Cindy Barshop may have a familiar face. She gained reality-TV fame as a cast member of The Real Housewives of New York City, but she found success much earlier when the Madison Avenue spa she founded more than 10 years ago grew into a hair-removal brand known throughout the country. Completely Bare’s waxing specialists dab bikini lines with the shop’s proprietary blend of ouch-less wax, which adheres to hair instead of skin to avoid the painful pull that often accompanies a waxing session. The blend is hypoallergenic and does not cause acne, which makes it ideal for depilating sensitive skin and touchy bodily zones. Routine waxing sessions add extra sparkle with the salon’s vajazzling service, which bedecks newly hair-free spots with up to 70 Swarovski crystals arranged into such shapes as hearts, stars, peace signs, and MPAA ratings. The spa specialists also migrate beyond the below-the-belt area to polish the rest of the body with facials, laser hair removal, spray tanning, and teeth whitening.
The towering poppies on the walls of Fashion Diva Spa seem to emit enough tantalizing aromas to suit their size. Honey, green tea, and citrus scents waft throughout the red-and-white wonderland, whose furniture strikes a crisp, modern contrast to the flowers. The smells don't emanate from their painted blooms, however—they stem from the baths along a pedicure bench, from the adjacent nail stations, and from private treatment rooms, where hot herbal compresses and lava stones help massage therapists loosen muscular knots. Of course, they might also drift up from complimentary cups of hot or iced tea, a warmer greeting than a welcome mat that's been set aflame.
The combined nail salon and day spa pampers guests with luxurious services to match each alluring fragrance. Cocoa-perfumed cream softens legs during a chocolate pedicure, whereas a mix of essential oils colors the aromatherapy facial. The vitamin C in skincare masks and the kelp in body wraps evince the menu's reliance on natural ingredients—a commitment the staff honors with its mink eyelash extensions, whose strands were painlessly harvested by brushing live mink on Russian farms.
Additionally, a focus on customization transforms even the most everyday treatments. Aestheticians apply specialized formulas for different skin types during waxing and airbrush tanning appointments. On a personal level, the team makes a point of memorizing clients' names, fostering an atmosphere of congeniality and closeness without preceding every massage with a trust fall onto the table.
Products by Bumble and Bumble and Moroccanoil strapped to their utility belts, the stylists at Salon 33 South tint tresses, fight frizz, and create luscious body waves. They also suggest hair products and cement mixes that help clients preserve their new looks. On their way out, clients might grab complimentary coffee, tea, or cookies.
With the help of plant-based Yon-Ka Paris products, Blanfil's aestheticians rejuvenate faces of all ages and skin types. Five different styles of facial treatments go beyond simple cleansing with several steps designed to exfoliate, purify, and moisturize the skin. Some of the facials are age specific, such as the teen facial that targets stubborn blackheads and soothes the stress of perpetual algebra with an aromatic compress, or the anti-aging facial that includes a relaxing face and neck massage along with a freeze-dried-fruit mask. In addition to vivifying visages, the skincare specialists wield warm wax to banish unwanted hair from eyebrow to toe knuckle, and their reflexology treatments reduce stress and cleanse the body of impurities.