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New York City’s beauty bartender Diana Seo

face maskInstead of one-size-fits-all facials, entrepreneurial aesthetician Diana Seo is a veritable beauty bartender, who concocts made-to-order skin-care elixirs for what ails your visage.

At her three city ateliers, Seo garnishes her top-notch facials with fresh food-based masks, which seem like smoothies for the skin. She even has a book devoted to “facial cocktails” in the works.

Seo came to skin care by way of science—she was a biophysicist. So it’s no surprise she likes to formulate her own skin-care salves.

top New York City facialist
Beauty bartender Diana Seo

When I visited Seo at her new Flatiron outpost in the Cebado Barcelona Salon, she used the all-natural Priori Coffeeberry products—and a handful of her own customized concoctions that brought my skin right out of its summer slump. (Ask for the Yoga Facial, named for its massage moves that help relax facial muscles.)

With the soaring temperatures likely to undo the benefits she’d bestowed on me, I asked her for a little special skin-care something-something, so I could continue to reap the benefits at home. Seo shared the recipe for this facial elixir, which she says works for all skin types: Chocolate Vanilla Almond Milk Herbal Mask.

It might sound rich, but it’s actually quite light and gentle, says Seo. “Yogurt exfoliates, hydrates, and firms the skin. That’s especially important this time of year because the sun and heat draw moisture from it.”

This mask also cools the skin—thanks to aloe—and calms with antioxidant chocolate. And great news, it won’t upset even sensitive skin. Here’s what you’ll need to play beauty bartender at home. —Alexia Brue

Chocolate Vanilla Almond Milk Herbal Mask

Mix the following ingredients together in a small bowl, and apply it cold to the skin. Leave it on for 30 minutes, then rinse off with tepid water.

1 tsp rose water or purified water
2 tbsp of aloe (fresh aloe from plant or aloe gel)
2 tbsp melted pure cocoa (at least 70 percent); you can also use cocoa powder
1/4 cup plain yogurt with crushed vanilla bean (half a stem)
3-4 drops of lavender essential oil
2 tsp almond milk
3 tsp of Rooibos vanilla tea, steeped for 5 minutes (or any kind of Rooibos, green, or white tea will do)
1 tsp honey (local or Manuka)

Diana Seo, B Spa Bar, 866-620-4490,,