Category Archives: fashion

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.

Winners for Singapore Blog Awards 2013 announced at Shanghai Dolly

It is a wrap!

After four months of campaigning, the annual Singapore Blog Awards drew to a close a few hours ago at Shanghai Dolly in Clarke Quay.

This is the sixth year omy.sg has been running this event. This also marks my seventh year in omy.sg and the sixth Singapore Blog Awards which I got to be a part of. Click here for a walk down memory lane via all the blog posts I have written about the Singapore Blog Awards since the inaugural event in 2008.

I still remember when we first ran the award six years ago, we have to set-up “internet stations” with laptops for guests to upload images or surf our site. Now, everything can be updated by many people at once on social sharing platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram via 3G or WIFI mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Amazing.

The blogging community in Singapore has evolved and grew quite a bit from the time we started the first Singapore Blog Awards and the omy Blog Club. There were bloggers who came and go, but there is also a core group who supported us through all these years. Thank you and do continue to support omy.sg.

Program booklets for Singapore Blog Awards 2013
Program booklets for Singapore Blog Awards 2013

The event this year is special for me because it will be my last at omy.sg. Adieus.

Here is the official press release from omy.sg on the results announcement:  

The winners for the Singapore Blog Awards 2013 were announced today at an awards ceremony held at Shanghai Dolly. Mr. Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information, graced the event as the Guest-of-Honour. Over 300 bloggers and guests were present to witness the awards presentation.

Minister Lawrence Wong arriving at Shanghai Dolly
Minister Lawrence Wong arriving at Shanghai Dolly

Organised by omy.sg, Singapore Press Holdings’ leading bilingual news and entertainment portal, and presented by Panasonic, the Singapore Blog Awards honours independent content producers who devote their time and energy to create and maintain informative and innovative blogs.

The winning bloggers in the ten main award categories each won a trophy designed by Mr Tan Swie Hian, the most expensive living artist in Singapore, and a trip, inclusive of air tickets and accommodation, to the Northern Territory, Australia, amongst other attractive prizes.

The ten winners for the main award categories together with the VIPs on stage
The ten winners for the main award categories together with the VIPs on stage

The theme for this year’s awards ceremony was “60’s Fever”, in line with this year being the sixth year of the Singapore Blog Awards. Many guests showed up for the awards dressed according to the theme, and had fun mingling with the various bloggers from different walks of life.

Group picture with all the winners across the 17 award categories with VIPs and sponsors
Group picture with all the winners across the 17 award categories with VIPs, judges and sponsors

In this edition of the Singapore Blog Awards, there was a total of ten main categories, two celebrity categories and seven special categories. Here is the full list of winners:

Main categories:

Panasonic Best Photography Blog:
Travelgraphy / Christina Gao
http://travelgraphy.wordpress.com

Exabytes Best Individual Blog:
Working With Grace / Grace Tan
http://workingwithgrace.wordpress.com

Levi’s Best Fashion Blog:
J U S T J A S L I N | Fashion Blogger / Jaslin Tan
http://www.justjaslin.com

Nanyang Optical Best Lifestyle Blog:
Scissors Paper Stone Blog / Jasmine Koh
http://www.scissorspaperstoneblog.com

Best Family Blog:
Sakura Haruka / Ai Sakura
http://www.sakuraharuka.com

Best Food Blog:
Johor Kaki Food Guide / Tony Johor Kaki
http://johorkaki.blogspot.sg

Best Travel Blog:
蓝天白云数格子 / Sock Peng
http://mylovelybluesky.com

Best What-The-Hell Blog:
俊凭|一个声音部落格 / 俊凭 Willy
http://www.lonelyclass.com

Best V-Log:
ninjagirls.sg / Ninja Girls
http://www.youtube.com/user/ninjagirlsSG

Best Micro-Blog:
Spin or Bin Music / Spin or Bin Music
https://twitter.com/spinorbinmusic

Celebrity categories:

Panasonic Most Popular Overseas Celebrity Blog/ Micro-Blog:
Alien Huang 小鬼
https://www.facebook.com/aes.alien

Panasonic Most Popular Local Celebrity Blog/ Micro-Blog:
Jeanette Aw 欧萱
http://www.facebook.com/xuantasy

Special categories:

Panasonic Best Beauty Blog:
Pinkbuble In Da House / Elrica
http://pink-buble.blogspot.sg

Ribbons, Rainbows and PixieDust / Elaine
http://www.elaine73.blogspot.sg

Love is Eternal / Karen aka Renzze
http://www.renzze.com

Panasonic Best Cooking Blog:
Celestial Delish / Celes
http://www.celestialdelish.com

