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Friday, 24 July 2015

My Brazilian IPL Journey @ Strip Malaysia Mid Valley

Friday, 24 July 2015

Hairy situation down there always scares me. I have always been self-conscious ever since I hit puberty and never really liked the appearance of a bushy "down there".

Not sure if y'all can relate, but I never want to be caught dead and be labeled unpleasant things, just like Cecilia Chung's infamous nude pictures (IF I ever had leaked nude photos *flips salt over left shoulder*). I personally find bushy pubic hair repelling, and I'd hate to always "do something about it" myself because I tend to not get it "shaped" nicely (because I'm not a pro hair stylist, you see). 

There isn't much information on YouTube online, teaching you how to DIY trim/cut/shape your hair there. I found a few but honestly I didn't really find them helpful enough to get rid or reduce the hair there. I'm ashamed to admit that most of the time I end up getting myself careless cuts and the skin around the area starts to bleed (woe is me!!!). The most irritating part is I never ever enjoyed the process of DIY hair removal because (1) its messy (2) causes the drain to clog (3) I'm unskilled.


I decided that once and for all I'm taking the leap to reduce hair semi-permanently.
So naturally I signed myself up for a full 6 session with the hair removal expert, STRIP MALAYSIA.


I opted for the Strip's Powerpac 2.1 IPL, which is a proprietary technology offering advanced semi-permanent hair reduction with extra beautifying options. Aside from providing the most comfortable hair removal experience, I chose STRIP because of its high hygiene practices, its people, pre- and post-care, as well as value.


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MYTH BUSTERS
1. IPL is a permanent hair removal treatment

Truth:
"Permanent hair removal" refers to any hair removal results that can last up to 2 years. So think of it as a semi-permanent hair reduction.

2. Unlimited IPL packages provide more value for money

Truth:
Sometimes less is more. An unlimited IPL package sounds too good to be true, but did you read the fine print when you signed up for the unlimited package? The interval between each session is 8 weeks for the first year. This means that you're required to go through a cycle of 6 sessions over a year. Now, do you really want to wait that long to see results?

For optimum results,  book your IPL treatment every 6 weeks, and you'll notice the results in no time.

3. What's wrong with using electric shavers for IPL treatments?

Truth:
Hygience is the utmost importance and a communal electric shaver for all body parts increases the risk of bacteria and infections being transmitted from person to person.

4. My machine is better than your machine.

Truth:
Everybody is going to claim their machine is the best. The more important questions to ask are - Where are their machines from? Are they FDA approved?

5. Anyone can operate an IPL machine.

Truth:
At Strip, therapists are trained and certified at dedicated training school for 8 weeks before working on customers. Equipped with expert techniques, Strip therapists are able to provide the most comfortable and efficient hair removal experience.

6. Any trained therapist can operate a laser machine.

Truth:
Laser machines provide an intense focus energy, which is prone to causing burns. It should only be administered by a doctor.

***

Now that we have some things cleared, let's talk about my journey.



The Outlet
Mid Valley

Booking an appointment at Strip is pretty simple. Just like your regular beauty salon, appointments are necessary to ensure you have a reserved slot, to avoid disappointments. 

It was fairly easy for me to book a session in Mid Valley on a Saturday morning (no jam, plenty of parking). Locating the shop in Mid Valley itself is a little challenging (I walked pass by and actually missed it!); it is located the highest retail floor, same row with Daiso's upper floor (Daiso has 2 floors in Mid Valley). You have take the escalator beside Connect Store heading one more floor up, then walk across the open bridge to the other side.

The view from outside




You don't have to wait long if you already have an appointment. Brazilian IPL treatment generally takes about ONE HOUR to complete thus you can ask your companion (if you brought one) to shop around while you get your fix.

The whole interior of the shop has a RAINFOREST feel to it. Earthy tones, wild animal miniatures and plushies... the whole theme was based on nature itself. (bushes = forest. geddit?!?)

There were tasteful signages on the walls and infographics to educate people on their mantra: Hygiene, Speed & Quality.

There are seven Strip outlets in Malaysia and you could also find them in Singapore, London, New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, to Jakarta, Manila and Bangkok. In fact, their first outlet was curated in Singapore by founder Cynthia Chua in 2002, and have since "pruned" 3 million bushes..... and counting!

So be rest assured that you are in the hands of Waxperts!





