Introducing Fabulous Finds – Malaysia’s first Beauty Box subscription service

Filed Under (beauty, bodycare, cleanser, cosmetics, events, lotions, moisturiser, online shopping, powders, services, skincare) by rinnah on 27-06-2012

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If you’ve ever enviously looked on while our beauty blogging sisters in UK, US, Australia and Singapore talked about the beauty box subscriptions available to them, fret no more! Starting from now, Malaysia has its first beauty box in Fabulous Finds.

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For just RM35 a month, you’ll get 4 – 5 deluxe beauty samples from high-end and niche brands in a pretty box and delivered to your doorstep via courier.

I was invited to the launch of Fabulous Finds last Saturday and had a preview of the July box. What’s in the box?

As a nail polish hoarder, my first thought on seeing the pretty melon-pink box was, ‘Yes! I can keep more polishes in that box!’ :P because that’s how I’m storing my ever-expanding collection of polishes.

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Inside the box we find:

  • Beaubelle Clarity Brightening Cleansing Exfoliator
  • Beaubelle Gorgeous Multi Defence Protection Cream
  • Burt’s Bees Cranberry & Pomegranate Scrub
  • Burt’s Bees Milk & Honey Body Lotion
  • Burt’s Bees Sensitive Daily Moisturising Cream
  • Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional
  • Crabtree & Evelyn Iris Ultra-Moisturising Hand Therapy
  • Lunasol Skin Fusing Powder Foundation
  • Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil

I was quite pleased with the brands represented in the first ever Fabulous Finds box – well known brands do a lot in reassuring me and I like that they were not your average drugstore brand but yet not so high-end so as to make them inaccessbile.

The deluxe beauty samples in the box were pretty decent too, and there was one full sized product in the Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Therapy tube which if you buy retail is about RM25. Also, the Beaubelle products, Benefit’s POREfessional and Lunasol powder were travel-sized.

The subscription point of RM35 is reasonable in my opinion, and not likely to break the bank for a boxful of pretty surprises. I personally like to think of my beauty box subscriptions as little monthly presents to myself for being a good girl. *cough* :P

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But you know what really made me like Fabulous Finds? I like that the founder, Hui Ling (that’s her in the picture above), really believes in giving back to the community. Did you know that each box is packed with care by women from disadvantaged backgrounds? This gives them the opportunity to gain employment and supplement their income even though it may not be able to provide them with a full-time income.

I’m really looking forward to see how Fabulous Finds progresses with their subsequent boxes and am more than happy to support a homegrown, local business.

You can subscribe to Fabulous Finds’ July box for just RM35 before 14 July 2012 as the boxes will be mailed out by courier starting 15 July 2012. There are only 180 boxes for July so you’ll need to be quick to reserve your box! Subscribe at the Fabulous Finds website here. Only available to residents of Malaysia.

Get WAXXX-ed

Filed Under (beauty, services) by rinnah on 20-12-2011

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Take. It. All. Off. Down. There.

That can only mean one thing. A Brazilian wax.

Getting yourself waxed has always been a ‘you gotta try it at least once in your lifetime’ kinda thing to me. But yet, I had no gumption to do it until recently. Never let it be said to my future grandchildren that grandma was too scared to try a Brazilian wax! Also, if those Victoria’s Secret Angels can do it, so can I. Heh.

So one fine day in November, I took myself to WAXXX, a new-ish waxing salon located in Aman Suria. Two things I like about WAXXX’s location : 1) they are relatively near to where I stay and 2) it’s easy to find parking on a weekend.

Welcome to WAXXX

Stepping into WAXXX is like stepping into a different world. They certainly are different from your normal waxing salon as they have a trendy and stylish designer vibe going on.

Interior of WAXXX

After registering, I put myself into the very capable hands of Kelly, co-owner of WAXXX, for my Hollywood (all off) experience (MYR 116.00).

The Hollywood at WAXXX is done using full premium hard wax and they are very professional about it. Instead of scissors (dangerous! could poke your eye out. Haha), WAXXX uses clippers to trim down hair and you get to take home the attachment comb used on you. It’s a nice personalized touch, in my opinion. Also, your therapist will be masked and gloved at all times and there is a strict No Double Dipping policy in place.

Together with my waxing, I also tried out the Depilar treatment (MYR 44.50 per treatment) which is said to inhibit hair growth. WAXXX is the first and only salon in Malaysia currently offering this. The two step treatment is applied to your skin immediately after the waxing is done and it felt very cooling and comfortable.

Depilar System

The whole process was certainly quicker and more painless than I thought it would be. Kelly was very thorough and professional about it, so much so that I didn’t feel inhibited about the experience (except that now come to think of it, it’s a bit funny to be chatting about all sorts of things while someone looks at your privates. LOL).

