How to Hide Unwanted Facial Hair #GoConfidently

No matter your age, unwanted facial hair can become a true confidence problem. From genetics to mature skin, it can be difficult to feel beautiful when dark excess hair lingers around. Bleaching the hair is an option and if you haven't tried it before and are curious, read on. First, Read more

nyakio ABC African Beauty Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen

I'm always on the lookout for a BB or CC cream that not only matches my skin tone but also has SPF 20 and over, covers without feeling heavy or oily, helps to reduce the size of my pores and gives me a little glow. My skin could be described as medium to Read more

Lancome Visionnaire [1 Minute] Blur #PhotoPerfectSkin #ad

I upgraded my beauty routine with Lancôme Visionnaire [1 Minute] Blur as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #PhotoPerfectSkin. All images and opinions are my own. Large pores, skin imperfections, fine lines, wrinkles - these are just some of the things that come with age (thanks 40.) Throw in Read more

Video: A Girl's Gotta Spa! Featured on Beyond the Vanity

Residents of Los Angeles may be familiar with LA Talk Live radio host, Indian Tyler, for her show Beyond the Vanity on Wednesday at 2pm PST. It's always fun and informative with a lot of beauty, wellness and fitness tips. I couldn't be happier to discover that Ms. Tyler Read more

Favorite Facial Masks - Makeup Wars

When it comes to skin care, I am very picky with what I put on my face. Since there's no hiding imperfections should a reaction to a product happen, I always do my research on ingredients and check out my fellow beauty blogger reviews. One of my favorites types Read more

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What Meeting Joan Rivers Taught Me

What I learned from meeting Joan Rivers via @agirlsgottaspa #realtalk

Back in 2011 when attending the first Lucky Fabb (Fashion and Beauty Blogger) Conference, Joan Rivers was a guest speaker. Prior to this event, all I knew of Ms. Rivers was what I saw on TV. I have to admit, I was more excited about hearing Tory Burch speak than I was Ms. Rivers because it was my belief that she would be rude, crass, obnoxious and basically full of herself.

She changed my mind that day. Read more

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

Michelle Williams Say Yes Makeup by DeeDee Kelly


Michelle Williams Say Yes Video Makeup. Details from her makeup artist, DeeDee Kelly! #makeup #Makeuptips

Michelle Williams is back with her new album, Journey to Freedom (now available for pre-order.) Good Morning America dubbed it as a “personal journey,” however my personal opinion is that it is more of a spiritual journey. On the debut track, Say Yes, Queen Bey and Kelly Rowland are featured and I am so stoked for a Christian song to go mainstream.

Michelle looks AMAZING and that meant I needed all the details on what makeup was used for the video as well as the look the makeup artist wanted Michelle to evoke. Thanks to the Indian Tyler’s Beyond the Vanity show on LA Talk Live, I discovered celebrity makeup artist DeeDee Kelly who did Michelle’s makeup for the LA portion of the video filming. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, beauty interview, blush, bronzer, Celebrity Beauty, eye shadow, eyeliner, foundation, highlighter, lipstick, Makeup, makeup tips, mascara, mineral makeup 2 Comments

GRAMMY’s Inspired Beauty

 


I always love the first few months of the new year. Not because it is fresh with possibilities, at least not when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, but because it is award season! This is the time of year when the red carpet is ablaze with hot trends, inspiring hair and makeup looks and plenty of
oh I’d love to duplicate that moments. While The Golden Globes and Oscar’s are filled with elegant and demur looks, music is my first love and I’ll take GRAMMY-inspired beauty any day.

True, the looks on the red carpet at the GRAMMY’s are usually cutting edge, maybe a little more revealing than you’d like (at my age showing my arms from the elbows down is as revealing as I’ll go), but there are plenty of commonalities that all celebrities follow in order to have a successful camera-ready red carpet look. I’ll break them down, that way you, too, can follow these same steps for your big event and leave the paparazzi (aka your husband, boyfriend, significant other) vying for your attention.

Red Carpet Beauty Tips #RedCarpetGlam

Beauty PrepThese are the things you do leading up to the big event – things you need to plan out in advance. 

