Thursday, 18 December 2014

Review of laser facial at Gangnam Laser Clinic, HarbourFront Centre

Received a complimentary laser facial session from the Gangnam team which came just in time for my wedding skin-prep.

Made the appointment on 18 Dec, approximately 1.5 weeks before wedding day in order to allow the skin to recover (fear of unexpected side effects after the laser treatment). I had high expectations for this laser facial after the raved facial I had at Gangnam Aesthetics. Furthermore, a close friend who went for the same treatment at their Raffles branch shared highly positive reviews. I mean, since laser facials are more penetrative than usual facials, the effects must be even more pronounced right?

Before heading down I had already checked out their prices and packages, seems reasonable and I just needed to see the effects after the treatment to convince myself to sign up.

Arrived at the clinic, filled in registration form and read through the long list of T&Cs on the indemnity form which kinda scared me because of the endless possibilities and side effects that may arise from the laser facial. Eventually I spoke to the doctor regarding my concerns and that my big day is coming so I cannot afford any awful bumps or spots on my face. Thankfully he laid all my fears to rest as the side effects only happen to a small handful of patients. Lastly, he added that his staff will pass me a post-laser treatment list of activities and products to avoid.

Before treatment started, the staff removed my makeup, albeit in a rather rough manner (Gangnam Aesthetics staff were much professional in this aspect), which left me rather displeased.

2 types of laser treatment was administered by the doctor, the first is the one that stings for skin resurfacing. The pain is definitely tolerable as it was only for a short 3-5mins. The "burnt" smell is due to facial hairs being burnt off by the laser. As I laid there going through the procedure, I silently hoped that the effects better be worth all these discomfort.

The next laser administered was for toning, this was a comfortable procedure as a warm probe was rolled around the face. After which the staff re-enters the room and requests that I shift to another room to recuperate with a mask applied to my face. The mask was icy cold and hence very soothing on my face.

After the staff removed my mask, she tells me that no further paperwork required and I was free to leave right away. So I enthsiastically checked out my skin in the mirror, I had expected bright, radiant skin but I was disappointed to see not much has changed on my face. Crestfallen, I left the clinic (which by then was empty, even the reception counter was empty) and without the post-laser treatment list.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Negative shopping experience with HipVan

Ordered a coffee table from HipVan and they have scheduled the delivery on this morning at 9am. Happily, we waited. But the delivery man never came knocking on our knock. Next thing we know, round 10am in the morning, an email comes in - yes HipVan expects us to be monitoring our inbox 24/7 and did not even have the decency to give us a call - notifying us that :

<We are writing in regards to the delivery status of your order #11369 for the item - Quiche Coffee Table - Cocoa.

Before even attempting to explain the reasons leading to this unintended mistake, I would like to sincerely apologize to you for any inconvenience this may have caused.

The delivery arrangement for the item has been overlooked and your item is still in our warehouse, while our courier is already out delivering in the west area today. We take full responsibility for the error and we guarantee that such incidents will not occur in the future.

We understand that you have been waiting since this morning for the item but to no avail. Do allow us to deliver it tomorrow, 8th Nov, Saturday, first thing in the morning. 

Please accept our deepest and sincerest apologies for the frustration and inconvenience caused. 

on behalf of the HipVan team.>

Our initial reaction was shock and anger, we had taken time off work on a week day specially for this delivery. HipVan has committed such a regrettable mistake but they do not even take the effort in calling up the customers to explain what has happened. Furthermore, did they expect customers to be sitting round the house whole day long just waiting for the delivery? This lapse in service standard came across to me as a rude awakening.

To make matters worst, calling up HipVan's hotline was such a test of mental tolerance. I continuously called for half an hour but nobody bothers to pick up my phone call. It was as though nobody was mending the hotline. When someone finally picked up my call, I had a belly full of fury waiting to explode. Finally HipVan agrees to make the delivery by today. Unfortunately the coffee table was sent to our unit was defective *slow clap for you HipVan* we rejected the piece and it is going to be a 2 weeks await for the replacement.

Those intending to purchase from HipVan, you have been warned.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Review of haircut at Exclusive Hair Studio

I have always been careful of having hairdressers trimming my bangs because as simple as the haircut may seem, it actually takes alot of skill to perfect the cut. Because my bangs are in need of a trim, I decided to try my luck & walk into this random hair saloon to trim my bangs. And this turns out to be a lousy decision because I walked out of the saloon with terrible uneven jagged bangs :(

Exclusive Hair Studio is located at #01-107, 7 Tanjong Pagar Plaza

You have been warned.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Review of Premium Aesthetic Facial at Gangnam Aesthetics

Mention Korea & the first thing that comes to mind is the plastic surgery procedures. But beyond the plastics, you cannot help but agree that Korean women have fantastic complexion! Lunch time today, I popped over to Gangnam Aesthetics to redeem my Groupon and experience the difference of Korean facial treatments.

