Facial review: Touche Elite

It is my birthday month, and since I’m a Singtel customer, I got this complimentary service from Touche Elite. A “luminosity skin renewal therapy and brightening mask” sounds like what I needed to brighten up my dull skin, so an appointment was promptly made (I need to make my facial appointments 3 months in advance to juggle the numerous packages I have everywhere).

touche

I wasn’t keen on paying anything for this treatment so when they tried to persuade me to top up, by saying I’m not a first time customer to Touche Elite, they were turned down flatly. No way in the voucher states that the complimentary treatment was only for first time customers to TE, so don’t try to dupe me into paying extra. (I think I’ve been to TE once, for a body massage, also through one of those online voucher sites)

Well… I should have known that complimentary treatments are too good to be true. I was led into a room by my therapist where I was asked to change into their terry cloth robe and then lie on the treatment bed. Shortly after, another therapist came into the room without knocking, and proceeded to retrieve something from the cupboards behind me. She didn’t acknowledge my presence, and didn’t apologise at all. I was mortified by her actions. What if I happened to be changing and she just opened the door wide open?!

About 5 minutes after that episode, my therapist entered the room with the microdermabrasion machine. She double cleansed my face, and started to use the machine on me. I’m not faulting the therapist, but what I would have liked is for her to walk me verbally through the treatment steps. After all, who would know what is a “skin renewal therapy”? After the microdermabrasion, a thick pasty mask was applied to my skin and I was left alone to ‘rest’. After what seemed like ages, she came back to remove my mask, and applied some cream to my skin. And that was the treatment.

Uh… huh? No extraction, no face & shoulder massage? My usual facial place also charges around $200 for a session with use of the microdermabrasion machine, and it includes the whole facial she-bang: double cleanse, scrub/microdermabrasion, steam, extraction, cooling mask, face & shoulder massage, double mask. If Touche Elite is going to charge me $200 for just a machine scrub and mask, I think they had better reconsider.

Now you may say that it’s free, so don’t expect too much. But on the flip side, why are they giving out free treatments? Because they want you to try their services, like them and sign up for their packages right? So if they are giving me substandard treatments, how can they expect people to enjoy and sign up for packages?

Review: Glow Aesthetics

Having heard of Glow Aesthetics for some time now, I had the confidence to purchase 2 online deals they featured recently: one being a Brazilian wax, the other being a Jade Detox body and eye massage. The body massage was just mediocre to me. Sometimes I even wonder why I bother trying out other spas when I’m so satisfied with my current one at Bukit Timah (except for the price… oh well).

I always get disappointed with new spa tryouts because the massage is always not up to my standard of liking. This time, the masseur didn’t ask me if the pressure was ok and continued with her set of actions. She was also very chatty which I felt pressurized to continue to talk to her, and therefore could not relax and drift off to lalaland. After she finished the 60 minutes body massage, I was not relaxed at all. My sore spots were still sore. In fact, I felt like she was just going through the motions, ala touching me.

Then she continued the treatment with the jade eye massage. I reckon she only spent 2-3 minutes massaging my eye area, then covered my eyes with the supposed eye mask. While “relaxing” with the eye mask, she proceeded to do the other treatment of Brazilian wax. It was strange that she said the wax was not melted enough for the treatment because she didn’t know what time I was coming. Hello, I made an appointment for both my treatments and even confirmed the treatments I was going to do when you called to confirm my appointment the previous day. What do you mean by you don’t know what time I was coming?!

The wax session was possibly the worst I ever experienced. My voucher entitled me to a choice of chocolate or strawberry wax, but no one asked me which one I wanted when I arrived. The therapist didn’t wipe me down prior to waxing and just proceeded to do the wax which was pretty hot on the sensitive skin down there. When I mentioned that it was hot, she didn’t even bother to let the wax cool a bit before proceeding. She merely asked me to bear with it. Then after applying the wax, she didn’t make a “lift tab” like how Face Bistro does, so when it was time to peel the wax strip off, she had difficulties getting a good grip and it hurt so bad when she was yanking out the hair. Some of the strips broke into smaller pieces while she was yanking.

It also seemed like she wasn’t experienced enough because she had to enlist the help of my hands to pull the skin taut, then mumbled to herself which direction she should pull the strip wax. And she sometimes double dip!!! Something I have never experienced at Face Bistro.

The entire wax session took about 1 hour, with up to 3 waxings on certain areas, even though I didn’t have a lot to wax off. In comparison, Face Bistro only does it within 30 minutes (sometimes 20 minutes), with minimal pain and always very clean and hygienic.

All in all, I was quite disappointed with the experience I had at Glow. They have been in the business for very long now, and I thought there must be something good about their services. Apparently not.

Not all collagen supplements are the same

It’s no secret that I’ve always had problems with my skin… the biggest problem of all, acne (I still shudder when I see photos from my uni days, pre-BCP). Then after the acne problem went away with help of BCPs, I had to battle issues with my eczema, particularly around my eyes (read my post on eye eczema). I try to solve the issue temporarily by taking Clarityn as and when required, but all that medication ain’t good for me.

I started on collagen supplements somewhere around end April/early May, more specifically collagen jelly, in a desperate bid to heal my skin. And hopefully, stop the eczema rashes.

Skin C Collagen Jelly

Skin C Collagen Jelly

Confirm Trading brought in this range of beauty jellies earlier this year and had an introductory offer – 4 boxes for $60 (usual price $16.90 for 1 box). So I bought to try. Then, after that, I went onto Sasa.com and saw that it was cheaper online! So anyway, I bought an additional 2 months supply and completed the entire course.

