3 last minute beauty services to help you turn on your pretty
From head to toe
Got a packed social calendar on your hands but not enough time to hit up all the salons and spas for that gleaming makeover you've been wanting? Well, here's the part where you start strategising. To give you an analogy, it's like those times when you hop into your Uber en-route to a meeting, with 10 minutes on the clock while you break out your on-the-go makeup to look more human, grooming the important stuff like brows, lips, and maybe a quick contour. Except we're talking professional finishes sans the road bumps and gnarly mascara swipes. For the ultimate beauty trifecta to get polished in the nick of time, check out these services tried-and-tested by the Buro beauty team:
FOR INSTA-READY BROWS
One of the best things you can do to whip your look into shape for the festive season? Get your brows professionally done. I headed to Browhaus for Browgraphy — a shaping plus colour tweak that consisted of a Thread & Tweeze followed by a brow tinting session. First up, I spoke to my therapist about my expectations. I wanted my brows to look fuller and darker, even though some minor overplucking had left them a bit sparse and uneven.
She started by assessing my brows and noting that one brow was higher and differently shaped than the other — the woes of being unsymmetrical. First she threaded the brows to make them more even, removing hair from the top of my left brow to balance things out. Next comes the tweezing portion which helped to finetune the process, by picking up any tiny, stray brows, for a truly flawless shape.
The final portion was the application of a customised brow dye — I opted for a dark brown to contrast with my lighter hair, although you can go lighter as well if you have dark brows and very, light hair and don't fancy that 1980s Madonna look. The dye is painted on and left for 10-15 minutes, and not only darkens your brow strands, but temporarily stains the skin under your brows as well. This means it can be function almost like a brow tattoo. The result? Dark and fuller K-brows for the festive season. The tinted, more voluminous effect will last about a week or so, if you don't rub it too much with cleanser or makeup remover. It's perfect for those who are not great at drawing their brows evenly, and really helps to frame the face, giving it structure and presence. — Renée Batchelor, beauty editor
Browgraphy Thread & Tweeze ($45 for about 45 minutes). Available at all Browhaus outlets. Call for an appointment.
FOR THAT FLAWLESS FACE
Nothing says you're healthy like good skin, even when it's hungover season. To get, and maintain, the ultimate fresh-faced look, the Juvena MasterCaviar facial is the one to take you from dull and dry to glowy and dewy. A luxury treatment of Swiss import, Juvena specialises in anti-ageing using only the most premium ingredients such as caviar and gold, with their signature facial available at only two locations in Singapore, one of them being Le Facialle.
Settling in for this luxe treatment, my MasterCaviar experience starts with the usual cleanse and exfoliate, although a bamboo powder scrub replaces the usual beaded exfoliants for a deeper yet gentle clean. This is followed by a ruby crystal ball massage going over my temples and eye area to cool, soothe and de-stress the senses, after which a spot of aromatherapy relaxes you even more. By infusing hot towels with scented oils, my therapist — who was specially trained in administering the MasterCaviar facial — held it over my nose for the calming aroma to diffuse into each breath I took.
At this point, anyone would have succumbed to utter bliss, but I had to force myself to stay semi-coherent in the name of beauty journalism (the struggle is real). Getting to the opulent part now, my therapist cuts up a delicate sheet of real gold into nine square pieces, which she then strategically places over parts of my face, before layering on the Juvena serum for better absorption. Gold has firming and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin, so if it's lines and wrinkles you're concerned about, you can toss them out the proverbial window with Juvena. I'm also treated to a lip compress infused with caviar, and then a shoulder and upper back massage. Once all that gold has sunk into the skin, a miracle beauty mask rounds out the MasterCaviar facial, with one application being equivalent to the effect of getting your 8-hour beauty sleep - something I saw for myself when my refreshed face stared back at me post-facial. Think of it like a less OTT version of Korean glass skin, achievable in but a single session.
At Le Facialle, 10 Sinaran Drive, Square 2 Level B1-101/104, 6732 3839 ($388 for 120 minutes). Call for an appointment. — Angelyn Kwek, beauty writer
FOR CONVERSATION NAILS
Say aye if you want need a pretty, festive manicure for all those snaps where you'll be cradling a glass of some Christmas cocktail or other... which will inevitably end up on social media. No chipped nails and rough cuticles will darken your holidays. And it would also seem every other woman has the same idea, what with nail spas being booked to bursting everywhere. It took me two emails and three calls later to even get an appointment, and I landed on Lacquer & Spa, located at the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.
While it's a place further from the hubbub of popular nail salons, the TLC you get for your digits is absolutely top-notch. The space itself is akin to a cosy nook tucked closer to the shopping duplex's coach terminal, outfitted with plush manicure chairs in a monochrome interior décor. I walked into a busy morning for the nail spa but was promptly attended to by Yoomi, an extremely efficient and thorough Korean manicurist. She got right into trimming and filing my nails, at one point even using an automated buffing tool to polish my cuticles to their most refined. After slicking on a basecoat, I showed her the nail art I had in mind, which was a festive-appropriate design of Christmas lights I got off (where else?) Instagram.
More than happy to paint them on, Yoomi instead suggested rose gold nail wire to replace the black polish, and she also recommended additional red and green loose glitter for the 'lights' to give it that extra pop. It turns out that's her thing; making suggestions to switch up a nail art look a customer shows her, so that it'll be unique to them instead of copying it wholesale. I'm super chuffed with her recommendations, so two coats of white base colour later, she began cutting small pieces of nail wire to fit onto each finger — an extremely labourious feat as the little things had to be carefully bent to fit the curve of the nail bed, on top of twisting it to form loops. But it was testament to her skill and patience as she applied it onto each nail, sealing it in with topcoat after securing the wire.
Finishing up the design with dots of red and green glitter gel polishes, which she then topped up with the aforementioned loose glitter, Yoomi also tossed in one or two miniscule pearls per nail to give the look a touch of sophistication. I daresay any difficulty of nail art can be had, and with its extended operating hours — till 11pm at night, ladies — Lacquer & Spa might just be the golden find if you're looking squeeze in a last minute mani that slays #nailspiration. — Angelyn Kwek, beauty writer
Lacquer & Spa, Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Coach Bay, Level B1-02, 6688 7773 (from $75 for gel manicure). Call for an appointment.