I tried out the Jaesang Revival Treatment Facial which is a "60 min Revival Treatment - Afford visages with a quick perk-me-up with this facial. Feel the immediate boost of vitality as this treatment makes use of an intense jet infusion of oxygen and vitamin to bless skin with a natural, youthful glow."

The facial treatment comprises of - cleanse, extract + eyebrow shaping, massage, oxygen infusion followed by mask. Unlike most facial saloons, Gangnam does not use a steamer to open up facial pores. Halfway through the facial, my skin just felt so pampered & well cared for that I was already convinced that I am not going to leave this place without signing up for a package because the therapist was so skilled, you could tell from the firm and consistent strokes she applies on my face.

Throughout the whole treatment, my therapist did not sell or recommend any products. She simply left me to enjoy the facial. Too awesome!

Another point which I felt was a small detail yet shows how detail-oriented Gangnam is, was after the massage, the therapist would cleanse and then use a hot towel to wipe and dry you up. That way, you will not feel like an oily deep fried fish fillet like how I usually am after a facial because of the massage oil residues. Lastly because I visited during lunch time, I do have to return to office, you will be glad to know that Gangnam has a dressing table in the treatment room for you to blow-dry your hair and touch-up your face before leaving the saloon :)

Once the facial ended, I checked my complexion in the mirror and the effects were instant, my skin was glowing radiance! Unlike other saloons which I frequent, I typically step out of the beauty saloon looking all red and bruised because of the intense extractions. This once again affirms my decision to sign up for a package so much so that once I exited the treatment room, I jumped the gun even before the therapists could speak & asked for the package price.

For Groupon customers, you are entitled to a 50% discount off. The minimum package is $1,500 credits and so you pay $750. The facial which I done today costs $128, so going by that, $1,500 will entitle me to roughly 11 sessions :) For those who are interested, the Groupon is still ongoing, act fast! (Groupon link)

Gangnam Aesthetics is located at
1 Harbourfront Walk
#02-226 Vivo City
Singapore 098585

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Review of 150-Min Spa Indulgence at Venus Skin-Aesthetic Institute

The Groupon auntie strikes again! Off I purchased this - Only $18 for 150-Min Spa Indulgence at Venus Skin-Aesthetic Institute, Tanjong Pagar - Includes Trifolia Facial Treatment + Refreshing Spring Dew Body Massage + Luminous Eye Treatment + $100 Spa Voucher + Eye Serum.

The therapist assigned to me was Lily and her massage technique was abit of a mix between TCM-cum-deep tissue strokes. Unlike the usual aromatherapy or Balinese massages offered at most massage joints, Lily was able to detect what was wrong with my body once she hits the various acupoints on my body. I was in awe especially when she touched my cold feet and hands, she immediately commented - 寒气,你一定吃喝很多冷的。Spot on Madam! *Hangs head down in shame* The massage definitely hurts when she presses on certain acupoints but like what Lily said - 不痛不通!

Of course, this deal being such a cheap bargain, I expected plenty of hard-selling. She proved me right. Though I was impressed by her massage techniques, I had no inclination of signing up for packages because the location was out of the way for me and the massage was not enjoyable for me at all.

The facial session which accompanied the deal was just a simple process comprising of cleanse, mild extraction, tidying up my brows (she basically just shaved off the stray strands) before ending off with a mask. Throughout the whole treatment she kept going on and repeating the package to me, I felt vulnerable because she had her hands on me and I cannot help but wonder if the facial procedures hurt more than they should be because of my rejections towards her advances lol.

I left the saloon with very unglam hair because of the massage oil and the train ride home was very uncomfortable because I was worried about bumping into people I know when I am in such a messy state.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Lost normal mail in Tampines

I've been a repeated customer with The Blush Inc. but unfortunately this time round my normal mail has been lost in delivery :( Package was sent on 25 Sep but I have not received it as of 9 Oct. Called up Singpost to try my luck but the CSO rejected me ruthlessly.

Update - Sat morning 11 Oct parcel finally arrived!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Review for SlimSpa, Slim & Detox Green Tea

After SkinnyMint, I moved onto SlimSpa which was much cheaper in terms of price. Flavour wise, I went for fruity peach, pleasant taste akin to the usual fruity bubble teas I drink. Effects wise, no visible regular bowel impacts unlike SkinnyMint. Safe to say, there is really no detox benefits to speak of for SlimSpa. Nonetheless, a nice wake-me-up boost in the mornings.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Review of lash extensions at Lolita The Beauty Studio

Yet another lash by lash extension deal which I purchased, redeemed on a weekday afternoon to avoid the weekend crowd. Service was great, staff was professional and the lash extensions were done up to my expectations.

Review of facial at HLH Sanctuary Beauty

When I last visited HLH Sanctuary Beauty for lash extensions, I made the mistake of purchasing one trial facial session from the therapist. I mean, hey if the eyelash extensions are THAT lousy, how fantastic could the facials be.

But since I already paid $68, I must not let that hard-earned money go down the drain. Reluctantly I made the appointment & I was proven right. It was a basic facial comprising of cleanse, scrub, steam, extract, massage & lastly, ending off with a mask.

