April 19 2014

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10 posts tagged "Spa"

Beauty 411: Ariana Mouyiaris of MAKE



Launched last year, the new cosmetic line MAKE defines itself as purposeful beauty. And the definition couldn’t be more apropos. The company, founded by Nikos Mouyiaris, a cosmetic chemist who has worked on landmark brands like NARS and Erno Laszlo, donates (in partnership with the We See Beauty Foundation, an independent nonprofit) one-third of all sales to aid in the development of women-run businesses in the U.S. And while the purpose behind MAKE is praiseworthy, so too are the products themselves—the brand’s latest creative collaboration with photographer-filmmaker Erik Madigan Heck and makeup artist Sam Addington resulted in the lushly beautiful Post-Impression collection (our favorites: the dense greenish-gold molten cream shadow in Mud and the intensely pigmented orange-red Scarlet Oak lipstick). The woman fueling the ideas for MAKE is Mouyiaris’ daughter Ariana, who serves as the company’s creative director. Here, she shares some of her own beauty and style favorites in both London and New York, the cities between which she divides her time.

“Therme Vals is an incredibly Zen place. I have a love affair with the Alps, and as a guest you can go night-bathing at midnight. The contrast and stillness of the heated thermal water, rising steam, and cold air against the clear night sky and mountains is magic. The space, designed by Peter Zumthor in the nineties, is stark, monastic, and perfectly detailed—he worked with local stone and the geography to create something completely meditative.”


“I’ve been going to Dr. Dan since I was about 10. Her English isn’t very good, but she is an amazing acupuncturist. She can tell what is going on through your pulse, skin, tongue, and face. And if you’re in need of an energy boost, sorting out a pinched nerve, or anything in between, she’s well worth the journey. She is the real deal for health and realignment.”

Dr. Dan Li, 14030 Sanford Ave, Suite 1A, Flushing, NY

“In London, Helen O’Neill is the ultimate for physio-massage and physi-yoga. Her practice melds an Eastern approach—needling to activate the muscles—with Western therapies for musculoskeletal health. She started a great little center out in London Fields where I live called Fix with therapists who cover and complement all forms of treatments and activities—from osteopathy to Pilates, to acupuncture and myofascial release.”


“The one thing I miss in New York that has grown so much in my enclave of London is local greengrocers. Broadway Market in London has two great ones alongside a growing selection in the local corner stores. But a new find for me in New York has been Elm Health Downtown. They have good nut milks, gluten-free products, and dry goods.”


“This was a recommendation from my naturopath and it’s amazing. It has all one could wish for: herbal teas, supplements, pre and probiotics. You name it, they know it well.”


“Goodyoga is my local spot when I’m in New York. I go to the one in Bushwick, though they also have studios in Greenpoint and Clinton Hill. The studio itself is unpretentious and spacious, and classes are often small and noncompetitive. They have classes that focus a lot on your core, back, and strengthening, and the teachers give individual attention to get all in-line.”


THE GO-TO JUICE SPOT: The Butcher’s Daughter
“I use a Vitamix my mother gave me from the eighties for juices and other fresh concoctions at home, but The Butcher’s Daughter in Nolita has great cleansing juices. The interior is sunny, and the milk bottle packaging, graphics and all, is always a visual treat.”

19 Kenmare St, NYC,

THE SWEET SPOT: E5 Bakehouse
“E5 Bakehouse in London is the hands-down best bakery on either side of the pond. Their sourdough breads are made with local flours, and a Russian-inspired rye, called Borodinsky, is not only gluten- and yeast-free but stays moist for days. It will change your morning ritual and expectations for your daily bread—forever.”


“Bois d’Orage by Frédéric Malle has been a signature scent for years—it’s so deep and immersive. I also sometimes wear Comme des Garçon’s Play (the black one); it has cedar and black pepper notes, amongst others, that make it feel fresh and contemporary. And I like that it’s for men and women—who says scent should be gender-specific?”

