Hi! I’m Agent Z, a banking professional and beauty junkie who loves finding value for money deals.
I have a regular stylist I go to for haircuts at Kim Robinson but because other services are usually too expensive, I tend to try other hair salons from time to time. Before finding Beauty Undercover though, I referred to bloggers' recommendations and found those salons popular with bloggers to be not as reliable - service is not as good as it looks, prices are higher than usual and the colours tend to be below expectation.
It is very important to me that the colours do not fade off to be brassy. but that seems to the case at many of these "top salons". After coming across COVO Japanese Hair Salon on Beauty Undercover, I decided to give it a go after the many good reviews. After all, I haven't been to a true-blue Japanese salon before. Who knew that this will lead me to come back again and again, first for colours and later for eyelash extension at KJStudio!
If you're interested to find out how it was like for me, read on below ...
The COVO staff are very welcoming and they are very polite. I like that they serve tea and biscuits. They even offered to charge my phone as it was running low on batt. How thoughtful! I was attended to by Yumi at the COVO @ Katong outlet the first time. Despite being Japanese, Kazz spoke English rather fluently. She attended to me from the start to finish. I particularly loved the hair wash which was very relaxing. The hair outcome was, however, the most important for me... and I'm glad to say that... it turned out really well!
As my skin tone is pretty fair, Yumi recommended a darker tone for the Fall/Winter season, which I absolutely loved.
Even weeks later, I was really happy to find that my hair colour did not turn brassy for the first time in my life! My hair also remained smooth thanks to the treatment and argan oil within the colour. Did I also mention that their argan oil hair colour costs only $130 for all hair lengths (before first-timer discounts)? I know I'll definitely be back!
As it was close to Christmas season, I came back a second time. This time to another Japanese stylist Kazz. He provided me with the same great service with a few more jokes here and there as I warmed up to him. I gushed about how much I loved about the previous colour and he promised to give me a unique Khaki Ash brown highlights and lowlights this time, specially designed to cater to my preferences and features.
2-3 hours later, this is the result:
Can you see the hints of khaki green and blonde highlights? They cost an additional $160 but I like how the highlights make my hair stand out while still remaining subtle enough for my workplace. They also made my normally limp hair look a lot more voluminous!
Even though it is about 1 or 2 months after the colour, my hair remained ashy. Something I really really like but can't achieve at other salons. Thank you, Kazz, once again for the great job done! Towards the end of the hair service, I found out during our random conversation that COVO actually has an eyelash extension shop as well. As an avid lover of eyelash extensions, I decided to check it out since COVO and KJStudio share the same membership system.
When I found out that prices for eyelash extension start at less than $100 for the first time and less than $50 for retouch, I knew I had to make an appointment immediately. I knew I had to make an appointment immediately. I already feel the pinch of paying much more at local eyelash extensions I went for in the past.
I made an appointment at KJStudio 2 weeks after my last colour.
I came right after work but don't you think that my hair still looked very good although I did not style it (at all)? OK, I'm here for eyelash extensions and not hair colour so let's get to it!
The therapist who attended to me is Japanese lash stylist, Miyuki. Once again, she speaks English fluently so consultation was a breeze. In fact, I was kind of surprised that she was actually performed such an in-depth consultation with me because I never experienced that at any other lash extension salons.
I shared with Miyuki that I frequently get eyelash extensions but I hated how they don't seem to last very long for me. The longest one has lasted is 2.5 weeks. In fact, there was once that it was so badly done that it caused a major fallout of my own lashes that I almost stopped eyelash extension. However, the lash addict in me soon came back as I loved how they make my eyes look + saves me that additional 15-20 minutes in the morning.
Miyuki reassured me that the major fallout will not happen here because they use very high-quality glue and because they apply the lash one by one, unlike the cluster lash extensions I was used to. Cluster lash extensions can damage natural lashes significantly because they stick one lash extension to multiple natural lashes, restricting the growth of some lashes as they grow at differing speeds. As a result, the natural lashes can fall out. Instead, here at KJStudio, they offer both volume lashes and natural lashes that are applied one by one onto our natural lash so that such an issue does not happen.
Also, the lashes are very lightweight and will not cause too much pressure on my natural lash. Her explanation made me a lot less worried. She then proceeded to understand the style of lash I would like by showing me photos of how J, B, C and D curl lashes look like. She also inquired about my preferred lash length.
As I have done lash extensions a number of times before, Miyuki recommended me to try KJStudio's 3D Volume Lash. It will give a more obvious increase in lash volume without making the lashes feel heavy. It costs $190 but since it's my first time here, I thought I should just do what she recommended.
With the consultation out of the way, it's time to begin ...
Miyuki escorted me to the treatment bed and made sure I was comfortable.
Before beginning the lash extension, she showed me how our chosen J and C curl mix will look like on my eyes. Satisfied with what I saw, she proceeded with the lash extension.
The first thing she did was to apply the eye mask beneath my eyes. The collagen eye mask itself costs an additional $5. However, it is not necessary if you're trying to save some moolah.
She then proceeded to clean my lashes. It's a bit embarrassing to see how black my lashes are through these photos but they are actually the mascara I used in the morning.
Miyuki took a lot of effort to clean the lashes, cleaning it once and then going back to clean again one more time until the cotton buds are no longer dirty. I never had my lashes cleaned so thoroughly before so I asked her why. Miyuki explained that clean lashes allow the extensions to stay on longer after application of glue. The cleaning process is therefore even more important than the application itself in ensuring that the extensions are lasting.
It's finally time to place the extension on my lashes!
Miyuki does it with so little pressure that I barely knew what she was doing.
It was so comfy, I fell asleep within 5-10 minutes.
I woke up, maybe 45 minutes later to a small fan blowing at my lashes.
Look at how much fuller my eyelashes look!
Final step: combing the lashes...
And I was done!
Just a quick reminder of how my lashes looked before ...
and now after ...
While it may look quite dramatic when I'm lying down,
It actually looks very natural from the front.
Totally in love with my new lashes and hope it will last for a long time! Before I left, Miyuki reminded me not to touch water for the next few hours and not to wash my face for the next half a day if possible. This is not the first time I've heard this advice - I'm pretty used to the process and so this was not a problem.
Time is the best test of how skillfully the lash extensions were done; KJStudio passed with flying colours! 3 weeks have passed and my lash extensions were 70% intact. A new record for me! I wasn't the only one who liked the lash extension... my friends and even my mom complimented me on how good and natural it looks.
Other than how gorgeous it looks, the volume lash felt super lightweight, making all my previous lash extensions feel very heavy in comparison.With its long-lasting effect, gorgeous design, lightweight, and awesome price without needing to sign up for packages, KJStudio has become my new must-try salon for lash extensions!
As a budget-conscious beauty junkie who has high expectations for my hair and beauty service, I would unequivocally recommend friends to both COVO Japanese Hair Salon and KJStudio hair colour and lash extensions! Now that I've tried, I can say that the prices are not only very affordable ($130 for one hair colour for all hair length and $135 for 3D volume lash retouch and $45 for normal lash retouch every 4 weeks), the quality of service is also very good. Other than the Japanese level service, both the hair and lash outcome were also awesome, especially when you consider the price. I also like it that they have a joint membership system. You can earn a point with every $50 spent at COVO / KJStudio and these points can be redeemed for discounts in the future.
I've actually recommended a few of my friends and they also had great things to say about it. Before you decide to go down though, do make an advance appointment because I hear that they are pretty busy during this period. I've made an appointment myself early this year, for the
upcoming Chinese New Year! Additional saving tips for you - they do not have CNY surcharges and you are welcome ;)