Best of Beauty in NYC

Christine Drinan, Founder
Best of Beauty in NYC

You’ve come off a big summer of travel in which you pretty much made up for lost time over the past two years. But, with all that travel, you could use some maintenance. Here’s your bible for the best beauty treatments in NYC. First, we start on the surface for the best facial, massage, hair cut and color, and nails. Then we dig deeper, moving on to skin practitioners that you’ll wan’t to have on speed dial. Get your glow on this fall with these skin saviors.

Mzia Shiman
Aesthetician: Mzia Shiman

Location: 35 E. 67th Street

On the Upper East side of Manhattan, aesthetician Mzia Shiman‘s celebrity clientele traveled to her even before she even had her own spa. Now, the Mzia Shiman Spa offers skin care specialty treatments. These go well beyond an at-home face mask. Shiman uses both traditional techniques learned through her 20 years of experience and recent technological advances in LED light therapy and glycolic peels.

Mzia is also known for being the aesthetician of choice for Victoria’s Secret Models after long flights. Some of the services that are offered include: Micro Current cologne treatment, Anti-Aging Facial, and Oxygen Infusion. Beyond offering one of the best beauty treatments in NYC, Mzia is someone who is a healer. Her warm, beautiful energy is the other reason she has the top clients in NYC.

Color: Jada at Salon AKS

Location: 689 Fifth Avenue

It was a sad day two years ago when I had to admit that I was going slightly grey. I don’t like to fuss with upkeep, and the thought of sitting in a chair for hours for a color treatment was no bueno in my book. But I made the leap and found Salon AKS‘ Jada, the top colorist in the city. She does what’s best for her clients, and knows exactly how to make your color look natural. In fact, she does such a great job, my stylist of 20+ years, Thibault, didn’t even know I started coloring my hair. Add in Jada’s professional, warm, bright, and genuine personality, and she’s actually a reason to start coloring your hair.

Blow Dry: Janine at Salon AKS

Location: 689 Fifth Avenue

It’s only been since I met Janine at Salon AKS that I indulge in blowouts on a more regular basis. To me, it just wasn’t worth it before; I’m more of a wash-and-go gal. Once again, it’s a time thing with me, so unicorns need to fall from the sky to get me to sit in a chair. But that’s exactly what Janine does; my hair never looks better. You can tell a stylist is skilled when she can take a plain wooden round brush and give you a natural curl, without a curling iron. Janine is one of a kind with her blow dryer and brush.

Haircut: Thibault

Location: On request and Austin, Texas

When someone has magic scissors and is the most functional male relationship you’ve had in your life for 20 years, you keep him close. I first met Thibault when he was a young pup at Frédéric Fekkai. From there, I’ve stalked him every place he’s cut hair, from Warren Tricomi, to today, as a guest stylist at Pacha. You know someone is good when every person who’s done your blowouts tells you that you have a perfect haircut. Thibault is a keeper. He lives in Austin now but periodically comes back to NYC. I time my haircuts and travel schedule around him; he’s that good.

Haircut: Nyree at Salon AKS

Location: 689 Fifth Avenue

During the pandemic, when I couldn’t see Thibault, I finally broke down and had someone else cut my hair. It was a serious decision after 20+ years, and I was skeptical. But Nyree at Salon AKS, where I get my single process and blowouts, knows her way around a pair of scissors. She specializes in long hair, and for those whose goal is to grow their hair out, Nyree’s your girl.

Bling Spa

Location: 20 W. 23rd Street

If there’s one thing I do for myself that is an absolute necessity, it’s lash extensions. It’s an hour out of my life that is perhaps the greatest return on investment. It’s also the only thing on me that is not natural, for the record. With lash extensions, I don’t need to wear makeup, and yes, I woke up like this. With Karchen, you can too. For what this saves me in time on makeup, Bling Spa is one of the best beauty treatments in NYC.

Note: The 14th Street location of Bling is abysmal, and the 23rd Street location just meets decent standards. There aren’t private rooms but rather just dividers between each client. So this is not a luxury experience, but the end result is worth it.

