Swisspers Twitter Party September 18th 8:30pm EST

Disclosure: Swisspers provided me with compensation for participating in this Twitter Party.  This Thursday, September 18th from 8:30-10:30pm I'll be participating in a #SleepNaked Twitter chat with Swisspers. If you are not familiar with the cotton products from Swisspers and all the benefits of sleeping naked (for your skin!), go Read more

Best Charities for Breast Cancer Research

As a beauty blogger, I'm inundated in the months leading up to and during Breast Cancer Awareness Month with pitches for all sorts of beauty products. Each brand aligns itself with the goal of raising funds by donating a certain percentage to the cause. I'm often discouraged when I Read more

A Girl's Gotta Spa! Partners with EveryCasa

It's an exciting time at A Girl's Gotta Spa! as we continue to expand our reach with new retail partners! We've just added EveryCasa.com to our list of retail partners - a company that covers all of your household needs for any person and any room, from the kitchen to Read more

Prevent Your Hair Color From Fading #ColorAssure

This is sponsored post for Nexxus through Condé Nast. All opinions and amazingly vibrant hair are my own. For those of us who color our hair, there is one thing we can all agree on - watching the perfect hair color fade away is a sad, sad experience. I've tried Read more

A Girl's Gotta Spa! Energizing Citrus Body Lotion

You deserve to be pampered. Do you believe that? You should! In this video I talk about A Girl's Gotta Spa! Energizing Citrus Body Lotion, including the ingredients, how it works and what I was looking to achieve in order to meet your needs when creating this beauty brand. This isn't Read more

beauty

Best Tips for Tweezing

Best Brow Tweezing Tips #beauty

The biggest mistake people make is tweezing too much. Avoid over plucking as it can take months for brows to grow back. Follow these tips from Malynda Vigliotti, aka Boom Boom, to get the perfect brows every time.

Brows are sisters, not twins – they should be proportionate, but not identical. Tip: The space between brows should be equal to, or a little wider than eyes. Take a long eye shadow brush or pencil and hold it parallel to the side of the nose. Where the brush meets the brow is where brows should begin. To find the end, extend the brush diagonally from the nostril following the outside edge of the eye toward the brow. Where the inside edge of the brush hits is where it should end. If brows are too far apart, it can make the nose appear larger – yikes! (See the step by step brow guide with pictures.) Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, brows, brows Leave a comment

How Do You Avoid a Unibrow?

How do you tame a unibrow and shape it?

That’s the question I recently asked brow guru, Ramy Gafni, when trying to tackle my teen-aged son’s very obvious caterpillar above his eyes. Gavin was cool with me separating it into two obvious brows, but then came my next question, how do you shape them without looking “girly”? 

Ramy to the rescue to tell me the correct way to trim and shape his brows (and oops! I was using an electric trimmer to buzz in between the brow…a no-no according to Ramy.)

Here’s Ramy’s expert brow adviceRead more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, brows, DIY Beauty Leave a comment

Brow Guru Ramy Gafni Best Brow Tips

While Gail may be the one hitting up the brow bars during her travels as a model, I’ve simply had to figure it out on my own. My biggest problem with my brows is that they are kind of sparse and I can never seem to achieve a definitive arch. I decided to reach out to brow guru, Ramy Gafni (who also has amazing cosmetics), for his expert brow tips.

Q. How do you determine how thin or thick your brows should be to best suit your face?

A. It’s usually ideal to stay close to your natural brow line. If your brows are heavy and thick, you can shape them, but keep them bold. If your brows are naturally thin, you can still create an arch. I find it’s best to take a conservative approach, follow a person’s natural bone structure and keep the brows as full as possible.  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, brows, brows, Makeup 1 Comment

Makeup Tips to Look Younger



It’s been a while since I’ve done a video for A Girl’s Gotta Spa! so today is your lucky day… With my 38th birthday looming ever closer, I thought it would be a good idea to share a few tips for looking younger.

(Stila, Clinique, LashControl, Xtreme Lashes, Christopher Drummond Beauty, Shiseido, Pureology)

The above are the products that I used to get the look below (although my awesome hair did not translate on camera):

Check out my video and if you love it, share with your friends! And never mind my cleavage…yes, bad shirt choice…keep focused on the words coming out of my mouth. (Pretty please.) What are some of your makeup tips for looking younger? 

Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, blush, bronzer, brows, brows, eye shadow, Hair Care, lipstick, Makeup, makeup tips, mascara Leave a comment

Brow Review: Gee Beauty at Bal Harbour Shops, FL

It’s no secret that since moving from Minnesota to Florida exactly one year ago I’ve experienced my share of brow challenges. Not knowing where to go, I’ve taken the advice of other people and ended up with insanely thick and overly arched brows, as well as, brows that were a lot shorter and gave me an E.T. like appearance.  I was resigned to either waiting until fashion week so that I could have them done by a studio I trusted in New York or magically having the finances to book a trip to MN every eight weeks to visit my usual brow studio there…neither option was very realistic, so I was relieved if not a bit anxious when I heard about Gee Beauty in Bal Harbour Shops…a mere fifteen minutes away from where I reside.

