Cleansers for Natural, Textured, Curly Hair

Right now my hair looks and feels dry, lackluster and just downright sad. I know that I could've taken better care of my hair, but sometimes it's much too easy to neglect my hair care routine and just disguise less than stellar hair with a cute braid or bun. Agreed? I Read more

Winter Skin Care DIY

From your head to your toes, winter conditions are no fun for your skin. Not only does dry skin look unhealthy, it can be really uncomfortable, too. Did you know that everything you need to save your skin from winter is as close as your pantry or refrigerator? Below are Read more

Solid Lotion Bars from Faith, Soaps and Love

Know for their incredible handmade artisan soaps, Faith, Soaps & Love has another trick up their sleeves... or in this case, in their tubes. Good things come in 2 oz. packages. Don't let the small number fool you, as the Solid Lotion Bar tube is the size of my hand. Read more

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

beauty

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Q & A with Expert Hairstylist Pearson Knight

It’s almost that time of year again! In just a few short weeks Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week will be upon us once again. As we have in the past, A Girl’s Gotta Spa! will be there to recap beauty trends and try to get you as much behind the scenes info. as possible!

I thought it would be fun to let you in on the inner workings of an expert hairstylist working the shows at fashion week, and who better than my friend Pearson Knight who has recapped trends for us the last few seasons? Pearson works with the Aveda team at some pretty rockin shows. So enjoy some of his backstage photos that he shared with me and hear all of the fun and interesting tidbits of the intense and exciting week that is Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week!

Shannon: When assigned to do hair for runway shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, how much notice are you given regarding which designers you’ll be working with?
Pearson: Fashion Week is such a crazy venue, week and experience that it doesn’t surprise me everything is done on the fly. I usually get my schedule for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week just a few weeks prior to the shows. The schedule, teams and times are constantly changing as we get closer to go time! There are some staple shows every season which gives a chance to get to know the designers style more intimately to help produce better results creatively. Although, having new designers on the schedule is always exciting and challenging.

Shannon: How far in advance does the lead hairstylist prep you on the hairstyle for a particular runway show?
Pearson: I have been fortunate to have been the Lead Stylist, Assistant to Lead and Team Member. The prepping of the team is done on the first model that shows up for the show as it starts. No pre-knowledge goes beyond the Lead, Assist and Designer until go time!  Read more

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Beauty Expert Q & A: Celebrity Hairstylist Nick Arrojo

Nick ARROJOI think we can all clearly say that celebrity hairstylist, Nick Arrojo, had us at hello back when he was on TLC’s What Not to Wear. I was always mesmerized by the way Nick could turn the ordinary into something extraordinary. Then one day in March of 2009, me and my 22 inches of hair decided to visit him in his New York City salon. It was quite an experience of a lifetime.

Shannon: Your passion for the hair industry is so apparent in all that you do from your newsletter to your salon to your academy; what drives you to educate and create innovation among salon professionals?

Nick Arrojo: I love the business that I’m in; my work is a labor of love. And I’m very fortunate to have such a varied, rewarding and successful career. This gives me a sense of duty to use my knowledge, experience and skill to raise standards in the whole hairdressing craft. It’s also something that has been instilled in me from my early days in the industry. I’ve worked for top-notch companies like Vidal Sassoon, Wella, and Bumble and Bumble. At all these places the commitment to education and excellence is strong, and this helped me see that the best chance of success for you and those around you is to continue to grow, innovate, inspire and improve. I take ownership of what I do for the benefit myself, my business, and those around me. And if I do that, it means I’m contributing to a stronger, more dynamic hairdressing industry, which is exactly what I want to do.

Read more

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A Girl’s Gotta Spa!’s Best Beauty Products of 2010

Happy 2011! Hopefully you are ringing in the new year with a positive attitude that this year will be even better than 2010! Have you made any skin care resolutions? I know I have…especially as I realize that I am not getting any younger.

