#EyeHeartNY Twitter Party 4/24 #ad

This summer I'll be 40. Wrinkles and fine lines know their way around my face like a road map. I wish what I know now about anti-aging, I knew 20 years ago so that I could take better care of my skin. However, since I can't literally turn back Read more

Beauty Benefits of Lime

It may sound silly, but even though I don't drink, those Corona commercials snag my attention every time. Sounds of the ocean, the sense of relaxation and the refreshing lime placed perfectly in the bottle neck. It's that lime that calls out to me saying, "Let me quench your Read more

Gail Lewis - SUPER Model

If you've read the bios of the A Girl's Gotta Spa! editors, you may stumble across the fact that Gail Lewis is a model. I don't mean model being kind, like Gail is attractive, I mean model like fierce, confident and in-demand. And of course, as in actually having Read more

#BeautyInspiration Twitter Party April 16th #shop

 Image credit: Hairspray & High Heels We have major love here at A Girl's Gotta Spa! for makeup. From makeup trends to makeup tips, when to spend and when to splurge, as well as the latest products for each season, you can count on us to bring that info to you. Read more

Spa Week 2014 A Girl's Gotta Spa! and Giveaway

It's that time of year again when spas lower their prices on some of their spa treatments, otherwise known as Spa Week! From April 21–27th, spas, fitness facilities and wellness centers across the country will be offering $50 spa treatments, including a few spas that we've reviewed like The French Read more

a girl’s gotta spa

Brighten Your Skin for the Upcoming Holiday Season

Every woman needs to give themselves a good exfoliating treatment. Women you can use microdermabrasion products at home to gently exfoliate and brighten your skin. You will be amazed by how much better your makeup stays on and how refreshed you feel after this treatment. Giving yourself a microdermabrasion treatment in your home is quick and easy.

You can get your winter glow over this holiday season by using affordable microdermabrasion at home products. As a matter of fact, the perfect holiday gift for a sister, or friend would be a microdermabrasion kit. After using Isomers Duo Derm two step treatment you will have visibly reduced the size of your pores, firm, and tighten your skin.

So, what are you waiting for? Revive your skin with Isomers Duo Derm treatment from ShopNBC.

*Disclosure: Advertorial

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, skin care Leave a comment

A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Holiday Gift Guide

If you survived Black Friday and are still in need of some holiday gift ideas for the family or friend who loves beauty products, then I know you’ll find our Holiday Gift Guide useful. Amanda, Gail and I put together some of our best and most favorite gift ideas (i.e. gifts we’d like to see under the tree) into a 13 page catalog. We opted not to create a multitude of holiday gift posts and thought a handy catalog that you can browse through and link directly to the product would make for a great all-in-one-place guide.

Here’s what we covered: Hair care, skin care, bath & body, holiday kits, cosmetics, gifts that give back and spas and spa treatments that we love. There’s some nail polish mentioned in there too!

Many thanks to Kelli & Co. for creating the cover for our Holiday Gift Guide. When reading it, make sure you view it at 100%; it is a downloadable PDF.

Enjoy the catalog and please feel free to pass onto your friends! Download it by clicking this link: Holiday Gift Guide

Disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links and 2 brands mentioned are clients.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, holiday, Makeup, salon, Spa Leave a comment

Hair Color Review: John Frieda Precision Foam Colour



We’re heading into the colder months, which typically means making the switch from highlighted hair to warmer tones. My natural hair color is dark brown, but typically I lighten or highlight it in the summer months. Being that it is only 6 weeks until Christmas, getting my hair colored at the salon was not in my wallet’s vocabulary, so I opted to color my hair at home. I made my way to CVS and decided upon John Frieda’s Precision Foam Colour. I went with 4BG  (Dark Chocolate Brown.)

My highlighted hair before, colored immediately after and results 1 week later.

I have to say, I don’t typically read the warnings on home hair coloring kits because I have been coloring my hair since I was 13 and they typically all say the same thing. However, I noticed John Frieda’s included some things I have never seen before like you need to remove all accessories you are wearing and cannot use metal tools. Since there seems to be an issue with metal, I assumed that the accessories they meant were jewelry.  So I removed my earrings. It also says you shouldn’t use this product if you have a temporary black Henna tattoo, as it is likely to increase an allergy risk. If you wear contacts, you need to remove them also…however I’m not sure how you could put on your glasses since you can’t have metal around. If you’ve colored your hair previously with compound hennas, metallic dyes or color restorers you have to wait until your hair has grown out and then cut.

