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 unhappy, dissatisfied, and maybe a little emotionally scarred from the experience.
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 breaking the skin, that will leave you pleasantly pink (not beet red!) after a good peel, or give you the glow you want all year round. Ahead, a few beauty-obsessed New Yorkers share who they trust with their flawless faces. Sofie Pavitt Skincare Studio
To a non-New Yorker, the tiny, nondescript walkup at 179 Canal Street might seem foreboding, but downtown beauty obsessives (editors, influencers, models, and downtown artists among them) know what the average passerby doesn’t: that just a few floors up sits the no-frills, all-action facial studio where Sofie Pavitt is redefining what it means to treat yourself. Pavitt, who fell in love with skin care during frequent visits to Seoul in her past life as a handbag designer, hasn’t been at it long, but her cool, unpretentious approach and Instagram savvy have already made her one of the most sought-after facialists in the game. (She's also a licensed medical aesthetician who can be found at
Center Aesthetic & Dermatology
two days a week.) Come for the gentle extractions, hydrojelly mask that cools down stressed-out skin by a full six degrees, and guaranteed next-day glow; stay for Pavitt's warm, unfussy vibes and passion for no-bullshit education. Bonus points for playing mellow rap vs. New Age ocean sounds and not smelling like a Doterra spill.
Sofie Pavitt Skincare Studio
, 179 Canal Street, Suite 5B, 646-287-3265.
More Tracie Martyn
When celebrities like Rihanna and Anne Hathaway need to get their skin in tip-top shape, they flock to this cult 5th Avenue spot founded by celebrity facialist Tracie Martyn and holistic nutritionist Marius Morariu. With a focus on microcurrent, natural ingredients, LED, and the gentlest, can-barely-feel-them extractions, it’s the kind of facial that leaves your skin looking better when you come out, rather than red or blotchy. After three monthly treatments, our beauty director Cat Quinn says her typically oily and acne-prone skin looked so much firmer, smoother, and glowier that her fiancé started going before the wedding, too.
, 101 5th Avenue, 11th Floor, (212) 206-9333.
More Silver Mirror
With two locations in NYC — on the Upper East Side and Flatiron — not only is Silver Mirror convenient for most Manhattanites, but the sleek setup also caters to whatever kind of facial you're looking for. Some of the most-requested treatments include the signature facial (offered for 30 or 50 minutes, customized to your personal concerns), dermaplaning, LED light therapy, deep peels, and a rotating menu of seasonal services. Also good to note if you're traveling south of the tristate to Washington D.C., and looking for a facial: There's a new Silver Mirror outpost in Dupont Circle.
Silver Mirror Facial Bar
, multiple locations.
Courtesy of Silver Mirror Facial Bar More Kate Somerville
On the top floor of
NYC's new Nordstrom flagship
lives a sprawling beauty space where you can get a blowout, mani pedi, brow touch-up, or the most worth-it service of them all: a facial or medical-grade treatment at the city's first and only Kate Somerville Clinic. From the 50-minute signature facial to the microneedling options, every service is provided by trained aestheticians. No matter which you opt for first, your skin will be tightened and plumped in all the right places — plus, you'll leave with a step-by-step plan for how to maintain that glow with Kate Somerville skin-care products.
: Kate Somerville Clinic, 235 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019; (212) 295-2220.
More Inderma Studio
Founded by aesthetician Nichelle Temple in 2017, Inderma specializes in all the trendy treatments you're probably dying to try, including
therapy, and even
, the facial massage technique that's all over Instagram. With six years of experience providing facials, Temple creates custom experiences for each client and offers extractions that won't make your eyes water. Tucked into a quaint, candle-lit studio that's cozy and comfortable, check out this spot if you're looking for an instantly lifted, glowing complexion.
, 25 W 26th St, Suite 415; (929) 260-3158.
More Rescue Spa
If you live in New York, Rescue Spa might've been the first place you ever experienced
, the iconic French brand known for making science-heavy skin care kind of sexy (and making an exfoliating liquid that smells like years-old vinegar a must-have for every in-the-know beauty enthusiast). You'll walk out of this massive Union Square location with glowing skin that's better than any filter. And with a service menu several pages deep, every single option will leave you feeling like you just got a bespoke treatment... even when you didn't.
, 29 East 19th Street; (866) 772-2766.
More The Sisley-Paris Spa
A romantic space in The Carlyle hotel makes for a sensational experience. The main attraction? The Phyto-Aromatic facials, a series that uses some of the Parisian brand's top-rated products. Or opt for a massage, wax, or full body treatment (we recommend the Zen Harmony for ultimate relaxation).
The Sisley-Paris Spa
, 35 East 76th Street (3rd Floor at The Carlyle); (212) 660-7560.
As the name suggests, the most popular treatments on the menu at this posh West Village spa are the injectables, namely
. The intimate space is quaint and minimalist by design, to create a light, cool, non-stuffy environment for quick and effective medical-grade skin treatments. Obviously, the syringe isn't for everyone, but if you’re looking to treat yourself to a damn-good chemical peel, hydrating facial, or
with PRP, this is a great spot. Most regulars cocktail the signature Ject Infusion Facial with routine Botox, but some just opt for the former; either way, you'll walk out glowing.
, 138 West 10th Street; (917) 573 6806.
More Natura Bissē
If you go here, be sure to ask for the novel treatment-inside-a-bubble concept made for both face and body. Why? It's all about pure air. Jump inside this isolated space free of polluting particles, viral, bacterial, and allergen agents for the
Natura Bissē Bubble Pure air Diamond Experience Facial
. The goal is to treat your lungs and your skin to quality air and promote maximized efficacy of the tailored skin-care treatment with the brand's Diamond Extreme line (or whatever your skin needs). Think
but a hell of a lot more glamorous.
