It's shockingly true how mums have a tendency to forget about themselves once kids enter their lives. In everything we do, it's about keeping the kids safe, the kids fed, the kids healthy, the kids happy and we do our best to make sure that they are growing up just fine. Then, when we finally find time to pamper ourselves and have some me-time, we feel the guilt creeping in despite our best efforts in assuring ourselves that it's really okay.
Still, at the end of the day, while it's important to be mum, it's also important to be me. I find my passion in life, other than the kids, through blogging and crafting. My me-time might be extremely limited but no matter how little time I have for myself each day, at least I try to find my way to being me and do the little things that I enjoy doing.
If you have been following this blog for awhile, you will know that most, or in fact all, of my sponsorship deals are to do with kids or family - including family vacations, kids apparel, books, toys, playgrounds, enrichment classes, baby products and so on. So when I had the chance to take on a collaboration with Kimrobinson which was solely meant just for me (even though the kids did benefit eventually), I was just thrilled and honoured to be given the chance to be me once again.
“Beauty originates within. Incredible beauty is revealed.” – Kim Robinson
The first time I stepped into Kimrobinson, which is located in Ngee Ann City along Orchard Road, I was simply blown away (pun intended). Honestly, I didn't know what to expect but this, it was more like a dream come true.
What caught my attention first was the display of these glam and glittery hair accessories at the lobby. Many of the hair bands and clips looked gorgeous, unique in design and were not like what I usually saw in shops.
The corridor was beckoning and easily the size of a run-of-the-mill salon. I was wondering just how huge this place was and it took my breath away to realise the area was well over 5,000 sq ft. W-o-w. Luxury, here I come.
As I did a slow waltz in, I took time to admire the flowers, the paintings done by Kim Robinson himself and the calming earthly tones of the floors and walls.
I stopped for a moment when I saw the beautiful chandelier shining down on me, as if reminding me to enjoy being in the spotlight and enjoy my pampering session, as I reached the waiting lounge.
See the majestic looking peacocks perched high up? Well, it's not about feeling proud; it's about having the confidence and feeling good about yourself, which is exactly what Kimrobinson helps you to achieve.
Now, a luxurious hair salon must have its own washrooms so I was happy that I didn't even need to walk too far for a toilet break.
There are also private rooms available for the VIPs who can afford the intimacy although I have to say that any normal seat at Kimrobinson is already a highly coveted one. Just so you know, Kim Robinson, the master himself, "coiffs the curls of Asia's glitterati for no less than $2,000 a cut" (Quote from The Straits Times, Dec 21, 2015) and has worked with, to name a few, Princess Diana, Kate Moss, Sandy Lam, Zhang Ziyi and Gong Li. Yes, my jaw dropped too when I knew.
Every time I visited, the staff will be quick to ask if I needed a drink. On the beverage menu, you can find drinks like Espresso, Oolong tea, decaffeinated cappuccino and juices too. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the glass even came with a cover, with a small hole for the straw to go through. It's all about the attention to details, right?
If you are doing any chemical treatment, you can also change into a chemical gown and have your bags and belongings placed in a plastic wrap. There is also a designated area for you to hang your jackets and shawls. In addition to the magazine spread available to keep you occupied, there is also free Wi-Fi. Yes, the blogger in me did a little dance when I knew that!
I was also amazed by the aunties who would sweep up any loose hair on the floor in an instant, so for a hair salon, the place was always clean and neat. As for my hairstylist and technician, they were just the friendliest, kindest and most professional that I've ever encountered. I'll share more on that later.
So, I was sponsored for a whole year (I know, lucky me) with Kimrobinson and I made a total of four trips to the salon. Yes yes, some friends commented that I was silly not to go there every month or so and get some treatment or makeover done, but you have to know that I got pregnant soon after the deal was sealed and so I didn't want to do anything chemical related till Asher was born. Besides, it's really, really not easy for me to get a break from the kids, or for the hubby to handle the kids without me, whichever way you see it.
Anyway, the point is I had several chances to try out their services and made sure that it wasn't a one-off fluke if I was satisfied after my first visit. This also gave me ample time and opportunities to immerse, observe and feel. So if I am really pleased with the results and overall experience, take my word for it.
My stylist was Carmen and she is by far the most amiable. bubbly and skillful stylist I've ever had. As a fellow mum with two kids, we had plenty of things to talk about and there was never a moment of boredom with her around. I might not have had the chance to meet Kim Robinson himself, but the real test for a master is to ensure that his disciples excel in the field too. Carmen surpassed my expectations and with just a few snips, she managed to bring out the best of me and that was what I found amazing.
One of the signature techniques stylists use in Kimrobinson is the 'dry cut', whereby your hair is cut when it is dry, so as to make use of its natural flow to create lasting styles. Having trained under the legendary French stylist Alexandre de Paris, Kim Robinson makes use of "face matrix" formula, which he in turn passes on to his stylists. The first thing you do is to tell the shape of the face so that you know what hairdo will "lift and illuminate the face, and elongate the neck".
