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).

sad face
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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.

Latte taste-off : Starbucks vs Austin Chase

Filed Under (coffee, food, western) by rinnah on 24-10-2010

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Anyone who hangs out with me long enough will know that there’s only one type of coffee I’ll order from upmarket coffee houses/cafes. And that would be a latte – regular sized, with one packet of raw/brown sugar.

My usual java of choice comes from that ubiquitous brand – Starbucks. Spare me the spiel about how Starbucks is evil and yadda yadda yadda – I choose it because it’s convenient. Everywhere you go, you can find a Starbucks outlet, right?

starbucks takeaway cups
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Last Friday, my colleague kindly bought me a latte from Austin Chase as thanks for playing driver and ferrying her to MidValley. And this was my first time tasting coffee from Austin Chase. How did I find it?

austin chase logo

Well, the milk froth/foam on top of the latte was not as dense as Starbucks, so it felt more like air bubbles. And the coffee strength seems less strong, because I didn’t get the same caffeine buzz as I normally would. (My caffeine tolerance level is pretty low.) Also, I found the overall packaging of Austin Chase’s takeaway coffees to be less refined as compared to Starbucks – especially the plastic lid, which reminded me of McDonald’s takeaway coffee cups.

So, am I a coffee snob much? I’d say yes.

MJ Privilege Card for free

Filed Under (customer service, promotions, retail shopping) by rinnah on 24-04-2010

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Metrojaya logo
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Just a quick post to notify readers that Metrojaya is currently allowing shoppers to sign up for the MJ Privilege Card for free this weekend (24 – 25 April).

Yup, they’re handing out their department store loyalty card for free – no purchase required. Even better yet, you get a MYR 10 voucher to spend together with the card, so that’s essentially MYR 10 being given away by Metrojaya to every person who signs up for the card. Can you say score? :)

There is one thing though – it seems that the numbers of cards being given out are limited, so maybe that’s why this campaign isn’t being published or promoted because I didn’t see any flyers or banners. I found out by chance from a friendly cashier who told me when I made my purchase at Metrojaya MidValley just now.

So, if you’re not a MJ Privilege cardholder yet, now’s your chance to be one for free!

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 :
Paris B

A poor experience at Cititel Hotel, Mid Valley

Filed Under (events, hotels) by rinnah on 09-05-2009

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Recently, I attended a wedding function at Cititel Hotel, Mid Valley.

With no offense intended to the bride and groom, I personally do not fancy Cititel as a suitable venue for a wedding reception. My reason? Cititel is a hotel that caters primarily to business travelers and tourists looking for a centrally located hotel between KL and PJ. Also, I am not a big fan of Mid Valley Megamall and its surrounding areas. However, I was prepared to give Cititel the benefit of the doubt when I received the wedding invitation card.

Cititel Hotel, Mid Valley
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My poor experience with Cititel began the moment I drove up to Mid Valley. Following the directions to the hotel’s main lobby, I attempted to locate the entrance to the hotel’s parking. For reasons known only to the hotel management, the signages directed me instead straight into Mid Valley Megamall’s basement parking. This meant that I would not be able to get my parking ticket stamped for a flat single entry rate (MYR 6.00, I believe) and instead would have to pay Mid Valley Megamall’s hourly rates. And it was not because the hotel’s section of the basement parking was full, as I saw a number of empty spots available.

The poor experience continued at Cititel’s lobby. You know how most hotels have a little signboard telling you what kind of functions are going on for that day? Well, again I couldn’t locate one to tell me at which floor the wedding reception would be held at. Not very visitor-friendly, I have to say.

The final thing that sealed the deal for me was the poorly installed backdrop on the stage. You know how there normally is styrofoam lettering on a curtained backdrop telling you the nature of the function? Well, less than half way through the function, one of the styrofoam letters fell off into the foliage below because it was not stuck on properly. Less than half an hour later, the whole styrofoam board on which the date was printed, followed suit. So you have a bare backdrop to the stage because the sign fell off. I think it was a case of shoddy preparation on the hotel’s part.

Would I hold a function (of any sort) at Cititel, Mid Valley? If I had a choice, no.

Premier Parking at The Gardens, Mid Valley City

Filed Under (retail shopping, shopping malls) by rinnah on 08-03-2009

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Mid Valley Megamall
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I was out at Mid Valley Megamall today and my, the place was packed! It could be for two reasons that I can think of : 1) The Malaysian Mega Sale; and 2) the extra long weekend due to a public holiday this week.

I actually try to avoid Mid Valley as much as possible because I dislike the road system which makes you go in a circle round around the area just to find the particular entrance / exit you’re looking for. Also, finding parking on weekends is a tremendous hassle and there isn’t anything special or unique at Mid Valley that I can’t find elsewhere. However, I’ve been forced to go to Mid Valley lately because my salon, Empro, has moved their outlet from Sunway Pyramid to Mid Valley. Needless to say, once I have finished up my remaining sessions, I won’t be repurchasing for the simple fact that I don’t fancy having to battle my way into Mid Valley once every month or so just to get my brows done.

Previously I parked with less hassle at The Gardens and today I discovered that they had increased their parking fee since my last visit! The charges for Premier parking are now MYR 7.00 for the first 3 hours. Talk about exorbitant! I could pay just slightly more (MYR 10.00) and probably get valet parking at 1Utama for an unlimited amount of time. Undoubtedly parking at the Premier parking section is plentiful and the facilities are well-kept with bright lighting, well marked parking spaces and a high-tech electronic system that tells you exactly how many parking bays are still available, but I do balk at paying such high fees and be limited in the time that I wish to spend at the shopping mall.

It looks like I have even less reasons to patronize Mid Valley Megamall and The Gardens in future.

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