Journeying from Bushwick to the Upper East Side is a pesky proposition at the best of times. Much more so when the little drummer boy resides unseasonably in your frontal lobe and this morning’s hangover prioritised necking San Pellegrino.

That said, I’m a firm disbeliever in the bleating, woe-is-me hangover disposition, so here’s where it ends. Bye! Bravely, I take the L and the 6 to keep my appointment at Silver Mirror.

Erected in 2016 by the co-founder of Korean beauty oracle, Peach and Lily, Silver Mirror’s staff have already developed hangover sniffing abilities, or at the very least, charming welcome protocol: I am handed a cool drink of watermelon water on entry and the receptionist says something about Beyoncé that I don’t catch.

Hydrated from my refreshing drink, I am ushered into a curtained treatment space—not a private room, for this is a no-frills facial bar, not a cushy skin clinic. Semi-related: I recently read a cool old person joke via Pinterest; “We live in an era of smart phones and dumb people.” So come, ye, my dumb and impatient millennial peers, for an exercise in shiny, targeted treatments and quick results, achievable on your lunch break if you don’t work in Bushwick.

The gospel of Silver Mirror pivots on technology, science, and innovation. And, contrary to the natural, holistic agenda of CAP Beauty, there are machines many and varied. My aesthetician, Dana, is very patient with me as I do this:

“What’s this?”
“And that?”
“What are you using now?”
“What does that do?”
“Why though?”

Like a sugar-poisoned toddler, such thoughtful articulation and calming energy I bring. But it feels justified—Dana is doing exciting things I’ve not ever seen before. And she knows the science behind all of it.

My custom facial is a 45-minute results-driven experience. It addresses hyper-pigmentation, uneven texture, dehydration, and dullness. After a citrus-y glycolic peel (zingy, nice!), Dana steams my face and does some extractions. She then produces a futuristic looking wand called the PureLift, a microcurrent instrument that stimulates muscle contractions (toning) and promotes “cellular metabolism.”

Next up, LED therapy! “It was created by NASA,” Dana explains. There are alternating red and blue lights, which promote elasticity and fight bacteria respectively. Do as I did and have your aesthetician take a video during this part. Show your mum and tell her you’re loaning your head for important brain research. Observe her shock.

Are you tired of all the machinery yet? Uh-oh. It’s time for micro-needling! Tiny needles coat cylindrical rollers that are dragged across the face. They’re fairly gentle, just kind of annoying—as if a pest of a person is repeatedly prodding you with long fingernails. I trust my complexion is being smoothed because it makes a fun zap-zap-zappp noise that my brain correlates with sophisticated progress.

Lastly, I get some more vitamins pushed into my face and a blast of oxygen therapy for “intense hydration and nourishment.” The oxygen part is very whoosh-y, like I can feel the pores actually being opened up and scooped. It’s all very cool—figuratively, literally, cool.

Enlightening takeaways? I’m told to wind back on the exfoliation—glycolic acid is too stripping and harsh for nightly use. I leave looking brighter, dewier, and less like a person who, the night prior, mistook wine for water.

Words, Melissa Kenny.