The Most Pampering, Instantly Gratifying Experiences

You shouldn’t feel bad about taking time out to look after your well-being or spending on a much-deserved spot of pampering. Here are our picks for where to go. The reward: glossier hair, smoother skin, and feeling much more relaxed.

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LKJ Heavenly Head Spa with Scalp Treatment

90min, $240 Leekaja Beauty Salon, #03-13 Mandarin Gallery, tel: 8133-0818

For a top-down approach to stress relief, try out this indulgent head trip. Not only does it deep-cleanse the scalp and help prevent hair loss, it also promises health benefits like improved sleep quality and blood circulation, and the easing of muscle tension.

Done in the comfort of a massage chair, you are first relaxed with a 10min neck and shoulder massage. Your scalp is then analysed with a scanner before the shampoo. A warming primer is applied to open up pores and cleanse the scalp, then a nourishing gel for the hair follicles.

A 10-15min head massage is next, during which warm mist is directed at your scalp to stimulate blood circulation. The relaxing and comforting effects are likely to get you snoozing.

The final steps: a spray to seal in nutrients, a moisturising and repairing treatment, a scalp essence and a cooling tonic spray for a feeling of immense freshness. A blow-dry caps off the ritual. 

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Goldwell Kerasilk Keratin Treatment

120min, $298++ Chez Vous: Hideaway, #14-04 Ngee Ann City Tower B, tel: 6219-3558

The treatment turns fizzy, unruly locks perfectly soft and sleek, and its effects last for up to three months. Come 20min prior to enjoy the complimentary facilities: a massage chair, an O2emitting machine (inhale deeply to relax), and an LED light treatment for your scalp.

The session kicks off with a blissful head massage and shampoo, after which actives are applied to combat frizz, repair damage and enhance shine. To round off, a mask with hyaluronic acid and ceramides, and a hydrolysed silk serum to seal in nutrients.

Other spa-like touches include a Swedish scalp rejuvenation massage, and a shoulder massage with hot shoulder pads before the final blow-styling. 

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Platinum System & Vital Treatment

120min, $300-$380 S.A.D’S Hair Design, #01-01 RV Point, 233 River Valley Road, tel: 6235-0570

The Japanese are known for top-notch service. This salon lends further weight to that notion with its “no getting up from your seat” policy that lets you be waited on hand and foot, while your hair gets treated to premium cleansing, repairing and conditioning.

Once you sink into the imported Takara Belmont electric chair, you don’t have to move a muscle. Reclining and sitting up are automatic, and all the equipment used during the treatment, including the sink, is brought over to you.

The treatment starts with a scalp and hair detox to remove product build-up, silicones, oil and other accumulated gunk. Reparative products are then applied, including a moisturising protein-based scalp treatment.

Lie back and relax during the steaming session, which is followed by a shampoo and 20min scalp massage. One more coating of hair-strengthening ingredients is applied, before a final rinse and styling.

Expect to walk out with hair that feels airy-light, fresh and soft. The treatment’s effects are said to last upwards of four weeks, stretching to eight weeks with appropriate home care. 

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Sulwhasoo Timetreasure Invigorating Treatment

80min, price unavailable Sulwhasoo Spa, #01-72/73 Capitol Piazza, tel: 6844-9766; Sulwhasoo Boutique @ Ion Orchard, #B2-02 Ion, tel: 6509-9979

The facial kicks off with a dry cloth massage, then deep cleansing and a face massage using the brand’s signature First Care Activating Serum. A mask and a decolletage massage follow.

The real highlight is the second massage, where the skin-lifting Timetreasure Invigorating Cream is smoothed over the face with amber applicators. Next, a sheet mask and a remodelling mask. To finish, the serum is applied using “twist pinching” movements to energise skin, and “pick up and lift” actions to firm.

Expect to see plump, lifted skin with a glow that reportedly lasts for more than three days. Makeup sits flawlessly the next day too. 

SK-II Senze EO+ Facial

105min, $320 SK-II Boutique Spa by Senze Salus, #02-26B Raffles City Shopping Centre, tel: 6336-4880

Facial massages typically last 10-20min. This one clocks in at 40min. There’s a skincare basis for it: The facial is designed to tackle stress and a lousy mood. Why? Because stress causes chemical reactions in the body that make skin sensitive and slow to heal. The extended massage for the face, neck, shoulder and scalp heightens relaxation, boosts circulation and relieves stress.