And don’t try to put the foam on your eyelashes or eyebrows because it may cause blindness.

So, basically, by the time I was done reading that I was freaked out. Then I went on to read how to mix the product. It says you cannot shake the mix (you need to gently tilt it 5 times,) you cannot use the pump but instead have to squeeze the bottle to make the foam come out of the pump…which is psychologically confusing because you are holding a bottle with a pump…that you cannot pump. The bottle needs to remain upright at all times and you can only apply the foam to your hands first (in gloves of course) and not directly onto your hair.

So basically I felt I was going to mess this up big time.

Application was tricky because the instructions state that you cannot get the foam on your face or ears at all. My hair is shoulder length, so good luck with that Shannon! Trying to prevent the foam from touching my skin, while trying to keep the bottle upright and not pump it was like playing a game of Twister.  Additionally your hair needs to be “frothy” with foam in order to be “done.” Ok, guess what? Foam evaporates or absorbs into your hair. Especially if you have long-ish hair and are trying to make sure you get each section equally. Wait time from this point is 30 minutes.

I rinsed my hair, applied the conditioner, rinsed that out after 3 minutes and then blew it dry. I was pleasantly surprised with the color. I loved it. Tweeted about it. My 7 year old snapped my pic for me and I was happy I was still alive with great looking hair.

Fast forward 1 week and while my hair is still brown, as you can see from the picture…the color has significantly faded. Ugh. I do not wash my hair everyday, in fact I usually only wash it every other day. I also used sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, so I know it wouldn’t have been the culprit to strip my hair color. I also hadn’t washed my hair 24 hours before applying the foam as the instructions stated and I did not have any product build-up to prevent the color from adhering.

So was it worth it to save myself the $60-$75 of coloring my hair at the salon? Not really.

Have you used John Frieda’s Precision Foam? I’d like to hear about your experience (good or bad.)

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

Winter Weather Skin Care Tips from The Spa at Ravella

Guest post from The Spa at Ravella located at Ravella at Lake Las Vegas:

Cooler weather can lead to dry, flaky skin. Here are two tips from The Spa at Ravella, one for a spa visit and one for at home, to help keep skin soft and supple until warmer weather returns!

Next time you splurge on a spa treatment, The Spa at Ravella recommends choosing a facial treatment that uses serums or enzymes. You can talk to a spa professional when booking a treatment and discuss further with your skin therapist once you arrive. Serums provide a powerful dose of nutrients and bioactive ingredients that penetrate deep into the layers of your skin much farther than moisturizers can, and work intensely to bring oil and hydration into balance, strengthen your skin, increase visible firmness and give a youthful glow. Enzymes help slough away dead skin cells and encourage cellular growth, leaving the skin feeling great and looking dewy and bright.

For similar results at home, The Spa at Ravella suggests creating a pumpkin enzyme mask – just mix left over pumpkin pulp with an egg, apply to face and let sit for 6 – 8  minutes. Tingling is normal but if feels strong, less time may be needed. Pumpkin is a strong exfoliant that brings the blood to the surface of the skin creating a detoxifying effect. The lecithin from the egg yolk will tighten the skin while the enzymes in the blend will stimulate cellular growth, allowing skin to look its best.

In addition to these tips, The Spa at Ravella is offering two seasonally-inspired treatments designed to keep skin in tip-top shape throughout the next few months:

Scrumptious Spice Wrap

Enjoy this aromatic concoction of fragrant fall spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg are mixed with organic brown sugar and vanilla to gently polish your skin. Relax with a soothing scalp massage while your body is enveloped with deeply hydrating body butter for ultimate smoothness and hydration. 50 minutes…$89

Pure Results Facial

This active organic facial uses high performance herbal enzyme peels such as pear fig, pumpkin or sweet cherry to target signs of aging with proven ingredients to deeply repair and hydrate the skin, Ideal for all sin types, including sensitive. 50 minutes…$99

Have you tried their at home treatment? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, skin care, Spa Leave a comment

Makeup Review: Boots 17 Falsifeye Mascara

I am a mascara addict. If there is one thing I will not leave the house without, it is a quick coat of mascara on my lashes. I’m fine with nothing else on my face. So I am always happy to be given the chance to try out any new mascara that comes onto the market and was therefore excited when I received a tube of Boots 17′s Falsifeye mascara, having heard good things about the product itself and already loving the brand anyway.

