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Fatshion, Food & Frivolities – Life in Las Vegas & Singapore


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Couponing: SGD18 instead of SGD48 for Classic Gelish Manicure @ Orchard

Date: 22 February 2013

Deal: SGD 18 instead of SGD 48 for Classic Gelish Manicure @ Orchard

– One session of Classic Gelish Manicure
– BeauMax uses SuperNail ProGel
– Wide range of colours to choose from
– Experienced, skilled nail therapists
– Central location in Orchard

How it went:

All the above were true and I was happy. Found International Building easily (it’s right next to Shaw Towers, with the 24hr TCC at the ground floor) and the lifts were fast/accessible. If you like the convenience of town but are afraid of Orchard Road prices, and do not want the noise in the maze that is Far East Plaza, this is a good option. This building is quiet and not bustling with activities. Very private and cosy.

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Other than nail services, they also provide facials, waxing and massages. There are 3 rooms and a total of 8 integrated seats (high-back cushioned seating with individual taps for soaking feet) for mani-pedis.

The deal said I could call, SMS or email to book an appointment. I emailed on 18 February and didn’t get a reply, so I smsed on 19th February and within 2 hours, my appointment was confirmed.

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I opted to do additional nail art and I kept going back and forth with what I wanted. My therapist patiently explained to me the various prices for all the various types available while she was cleaning my cuticles and shaping my nails. I then settled on adding polka dots to all my nails and 2 hand crafted acrylic bows for an additional $25. So I paid a total of $43. I like gel-based polishes because they are quick to dry and long-lasting. So that’s okay. (Everything took me about 50minutes and I went out with my polish completely dried, so no weird finger action there.)

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Overall a good experience – they didn’t hard sell when I told them I couldn’t commit to a 10-session package because I’m not sure how long I’ll be here and I only do my nails once every 2 months or so. They have a good deal going though – $38.80 x 10 sessions includes soak off and 3 additional FOC glitter overlays.

Recommended!! Check out http://www.beaumaxme.com


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Not Your Average Woman: Michelle Yeo

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I get a lot of misdirected searches for Malaysian Bond Girl Michelle Yeoh. Unfortunately, this is a different Michelle. Michelle Yeo is my colleague at work and also the spunkiest 50-year-old I know. Michelle turns 51 at the end of September but this woman shows no signs of slowing down. I’d say she’s actually peaking! She’s energetic, crazy and opinionated. She’s also Peranakan – an ethnically declining hybrid descended from Chinese migrants who intermarried with the local indigenous population of yore. And because Mich was the one who encouraged me to start this blog to document the things I wear, she gets the honour of being the first NOT YOUR AVERAGE WOMAN!

On 18 August, I visited Michelle at her quaint flat in Marine Parade where she lives alone with 2 beautiful cats. I had a fun time chatting whilst eating and having her model her favourite outfits! In my view, Michelle’s style is eclectic boho with an Asian influence – do you agree?

    • What is your dress/shoe size?

I have no idea. I never take note. Sometimes it’s 7 and sometimes it’s 9; sometimes, it’s L and sometimes, it’s XL.I’m too lazy to take note and I forget.I do have a habit of not trying on clothes. I’d just place them against me to see if they fit. Quite often, after buying, I’d have to give them away because I cannot use them. Again, too lazy to go back to the shops to change.But this is nice still because it doesn’t go to waste and someone can enjoy wearing the clothes.With shoes, however, I do try them on I’ve had a couple of wrong sizes when buying shoes online – like my Chinese shoes and the latest is today. I bought these beautiful espadrilles of various colours from the Breast Cancer site and I cannot wear any. The good news is my sister inherits them!

  • Describe your style. I don’t have any kind of style but I think I’m quite a quirky dresser.It really depends on my mood but what’s important is that I’m comfortable wearing the clothes for that particular occasion.I love accessories – bangles, broaches, necklaces, RINGS – I love rings! They do wonders.Sometimes I’d wear a plain white T-shirt and throw in a broach or even a pearl necklace and jeans and sneakers.

