NYC's best at-home services
You don't need to brave the cold to get pampered with the help of these mobile salons.
Fri Dec 9 2011
Illustration: Anke Weckmann
Cheek to Chic
After spending time behind NARS, Bobbi Brown and Armani cosmetic counters, makeup artist Raychel Wade became frustrated with the lack of available beauty guidance and launched this mobile makeup service in 2002 to help clueless consumers. Give Wade, who mainly works in Manhattan but will travel farther for a fee ($30--$50), two weeks' notice for an at-home makeup-boot-camp experience, in which she'll inform you about the best products to use based on your lifestyle and skill set, and how use them. During Makeup 101 ($225), Wade gives beauty novices a thorough makeup-application lesson by demonstrating each step on half of their face and then having customers repeat it on the other half. She also cleans out product junkies' arsenals during Makeup Bag Rx ($275), in which she tosses purchases that are past their prime, teaches you how to properly use what remains and recommends new products to round out your newly purged collection. Everyone walks away with a complimentary face chart, detailing where and how to apply makeup, with a list of specific items Wade suggests you buy. TONY DEAL Mention TONY to receive 10 percent off any service through December 23. 646-319-6141, cheektochic.com.
Just because it's bleak and blustery outside doesn't mean your skin can't look sun-kissed. Owner Tamar Vezirian, who founded this mobile spray-tanning company in 2005, will help you get a bronze glow without even stepping into the light of day. Although Gotham Glow recently opened a brick-and-mortar salon in the Flatiron District (1123 Broadway between 25th and 26th Sts, suite 1111; 212-592-0368; by appointment only), Vezirian and her three technicians still accept house calls throughout Manhattan with at least a week's notice, and will travel to the other boroughs for a fee ($25--$150). All you need to do to prep is take a hot shower and exfoliate your entire body with a loofah, concentrating on the elbows, knees, feet and neck area. A technician will set up a portable tent in your pad and give you a natural-looking glimmer ($130--$200) in 15 minutes flat (including drying time!) using a special airbrush technique that prevents patches and streaking. Gotham Glow relies on an FDA-approved solution made from beets, brown sugar and an active DHA ingredient that reacts with your skin's amino acids to create a believable tone that lasts five to ten days. 646-397-4438, gothamglow.com.
Hair Room Service
Founded by celebrity hair stylist Michael Dueas, this two-year-old mobile salon will get you red-carpet ready for any event. Dueas's team of top-notch groomers—available in Manhattan and Brooklyn, but willing to travel anywhere else for a fee ($150--$300)—usually hop off a magazine cover shoot and go straight to your door, ready to trim your tresses (men $85--$200, women $125--$250), blow-dry your locks ($85--$200), create an updo ($125--$300) or even show you how to set your curly hair ($85--$200). But don't let the name of this collective fool you: There are also makeup artists, who can doll you up ($125--$400 per hour) for a night out, shape your eyebrows ($45--$65) and teach you how to apply the proper cosmetics for your skin during an at-home lesson ($200--$350 per hour); and a stylist, Andre Austin (he's worked with Kanye West and Britney Spears), who will clean out your wardrobe and put together new outfits with the keepers during a closet-revamp session ($150 per hour, two-hour minimum). Although it's recommended that you book an appointment 48 hours in advance, this flexible team can also accommodate last-minute requests. TONY DEAL Mention TONY for 15 percent off all services (except wedding parties) through January 31. 866-222-7566, hairroomservice.com.