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THE HOME SCENT: Astier Villate
“Their incense and Swiss hand cream are a luxury, but what I truly covet are their candles. I’m the one always picking up all the cloches to immerse myself in scent!”

Available at

“I like to keep things simple: a good base, multifunctional products, layered color, and a strong brow. MAKE’s primers and perfectors are a slight obsession. The Retexturising Face Primer in fall and winter, and the SPF 30 during the summer, are perfect for a clean face. I like a wet lid and use the Face Gloss semi-religiously. The Brow Pen is really great for effortless filling in, and I tend to use a lipstick for cheeks and lips; Deep Flesh and Putty are my current preferred combination. Lucas’ Papaw ointment also does wonders for the lip and is always in my bag.”

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“For eyebrows, I’ve been going to Angela at the Red Door Spa for over a decade. Although it no longer has its iconic red door, it is still a New York institution. I like that most of the therapists have been there for twenty years or more and really know what they’re doing. Well-shaped brows can change your whole face, and there’s no one else I trust for a perfect arch and great symmetry.”


“I’m very lucky that my boyfriend is a very talented hairdresser, so cuts tend to happen spontaneously or when I’m in dire need. I love that sometimes we just cut it at home without a mirror, which takes away the anxiety of watching tresses fall away. For products, I’ve been using Brooklyn, Maroc Argan Oil, which is sourced by a friend of his from Morocco. It is cold-pressed, raw, 100 percent pure, and sourced directly from women’s cooperatives outside of Marrakech, so very much in-line with my sensibility. It is great for keeping my ends looking healthy. I’ve also been into Vetiver and Black Pepper Hair Powder from Lulu Organics; I apply it to my roots and brush my natural oils to the ends so my hair stays shiny and full in the winter.”

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Face Time


hydrafacialMicrodermabrasion may be old hat for the hardened facial junkie hell-bent on a skin-perfecting fix every four weeks or so. But even the most jaded of skin-sloughers might just perk up at the promises backing the HydraFacial, a relatively new kid on the block in terms of treatments. HydraFacial’s technology uses a series of plastic “blades” (not nearly as frightening as it sounds) in place of the diamond-tipped tools traditionally used in dermabrasion. When the tool is placed against skin, a vacuum clears pores, scrapes away dead cells, and delivers a cocktail of complexion-reviving ingredients simultaneously.

The first step to exponentially more fabulous skin is a cleansing/exfoliation hybrid, featuring the brand’s proprietary Activ-4 serum. Lactic acid banishes dead skin cells and brightens, while glucosamine helps to soften lines and whisk away hyperpigmentation. Next up is a glycolic-salicylic peel, aggressive enough to visibly brighten, but gentle enough that I wasn’t too red in the face to head straight back to the office post-treatment. Extractions are handled not by squeezing but by using suction, and the Beta-HD serum with salicylic acid and honey extract softens pore-clogging impurities and combats any resulting dryness. The pièce de résistance is Vortex-Fusion—not, in fact, related in any way to the Star Wars franchise, but a potent, antioxidant-packed serum that hydrates, plumps, and serves as a buffer against environmental foes. Optional add-ons include lymphatic drainage or LED light therapy, but after thirty minutes of standard HydraFacial magic, you may not even need them—or your foundation.

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The Red Door Spa: Now Faster Than a New York Minute


