Pilo Arts Day Spa
Pilo Arts' hair salon opened in 1978, and its day spa opened in 1984
making it the grandmother of Brooklyn spas. Pilo Arts Day Spa & Salon
has its client traffic down to a science.
The bustling, first-floor lobby handles the tremendous number of
clients who come for the extensive manicure, pedicure, makeup, hair
coloring and cutting services. (This hair salon and hand and foot
therapy area was recently renovated with a blend of Roman and Oriental
influences, incorporating rice paper into the minimalist look.)
Spa clients are sent downstairs to the - currently being redecorated
after hours - spa area. The distinct smells of a hair salon, and the
noise, diminish as you descend the stairs.
The spa is installing a small waterfall into its relaxation room where
lunches are served, explained John Haubrich, Pilo's director of
operations. There will be a total of nine treatment rooms, and their
current '80s-style rooms will be updated into a more current look
including new, porcelain bowl sinks rather than stainless steel
A real added benefit to the Pilo spa prices are the complimentary
shower, sauna, steam, hand paraffin treatment and makeup touchup
included in the service price. Jude LaBarca, Pilo's CEO, says the spa
has been doing so well, they wanted to give back to the customer.
(You might want to tell the artists to go light on the makeup after
your facial, when it's important to let the rosy cheeked you be
I experienced a Pilo Signature facial with Master II aesthetician
Maya. (A facial with a Master I aesthetician is $48, Master II is
$53.) Maya, a 12-year Pilo vet dressed in nurse's whites, was pleasant
yet still quite serious about the health of my skin and very
knowledgeable about the array of facial product lines she uses -
Decleor, Sothys, Gigi and others.
Each Pilo Arts facial includes cleansing and toning, a warm vaporizing
mist, extractions, a relaxing face, neck and shoulder massage,
customized mask and moisturizer with sunscreen.
Each service also includes a moisturizing, heated hand treatment,
which kept my hands in toasty mitts while Maya performed her soothing
Steaming the face during the facial massage has the added benefit of
combating the effects of winter's cold, biting wind and the dry,
baking indoor heat.
Though I protested the extractions, Maya insisted this was the only
way to get a really clean face as opposed to just a relaxed face. The
extractions - squeezing black heads and white heads until I squeezed a
tear or two - were followed by a startling, "high frequency"
electronic device like a bug zapper "to eliminate any impurities,"
But when that was out of the way, a soothing seaweed mask was applied
and cooling pads set on my eyes, and it was time to meditate for a few
Gigi products don't have a lot of perfume and are good for sensitive
skin, said Maya, explaining why she used them on my face. She
recommends facials once a month to keep skin healthy and younger
looking. And truly, upon later examination, my cheeks were pink, my
face was glowing and even the bags under my eyes were diminished.
The half-hour Swedish massage ($40) with Stewart, recommended for
loosening up muscles tightened by winter's chill, took place in a
large treatment room.
Though he was adept at hitting soothing pressure points on the face
and head and feet, Stewart said an hour-long massage is standard and
gives him time to really relax the whole body. For a 30-minute
service, I'd advise instructing the therapist to focus on one area -
shoulders and neck or legs. Otherwise just go for the 60-minute
The spa also offers a series discount and there are a number of
discount packages to choose from. Pilo also has an outdoor garden
available to clients in season.
"[Pilo Arts] is the largest day spa in Brooklyn," says LaBarca. "We
have 4,000 clients in Staten Island, so we're opening a
7,000-square-foot space there. We hope to be the largest in Staten