Bon Bon Salon & Spa
Winter is tough on my combination skin, which plagues me with superdry cheeks and a very oily forehead. Even so, I felt hopeful as I entered this new uptown location of Bliss Spa. My aesthetician, Irina Chern, examined my grit-filled pores and blemishes, and asked me precise questions about my daily skin-care routine. Her expertise allowed her to pinpoint underlying causes of distress that I’d never connected to my mug’s sometimes erratic behavior; for instance, my salicylic-acid face wash is fine to use in the summer, when my skin is greasier, but it’s overly drying in the winter. Once the assessment concluded, she proceeded with cleansing and exfoliation—both of which employed the brand’s balancing Fabulous products—followed by extractions and an oxygen mask that felt like a fuzzy cloud resting on my face. Not only did I leave with a refreshed countenance, but I gained important insight on how to keep it looking great year-round. $125.
Nails on 54th: Hot Chocolate manicure
Once cold weather hits, the only thing I want to do is drink hot chocolate all day, which is exactly what led me to try this indulgent treatment. The salon’s exterior gave me pause—it’s on the second floor of a nondescript building—but Riva TK’s expert mani assuaged any concerns. After attentively buffing, shaping and snipping my digits to photo-worthy status, she instructed me to dunk my hands into the chocolate-smelling paraffin wax three times, then covered them with plastic wrap and heated gloves for ten minutes. When she unwrapped the swaddling and finished painting my nails, my paws felt softer than I could ever remember. And although having wax on my fingers felt odd at first, I loved that the cocoa smell lingered for hours. $22. 212-223-0650, nailson54th.com
Bon Bon Salon & Spa: 3-Step Intense Repair hair treatment
Admittedly, I have a penchant for serial hair coloring: I love changing my look, but the repeated dyeing wreaks havoc on my mane, resulting in dry, brittle strands. This luxe yet surprisingly quick treatment did a 180 on my ravaged tresses in only ten minutes. Following a thorough shampooing, several staffers applied four different aromatherapy masks in a row (orange-and-grapefruit, lemon-and-lime, rose-and-jasmine, grapefruit-and-rose), which coated my distressed strands with vitamin B and other essential nutrients. The whole process felt both sumptuous and efficient, even with the final blow-dry, and it left my hair incredibly soft to the touch. $60. 212-286-5300, bon-bon.com
I immediately felt my body relax once I settled into this dimly lit oasis and sipped a glass of apple-slice–spiked water. As I lay on Karil Garcia’s massage table and let her hands work their magic in a eucalyptus-scented room, I felt the world disappear. Over the course of the nearly hour-long reprieve, she worked the knots out of my body and surprised me by massaging spots I never thought required attention (like the palms of my hands). My senses gradually came back to me as I readied myself to return to the world, and I felt more prepared to handle any hazards the city was going to throw my way. $125. Mention TONY when booking the Signature massage (a combination of Swedish, aromatherapy and hot stones) for $110 (regularly $150).