Aqua Spa Body Cleanser Review

I strongly believe that one should make time spent in the shower as relaxing and enjoyable as possible...even if it's one of those two minutes showers that seem to be occurring with more frequency as we are all continuously pressed for time. One of the best ways to turn shower time Read more

Pretty Woman Kingfisher Feather Polish Review

I love the look of textured nail polish. However, many textured polishes tend to scrape off easily making the effort of applying them practically useless. The Feather polishes from Pretty Woman are another story entirely. You can achieve a textured look that is still smooth to the touch minimizing Read more

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

beauty

The French Manor Inn and Spa Massage Review

The French Manor Inn and Spa #Massage Review. #Spatreatment #Poconos

Up on Huckleberry Mountain lies an enchanting stone chateau with 20 miles of magnificent views of the northern Pocono mountains. Whether your view is of the prominent snowcapped peaks in the winter, the lush greenery in the Spring and Summer, or the spectacular colors of the Fall foilage, you are guaranteed something breathtaking even before stepping foot inside The French Manor Inn and Spa.

If you long for a peaceful hideaway that is elegant, a place to simply retreat to whether you are local to the Poconos or are venturing in from out of state, you won’t be disappointed with what The French Manor has to offer.

I’m blessed to live local to The French Manor, and having been previously to their Le Spa Foret for a Spa Pedicure, I know that the team here is top notch. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Pocono Spas & Salons, Spa, Wellness 3 Comments

3 DIY Holiday Inspired Spa Treatments

3 Holiday-Inspired #Spa Treatments

With winter vacation just around the corner kids of all ages are exploding with anticipation for many school-free days, Spafinder Wellness 365 has some budget friendly and tech free ideas to keep kids entertained for the days not dedicated to family gatherings, traveling, or last minute shopping. I’d even say these are perfect for those, “No School” snow days, as well!

Treat the kids (and yourself) to an at-home spa-day. Don’t trust the eight-year-old to paint your nails or do your makeup? Not to worry, we have three recipes for indulgent treatments that are kid-friendly and mom-approved! Best of all, these recipes feature ingredients you probably already have at home! Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, DIY Beauty, holiday, kid's spa, Pocono Spas & Salons, Self-Care, Spa, Wellness 1 Comment

#SapphireGoesPink for Breast Cancer Awareness

breast cancerThe Sapphire Salon and Destination Spa in Pittston, PA is holding #SapphireGoesPink on Sunday, September 29th from 5-7pm. Sapphire is working with Look Good, Feel Better and The American Cancer Society to host this breast cancer awareness event.

It may surprise you to see a breast cancer awareness post here on A Girl’s Gotta Spa!, especially since we stopped promoting BCA products back in 2009. However, this local event is 100% charity based, so not only do I support it, I’ll be there as well! (And with Amanda, who is MC’ing it!) Read more

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

Mount Airy Casino and Spa Review

mount-airy-casino

One of the many reasons I love living in the Poconos, is that there are a variety of things to do. Since the area is a popular tourist attraction, especially now that the Jersey Shore is still being rebuilt, there’s not too much you CAN’T do in Northeast PA.

Back in 1998, Mount Airy Lodge was the location chosen for my honeymoon with my first marriage. Unfortunately it did not live up to expectations when it came to cleanliness, activities and overall impressiveness (and I’m sure my ex-husband would agree.) Soon the Lodge became an eyesore and an undesirable place until the DeNaples family were given a gaming license and completely demolished the old Mount Airy Lodge and crafted an amazing luxury experience that is now Mount Airy Casino Resort. The transformation is amazing. The resort is continuing to transform as it adds outdoor cabanas and a pool to their luxury spa.

I recently had the opportunity to stay for a weekend with my fiance. This is my review:  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Pocono Spas & Salons, salon, Spa, Travel Beauty Leave a comment

Spring Skin Care Tips from The Lodge at Woodloch

Spring Beauty Tips from The Lodge at WoodlochOne of the best spas in the Poconos is The Lodge at Woodloch. It is not only a favorite local spot for me, it is highly rated as one of the best destination spas in the country. I feel very lucky to have it right here only minutes away.

