On Our Radar: Heyday

A FLATIRON FACIAL-ONLY SHOP MAKING SKINCARE CONSISTENT, CONVENIENT AND CHEMICAL-FREE LEAVES US WITH JUST ONE QUESTION— WHY HASN’T IT BEEN DONE BEFORE?

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“It’s skin wellness made accessible,” says Michael Pollak, Chief Brand Officer of the barely six-month-old facial spa, Heyday. The brainchild of Pollak and partner/CEO Adam Ross (who previously co-founded Soludos), their concept is simple: take facials away from an “occasional indulgence” and make them a part of your routine. And for a generation fixated on maintainable, yet luxe experiences— think SoulCycle or Drybar— why should our skin be last to the party? Heyday forgoes complicated spa menus in favor of two straightforward (and surprisingly affordable) options: a 30-minute treatment for $60 and a 50-minute treatment for $95. Gone, too, is the age-old “one size fits all” model for skincare: instead of letting product dictate treatment, Heyday tailors its skincare to each individual client through an in-depth skin analysis answering questions like, “Is my skin dry or oily?” and “Just how bad is my sun damage?” once and for all. Keeping all personal stats on file, the spa then customizes each treatment from exfoliation and hydration to masks, massages and extractions (the latter of which are included in the 50-min option only), plus sends clients home with recommended daily regimens unique to them. Monthly memberships are offered to ensure upkeep is as simple and efficient as possible. Starting at $74/month, members save on treatments and receive additional discounts on “enhancements” like microdermabrasion, beard upkeep and chemical peels. Besides Heyday’s accessible price point and its superbly curated space— think potted cacti, deep sapphire walls, succulents and gold fixtures you’ll no doubt want to bring home— the Flatiron shop is pioneering the natural beauty movement with its dedication to chemical-free, organic products (no parabens, sulfates, dyes or artificial fragrances here). Names like Image Skincare, One Love Organics and Grown Alchemist dot the walls, introducing clients to safe, healthier alternatives that actually work. We sat down with Pollak to discuss Heyday, the importance of beauty-conscious consumerism and what our skincare routine should look like as we make the transition from summer to fall.

CP: Why open Heyday in Flatiron?
MP: We knew this was the neighborhood right away. Not only is it fairly central for downtown, but it’s at a crossroads of where people work, live, workout, shop and eat. There’s an energy here— particularly north of 23rd Street—of new things happening; we wanted to be a part of that.

CP: What are the main differences between the skin of someone who rarely (once a year) gets a facial and a Heyday member who receives them once a month?
MP: It’s immense. We liken it to the gym. If you workout once a year and go nuts, you’re not going to feel great. If you go regularly, you’ll see results. If you get a facial once a year, you end up focusing on some heavy-duty cleansing, which often results in post-facial stereotypes like irritation or general unhappiness with results from professional skincare. If you see someone regularly, there’s less clearing away to do and we can get to the amazing stuff, i.e. working on things like brightening spots, building collagen and elastin (the stuff that keeps our skin supple and youthful) and other anti-aging goals in a non-invasive, healthy way. Your face is literally fresh, all year-round.

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CP: How did the idea for monthly memberships come about?
MP: Monthly facials are the gold standard in skincare. Your skin cells renew around every 28 days or so so we like to treat them monthly to keep your outermost layer as fresh as possible. As with anything with the body, consistency creates results, but with facials costing well north of $200 (plus two-or-more hours of your day), that leaves a lot of people out of the equation. That’s what we set out to change all around and our membership program makes it as “set-it-and-forget-it” as possible. We wanted to figure out a way to help people build a monthly habit and get some perks along the way for doing it at Heyday.

CP: Your clientele is both female and male. Did the male audience surprise you?
MP: About 20-25% of our clients are men right now. The response from men has been overwhelming, probably because our space isn’t intimidating or frilly, and the whole process just feels like you’re taking care of yourself. We’ve always known skin is skin and specifically built Heyday to cater to everyone so it’s been great to hear that reinforced by our male clients.

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CP: What is the best skincare advice you’ve ever received?
MP: After you workout, wash your face with a cleanser. It seems simple, but I never did it and I dealt with small, but consistent breakouts for years never really knowing the cause. Once our Head of Skincare, Jeni Sykes, put me on an oil cleanser after mid-day workouts (I teach spin classes on the side), it changed everything.

CP: What about a piece of advice you can give to us?
MP: Less is more— on three fronts. First, we meet so many editors and clients who use and try so many products and half the time, cranky skin comes from that; you can’t figure out what truly works for you when you bounce around. Second, less is also more when it comes to actual product usage; so many people overuse products— too much cleanser, too much of this or that— and not only is it not great for the skin, it doesn’t make your wallet happy either. And third, less can be more when it comes to a routine; most people think of spas as up-selling products, but we’re not about that. We craft and tweak people’s routines wherever they are.

CP: Name one daily skincare product you can’t live without.
MP: SPF. And I promise that’s not the A+ student answer. One of our sunscreens, Image Prevention SPF 50, is the most delicious smelling moisturizer and SPF in one so it’s literally a treat to put it on once (or more) a day. Everyone should have it. It’s your best insurance policy against aging and skin cancer.

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CP: Heyday is leading a new wave of beauty-conscious consumerism with its dedication to organic and natural products. Was it difficult to find great natural beauty brands? Are natural products really able to achieve the same results?
MP: Such a great question and definitely a topic we’ll be delving deeper into on our forthcoming blog. Consumers are asking more questions (the right ones) and demanding a new kind of quality that is natural, authentic and honest; we love that. Why fight what’s right? It wasn’t difficult for us to find the right product partners in that world as they were as excited as we were to bring that mission forward. In terms of efficacy, we only curate products that, well, work. It has to, otherwise any claims of “natural” or “organic” are just nice-to-haves. A lot of people think formulas with a bit more ‘chemicals’ in them do more things, but natural products can achieve great things because the delivery system speaks clearly to the skin. They can be powerful; you’ve [just] got to know how to use them correctly.

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CP: With the change of seasons upon us, how is Heyday adjusting its treatments for autumn versus summer?
MP: Great question! Our skin changes so much from season to season and it’s not only affected by the exterior environment, but the interior too. Us, New Yorkers love complaining about the heat outside in the summer and then it’s all about griping over the overheated indoors [in the fall and winter], but all of that affects the skin. The most crucial element for early autumn skincare is cleansing away buildup from summertime fun: the sweat, SPF, grime… all that. We like to do a deep cleanse on clients and then add things like peels and advanced exfoliation into autumn treatments. The fall and winter are great times to dig in and get to work on deeper skin concerns or goals.

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CP: What’s next for Heyday?
MP: We hope to expand further in New York and then beyond. But above that, we’re here to start a movement. We believe that taking care of your skin deserves to be taken out of the world of beauty and pampering (where it’s always lived). Sure, you look and feel great, but it’s first and foremost about wellness and taking care of ourselves.

Our own before and after;

Editorial Director, Alexandria Geisler tested out the 30-min treatment; lines on forehead are especially less visible in the post-treatment shot (right) versus pre-treatment (left).

Heyday, 1130 Broadway, 646.869.3601; 7 am-10 pm, Weekdays; 9 am-8 pm, Weekends. CP

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