The Joanna Vargas oasis, courtesy of Joanna Vargas
How to truly relax? Schedule so many spa appointments that getting to them becomes incredibly stressful.
Here are my picks for post-fashion week (or post-anything) bliss:
Joanna Vargas Triple Crown Facial
When it comes to Joanna Vargas, the question is really which A-lister doesn’t entrust her with the care of their pores? It is known that stress wreaks havoc on our skin and when I got to Vargas’s eponymous spa, I was looking like a model for the fact. When Joanna finished her microcurrent magic on just one side of my face, I felt like a chipmunk forced to spit out some nuts. My cheek was literally sculpted, my cheekbone lifted as though I’d gone under a knife. I’d been to JV before, but never to Joanna’s ‘office’ which is like the Versailles of skin care. Though this isn’t a facial where you’re simultaneously having a foot massage, it is 200% effective and somehow still very relaxing. Of course, none of that even matters when afterward, a look in the mirror reveals a newer, better version of you.
Bliss Spa Heel-Lelujah Pedicure
I don’t want to discuss what I looked like in sandals prior to my arrival at Bliss 57. The cheerful spa is one of my favorite spots in all NYC (who could resist those mini-brownies and blondies in the lounges?) but I’d never been to the nail salon. The Heel-lelujah, was, essentially my first fancy-grown-up pedicure ever and I’ve got to say, in spite of my ticklish squirming, my feet emerged softer than any $20 neighborhood place has ever accomplished. Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised–but now that I know the truth about fancy-grown-up pedicures, I fear for my wallet in the future.
After an NYC summers, however, this is a downright necessary indulgence. Can’t make it to Bliss? One of the main products used is Bliss’s 24-Heaven body balm, which, thanks to it’s exfoliating lactic acid and soothing and protective colloidal oatmeal, provides moisture for 24 hours, and helps to treat itchiness, flakiness and generally restore angry skin.
Jin Soon Breath of Milk and Honey Mani
As Joanna Vargas is to facials, Jin Soon Choi is to nails. So it was not even a question that I’d head over to her UES haven to detox my nails. A manicure and green tea is pretty close to perfection for me any day, but Jin Soon’s understated lavender/grey Auspicious was extra-perfect, and thankfully, looked chic even on my short nails.
Caudalie (at the Plaza!) Slimming Treatment
Eloise is my fictional girl crush and Caudalie is one of my very favorite skincare brands (and I am serious about skincare) so my excitement was evident as I elevator-shoefied the shit out of those double P’s while riding to the 4th floor Vinotherapie spa at the storied hotel. This treatment is 50% vigorous massage, followed by you, in a sushi wrap of luxe scrub while the technician does a (thankfully) less vigorous massage on your scalp. After you’re unwrapped, you take a shower about a foot away in the treatment room and emerge feeling refreshed, detoxified, and possibly slimmer. The rooms provide a dark, kinda sexy counterpoint to the cheerful feeling at Bliss and left me feeling like I had in fact, visited Provence, if only for an hour.
The best part though? The upkeep, or, just the start, is available to anyone in the form of a 3-piece kit from Caudalie. I’m not one to embark on regimens but this simple process (2 products + tea) keeps the spa feeling going for twenty-eight days.
I needed this. You need this. We all need this.