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Cocoon Urban Day Spa

Some people gorge on chocolate, others hit the gym. Me? I head straight for a mani-pedi when I need to de-stress after a killer week. (Remember that scene from Legally Blonde where Reese Witherspoon, aka Elle, comes to a screeching halt in front of a nail salon after finding out the traumatic news that her ex has a new fiancée?). I’m always down to scour the city— from luxe spas to mom-and-pop shops—in search of an excellent, not to mention sanity-saving, nail job.

On Saturday morning, I forwent precious sleep-in time to get pampered at the new Cocoon Urban Day Spa in Rincon Hill, a ‘hood that was in sore need of a beauty retreat. Still getting an outer coat of paint when I arrived, the spa opened just three weeks ago by owner and Potrero Hill resident Sarah Redmond, a European-trained aesthetician and massage therapist from Ireland.

After being offered a cup of herbal tea and a fluffy down blanket, I settled into a cozy lounge chair in the bright and airy salon. Surrounded by dark wood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, toffee-colored furniture and white washed, rafter-exposed ceilings, I leaned back and dipped my tired feet in a fragrant red-currant-and-white-tea soak presented in a hammered copper bowl. That was just the beginning of the hour-long signature spa mani and pedi, which also included two rounds of gentle yet meticulous cuticle trimming and nail filing, a sugar foot scrub, hot towel wrap, warm lotion application and an expert hand, wrist and foot massage.

On top of the flawless cleanse and color application, the little details made my trek from the Outer Sunset worth it: Sade playing overhead (instead of the usual annoying new-agey spa soundtrack), a brownie, strawberry and cheese plate served mid-treatment, and sterilized nail tools that were unwrapped in front of me before each step. For those looking for a little something extra, the spa also doubles as a yoga studio, and in the coming weeks Redmond plans to stock clothing by Splendid by Tracy Reese and Ella Moss in her entry boutique. Even better news for me when I’m in search of my all-important secondary stress-reliever – shopping. 300 First St., Second Floor, (415) 777-0100.