The extraction was done half-heartedly & my nose (which is my key area of concern) was still polluted with blackheads after the facial *thumbs down* And to think that the therapist kept boasting of how marvellous their faical services are, damn lady, you gotta be kidding!

Monday, 8 September 2014

The nightmare with Tigerair

I hope this post will serve as a cautionary tale before you book any flights with Tigerair.

On 4 Jul 2014 we booked a return trip with Tigerair, departing from Singapore to Haikou on 30Dec2014 & returning on 2Jan2015.

Subsequently on 3Sep2014, Tigerair sent an email notification below -

Thank you for choosing Tigerair.
We would like to inform you that your flight has been rescheduled due to a network review. We apologise for disrupting your travel plans and we've arranged a new flight for you.
To my horror, my return flight on 2Jan2015 has been rescheduled to 3Jan2015! There are NO flights being operated by Tigerair returning from Haikou to Singapore on 2Jan2015. My travel plans are in a complete mess thanks to Tigerair. Hence I wanted to cancel my hotel reservations with Hilton Sanya Yalong Bay Resort & Spa. But I had booked the hotel on a non-cancellable & non-refundable condition. The hotel has demanded to see an official proof from the airline before they can consider my cancellation request.
Below contains lengthy text to explain in detail the gross mistakes which Tigerair's customer support has committed.

Customer service agent Meg - called her up on 4Sep requesting for an official document/letter from Tigerair (signed off by authorised personnel + letter must bear the company rubber chop) which states the 4 passengers (myself inclusive) affected by the flight network review. Meg then promised that the letter will be sent to be within 24hrs.

On 5Sep evening this was the so-called official document issued by Tigerair -

Dear Ms. Kwek,

We refer to your request received on September 5, 2014 through our Call Centre.

From time to time, we do have to make changes to our flight schedule for various reasons.   As explained in article 10 of our Conditions of Carriage, in the event the changes cause the flight to depart more than four (4) hours before or after the scheduled departure time, the passenger may choose from among several options.  This includes remaining on the flight, a flight change, a flight credit or a refund.

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused.  Our records show that you did not complete your journey on the revised schedule.

Original Flight Details

Flight Number           Date                Route                                     STD                STA
TR2935                       02-Jan-14        Haikou – Singapore                1040hrs           1410hrs

Revised Flight Details

Flight Number           Date                Route                                     STD                STA
TR2935                       03-Jan-14        Haikou – Singapore                1040hrs           1410hrs

Please be advised that a refund of SGD 156.00.  Kindly allow up to 3-4 weeks for us to process the refund. 

We advise card holder to check their credit card statement or with the card issuing bank for an update of the refund status.

What just happened??? When did I put through a request for refund??? Fuming mad, on 5Sep evening I called up & demanded to speak to Meg only to be notified by another customer service agent, Robert, that she is no longer in service. Explained in detail yet again to Robert what happened & why I need an official letter from Tigerair in order to cancel my hotel reservations with no penalty. Robert informed that the misinformation and mistakes made by Meg will be investigated. Meantime, Robert assured that the refund request will be put on hold (I needed to cancel my hotel reservations before I could cancel my flight). In addition, the letter we requested for will be issued within 24hrs.

6Sep received yet another email from Tigerair.

Dear Ms. Kwek,

We refer to your request received on 06 September 2014 through our TigerCares Mailbox.

Tigerair operates a no refund policy as such, we are unable to refund any tickets (fares and charges) should passenger no longer have a requirement to fly or are unable to travel, as a result of any change in personal circumstances.  Individual or Personal Travel Insurance is recommended for passengers to cover such cancellations.

Please be informed that we have reviewed your request however, your request was denied.

Upon receiving this email you could imagine the huge question mark hanging over my head & this email only serves to add fuel to the raging fire. Tigerair has committed mistake after mistake. This is what happens when you hire incompetent staff for the job. There was no proper handover and the customer service agents simply do not understand what I needed! Customer service exist to aid your customers with their problems but Tiger is only creating more problems for me instead of solving them. I made a simple request for an official letter but yet Tigerair is incapable of fulfilling my request.

Fuming mad, I rang up Tigerair yet again & demanded to speak to Robert. Once again I couldn't get hold of the last agent whom I spoke to, the agent whom I spoke with this time round is Jeffrey, who then informed that Robert is no longer in service. In fact both Meg & Robert have been suspended from service due to their mistakes. Once again I repeated my predicament, Jeffrey then informs that Tigerair can only send a standard template for my request. Tigerair cannot and is unable to issue an official letter bearing a signature and/or company chop. WHAT??!! So why exactly have all the other customer service staff promised me that my request can be fulfilled???

After lengthy phone conversations, I finally resigned to fate that I am never getting that letter. Robert guided me to Tiger's customer support portal where I have to manually raise my request for a letter bearing a signature and/or company chop. I raised that manual request on 8Sep, as at today 16Sep, I have not heard from Tigerair with regards to my request.