 

  • What do you normally wear to a work event/meeting? If I have a day that requires me to run around a lot, I can wear anything from cargo pants to slim jeans, fisherman’s pants to a pair of shorts, all coordinated with a shirt or a loose top to even a shift dress with my Converse shoes.For meeting, I’d be a lot more formal but still I’d add something like my red bunny broach, for eg to break that formality or use my kerosang broaches not with a Peranakan top and in a different way with a blouse.
  • Where and how do you shop? I don’t have the patience to shop. I often do 1-stop shopping ie go in 1 shop and get everything there and be done with it.The most wonderful thing that has happened for me is online shopping. I like some shops in Etsy.I’m a very decisive shopper. I know what I want and what I’m looking for so my shopping can take all of ½ hour.

 

  • What are your favourite things to buy? I don’t have a favourite thing to buy. For as long as they are beautiful and I love them, I would get them but I’m also pretty much a practical shopper. I wouldn’t go for something that is way too much for what it’s worth.However, once in a while, that practicality goes out of the window.

 

  • What are your favourite brands or shops? I’m not a “favourite” kind of person so I don’t have a favourite brand or shop although I find myself shopping at Muji and lately, Uniqlo. I love basic things.I have a couple of favourite shops on Etsy that I buy my clothes from. I love them because they have this contemporary Chinese design. And they are so comfortable.Kelans Art Couture, The Simpson, idea2lifestyle, Lwangslife…

 

  • How do you dress on your blah-days? All the more something comfy and it could be just anything.

 

  • When you were 12, what did you imagine your life would be like at your current age? I don’t think I imagined that far ahead but I had dreams tho – of being an archaeologist, anthropologist, architect, interior designer.

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Rants & Raves: The end of my BellaBox subscription

This is definitely a rant. An uncharacteristically long ranty tanty rant.

I found out last night that my BellaBox membership was cancelled by the company because I have cancelled the next cycle of payments – without warning or reason. In January this year, I paid for 1 full year’s subscription (that’s 12 + 1 free box) upfront. I have previously written briefly about both my beauty subscription boxes – BellaBox and Glamabox, both of which I find have good and bad months. These boxes sometimes arrive later than the 15th of the month and you know, that takes the fun out of it. I subscribe to the Rough Trade Album of the Month Club and they send me CDs on time from half-way round the world!

Out of the supposed 13 boxes I paid for, I have so far received 6. When I realised that my friend whom I introduced to BellaBox had received hers a few days earlier, I wrote to ask why mine was delayed. I was told that my membership was canceled. This is odd and somewhat unfair because whilst I’m not planning to renew my subscription in 2013, they still have to cater to the 7 boxes I have already paid for. Maybe some administrative screw-up because of scalability issues, I don’t know. But that was the only reply I got.

This morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I have received my refund via PayPal. And I also noticed that the comments that I (and another frustrated former subscriber, a Miss Foo, whom I don’t personally know) made have been deleted. I can now no longer post on their page. I have since unLIKED the page (not that it would be detrimental to their count or profits).

I’m sure I wasn’t posting explicit or nasty things and I haven’t had any of these issues addressed. In the 3 posts I made, I asked a) why my box was delayed again and what the issue was this time? b) Why my box membership was cancelled even though I paid 1 year upfront and only cancelled the NEXT cycle that was due only in February 2013? I also commented that c) it’s unfair to not take care of existing customers just because they have canceled future business d) I’d rather  seek a full refund now than go through the same grief for another 7x (after another user said she was billed again after she cancelled).

What prompted me to cancel the next cycle  in the first place, was that BellaBox had increased their prices (by a measly S$5) but I felt it didn’t improve in tandem with the quality of the products received nor their service. I am paying for the service, right?

Oh well, I got my refund – almost S$90. That, I really appreciate. And I think I’ll use it to offset the cost for a brand new subscription with VanityTrove. Because I’m a sucker for surprises and I love getting parcels in the mail – and even though it costs more than BellaBox, they appear to have nicer stuff and fewer complaints. Fingers crossed that I’ll have a better experience!


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Rants and Raves: Hey Big Girls! Have fun with clothes!

Over the last 3 years, I started experimenting with clothes and colour. I used to just wear black and shirts and boots or sneakers all the time because it was too difficult. It didn’t help that I worked at a job that didn’t allow me to be as flamboyant. I felt like respectable = plain and boring.