The Treatment Room

Not long after checking in, I was brought into the treatment room, where there was a bed in the middle, covered with a few layers of soft purple towel. There was a fluorescent light hanging just above the bed, for better lighting I presume.

Just a quick tip, since the session will be about one hour long, it is better to go to the restroom and do whatever nature tells you to do before the IPL session begins.


As I lay down on the bed, I realized there was house music playing (which was good music choice IMHO) and it instantly calmed my wrecked nerves. I had already undressed my bottom half by this point, covering myself with the towel blanket given.






Hard wax and soft wax.


The IPL Experience


My therapist was a Bumiputera lady and she mentioned that she has been working at Strip for 4 years (that's considered new because some of her colleagues have been working there for 10 years!!!). I assume she's happy with her job because how often do you find employees staying with a company for more than 2 years?! I only can think Strip is treating their employees with utmost care and importance :)

She started off by using a non-alcohol wet tissue to clean the area. By this time I was already semi-trembling because HELLO, it's not easy displaying one's private part when it is being hidden inside for soooo.... long.

She then proceed to slap on ICE COLD ULTRASONIC GEL to give that numbing effect. When the gel touched the skin surface, it HURTS MY BRAINS (wtf) because the freezing ice cold feeling when up straight to my head. The gel has been kept inside the fridge and I felt a little brain dead.

Not long after, the gel was wiped off and came the shaving part. She sprinkled baby powder all over the area generously and even changed shavers twice (they prioritze hygience so shavers are immediately discarded once they become blunt). After all that shaving, the area now looks really neat - like a baby's. Literally.
Hair was collected and discarded.

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Now comes the moment that I have been waiting for - the ZAPPING.

This time, the therapist put on her protective eye shades and handed me a pair too. She looked like a superspy with the thick frames on (I kid you not!). She asked me whether I wanted to play with my phone (I guess to make customers get distracted and feel at ease). I said yes and I felt SO - MUCH - CALMER. 
(The scene looks like a spy carrying out her top secret mission and it was kinda cool, in my delusional head)

I was slapped on the ICE COLD ultrasonic gel once again and the machine was turned on and placed onto the treatment surface. The rubbing was done in circular motions, unlike my previous IPL experience at other salons where the machine only move in slow patting motion to cover all areas.

The zapping felt VERY WARM but with a non burning sensation. Certain hair follicles hurt like hell because of its thickness. So meaning if you have thick and heavily pigmented hair, brace yourself!!!

Credit: Head to Toe


The part that is highlighted in red in the dermis layer of the skin is where I sometimes felt a sharp pain when the light flashes. The pain is like a sharp needle poking through your skin within a milisecond, thus causing shock.

Fortunately for me, the therapist is very sensitive to my body language by observing my sudden body movements and feet curling motions thus she did it slower whenever she felt I was uncomfortable. It is all about communication so you need to voice out if it becomes too painful to bear. The therapist would lather up more gel to soothe the area.

After we are done at the front part, we moved on the back. I turned over and lay on my stomach for the crack part. Same procedure: Shave first then zapping. The crack is the most sensitive part therefore she was extra careful here.

After about 40 minutes, we are DONE!
Yay to no more unsightly hairs, especially bikini days!!!



The After Care



For the next 24 hours:
  1. No hot baths
  2. No swimming or sunbathing
  3. No heat or UV treatments like sun beds or saunas
  4. No tight clothing
  5. No perfumed products including deodorant, anti-perspirant, self-tanner or make up
  6. No touching, scrubbing or rubbing of the area (unless you want a bacteria infection)
  7. No intensive exercise
  8. Do apply X’ed Out Cream once a day, 24 hours after your treatment for 2 weeks to prevent/treat ingrown hair
  9. Do exfoliate every 4 – 7 days, starting 3 days after your wax

Additional tips for IPL:
  1. No extensive sun exposure for at least 4 weeks after treatment. Sun block is strongly recommended
  2. Do apply Ice Cream (soothing gel) for soothing lasting moisture, twice a day for at least 7 days after treatment
  3. No waxing, tweezing or epilating of your hair as IPL targets the hair roots, please shave instead.


Post Wax/IPL Body Care


Ongoing Promotions



Strip always have in store promotion so be sure to always check out their latest offerings to get the best deal for yourself, be it waxing or IPL!

