Iwai-san is the man who brought the no-frills salon concept of QB House into Singapore and Hong Kong.
Naoki Yoshihara by Ashis 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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).
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:
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:
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!
The entire experience of shopping with the MasterCard PayPass prepaid cardwas 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. 🙂
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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
“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.
Each designer eyewear brand under T.O.T. are carefully curated to reflect inspiration from pop culture, lifestyle, art and design.
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. Glossiis 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.