Easy Abstract Floral Nail Art Tutorial

I love nail art that looks really intricate, yet is effortlessly simply in application. I asked fellow beauty blogger and fellow Pennsylvanian, A Little Polish to create a tutorial just for A Girl's Gotta Spa! readers. If you're looking for some simple abstract floral nail art, here’s a tutorial to Read more

Wrinkle Reducing Products

When we're young, we take our flawless skin for granted, never considering that what we do early on will affect us when we're older. We try to rush things, like wearing makeup (and always forgetting to take it off), skip things like sunscreen and make poor choices like smoking. Read more

Onsen $1000 Gift Card Giveaway

It's my birthday week and I am turning the big 4-0. What better way to welcome in my 40's than with a giveaway for an amazing anti-aging skin care line? Inspired by the countryside baths of Japan, Onsen skin care products are made with the same restorative minerals found at Read more

Best Body Lotions

  The best body lotions are the kind that leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated, not just for hours, but for days at a time. I am incredibly picky when it comes to my beauty products, and when it comes to body lotion, I need something that delivers. Here's a Read more

Favorite Black Eyeliners

There's something that a black eyeliner conveys that brown or even brightly colored or metallic eyeliners can't duplicate. Black says bold, daring, classic, sexy. While there are times that I opt for brown or grey, a good black eyeliner is always my first choice. Some of my favorites include CoverGirl liquiline Read more

a girl’s gotta spa

Redken’s Haircolor Trend Forecast Winter 2008/2009

Update: See the Redken Fall/Winter 2010-2011 Haircolor Trend Forecast

The winter season is quickly approaching and Redken’s annual haircolor collection brings consumers the season’s must-have haircolor. Taking inspiration directly from Fashion Week runways, Redken debuts a new collection the NEW Spotlight Collection  infusing blondes, brunettes and redheads with multi-dimensional sophistication, seductive shine and soft reddish-brown tones with subtle hints of violet. Featuring six calibrated Mahogany Violet shades from Redken’s Color Fusion and Shades EQ haircolor brands, the NEW Spotlight Collection offers readers versatile, new fashion-focused shades for the winter season.

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care, salon 12 Comments

Need a 401K facial: 5 Alabama Spas Launching Economic Inspired Spa Treatments

Known for great golf at a real value, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama has added world-class resorts and spas. With the recent opening of the Spa at the Battle House Hotel in Mobile, the RTJ Golf Trail’s Resort Collection now has five spas and eight hotels. With these locations, Alabama currently ranks fourth in the country for the number of spas recommended by BestSpas USA. These spas are adding new treatments that may be just what your financial analyst ordered.

In response to the current economic conditions and increasing stresses, the Spas in the RTJ Golf Trail Resort Collection have come up with a series of new special treatments. This week, the five spas will begin offering: 401(k) Facials, an Economic Freefall Refresher and the Banker and Broker Escape.

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, skin care, Spa 3 Comments

The Lodge at Woodloch Unveils Pre and Post Natal Spa Treatments

I feel so lucky to have The Lodge at Woodloch located only about 30 minutes from where I live. I was there last December for an amazing massage and facial and spent some time in their whirlpool, sauna and indoor pool (with amazing waterfalls!) Having had 4 kids, I know how badly I wanted to just relax and be pampered during each of my pregnancies and now The Lodge at Woodloch has unveiled two new Pre and Post Natal spa treatments that will do just that for expecting moms and those moms who just have children clinging to your legs every second. Not speaking from experience of course.

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Pocono Spas & Salons, skin care, Spa 2 Comments

Review: Bethesda Sunscreen Soap

Bethesda #Sunscreen Soap

We often hear about people who go on to be a doctor because someone in their family battle a life threatening disease or someone who was inspired to create a product because nothing on the market could meet their needs. Well Jamie Collins Doss, owner of Bethesda Skincare, is one of those people. Her father had multiple skin cancers removed from his face after years of working in the field of his farm without sun protection and after becoming ill herself, Jamie’s skin could no longer tolerate traditional soaps. Thus the Bethesda Sunscreen Soap was born.

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, bath and body, beauty, salon, skin care 7 Comments

A Breast Cancer Survivor’s Story

For Breast Cancer Awareness month I wanted to showcase a story of a breast cancer survivor. I think it’s important to keep these courageous women in the spotlight to be a beacon of hope to others who may have just been diagnosed or are actively being treated for the disease. It should be a word of warning to women everywhere that no matter who you are or how old you are, cancer does not discriminate. You can learn some facts about the disease with the Total Beauty Total Cure breast cancer awareness campaign this month.

