Beauty Benefits of Lime

It may sound silly, but even though I don't drink, those Corona commercials snag my attention every time. Sounds of the ocean, the sense of relaxation and the refreshing lime placed perfectly in the bottle neck. It's that lime that calls out to me saying, "Let me quench your Read more

Gail Lewis - SUPER Model

If you've read the bios of the A Girl's Gotta Spa! editors, you may stumble across the fact that Gail Lewis is a model. I don't mean model being kind, like Gail is attractive, I mean model like fierce, confident and in-demand. And of course, as in actually having Read more

#BeautyInspiration Twitter Party April 16th #shop

 Image credit: Hairspray & High Heels We have major love here at A Girl's Gotta Spa! for makeup. From makeup trends to makeup tips, when to spend and when to splurge, as well as the latest products for each season, you can count on us to bring that info to you. Read more

Spa Week 2014 A Girl's Gotta Spa! and Giveaway

It's that time of year again when spas lower their prices on some of their spa treatments, otherwise known as Spa Week! From April 21–27th, spas, fitness facilities and wellness centers across the country will be offering $50 spa treatments, including a few spas that we've reviewed like The French Read more

Easy Nail Art Tutorial

Honestly, the easy button was made for people like me. There are just some things I have no patience for, and nail art is one of them. I wish I could tell you that as a beauty blogger I am super creative and uber crafty and create endless nail Read more

beauty

Fall Makeup Tips From Los Angeles Based Makeup Artist Stacy Rosas

Fall #Makeup Tips

Summer is at an end, which  means that Fall, with all of her sophistication and polish, is officially upon us.  I, perhaps like a lot of you, look forward to the process of transitioning my wardrobe, beauty products and makeup bag to a fall state of mind.  While I absolutely relish this process for the most part, when it comes to transitioning the contents of my makeup bag to Fall, I can do with a little…actually a lot of help.  I am absolutely clueless as to where I should even begin the process of Fall Makeup Transition, which is why I sought out the expertise of  uber talented Los Angeles-based Celebrity Makeup Artist Stacy Rosas. Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, beauty interview, Beauty Trends, concealer, foundation, Makeup, makeup tips Leave a comment

Beauty Blogger Essentials on NewBeauty

While I’ve had the opportunity to review a multitude of beauty products over the last 8 years, there are always certain ones that stand out and remain a favorite well past their posted review. These are products I continue to use and recommend to others.

Today those products are featured on NewBeauty.com in their Beauty Blogger Essentials post. When you have a moment, check it out!

NewBeauty

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, bath and body, beauty, beauty interview, Hair Care, Makeup, Primer Leave a comment

How to Get a Better Hairstyle: Tips From Salon A.K.S



best-hairstylesMany of you can most likely relate to this scenario.  You have in your minds eye the perfect haircut or color that you think will look just absolutely amazing on you. You go into the salon and think that you do a pretty good job of explaining to your stylist what it is that you desire, but then you leave the salon feeling like somehow something got lost in translation because the cut or color you are leaving the salon with is not exactly what you had pictured.

So what happened? Did you not communicate clearly? Should you have brought in a better picture of what you wanted? Did your stylist think that what you wanted might not have been the best look for you? Maybe none of the above or maybe all three? Either way, this scenario is all too common and with spring and summer fast approaching, many of you much like myself, will be looking to update your ’do a little…or drastically.

In an effort to help our readers better communicate with their hairstylist so that they look and feel their absolute best this spring and summer, we reached out to the industry experts at Salon AKS in New York City for some of their tips on better communication between clients and their hairstylist. We hope this will also shed some light on what your hairstylist, (if they are a good hairstylist), should consider before cutting and coloring your hair.  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, beauty interview, Hair Care, salon Leave a comment

Holiday Makeup Tips From Melissa Taylor

The one and only time of the year that I will get bold with my makeup is during the holiday season, any other time I keep it pretty basic.  But during the holiday season I start craving a bolder lip and more dramatic eyes, however I have no idea how to even begin trying to create the looks I lust after, so I decided to seek advice from a pro…enter amazingly talented makeup artist Melissa Taylor.

Melissa is the owner of The Beauty Lounge in Minneapolis MN and is also in high demand as a hairstylist and makeup artist.  She has been published in various media outlets and can often times be found behind the scenes at photo-shoots, editorials, weddings and fashion shows.  Follow her uber easy tips below for creating a dramatic eye and bolder lips:  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, beauty interview, eyeliner, lip gloss, lip stain, lipstick, Makeup, makeup tips Leave a comment

Makeup Artist Diondre Wallaces’ Summer Makeup Tips

Most, if not all of us ladies, tend to switch things up in the makeup department with each new season…especially summer.  And since summer is pretty much upon us I thought I would pick the brains of one of my favorite makeup artists, Diondre Wallace, for some of his favorite summer makeup tips.

