We arrived in NYC on Sunday night, our only appointment for the day: Bliss Spa on Lexington Avenue. Little did I realize this was the calm before the storm. (Okay, Kelly St. John tried to warn me, but I didn’t completely comprehend what she was saying.)
Kelly St. John is the Vice President Divisional Merchandise Manager (DMM) for NeimanMarcus.com and BergdorfGoodman.com. She’s basically the head of the online buying team. Random trivia: Kelly is also friends with Bliss founder Marcia Kilgore, and an early adopter of the products (or in her words, “a longtime crazy Bliss fan”). Kelly was even one of the brand’s early product testers.
Though we came for facials, you can get almost anything done at a Bliss spa: body treatments, massage, nail services — even short-term or long-term hair removal. They also have showers and a sauna, and I entertained fantasies of “accidentally” getting locked in overnight (Paddington Bear-style).
A Bliss facial is like a multi-course meal for your senses (and your skin). My aesthetician started with Clog Dissolving Cleansing Milk (which smells like orange), followed by an eye mask (cucumber), while he took a look at my skin under brighter lights. He followed with Brightening Exfoliating Enzyme Treatment (which kind of tingles). To help the treatment work, he covered my skin (not my nose or mouth, obviously) with saran wrap, over which he placed hot towels.
While the Brightening Exfoliating Treatment was working its magic, he gave me a shoulder and hand massage with Blood Orange + White Pepper Body Butter (my fave Bliss “flavor”). Then he cleansed my face with Daily Detox Facial Toner, and performed extractions with the Pore-fector Gadget.
Every time I get a facial in a place that offers extractions, the aesthetician zeroes in on my nose. After going along with it several times now, I have concluded that extractions just aren’t for me. First, it hurts like the dickens. Second, it leaves my skin red and blotchy afterwards — not just that day, but maybe even the day or two afterwards (facial skin is delicate!). Third, I can’t see a difference before and after. It’s not something I do at home, and I think I enjoy the professional experience more when I leave that step out.
Now, if you are a believer in extractions, the Bliss gadget is probably the Rolls Royce of tools. Like some other implements that might already be on your bathroom counter, its steriliz-able metal plate uses sonic vibrations to clean out pores. I’d probably recommend getting some guidance on how to use it before you jump right in.
We followed the extractions with another round of Clog Dissolving Cleansing Milk, then Decleor Aroma Night Balm (Decleor and Remede are also owned by Bliss). I also had my first ever Triple Oxygen Treatment, and it’s unlike any other product I’ve tried. The product… bubbles on your skin for an improbably long period of time.
Of course, it’s not a Bliss spa experience without their vitamin A, C, E serum and oxygen spray. And then Triple Oxygen Cream, Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Gel, and FabuLips balm had me ready for bed. I sort of love a late facial, because I feel a little bit naughty not washing my face/putting on moisturizer. (But it’s already on!)
One of the great things about Bliss is that almost all of their products are available for purchase (to keep those good feelings going). Since I’m not yet a Bliss-guru, I asked Kelly St. John and Katherine Coleman (one of her buyers) about their favorite products.
Body Butter: This comes in several scents, but both Kelly and Katherine voted for the classic Lemon + Sage. “It’s automatically relaxing,” Katherine said. I like Blood Orange + White Pepper; you could also choose Naked (no scent) or Vanilla + Bergamot.
Triple Oxygen Energizing Eye Masks: I love a good sheet mask for eyes, so when Katherine mentioned Bliss made one, it immediately went onto my “to try” list. When you haven’t really gotten enough sleep, an eye mask can be a great way to fake it.
Remede’s Alchemy Line: Kelly was also a fan of the Alchemy products from the Remede line. Alchemy is a “first signs of aging” line, rich in antioxidants (grapeseed, green tea, soy, vitamin E) for environmental defense, and “spiked” with great scents like peppermint.