Have you ever wondered what’s the best-kept secret in New Jersey? It’s not some hip, underground restaurant or trendy speakeasy—it’s a resident skincare specialist right in our own backyard. As someone who (up until recently) has only ever had one facial in her life, the ideas of spending more than one minute, one step or $1 on skincare starts to feel like a chore. But here’s the thing, facials are one of the most misunderstood beauty treatments out there. I used to render them unnecessary or even worse, ineffective, but you’ll all be delighted to know that thanks to a recent trip to The Art of Beauty, I learned a thing or two (or ten) about the importance of skincare.
The Art of Beauty is certainly not your typical spa. Do not show up expecting to sit in a sauna, stop by the nail salon, or even visit more than one treatment room—it’s more an educational experience than anything else.
When you arrive, The Art of Beauty studio radiates a home-like atmosphere with warm breaks of sunshine and tranquil vibes—but the one-on-one attention of owner and licensed esthetician, Mandy Slusarczyk, is what stands out the most. Mandy is the type of person who you’ll immediately feel comfortable with—so much so you’ll spill your deepest skincare faux pas without a second thought. People seek her out for help because she, unlike us, is able to untap your skins true potential.
Mandy opened her bespoke North Bergen atelier, The Art of Beauty, in 2009 but her journey as a skincare specialist began 25 years ago in her home country of Poland. After receiving her diploma abroad, Mandy immigrated to the U.S. at 20 years old and nostrified her license in both New York and New Jersey. Since, she’s worked for some of the beauty industries most well-known names and brands, but her true passion was making the skincare experience as personal as possible to achieve the best results for her clients. As Mandy pointed out to me when we sat down in her Hudson County studio, the only way to treat someone on the outside, is to get to know them first from the inside.
She explained, “I like to get to know the person behind the face so I know what they are like, what kind of time they have to treat their skin, what kind of care they can afford to give to a regimen, what kind of products would they use, what will they actually use. That way, they know how to build on the benefits of my treatments and I can give them the most beautiful and radiant skin they can possibly have. It’s personal to me so I don’t measure my treatments in terms of time, I measure them in terms of quality treatments, what the client needs — that’s my philosophy.”
In today’s fast-paced world, there is a beauty to slowing down which is why Mandy’s schedule is only able to accommodate a maximum of four to five clients a day. Receiving a skin treatment that is specific to you and designed by an expert who views you as more than just a number takes time, but undoubtedly results in an outcome that is unequaled. At The Art of Beauty, the spa services go beyond the depths of your skin and Mandy’s intuitive ability to connect with and guide her clients reflects her unique insights into self-care.
As far as treatment options, unlike most places, you’re not ordering off a menu with itemized descriptions or self-prescribing what works for you, it is up to Mandy to decide what your skin needs and what your skin gets. “The client doesn’t necessarily choose the facial—they are not trained to analyze the skin like I am—that is why they come to me. Everyone’s skin is different in some way and the skin will need different treatments at one time or another and my skill is that I respect the skin and know what it needs.”
In my case, after snapping myself into a terry cloth cover-up and slipping under the warm, heated sheets of the treatment table, what a two, almost three-hour facial entailed was a skin analysis, deep cleansing, toning and balancing, exfoliating, gentle extractions, a prescriptive face mask, microcurrent face lift, and protective finishing creams and serums—to which Mandy provided a step-by-step account for each.
At The Art of Beauty, Mandy has a multi-brand approach to facials but she focuses solely on natural, luxurious products that come from Europe. During my visit, I was introduced to Biologique Recherche—a classic French-based brand known for their 40+ years of effectiveness and pure, concentrated, raw ingredients. Mandy first learned about Biologique Recherche through one of her students and soon realized that her own philosophy falls in line with the brand.
“I was looking for a product that was very high quality, but also that would give me results. I prefer a product line that’s family-owned and exclusive to estheticians. But most of all a company that has a passion for research and applying a unique methodology to skincare.” The Art of Beauty also carries Swiss cellular cosmetic skincare brand Valmont, which uses a combination of active molecules, plant extracts, and Alpine glacier water.
Over an hour into my facial and we’re still in the consulting, cleansing, steaming, toning, and balancing phase. But other than the physical applications my skin experienced, I’ve learned that most of all my skin is dry, sensitive, and inflamed due to patches of rosacea that Mandy had recognized. She told me that I was irritating these already aggravated hot spots on my face with an at-home face scrub I was using, which she also advised I stop applying immediately.
By the end I was glowing, both externally and internally. And apart from being one of the kindest professionals I’ve met, Mandy above all is knowledgeable about how the skin works and the ways in which we should protect and nourish it. Her hope is that through her treatments, she will provide her clients with the tools to practice quality skincare even after they leave the studio. A trip to The Art of Beauty is just as much an educational experience as it is a pampering session — and as Mandy says, “Don’t be lazy, be proactive but patient – come to me, then do your homework and the rewards will follow.” I’m proud to report that my current skincare routine has since undergone a serious revamp.