Woodley and Bunny
Take a break from knocking off all those Billyburg spots on our 100 best restaurants list and enjoy some calorie-free treats at spas in NYC in this Brooklyn hood. There are a few salons for splurges on the list, so brush up on your spa etiquette so you don’t go acting a fool.
RECOMMENDED: New York spas guide 2013
Williamsburg Beauty Spa: Signature facial
After a month of holiday eating, a week’s worth of New Year’s partying and hardly any beauty sleep, my skin was as dull and dry as the weather. Fortunately, spa owner Gosia Bawol had a remedy. She started by gently cleansing and exfoliating my face with a sweet-smelling strawberry-rhubarb scrub, followed by an invigorating lime mask. As she administered the concoctions, Bawol explained that all the products are “straight from Mother Nature” and incorporate fruit- and veggie-based ingredients. After grueling (but worthwhile) extractions, she used a Clarisonic cleansing brush to buff the surface of my skin. Bawol followed up with a transcendent massage, tending to every crevice of my face and neck with slow, smooth movements that worked in tune to the soothing music playing. She ended by slathering some cool, natural collagen onto my eyelids and ended with a gentle scrub and moisturizer. Regularly $111. Mention TONY when booking and get 20% off this service through Feb 24. 347-799-1221, williamsburgbeautyspa.com
Primp and Polish: Spa manicure and pedicure
After my manicurist, Yang Ping, eased me into a lavish black leather chair, I slipped my feet into the tub, where a thick, massaging substance instantly quelled the aching in my feet. The goo, as it turns out, was smashed-crystal foot powder that created a thick, aloe-like gel, which moisturizes while reducing foot sweat and odor. Yang slathered a warming scrub on my calves and feet, followed by a creamy Raw Earth Volcanic Clay mask, before wrapping my legs in plastic wrap and rubbing fresh-cut, naturally detoxifying lemons on my toes. A hot stone rub came next, followed by five minutes of additional massage. Yang then let me swipe through her mobile library of nail art to get inspiration for my tootsies. (Peep their Instagram account, @primp189, to preview their designs.) The spa manicure used similar products and procedures, and though I didn’t have the guts for a bold design, Yang meticulously applied the Big Apple Red gel polish (gel costs an extra $18) that remained glossy and chip-free for a full two weeks. Regularly $59 (Mon–Wed 10am–4pm). Mention TONY when booking to receive this deal seven days a week through Jan 30. 718-599-1949, primpandpolish.com
Woodley and Bunny: Christophe Robin regenerating mask
This apothecary and salon may be one of the most high-end beauty places in the ’hood, but the splurge is worth every penny. The window-walled downstairs lair is brimming with hair products, makeup stations and more. While I scanned the chalkboard bar menu, colorist Whitney Scott examined my hair from root to tip. “It always seems dull and damaged,” I whined, but she assured me that this treatment would load my locks with bounce and shine, while also providing nourishment to my scalp. She lightly wetted my hair (the treatment can also be applied to dry hair, typically when it’s extra-damaged), then softly massaged a prickly-pear cream onto my scalp and through to my ends. I sat under the heater for about ten minutes with a towel around my hair before Scott gently rinsed the potion and blow-dried my ’do. The ultimate test came the next day, when left to my own devices: My blow-dry process seemed much less labor-intensive, and my silky hair caught every beam of light. $130, includes blowout and style. 718-218-6588, woodleyandbunny.com
Massage, poke, stretch, twist—all of these techniques were used on my body during this 90-minute massage. Founder and owner David Greenhouse employed his hands, hot stones and warm towels to dispense controlled, circular movements to smooth every crick from top to toe, including the most tender and wretched knots in my back. Some parts hurt like hell, but the sense of elongation that followed each moment of pressure assured me that my muscles were grateful for the relief. After he finished by quietly sounding a traditional Tibetan singing bowl, I slowly made my way to my feet, hazy but relaxed, and headed home for what proved to be one of the best nights of sleep I’ve had in months. Regularly $200. Mention TONY when booking to receive 20% off all massage services through Feb 10.