It’s not easy to score an appointment with the Manhattan facialist Georgia Louise—especially if you’re not a Victoria’s Secret Angel, famous politician, top editor, TV star, or Oscar winner. But once you’ve made it through the door of her new atelier, chances are you won’t want to leave. Nestled in a swanky residential building on the Upper East Side, the 1,600-square-foot space is more like a cool, luxurious apartment than a standard-issue spa or clinic. “I wanted to create a place where my clients could feel at home, relax, and even hang out,” Louise says. She also needed room to spread out. In the three years since she arrived in New Yorkfrom her native London, she has managed to quietly build an epic client list. Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone are regulars. So are Jennifer Aniston, Behati Prinsloo, Christy Turlington, Tory Burch, Gucci Westman, and Alexander Wang. Louise also just launched a comprehensive product line (hot tip: The vitamin-packed serum is amazing) and has partnered with the Bulgari Hotel, in London, where three of her signature treatments are now on offer in the spa. Formerly a one-woman show, she trained two associates for the new location.
To trick out her New York digs, she joined forces with the London designer Caroline Legrand. “Georgia doesn’t give average facials, so we couldn’t give her an average office,” says Legrand, who brought in dramatic midcentury and 1970s furniture and splashy artwork. The fastidiously designed space reflects the care—some would call it obsessiveness—that goes into Louise’s 90-minute facials, not to mention the follow-ups via phone, text, and Skype. “My clients get results quickly because I hold their hand every step of the way,” she says as she peers at my pores one morning. “I won’t stop until their skin is perfect.” Mine apparently has a ways to go. “You need skin boot camp,” she announces crisply. “You’re incredibly dry and red. I’m amazed you don’t have more lines.” Initially stung, I melt under Louise’s magical ministrations and begin to understand why the waiting time for an appointment is a year. Perhaps it’s thearsenal of state-of-the-art machines. (Louise quips that she could have two Ferraris by now if she didn’t keep buying new devices.) Or the incredible neck-and-shoulder massage. Or simply the fact that I’ve been thoroughly cleansed and hydrated into submission. Alas, I’m not permitted to bask in my own glow for long. “If you don’t follow my protocol, I won’t see you again,” Louise says sternly. Homework—yikes. But it’s exactly this kind of tough love that keeps her fans coming back. If they can get in, that is. (114 East 71st Street, New York)**