Japanese hair salon near City Hall and Bugis and how to look fabulous - Nine by Sweet Basil

Every morning when I head towards the bathroom to freshen up, I check my reflection and notice if I'm having a good hair day or not. This subconsciously affects my mood. "ARGH why is that part of my hair sticking out like an idiot? How can I flatten it??" or "NOOO why does my hair look so limp and lifeless???" Sound familiar yet?

So how do you look fabulous? Fix your hair. If your hair is frizzy, try rebonding. If your hair is flat, try perming. If your roots are growing out...

Get it touched up.

Or every mirror you walk past will guilt you and kill you slowly day by day.

Here's an easy step by step guide on how to look fabulous just by having great hair!

Step 0: Book a hair appointment

Sure, there are many options out there in the market. An $8 barber shop just 10 minutes from your place (for the guys), or that neighbourhood salon for about $35 gives you a decent wash and cut.

Just think about the recent articles of salon's ruining hair by doing rebonding and perming at the same session, or colour jobs drying out hair. Some distraught customers posted online that their hair looks like public curls after the treatment and tearfully had to cut their long locks off. Any good stylist will tell you not to do them together. Well, for your own happiness, be sure of the service and the quality of the cut, wherever you choose to go. I've been to my fair share of salons where stylists would say they're done even when one side of my hair is obviously longer than the other. And, no I did not ask for that style.

If you need a recommendation though, I'll ask you to consider a pampering session with a Japanese salon. Not only are they dedicated and well-versed in products to make your Asian hair shiny and glossy, their perms and styles produce looks straight out of fashion magazines. I've been to a number and Nine by Sweet Basil is a hidden find. Please leave your hair and scalp to the professionals and you'll know what I mean when experience your first amazing head massage.

Step 1: Get a hair analysis

When you are in your chair and comfortably seated, good stylists will start to analyse your hair, and advise you if your intended treatment suits your hair, if the colour you picked to dye your hair suits your face etc! Here's my stylist, Yoshi, doing just that.

Step 2: Pick your treatment 

I chose to dye my hair because the colour was fading to a yellow-ish tone. Yoshi helped me mix colours to turn it into an ash-y brown and carefully spread the dye and left it to soak in. I like how Nine by Sweet Basil has like, sectioned seats so you have a little privacy corner all to yourself!

It looks blonder than it really is.

Step 3: Dip Dye hair for added fun 

Yoshi asked if I had ever done this soak in dye procedure, to which I said 'no' to. It's pretty cool, he mixes the dye with water and soaks your hair in it, pouring some of the mixture over your hair where it's not touching the water. Was pretty excited to see how the results would be!

Step 4: Head massage and hair wash

After the soaking (about 30 mins?) was done, Yoshi gave me an amazing head massage and hair wash, focusing on my scalp and I felt my stress fade away. Unlike other salons where the stylist 'hands you off' to a junior to do the hair wash, Yoshi is in charge of your hair from start to end!

During the massage he also places a hot towel on the back of your neck too! How thoughtful! Also adds to the shiok factor.

Here's where he usually adds hair treatment, to ensure your hair is well moisturized. They also use soda water here so thoroughly clean your scalp! This is great if you have a naturally oily scalp. Combined with their nano water machine, your hair is nourished from root to end.

Step 5: Get a shoulder massage

Once my hair wash is done, I head back to my seat for... a quick shoulder massage!! Not many salons throw this in but, boy is it worth it.

Step 6: Hair cut and styling!

The final step, is of course to get a hair cut that suits your face shape and also, a style that you like! If your face is round, it's better to have your hair at a length from chin down. This is why having a professional stylist is important, so he can give you the best style to boost your confidence!

Yoshi can also style your hair at your request. He knows I like my hair to be curled with tongs so this is the final result!

What do you think? 

Also love how the dye worked out! Colour is true to the picture above and my hair isn't dry at all.

Fun playing with my locks hehe!

Thanks Yoshi for picking this ash brown for me. Been getting compliments that it makes me look fairer and brings a glow to my face!

Nine by Sweet Basil is conveniently located just a row behind Raffles Hotel! It's walkable from City Hall or Bugis MRT.

In conjunction with their anniversary, they're having an awesome


All new customers get 30% off!

Returning customers get to take part in a lucky draw where you stand to win 
30% to 50% off vouchers, free shampoo, complimentary treatment, head spa or nail service!!