When you book a flight with a budget airline, it is inevitable that there is a chance of the flight being rescheduled or even cancelled. When such things happen us customers naturally get agitated & fed-up with the airline. While the airline's T&Cs dictate that the airline does not have a policy of acceding to any request for any reimbursement/ compensation of additional cost incurred as a result of the change of schedule, it would really help if the customer service staff can get things done correctly on our very first phone call.

Next post I will talk about the complications with the hotel room cancellations.

Update - 16 Oct, been more than 4 weeks since my refund request was raised but I still have not received my refund. Rang up Tigerair & CSO tells me to wait & I should receive the cheque by next week. Round of applause for their tardiness please. 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Review of lash extensions at HLH Sanctuary Beauty

I have a confession to make, I am becoming an eyelash extension addict. Following the removal for the lousy cluster extensions on Sat, I have again "zhng-ed" my eyelashes. Of course this time round, back to good'ol trusty & comfortable lash by lash extensions.

Bought a JuzToday deal for lash extensions at $18 but the therapist recommended upgrading $48 to softer, thicker & longer lasting lashes which I gladly paid for because after the nightmare with cluster lashes I realise the importance of soft & comfortable extensions.

Arrived punctually for my appointment & I'm promptly whisked off to one of the rooms to have my extensions done. The stark contrast this time round versus the other times at Dreamlash as well as Lisa Beauty was the private individual rooms allocated to each customer, largely because HLH Sanctuary Beauty operates as a beauty saloon. As my natural lashes were sparse to begin with, the therapist could only attach that many extensions hence the end result, my lash extensions weren't as thick as the first time with Dreamlash.

To my horror, as I was cleansing my face that very evening, almost all of the extensions fell off. The extensions on my right eye have ALL fell off. Honestly, what lousy products does HLH use? I felt deceived by the therapist. All that crap about thicker & longer-lasting extensions, entirely bullshit. Let the pictures do the talking. 

Friday, 29 August 2014

Review for IAremyhair (60 min Customised Hair Treatment + Wash & Blow)

For curled hair like mine, any decent saloon would charge $30-40 for wash & blow. So when I saw this Groupon deal for hair treatment + wash & blow for only $18, I jumped the gun & bought the deal. Closer towards redemption date I googled the saloon. I felt silly when I discovered that IAremyhair specializes in hair loss treatments & hair replacement techniques.

I scheduled my hair appointment right before my casual photo-shoot so I could have my curls looking picture-perfect. Entered the saloon not knowing what to expect, would the hairdresser talk on & on about hair loss treatments? Would they be doing a scalp analysis for me? To my surprise, there wasn't any sales talk whatsoever, the hairdresser proceeded to shampoo my hair before applying the treatment solution & steaming my hair. After the wash & blow, my curls are restored to their awesome looking state, all ready for my photo-shoot!

In all honesty $18 for hair treatment + wash & blow is a real good deal!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Review of cluster lash extensions at Lisa Beauty, City Plaza (no, this is not MY shop)

There is a saying in Chinese which goes "一分钱,一分货" which simply translates into - you get what you pay for.

Since the last extension done at Dreamlash, I was very much in love with eyelash extensions but the package at Dreamlash is just too pricey. Hence I googled abit to see what are some cheaper alternatives. The very primitive form of eye lash extensions would be cluster lash extensions. As it turns out there are quite a couple of beauty saloons in City Plaza which offers cluster lash extensions.

Chanced upon a Groupon for lash extensions at Secret Beauty for $20. Called to enquire & since first-time walk-in customers also enjoy the same price, I immediately made an appointment. Travelled down to Secret Beauty located at City Plaza on Thur evening to have my lashes done in time for my casual photo-shoot on Fri.

Arrived on time at 7pm only to find the 2 therapists still working on their customers' lashes. Since I didn't want to waste time waiting & there were 2 other beauty saloons which offer lash extensions just near by, I decided to try my luck at the neighbouring saloons.

The saloon, Lisa Beauty, showed me the cluster lashes they used & quoted me $30 for the extensions. Price was reasonable & I decided to go ahead with this saloon. As the therapist was tugging at my lashes trying to remove the single lash extensions done previously at Dreamlash, she was causing me quite alot of pain & I feared for my natural lashes. Cluster lashes are glued onto your eyelids hence there is certainly discomfort, bearing that thought in mind, I had to manage my expectations. The glue she used caused this burning sensation to my eyes & immediately I regretted walking into this dodgy saloon.

Finally when the glue has dried up, the therapist handed me a mirror to inspect the end product. I like what I see & the effect is exactly what I wanted - dramatic lashes. The end effect simply resembles that of false eyelashes. However the discomfort arising from the extensions being glued onto my eyelids, was causing me quite a fair bit of pain. When I got home & had a closer look at where the extensions start, I finally understand why my eyes felt so irritated - the lash extensions start from the inner corners of my eyes. So each time I blink, the extensions rub against my eyelids.

