Clear, Glowing Skin with SheaMoisture Mud Masks

In the skin department, Summer usually means oilier than normal skin for me. Which also means clogged pores, and at times, acne prone skin accompanied by dehydrated and irritated skin thanks to time spent in the sun and insane amounts of sunscreen. One of the best ways that I deal with summer skin Read more

Try These 3 Sulfate Free Body Washes That Still Lather

It's a common beauty myth - switch to a sulfate free body wash and you have to give up that luxurious lather that makes pampering so much fun. But it's not true. Sure, you won't be able to bury yourself under a mountain of bubbles, but you don't have to Read more

How To Lighten Your Hair #MyOliaStory

I'm sharing #MyOliaStory as part of a Garnier sponsored series for Socialstars™ Taking your hair color from dark to light is a not something that can be done in a day. Well, at least not when you are doing it on your own at home. You want to be really Read more

Citrus Crumble Cookie Bars Recipe

What a way to treat yourself! Delicious, soft cookie bars topped with citrus marmalade, made with orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit essences, and of course, topped with sweet, crispy crumble. Hello everyone! It’s so nice to meet all of you, friends of A Girl’s Gotta Spa! I'm Lyuba and I Read more

Improve Your Brow Game with Chella

My brows are sparse and basically non-existent in some spots. They also do this caterpillar ish from years of plucking the wrong way when I was younger. I've considered getting permanent makeup with a brow tattoo, but to be honest, I'm not a fan of needles (which is also the Read more

acne

Clear, Glowing Skin with SheaMoisture Mud Masks

@sheamoisture masks review via @agirlsgottaspa

In the skin department, Summer usually means oilier than normal skin for me.

Which also means clogged pores, and at times, acne prone skin accompanied by dehydrated and irritated skin thanks to time spent in the sun and insane amounts of sunscreen.

One of the best ways that I deal with summer skin issues is by relying pretty heavily on face masks.  For me, it’s just easier to introduce face masks intended to treat my particular skin woes than to change my entire skincare routine; plus masks always makes an at-home facial feel incredibly indulgent. Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in acne, anti-aging, beauty, skin care Leave a comment

How To Lighten Your Hair #MyOliaStory

I’m sharing #MyOliaStory as part of a Garnier sponsored series for Socialstars™

How to lighten your hair via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

Taking your hair color from dark to light is a not something that can be done in a day. Well, at least not when you are doing it on your own at home. You want to be really careful with dyeing your hair so as not to over-process it and cause any damage. When done correctly, you can end up with gorgeous hair at a fraction of the cost at the salon.

You just have to follow directions and need a little patience (enjoy the Guns and Roses earworm.)

I have dark brown hair, but I’ve been wanting to go lighter. Not blonde, but a much lighter brown, because I want to stick with something natural looking that won’t contrast with my skin tone in a negative way.

I’ve made that mistake before. I’ve dyed my hair red, I’m dyed my hair so black that it had hues of blue/purple and I’ve “frosted” (OMG so 80s) my hair. Red brought out the ruddiness in my skin. Black made me look goth (not my style, but it may be yours) and frosted looked more like I just randomly threw bleach in my hair (i.e. it looked like straw) and made my skin look sallow. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, DIY Beauty, Hair Care 11 Comments

Improve Your Brow Game with Chella

Improve your brow game with @ChellaBeauty via @agirlsgottaspa

My brows are sparse and basically non-existent in some spots. They also do this caterpillar ish from years of plucking the wrong way when I was younger.

I’ve considered getting permanent makeup with a brow tattoo, but to be honest, I’m not a fan of needles (which is also the reason I don’t think I’ll be getting Botox any time soon.)

So the next best thing, and really the only option for me, are brow pens, pencils, brow gel and highlighters. Chella recently sent me their Tantalizing Taupe Eyebrow Color Kit, and I was totally on board to give it a try and up my brow game. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, brows, brows, highlighter, Makeup, makeup tips 8 Comments

Diminish the Look of Fine Lines and Wrinkles #sponsored

Disclosure: Thanks to RoC® Daily Resurfacing Disks, I’m getting taking care of my skin as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #WomenWhoRoC

roc-anti-aging-skincare

Are you looking for a simple way to cleanse and exfoliate your skin all in one beauty product? Do you have fine lines, wrinkles and sun damaged skin?

Then you may want to consider the Daily Resurfacing Disks from RoC®. I’ve been using it daily for the last few weeks and found it an easy product to incorporate into my skin care routine. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, skin care Leave a comment

5 Surefire Ways Pampering Helps Boost Your Mood (and Confidence)

Disclosure: I’m sharing #MyOliaStory #ad as part of a Garnier® sponsored series for Socialstars™

You’ve probably experienced this scenario yourself – you’re in a rut and feeling meh when you decide to take a moment to yourself to rejuvenate. Sometimes it’s something simple, like a bath or it’s something a little more dramatic (like chopping your long locks.) Regardless of the act, it suddenly gives you that restoration of spirit you needed and that spring in your step is back.

Happiness and confidence go hand in hand. When I am happy, I feel my most confident and like I can achieve anything. When I’m feeling down, it often feels like my goals are not within reach. We’ve all been there.

So what can you do to give yourself a kick in the pants? You want my honest answer? Self care. Pampering yourself is is the most natural mood booster I know. It’s not selfish by any means, it’s transformative.

