At The V Spot Nail Spa, clients can sink into massive white armchairs as their feet soak in gleaming silver basins as the soothing scents of the lavender scrub and shea butter waft through the air. While they relax in armchairs or perch themselves at manicure stations, their toe- and fingertips are painted with OPI and CND Shellac polish, which make appendages easy to spot when their owners are rotating atop a baggage-claim conveyor belt. Olive lotion, lavender scrubs, and aloe augment manicures, softening hands as guests look up at the salon’s crystal chandeliers, ornate mirrors, and exposed-brick walls.
Sparkle Salon’s steady-handed technicians clear unwanted hairs from delicate body areas with thorough waxing treatments. After clients retire to a secluded area, a salon staffer discusses hair-removal options, addresses customer concerns, and hypothesizes about whether Mona Lisa was smirking because she heard a joke or had a hamster crawling beneath her cloak. Next, the stubble savant meticulously applies wax to loitering strands and paper strips, and with a quick twist of the wrist removes pesky pelts residing in bikini zones and beyond. Brazilian waxing saves skin surfaces from the irritation of razor burn, the lengthy process of tweezing, and the ineffective gesture of politely asking hair to leave. Waxed surfaces can remain smooth and fuzz-free for up to six weeks.
Nails on 54th packs a lot of pampering into a small space. Basic manicures and pedicures may be upgraded to include indulgent add-ons such as hydrating cucumber and avocado lotions, hot stones, or fragrant hot-chocolate treatments. Or, consider including a skin-softening paraffin-wax treatment, which helps alleviate pain and stiffness associated with arthritis or adding papier-mâché to your hands. Aestheticians remove dirt and oil from pores with cleansing facials that utilize the anti-aging properties of chocolate or oxygen, and massage therapists disentangle muscle knots with help from hot and cold stones or soothing aromatherapy. Though hair removal is rarely considered a relaxing venture, the staff at Nails on 54th strives to make it as painless as possible by treating sensitive skin with green and blue french waxes and azulene and by offering threading as a gentler option for delicate areas, such as around the eyes.
Aesthetician Ewa Rakwal calls Magnolia European Organic Spa her "home of wellbeing," a sanctuary that brings a European approach to beauty 4,000 miles from her native Poland. Magnolia is entering its 10th year, but Rakwal laid the groundwork well before, honing her art for eight years in a bustling midtown spa. The staff employs the Éminence skincare line, whose Hungarian origin nods to Rakwal's ties across the Atlantic and natural and organic ingredients reflect her commitment to gentle therapies. To this end, organic soy wax, aloe vera–rich Bronze Biologic tanner, and diamond microdermabrasions help keep skin smooth and willing to babysit younger siblings with minimal irritation. Licensed massage therapists apply their expert touch to hidden problems, holistically ironing out physical and emotional stress.
Named one of New York City’s 10 Best Nail Salons in 2010, Trevi Nails employs a crew of talented technicians who pamper hands and feet before polishing nails with Essie and OPI polishes. Behind 17 nail stations, which span two floors, staffers soften skin with paraffin dips, scrubs, and other personalized treatments, and aestheticians whisk away unwanted hair with face- and body-waxing services and artfully frame peepers with eyelash extensions. Customized massages with soothing lemon-infused products from Lemon Tree relax neck muscles sore from training mink to sit still on your shoulders.
Whirlpool foot baths, glasses of champagne, and hot river stones well up around clients at Village Nails & Spa, blocking out the stressors of the external world. Paraffin wax relaxes the hands' tendons before manicurists buff away dead skin and primp nails with a galaxy of multi-colored OPI polishes, and Swedish massages release stiffness over the rest of the body with deft, gliding strokes. The staff extricates unwanted hair with PFB Vanish waxes, which quiets the discomfort associated with waxing with a combination of hydrating ingredients and a light anesthetic.