Thursday, 30 October 2014

FILM@LXG: These Final Hours

(from our resident reviewer two_senser)

How would you spend your Last Day on Earth?

This is the question posed by These Final Hours. It's a question that's been asked many times before. Celluloid has placed the Earth and the Human Race in many apocalyptic scenarios, from alien invasions to climatic catastrophes, to viral pandemics. Most of these have been huge, effects-driven blockbusters - and although the Apocalypse told on such a grand-scale certainly draws the crowds - it's the smaller, more intimate stories that leave a lasting mental impression, and lead you to really ponder the question, "What If?" 
Set in Perth, Australia, we quickly learn that this is the final day on Earth and that the Western Australian city only has 12 hours left before the inevitable downfall that has already taken down Europe, Canada and a large chunk of the rest of the world.

We meet the self-absorbed James (a believable and gritty performance by Nathan Phillips) as he is rushing off to his mate’s massive house party to drink his sorrows away and forget about the looming end of life as we know it. It’s a dark, foreboding urban landscape that James traverses - as society falls apart at the seams, and the city's inhabitants cope with the impending disaster in their own, often disturbing and macabre ways.

Unforeseen events then place James in situations where he is forced to choose between his own self-destructive resolution and the last shreds of humanity that are buried away, deep within him. 

What is most disturbing about this movie, and the reason why it works so well, is that the scenarios presented are entirely plausible. We all like to think of ourselves as decent, civilized human beings. But when presented with just 12 hours to live; and a fate we simply cannot escape - would it be so difficult to slip from the shackles of humanity and rapidly descend into a much darker state of consciousness?

Adding to a growing list of recent explorations into the Apocalypse by way of Antipodean directors and storylines, (see The Rover and the upcoming Mad Max reboot), director Zak Hilditch takes us on a journey without destination, although we inevitably, unequivocally know where we're headed...

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

LIFESTYLE@LXG: Susan pampers herself at Immortelle Atelier

I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl almost five months ago. Motherhood is a completely life changing experience and as a new mother, I barely had any time to take care of myself. As much as I love spending time with my new baby, the sleepless nights have taken a toll on my complexion and hair. 

 That’s why I was ecstatic when I was offered to try out the Cryolift Facial Treament with Guasha Eye Treatment and a hair Cream Bath treatment at Immortelle Atelier in their spanking-new outlet in United Square, which is centrally located near Novena MRT station. 

Immortelle Atelier is a one stop venue for all your facial, make-up, styling and hair treatment needs. 

For busy individuals and mother's who have dropped their kids off at class and have some time to kill, they offer quick 45-minute facial and hair treatments that are a wonderful treat and should definitely be tried.
After a quick assessment of my skin condition, my therapist led me into the cozy treatment room at the back of the salon to change and get ready for my treatment. I loved that their robe was so soft and plush and smelled so nice. For me, its the little extra touches like these that make the experience so special.

She started off with a relaxing lavender aromatherapy massage to help me unwind. She then proceeded to deep cleanse my face using Maria Galland skin care products. I love it that they only use very high-quality skincare products such as Maria Galland and Jyunka – this shows the length that Immortelle Atelier goes to in order to provide the best facial experience to their clients.

After the deep cleansing procedure, Judy proceeded with the Guasha Eye Massage. Guasha is a traditional Chinese medical therapy using a spoon-like bone to massage the skin and the bones to help improve blood circulation and drain toxins. I must say this was my favorite part of the whole treatment session! As a new mother experiencing sleepless nights, I honestly thought that I would permanently have to sport massive eye bags, but after Judy’s skillful guasha massage around my tired eyes, I could immediately feel that my eye bags were less pronounced and I felt much better overall.

As I opted for the Cryolift Facial Treatment, Judy applied the Skin Perfusion Gel and Serum containing more than 12 vitamins, 24 amino acids and various minerals and anti-oxidants onto my skin. She then proceeded to use the state-of-the-art Filorga cryolift probe around my face. The probe helps bring the skin down to -18 degree Celsius, stimulating collagen production under the skin. The treatment works by dramatically improving micro blood flow in the skin, reversing the aging process.

The whole facial treatment took about two hours – complete with skin extraction, eyebrow trimming and a relaxing head and shoulder massage. To finish off, she applied a hydrating mask onto my face and a cocoon mask for my eyes. The cocoon mask is unique in that it helps stimulate skin metabolism to fight the destructive effect of stress on the skin. 

At the end of the session, I could feel that it helped my fatigued skin regain its lost radiance and tautness. The best thing? the products used are safe for breastfeeding mothers and even pregnant women!
 After my relaxing facial, I was treated to a Hair Cream Bath session to help restore the shine back to my dull hair. Hair Cream Bath treatment is a highly popular hair pampering experience in Indonesia, where I grew up, so I am glad to re-discover this treatment here in Singapore at Immortelle Atelier. I have been experiencing severe post-partum hair loss so I opted for the “Cooling” cream bath treatment. The treatment lasted for 45 minutes and started off with a hair wash, followed by the application of the cream of your choice, a relaxing head and shoulder massage, a rinse and a final blow-dry. My hair smelled so good and felt so soft after all the pampering. All in all, two thumbs up for my experience at Immortelle Atelier. I will definitely come back for more!