The Australian Open

My first tennis grand slam. Only $29 AUD a ground ticket, 35 degrees heat, sky blue courts, and neon fashion from the players… Its a vibrant version of Wimbledon, if only they had the strawberries and Pimms!

Disco Pimples: My 6 Step Chinatown Facial

cartoon-facial-masqueAsia is always such a beauty Mecca. With funky make-up schools & great skin-care concessions, Singapore is a fun city to experiment with the latest trends. Which is why I find myself having the best/worst/most sensory-fueled hour of my life in a Chinatown salon this evening. What is they say; ‘no pain no gain….’

Step 1: I meet my nice beautician Sherry, and we start like any other normal facial. Apply. Remove. Apply. Remove. Lots of potions and lotions.  One smells quite like the nice mango salad I had for lunch. So far so good.

Step 2: Sherry places an eye lotion mask on me. “Sleeping” she whispers. I’d love to, except I can hear the intriguing noise of beeping machinery? This is followed by the sudden gush of warm steam 12 inches from my head to “open my pores. ” It’s quite an odd sensation, but cozy and soothing. Regular air feels a little chilly to be honest, when after 10 mins she takes it away.

Step 3: Extraction. Which apparently is a nice word for attacking my face with the world’ tiniest miniature tweezers. It’s possibly THE most painful 7 mins of my entire life, and that includes all kinds of girly waxing.  Sherry tries to make me feel better by showing me the filth she’s prized from my face, but I can’t see for the tears streaming from my eyes. Big baby.

Step 4: Is a layer of ice-cold gel cream. I see what their game is; a little love, a little pain. Thinking that this is a mask, and I get to do more “sleeping” time, I relax. Until I hear the unnerving vibration of electric current, oozing out of a fluorescent purple glow stick?! “Disco pimples” Sherry giggles. It’s not as torturous as it sounds, but I could definately feel the heat of a laser through my gel conductor mask. I can only guess that it was some kind of UV device for skin toning? I should really check these things before one day I accidentally end up with cosmetic surgery.

Step 5: From the Pimple Disco to the bandaged mummy look. I’m bandaged over with soft gauze and then have heavy clay poured onto me like a Madam Tussauds mask. After stages 3 & 4 it’s all quite pleasant. It’s just that Sherry is quieter than a mouse, so with my eyes bandages shut it’s making me jump every time she sneaks in & reaches to see if it’s set yet.

Step 6: After a few nice spritz’s and serums I’m done! The whole treatment lasted maybe 45 mins, and I’m presented with a little cup of cleansing Ginseng to sip as a parting gift.

I leave feeling slight bemused but definitely refreshed. For around $38 budget it was defiantly worth it in the name of experimentation. For everything else there’s Groupon!

Nardia Face & Body Care, is on the doorstep of Chinatown MRT – 72A Pagoda Street, level #2. Open Mon – Sun 10.30am – 8.30pm, Prices start from $30 facials – $88. Outlets throughout the city.

Because you’re worth it…Hairdressing in Singapore

A year of sun, sand & sea certainly takes it’s toll on your hair. Plus I work in Asia now. Immaculately shiny hair is a prerequisite.

Fusion Hub, Jurong East, is at the end of the red MRT.  On the scale of budget to fancy lets say we have:

 

1) The Chinatown street barbers ($5, 70 yr old man, chair, scissors, alleyway)
2) Tony & Guy et all ($200+, supermodels, ‘products,’ wine, Vogue)

Well, Fusion Hub would be somewhere in the middle. OK it’s in a retro run down Chinese shopping arcade, but it’s quite modern & airy inside.

Their ‘Deep re-bonding’ treatments start from $30 up to $50. Apparently the price depends on whether the products are Chinese, Italian, or Japanese. A  glamorous hot pink wearing stylist with super glossy hair talks me through it all. Exciting stuff.

There’s a luxurious tub of creamy conditioner so buttery you could eat it. Plus a 100ml glass vial of magic serum that you smash to activate it. I like the drama of it all.

Being English, I’m prepared for that uncomfortable 5 min sink horror, where you feel your neck is being dislocated and a chavy Saturday Girl blasts ice water down your bra.

Not in Singapore. I behold… A flat-bed, full of cushions. It’s like an upgrade to Virgin airlines first class (I imagine.) Not one, but two staff give me a washing worthy of a dog grooming parlor, with a dam amazing head massage thrown in too.

Hot pink leggings girl reappears and the treatment itself is applied the same way dyeing is, just without the foils. I sit for 30 min under a space-age heater hat with atmospheric steam pouring out. I glance up a few times from my Shanghai fashion mags to feel like I’m in a very pleasant scientific experiment.

The whole experience took just over an hour, and was a fraction of the price you would pay in Europe, for great service too. Treat yourself!
 

Vintage Shopping on a Shoestring: Five Hidden Singapore Gems

So the second I get a job, the next posts are about holidays and shopping. Guess that’s November’s wage spent already.

The photo is of course ironic. The closest I come to Dior is accidentally walking past on my way to Marina Bay MRT.

When I say ‘shoestring’ I don’t even mean TopShop/Forever21.  I’m talking Primark/Camden Market prices, just so we’re on the same shopping wavelength.

This post is for all the ex-backpacker, vintage magpies or thrift store junkies amongst us. Enjoy!

1) Arab Street, Kampong Glam

‘Glam’ indeed. Arab Street is a warren of vintage-esq independent boutiques. Best of all they are sandwiched between shesha restaurants serving falafel and Lebanese flatbread. Do it for the food if nothing else. Some of the old Chinese shop-house stores are interconnected via secret back alley staircases along the terrace. A couple give off that ‘fashionistas only’ vibe, but others are friendly enough. It’s especially great for more quirky accessories & jewelry.

2) Weekend thrift market at Scape.

Hop off at Somerset MRT & shun that Orchard Row exit. A meer 5 min walk through the skatepark (panic not, this is not an indicator of the fashion) and behold. Words cannot describe how excited I was to first set eyes on this place;  maybe 20 or so courtyard stalls of beautiful things. It’s not just jewelry (you can pick up charms for bracelets at $2) or the free hanging rails of $10 clothes, but its gorgeous postcard sets & trinkets. Weekend only 2pm – late.

3) Bugis Markets & Little Red Dot

I’ve gushed about this old favorite incessantly, but it just gets better every visit. Floor 1: bargain fashions & a cheap nail salon in the heart of the maze if you can find it. Floor 2: More individual boutiques, nicer quality dresses, leather belts, $30 heels, and a couple of bargain bin $5 samples. Floor 3: More of the same, definitely worth the escalator ride. Although best of luck finding your way out.

4) O-Mighty Weekend Vintage Snap Um Up Store – 7 Ann Siang Hill

Since Club Street is a lovely spot for Sunday brunch anyway, it would be rude not to pop into this hidden  treasure trove. Vintage style without the second-hand smell, you can pick up one-off dresses for $16. It’s a little annoying nothing is priced and the sizes are a little on the miniscule side, but definitely worth a drop in. Plus it’s a beautiful walk back along the tiered decking of Ann Siang Park. Serenity wedged amongst the skyscrapers.

5) Home Club Weekend Flee Market – Clarke Quay

Truly a miracle if you stumble upon it, since their dates are near impossible to find advertised online, but that makes it all the more special I guess. Dam it’s a dangerous worldfor the bank balance  indeed when Singaporean girls decide to jumble sale their never-worn and immaculate wardrobes.

30 days and counting until payday…..

An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

Blasts From The Past…

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