Category Archives: fashion

New Haircut and Hair Colour for 2014

To usher in 2014, I got a new haircut at my regular salon, Naoki Yoshihara by Ash and coloured my hair to a lighter tint of brown:

I blogged about this japanese salon at Liang Court previouslyYou can visit their official facebook page to find out more about them. 

I will be turning 34 this year in October… I need to feel young again. The hair colour seems to help. Friends whom I had not seen for a while all commented that I look younger, fresher or trendier.

This feels good, even though my waistline is expanding, my hair is thinning and I feel less capable of taking on and conquering the world with each passing year.

With Chinese New Year round the corner, might be a good time to change your hairstyle or try something different to surprise your relatives and loved ones when house visiting? 🙂

If you are thinking of popping by Naoki Yoshihara by Ash, please note the following festive period changes:

18th Jan 2014 – 28th Jan 2014: there will be a 30% increase on the total bill.
29th Jan 2014 and 30th Jan 2014: there will be a 50% increase on the total bill.

During the Chinese New  Year period, operation hours are:

30th Jan 2014: 10.30am to 3.00pm
31st Jan 2014 to 6th Feb 2014: Closed
Normal operation hours will resume from 7th Feb.
10.30am to 8.30pm (Closed on every Tues)

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I just turned 33

Happy birthday… to myself.

Last week, I noticed I am starting to spot some white hairs.

Instead of dyeing my hair jet-black, I decided to change my hairstyle and tint it slightly for a refreshing change as I reach double 3 of age:

The secret to good skin? Adobe Photoshop.
The secret to good skin? Adobe Photoshop. Front view.
Back view
Back view
Side view
Side view

I am feeling younger already. 🙂

My new hairstyle was done at Naoki Yoshihara by Ash. I blogged about this japanese salon at Liang Court previously. You can visit their official facebook page to find out more about them. 

Men’s Shirts from ButtonNStitch

I was introduced to ButtonNStitch about a year ago. They are one of the rare e-commerce sites in Singapore which targets males instead of females.

ButtonNStitch‘s focus is on formal dress shirts; with attention to details on the choice of fabric and cut, at a reasonable price.

They do not make bespoke shirts like CYC, but they do offer a variety in style, carrying straight and slim cut formal shirts for every style listed on their site.

ButtonNStitch has a very user-friendly navigation environment. For men, there are just a few key items to take note of when buying a formal shirt – size (in inches), fit (slim or straight), colour and pattern on the fabric. All these options are available on the left-hand side bar on the site:

To me, ButtonNStitch feels like the Japanese no-frills express haircut services in the online world, catering to the same group of time-starved, wallet-conscious, yet style-demanding urban men.

Your shirt will come individually wrapped in a box like this
Your shirt will come individually wrapped in a box like this
Inside the box
Inside the box
Blue stripe shirt I ordered
Blue stripe shirt I ordered
16.5
16.5″, straight fit

The site holds regular sale. Hence do check back for discounts.

ButtonNStitch has a free delivery free returns policy.

The business is based in Singapore and they use Singapore Post (Free) and DHL Express (Chargeble) to handle your dress shirt package and ensure timely delivery. Dress shirts purchased for standard delivery will be free of charge. If you opt for express international delivery via DHL, actual cost of carriage will be billed to you. You will be informed of the cost for express delivery and will be required to agree to pay such costs before confirming your purchase.

Fifth VIP Fashion Night @ The Shoppe at Marina Bay Sands

The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands staged its fifth VIP Fashion Night last Friday in a colourful display of fashion and festivities.

The one-night only signature mall event presented exclusive treats for shoppers, from live entertainment to roving fashion shows, special in-store activities and many retailer offers. Lucky shoppers also walked away with 250 gift redemptions from Oroton, Pandora, Penhaligon’s, TODAI, as well as tickets to the upcoming Starlight Express show by Andrew Lloyd Webber showing 13-24 November at the MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands.

The night saw a brilliant display of two roving fashion shows featuring the season’s latest trends from 18 participating retailers at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

The two roving fashion shows throughout the night displayed the season’s latest trends from 18 fashion labels at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Participating retailers were 6Five Barcode, adidas, Anne Fontaine, Evisu, Germain, Guess, Harley Davidson, Ferrari, iROO, Juicy Couture, Marisfrolg, Miss Sixty, MOISELLE, N.Tyler, Salon by Surrender, Tommy Hilfiger Denim, Pashma and Porsche Design:

Some of the roving models on stage
Some of the roving models on stage
Another four of the roving models
Another four of the roving models

Shoppers also grooved to the best beats at the VIP Party Bar with special guest DJs from KU DE TA Joshua (Head Resident DJ) and DJ Deepak (Resident DJ) helming the decks. Live music acts including Jazz at The Shoppes and a string quartet performance also injected smooth vibes, lending a soothing respite to all.