Panasonic Best Eco-Challenge Blog:
The Lazy Lizard’s Tales / Ivan Kwan
http://lazy-lizard-tales.blogspot.com

Glossi Best Modelling Blog:
Love is Eternal / Karen aka Renzze
http://www.renzze.com

JBL Best Pop/ Music Blog:
Mint.Music / Mint Leong (1st)
http://mintleong.sg

Spin or Bin Music / Leo (2nd)
http://spinorbinmusic.com

Levi’s Best 501 Interpretation Blog:
Claire’s Flair / Claire
http://www.claires-flair.com

Qoo10 Best Online Shopping Blog:
mitsueki’s blog / mitsueki (1st)
http://www.mitsueki.wordpress.com

Youthinkicarewhatyousay? / ANdyStorm (2nd)
http://www.imandystorm.com

lukeyishandsome(dot)com / Luke Phang (3rd)
http://lukeyishandsome.com

Muses 맨날 속속한 것… / jeez-jia (3rd)
http://www.faithjoyhope.blogspot.com

Shopping Queen’s Haven / Regina Chow (3rd)
http://reginachow.blogspot.com

Minister Lawrence Wong interacting with the winning bloggers
Minister Lawrence Wong interacting with the winning bloggers

The winners for the Singapore Blog Awards were determined by a combination of online voting (30%) and professional scoring (70%) by a panel of independent judges appointed by omy.sg.

The ten best dressed people for Singapore Blog Awards 2013
The ten best dressed people for Singapore Blog Awards 2013

The Singapore Blog Awards is part of a series of events branded under Social Media Fiesta, an omy.sg social media initiative.

There will be more post-event coverage of the Singapore Blog Awards 2013 on omy.sg and the official website. Stay tuned to both. 🙂

The Optique of Tomorrow (T.O.T.) @ JEM

Eyewear fashionista who live in the west side of Singapore can now rejoice with the opening of the a new eyewear concept store in JEM, The Optique of Tomorrow (T.O.T.).

T.O.T. at JEM
T.O.T. at JEM

From the layout of the store, you can tell that it is not just a conventional eyewear store hawking just spectacles, but fashion statements. The eyewear are displayed prominently with strong visual merchandising to bring out the quirks of the diverse range of designer brands.

Shop for eyewear like you are shopping for clothes
Shop for eyewear like you are shopping for clothes

Instead of locking the frames behind glass shelves, the store display encourages interaction between wearer and the eyewear by adopting the layout of fashion boutiques. Shopping for eyewear at T.O.T. feels like shopping for a pair jeans or shirt at any leading fashion stores.

Glossi eyewear
Glossi eyewear

“Eyewear has become an essential fabric worn to flaunt the wearer’s individuality. At T.O.T., we bring in designs which come in a limited quantity to offer an one-of-a-kind wearing experience for the consumer.” Said Bernard Yang, Managing Director, Nanyang Optical Co. Pte Ltd.

Pick and try
Pick and try

Each designer eyewear brand under T.O.T. are carefully curated to reflect inspiration from pop culture, lifestyle, art and design.

Eyewear from Paul Frank and Super Dry
Eyewear from Paul Frank and Super Dry

Symbolizing the good old American style is the Arnel frame from Tart Optical in black, dark tortoise and smoke grey which was worn by James Dean in the 1950s. Glossi is another favourite brand of celebrities for its unique coating on the frame front that creates a kaleidoscope of colours. An exclusive brand at T.O.T., Glossi was worn by Joe Perry, singer of Aerosmith, to complete his flamboyant rockstar look.

Glossi look
Glossi look

Urband is another exclusive label which uses a patented S-clip technology to lock the frame to the temples in replacement of conventional screws and soldering.

Both Urband and Glossi are brands under Nanyang Optical Co Pte Ltd, the parent company that owns T.O.T..

For K-pop fans,  there is grafik:plastic, a well-loved Korean brand adorned by K-pop stars like Big Bang, 2NE1 and Wondergirls.

Other interesting brands carried in T.O.T. include Carrera, WOOW and February 31st. The later is an Italian brand which specialises in frames made of wood.

To celebrate the official opening of T.O.T, there is a storewide 20% discount on frames and sunglasses!

In addition, T.O.T. is running contests on their facebook page where one can stand to win up to S$1,800 worth of Glossi eyewear.

T.O.T. is located at JEM, #03-43.

