J, M, Z at Essex St.
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“No pain, no gain,” says facialist Christine Chin, whose hour and a half treatments come recommended by supermodels Gisele Bundchen and Naomi Campbell, and actress Salma Hayek. Nicknamed “Mean Christine,” Chin is a veteran of the skincare industry, and one of the only estheticians in the city to perform hard-core extractions—the process by which dirt, oil, and irritation are squeezed and cut out of the skin. While the method (which Chin mostly performs herself as she flits from client to client) is uncomfortable, it comes with stunning results: Skin looks remarkably dewy in about twelve hours. Tingly fruit-extract peels and soothing white-clay masks are standard with every facial. Plus, there’s the spa’s microdermabrasion technique, in which a tiny vacuum buffs and sucks blemishes away under a faucet of hot steam. Much like her procedures, Chin’s salon is efficient but not extravagant; small treatment cubicles come outfitted with a robe, white linen-draped table, and bamboo-screened walls. Though it’s not luxurious, the small, two-level spa is tranquil and immaculately clean—just like your face will be after your appointment.Extra
Want to get blacklisted from one of the most popular spas in Manhattan? Then blow off an appointment with Christine. The spa has a no-tolerance policy for no-shows and will charge full price if not cancelled within 24 hours.
A favorite of downtown darlings like Jen Brill and Erin Wasson, Christine Chin offers microdermabrasion (from $180) and a comprehensive roster of facials (from $120) that will leave skin dewy and glowing come wedding day. Chin pays attention to each individual pore and can banish unwanted blemishes like none other.
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.