Net Savings is a regular series in which we spotlight businesses and services that accept mobile payment methods like online banking, Alipay, WeChat Wallet, and Baidu Wallet to help you get the most out of life in Beijing.
How many times have you sat around with a kid or a girlfriend at home thinking “You know what would make this better? A manicure.” Well, this is China and there’s an app for that.
My esthetician recently told me about a company called Helijia that offers on-demand manicures and pedicures, facials, eyelash treatments, hair styling, and other beauty treatments. Once you book and pay for an appointment through the app (available for iPhone and Android), a Helijia manicurist comes and does your nails in the comfort of your own home.
The app is pretty easy to use even if you don’t understand Chinese. To book an appointment, first select a category on the home screen: 美容 (waxing, facials, and massages), 美神 (nails and eyelashes), 美妆美发 (hair and makeup), and 健身教练 (personal trainers and yoga teachers).
The final category, 高颜值, contains a grab bag of discounted services and classes such as coffee barista classes, moxibustion, concert tickets, and henna.
Say you want to book a manicure. Tap 美神. Narrow down your choices by manicure type (简约 for simple color, 彩绘 for patterns, or 法式 for French nails) or start browsing selections by scrolling down.
When you see something you like, tap on it. The screen will show any current promotions, how much time the manicure will take (100 minutes), and how long the manicure should last (20 days). You can also save the selection for later browsing (收藏) or contact the manicurist (联系). To book the manicure, tap the pink button (购买).
On the booking screen, you’ll need to specify a time and date for the appointment and your address in Chinese.
Under time and date, any entries in black are available and any entries in gray are already booked.
The last step is payment. Helijia accepts WeChat Wallet, Alipay, Baidu Wallet, and online banking. You can also pre-pay money to your Helijia account using any of these payment methods.
There are some family-friendly services on Helijia, including kids’ haircuts starting from RMB 58, parent-child haircuts starting from RMB 99, and couples’ hatha yoga lessons starting from RMB 268.
Coincidentally, Helijia is running a promotion until midnight tonight. Spend RMB 100 and get RMB 30 off, spend RMB 200 and get RMB 100 off, or spend RMB 500 and get RMB 200 off on selected services.
Sijia Chen is a contributing editor at beijingkids and a freelance writer specializing in parenting, education, travel, environment, and culture. Her work has appeared in The Independent, Midnight Poutine, Rover Arts, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @sijiawrites or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by chloemiriam (Flickr), screenshots by Sijia Chen