If you're trying this out for the first time, here's a taste of what might go down: a hydrating cleanse, a customized treatment from your aesthetician, rejuvenating eye treatment, perfecting mask and exfoliating massage, and a color-adapt treatment (a CC cream to leave you protected and even).
, Shibui Spa
377 Greenwich Street (The Greenwich Hotel); (646) 203-0045.
More Haven Spa
If you're looking for a variety of facials, look no further than Haven Spa in NoHo. This pretty spot boasts a long list of creative treatments for your face and body with a bevy of add-ons — including a vitamin C infusion mask that boosts skin's radiance.
But don't stop at your face. One of our editors went to Haven for their Peach Smoothie treatment — which is basically a
facial for your vulva
. Hey, don't knock it 'til you try it.
, 250 Mercer Street (at East 4th St); (212) 343-3515.
More Sadick Dermatology
For celebrity makeup artist
, 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
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. “She also introduced me to [topical gel]
," he adds, "which I use once or twice a week to keep my skin totally clear.”
, 911 Park Avenue (at East 80th Street); (212) 772-7242.
More L’appartement Caudalie
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
foundation, due in part to her diligent facial routine — but also thanks to where she gets her facials done. “I love Caudalie spa...in New York City,” she says. “I get a facial there called
, which involves a low-electric-current massage to give the face a visible lift. It really works!”
, 819 Madison Ave #4A; (212) 265-3182.
More The Red Door Salon & Spa Felicia Walker Benson
is the editor-in-chief behind
, so therefore it's her
to be in-the-know about where exactly to go and what exactly to get done. “I’m currently defying all signs of aging with
Red Door Spa
’s 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.
More Ildi Pekar Skin Care
Makeup legend Rose-Marie Swift, founder of cult brand
, is known for being
particular about what she puts on her face. (Hence why her line is filled with delicious ingredients like coconut and jojoba oils, rosemary extract, and beeswax.) So whoever's touching her face on a regular basis must be up to her high standards.
for her Refine Facial and Creative Fitness Sessions for body,” Swift says. “She also has an organic skin-care line that she worked on for years that she uses during her procedures." And if you're into funky treatments you'd most likely hear about from a celeb's Instagram, this is the spot to go. See: Pekar's
Ildi Pekar Skin Care
, 20 East 49th Street; (212) 682-6080.
More Joanna Vargas
Vargas may have a slew of clients across the country, like Hollywood mainstays Julianne Moore and Naomi Watts, but she's garnered a cult-like following from New York celebs like super-stylist
and fitness guru
. “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 $550 for an hour (with Vargas herself; $250 for another esthetician). It’s a
facial, segmented into three steps, that literally enhances the contours of your face, reducing puffiness and enhancing elasticity.
, 501 Fifth Avenue (at 42nd Street); (212) 949-2350.
More Georgia Louise
British aesthetician Georgia Louise is an East Coast favorite among beauty insiders (Gucci Westman is a client) and actresses alike — and we understand why. Her signature Microcurrent Lift 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 through deep-tissue massage, microcurrent treatments, and more. And by "more" we mean her celeb-favorite
, the treatment Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock credit for their youthful glow.
, 114 East 71st Street (near Park Avenue), #1E; (212) 472-1400.
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 three facial options (one 30-minutes, one 50, and the other 75), to help avoid the anxiety that comes with picking from a never-ending treatment list, one can only assume.
, 67 West 71st Street; (212) 796-7796.
More SB Skin
Sally Hansen global color ambassador
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
,” 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.”
, 37 West 19th Street, #3; (917) 243-1389.
More Bliss Spa
If we had to guess, we'd say it was the Triple Oxygen Facial that cemented Bliss as a skin hot spot. The treatment involves a targeted peel, an energizing enzyme pack, three different forms of oxygen, and an oxygen spray to awaken your complexion and leave your skin brighter than when you walked in. Refreshing? To say the very least.
, 568 Broadway #2; (877) 862-5477.
If you feel like your skin is at the point of no return, go straight to Daphne. It's a cozy space that feels like it was plucked from a Parisian street and offers heavy-hitting, transformative treatments like microcurrent and micro-needling, plus superb (but gentle) extractions.
With waxing, sugaring, and
services also on the menu, this location is truly a one-stop shop. It even exclusively carries products from Biologique Recherche.
, 375 Broome Street; (347) 382-8807.
More PFRANKMD Skin Salon
If you ever pay a visit to this uptown spa, go for the
MDNA Skin Signature Facial
with leading aesthetician Edyta Jarosz. Or stay for the entire menu of top-notch facials and other services, like chemical peels and a comprehensive purifying facial featuring extractions and oxygen LED lights.
PFRANKMD Skin Salon
, 1049 5th Ave., Suite 2B; (212) 226-3480.
More NYDG Integral Health & Wellness
The New York Dermatology Group (led by Dr. David Colbert) offers city dwellers the full experience of a Susanne Kaufmann facial without having to book a flight to Bregenzerwald, Austria. Although the upscale wellness space offers other health therapies, like IVs and cryotherapy, it's the menu's Kaufmann offerings that have us hooked. Perhaps it's because the products are so good (each collection includes a specific recipe of botanical ingredients fit for certain skin concerns) or that the treatments are the sort of rejuvenating refresh our faces need when the season change, but either way, it's worth the splurge (and we mean
NYDG Integral Health & Wellness
, 119 5th Avenue, 2nd Floor, (212) 352-3333.
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