As stress is said to cause lymphatic blockage, special attention is paid to lymph node stimulation so that the organic essential oils and SK-II skincare applied are better absorbed. The facial also includes hand reflexology to boost blood flow, oxygen and energy to specific body organs, said to promote better self-healing.

All the key steps and products that go into an SK-II facial are here. These include triple cleansing, extraction, mask with ultrasound, and application of essential products such as the Facial Treatment Essence and Treatment Repair C serum. 

Timeless Indulgence Treatment

90min, $680 The Ritz-Carlton Spa, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, tel: 6434-5203

The healing benefits of La Mer are legendary. And this treatment at the first La Mer hotel spa in Asia Pacific, lets you soak up over $3,000 worth of La Mer products.

The treatment sees the La Mer Miracle Broth Facial and a foot treatment carried out simultaneously by two therapists. In the facial, skin is cleansed, scrubbed, massaged and warmed before the spa-exclusive Miracle Spa Broth is applied for skin repair and restoration. The facial is capped off with an ice wrap, where ice cubes are glided over the face, to cool skin and seal in the treatment’s benefits.

At the same time, your feet are cleansed, and cuticles and nails trimmed. Products focus on healing and soothing ingredients like rapeseed flower oil.

Lastly, a foot and leg massage kneads away fatigue using products from Le Chateau du Bois, a French heritage label that’s been producing high quality lavender products and essential oils since 1890. 

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Porcelain Illuminate Facial

75min, $425.86 Porcelain Origins, #04-48 The Paragon, tel: 6850-5161; Porcelain Aesthetics, #03-13 Orchard Gateway, tel: 6844-9660; Porcelain Signatures, #01-02 Tanjong Pagar Centre, tel: 6386-5388

Unwind, fall asleep, and wake up to glowing skin – that’s the promise of this facial.

Three key steps make this treatment effective: diamond microdermabrasion to exfoliate; a peel that has 20 per cent mixed fruit acids with grape wine extract to boost skin renewal while softening, decongesting pores and regulating sebum; oxygen therapy in the form of a skin infusion; and a machine-assisted lymphatic drainage massage that regulates blood circulation and breathing.

Combined with the scent of Italian florals from the vitamin-rich antioxidant and anti-inflammatory cream used, and you’ll be lulled into a state of deep relaxation. 

24K Uplift

90min, $535 SW1 Spa, #13-03 Paragon, tel: 6817-8888; #02-19/20 OUE Downtown Gallery Tower 2, tel: 6817-8888

A thorough cleanse to make way for the good stuff is a must. This facial for dull, tired and blemished skin does so in the most gentle, bliss-out way.

It starts with aqua-dermabrasion cleansing: three water jets with different solutions (mild AHA saline to exfoliate, BHA saline to detox pores, and a vitamin solution to strengthen skin) are sprayed across the face one after another.

Then comes SW1 Spa’s signature Sygma Lift – a painless ultrasound treatment to tone and lift skin. Patients can do half their face, sit up and compare with the untreated side, and see a difference.

The final step is a 24K mask to leave skin with a visible radiance and fresh, supple feel. The mask is infused with gold flakes, which delivers anti-inflammatory and skin-brightening benefits. 

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Valmont Soin Majestic Facial

90min, $558++ Remede Spa, St Regis Hotel, tel: 6506-6896

Luxury skincare brand Valmont started in 1905 as a wellness clinic in the Swiss Alps. In the ’80s, it shifted to plastic surgery and began creating its own skincare based on cellular science to heal injured skin and prolong surgery benefits.

With this facial, you reap the benefits of its med-science skincare, including the top-end L’Elixir des Glaciers anti-ageing line (products start from $500).

After double-cleansing and a clarifying mask to exfoliate, skin is pampered with two 15min facial massages using different masks – one to lift and nourish, the other to energise. A regenerating mask is then applied, while the decolletage gets a collagen mask. And while both are on, you are further relaxed with a hand massage.

There’s one more rejuvenating face massage to come, using two lifting serums for the face and eyes. This 10min massage is inspired by the Kobido technique – traditionally used by Japanese women for face-sculpting – which involves specific pressure and sliding movements on meridians and acupuncture points on the face and neck. The final touch: application of a full Valmont skincare regime. 

