Anyone who've been in a relationship know that the journey isn't always easy. Whether you're 1 month in, 1 year in, 5 years in or even 10 years together, there are so many challenges along the way that could rock the relationship. Overcome an obstacle and another one may just come along; be it work, parents, children or money, minefields are aplenty as you share your life together.
That is why anniversaries are so important. Whether it's your first date, your first kiss, your first trip or your wedding, taking the time to celebrate these moments remind you of the reasons why you fall in love, the promises you made and the hopes and dreams that lie ahead. Not everyone is comfortable talking through those heartwarming memories but simply taking the time off for each other on these important days can help you relieve some stress off work and remind you to put some effort on each other, no matter how long you've been together.
The question though is, what can you do on your anniversary? We follow Agent G as she opts for a holistic anniversary date idea that is unique, intimate... and not too expensive!
Hello I'm Agent G. As much as I love planning surprises and celebrating anniversaries + birthdays, NGL - it's getting harder and harder to find new things to do together especially since we're all stuck in Singapore after COVID.
Still, we've been married 10 years and I thought it important to make our 10-year anniversary special.
(omg can't believe this was 10 years ago!)
Not with a yacht-cation though.
Yes we know that's all the rage right now but spending a 4-digit sum on a single day (particularly in this time of economic uncertainty) doesn't seem right either.
After having a child, many of our activities and even celebrations tend to revolve around him.
So for our 10th year wedding anniversary, I was wondering if we could do something just for the two of us.
Not a couple spa - we've been there done that a million times.
Could we do something different this time?
How about going for a facial together? The last DIY facial we had last year was not bad. I wonder how it feels like in person. ~ Agent E
Thanks to the incessant snacking from extended WFH, Agent E has been getting more pimples and finding his face getting drier and more rough. Since he was curious about facials, it got me wondering if a couple facial at Organics Beauty is possible.
Lucky enough for us, Organics Beauty had just introduced their new Couple Facial service! Like many Japanese facial salons, Organics Beauty was previously only open to females. However, many existing customers have been petitioning the salon to allow their male partners to come together for a couple facial, a move they've finally embarked on in 2021.
The couple facial is however not just a facial. Believing that the experience should not end at the salon, Shizuka and Hana have incorporated a special hands-on session to teach you and your partner how to give each other a hands massage.
Ah... that sounds really interesting!
I'm a fan of massages but due to the closure of our borders with Malaysia, I haven't gotten my spa fix in a while. If Organics Beauty can help give my husband and I a facial AND teach us how to give each other massages, it would definitely make our Anniversary that much more memorable.
So with that, we made an appointment on our special day.
It was Agent E's first time at Organics Beauty, a Japanese salon nestled within Delfi Orchard.
While the place isn't very big, it looked warm and cozy, perfect for our first couple facial together!
Agent E has never been to a facial and so I'm grateful to have Shizuka herself give us a brief run-down of what to expect in the couple facial.
To customize the facial to our needs, she then got us to fill up a consultation form.
The form asks about our facial routine, concerns as well as our expectations so that the facial therapists can choose the right ingredients for us. You see, the facial here is different because they don't just use facial products from typical brands but mixes actual herbs for a truly organic experience. And that's why it is crucial for them to know your skin to give you the best results.
After reading my responses and also examining our skin, Shizuka believed that my skin was dry along some areas and for Agent E, mighty sensitive, leading to the many breakouts. Her suggestion is for me to go for a more hydrating facial while Agent E, a facial that will boost his skin immunity and reduce sensitivity.
This meant that the mask and essential oil used for us will contain different ingredients.
With everything prepared, it's time to go for our facial!
We were escorted into the room and requested to change into the robe provided.
After lying down, Hana / Shizuka placed a hot stone on our stomachs before embarking on the facial.
Till today, this is the only facial salon we've been to that does this. I'm not sure what the therapeutic effects were but as Agent E shared, the warm weight of the hot stone certainly felt good.
Next, Shizuka / Hana sprayed some rosewater in the air and spread the scent around as we felt ourselves fall into deep sleep.
Don't know if its due to the rosewater, some part of me was actually imagining myself in a tub full of rose petals haha!