Diondre Wallace is a hairstylist and makeup artist who works in the local Minneapolis market for clients such as  Target, Mpls/St.Paul Magazine, and City Pages as well as in California for such magazines as Essence, Ebony, and 360 Magazines and on commercials for clients such Wal-Mart and Capital One.  Here are a few of his makeup tips for summer in his own words:

Favorite Makeup Tips for Summer 2012. I would say that “Less is More!” I believe that ladies can get a way with little to no makeup this summer. Let healthy skin be the new foundation. I would go with:   Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, beauty interview, Makeup, makeup tips Leave a comment

Brow Q&A with Christina Snead of blink in Minneapolis, MN

It seems like thicker, fuller brows are suddenly EVERYWHERE…eyebrow implant procedures are becoming more popular by the minute, so for those of us who crave thicker, fuller brows but were not born with the brows of Arizona Muse and cannot afford eyebrow implants, I decided to ask Christina Snead of blink  in Minneapolis, MN for her recommendations on how to begin the process of growing our brows out.  blink is a brow beauty boutique in Minneapolis that specializes in waxing/threading, makeup application and facials.  Christina Snead Snead is one of the partners in beauty at Blink (the other is Brook, who is also amazing) and has been in the aesthetics for over 12 years and she is the only person I trust with my brows.

Q: First of all, how does one even begin the process of growing their brows out?  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, beauty interview, brows Leave a comment

Beauty Q & A with Candice Kelly of WBRE

Candice Kelly is the evening news anchor for NBC affiliate, WBRE. She’s also someone I found I have a lot in common with when it comes to our beauty and makeup history. But aside from the makeup, Candice is beautiful because she is a board member of the Earthly Angels Autism Fund of the Luzerne Foundation. As a mom of a child on the Autism spectrum, I appreciate anyone who helps Autistic children and their families (thank you Candice!)

Shannon: At what age did you first start wearing makeup?
Candice: I started to wear makeup when I was about 3 or 4-years-old for dance recitals. But I really didn’t get into it for every day use until I was about 14 (freshman in High School). Although, it was just the basics back then (mascara, lipstick and eyeliner). I REALLY got into it when I became a news anchor, only because I saw how different I looked on TV without it. Now, it’s all about shading and blending. It’s a far cry from the blue shimmer eye shadow I used to just smack on my lids.

Shannon: Do you remember what the very first beauty product that you coveted was?
Candice: Bonnie Bell Lip Smacker, and it still is! Dr. Pepper is my favorite. It gives the perfect amount of color and shine, and it smells great!

Shannon: If you were to walk into the perfume section of a department store at the Viewmont Mall and immediately thought of high school, which fragrance would bring that to mind?
Candice: There are two: Angel by Thierry Mugler and Exclamation by Cody.

Shannon: If you looked in your handbag right now, how many beauty products would there be?
Candice: At least five, only because of what I do for a living (you never know when you will need to go on air.) My Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker, mascara, eyeliner, blush and pressed powder are usually in my purse.

Shannon: What are your 3 must-have beauty products that you absolutely can’t live without?
Candice: Aww, do I have to pick only 3? MAC Mineralize Powder Foundation in Medium, waterproof mascara, MAC blush in Mocha.

I’m always looking for people to spotlight in my Beauty Q & A, so if you know someone, send them my way!

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, beauty interview, Makeup Leave a comment

Meeting Ada Polla: CEO of Alchimie Forever

This past August I had the chance to meet Ada Polla, the CEO of Alchimie Forever, while at Cosmoprof North America. I have to admit, I was slightly nervous going to meet the head of this natural, Swiss, antioxidant skin care company. But upon learning that we had something in common (she studied and lived in Boston for several years), I felt more at ease. It also helped that she was incredibly nice and not at all stuffy like many CEO’s I come across in my work life (I literally could’ve sat there and talked to her for HOURS.)

As our conversation flowed, I found that Ada (and Alchimie Foever as a whole) believed in several principles that I believe as well. That is: self care through skin care; taking care of yourself as a priority; considering skin care a form of health care; and anti-aging as both a means of prevention and correction. Just like I said in my recent article on Shape.com: it’s OK to take time for yourself no matter how busy you are, in fact, it’s imperative.

We talked at length about how it is so important to make taking care of your skin a priority since it is the canvas for everything else. You certainly wouldn’t need as many “correctors” both in skin care and cosmetics, if you kept a strict skin care regimen each day…not to mention beginning it all at a young age. For example, you wouldn’t need a product to counteract inflammation if you would use products that agreed with your skin type and were less harsh to begin with. I have made the same mistakes myself, often hearing about how great a particular product is without considering if it would be right for my skin, and then paying the price later when my skin reacts either by breaking out, turning red or over-producing oil. Basically, a skin freak out. That’s when you would see me applying concealer, a mattifying powder and whatever else was necessary to cover up my faux pas. Can you relate?