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Detox Day Wellness Journey

4 hours, $558++ Auriga Spa, Capella Singapore, tel: 6591-5023

This comprehensive package comprising a body scrub, body wrap, various massages, a facial and a healthy meal is designed to look after your well-being from head to toe. No rush, no crunched-down processes. In fact, you’re encouraged to arrive 45min prior to your treatment time to enjoy the spa’s facilities, which include steam rooms, experience showers and vitality pools. And afterwards, you can chill in the lounge for as long as you like.

The treatment starts with dry body brushing to improve circulation and lymphatic drainage, and stimulate the nervous system. A Sicilian lemon, seaweed and eucalyptus body scrub then preps the body for the detox wrap.

While the wrap is on, you’ll be enjoying a 20min hair and scalp treatment using nourishing oil infused with rosemary, neem and rose hip. Next, a 90min detox massage intended to flush out toxins through the lymphatic system, then a 60min facial with exfoliation and extraction to clarify and purify skin. 

End your spa day at the hotel’s The Knolls Restaurant, where you can dine while taking in views of the resort’s cascading pools and the sea. 

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Ultimate Hammam Ritual

120min, $400++ Espa, Resorts World Sentosa, tel: 6577-8880

This is like a vacation to Turkey or Morocco condensed into two indulgent hours. The first hour takes place in the heated hammam, a beautiful marble-and-tile bath space. It starts with a full body scrub using a traditional Kese mitt and black olive soap.

A full-body foam massage follows, then a nourishing marine mud body mask with aromatic oils of sweet orange and rose geranium is applied. Your hair is also cleansed and conditioned.

You’re then ushered to the tea lounge to cool down before your 60min massage. Choose from an aromatherapy, Chinese, Balinese or hot stone massage, and select your preferred oils.

Guests are welcome to make use of the spa’s considerable facilities before and after treatment, and there are no time limits imposed. There’s a lot to enjoy, so be sure to block time for it. 

Bastien Duo Treatment

75min, $300++ Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio by Bastien Gonzalez, St Regis Hotel, tel: 6506-6896 

French celebrity podiatrist Bastien Gonzalez built his reputation on unique treatments that merge professional know-how and innovative tools with luxe touches (think diamond-dust drill bits and glass nail files).

Two therapists work simultaneously – one on your hands, the other on your feet – while you lounge in an armchair. Treatments are waterless; hands and feet are not soaked as it would be impossible to properly assess skin condition when wet.

Nails are cut and shaped with a glass file that won’t cause damage. Then, they’re buffed using a chamois leather buffer and the Reverence de Bastien, a cream with ground mother-of-pearl. This gently exfoliates nails, returning their natural shine. The healthy, pink gleam produced is said to stand out more than top-coat polish and last for at least a month.

The therapists then remove dry, dead skin and calluses. Now, the best part: a four-hand synchronised massage of the hands, arms, feet and legs. It addresses muscle tension, joint mobility, blood circulation, and skin elasticity. 

YOUR $3,000 FACE

We’ve curated the most indulgent, premium skincare designed to work wonders on your skin, so you don’t have to feel guilty paying for it. 

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Lancome Absolue White Aura Fresh Cream, $450

The top-of-the-line formula for restoring radiance and clarity. Its gel-like texture also offers a sensorial treat. 

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Dior L’Or de Vie Serum, $940

One drop morning and night, for one week, is reportedly all it takes to see plumper, more even skin with a healthy radiance. 

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Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate, $140

This overnight treatment offers fast relief for stressed, irritated skin affected by seasonal changes, frequent travel and a high-intensity lifestyle. 

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Chanel Sublimage L’Extrait de Creme, $770

This all-round anti-ageing cream has the highest concentration of the Sublimage range’s star ingredient, vanilla planifolia. Reviews from users range from seeing results after just one week, to giving up all other creams. 

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Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Serum, $265

This rich, silky serum boasts microcapsules of ginseng seed oil to boost skin energy, thereby increasing elasticity and firmness. 

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Cle de Peau Beaute Wrinkle Smoothing Serum Supreme, $420

Featuring enriched retinol, this re-texturises skin and reduces the look of lines.