But I felt a little baffled. I wasn’t seeing tremendously good results, despite me eating all that collagen regularly. Then I realised that the 15000mg collagen advertised on the front of the box, was the cumulative amount from the 7 sticks (1 week supply). It wasn’t 15,000mg collagen in a stick! *super D’oh moment*

I researched online further and found out other brands like Meiji were doing 5,000mg of collagen per scoop. I have tried Meiji before but I think 5,000mg of collagen was too rich for me back then (around 23 years old?). And now, because I have drier skin, I think  I need hyaluronic acid as well. Sasa.com was having some promotion for FINE collagen powder, and once again, I bought 1 can and 1 refill pack to try (I estimate 2 months of continuous consumption would be a good gauge)

FINE collagen powder

FINE collagen powder

The effects of consuming 5000mg of collagen (powder) daily are that my skin looks less oily now (probably due to the hyaluronic acid component of FINE collagen powder), my scars are lightened (probably due to the pearl coix extract component), few or no pimples even during PMS and I get less sleep lines now.

I still like the collagen jelly, for its convenient packaging. I have quite a number of weekend trips in August and drinking collagen powder will mean that I either have to pack my collagen powder along (super troublesome!!) or skip on those days (which I didn’t want to). So those collagen jellies come in handy for weekend getaways. I just have to consume 2 jellies to get the same amount of collagen.

I will be doing separate reviews for the collagen jellies and collagen powder soon, so stay tuned!

Crazy about samples *updated 12 Aug 2013

2013-08-02 09.40.53

Don’t we all love/enjoy receiving samples? Sure it’s a great way to test out products and save money but one must be very careful of the samples received as well. I have received some samples that are past their prime, ie expired. Eww… I don’t want to risk having allergies and rashes on my skin, just to save $10.

I used to get samples from The Sample Store, but after some time, I just stopped buying my samples from them because I found myself buying all sorts of samples, but never actually using them. Recently, my sister informed me that there are quite a number of sampling programs on Facebook, so I went online and searched for them.  Just in time for my 4 weekend getaways coming up in August and September.

Here are some links that you guys may be interested in. I’m sorry but these companies are only offering samples for Singapore addresses.

Organix: Free sample sachet of Cherry Blossom Ginseng Shampoo (7.4ml), and Moroccan Argan Oil Penetrating Oil (3.7ml)

Lancome: 3-day UV Expert sampling kit (I think there are 2 kinds of samples available. I got 3 sachets of UV Expert sunscreen, whereas my friend got 3 sachets of UV Expert BB Complete at a different counter).

Philosophy: 1 sachet cleanser & 1 sachet moisturizer

Bioessence: 1 sachet Face Lifting cream

L’Oreal Youth Code: 2 sachets Youth Code Boosting essence

LipIce: mini LipIce sample - requires FB login

Biotherm: 3-day Aquasource Deep Serum sampling kit

Clarins: 5-Day trial supply of Shaping Facial Lift.

Lancome: Visionnaire sample

Rexonahttps://www.facebook.com/rexonasingapore/app_1397356217143480

Vaseline25ml sample

DermaVeen: starter kit

The Body Shop: Tea Tree Oil sample (but you will have to also download a free app)

Acnes Medicated: 3 step kit samples - requires FB login

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter: Skin Therapy Oil sample (email to info@palmers.com.sg with yur <name>, <mailing address> <STO-2>)

Chanel: Resynchronizing skincare samples

Curel: Samples

Cetaphil: Samples

Estee Lauder: Advanced Night Repair sample

If you have any new links to share, or would like to update that some links are not working, please leave a comment! :)

Eye eczema

I hardly have photos of myself on this blog because I lack the confidence as I don’t have good skin. My eyes are extremely sensitive and tend to turn swollen, red and itchy when I’m naughty and indulge in dairy products (I self-diagnosed that I’m allergic to casein because I always have these rashes when I consume milk/yogurt/ice-cream). Other parts of my face (such as the corners of my mouth, and sides of my ears) and body will also react to casein, but not as bad as my eyes. Sometimes, if my skin is extremely dry, I get these flareups too.

So anyway, I’ve got a bad flareup recently and no amount of moisturizer seemed to be able to bring down the inflammation, short of steroids. I usually use Mario Badescu’s control cream but it doesn’t seem to be working well for me now. Anyway, I just did a Google search on the product and it seems like MB has discontinued it temporarily for a formula revamp. So no point blogging about it now.

My eyes are so darn itchy, I can’t stop picking at it… and now I’m getting bare spots at the tails of my eyebrows. Can anyone recommend something to me??

Sad eyelids. :(

Sad eyelids. :(

Liquid Sky Lacquer – Fuchsia Illusion (THERMAL)

I decided to go off Gelish for the time being as my nails were getting paper thin and soft. Urgh. And I invested in quite a number of nail strengtheners (Sally Hansen Miracle Nail Thickener & Dr LeWinn’s RevitaNail) as well. I still <3 Dr LeWinn.

Anyway, Beatrice introduced me to Meimei’s Signatures, an online shop in Singapore specialising in indie nail polishes. And man, that lady has got some really nice brands/polishes at her shop!

I got this interesting nail polish, Fuchsia Illusion from the brand Liquid Sky Lacquer. The polish is a rich purple holo when your body temperature is low, and turns to a hot pink holo when the temperature is hot. I couldn’t stop staring at my nails and see the colour change.

Application was a breeze, and it dried pretty quickly too.

In transition

In transition