Congratulations on your anniversary, Nine by Sweet Basil! 
These promotions are until 31 August, and note that they will be closed from 11-18 August
They're open on National Day if you want to get your hair all pretty to celebrate our independence!

Nine by Sweet Basil

26A Purvis Street 
(near Bugis Junction and opposite Raffles Hotel)
Singapore 188603
Telephone: 6337 3661

Operating hours:
Weekdays: 10am - 8pm
Weekends and holidays: 10am - 7pm
They're closed on Tuesdays!

NUA Singapore - Japanese wax and facial salon review

Whenever I have a bad hair day or I have a blemish on my face, I refuse to take any photos. Let's face it, as much as we wish we were born with Fang Bing Bing's flawless skin or Fann Wong's never aging complexion, that is rarely the case. For me at least I admit that's true! It's up to your own efforts to diligently follow your skincare routine, and that's why we girls spend tons in department stores.We are women - we can't help wanting to look our best!

But try as we might, there are times where we need specialists to help us. If you just got back from a cold country, for example, your skin (which always seemed oily in Singapore's humid weather), is now as dry as the desert and is flaking! OR you may have used some products that aren't suitable for your skin, and now it is inflamed and you are breaking out. What should you do??? Of course you can't just go to ANY salon for a facial, you can't risk anything worse happening to your skin. Which is why a salon's reputation is so important.

I recently checked out NUA, a japanese beauty and waxing salon in Singapore and am here to share my review! It's really rare to find japanese beauty salons here, especially one where all staff speak BOTH fluent japanese and english!!

Don't miss this door!!

NUA was a short walk from Tanjong Pagar MRT Station, and helms from Tokyo. One of their branches in Tokyo is in a mega hip district called, Omotesando where only cool kids go. I totally missed this door the first time and had to do a double take when I realised I had reached the end of the street. Oops!

Part I:


When I reached, I was greeted cheerfully and was promptly presented with hot tea. My therapist, Shiori-san introduced herself as I filled in a form describing what I wanted to achieve for my face. If pigmentation spots annoy you or if you want smoother skin, those are all possible to list down too! She then recommended NUA's signature treatment, which is the NUA Customized Facial (60 mins, $135). As its name suggests, it is a customized, results-driven, therapeutic treatment to suit your skin type and needs! Was super excited to see how my skin could improve in just an hour!

The facial room, where the magic happens

Once I had enough tea, I was brought to the facial room where I got comfy on this bed here. My young and pretty therapist, Shiori, (whom I also found out later is also the owner), started with a thorough skin-analysis and gave me a quick run through of my skin's condition. I need to sleep more! Then she left the room briefly to mix products for me as I relaxed on this comfy bed.

My facial began officially with a gentle cleansing, then a mild chemical peel mask followed after. NUA uses products from PCA and Dermalogica which are two of the most trusted skincare brands used by professionals worldwide! In the initial discussion, I told Shiori that I wanted a 'brighter' face and what better way to do so than to get rid of the dead skin cells?? 

One of my aesthetic doctor friends told me that strong chemical peels can make your face turn red and you have to avoid sunlight for at least a week! In our crazy Singapore weather that is almost impossible to avoid, so I'm really glad Shiori shares the same sentiments as me and prefers mild chemical peels instead.

All customised facials at NUA include high-tech machine treatments which are suitable for your skin type and hand-picked according to your skin's condition! Another concern I had was my terribly stubborn dark eye circles, which Shiori did a micro-current eye treatment to activate the skin's fibre and stimulate the area. It was really soothing!! Zero pain at all, though I was initially shocked at the first vibration lol.

As my nose is generally more prone to blackheads and whiteheads. Shiori recommended an organic clay mask to clean them out, which explains the white bit. I was really happy when my nose was smooth at the end of the treatment!! Goodbye blackheads! Well, stubborn whiteheads (if you have them you will be aware), are not that easily removed, usually a few sessions will help.

Brushes are used to apply masks on your skin, I like how they were so soft and nice to feel! Do note that trimming of eyebrows is not included (though you could add it on), and deep cleansing extractions are a separate facial treatment.

After about an hour, which passed by reaaally fast because it was so relaxing, here are the results! Okay the skin tone is slightly different that's probably due to the auto settings of my camera, but ignoring that, my skin definitely looks more radiant, and was more bouncy too! Yes that is me without any make-up please refrain from making comments that will make me unhappy.

