favorite things: the facial edition

This rather pedestrian sign belies the magic inside.

You may remember that my makeup artist, Meredith Hayman, told me that it's not a bad idea to get regular facials leading up to your wedding day. I can't say that I disagree: who doesn't love a spa treatment?

The downside to multiple facials is, of course, the cost. Some of my favorite spots, like Bliss, are very fantastic, but pretty cost prohibitive. And you may not want to trust your pre-wedding skin to the bargain joint down the block. Sure, I'm more than OK with $6 manicures, but it's safe to say I don't want those same technicians doing my pore extractions.

But good news! I've found a happy medium. Mario Basdescu, aesthetician to the stars like Liv Tyler, Jen Aniston and Charlize Theron has a rather modest practice in Midtown East where the basic facial starts at $65. Now, this isn't super cheap, but the similar facial at Bliss runs $125. And even I can do the math too see that's a pretty substantial difference.

But the lesser cost doesn't mean they skimp on service. Sure, maybe the waiting room doesn't have cold grapes and vino the way Caudalie does, but they do have Teen Vogue, so let's call it a wash. And every woman I've worked with there so far has been like the warm, Eastern European (not an oxymoron!) grandma I never knew I wanted. There's even some sort of foreign hard candy in every treatment room!

And most important: it's an awesome facial. I leave with my skin glowing, soft and not at all irritated from the extractions. And, as those of you who know me well, they always make sure I'm warm enough. I even get a mini-hand massage and electric hand warmers for the duration of the facial. Honestly, that alone would keep me coming back every four weeks. I've been so relaxed during every treatment I've fallen completely asleep.

They also have a super extensive line of products which treat everything from acne to dry skin. It's no frills in terms of packaging, but extremely effective. I really can't say enough good things about this place.

Plus! This super cool Turkish eatery is around the corner. They have healthy baklava!

how we're choosing our wedding cake PART I

favorite things: beach-wavy hair edition