Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio by Bastien Gonzalez

There are manicures, and there is Bastien Gonzalez manicure! Having heard so much about him and his famous manicure and pedicure treatments, I decided to book for an appointment to see what the fuss is all about. Known as a fave among many celebrities, here's my account of my experience with his star treatment.

Bastien Gonzalez - The man who changed the world of manicure and pedicure

The Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio by Bastien Gonzalez is available exclusively in Singapore at The St. Regis Singapore, at its award-winning Rem├Ęde Spa. Available since July 2011, this is where one can experience the world-renowned manicure and pedicure treatments designed by the French podiatrist.

At the Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio in Singapore, you will find Steve Desobeau at the helm. Personally trained by Bastien, Steve is also a trained podiatrist. Steve's story is very similar to that of Bastien himself. Both were sportsmen and injured themselves during their pursuit of their respective sports. Bastien was a competitive skier, Steve was a professional footballer.

Upon entering the treatment room, I was greeted by a dentist chair. To my surprise, I also saw a set of medical equipments - scalpel, lancet and drill. With a revolutionary approach to manicures and pedicures, Bastien’s treatments gently restore baby soft skin and cuticle-free nails using a scalpel, lancet or drill. It all depends on the individual's conditions.

The other big difference compared to other manicures and pedicures is that the Bastien method is completely waterless. Yes, you read correctly, waterless. No soaking your hands or feet in water to soften cuticles before removal. Instead, Bastien's technique is polishing and buffing the nails with a Chamois leather nail buffer (a secret of his great grandmother) and a special paste until each nail has a healthy shine. Nails look so shiny and awesome after that you don't even want to have nail colour put on.

The pedicure procedures is similar to that of the manicure, but the extra is a massage for each muscle of the leg and foot to achieve optimal joint mobility, circulation,skin elasticity and volume in the foot’s fatty cushion. Nice! That's my kind of pedicure!

The 45-minute manicure is priced at S$145++ and the 60-minute pedicure (including a massage) is priced at S$195++. However, if it is your first experience, I would recommend for you to try the ultimate pampering experience of the Bastien's duo, a 75-minute synchronized manicure and pedicure priced at S$270++. All treatments are done using Reverence de Bastien, a range of products developed by Bastien that can also be purchased for maintenance at home.

You might gasp at the prices, but trust me, this was a life changing experience for me. Not trying to be dramatic here, but I learnt a lot during the manicure and pedicure session by Steve. He taught me how to look after my nails and what to do to keep them healthy. My nails stayed shiny for a month after the session! In fact, I am loving it so much that I am going back to buy the products for some pampering maintenance at home.

This will make a great pampering gift for yourself or anyone you love.

For more information, please visit:

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Artic Adventure #1 - Husky Sledding

I was recently in Finland and had the opportunity to go on a husky sled expedition. Those who know me well would know of my love for dogs and this is one adventure on my bucket list (checked!).

Some may and some have asked me if dog sledding is considered as animal cruelty. The answer is no and yes. No in the sense that the dogs actually enjoy the run and exercise of pulling the sleds. They are bred for that and they love it. Yes would apply only to husky farm owners who mistreat their dogs and deprive them of care, rest and love. That is why it is important to choose the right kennel for your expedition.

The next important thing I learned is the difference between Alaskan Husky and Siberian Husky. At most (if not all) of the kennels in Finland, Alaskan Husky is preferred for dogsled racing. They are leaner, faster, and have longer endurance as compared to their Siberian counterparts. Siberian Husky is used mainly for photo taking with tourists, shows and shorter races.

Alaskan Husky (left) and Siberian Husky (right)

Before we start our expedition, we were given outer suits to be worn over our winter gear to provide additional warmth. We were then given a short brief on how to "drive" the sled. How to brake, when to tilt to the side when taking a turn, and some basic safety measures. It may sound intimidating at first, but it comes naturally once you start driving. Do pay attention to the key points, such as always put your foot on the brake when stopping and do not touch any of the ropes or harness.

All strapped up and ready to run...

If you are in a pair, you will take turns to drive.

 Enjoying the view from the sled

Enjoying the view from the sled

Time flies when you having fun. We took a 2-hour ride and it was over before we felt too exhausted. We found Alba Husky in Ivalo by chance as we did not plan ahead with the booking of the husky sled expedition.

Scottish by origin, owner Alister Dunlop is a musher and has won several races. What we like about him is his passion for the sport and the love for his dogs. He is even trying to change the dog welfare system in the industry, by promoting good housing standard and care for the dogs. In line with what we advocate at D.O.G.S.

At his kennel, Alister adopts the method of tethering the dogs to their respective kennels when they are at rest. Done appropriately, it is a safe and humane method of keeping sled dogs. It allows healthy social interaction, minimises risk of injury and facilitate kennel hygiene. Tethering is necessary as the dogs have a very strong flight instinct.

These dogs are given good care and daily exercise. They are not chained up 24/7. How you can know for sure is by looking at the snow. If a dog is chained up for too long, it will be pacing in circles and you will see deep circles of snow tracks.

The dogs taking a nap after our sled run.

After our sled run, we had the chance to play with the dogs.

We also got to see the puppies that were the latest addition to the kennel family.

For enquiries, please contact

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Champagne Protocoles de G.H.Mumm

Today, the rules for drinking champagne have taken on a new style. Wave goodbye to boredom, it is time for ceremony! True creativity also takes pride of place when it comes to choosing, serving and enjoying champagne with inspired and uninhibited elegance, recreating the enthusiasm and panache of a rediscovered ritual with Champagne Protocoles de G.H.MUMM.

Chapter 1 - Choosing The Bottle

Chapter 2 - Ideal Temperature To Serve

Chapter 3 - Opening A Bottle

Chapter 4 - The Art Of Sabrage

Chapter 5 - Choosing The Right Glass

With its Champagne Protocoles, G.H.MUMM injects conventions with magic and infuses them with conviviality over 12 chapters consisting 100 great tips. Sabring champagne in one splendid movement, serving it at the ideal temperature (and not a degree higher or lower!), choosing the exact glass to do justice to its colour and aroma: every step reflects the importance of reclaimed protocol and every shared moment has its place in a rediscovered ritual. 

 Chapter 6 - The Way To Serve

 Chapter 7 - Storing Champagne

Chapter 8 - Food & Champagne

Chapter 9 - Champagne Toasting

Chapter 10 - Intensify The Champagne Ritual

G.H.MUMM has called upon Noma Bar to illustrate the Protocoles. Characterised by ultra-modern stylisation, clean-cut shapes, strong lines, blocks of colour and freedom of expression, this young Israeli artist’s illustrations offer a sophisticated, amusing and modern interpretation of Champagne Protocoles de G.H.MUMM. Noma Bar has received numerous awards and his work appears regularly in distinguished magazines such as Wallpaper* and Esquire. 

Everyone, wherever they might be, can now consult the Champagne Protocoles de G.H.Mumm anytime. G.H.MUMM has assembled them in an iPhone application, downloadable from the Apple Store. For those who do not have an iPhone and for those times when the iPhone’s battery needs a recharge, the Champagne Protocoles de G.H.MUMM and illustrations can also be viewed on larger screens at