Escape the CNY surcharge at these beauty places

Escape the CNY surcharge at these beauty places

Payless beauty source

Text: Renée Batchelor

Whether you celebrate Chinese New Year or not, there's one thing you can't escape. And no, it's not traditional music being blasted at every mall and supermarket near you. Find out where to go if you want to avoid a surcharge for your must-do beauty services

Chinese New Year surcharges may be a way for businesses to cash in during the festive period. And while we don't begrudge them wanting to maximise profits during this lucrative period, we feel that it's our perogative as consumers to also look out for places that don't practice slapping on extra charges. 

Here's our round-up of reputable beauty places around the island that don't charge extra, plus the services you can try there and their phone numbers. Words of advice: It's pretty hard finding a lash extension bar or salon that doesn't add a fee during this period. In fact, 90 percent of the places we called charged up to $20 on top of the usual fee which can add as much as 25 per cent to your bill, while the remaining 10 per cent had no appointments left. So if you haven't got your lashes done and don't want to shell out extra for extensions, you'll have to make do with a good set of falsies or a great mascara. Also, start booking pronto for any of these services, as slots are filling out faster than you can count your ang pow hauls.

Clarins Open Spa
L1 Metro Centrepoint, 6735-8474
What's on offer: Flash facials and a relaxing body service that lasts just 30 minutes (including a 10 minute consultation) are carried out in a private corner of Metro Centrepoint's beauty floor. This is a great option for the time-starved and those whose skin needs instant resuscitation, but can't find the time (or the timeslot) to book themselves in for a full-on facial. Call for an appointment.
Cost: $38 per treatment 


Benefit Brow Bar
At selected Sephora outlets, call for an appointment
What's on offer: The main services are the brow wax and tinting, which we would highly recommend if you can score a much-coveted appointment, as it lends instant structure and polish to the face. Facial waxing is also available, for all those up-close-and-personal inspections from nosy relatives.
Cost: $26 for a signature brow arch service which also includes styling with the brand's extensive eyebrow makeup.


72 Tras Steet, 6221-4797 and 424 Joo Chiat Road, 6344-0121
What's on offer: This French aesthetic salon does it all from IPL facial rejuvenation to hair removal to Esthecryo, their version of cryolipolysis. It also offers a 3-day intensive anti-ageing treatment that includes micro-needling, LED therapy and radiofrequency for quick, noticeable results before your face time with the fam.
Cost: Treatments start from $250 per à la carte session and can cost up to $990 for a package of three facials.


Level 2 Robinson Square, 6221-2203
What's on offer: This hair removal parlour offers two main services, laser hair removal (with a three year warranty) and waxing on all the parts of your body — from your sideburns to your butt cheeks!
Cost: From $12 for an upper lip wax to $60 per bikini line laser treatment.


Salon Vim
#02-01 Wisma Atria 6734-6404 and 235 Victoria Street, 6837-0073
What's on offer: The salon is known for trendsetting hair colours especially via its constantly updated Instagram account and stable of Insta-starlets, but like any leading salon you'll find everything from blowouts to hair treatments on offer. Come here to give yourself the hair makeover (you may sorely) need.
Cost: From $40 for a haircut.


Mi the Salon
#03-19 Ion Orchard, 6884-7757
What's on offer: The sophisticated big sister of Salon Vim, opened by Gary Chew who also helms the former, come to Mi the Salon if you want a more pampering and relaxing experience. Tucked away in a corner of Ion Orchard, the salon is all tasteful and spacious interiors. A colour expert, Chew and his team will be able to give you the colour of your dreams, as they did for Buro's beauty writer Angelyn who tried the spanking new Korean Gloss treatment. Also available are nail services in case you didn't have time to get your manicure done.
Cost: From $30 for a wash and blow to $218 for the Korean Gloss Anti-Frizz Treatment.


#03-13 Mandarin Gallery, 8133-0818
What's on offer: This Korean hair specialist occupies a massive space on level three of Mandarin Gallery and some of their key services include the Cinderella anti-frizz treatment, hair spas, barber and nail services that use an exclusive, 8-free lacquer brand. When we called the salon, limited slots were available for the upcoming week, but all the lash slots had vanished like our new year diet plans.
Cost: From $45 for a wash and blow to $300 for the Cinderella treatment


Branché Hair Salon
#B1-33 Capitol Piazza, 6702-3036
What's on offer: This elegant Japanese salon offers a whole host of cutting edge treatments from hair styling and spas to top-notch, ultra-meticulous nail art done by its top nailist Safori. If you had a good bonus or really want to splurge this CNY, book yourself in for the works, pronto. When we called to ask about surcharges, there were none, as we suspected would be the case for such a classy establishment.
Cost: From $115 for a gel manicure to $300 for a digital perm.


Lacquer & Spa
#B1-02 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 6688-7773
What's on offer: Nail art, spa manicures and pedicures as well as facials and foot reflexology are peddled in the cosy, minimalist chic salon. Book yourself in for a much-needed pedicure and foot reflex after a shopping marathon or hard day at work, or treat yourself to some Buro-approved nail art. Hey, even Venus Williams has been here to get her nails did. Do note that surcharges do apply for package holders though.
Cost: From $49 for a manicure to $38 for 30 minutes of custom reflexology.