By Andrea Saadan and Chloe Pek
February 10, 2021
If you’re looking for a quick glow-up or pampering session before meeting your Valentine, here are our recommendations
Additional reporting by Daphne Chen-Cordeiro.
What are you up to this Valentine’s Day? Whether it’s a low-key date that you have coming up or romantic dinner plans, the key is to look and feel your best not just for your special someone but for yourself, too.
Ahead of February 14, look date-ready by treating yourself to a pampering beauty session that will surely put you in the mood for love. You could get a keratin blowout at a hair salon for shiny tresses or a relaxing facial to help you achieve a radiant glow. No matter your choice, use it as a good excuse to show yourself some love during this season of romance.
Here are some of the beauty treatments that we tried to help us get ready for V-Day:
If there’s one beauty treatment that dominated 2020, it would likely be brow lamination. What exactly is it, you may ask? The treatment involves a three-step brow-perming treatment that lifts, styles and sets your brows for fuller, more defined and feathery brows that last for up to 4 weeks.
Brow lamination is fundamentally a beauty procedure that lifts your brow hairs upwards, hiding the small gaps between them to create the illusion of fuller brows. It is painless, non-invasive, and an easy way to achieve runway-ready brows that look shinier and thicker.
My treatment lasted about 1.5 hours and I was also able to share how exactly I wanted my brows to turn out with my therapist, who made sure to deliver what I wanted by the end of the session. Before the lamination, I was also informed that brow lamination would be more suitable for those with fuller brows (so I matched the criteria) but it may not work as well for people with sparse brows—for that, brow embroidery would be a better option.
Find out more at Browhaus
A Cinderella treatment before meeting the love of your life—how apt for Valentine’s Day! Except, instead of sparkling glass slippers, this treatment at Walking on Sunshine gives you silky, glossy tresses. Often dubbed as botox for the hair, the Cinderella treatment is essentially a keratin treatment. But what makes it stand out is its use of organic ingredients. The star lineup behind the Cinderella treatment is Naturia’s range of products, which boast nurturing ingredients like aloe vera, vitamins, and collagen, with low levels of cosmetic preservatives. The treatment is recommended for anyone with damaged, unmanageable, or frizzy hair, so naturally, I was eager to try it and save my permed and bleached hair.
For such a high-performing treatment, the procedure was surprisingly simple. First, my tresses were given a thorough shampoo to remove any grime and product build-up. Then, the treatment cream—containing keratin—is meticulously applied in sections to my hair and left to sit for about 15 minutes. After that, a blow dryer was used to dry and smoothen out my hair, followed by a flat iron to seal in the keratin. You can request for your hair to be straightened or curled during this step, and I opted for a C-curl at my ends. It looked so great that I was a little disappointed when we had to shampoo it off after that, but no worries—the beautiful shape, bounce, and glossiness of my mane was all worth it in the end! Most of my curls from the perm I did from the start of 2020 were gone, but my hairstylist Nik was able to style them beautifully with the Dyson Corrale so I could leave the salon with gorgeous locks. Naturia’s shampoo and conditioner are recommended to prolong the effects of the treatment, but I decided to go without, which lasted me up to about two months with proper maintenance. Do note that scalp shampoos or shampoos containing sulphate are discouraged as they can cause the keratin layer to wash out faster.
Find out more at Walking On Sunshine
Lying on a heated, volcanic rock might not sound like your typical relaxing treatment, but it is really more comfortable than you may think. Ikeda Spa’s treatment combines ganbanyoku— which means stone bathing in Japanese—with a detoxifying massage to relax your muscle and ease any knots and kinks.
Though it is best experienced with Ikeda Spa’s signature onsen baths, I tried the Ganbanyoku Detox Massage fresh from work, and it didn’t disappoint me either. While I was a little apprehensive about lying on a heated slab of granite at first (what if it got too hot to handle?) I was immediately assured when I saw that it was covered in towels. The temperature is also controlled around 49 degrees celsius.
According to Ikeda Spa, these rocks emit infrared rays and negative ions to accelerate metabolism, boost the immune system and the complexion of your skin, and lift your mood. And despite the little sweat droplets forming on my skin, it didn’t feel particularly uncomfortable. 80 to 85 per cent of the perspiration is water, while the rest consists of cholesterol, fat-soluble toxins, sulphuric acid, sodium, ammonia, and uric acid. I was also advised not to shower after the massage, in order to let my skin reap the maximum benefits of the treatment.
Find out more at Ikeda Spa
Every Valentine’s Day glow-up ritual will undoubtedly involve getting a facial. With an ongoing global pandemic that has required all of us to put on face masks each day, our skin is need of #TLC especially with the emergence of a new skin problem: maskne. Getting acne due to long hours of mask-wearing has gripped most of us so when Spa Esprit came up with a facial just to tackle maskne, I jumped at the opportunity to try it.
The Mask Avenger Facial incorporates a technologically-intensive skincare device, Smartline, along with Spa Esprit’s skincare products to reduce bacteria growth, unclog pores and hydrate the skin. During the facial, I was also treated to a relaxing face, neck and shoulder massage so this facial is perfect for anyone looking to relax and obtain clear skin at the same time.
I’m a fan of facials that involve cleansing and exfoliating devices so it felt great to have the Smartline Skin Scrubber gently worked around my face to remove dead skin cells, sebum and impurities.
Find out more at Spa Esprit
A glow-up can’t be quite complete without a new set of eyelash extensions, right? Breathe life into your lashes with this new style of extensions by Smitten Beauty Studio that is meant to evoke a desirable ‘wet look’.
This set of lash extensions that I tried looks even better up close, and that’s mainly because I prefer my lashes to be voluminous and dark. The session took about 1.5 hours but you will barely feel it as the friendly salon owner Cassandra Lim will most likely be engaging with you in conversation as she works her magic on your lashes.
Do make your appointments in advance as slots get filled up rather quickly at this popular lash salon located in Tiong Bahru.
Find out more at Smitten Beauty Studio
If you love a good stress-relieving scalp massage, you’ll knead this Asian Heritage Signature massage at Fullerton Spa. The spa has just announced a new partnership with renowned spa brand, Espa, and unveiled a new co-curated menu which incorporates its range of products. The spa’s signature treatment—now with an Espa touch—begins with the scalp massage that features an avocado, watercress and pink mud treatment to strengthen roots and improve hair bounce (with an option for a dry massage, if you prefer). The 90-minute session then moves into a deep muscle oil massage with long strokes to alleviate sore problem spots highlighted in the pre-treatment consultation. The tension in my tight shoulders was released as I slipped into relaxation and caught a short nap during the session. Bliss!
Find out more at The Fullerton Hotel