It's been eight long months since we told you Milk + Honey, the beloved Austin-based spa, was heading to Houston in fall 2015. Okay, fall has come and gone, but finally your spa dreams are about to be answered. Milk + Honey has officially set their opening date for the end of February.*
This will be the biggest Milk + Honey location to date at 8,250 square feet, boasting 15 treatment rooms, eight hair stations, and six manicure and pedicure stations. For those familiar with Milk + Honey's spas and salon services, you’re going to find all that you love about the Austin spas at the new Houston location. The spa will offer treatments for both men and women, including facials and other skincare treatments, massages, body treatments, hair cuts and styling, nail and waxing services.
“Everything is going to be just a little bit bigger. I think the décor is going to be similar to other locations, but a little bit more advanced,” says general manager Karena Zolner. Guys can indulge in “manly” treatments, while women (and of course men) can enjoy vegan mani-pedis. Milk + Honey uses SpaRitual nail polishes, which are free of formaldehyde, DBP, camphor and other harmful ingredients. Generally acetone is not used in polish removal, and even though Milk + Honey does offer gel manicures, no UV lights are involved—they use LED instead.
However, for Zolner, who has been in the spa industry for 15 years, and has been a skin care educator for Éminence and Murad, being just like the original locations wasn’t enough.
“The one thing that we are bringing to this location are local artists. We’ve had two trunk shows in the pop-up. I’m hoping every quarter to bring in a new local artist to feature their art for three months… We’ll do a trunk show, where we’ll introduce artists and be able to meet them, maybe have some light bites and some wine,” she says. So far the spa has worked with Houston brands Rozendove and Made in Rye.
Those who have walked by the forthcoming West Ave location have probably spotted the M+H pop-up shop, which opened in December. The shop was created as a sort of teaser, with a retail base for the spa to sell its products and help people learn about the concept.
The all-natural, plant-based Milk + Honey product line was created in Austin in 2013 with bath soaks, bath oils and body lotions, with a skincare line coming soon. Top sellers include the sore muscle soak, which contains arnica to reduce pain and swelling, and the cream deodorant, made from a coconut base. Zolner admits she is still adjusting to using the latter instead of an antiperspirant.
“Right now is kind of the perfect weather because it’s cold out. I love using it for working out because you’re going to sweat anyway. It’s a great way for your body not to take in those harmful toxins like aluminum, which has been connected with breast cancer.”
Milk + Honey and the brands it sells—SpaRitual, CosMedix, Kevin Murphy and Aveda— all follow the same sustainable standard. That means they use recycled packaging, don’t deplete anything from the earth and do not test on animals. But though we love the Milk + Honey products, what we’re really excited about is the spa.
“In general, what sets us apart from other locations is that we’re really warm, welcoming and friendly,” Zolner says. “I think that you can see that in everything that Milk + Honey does… I think that’s why men are welcome, I think that’s why women are welcome, that’s why everybody, when they come here, they want to be here, they want to come back, they want to bring people—because it’s a different feeling.”
*Update: Due to construction delays, Milk + Honey is now scheduled to open at the end of February, not on Feb. 12, as previously announced. This article has been updated throughout to reflect the change.
Milk + Honey Houston is located on the second floor inside West Ave at 2800 Kirby Dr., 713-231-0250, milkandhoneyspa.com