Shoppers registration
Shoppers registration
The VIP Party Bar with red carpet
The VIP Party Bar with red carpet

Amidst the shopping extravaganza, shoppers get to enjoy complimentary champagne upon arrival, free popcorn and candy floss. Two mock photo studios set up by LUMEN gave fashionistas a glimpse into all the excitement that takes place behind the scenes of a fashion photo shoot.

British fragrance house Penhaligon’s also launched its new perfume – the Iris Prima – on VIP Fashion Night. The Iris Prima is an elegant scent that offers a fascinating glimpse into the magical world of ballet:

Penhaligon's at Marina Bay Sands
Penhaligon’s at Marina Bay Sands
Introducing, the Iris Prima
Introducing, the Iris Prima
The ballerina story behind the creation of the Iris Prima
The ballerina story behind the creation of the Iris Prima
Ballet themed visual merchandising
Ballet themed visual merchandising

Come 9 to 19 October, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands will present Fashion Week 2013, its largest ever fashion show on property over an 11-day extravaganza. Organised by FIDé Fashion Weeks, the highly anticipated fashion event will see over 30 inspiring presentations of Men’s and Women’s Prêt-à-Porter and Couture labels that are set to blaze Asia’s fashion scene. Get your tickets now. (Tickets start from S$20 for a single show)

Clear Men Fresh Tips

Do you use your girlfriend’s or wife’s shampoo?

Do you know how much shampoo you should use each time you wash your hair?

Unilever’s Clear Men, the world’s number one male shampoo has come up with a series of fresh tips videos for men.

Check them out via Clear Men’s official youtube channel, starting with these two:

The videos are kept short, fun and witty, making them quick to watch for the time-starved urban males. 

For more tips, follow #freshtips, Clear Men’s official facebook page for Singapore or their official Twitter account.

Naoki Yoshihara by Ash Hair Salon – Special Promotion

Naoki Yoshihara by Ash
Naoki Yoshihara by Ash

I went for a haircut and scalp treatment at Naoki Yoshihara by Ash a few weeks back. The salon is located in Liang Court and is the brainchild of former CEO of QB House, Mr. Kazutaka Iwai and his partners under MJ TOKYO Holdings Pte Ltd.

Iwai-san is the man who brought the no-frills salon concept of QB House into Singapore and Hong Kong.

Me with Iwai-san
Me with Iwai-san and a portrait of Mr. Naoki Yoshihara in the background 

Naoki Yoshihara by Ash is the first salon by Ash in Asia. Ash is a large Japanese hair salon chain with over 100 shops in Japan. Naoki Yoshihara by Ash, is named after the founder of Ash, Mr Naoki Yoshihara. For the highest service quality assurance, all stylists at the salon are trained in Japan and certified by Mr Naoki Yoshihara himself.

Inside the salon
Inside the salon
Shampoo and wash area
Shampoo and wash area
Reception counter
Reception counter

The salon is newly open and is running promotional discounts till end of Sep 2013 (click on image to enlarge):

The treatment I experienced was Shiseido’s The Hair Care Fuente Forte for Scalp Care. The whole treatment process took about 50 mins including three rounds of washing and scalp massages. You can choose to go for either the hot or cold scalp treatment using the same products; except one will make scalp feels cool while the other warms it. I went for the cool version and I really did feel the icy coldness.

Shisheido's The Hair Care Fuente Forte for Scalp Care products on the lower shelf
Shisheido’s The Hair Care Fuente Forte for Scalp Care products on the lower shelf

What the treatment does is to nurture the scalp for the long-term health of the hair. Fuente Forte contains Shisedo’s original Cell Maturation Agent which enhances the scalp’s barrier function and increases its resistance to local problems like roughness, dandruff and itchiness.

Scalp massage
Scalp massage
Wash
Wash

My scalp did feel rejuvenated after the very cosy treatment (so comfortable that I nearly fell asleep in the middle of the scalp massage). I have oily skin and my scalp condition isn’t too good. I monitor it for the next couple of days after the treatment and it did not feel as greasy and itchy as it always does.

The normal price for this treatment is at S$130, price inclusive of the stylist’s time as well as the products costs. For readers of this blog, simply print out this blog post or show the stylist this blog page on your smartphone or tablet to enjoy the special promotional package of S$650 for 5 times treatment + 2 free treatment for just S$500. This works out to just S$71.40 per treatment (a whopping 45% saving from the normal price)! This promotion ends 30 Sep 2013. 

Oh, and if you are curious about my haircut, I am very satisfied with their service:

Patiently shaping my hair
Patiently shaping my hair
Front view
Front view
Back view
Back view

I have stiff hair that protrudes naturally like Wolverine on the two sides of my head, about five fingers above my ears. The stylist was able to catch that and patiently sculpted my hair to a rounder shape, getting rid of the protruding bits.

GSS Shopping with MasterCard PayPass Card

On the last week of the Great Singapore Sale (GSS), Rachel and I went shopping with a MasterCard PayPass card – a prepaid stored value MasterCard that also has Tap & Go and EZ-Link functions.

