Before your wedding is the perfect time to upgrade your beauty routine. Do you want to look your best on the big day? Where do you start when searching for the perfect facial? There are so many options.

Brides have your back. To test the best NYC aestheticians, our staff ventured out into the beautiful city. It was a difficult job. We explain the differences between micro-current, Microdermabrasion and micro-needling, give you information on galvanic currents and facial cupping, and take you to a “facial gymnasium”.

Follow @brides and see the results live on Instagram. Also, check out our Insta Story series ‘I Do’ Beauty for a behind-the-scenes look at these spas.

Now, let’s relax and enjoy New York City’s best facials.

Ildi Pekar

“Hungarian aesthetician Ildi Parker is a master at her craft. This is evident when you sit down on her table or look at every Victoria’s Secret model’s skin on the runway. Her signature magnetic cupping facial is a result of her studies in chemistry in Budapest. The ‘cupping” aspect of this facial won’t, I repeat, leave you looking like Gwyneth Paltrow or Michael Phelps. Although it is the same concept, the cupping facial uses light suction to draw nutrients to your face, increase blood circulation and stimulate lymphatic drainage. The process is quite relaxing. Pekar starts with a series o skin washes and enzyme peels that cleanse and exfoliate. The machine uses magnetic vibrations to open the lymph. After that, she moves on to cupping. Pekar can control the blood circulation below the skin and allow toxins to drain from the face thanks to the magnetic aspect of cupping. It looks a bit like a tiny bulb syringe/turkey baster, with different sizes to suit different parts of the face. The facial is completed with an LED light mask that vibrates at the lower half of your face. It’s a bit scary, but it works great. It was truly amazing. My under-eye bags were completely gone, and I felt like I had never felt and looked so radiant from the inside. My skin felt super elastic and lifted, even after a night of too many cocktails and insufficient water…sorry, Ildi). There was no redness or downtime, just the opposite. This isn’t the best bridal facial I’ve ever seen.

Joanna Vargas

Even if you are a beginner in skin care, you probably heard the name, Joanna Vargas. Vargas’ facials are a cut above the rest, whether it was the glowing (ahem, Klissy!) lips of Karlie Kloss who described her facials as “heaven” or Brad Goresky who said she ‘transformed his skin’ with her facials. Vargas’s signature “Triple Crown Facial” has been extensively covered. I was intrigued to try the ‘Supernova”, which focuses on hydration, reducing inflammation and puffiness. Yes, please! Elizabeth Cintron, the JV master aesthetician, assured me that the Supernova would deliver on my desires for ultra-hydration and de-puffed eyes. (spoiler alert: it didn’t). To get into my pores, she started by applying all-over suction. The handy little tool also exfoliated and clarified my pores with glycolic acid, followed by hydration. Cintron covered my whole face, except my nostrils, with a collagen mask. It was very thin, so there was no claustrophobia. Her stress-relieving shoulder massage was also a great help. We moved on to the bigger guns: micro-current and cryotherapy. This micro-current was quite different from the Rescue one. The Biologique Recherche machine looked more like two large cotton pads. However, the probe Cintron used for micro-current was made of metal. The micro-current glided on my skin and was covered with a soothing chamomile cream. It also added a cooling effect. There was no metallic taste, but it did make me twitch my eyes. However, cryotherapy stole the show. It was like jumping into icy cold, crystal-clear water in the middle of summer. The system is shocked by the icy cold wand. It also increases cell metabolism, circulation, oxygenation and lymphatic drainage. The last thing I wanted was a blast of oxygen onto my face. My skin felt tighter, and my cheekbones were more defined when I left. There wasn’t even a single wrinkle visible.

Face Gym

Face Gym, as the name suggests, is not a spa. It’s a gym that works for your face. This British import is located on Saks’ second floor. It aims to put your skin through the same rigorous training program as your body during interval training. My trainer, Erin Esparza, started the workout by doing a “warm-up.” She stretched my forehead and cheeks under my jawline with a rubber ball. After the warm-up, she did cardio. She massaged my skin with her fingers for several hours and made me sweat. Next came the sculpt section of the workout. This time, she massaged my jawline and cheekbones to lift them. A quick micro-current session was also included in the sculpt to tighten my muscles. A cool down with a chilled jade ga sha rock felt like an ice-water plunge after a hard workout. Esparza recommended a series of facials every week for six weeks to reap the full benefits of the exercise. Even after just one workout, I was glowing and visibly lifted.

Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa

The infamous Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 skincare line is a must-have. You’re missing one of the most popular skincare lines in the world. Biologique Recherche’s P50 magic potion is only available to licensed retailers. It exfoliates and balances pH. Tones are also included. This will give you the best skin ever. Paul Labrecque Spa took these sacred grail products and turned them into a range of spa treatments that will give you unbelievably soft skin. The spa’s Lotion P50 Deep Cleaning Hydrating Facial deep cleanses, tones and exfoliates the skin. This is thanks to the expertise of the staff and Biologique Recherche products. Why stop at your skin? The Lotion P50 Gommage Skin Scrub and Massage was my experience at the Paul Labrecque Spa and Salon. This is a facial that will do the trick for your whole body. My aesthetician put on a special glove to scrub my entire body with the Biologique Recherche lotion P50 Gommage. This is a very thorough exfoliation. It removes all the dead skin cells and helps to renew and revive your skin. To allow the active ingredients of P50 to penetrate my skin, I was wrapped up in heavy blankets to warm me. After washing off the exfoliator, I was massaged with Biologique Recherche lotion to hydrate my newly smoothed, resurfaced skin. What did you get? The result? All over softness and a healthy glowing. This treatment will leave your skin soft and smooth so that you can show off your legs on your honeymoon.

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