By Anne Jones
A facial is the ultimate in luxury, as far as spa treatments are concerned. I would choose it over a massage any day, not only because it feels simply divine but the promise of glowing skin that goes far beyond that hour of bliss makes the treatment even more worthwhile. I’ve had countless facials, some better than others, that have also included a bundle of micro-dermabrasion treatments; all ensuring that I was a glowing bride on my wedding day. I assure you that I was.
Courtesy of Google.com images
Despite the location on a spa’s brochure, micro-dermabrasion isn’t exactly in the same category as a facial in terms of comfort and relaxation, but more like a means to an end. You will gain skin that is softer and clearer, thanks to the tiny rough grains used to buff away the first layer of the skin where many of those imperfections lie. But let’s admit it – the rough grains make for a less than pleasant feeling when rolled against and sucked up on the skin with the wand that is most commonly used for the micro-dermabrasion. Of course, when it does wonders for the skin and claims to be an alternative to facelifts, pain is simply insignificant.
The newest technique in the industry that is claiming a spot on many high-end spa brochures and celebrity spa regimes is the diamond facial. Is it really a girl’s best friend? Since June is BN’s bridal issue and diamonds are, after all, the epitome of bridal bling, I felt it was the perfect time to find out.
Diamond facials are less facial, like the former and more micro, like the latter. A diamond wand, meaning the wand that uses a steam of “diamond” crystals, is used to polish the skin and leave it luminous and radiant. This high-end treatment usually runs about $100 a pop (we’re not talking CZ prices, here). And like micro-dermabrasion, treatments are more effective in batches, so I went looking for a bargain and fortunately, I managed to find a diamond in the rough.
Serena Spa is in an area where you are most likely to need a spa treatment, on Broadway, across from Macy’s. Located in an office space, the spa, although no frills, is clean and calming. Because the space is small, there are only one or two rooms, it makes for an extremely personal experience that I later learn is not rushed, nor interrupted whatsoever.
Hui, the owner greeted me graciously. She explained the Italian product line and carefully chose products that would work according to my skin-type. Upon my research, most diamond facials consisted of a cleansing of the skin and the diamond wand application. Some treatments included a hand or neck massage. My treatment at Serena started with a deep cleansing followed by a cold facial steam (which is best for the abrasiveness of the diamond treatment) and then gentle extractions. So far, everything that I loved in a facial was part of this treatment. A high-frequency antibiotic treatment was followed by the diamond wand, which felt very similar to a micro-dermabrasion treatment. Hui followed this with an acne essence application and the most soothing acne soft mask (she was cool enough to offer a peek at the hardened shape of my face when it dried) and then an extraordinary neck, shoulder, hand and foot massage. All of this cost only $95 and if you have the $50 membership, any treatment in the spa is $50 at anytime.
I think most New Yorkers find themselves, at some point, faced with the inevitable trip to the “World’s Largest Department Store” or near the garment district. Do yourself a favor and book a diamond facial at Serena as your reward. This no-frills spa saves you some money, but the treatment that you receive is fabulous, the products and equipment is top-of-the-line and the atmosphere is really what a spa should be…calming, relaxing and soothing – leaving you feeling and looking better than when you came in. Sometimes when you look for the diamond, it may be in the rough, but still the ultimate gem.
1270 Broadway, Suite 210
(Btw 32nd & 33rd St.)
New York City