I was prepared for it but didn’t experience any itching or ingrown hairs a few days after my waxing so that was awesome as well. (I’m not sure if that was due to the Depilar treatment?) In fact, I don’t know why I made such a big deal out of it before!

I plan to go back to WAXXX and get my armpits done when I’m next back in Malaysia. I should think with a full round of Depilar treatment (around 12 – 24 treatments) I can dispense with shaving or waxing for the rest of my life. Imagine the freedom to raise your arms! :P

WAXXX - logo and promotion

If you’d like to experience WAXXX’s excellent services for yourself, first time customers can quote this code “RINNAH50” while making your appointment and get a 50% discount on one body part valued above MYR30.00. This promo code is valid until end February 2012.

Do check out WAXXX’s Facebook page here as well.

WAXXX
J-G-17, Jalan PJU1/43
Aman Suria, Petaling Jaya
47301 Selangor, Malaysia

Opening Hours : 11.00am – 8.00pm, Tuesday to Sunday

Tel : +60 3-7880 5588
Website : http://www.waxxx.me

Read other blogger reviews here :
Connie
Sam (a guy’s take on the Manzilian)

Note : I received this service compliments of the salon for review purposes. This does not affect my review in any way and do refer to my disclosure policy for further details.

Disappointed with Shu Uemura’s Mid Valley outlet

Filed Under (beauty, services) by rinnah on 25-09-2011

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I’ve previously written about my good experiences with Shu Uemura’s Brow Atelier here. I whole-heartedly endorse them as the saviours of my uneven brows since 2009 and still do, but a recent experience at the Mid Valley Megamall standalone outlet means that I won’t be going back there (adding on to my blacklist together with the Pavilion standalone outlet).

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As far as I’ve been patronizing Shu Uemura, I’ve always had my brows done as a walk-in customer. However, when I dropped by the Mid Valley Megamall outlet last month, I was curtly told by one of the consultants there (don’t know if she was the store supervisor or not, but she was behind the cashier counter) that if I wanted to get my brows done, I should make an appointment in advance and they were not entertaining walk-ins. And this was even though there was only one other customer undergoing the very same service at the time.

Naturally when faced with unhelpful customer service, I always walk away.

It was a different story at my regular Shu Uemura outlet at 1Utama just one week later. I was warmly greeted by the consultant who attended to me very nicely and made me happy by giving me perfect brows. Not one mention was made about the need for an ‘appointment’ first before she would attend to me.

So ladies wanting to try out Shu Uemura’s Brow Atelier services, I will only recommend the standalone outlets at 1Utama and Empire Shopping Gallery for their good customer service.

Lark : The Spa Atelier

Filed Under (beauty, services) by rinnah on 22-09-2011

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Recently, I was feeling sorely in need of a massage session. I had aches and kinks in my head, neck and back that insisted on making itself known to me in various stages of ache-y discomfort. Not being on home turf, I looked around for a decent spa in Singapore that wouldn’t cost me a bomb. Enter Lark : The Spa Atelier.

Lark Spa
Image credit to Lark : The Spa Atelier

What really sold me on choosing Lark Spa was their cutesy website, with all their literary references. There’s even a monthly literary inspired beauty treat – how cute is that? So I booked my appointment for the weekend and off I went.

It’s actually quite easy to get to Lark Spa (another reason why I chose it) from the Novena MRT. Just take Exit B which will take you to the underpass and get you on the right side of the road. From there, it’s just a short 10 minute walk to Hotel Royal, which is where Lark Spa is located.

I have to note that Hotel Royal is not exactly the poshest hotel ever. At the most I would give it a three star rating and even that is really pushing it, based on the ‘old’ feel of the hotel and the lobby/reception area. It reminds me a bit of the Federal Hotel back home in Kuala Lumpur. Also, in the short time I was there, I only saw Chinese nationals staying there, so I would reckon the mainstay of the hotel’s business depends on group tour package bookings.

Hotel atmosphere aside, Lark Spa is located in a teeny nook just off the lobby. Look for the stairs that leads up to the first floor and you’ll find Lark Spa next to it. Lark Spa is essentially a one-therapist operation as they only have one treatment room and a shower room for the hydrotherapy treatment (no toilet though – you’ll have to go outside if you need to use the facilities). So, in other words, it’s tiny and just a little bit cramped for my liking.

Check-in is quick and there’s a simple questionnaire to fill up on the usual – your skin condition and any current products you’re using. If you’re opting for the hydrotherapy treatment, the therapist will discuss with you which types of essential oils will be added to the bath for you. In my case, I was looking for relaxation so I had a blend of lavender, juniper and camomile.

You’re then taken to the treatment room so you can shed your clothes and don a bathrobe before shuffling across the narrow corridor to the shower room. I spent some of my hydrotherapy time wondering how on earth did they manage to get the bathtub in there – it’s that tiny and cramped.

