Monday, March 14, 2011

A Seriously Wonky Pedicure from Snails, Mandarin Gallery

When it comes to facials, massages and hairdressers I am seemingly incapable of seeing the same person more than twice.  But when it comes to pedicures, I have no desire to seek out new thrills - I either go to Snails at Mandarin Gallery or the Lac Bar at Millenia Walk, nowhere else.  I wasn't always such a stickler, but a bad experience where someone tried to use a blade on me (without asking) that I'd just seen used on the person sat next to me pretty much sealed it for me.  Hmmm I'll pass on the hepatitis thanks...

Lac Bar, I think, is the better pedicure.  They file and file until you have baby soft feet and the polish is always perfect.  But, they're not exactly fast - I swear sometimes you go in before lunch and head out again to find it's gone dark.  Today I needed fast and was on Orchard Road so popped into Mandarin Gallery.

Everything about this pedicure was perfect.  They have a fantastic selection of Essie and OPI colours (the picture above is Essie Limited Addiction, my shade of choice for today), excellent selection of magazines and I got a really good leg scrub and massage.  It was only when I got up to leave and looked down at my toes that I realised my therapist had filed both my big toe-nails at an angle, the nail was longer at the end of the foot and shorter at the side next to the next toe.  And she'd done this on both sides, so my toes looked like a rather quizical set of eyebrows, or two asymmetric fringes.

I hummed and awed about saying something.  "Does this look right to you?", I asked the lady on reception.  She looked and confirmed I was seeing (not) straight.  And really they couldn't have been nicer; they tried to level them out, they offered to take the polish off and start again (I didn't have time) and they said I could come back the next day if I was still unhappy.   I suspect to make them remotely straight they would have to cut my nails eye-wateringly short, so I am resigned to a few weeks of wonky toes...I'm even starting to get used to them now!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Badger Sleep Balm

Here's the thing.  If you type 'is it safe to drug a baby on a 19 hour flight' in Google, the response you get, strangely enough, is that it is really not a good idea at all.  Some people, apparently, use Medi-Sed, but that has the risk of causing hallucinations, and I really can't think of anything more terrifying than a hallucinating baby (what would they see?!).  But, I am indeed going on a 19 hour flight with my beloved little person, just me and her, and if everyone is to keep their sanity, then she and I need to sleep.

I'm pretty much sorted: since little person's arrival I can sleep anywhere. I have so much sleep negative equity that any chance I get I can slip into a deep slumber.  But for me to sleep, I need her to sleep, which is why I was contemplating the Medi-Sed hallucinating baby option.  So when I saw this Badger Sleep Balm I knew all my problems had been solved!  An all natural 'temple rub' that makes you dreamy and helps you slip into a deep slumber - it had to be the answer to my long haul problem.

So I purchased and decided to try it out on little person tonight.  Did it work and send her off into a deep sleep?, not at all.   I should have looked at their website. It says Badger Balm does not make you sleepy, it just takes the edge off the day's stress.  So obviously little person has no stress, no frayed nerves, no tension.  And that makes me a very happy mummy badger indeed.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dr Hauschka mega-haul

Well, it's a bit of a cheat to say I bought this lot today.  One of the first things you get used to in Singapore is being approached about 'the package' (er..not that kind), whenever you have a manicure, haircut, massage etc.  This is where you buy a package of, say, ten facials upfront and then receive a discount for doing so.  I suspect this is where the therapists make their cash because you're always put under tons of pressure to take one and when you politely decline you often get a death stare and a frosty chill descends upon the room.  As a rule, I'm too fickle to take a package - I get bored going to the same place over and over and need to change after a few visits.  But a few years ago, weakened by a complimentary hand massage while my face mask was on instead of the usual being left in the dark for an eternity, I signed up to a package of Dr Hauschka facials.

Then, the inevitable happened.  I went along a few more times, had a terrible facial where the therapist seemed to want to moisturise my eyeballs (and I'm British so I put up with it for a while then meekly pointed out that I was being tortured) and decided to take my chances somewhere else.

Unfortunately, you can't get a refund on a package, so after a while I decided to return to Guantanamo and try again.  But something had happened and in the meantime the spa stopped answering their phones.  When I eventually got through they told me they were booked up until forever and no, I couldn't have my cash back, but I could exchange the balance for product.

So that's what I did.  I should be thrilled, but to be honest I just feel a bit overwhelmed - I have enough clutter in my bathroom already waiting to be used up, without adding this lot to it.  Oh well, I'm sure I'll survive somehow.

PS Apologies for the shocking picture...

Daiso dishcloths

Daiso is basically Sinagpore's version of a pound store (everything is $2) but this is a Japanese themed store, which elevates it - for me - from the humdrum pile of tat that it really is to a fantastic treasure trove stuffed full of undiscovered riches.  I'd love to say I'd discovered some truly amazing stuff there, but the sad truth is that I always look at the cosmetics and get scared off.  It is good for kitchen bits and bobs and today I desperately needed dishcloths, so Daiso is where I headed to.  As dishcloths go, these are very good indeed.  But, it's dishcloths, so you know....not so exciting!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bioderma Sensibio H2O


I've been using the Bioderma cleansing water off and on for a few years now; usually I'm inspired to start again when I read that this is a cult product, only available in Paris (I have to blame this time).  Strangely enough you can get this all over the place in Singapore and maybe it's the ease of getting hold of it that makes me sometimes wonder what all the fuss is about.  I like the idea of cleansing waters, but I always feel like I've done half a job when I use them.  This is good stuff though; it gets rid of mascara without having to scrub and it seems to take plenty of gunk off.  Nowadays I tend to just get one when I'm travelling, and this chubby mini bottle will be perfect for stashing in my suitcase, possibly even decanting into a mini-bottle to take on the plane.

More awesome stuff from Ruth at A Model Recommends here (hide your piggy bank).

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hagerty Silver Foam

Recently I was searching through some old boxes and stumbled across a long forgotten pendant I bought at Tiffany's in New York about 10 years ago.  It was, in true Holly Golightly style, about the only thing I could afford to buy from the store, but I loved it deeply, wore it constantly and was thrilled beyond words when at some point I saw Charlotte from SATC wearing something similar.  Then I stopped wearing it and forgot I had it, until last week.  As it was the cheapest thing in the shop, it's made from sterling silver and
has, over time, gone horribly tarnished and sad looking.  So I bought  my Silver Foam, shined it up and am now wearing it again.  

Rice Melamine Tableware

I have been coveting these gorgeous Melamine bowls for a few months now and decided if I'm really going to start writing down everything I buy, then I should at least start with something I really want.  Rice is a Danish brand that prides itself on Danish designed products made in a respectful and ethical way in the developing world - they ensure that their suppliers and manufacturers live up to local labour laws and don't use child labour.

I love the ethical story behind this brand and I love the brightly coloured funky designs.  Ostensibly I bought a few plates and bowls for the little person to use, but I suspect I shall enjoy them just as much, if not more, than she (who proved this by throwing them on the floor).  

You can find Rice at Tangs in Singapore and more about the brand at