I am short and stubby. At 5′, I used to wear UK22 at my biggest. I still have problems finding clothes in the local shops, so I don’t bother anymore. I visit local fleas and craft markets to buy accessories though! Asia is great for cheap plasticky things too. Mostly, I love online shopping and thrifting overseas. I also have wonderful friends like Ryd who buys me clothes from the UK!

Even though I’m gainfully employed, I have a conservative budget for clothes, shoes, bags and accessories. I’d rather spend on other things and I am saving up to buy a flat. I think buying designer items and copying runway looks are considered CHEATING! I love off-season clothes which I pick up at sales, I don’t mind wearing 2nd hand and I absolutely love it when people ask me when I get my stuff from!

Here are some of my style philosophies and I hope you take away something from this rant and rave exercise.

1. Age is just a number.

I think I looked older at 18 than I do now in my mid-30s.

I think I looked older at 18 than I do now in my mid-30s.

I started having more fun when I decided to forget how old I am.

I started having more fun when I decided to forget how old I am.

Dress like an office lady if you must but sneak in a fun accessory or 2!

Dress like an office lady if you must but sneak in a fun accessory or 2!

People get too caught up in trying to “act their age” and I was guilty of that in my late teens and early 20s. I couldn’t wait to be an adult and I didn’t know what that meant, so I tried to look “mature”. I ended up looking like an old lady. Most times, accompanied by too much make-up!

2. Never underestimate the power of key pieces that can be used on multiple occasions.

Mustard yellow chiffon jacket with an Indian-inspired outfit

Mustard yellow chiffon jacket with an Indian-inspired outfit

I’d wear this outfit to a traditional wedding or a more conservative social function. It’s pretty, colourful and practical. Some traditional Asian events actually require you to sit on the floor – the leggings are good for that.

Mustard yellow chiffon jacket with shorts and a colourful tank top

Mustard yellow chiffon jacket with shorts and a colourful tank top

I actually wore this whilst at work – running around in the hot sun. This chiffon jacket is very light and airy so it didn’t matter. It was smart and practical!

Mustard yellow chiffon jacket with jeans and a vintage 80s blouse

Mustard yellow chiffon jacket with jeans and a vintage 80s blouse

This is my lazy person outfit. Jeans and a top. With the jacket, it felt like I made a little more effort. There was a pop of colour too! There were some gold/yellow in the print of the vintage top, so the mustard yellow of the jacket complemented the entire look.

I love this chiffon jacket – it’s some poor quality, cheap-ass one-size thing I got at FAR EAST PLAZA. I can barely fit my shoulders and I always leave it flapping open.

3. Enjoy colour!

Pick 1 colour and pile on shades of it!

Pick 1 colour and pile on shades of it!

Who cares about hiding chunky legs in black leggings?

Who cares about hiding chunky legs in black leggings?

People say stupid things about how only skinnies can wear coloured leggings. Who cares?! And a pop of colour is always welcomed to brighten the day. If you’re afraid, just pick 1 colour and go around it. If there’s a nice blue in your main outfit, accessorize with blue stuff and wear different shades of it – even your shoes or bag!

I wore black for the longest time and that was only because I was under the impression that black is a slimming colour. Darling, the only thing that is slimming is exercise and diet. Even if you’re in black all the time, people can tell that you’re still fat. Might as well enjoy colour!

4. Don’t wear the same outfit in the exact same way all the time.

Lime green vintage shift dress - gold accessories, black stretchy belt.

Lime green vintage shift dress – gold accessories, black stretchy belt.

Lime green vintage shift dress - black and pink accessories

Lime green vintage shift dress – black and pink accessories

Lime green vintage shift dress - ornate brooch, conservative black cardigan

Lime green vintage shift dress – ornate brooch, conservative black cardigan

I’d like to think the 1st look is chic, the 2nd is fun/creative/funky and the 3rd is “ok let’s go meet your grandmother”.

5. Forget what it’s SUPPOSED to look like and ignore the sizing.

Crazy 80s pink leopard print top with shoulder pads

Crazy 80s pink leopard print top with shoulder pads

The same crazy 80s top but with conservative black trousers for work

The same crazy 80s top but with conservative black trousers for work

It’s leopard prints, polyester and SHOULDER PADS. Take it out from the 80s and put your own spin on it!

