There's nothing like a new haircut, massage, sauna, exfoliating facial or fancy pedicure to help you shed some of those wintry dead skin cells and look your best. And though spa treatments might cost you a couple crates of 3 Buck Chuck, sometimes you just have to do as Tom Haverford says: Treat. Yo. Self. Here are our few of favorite spas, barbershops and salons, and as always, suggest a few of your own in the comments:
Spa Castle (via Facebook)
SPA CASTLE: This famous Queens spa is pretty much a palace of luxury, boasting saunas, spa rooms, pools, massages and all-around hedonistic wonderment. For $35 on a weekday and $45 on a weekend, you get all-day access to the indoor and outdoor pools, saunas and showers. Individual services like sea salt body scrubs ($110/35 minutes) at their Lavender Beauty Spa or Korean-style body scrubs ($50-$250), healing stone therapy massages ($160/90 minutes) and hand-and-foot massages ($70/60 minutes) cost extra. Best of all, they've got an Acqua Beauty Bar on hand, where you can order a beer or cocktail and hang out in a warm pool for a while—just be sure to avoid the steam rooms while you're drinking, or you might find yourself losing your senses for a few days.
Ohm Spa, via Yelp
OHM SPA: Ohm Spa's got a bevy of refreshing treatments to choose from, and the spa's friendly technicians and casual atmosphere makes every massage and manicure all the more pleasurable. They've got a particularly soothing pre-natal massage ($145/60 minutes) that's designed to alleviate back and hip pain and kick up circulation in pregnant women, in addition to deep-tissue, Swedish, sports and shiatsu massages. And for the chemical-conscious nail polish addicts out there (it's a real thing, we swear!) the spa offers special manicures and pedicures using antioxidant-rich, vegan and chemical-free polish and products.
Persons of Interest, Smith Street (via Facebook)
PERSONS OF INTEREST: This modern update of the classic barbershop is a laid-back spot to stop in for a shave and a cut, with friendly barbers and hip music piping in over the shop's speakers. Prices fall somewhere between those at neighborhood barbers and at fancier salons, since both the Carroll Gardens location and the newer Williamsburg outpost offer $40 haircuts, $40 shaves and $15 beard trims. But you leave looking fresh, and, if you take them up on the free Brooklyn Lager they give out, feeling pretty fly too, which is a definite plus.
Persons of Interest is located at 82-84 Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-218-9100, personsofinterestbklyn.com) and at 299 Smith Street between Union and Sackett Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn (718) 858-5300, personsofinterestbklyn.com). Follow them on Facebook.
DRYBAR: Muggy summer might not be the best time to rock super-sleek hair, but this blow-dry chain will keep you from looking like the Bride of Frankenstein, even in the toughest temperatures. The cutesy cocktail-themed names for their signature styles—the "Mai Tai" for beachy waves, the "Up-tini" for a topknot— might be a little much, but after the stylists coerce those curls you've been overgelling for 15 years into something that resembles straight hair, well, you'll forgive yourself for paying $40 for a hairdo named after a drink. Other perks? Glasses of wine pre-blow-dry, home blowouts ($95) and a range of products and styling tools for sale to help you keep up the look.
Dry-Bar has a number of locations in Manhattan. See their website for details.
PURE QI REGIMEN SPA: Yes, deep tissue massages are painful, and yes, your masseuse will probably remove your muscle from the bone (or at the very least, it will feel like he/she does). But after an hour of getting your body beaten and twisted into some kind of submission, you will spend several more hours, days and maybe even weeks walking around in a euphoric daze, and from that day on, you will never, ever bother with some pansy, touchy-feely gentle massage again. Upgrading to deep tissue at Pure Qi will run you an extra $10 ($45/40 minutes, $60/60 minutes, $90/90 minutes), but spring for it anyway, and your shoulder muscles, the ones you thought were forever twisted thanks to hours upon hours of
working watching Netflix at your desk will be eternally grateful.
Pure Qi Regimen Spa is located at 268 Driggs Ave between Eckford St and Leonard St in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (718-383-3822, pureqispa.com).
