Face time: looking for a fantastic facial? We combed the country and discovered some exceptional salons and spas for women of color - Beauty

Face time: looking for a fantastic facial? We combed the country and discovered some exceptional salons and spas for women of color - Beautyatlanta

Institut DERMed 5589 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta GA 30341 (404) 261-5199

THE BUZZ: This medically based clinic is a haven for spa aficionados in search of serious skin care. The staff (which includes a good number of African-Americans) is a mix of physicians, laser specialists, aestheticians and nurses. CHECK OUT: the Rx Infusion Facial, customized to soothe, nourish, detoxify or lighten trouble areas. While reviving your skin, indulge in a neck and shoulder massage. PRICE: $120-$165

NSeya Salon and Spa 6090 Roswell Rd., Atlanta GA 30328 (404) 781-6090

THE BUZZ: This full-service salon experience includes sweet smiles, impeccable service and a juice bar. CHECK OUT: the Nirvana facial with its custom-blended treatment masque, which includes rice flower (an exfoliant), lentil flowers (antioxidants), turmeric (a natural antiseptic) and yogurt. The result: absolute radiance. PRICE: $40-$125


* Bettye O Day Spa 5200 Harper Ave., Chicago IL 60615 (773) 752-3600

THE BUZZ: Veteran aesthetician Bettye Odom believes that skin care is a necessity, not a luxury. She's known for taking the time to educate clients about what their skin needs. CHECK OUT: the Betty O Signature Facial, a customized deep-cleansing and nourishing treatment that benefits all skin types. PRICE: $70-$175

* Honey Child Salon and Spa 735 N. LaSalle St., Chicago IL 60610 (312) 573-1300

THE BUZZ: Southern comfort meets sleek at this cute and cozy full-service salon in Chicago's River North neighborhood. CHECK OUT: owner Bambi Montgomery's specialty skincare treatments, which include the Get Even Facial for hyper-pigmentation and the Vexatious Treatment for acne. There's also a Honey Buns "facial" for the derriere that renews your rump with a honey-infused mask, citrus-honey oil massage and warm citrus-paraffin treatment. Talk about sweet cheeks! PRICE: $55-$150


* Paula McClure Mood Spa 2723 McKinney Ave., Dallas TX 75204 (214) 303-1223

THE BUZZ: The late Paula McClure, who founded the spa, was an advocate of aromatherapy, so expect to enjoy plenty of soothing scents while you receive treatments. CHECK OUT: the Signature Mood Facial deep-cleaning treatment (customized for every skin type) and the famous Eyes of Texas treatment, which firms and contours the eye area. PRICE: about $80

Renee Rouleau 19009 Preston Rd., Ste. 206 Dallas TX 75252 (888) 211-7560

THE BUZZ: No manicures, no massages, just results-oriented skin care: That's the mantra of aesthetician and owner Renee Rouleau. CHECK OUT: her Cranberry Enzyme Treatment. It dissolves dead-skin cells but is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. New to her menu is a pigmentation treatment that's designed to correct uneven skin tone caused by hyperpigmentation or melasma. Those with skin-care woes can call her toll-free help line, (888) 211-7560, to speak with a licensed aesthetician. PRICE: $30-$200


* Fundamentals Relaxation Spa 118 E. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale MI 48220 (248) 399-8737

THE BUZZ: This sweet retreat just outside Detroit is famous for the pressure-point massage incorporated into every facial treatment. "Our clients claim it's as relaxing as a full-body massage," says owner Tunesia Turner. CHECK OUT: the Multi-Vitamin Power Facial, which naturally exfoliates as it nourishes. PRICE: $40-$70

los angeles

* Odyssey MediSpa 4832 Lincoln Blvd., Marina Del Rey CA 90292 (310) 301-4288

THE BUZZ: This spa has everything your skin needs, from makeup to medical exports. Get your pores cleaned and have those unwanted moles removed. And did we mention the amazing ambience--waterfalls, chandeliers and zillions of scented candles? CHECK OUT: the "C" My Face Facial, which retexturizes the skin with vitamin C. PRICE: $85-$200

Skin Spa 17401 Ventura Blvd., Encino CA 91316 (818) 995-3888

THE BUZZ: This celeb favorite (Vivica A. Fox and Jada Pinkett Smith are clients) offers innovative skin-care solutions. Its DNA Live Cell Therapy Treatment, for example, is said to reprogram your old skin cells into becoming younger. CHECK OUT: the hydrating and freshening oxygen treatment, "which, unlike most oxygen facials, is peroxide-free and much safer for darker skin tones," says the head aesthetician, Vered Brand. PRICE: $80-$160

The Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic 9975 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills CA 90212 (310) 553-7344