Gee Beauty was founded in Canada and have only recently opened their second location in Bal Harbour in August. As previously mentioned, I was a bit hesitant to try yet another brow studio in Miami due to my not so pleasant experiences, but my anxiety all but dissipated upon a brief visit to the Gee Beauty website.  I was instantly assured that my brows would be in expert hands as soon as I saw that they offered a service called Brow 911, which is specifically designed to “rescue your brows,” I could barely contain my excitement the day before my appointment , I just knew I would leave with much improved brows and Gee Beauty did not disappoint at all.

The space is absolutely beautiful, modern, clean, inviting and very chic. Besides being incredibly attractive with gorgeous brows, the staff was really friendly and seemed very knowledgeable about the products that they carry (based on conversations with other customers that I overheard.) My appointment was with Natalie Gee, co-founder of Gee Beauty and brow magician…also incredibly attractive with very expertly applied make up and brows to die for. Natalie explained that she would be threading my brows…which I always prefer over waxing since I always tend to break out after a brow wax and about fifteen minutes later she sat me up in front of the mirror and I swear I just about teared up at how amazing my brows looked…trust me you would have too if your brows had undergone any of the pre-Gee Beauty torture mine experienced. My brows looked incredibly well groomed, they were thick, just the right length and the arches were absolutely perfect, I could not have been happier.

In addition to brow services such as brow tinting, clean up, shaping and complete brow overhaul, Gee Beauty also offers a vast array of beauty services such as makeup application and lessons, facials, tanning, faux lash application and tinting as well as an entire menu dedicated specifically to the fellas…if I were a fella I would definitely go for a service called The Sean Connery.  Gee Beauty also carries some pretty amazing and hard to find beauty brands such as SkinCeuticals, Malin + Goetz, Rodin Olio Lusso, St. Tropez Tan and Talika…to name a few.

With the season in Miami getting in full swing and the holidays right around the corner, I can’t help but feeling like I got wind of Gee Beauty just in time.  I mean the brows I had before seeing Natalie would have been just fine for Halloween but I would have faced some difficulty explaining them after October 31st and I am ecstatic that now I won’t have to.

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, brows, brows 5 Comments

Review: Anastasia Beverly Hills Holiday 2011

 “If your eyes are the windows to your soul, your eyebrows are the curtains.”

I’d like to thank the anonymous beauty babe who came up with that bit of wisdom – and I’m sure eyebrow expert to the stars Anastasia Soare of Anastasia Beverly Hills would, too.  Anastasia has built a legacy creating products that cater to the brow-obsessed, and her 2011 Christmas Holiday Gift Sets do not disappoint.

 I’ve been a longtime fan of Anastasia Beverly Hills, but up until now had only used a select few products. Naturally, I was psyched to see what the Holiday Sets had in store…

BRIGHT EYES, BIG CITY – Nordstrom, $39

This kit is awesome. It’s a great sampling of products that contains everything you need for a perfectly polished brow: clear eyebrow gel, tweezers, brow powder, and a selection of illuminating products that keep your eye area looking dewy. If you’re just jumping into brow shaping, this is the kit for you.

ALL EYE WANT PALLETE – Sephora, $32

This eyeshadow kit comes complete with 9 stunning neutrals, a mini mascara, and the Anastasia signature clear brow gel. The shadow lasted me through a workday, and it was easy for me to transition into a nighttime look by playing around with the colors a bit.

KISSES ON MY LIST – Sephora, $30

This limited edition gift set comes with six lip glosses in a spectrum of pouty pinks and neutral shades. Perfect for the holiday season, you’ll be looking kissable when standing under that mistletoe.

Ultimately, my favorite set was “Bright Eyes, Big City”, but any of the kits are a great way to introduce a friend (or treat yourself!) to the brand. The eye sets have a nice variety of products, with shadow highlighters and colors that suit all skin tones, and the lip gloss collection will leave your lips plump and color-perfect.

Do you use Anastasia’s products? Share your experience in the comments!

Posted on by Amanda Huggins in beauty, brows, brows, lip gloss, Makeup 1 Comment

Review: Blink For Beauty, Minneapolis MN

The importance of well groomed eyebrows should never be underestimated.  After all, eyebrows frame our face and also has the power to transform it.  Yet there are still many of us out there, who will invest in facials and top of the line skincare and makeup, but then kind of forget about the brows…or worse yet go to an inexperienced aesthetician and get our brows completely hacked in five minutes after we have spent the last three months growing them in…ok I digress.

I was given a referral (from a pretty reputable source) of a place to get my brows done before a photoshoot and ended up having a good amount of my eyebrows waxed off in a few minutes and left with horribly thin and dramatically arched brows that I have to constantly fill in (which for someone who likes to spend 5 minutes or less on her daily makeup routine, is very annoying.)  Plus I cringed every time I looked in the mirror because I looked like I was constantly surprised or tired and older…sometimes all three at the same time.  Being that I had just moved to South Beach and knew absolutely no one, I had no idea of where I should go to get them fixed, if that was even possible nor would I have trusted another “referral.”  My only option was to continue filling them in and hope that since I was in the Sunshine State my eyebrows would grow in faster…because everything grows faster in the sunlight…right?