Manicurist: Rosa at Rescue Spa

Location: 29 E. 19th Street

I’m going to preface this with, there was no one like Doris at Salon AKS. For 20 years, Doris was my go-to manicurist, who worked for other perfectionists like Martha Stewart and Bethany Frankel. There was no one, and there will never be anyone, who is as good as she is. But with the pandemic, Salon AKS shut its nail services (huge mistake), and my one-stop shop is no longer. Doris now enjoys a well-deserved retirement, but every single month I miss her.

With that said, I don’t mess around with random nail salons; you can get some serious infections. Cleanliness is key. So I went to the nicest spa and salon in NYC, which is hands down Rescue Spa. I trialed everyone in the nail salon and Rosa is by far the best. She gets right in there to almost a medical-grade pedicure, and makes sure you’re cleaned, your cuticles are cut and your polish is on perfectly. The environment is beautiful as well at Rescue, and passes my standard for clean.

Dermatologist: Dr. Denis Gross

Location: 900 Fifth Avenue

If you have any major skin issues, or small annoyances like skin tags, moles etc., Dr. Gross is your guy. He’s a grown-up in a field of people who purport to know about skincare. His operation reflects that professionalism, and he’s my go-to whenever I have a skin medical issue. During the summer he also has an outpost at Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton, along with his NYC ops.

Dermatologist: Dr. Shereene Idriss

Location: 80 West 40th Street, 3rd Floor

I don’t do Botox, but if I did, it would be with Dr. Shereene. Her philosophy is “Subtle is the new dramatic,” and this is the person you want sticking needles in your face. The worst is that plastic look you see on ladies of a certain age, that actually makes them look older. Shereene works miracles; all you need is to check out her before and afters on Instagram. Speaking of which, I love how Shereene keeps it real in her posts, and gives you real fact-based info. Major respect for all she’s built: one of the best beauty treatment options in NYC.

EMSculpt: Christine at Skinney Medspa

Location: 37 W. 57th Street

It takes hard work to look good as you get older. And like Kim K, I do care — a lot — about my physical appearance, as it also impacts health. Even with four to five times a week at the gym, my genetics aren’t perfect. I carry most of my weight in my mid-section, which creates a risk for heart disease. I take wellness seriously, but I’m also not wiling to go under the knife. Enter Skinney Medspa, a beautiful, boutique medical spa in Midtown and the Flatiron. They have an EmSculpt Neo treatment that is the equivalent of doing 20,000 sit ups. If something will save me from having to do 20,000 sit ups, then it’s definitely one of the best beauty treatments in NYC. Emsculpt Neo builds muscle, and burns fat. Christine is my go-to girl who goes way above and beyond every time. The one person to avoid in both the Flatiron and Midtown locations is Josie. Her inexperience and overall attitude are not indicative of the Skinney Medspa experience.

Acupuncture: Kana at ORA Spa

Location: 1114 Madison Avenue

For me, it’s a big deal to trust someone sticking needles in you. I was a huge fan of Juhi Singh when she had the Juhi Ash Center for Wellness. But alas. it closed due to the pandemic and a myriad of other reasons, so this year I was on the hunt for a new acupuncturist. That’s when I found ORA Spa, which has a beautiful location on the Upper East Side. My acupuncturist is Kana, who will work out my carpel tunnel from too much computer work, and get me in a zen frame of mind. She also does an incredible acupuncture facial, which is an alternative to botox.

Massage: Melissa at Equinox Sports Club

Location: 160 Columbus Avenue

This is not a luxury spa like Rescue, that makes you feel like you’re on vacation. Instead, this massage is bodywork that heals your real aches and pains. I have shoulders that are up to my ears, that generally hold my stress. In fact, my shoulders are generally like rocks. Melissa works that out and also gives you real stretches and advice to improve your overall health. She puts me back in shape with all the airplane and travel that my schedule requires.

Related Articles

Frédéric Fekkai’s Top 6 Tips for Quarantine Haircuts 
Mzia Shiman in the Hamptons 


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