This is a size UK14 cropped jacket I can't zip up but who cares?

This is a size UK14 cropped jacket I can’t zip up but who cares?

This is a UK16 plaid shirt that I cannot button. But who cares also?

This is a UK16 plaid shirt that I cannot button. But who cares also?

Very often I find clothes I like that are a little too small here and there. I don’t care as long as it fits my budget, I can wear it how I want comfortably. It doesn’t always have to be like how it appears in the lookbook.

6. Accessories can do wonders even if you insist on wearing “slimming” black!

Plain black sleeveless TOP my friend gave me.

Plain black sleeveless TOP my friend gave me.

Pink leggings, pink obi sash to pop out of the black TOP worn as a dress

Pink leggings, pink obi sash to pop out of the black TOP worn as a dress

How about a black belt stealthily clinching the waist?

How about a black belt stealthily clinching the waist?

This is actually a black sleeveless top that my friend Shu gave me. It was too long (remember, I’m only 5′ tall) so I’ve been wearing it as a short dress. A plain black outfit is so great for accessorizing! Belts, necklaces, brooches etc

7. Dressing comfortably does not mean dressing sloppily.

Faux pas. What I used to wear on flights. Jeans, long sleeved tops, sneakers.

Faux pas. What I used to wear on flights. Jeans, long sleeved tops, sneakers.

A tunic top with leggings plus comfortable AND cute shoes

A tunic top with leggings plus comfortable AND cute shoes

Leggings are such a god send!

Leggings are such a god send!

When it comes to travelling, the first thing that comes to mind is dressing for comfort (especially the flight). Too cold in the plane? Too hot when you get off? Uncomfortable seats? Walking shoes. Flat shoes need not be ugly. Jeans are great but leggings are better! Bring a cardigan on the flight and remove them if you arrive at a hotter climate.

Not just for travelling. You can dress comfortably without looking sloppy! On my days off when I don’t think, I go straight for my 3/4 black leggings and a tank dress ( I have at least 5 different ones). Stretchy clothes are great! I’ve seen the errors of my ways!

I work in Music and I always get asked “What is your favourite band?”. My answer – the ELASTIC WAIST BAND!

8. Wear what you want because people come in all shapes and sizes. Flatter your moods, flatter yourself.

I love my friends even if they are taller and skinnier!

I love my friends even if they are taller and skinnier!

I’m invariably always the shortest (I stopped growing when I was 11… except sideways) and my friends come in all shapes and sizes. These are my SPARTY pals and we’re a motley bunch. But I think we’re all beautiful!!


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Couponing: Facial + Lymphatic Face Massage + Shoulder Relax Massage + Eyebrow Trimming at Xin Beauty

Date: 26 August 2011

Deal: 88% OFF on 75mins Facial (3 Choices) + Lymphatic Face Massage + Shoulder Relax Massage + Eyebrow Trimming @$25 ONLY

How it went:

Midpoint Orchard is a really strange building that’s out of place in fancy Orchard Road, especially with the addition of Ion Orchard, 313@Somerset and Orchard Central. It’s a building that’s stuck in the late 70s with minor renovations done probably in the early 90s. There are so many small beauty salons and electronic shops, I really wonder who patronises them. Xin Beauty is one of those neighbourhood shops that basically transported its entire operation there – no upscaling for town, and the size of my living room!

Whilst the location was good, everything was so basic that I’d rather not get a facial in town. My hair was sticking up after the facial and there was no space, nothing to help me get out into public without looking like a doofus. I just needed a hair brush and a hair dryer to sort the mane out. I went to one of the small hair salons and they tried charging me $12 to do just that. I’m not even asking for a wash. Just blow and brush. ARGH! Luckily they had those old fashion hand dryers in the toilets and I bent down, put my head under the hot air stream and brushed my hair out with my fingers. Sometimes old fashioned is good. Forget those fancy air-stream hand dryers where you dip your hands in.

Practical sized room. Just enough for the bed & a tray of products.

Practical sized room. Just enough for the bed & a tray of products.

