I hadn’t even been in New York for 20 minutes, and I was in Mario Badescu’s waiting room waiting for my name to be called so I could get a facial. Alas, I was escorted to a room and waited for Sylvia, my “operator”. Let’s take a minute and think about that. On the business card that I was given after my facial, that was Slyvia’s title – an “operator”, not an esthetician. It just sounds so mechanical, so blue collar and just plain harsh. Not a word that you associate with a spa and a facial.
Before the treatments, I questioned her about the actual Mario Badescu. For some reason I had been very curious about him and what he was all about. Apparently he died in the early 90′s and was a very respectable, humble man. Since his death their formulations have changed (a Romanian pharmacist has developed them) and the business is now owned by someone outside the Badescu family but they continue to use the Badescu name for recognition.
After our brief conversation, my facial began. She gave me a short face massage, and then put on the steamer and left the room for what she said was going to be 5 minutes. I waited. And waited. Then waited some more. I listened to all of the Romanian and Russian chatter going on in the hallway and crossed my fingers that one of them was Slyvia. She finally came back to do some extractions and then applied an alpha peel. This time she said this would have to stay on for 7-8 minutes. She left the room and 7-8 minutes turned into 15-20. I became very restless and impatient, and started convincing myself that I had ADD. I felt the mask start to dry and thought Slyvia may have forgotten about me. Now, Extremely bored, I began to guess-timate the dimensions of the room. When that got old, I began doing stationary pilates exercises (yes mom, I kept my power house in and tucked my tail).
Slyvia finally returned and began to scrub the peel off my face. In a weird way, it felt good. She remarked, “it feels like you lose-a weight.” That’s not how I’d describe it, but it was funny to hear Sylvia say that with her thick accent. The last step of my facial was a vitamin C treatment. It felt thick, cold and creamy as she applied it. Again I waited for what felt like an eternity for Sylvia to return to peel it off. I came to the conclusion that each “operator” must work on several clients at a time, applying masks and treatments to one, and leaving them to see the other. So, while I haven enjoyed both facials at Mario Badescu, I don’t know if I’ll be going back anytime soon.