One of my favourite things about heading overseas is perusing the local pharmacy. Visiting France? It’s all Avene, Bioderma and La Roche-Posay goodness. In Australia, you’d be silly not to grab some Bondi Sands tanner and a tube of Lanolips. The US is a treasure trove of brands like Neutrogena and Differin – and let’s not forget the melatonin! Beauty tourism is one of the best parts of travel, and today’s city guide is none other than the big apple. If you’ve got 72 hours in New York and a penchant for products, you’ll find your editor-curated itinerary below.

The Glossier showroom in Soho, NYC. Image credit: Emily Algar

Day One

AM: You must feel jet-lagged, so kick travel toxins with a hot and heavy infrared sauna at Higher Dose. Head to the 11 Howard location (which is great for celeb spotting, by the way). The sauna is big enough to sprawl out in, and you can indulge in a little colour therapy by adjusting the light settings.

Afterwards, rinse off, grab a coffee from Smile To Go on Howard street (plus one of their famous choc chip cookies for the road) before popping up to David Mallet for a blow-dry. It’s like heaven on Earth, and likely to be one of the most special hair experiences you’ll ever have. Browse racks of Gucci and Balenciaga at concept store The Webster on the way down (the salon occupies the top floor) – and try not to buy anything, we dare you.

David Mallet’s NYC salon. Image credit: David Mallet

PM: Spend the afternoon browsing the nearby goods at Glossier, UZ, Hourglass, Le Labo and Sephora before giving your legs a break with a manicure. Paintbox Nails in Soho isn’t far and is pretty much every naked mani post you’ve ever saved on Instagram realised. The salon has runway-inspired designs on offer that are updated seasonally, plus endless colour combinations. Good luck trying to choose just one! Wrap up your whirlwind 24 hours with dinner and a show – you, your nails, and your blow dry have earned it.

Nail art by Paint Box Nails. Image credit: Instagram/paintboxnails

Day Two

AM: Sleep in, grab breakfast, and take yourself to Rescue Spa in Flatiron for a facial. Every option is incredible, but the Biologique Recherche Le Remodeling Treatment is particularly memorable. Arrive 15 minutes early so you can browse the retail space and settle in with a glass of cucumber mint water, and then drift off into 60 minutes of skincare bliss. A therapist will layer a mix of Biologique products (including a really deep cleanse, exfoliation, extractions and masks) before they come at you with the remodelling tool. It looks a little like two white sponges, and while it can prickle just a smidge and impart a strong metallic taste in the mouth, the glassy complexion and snatched cheekbones at the end are worth it. You’ll leave looking poreless and dewy – exactly as the skin gods intended.

PM: After a quick refuel, swing by Goop to grab some aspirational, Gwyneth-approved products and gadgets. There’s everything from luxe vibrators to wellness powders to bath soaks. Our picks? Necessaire The Sex Gel, Goop The Martini Emotional Detox Bath Soak, and Jillian Dempsey Lid Tint.

oo35mm pharmacy in Chinatown, NYC. Image credit: Emily Algar

And now, the last beauty stop of the day: oo35mm pharmacy in Chinatown. If you’re even slightly interested in K-Beauty, this place will blow your mind. They stock everything from brow stamps to heated eye masks that smell like lavender. Be sure to stock up on sheet masks (bonus points for snail slime) and milky Korean sunscreens. You won’t leave empty-handed.

Day three

AM: You’re probably a little stiff after all the walking, so treat yourself to a massage at Shibui Spa in The Greenwich Hotel. It’s an incredibly zen, Japanese-inspired haven that’s sure to melt your shoulders down an inch just by stepping inside. Go for the Omakase Massage – it’s a personalised treatment that will ease out knots and soften muscles in a luxurious, supremely relaxing way. When you’re done, spend a little time in your robe by the underground, candle lit pool with some herbal tea. When you’ve reached your bliss point, wrap up with a quick steam before you rinse off, change, and get on your merry way.

The pool area at Shibui Spa. Image credit: Shibui Spa.

PM: At this point, everything about you should be perfect except for your blow dry – two days plus a massage have probably left your roots greasy, so freshen up before the flight at Dry Bar. You can choose a style off the menu at one of their many NYC locations and flick through a few magazines while they wash, dry, and style. The salons are beautiful, and it’s so fast you’ll be in and out within the hour. You’ve got time for one last Starbucks, a final browse through CVS for drugstore beauty wares, and then it’s ciao for now, NYC.

Drybar at Bloomingdales in Soho. Image credit: Drybar
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