Ok so anyway, this is a $25 facial in the heart of town but in a dingy building, where the entire shop (reception, pantry, and treatment rooms) was enclosed in a space the size of my living room (I’m not even joking). The deal was that I could choose from 3 facials – Option 1: Skin Perfector Anti-pigmentation Treatment; Option 2: Anti-blemish Skin Renewal Treatment; Option 3: Oxy-Pure Rejuvenating Treatment. I had no idea which treatment I received and it certainly didn’t match any of those fancy-titled options. It was largely one of those old fashioned “Mode Circle” (anybody remember those?) facials that I had in the early 90s. As a pimply teenager, I’d have been okay with it, thinking that facials were all like that. Painful, uncomfortable and awkward. But I’m not. It didn’t feel like it was worth my time. I didn’t feel any better after the treatment. Firstly, the technique was so-so. I wouldn’t say it was bad but I’ve had a lot better, many more times. Secondly, the products used were very generic and hardly anything special. Thirdly, I could hear the girls outside gossiping at the top of their voices because the entire space was open on the top and it is really small.

Generic products

Generic products

So was it worth $288? Nope! Of course not! But to be honest for $25, I suppose it’s justified. Also I might go back again (if I have a ride straight home) because the beautician working on me thought I was still in school. She thought I was a 22 year old with really dry skin. She tsk-tsked me when I said I barely used home care products other than the basic facial wash, make-up remover, exfoliator and sunblock. When she asked me to guess how old she was and it turned out she was only 5 years older than I was heehee… Cheap thrills, I know. But people should stop tsktsking me when I see so many people my age who actually look older!


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Couponing: Nobel Award Winning Facial + 30 min Massage + 30 min Neck and Eyes Treatment at Beaute Hub

Date: 25 August 2011

Deal: $15 for 60 min Nobel Award Winning Facial + 30 min Massage + 30 min Neck and Eyes Treatment at Beaute Hub (Worth $448)

How it went:

Let’s just say, this is an experience I’d rather forget. Even if there was another deal offer at $15, I wouldn’t take it and neither should anyone else, unless you’re desperately in need of a quick facial/massage. It was trouble from the start. I bought the voucher on 31 May 2011. I called up 2 days later (in June obviously) to book an appointment, but I was told to call back in August because they had no more slots. The voucher is valid from 1 June to 30 November 2011. I’m assuming this meant that they didn’t have the capacity to accommodate. Imagine if I were to buy a package, I’d only be able to have a facial every 2-3 months? So anyway, I did call back in August and I managed to get an appointment on a weekday afternoon (alarm bells, hello)…

Firstly, bad location (for me) because you had to walk a distance from the MRT station before you actually get there. Also when leaving, I had a bad time trying to hail a cab. Secondly, the place was a little dinghy and perhaps in my crazy imagination, what a whorehouse would look like inside (please see pictures). Thirdly, they made me leave my shoes outside!!! Along the sidewalk!! Mind you, it’s not within a building. This was a shophouse. Okay, I had to remove my shoes (this I understand for cleanliness) but can’t you put the shoe racks within your shop? Fourthly, I didn’t like the 2 consultants at the reception. One (Malaysian) was ambivalent but tried to get me to upgrade before I even went in ($99 for an ampoule of Jasmine whatever) and the other (PRC) was staring at my trolley bag filled with toiletries then told me not to drag it on its wheels on their floor. Yes, I probably looked like a hobo so I deserve that kind of stare. But… your floor is made of cheap chip-wood. There’s a hollow-echoing sound when you walk on it. And Miss PRC, are you wearing your skanky heels inside the shop if we can’t bring our shoes in? The same shoes I see you wear in and OUT of the shop to buy food from next door?

Beaute Hub - almost missed it because it was partially hidden

Beaute Hub – almost missed it because it was partially hidden

They had about 6 treatment rooms when it looked like they only had space for 4

They had about 6 treatment rooms when it looked like they only had space for 4

I waited for almost 15min in this corner space that was just wide enough for 1 armchair.

I waited for almost 15min in this corner space that was just wide enough for 1 armchair.

