Where New York's Beauty-Obsessed Get Facials

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.

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!

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 Paris 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.
Natura Bissē
This novel treatment-inside-a-bubble concept for both face and body is 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. Why? 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, 660 Madison Ave (Barney's New York, Penthouse, 7th floor); (212) 826-8900.
Photo: Courtesy of Haven Spa.
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 Sadick Dermatology.
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.
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 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.”

L’appartement Caudalie, 819 Madison Ave #4A; (212) 265-3182.
Photo: Courtesy of Red Door Spa.
Red Door Spa
Felicia Walker Benson is the editor-in-chief behind ThisThatBeauty, 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.

“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 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.
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.
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 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, 1459 3rd Ave; 212-796-7795.
Photo: Courtesy of Erno Laszlo.
Erno Laszlo
In need of a major beauty indulgence? One that Marilyn Monroe swore by? Then stop by Erno Laszlo, a gorgeous spa that offers custom facials for each client's specific skin needs. Each appointment begins with a skin analysis, followed by the Erno Laszlo double cleansing system, anti-aging facial massage, and collagen-boosting serum application, before diving in to the personalized treatment.

Erno Laszlo, 382 Broadway; 212-300-4111.
Photo: Courtesy of SB Skin.
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.
Savor Spa
"After experiencing the skin-altering magic of Botox, chemical peels, and microneedling, I sort of gave up on facials," says our senior beauty editor, Alix Tunell. "It seemed like no one was doing extractions anymore anyway, and I was sick of shlepping to spas and taking off my clothes just so I could have someone massage five different creams into my skin and call it a day."

When Savor Spa opened its doors in her neighborhood, she couldn't resist stopping by to check it out. "The spa uses natural skin care, so I assumed the facial would be nice, but chill. More of the same," Tunell explains. And it was nice — beyond nice — but it was also surprisingly powerful." The Champagne Couture facial ($225) includes diamond microdermabrasion, a fruit peel, and — finally — extractions. "I left with the clearest pores and the softest texture I'd experienced in months. Then I went home and slept like a baby for two hours in the middle of the day — that's how relaxed I was." Sold.

Savor Spa, 448 Columbus Ave; 888-443-4885, ext. 707.
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 least.

Bliss Spa, 541 Lexington Avenue; 877-862-5477.
Photo: Courtesy of 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 micro-current 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, the iconic French skin-care brand known for making innovative science seem downright sexy. (It is French, after all.)

Daphne, 375 Broome Street; 212-257-2310.
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 anti-aging treatments, this is your spot. Several of the treatments include microcurrent tools to lift, firm, and hydrate, so you'll leave — after an hour of relaxation — looking completely rejuvenated.

Organic Pharmacy, 353 Bleecker, 212-929-7407
Go for the MDNA Skin Signature Facial with leading aesthetician Edyta Jarosz; 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) for your back.

PFRANKMD Skin Salon, 1049 5th Ave., Suite 2B; 212-226-3480.
La Prairie Spa at the Ritz Carlton New York

If you're looking for a crazy-luxe spa experience, check out the La Prairie Spa inside New York's storied Ritz Carlton Hotel. The spa itself is small, but the services are top-notch.

The treatments are variations on the traditional facial use products from La Prairie, of course. Head on over if you're looking for an excellent extraction session that'll leave your pores free of debris and without any marks. Check out one of the spa's most expensive treatments in this video.

La Prairie Spa at the Ritz Carlton New York, 50 Central Park South, 212-308-9100
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Show More Comments...