Full disclosure: I do not have the best-looking feet in the world. Due to a bad habit of walking around barefoot any chance I can get, the bottoms of my feet are rather rough and tough. I also used to be a religious stiletto-wearer, so I have more than my fair share of callouses. And, because I favor leather sneakers now, after a long day... they kind of smell. (Too much information? Too much information.)Read More
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.
I'm stressed out lately. Well, who isn't? My excuse is that I'm busy with my new work, juggling all my other priorities, and then there are all these issues plaguing the local blogging community right now. I just want to go on vacation - again.
I'll be vacationing with the family in a couple of weeks, but for the meantime the next best thing to do is to visit a spa. I got a gift certificate for a free facial at The Spa a couple of weeks back (won it from a contest). I finally made time to use it last Monday, and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to pay for a massage! That explains my good mood. :D
I first visited The Spa last year when I treated our Asian Secrets bride, Kirby, to the Bonifacio High Street branch. Just stepping through the wide doors gave me such a rich sensory experience that I promised myself I'd go back. You'll understand me when you go in, too - there's this sweet tangerine smell that immediately surrounds you.
What does this photo make you think of?
Floating before my eyes are apparitions of sticky sweet pudding, icing on top of cupcakes, whipped cream, ice cream, flavored yogurt - you get the idea! Now I want dessert! Anyway, seriously now. The good-looking stuff on top can't actually be eaten (sadly) since they're for your hair.
Lorys Hair Cream just landed on the shelves of Watsons two months ago. It's big in Brazil, which is what compelled the Filipino distributors to bring it to the Philippines. They contacted me and asked me to try Lorys.
So what is it exactly? It's a product that you can use for a quick n' cheap hair spa at home. You can use it two ways: as a conditioner and as a treatment (hot oil). The five variants (Ceramidas, Duo Chocolate, Snake Oil, Shea Butter, and Fruit Cocktail) are designed to target specific hair problems. I only tried one that seemed the most applicable to my topmost hair concern - Shea Butter, which is supposed to nourish and shine curly, dry hair.
What I love about the product
- As promised, it really moisturized my curly hair. It's more bouncy and soft to the touch.
- The texture is very creamy. Half a handful is enough for my whole head of hair.
I was super duper duper bored with my hair. All I can do with it before is just wash it and tie it up. My last hair cut was at a Korean salon called Beauty Brick, way back in March, so obviously my hair has grown a lot since then. I craved for something new, something I haven't tried yet! But what?
The answer was clear as day. I had to dye my hair for the first time. And get bangs! Now, if you have wavy hair like me, you know that bangs are slightly equivalent to having hell on your head. Okay, that's over the top. But you see, when I last had bangs (a decade ago) it was something I hated dealing with everyday so I just stopped having them. That's until last week, when I wanted to be challenged by my hair for a change.
The result, blow-dried:
Here is my hair washed (sorry for the yellow tinge, forgot to adjust my camera's settings):
I had a voucher to try L'Oreal INOA for free, so off I went to Regine's Salon at The Link, Makati to claim the free treatment. It was Karina Mantolino, the head stylist, who accommodated me. I asked her to give me a hair cut first before we got on to the dyeing session. The whole thing was pretty quick at less than 15 minutes since she just gave me layers, and it only cost me P450.
If you've been following my tweets then you know that last week was an extremely stressful week for me. To be quite honest, I hate being busy. That's why I took the freelancer route but alas! Reality does not agree with my theories about it. That's why when I got an invite to try Mandarin Oriental Hotel's Thai massage last week, I couldn't wait for my appointment! I was sooo looking forward to a couple of hours just lying face down, eyes closed, my mind completely blank...you get the idea.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental is currently hosting a renowned Thai masseuse based in their sister hotel in Dhara Devi, Chiang Mai. Aside from taking part in the Thai Festival, Treen Paleeriam is here to train the hotel's spa staff. He's only going to be here starting today (May 31) until June 7, so if you want to experience an authentic, world class Thai massage, you better book him!
I was given the option of a Traditional Thai Massage or the indigenous Lanna Massage (natively called Tok Sen). The Tok Sen used to be popular in Northern Thailand, but has since been practiced rarely. Being the curious cat that I am, I went for the Tok Sen.