GSS Shopping at Haji Lane!
GSS Shopping at Haji Lane!

We had S$200 prepaid value in the card and were on a mission to attempt shopping for one full evening without swiping any other cards or using any cash for payments.

We decided to visit Haji Lane, following one of four specially curated GSS shopping trails which MasterCard had designed for shoppers. Visit pricelesssingapore.com/gss to find out more about the trails (note that you have to be a Priceless Singapore member to access the trail pages).

About Haji Lane via YourSingapore:

Once an empty street of pre-war shophouses, Haji Lane has been given a new lease of life by local designers and young entrepreneurs who have set up their quaint boutiques proffering fashionable wear and products boasting made-in-Singapore designs. Here, you will find excellent vintage shops selling an array of contemporary, quirky garments and accessories as well as local boutiques by up-and-coming designers that have been refurbished in their own unique style. Just a street away, you’ll find textile shops that have been in business since the 1950s! There’s a raw, energetic vibe that’s worlds away from the polished international stores which makes Haji Lane so undeniably fascinating.

Rachel and I were looking for hidden gems in Haji Lane:

We started shopping from Threadbare *& Squirrel which has a nice collection of assorted designer wears, curated from around the world
Threadbare & Squirrel which has a nice collection of assorted designer wears, curated from around the world
Second floor of Threadbare & Squirrel
Second floor of Threadbare & Squirrel
Haji Lane!
Haji Lane!
Rachel entering one of the shops with Asher
Rachel entering one of the shops with Asher
modparade - they had an exclusive GSS tie-up with MasterCard
modparade – they had an exclusive GSS tie-up with MasterCard
Spoilmarket which sells assorted trinkets and small gifts
Spoilmarket which sells assorted trinkets and small gifts
tangers - fashion apparel
tangers – fashion apparel
TokyoBike - bicycle shop
TokyoBike – bicycle shop
Rachel trying out one of their beautiful bikes
Rachel trying out one of their beautiful bikes
Green Poppies - this shop had an exclusive GSS tie-up with MasterCard too
Green Poppies – this shop had an exclusive GSS tie-up with MasterCard too
soon lee - local designer label, exclusive at Haji Lane
soon lee – local designer label, exclusive at Haji Lane

At the end of the day, Rachel bought a skirt (S$49), a cardigan (S$59) and a necklace (S$19) which left us with S$73:

Rachel in her new skirt, cardigan and necklace, all bought at Haji Lane
Rachel in her new skirt, cardigan and necklace, all bought at Haji Lane

We then headed to Bugis Junction for dinner at Platypus Kitchen. The dinner bill came up to S$60+ for the two of us and Asher, leaving S$6.50 in the our MasterCard PayPass card. Mission accomplished!

Lemonade, soup and salad for set meal top-up
Lemonade, soup and salad for set meal top-up
Mushroom pasta with truffles shavings
Mushroom pasta with truffles shavings
Sea salt caramel dessert
Sea salt caramel dessert

The entire experience of shopping with the MasterCard PayPass prepaid card was pretty seamless. As the card can be accepted in any stores that take MasterCard payment, it is accepted nearly everywhere in Singapore.

I enjoyed shopping with the card, but there are still some limitations to the technology and user experience which I hope MasterCard will be able to iron out soon.

Note that the card holds two prepaid value – as it is also an EZ-link card, there is also the EZ-link value which is not the same as the MasterCard value. For instance, when I use the card, if the merchant mistakenly use the EZ-link payment terminal instead of the MasterCard payment terminal, they will tell me that my card has zero value as I did not top up anything for the EZ-link value. This is despite the fact that there is S$200 in value on MasterCard.

Also, it is easy to confuse card “activation” and card “registration” on the official website. Activation refers to registering the card for payment, based on the prepaid value given if you received it as a gift card. Registration refers to registering your personal particulars with the card so you can top up the card and continue using it as a MasterCard when you exhaust the initial prepaid value. As of writing, I have been unable to register two MasterCard PayPass cards. I have tried registering on multiple web browsers on both Mac and PC, but to no avail. When I wrote in to highlight the problem, I was alerted of a technical glitch on the website and was asked to register via mobile. I gave up on registering the cards. Let me know if you have better luck.

Last of all, note that the MasterCard value cannot be taken out in cash until the expiry date stated on the front of the card. Even so, there is a S$5 administration fee and you have to cash out within a limited period. Do note that the card cannot be used for making payment if the bill amount is larger than the value in your card – eg. you cannot pay for a S$5.10 item if you have only S$5.00 in your card. Hence you need to plan your expenses carefully to use it to the very last cent.

Rachel and I managed to exhaust one card to just 10 cents in value and the other card to S$6.50.

I am sharing all these details here as it took me a while to figure all these out and I hope the information would help others to enjoy a more seamless experience shopping with the MasterCard PayPass Card. Happy shopping. 🙂

To get a MasterCard PayPass Card, please visit the official website for more details.