Digits for the mama on the go
For busy mamas (and newcomers to the city) finding a reliable team for those must-tackle issues – whether it’s health, wellness, glamour of general life admin – can be a nightmare.
Hong Kong is home to endless hair salons, spas and treatment centres, while the cacophony of billboards advertising everything from legal advice to medical treatment.
Discerning who you should see is the tricky bit, so to make things a little easier, Sassy Mama has put together a Little Black Book with the key numbers to have while navigating modern life in the city. Here’s who you need in your squad:
The Glam Squad
Hair: Restyles, cuts and colours
Benjamin Amey & Team at Alchemy:
Need a great colour, a sharp cut or a new look? Look no further than this guy. Benjamin brings together great training, extensive experience and frankly, the best eye for your ‘tresses in Hong Kong. He’s the go-to-guy for Hong Kong’s most glamorous, and can guide you through everything from the classic balayage, ombre and colour melt styling to more adventurous cuts and neon hues.
If you want or need it, he’ll use the fantastic Olaplex treatment that protects and repairs your hair. And while he and the team are great at making people look chic and glossy, he also likes to work on more edgy styles and colours – so if you’ve ever wanted to try something completely different, he is the guy for you.
The salon itself is chic and private, the teams are very friendly and attentive, plus they have a decent food and drink menu if you are in for an overhaul that might take some time. Alchemy also has a nail bar – so it’s a good place one-stop beauty spot.
Justine Grier & Team at The Skin Gym
Dubbed the “skin whisperer” there is very little that Justine can’t fix. She’s always researching new treatments and technologies, in addition, she tests all the treatments out before selecting them for her place.
Consultations are forensic: there is very little she doesn’t know about why skin behaves the way it does. Or if you have a particular issue, Justine is often able to drill down to the root cause, and often the science of how she’ll fix it. You can book in to see her or her lovely team and they can work out what you need, or if you know what you want there’s a wide range of facials and peels for every skin type and occasion. They also do lash and brow tinting, waxing and spray tans.
Sandra Bakker is a wonder woman with a background in theatre, film and fashion make-up and styling. Her make-up skills are second to none, is an excellent face-painter, she does beautiful body-painting (as well as bump-painting for maternity shoots!) and is a whizz with fun hair styling. She also runs tutorials for people eager to learn some professional tips. Having built up her career in Europe and Asia, she’s settled in Hong Kong and her firm Mops Amsterdam works with big names. Samsung, HSBC, JP Morgan, and Fashion One, for special events. She’s a huge following on YouTube – garnering 7 million views for some for videos.
Joey and Team at Nu Waxing
There’s only one person to trust when getting the intimate spots waxed and that’s Joey at Nu Waxing in Central. The whole team there are good, but for Brazilian or Hollywood treatments… Joey is the master. Her skills, plus the special type of wax they use, make it almost painless, and she knows how to help you avoid the dreaded ingrown hairs. Nu have plenty of male clients so you can send your other half here in good faith. Joey is currently off on maternity leave, but will be back in early 2017. She’ll be in demand, so book well in advance.
The team at Flawless
If you’re looking for something relaxing and easy, then head to Flawless in Central. Comfy seating, a soothing ambience, and plenty of light, make it a really nice place for your manicures and pedicures. There’s plenty of magazines and drinks if you are just having a few hours to yourself, but it is also a great place to grab a few friends together and have a impromptu girls night in. The day spa offers plenty of other treatments if you want to make the most of your time there. Highly recommended.
The Wellness Squad
Jonine Nash at Central Healing
Every mama knows the toll pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding can take on your form and the longer you leave these problems, the harder they become to treat. Jonine Nash is the woman to see if those niggling pains, or endless aches just don’t seem to go away. She doesn’t simply concentrate on treating the problem area, but works out how it is affecting the balance and health of your whole body.
As a working mother herself Jonine, who trained and practised in New Zealand and the UK, before working at Hong Kong’s Matilda Hospital, knows only too well the demands caring for young children and is thoughtful, efficient and really listens to your concerns.
Sutherland- Chan Centre
Hands down the best place in Hong Kong for Therapeutic Massage is Sutherland Chan. The rooms are functional and the focus is on you. The therapists zone in on your problem areas and can quickly work out if you need more intensive treatment or time with a physio or osteopath. These guys really know what they are doing so you are guaranteed a massage. They offer a relaxation massage for those that prefer a lighter touch, as well as pre and post-natal treatments. Their therapeutic offers use techniques such as deep tissue massage, lymphatic drainage, and myofascial release. They also have options for those with sports injuries as well as clinical pilates.