July 2015 Promotion
STRIP’s Powerpac IPL is available at STRIP Bangsar, STRIP KLCC, and STRIP The Curve. Inviting all to experience this exciting new treatment, STRIP offers the exclusive price of RM288 for a Brazilian Powerpac IPL session, RM288 for a Bottom Half Leg (female) Powerpac IPL session, RM88 for an Underarm (female) Powerpac IPL session and RM388 for a Boyzilian Powerpac IPL session.
These prices are valid until 31 July 2015 for one time redemption.
Quote "Grace Myu" to enjoy this promo! :)
Terms and conditions apply.


What to Expect


Investment

  • Time: One hour per session, once every 6 weeks
  • Money: Full 6 sessions, expect to pay about RM5,000+ or less! Check your nearest Strip store
  • for final quote.
  • Pain Level: 6/10. 2 at normal areas, 6 at shocker moments lol.

Outcome

  • No more plucking / shaving / waxing / ingrown hairs :)
  • Gone all worries on bikini days :)
  • Look sexy and confident all the time :))
  • Stress level at all time low because no unwanted tugging of hairs back into undies or stuck in between zippers or pants, God-forbid!

Looking satisfied post-treatment!




So whether you're a Wax or IPL Virgin, or looking to do some touchups, make sure to pay Strip a visit! All their locations are easily accessible, especially those located in shopping malls (kill two birds with one stone!): 
Bangsar Telawi | Mid Valley | Sunway Pyramid | KLCC | The Curve | Solaris
Gurney Paragon Penang



Location:
Lot T602, 3rd Floor Mezzanine, Mid Valley Megamall,
Mid Valley City Lingkaran Syed Putra, 59200 Kuala Lumpur

Call +6 03-2283 5575 / 79
Instagram @stripmalaysia

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Honda City Bloggers Drive: Putrajaya Marina & MAEPS Serdang

Tuesday, 21 July 2015
9.00am: Gather at Rail Canteen

It was an early Saturday morning for 8 of us bloggers. Coming from diverse backgrounds (food / beauty / lifestyle), we gathered at Rail Canteen, Sunway Nexis for breakfast and full planned day with Honda Malaysia.

This is my first ever Blogger Test Drive that I have engaged in and to be honest, I'm pretty ecstatic(!!!!) because I have been going to primarily beauty events all this while. The morning kickstarted with a lot of coffee(!!!), some local Malaysian breakfast tidbits and a opening remark by Honda PR reps.




Shortly after, we were introduced to the highlight of the day: the All-New City.



Honda Malaysia believes that the All-New City is the ideal entry sedan in the Malaysian market and the price will attract many Malaysian consumers. The All-New City was developed based on the Exciting H Design concept, in which the “H” represents the Human Center, emphasizing on the driver and passengers.

The front of the sedan features the solid wing face of the Exciting H Design with integrated grille and headlights. The All-New City rear exterior gives a wide stance with its premium class image and seamless motif of rear combination lamp with license garnish.

The All-New City are available in 5 colors: Modern steel metallic, Alabaster silver metallic, Taffeta white, Crystal black pearl and a new attractive color of Brilliant sporty blue metallic. 
And comes in 4 variants: City S, City S+, City E and City V. All variants will be locally assembled at Honda Malaysia’s Malacca factory.




This is how the interior of the full spec car looks like from the front passenger's seat. 


To further provide convenience and practicality, the All-New City is equipped with advanced features such as:
  1. Smart Entry and Push Start button (E and V variant) Important especially for ladies who always have a hard time finding car keys from a huge handbag!
  2. Rear Ventilation Air Conditioning (E and V variant)
  3. 3 Power Sockets (E and V variant) put your worries aside because now you can light up multiple devices!
  4. Cruise Control (V variant)
  5. 7” Display Audio with MirrorLink function (V variant)
  6. 8 Speakers (the most in its segment) (V variant) for that ultimate audio experience
  7. Multi Information Combination Meter
  8. 2 USB Jacks (V variant) sharing ports for charging? Not anymore!
  9. 8 Cup Holders and smart storage compartments. THIS IS AWESOME ESPECIALLY FOR FAMILY ROAD TRIPS!
  10. Steering Wheel Hands Free Telephone Control (S+, E and V variant) Multitasking ability increases with eyes focused on the road
  11. Steering Wheel Voice Recognition Control (V variant)


7” Display Audio with MirrorLink for that karaoke session!

