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Bring the spa and salon to your home

A hairdresser works on a customer's hairstyle at a local salon. (BT file)

Publication Date : 06-08-2012


For many women, beauty treatments account for a significant slice of personal consumption expenditure.

This is especially true when one opts for professional treatments at salons and spas. It is not uncommon for many women to drop by the hair salon on a free day to treat herself to a hair wash or have her hair professionally colored.

It is also not uncommon for many to make appointments for facial treatments, manicures and pedicures.

However, many of those on a budget do not realise that they could save up to 90 per cent by choosing to do these treatments themselves at home.

Ming, a woman in her mid-20s working in the private sector, has mostly been doing do-it-yourself (DIY) treatments at home since she began working.

While her peers spend up to a few hundred dollars a month on regular, 'professional' sessions, Ming spends roughly BND$100 (US$80) on products which she gets to keep at home, and last for months.

For example, Ming chooses to dye her own hair by purchasing DIY kits rather than going to the salon and shelling out over a hundred dollars.

"I find that it's the same as throwing money away, when all I want is a simple even colour that I can get at any pharmacy or cosmetic shop for about BND$20. Yet salons are charging an average of BND$100 to do it for you," she says.

She dyes her hair for special occasions or when her roots start to show, which takes place about once every three months.

Ming says her friends choose to go to the salon because they feel that they need a professional to do it. But she begs to differ.

"My other friends don't mind paying that amount because they said they don't have the time at home to do it by themselves. But with so many of DIY kits out there, it takes only an hour and salons take close to two hours," she says.

Another practice that Ming prefers to do home is facial treatments. She purchases facial masks and other facial products from pharmacy and cosmetic stores, preferring to do them herself following tips from the Internet and magazines rather than going to a beautician.

"Facial treatments in Brunei can cost anywhere from BND$50 to over BND$200, and by buying similar skin care products and doing it at home, I get to save close to BND$200 monthly," she says.

However, Ming says that she considers herself "lucky" because she doesn't need to seek professional care for her skin, with sun protection and moisturising forming basic skincare regime.

"Nowadays, even in Brunei, women are spoilt for choice with skin care products and normally these products can last at least one month, so a basic weekly facial that I do is putting on masks and steaming my face with a hot cloth, and exfoliation," she says.

At cosmetic stores and pharmacy, sheet masks can go as low as BND$2 while Korean brands start at BND$3 and can go up to BND$15 per mask. In total, Ming says she averages about BND$15 for one facial treatment session at home.

Manicures and pedicures are considered "the cheapest" beauty treatment out of the lot, Ming says.

Many women in Brunei start to pay BND$10 and can go up to over BND$100 for some manicures.

"I have never really been a fan of those really super decorated nails but I do enjoy classic nail colours, and this I can do myself," she says. Having "quite simple" tastes, she chooses plain colours and cuts and files her nails herself.

"I also push my own cuticles back and I do my own hand scrub and foot scrub," says Ming.

"I spend a bit more on my nail polish, and I pay about BND$30 for an OPI bottle because it lasts and the bottle lasts me for a year at least," she says.

Asked if she would ever seek professional treatment, Ming says that the only time she would pay for one is when she wants to have a massage. "Once a month I have a massage day, to relax and also because I can't massage myself."


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