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

a girl’s gotta spa

Chemical Exfoliants and Physical Exfoliants Compared

Back in September I was blessed with the opportunity to speak to a crowd of about 120 people at the HBAExpo on social media and the beauty industry. Imagine my surprise when the very lovely Renee Rouleau was sitting in the crowd (and came up to introduce herself afterwards!) Renee has an amazing skin care line based on 9 different skin types. Below is the comparison of chemical exfoliants and physical exfoliants, which used in combination, is an effective way to reveal more youthful, radiant skin.

Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, skin care 9 Comments

The Ultimate in Luxury Beauty: Bond No. 9 for the Holidays

Have a little extra cash to burn this Holiday season? No? Me either. Surely that shouldn’t stop us from window shopping and oohing and ahhing over something so luxurious as Bond No. 9′s Holiday collection.

Bleecker Street Bejeweled
The choice this holiday for the annual “Swarovski treatment” is Bleecker Street (a gourmand oriental mingling of patchouli, cassis, caramel, woods, and musk.) The limited-edition 100ml lime green-chartreuse-amethyst-gold starburst watercolor flacon is studded, back and front, with a checkerboard pattern of matching crystals—and for good measure, an extra-large crystal front and center. $395.

The Swarovski All-Stars
Why stop at one new Swarovski-enhanced flacon? They’ve gone overboard and embellished three more of their most coveted scents with the tiniest and most reflective of all the Swarovski stones—five thousand of them per 50ml bottle. The pearlized milk glass Eau de New York bottle (citruses-cyclamen-jasmine-vetiver) is studded with diamond-colored aurora borealis stones. Chelsea Flowers (peonies-magnolia-rose) is decked with emerald-colored stones. Chinatown (peach-gardenia-tuberose-sandalwood) features ruby-colored stones. $650.

The Crystallized Amphora
I’ve saved the show-stopper for last: The outsized 42 oz amphora vitrine, breathtakingly covered with 16,500 hand-applied platinum Swarovski stones. Not to forget the bottle top—an elliptical mirror with honeycomb base, the Bond No. 9 signature and a handy golden spigot. Contents? Your choice among Bond’s 32 scents. This bedazzlement comes in a white patent leather gift case, also adorned with crystals. $3,500.

Window shop some more at www.bondno9.com

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, holiday, perfume 6 Comments

Review: PREVAGE Total Body Transforming Anti-Aging Moisturizer

Elizabeth Arden recently launched a new product in the PREVAGE collection of anti-aging skin care, their Body Total Transforming Anti-Aging Moisturizer. To say this is unlike any other moisturizer I have used before would be an understatement. I received it in sample size about 8 weeks ago and I openly admit that nearing the end of the tube has me in a panic–I absolutely love what it has done for my skin!

Just like it’s facial moisturizer, this PREVAGE Body Total Transforming moisturizer has Idebenone, which works wonders on your skin (I also have the PREVAGE Anti-Aging Night Cream and I love it!) So here’s what I noticed in week one of using it:

Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, bath and body, beauty, skin care 22 Comments

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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!

Read more

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!

Read more

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.

Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Spa 5 Comments