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Our Creative Director's Extensive Guide to the Best Facials in NYC

Editor’s Note: I sit next to our Creative Director, Lanya, and every Monday she comes waltzing into the office 30 minutes late, glowing like a god damn angel being like, “Omg, I just had the best facial this weekend.” I became heavily sus of this behavior (because can there really be that many good facials out there), and because I am who I am, I made Lanya write this extensive guide to her favorite facials in NYC. Now we can all get the famed #lanyaglow...

The Best Extractions


Hell’s Kitchen

$150 for the customized facial (75 minutes)

BUT they have great package deals, and you can usually find them on Groupon (always check first!) for $79

This face and body spa has the best cleansing / detoxing facials that I’ve ever had. I’ve been going to Yuki for the past couple of years because she’s the master extractor.

Here’s what goes down in a typical facial: cleanse, exfoliate (usually with a delicious-smelling fruit enzyme peel), steam o’clock, and then deeeeep extractions. To soothe the redness, Yuki moisturizes and massages your face (and shoulders!). Depending on your skin concerns, she may use a high-frequency device for antibacterial action, or an ultrasound machine for increased serum penetration. It covers all the steps necessary in a great facial, and you will absolutely glow afterward. The salon uses mostly Eminence (organic) products, so bonus if you like that brand!

Warning: She does spend a good amount of time on the extractions, so there is some pain, but that’s showbiz baby ….

SKN Spa, baby

The Best All-Around Facial

Rescue Spa


$150 for the classic facial (60 minutes)

$200 for the Bio-LiftTM (60 minutes)

If you’re a Biologique Recherche fan (hi!), then this is your heaven. Your facialist will gently lead you into a white room that’s almost like a religious experience–Biologique everywhere. As you sip your tea and prepare to be swept away into facial bliss, all worries are gone.

I love the way the estheticians talk about your skin and concerns and spend their time carefully walking through the cleansing, steaming, toning, balancing, massaging, and micro-current-ing (if you do the Bio-LiftTM).

My favorite part is when the esthetician spends time putting the famed P50 all over my face and neck. She soaks her cotton ball with it, and the pleasurable, familiar sting makes me know it’s working. It’s always great going to a facial that you know is using the highest-quality products, and my skin feels taught and lifted after a facial here.

Rescue Spa (photo via SpaItGirl)

The Best Luxury Technology

Joanna Vargas


$250 for the Triple Crown Facial (60 minutes)

+ $75 for extractions (30 minutes)

I always recommend JV to anyone before an important event -- wedding, photoshoot, red carpet, birthday party, etc. What’s great about Joanna, other than the fact that she’s a facialist to the stars (in the good company of Mandy Moore, Constance Wu, and Helena Christensen), is that her facials will leave you with a glow instead of any redness. Any exfoliation and extractions will leave you flawless, and this is not something I can attest to for all facials.

I love her signature Triple Crown Facial that includes the high-tech treatments of microdermabrasion for exfoliation, microcurrents for a face workout + lifting (you can immediately see the difference), and an oxygen treatment for the **glow**. Every session triggers collagen and elastin production for immediately visible results but they also benefit your skin over time. Note that extractions are not included in the Triple Crown. For estheticians, I recommend Liz and Audrey!

Post-Joanna Vargas

The Best Facial Membership

Silver Mirror Facial Bar

Upper East Side

$80 - 95 for Maintenance Facials (30 mins) >> $64 on monthly membership

$125 - 135 for Targeted Facials (50 mins) >> $108 on monthly membership

Membership also includes:
- 10% off in-store product purchases
- 10% off facial add-ons
- Member-only gifts and upgrades with facial
- 2 guest vouchers for 20% off facial
- Exclusive member offers and promotions

If you’re someone like me and you love memberships, you’ll love Silver Mirror. This facial bar is more like a classy derm’s office than a spa, but I fuck with that. You recline on this comfy white chair with a blanket draped over you while a specialist analyzes your skin and routine.

The specialists are all very professional and patient to explain the science behind what they recommend. I love the LED light therapy they do at the end of the session. I truly can’t comment on what treatment they’ll do for your skin because it is so highly customized. It can range from high-frequency devices, chemical exfoliation, ultrasound, micro-currents, derma-rolling, etc. Just know that you are in good hands.

Silver Mirror Facial Bar (photo via HBFit.com)

The Best Microdermabrasion

Le Bon Skin Lab

Upper East Side

$120 for a customized facial (60 minutes)

First Time Offer: 50% off your first facial treatment; they always have sales, so check for that!

This facial studio is also pretty no-frills, and I come here for the microdermabrasion. A lot of the time, you’ll have to pay extra for a microderm exfoliating treatment, but this place includes it into the price of the facial. They spend a good amount of time on the microderm, and I really enjoyed the facial massage here. Extractions are thorough.

Le Bon Skin Lab (photo via Booksy.com)

The Best Deal

Mario Badescu


$65 for the European Facial

When you just need someone to caress, clean, and detox your face for under $70, head over to Mario Badescu. I love a lot of their products, and their European Facial will give your skin the re-up that it needs. Mario Badescu has a sensitive skin care line, so mention that when you go in, and they will use it!

Mario Badescu (photo via yelp.com)

The Best Clean Beauty / Energy

CAP Beauty

West Village

$210 for The Facial (60 minutes)

You can sense the good energy in this place. Cap Beauty is a grocery/wellness store that only sells clean, all natural products. With their facial studio in the back, you can bet they only use the best of the best natural products as well. Clean beauty users, rejoice!

The first thing to know about this place is that the bed is SO COMFY. I actually fell asleep during the facial massage because they have this huge down comforter, and I was so perfectly snuggled underneath.

Jeni is an amazing esthetician, with a calm and comforting demeanor, she truly listens to you and your skin, and works from there. She is a practicing Reiki healer, so you know that your energy is in good hands. I love Cap Beauty because they use some of my favorite brands, specifically Marie Veronique and Tata Harper. Effective, all-natural beauty is my favorite.

Each treatment is customized based on what your esthetician “hears” from your skin, so you’ll emerge with deep relaxation and truly balanced skin.

CAP Beauty (via fashionista.com)

BONUS: The Best Body Cleanse

Tribeca Spa of Tranquility

$129 for a Korean Body Scrub


Here’s a bonus for ya! One of my favorite New Year, Same Me rituals is to get a full-body scrub/exfoliation treatment. This Korean spa treatment starts out with a wet sauna and hot sauna session, and then you go into a room where a woman scrubs you down for an hour.

You can choose how intense you want the scrubbing to be, so be warned if you select the most badass level, you will be a lobster. It is so satisfying to see all of my skin shed though.

Note: You will only wear underwear during the scrubbing, so it’s not for the shy!

Do you have a favorite facial in your city? Tell us in the comments below!

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