The holidays typically make people want to do one of two things: cry in a corner while rocking back and forth, or shop like a maniac and cover everything in tinsel with gleeful abandon. Regardless of your familial situation, we thought it helpful to compile our top five favorite spas and stores—consider them havens, rather—where we plan to relax, rejuvenate, and recharge (and maybe also pick a few things for our loved ones) before the chaos of Black Friday hits and long after the madness subsides. From Peach & Lily’s new Korean beauty pop-up at Bergdorf Goodman to Sisley’s ultra-chic spa off the Champs-Élysées, we strongly suggest adding these stress-relieving spots to your rotation this winter. You deserve it.
Sure, you could just visit the Armani beauty counter at any swanky department store and try on the brand’s cult-favorite foundations (lest you forget Kim Kardashian’s Twitter plea) or must-have Lip Maestro, but why do that when you can immerse yourself in a total sensorial experience at the Italian label’s new—and first-ever—New York City pop-up? Coated in shiny, lipstick-red lacquer, the temporary boutique is an Instagramer’s dream, with a gif-ready photo booth and a life-size, resin gorilla named Uri (a gift to Mr. Armani from a movie set). Bonus: limited-edition products and on-site engraving to personalize gifts for everyone on your list.
Open until December 31 at 490 Broadway, New York, NY 10012
Serge Lutens at the Palais Royal
Tucked away from the busy streets of Paris in a quiet enclave known as the Palais-Royal, Serge Lutens—a legend of the beauty industry who created iconic campaigns and products for both Dior and Shiseido—designed his eponymous boutique “to attract a clientele of connoisseurs, not casual customers.” With its glittering spiral staircase, hand-painted violet walls and ceilings, black lacquered display cases, and ornate accents and furnishings from Morocco (Lutens’ second home outside of France), this former library now acts as a jewelry box for the brand’s precious range of ultra-luxe fragrances (some of which are exclusive to the boutique), cosmetics, and intriguing objets (like lacquered powder cases and silk scarves). There are also various secret rooms (we won’t give away all the surprises!) and an upstairs salon for VIP clients that features a virtual reality tour of Lutens’ lavish estate in Marrakech (a masterpiece that took 35 years to create). Just don’t expect to find anything close to commercial in this shop, as Lutens’ bewitching fragrances, such as the Section d’Or (a collection that offers complete creative freedom and no price cap), are unique and intentionally created to set you apart from the “identity-free crowd.” Even if you can’t afford to splurge on a bottle for everyone this season, we suggest paying a visit purely for the social media content.
142 Galerie de Valois, Paris, France 75001
You no longer have to trek to Philly to get a facial at the hands of Danuta Mieloch, who opened her second spa in New York City’s Flatiron district just over a month ago. After entering the vast space that soothes the senses via its all-white aesthetic, you might never want to leave—and not just because it houses products from the holy grail of Parisian skincare: Biologique Recherche. Like the original Pennsylvania location, Mieloch offers a multiple stress-relieving services—massages, body treatments, makeup, and more—in addition to selling a wide-range of beauty gems. “It’s like a one stop shop,” the Polish skincare guru told us. “I think it’s great for busy New Yorkers.” If you’re lucky, Mieloch herself will give you a facial, but either way, you can rest assured you’re in good hands. “I always tell my new estheticians, ‘You’re not good until you’ve given at least a thousand facials.’”
29 East 19th Street, New York, NY 10003
Mere steps off the Champs-Élysées, this Parisian boutique and spa provides refuge for those seeking a break from sightseeing or a cure for jet-lag. Five private rooms offer exclusive treatments designed for well-traveled, urban warriors, as well as à la carte face, body, and makeup services. There is also secret café for spa guests that opens up onto a private terrace—a rarity in the City of Light. Even if you don’t have time to indulge in a full spa day, you can get a glimpse of the lounge and shop the boutique, which was personally designed by Countess Isabelle d’Ornano (the matriarch and co-owner of Sisley) and her daughter Christine. In addition to the unique furnishings and artwork from around the world, don’t miss the lampshade and living room set by Madame d’Ornano’s niece, Elzbieta Radziwill, which features a hand-painted zebra and exotic birds.
5 Avenue de Friedland, Paris, France 75008
Peach & Lily Pop-Up at Bergdorf Goodman
The Korean beauty craze has already arrived stateside at places like Sephora, and more recently Target, but now, luxury beauty e-tailer Peach & Lily, the brainchild of Alicia Yoon, has hit Bergdorf Goodman’s Fifth Avenue flagship. Reminiscent of a powder room in Seoul, the sleek boutique is open to the public from now until next spring and features products from five of Yoon’s favorite brands (four of which are exclusive to the space), like Femmue, Abib, Atoclassic, Jungsaemmool, and Eco Your Skin. What’s more, there’ll be on-site demos, lessons in massage techniques, and even facials (book Yoon if you can). Not in NYC? You can shop the curated lineup of soaps, masks, serums, and more here.
754 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10019