It was a surreal experience for sure as Hana clanged the tibetan bell to signify the start of the facial.
As with any facial, the first step is cleansing.
After applying the Phyt's organic cleanser, which is known to be suitable even for those with sensitive skin, Hana / Shizuka massaged it around our faces to dislodge any dirt and remove it along with the cleanser.
They then removed the cleanser cleanly with a super soft towel that Shizuka mentions later came from Japan.
Just because there are no extractions doesn't mean that exfoliation is only lightly done.
Here, Shizuka makes sure that the face is thoroughly cleaned - with the use of natural, gentler yet effective enzymes.
By mixing herbs together with the enzyme exfoliator, Shizuka amplifies the effects of the exfoliation for stronger cleansing effects.
And if that wasn't enough, Hana and Shizuka would massage the enzyme exfoliator into the skin to make sure that every last ounce of dirt is removed.
While waiting for the enzyme exfoliator to do its work and penetrate deeper, Hana / Shizuka did not leave us alone but embarked on a shoulder and head massage.
I don't exactly know what she did but it just felt so shiok!
Once done, she wiped off the enzyme exfoliator and embarked on the next step.
Both of us married relatively early - he was 26 and I was 24. One of the nice things about marrying early is that we get to see each other and experience many of life's stages together.
Growing old is one of them.
In recent years, I've been getting more and more paranoid about the lines on my face, lines that weren't there 5 or 10 years ago. Agent E, on the other hand, have been getting comments at work that he's looking a lot more "uncle" than before. So yes, aging is definitely something both of us are concerned about.
So when Shizuka shared that the couple facial included a special lifting massage to reduce any facial lines and help us look younger, we're both really excited.
The special lifitng massage she was talking about is pincement, a traditional French Anti-Aging Facial Massage.
This technique focuses on activating the facial fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds every muscle on the face to encourage blood circulation, produce more collagen and deliver more nutrients and oxygen to every part of the facial muscle. This also helps to make the skin more taut, reducing the appearance of facial lines!
First, she applies facial oil and then "pinches" the face using this motion. If you're wondering, the massage isn't painful at all as the focus here is on activating acupressure points rather than pinching to achieve the effect.
Knowing that frown lines were among my top concern, she made sure to massage my forehead as well.
While Hana does the same for Agent E.
The massage is customized to our concerns though.
As you can see, Agent E has quite a bit of loose skin around the chin and so Hana does more pincement around the area with lifting massage thrown in.
This is done for about 30 minutes!
With our skin all activated, it is time for the final step in the facial: mask!
Shizuka added water to the herbal powder mixed earlier and applied it over the face.
While waiting for the mask to dry, she then gave us yet another pampering shoulder massage along with a leg massage!
Which facial salon does that?
No other salon thus far!
When it was time, Shizuka removed the mask and cleaned the residual mask off.
Notice how plump and moisturized my skin looked immediately after?
That wasn't all.
To commemorate our first couple facial together and cement a lasting bond between Agent E and I, Hana proceeded with the last part of the couple facial: couple massage.
Your hands are the first parts of your body you gave to each other when you first got into the relationship and once again, the parts that seal the eternal convenant on your wedding day. So on your 10th year anniversary, I hope to reignite the memories of that day with this massage.
She requested for us to hold each other's hands as we proceeded with the couple massage
It is a privilege to have your loved ones massaging you but you'll only get the best massage if you know what areas you like and communicate that to your partner.
Hana then instructed us to massage our own hands to see which parts of the hand we liked to touch and share that with our partner.
In our hands on practice, she then got us to put some massage oil on each other's hand and massaged it in a circular motion in the areas we liked.
As much as we've been together for 15 years, this wasn't something we've done before and somehow it felt a lot more meaningful that we did this on our 10th year wedding anniversary.
Thank you Hana and Shizuka for this very unique and special couple facial.
Our faces felt really supple and moisturized days after but most importantly, our hearts are full with stronger knowledge of what each other like for massages.
When are we coming back next? ~ Agent E
Having practiced the massages on each other, we're now ready to "upgrade" our massage skills.
Will there be a Level 2 Massage Workshop for couples soon?