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

Farmaesthetics Lip Softener Review

Another outstanding product from Farmaesthetics that I instantly fell in love with–this time it’s their Lip Softener.

As with all of their products, the lip softener is 100% all natural with ingredients such as sweet almond oil, calendula*, Vitamin E, beeswax, peppermint, orange wax, grapefruit peel oil, iron oxide & mica.  It has a really refreshing minty scent and taste that is never overpowering.

All it took for my lips too feel  hydrated and moisturized was just a tiny dab of the softener, just a little really goes a long way and my lips never felt like there was a layer of heavy, greasy lip product sitting on top of them.    The ingredients in this lip softener treat the lip tissue by preventing cracked, dry lips and also aids in preventing fine lines and creases.  The Farmaesthetics Lip Softener is my definition of clean, simple and effective beauty.  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in anti-aging, beauty, lip balm Leave a comment

Bodycology Sweet Love Nourishing Body Cream Review

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a flowery scented body cream from bodycology.  From their new Sweet Love Fragrance collection, the Nourishing Body Cream contains notes of sweet mandarin, sparkling red pear and vanilla orchid. Fruity top notes dry down and give way to a floral heart of sweet rose and amber.  If you like very feminine fragrances, then this body cream will definitely appeal to you.

I generally prefer clean, light fragrances but did not mind the Sweet Love Fragrance.  I would however, only use one product at a time from this collection and would definitely not layer them as they might be too overpowering when used together.    When I first applied the Sweet Love Nourishing Body Cream, the fragrance was pretty strong, but throughout the day it became much softer and lighter.  I would certainly use this body cream when I want to embrace my girly, romantic side.  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in bath and body, beauty Leave a comment

Lavanila The Healthy Candle In Vanilla Lavender

Need a great holiday hostess gift, spa companion and fragrant candle for your home during the holidays?

You can have all three with Lavanila’s The Healthy Candle in Vanilla Lavender.  The Vanilla Lavender Healthy Candle contains notes of Spanish Lavender, Violet Leaf and warm Madagascar vanilla for a calming fragrance that is never overpowering or unbearable.  The candle is 100% natural and burns clean without releasing harmful pollutants, toxins, or soot into the air.  It is  also free of paraffin, dyes and harsh chemicals and is a  beeswax blend that is infused with pure essential oils.  I absolutely adore the design on the tin and was really happy when I found out that when the candle burns down you can just clean the inside of the tin and reuse it!  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, Spa Leave a comment

A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Celebrates 7 Years of Beauty Blogging

On this date, seven years ago, at the young age of 31, I began to find my voice. I heard stories of how when you turn 30, you really discover who you are. This was true for me.

I had long had a passion for writing, was obsessed with every beauty product on the planet, but also wanted to find a way to make a difference in the lives of others.

Can a beauty blog make a difference in someone’s life? It sure can when you provide them with a solution to their problem.  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, PA Live 4 Comments

Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser Review

I’ve found liquid gold…black gold to be exact. I was given a 1 oz sample of boscia’s newest face cleanser, Detoxifying Black Cleanser and I must say I’m glad I chose this cleanser over a lip gloss.

For those who haven’t heard or know anything about boscia, they are a preservative-free, botanically-based skincare line. “(boscia contains none of the 150 industry-recognized preservatives – not just parabens – that can irritate skin and cause blemishes, redness, eczema and more).” With the combination of cutting edge Japanese technology and active botanical ingredients, boscia’s philosophy is to achieve superior results without compromising skin health.   Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, skin care Leave a comment

Acne Treatment Review: Rx for Brown Skin Hydrating Acne Lotion and Acne Spot Treatment

My skin, for the most part, is pretty problem free but every once in a while…or more like once every month without fail…I tend to develop a serious case of acne that always seems to appear right before a big event or a photoshoot.  As soon as I notice that tiny red bump or feel that all too familiar tender spot on my skin, I start to attack it with lotions and potions intended to treat and prevent those bumps from transforming into pimples.  This plan of attack has resulted in one of two scenarios thus far; either it does not work and I just deal with a ginormous pimple for a few days…or a full week, or it works but also turns my skin into a dry flaky mess.