I cut my hair thrice at Kimrobinson over the year and went from really long to really short! The last one was a major transformation for me and I'll share with you more pictures below. By then, I had felt truly comfortable with Carmen and was willing to leave all the decisions in her hands. Yes, I totally believed that it would be better for her to choose a hairstyle that would suit me rather than me sticking to my own assumptions.
One incident that left an impression was when I had a haircut with her and was scheduled to go back for a treatment three days later. I was already pleased with the look but when I got there, she told me "I think I want you to go even shorter" and asked me if I was willing to let her cut my hair again. I agreed, without the slightest moment of hesitation. That just goes to show the level of trust and confidence I had in her judgement and ability, which I think is crucial between you and your hairstylist.
Did you know that Kimrobinson has an exclusive lounge for colouring, highlight, treatment and any chemical-related process? Yes, it's a very comfy cosy lounge with its own hair wash station. I was ushered through the maze of corridors into the lounge where I did a restructuring treatment and multi-shading colouring with Brian, my technician. You can tell his wealth of experience from the way he is decisive about the colours he wants to use, how he urges his assistant to react more swiftly and how he comes over to check on the process every now and then and does the touching up if required.
For my last session, where I dyed my hair for the first time in eight long years (yeah, haven't done so after since my wedding in 2008), I left the choice of colours to him and he did a multi-toned one using three colours. I really liked the end result! What I appreciated was that when my baby started to bawl and the hubby brought him in to look for me, Carmen and Brian were very kind to stop what they were doing halfway so that I could go and feed the baby first. More behind the scenes to share later!
This is something that I look forward to - the hair wash, which at times comes with a head, neck and shoulder massage! The one done by Carmen's assistant, Aaron, was such a pampering session that it takes the definition of hair wash to a whole new level. Unexpectedly, I felt so relaxed during the wash and rejuvenated afterwards. Yup, those neck muscles of mine are probably quite overworked from blogging and looking after the kids. Plus, it's usually so hard for me to even take a quick shower that it's become a challenge to wash my hair thoroughly, I think I totally deserved that short but indulging hair wash-cum-massage, right?
A big thank you to Carmen and Brian for all that you've done and for assuring me time after time that I can always put my trust in you guys!
The mummy moments behind the scene
So it seems like I had a good time at the salon, which I have to admit I really did, but that wasn't without its challenges. Yes, welcome to the life of a stay-at-home mum. Here's what I actually had to do while getting my hair pampered.
1) Carry the baby who refuses to be with Daddy, wails the moment he is taken from me but smiles when he gets to sit on my lap. Let's get some wind in our hair together, baby!
2) Breastfeed the baby in the salon and have visits from the two elder ones. Thankfully I've learnt to be able to nurse my babies anytime, anywhere!
3) Hold the baby in my arms while getting my hair washed, simply because he refuses to sleep anywhere else. Luckily, we were all done with the chemical treatment by this time, since that was something I was worried for my super sticky baby.
On our last visit, while I was getting my hair treatment, my kids also became little models for Kimrobinson and Carmen was so kind as to give all of them a haircut! It took her less than 10 minutes for each of the girls and just a couple of minutes or so for the baby. Awwww. My baby's first haircut!
After this whole experience, I conclude that while Kimrobinson generally targets the working professionals, socialites and celebrities, it's still considered quite family-friendly and I totally appreciate all that they have done for me and my kids. Right, I probably won't want to spend a bomb on haircuts for my kids, but for me personally, I now know why people rave about it and just keep coming back because the Kimrobinson experience is honestly like no other.
So, I guess we've had enough of the talk, now let me show you my hair transformation.
This picture above shows how I've looked for the longest time. Bangs with long, straight and thick hair. While this was a hairstyle I could get used to in Sweden due to the cool weather, it was starting to get a little unbearable in Singapore, especially since I was three months pregnant (again!) at that time when I first visited Kimrobinson.
For Mother's Day this year, I finally added some colour to my hair! Love the multi-shades that Brian chose for me and while I thought the shoulder-length hair was short compared to previously, Carmen decided that a bob would suit me better and so we went even shorter.
Ta-dah! Here's my current look, which I'm honestly very pleased about and it has also garnered much compliments and positive comments from family and friends. It's quite a huge change for me and what I love best is that I don't need to clip or tie my hair nowadays, I don't need to maintain or blow dry since it's so fuss-free, I don't even have to worry about brushing when I wake up or how I look when I rush out of home to bring the kids to school. Hooray! It's amazing, and somewhat magical, what a difference a hairstyle can make. Even without makeup or accessories, I still feel good and I think that radiance will shine from within.
Thanks much to Kimrobinson and Carmen for the new looks and renewed confidence! I'm totally ready to go rock it as a mum of three!
Kimrobinson is located at 391 Orchard Road #02-12, Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Ngee Ann City, S238872. For enquiries and details, call 6738 8006 or visit http://www.kimrobinson.com/.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration between Kimrobinson and A Happy Mum. I was provided with a year of hair services in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.