As Spring is not too far off, that means it’s also time change up skin care products and treatments to meet the seasonal needs of your skin. I asked The Lodge at Woodloch’s Spa Treatment Manager, Amanda Clabaugh, for some tips:

Since your skin changes throughout the seasons, it is best to “switch up” some of your skin care products to maintain a healthy, glowing complexion! As the cold days of the winter are soon to be behind us, skin may be less dry, so switching to a lighter moisturizer will keep your skin balanced.

Remember to continue to drink plenty of water to maintain hydration and use a topical vitamin C product to boost collagen!  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, Pocono Spas & Salons, skin care, Spa, Spring Beauty Leave a comment

Hair Color & Cut at Lotus Salon at The Lodge at Woodloch

It’s no secret that the Poconos has an amazing destination spa tucked away in the hills of Hawley, PA: The Lodge at Woodloch. I’ve been to The Lodge at Woodloch several times and have had the pleasure of experiencing a facial, massage, pedicure, enjoying a weekend getaway with my boyfriend golfing and kayaking, makeup consultation with Christopher Drummond in their boutique and last week for the launch of their renovated Lotus Salon, along with the newest addition of Master Stylist Christine Lafferty, I headed up for a much needed hair color and cut.

First of all, while the spa may tend to be on the pricey side (it is a luxury spa after all) the Lotus Salon’s prices fall in line with what most hair salons in the area charge. So if you’ve been hesitant to try them out, put your wallet woes to rest. Lotus Salon uses Wella hair care products for color, which I have had a very good experience with in the past when I previously went to Salon L’Etoile in Jenkintown, PA. Christine used a demi-permanent color on me with a color lock. They also use Alterna (the LOVE of my life) and Moroccanoil (love their anti-frizz and hairspray) hair products.

Christine is amazing. She listens to what you want, skillfully cuts your hair all while engaging with you like you’ve been lifelong friends. And there’s nothing fake about it–Christine is super personable and it makes you want to hang out with her. But I’ve found that of most of the staff at The Lodge; just real, down to earth people (which essentially is what the Poconos is about–a truly hometown feel.) Christine previously had an upscale salon in Boston, but came back to Northeast PA when a family member was dying from ovarian cancer. Since then, she decided to remain in the area and landed at The Lodge at Woodloch (they are lucky to have her!)

Loved the outcome of my hair! Have you experienced the Lotus Salon, or any of the spa treatments, at The Lodge at Woodloch? To view all of their offerings see their website at www.thelodgeatwoodloch.com.

*Disclosure

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

PA Live: What I Wore & Apps for Holiday Shopping

Today I was on PA Live again on WBRE. It was my second television appearance, and can I tell you that I LOVE being on TV? What to talk about was no problem, as I love shopping and since it is the holidays I knew shopping apps would make a great topic–but what to wear? All I knew was the necklace I’d be wearing (provided by Delicate Raymond) and not much else.  So here’s what I decided on:

Fashion:

Dress: The Limited
Black Jacket: The Limited
Boots: Franco Sarto Upton Boots from Macy’s
Necklace: Vintage Monogram Necklace from Delicate Raymond (use code SPA30 to get 30% off their jewelry!)
Bracelet: BeadForLife Sanyu Bangle
Ring: Leela Bijou Sahara Ring in Olivine Green
Earrings: From my aunt when I was 13 (awww!)

Beauty:

Hair: Exure Shampoo & Conditioner, Pureology ColourStylist RootLift, Zarran Diamond Mist, LiQWD Design Professional Working  Spray
Makeup: Laura Mercier Luxe Eye Portfolio, GlamNatural Hydrating Foundation, GlamNatural Cream Blush, 29 Cosmetics lipstick in Wine Lover (sold at Cake Plate Boutique), LashControl Mascara, Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Strips (didn’t even last 6 hours before they peeled off.)

