Tucked away in a discreet building on Broadway, the legendary Erno Laszlo Institute has been re-born. Although he may not be a household name, Dr. Erno Laszlo was the original skincare specialist, with stars like Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and even Jackie Kennedy making the pilgrimage to The Institute of Scientific Cosmetology, then located on Fifth Ave. There, a who’s-who of society women turned to Dr. Laszlo’s for his tailor-made skincare regimens, in a building which came to be known as the “House of Silence” for its unrivaled guarding of members’ beauty secrets.
Inside, the decor evokes the glamor of that era, with fresh flowers sitting atop beveled podiums, a grand winding staircase and a breathtaking chandelier glittering with 20,000 Swarovski crystals. Inside the six treatment rooms, Dr. Laszlo’s philosophies hold strong; in era when there’s a new quick-fix product on the market every other week, the Institute promotes a long-term approach to skincare. Just as Dr. Laszlo wanted to see his clients once a month, clients nowadays are invited to become members, with regularly scheduled, sequenced treatments.
The process is ongoing; no sleight of hand treatments that offer promise, only to see results evaporate a month later. With the help of New York’s own Dr. Scott Wells, the Institute work to ensure that the assets of youth are maintained and renewed, with treatments designed to improve the elasticity, tone and radiance of the skin. Each individual’s skin is assessed, then a regimen is prescribed, with varying use of everything from peels to cutting-edge technologies and of course Dr. Laszlo’s famed super serums, which are formulated with active ingredients so potent they require refrigeration.
In between treatments, Dr. Laszlo’s professional-grade products keep skin looking beautiful. Although treatments are tailor-made, certain products have a cult-following, including the Phormula 3-9 line (which is considered Erno Laszlo’s masterpiece). Developed for his celebrity clientele, Dr. Laszlo’s Phormula 3-9 was a favorite with Monroe, who used the balm to treat a scar resulting from abdominal surgery. The balm feels so rich it is almost otherworldly; the team at Haute Fashion had never before experienced a product so thick. With smoothing and hydrating ingredients like raspberry stem cells and Chaulmoogra oil (a natural antibacterial agent), this old-school balm is certain to become a 21st century favorite. For those who prefer a lighter touch, the Phormula 3-9 has also been adapted into a cream and a serum.
The members-only treatments and products available at the Institute do not come cheap (an annual membership begins at $3,000) but for those who are serious about their skincare, this is it.
The Institute is located at 382 West Broadway, New York, NY 10012. For more information, call (212) 300-4111 or visit the Erno Laszlo website. The Phormula 3-9 line retails for $245 – $265.