The facial no. 1

I’m going to document my experience at a beauty salon here in adelaide a couple of days ago. Now, its important to note that this is my first ever facial in Australia ever ever and is definitely not a good indication of the general population.(Sounds like a disclaimer, innit? But anyway, I like to be fair)

So Beauty Salon X is a small but well decorated salon selling Dermalogica and Clarins products as well as facials, waxes etc. Their brochure looked respectable and their staff were friendly. I went in there to buy a Dermalogica cleanser, thinking I was out of it. When I went home, I realised my knuckle brain had forgotten I had already gotten a replacement 2 months ago and now I had TWO bottles. So I decided I would swap the product for a facial, since I’ve been wanted to try a facial here.

And..the verdict is….I would have been better off keeping the 2nd bottle of cleanser, even if it took FOREVER to use it all.

When you think ‘facial’ – what comes to mind? Isn’t relaxation and a good face clean up the first thing?

I have heard that in Australia, they dont do extractions. Girls, you know what this is. Boys, you can guess – this is pressing and prodding your blackheads, whiteheads, pimples etc etc. Why would you go to a beautician if not to get rid of these things? Because the beautician CAN supposedly remove these things in a ‘safe’ manner. Of course, you have to go to the right beautician who wont scar your face.

Before the facial started, I asked if they did extraction and to my absolute surprise they said YES. So I went.

I have been going to dermalogica facials in Malaysia for the past let me count – 10 years of my life.  Now I have tried over 20 different salons in my life, other than Dermalogica ones so I also know what is out there. I find the Derma product best for my skin, thats why I always go back. Safe to say the style hardly changes and their professionalism is always about there. You know what to expect, you’d know in a heartbeat if they skipped a step.

So in all my heartbeats, I knew the facial I had in Beauty Salon X skipped 60% of the steps….OK, thats alright…I wont expect the same steps. But somehow I couldn’t help feeling cheated.

Firstly, the lady did not properly pull my hair back, leaving some strands around my face. When she was cleaning my face, the strands kept getting on my face. Ewww.

Then the music they played was Pop Jazz cum Bossanova at a level you would hear in a bar/lounge. Not the flavour of music I would choose for an hour of relaxation.

To me, facials are an art form. You can tell the level of experience of the beautician from their hand movements, and those that take it seriously have very delicate yet expert hand movements. You know what I’m saying.

Anyway this girl was like, pat pat, slap slap and some cleanser got into my left eye. I had to ask her for a wet tissue to clean my eye which was starting to burn alittle. She said sorry – i thought still, its OK, this is quite a common mistake for an amateur beautician.

She rolled a rotating brush over my face in a form of exfoliation and wiped it off. Thank God she used warm water with that sponge and not cold. Then for the extraction, she lathered some ‘scaling lotion’ she said over my chin (problem area) and after 2 minutes my chin started to burn and she hastily wiped it off after I raised that comment.

She took two tissues and pressed around my chin area….I knew with a sunken heart that no white or blackheads are coming out in this method. She says…almost dejectedly “Oh, nothing’s coming out, I’m afraid”

I said…”Dont worry about it”. I just wanted her to get on with the facial on to the massage bit (which I had to add AUD23 for as it came separately). And her massage was….just patting and touching the face at the ‘assumed’ pressure points. I felt nothing, and I was disappointed. And that MUSIC! Was just getting to me. I was the opposite of relaxed. Knowing that I had just wasted AUD90 on this facial – which took exactly 1 hour.

After the facial, she chirped to me “Oh, your skin looks really good!” I said to her “Really??” But hardly anything was done!

As I walked out to pay at the counter after the facial, another lady asked me “So, how was it?”

I had been debating if I should tell them the truth. It was to their detriment if I didnt! I would never set foot in that salon again, I’m not sure if their other customers felt the same way.

I told them A – Z of everything I felt and they exchanged looks and said “thats the way we were trained”. I told them…maybe you should come to Asia for a facial some time. I told them nicely of course – and they agreed with me. End of the day, they both did not take what I said seriously – maybe except for the loud music.

I have decided to possibly give Adelaide another chance and go to another salon for a final try. Heck, maybe even 2, just to have a better sample of the population. Wow, this was a long post – and I cut short my story already! Til my next facial visit….this is to be continued…..


A post-dated birthday treat!


There is always too much time on your hands (with nothing to do) or too little time and too many things to do.

Hence the opening statement to my (again) short hiatus from blogging. Weekends are now precious commodity as plans for the busy year end period are being put into my calendar bit by bit and anyways my readers are always out and about on weekends anyways, right!? 🙂

I was treated to a luxurious AND pampering princess experience at the Sompoton Spa in Nikko Hotel, KL today, by my maid of honour, Shirley, as a post birthday treat. Sompoton Spas are also at Istana Hotel, Lanson Place Residences and Novotel Kuala Lumpur City Centre, but the one in Nikko hotel is apparently part of their Luxury Collection so I assume its more decked out with the facilities and in terms of ambience.


Ref: Pic at the bottom. Sompoton Spa, Hotel Nikko*

I didnt have my camera with me so no pics, sorry! But i think its fair to say that those pics would  be a tad inappropriate (not especially for someone with  popiah-thin skin like yours truly). After some (rather regular) green tea, we finally settled down for our foot wash, body scrub, jacuzzi warm soak and full body massage after some derision on how we should strip in front of each other to change into disposable underwear. Suffice to say, I was the SHY one.

The jacuzzi soak was pretty much the highlight of the session. We settled into the warm bubble-filled water (say chest high) after our body scrub and we were basking in the loveliness of it all until we realised that the bubbles soon turned into foam which churned higher and higher (due to the jacuzzi jets) until we could not even see each other! The spa attendant came in and got a shock 20 mins later! (“But I only put in 1 teaspoon!” I heard her say to her colleague in distress)

Overall, the service was warm – but quite expectant of a 5 star hotel in KL. Prices were exorbitant, we realised. Shirley had gotten a good deal from a bridal fair 2 months ago, so we were covered. Then again, the non-package prices were at par with other 5 star hotels in the Asean region.

We were rather impressed with the decor (water fountains in every other corner) and the lovely aroma of lemongrass. The massage itself was nothing to shout about (and she didn’t get my sore-back points like my regular cheapo masseuse does!). The whole area was very spacious and nicely decked out.

We finished and were served more green tea (I was expecting ginger tea) and was requested to complete a customer satisfaction survey.

We were given a choice of (Good) (Fair) (Poor).

1. Service: (fair)

2.Cant remember this item, but I had ticked (Good)

3. Handiwork (fair)

My masseuse had good strength and was firm and quite professional, but lacked the warmth and friendliness (and a smile) I expected. Overall, I probably would not return to this particular spa just because (and not in order of priority):

1. I am not a foreigner living in Nikko hotel, in which case, if I were, I may go there for convenience’s sake

2. I was not highly impressed by the massage itself, which concentrated too heavily on the back of my legs and did not cover my head or face. Considering it to be a 90 minute full body massage, a masseuse should be able to time the body parts/areas evenly.

3. She only spent about 1 minute on my tummy area.

4. It is rather pricey – a proper Chinese or Thai massage would suffice for a working gal like me.

But if you have heaps of time and cash to spare (or get a good deal at a bridal fair somewhere) its worth 1 visit. After all, service standards by various masseuses there may differ.





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