Just in case you missed any of these posts, I’ve put together my list of the best beauty products reviewed in 2010 by A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Was your favorite listed?

1. Skin Care:

Renée Rouleau Vitamin C & E Complex

2. Bath & Body:

Silky Cosmetics Body Creme & Whipped Sugar Body Polish

3. Hair Care:  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, Hair Care, Makeup, men's grooming, Nail Polish, salon, skin care, Spa 2 Comments

New Year’s Eve Hair Advice from Nick Arrojo

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, and as soon as the dust has settled from unwrapping presents, it will be back to party mode and time to start planning your NYE look.  While the perfect party dress is ever so important, so is the perfect party hair.  Here are three tips from award winning hairdresser and television personality, Nick Arrojo for nailing dazzling NYE style.

How to get Sparkly Party Hair:

Spray Thermal Protector all over damp hair before you style to save your hair from the damage of blow dryer, flat iron and curler abuse.  Once hair is dry and it its desired style, mist some Shine Spray in your hands and run through your hair, focusing on mid to ends, making hair smooth and sleek.  Finally, finish the look with Holding Spray, nice fluid strokes will do the trick here.  Applied too much in a hurry? Just run a brush through and start over.  Thank goodness for buildup-free hair products.  Don’t forget: pack some extra bobby pins, hair elastics, a travel comb and your mini ARROJO holding spray in your purse for touch ups as you run from fête to fête!  Read more

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Hair Cut at Janey O’s Salon in Blakely, PA

One of the pitfalls of having bangs is that when they begin to grow out, and you put off a hair appointment, it totally messes with your overall hairstyle. When your hair is longer and you have no bangs, you can hide that overdue hair cut more easily by curling it, flat ironing it , wearing it in an updo…nobody is the wiser. But Nick Arrojo snapped me out of that almost 2 years ago when he cut 8 inches off and gave me bangs. I can no longer go 2-4 months without getting my hair cut.

The last hair cut I had was at Salon A.K.S. in September during the last few days of Fashion Week. So at the beginning of December I grew tired of looking…tired. Do you know the feeling? A friend of mine had made mention that she was the hairstylist at Janey O’s Salon in Blakely (pretty close to the Viewmont Mall.) Since it’s become my quest to take in as much of Northeast PA‘s beauty industry as possible I bequeathed Misty with the task of fixing my hair. And no, she wasn’t at all intimidated by all of the amazing hairstylists before her who had worked on my hair like the aforementioned Nick Arrojo, Davide Torchio or Alain Pinon. I immediately loved that she was confidant that she could do just as an amazing a cut as any celebrity hairstylist.

Oh, and she sure did.  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care, Pocono Spas & Salons, salon Leave a comment

Revive The Glamour of Studio 54 with 70s-Inspired Voluminous Hair!

In honor of the glamazons of the 70s club scene, I’m diggin’ the idea of lush, voluminous hair that embraces body and moves gracefully while you work the room and the dancefloor! But having larger than life hair doesn’t mean it has to be unruly. Amp up your locks while still maintaining glossy bounciness and gentle waves with the help of these handy volume-boosting tools and products, which help use your hair’s natural body in a way that’s a bit more refined and enhanced for a more romantic, glamorous, night-out look!  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Beauty Discount, Hair Care 2 Comments

Men’s Hair Care: Review of AXE Heat Igniting Citrus 2 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner

Check out my latest men’s hair care review of AXE’s newest product AXE Heat Igniting Citrus 2 in 1 Shampoo + Conditioner. The citrus scent is invigorating and I love how it made my hair feel.

You can find AXE hair and body products at your local drugstore and super market.

You can find more of my AXE reviews on A Girl’s Gotta Spa! YouTube channel.

And don’t forget to Like A Girl’s Gotta Spa! on Facebook!