Furthermore, these extensions are thick plastic strands, unlike the soft & natural-looking ones at Dreamlash. Not only does my eyelids feel heavy, each time I shut my eyes tightly my eyelids will hurt because the lashes are glued onto the lids. So when cleansing my face & showering, I was faced with yet another inconvenience - my eyelids hurt like hell when I shut my eyes tightly.

I was greatly annoyed by the extensions & determined to get them removed ASAP after the photo-shoot on Fri. When I got home on Fri evening after the shoot, I was pretty sure my eye makeup was not removed completely since the extensions were in the way. I couldn't stop my itchy fingers from touching the extensions, to my surprise, the extensions at the inner corner of my eyes could be easily removed.

Sat afternoon I arrived at the saloon for removal, the same therapist apply this white paste-like substance onto the eyelashes. I sat around for a good 15-20mins hoping that the removal will be minimally painful. I was WRONG. The removal process hurts like a bitch, it felt as though she was trying to rip off my natural lashes. Yes, OUCH! In case you are wondering, yes my natural lashes survived the massacre & are still alive on my eyelids, phew. But evidently my natural lashes have weakened, each time I rub my eyes, a couple of lashes will fall off :(

May this awful experience serve as a helpful aid when you are considering cluster extensions!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Review for SkinnyMint 28 Day Ultimate Teatox

You probably seen their ads on Facebook, but the problem is the girls featured are all already slim & skinny with no tummy bulge issues. So what goals are they trying to achieve with this product totally baffles me.

Contrary to popular belief, I do have a bulging tummy which I skillfully conceal underneath my clothes, so I decided to purchase the 28 Day Teatox which comprises of - 28 tea bags of Morning Boost blend to drink every morning + 14 tea bags of Night Cleanse blend to drink every alternate night, starting on the 1st night of the Teatox programme.

What this product promised - To deeply cleanse and detoxify your body and get the most out of a Teatox: boost your metabolism, reduce bloating, lose weight, burn fat and calories and get healthier with a 100% natural, effective product and guaranteed results.

I am a huge bubble tea drinker & I was delighted to find the taste of the Morning Boost tea very fruity & almost similar to bubble tea minus the calorie-laden sugar. The Night Cleanse on the other hand, tasted almost similar to Chamomile.

For the record, I am not one who moves my bowels on a daily basis, so when I started consumption of SkinnyMint Teatox, the immediate result was that I was taking a dump daily. Bravo! Also to add, the boyfriend who drank just one cup of Night Cleanse on one fine night, ended up having major diarrhoea  so I suppose this product is not suitable for all.

Regular bowel movement was the only noticeable result, while other users claimed of reduced bloating, reduced appetite etc, I had none of those! SO I guess now its affirmative that the bulge on my tummy are fats & not bloating lol ;P

Links :

Saturday, 23 August 2014

SaSa Beauty Fair, Singapore Expo Foyer Level 2

Great bargains at SaSa expo sale! 

L'Oreal White Perfect Anti-Spot Brightening Essence originally $39.90, now $27.93. 

SkinLite Nose Pore Cleansing Strips originally 1 for 1 $6.90, now 1 for 1 at $4.90 only!

Maybelline Impact Express Smooth Felt Liner originally $17.90, now only $12.53. 

SaSa Beauty Fair at Singapore Expo Foyer Level 2, now till 24 Aug 11am to 10pm :)

Sunday, 10 August 2014

This is what an allergy looks like - part 2

I spend my National Day weekend in Batam, upon returning to Singapore I was down with diarrhoea (yes, again). Since charcoal pills didn't do the trick, I found myself at the company clinic once again. The diagnosis this time round was food poisoning since there was alot of activity & gas in my stomach. The prescriptions were to treat stomach discomfort.

The doctor did not specifically state any food which I should avoid hence 4 days after, when I was feeling much better, my mum  cooked vegetables stir-fried with prawns. After consuming a couple of prawns, my eyes started burning. In a couple of minutes, my eye area swelled so severely that I couldn't open my eyes at all. The pain was horrifying & tears started falling uncontrollably. At the same time I was experiencing breathing difficulty as my nose was blocked. The severe bout of coughing which accompanied this allergic attack made me felt out of breath.

I immediately rushed off to the GP & the doctor himself was shocked to see the state I'm in ("I have never seen such severe allergic attacks before"). After taking 2 jabs, the swelling didn't subside & I still couldn't open my eyes properly. But thankfully the cough has stopped & I could breathe normally again. The doctor advised that (1) should the swelling not subside within 8-10hrs OR (2) the swelling does not improve but worsens, I have to visit the ER.

After 24hrs I was still barely recognisable as my eyes were reduced to tiny slits all thanks to the swelling. Recovery took 3-4days & upon doing some reading online, it seems like such allergic reactions will only get more severe with each attack because the body is unable to cope/deal with the toxic reactions. Hence a very lesson for me to take away is whenever I am on medication, I must steer clear of seafood.

Edit 10 Oct 2014 -

After sharing this on Facebook, I received plenty of well wishes & messages from family & friends. Thank you for your heartfelt concern everyone! Also to add, I have been a seafood lover for my entire life, never ever have I experienced any allergic reactions.

