Weddings are hard work. It takes a village, some might even say. Between the dress, the venue, the flowers, the vows, the seating arrangements and 101 other details that need your attention, attempting to pull off the perfect wedding veers more into nightmarish territory than happily ever after. More so if you're discovering your impending nuptials are bringing out control freak tendencies you never knew you had (bridezilla alert!). While every woman deals with her wedding-induced stress — and the fear of mother-in-law — differently, a time-honoured solution is simply to put everything on hold and have a nice spa day to give yourself a breather. So delegate (that's what your wedding planner and Maid of Honour are for), book yourself a treatment or three from our round up of the best bridal spas in Singapore, and you'll be on your way to Zen faster than you can say 'I do'.
1. CLARINS SKIN SPA
Wheelock Place, #05-05/06/07, 6838-5060
Treatment: The Total V Face Shaper, $250 for 75 minutes
What you can expect: An entirely hand-worked facial, administered by trained Clarins beauty therapists. Highly personalised, you'll be taken through the experience step-by-step, before having a consultation that looks at your skin concerns and lifestyle habits — particularly how it affects your complexion. From your answers, your therapist will tailor the serums that will best suit your skin. The spa also uses exclusive ClarinsPro formulas, which work in tandem with their specially developed facial techniques to enhance the results.
With the Total V Face Shaper, it's a no-brainer you're going for a slimmer face. And if you're familiar with Clarins' Shaping Facial Lift signature serum, this here is the intensified skin spa edition. Meant to reduce water retention and refine the facial contours, there's a clay mask for the lower half of your face, which you'll feel tightening your jawline once it's applied, and a finishing oshibori (aka a cold compress) helps to shrink pores as the ultimate refreshing touch. You'll definitely step out with a rejuvenated, glowy complexion but if you're looking to debut a jawline sharp enough to cut glass on your wedding day, it's recommended to maintain your post-facial results with the at-home Auto-Lift method, paired with the Shaping Facial Lift series.
Pamper points: 7.5/10
2. BRANCHÈ HAIR & NAIL
#B1-33 Capitol Piazza, 6499-5599
Treatment: Paragel manicure, $110 for 90 minutes
What you can expect: First class service served up à la Japanese hospitality with exacting standards. A luxury salon that flies a little under the radar, Branchè specialises in nail art using lacquer from Japanese brand Paragel, though they're also pretty nifty with hair. And with in-house expert nailist Safori Asai presiding over your digits, you won't have to worry about any nail-chipping scenarios on the big day.
Kicking things off with a drink from the complimentary bar (options range from matcha tea all the way to bubbly), you're then settled into a plush leather chair as the hand pamper begins. Tucked in a private nook called Caplus Nail within the salon space, Asai first consults with you on the nail look you want. No nail art is too impossible for her with her years of experience but you'll want something classic and bridal. If you're unsure or want to switch up the traditional French mani a tad, ask away and Asai's more than happy to throw in some suggestions.
Following this, your nails are filed and shaped, cuticles are buffed, and if needed, 'repair work' using extra-strong gel is applied on any chipped areas. Professional to a T, she spends as much time prepping your nails as she does painting them. Once set and dried, you'll have digits that can pass for a hand model, and you know all those close-ups of you clutching your wedding bouquet are going to turn out perfect. Just FYI, any additional nail art will take extra time and is charged accordingly.
Pamper points: 7/10
3. DAMAI SPA
Grand Hyatt, 10 Scotts Road, 6416-7156
Treatment: Invigorating Body Scrub for 30 minutes, Targeted Healing Treatment for 60 minutes, and Radiance Facial for 60 minutes, entirely customisable under the Damai Spa Credit Programme
What you can expect: A 360 degree sensory experience that revives the senses and resets your state of mind. Big on a holistic approach, Damai Spa at the Grand Hyatt is a not just firm favourite among massage enthusiasts, its team of therapists is also well versed in curating an R&R programme that'll bring out the best of every bride-to-be. Recommended by spa manager Sabrina who put together the above treatments to target the face and body, you'll first start off with a foot wash to ease you in. A little sensory test is administered in the meantime where you sniff an array of essential oils and pinpoint the one that speaks to you the most. This will determine the type of body scrub and massage oil (invigorating and balancing versus calming and nourishing) that your therapist will use. The idea is that your body knows what you need, so you close your eyes and use your other senses to decide what's best for you.
Almost immediately you'll sink into tranquility once you lie face down and your therapist rubs you down with the skin brush. This is a pre-scrub step to open the pores so as to boost the efficacy of the exfoliants. Going from your back to front, a quick rinse-off after will have you jumping right into the healing massage. And it goes without saying the pressure and areas of focus are yours to dictate, so feel free to voice your preferences at any time. Once you've completely slipped into bliss post-massage, your head will be gently nudged into place for the facial (yes, it segues from treatment to treatment that seamlessly). Your all-in-one therapist/aesthetician will then assess your face via UV lamp in order to correctly diagnose your skin issues. There will be light extraction if needed before your skin is fed the good stuff with the ESPA face treatment oil suited to your complexion. The last step is a pink clay hair mask rubbed into the roots of your hair and left on to nourish the scalp. Completely re-energising, you will walk out a changed woman with a new glow.
Pamper points: 9/10
4. REMÈDE SPA
St. Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Rd, 6506-6896
Treatment: Organic Botox Oxygen Facial, $390 for 90 minutes
What you can expect: A revitalising, customised facial to give you a renewed complexion sans any invasive procedures. Personal iPods in your treatment room are also a Remède Spa mainstay, allowing you to plug in into the music you prefer that best helps you to fully relax your mind and body.
