TRAVEL TALES | May in New York Part I

AH... THERE are few things as lovely as Central Park on a sun-dappled spring morning. Joggers prancing by, coffee in hand (mine, not theirs)... It's on days like this that I yearn to live in New York. You too? Yeah, we all do, don't we?

Although, I'm quickly grounded by reality when I see the size of my mates' flats (tinier than London). But, every visit there is brilliant not least of all because of the beauty bounty to be had. Thus, we're giving you our quick and dirty guide to 48 hours of beauty in the Big Apple so that you too, should you be touching down in JFK soon, can experience some of the most amazing treatments and products in the world. Print this little black book of beauty and let the journey begin!

Hit the tarmac running. Grab your cases, fin the cab stand and deposit your things at your fabulous boutique hotel (The Crosby Street Hotel or The Ace, perhaps?). Time to take your jet-lagged bum to get painted and primed a la New Yorkese.

Start at the top, dears. No New York makeover would be complete without fabulous hair. Need a dye job? James Corbett is Union Square's go-to man. Or head further downtown to the Flatiron district for star treatment from Sally Hershberger defect Marie Robinson at her brand new salon (Marie Robinson Salon, 155 Fifth Avenue; (212) 358-7780). If you're in the market for a cut instead, Woodley and Bunny are a crack hand with a straight edge and Oscar Blandi is Madison Avenue's Queen of the sheers.

Not in the market for a complete follicular upgrade? Do an Anna Wintour and get a blowout instead. Try New York's coolest blow dry bar called (you guessed it) Blow. Hair done? Check. But... if you're truly to go native, you need to also trim those talons and take care of the hair down there.

Manhattan is the promise land for affordable manicures and pedicures so don't scrimp there. Our favourites are New York Nail Spa and Salon on 57th behind The London and the upscale 3-Free Rescue Beauty Lounge where Ji Baek creates the coolest range of nail polishes (take home a bottle of Griege-tatsic Grunge nail varnish). Your wallet'll just be $35 lighter (about the price of a one-way journey on the bloody Heathrow Express). 

Now for the hair down there, because, your New York look wouldn't be complete without a serious bikini wax. Go Brazilian in Manhattan at Completely Bare. Tinted, trimmed, filed and bare down there... Time for a meal (macrobiotic, anyone) before cabbing it to cocktails at The Summit Bar (or the roof of Soho House) before... Part II tomorrow