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Best Chinatown Facial

Joean Beauty Center
80 Lafayette St., nr. White St.; 212-227-5120
The $35 Chinatown facial is one of the perpetual joys of Canal Street: It’s thorough, less than a third the price of its day-spa counterpart, and inflation-proof (prices haven’t risen in a decade), and if you buy ten, you’ll typically get two free. On the downside: salons that smell like dumplings, play saccharine music, stick you in close quarters with nine women on cell phones, and use products from the dollar store. Not so at the Lafayette branch of Joean Beauty Center. At the back of an airy nail-and-hair salon, Joean’s four rooms may be overwhelmingly pink, but they are clean and peaceful, with seldom more than two clients per room, and Guinot products are used. The centerpiece of the 90-minute basic facial ($35; buy five, get one free) is a 25-minute facial massage, performed (on request) by manager-aesthetician Michelle Luo with astounding vigor and precision.


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Other Best Of Guides

So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).