When Skyy Hadley is finished painting, her artwork doesn’t hang on a museum wall—it beautifies the hands of stars such as P. Diddy, Uma Thurman, and Liv Tyler. The celebrity manicurist was once just another young woman who moved from the South to NYC while chasing a dream, but unlike many stories, hers ended in success. With talent and hard work, she landed herself in the pages of Cosmo and Us Weekly and gathered a star-studded client list. After this success, Skyy decided to realize another dream: opening her own spa.
As well as taking its name from a genie’s obsequious words, As U Wish evokes the Arabian nights with an interior of tassled cushions, purple and yellow silk draperies, and light from a crystal chandelier. After walking past a crackling wooden fireplace, guests sink into massive, overstuffed chairs and dip their feet into pedicure baths of milk and honey or ylan-jasmine and violet oils. Then, scrubs with shea butter, mango, and sea salt or wraps made with Baltic mud and peach paraffin wax soothe soles weary from walking in high heels or from running while stuck in bear traps. During manicures or pedicures, toluene- and formaldehyde-free Zoya nail polish brightens appendages while guarding health, and the spa’s aestheticians also evict unwanted facial and body hair with honey or lavender wax.
When owner Erica Cerpa needs to restock EC Beauty Studio’s supplies, she shops for pure seaweed, omega-3, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, and vitamins A, C, and F. Cerpa favors these ingredients for the benefits they provide: seaweed eliminates toxins; omega-3 regulates oil production; acids exfoliate dead cells; and vitamins balance tone. Several other botanical ingredients make their way into facials, which are personalized for each person’s skin type. In addition to working at the studio, Cerpa travels to homes, offices, and pillow forts, offering on-location services such as airbrush tanning and spa parties. Cerpa also amplifies the volume and length of natural lashes with individually applied synthetic eyelash extensions.
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.
Plush leather seating, wrought-iron chandeliers, and a brick-set fireplace combine to make Emanuel’s Salon an elegant oasis for pampering hair and spa services. Whether preparing revelers for their prom, wedding, or a fancy search party, the makeover mavens pull off a fully polished look with mani-pedis and make-up applications. The staff also combats baldness in both men and women with high-tech laser hair therapy.
Stella’s talented stylists shear male and female head hedges with their plethora of services in a professional salon environment. Draw attention to stunning visage features with a face frame ($75+), or undergo a wash-and-cut session, letting a crack coiffurist shampoo away hair grime before skillfully banishing misbehaved hair strands to an eternity as bird-nest-building materials ($35+). To complete the cosmetic upgrade and exit Stella’s looking extra sharp, make it a wash, cut, and style, ameliorating a majestic mane through the application of professional-grade products and a magic-like manipulation of the stylist’s tools of the trade, including brush, blow-dryer, and uttering “abracadabra” three times quickly ($45+).
Face-planting only organic and natural products, the aestheticians at Beauty Mark deftly drape the dermis in moisture-rich solutions. Your stride into the epidermal Hall of Fame begins with the Moisture Surge facial ($80), a 60-minute hydrating facial inspired by Marilyn Monroe. Camera-ready skin beams with softness, recharged to a glow that may spark punch-outs with similarly camera-ready paparazzi. Pick a facial add-on ($20–$40, excluding the minimicrodermabrasion) to indulge in yummy smears of enzymes and antioxidants, such as a collagen eye treatment, which minimizes puffiness caused by lack of sleep or leaving eyes in the microwave for too long. Or, nab a spicy, aromatic pumpkin peel, which holds enough active veggie enzymes to leave your face silky, smooth, and delicious smelling. Whichever aspect-enhancing extra guests choose, the entire tranquil experience is further accented by the spa's calm, quiet environs and noticeable lack of circus clowns.