For those who are interested to read further, the swelling of the eyes which happened to me is a condition known as Angioedema.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

This is what an allergy looks like - part 1

Back in Apr, after returning from my short trip in Phuket, I was down with severe bouts of diarrhoea. Initially I thought nothing of it, my body was flushing itself inside out, no harm with some natural detox. But as the diarrhoea showed no signs of improvement, I had no choice but to drag my feet into the company doctor's clinic. Doctor's diagnosis was viral infection & he prescribed me a couple of drugs including antibiotics, paracetamol & charcoal pills.

Couple days later I was glad that my toilet visits have resumed normalcy, hence I gradually waned off the medication. One fine evening when having dinner at home, I ate prawns & 15mins later, the area around my eyes started to itch & simultaneously started swelling. Tiny bumps started appearing on my eyelids & eyebag. My nose, throat & ears started to itch. I had originally wanted to let the swelling subside by itself but the burning sensation around my eye area felt unbearable.

When it was my turn to see the GP, his diagnosis was that I might be inherently allergic to one of the drugs prescribed for diarrhoea (highest possibility of the culprit being paracetamol) & the prawns were the perfect catalyst to trigger the allergy. Fortunately for me, no permanent dis-figurations from this allergic attack.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Staycation at The Westin Singapore

The new Westin is housed in Asia Square Tower 2, though navigation was tricky due to a lack of road signs, we managed to park & find our way to the lobby which is located on level 32nd. The high ceilings felt grand & the spacious lobby was welcoming but what was seemingly lacking was the human interaction, no staff were present, no warm welcomes. We looked for the nearest empty counter & proceeded for check-in. When we approached the staff for check-in, she also did not greet nor welcome us. What a shock, considering how Westin markets itself to be a 5-star hotel.

Our deluxe room was on the 38th floor, it features "a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that frames views over the city’s modern financial district and the heritage buildings of Chinatown." (

Being a relatively new hotel, the amenities in the room were brand new & the luxurious living space was definitely a far cry from my humble HDB abode. On the topic of staycations I believe there are 2 camps, one which believes that the money can be better spent on an overseas trip while the opposing camp (which I'm in) believes that rather than rushing to catch flights for the trip, why not slow down the pace & be a tourist in our little red dot.

I guess on staycations you are partly paying for the luxuries which you can't afford in everyday life. The spacious room furnished with posh interiors, the huge bathroom & accompanying bathtub.I imagine if my house was this stunning, I would be home most of the time!

Our room reservation was accompanied by with buffet breakfast at Seasonal Tastes but the spread was nothing worth shouting about.

Lastly before check-out, we popped by the pool. A non-swimmer like myself can only pose & sit pretty for photos because it's not everyday that you get to be by an infinity pool right? Surprisingly, despite the scorching Sun, the pool water was freezing cold.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Review for Eye Lash Extension at Dreamlash

Groupon deal - For $42, you get a 60 min Korean Premium Silk Lash-by-Lash Eye Lash Extension + Additional Touch Up for One Pax (worth $168).

Made an appointment to redeem the Groupon & the therapist explained the 2 different types of extensions available, (1) Premium lashes & (2) Diamond silk lashes (which feels more comfortable when glued onto your real lashes & appears more natural but of course, costs more). The Groupon I bought, entitles me to the Premium lashes. Naturally the therapist went on to promote the Diamond lashes because currently they have an in-store promotion, for $68 customers can enjoy the Diamond silk lash extension + a free removal.

For the Groupon I purchased, I have to top up an additional $28 for removing the extensions, which brings the price of the whole lash extension to $70 ($42 + $28). Of course I didn't opt for the diamond lashes because I already paid $42 for the Groupon, if I were to top up for the Diamond lashes, this would mean the money spent on the Groupon was as good as throwing cash down the drain.

Subsequently I went onto Dreamlash's website & found that the Diamond silk lashes trial costs $68 & includes free eyebrow trimming + removal of lash. If I had gone on to purchase following what the therapist's advice, I would have spent $42 + $68 = $110. Not very honest selling eh? Groupon could have been clearer by adding on that customer would need to top up $28 for removal, I had originally believed that no removal was necessary as the extensions would eventually fall off by themselves.

It was my first time doing lash extensions & I was very glad that the extensions felt comfortable & not the least bit heavy or prickly on my eyelids. Myself being a heavy eyeliner user, have to rub my eye area daily when removing makeup, safe to say the lashes are still intact after 1-2 weeks. From below pictures it is obvious how the lash extensions made me look refreshed (Very zhng-ed) even without my usual eyeliner.

Oh for those who are curious, I didn't go back for lash removal, I figured the bonding glue will fade eventually & the extensions should fall off by themselves.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Review for Couple Spa Session at Spa Symphony, 313@Somerset

As part of the welcome pack for my successful application of a Citibank Rewards Card, there was a voucher for $80 nett couple jacuzzi & massage at Spa Symphony in 313@Somerset. Together with my girlfriend, we went for the pampering session on a lovely Sat morning. We were allocated 40mins for the jacuzzi (30mins in tub + 10mins shower) before the 60mins full body massage.