The hydrotherapy basically consists of a shower heater contraption looking thingy that pumps air into the bathtub, forming bubbles that ‘massage’ your body as you sit/lie in the bathtub. There’s a chart hanging on the wall too that shows you the six optimum positions you might want to attempt in order to get the best returns from your hydrotherapy treatment. I personally found that lying on my side and alternating sides seemed to provide the best overall ‘reach’ to allow the bubbles to do its work. The closest description I can think of to describe how this hydrotherapy feels is to imagine yourself in a river with a fairly strong current flowing all around, buffeting your body. Or imagine having a dozen kids surround you and punching you with their tiny fists – you can feel the punch, but it won’t leave a mark.

After 25 minutes of hydrotherapy, I was ready for my full body massage. The therapist used lavender oil for me again, and I pretty much liked her touch. It was firm without being painful and I thoroughly enjoyed my 90 minutes of bliss. The treatment bed is heated for your comfort and I would have fallen asleep if not to the ambient noise – I could hear traffic passing by from the road outside and also whenever my therapist moved around (although bless her, she did try her very best to minimise the disturbances). I also like that the therapist will use hot towels to rub you down each time she finishes off a particular body part or area – I then have less of that oily feeling to deal with later.

Finally, I had a nice cup of tea to finish off my Lark Spa experience, which is apparently part of their Tea Atelier experience. Like the monthly beauty treats, they have limited edition teas to promote each month.

So, the big money question is, will I return to Lark Spa? I might return for the hydrotherapy and have definitely earmarked the massage as a favorite. I may not make it my regular place though and if you’re not comfortable with the ambience/surroundings you might want to give it a pass. A final thing to note – if you don’t speak Mandarin or are not fluent in it like I am, you may encounter some difficulty in communicating with the therapist.

Lark : The Spa Atelier
36 Newton Road
#01-03 Hotel Royal
Singapore 307964

Tel : +65-6356 8750

Website : http://lark-spa.com/

Note : My visit to Lark Spa was using a Groupon deal for 25 minutes of Hydrotherapy and 90 minutes of full body massage.

Energy Day Spa

Filed Under (beauty, services) by rinnah on 05-08-2011

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I’m not really a spa junkie – in fact, I seldom visit spas for facials and such except for massages occasionally. However, I was pretty impressed by the reviews of my fellow bloggers Paris B and Connie that I decided to try out Energy Day Spa.

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I chose to go to the branch at Great Eastern Mall on Jalan Ampang, even though the branch at Mont Kiara is nearer my home. Parking is easy to find and cheap too as it only costs MYR 1 per entry on weekends.

Energy Day Spa is located on the top floor of the mall, at a quiet corner but it’s easy to find. Because I had asked for the first appointment of the day, there were no other customers around when I arrived.

I was asked to fill up a simple registration form that just asked some basic questions about my skin (nothing about my current skincare regime) and there was no analysis done by the reception or facialist. Hmm. Whether this is good or bad, I can’t really say. On the one hand, it’s very relaxed, almost laissez faire but on the other hand, as I have uber sensitive skin, it did concern me quite a bit that no analysis or investigation was done before the facial.

I was then taken to the ladies changing room to put on disposable underwear and a huge unisex robe before being sent to ‘cook’ yourself in the steam room for 10 minutes. I did feel that the steam room was rather hot and decided to opt out after a few minutes before I got uncomfortable. So back to the changing room it was again to take a quick reviving shower before lounging about for a bit at their ladies only lounge area.

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Now, somehow I was expecting my facial session to be a great deal more relaxing – most times I usually doze off for a minute or two (or more) during my facials and massages. That didn’t happen this time around.

It wasn’t the ambience of the room, because it was nice and dark and quiet. The bed was comfortable too. But I just didn’t fall asleep. Maybe it was too early in the morning for me to doze. Haha.

But I think, most of it had to do with the awfully painful extraction of blackheads/whiteheads done on my nose. When I protested that it hurt, the facialist just dismissed it with a casual, “Your nose is too congested” and carried on like there was no tomorrow. You can bet it hurt because the extraction was so ‘vigorous’ that it left red marks – specific indentations, to be exact – which lasted for the whole day and well into the night (almost 12 hours!), which just goes to show the amount of pressure and force the facialist used. So that was a very big no factor in my opinion.

Leaving that aside, I do like that they are not pushy at Energy. They are so laid back about their sales that I had to go back out to the reception counter and ask for a list of what other treatments and massages they offered. It was almost as if they didn’t care for repeat sales from first-time visitors. If you would like to know more about their services before you go, you can find it at their website here.