Before anything else, don't be put off by the word 'botox'. There won't be needles going near your face, so you can put those fears to rest. This signature Remède treatment combines three innovative therapies instead to achieve the instantly visible effect of 'lifted' skin. First up is microdermabrasion to exfoliate and remove dry, dead skin cells so that the oxygen therapy is better able to penetrate into the dermis. Pure hyaluronic acid is then infused deep into your skin, which helps in significantly reducing fine lines and wrinkles. To express it as an analogy, think of it as a deflated basketball regaining its full shape. The oxygen therapy also gives a tightening effect to firm and define your facial contours, in case you're paranoid about any unsightly jowls making an appearance once your wedding veil has been pulled back. The end result: Deeply hydrated skin with a youthful, healthy glow fit for a blushing bride.
Pamper points: 8/10
5. SULWHASOO SPA
Ion Orchard, #B2-02, 6509-9979
Treatment: Snowise Brightening Treatment, $240 for 80 minutes
What you can expect: A facial that plumps and brightens the skin, delivered with traditional Asian beauty wisdom. Harmonised with special treatment tools to double the efficacy of the products, Snowise is Sulwhasoo's signature brightening treatment that not only brings your glow back, it has the bonus side effect of making you look younger.
First things first, a foot soak and scrub in ginseng water starts your rejuvenating journey. While your feet are getting pampered, you'll be asked to choose one of four signature Sulwhasoo scents for your facial - this is an aromatherapy element that will soothe you throughout the session. The most popular is Plum Blossom, a soft floral, but the classic First Peace blend contains ginseng notes and makes a better choice if you're looking to de-stress. Administering your chosen aroma, the Sulwhajeong ritual is the next step, where your therapist will stimulate your skin using a dry cloth infused with the scent to massage the meridian points of your face. The highlight of the Snowise treatment though? A pair of chilled white jade stones that work over your face once the serum has been applied; deliver a cooling sensation that enhances the facial. You'll also get a hand and shoulder massage to round off your de-stress session.
Pamper points: 8/10
6. PREP LUXE
Capitol Piazza, #01-62, 6384-1406
Treatment: Ashley & Co. Blowout paired with Olaplex Protection add-on, $105
What you can expect: With an award-winning team behind the brand, your hair will be treated like the finest of silks once you check in. Even the most untameable and unmanageable locks will become the shining mane every bride desires.
If you're like most modern brides who want their hair to not look like it's been flat-ironed into stiff submission when you walk down the aisle, blowouts are the ideal way to tame the frizz yet retain natural movement. The Ashley & Co. blowout is co-founder Jacqueline Chang's recommendation, as it's an all-natural treatment that cuts out the nasties such as sodium laureth sulphate, parabens, mineral oils, colourings and synthetic fragrances - all of which can compromise your hair's integrity in the long run. After all, you want your hair to look good on the wedding and the subsequent honeymoon, right? Safe even for those with sensitive scalps, top up your treatment with Olaplex protection — an add-on optional available with any of Prep Luxe's blowout services — to restore your hair's health, particularly if you regularly subject your hair to chemical jobs like colouring or bleaching. It'll also help your hair look more voluminous, especially if you're going with big loose waves.
Pamper points: 7/10
7. SPA BY JW
JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach, 30 Beach Road, 6818-1888
Treatment: Signature Spa Journey, 170 minutes
What you can expect: A relaxing, experiential treatment that's tailored to you, even though Spa by JW is usually frequented as an express spa popular for its 15 and 25-minute treatments. Sectioned into four types (Calm, Indulge, Invigorate and Renew), you'll be curated a spa menu that mixes and matches these categories.
This here is a massage and then some. Inspired by traditional East Asian massage techniques, the Signature Spa Journey is a combination of Spa by JW's cocoon body wrap treatment with a 90-minute massage of your choice. Meant to boost overall circulation and promote relaxation, you first start off with a body exfoliation made using locally harvested ingredients that will deep cleanse and brighten your skin. To make this a truly soothing and restoring experience, go for the Stress Relief massage to complement your body wrap. A deep relaxing massage that utilises specially blended therapeutic oils, it's a stress and tension reliever with a side of aromatherapy to give you a total reset.
Pamper points: 7/10
4. ESTHÉVA SPA
Marina Mandarin Singapore, #05-00, 6266-6833
Treatment: Happiness BrideSpa, 4 hours and 40 minutes for $750
What you can expect: The ultimate indulgence for brides-to-be. This is a full spa package that preps you from top-to-toe, on top of soothing and revitalising your senses. It's six separate treatments rolled into one spa menu that'll have you luxuriating the day away.
Specially put together for brides, you're pampered with a Citrus SaltGlow scrub to start, followed by a Whitening BodyWrap to detoxify, shape and renew your body with the use of anti-oxidant oils. Post-wrap, it's time for the Happiness Massage, which is one of nine award-winning bespoke Equilibrium Massages exclusive to Esthéva Spa. Premium nutrient oils with healing properties are combined with innovative massage techniques to knead away aches and knots. Next comes the C-Matrix Vitamin C facial, a spa signature where a unique, patented natural mask of collagen containing protein is applied to boost your skin's healing properties. Reparative and radiance enhancing, you'll see your complexion spring back to youthful flawlessness.
Body and face done and done, you'll move on to getting your hands pampered with the BrideSpa mani and pedi. A grapeseed salt scrub gets your hands baby soft, followed by a thermal mud wrap and a moisturising mask for both hands and feet before your colour of choice gets painted on. And just when you think you're done, you're shuttled off to get your back waxed. Yes, you read that right. A trained waxing specialist will take over things, using high-quality professional wax from France to do the job. It's not nearly as painful as you'd think as the hairs on your back are finer, but even if you have to grit and bear it, it'll all be worth it when you slip on your low-back gown.
Pamper points: 10/10
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