The treatment begins with steam to open the pores and soften the skin. Cream is applied. And then comes what Bernstein calls "the nightingale part."
She pours the cream-colored poop, dried and finely ground, into a bowl, mixing it with the rice bran using a small spatula. She applies the potion to Miyoshi's face with a brush, rubbing it in with her hands.
Does it smell?
"Yes, but like toasted rice," Miyoshi says.
After about five minutes, it comes off with a foaming cleanser and Miyoshi's face is draped in a warm, wet towel bathed in lavender and geranium essences. Finally, the grand finale - a green-tea collagen mask.
"Sooooo nice," Bernstein says softly, looking at Miyoshi's radiant face.
Dr. Michele Green, a Manhattan cosmetic dermatologist, says that while the nightingale facial "definitely has some rejuvenating effect, I don't think it's any different than, say, an apricot scrub or a mask that you could buy in a local pharmacy."
A common misconception is that any old bird poop, even from pigeons, is used. Bernstein says only droppings from birds of the nightingale species are used because they live on seeds, producing the natural enzyme that is the active ingredient.
"We don't do Central Park facials," she says, "because those birds eat garbage."