My brows did start growing in…to their natural shape and not the hyper arched scrawny line that was waxed on to my face.  While I was ecstatic (and still continue to be) about my brows growing in, they now looked a hot mess.  I needed a major brow overhaul.  Lucky for me a trip to my hometown of Minneapolis, MN for my friend’s wedding was in my near future so instead of taking my chances on an unknown salon/spa and have my brows defiled, I decided to wait until I was in Minneapolis to go to the only person who understood my brows and their needs (she was actually the first person to clean and shape my brows to perfection) and immediately after booking my Flight to MN, I booked at appointment at Blink For Beauty to see THE brow guru herself, Christina Snead.

Christina has been in the aesthetics and fashion industry for 12 years and is an absolute expert, you only have to glance at her brows to know that you will be in the best of hands. The first time I saw Christina was after a makeup artist shaved off most of my eyebrows and filled them in with brow powder to hide the deed (imagine my surprise after I got home and washed my face!)  I don’t know how she did it, but Christina saved me from looking like something out of Star Trek and I’ve never looked back since.  I was hoping that she would again be able to work whatever magic it is she does and save my brows for the second time.

The next morning after my flight to Minneapolis, I woke up and headed straight to Blink For Beauty (I would have gone right after my flight landed but the studio is not open at 11pm).  Upon walking through the door I immediately felt reassured and relaxed.  The space is absolutely breathtaking. It is modern and sleek yet very relaxing, warm and welcoming…much like Christina herself.  It’s always a great idea to get there a bit early to browse the great selection of jewelry, dresses and beauty products that Blink For Beauty carries, I especially love the wrap bracelets and products from Coola.


I didn’t even need to explain the torture that my brows underwent in Miami; Christina pointed out where too much had been waxed off  and explained to me what she would be doing to clean them up as well as to make sure they would grow back into their natural shape.  In twenty minutes my brows were transformed…as well as my entire face.  No longer did I look like an surprised, angry, tired Klingon, but my face somehow looked cleaner and more refreshed.  I swear her chair has magical powers because although she is removing hair from your face, she manages to make the process absolutely relaxing and painless.  I always get a bit sad when the service is over because I absolutely love being in the Blink For Beauty studio surrounded by calming music, relaxing scents, the nicest aestheticians I have ever met and the pretty great, but hard to find beauty products.  When I did manage to tear myself away from Blink For Beauty, I of course, had to leave with a bracelet…

In four weeks, when my brows are again ready for a tune up, my plan is to fly to Minneapolis and once again head straightaway to  Blink For Beauty.  I am convinced that paying for a plane ticket is a much better choice than walking around and having people speak some weird language to me because they honestly think I might be a Klingnon (thanks to my brows) and to be honest Blink For Beauty is definitely worth the plane ticket, after all they have transformed hair removal into an art form.  Now, if only I can convince founders Christina and Brook to start traveling and teaching their “art of hair removal” secrets to the rest of the nation…first stop of course would be Miami.

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, brows, salon, skin care 2 Comments

Keep Brows Tame & Defined With a Tinted Brow Gel


As my experience with makeup has progressed from my blue eyeshadow and roll-on glitter phase (what? I was in 6th grade!) up through my more modern love for shimmery bronzer and eyeshadow primer, I’ve always had that one staple I can’t live without — my “desert island” makeup item. It used to be concealer, back in my teenage years of unpredictable skin, but then I unofficially switched to black eyeliner when I went through my more “artsy” days in college.

Nowadays, however, tinted brow gel is my new favorite beauty staple. Given the thin yet wiry (and extremely stubborn!) nature of my brows, I love how this product serves double duty by adding subtle tint (without the whole over-penciled “coloring book” effect), defining my brows’ shape, and keeping them orderly the whole day through. It’s amazing how much of a difference neat brows can make in the overall look of my face, and I love how tinted gel does wonders in making them look put-together in just a few simple swipes!

Clockwise from top left: Dior DiorShow Brow Fixing Gel, Stila Brow Polish, Laura Geller Brow Tint & Gel Tamer Duo, and Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel.

- Alex Gambardella

*Guest beauty post for A Girl’s Gotta Spa! from my friends at TheFind.com.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, brows Leave a comment

Review: Boom Boom Brow Bar

I’ll start off this post by letting you all know that prior to visiting the Boom Boom Brow Bar during Fashion Week, the last time my brows got some love was in early October of 2010…right before I relocated to Florida and tearfully said goodbye to the woman I considered my brow savior (she really did save my brows after a makeup artist shaved them and covered up the deed with brow powder….imagine my shock that day after washing my face…)

After that experience you can probably imagine my hesitancy in going to a stranger in a new state to have my brows done, so I opted to just leave them in their disheveled state until the next time I was in Minneapolis (not until May).  I was fine with this decision until I realized that I would be in the midst of very well groomed fashion folks for an entire week, so I reached out to the only person I knew who could and would steer me in the right direction…the girl that has just gotta spa, Shannon Nelson, and of course she did not disappoint (the woman is a spa guru).  Read more

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