My only gripe would be the long waiting time, possibly because the staff had to prepare the jacuzzi as we were the first customers for the day. When we were brought to the jacuzzi room, we were delighted at the bubbly private tub and soothing room settings. Without doubt, my girlfriend & I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing soak & we agreed that moving forth we should schedule such pampering sessions for ourselves on a more regular basis :)

Not quite sure what stroke or technique the masseuse were using but the massage hurts! But the pain was worth it, immediately after the massage my girlfriend could the tension eased in her shoulders. $80 for this session was a real steal. After we got dressed, the sales consultant spoke with us & offered the exact same session at $138 before GST which seems like a really good deal to me. I ended up purchasing one additional session.

Coincidentally, Citibank was having an ongoing promotion, for every $150 spent, shoppers will receive a $20 voucher! As you would have imagined, I left the spa place smiling widely :)

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Review for Beauty Veranda (2 Hour Spa Indulgence)

If you know me, I am quite the Groupon auntie (or maybe with age, I just pay more attention to the value I get for every buck I spend). I buy such deals very frequently. Food, nails, Brazilian waxing, IPL, massage, facial, these deals are commonly what I would purchase. Typically after a massage session, it is normal to feel like you just stepped out of a frying pan because of the massage oil, and not to mention a facial would generally mean that you leave the saloon looking like a red puffer fish with all that facial extraction. Hence it made sense, at least to me, to dash home after any massage or facial.

So I made the decision to buy this Groupon because the location was convenient for me. The $42 deal included:
60 min Bamboo Full Body Massage
60 min Jyunka Peel Facial Treatment with Premium Mask M+ Instant Lifting & Radiance by Jyunka
Choice of Aromatherapy Back Scrub, Back Mask, or Tummy Detox Treatment

When I called to make the appointment, I was pleasantly surprised to be able to book my massage on the immediate weekend. Usually for saloons that run these sort of promotions, they will tell you "oh weekends fully booked because many people redeeming their coupons." Upon further checking I realise this Groupon deal was only purchased by 16 customers, that explains why I was able to get my appointment so easily!

This was my virgin experience with bamboo massage & it definitely hurts but tolerable. Right after the massage session I decided that I still prefer good ol' human hands kneading my aching muscles over a bamboo stick. Halfway through the massage, the therapist asked if I would want to proceed with a back scrub or back mask. No mention of tummy detox surprisingly but I didn't kick a fuss over it & opted for back scrub.

After the massage, I was lying on the bed comfortably waiting for the facial to start, the therapist suddenly barged in to say that I needed to switch rooms as another customer was going to use the room (!!!). A male customer was waiting outside. Wow thank you lor... I wrapped myself up hastily using their towel & exited the room.

At the very beginning when I was registering, the sales staff had informed me that this facial was not a full facial (i.e. no scrub, no steam, no extraction) as this facial session was only meant to let customers experience & witness the effects of their facial products. Beauty Veranda uses Jyunka brand of products which comes from France & I could really see the effects on my skin W.O.W.! Most noticeably was the uplighting effect on my cheeks.

Without hesitation, I signed up for a 6 session package at $68 per session, not too pricey I thought. Each facial session comprises of cleanse, extract, massage & mask.

Just when I was into my 2nd session of the package, the consultant started selling packages to me again (please, my existing package is barely utilized). To which I nicely rejected. Finally, at my 2nd last session, the consultant promoted another package to me, 10 sessions for $888. What an auspicious number but too big a hole for my wallet, hence I rejected. Besides, my skin condition is not in such dire state to warrant a $88 per session facial. What a pity though because I really enjoyed the facial sessions there.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Thur night out - (1) The Chop House & (2) OutPost Bar & Bistro

Way overdue but anyway, on our monthly night outs, we chanced upon this restaurant in VivoCity. Dim lights & diners huddled together for cosy conversations, we felt very much at ease in this comfortable setting.

3 of us shared -
(1) Caesar Salad
(2) Seafood Platter (my favourite dish, the prawns & salmon were fresh & cooked to perfection, I especially liked how the freshness of the seafood was not overpowered by the marinate)
(3) Pork Burger (everyone around us were having burgers, since after finishing the seafood platter we still had stomach space for food, we added on this order)

After dinner we proceeded to OutPost Bar & Bistro to chill out with the live band playing. The first band that played was not worth mentioning because I felt their arrangement is very messy or rather, they play on a very impromptu basis so the drummer will go along with his senses to add on suitable beats to the song. The vocalist was not impressive as well. The next band however WAS impressive & the vocalist was none other than Ruth Kueo 魏妙如. Tiny girl with huge vocals, I love her performance ALOT! That night I heard her sing Mandarin, English as well as one Cantonese song, brilliant live act!

Beer, sausages, live music, fun-loving colleagues. This is how I spent my public holiday eve :)

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Phuket trip Apr'14 - Shopping!

