By Deepa Arora Das

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I was literally lured into SpaLab. As I hustled down 36th Street my mind was on one thing, catching my train home. Suddenly a sweet scent of fruits and flowers consumed me. I tried to figure out where the aroma was coming from when I stopped in my tracks as I noticed a beautiful window display. The vibrant colors, unique textures and gleam of the objects in the window intrigued me. I forgot all about my train and walked inside to an inviting and chic space. The entrance was filled with alluring soap sculptures of cupcakes, fortune cookies, pies, ice creams, and truffles. Was this a dessert shop? As I moved further into the space every one of my senses was stimulated. Beautiful loofahs, candles, and the most amazing one of a kind hand- made soaps grabbed my attention. Was this a bath store? Beaker bottles lined the back wall displaying a massive selection of skin care ingredients and fragrances including SPF, Vitamin C, lavender, and sandal wood to name a very few. Was this a lab? A friendly man greeted me and asked if I was there for a massage. Was this a spa?

This is SpaLab, a fun and innovative spa and skin care concept developed and owned by spa expert Larry Costa. SpaLab offers personalized “treats” from exquisite handmade soaps to custom blended skin care products. You can even work with a SpaLab specialist to create your own personalized skincare line. You pick not only your fragrances, but also the vitamins, and nutrients that are right for you. The products are then created and blended right in front of you to take home! From Larry’s lab to your bathroom, that is just part of the SpaLab experience.

The other part is the spa services, of course! I came back a week later for a custom blend one hour facial.
My esthetician was polite, professional, and knowledgeable. She started with a good steam and calming face massage. She talked me through everything she did and was gentle but managed to extract where needed while still keeping me relaxed. She created a personalized mask for me and massaged my arms while the mask worked its magic. It was bliss, and by the time the hour was up my skin looked vibrant and youthful. After the facial she helped me pick out and customize a facial cream. I personalized it by adding SPF, Vitamin E, and several other nutrients that she suggested. I also purchased a Bamboo face scrub and picked out a mosaic hand soap with dried flower petals in it.

I would absolutely go back to SpaLab, in fact I have no choice I am half way finished with my face scrub. I am addicted to how soft it makes my skin and my complexion is still showing the benefits of my facial.

SpaLab and Larry Costa are unique and inspiring and if their passion and excitement doesn’t attract you into the lab, the many other products and services SpaLab has to offer will.

40 West 36th St.
New York, NY 10018

Originally published July 2011

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