7 Days Before the Event Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Celebrity Beauty, Hair Care, teeth whitening Leave a comment

TONIGHT! #youthfulLiving Twitter Party with youthH2O

youth H2O Twitter Party 9/23 at 8pm EST

Make a date TONIGHT to tweet with myself and a bunch of my fellow beauty bloggers for a #youthfulLiving Twitter party with youthH2O and Evelyn Lozada of Basketball Wives. (Click the image to see the profiles of all of us tweeting!)

We’ll be tweeting from 8pm-9pm EST and giving away a month’s supply of youthH2O and five $20 Visa Gift Cards.

If you’re in NYC, Evelyn Lozada, youthH2O ambassador, has an in-person appearance at Duane Reade (52 E. 14th Street & Union Square) on Sept. 24th from 4-6pm.

youthH2O is a caffeine-free, sugar-free age defying system comprised of organic power superfoods including Maca, Purple Corn, Camu Camu and a variety of vitamins and nutrients that delivers beauty, performance and wellness all in one through daily age defying superfood nutrition.

Tweet you tonight!

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Celebrity Beauty, giveaway Leave a comment

Celebrity Master Colorist Jason Backe Hair Coloring Tips



As an avid hair coloring fiend, I was nervous upon hearing January Jones revelation that her hair is falling out in clumps. Since I literally just colored my hair over the weekend, I decided I needed some expert advice from my friend and celebrity Master Colorist, Jason Backe of Ted Gibson Salon. He’s also the Celebrity Colorist for L’Oreal Professionnel, so he definitely knows color!

Q: January Jones revealed that her hair is falling out in clumps from all of the hair coloring she has done in the past year. Is what is happening to her normal and something that others who color their hair should worry about?

Jason: The question in whether or not the hair is falling out at the scalp OR breaking off in clumps. If the hair is falling out at the scalp I would seriously doubt it is product related. In my entire career I have never experienced hair color to cause bald spots at the scalp (and believe me, I have women who color their hair from brown to blond every 12 days). I have however seen bald spots appear because of diet or stress related issues and although I wouldn’t consider this common, it is not unusual. If the hair is breaking off in clumps then it is most likely a hair integrity issue. Excessive coloring can lead to damage and ultimately breakage – no matter how expertly talented the colorist. If you are a girl who loves to change your color frequently, look for the signs of extremely dry, brittle and breaking hair. This will let you know to pump your breaks and run to the salon for weekly treatments (I am obsessed with the Fiberceutic treatment by L’Oreal Professionnel – it REBUILDS the hair from the inside out – MAJOR) to restore health and integrity before your next color.

Q: How often should women go between colorings?  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Celebrity Beauty, Hair Care Leave a comment

Do You Want To Smell Like Your Boyfriend?

Now you can take your Boyfriend wherever you go.

For the past year or so, I have been in a fragrance crisis. Despite how many times I searched through Sephora, Ulta, or my local department stores, I just couldn’t seem to find a scent that fits my personality.

The light, sweet notes found in my once-loved perfumes smelled a bit too young for me, but I didn’t want to lose the femininity that those fragrances embodied. There’s something indescribably feminine – even seductive – about amber and vanilla scents.

That being said, I  also love the woody, musky, and even citrusy notes that are present in most men’s colognes – I’ve actually been spraying Aqua Di Gio around my room as an air freshener lately. As you can imagine, I was totally floored to come across Boyfriend by Kate Walsh, a mens-inspired fragrance that had musky, woodsy notes while still keeping a very distinct level of femininity.

Kate Walsh missed the scent of her boyfriend on her skin (don’t we all love that smell?) and set out to create a fragrance that was mens-inspired but totally feminine. Walsh hit the mark – there is a distinctly masculine edge to the fragrance, but it is warm, comforting, and manages remains quite delicate and girly.

While this scent isn’t for everybody, it is my complete dream come true. Buy 1.6oz of Boyfriend at Sephora for $65.00 (and free shipping!)

*Disclosure: A small sampler was sent by the PR firm to review this product.

