I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
I’ll never forget my most expensive facial of all time, before my editor days, after my 27th birthday right in my own neighborhood. Christine Chin Spa is on some crazy level, and the facial my amazing boyfriend bought for me cost him a pretty penny: namely, $225 dollars (plus $40 tip). It was what I like to refer to as my first big-girl facial, where it was not only expensive AF, but also really showed me just how cruddy my skin was before I got on the ball.
I was still chock full of comedones then; I'm sure my esthetician had a field day getting every tiny bit of yuck out. (I feel like that has to be the most fun but also grossest part of the job.) Although everything about that facial was great, there were some things that were just so off. The music, the pushy upselling, the shameless frown when you don’t want to buy take-home products. I had mentally prepared myself for this by reading a ton of Yelp reviews, but it still sucked.
Now I can proudly say I’ve had three of the most renowned facials in my city. Even the best, fanciest, most spa-like environments don’t realize just how crappy the music can be. Someone like me has raging ADHD, and sitting still in itself is a challenge—throw in bird sounds and, wait, is that the damned TWILIGHT SONG I’m hearing? It all just makes my brain devolve into ridiculous thought patterns and not focus on why I’m there: to relax for a brief moment and take care of my dang skin, not giggle and think of the Pure Moods compilation from the ‘90s.
This is why I was soooo impressed with Heyday, being called a "Drybar for facials," which is plain to see when you roll up. The flagship is in the Flatiron District of NYC, but I could see this picking up in a hot second. A clean, well-appointed space houses rows of treatment rooms separated by curtains, much like my beloved Chinatown massage parlors, but, you know, more fashionable and with better lighting.
And it's so much more straightforward when you take off just superfluous stuff like shoes and jewelry and plop down for a service, rather than stripping naked and putting on flip flops and a robe. Don’t even get me wrong: spa time is the shit, but facials are one of those things that I should just do more often but don’t because of time and expense and the busy flow of my life.
So when I fell onto Katya's treatment table and enjoyed every last second of my 30 minute service, I knew that Heyday was on to something. The music was varied, mostly current, and upbeat without ruining the calm intentions. Katya snapped me right into the chill zone by removing my makeup with an oil cleanser and light massage, then when she used a hot towel to take it off, some lavender and other flower oils were held under my nose. Boom! That’s all it took to make me snap out of commuter mode.
We continued on with Katya’s super-amazing facial massage, some light extractions, a mask, and a hand and scalp massage. I didn’t know such decadence could be had without a 60-minute appointment! Katya was really knowledgeable, and being the Chatty Cathy that I am, we got into the whole shebang about everything I use and what I’m doing right, wrong, etc. Overall, it was exactly what I wanted: a bit of pertinent chatter, some quality massaging, and no wait time while your tech goes to eat lunch or something while you wear a face mask.
Heyday is on the come-up because of their convenient business model. The place is not gendered, which I find incredibly important. Everyone needs proper skincare, and this company makes it all the more accessible. I actually looked GLOWING after my facial which is rare because even my amazing experiences at Erno Laszlo and Caudalie left me a little red. Part of this is how much better my skin has gotten, but the results speak for themselves. I have never selfied with no makeup on purpose because I felt pretty, I’m serious.
Look for them in a city near you in the future—I have a feeling it's on the way ASAP. You can buy great lines here such as One Love Organics, Naturopathica, Ideal, Rodin, and Supergoop, and that's also exactly what they use in your service, which is documented every time. Essentially, for $60, you can get a 30-minute hookup, and add-ons like microdermabrasion, peels and beard therapy(!!!) are a flat $35. A facial AND micro for under $100 is insane in NYC in a clean and reliable place. And soon, they'll have an app where you can track your progress, book appointments, and shop their product selection. Basically this is brilliant.
- What’s your favorite type of facial?
- Who else wants to choke people when they hear Yanni?