Verdict: Really love it! Will definitely want to come back to give my face another pampering session. Shiori is really gentle and has years of experience treating skin of different types, plus she's super fun to talk to!! 


Part II:

Waxing & Permanent hair removal using Depilar System!

After the fabulous treatment, I decided to try NUA salon's permanent hair removal service. The product they use for this hair removal is a new formula which reduces hair growth without the need for lasers! Even though I'm a frequent IPL user, there's always the risk that your skin becomes sensitive, or your skin darkens/reddens due to the procedure. When I heard about its benefits, I was eager to try it out!

Step one, waxing. To ensure that the produce is penetrated into your pores, the treatment begins with a wax!

I picked my Upper lip to try out as I had never waxed this area before! Waxing doesn't hurt much for me, does that mean my pain tolerance is pretty high? Haha.

I look like KFC's Colonel Sanders right? Haha!

After waxing, Shiori applied calming mist to soothe the area, and moved on to my lower leg wax!

I was just chillin on the bed when a delicious smell of chocolate hit me. I looked up and realised it was the wax! How amazing was that! The whole process was made even sweeter (hurhur) and I was craving chocolate for a bit after that, haha.

Once the wax was done, Shiori applied the two Depilar System activators and left it to dry! Ok I know what you're thinking.

What is a Depilar System?

The Depilar System is used directly after a traditional waxing, sugaring, threading or tweezing to target the hair follicles, and is an enhanced enzyme-based formula which is safe to use on any part of your body.

Since it was my first time using the Depilar System, it was natural that I had a few queries, and here are some simple Q and A that I think you guys might wonder about too!

Q: I have been doing IPL on xx areas, can I use Depilar System?

Answer: Yes! The Depilar System will work if you have not had success with laser treatments. You must discontinue laser treatments and continue with regular and successive Depilar Applications.

Q: I have dry skin. Is that a problem?

Answer: No. Simply exfoliate or dry brush the skin prior to application.

For more info, check out the official Depilar System website.

For best results, it is recommended to go for your Depilar System treatment every 4-weeks for applications on the face, and 5-6-week intervals for applications on the body. This is to coincide with your hair growth cycle and allows your hair to grow out just enough for maximum effectiveness! Most ladies have experienced 0 hair growth after 16-24 months of continued use!

Verdict: Two weeks on and my skin still feels pretty smooth! Though results are not drastically different (ie, like 50% less hair) you can tell that hair growth isn't that fast and is thinner. You can also use this for brazilian too! Could get hooked onto this and stop using IPL forever lol.


Thank you Shiori and team for the wonderful experience! Be sure to check them out for some pampering you deserve!

 NUA Singapore

2F, 18A Tanjong Pagar Road
Singapore 088441
(Do note, Google maps address is a bit off, it's across the road from the pin shown, near Duxton Hill entrance, diagonally opposite the church)
Contact: 6327-1002 / SMS Bookings: 9188-0541

Operating hours:
Mon - Friday 10am - 7pm
Saturday: 10am - 6pm
Closed on Sundays


Best selfie digital camera - Casio Exilim TR60 review and new features

Not too long ago, I blogged about how I loved Casio's TR35, which I felt was THE best selfie camera at that time. I even brought it along with me to Taiwan to test some of its capabilities in landscape and low light scenery shots and the shots turned out really good!

Fast forward to a few years later and somehow, Casio outdid herself again. She has created the mother of all selfie cameras, with features that are designed to impress even the most experienced camwhore. -shifty eyes- That picture above? Taken with the new camera.


Behold, the Casio Exilim TR60(s).

The new model comes in four colours - Green (seems more minty to me), Pink, Violet and White. There are a couple new features added compared to their previous model, and these are so amazing I just had to share them! 

  • Auto send photos to your phone via Bluetooth/Wifi

If you're wondering why influencers have such nice photos on instagram, one major factor is the camera that's used. It's no secret that the photos with amazing quality get the most likes! Influencers typically transfer pictures taken on their camera to their phone to be uploaded. Now that you're in on this secret, I'll tell you another one - the Casio TR60 can transfer your photos seamlessly.

You can bulk select photos you want to send to your phone and transfers are sooo fast!! You'll need to install the EXILIM app first though.

Here's a shot with the pretty Emily! Totally instagrammable.

  • Control the camera remotely
Once you've paired the camera to your phone, your phone can act as a 'remote control' and assist you in taking photos! This can apply to full length selfies (technically you're taking a photo of yourself) or, for selfie sticks when you're with a big group of friends.