Posted on by Nando in beauty, Hair Care, men's grooming Leave a comment

LiQWD Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner

LiQWD-Volumizing_Shampoo-ConditionerI am all about my hair. Maybe even more so than I am about any other aspect of beauty. I’ve permed my hair (and my hair has forgiven me), highlighted it, dyed it, bleached it, had a tail (no forgiveness there though), teased it so high that they could see it from the satellites in space,  put in so much Aqua Net that it would retain its shape for days…well you get the picture. I love trying out new hairstyles, especially new hair care products.

LiQWD is fairly new in hair care, but it sure is getting a lot of buzz. Pictured here is their Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner; I’ve been using it for quite some time now. Here’s how LiQWD positions itself differently from other hair care brands:

“The Nano-Hydrasphere,” which LiQWD deems as beauty’s silver bullet, is said to deliver their ingredients of essential oils, fatty acids, proteins, etc. deep into the cortex layer of the hair. They also use ColorLife Technology, which utilizes UV filters to prevent your color from fading as well as guard against environmental damage (something I wish more hair products would contain for those of us constantly hiding our greys.)

So how did it work for me? Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care 3 Comments

Celebrity Hairstylist Pearson Knight Recaps Fashion Week SS11 Hairstyle Trends

Maggie GraceMy week at Fashion Week started out with a bang! First was the largest fashion show ever, Fashion’s Night Out, and then the new location for the tents. I think moving the tents from Bryant Park to Lincoln Center threw everyone off a bit, but I thought it was a cool area with total upgraded work space. I was immediately thrown into a 12 hour day with 3 hours sleep on day 1. I had the pleasure of styling Maggie Grace’s hair so that she could attend Christian Siriano’s show. When I saw the Christian Siriano dress she had chosen to wear, I decided on a “lived in-last night’s upstyle” with some pieces falling out to framed her up. What can I say she is as sweet as she is beautiful. I enjoyed my time with her.

One of the many great shows was Jason Wu. I always enjoy working his shows with everyone. He seems to usually book some of my favorite friends like Pearson-Knight-Joan-SmallsJoan Smalls and Aline Weber. I think he is extremely talented and I really like his collections. We threw in a side part and brought everything to the back where pieces of fabric from his collection were twisted and braided into four sections. We then loosely brought them under themselves and pinned, creating a soft, clean look with unique elegance. It was a great show.

Milk Studios is so fresh and that’s where Suno was held. The hair was fun with a mixture of sleek and dry texture. We set the hair with Aveda Control Force and irons. We then built the back shape by twisting and looping sections back and forth pinning them on top of each other. The sides we brought back tight then secured in the back with Aveda’s Retexturing Gel Jason-Wu-hairstyles-SS11giving a wet sleek appearance with shine. Finally we loosely placed the top up and back in an “S” pattern with a rockabilly feel giving the look a lot of playfulness, like the collection, which I was into. This show was a lot of fun! Read more

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Get a Slick & Sleek Updo With These Smoothing Hair Products

In the spring and summer months, texturized ponytails, messy side braids, and loose wispy buns certainly had their moment. For fall, however, our favorite tied-back styles are getting smoothed out and slicked back and moving forward to polished updos. But just because hair is going sleek and smooth rather than casual and undone doesn’t mean the look has to give off the uptight, headmistress vibe. With the right smoothing products, you can go shiny and sleek while still maintaining your hair’s natural body and movement.

For a streamlined updo that won’t be sabotaged by pesky fly-aways, try Paul Mitchell Flexible Style Slick Works Gel, which gives your look a glossy texture with just enough control to keep the style in place. Frederic Fekkai Coiff Styling Gel will keep your locks on lock without drying out and flaking or feeling sticky and heavy. A lightweight pomade like Carol’s Daughter Kizzi maintains moisture without the waxy texture and provides definition that stays put! And for the perfect bouncy ponytail without the crunchy texture of your garden variety hair gel, HerCut Ponytail Styling Lotion smooths and controls all textures of hair for a polished look that lasts all day!  Read more

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