Finding a good facialist is kind of like finding a good partner: Most of us have to shop around a little before we settle on “the one.” And, much like bad relationships, bad facials can leave us with scars, burns, and a deflated sense of self-esteem.
For that reason, personal recommendation is easily the most desired way to book a facial; you want to make sure you’re in trusted, capable hands — you know, the kind that can extract without causing a flinch, that will leave you pink (not beet red!) after a good peel, or give you the glow you want all year round.
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Ahead, a few of our favorite beauty-obsessed New Yorkers share who they trust with their flawless visages. Have your own no-longer-secret recommendation? Tell us in the comments!
Photo: Courtesy of Sadick Dermatology.
For celebrity makeup artist Beau Nelson, good skin is an integral part of the job. After all, it’s what his A-list clients (like Kristen Stewart and Nicole Richie) are inspecting while he’s getting up close and personal with them in the chair.
Nelson regularly visits Luzinete at Sadick Dermatology on the Upper East Side. “I get the deep-cleansing facial and the AHA treatment,” he says. “Luzinete is gentle and efficient, and the service leaves my skin clean and glowing for weeks,” which is crucial, considering he’s constantly hopping between coasts for work.
Sadick Dermatology, 911 Park Avenue (at East 80th Street); 212-772-7242.
Photo: Courtesy of Caudalie Vinothérapie.
Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa
Makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen works with some of the most legendary fashion photographers of our time. So, it’s no surprise that all of the images she’s helped create have one common thread: perfect, luminous skin.
The artist herself has an immaculate complexion sans foundation, due in part to her diligent facial routine…but also thanks to where she gets her facials done.
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“I love Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa at The Plaza Hotel in New York City,” she says. “I get a facial there called Vinosculpt 50, which involves a low-electric-current massage to give the face a visible lift. It really works!”
While there, she also picks up the brand’s Vinoperfect Day Perfecting Cream: “It’s wonderfully smooth, not greasy or oily, and it has an illuminating quality.”
Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa at The Plaza Hotel, 768 Fifth Avenue (at East 58th Street); 212-759-3000.
Photo: Courtesy of Red Door Spa.
Red Door Spa
Felicia Walker Benson is the editor-in-chief behind This That Beauty, as well as Bergdorf Goodman’s genius social-media editor. It is therefore her job to be in-the-know about where exactly to go and what exactly to get done.
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“I’m currently defying all signs of aging with Red Door Spa’s signature Advanced Brightening Facial,” she says. “Rachel, at their Garden City location, is my ‘glow-to’ girl. With just one session, my skin is visibly brighter and infinitely more radiant. Like, angels actually appear afterwards! It’s packed with loads of vitamins and antioxidants, so it’s awesome for targeting hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tones.”
Red Door Spa, multiple locations.
Photo: Courtesy of SB Skin.
Sally Hansen global color ambassador Madeline Poole is one of the coolest girls in the beauty biz. And, considering she’s worked with just about every beauty editor, stylist, makeup artist, and hair guru in New York City, it comes as no surprise that her facialist is the kind of cult favorite you only hear about through word of mouth.
“I go to Shamara Bondaroff,” Poole says. “Everything is as natural as it can be, her creams smell amazing, and she uses rosewater and homemade tinctures. Her facials are so relaxing, I can fall asleep.”
In Bondaroff’s bed, Poole gets microcurrent facials, “a non-invasive rejuvenation of the muscles in the face. I’m not sure if I’m unlucky or if it’s because I squint all day looking at tiny fingernails, but I’ve developed some premature wrinkles. This is the best and most holistic way to soften the tension.”
SB Skin, 289 Seventh Avenue, #4; 917-273-7374.
Photo: Courtesy of Ildi Pekar.
Ildi Pekar Skin Care
Makeup legend Rose-Marie Swift, founder of cult brand RMS Beauty, is known for being very particular about what she puts on her face. (Hence, the reason her line is filled with delicious ingredients like coconut and jojoba oils, rosemary extract, and beeswax.) So, whoever is touching her face on a regular basis must be up to her high standards.
“I see Ildi Pekar for her Refine Facial and Creative Fitness Sessions for body,” Swift says. “She also has a brand-new organic skincare line that she’s been working on for years that she uses during her procedures. She’s also the only one in New York with a new fitness machine that uses electrical pulses.”
Ildi Pekar Skin Care, 315 Madison Avenue (at 42nd Street), #2600; 212-682-6080.
Photo: Courtesy of Joanna Vargas.
Vargas may have a slew of clients across the country (like Hollywood leading ladies Julianne Moore and Naomi Watts), but she’s garnered a cult-like following from New York celebs like super-stylist Kate Young and fitness guru Taryn Toomey. “I go to see Joanna as often as I can,” Young says. “I totally relax when I’m with her, and it makes an incredible difference in my skin. People really notice — it’s totally effective.”
“Joanna has a gift,” Toomey adds. “She non-invasively lifts and revives layers of your face you didn’t know you had lost.”
Her signature treatment, the Triple Crown Facial, rings in at $400 for an hour. It’s a micro-current facial, segmented into three steps, that literally enhances the contours of your face, draining puffiness and enhancing elasticity.
Joanna Vargas, 501 Fifth Avenue (at 42nd Street); 212-949-2350.
Photo: Courtesy of Georgia Louise
British aesthetician Georgia Louise is an East Coast favorite among beauty insiders (Gucci Westman is a client) and actresses (Emma Stone, Jennifer Aniston, and Linda Evangelista are reportedly clients, too) alike.
We understand why: Her signature Lift and Sculpt facial helps to do just that, and all of her treatments are geared toward naturally lifting cheekbones and brows, de-puffing and brightening the face, and softening fine lines and wrinkles through deep-tissue massage, micro-current treatments, and more.
Georgia Louise, 114 East 71st Street (near Park Avenue), #1E; 212-472-1400.
Photo: Courtesy of Heyday.
If you’re looking to take the hassle and expense out of choosing, booking, and committing to a two-hour monthly facial, Heyday is your godsend.
The menu offers up two (and two only) facial options (one 30-minutes, the other 50), to help avoid the anxiety that comes with picking from a never-ending treatment list, one can only assume. And, they’ll only set you back $95, at the most.
Heyday, 1130 Broadway; 646-869-3601.
By: Phillip Picardi.