If you prefer to purchase your eyewear online,local e-tailer ZALORA also offers a range of sunglasses for both men and women at reasonable prices. Visit their official website to find out more.

About Nanyang Optical

Nanyang Optical endeavour to deliver a holistic experience; providing professional vision solutions and making customers look good with niche unique eyewear. With pulses on the latest trends and consumer needs, Nanyang Optical design, manufacture and retail exclusive brands of quality products with unique identities. Undertaking research and development initiatives to produce innovative eyewear, Nanyang Optical have garnered several international awards (including Red Dot Product Design Awards, iOFT Eyewear of the Year Award) for their exclusive house brands – Urband, Glossi, Linkskin and Eyelet.

Casio G-SHOCK Celebrates 30th Anniversary in Singapore with Pop-up Store and Limited Edition Maison Martin Margiela Collaboration

Casio pop-up store at ION Orchard
Casio pop-up store at ION Orchard

Last Friday (14 June), the 30th anniversary celebration of Casio G-SHOCK kickstarted with the launch of Singapore’s first ever Casio pop-up store at ION Orchard Atrium Level 1. From now till 23 June 2013, the pop-up store will be displaying the latest and most exclusive G-SHOCK and Baby-G timepieces, along with a special limited edition G-SHOCK designed in collaboration with Maison Martin Margeila.

G-SHOCK + Supra Footwear
G-SHOCK + Supra Footwear
G-SHOCK + Be@rbrick
G-SHOCK + Be@rbrick
G-SHOCK + Stevie Williams
G-SHOCK + Stevie Williams

Thirty years ago in 1983, the founding father of G-SHOCK, Kikuo Ibe, created the original G-SHOCK after two years of trials and over 200 experimental prototypes. G-SHOCK eventually emerged as a global phenomenon, known for its innovative shock-absorbing and high water resistant material.

G-SHOCK Red & Blue series
G-SHOCK Red & Blue series
Series of red G-SHOCK watches
Series of red G-SHOCK watches
Gravity Defier
Gravity Defier
MR-G with titanium case
MR-G with titanium case
Baby-Gs
Baby-Gs

When I was in my secondary school, owning a G-SHOCK watch makes you very cool in school.  I remember saving hard to buy one together with two of my close pals. We even went down to the G-SHOCK warehouse to beg the retailer to sell it to us at a cheaper price (we succeeded). To date, I have more than seven G-SHOCK watches. All of them are still functioning, including the ones I bought more than two decades ago!

 The interior of the pop-up store is designed to be a walk-through museum, featuring 30 new and creative G-SHOCK designs conceptualised by G-SHOCK fans in Singapore as part of the “Design A Casio G-SHOCK” competition held in March this year.

Some of the watch designs submitted by fans
Some of the watch designs submitted by fans
G-SHOCK with butterfly wings
G-SHOCK with butterfly wings
Punk-rock G-SHOCK
Punk-rock G-SHOCK

There will be a “Casio Shock the World Party” to follow, whereby the top designs among the 30 entries will be announced. The winning design will win a pair of tickets to Japan, among other attractive prizes. Do go check out their designs, I was very impressed by some of them.

The “Casio Shock the World Party” is actually part of the “Casio Shock the World Tour”, which has visited 35 cities around the world since 2009, including Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Mexico City, New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Sydney, Bangkok and Tokyo. It is slated to make a stop in Singapore on 19 July 2013. Keep a look out for it.

The Casio pop-up store will be open from 10.00am to 10.00pm daily till 23 June 2013. Selected limited-edition watches displayed at the store will be available for purchase at the nearest G-Factory outlet at Basement 3, unit B3-65B in Ion Orchard.

Particularly note-worthy is the exclusive G-SHOCK by Maison Martin Margiela (GA-300MMM-8). There will only be 48 pieces of this exclusive model available for sale in Singapore:

Limited edition G-SHOCK by Maison Martin Margiela
Limited edition G-SHOCK by Maison Martin Margiela

A well-acclaimed fashion brand founded in 1988, Maison Martin Margiela designed the bespoke timepiece inspired from the G-SHOCK GA-300, an orignal design by Casio. Each piece features Maison Martin Margiela’s signature “0 to 23” logo engraved on the back case of the watch and is tagged with an exclusive serial number.

Priced at S$399 each, the G-SHOCK by Maison Martin Margiela is available since last Friday, exclusively at G-Factory outlets at Plaza Singapura (#03-63), ION Orchard (#B3-47) and Takashimaya (level 1), while stocks last. Pre-orders or reservations are not available and consumers are limited to buy only 1-piece each.