Wink Eco Beauty Bar: Green Glama Facial
602 Vanderbilt Ave at St. Marks Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-230-3443,winkbeautybar.com). 60-minute facial regularly $80. TONY deal Mention TONY when booking for 15 percent off any 60-minute facial or 20 percent off any facial-and-body-treatment combination through Mar 31.
For one serene hour, skin care specialist Marlene Melendez worked on restoring my winter-ravaged face with a lavender-infused moisturizer and all-natural products, including a rosewater tonic. After exfoliating my face and neck with a mixture of dry milk and cornmeal, Melendez removed the mixture with a warm towel and painlessly extracted the blackheads.
Best part: Melendez massaged my scalp and kneaded my shoulders, while a customized mask of white clay and honey purified my face.
Why it's worth it: My skin felt velvety well beyond the 24-hour mark.—Molly Gallagher
The Blind Barber: Men's shave
339 E 10th St between Aves A and B (212-228-2123, blindbarber.com). $30.
Since this Tompkins Square Park storefront doubles as a popular nightspot for bewhiskered (possibly intoxicated) hipsters, I was wary of stopping by in the evening and booked a Saturday-afternoon appointment instead. After prepping my face with hot and cold towels, Nick, a barber with a decade of experience, applied soothing preshave oil, then confidently scraped my face clean with a straight razor, finishing with a proprietary aftershave smoother.
Best part: The price includes a free signature cocktail or well drink, and quaffing a bourbon before or after adds an air of manliness to the whole thing.
Why it's worth it: It's hard to say what I enjoyed more: the slanting light coming in off the southern exposure or the cocktail-lounge turntable skipping at the end of side one of Born in the U.S.A.—Joshua Rothkopf
GC Salon and Spa: Instant Glow Facial
213 W 40th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves, second floor (212-750-0808,gcsalonandspa.com). $65.
Times Square is normally the last place I'd seek solace from the daily grind, but I'd make an exception for this 40-minute, lunchtime-appropriate experience. Using all-natural products from the house skin-care line, my aesthetician, Caroline Perera, cleansed, exfoliated, steamed and prodded my face until it was springy and blemish-free. Tech-savvy instruments—a coarse-bristled, motorized brush that buffed the skin and an electric wand used to seal pores—impressed even this jaded spa vet.
Best part: The goose-bump-inducing scalp massage that capped off the service instantly melted away any feelings of discomfort I experienced during the preceding extractions.
Why it's worth it: This express treatment is just as effective as the hour-long Deluxe Deep Cleansing facial ($100), which Perera says "just includes lots more extractions" (read: pain), meaning you can achieve a fresh-faced glow while saving both time and money.—Cristina Velocci
Soho Sanctuary: Sanctuary Signature Facial
119 Mercer St between Prince and Spring Sts, third floor (212-334-5550;sohosanctuary.com). $135.
In the seasonal battle of frigid weather versus my mug, Mother Nature was winning. Ace aesthetician Jessica Allen gently rejuvenated my dehydrated skin, administering cleansing milk, cleansing cream, a sensitive-skin mask, normalizing oil and moisturizer from the all-natural Dr.Hauschka product line. A light steaming, warm lavender compresses and a nearly pain-free extraction concluded the 60-minute session.
Best part: The crazy-good massage woven into the experience. Allen anointed my temples, face, neck and dcolletage with lush Dr.Hauschka creams, gently pushing on pressure points and lulling me into a placid state.
Why it's worth it: I emerged from the spa with skin so luminous I felt good strutting out on a Friday night completely barefaced.—Mari Uyehara
Julia March Integral Skin Care: Organic Bliss Facial
177 Prince Street between Sullivan and Thompson Sts, third floor (212-253-2242,juliamarchskincare.com). $180.
Originally from Slovakia, proprietor Julia March is a third-generation healer and licensed skin-care therapist whose bag of tricks includes Eastern European folk remedies, microdermabrasion, acupressure and Reiki. For this 75-minute session, the skin guru employed a face mask of oats, honey, seaweed and essential oils to erase to erase the effects of a brutal cold snap. As the mixture set, she focused on my pregnancy-ravaged feet; with such luxurious attention, I think I may have levitated. (All clients receive a neck, shoulder, arm and hand massage.)
Best part: March takes a holistic approach to skin care, customizing her facials to each client based on a lengthy diagnostic questionnaire. In my case, she used a variety of natural concoctions (many homemade) that exfoliated, zapped blemishes and soothed eczema I didn't even know I had.
Why it's worth it: Three days later, my skin had yet to return to its characteristic dryness, and my makeup use plummeted.—Amanda MacBlane