Spa

The days when women visited the beauty parlor once a week, seeing it as a home-away-from-home, are long gone. Yet I get a homey kind of feeling whenever I visit Salon SCK, my go-to place for cuts and color. Co-owned by several veterans of Vidal Sassoon (which partially explains the happy vibe; nothing like being in business for yourself, after years of working for The Man), the salon occupies a century-old building on the Upper West Side.

Though best-known for beating bushy brows into shape, B London in Henri Bendel also beckons busy gals and guys with an Express Rose Facial Treatment guaranteed to get skin glowing in 20 minutes. Yes, the treatment is done out in the open of Bendel's bustling ground floor, but since B London's stand is set back, under the store's staircase, there is some sense of privacy.

Facial treatments are as old as time, but that doesn’t mean your complexion care can’t be au courant. Recently, I experienced a state-of-the-art service, the organic stem cell facial, from B-Spa Bar, which just opened a branch in the Thompson hotel on the Lower East Side.

Hot sun, humidity, swimming pool chlorine—no question, summer can be tough on hair and scalp. They take hair care seriously at the Philip Kingsley Clinic, which is no mere hair salon (in fact, they don’t do styling there at all), but a trichological treatment center (tri·chol·o·gy /trih-kol-uh-jee/:the branch of dermatology that deals with the scientific study of the health of hair and scalp).

I just got my hair cut at my desk by a beautiful former model. Viennese-born and Boston-schooled, Tom Doganay now works as a mobile stylist in New York City with his own company Get Groomed. Answering calls from concierges at top hotels, along with his extended client-list, you can book Tom to pay you a visit just about anywhere, at any time.

Sometimes, a woman simply needs to defrizz. And so that was my thinking when I recently walked into the Sahag workshop on Madison Avenue on a warm, muggy day. The aim: have a keratin express treatment and walk back out, sleek, shiny and fearless of of any future humidity.

What makes you feel it’s finally spring? The proverbial first robin? Tulips blooming in the park? Soft shell crabs on a restaurant menu? For me, it’s always meant a desire to expose my toes—the closest we city-dwellers can get to going barefoot. And that calls for a pedicure (not that you can’t get one in the winter months, too, but with feet swaddled in socks and boots and what-all, it seems less mandatory, somehow).

The beauty industry sells hope in a jar, Revlon founder Charles Revson once famously said. The folks at Elizabeth Arden—for years, Revlon’s great rival—have gone him one better. They’re selling a spa in a bottle. Their new skincare line, Red Door Spa Professional, duplicates (or at imitates) the various treatments offered by Arden's famed Red Door Spas.

I’ve always been a sucker for a cosmetics firm’s “gift with purchase”—those limited–time promotions in which you spend a certain amount at the brand’s counter at a department store, and you get a goodie bag of five or so sample-sized items from the makeup or skin-care line.

In the 1940s and ‘50s, dermatologist Erno Laszlo kept the complexions of movie stars like Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe camera-ready from his exclusive clinic in midtown Manhattan. In the mid-1960s, he went public, so to speak, with a skin-care product line to be carried in tony department stores.

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