Can’t say I enjoyed the treatment either. I don’t know what kind of back massage requires me to lie on my back while you try to shimmy your arms down the grooves between my shoulder and the treatment bed instead of having me lie on my front. I don’t think it’s the therapist’s fault while I was wincing in pain several times – from the extraction to the scraping face massage (was it a rock she was using??) to the weird shoulder and upper body massage. I suppose that’s how they do it at Beaute Hub. If this was their award winning facial… I’d be afraid to try the other treatments. Oh! But I did like what she did on my eyes. She used a very hot/warm eye mask before brushing on the cold/icy face mask. The contrast was interesting and I think the eye mask did make me relax. I probably nodded off during a) the head massage bit b) the eye masking.

Super cramped room. You had to crab-walk sideways to move.

Super cramped room. You had to crab-walk sideways to move.

Saving grace - hair dryer, mirror & hair brushes!!!

Saving grace – hair dryer, mirror & hair brushes!!!

So was it worth $448? Not at all! I guess the $15 I paid would’ve gone to the cost of the hair-straightener (why do they even give out these things?) as well as the nice eye mask that was used on me. Other than that, if I’d known, I’d just say hello can I pay you $15 for the eye treatment and please don’t do the other stuff on me. One saving grace is the mirror and hairdryer! I must say that this cancels out having to put my shoes in the alleyway and risk losing them. My hair goes crazy after a facial because they put it up in a headband. The hairdryer and brush is important for public service (i.e. don’t want to scare people with my Mad Max head).


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Couponing: Brand New Skin Facial at Beauticove

Date: 24 August 2011

Deal: 89% off Negative Energy Cleansing Facial (New in Singapore!) or Pore and Scar Reducing Facial or Tummy/Thigh Slimming at $22 (worth up to $200) FREE Eye Treatment for Facials (Clarke Quay)

How it went:

It actually was quite good! It didn’t start off well because I had a bit of a problem booking the appointment. I called 3 times before I managed to get someone on the phone but after that, I had SMS confirmation and reminders so that was good. My post title says a different thing from the actual deal because I went there with really bad skin that day. It was a terrible weekend before and I had a breakout. My surface skin was dehydrated but underneath it was oily and I had 4 huge zits like a constellation on my face!

Beauticove  at Riverside Point.

Beauticove at Riverside Point.

The treatment room and the terry towel tube I changed into

The treatment room and the terry towel tube I changed into

The other end of the room

The other end of the room

A Eurasian lady named Carole (who appears to be the boss) attended to me. She looked at my face and explained the various offers in this coupon. None of which matched the treatment I urgently needed so she decided to customise a session that was closer to their “Brand New Skin Facial” (usual price $130) but threw in the eye treatment from the coupon as well. The room was nice and spacious. They had about 3 treatment rooms side by side and it all opened up to become one big room for training. There was a projector overhead in my room and Carole reassured me it wasn’t a spy camera. Carole was very motherly, firm but gentle. I fell asleep almost immediately. There was no extraction (YAY! No pain!) and she said it wasn’t something they did at her beauty parlour anyway. She did 2 mild acid peels, followed by the masks and I swear my skin felt almost back to normal after the facial!

The overhead projector in the room

The overhead projector in the room

Beauticove uses Alpha-H products from Australia. I ended up buying the Liquid Gold for $60+. It has been doing wonders and I swear it works! I wasn’t being pushed to buy products or packages and I felt reassured that I could walk out without feeling any pressure. I’d be honest and say that I was skeptical about the Liquid Gold. It was a plain cheap packaging and I was bleagh about it. But after using it for almost a week, I’d buy it again once I’m done with this bottle! If you can get over the smell (like drinking sherry), then you should try it too! My pores are more refined, my t-zone less oily. Though I was told not to use it for an extended period because my skin is quite thin.

Alpha-H Liquid Gold with Glycolic Acid

Alpha-H Liquid Gold with Glycolic Acid

So was it worth $200? Not really. I’d maybe pay between $80-$90. Would I go back again? Yes! I might even consider taking the 6-session package for the “Brand New Skin Facial” as I was offered a 30% discount. Clarke Quay MRT station is on the Northeast Line and less than 30mins ride on the train for me to get back home! I definitely am thinking about the offer. Also a boon is that Riverside Point is a strange place because it’s so quiet! I like it!