This feature is super cool in my opinion, If I'm not mistaken, this is the first and only selfie camera that can do this 'link-up with your phone' function!! It is also perfect for solo travels when you can't get someone to take a photo for you.

PSST! You can view, select and even edit your photos on your phone even when the camera is switched off!

  • Variety of in-built filters

Whenever a camera comes with in-built filters, you... play around with them and see which surroundings suit them the most. One customizable feature is that you can set how fair or dark you want your pictures to look, and how flawless/glowy your skin will turn out in your photos! Adjustments come in 12 varying levels and 6 skin tone levels. Which is definitely more that what you'd ask for. Here are some shots I took with the filters!

High Key: For natural lighting. Note that Macro mode managed to capture the details on my bracelet!

Foggy: For softer, misty days

Fairy: Because you want to look like a princess

Nostalgia: Sentimental, much?

Vivid: Makes colours pop

Square: This was created just for Instagram lol

Impressed yet? That's not all.

  • Long Battery Life

The Casio TR60 has an incredible battery life! It takes about 240 shots and continued playback of approx 3 hours and 40 mins. Movie time would be approx 55 mins. 240 selfies a day anyone?

A shot in low-light, our complexion looks amazing even so!

I like how details aren't lost despite the brighter lights. I only charged the TR60 once a week.

  • Intuitive pad for easy toggle

Did you notice the pretty sparkly gem surrounding the camera's lens?? I love it!! 

One of the new features to note in the Casio Exilim TR60 is its new intuitive Selfie Pad. This sensor can toggle between various functions such as zoom or Selfie Art mode by just sliding your finger along the frame! Now you can make quick adjustments without having to view the main menu. Super convenient btw.

  • Everything else is awesome

Photo with Fenyx, who is incredibly photogenic!

Just like her predecessors, the Casio TR60 is light and fits snugly into any lady's handbag or clutch. Some of my friends even mistook this for a phone!

Verdict? Absolutely love love love the cam!

Thanks Nicole, Peiling and the Casio team for the camera! Also thanks to TJ, Fenyx, Emily and Ng Ju Ann for photo appearances lol.

For more pictures taken with the Casio Exilim TR 60, check out my Singapore Airlines Turf Club event!

Woah I think this is the post with the most selfies hahaha. Be sure to check out the Casio TR60 when you can! The Casio Exilim EX-TR60 is made in Japan and is available at selected Casio authorised retailers such as Best Denki and Harvey Norman at suggested retail price of S$1,299.

Singapore Airlines International Cup 2015

Being a naturally spontaneous and outgoing person, I love trying new things and experiencing what life has to offer (that doesn't jeopardize my own life, of course). However, recently I've been feeling pretty jaded. Like my life is stagnating, that nothing much in Singapore surprises me anymore.

Until I attended my first event at the Turf Club, that is.

Any reason to dress up. Yup.

Have you ever watched horses race? Not just any horse race but the ones held at the Singapore Turf Club!? It is truly an experience and if you can, try to catch one of the big races which are held a few times a year. Most people in the air-conditioned areas dress to the nines, decked in unusual fascinators (the things on their heads, no they're not hats), you'll see guys in suit and tie, oh and rooms with free flow of alcohol! If your schedule doesn't permit, normal races are on most Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. I wouldn't call myself a gambler or an addict who needs to bet often or all the time because that would take the novelty and fun away!

It's more entertaining to go with friends so bring as many as you can. It doesn't matter if you lost a bit, you are in great company! Pity there was no Eddie Peng Yuyan unlike Longines in November as eye candy but you never know haha! 

The Singapore Airlines Cup 2015 was the first horse racing event I attended that started in the late afternoon and ended at night, which was a great excuse to wear a long gown. I took 3 hours to get ready and did my hair and makeup myself! It was a bit of a disaster initially because my hair curler ran out of battery mid-way and wouldn't switch on after. ANYWAY it's all good because it worked out in the end.

The Marquee

We were seated in the Marquee this time, which has a nice patio with an amazing view (and some people choose to smoke at lol). To get there, you'll take a shuttle bus near the taxi stand, feels like VIP service because you also get... 

A BUFFET! Salad, meats, and... FREE FLOW of Beer, Red Wine, White Wine, Juices and some soft drinks!! The quality of the food is seriously pretty darn good. I was surprised. There are many Caucasians here and they take fascinators to a whole new level. Dress to impress!

