Spa treatments by purpose
Where to relax, recharge, detox, soothe winter skin and more.
Mon Jan 23 2012
Photograph: Courtesy Dermalogica
Benefit Boutique Soho: Eyebrow Waxing and Tinting
454 West Broadway between W Houston and Prince Sts (212-769-1111, benefitcosmetics.com). Wax $23, tint $20.
As a naturally bushy-faced gal, I've tried my fair share of waxes. This modern and feminine take on the old-school barbershop was a refreshing change. Instead of being sequestered in a side room to bear the treatment in private, I was seated at the communal Brow Bar. The vanities—along with bright lights, glam-girl decor and upbeat music—created a clubby vibe, while the ultrasensitive wax meant no wincing or tears. For the tinting, my aesthetician, Nicky Cayot, mixed a custom color that perfectly highlighted and glossed my dark hair.
Best part: It took only seven minutes for my Sasquatch-like brows to be waxed, shaped and tweezed, and I was in and out of the boutique in well under half an hour.
Why it's worth it: Every eyebrow treatment ends with a makeup application that incorporates Benefit's popular face and lip tint. I didn't have to hide any postwaxing puffiness, and my entire face looked twice as good as when I'd arrived.—Meg Rushton
Bliss Spas: Oxygen Blast
Locations throughout city; visit blissworld.com for more info. $85. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking this treatment to receive a free body butter through Feb 12.
My aesthetician, Emmie Zaharia (a Bliss vet of nine years), first cleared my face of makeup before analyzing my weary skin with a magnifying glass. She then exfoliated my face with a fruit acid wash and followed that with a heavenly head massage. Afterward, she slathered on a thick Declor balm to hydrate and calm my skin, using a series of strokes, pulls and finger flutters to activate blood circulation for a fresh-faced look.
Best part: Each session ends with a vitamin-packed regenerating oxygen mist, which feels like a gentle airbrushing and left my skin feeling smoother and looking brighter.
Why it's worth it: The treatment is a perfect, quick pick-me-up for battling winter winds—my skin was clear and hydrated for days afterward.—Samantha Vance
Dermalogica Soho: MicroZone Eye Rescue
110 Grand St between Broadway and Mercer St (212-219-9800, dermalogica.com). $35. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking to receive a Dermalogica Amenity Pack (samples worth $20) when you book any treatment, and to receive 10 percent off any treatment through Feb 29.
As with all of the brand's treatments, this service begins with a brief consultation and thorough Face Mapping. Skin therapist Melissa Contaste examined every inch of my mug to determine that my tired eyes are hereditary but also caused by a lack of moisture. After cleansing the eye area, Melissa used soft, long stokes to exfoliate, then blasted steam onto my visage to help soften the skin and open follicles. For my personalized service, Contaste used Dermalogica's professionals-only (you can buy a similar version in-store) Age Smart Complex for a massage that helped alleviate puffiness and brighten my eyes.
Best part: Each service is individually tailored to your skin's needs. At the end of my 20-minute treatment, a customized mask was applied as I relaxed in an oversized leather chair.
Why it's worth it: It's a perfect lunchtime pick-me-up; you can return to work feeling refreshed and without any redness or blotchiness.—Rachel LeWinter
D'mai Urban Spa: D'mai Spa Manicure
157 Fifth Ave between Lincoln and St Johns Pls, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-398-2100, dmaiurbanspa.com). $30. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking or at time of appointment for 20 percent off all treatments through Feb 24.
This nail-chomper's gnarled tips are a challenge for many manicurists, but the spa's sole nail technician, Martha Guaman, didn't blink an eye at my half-scratched-off, half-chipped polish job. Instead, she methodically repaired the damage by filing, soaking, moisturizing and oiling my hands, finishing the treatment with a sugar-ginger scrub and a quick coat of polish. Animal lovers take note: D'mai exclusively uses vegan products from SpaRitual.
Best part: Martha let me keep the mini bottle of formaldehyde- and toluene-free polish so I could do touch-ups at home and hopefully avoid the first chip that often leads to a nail-biting binge.
Why it's worth it: The vegan polish takes longer to dry than other polishes, but after a stint in the nail radiator, the manicure was so solid that my winter gloves didn't even make a dent. My nails remained unchipped (and unbitten!) for almost a full week.—Sharyn Jackson