**Update: Bliss Spa at ION Orchard has CLOSED :(
But for all you jetsetters, you can get your Bliss fix at the W Hotel in Hong Kong
BLISS Spa in Singapore has been pretty quiet since it's opening in late 2009. Although it's part of an international chain of spas which has a line of extremely successful products, it's spa in ION orchard is tucked away in a quiet corner at the back of Sephora.
Last week, I decided to try out the BLISS Hot Cream Manicure & Pedicure (S$90), to see if their premium-priced treatments were worth the buck.
Entering their spa, I was ushered to their comfortable couch to fill in a consultation form. They have a small spread of bite-sized brownies, lemonade and hot teas which were an excellent touch.
The nail polishes from Essie and OPI were displayed on a clear wall which I got to pick from before beginning the manicure.
The manicure was then done over a table facing two large TVs playing Gossip Girl & Desperate Housewives! I hardly watch TV so this was the first time I got to watch Gossip Girl. If you're worried about it being noisy, it's not, as they have comfy headphones at each table.
Her tools were taken out of a specially sealed pack which means the tools were sterilized either with UV or in an Autoclave, then sealed in a special pack. That's great, since there was a big Hep B scare where Hep B was being spread during manicures.
So she started the manicure:
I have to say this again, why do manicurists keep filing the nails in a super fast, zigzag manner?
This webpage explains it in the simplest, best way:
"Nail filing should be reserved for simple shaping once the nails are at the desired length. Using the proper file, take a few gentle strokes from the corner to center in the same direction. Don’t file nails all the way across or from side to side. A few strokes should be all that is needed to get the ideal shape. Take care not to file down the sides of the nail aggressively - this area is essential to nail strength and should be left alone as much as possible."
After the filing she applied a TON of cuticle remover onto my cuticles, I was really suspicious about it since there was no washing of the remover after. Most cuticle removers need to be washed off since they're very alkaline and are drying to your skin. I asked her about it but she said it is done later.
So after the cutting of cuticles, she put a ton of cuticle oil on, followed by the "Hot Cream" part of the manicure.
Basically, it is cream in a plastic bag which is put into the heater, then wrapped around your hands, and then massaged in.
My hands were never washed or soaked. She only ran a hot wet towel over before applying the polish.
I had chosen Escapades from Essie for my fingernails and she also used Essie base and top coat. The paint job was gorgeous and Essie colours dry relatively quickly, I would say much more quickly than OPI & Orly colours.
The pedicure was done on these HUGE, PLUSH Chairs. That had got to be the most comfortable pedicure seat I was ever on. Or the most comfortable couch ever.
There were also TV screens right ahead and I got to watch GLEE. (My first time watching GLEE, can I get the DVD set for X'Mas? :P )
I briefed her that my large toenail was easily succeptable to becoming ingrown.. well it wasn't ingrown or inflammed but it always hurt on one side. It was really brittle and had taken months to grow out so I had now cut it extremely straight across. Told her not to cut or file it, and she acknowledged it, but when the filing started she immediately did what i told her NOT to do. I only realised what she had done after all the toes were done and when it started to hurt again. (The hurting comes from the pressure the nail plate puts on the nail bed, and cutting your nails straight shifts the pressure away from the side. So once the nail is cut rounded, the pressure gets put back)
Boy, did I give her a piece of my mind! :(
And yes, I explained about cutting the nail straight, but it makes me wonder, where are the manicurists trained?
The rest of the pedicure was pretty standard: The ton of cuticle remover, cuticle oil, scrub (with a wash off scrub and also with a large foot file), massage and then the polish.
I chose Essie's "Ballet Slippers", a pretty pastel pink. I was inspired by this gorgeous caucasian lady I saw at Great World City, with the most flawless pedicure and pretty polish, exactly like this one, wearing jewelled sandals. I had almost stepped up to her and asked her what shade it was, but figured I might come across abit too obsessive :P
Essie "Ballet Slippers"
Overall, the manicure and pedicure were good, I wouldn't classify it as value-for-money, it's more of a "once in a while, have a treat" kind of place. If you love somewhere hip and luxurious, it would be the place for you.
The major difference comes in their little, important touches, like sterile tools, warm towels, warm massage creams and scrubs, a soft comfy blanket when lying on the couch.
It would be perfect as a pre-wedding treat, or for a private hen's night spa party.
Once you're done, don't forget to get a free pictures of yourself at their little photobooth!
Location: 5/5 (for those who take public transport)
3/5 (if you drive and have to pay exhorbitant rates for parking in town)
Variety of services: 4/5
Prices for nail services:
Hot Cream Manicure 30 min, $35
Bliss Basic Pedicure 60min, $55
Hot milk & almond pedicure 60min, $75
Double choc pedicure 60min, $75
Pedi colada 60min, $75
Foot Patrol 75 min, $85
additioanl French tips $10
at Sephora - ION
01- 05/06 ION Orchard
10am - 9pm Daily
+65 6509 3511
On their menu:
Waxing - Facials - Massage - Nails - Slimming
note: 5 days later (today) Still no chips in nail polish!!! And I have been pretty rough on my hands! Impressive.