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

Perfective Ceuticals Divine Brightening Mask

As much as I have enjoyed summer and am sad to see it come to an end, I was not enjoying how dehydrated my skin looked and felt thanks to a lot of time spent outdoors celebrating summer in all of her sunny glory.  I want to welcome fall and all the Read more

Vegan Cuts Leaping Bunny Fresh Start Kit

Vegan Cuts, an online marketplace and beauty box curating site of the best vegan products, has teamed up with Leaping Bunny (the grand master of cruelty free certification) to create a specialty starter kit to help you discover some great cruelty free brands. Up front I'll tell you that I Read more

Eumora Facial Bar Review

If you are part of the sisterhood that is combination/oily skin, then you'll want to learn more about Eumora, a facial bar made of moor and HmA. For as far back as I can remember, my skin has never been gifted as "normal" and transitions from combination in the Read more

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

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#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

A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Featured in Spry Living Mom Makeover


When Spry Living Magazine asked me if myself and two A Girl’s Gotta Spa! bloggers would be interested in making over our moms, we didn’t hesitate to say yes. Myself, Ashley and Hillary all participated in Spry Living’s Take Year’s Off Your Looks Instantly (web and print) story and Making Over Mom with tips.

Each of our moms had challenges that prevented them from updating their look. My mom had hair loss/thinning hair, sagging skin, etc. all related to bariatric surgery she had two years ago. Ashley’s mom has nerve damage and a disability when it comes to the use of her arm. Hillary’s mom was nervous since losing all of her hair so long ago (but it has since grown back.)

From skin care to hair care to makeup, here’s the breakdown of the products used to transformed our moms.

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Paula (my mom): Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, blush, bronzer, brows, concealer, DIY Beauty, eye shadow, eyeliner, foundation, highlighter, lip gloss, lipstick, Makeup, makeup tips, mascara, Nail Polish, Primer, salon, skin care 1 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

Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Spa Ssakwa’q’n Review

CDA-Casino-Resort

Think Idaho is only for potatoes? Think again. Worley, Idaho has a gem with its Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort and its luxury spa, Spa Ssakwa’q’n (pronounced sock-walk-in). Set on the massive Coeur d’Alene tribe’s reservation, this amazing resort is all about utilizing it’s natural resources, giving back to the local community (taking care of its own tribe as well as helping non-indians) and giving visitors a taste of what Idaho has to offer.

Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort:

The resort and casino have undergone many expansions since it first came into existence in 1993. When I first approached the resort, I was in awe of how large it was. On the one side is the original casino and lodge, then an expansion, then the new Spa Towers and spa (which were added about 2 years ago.) It is beautiful on the outside with a great view of snow covered mountaintops.

CDA-Casino-Resort_SpaTowerE

I stayed in the new Spa Towers, which has a gorgeous lobby with a long horizontal fireplace. As you head to the elevators, you pass a second seating area which has beautiful tribal pieces set behind glass to browse. Past the elevators is a smaller, non-smoking casino that leads into the newly renovated Chinook Steak House. Down the hallway to the right is the second Spa Tower, fitness center, and Spa Ssakwa’q’n.  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, salon, skin care, Spa, Travel Beauty 5 Comments

Esthetician Maureen Barnes Winter Skin Care Tips

I’m always getting asked which products work well to combat winter skin care issues and Maureen Barnes, esthetician at Breathe Salon and Day Spa, was kind enough to make a video for our readers!

Be sure to check out our reviews of Breathe Salon and Day Spa:

Facial Review
Haircut Review

Watch Maureen’s tips below:  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, salon, skin care, Spa, Winter Beauty Leave a comment

Breathe Salon and Day Spa Facial Review

Review by Courtney Smith

You should get a facial,” I would hear my sister-in-law say to me over the past few years, “they are so great, so relaxing.”  It sounded nice, but other than imagining mud plastered over my face, I really did not know what a facial was or what kind of benefits to expect from getting one.  Low and behold as I made my daily drive past Breathe Salon and Spa of Lansdale, PA I noticed a big sign that hung promoting anti-aging facials. Weeks away from thirty-five and with enough fine lines on my face to show it, anti-aging sounded fantastic to me.

I have had the pleasure of enjoying Breathe Salon and Spa’s knock out cut and colors in the past and thought this would be a terrific opportunity to explore one more, of the many, self-care aspects that the salon and spa has to offer.  Per usual the staff was friendly and welcoming, the environment was creatively inspiring and offered a sense of serenity, and upon meeting Maureen Barnes, Breathe’s premier certified Esthetician, who is filled with 20 years of cosmetology wisdom, I was provided with a tour of the room where my facial would be done, as well as educated on what to expect from our time together.  Maureen displayed confidence, professional and practical knowledge, and her presence emitted calm energy that placed me in a mood of ease for the hour we spent together. She was able to answer all my questions and then some and offered me some simple tips to assist me in dealing with the season’s harsh effects on my skin and for my my anti-aging  (appearance) journey.   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, salon, skin care, Spa 1 Comment

How to Look Expensive Q & A with Andrea Pomerantz Lustig

I’ve known Andrea Pomerantz Lustig for a few years now. I forget how we got in contact, but once I met her, that was it. There was an instant connection — maybe it was the common ground of being both career-oriented moms who love beauty, or maybe because Andrea is just so down to earth that I enjoyed her company. Chances are, it was both.

Andrea’s been pretty busy lately; when she’s not being a beauty editor, she’s promoting her new book, How to Look Expensive.  I love this book for so many reasons, not just because there is an intelligent woman behind it, but because so many of us don’t have bottomless wallets to buy $300 lotions or make trips to high end salons. Yet, Andrea tells you how to look expensive without cashing in your 401K.

Q: What inspired you to write How to Look Expensive?  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care, Makeup, salon, skin care, Spa Leave a comment

Breathe Salon and Day Spa Review, Lansdale PA

Review from my fabulous sister, Courtney

“Breathe,” that is what I keep trying to tell myself amidst my crazy life as a mama of seven beautiful babes. “Self-care,” I’ve heard myself preach the importance of it to my pre-teen daughter and to my patients who I care for in the hospital a million times. So as the collection of dust mounted on the silver envelopes of my now two unused Breathe Salon and Day Spa gift certificates, and my daily drive past their ever-so inviting window treatments called my name, my summer fizzled chlorine-damaged hair could take no more and I decided that I WAS finally making an appointment for me. The only appointment that a girl can make that will last a couple hours, but will be sure to rejuvenate her for at least six solid weeks, if she chooses wisely. I am no beauty expert, but I know what I like, and I do have a gift for creative flare that’s easy on the eyes.

Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care, salon, Spa 2 Comments

VIDEO: Eyelash Extensions

I’ve been getting lash extensions for the past few months…and it’s quickly become an obsession of mine. They’re low-maintenence and perfect for both everyday wear and special nights out.

I’m a loyal customer of lash stylist Lucinda Montano, and in the video below I share her knowledge with our viewers. She’s an incredible aesthetician, and if you’re in the NYC area it is so worth paying her a visit. Check out her blog, and be sure to visit her Facebook page to view some before and after shots of her lash work.

Check out the video below, posted on A Girl’s Gotta Spa!’s YouTube channel.  Read more

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