I've been having my laser treatment at Wink Laser Studio for over half a year now, and I swear, hair barely grows on my legs and pits after five sessions! My life is easier knowing that I can wear whatever I want without worrying if I look like a sasquatch (no offense to sasquatches though, I'm sure they are awesome). I think I'm due for one last session until the hair is all gone indefinitely.
Anyway, I'm excited to enjoy that kind of freedom - on my face. I mean, imagine not having to wear concealer or foundation anymore because your skin is completely blemish and wrinkle-free. Imagine not having to spend a lot of time brushing and layering on the ironic "no makeup" makeup. Well, it's possible with laser today. Wink Studio's latest laser facial, Revlite, is now available in the Trinoma branch! While it is expensive, it's not as expensive as you might think.
I worked on launching Wink's Revlite treatment to the press and bloggers a few weeks back. Our magazine friends were there, and of course, our favorite online personalities. Holly Chang, the founder of Wink, and dermatologist Dr Angela Castro were there to talk about the new service. The very funny Karrots Nazareno also hosted!
So what is Revlite, exactly? It's a laser treatment that stimulates and rejuvenates collagen in your skin with short pulses of light. The increase in collagen gives skin a youthful glow, a smoother texture, and a more even skin tone.
This was actually a Reader Question that I decided to turn into a question for everybody instead. Why? Because many of us aren't sure about the standard tipping rate in the beauty industry, or that there is such a thing to begin with. The best way to find out is to ask everyone and hopefully find a general guide for best practices in tipping in salons.
The tipping culture here in the Philippines is a bit weird. It's not like in Western countries where service personnel expect and even often demand a 10-20% tip, or in Japan where giving a tip is considered an insult. Here, there seem to be tiers in giving tips, depending on how swanky a place is. We tip very minimally in say, neighborhood salons, but tip more in high-end places. But it's unusual to tip the salon owner as we feel he or she might be insulted, or worse, that we didn't give enough.
Should we give tips, even though there is a service charge included in the price or even if the personnel already receive a salary?
In my opinion, giving a tip is a way for me to say thank you to the person I just spent an hour or two of my life with.
My favorite place for hair removal is Wink Laser & Wax Studio at Bonifacio High Street Central. The salon looks great, the attendants are friendly and always smiling, and the prices are fairly affordable considering the location and quality of service. I usually go in for underarm and leg waxing, but a couple of months back I finally took the plunge and tried the laser.
The underarm laser is just P2,500, which is actually not that expensive in the great scheme of things. Consider, you only need to go in every six to seven weeks, then after about six sessions and nine months (or P15,000 estimate), you're completely hair-free in that area - forever! Think about that. You'll never have to worry about waxing or shaving again.
The laser works by heating up your hair follicles, eventually disabling them from producing more hair. Some people may grow some hair back (it's a case-to-case thing) but Wink's laser hair removal is designed to be permanent et ceteris paribus.
So is it painful? That's the million dollar question isn't it! No, it doesn't hurt AT ALL. If it's your first time to do laser they will use the lowest frequency. It's so low you won't even feel it but for the brisk rubbing of the laser gun on your skin.
My mid-length hair has been unbearably frizzy and unruly this summer, so I was lucky that JURO Salon asked if I wanted my hair done at their awesome salon! Blogger perks, yo. I was honestly planning to schedule a visit there this June, but I'm glad (and honored!) they were kind enough to offer the service to me at no cost.
For it is true: once you're touched by Jude and Rose, you can't be happy with any other hair stylist. :) At least in my case. My hair is difficult because it's wavy and doesn't stay in one shape for long, so its layers and length have to be cut as precisely as possible to account for the growth. In the past, I'd leave the salon feeling pleased with my styled hair, but as soon as I wash it, it just doesn't look quite as nice. With JURO, I can't wait to wash my hair! It grows out so well too that I didn't need a hair cut in like seven months (my last visit was September).
I actually liked my hair better as it grew longer!
Jude gave me a more layered cut this time. Still a short bob like before, but with more texture in the bottom.
So you have a big event, a broken heart, a life overhaul, or just want a little grooming and relaxation. You find yourself in need of pamper and polish. Where do you go? Let me help you there! Here's a list of where I go when I need something (non-invasive) done on my body. These are my absolute favorite beauty services in Manila!
JURO Salon. The best hair cut and color I've ever had was from Jude and Rose, the owners of JURO. They are the most talented hair professionals in Manila, I believe, with over 20 years in the industry. Having your hair done by them will cost you P7,500 but I swear they're worth it. As it happens I just got my haircut there recently (another short one) and my love for this couple is still as strong as ever.
If you're not willing to shell out that much money for your hair, you can go to their junior stylists. It's about P1,500 per cut. I would still trust them to do a great job because they're trained by Jude.
Wink Laser & Wax Studio. This is a new business but it's already making waves in the local hair removal industry. The place looks expensive and chi-chi, but not in a snooty way. The people are warm and easy to talk to so you'll find yourself relaxed while getting your treatment. Oh, they're also anal about hygiene here, so no double-dipping and all paper sheets are used only once!
Even with the upscale look and location (BHS Central), Wink is surprisingly affordable. A full leg wax for example would be only P850, while a Brazilian is P680. The painless laser is also inexpensive compared to its competitors, plus it's offered on installment too.