Posted on by Amanda Huggins in beauty, Celebrity Beauty, perfume 1 Comment

In The Chair Web Series Premiere with TheSalonGuy

On Monday, November 21st I attended the red carpet premier of the reality makeover web series, “In The Chair”. This new docu-series highlights women who have not had the privilege of experiencing a full spa experience for a variety of reasons, ranging from negative makeover experiences in the past to heartfelt stories of personal tragedy.

Show host Stephen Marinaro (better known as TheSalonGuy) treats each woman  to a head-to-toe makeover at award-winning spas and salons in New York and New Jersey, showing both clients and viewers at home the caliber of quality we should all expect from our salons.

Live Performances prior to the episode launch.

The event on Monday was packed. Both women and men came out to socialize as they enjoyed live performances, food, and support the show’s launch…but I don’t think many expected the impact this premier episode would have.  When the episode aired, I was blown away by the courage of Donna, recipient of TheSalonGuy’s  first makeover treatment and survivor of horrific domestic abuse.

Donna, a beautiful, soft-spoken woman spoke candidly about her abusive, tumultuous marriage – her husband suffered from various mental illnesses and she was constantly at the mercy of his outbursts. She was denied a social life, and each visit to a salon for a haircut or treatment ignited her then-husband’s jealous rage, and the abuse would begin. The abuse and outbursts escalated, and Donna finally gathered the courage to walk away after being shot in the face – the bullet was lodged in her eardrum and blew out her eye.

It was incredible to hear someone speak so openly about her past, and there seems to be no one more deserving of TheSalonGuy’s royalty treatment than Donna.  She  and her daughter were taken to Vito Mazza Salon in Woodbridge, NJ (a place I have frequented myself in the past) and given a full spa experience, complete with massage and hair treatment. The audience gathered anxiously around the screens, waiting for the premier. This was the first time Donna had been pampered in far too long, and her joy –undoubtedly paired with a hint of nervousness — was impossible to ignore.

After the episode ended, the event concluded with Donna walking onstage in front of our audience to roars and applause.

It’s refreshing to find a show that focuses on inner beauty just as much as (if not more than) outward appearances. Words alone cannot do the episode of “In The Chair” justice.

Watch the premiere episode of the online reality show on Youtube here.

Posted on by Amanda Huggins in beauty, Celebrity Beauty, salon Leave a comment

Hairspray Review: Sojourn Firm Hold Working Spray

When it comes to my hair, I pretty much tend to limit the amount of products I introduce it to, sticking mainly to shampoo, conditioners, deep condition treatments and a shine product for when I want to blow dry.  I avoid most other products such as hairspray, gels, styling creams, etc. because I have not had very good experiences with them.  Maybe it’s because I have very textured hair, but most styling products have  left my hair feeling dry and brittle.  As great as my avoidance of most styling products have been on my hair as well as my wallet, sometimes I would like the amazing hairstyles that my very talented hairstylist boyfriend creates to last for more than an hour in the Miami heat…which is only possible with the aid of  styling products of course.

As a working model whose had my hair teased, curled, crimped and manipulated in every way possible, as well as living with a hairstylist, I’ve gained valuable knowledge about what products and brands of products work for my hair type and which I should avoid at all costs…the list of what I trust and what works is pretty short, hence I’m always hesitant about deviating from my “trusted list”.  So it was with a bit of trepidation (yes trepidation…I know it’s just hair but unhealthy hair for me could mean I don’t work for a month or so) that I decided to try Sojourn’s Firm Hold Working Spray.

I decided I would try the Firm Hold Working Spray on a photo-shoot I already had scheduled because if it performed well under hot studio lights as well as on location on a windy day without causing my hair to feel and look dry, then I would definitely have a styling product to add to the “trusted” list.  The hair for the day of the shoot was  simple, pretty, healthy looking hair that needed to stay looking pretty and  simple for a few hours.  Hairstylist Pearson Knight of PK Hair was the stylist on set the day of the shoot.  He blew out my hair with a round brushed, then set the random tousled curls with a large barreled curling iron and the Firm Hold Working Spray.  The spray performed great.  The hairstyle stayed in place for the duration of the photo-shoot (which included three different wardrobe changes and two location changes….one outside on a pretty windy day), but still had movement as well as shine.  After the shoot I did not immediately rush home to wash and condition my hair as I am normally prone to doing because my hair did not feel overly dry and as if it was going to break off if I ran my hands through it. Overall, I was really happy with how the spray performed and the hairstylist seemed excited about trying a product he had not used before and having it work so well. Sojourn’s Form Working Spray has officially been added to the “trusted” list.

