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Beauty 101: Our Six-Day Beauty Plan for Special Occasions

Whether you have big ideas this month for Valentine’s Day, a black-tie ball or  special plans to paint the town red, this countdown will turn you from conventional to captivating in less than one week’s time. So hop to it, there’s no time to waste – here’s our guide to the best haircut, bikini wax, laser treatment, eyelashes and eyebrow overhaul, facial, mani-pedi and spray tan……

Six Days Before: Haircut and Colour

Nothing beats walking out of the salon with the swish of a shiny, new haircut to make you feel like a million dollars. Turn heads – and get your date’s heart pulsating – with lustrous locks that burst with natural-looking colour.


The Procedure: A high-end, one-on-one total hair makeover starts with an initial consultation to assess your hair texture, colour and condition as well as your face shape, skin tone, and lifestyle and maintenance commitments.


The Price: Cuts from$180 and colouring from $160 (includes consultation).


The Place: We like Alison Kerlin, a Vidal Sassoon-trained hair designer and master precision cutter and colourist. Alison specialises in complete hair makeovers and has over 28 years’ experience as a top international hairdresser and trainer.

Dos and Don’ts:


Do: get multi-dimensional highlights for a natural, rich look with more depth.

Do: plan ahead. For a complete colour makeover, Alison advises starting 1 to 2 months out to ensure enough time to get the colour just right.
Don’t: go for a complete colour change and cut on the big day. Drastic changes hours before event-time are a high-risk strategy, which can swing either way.
Don’t:  use serums (like Frizz Ease) that attract moisture and can leave hair vulnerable to damage from blow-dryers and hair straighteners. Use a thermal protective balm instead.
What We Think:    


“It’s not often that a hairdresser carefully listens to your hairstyle descriptions, makes sensible recommendations to suit your hair type and then delivers what you’ve discussed. I leave the salon feeling like Alison has done exactly that with my hair.


Alison’s clients include demanding CEOs and no-room-for-error television personalities, so it’s reassuring to know this is the place for a total hair makeover.” – Beate Baldry

Alison Kerlin:

by appointment only –

call +65 9017 8407

Countdown to Beautiful: Our Six-Day Beauty Plan for Special Occasions

Five Days Before: Bikini Wax

So it’s not one to brag about, necessarily, but it’s a vital piece of preparation before any romantic evening. Even if you’re pretty sure it’s not going to be seen, a bikini wax is still worth it – you can’t help but feel sexier when the “gardening” is in order.

The Procedure:  First, decide how you want to look below. You can opt for a littlebit of tidying, go for a full, hair-free Brazilian or even pretty it up withgemstones. Have a quick wash before the therapist get started, and then lieback and think about anything else. 

The Price:  It varies – a full Brazilian costs $55.

The Place:  Grace at Face Esthetique has a great and relatively painless technique. Sheuses small patches of wax, which are less painful and produce better results than larger strips.

Dos and Don’ts:

Do: pop a Panadol half an hour before the treatment, especially if it’s your first time.

Do: go for a wax in the middle of your menstrual cycle – you won’t be as sensitive as pre-menses.
Don’t: apply cream after a wax. It will block the pores and cause ingrown hairs.

Don’t:  have a swim, sauna or hot shower for the first 24 hours after your treatment.


Face Esthetique is at 190 Clemenceau Avenue, Singapore Shopping Centre #05-09.

Call +65 6883 2376

What We Think:    


“Having had this treatment regularly for the past nine years, I’ve gone through the spectrum of good to leg-crossingly bad experiences. Grace is one of the best. She takes the time to find out exactly what you want, and this helps to put you at ease. Unlike at some of the bigger salons, you don’t feel like you’re at the mercy of a factory-therapist – just one of the day’s conveyor belt of waxings.


The procedure is very quick and one of the least painful I’ve ever had. You’re also treated to a cup of green tea afterwards, so when you step out the dooryou’ve forgotten all about the discomfort.” – Kate Mallord

Countdown to Beautiful: Our Six-Day Beauty Plan for Special Occasions

Four Days Before: Laser Treatment

With four days until show time, have a quick pick-me-up to help you put your best face forward. For a quick and easy treatment with all-round benefits, go for a laser treatment. 


The Procedure: The Laser Glow tightens wrinkles, shrinks pores and diminishes the appearance of acne scars, pigmentation and vascular lesions. It zaps unwanted hair and removes multicoloured tattoos – though we hope you aren’t sporting any of these on your face! How can it possibly do all of this, you ask? The Laser Glow stimulates the skin’s production of collagen, a protein that we produce less of as we age. It’s safe, quick and suitable for all ages and skin types.


The Price: It starts at $280.


The Place: We trust the hands and advice of Dr Karen Soh at Privé Clinic.

Dos and Don’ts:

Do: stay out of the sun for a week after the treatment, as skin is more prone to pigmentation then.    

Do: give your full medical history, particularly if you are prone to claustrophobia or cold sores.  
Do: allow enough time; the appointment, including skin analysis and post-treatment touch-up, can take up to two hours.
Don’t:  bring your make-up bag, as Privé has a great retouching room, complete with Lancôme cosmetics, hairdryer and perfume.  

What We Think:    


“Despite having just undergone laser therapy, I left Privé Clinic feeling utterly relaxed and pampered. The combination of heated beds, blankets and a relaxing head massage give the sensation of a facial, but the results of a medical procedure. In the days that followed, there was a noticeable improvement in pigmentation, specifically to the problem areas identified by my skin analysis. It’s the perfect treatment for a gorgeous glow and long-term anti-ageing.”

