I’m known for being a stress-ball – no thanks to my over-achieving personality, I guess. One of my least favourite questions in the world is, “When was the last time you took a holiday?” If you read my post last night, you’d gather that, often, it’s not because I hate going away. Rather, I’d only want to go on a vacation if I am assured I’d be “pampered”. No roughing it out for me!
Most of my days are spent “roughing it out” already. I start work at the crack of dawn and often don’t stop until 11 at night. I am – quite literally – addicted to work. If my mind isn’t on work, I feel “lost”. To get me to “relax” would take a lot … a lot. So when Shangri-La emailed us and offered Material World a staycation, Vanessa immediately asked me along.
At first I thought, “It’s ONE night. Surely all the packing I need to do for this one night is going to take more effort than it’s worth?” But a voice told me, “Look, just go. Oh, and while you’re at it, go take care of your skin, it’s beginning to look as tired as you are.” Oh, thaaanks …
A Paradise, Found
Just one step into Shangri-La’s newly revamped Garden Wing transports you into a world away from the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road, located below the hotel. The first thing that struck me was the seemingly “un-landscaped” look of the lush garden right in the centre of the wing. Huge leaves, colourful flowers, and boulders have been laid out to give the impression of a verdant, undiscovered paradise. The effect was immediately soothing to the mind. I was ready for my staycation.
Our room overlooked the swimming pool. With the ample sunlight, fresh air, and sounds of nature surrounding us, it was easy to forget that we were only in a hotel room in Singapore. Shangri-La has lots to offer for the restless. Its gym (HUGE) is opened 24 hours a day. I walked past it at 10pm at night and spotted a couple of hunks working out in there! The hotel has enough F&B choices for the fussiest of palates. The best time to get a good workout at the pool, as we discovered, is in the morning is between 9.30am and 10.30am, before the crowd sets in. If you are looking to work up a sweat, Shangri-La has tennis courts as well.
Of course, do not go for a staycation at Shangri-La without booking yourself a spa treatment at CHI, The Spa. The Singapore Wave treatment features a combination of firm kneads and long, soothing strokes to relax your tense muscles and re-energise your body. Not bad … I could seriously get used to this …
In The Mood For A Facial
So what do people do at a staycation? I found myself asking this question a couple of weeks before we checked in. Obviously, we weren’t going to “explore” Orchard Road like the tourists. So after the eating and the lounging, what else do people do? Surely time spent lazing about in the room can be put to better use.
For Beloved One provided me with a set of products to try for this staycation. Even before we approached For Beloved One to work with, Vanessa has been going on and on about the brand’s popular bio-cellulose mask. “If you stacked up the number of masks For Beloved One has sold, you get a pile of masks as high as Taipei 101!” a fact she likes to remind us.
The Skin Needs A Staycation Too
All facials – whether at a salon or DIY – should begin with proper cleansing. Remove all makeup and give your skin a good scrub to slough away all dead skin cells. Exfoliation is necessary to help your skin absorb all these products better.
After I’m done with cleansing, I applied a thin layer of For Beloved One 20% Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum. Mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and is derived from an extract of bitter almonds. Touted as a gentle chemical peel treatment you can do at home, this serum apparently penetrates the skin to clear acne and brighten the skin tone.
I’m usually a bit sensitive to products containing AHA but this serum did not give my skin any redness and I could not detect any stinging or discomfort.
You then follow the serum with For Beloved One Extreme Hydration Intensive Treatment Toner, which contains a host of anti-ageing ingredients to help restore firmness and radiance to the skin. With that, it’s time for another serum – the Hyaluronic Acid Tri-Molecules Moisturising Serum.
Watery in texture, it spreads easily on the skin. You can gently pat your skin as you apply this serum to improve the absorption and give your face a massage for blood circulation. My skin felt plumper after this step already.
A pearl-size dollop of the Extreme Hydration Intensive Treatment Milk Lotion wraps up the basic regime. The Extreme Hydration series is created to boost the skin’s metabolism, thus enhancing its ability to repair damages that may lead to premature ageing. For ladies in a rush, you’ll be glad to learn that you can also mix the Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum into either the toner or the lotion to save yourself a step. This series also contains Pepha-tight – a film that forms on the stratum corneum to create a “lifting effect” on the skin. Containing a whole host of amino acids, vitamins and anti-oxidants, Pepha-tight has been shown to reveal immediate firming effect that remains visible even after two weeks.
Finally, as a final treat for my skin, I had to use the mask that Vanessa is a fan of. For Beloved One Polypeptide DNA Resilience Lift Bio-Cellulose Mask is a game-changer when it comes to sheet mask. More than 5 millions pieces of it have been sold since its inception eight years ago. The unique texture of the bio-cellulose fibre material gives a mask that is almost “jelly-like”. The mask adheres to the face tightly, ensuring that every pore on your skin is in contact with all that anti-ageing potion on it. I took a nice 15-minute nap on my plush hotel bed, enjoying the cool serenity, trying to keep my mind off work for a while.
Refreshed And Relaxed!
When I removed the mask, I loved how bright and well-rested my skin looked. There was a youthful plumpness to the skin – like every cell was flushed with moisture. I even allowed Vanessa to take my “After” photo without any makeup. The most noticeable improvement could be seen around the eyes – more lifted, brighter-looking, less tired.
This staycation – though just one night – did indeed do me a world of good. My mind, body and skin were refreshed and rejuvenated, and after a fabulous brunch at Waterfall Cafe, I was ready to face another week of work.
I continued using the Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum even after this staycation. Just last week, when I met Denise for lunch after her 3-week hiatus in Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang, she commented how my skin looked “poreless”. That was when I revealed that I’ve been trying the Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum for a week and a half. Needless to say, she too was suitably impressed.
Thanks to Shangri-La for the staycation. To book yourself a staycation, you may visit its website here.
For Beloved One’s products can be found at all Sephora outlets. For more information, check out its Facebook Page here.
Material World worked with For Beloved One to review its products. All reviews are the author’s own and were not vetted by the client. You may read our advertising policy here.
About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and wonders if people mean it when they say she doesn’t look her age … Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.
WIN A FOR BELOVED ONE SKINCARE SET!
We have FIVE sets of skincare goodies from For Beloved One up for grabs! Each set contains:
1. A full-sized 20% Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum
2. 1 pieces of Polypeptide DNA Resilience Lift Bio-cellulose Mask
3. A 30-ml Extreme Hydration Treatment Toner
4. A 15-ml Extreme Hydration Intensive Treatment Lotion
5. A 3-ml Hyaluronic Acid Tri-Molecules Moisturizing Serum
(This ENTIRE set is worth $144.40! )
To win one, simply follow the steps below:
1. In the Comment section, answer this question: “For Beloved One was created in which country?”
2. Share this review on Facebook with your friends. Remember to tag Material World’s Facebook on your post.
3. Click on this link to Like our Facebook Page. Only Material World’s followers qualify for this contest.
4. Private message us your details – name, age, gender, NRIC, and email address.
Contest ends June 28, Friday, 2013.