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Where to Get an Inexpensive Facial That’s Actually Good

As someone who writes about skin care and beauty for a living, one of the most common questions I get from friends is, “Where can I get an inexpensive facial?” I never really knew what to say – until now. Read on for my review of Glowbar, a new skin care destination in New York City.

There’s no question that long, luxurious facials are a wonderful thing. If I could spend 60 to 80 minutes in a zen spa getting pampered to the max on the regular, you can bet that I would. But I think I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve received a treatment like that, and each of them was prompted by a generous gift or a major, splurge-worthy event.

I hope to fill up my other hand with more of these experiences in the future, but in between, there’s Glowbar.

Glowbar is a new facial place that opened this month in New York City (not to worry – more locations are opening nationwide soon!) and the concept is this: Facials without the fluff.

The company has removed the nice-to-experience but non-essential elements of facials like massage, steam, and washing the face, and instead focuses on the aspects that deliver effective results.

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Do I love cucumber water, plush robes, and a good facial massage?Obviously. But I also love saving time and money. All treatments at Glowbar last 30 minutes and cost $65 (or $55 for members, which only requires a four-month commitment).

This is not to say that Glowbar is a clinical, no-frills kind of place.

The spot, located in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood, is modern, clean, and chic. The company uses expensive, professional-beloved brands that focus on R&D over marketing such as iS Clinical, Elta MD, and Environ, and all of the licensed estheticians put in more than 600 hours of work before they can train there.

Read more about my full experience below! 

The Treatment

After signing in, you’re ushered to the sink area where you’re invited to wash your face pre-treatment. There are several different cleansers to choose from depending on your skin type and preferences, as well as fresh muslin cloths to use, which I thought was a nice touch.

Once you’re in the treatment room, your esthetician will ask you a series of questions about your skin and your most pressing concerns. Using their professional knowledge and an algorithm specially designed to determine the best tools and products to use, you’ll be presented with a treatment plan. Potential treatments customers may receive include dermaplaning, chemical peels, extractions, LED, microcurrent and high frequency.

With my bubbly esthetician Emma, the consultation was like chatting and commiserating with a friend about summer skin woes. I immediately felt comfortable.

Because I’ve been dealing with some redness and an uneven complexion, Emma suggested dermaplaning, a lactic acid mask, an LED treatment, and a calming mask. Everything was included in the $65 price – there are never add-ons.

Because my esthetician knew that I have reactive skin, she made sure to closely monitor my complexion and check in with me during the treatment, and she applied a cold towel – not a hot one – at the end so I wouldn’t walk out with any inflammation or redness.

Though the appointment was only 30 minutes, it was truly relaxing and I never felt rushed.

The Results

Even when I’ve gotten a fancy, pricey facial, my skin is usually pretty red and splotchy afterwards and it takes several hours to several days for my skin to look its post-facial best. After Glowbar, my skin looked insanely glowy and dewy, and I was honestly shocked to see that my skin was only the slightest bit pink. I’m not one to take many selfies, but let’s just say I had a full blown photoshoot with my face when I got home because my skin looked that good.

It’s been five days since my treatment and my glow is still going, plus my skin feels soft and silky.

Bottom line? If you’re in the New York area, get thee to Glowbar!

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