New Kimono Studio Experience In Singapore Has Sakura-Themed Backdrops, Makeup & Hairstyling

New Kimono Studio Experience In Singapore Has Sakura-Themed Backdrops, Makeup & Hairstyling

Lifestyle Photography Activities & Events
By Rachel on 31 May 2022
Senior Digital Editor

Missed cherry blossom season in Japan yet again, or didn’t manage to get good photos at Gardens by the Bay’s sakura display no thanks to the heavy crowds (and the need for mask-wearing)? Don’t worry, your chance to get those dreamy snapshots with pretty pastel blooms isn’t over, for there’s a new kimono studio experience in Singapore complete with Japanese-style backdrops that include sakura decor - available for the next 6 months or so. Here’s our review.

P.S.: Read on for details on how to score a free Sakura Makeover session! 

Kimono studio Singapore 123 ChiChaPhoto from GirlStyle Singapore

This kimono experience is by themed selfie studio 123 ChiCha, which opened in late 2021. What was previously their gothic corner and angelic cloud backdrop have since made way for Japanese-style elements, including wooden screen doors, paper lanterns, and a life-sized cherry blossom tree.

Kimono studio Singapore 123 ChiChaPhoto from GirlStyle Singapore

For the uninitiated: Being a selfie studio, 123 ChiCha has all the equipment you need to snap your own photos in their 20-over IG-worthy zones, including ring lights, softbox lighting, and even stands to prop your phone up. This means that going alone will be no problemo.

Kimono studio Singapore 123 ChiChaPhoto from GirlStyle Singapore

That said, it’s always more fun going with a friend, so feel free to invite your bestie along to share the joy - or even engage your own professional photographer. For this experience, I chose to book @xanthe.sg, who specialises in ethereal-looking portraits.

Sakura Makeover at 123 ChiCha

Kimono studio Singapore 123 ChiChaPhoto from GirlStyle Singapore

First things first: You’ll want to look the part, and that can easily be achieved with studio’s yukatas, which you get to don for free - along with any of their other outfits and costumes - as part of your entry fee. Currently, there are 2 designs to choose from - an elegant white one with pink and red flowers, and a more colourful option with matsuri vibes. I chose the latter.

You’ll also be given free reign of their makeup bar, along with accessories like hair clips and earrings. In order to have a more pampering experience, I opted for their Sakura Makeover, which includes makeup and hairstyling by the staff.

Kimono studio Singapore 123 ChiChaPhoto from GirlStyle Singapore

The makeup is specifically done in a way that suits the whole springtime kimono getup - think sweet pink and orange tones. That said, everyone’s makeup will vary as the final look would depend on individual preferences and what suits your features best.

While I’m someone who typically likes doing my own makeup, I really loved the sparkly eyeshadow that the friendly staff member on duty did for me. When I requested for thicker eyeliner with winged corners, she dutifully complied, making sure that everything was precise and even. The hairstyle was very much to my liking too, and she took into consideration the fact that I like having my hair loose around my shoulders, as opposed to updos like buns.

Kimono studio Singapore 123 ChiChaPhoto from @xanthe.sg

My only gripe is that the base makeup was way too pale for my skin, which resulted in an unnatural ghostliness. This was rectified with a heavy dusting of bronzer and some clever lighting work by the skilled @xanthe.sg, but if you are similarly tanned or dark-skinned, I’d strongly suggest bringing your own foundation, as their range of shades is very limited.

Sakura studio theme at 123 ChiCha

Kimono studio Singapore 123 ChiChaPhoto from @xanthe.sg

There are at least 3 photo spots within 123 ChiCha’s Japanese-themed zone: 1) The sakura tree 2) A nook with a coffee table in front of a shoji screen 3) The opposite wall, which has a different screen in front of a wall with cottony cloud decor. The space isn’t huge, but there are more than enough props and decorative elements to provide variety in your shots. These come in the form of a folding fan and paper scroll.

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One curious thing we noticed, however, was that the scroll was in Chinese rather than Japanese - and no, it can’t pass off as kanji. What you can do to make this confusing mix-up of cultures less obvious is to make use of aperture so that the writing appears blur in your pictures. Alternatively, you can remove the scroll from your shots altogether. Feel free to shift the props and furniture around to get your desired look!

Kimono studio Singapore 123 ChiChaPhoto from @xanthe.sg

We’d recommend bringing a wider camera lens or using the wide-angle mode on your smartphone’s camera in order to be able to capture the sakura flowers dangling from above. Some of the petals would have inadvertently fallen off the tree, but you can use those loose pieces to your advantage by holding them up between your fingers to pose.

Try having your photographer hold some sakura sprigs in front of the camera for a dreamier look!

Kimono studio Singapore 123 ChiChaPhoto from @xanthe.sg

On site is also a sunset lamp, which will add a lovely warm glow to all your photos.

Complimentary Sakura Makeup at 123ChiCha

Kimono studio Singapore 123 ChiChaPhoto from 123 ChiCha

As a reward for reading till this far, here’s a little promo specially for GirlStyle readers. Simply quote “GirlStyle” upon making your booking with 123 ChiCha via Instagram DM or WhatsApp, and you’ll be able to redeem a complimentary Sakura Makeover session worth $90! This is valid for any selfie booking, for the first 20 GirlStyle readers only.

If you’re not proficient in selfie-taking and don’t have anyone to help you, you can also opt for 123 ChiCha’s professional sakura photoshoot service - running from now till 30 June 2022 only. For $198, this includes everything from the makeover to photography and edited photos.

This Japanese-style sakura backdrop will be available at 123 ChiCha for 6 months, so book your session before it gets switched up to a different theme!

Rates at 123 ChiCha

Kimono studio Singapore 123 ChiChaPhoto from @xanthe.sg

123 ChiCha’s rates start from ~$15.60 per person per hour, but this varies depending on the number of hours you’ve booked, and the number of people you’re going with. The longer your session and the more friends you’ve got in tow, the cheaper it gets! Your photographer or Instagram boyfriend can enter at $10/hour if they’re only tagging along to help instead of being in the pictures.

Good news: Your entry fees allows you free access to all the other themes in the studio as well, so you won't just be limited to the Japanese theme. Check out 123 ChiCha's full list of packages here.

Note: The portraits of our Editor shot by @xanthe.sg are not to be reproduced on any other publications, websites, and social media accounts.

123 ChiCha
Address: ​​110 Lorong 23 Geylang, #03-07 Victory Center, Singapore 388410
Opening hours: 24 hours
Telephone: 9029 4733
Website

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