During this month’s battle of the breakouts, I used Rx For Brown Skins’ Clear Luminosity Acne Lotion and Precise Clarity Acne Spot Treatment as my weapons of choice and am ecstatic to say that I emerged victorious from this battle…finally.  The Clear Luminosity Acne Lotion did not leave my skin feeling dry and flaky like every other acne treatment lotion I’ve used in the past.  It was actually very hydrating and left my skin feeling softer and smoother, it also seemed to soothe my skin instead of irritating it.  The Precise Clarity Acne Spot Treatment helped to clear up my pimples, and while it was noticeably more drying than the lotion it still did not leave my skin a flaky, irritated mess.  With both of these products, the suggested application frequency is one to three times daily but I only needed to use it once a day and I generally used it at night, which worked out really well for me.   Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in acne, beauty, skin care Leave a comment

eco-armour Shave Foam and Moisturizing Insect Repellent

Last year I tried eco-armour’s shave foams for the first  time and although my first review of their products was less than stellar, after using them  more than once I was absolutely hooked and needless to say HAD to give the shave foams an A+.  Not only does the shaving foam double as a body wash but it’s also plant-based  formula that acts as a first-aid to skin and razor blades and helps eliminates ingrown hairs, red bumps, razor burn, nicks, cuts and dull blades.  I also love the foam because it is not a creamy, oily mess  so there is less chance of me slipping in the shower…which has happened quite a few times.

Since this is now the only shaving product that I use, I was ecstatic to see that they have added an amazing new version of the foams which uses essential oils of pink grapefruit and bergamot…just in time for short shorts season.  The foams are also now called “Shave with Benefits“, which I think is fitting since there are so many benefits to using this product.  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in bath and body, beauty, skin care Leave a comment

A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Mother’s Day Wish List on RetailMeNot

Trae Bodge, senior writer at RetailMeNot.com’s The Insider, recently asked me for my 3 Mother’s Day wish list items. Two had to be things within my grasp and one could be a dream item.

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

Spa Review: Sphatika

As a beauty lover, I’ve been to a good amount of spas. There are the boujis, “better than you” spas, the super-busy “get your facial and get out” spas, and your standard but efficient salon/spa combination. Once in awhile, however, a girl is lucky enough to come across a spa or treatment that is a true standout, one that makes her feel special, relaxed, at peace. For me, that spa was Sphatika in NYC.

A tranquil oasis conveniently tucked behind a Starbucks in Columbus Circle, Sphatika is a truly a hidden gem.

Sphatika takes a holistic, sensory approach to the entire spa experience. All spas are meant to make you feel beautiful, but Sphatika places a very special emphasis on treating the whole you “mind, body, and soul.” Their welcoming staff encourages you to create an intention for your visit, one that you have a chance to reflect upon during your personal sauna that kicks off your treatment session.   Read more

Posted on by Amanda Huggins in anti-aging, beauty, skin care, Spa Leave a comment

Zolani Organics: Fair Trade Fabulous

It has always been a part of A Girl’s Gotta Spa! MO to highlight beauty brands that give back. We love philanthropy.

This week, we are loving Zolani Organics, a skincare brand dedicated to creating products that are not only high in quality, but help sustain economic income for needy families in Ghana, West Africa.

As someone whose full-time employment lies in nonprofit communications – a nonprofit dedicated to providing aid to Ghana, specifically – I felt an immediate connection to Zolani Organics.   Zolani is a company I like to call Fair Trade Fabulous as all products contain lush, locally-harvested ingredients and a portion of each sale goes towards sending books and school supplies to children in West Africa.

Zolani Organic products are heavily reliant shea butter, a nut extract from the locally-grown African tree. Shea butter is a luxurious moisturizer, is rich in vitamins A, E, and F, and the collagen-boosting properties have even been connected to fading unsightly stretch marks. If you haven’t treated yourself to a rich shea butter product yet, this is the product to try,  you’ll feel fabulous inside and out, knowing you are helping a child continue his or her education.

Visit Zolani’s “About Us” page for more information on the brand’s mission, and be sure to check out their blog to learn more about current fundraising goals.

Posted on by Amanda Huggins in beauty, Philanthropy, skin care 1 Comment