What I talked about:

Shopping apps! My favorites (and if you’ve shopped with me you know I make you wait while I check in and scan!)

ShopKick.com
CheckPoints.com
RedLaser.com

Where to watch the segment: PA Live

So how did I do? Let me know what you think!

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

A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Celebrates 6 Years of Blogging (and a Giveaway)

Monday, October 24th, was a pretty busy day. Then about 9pm it hit me…something amazing happened on this date 6 years ago. I opened a Blogger account and launched A Girl’s Gotta Spa! (<–This link takes you to the old site.) I sat back in my chair and welled up with tears. Do most people cry when celebrating longevity in their career? Maybe not, but when it is one that has changed your life and the path you were on, I think it’s reasonable to say it’s OK to cry. Happy tears of course. :)

Six years ago (if you are mathematically disabled like me–that is back in 2005) I just wanted to connect with other like-minded women from my home in rural PA (otherwise known as the Poconos.) I was still new to the area I was living in and didn’t know many people. A Girl’s Gotta Spa! gave me the ability to talk about my passion (beauty) while doing something I always wanted to do (write) and then hear from complete strangers from all around the world. I’ll never forget the day 2 years after launching when an editor for the Finnish magazine Trendi emailed me to tell me my blog was popular in Finland and they wanted to feature me in a story. I was like: holy smokes, someone in Finland knows who I am? That was mind blowing.

This blog, and my readers, have seen me through good times and bad–babies being born (Duncan and Brody), a divorce, a new happy and healthy relationship with an awesome guy, downsizing in a job, creating my own career for myself, being on the verge of broke to recovering and being financially stable…it has been one heck of a ride.

So I thought it would be appropriate to hold a giveaway. I know that is rare for this blog, I never want to be known for just constantly giving away stuff because I want your eyes for learning and connecting, not freebies. But amongst my pile of beauty overload, I have a bunch of products from MAC Cosmetics Wonder Woman collection. Fitting, no? Many of my friends and colleagues have referred to me as Wonder Woman (and Superwoman) so I thought it would make for an exciting giveaway.

(Image is not representative of all of the products listed, just some of them.)

Here’s what you’ll get (retail value of $600):
Wonder Woman Invincible Mirror
Utility Belt Face Brush Set
Bulletproof Blue Makeup Bag
2 Powder Blushes– Mighty Aphrodite and Amazon Princess
3 Lipglass–Athena’s Kiss, Secret Identity and Wonder Woman
2 Eye shadow quads–Valiant and Lady Justice4 lipsticks–Marquise d’, Russian Red, Heroine and Spitfire
2 Nail Lacquers–Obey Me and Spirit of Truth
4 Opulash Mascara–Victorious, Army of Amazons, Themyscira and Bad, Bad Black
2 Pigments–Marine Ultra and Bright Fuchsia
2 Reflects–Reflects Pearl and Reflects Bronze
2 Mineralize Skin Finish–Golden Lariat and Pink Powder

What you have to do:
Follow me on Twitter
Like me on Facebook
Subscribe to my blog

The rules (I’m a mom and all moms have rules.)
Must 18 years of age or older, you can only enter 1 time (I track IP addresses so don’t cheat or you will be disqualified), products are as is (although they are brand new and unused), products cannot be exchanged for cash, no product substitutes and I have the right to cancel this giveaway at any time with or without cause. And yes, this giveaway is open to everyone–even if you don’t live in the US.

Contest begins today, October 25, 2011 and ends November 2nd at 12:01am EST. I’ll announce the winner on November 3rd.

Good luck my pretties and thank you for 6 great years!

xo Shannon

Contest is over. Winner is Jennifer B. and she was notified–congrats Jen!

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, giveaway, Makeup, Pocono Spas & Salons 18 Comments

Beauty Q & A with Monica Madeja from WBRE

Q & A with WBRE's Monica Madeja

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Monica Madeja from my local NBC affiliate station, WBRE. First of all, let me tell you that she has the kind of personality that draws you in, not to mention that she is always smiling. Maybe it’s because we’re small town USA over here in the Scranton area, but she is completely approachable and was happy to answer my Beauty Q & A.

