Blissed-Out and Beautiful

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Blissed-Out and Beautiful

Ever wondered what having a facial at one of New York's trendiest spas is really like? Beauty Editorial Assistant Jen Needham had the enviable task of finding out...

Jennifer Needham

Jennifer Needham

Editorial Assistant

Published 1st September 2008

Ever wondered what having a facial at one of New York's trendiest spas is really like? Beauty Editorial Assistant Jen Needham had the enviable task of finding out...

It couldn’t get much better than celebrating my 25th birthday in ‘The Big Apple’ with two of my best friends. There we were, leisurely strolling down the avenues, laden with bags from Abercrombie and Fitch and full on our breakfast of fresh bread and fruit from the market in Grand Central Station.

New York was enjoying a heat wave at the time and the streets were full of red-faced and flustered tourists grappling with their cameras and tour guides. As usual there were hundreds of people everywhere. It was hot, and I needed a rest. It was at this point that I remembered that before I left, I had booked myself in for a facial at one of the top Spas in New York, Bliss.


Located in the trendy W hotel on Lexington Avenue, Bliss 49 is one of founder Marcia Kilgore’s many Spas. The original spa was set up in Soho, New York and they now span across the U.S, with one in London and also Hong Kong.

When I walked in through the doors I knew I was in for something special. The walls were painted sky blue with clouds, and it was so cool in contrast to the heat wave outside that I felt immediately calm. From street level Bliss is a shop, full of Marcia Kilgore’s wittily-named products such as ‘The Youth As We Know It’.  I entered the hotel lift and pressed the button (I knew which one to press as all the other grey hotel buttons looked drab against the bright blue one marked ‘Bliss’). The doors opened and once again I was greeted by the same ‘sky’ décor.

Everything about the Spa was relaxing. Once I got changed into my robe and flip-flops, I waited in a room where I could read magazines, relax on the sofa and devour treats such as brownies, fresh-orange juice, olives, cheese and crackers. It wasn’t like I was in a hot and busy city anymore, I had stepped into a haven of gorgeous smells, products and smiling staff.  It is no wonder this place is so popular in a city like New York.

Once my facialist, Eliza, came in to get me, I was already well and truly ‘Blissed-out’ – but I knew the best was yet to come.  I had chosen the most popular and well-loved facial that Bliss offer, the ‘Triple Oxygen Facial’, which promises to be a breath of fresh air for your face.

Initially my face was cleansed to get rid of all the grime that it had accumulated from that morning. Next was the Fruit Acid wash, which tingled slightly but in a good way. I was then treated to the first of the three oxygen treatments, this one being an ‘oxygen cream’. My face was then wrapped in a warm towel for a few minutes, which I have to say was pure heaven! And then for the rather scarily named ‘extraction’.

Even though this sounded like some method of tooth removal, it was in fact a painless and effective removal of all my little spots (I don’t have that many – honest!). Another mask followed, this time an oxygen milk calming mask and my face was once again wrapped in those lovely warm towels. Eliza left the room briefly and came back with a special seaweed mask she had just mixed. It felt so unbelievably fresh on my skin – like it was really doing some good.

My favourite part however was next in line – the massage. Eliza used quick hand movements across my face to aid lymphatic drainage. It was amazing how she lightly tapped and kneaded my skin with oils containing vitamins A,C and E. To finish, the final oxygen treatment was applied in a vitaminised oxygen spray – a light mist full of vitamins that settled gently and made me feel awake after such relaxation!

The whole facial lasted for an hour and a half and my skin literally felt brand new. I normally wear foundation like it’s going out of fashion and being in New York, I constantly wanted to look my best but after this facial I left the spa - heading straight to the Statue of Liberty - foundation-less and beaming with radiance.

Click here to view the Bliss product range.

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