Here are 5 tips for pampering yourself to boost your mood (and confidence):

Get a haircut. There’s something therapeutic about cutting off what’s weighing you down while venting to your hairstylist. Other things I love about it – the head massage, the hum of the hair dryer, the eventual amazing hairstyle that I can never duplicate at home.

I recently decided to chop my long hair. It felt like magic and all of the compliments I got just made me feel really, really good. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, Hair Care, Health, Self-Care 15 Comments

6 Tips to Avoid These Summer Skin Problems




6 tips to avoid these summer skin problems via @agirlsgottaspa

Oh the summer skin care woes. From sunburn to body acne to sun parched skin, we’ve gathered expert tips for how to avoid them from the start.

Perspiration, body acne

Expert Tip:  “To prevent breakouts in the summer, use oil-free moisturizer. During the hotter months skin’s natural oil combined with oil-free moisturizer is enough to keep skin well-hydrated. This trick will also help prevent skin from looking too shiny in the summer.” –Alina Cimpoeru, lead esthetician at The Guerlain Spa Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in A Girl's Gotta Spa! Products, acne, anti-aging, bath and body, beauty, skin care, Spa, Summer Beauty, Wellness Leave a comment

5 Sun-Kissed Summer Prep Tips For Glowing Skin

6 Sun-kissed summer prep tips for glowing skin via @agirlsgottaspa

If you’re looking to get your skin Summer-ready, read on for tips from spas that give some skin advice you’ll want to start using ASAP.

Inflammation, Environmental Irritant Damage

Tip: The wound healing herb, Calendula, is traditionally known to reduce inflammation and soothe irritation.  Create an at-home face mist, combine dried Calendula flowers and oats in a French press, letting it steep in boiled distilled water for 10 minutes.  Once cool, pour into spray bottle and spritz face liberally for soft and hydrated skin. – Barbara Close, Founder at Naturopathica Chelsea Healing Arts Center & Spa Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in A Girl's Gotta Spa! Products, anti-aging, bath and body, beauty, skin care, Spa, Summer Beauty Leave a comment

Getting My Hair Summer-Ready #MyOliaStory #Ad

Disclosure: I’m sharing #MyOliaStory as part of a Garnier® sponsored series for Socialstars™ The fabulous hair color is all mine.

Shiny, healthy hair with Garnier Olia via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

Keeping my hair color vibrant, healthy looking… and most of all, covering the grays, is important to me. It feels like post-pregnancy that the gray hair is coming out in full force. I don’t want to look older than I am, so I have no shame in dying my hair.

4 weeks ago I gave Garnier Olia® a try in 6.0 Light Brown, as my goal is to start stepping down to a lighter color by Summer. A few years ago I frosted my hair blonde. Yes, you heard that right – frosted. So 80’s. And my hair totally looked the part. It was unnatural looking and I couldn’t wait for it to grow out.

This time I’m doing it right and taking it slowly instead of just diving in. My 14 year old had to learn the hard way recently when he wanted to dye his hair blue. He has dark brown hair like me and thought he’d be blonde in a matter of 30 minutes. That was a whole lot of nope. His hair turned an orangey yellow and once he added the blue… he was green.

Love my hair color with Garnier Olia via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

My hair color has held up well, as has the shine. It’s still a nice shade for the Spring and something I can step myself up to for Fall once I’ve gotten as close to a light golden brown as I can get without being too brassy for Summer. With 100% gray coverage, my grays are still nicely concealed. My hair doesn’t feel dry and is still soft to the touch.100% gray coverage with Garnier Olia via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

In a few weeks it will be time to color my hair again with Garnier® Olia® and I’ll be trying to take it a shade lighter. I’m thinking I might also chop my locks for some added effect. Maybe an angled bob or lob. I’ve had both, and to be honest I prefer to have long hair. But I just keep can’t seem to make it work and my hair tends to always be in a ponytail. One thing I can say, is that since coloring my hair, I’ve been curling my hair more often to show off how great my hair looks.

Best hair color to cover gray via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

Please check out my Garnier® Olia® review – I’d love to hear if you’ve used Olia® and/or if you’ll be changing up your hair color now that Summer is almost here!

Be sure to also follow Garnier® on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, Hair Care Leave a comment

Does the Sun Really Age You? #Ad

Disclosure: Thanks to RoC® skin care with SPF I’m getting my skin ready for the Summer as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #WomenWhoRoC
skincare-with-sunscreen

Does the sun really age you?

A question those without a single wrinkle or dark spot ask with skepticism. I’m pretty confident I never asked this question when I was younger simply because I wasn’t invested in the long term health of my skin. I was just about the here and now, and I only really wanted sun-kissed skin. All without any sun protection at all.

Even now, I still want a glowing tan. It makes me look younger, it masks my uneven skin tone, and it makes me look thinner (you just gotta love an optical illusion.) The difference between now and then? I understand that sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 (as recommended by the AAD) is an absolute must. My skin will still darken a bit, but protected. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, skin care 9 Comments

Silk Therapeutics Nurture ++ Moisturizer Review

cruelty-free-moisturizer

Did you know that your skin needs different skin care products not only based on your skin type, but also based on the region you live in?

It’s true. For example, your needs will be different in the dry-heat of Nevada than say someone who lives a place with high humidity, like Florida. Or in a city full of environmental pollutants like smog versus a rural small town.

I live in a high elevation up in the Pocono Mountains, which contributes to crazy dry skin (body, face, scalp) in the Fall and Winter, and oily skin from constant cleansing due to humidity in the Summer (I think Spring is the only season we catch a break around here.)  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, skin care 5 Comments