Helen Griffiths at Kinesiology Asia
Do you often feel below par but find traditional medicine is drawing a blank, or have a chronic illness and looking for a more holistic approach? Helen Griffiths at Kinesiology Asia is your go-to-girl. Kinesiology integrates Western knowledge of anatomy and physiology with Eastern medical systems to help you maintain a healthy balance. The belief is there is a connection between the psychological, the physical and a person’s energy, and that our thoughts and environment have an impact on how we feel.
Soft spoken, calming, and incredibly soothing to talk to, Helen is an ideal person for wound up, busy mamas to spend just an hour a week with, working through physical and mental stressors. She is in such demand that people seek her out for a wide variety of health issues from chronic pain, insomnia and poor digestive health to anxiety, addictions, and allergies.
Shoshana Weinberg, Spa Director, Four Seasons
Feel like being spoiled? Discuss soothing treatments for health and well-being and unwind at the Four Seasons Spa and talk to spa director Shoshana Weinberg. From herbal treatments utilised by tribes in remote Asia, to the cutting edge stuff from New York, she knows just about every option going, most recently bringing the renowned and celebrity-loved US brand Epicuren to HK. As a result, the spa menu there is rich and varied. So if you want some pampering with a purpose, she is definitely the person to seek out.
Dentists at Smith & Jain
These guys are very reliable and thorough for dental check-ups and cleaning. Smith & Jain has put together a very strong team. In fact, whoever you see will look after you well. They take dental health, and its impact on overall wellness very seriously. Smith & Jain offer cosmetic procedures, and have a popular whitening treatment. The team are also good with children, so it is a place you can take all the family.
Natalie Leslie at Founder at Homes R Us
Looking for a new flat? Natalie from Homes R Us listens to what you’re looking for and finds the best possible option in your price range (even if that means more work and more visits for her!). Landlords and tenants in the area both recommend her which is a rare thing in an industry where many are accused of advocating more for landlords and higher prices so they can secure a better commission. A bonus of this great rapport she’s built up with both sides is that she is aware of new places coming up, and when leases are set to expire, which means you can often see properties before they have even got to market. She also helps resolve any issues you might have with the property once you move in.
Ryan Lo at Landmark Asia
For Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and beyond, make sure you look up Ryan Lo at Landmark Asia, who is a favourite realtor. He knows how to work within budget and find really great places that are in price range, he works with other agents so has a broader range of properties in a wide range of areas. He also actually listens to what you are looking for and finds places reflective of that.
[email protected], 6650 4448
Wills & Guardianship
Asa Candussa Wilkins, Phoenix Wills
Often pushed to the bottom of the to do list in our busy lives, putting together a will can be a daunting prospect, particularly as many families in Hong Kong have assets in multiple countries. Nonetheless, it’s important to prepare for a worst case scenario, and that means setting up a will, and discussing what you want to happen with your children in the likely event you and your partner aren’t around to care for them.
Guardianship is particularly key, as in Hong Kong, if you have not set out a specific document detailing who will get custody of the children if both parents die, they risk being taken into government care until the issue can resolved in the courts. Pheonix Wills’ is highly recommended for setting up these documents and is good value for money.
The London Medical Clinic
Finding a good doctor can be tricky in Hong Kong as prices are high if you don’t have insurance, and if you do, then it can be a quagmire finding someone approved that can fit you in. Tony and Lily Wong at the London Clinic are firm favourites. Their teams are thoughtful, attentive, and will go the extra mile. Where many doctors are only too keen to dispense medication, or extra testing, it is refreshing to find people who focus on what you need, rather than what they can bill you for.
Tax & Accounting
Mint Tax Consulting
Accountants Caroline Tsui and Gary Ho, certified in the U.S., run Mint Tax Consulting, a well regarded for tax planning and compliance services. They know a lot about the American and Hong Kong system, but can also provide advice for other countries. They grasp how busy modern lives are, and take the last minute panic out of filling out returns – particularly if you have multiple countries to consider. They can also advice on the best ways to optimize benefits.
SpotHelp Task Heroes
As the demands on modern mums and dads spiral, from organising perfect parties to getting the last must have toy, to household errands… parents need a PA at home to help juggle everything. Step forward Tamim Batcher and the SpotHelp crew. Need something done fast, efficiently and with minimum effort from you – these are the guys to call. Whether it is queueing for you to get the must have batch of mooncakes, securing this season’s IT bag, sorting gig tickets or moving furniture, there’s not task too small or big. Put the number in your speed dial now.