The Best Places to Get Pampered in New York

August 9, 2016

a morning at blushington I meghan donovan

After nearly nine in New York you could say I’ve done my due diligence on finding the best spots to get primped + pampered. I’ve had the pleasure of also frequenting certain spots for various press events but today I’m sharing my holy grail spots of where I can always rely on to be left looking and feeling my best.

Without further delay, here are my favorites…

Makeup & Brows:

Blushington: Blushington brought the easy appointment aspect of beauty to makeup with their boutiques that offer a variety of makeup applications (they have a beautiful lookbook on-hand that’ll help you pick out exactly what you’re looking for), eyelash extensions and even waxing and brow services.

Shen Beauty: When I moved to Brooklyn I kept hearing from friends in the neighborhood about Lara at Shen Beauty being the very best at brows. They were all right! Now I see Lara a couple times a year for brow tinting and shaping. She’s meticulous and Shen itself is such a delight to visit for any beauty junkie.

Atelier Beaute Chanel: This beauty store in Soho is a Chanel playground where you can try + test out any of their skincare and makeup products. It is such fun and such a great way to experience the brand in a unique setting that’s not intimidating like department store counters.

BaubleBar Crystal CrawlersFacials:

Mario Badescu: I’ve written about my experience with Mario Badescu many times before but when my skin needs a proper re-boot every three months, this is where I head. The extractions are by far the most valuable part of this experience but I really love how clinical the approach is to skincare. The facials aren’t fancy or relaxing rather they get down to business. I’m also a massive fan of their excellent, affordable product line that they use exclusively at the salon. I have a lot at home to maintain my skin in between treatments.

Joanna Vargas: On the facial flip side, when I want my skin to get really glow-y and look radiant, I head to Joanna Vargas. Her power peel was possibly one of my favorite treatments I’ve ever had (this photo was taken immediately following it) and you can bet I’ll book another one of those before my next big event. Her famed Triple Crown Facial also leaves skin feeling plump, hydrated and super, super soft.

Caudalie: Caudalie is one of my favorite French brands and their spas bring their product line to life in a way that is highly customized to what your skin needs at the time of the facial. I love how knowledgeable their estheticians are and how gentle yet effective the line is. Better yet? Their products are clean!

FaceLove: This place isn’t your traditional facial but I absolutely love it here. This unique treatment brings together head, face & neck massage, acupressure + face exercise to center, rejuvenate, strengthen & detoxify. It feels divine. If you carry any tension in your jaw, book a service here ASAP.

Place Dauphine I wit & whimsyHair:

DreamDry: If I’m in need of a blowout I always call on DreamDry. They have the ability of always giving me the beach waves I want and if the time is right you can even sip on champagne while getting said blowout. There are multiple locations around the city where you can book an appointment.

Warren Tricomi: I get my hair cut and color at the Flatiron location of this hair salon. It’s small and intimate and I’ve always had a good experience. I see Francesca for my color and Nick for my cut – they are my dream team!


Ohm Spa: This is my favorite spot to get a massage. I had found it on Yelp thanks to all the rave reviews and it was very deserving. I’ve liked nearly every masseuse I’ve seen here and always look forward to the massages that are more body work than relaxing. (If I’m paying for a massage I want it to really get at the spots I’m feeling stress and aches.) Due to a landlord issue they had to move to a smaller space in 2018 but the masseuses are mostly the same.

Shibui Spa: This is luxury on another level so it is definitely for special occasions but their space is utterly divine. In the basement of The Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca, they boast gorgeous treatment rooms along with an indoor pool and steam rooms. You can spend up to 4 hours there in addition to your treatment and trust me when I say unplugging here will bring you to another level of bliss.

Great Jones: If you want to treat yourself to a spa day, head to Great Jones. In addition to the full service treatments you can also enjoy their plunge pools. There’s plenty of seating so bring a good book for before or after your treatment. I would recommend avoiding weekends as the place gets far too crowded for my liking.


Hortus Nailworks: I’m rather loyal to Hortus because I’m of the belief they give the best gel manicure in the city. I’ve spoken about how they last for three weeks before, but it’s also just a lovely spot in the city to unwind, drink tea and chat with the delightful owner Jane.


Common Point Acupuncture: I see Liz at this small Tribeca studio and she’s had wonderful affects on my anxiety and chronic headaches for which I’ve been seeing her. The prices are affordable, the space clean and welcoming and I love the little extras that Liz offers like light bodywork and the application of soothing arnica.

. . .

New Yorkers, any good spots I missed and should try out soon?

p.s. my full guide to New York City.

[Bekka Palmer Photography]

11 comments on “The Best Places to Get Pampered in New York”

  1. Meghan–any chance you’ve tried any of the treatments at the LUSH Spa? Are they worth it? curious to hear your feedback, if you’ve been!

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