Shopping -
(1) Phuket town weekend night market
This is a large scale local market, you can find everything ranging from food, clothes, souvenirs, accessories, DVDs, temporary tattoo services. First & foremost food, on day 2 we only had breakfast in the hotel before embarking on our city tour at 11am, as your can imagine when we got to the weekend market round 5pm we were famished. But much to our delight there were just SOOOO many stalls in the weekend market selling food.

Some of the food we had -
Grilled squid (THB40 ~S$1.60),
Fresh mango (THB25 ~S$1),
Tom Yum Goong + Thai friend rice + a can of lemon tea (THB185 ~S$7.50),
Huge sausage on a stick (THB20 ~S$0.80)
Fishcake on a stick (THB20 ~S$0.80)
Orange ice blended (THB20 ~S$0.80)
Iced orange tea (THB20 ~S$0.80)
A slice of chocolate crepe cake (THB60 ~S$2.40)
Spicy fishcakes
Mussels omelette
Chicken satay
Fried chicken wing
Mango salad

The shopping was also quite unbeatable, shorts going at THB100 ~S$4, tops also going at THB100 ~S$4. The weekend night market is pretty huge, you could easily spend 4-5hrs there, shopping & filling your tummy at the same time. Day 3 after checking out the walking street in Phuket town, we made our way back to the weekend night market because we really couldn't get enough of mainly the food & partly the shopping!

Phuket trip Apr'14 - Shopping!

(2) Phuket town Sunday walking street
Sunday after checking out, our first destination was to the Sunday walking street. As the name implies, this shopping street only operates on Sundays. This is reason why tourists intending to visit Phuket should go on weekends as this is when the weekend market & also Sunday walking street opens for business. Personally I felt this walking street was not a must-go unless you have plenty of time to spare on your itinerary because the stretch of street was not long & hence only a handful of shops available.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Phuket Trip Apr'14 - Airport transfer & city day tour

Airport Transfer
After some research online, I am glad I went with Phuket Connect Transfers. Single trip from airport to resort costs us THB800 (other sites have given higher quotes) & the duration fmo airport to resort took round 1 hour.

Day 1 of our trip - Our flight landed at 10.10am local time but the immigration queue took aeons to clear, we only exited the terminal at 11am. Fortunately the driver did not forsake us. I certainly heaved a huge sigh of relief when I still saw him waiting patiently outside the airport holding up my name on a cardboard. Best part about booking with Phuket Connect Transfers is you only pay the driver after he has sent you to your destination. I believe there are other sites which require pre-payment with credit card. I certainly do not want to risk paying only to have the driver do a no-show.

On our last day, we again hired the same company for a half day service. 4 hours for THB1,700 (~ S$68) & the final drop-off at Phuket airport. It is critical to mention in your request for quotations that you require drop-off at the airport because the location of the airport is pretty far off & requires considerable travelling time. This is an important factor for planning your itineraries, definitely wouldn't want to miss your flight!


Phuket Sightseeing & City Tour
Day 2 of our trip - Why not just kick back relax & engage a tour guide & driver to bring us round the city? Besides its the first time my other half is in Phuket. Private tour for 2 THB2,000 (~$80) & extra charge for the remote location of our resort THB200 (~$8). Well, like what the guide says, Avista Faraway.

Attractions visited -
Karon Viewpoint
Phuket Big Buddha
Wat Chalong
Cashew Nut Factory
Gem Factory

Of course the cashew nut & gem factory were not places we wanted to visit but it was part of the tour as part of the local tourism board's effort to promote their local industries. Don't worry, there is no hardselling, just take a walk around & you are free to go. We did buy a few cans of cashew nut as they are pretty tasty! Each can for THB199 (~ S$8). Comes in various flavours, we bought Tom Yum, BBQ & Wasabi.

Much of the time was spent on the bus, driving round scenic routes. We requested for drop-off at the weekend night market at the end of the tour but as you would have guessed it, the tour guide persuaded us to do a Thai massage at this shady massage place . Don't be mistaken, the place is not some "lup sup" or inappropriate business, it is a legitimate massage parlour just that it would be equivalent to the foot reflexology joints we find here in Singapore. 1hr Thai massage for 2 pax, THB800 (~S$32). Before the driver & guide left, we were negotiating on price for transportation on our 3rd day. THB2,000 for 4hrs (tour guide & driver) & final drop-off at airport, in the end we didn't engage her as prices were too steep!

As we were short of Thai Baht, we made a stopover (or rather WALKED) at Central Mall which was a 15mins walk away (& also along the way to our final destination the weekend market), we exchanged our monies at Thai Military Bank (TMB) on the 2nd floor of the mall. Rates were comparable to Singapore money changers. Central Mall also offers free WiFi for tourists, just register at the Information Counter with your passport.

The tour guide convinced us that the weekend night market was well within walking distance from the massage parlour, boy oh boy, we walked for a great distance under the sweltering sun before arriving at our destination! More details on the night market in next post!