Three to try: Pampering treatments at the new Tangs beauty services at Level 4
Step into my beauty parlour
If shopping for beauty in brightly-lit, cramped aisles with loud music blaring isn't your idea of a good time, Singapore has a new retail and treatment experience to offer the discerning beauty-phile. If you haven't yet paid a visit to the newly-revamped Level 4 of TANGS at Tang Plaza, you're in for a surprise. The entire floor has been converted into a beauty and wellness haven with everything from Aesop facials to eyelash extensions by Qween to joint therapies by Orchard Health Lifestyle on offer.
Best of all, the store-in-store concept of exclusive and luxurious brands, and spacious aisles, makes for a pleasant, unhurried shopping experience. We love the idea of a day of pampering, as we flit from door to door to do our nails, lashes, hair and face, all conveniently located at one destination. Also coming to Level 4 soon, Japanese, holistic skincare and cosmetics brand Three, which will open its doors for the first time ever in Singapore in September, and will also offer facials. Because the Buro team was privileged enough to try some of the ultra-pampering treatments on offer, read on for our reviews of three, outstanding services.
DrHair Anti-Hairloss Treatment ($420 for 90 minutes)
Dr Georgia Lee is one of the most well-known aesthetic doctors in Singapore, and her latest outpost is a cosy spa in TANGS that has both a facial and body (dubbed DrSpa) and a hair (DrHair) component. While I had heard rave reviews prior to my treatment, I was still pleasantly surprised by the personable service and effectiveness of the treatment — that didn't sacrifice on the relaxation elements.
The treatment starts with a thorough questionnaire — which was impressively detailed — to determine my areas of concern and general lifestyle and habits. After my scalp diagnosis, the picture (literally) wasn't a pretty one. I had an oily and clogged scalp with a small patch of dandruff that was probably stress-related. And like anyone who is staring down middle age, I also had some hair loss issues. Don't expect a gloom and doom approach though, as DrSpa is all about developing an effective treatment plan using the brand's propietary products while still giving you a luxurious experience. My therapist Jordan began the ritual which started with a spray gun to deep cleanse the scalp and help remove sebum and product build-up with high-pressure jets of water, followed by a thorough wash with the brand's shampoos. Jordan also gave me many helpful tips such as the fact that I should shampoo my hair twice at each wash for the best cleanse, and that I should always do so at night to get rid of the debris and dirt from the day.
After the wash and light conditioning, Jordan massaged an antipseptic spray on my entire scalp before spraying on the brand's in-salon only Hair Booster to help with hair growth. Finally, he used a 24-karat gold-plated micro-roller (each spike is a tiny 0.5mm) to stimulate the scalp and help the treatment penetrate more effectively. While slightly painful especially at certain areas, it was not an uncomfortable experience, especially in the plush and quiet surroundings of the hair spa. After two rounds of the roller, my hair was spritzed with the Solution (Anti-Hairloss) and I was given a scalp and head massage before my tresses were blow-dried.
A post-treatment diagnosis revealed a cleansed and more balanced scalp that was no longer oily, plus a significant reduction in flakiness and a lighter feeling on the scalp — the roller seemed to have reawakened my blood circulation. Although primarily a scalp treatment, my hair looked healthier, shinier and bouncier as well — a happy side effect of my time spent at the spa. — Renée Batchelor, Beauty Editor
Aesop Facial Ascorbic Action Facial ($150 for 60 minutes or $180 for 75 minutes)
Aesop facials are widely known to be thoughtful, well-curated affairs. If you've tried their facials at one of their outlets globally in Melbourne, Sydney, Hamburg, and London, well, lucky you. From its beautiful choice of fit out, to the high bed, to the pressure of massage strokes, everything has been purposefully designed to make the facial experience one that rises above the rest. For the rest of us, here's your good news for the day — these delightful treatments are finally available in Singapore.
Housed at TANGS Level 4, the Aesop facial studio is small, but typically on brand. Designed by Chris Thompson from Aesop's in-house design team, the spacefeatures sleek wooden chairs, hanging pendant lights, and gorgeous green marbleand brass detailing in rest of the furniture. Enter the treatment room and slip rightinto the bed's comforting layers, which can be adjusted to the perfect curvature foryour back and feet. A quote by Janis Joplin is inscribed into the ceiling, best viewed when you're lying down — "Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got." That reminder, alongside fresh warm towels on your body, are part of why Aesop's attention to detail adds another layer of glory. Aesop facials are tailored to different skin types and conditions, so the best way to go about it is to let your therapist examine your face, before deciding which of the six facials to prescribe you.
I tried the Ascorbic Action Facial, an intensive treatment that delivers potent, concentrated doses of antioxidants, vitamin E, and vitamin C at a low pH — the ideal remedy for dull, dry, and patchy skin. Your therapist performs a deep cleanse on your skin and extractions (if you please), before brushing a warm, custom-blended vitamin C facial serum layer all over your face and neck — hands down the best part of the whole treatment. She then massages it in and finishes off with a mask. Every Aesop treatment comes with a divine face and scalp massage,which will send you straight into slumber. The end result? Softer, smoother skin and a luminous glow that lasted for days after. — Amelia Chia, Deputy Editor
Shiseido Future Solution LX Yutaka Treatment (price unavailable, 60 minutes)
We'd like to think that experiencing one of Shiseido's signature Yutaka facials in the new cabin in TANGS, is the next best thing to going to Japan. Using the brand's premium range of newly-revamped Future Solution LX products, the facial also has two special elements: Sound and the use of the Yutaka massager and stone to enhance the effects of the luxurious, age-defying products.
My therapist Ayumi Kanouchi – just like the Inari pottery used to make the facial tools — came all the way from Japan to impart her knowledge and skills to the beauty therapists in Shiseido's Singapore counters, and also bless us with her magic fingers. Although she diagnosed my skin as needing a brightening treatment — each facial can be semi-customised to your skin's needs — the Yutaka facial is also about achieving holistic balance and restoring your inner equilibrium through a lavish experience.
While Omotenashi music recorded from the natural sounds of Mount Koya played — we told you this was the next best thing to heading to the land of the rising sun — Ayumi's fingers danced over my face in an elaborate series of massages and rituals, as my skin was cleansed, softened, and double-masked for an immediate brightening effect.
I lost all concept of time and space in the hush of the darkened room, as Ayumi used the artisan Yutaka tools — gently heated — to massage and lift my face. The background music was hardly audible, yet I found myself drifting in and out of sleep, thus it fulfilled its mission of creating an ambiance of total relaxation. Best of all I woke to plump, glowing and even-toned skin that didn't need to be hidden under a veil of makeup. It was a perfect mid-day, perk-me up for tired souls and tired skin. — Renée Batchelor, Beauty Editor