[#image: /photos/58538555e3d613c03e1ebb9b]||||||

I recently met purple-haired facialist Christine Chin for a facial and microdermabrasion session at her new spa on Orchard Street in downtown New York. A bit Zen, a bit downtown cool, the calm decor does little to prepare you for what lies beyond the bamboo. Chin, who has been dubbed both a 'pore perfectionist' and "Mean Christine," is famous for her take-no-prisoners attitude toward blackheads and for her notoriously sharp tongue. She has little tolerance for late clients (Naomi Campbell has incurred her wrath and been banished from the salon) and those who haven't been playing by her rules (not wearing sunscreen, picking pimples and tweezing stray eyebrow hairs into oblivion). Then again, she has her fans: There are overstuffed books filled with autographed testimonials (Karolina Kurkova praised her "magic fingers," Padma Lakshmi called her a "genius") from clients willing to pay $180 or more for an hour with her. After one session, I can see why. Sure, she took particular delight in showing me the gunk she scrubbed off my skin, but she left no pore unturned, and, I don't want to ruin her reputation, but she actually was pretty nice.

[#image: /photos/58538555e3d613c03e1ebb9d]||||||