Falsifeye claims to “create wow effect eyelashes.”

I gave the mascara its first real outing for brunch with my girlfriends. Wearing nothing else on my face, just a lick of blackest black mascara. The brush is pretty big and looks like a mass of unruly bristles when covered in mascara but I wasn’t deterred and I was pleasantly surprised by the look it created: My lashes were left defined and curled* right to my little lashes at either side.


For a mascara that comes in at under a tenner I’d say I’ll be buying it again! Which is your go-to budget mascara? Or are you only a top dollar girl when it comes to your lashes?

Thank you to Shannon for letting me loose on her blog again!

You can find my beauty blog at http://the-eyeofthebeholder.tumblr.com and my fashion and lifestyle blog here http://sugar-and-spice.com.

*I should add, I do use a curler too as my lashes are flat, flat, flat!

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Makeup, mascara 2 Comments

Brow Review: Gee Beauty at Bal Harbour Shops, FL

It’s no secret that since moving from Minnesota to Florida exactly one year ago I’ve experienced my share of brow challenges. Not knowing where to go, I’ve taken the advice of other people and ended up with insanely thick and overly arched brows, as well as, brows that were a lot shorter and gave me an E.T. like appearance.  I was resigned to either waiting until fashion week so that I could have them done by a studio I trusted in New York or magically having the finances to book a trip to MN every eight weeks to visit my usual brow studio there…neither option was very realistic, so I was relieved if not a bit anxious when I heard about Gee Beauty in Bal Harbour Shops…a mere fifteen minutes away from where I reside.

Gee Beauty was founded in Canada and have only recently opened their second location in Bal Harbour in August. As previously mentioned, I was a bit hesitant to try yet another brow studio in Miami due to my not so pleasant experiences, but my anxiety all but dissipated upon a brief visit to the Gee Beauty website.  I was instantly assured that my brows would be in expert hands as soon as I saw that they offered a service called Brow 911, which is specifically designed to “rescue your brows,” I could barely contain my excitement the day before my appointment , I just knew I would leave with much improved brows and Gee Beauty did not disappoint at all.

The space is absolutely beautiful, modern, clean, inviting and very chic. Besides being incredibly attractive with gorgeous brows, the staff was really friendly and seemed very knowledgeable about the products that they carry (based on conversations with other customers that I overheard.) My appointment was with Natalie Gee, co-founder of Gee Beauty and brow magician…also incredibly attractive with very expertly applied make up and brows to die for. Natalie explained that she would be threading my brows…which I always prefer over waxing since I always tend to break out after a brow wax and about fifteen minutes later she sat me up in front of the mirror and I swear I just about teared up at how amazing my brows looked…trust me you would have too if your brows had undergone any of the pre-Gee Beauty torture mine experienced. My brows looked incredibly well groomed, they were thick, just the right length and the arches were absolutely perfect, I could not have been happier.

In addition to brow services such as brow tinting, clean up, shaping and complete brow overhaul, Gee Beauty also offers a vast array of beauty services such as makeup application and lessons, facials, tanning, faux lash application and tinting as well as an entire menu dedicated specifically to the fellas…if I were a fella I would definitely go for a service called The Sean Connery.  Gee Beauty also carries some pretty amazing and hard to find beauty brands such as SkinCeuticals, Malin + Goetz, Rodin Olio Lusso, St. Tropez Tan and Talika…to name a few.

With the season in Miami getting in full swing and the holidays right around the corner, I can’t help but feeling like I got wind of Gee Beauty just in time.  I mean the brows I had before seeing Natalie would have been just fine for Halloween but I would have faced some difficulty explaining them after October 31st and I am ecstatic that now I won’t have to.

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, brows, brows 5 Comments

Pros and Cons of Shellac and UV Gel Manicures



When I first heard about Shellac, UV and LED gel manicures, I was over the moon excited. I could finally have polish on my nails sans chipping and polish peeling for more than 3 days and all without having to apply fake nails. In August, while at Cosmoprof, I received an awesome manicure from CND in Hot Pop Pink (pictured below.) The manicure took just as long as having acrylic nails or wraps put on (an hour) and the result looked just as amazing. I remarked to the manicurist just how gorgeous her own nails looked, as they were long and it didn’t even appear to be naturally her own. She told me they were and that wearing the Shellac helped her achieve the length. I believed her, until my own experience has led me to believe otherwise.