MERMAID SPA: Russian bath houses don't exactly feature the same frills as a typical NYC luxury spa—you'll find no frou-frou candles or hand-towels crafted into swans here, and the hit massage treatment involves getting beaten in a boiling hot steam room with an olive branch. But for a $35 day pass, you can sit in several steam rooms of varying temperatures, sweat out your toxins and jump into an ice cold pool to cool off, an age-old Russian remedy to get your circulation going. For the adventurous spa goer, try the aforementioned (light) olive-branch beating, called a platza treatment ($40); the spa also offers regular full body massages ($55-$80), plus they've got a restaurant serving borscht and other Russian delicacies to fill you up post-sweat-and-dip.
Mermaid Spa is located at 3701-11 Mermaid Ave in Sea Gate, Brooklyn (347) 462-2166, mermaidspany.com).
Blossom (via Facebook)
BLOSSOM IN ASTORIA: This Astoria spa is one of the city's best neighborhood nail salons, offering friendly service and stellar manicure/pedicures that don't break the bank. A regular manicure runs $8 and a regular pedicure runs $15; they also offer French manicures ($12), tip sets ($35) and O.P.I soak-off gel manicures ($24) that come with free soak-off removal and last about two weeks. Other deals: Pamper Me manicures ($25), which include crystal exfoliation, a sea rock bath, and a marine masque, along with a menu of massages and waxes, all done in the spa's clean, cozy and charming space.
Blossom is located at 22-04A 31st Street in Astoria, Queens (718-278-2324, blossominastoria.com). Follow them on Facebook.
Butterfly Studio: Your local chapter of Supercuts might be great for a quick trim, but if you're looking to lop off lots of locks or you're tired of botched highlights, this Flatiron salon provides stellar hair services if you're willing to spend a bit more for a quality cut and color. The second-floor salon features a comfortable waiting area complete with a zen-like fountain and complimentary red and white wines. Once you're properly buzzed, one of the skilled stylists whisks you away to a comfortable leather seat for your desired treatment.
Ladies haircuts start at $105, single processes color runs $105-$180 with highlights starting at $157; gentlemen's haircuts start at $84. While some high-end salons feel scene-y and too cool for school, Butterfly Studio has a decidedly relaxed and convivial vibe, perpetuated by the friendly and low-key staff. If you want a killer cut in an unpretentious atmosphere, you'll find it here. (Nell Casey)
Butterfly Studio is located at 149 5th Avenue, 212-253-2100
Uni K Wax: If you're planning a trip to the beach for Memorial Day or beyond, you may need to, ahem, de-fuzz before baring your semi-naked flesh to other sun seekers. Whether you're a lady looking to tidy up the bikini line or a dude with some extra back bristle, stop in any one of three Manhattan locations for a relatively pain-free waxing experience—really! The center uses their own formula of wax made with the resin of pine trees, beeswax and other natural ingredients that removes hair quickly and easy—even in the most sensitive of spots.
Ladies can get their bikini line done for $23, with full Brazillians running $45; dudes —yes, dudes!—can get the same treatment for $35 and $69 respectively. The center also does all manner of body hair removal, from eyebrows ($17-25), back ($27-50) and legs ($55-65) and every other conceivable place that hair grows. (Nell Casey)
Uni K Wax Centers are located at 553 3rd Avenue in Murray Hill, 212-481-2777; 13 West 18th Street in the Flatiron, 212-255-5561; and 1626 3rd Avenue, 212-369-6888
Mario Badescu Skin Care Salon: If the celebrity testimonials aren't enough to convince you, the thorough but inexpensive facials most definitely will. This Midtown East staple of the beauty scene has been exfoliating and moisturizing a dedicated following since 1967, when Romanian-born chemist Mario Badescu brought his botanically-based skin care products to the city.
The basic European Facial, which costs just $65, includes a detoxifying steam, a gentle cleansing, a light face and neck massage, extractions and a personalized treatment mask depending on your skin type. Add-ons like an Herbal Seaweed Treatment (extra $35), with antioxidant vitamins and trace minerals, and a skin-calming Ginkgo-Collagen Treatment (extra $30) offer even more benefits for your city-wracked epidermus. Plus, manicures are just $15 when scheduled with a facial, so you'll leave the spa with a glowing visage and some shiny nails.
The sparkling white interior is clean without feeling antiseptic and the knowledgeable and friendly staff will put any first time facialers at ease. In addition to the facials, the spa also offers massages, body scrubs, waxing and make-up application lessons. They also sell the full line of MB products, so you can keep your skin shiny and blemish-free in between visits.
Mario Badescu is located at 320 East 52nd Street, (212) 758-1065