Shannon: At what age did you first start wearing makeup?

Monica: Probably when I was about 12, very minimal of course. I have been in love with chapstick and lip gloss since I can remember though!

Shannon: Do you remember what the very first beauty product that you coveted was?

Monica: Lip smackers lip gloss! That’s still a must-have to this day!

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?

Monica: Davidoff Cool Water or Ralph Lauren’s Polo.

Shannon: If you looked in your handbag right now, how many beauty products would there be?

Monica: Two lip balms with SPF and three lip glosses , maybe a compact.

Shannon: What are your 3 must-have beauty products that you absolutely can’t live without?

Monica: Mascara, moisturizer and of course, lip gloss!

If you are local in NEPA, you can see Monica on WBRE’s mornings!

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

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Pocono Spas & Salons 4 Comments

What I Wore: From Beauty to Fashion on PA Live

Today I was on PA Live on WBRE talking about the music app, Spotify, which is now a I can’t live without it music site for me.  By day I am a social media consultant, which is why I was on the show. More importantly, so much prep went into what I was going to wear, from beauty to fashion, for my television debut. Each time I go on TV, I’ll be posting all the details here.

Pictured with me here is Ralphie Aversa, who I totally messed up tweeting by spelling his last name wrong. Sorry Ralphie. He’s a pretty cool guy and can be heard on 97.5BHT here in NEPA, Q105FM in Connecticut and also in my home state of Rhode Island on 92PRO FM. Ralphie–if you ever need anyone to talk beauty trends, I’m your girl.

 

Now here’s the lowdown on what I wore today:

Fashion:

Dress: Petal Sleeve Tweed 2-in-1 Dress from The Limited
Boots: Franco Sarto Upton Boots from Macy’s
Tights: No Nonsense Great Shapes, Shaping Tights in Espresso
Earrings and Necklace: Sea of Change collection from DeAnna Cochran
Ring: Peridot Green Crystal Ring Swarovski in Sterling Silver from Leela Bijoux (this was the one on my right hand, on my left was a ring my boyfriend’s mom gave me. I don’t know the brand.)
Watch: Jewelry Design with Pearls from Skagen Denmark (make sure to Like their fan page!)

 Beauty:

Hair care: phytokeratine reparative shampoo, conditioner and serum; Redken rootful 06 Root Lifting Spray; Zerran Radiant Finish Diamond Mist
Nails: Waking Up in Vegas from Deborah Lippmann
Skin Care: AHAVA Mud Exfoliator followed by InviCible (has Vitamin C in it)
Foundation: GlamNatural Hydrating Foundation also contains Shea Butter so it is also my moisturizer (only available for pre-order, but the first 500 customers get 50% off for LIFE!)
Powder: Napoleon Pardis Mattifying Mineral Primer and Christopher Drummond Beauty Finale Finishing Powder in Branca
Blush: You Make Me Blush Cream Blush from GlamNatural (not yet available to the public)
Lip Color: Ashley! Ashley! Cream Blush from GlamNatural–yes the blush is great as a lip cream! (not yet available to the public)
Eyeshadow: Sweet Innocence CustomEyes from Revlon (did you see me in this Revlon video?)
Eye liner: Black Pearl GlideLiner by Xtreme Lashes and on my lower lid Three Custom Color Cosmetics Light Clarifier Pencil
Brows: Anastasia Brow Pen from Sephora
Mascara: Volum’ Express the Falsies Blackest Black from Maybelline
Bath & Body: DollyMoo Coconut Citrus Body Scrub and Body Oil

My photo editing software would not remove my red eyes! Hopefully you discover something new from this list of beauty and fashion brands. Crossing my fingers that PA Live will have me back again. I had such a blast! Here is the link to the video of my segment: Shannon Nelson on PA Live I’d love to hear what you thought of it!

Ps. Don’t forget to vote in the SHAPE Magazine Best Beauty Blogger contest!

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Pocono Spas & Salons 5 Comments