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Lost Gem
Klara Beauty Lab 1 Skin Care and Makeup Uptown East Upper East Side

Klara Beauty Lab

Everything about Klara Beauty Lab embraces the overall ambience of tranquility and hospitality, from the teal, turquoise, and white color palate to the welcoming plate of cookies in the waiting room. I immediately felt tingly and at ease upon walking in. The greatest source of calm is, of course, Klara Chrzuszcz herself, who greeted me warmly. I congratulated her on using her space to its full potential. In every inch of the side street shop there are comforting touches to make customers feel relaxed. An especially personal detail of the spa is the display of elegant leather accessories, including wrap around belts and necklaces - Klara is a leather worker in her free time.When I asked Klara what got her into the skincare world, she apologized for the cliché and said, “I had problems with my own skin.” It was a touching answer even if, as she claims, it is a common one, but it was also hard for me to believe as I looked at her currently flawless complexion. Klara is a walking advertisement for clear skin and beauty, with her glowing face, sparkling eyes, and sleek, pulled back hair. Her route to owning a medical spa, however, was circuitous. She studied pediatric psychology in Poland and, upon graduating, helped children who had dealt with trauma reenter normal life. “I’m a giver,” Klara said with a humble smile, reflecting back on those years when she learned that whatever she did with her life, she wanted to help people.She attended different programs and courses in London, Ireland, and Poland before moving to New York in 2004 and opening Klara Beauty Lab. I was impressed by the multiple certificates and diplomas on her walls, but Klara assured me that she is never done learning: “It is my passion and my profession.” Klara went on to tell me that she is a pioneer for a number of products and procedures, most recently Lash Lift, a treatment that helps women reach their full eye lash length without using extensions. She was also proud to tell me that she has a wide range of clients who come to her from as far away as Dubai, Singapore, and Taiwan. Klara sets up champagne and food for her guests. “It’s their relaxing time,” Klara said simply. She has had some of the same clients for eleven years, whom she refers to as her “loyal spies.” But whether the it is a client's first facial or hundredth, Klara tries to make them as relaxed as possible - Klara revealed to me, laughing, “I love when people snore during their treatments.”

Lost Gem
Naturopathica 1 Facials Spas Massage Tea Shops Cafes Coffee Shops Juice Bars Skin Care and Makeup Chelsea Tenderloin Flower District

Naturopathica

Naturopathica is a one-stop shop for healing and wellness. The modern, uncluttered storefront on 26th Street contains a vitality bar where customers can purchase tonics, elixirs, tinctures, teas, and cold-pressed juices – as well as simple coffee and specialty hot drinks including spiced hot chocolate, matcha lattes, and coconut kava lattes. Each blend serves a purpose, whether it is to aid with healthy, clear skin, balance natural immunity, or ease stress or joint pain. And there is a lot of room for customization: for instance, kombucha, coconut water, and any juice can be combined with a herbal tincture and a vitality shot.On the other side of the store, there are shelves of Naturopathica’s various skin care products and remedies. The back wall, the “Remedy Bar,” has jars of loose tea for visitors who wish to continue their road to wellness at home. As Heather Neufeld, the spa director of the Chelsea location, pointed out, Naturopathica has a “360 degree approach to wellness.”As we were walking through the space, Heather shared a bit of background on Barbara Close, the founder and CEO. After being trained in aromatherapy, Barbara decided to create skincare and herbal remedies to reduce inflammation in the body and skin. She got her start in the mid-1990s and has since gained a reputation in the wellness and lifestyle world, thanks in part to attention from celebrities, notably Martha Stewart. Her methods involve products that work with the body’s natural processes rather than against them. She opened her first Healing Arts Center in East Hampton and has had her products carried in over 450 renowned resort and day spas in North America. Heather spoke about the East Hampton center, mentioning that it “speaks to the heritage of the brand.” Enter the Manhattan store, which opened in December 2015: the new, twenty-first century base for Naturopathica.The Vitality Bar is one of their new features, and Heather says that it has been a wonder for introducing people to the brand. “There’s a discovery point for everyone, no matter where you are on your wellness journey.” Even those who just come in for a coffee and decide to try dandelion root tea instead have been aided by Naturopathica. After all, “Your gut has so much to do with your overall health.” What many people do not realize upon their initial visit, myself included, is that Naturopathica is much larger than it appears. Walking through a door in the back, I discovered numerous treatment rooms. Each one was decorated with their signature blue, with some rooms containing "seperatory funnels" filled with colorful oils. In addition to the six rooms, there is a consultation area where therapists can have private conversations and share their thoughtful cards that give clients a step-by-step list of instructions. Around the corner, a calming meditation center was situated, with a peaceful projection of a night sky in the woods. The projected photography evolves, but the softly glowing candles and variety of mats and low seats remain constant.As Heather led me back to the front, she assured me, “We practice what we preach.” Her enthusiasm for the culture that Barbara has created was apparent. “Everything is mindfully created.”

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