My CND Shellac lasted me 3 weeks. I was ecstatic. I applied CND’s SolarOil to my cuticles and under the tips of my nails on a daily basis as instructed by the manicurist. My nails had grown a bit during this time and I was excited to go for round two of another CND Shellac at my local salon. This time I went for a French manicure CND Shellac. My nails were finally long enough to adorn some white tips and I was stoked. I went about applying the SolarOil again daily, but this time it only took 3 days for one of my nails to peel and the Shellac to come off. Day 4, one of my nails broke and it became clear how brittle my nails were becoming. By day 5, all of my nails were either peeling (the nail itself, not the polish) or breaking.

Looking at my very soft, peeling nails, I decided to not apply any polish at all for 2 weeks, but continued to put the SolarOil on them. But sadly, they didn’t seem to recover. In the meantime, I had been sent the complete Red Carpet Manicure LED Starter Kit and as I was about to have my first television appearance, I knew my nails had to look amazing. So I used the kit, which comes complete with a portable LED light and is a DIY home LED manicure kit. Colors were gorgeous, time was still about 1 hour to complete the manicure and I used their Revitalize cuticle oil daily. But by day 3, my nails were peeling and even more brittle. I now had stubs for nails (even shorter than pictured above.) Finally I asked fellow friends in the salon business and fellow bloggers if they experienced the same of gel manicures, and it was a resounding yes.

Pros:

Manicure can potentially last up to 3 weeks
No chipping
Manicure is instantly dry upon last UV go round
Mirror finish (nails look wet, but aren’t)
Can DIY and look just as amazing as at the salon
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous

Cons:

Very drying to your nails
Repeated application (without a breather) will result in brittle and peeling nails
Wear time gets less and less with each application
If you don’t apply the cuticle oil daily, your nails will dry out a lot quicker
Costs add up, especially if the manicure doesn’t last 2-3 weeks
CND Shellac requires it’s own Remover Wraps
According to some doctors, the UV lamps can cause skin cancer

So it appears that, at least for me, a CND Shellac or UV gel manicure will only happen for special events (like holidays, TV appearances, events) and cannot be worn all of the time. Unless I want to continue having man hands with my stubby nails.

 

 

In the meantime, I will be in nail re-cooperation with Qtica’s Cuticle Repair Balm and Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator to regain my length.  I’d love to hear from you: what has your experience been with UV gel manicures?

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*Disclosure

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Nail Polish 52 Comments

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

7 of the Top Bloggers: Where Are They Now?

As you know, this month marks 6 years that I have been writing A Girl’s Gotta Spa! To have not only survived the blogosphere, but weather many personal and professional ups and downs all these years seems like a major feat in and of itself. One thing I feel very blessed about, is that I am still in contact with many of the beauty bloggers from back in the day. I consider them good friends and often turn to them for advice or for an objective opinion. I am so proud of all that they have accomplished over the years and wanted to be able to spotlight just how far we’ve all come.

From earliest year launched, here they are:

Kathryn Finney: The Budget Fashionista
Began: 2003
Life changes: People recognizing me at Disney World (which is awesome, except when you just came off Splash Mountain) and being listed as a famous Minnesotan (along with Prince).
Career Advancement: One of AOL’s Top Women in Money. Listed by everyone from WWD to Wall Street Journal to Instyle to People as top blog for women. First fashion blogger (and one of the first women bloggers) to receive a major book deal, over 1000 press mentions and profiles from New York Times to Essence to USA Today, lots of TV segments (Today Show, GMA, etc), keynote speaker (Blogher, SXSW, etc), head of my own TV production company, TV development deal (as star and Executive Producer), adviser to cool start ups, and only independently owned top ten fashion blog.
One thing Learned Along the Way: To Thine Self Be True.
One Goal I Still Want to Meet: To find the perfect pair of red pumps.