Push Start button for easy ignition

ECON mode for optimizing fuel economy



The “Man Maximum, Machine Minimum” philosophy has been used as the core of the car’s development. By placing emphasis on premium comfort, the All-New City provides overwhelming cabin space especially in the rear space, for unrivalled comfort to both driver and passengers.

Rear Ventilation Air Conditioning, perfect for those who are always concerned with air flow at the back. And look at that leg room for a B Segment car! It also comes with USB jacks behind for ease of device charging ;)



The All-New City also offers TOP SAFETY FEATURES that prioritize driver and passengers with:

  1. Class-leading 6 Airbags (V variant) (including Dual Front SRS Airbags, i-Side Airbags and Side Curtain Airbags)
  2. Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) (E and V variant)
  3. Hill Start Assist (E and V variant)
  4. Emergency Stop Signal (E and V variant)
  5. ISOFIX features - the international standard for attachment points of child safety seats in passenger cars.


The All-New City also offers the largest boot space in its class at 536L and is able to fit bulky items of up to 3 large suitcases or 4 small ones, golf bags and a baby pram, making it very convenient for road trips with friends or family.


This latest generation of City is powered by the improved 1.5L SOHC i-VTEC engine (maximum power 120PS @ 6,600 rpm and maximum torque 145Nm @ 4,600 rpm) coupled with the advanced new Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) that was developed under Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology to provide the perfect combination of driving performance and fuel economy.



10.20am: Depart to Putrajaya Marina Complex
ε=ε=ε=ヾ(э^・ェ・^)э





AND AWAY WE GO!!!

Miriam volunteered to be the first driver of the day and each car was given a Walkie-Talkie to accompany us throughout the convoy.




An emergency snack / tissues kit to keep us contented throughout the driving session!


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When we reached Putrajaya Marina, we were taken to the Flyboard office to get a quick tutorial on how to conduct ourselves for the water sport activities. The instructor was in a laying stomach flat position to demo our 'default body position' for later on during the Flyboard sport.



This device will be strapped onto your legs and it weighs freaking 9 KILOGRAMS!!!!
However this will feel much lighter in the water and this will be the thing that will sustain our body weight throughout the activity.





Don't mind me while I selfie on ✩⃛( ͒ ु•·̫• ू ͒)

Paddleboat

Pretty simple activity, it is something like a canoe where you could either (a) stand straight; or (b) kneel down on the Paddleboat to just paddle with a stick leisurely around the lake. One paddleboat can only fit one person because the board is quite light and soft. To actually be able to stand on the paddleboat without overturning, you need to have good centre of gravity and body balancing skills.


Spotted a pink one and I ran towards it!











Notice how far away from the deck I was?









Paddleboat looks really not challenging but let me tell you that it's not as easy as it looks!!! 
Because the lake water keeps moving constantly and you are not exactly standing on a stable surface. As the wind blows or when big waves (from a speedboat) come towards you, the board will be literally SHAKY!!!

Thus you have to balance your body weight well on the light paddleboat board because it can be overturned! (and not everyone wants their makeup/hair drenched in water unnecessarily!)
Also one thing to note, if you bring your camera or phone along with you in the waters without a protective case, be warned! You never know when it may just drop into the water *touchwood*

That group selfie you saw up there? It was difficult for us to get close and take a wefie because of the waves and we couldn't be on each other's paddleboats. It is literally almost impossible, especially without a selfie stick! However we managed to get ONE DECENT SHOT!
\(・∀・)/’`\(・∀・)/’`\(・∀・)/’`



Flyboarding

Gearing up for the most awaited water sport of the day!








This is a failed shot because I was already halfway falling down LOL



It took sometime to get used to this because (a) there is something heavy bounded on my feet (b) the water keeps overturning my body (c) if you are not good in swimming to begin with (aka me), you need some time to adjust your body in water because it is very different as the waves keep pushing you.

I never really got pass more than one meter off the ground. I think I successfully only stood up 3 times within the span of 20 minutes or less. If you are thinking of trying this sport for yourself, here's a price indication I grabbed from Groupon -

  • Introductory session for 1 person for RM348 instead of RM400 - 20 mins flyboard session
  • Regular session for 1 person for RM648 instead of RM750 - 20 mins x 2 flyboard session
  • Group session for 3 people for RM698 instead of RM850 (only RM232.67 per person) - shared 45 mins flyboard session, one person at a time


Here's a proper picture of how high you could go (as demonstrated by the trainer) -



Group pic!
o(=´∇`=)oo(=´∇`=)oo(=´∇`=)oo(=´∇`=)oo(=´∇`=)oo(=´∇`=)oo(=´∇`=)oo(=´∇`=)o


And here I am on the Electric Scooter!!
Looks something like what they use around Italy, yes? haha





1.30pm: Lunch at Dengkil Seafood Restaurant
ε=ε=ε=ヾ(э^・ェ・^)э

Jessy took over the wheels and off we go to Dengkil (which was about less than 20km away).