The bread and butter pudding that I forgot to eat because my mains were that good :( Oh well at least I have a picture of it.

There are two betting stations in the Marquee, so the queue moves pretty fast! Imagine eating while watching the monitors to watch the horses for the next race, getting up, betting, going back to your seat for a bit, then getting up again to watch the actual race. Repeat at least x4 times lol. You'll lose track of how much you've already eaten!! 

Shot with the Casio TR60, the best selfie camera right now in the market, Don't you think the quality is amazing?? Your skin looks flawless in every shot, and this wasn't even taken in any special mode! Side note, I am loving my hair colour done by Yoshi at Nine by Sweet Basil. Totally trust Yoshi with my hair lol, I told him to pick a colour for me.

Apologies, I digressed!! After our filling buffet dinner, we went over to the grand stand area to catch the official opening ceremony and performances. There were women in flouncy dresses with many balls on them, people literally walking INSIDE Zorb-balls, (still have no idea how they breathe in them), and of course these cool pyro dudes on stilts. 

The sky became pretty smokey after that

To be honest, I wasn't really sure what was happening, but a bunch of pretty SIA girls were posing for photos with the jockeys in anticipation for the next race! Maybe they wanted the jockeys to size each other up or something.

Commemorative photo with SIA girls and Jockeys

Alright I'll answer everyone's burning question, yes they are real stewardesses! Did you know that only true stewardesses are allowed to don the kebaya?? I need to get my stewardess friends to teach me how they do their hair up like that. I know a lot of hair spray is involved though.

Parade Ring

If you're a hardcore gambler, you'll definitely want to check out the horses' mood on the day itself, and there's no better way than to observe them for yourself at the Parade Ring just before they step onto the field! 

No joke all these uncles staring intently. Frankly I never bothered learning how to read the booklet which lists all the historical information the horse has etc. I go by my gut feeling. The owners and friends of that match are all in that circle in the middle!

Our hosts brought us all the way in front! Tried to selfie with the horses but I was also a little afraid they would bite my head off, or mistake my hair for grass etc. Lol!

PSST! I love my new back-hand accessory, got it from Forever21 just days before the race!

Anyway, it was my turn to bet! It's a good rule of thumb to set a maximum amout that you're willing to lose BEFORE YOU EVEN PLAY. It's a good self-control mechanism lol. Tell yourself that if you hit that amount you better stop betting. No you will not recoup your losses!

Minimum bets for Win or Place is $5, but if you bet on Trio's, Quadro's and some other combos, it's $2. To find out more about what bets you can make, click here.

Didn't know which horse was going to win, so I put in a few bets. Horse no 1 and 2 to win (obviously I would've lost one), Horse number 6 and 7 to place, and just for fun, I picked Horses 1, 2, 3 and 6 to come in as the top 4 horses, in any order, for $2 why not right lol.

After placing our bets, we went back to the main area to watch the biggest race of the day with the owner's, cheering together with everyone. (ie those colourful seats in the background of this picture below)

Oops sorry for the grainy pic, a pic of Yuki and I.


Biggest race of the day: International Group 1: $3,000,000 prize money

1st place: Dan Excel (Horse no 2)
2nd place: Military Attack (Horse no 1)
3rd place: Quechua (Horse no 6)
4th place: Meiner Frost (Horse no 3)
The defending champion has done it again! Dan Excel, trained by John Moore clinched the top prize and the odds to win were $18 (ie, every $5 bet pays $18)
For those who have been reading closely, yes that's right, I won a tiny bit! It's not much because I only bet like $5 haha. Serious adrenaline rush, when you bet though. Can see why people get addicted to it. Am not encouraging anyone to become a hardcore gambler ok!!
I like this shot because it looks like the horses are also sharing a moment! Though this was the race before haha.


HP also won some money in the big race :D We were both beaming together hahah!

Picture of well dressed ladies! Am pretty sure they are some of the jockey's girlfriends or wives...

That's basically how a day at the races during a big event goes. I really hope you'll get to try it out one day haha. Do I see myself getting sick of this anytime soon? 

To that I say, 


Thanks guys for the spectacular company :)

All images with the SEED Image logos are used with permission from Derrick See (also the guy on the far right of the picture), he takes amazing photos!!
Shoutout to my new friend Vince Caligiuri from Gettyimages for the links to the pictures.
Thank you Singapore Turf Club, Jessie, Dominic and Nick for the invitation and for being such great hosts! 

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