Yelp is fine, but is there anything better than a passionate endorsement from a pal you know and trust not necessarily with your life, but most definitely with your hair, skin, face, nails and trapezoids? I personally think not. Which is why, in honor of Feel Good month, I asked Team Man Repeller to share their favorite Feel Good treatment go-tos in the New York area that cost $100 or less (because nothing feels as good as having cash to spare for an ice cream cone).
Their responses ran the gamut from professional stretching to no-frills massages, and frankly, I felt good just reading them. Peep the full round-up of recommendations below, as well as what’s so great about them and general tips for optimizing the experience. Don’t forget to share yours in the comments!
Who recommended it? Harling (me!)
What’s the treatment? 30-minute signature facial
How much does it cost? $80
What’s so great about it? I’m a huge fan of Silver Mirror Facial Bar’s no-nonsense, result-driven philosophy about facials. Every treatment is customized to suit your individual skin care needs, and they use exceptional products. I’ve walked out with a visible glow every time I’ve gone.
How often do you get it? Not as much as I’d like, mainly because it is truly an indulgence that I only treat myself to once in a while. Since discovering it, I’ve gone once every six months or so whenever my face is feeling particularly congested.
Any tips for someone trying it for the first time? Be really vocal about your particular skin care needs. The aestheticians are all highly trained and give the best advice.
Who recommended it? Abie
What’s the treatment? Flex*d — a 55-minute, full-body, customized professional stretch.
How much does it cost? $100
What’s so great about it? You walk out feeling like Jell-O.
How often do you get it? I try to go once a month or so.
Any tips for someone trying it for the first time? Jeff is really good, but all the staff seems amazing.
Who recommended it? Patty
What’s the treatment? Signature manicure and pedicure
How much does it cost? $65
What’s so great about it? Tenoverten’s products are cruelty-free, vegan and non-toxic. The space is not only comfortable and clean but also well-ventilated, and they don’t do gel or acrylics, which can impact the air quality of salons.
How often do you get it? Once every month or two. Most of the time I like my nails bare but every so often it’s a lovely treat.
Any tips for someone trying it for the first time? Highly recommend having lunch or dinner at Miss Lily’s right below the salon on Houston street before or after your appointment for a double-y feel-good day. The jerk salmon with plantains is my fave.
Who recommended it? Nora
What’s the treatment? 60-minute deep tissue massage
How much does it cost? $70
What’s so great about it? The masseuse used to be a physical therapist so she just sort of figures out what’s going on with your body before you’ve even registered it.
How often do you get it? Once a quarter, or if I’ve been traveling a bunch I try to make an appointment since flights mess up my back and stress me out.
Any tips for someone trying it for the first time? It’s a small operation, so scheduling can be a little difficult.
Who recommended it? Haley
What’s the treatment? Full-body massage
How much does it cost? $39
What’s so great about it? The staff at Renew is so kind and welcoming. The parlor is clean but no-frills — who cares about frills when you spend most your time staring at the floor? I’ve gotten such incredible massages there. Whenever I’m sore I dream of it.
How often do you get it? I’ve probably gone five or six times. A couple times on a whim when I’ve happened to pass by while walking around Chinatown. It’s a perfect escape from the city or reprieve when your body is aching from constant sitting.
Any tips for someone trying it for the first time? They accept walk-ins, so I usually don’t make an appointment, but I might start as I think it’s probably easier on the staff that way. Also, the foot massages are great too! Just pop in for 30 minutes when your feet ache.
Who recommended it? Imani
What’s the treatment? Acrylic manicure
How much does it cost? $28
What’s so great about it? I bite my nails religiously, a habit that is exacerbated by the fact that I never have the energy to paint them. Whenever I get acrylics done, the temptation to nibble is gone.
How often do you get it? I get this done three times a year, at best. Typing on my laptop with acrylics is impossible for me, so I can only get them if I’m going on vacation.
Any tips for someone trying it for the first time? Make sure that your nails are healthy beforehand; acrylics can be damaging!
Who recommended it? Jasmin
What’s the treatment? Green tea facial
How much does it cost? $80
What’s so great about it? So the facial is great (very thorough and you’ll leave with glowy skin), however the real gem of this treatment is the neck, shoulder, arm and hand massage you get whilst the mask is on your face. Pure heaven, I tell you.
How often do you do it? Probably once every two months when my skin needs a boost.
Any tips for someone trying it for the first time? Relax, enjoy and you’re welcome.
Who recommended it? Matt
What’s the treatment? Collaging in your apartment
How much does it cost? It varies — if you happen to have some old magazines lying around, it’s free!
What’s so great about it? While I’m not particularly artistically inclined, collaging is such a cathartic creative activity. With a few magazines that speak to me, a glue stick and a blank card or poster board, collaging provides a few hours of dedicated time to be totally present and freely imaginative. It’s like being a kid again! While I do generally love a massage as a feel-good release, collaging offers the added benefit of providing a tangible takeaway at the end (and makes for a really personalized take on a greeting or birthday card).
How often do you do it? It’s a perfect Friday night activity after a long week and I usually I end up doing it maybe once per month?
Any tips for someone trying it for the first time? There’s a magazine store near the Man Repeller office called Mulberry Iconic Magazines that has a really fantastic selection. I also highly recommend the clear Elmer’s glue sticks (available at most Duane Reades) — they offer the perfect balance of stickiness and flexibility for shifting things around as your masterpiece comes together. I’ve also developed a pretty methodical step-by-step process for putting a collage together — holler at me in the comments if you want a tutorial.
Who recommended it? Amelia
What’s the treatment? Eyelash tinting with Nicky Cayot
How much does it cost? $25
What’s so great about it? A) I love Nicky. She does my eyebrows, too. B) Getting my eyelashes tinted makes me look “bright eyed and bushy tailed” on days I don’t feel like applying mascara.
How often do you get it? I get my eyelashes tinted almost every time I wax my eyebrows, which is about once every five weeks, and always before a trip that involves some sort of close proximity to the beach. It’s like an extra boost. I walk in feeling a little whatever (sweaty, usually, because I’m always late) and leave feeling like PING! Human daisy.
Any tips for someone trying it for the first time? If you’ve never had your eyelashes tinted before, I’d suggest (no matter where you go) calling ahead to learn about the dye to make sure it’s nothing you’re allergic to. I wear contacts and prefer to take them out first, so if you do too, bring a contact case. (Nicky has contact solution.) Also know that for the first few hours, it can look like you didn’t take eyeliner off properly. This goes away the next day, usually after a PM and an AM face wash, but still, it’s the kind of thing you want to get done a day or two before an event rather than the morning of.