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, Celebrity Beauty, Hair Care 10 Comments

Deborah Lippmann Gets Festive with Holiday Glitter Polishes

As a nail polish addict, I’m a big fan of Deborah Lippmann – and I’m not alone! Deborah’s trend-making lacquers are always the “it” shades on every runway, cover shoot and red carpet, and if her lacquers are good enough for the finicky celebrities she’s turned into diehard fans, they’re good enough for me!

And Deborah doesn’t let any special occasion pass by without commemorating with some festive specialty shades! Just in time for the upcoming holiday season, the glitter-loving nail expert has created two gorgeous glitzy polishes – Shake Your Groove Thang (a glittering gold) and Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? (a gorgeous shimmering red) – perfect for jazzing up your holiday party look! Wear alone in multiple layers for an all-over chunky glitter look, or layer over coordinating or contrasting shades to serve as a gorgeously festive topcoat! They make great little stocking stuffers for the nail polish addict on your list… but don’t forget to stock up for yourself in time for all your pre-Christmas cocktail parties!

- Alex Gambardella

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

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Celebrity Beauty, holiday, Nail Polish Leave a comment

Relax at the Spa Like a Star: Popular Spa Treatments of Celebrities

Guest beauty post from Jessica Krznaric

Are you maximizing your inner celebrity spa treatment? We all try to replicate celebs and their trends from where they’re shopping to how their beautifying, but what about what they are ordering at the spa? I know when I visit the spa, my number one priority is to relax, but I also like to feel as if I’m getting top-notch treatment. When considering how to spend your next spa day, here is a helpful list of spa treatments some of our beloved stars are getting to add a little R&R into their lives:

Lash Extensions
Often a best kept spa secret, lash extensions transform your lashes into a fuller, thicker look. Usually made of a synthetic material, extensions are applied one by one on upper and lower lids. Non-damaging to your natural lashes, the extensions stay on for roughly four to six weeks and fall out on their own. I have to admit, getting lash extensions sounded somewhat painful to me. I envisioned hair extensions but on the eyes. Eek! After my sister-in-law got the lash extension treatment done recently, the entire process had me intrigued. Her lashes were definitely longer, fuller and thicker. She 100% rest assured, it did not hurt at all to apply, and reiterated that they fall off naturally on their own. The “naturally on their own” part was what really changed my mind about them.

Detox
Known as a way to lose weight and become energized, detoxing targets the toxins in your body and breaks up fatty deposits. A common way the stars get their detox on? Seaweed body treatments! Your skin absorsb the minerals in the wrap. The minerals work to make your skin smooth. Detox treatments are great for targeting cellulite or after giving birth. I’ll save this one for after I’ve had a child!

Holistic Facial
The mind, body and spirit focused facial takes your entire body into a deep state of relaxation. Sounding the most appealing to me out of all the celebrity spa treatments, this spa treatment not only beautifies my face but targets my inner self. Based on Chinese traditions, the holistic facial uses “chi” energy to target nerves in the body for incredible revitalization.

Other treatments spotted being purchased by celebs include Oil Massages, the Caviar Pedicure, which uses fish eggs to replenish the skin, and the Geisha Facial. More commonly known as the Bird Poop Facial, this Japanese traditional spa treatment uses natural ingredients including nightingale droppings to improve the skin’s complexion. I think I’ll pass on that last one.

Make sure when you are visiting a spa to look and check if your beauty pro has graduated from cosmetology school or beauty school and has received their cosmetology license. Many salons showcase this in the windows or on their desk, It is better to be safe than sorry, so if I don’t see it, I ask! Now, who’s ready for a spa day!

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in Beauty Trends, Celebrity Beauty, Spa 1 Comment