Carla Maganinho: Product Girl
Began: 2005
Life Changes: The biggest change in my life is the traveling. In the last few years I’ve made an effort to visit New York and LA a couple times a year to attend things like NYFW and shows like The Makeup Show. It’s really important to me because it gives me a chance to see my other beauty blogging friends as well as keep in touch with important people that allow me to keep doing what I do. Otherwise, beauty products now take over my life more than ever. Almost every surface of my apartment has some sort of product on it that I need to devote some attention to. Things definitely did not start out that way but it’s fun to play with everything.
Career Advancement: I’ve always had a day job in a completely separate industry for years now. For most of the last 6 years, I’ve worked at a small door company in their A/R department handling their billing and collections. This week I’m making the leap to a completely new industry and my day job will finally align with my passion. On Thursday, I will be starting as a beauty social media specialist for Nordstrom tweeting as @nordstrombeauty and engaging with customers on Facebook as well. I would never be able to much such a career change if it wasn’t because of my blog and I’m so grateful that fate led me in this direction.
One Thing I Learned Along the Way: This isn’t really something I learned, but more of something I gained along the way. I am a bit of a shy person when I’m in unfamiliar territory and through the blog, I’ve had to speak up and be more vocal than I normally would be. This gets me out of my comfort zone a bit and has given me more self-confidence than I’ve had before. It’s a good feeling to look back and think of how I’ve put myself out there in ways that I wouldn’t ordinarily have done before I started Product Girl.
One Goal I Still Want to Meet: One day I’d love to see a product I helped create on store shelves. That goal was almost within reach earlier this year with the MAC Blogger’s collection but sadly it wasn’t meant to be. Although, the ladies who did work with MAC on the Bloggers Obsession collection had some amazing shades. I’ve dreamt of having my own perfume since I was a little girl but now I’d also love to collaborate on makeup; either with eyeshadow or lipstick. I’m hoping one day I’ll get a chance to make that dream come true!
Shannon Nelson: A Girl’s Gotta Spa!
Began: 2005
Life Changes: Being ingrained deep in the social media world helped me create a job for myself when I needed it the most and now I have an incredible social media career. As a single mom of 4  boys, I’m proud to be an example to my kids that you can do anything you want to in this life if you put your mind to it. Being a positive role model to my boys is really the most important thing and highest honor I can ever achieve.
Career Advancement: Guest speaker at the HBA Expo 2009 and 2010; guest speaker at Cosmoprof North America 2009 and 2011. Freelance articles written for American Spa and Times-Tribune.  Hired by a NYC PR firm and feel incredibly blessed that they have taught me so much and continue to allow me to work towards my dreams and support me along the way (Thank you Pierce!) Became an independent social media consultant working with both well established beauty and fashion brands, as well as start ups. Named both a Top 50 and Top 20 Beauty Blog, nationally and globally (Hello Australian VOGUE)…most recently by SHAPE Magazine. Social Media expert for PA Live (being on TV is awesome.) Being recognized at events and seeing people get excited to talk to me really makes my lifetime.
One Thing I’ve Learned Along the Way: Fail forward. The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who made mistakes on their journey to the top.
One Goal I Still Want to Meet: To create my own bath & body line or partner with a brand to do so. I’d also really like to meet Kathy Ireland. She inspires me.

Lianne Farbes: The Makeup Girl
Began: 2006
Life changes: Being recognized in places (I was mobbed at The Makeup Show! LOL) and traveling more (being away from home is hard but she works hard for the money honey!)
Career Advancement: I always feel like I have 14 jobs and in a way…I kinda do. My career as a blogger has taken on many different forms and I love them all. Being listed in InStyle was a huge moment for me….it was like YES validation!! I have also created a thriving Social Media/Online Marketing practice for myself in the process. By doing so, I kind of created a job for myself when there were none available – that feels really great to have accomplished that. This past year I was honored to have been chosen to create an eyeshadow shade for MAC cosmetics in a capsule collection entitled “Bloggers Obsessions” I honestly didn’t realize what a huge moment it was for me and that the experience was something that I actually wanted for myself and my brand. It was a priceless experience that I will always remember. Then there is Cocktails and Couture, my social media networking event. I love that people look forward to the event each season for fashion week and I LOVE bringing new and interesting brands to the table as sponsors. All in all…I have to say I love my job! (or jobs….LOL)
One thing I Learned Along the Way: Be Yourself, love yourself and everything else will fall into place.
One Goal I Still Want to Meet: I already made the perfect smokey eyeshadow so now I want to make the perfect nude lipgloss.

