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.
Rescue Spa If you live in New York, Rescue Spa might've been the first place you ever experienced Biologique Recherche, 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. Rescue Spa, 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. 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: Bubble Boy, 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).
Natura Bissē, 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.
Haven Spa, 250 Mercer Street (at East 4th St); (212) 343-3515. Photo: Courtesy of Haven Spa. More
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. “She also introduced me to [topical gel] Epiduo," he adds, "which I use once or twice a week to keep my skin totally clear.”
Sadick Dermatology, 911 Park Avenue (at East 80th Street); (212) 772-7242. Photo: Courtesy of Sadick Dermatology. More
L’appartement Caudalie 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. “I love Caudalie spa...in New York City,” she says. “I get a facial there called Vinosculpt, which involves a low-electric-current massage to give the face a visible lift. It really works!” L’appartement Caudalie, 819 Madison Ave #4A; (212) 265-3182. More
The Red Door Salon & Spa Felicia Walker Benson is the editor-in-chief behind ThisThatBeauty, so therefore it's her job 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 RMS Beauty, is known for being very 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.
Ildi Pekar 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 magnetic-cupping facial.
Ildi Pekar Skin Care, 20 East 49th Street; (212) 682-6080. Photo: Courtesy of Ildi Pekar. 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 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 $550 for an hour (with Vargas herself; $250 for another esthetician). It’s a microcurrent facial, segmented into three steps, that literally enhances the contours of your face, reducing puffiness and enhancing elasticity. Joanna Vargas, 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 penis facial, the treatment Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock credit for their youthful glow.
Georgia Louise, 114 East 71st Street (near Park Avenue), #1E; (212) 472-1400. Photo: Courtesy of Georgia Louise. More
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 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.
Heyday, 67 West 71st Street; (212) 796-7796. Photo: Courtesy of Heyday. More
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, 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. Bliss Spa, 541 Lexington Avenue; (877) 862-5477. More
Daphne 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
microblading services also on the menu, this location is truly a one-stop shop. It even exclusively carries products from Biologique Recherche.
Daphne, 375 Broome Street; (347) 382-8807. Photo: Courtesy of Daphne. More
Organic Pharmacy While the majority of the brand's spas are located in the UK, the New York shop is loaded with all the luxe treatments that exclusively use the brand's organic formulas.
We prefer the exfoliating treatments, like the Rose Crystal Lymphatic Facial and Hdrya Diamond Exfoliation services. But if you're in the market for some good ol' youth-rejuvenating treatments, this is your spot, too. Several of the treatments include
microcurrent tools to lift, firm, and hydrate, so you'll leave — after an hour of relaxation — looking completely refreshed. Organic Pharmacy, 353 Bleecker Street, (212) 929-7407. 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
splurge — the Transformative Facial is $475). NYDG Integral Health & Wellness, 119 5th Avenue, 2nd Floor, (212) 352-3333. More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Why You Should Swap Face Scrubs For Chemical Exfoliators In 2019 Ulta's Skin-Care Sale Is Almost Over — Here's What To Snag Now For 50% Off Everything You Want To Know About Nipple Piercings (& We Mean Everything)