, good skin should be clear and radiant from within, says Porcelain – a philosophy I’d be more than happy to live by in future.
New clients can experience any of the available Equipment Facials at half the usual treatment price, which ranges from $267.50 for a 60-minute Sun Rescue facial to $588.50 for the Precision facial, a 120-minute treatment. Existing customers are also entitled to special discounts at different spending tiers in Porcelain’s one-day Chinese New Year sale. More details here.
For enquiries and appointments, call Porcelain Signatures at +65 6227 9692 or send an SMS to +65 97211008.
Opening Hours (Porcelain Signatures):
Monday – Friday, 11am to 10pm; Saturday, 10am to 9pm; Sunday, 10.30am to 9pm
1 Gravity, #B1-16
Brought to you by the people behind Hairtrendz Studio at Everton Park – well recognised for its creative cuts and exciting hair colours – 1 Gravity is making its mark with on-trend haircuts and holistic hair treatments.
Its most popular treatment is the 7-in-1 Holistic Head Spa, designed with the belief that fabulous healthy hair starts from the roots. Reno, 1 Gravity’s creative director who has over seven years of industry experience, explained that only organic ingredients like peppermint essential oils and mineral salts would be used to cleanse, scrub and revitalise my scalp.
Working from the top all the way through to the deeper layers, I was pampered with a therapeutic head massage as the ingredients were slowly added into my hair.
Prior to the treatment, my chlorine-damaged hair was coloured and trimmed after a thorough consultation with Reno.
I told Reno that I was looking for a more natural and muted change as opposed to loud highlights or outlandish colours. After discussing my hair goals, Reno made a few suggestions and we settled on an ash grey shade to match the cool tones of my complexion. I was also glad to say goodbye to my dry ends, as they were snipped off to give a shorter and more lively shoulder-length bob.
From drab to fab, I loved my new look. While in the past, a trip to the hairdresser would usually go unnoticed, my colleagues and friends complimented me on how chic my new hairdo looked, even without styling. My tresses looked healthier, smoother and more manageable. Not only could I run my fingers through my hair without any kinks, it also smelled fresh and minty for days. If I was a sceptic on the importance of hair care previously, I’m now convinced that no damage is irreversible with the right holistic and natural treatment approach.
The thoughtful tips Reno shared on how I could add volume and style my hair for an ulzzang or "best face" look also gave me added confidence, knowing that my hair was going to look its best, whatever the occasion.
To celebrate both its opening and the festive Lunar New Year, the 7-in-1 Holistic Head Spa can be enjoyed by first-time customers at just $58 (U.P. $138).
For enquiries and appointments, contact 1 Gravity at +65 6386 5787.
Monday – Sunday, 11am to 9pm
Vision Lab Eyewear, #B1-24
Did you know that a thorough eye scan can pick up symptoms of diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure? Well, neither did I, until an eye-opening session with Vision Lab made me realise the importance of going for regular eye checks.
At first sight, Vision Lab Eyewear looks like a regular optical shop. But beyond its shelves of eyewear, you’ll soon discover five state-of-the-art machines that offer a more comprehensive eye check. While a vision test only determines short- or long-sightedness, the equipment can identify other problems with the eye that contribute to the poor vision, and this could be especially important to contact lens users.
With a quick scan of the retina, the team of optometrists are able to pick up abnormalities in blood vessels and optic nerves that may suggest systemic eye and health conditions like glaucoma, cataract, diabetes or high blood pressure.
While the long list of eye conditions sounded a little scary, Chong, my optometrist, pointed out that the eye checks can provide reassurance, especially to older customers. As such, Vision Lab is a big advocate of regular eye checks and if any early signs are picked up, customers would be referred to an eye doctor for further treatment.
Clinical as the equipment may look, the service at Vision Lab's Tanjong Pagar Centre branch was anything but cold. Chong patiently led me through the different machines, sharing his knowledge by answering my queries and dispelling misconceptions that I had.
Jimmy Giam, the executive director and co-founder of Vision Lab, explained the importance of annual eye checks, especially since one’s eye health usually deteriorates with time. He added that although Singaporeans seem to be becoming more health-conscious, the focus on eye health does not seem to have grown correspondingly.
This is where Vision Lab comes into the picture. Their optometrists are trained to identify the more common eye afflictions and offer eye-screening services – something you probably won’t see too often at your neighbourhood optical shops.
I found myself heaving a sigh of relief to be given a relatively clean bill of eye health by Chong, although he did warn me of the dangers of overusing my contact lenses. Apart from regulating the hours I spent wearing contacts, I was encouraged to consider upgrading to higher quality contact lenses.
That said, with the diverse range of fashionable frames at Vision Lab, I wouldn’t mind discarding my lenses for glasses!
No longer just a functional item, eyewear and contact lenses have become lifestyle accessories, and the wearer can make a resounding fashion statement with them. Vision Lab Eyewear offers a selection of on-trend eyewear from fashion brands such as Prada and cult favourites, Oliver Peoples and J. Lindeberg, as well as sports eyewear Rudy Project.
As a daily contact-lens user due to my active lifestyle, I wanted to transform my look for special occasions and dates without looking too over the top. Vision Lab had a diverse range of coloured contact lenses, and I could easily make a statement with a bold pair of red coloured contacts or a pair of natural-looking hazel-coloured lenses. Aside from adding a dash of colour, my eyes looked larger and more kawaii – perfect for taking photos and selfies this festive season.
This Chinese New Year, simply spend $180 and above to receive an exclusive set of red packets, as well as a chance to win in-store rebate vouchers in a lucky draw.
For enquiries and appointments, contact Vision Lab at +65 6386 8128.
Monday – Sunday, 10.30am to 9.30pm
Now that I’ve had some professional help and insight on maintaining my appearance, I’m encouraged to keep up this version of a newer, better me.
Looking better isn’t just about going for makeovers for the sake of it, but also appreciating the deeper philosophies of these treatments and living by these in my daily routines. This way, every day is another chance to be a better version of myself – with or without the make up, hair and nail products or even coloured contacts.
Check out these and other lifestyle and beauty service providers at
Tanjong Pagar Centre, 7 Wallich Street, Singapore 078884.
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