Patrice Yursik: Afrobella
Began: August 2006
Life changes: Being a blogger changed my life in every way! Putting in solid work blogging enabled me to quit my job to work for myself full time, it’s allowed me to move to a more advanced city where more opportunities are available. Because of blogging, I’ve been able to write for just about every magazine or website I’ve ever wanted to write for — my blog makes a great virtual resume! And now I need to make sure I look super cute before I leave my apartment because I get recognized pretty often. And it’s always done with love and admiration, which just makes me realize I was meant to do what I’m doing!
Career Advancement: I have a career, first of all! I’ve won more than ten online awards for my blog, including Best of Beauty from Glam Media and I’m now officially in the Black Weblog Awards hall of fame because I won so many times. Because of my blog I am hired for speaking engagements and appearances, I’ve freelanced for a wide variety of publications, and dreams I never even had before, have come true. I was part of MAC’s Blogger’s Obsession collection and my lipglass All Of My Purple Life sold out twice, I did an online ad for Lancome, and I’ve appeared in a variety of magazines in both featured articles and advertisements. My blog has put me on a path to greatness, but it isn’t a predestined path. It’s amazing how much my life has changed and how much my career has advanced. Almost every day I am told that I’m a role model or an inspiration to someone, and that means the world to me.
One Thing I Learned Along the Way: It is always a good look to be gracious and sweet and welcoming and kind. The person who you dismiss today could wind up being your best possible contact tomorrow! Also, beauty shines from within, so if you live your life in a beautiful and loving way, only beauty and love will come back to you.
One Goal I Still Want to Meet: I dream of collaborating with a brand I love on a full makeup collection, and of finally finishing and publishing my book!

Julia Coney: All About the Pretty
Began: 2006
Life changes: Having my name called in the DC subway. Crazy.
Career Advancement: Being blessed to have press from the Washington Post, Washingtonian magazine, Glamour Magazine, Ebony Magazine, Essence Magazine, a Top Ten Beauty Blog from WWD, and Australian Vogue. Travel writing for my blog, BlackAtlas.com, and a others.
One thing Learned Along the Way: Know who you are and write from the heart.
One Goal Still Want to Meet: Just one! Attend Paris Fashion Week and visit Antarctica and Australia. Only 2 continents I haven’t visited.

Christine Mielke: Temptalia
Began: 2006
Life Changes:  I didn’t know what I wanted to do before, but now I’ve found my dream!
Career Advancement: Graduated JD/MBA from Santa Clara University.  Speaker at beauty conferences like Cosmoprof and The Beauty Social.  One of the top ten beauty blogs.  Named Most Influential Beauty Blog by Konector. Part of MAC Cosmetics Blogger’s Obsession collection.
One Thing I Learned Along the Way:  Readers are #1, which means honesty, credibility, and integrity are core to success.
One Goal I Still Want to Meet:  To be better tomorrow than I was yesterday.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Makeup 6 Comments

Highlighter Yellow Nail Polish: Funky & Fun Or Just an Eyesore?

As someone who actually watches the show, I’ll be the first to admit that Bad Girls Club probably isn’t the best place to look for beauty inspiration, but I have to give those crazy gals their props when due! After all, it’s where I first saw someone rock a highlighter yellow manicure… and actually look pretty cool doing it. Since then, as a rather adventurous girl when it comes to nail trends, I was convinced that I had to try it on myself, and I was pretty pleased!

It’s eye-catching, fun and festive for late summer, plus the ultra-neon hue pops against my pathetic excuse for a tan! In fact, it wasn’t until my roommates shrieked in surprise (or disgust) and shielded their eyes from my radioactive-looking manicure that I began to think: okay, maybe the rest of the world isn’t ready for this color. But if the world can accept seafoam green, oil-slick black and even leopard nail prints, what’s wrong with really bright? What do you think – would you rock a highlighter-inspired neon hue, or does the shade just give you a headache?

From left to right: Pop Beauty Nail Glam in Yellow, Essie Neon Nail Polish in Funky Limelight, and American Apparel Neon Nail Polish in Neon Yellow.

*Guest beauty post for A Girl’s Gotta Spa! from my friends at TheFind.com.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty Leave a comment