Blo Blow Dry Bar. For girls who are clueless on how to style their hair, Blo is their savior. It's quite expensive for just a blow dry since it's about P500 per session. However if you're going to a special event and don't want to leave your hair up to chance, or worse, in you're inexperienced hands, then Blo can give you the best possible version of your current cut and color.
I've been wishing for a real, professional blow dry bar in the Fort area for some time now. I've only read about the bars in Pasig but they're just too far for me. Yes, hair salons offer blow dries but the ones I like are in awkward pockets of Makati. The only reason I would get a pro blow is if I'm going to an important event, and these events are usually in Rockwell or The Fort area.
So you can imagine my excitement when I saw the "Coming Soon" sign of Blo Blow Dry Bar in Serendra late last year! It just opened last week. I was also v.v. happy to find out that there's already another branch in Powerplant. Double yay!
But wait, what is Blo Dry Bar? It's actually the first to market the no cuts, no color concept in North America. It specializes in blow drying alone. From what I've seen in my visit, they only use reputable hair products and tools to achieve that perfect coif! The attendants are well-trained and pleasant. The interiors are in hot pink and white with a feminine minimalist feel.
Reception area in Serendra branch
The procedure is fairly straightforward: the attendant will shampoo your hair, then she'll hand you a menu of services.
Since we were already on the topic of hair removal, I thought I would smoothly follow through with a treatment I tried recently. Last December, I vamoosed to Strip Serendra to try out their sinful Warm English Gingerbread Cookie Wax and V-Blush treatment on my underarms. I love the end results! It's been five weeks and my 'pits are still super soft and fairly hairless.
Did I say five weeks? Yeah that's how good it is. The Gingerbread Cookie Wax is only offered for a limited time so I'm not sure if it's still available, but I would still highly recommend the waxing services of Strip. They are so quick to pull out the hair - one try, actually - and it didn't hurt at all.
"So why do you charge P6,500 for a hair cut?" I asked Jude Hipolito as he was busy snipping at my hair. He looked me in the eye and said, "It's not about me, it's about you." He explained that some women are at that point in their lives when they can afford to splurge on themselves. They're able to buy designer bags and clothes - so why not a designer hair cut? He knows what he's worth, and he has his price out there. If you can splurge for the best hair cut ever then go to him. If not, you don't have to.
Jude and Rose, the dynamic duo behind JURO Salon
Now I don't mean that to sound snobbish. Even though Jude has 20 years of experience as a hair cutter, doing the hair of the stars and training celebrity hair stylists, he's a pretty laidback guy with a genuinely warm and humble personality. He relishes telling stories and you can see that he also likes to listen. He's a quiet, soft-spoken guy, not the big shot hair stylist type who can't even part with a smile.
Jude doing my hair
Jude tells me that he trains in the US every year to be updated on the latest trends and techniques in the business of hair. He calls himself a precision hair cutter, meaning that each cut is tailored to your face shape, hair texture, lifestyle, down to how your hair will grow out in the months to come.
Last Thursday, I got a haircut at the newly-opened Louis Phillip Kee Salon in Burgos Circle. I've heard of so many good reviews so I decided to get my waaaay overdue cut there (P750 / senior stylist)!
I didn't take pictures because they're still on their soft opening. The place is a bit crowded and smells like paint and smoke. I found it odd, the slight smoke odor, but apparently there was a small fire there a couple of weeks ago. Anyway! Ambiance and decor aside, I like the salon because I got a fabulous hair cut.
Not a lot of hair stylists understand curly hair, so I'm really glad that the lady from LPK (didn't get her name unfortunately) did my hair properly.
I'm not just looking for a new hairstyle whenever I go to a salon. I'm looking to chill in a well-decorated, quiet area, without having to worry if my hair will turn out right. That's why I prefer mid-range to high-end salons (and spas, too!). I can reasonably expect that their staff is well-trained and professional, and the place discreet and relaxing.
One of the newest salons in the metro is Hair Philosophie, which I visited last Thursday. It is located in Tordesillas St., Salcedo Village Makati, near Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. The place is classy and spacious, with a lot of natural light coming in through the glass walls. I felt so at home! It really is one of the best-looking salons I've visited in the past few years. See for yourself -
Gorgeous right? The staff is courteous (of course, they know I'm visiting to review the salon) and professional.
There's really nothing like a gaggle of girls just chillin' like villains in a fabulous salon. It's all laughter and crazy one-liners as everyone does their favorite thing, which is to primp and prettify just because!
That's what happened at the opening of the newest FAB Salon branch in Valero Street, Makati. Beauty bloggers got together to try the salon's services such as hot oil, foot spa, mani and pedi, hair cut, and even a makeup makeover. They are pretty good considering the fact that FAB Salon is a relatively inexpensive salon. I already reviewed some of their services here!
I got a hot oil and a looooong overdue haircut.
Free services at a fab salon + cupcakes + beauty bloggers is always a recipe for WIN. When FAB Salon invited us to a beauty boot camp, we were so ready.
Obvious ba? Lol.
FAB Salon is a relatively new salon in Newport Mall, Resorts World. It's owned by the same guy who is behind Bruno’s Barbers - but not to worry, FAB Salon is specifically for women and the staff are trained by none other than celebrity hairstylist Lourd Ramos. The staff also underwent a workshop on professionalism and ettiquette by Patty Betita.
Even with the suave interiors and the mid-range to high-end products used on the clients, FAB Salon has attractive prices. A basic cut starts at P300, color at P1,300, and hair treatments from P800.