Charlotte Foord

Privé Clinic

One Raffles Place #05-04A

Call +65 6535 8684 or visit www.priveclinic.com

Countdown to Beautiful: Our Six-Day Beauty Plan for Special Occasions 

Three Days Before: Eyelashes and Eyebrows

From our days as cartoon-watching toddlers, we’ve been taught that the key to unlocking a man’s heart lies in a few flirtatious flutters of long, lustrous lashes. (It helped Daisy Duck land her man, didn’t it?) Add extra allure to your eyes with the help of eyelash extensions.

The Procedure:    Single strands of synthetic lash are attached one-by-one with tweezers to your individual lashes. Between 60 and 100 lashes are applied to each eye to create a natural look, a drama queen look or a cat’s eye look. The session takes around one hour, and the lashes last from two to three weeks. Allow them to fall off naturally, or have them removed at the spa with special solution.

The Price:    $90 ($10 for removal).

The Place:     We like Grace Wang at Spa @ Loewen Gardens. Grace is a certified eyelash extension therapist with the steadiest hands this side of the Singapore Strait.

Dos and Don’ts:

Do: Hide your mascara for the next three weeks. You won’t need it (which means no tedious mascara removal at night).

Do: carefully remove eyeliner and eye shadow with a cotton bud.  
Do: take advantage of Spa @ Loewen Gardens’ offer of one complimentary touch-up three days after your service.

Don’t:  sleep with your eyes dug deeply into your pillow.

Don’t:  let shower water hit you directly in the face. In fact, avoid water contact altogether.

What We Think:    

“The procedure was so relaxing and painless that I fell asleep halfway through! I sometimes feel the lashes in the night, but I love the effect. My lashes are full without looking fake. In fact, no one has been the wiser – not even the beauty experts in the office!”  – Monica Pitrelli

Eyebrow Waxing            

With big, beautiful lashes on display, encroaching eyebrows are strictly not allowed. Schedule an eyebrow wax ($20) on the same day to keep stray hairs at bay. Remember – no over-tweezing! Fuller brows are back in. Also, consider eyebrow tinting ($15) if your brows are too light or too dark for your hair and complexion.

Spa @ Loewen Gardens is at 75e Loewen Road, Tanglin Village. Call +65 6471 1922 or visit www.loewenspa.com.sg

Countdown to Beautiful: Our Six-Day Beauty Plan for Special Occasions 

Two Days Before: Facial

Those of us who are prone to overindulgence during the festive season can practically hear our skin screaming for some TLC. Face Bistro is a sanctuary for holiday revellers and sun fanatics who are desperate to regain a flawless finish.

The Procedure: A consultation highlights trouble areas and allows the ideal treatment to be chosen – in this instance, Face Bistro’s 90-minute Dual Powered Facial. Steaming cleanses the skin, and extraction removes dirt and oil. A 100-percent collagen extract and Fierte (French for ‘pride’) firming massage cream targets dull and dry skin, and radio frequency (RF) technology emits radio waves directly to the inner layer of skin to apply heat energy to the tissues and build up collagen levels.

The Price: $480 (includes eye treatment, neck treatment and detoxifying drainage treatment)

The Place: Hidden away in charming Holland Village, Face Bistro is a soothing haven.

What We Think:

“I came away not only with cleansed, firm and refreshed skin, but a better understanding of my skin type and insightful corrective and preventive advice. My face felt hydrated, and I received several compliments about my ‘vibrant’ and ‘fresh- looking’ skin. A definite winner!” – Leanda Rathmell

Mention “Expat Living” when you book an appointment during February and March and receive this treatment for only $180.


Face Bistro is at 27A Lorong Liput, Holland Village.
Call +65 6462 4988 or visit www.facebistro.com.


One Day Before: Mani-Pedi and Instant Spray Tan

What better way to flaunt your jewels and heighten your high-heeled strut than with perfectly groomed nails and a beautiful glow? Go for a long-lasting, chip-proof gelish veneer polish and a professional spray tan.

The Procedure: Like a classic mani-pedi, the session starts with shaping and cleaning before a special base coat is applied. After two coats of gelish polish (choose from 48 different shades) and a quick dry under UV light after each layer, a topcoat is applied. Once the tacky layer is removed, your nails are ready for action. The colour lasts about 21 days.

The Price: $60 for a gelish manicure, $80 for a gelish pedicure

The Place: Sylvia’s Secrets has perfected the art of gelish polish. We tested the King’s Arcade branch.

What We Think:

“I love that the colour dried so quickly – no awkward post-polish hand movements! Plus, I can finally wear a bright colour without worrying about obvious chips.” – Victoria Yim


And on the big day?

You’ve primped, you’ve prepped, you have thoroughly prepared for your big night. What’s left to do? Relax, of course. You look stunning, so enjoy it!

Sylvia’s Secrets is at 559 Bukit Timah Road #03-01A.  Call +65 6469 0833.

The Procedure: After picking your desired shade of sun-kissed glow, remove all your clothes and don disposable knickers. A skilled therapist applies the colour, ensuring an even spray.


The Price: $65 for an express spray tan (15 minutes’ spray time, two hours drying time)


The Place: Again, Sylvia’s Secrets was our pick for a one-stop beauty shop.

What We Think:


“Despite my sensitive skin, the colour went on easily and didn’t cause any irritation.


I was slightly shy about having to remove all my clothing, but my therapist was professional and soothed my nerves. The cold air from the spray-tan machine had me shivering, though – luckily it was a swift session!” – Victoria Yim

Dos and Don’ts:

Do: exfoliate thoroughly the day before.
wear loose, dark-coloured clothing and light sandals to your appointment.
get wet. No perspiring, swimming or walking in the rain immediately after your session.
go for a tan that’s too dark – you may end up looking orange.