Visiting a high-end spa has its perks, but Harper Monroe owners Stacey Scott and Andre Dunn (who hold full-time jobs in retail management and accounting, respectively) aim to create that same calming ambiance in your bedroom through the mobile salon and spa they launched in March 2011. The company's two stylists, who travel throughout all five boroughs for a fee ($10--$40), will arrive at your home equipped with aromatic candles, essential oils and relaxing spa music, ready to provide an exhaustive list of treatments using only grade-A products. Expect Moroccanoil for blowouts ($35--$70) and hairstyling ($35--$2,000); iLike Organic skin care made from organically grown and handpicked herbs, fruits and vegetables for facials ($115--$150); and La Bella Donna mineral cosmetics for makeup applications (one hour $50--$110). The technicians even use a hard, less-painful wax when removing hair ($10--$100) from sensitive areas. The next time you're feeling indulgent, clear your schedule for a half-day (three hours $300) or full-day (six hours, $500) customizable spa package, which includes a manicure, pedicure, facial, massage, and lunch of sandwiches, salad, fruit and pastries (you'll also get a body wrap, blowout and wine with the latter option). TONY DEAL Mention TONY to receive 20 percent off any service valued at $100 or more through January 30. 347-460-3228, harpermonroe.com.
Before launching his roving eyebrow-shaping service in 2009, makeup artist and trained aesthetician Joey Healy worked on the sales side for beauty brands such as Shu Uemura, Kevyn Aucoin and Chantecaille. Book an appointment three to seven days in advance, and Healy will meet you at your home, office or hotel suite in Manhattan for a personal shaping consultation ($85), during which he'll use a precise tweeze-and-trim technique, as well as items from his own line of products ($20--$125), such as two-in-one eyebrow brushes ($20) and luxe brow powders ($28). He'll also walk you through his process step-by-step, so you can maintain your arches between appointments. Whip your brows into further shape by tinting or lightening them ($70 each, $50 when booked with eyebrow shaping). Healy also offers personalized makeup lessons (two hours $350), which cover cosmetic cornerstones, such as how to use basic brushes, determining which colors complement your complexion and hair color, and how to keep your skin blemish free. 917-288-3548, joeyhealy.com.
Although Candace Caswell launched her traveling service in February 2011 with busy moms in mind, anyone can benefit from some one-on-one time with her team of so-called Pamper Specialists, who journey throughout Manhattan, northwest Brooklyn (Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Dumbo, Prospect Heights) and parts of Queens (Astoria and Forest Hills) seven days a week from 9am to 8pm. You don't need to supply anything except 24 hours' notice for the wide-ranging services, including manicures ($55--$65), pedicures ($70--$85), haircuts ($150), blowouts ($80), makeup application ($125--$150), eyelash extensions ($185--$300), facials ($140--$165), and full-body massages ($95--$190) performed on a foam mat, table or in a chair. There's no minimum fee, but we still think it's worth it to spring for extra-indulgent treatments such as a 24-karat-gold antiaging facial ($165) or a Pampered Mama mani-pedi ($150), which includes a foot soak of pure milk powder and whole Calendula flower, a few coats of nontoxic RGB polish and a relaxing neck massage while your digits dry. TONY DEAL Mention TONY to receive 10 percent off any service or package through January 30. 646-801-6262, mamamanicures.com.
Financial analyst Tiffany Sullivan launched this mobile manicure ($65--$120) and pedicure ($85--$115) service in October 2011 to soothe the hands and feet of time-starved New Yorkers. For a minimum of $65 and with at least 24 hours' notice, one of Sullivan's three technicians will travel to your pad in any of the five boroughs, equipped with all-natural products from WoodSprite Organic Body. It's seamless to book an appointment online for services such as a basic Gypsy manicure ($65), which includes an exfoliating hand scrub and a calming massage, or custom Japanese nail art ($120) that uses Bio Sculpture gel to create 3-D embellishments. Prep your dogs for sandal-filled winter vacations with the Used and Abused Footsies treatment ($105), in which a technician will mist your throbbing feet with a revitalizing antiseptic spray, chisel away at calluses for 20 minutes, press hot stones against your soles and legs, and paint your toes with one of three OPI polishes (one that you preselect on the site and two backup alternatives). Nail Gypsy brings all of the necessary equipment, right down to UV lights for properly drying CND Shellac gel manicures ($80). All you need to provide is a flat surface for the nail tech to work on and chairs. TONY DEAL Mention TONY to receive a Gypsy Pedicure for $77 (normally $85) or 20 percent off any combination package through January 15. 718-230-3220, nailgypsy.com.