What I really liked about this facial was that I walked out with wonderfully glowy skin. It was such a difference from the me that walked in that my mother actually commented on it (red nose aside) and recommended that I should keep on going back to Energy Day Spa.

Would I go back? As long as they keep the extraction bit to the bare minimum, I would definitely go back.

Yes factors : City central location, nice ambience, not pushy with sales, facial shows immediate effect
No factors : No consultation/analysis done for first-time customers prior to facial, painful extraction

Read other blogger reviews here :
Connie
Paris B

Note : I used a Dealmates group deal for a customized facial, neck & shoulder massage and steam bath. The Refreshing Facial – Hydrating that they performed for me normally costs MYR 150.00 alone.

I’m not sure how different the service is for those using a group deal compared to the full fledged service, but here is the only difference I noticed – you are only served with the red date tea after your facial. Blog reviews I read mentioned the tea before and after facials/massages.

Apronbay : Brow + Waxing Destination

Filed Under (beauty, events, services) by rinnah on 22-10-2010

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Earlier this month I was invited to check out Apronbay, which touts itself as the first beauty boutique with an air travel concept in Malaysia. Intriguing, yes? I thought so too.

Apronbay logo

The whole idea behind Apronbay was dreamed up by Ashley Loong and her friend – a beauty salon with an exciting, fresh concept and superior customer service. I particularly like their travel themed concept with different destinations. It’s kinda like ‘Now everyone can go places even while you’re getting your brows or other parts done’. Teehee.

This is a super heavy picture intensive post, so if you want to know more, keep on reading after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Heard on the Web : CND Shellac Hybrid Nail Color

Filed Under (beauty, cosmetics, nail polish, services) by rinnah on 21-03-2010

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I was browsing around the Web with nothing much in mind when I stumbled upon a blog post from All Lacquered Up about a revolutionary new manicure product that promises 14 days of flawlessness and high gloss shine.

I don’t know about you, but I do love my manicures when I get them done for special occasions. The only thing that bugs me is that they only look good for say, the first 3 – 4 days. After that, hatch marks and wear start showing and eventually after a week the gloss and shine fades to a dull matte color. All that money for nothing!

CND Shellac Hybrid Nail Color
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So naturally, my interest was really pricked when I read about the new CND Shellac Hybrid Nail Color that promises to look just as salon perfect after 14 days. Are they sure or not? Can the product live up to their claims? If the real thing is anything like the photos on All Lacquered Up, I’m definitely sold on this product!

The only thing is, I don’t know of any nail salon in Malaysia that carries CND products. Do you? Do share if you know cos I really want to try this out!

Shu Uemura Brow Atelier

Filed Under (beauty, services) by rinnah on 08-02-2010

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I’ll have to admit that I was late to cotton on to the magic of transformation that a simple brow shaping can give your face. In fact, I think I only started taking my brow shape seriously after twenty-something. Heh. Mainly, my disregard to this area of my face was due to the fact that I simply didn’t know how to shape my brows well and partly because my mother was always reminding (nagging!) me not to over-tweeze my brows. So why bother, I used to think.

Shu Uemura store
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However, ever since I’ve discovered Shu Uemura’s Brow Atelier (a fancy name for their brow shaping services) I’ve never looked back. In about 10 – 15 minutes, any consultant at Shu Uemura’s counter can transform your shaggy, unkempt, overgrown brows into beautifully shaped and trimmed brows that frame your eyes and enhance your facial outlook. And you do know that the saying goes that “Eyes are the windows to the soul”, right?

Here’s a quick rundown on what happens when you get your brows done at Shu Uemura. (Note : There is no standard shaping technique overall as I’ve noticed that the items and technique used vary from consultant to consultant.) Usually, the consultant attending to you will :

~ Clean the equipment (blade, scissors, tweezer) using a cotton pad and make-up remover and wipe dry with tissue.
~ Assist you to remove any makeup residue if you have drawn or shaded in your brows.
~ Clip up your fringe (depending on your hairstyle).
~ Tweeze off most of the visible brow hairs that are growing out of the brow area.
~ Use a blade to shave off brow hairs into the desired brow shape.
~ Use a spoolie and scissors to trim longer brow hairs to achieve a neat look.
~ Repeat as necessary until you get perfect brows.

I’m not sure since I only get my brows done at the standalone outlets at either 1Utama or MidValley Megamall, but I would presume that the regular Shu counters at major department stores would also provide the same service.

Shu Uemura Brow Atelier
Available at all Shu Uemura outlets.
Cost : MYR30 for a total reshape or MYR20 for maintenance.

However, if you feel brave enough to go it alone and shape your brows yourself, Connie of Skindeco has a really good step-by-step guide here. Syen of So Loverly also has a mini discussion on whether to pluck, shave, thread or wax your brows into shape here.

Read other blogger reviews here :
Connie
Paris B

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