November 26, 2009

Guest Review: Meldee goes Barbie in Shanghai

Meldee pays Shanghai a visit, takes a trip on the plastic fantastic, and drops by So Loverly as well. Aren't we lucky? =D


The land of xiao long bao, endless skyscrapers, a flood of people, and....Barbie Shanghai.

When my cousin, who happens to be studying traditional Chinese medicine in Shanghai told me about it, I did a double-take. Was she for real? A 35,000 sq ft store on prime China real estate land devoted to the original plastic fantastic, big-boobed, blonde bimbo? Where you could buy the dolls, have parties, play with makeup, and even enjoy a spa treatment?

Well folks, believe it.

When I paid aforementioned cousin a visit in Shanghai not too long ago, she insisted we pay homage at the Altar of Pinkness--and why not? For all my feminist leanings, Barbie was still a huge part of my girlhood, whether I agreed with the stereotypes and criticisms attached to her now, or not.

Stepping in, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it was pink, but not overly so--I was expecting huge fluffy pink things, glitter, glitter everywhere, and huge faux flowers. And screaming, bratty little girls. But nope--none of that in sight. It was spacious, airy, and although there were huge lashings of pink--dare I say it--it was almost elegant. Sophisticated.

Zooming up to the fourth floor (there are six floors in total! For the grown-up girl, the sixth floor houses a bar, where yes, alcohol is served, but only with proof of age) where the spa was, I felt like I was in some strange parallel universe, but I could not wipe the goofy grin off my face. While we booked our appointments for a facial, I browsed the skincare (almost satirically called 'Plastic Smooth') and makeup sections.

I admit I lapsed into a spell of temporary insanity, and decided that regardless, I would buy something--anything--from Barbie, just so I could say I did. Er, yeah.

Anyway, the facial we were booked in for was pretty impressive. We were brought into a quiet, dimly lit double room where we could be together (I am a total and utter banana--I speak not a single word of Mandarin). There were plush white dressing gowns with the words 'Barbie' emblazoned across the back (in pink, naturally), fluffy white clean towels and even an en suite shower and toilet. We got changed, hopped on the tables, and were basically treated like princesses for the next hour.

Never has anyone, myself included, ever removed my eye makeup so lovingly and tenderly!

At Barbie, while they sell their own range of products, for the spa treatments we were told that they use some of their own products as well as salon-standard stuff. None of the products used smelled strongly or stung.

We had lavender essential oils (heh, I know Syen hates it) wafted over us to put us in a state of relaxation, after which we had our faces steamed, dabbed with creams and lotions, wiped clean, slapped on with a face mask and massaged.

All of this for RMB160, or about RM80. My cousin had taken up a package of 12 sessions with three of her other friends, which cost about RMB2,000 (RM1,000). They apparently do have promotions off and on, where you can get a full-body treatment and facial for around RMB450 (about RM225).

After the decadent treatment I popped outside to pick up some Barbie goodies. I picked up the All Doll'd Up compact powder in In the Spotlight and a lipstick in Golden Glam for RMB180 (RM90).

The powder contains talc, corn starch, Nylon-12 (Nylon?!), Dimethicone, Boron Nitride, Octyldodecyl Stearol Stearate, Methylparaben,Propylparaben, Iron Oxides and Chromium Oxide Greens (I actually don't know what I'm talking about, being a relative makeup noob). Gee, I actually put all that on my face?!

Anyway, I haven't actually busted out my compact yet (have hit pan on my MAC Studio Fix, so am wanting to finish that first), but I tried my cousin's, which is the exact same shade as mine.

Apologies for no swatches of the lipstick--I found that the colour is pretty true though, and shows up on my lips almost exactly as it looks. It's got lovely gold flecks in them--I'm not a huge huge fan of shimmery lippies, but this one actually looks pretty nice, and can be worn at work.

They girls at the counter initially suggested something in Barbie pink, and as unlikely as it sounds, I said no, because even I have my limits!

Funnily enough, there are not very many reviews on the grown-up Barbie makeup line. At least, not in English! Which is not surprising, considering (I think) the All Doll'd Up line is only available in Shanghai.

So if any of you makeup mavens head over to The Shangs, consider stopping by Barbie along Central Huaihai Road. If you're taking the Metro, stop at South Huangpi Station (or even South Shanxi Road) on Line 1, and it's a brisk 5-10 minute walk from there.

Even if you're not a huge fan of the original Plastic Fantastic, it's worth checking out, just so you can say you've been, if only for a laugh!


Paris B said...

LOL! I'd pass on this - Barbie sets my teeth on edge but I'm truly amazed 0_0 So all that Stila and MAC collabs were a farce when Barbie has its own line all along! :P

LyNn said...

ahhh i love barbie stuff!
missed it from mac cause i didnt use cosmetic back then
and then stila left before barbie collection came in i think.

too bad im going to beijing this year end not shanghai :(

Meldee said...

I think the All Doll'd Up line is pretty new! If I'm not mistaken it was only released this year. LOL. Well, it was certainly An Experience!

Lynn: LOL! Another excuse to go to back to China then!

Kahani said...

While I'm not sure if I could walk into the Barbie spa without bursting into flames, I'd actually rather dig getting a lippie in Barbie Pink. Just because it IS so tacky!

Tine said...

Holy moley. I would so go to a Barbie spa, just to see what it's like :P

Meldee said...

YAY TINE! You're sporting enough! :D

rinnah said...

OMgawsh... this is so interesting! I wanna go just for the heck of being able to say that I went to a Barbie Spa! =)

LyNn said...

haha i rarely go to the same country twice :(
i would love to learn more about their cosmetic range but the website has lil information :(

Meldee said...

Rinnah that's exactly right!

Lynn LOL lucky you...but fair enough I mean, there's heaps of ground to cover! :P And that's what I thought too, there's not a lot of information about the makeup line. Boo! Find a Chinese makeup mule?

★mariam badidu★ said...

Barbie!! :)