Tried this: [comfort zone] renight vitamin integrator

[comfort zone] is an Italian skincare brand, quite popular with spas in China and in Hong Kong. I haven’t seen it yet in Singapore. One of my favourite spas in Hong Kong, Bodywize, uses it a lot and I remember having a really awesome facial using these products the first time I ever visited them.

This vitamin regenerator night oil comes from their renight (everything is in lower case, this is not bad grammar on my part) line which also includes a wrinkle filler and cream. I’ve played around with the wrinkle filler before but probably didn’t use it enough to see results.

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The renight oil contains Goji berry which is packed full of vitamins and antioxidant properties, there’s also vitamin E, lycopene, rice and jojoba oils for hydration and restoration. I use it every night in Shanghai where the air is quite dry (and where as we know, the water contains all sorts of pig properties…). I’m used to heavier oils, and my dehydrated skin probably needs that more, but at least with this one I can use it in all three countries I tend to find myself in and I can mix it up with serums and what not. I’ve been using it in Singapore (yes, hot, humid Singapore where face oil probably isn’t that popular) and I haven’t found it too oily.

http://www.comfortzone.it

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Yoga at Koh Samui’s Absolute Sanctuary

In February I was in Koh Samui for the wedding of a good friend of mine. Said good friend was obviously concerned about our wellbeing as pre-wedding, she booked us all into a yoga class at Absolute Sanctuary.

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Waking up at 8am is not  my idea of a good time, but after arriving at Absolute Sanctuary, I could see it was going to be worth it. Before the class we had a chance to use their pool (and stare at all the healthy-looking people who were obviously there to really detox), and after a few dubious-looking clouds, we jumped into the pool and relaxed.

The class wasn’t that strenuous, amongst us was one pregnant lady and a bunch of yoga noobs, so my friend had chosen a Gentle Flow class which I, surprisingly, found I could follow quite well. With floor-to-ceiling windows (and no air-conditioning) I found the whole atmosphere very relaxing.

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We weren’t allowed to take pictures in the yoga class (and I don’t think any of the girls would have appreciated it anyway!) but basically it took place in the building in the picture above. Gentle Flow basically included a few short series of asanas (I think) using positions I actually recognised (Warrior 1 and 2…the one where you balance on one leg…uh yeah).

Yoga and I are generally strange bed fellows. I love doing it, but if I do it too often…I tend to get bored. I love the feeling of getting a good stretch and balance, I feel like it helps to focus my mind but I don’t find I can do it very often. This class however felt great. I’d just come off a week of non-stop eating from Chinese New Year (not to mention dumpling heaven in Shanghai) and it was good to be reminded that once upon a time, I had muscles.

http://www.absolutesanctuary.com

Skinceuticals facial at The Spa Artisan, Fullerton Hotel

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So this was my second Skinceuticals facial at one of Jazreel Low’s gorgeous Singapore spas. The first one I did was at Aramsa the Garden Spa in Bishan – which seriously, doesn’t even feel like it’s in Singapore. The downtown location of The Spa Artisan at the Fullerton Hotel is a lot more accessible and while it doesn’t have Aramsa’s garden zen, it’s done what it can to keep the atmosphere cool and calm. In fact the spa just won an award for Best Luxury Boutique Spa in the World Luxury Hotel Awards, so it’s not just me who thinks this brand is going places.

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I think after two facials, I have to say I’m pretty much a convert to Skinceuticals. Both times I’ve done their facials, I felt a bit of tingly-ness (is that a word?) but both times I’ve walked out with glowing skin. This time round I tried the Cell Regenerating Facial which included two cleanses, an exfoliation, a massage and a mask. What was interesting was that the exfoliation took place without steam, my therapist told me it’s because my pores don’t need to be further aggravated. Kind of sounded like they were just sitting there wide open, inviting in the dirt…but I have to say she really cleaned them good tho.

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One day on and I feel like my skin really looks and feels better. Skinceuticals products have a great reputation and they’re definitely a brand I’d like to try more of. I have got my grubby little hands on their Physical Fusion UV Defense as well as a Phloretin serum so those should show up here on the blog (eventually).

http://www.thespaartisan.com

Tried this: SCO’s conditioning face cream

So when I was in Singapore back in October, I did a story for AsiaSpa Magazine for their Singapore/Malaysia supplement on skincare in Singapore. I still think this is a super interesting topic and there are quite a few cool brands in the Lion City.

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That’s not Russian, the label’s just rubbed off

This one to be fair, didn’t start out in Singapore. SCO is originally from New York but from what I understand was bought over by Cynthia Chua of Spa Esprit/Strip fame and is currently sold at Beauty Emporium at Dempsey. Starting with a base, a range of different botanicals/ingredients can be infused into the cream depending on your skin type.

Of course this also means that the cream is organic and doesn’t last long. A little sticker tels you when the cream was made, and when it’s best used by. Even though the Best By date is listed on mine as 12/27/2013, I was anxious to get at it since I have a tendency to hoard things and just…leave them in my magic skincare drawer.

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Made just for me

My custom SCO cream contains green tea (rich in antioxidants, prevents moisture loss and reduces cellulite, tho I think the day I have cellulite in my face is the day I become a crazy stay-at-home-spinster), growth factor (sounds scary but is supposed to improve hydration) and soy (rich in proteins and amino acids). I’ve been using it this past month in Shanghai and I love the smell and texture. It could probably be a bit heavier for winter…but actually when I went back to Shanghai  in March I didn’t realise it would still BE winter. So that’s not the cream’s fault. It was great in Singapore though and is still great in Hong Kong. I think Shanghai just has to warm up a little and then we’ll all be happy.

Beauty Emporium is at House at Dempsey http://www.dempseyhouse.com

Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Peace Hotel

I know it’s a little silly, but I swear I fell a little in love when I walked down the hallways of the Fairmont Peace Hotel. It’s just so gosh darned pretty!  I am generally a sucker for old buildings, I love the history and the feel of them. And this one, built in 1929 by British businessman Victor Sassoon, is a key example. Even the spa, which is brand spanking new, has an old world feel. Maybe it’s because I’ve been so spa-deprived for awhile…whatever, I loved it.

20130321_131145 A rare empty hallway, quickly snapped.

I also really really enjoyed my Stress Relief Massage. I find that Chinese spa therapists tend to have really good hands…they know how to use pressure just right and where to press, hard. For this massage, I really wanted to focus on my upper back. For some reason, it’s been giving me a heck of a lot of problems lately (sigh. age. sad.) I wouldn’t say it was the most soothing of massages, and I barely slept during any of it (which is rare for me), but that’s because I was reveling in the feeling of knots coming apart all around my spine. The treatment used Aromatherapy Associates’ Muscle Gel which warms to the touch and further soothes muscles.

Willow Stream at Fairmont Peace_suiteBefore the massage I spent some time in the steam room for an upcoming article I’m doing. Usually steam/sauna isn’t my thing, but after doing all this reading and research I was beginning to understand how much it helps to detox and sweat out toxins etc. I had been falling sick before the treatment, so actually I found it really helped, especially the light scent of eucalyptus that was in the steam room. I’ve also got to say I am a big fan of the Willow Stream’s in-spa products, the bath gel smelled divine as did the moisturizer, all with a faint scent of Chinese herbs.

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I hope they let me come back and swim.

http://www.fairmont.com/peace-hotel-shanghai