Who, What, Where: The Shameless NYC Self-Care Guide
It’s taken me years of learning the hard way to get a comprehensive list of places to go for self-care in NYC. It’s hard to know where the heck to start! There are so many places offering so many services here. This is my no funny-business, head to toe guide to a little TLC in NYC. In terms of knowing how often to go, I usually do hair treatments, facials, and massages once a month [and try to schedule it all in one day - it’s a treat yo self, shamelessly high maintenance kinda day my boyfriend will never understand]. Everything else I do as I feel I really need it. Here we go:
Inderma Studio ~ So Nichelle at Inderma is basically an angel sent from above and her skin is not fair, but that is how we all know she knows a secret we do not. And that is why I put my face literally into her hands. I go for the latest hot holistic gossip (she knows everything) and also for the Microcurrent Facial with Red Light Therapy. The microcurrent treatment works out the muscles in my face, leaving my bone structure more defined and eyes depuffed. (Think “Blue Steel”) The red light therapy boosts collagen, repairs damaged cells, and helps reduce inflammation, acne, and wrinkles.
Deify ~ Okay so you don’t go to Deify for the ambiance, but Mireya (my favorite girl there) does a pretty darn good Diamond Tip Microdermabrasion. I go in - my pores are clogged and visible, my skin looks dull, and I’ve got breakouts. Somebody help me. I leave - my pores are gone (Mireya actually TOOK them . They are not there), my skin is shiny like plastic, and my breakouts are way smoother and less noticeable. The diamond tip exfoliates and the machine sucks everything out and off of your face. You’d be amazed by what the machine looks like inside when you’re finished - like a full vacuum cleaner needing to be emptied. Yikes! She recommends clients to come in once/month.
Aire Ancient Baths ~ When you’re in need of majorly unwinding, Aire is where it is ac-tu-ally at. Bless. They have an ambient room of pools with different healing effects. You can float in a salt pool or sweat out toxins in their lovely steam rooms. Pools also vary in temperature from very warm to an ice cold dunk tank, so you can drain your lymphatic system and get your blood flowing ladies.
King Spa ~ King Spa has everything. It’s like the Mall of America, but it’s Korean and a spa… You pay an entry fee as you would at any amusement park and can stay all day. You’re free to wander from sauna to himalayan salt room to healing tea baths (and five star* cafeteria) [*my rating], at your leisure. My favorite part, though, is the body scrub treatment (there is an extra fee for this - worth it. Pretend you never had that money). If you have never gone to a Korean spa and had this treatment, you are in for something EXTRAordinary and definitely intense. You lie down on a table, get lathered up with soapy water, and a woman goes full-throttle with an exfoliating glove to scrub every last BIT of dead skin off. She’ll flip and flop you all around and go places no one’s gone before, but you leave feeling like God’s newest creation. It stimulates circulation, and you can physically see all of the dead skin left behind. 20% gross, 100% satisfying.
Yoga and Meditation
The WOOM Center ~ I discovered WOOM through Vogue magazine originally. I read a crazy article about their breathwork classes, allegedly providing attendees with breathing techniques that would release chemicals in your brain to induce a psychedelic effect. I went… And it worked. I felt an immediate cathartic release of built up emotion and even cried during the session (other people cried too I swear). I immediately signed up for their monthly membership. They have sound baths, guided gong meditations, and amazing yoga for all levels. They even have a vegan cafe and give free juice shots after each class. Also instructors give many hugs (sometimes you just need a lil hug). It’s what is up.
Salon 87 ~ I go here for my haircuts with Yu and treatments with Chika (she gives the best head massage, yes ma’am). It’s a cozy Japanese salon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and everyone is kind, attentive, and very talented there. They bring you a menu of yummy teas to choose from while you get worked on. Lil things like that make a lady feel special ya feel me.
Mani Pedis & Wax
Cutie Calls ~ I go purely for the pun. And also because it’s in my neighborhood. And finally because it’s very clean, people are nice, and I’ve never had a bad experience. What more can you really ask for? Oh yes… low prices. The prices are very fair. I’ve done it all. Nails, shoulder massage, wax, all good! Plain and simple.
This is the one thing I’m still on the hunt for. A mind blowing massage. I’ve heard whispers that there are some amazing ones in Chinatown for super low prices, but no one has given me their sacred recommendation yet! Curses! I got an actual deep tissue massage in Shanghai that released so many toxins I was nauseous for 24 hours. Now THAT is what I’m talking about. I like a massage that Gets. Everything. Out. Fix me up right! I want strength, endurance, secret knowledge, tricks, and nimble fingers in my masseuse. I challenge all masseuses! This is an S.O.S. If anyone is reading this and knows a special place, write it in the comments below. In the meantime, Bedford N6 Spa does a commendable massage at a decent price.
Space NK ~ For my big investment, problem-targeted buys, I go here. They carry artisanal, science based lines Sephora doesn’t (at least yet), and the staff is very knowledgeable. My favorite lines here are Chantecaille, Sisley, and 111Skin. Cheers!