Judging by first smell, Miracle Spa—where aromas of milk and honey, chocolate mint, and vanilla waltz through the air—could be confused with a coffee shop. However, rather than brewing lattes, the staff fixes up indulgent baths for hands and feet. While grooming nails, the attentive nail technicians soften skin with salves such as vitamin-infused shea butter and enrage grumbling stomachs with stress-melting infusions that are laced with a variety of nose-tickling scents, from ginger-lime to French lavender to eau de Gérard Depardieu. Elsewhere in the aromatic studio, staff members tint eyelashes, apply makeup, and wax bodies from eyebrow to lower leg.
Episode Salon & Spa’s experienced stylists transform mops with quality cuts, coloring, and straightening treatments. Upon entering the salon’s casual confines, guests are greeted with the cheerful sounds of snipping scissors as expert hands update hairdos with contemporary styles. Stylists can also alter hues with full and partial highlights or use 100% human-hair extensions to add length without sprinkling heads with Miracle-Gro. Episode carries dozens of high-end salon lines for every type of hair, from supplies for smooth and fine strands to products designed to de-frizz follicles and soften petrified curls.
Lonni specializes in one particular service: waxing away unwanted hair for women as well as men. The Aveda Institute-trained aesthetician performs signature Brazilian and manzilian treatments, and can quickly eliminate fuzz from limbs, faces, and probably most sweaters as well. Her smoothing work has earned praise from Allure magazine and DailyCandy, and the spa earned the San Francisco Bay Guardian's 2008 award for Best Wax.
Sample Ice-Cream Flavors
The Chefs: Before becoming ice-cream magicians, husband-wife team Ian Flores and Annabelle Topacio worked as pastry chefs for Wolfgang Puck at Spago in Southern California. They started Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous for its family-friendlier hours and endless supply of free ice cream.
Where to Sit: The very fact that you can sit at Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous is noteworthy. Unlike many other area ice creameries, the airy shop has tables and chairs within its high-ceilinged, semi-industrial store.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Lunch on a Prather Ranch hamburger at Serpentine (2495 Third Street).
After: Pick up a wheel of gruyère at La Fromagerie (2425 Third Street).
Surrounded by black-and-white and damask accents, patrons relax and escape from their everyday stressors at The Girls' Lounge. The staff specializes in special-occasion hair and makeup, nailcare, lash extensions, and waxing. Hairstylists sculpt manes into elegant styles, and makeup artists highlight clients' facial features for weddings and other special occasions. Nail technicians decorate digits, augmenting mani-pedis with exfoliating scrubs and soaks in porcelain footbaths. Professional technicians accent eyes with lush eyelash extensions and brows more meticulously shaped than the Gateway Arch.
The stylists at XTD Salon & Spa supplement traditional spa and salon offerings with specialized services, including keratin treatments. But this isn?t the only way the stylists draw attention to areas above the shoulders. They also add dimension to strands with partial highlights and help clients experience smoother skin with waxes, facials, and tips on where to find a good dolphin show.