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  • Writer's pictureSarah

I Got a Facial at Mario Badescu and Here's How it Went

I have loved Mario Badescu products for many years. It all started with an interview where Cher said she uses Mario Badescu products on her skin. I immediately looked it up and was shocked at how low the prices were. I figured if someone as rich as Cher uses products that cost $12 they must be good, because god knows she can splurge on the "good stuff." Upon doing more research I started to adore the company and every product I tried. I found out they have a headquarters in NYC where you can get a facial. It has been a dream of mine to get one there ever since.

This past year my boyfriend gifted me a Mario Badescu facial for my birthday. He planned a day in advance and made sure I took off work. We took an Uber into the city and had a nice little Starbucks date while I waited for my appointment time. I was so excited. I was picturing a gorgeous luxurious spa and first class treatment.

When we finally went in I saw the waiting room was fairly small. I guess I had expected it to be bigger. Nick (my boyfriend) stayed in the waiting room while someone walked me around a corner to the room. On the way I passed pictures on the wall of Neil Patrick Harris and Martha Stewart. I thought it was a little tacky but whatever. Then I got to the room. It was a tiny little room with an accordion door. Yes, you read that right. One of those fabric-y accordion doors you would see at a creepy doctors office. I thought that was bizarre but I got changed and ignored it.

When she came in do my facial she asked me if I had ever done a couple of the different treatments they offer. I told her no, it was my first time. She said "ok that's what we are doing today." I didn't know what went into the facial so I just said "ok, cool." She then worked on my face for a bit and then put on a mask. While I was masking she left the room. I heard her go into the next room and start off with someone else. Turns out the wall that separated us had a hole cut in it so that the heater could fit in both rooms. It was one of those wall air/ heat units you see at a hotel. It was half in my room and half in the next. They had literally cut a hole in the thin wall to let it be used for both. Because of this and the janky accordion doors, I could hear literally every word the girl next to me was saying. I heard their whole conversation about family vacations and the last time she had a facial. Now I have had massages and facials all over. I often try things off of Groupon so I go to spas I have never been to. But I have NEVER been to a place where I couldn't relax. Usually they have spa music or noise machines so you have your own little quiet space but not here. I could also hear some kind of banging from the wall on the other side.

All of this was so weird to me. I could understand if it was some small spa but it was Mario Fucking Badescu. A huge brand that apparently services CELEBRITIES. Can you imagine fucking Martha Stewart sitting in the room next to you and you can hear everything?? Like.... What??

I should also mention that she left the room several times because she was doing me and the other girl at the same time. I mean I am all for multitasking and I get it because what else are you going to do while I'm masking but that was just new for me as well. If you are someone who will want their undivided time then I don't think you would appreciate that.

Now as far as the facial goes, it was great. Though the atmosphere was less than luxurious I got the best extractions I have ever had. I notice most times the esthetician seems like she only has 3 minutes to extract and she does what she can and moves on. With this woman I felt she went for everything she could find. It was great. I felt like my skin had been cleansed. However, when I asked her for a suggestion of what products I should use she said she would give me samples and we could make a plan next time. That kind of pissed me off because it was a hassle and an ordeal for me to go into the city in the first place and I wanted her to suggest things I could order at home. I love the free samples but that doesn't help me with your professional suggestion, which is why I went there in the first place.

Now lets talk about what happened when I came out. The facial had been priced at $65 which I thought was great. But when Nick went to pay it was $150. I was so confused. It wasn't until we walked out that he told me what happened. He said while I was in there the woman came out and told him I would be getting two treatments and that they would cost extra. She didn't tell him a price or ask him if it was ok. She just said I wanted them. These are the same treatments she had TOLD ME we were doing earlier. She also had not asked me if I wanted them or told me they would cost extra. I was under the impression that she was just explaining what we were going to be doing. I felt horrible because if I had known I would have just told her I wanted the basic facial. Poor Nick was not expecting to pay that much but he didn't complain because he knew how much I wanted that facial. By the way, she also told him he should go walk around while he waits. THIS WAS IN NOVEMBER IN NYC. Do you know how cold it was?? The reason we went to Starbucks beforehand was to warm up. I was furious that they didn't make him feel welcome and suggested he not sit in the waiting room.

Bottom line: Sneaky service. Terrible atmosphere. Facial was great. They gave me free samples at the end.

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