My survivor to spotlight today is Kristen Nelson Thibeault, although no relation to me, I have to say, us “Nelson’s” sure have something in common. We want women to be informed.

Shannon Nelson: Can you share with my readers a little bit about yourself?

Kristen Nelson Thibeault: I’m 42. Married to my best friend and soulmate, Keven with 2 amazing step daughters (Cassandra 9 and Katrina 12), I have 2 dogs (Stanley and Ernie). When I’m not evangelizing for Total Beauty in NY or LA, I live on the water on a small island called Plum Island. It’s 45 minutes north of Boston on a 2 acre hobby farm adjacent to a wildlife preserve.

I am the spokesperson and VP of Brands and Social Media for TotalBeauty.com, the #1 online beauty resource for women. I’ve been in the beauty industry for years. I love my life!

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty 26 Comments

Review: Product Body Cream and Crush on You Sugar Scrub

I’m a sucker for indie beauty brands. Especially those products that are handmade. Many of my beauty blog friends had been raving about Product Body’s Crush on You sugar scrub, so not wanting to be the one left out, I had to get my hands on it to try it out for myself. Not to mention their Shea Butter infused Cream…winter is just around the corner, which means dry skin. I am always in search of the moisturizer that can hydrate the most effectively during the cold, harsh winter months of the northeast!

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, skin care 5 Comments

Review: Rembrandt Whitening Strips

There’s no doubt about it, everyone would love to have whiter teeth. I know that personally, between my previous addiction love of diet coke, my infatuation with ice tea and my love affair with ice coffee, that it has played a role in my teeth turning gray. I have been diet coke-free for well over a year, but I can’t shake the ice tea and ice coffee cravings. So what’s a girl to do to polish up her perfectly straight teeth?

I have found a new love in Rembrandt’s Whitening Strips. I’ve tried other whitening strips before; both Crest and Aqua Fresh and disliked both. Crest’s moved around in my mouth and I couldn’t talk with them in (and I surely like to talk… a lot), not to mention the formula being all messy in my mouth. Aqua Fresh’s trays basically made me gag and I couldn’t even get past 3 minutes with them in. So I was skeptical to use Rembrandt’s Whitening Strips, but pushed ahead because I hate looking at my dull, drab teeth when I smile.

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Spa 5 Comments

Review: Eufora Urgent Repair Shampoo & Replenishing Treatment



Eufora is the first hair product I have come across that uses Aloe Vera gel as its base (vs. water.) From the beginning that told me that the shampoo and Replenishing Treatment were going to work wonders on my hair. As you all know, I color my hair regularly, so from time to time it gets a bit dried out and frizzed.

As mentioned on Eufora’s website–Aloe contains elements that are essential to cellular healing, renewal and growth. Aloe also delivers amazing antibacterial, anti-viral and antiseptic properties. It is a naturally effective solution to help alleviate the symptoms caused by skin and scalp conditions such as acne and dandruff.

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care, salon 4 Comments

Spa Getaway: Stone Spa at the Casanova by Rafael Hotels in Barcelona, Spain

After exploring the city of Barcelona, guests can indulge in spa treatments and rest their tired little feet at Stone Spa, an enclave of pampering and relaxation located inside the hip Casanova by Rafael Hotels and the only indoor/outdoor spa in the city. The spa is offering a three-night Stone Marvels Spa package for two which includes two Stone Marvels massages with hot river stones and olive oil (the Mediterranean’s lifeblood); accommodations; buffet breakfast daily; and round-trip airport/hotel transfers.

The Stone Spa is available to anyone seeking a rarified spa experience that combines pampering with innovative therapies. The spa boasts a treatment menu inspired by the Earth’s healing properties. Gemstones, smooth river stones and indigenous botanicals, culled from wellness traditions around the globe, are integrated into all of the treatments. Each guest departs with a small stone or crystal, a tactile reminder of their experience at Barcelona’s most transformative refuge, the Stone Spa.

To learn more about Stone Spa or to make reservations at Casanova, visit www.casanovabcnhotel.com

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, skin care, Spa 4 Comments

A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Named 101 Women Bloggers to Watch This Fall

When I saw WE Magazine linking into A Girl’s Gotta Spa! I was intrigued. Then came the moment when my mouth dropped open and I sat amazed to see that the trail ended upon a post on WE Magazine’s website called “101 Women Bloggers to Watch This Fall.” I found my name and A Girl’s Gotta Spa! listed and wanted to cry.  For those who know me, you know that this beauty blog is my baby. It’s what has taken my life in a whole other direction full of wonderful and exciting opportunities. I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly humbling it is to be noticed, but also to be listed among some other pretty amazing women.

Check out the list and discovering some other really fantastic women in blogging.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty 8 Comments