Mon-Tue and Fri, 8:30am-6pm; Wed-Thu, 8:30am-8:30pm; Sat, 9am-5pm; Sun, 10am-6pm
6 at 51st St.; E, V at Lexington Ave.-53rd St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Considering Mario Badescu is as big a name as they come in the skincare product world, facials at the company’s namesake spa are surprisingly inexpensive. The man whose creams and toners are endlessly touted by starlets and supermodels started his business in his stately Midtown apartment building in 1967. The once-modest operation has grown into a huge treatment center that maintains an elegant mid-century feel. Patrons—many of them uptown women who’ve been visiting Badescu for years—are addressed by their last names and await treatments in a floral-wallpapered room. Estheticians in white scrubs bustle about, ushering clients into one of thirty-six—yes, thirty-six—treatment rooms. What these bare-bones crannies lack in lavishness and privacy, they make up for in efficiency. And despite offering only one standard hour-long facial, treatments are far from uniform: The veteran technicians have no set protocol, and extract, cleanse, and mask as necessary, pulling from the company’s extensive inventory of cure-alls. A host of add-ons, from glycolic peels to Keratoplast treatments, can be tacked on at the end for an extra charge. The spa welcomes drop-ins for free consultations with estheticians, from which visitors emerge with the perhaps brutal truth about their skin—and armfuls of generous samples to try.
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.