THE BUZZ: Skin-care guru Sonya Dakar is famous for working miracles with acne, ingrown hairs and hyperpigmentation. Yolanda Adams and India. Arie are fans. CHECK OUT: Dakar's favorite resurfacing treatment, the Diamond Peel, which she says is much more gentle than traditional microdermabrasion. PRICE: $175 and up


* De'Cot Day Salon 7730 Wolf River Blvd., #108 Germantown TN 38138 (901) 752-1532

THE BUZZ: Located in the quaint suburb of Germantown just outside Memphis, this spot is a favorite with the professional set. CHECK OUT: combo treatments that improve the texture of your skin, such as the blend of microdermabrasion and mild beta peels. PRICE: $55-$125

Mona Spa and Laser Center 5101 Sanderlin, Ste. 102 Memphis TN 38117 (901) 683-0048

THE BUZZ: Mona is a master at using laser technology on darker skin to even skin tone and remove unwanted facial hair and fine lines. CHECK OUT: her more traditional offerings, like the caviar firming facial or microdermabrasion. They make it worth the trip, even if laser treatments aren't your thing. PRICE: $75-$350

miami, florida

Elemis Spa Village of Merrick Park, 330 San Lorenzo Ave., Ste. 2345, Coral Gables FL 33146 (305) 774-7171

THE BUZZ: This bright and airy retreat for mind, body and soul is full of marble flooring, stone walls, dark wood displays and Eastern influences in the treatment rooms. CHECK OUT: the most popular treatment, the Japanese Silk Protein Facial, which is said to infuse silk proteins into the skin to nourish and strengthen it. The procedure includes a 20-minute face, neck and scalp massage. PRICE: $95-$150

The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami FL 33131 (305) 913-8332

THE BUZZ: Locals flock to this spot, housed in a hotel, for its holistic and aromatherapy-based treatments. Celebrity clientele include Monica, Tamia, Macy Gray and J.Lo. CHECK OUT: the Regenerating Aromatherapy Facial, popular for mature skin, and the Rebalancing Aromatherapy facial for oily skin. PRICE: $120-$200

new york

Avon Salon & Spa 725 Fifth Ave., New York NY 10022 (212) 755-AVON

THE BUZZ: Don't expect a run-of-the-mill spa experience from this beauty haven. The four-story facility, located in Trump Tower, handles everything from manicures to relaxers. CHECK OUT: the Cell Renewal Glycoline Facial or the Anti-Stress Intensive Oxygen Facial, perfect for reviving lackluster skin. PRICE: $100-$210

* Mamie's Day Spa 84 E. 10th St., 2nd Flr., New York NY 10003 (212) 260-9372

THE BUZZ: Beauty insiders like Angela Bassett, Queen Latifah, Naomi Campbell and Joy Bryant frequent this East Village spa. "But you won't find any drama here--no cell phones, no fountains, no gimmicks," says owner Mamie McDonald. CHECK OUT: her favorite and most popular treatment, which combines microdermabrasion and oxygen to clarify and hydrate the skin. This treatment also includes skin boosters like vitamins A, C, D and E. PRICE: $105-$250

Skinklinic 800B Fifth Ave., New York NY 10021 (212) 521-3100

THE BUZZ: This sleek retreat features medically trained skin practitioners specializing in everything from minor extractions to collagen implants. CHECK OUT: aesthetician Claude Arty, a sister whose mix of microdermabrasion and beta peels is a fave with clients of color who are dealing with hyperpigmentation. PRICE: $150 and up


* Spa Bavu 124 Chestnut St. Philadelphia PA 19106 (215) 413-0556

THE BUZZ: Owner Diana Kline has created an artistic space-decorated with placards from Cameroon, urns from Nigeria--for pampering and serious skin care. CHECK OUT: her Pure T Facial. Designed for oily, congested skin types, it includes valerian extracts, which loosen up bacteria and debris. Diana is also known for her painless and scar-free extractions. PRICE: $75-$100

3000BC 7946 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia PA 19118 (215) 247-6020

THE BUZZ: For the last three years, Philadelphia Magazine has voted this haven "Best of Philly" in holistic spas, facial and body-treatment categories. CHECK OUT: the Aromatherapy Facial with Hot Stones. This treatment detoxifies and nourishes skin while hot stones ease muscle tension and stress. PRICE: $55-$150

washington, d.c.

Andre Chrecky 1604 K St., N.W., Washington DC 20006 (202) 293-9393

THE BUZZ: In the late nineties, Andre Chrecky expanded his wildly popular hair salon to include skin care. The result: fabulous hair and facials all under one roof. CHECK OUT: favorites like the Signature Spa Facial (aromatherapy, exfoliation and hydration) and Seaweed Four-Layer Mask (locks in hydration with highly concentrated seaweed and minerals). PRICE: $75-$125