This past spring, the renowned Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa opened a branch at the destination activity center Chelsea Piers, and I headed downtown (the salon is located at about 19th Street in the sports complex, on Pier 60, at the most western end of that pier) to give the new salon a test drive. I had previously checked out the Labrecque facility at the CORE Club and having spent time at the Reebok Club, where Labrecque has a salon, I am quite familiar with the hair maestro's talents. So, it was with anticipation and high expectations that I hopped down to Chelsea Piers.
For the Labrecque "empire," it was an inspired idea to open a salon/spa at Chelsea Piers, since the treatments offered on the hair menu and the full-body pampering on the spa docket are just what the doctor (or perhaps, in this case, the aesthetician) would order after a grueling workout—be that work out tennis, golf, cardio, skating, or even bowling! Brilliant idea to have it all in one place! The salon facility of the new space is a no-nonsense operation, perfectly suited to the Piers; the spa space is more cossetting and traditional. And it's all a far cry from the tiny, three-chair operation Labrecque opened on the Upper West Side when he started out over 20 years ago.
I opted first for a facial with Sasha Belousova, and I put my needy visage in her knowing hands. She felt that the Deep Cleaning Hydrating Facial (60 minutes, $160) would be perfect, and I have to admit, after her handiwork, I glowed. She cleansed, probed, hydrated, purified, moisturized, toned, and who-knows-what-else. I looked so radiant that when I went back into the salon, the staff insisted that I get a scalp treatment (this was sheer heaven) and blow-out so that my hair would match the vivacious warmth of my face.
Just a word about the Aromatherapy Scalp Treatment, which is $95 for an hour: This essential-oils recipe that is used on the scalp is formulated to address each client's specific needs. The massaging process is what they call an "Indian Head" massage technique, which is designed to combat tension knots in the muscles, unblock meridian points, and drain away toxins while calming the spirit. I can happily say it worked.
But back to my facial: One of the secrets of the fabulous treatment is, of course, the products. Biologique Recherche espouses a visionary approach to skin care. Offering both products and treatments, the company (founded in the 1970s by a French biochemist), partners with the best estheticians and medical providers to seek solutions for skin issues; and the company then works to create its sundry lotions, portions, creams, and emollient treatments that will deliver the results we all want—healthy, balanced, glowing skin.
Biologique Recherche products are designed to help reach an ideal pH for your skin. They enrich the natural moisturizing factors of the skin; improve the quality and thickness of the skin's layers, that become thinner with age; fortify the lipids that compose the intercellular cement of the skin; provide anti-free radicals and support the body’s own anti-free radicals (slowing aging); and assist with gentle exfoliation.
Products range in price from about $50 to $300.
Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa: 171 East 65th Street; 160 Columbus Avenue; 66 East 55th Street; Chelsea Piers, 23rd Street and 12th Avenue; 212-988-7816 (for all locations); www.paullabrecque.com