Not a big foodie but IDK why the food was so tantalizing here! (perhaps we used so much energy during our water sports activities thus needed to refuel lol!)

Every dish served was delish max and yes all of us finished everything on the table! :)


2.30pm: Depart to Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) Carpark
ε=ε=ε=ヾ(э^・ェ・^)э

Continue to our next stop to test the full limits of the Honda City!





2:50 pm Driving Exercises / Activity




Pic Credit: Wacky Becky


VSA:
The Vehicle Stability Assist system helps to stabilize the vehicle during cornering if the car turns more or less than desired.

HOW:
  • An example of when such a situation (side slip) may occur is when a driver turns a corner too quickly on a wet/sandy/slippery road.
  • When the cornering forces of a vehicle are greater than the available tire grip levels, side slip occurs. If the front wheels are slipping sideways, the car is understeering.
  • On the other hand, if the rear wheels are slipping, the car is oversteering.


The above shows during VSA OFF.


The VSA in Honda cars (not just the City) is best “On” (activated) at all times. To do so, just press the VSA button on the driver’s side. This feature will take care of the rest. In the event of unintentional skidding or if you lose control of your car under unforeseen circumstances, every little help counts in keeping you safe and alive.


Now this clip that shows the VSA ON:








The boot of a Honda City

VS

The boot of a Toyota Vios




Boot so big can fit 3 of us girlies!


4:30 pm Back to Rail Canteen
ε=ε=ε=ヾ(э^・ェ・^)э


This time it's me behind the wheels! I was a little nervous, having the responsibility of driving the girls back and it would be a 50km ride back to Kota Damansara. So here's the part where I can finally give my honest verdict of the City driving experience -

Pro's 
  1. Lightweight steering wheel
  2. Smooth transitions from accelerating to braking
  3. Lightweight hand brake (easy for ladies)
  4. Fuel efficient
  5. Built-in sound system is awesome!
  6. I like how spacious the rear seat was. Really spacious for a B Segment car.
  7. Dual aircon at the rear allows me to adjust the temperature to my liking.


Cons
  1. Absorption isn't that great. Car can get a little shaky when driving fast on the big highways.
Only one con! I can't seem to find more! Really! (Guess I'm not such a fussy driver?)




5:15 pm: Prize Giving Ceremony & Refreshments

Back to our starting point at Rail Canteen, us bloggers had a tea break (after the long journey) while the Honda team deliberate on the contest results.


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Group 2 came in third!

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THIS WAS THE POINT WHERE I WAS SO NERVOUS BECAUSE IT COULD BE MY GROUP OR THE OTHER GROUP TO BAG FIRST PLACE!!!

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Group 1 was announced second place winner, which means automatically,
WE GOT FIRST PLACE!





We each won a hand held massager from OGAWA!



Thank You
HONDA MALAYSIA
for organizing such a fun-filled day with activities!
I may have taken the initiative to try out Flyboard for myself and thank you for the chance to try it out for myself!


By the way, Honda Malaysia offers 5-year warranty with unlimited mileage and service interval is 10,000km to provide further ease to customers to make the City the vehicle of their choice.

For more information on the All-New City or to book a test drive, you may --
  • visit any of the 82 dealers nationwide
  • call Honda’s Toll Free number at 1-800-88-2020
  • log onto Honda Malaysia website

Check out my fellow bloggers' experiences here!


Venue Recap
     -     Rail CanteenUnit D-GF-02, Sunway Nexis, Jalan PJU 5/2. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
     -     Flyboard Malaysia: Marina Putrajaya, No.1, Jalan P5/5, Presint 5 Putrajaya 62200 Malaysia.
     -     Dengkil Seafood Restaurant: 20, Jalan Puchong Dengkil, Dengkil, 43800 Selangor, Malaysia.
     -     MAEPSMARDI Headquarters, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.

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