The Pod Spa
Owner Amalia De Mier is best known for being the first person in the U.S. to operate an Oxy Pod, a light bed that is said to help you lose weight, remove cellulite and scars, and to tighten skin using NASA's LED technology. While the innovative machine is a cornerstone to both of her Upper East Side spas (5 E 59th St between Fifth and Madison Aves, eighth floor * 635 Madison Ave between 59th and 60th Sts), don't expect her to lug the apparatus on house calls, which she started offering throughout Manhattan in March 2011 (a $25 travel fee applies for destinations more than 10 miles away from the brick-and-mortar locations). Rest assured that she offers plenty of other mobile treatments that are just as unusual, such as a Magnetic Mud facial ($50), which uses a mask mixed with tiny magnets to pull dirt, toxins and blackheads from your pores without any poking or prodding. Soften stretch marks, improve cellulite and alleviate hyperpigmentation with a CO2-gel mask ($50--$75) for the body or face; slough off dry skin with an intensive body scrub ($20--$65) made from Dead Sea salts that's wiped away with a moisturizing towelette soaked in natural oils; or help kick a nasty habit with hypnosis sessions ($250--$300). If they all sound intriguing, keep in mind you may be able to try a few—there's a $150 service minimum. Make an appointment one to two weeks in advance, although notice is all you'll need to provide—the team will show up with massage tables, sauna blankets, portable oxygen generators and any other necessary equipment. 201-994-7058, thepodspa.com.
There's practically nothing you can't have done in the comfort of your own home with the help of this on-site salon, spa and fitness company, founded by AnnaBelle Koffler and Jass Babin in 2010. For a $75 minimum and two hours' notice, Primp In-Home will dispatch a massage therapist (Thai, Swedish, shiatsu, deep-tissue or reflexology massage; 60 minutes, $195), makeup artist (full-face application $225), hair stylist (blowout $175), waxer ($20--$125), nail technician (manicure $75, pedicure $125) or facialist ($200) to your Manhattan abode, hotel or office. We especially love that you can even get a body scrub ($200) or keratin hair-smoothing treatment ($500) delivered to your door, but the offerings extend well beyond beauty. If you'd rather work up a sweat, personal trainers are also on call for Pilates (one hour, $175), strength training (one hour, $175) and meditation sessions (30 minutes $75). To help you stay healthy, enlist the help of wellness chef Karen Lee, who can cater a well-balanced meal ($85 per hour, six-hour minimum) in your kitchen. TONY DEAL Mention TONY for 10 percent off all services through January 1. 212-217-6038, primpinhome.com.
Styled by Jen
If a posh, intimidating hair salon isn't your scene, San Francisco native Jen Washburn (who got her start coiffing manes and adorning faces in the theater industry) can cut your locks (men $20--$30, women $45--$55) in more welcoming, familiar environs: your own pad. Inspired by Dolly Parton's beautician character in Steel Magnolias, Truvy Jones, Washburn runs a fully functioning salon in her Astoria apartment, but she didn't start making house calls until January 2011. For a $30 travel fee (plus reimbursement for fares and tolls) and a $50 service minimum, Washburn will come to your abode to give you single-process color (men $50, women $60), highlights (men $30, women $55--$120), blowouts ($25--$35) and deep-conditioning treatments ($35). But her services aren't limited to follicles: Washburn will also paint your face ($40--$100) using MAC products and revamp your wardrobe ($20 per hour, three-hour minimum) by styling items you already own. TONY DEAL Mention TONY to receive 10 percent off services more than $60 through January 15. 917-660-3420, styledbyjen.com.