The Red Door Decompression Lounge

There are some women who would love nothing more than to luxuriate in a spa for hours on end. I, despite my job description, am not one of them. I’d rather paint my own nails, blow out my own hair, and replicate the effects of a facial at home than spend hours sipping cucumber water during a marathon pampering session. (Cue the hashtag: #firstworldproblems.) It’s not because I dislike these types of activities, it’s because they take forever…and ain’t nobody got time for that, as Sweet Brown would say. Leave it to storied beauty brand Elizabeth Arden, whose first Red Door salon opened in 1910 on Fifth Avenue, to keep up with the modern woman by offering speed services at its new Union Square location. In under fifteen minutes, you can treat tired eyes to hyaluronic serum and soothing pads via the Westside Eyeway, or get a quick dose of skin-plumping oxygen with the SOHO2. If you have an extra ten minutes, you can opt for the Queens Expressway, an extraction-free facial. Or try the Urban Renewal, a microdermabrasion treatment that’s finished in twenty-five minutes flat. Before I even had a chance to dose off during this diamond-tipped buffing session, I was done. The resulting glow, however, made it appear as if I’d gotten a solid eight hours of sleep. I like to think Ms. Arden herself would have been fond of these expedited services—after all, you don’t build a global empire lazing about. She famously stated, “To be beautiful is the birthright of every woman,” but if this tireless entrepreneur were alive today, her motto might go something like this: “To be beautiful is the birthright of every woman—even a busy one.”

200 Park Avenue South, New York, NY, (212) 388-0222;

Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Arden

Espa Does Dallas at the Joule Hotel



Should upcoming travel plans involve a trip to the fine city of Dallas, consider checking in at the Joule. The recently opened boutique hotel is a pretty cool place to hang out—note the artwork by the Havana-based collective Los Carpinteros, the lifestyle shop curated by TenOverSix, the Taschen library, and the fine espresso from Seattle’s Victrola Coffee Roasters. But here on Beauty Counter, we’re all about the bi-level Espa Spa. Spanning 8,000 square feet (everything’s bigger in the Texas, right?), the space features a vitality pool, an ice fountain (for stimulating circulation), an amethyst-and-black-quartz-crystal steam room, a wood sauna, and “experience” showers with ambient lighting. Six treatment rooms offer an extensive menu of face and body services, two of which are unique to the hotel: The Joule, a rubdown with warmed volcanic and jade stones, and the Earth-Inspired, a deep-tissue massage designed to undo tension with ginger-root exfoliation. Those not in any hurry to leave such serene quarters should book the Espa Time: a multi-hour session involving a facial, a massage, body exfoliation, a manicure, and a spa bento-box lunch (depending on the length of time requested). With such a lavish—and, frankly, hard-to-top—setup, it’s no wonder the spa will serve as Espa’s flagship location in the U.S.

Espa Spa at the Joule, 1530 Main Street, Dallas, Texas, (214) 748-1300,

Photos:Eric Laignel

Honey Do


guerlain spa

As iconic New York spots go, few can rival the cachet of the Waldorf-Astoria, whose roster of notable tenants includes the likes of Cole Porter, Marilyn Monroe, and gangster Bugsy Siegel. Another reason to add the fabled hotel to your Big Apple itinerary? The Guerlain Spa, which, perched on the nineteenth floor, now holds a special spot in this jaded New Yorker’s heart. After successfully bypassing the ground-floor Guerlain boutique, I headed upstairs to be received in what is arguably one of the most opulent salon foyers in Manhattan, where guests can shop the brand’s skincare—though you’ll probably prefer to make your way to the Grand Salon, where a well-curated selection of glossies and Prosecco await. The labyrinthine spa offers all the intimacy and meticulous sense of detail of a well-hidden gem on a much larger scale (think fourteen-thousand square feet and fifteen treatment rooms). My indulgence of choice? The deeply nourishing, eighty-minute Abeille Royale Youth Facial, a new addition to the treatment menu. Its star player, royal jelly, has been prized since ancient times for its healing and renewing properties. Guerlain ups the ante of the time-honored ingredient with its Royale Jelly Concentrate, collected from the house’s signature bees (which are kept, dreamily enough, on the French island of Ouessant). In addition to no fewer than two masks, steam, light extractions, and a paraffin hand wrap, the facial’s apian theme continues with the recently launched Abeille Royale Face Treatment Oil—a luxurious, amber-hued oil that firms and hydrates skin simultaneously. What could be sweeter?

$295, 100 E. 50th St., New York, (212) 872-7200;