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Oct 042012
 
 October 4, 2012  Posted by  Health & Beauty
facials at bargain prices

I love facials and massages and manicures and pedicures — and, if my budget allowed, I’d indulge regularly. I’ve done the next best thing: signed up for all the deal-of-the-day (sometimes they last a week, a month or longer) websites I could find. My favorites: LifeBooker, Groupon, Living Social, Gilt, Bloomspot and DealChicken. These sites cover scores of cities across the United States. And because I’m often in New York City, my list includes Spa Sally, which sends out spa and beauty bargains in NYC every Tuesday. Check out the sites to see what’s available in your city or one near you.

Here are some of the deals I’ve scored recently: at Bloomspot, a 60-minute massage and a 60-minute European facial for $59 ($200 value); not one, but TWO mani-pedis for $22 from Spa Sally; a one-hour massage and chiropractic evaluation for $49 ($300 value) on DealChicken. My biggest splurge: a $99 two-hour facial by one of New York’s top estheticians ($300 value). This included not only all the usual elements, but also an IPL (intense pulsed light) treatment  and other expensive high-tech techniques.

There are also plenty of  fitness options — for example, at LifeBooker, 20 exercise classes for $20 and, at Livingsocial, a month of unlimited Bikram yoga class at a celebrity-favored studio for $49 ($175 value).

The upside of all these deals for me? I love having a therapeutic massage or an anti-aging facial at a price I can afford.

The downside? I get dozens of emails every day and have to delete most. Also, since the daily emails include lots of deals of every description, I find myself buying all sorts of other stuff  — like four hours of house cleaning for $32 and a four-course meal for two at at a very nice restaurant for $49. This isn’t exactly a downside, but sometimes it’s easy to get carried away.

A word of caution: Read the fine print and check the expiration dates before you click “Buy.” Print out the deals and monitor the dates regularly. I once lost $20 on a massage deal that expired because I failed to do this. Also read the reviews. Occationally you’ll see negatives, complaining that the vendor treats certificate bearers poorly; if you see a number of these, skip the deal. If you attempt to use the deal properly and the vendor refuses to honor it, a complaint to customer service at the site that offered the deal will usually get you a refund. I can honestly say that so far, I have never had a bad experience.

Have you tried these sites? Has your experience been good — or bad?

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Lillian Africano

Lilllian Africano is the editor-in-chief of SpaReviewMag.com, cruise editor at JAX FAX, senior editor at Elegant Accents and executive editor at Global-Writes.com. She also blogs on AllThingsCruise.com and TheCruiseEditor.com. She formerly served as a freelance editor and writer at AOL Travel and is the author of 16 books, including three best-selling novels (under the pseudonym “Jessica March”). She co-authored the 9th edition of Off the Beaten Track Guide to New York, as well as You Know You’re in New Jersey When… and two editions of The Insiders Guide to the Jersey Shore. Lillian is president-elect of the Society of American Travel Writers and past president of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association. Find her on Google +.

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