It’s also important to think about what are in our skin care products, as well. We are all very much aware that the toxic load of chemicals in many of our skin care and cosmetics can contribute to cancer. I’m guilty of sometimes loving how an eye shadow (or other makeup ) looks on me without considering the chemicals in it (i.e. Truth in Aging’s recent review of Clinique’s Lid Smoothie.) But I do strive to be more conscious of what goes on my skin, and Alchimie Foever’s products contain all skin nourishing nutrients. I’m currently using their Age Defying Serums and love knowing that I am not only using something healthy on my skin, but that both Diode 1 and 2 are not at all heavy and feel more like water than a serum.

I’d love to hear from you–do you consider skin care a form of self care? Have you used any of Alchimie Forever’s products? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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

Meeting Zoya Reyzis of Art of Beauty

Recently I had the great privilege of being asked to speak at Cosmoprof North America. Not regarding my work as a beauty blogger, but on the social media side of things that I do for my day job. While I was there I decided to seek out brands I knew and loved, as well as up and coming brands that I know YOU would want to know about. If you’ve been reading A Girl’s Gotta Spa! forever or are a fan of us on Facebook, then you know I LOVE Zoya Nail Polish (part of the Art of Beauty family.) I’ve met Leo and Michael Reyzis before, but this time I had the opportunity to sit down 1:1 with Zoya herself. WOW. What an honor, not to mention what an amazingly talented and savvy woman she is.

Our conversation began with Zoya asking me what I liked about Zoya Nail Polish. I explained that a brand gets my loyalty when they can deliver a product that actually works. I told her that of all of the nail lacquers I have tried, Zoya Nail Polish has not only lasted the longest, but has an amazing product that I shout from the rooftops about: the Color Lock System. She seemed surprised that my focus was just on functionality and not on the color assortment or the collections themselves. To me, while I feel Zoya really has some great colors and I love the collections, as someone who is constantly sent the next “miracle” product that turns out to be not so much, at the end of the day, how a product performs is what sells me on buying it again, writing about it and telling all of my friends and family about such an awesome product (would you agree?)

I had the opportunity to hear the background of Zoya herself and how her nail care collection came to be. Did you know she is a classical musician? It is because of this training that Zoya Nail Polish has that air of artistic expression. When she came to this country there wasn’t a viable job opportunity as a classical musician, so she began to work at a beauty salon. During that time, hair care with a nail salon is what the trend was…you never found a business that was solely a nail salon without the hair care component.  At the time (1980′s) polishes were made with formaldehyde, and Zoya was pregnant with Leo (pictured with me) and knew there had to be a healthier, toxin-free alternative. Since her husband Michael was a chemist, she asked him to develop what is now today the Zoya Nail Polish formulation. It was then that Zoya opened a nail salon and was told she would never make it. But here she is, and I hope she is saying, “How do you like me now!”

Another way in which Zoya chose to be different is in the manner in which she named her polishes. Her 1st line was named after famous women such as Carmen, Cleopatra, etc. She felt there was only so many ways you can describe a plum or a red, as the other major players in the industry were doing at the time. She wanted women to be able to relate with another strong, intelligent woman because the color of your polish says a lot about you. She had me select colors that I wear, in which I choose many neutral and “safe” colors. She responded, “You live in a conservative area.” She’s right. Then she observed the colors I was wearing on that particular day–my Skagen Denmark watch with a bright orange band and my glistening peridot ring from Leela Bijoux. She said, “You are a generally happy and very positive person. You can see that in the bright colors you wear…and orange also means you have wisdom.” And she’s also right here. Have you thought about the colors you wear and how that projects portions of your personality to how others perceive you?

I was really impressed with Zoya and I left the Art of Beauty booth with a deeper appreciation of female entrepreneurs. And the feeling that maybe I should wear a bolder nail color my next go around.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, beauty interview, Nail Polish 4 Comments

Hairstylist, Rodnei Ferby and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model, Damaris Lewis

In the middle of all the Fashion Week madness last week, A Girl’s Gotta Spa! took some (much needed) time out to tag along with amazing hairstylist (and Odile Gilbert protege) Rodnei Ferby as he styled the hair of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, Damaris Lewis, for the 2011 issue release party.  Rodnei was requested by Damaris herself and has worked with her  in the past at various shows including Baby Phat (they were both  broadcast all over Times Square on the jumbo-tron for the live feed of the Baby Phat Spring/Summer 2010 show.)

Rodnei arrived (fresh from assisting Odile Gilbert at the Rodarte Show) with the look he wanted to create for Damaris in mind. He wanted a style that was flirty yet sophisticated and since  she is so young he also wanted the hairstyle to be cute and discreet…but she IS a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, so the style had to be flirty and sophisticated as well.  He wanted to show her neck (but not too much of it) as well as frame the magnificent earrings she was wearing that night.

And being as kind as he is talented, Rodnei gave us a step by step on how to achieve the look using products by TRESemmé. Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty interview, Celebrity Beauty, Fashion Week Beauty, Hair Care 2 Comments