Silk Therapeutics Nurture ++ Moisturizer Review

Did you know that your skin needs different skin care products not only based on your skin type, but also based on the region you live in? It's true. For example, your needs will be different in the dry-heat of Nevada than say someone who lives a place with high Read more

Smoothie Recipes from the Best Spas

If you are looking for delicious smoothie recipes from some of the best spas, we've compiled a list for you! So get ready to indulge your tastebuds without expanding your waistline with these vitamin and mineral rich smoothies! Potassium Punch: Set on a 1,100-acre rainforest, Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Read more

Pedicure How-To: Get Your Feet Sandal-Ready! #Sponsored

This post was sponsored by Amopé™ as part of an influencer activation for the #AmopeCrowd and Socialstars™. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review, but all opinions (and sandal-ready feet) are my own. Florals and citrus, a shorter hairstyle, light breezy dresses, sandals...warmer weather opens the doors to both Read more

Spa-Like Hair with Pai-Shau

This is likely the only time where you hear me rave about tea. I'm your coffee-obsessed kind of girl, but this hair care line by Pai-Shau based on a proprietary blend of concentrated steeped teas, is making my life right now. Pai-Shau is a vegan and cruelty free hair care line Read more

Garnier Olia® Hair Color Review #Spon

I’m sharing #MyOliaStory as part of a Garnier® sponsored series for Socialstars™. All opinions and hair color are my own (well... the hair color is Garnier®.) Looking to lighten, brighten or darken your natural hair color without the eye-burning smell of the chemicals involved? That's a common theme among at-home hair Read more

a girl’s gotta spa

Bucket List: The Beach House at Iruveli Maldives

Finally! The warmer weather seems like it’s here to stay, summer seems to be inching closer and that means it’s about that time that I start daydreaming of places I can vacation. Being the spa girl that I am, I 99.99999% of the time look for a resort that includes a spa. It just so happened that in the midst of staring out the window to the blue skies the other day that I received an email about De’ Spa at The Beach House Iruveli Maldives. I clicked the link for the resort’s website and I was magically taken in and forgot all about life for a few brief moments.

The Beach House Iruveli Maldives has 83 villas, all of which are on the beach or on the water. The imagery on the website will take your breath away. Due to growing up in Rhode Island, and as I’ve mentioned countless times before, I have a long-term love affair with water. I cannot even begin to image my happiness quotient if I were to find myself in any one of their many luxurious, water-view villas like the one pictured here.

The De’ Spa is an open-air spa with ten massage pavilions dotted among lush tropical greenery linked by winding pathways flanked by a bubbling stream. The spa uses Aromatherapy Associates products in its Ayurveda and traditional Maldivian philosophies and offers a range of exclusive treatments harnessing the qualities of 100% natural essential oils. Two that caught my eye?

Fresh Coconut Scrub (45 min): Freshly shredded and locally grown coconut gently exfoliates the skin, smoothing away the effects of the salt water and sun. Your body will then be soaked in an intensely hydrating fresh coconut blend, leaving your sun-kissed skin soft and supple (and probably smelling good enough to eat.)

After The Sun (60 min): Relax as a unique infusion of lavender oil delivers intense healing properties, peppermint oil cools the skin and regenerative rose oil rescues a distressed skin. A hydrating mask is applied to the face while the body is lathered in nourishing shea butter and hydrating rose gel. To finish, an Ayurvedic scalp massage releases tension for an all-over relaxing, restorative treatment. (And hopefully your “before the sun” treatment was applying a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen SPF 30+!)

Since this resort and spa meets my “beyond my wildest dreams” criteria, I’m adding this to my bucket list of resorts I’d like to vacation at sometime in the future. What about you? Have you ever been here?

You can learn more about them at www.beachhousecollection.com.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in Spa, Travel Beauty Leave a comment

2nd Review: eco-armour Shaving Foam

A few  months ago I reviewed eco-armour Shaving Foam and my review was less than stellar.  After using very creamy shaving lotions, creams, foams and gel, I was just not prepared for the consistency and feel of the eco-armour shaving foam…it was just too much of a radical departure from the “creamy crack” (to borrow the the terminology from the documentary “Good Hair.”) Yes the eco-armour foam smelled amazing, is great for the environment, extended the life of my blade and (after using it just twice) visibly reduced my razor bumps….but in my mind there was something amiss…there was no creamy coating on my leg that I might almost slip on upon entrance or exit into the shower, and creamier equals moisturizing…right? So I equated the absence of any non-creamy substances in the eco-armour foam as the foam not being moisturizing and just being drying…this was my story and I was sticking to it…

But I still had two bottles of the shaving foam and  I was not going to let it go to waste, plus I wanted to further investigate the reduction in the number of razor bumps on my legs.   I kept using the eco-armour shaving foam for the next month…and have been using it since.  This stuff is amazing!  I have not experienced razor bumps on my leg at all and this is without following the directions on the bottle (which suggests that the foam sit on the leg for a minute if you have  razor bump issues.)  I am not sure for how long the foam is supposed to extend the life of my blade, but I used the same razor for weeks (yes I know probably not a very hygienic practice…but I was on the road and drug stores were few and far between.)  I will admit it took me a little while to get used to the foam being more, well foamy than creamy, but now I absolutely love the feel and my razor does not get all clogged up with oil (neither does my shower drain), which gives me a much closer shave.

And just when I thought this foam could not get better…it did.  I just recently found out that you can also use the foam as a face and body wash.  This past weekend I was in St. Augustine, Fl visiting friends and thought this would be the perfect time to test the multiple functions of the foam.  For three days I used the foam as my face and body wash as well as my shaving foam of course and I loved it as all three.  The only drawback was that I pretty much used up my entire bottle of the eucamint foam (my absolute favorite…smells heavenly!)

Now with the arrival of shorts and swimsuit weather in Northern Florida, I am very pleased with myself for giving eco-armour a second chance.  Besides the benefit of having smooth, razor bump free legs and underarms as well as having a product that serves multiple functions (multiple functions also means less weight and space for my suitcase), I feel like I’m doing my little part for the environment by cleaning up my beauty act with the shaving foam. Which makes me ponder: can purchasing beauty products that are not harmful to the environment be a tax write-off?

Find it at www.eco-armour.com.

Posted on by Gail Lewis in bath and body, skin care 1 Comment

Las Ventanas’ al Paraíso New Spa Pods

If there is anything that continually nudges me to get my passport, it’s hearing about resorts abroad that offer magical spa treatments. Like Las Ventanas al Paraíso, in Los Cabos Mexico, newest Spa Pods. (Anytime I hear the word “pod” it makes me think about the New York City hotel called The Pod that I’ve stayed in.)

These Spa Pods combine steam, water therapy delivered by 22 jets and radiant infrared heat in an encapsulated environment that is uniquely nurturing and rejuvenating, offering benefits like significantly increasing Basal Metabolic Rate, natural cleansing of the body of unwanted toxins and impurities, relief of muscle and joint aches, pains and fatigue, and weight loss by eliminating excess fluid and alleviating bloating and/or water retention.

With only the head outside the pod, while enjoying more freedom of movement and comfort than a traditional body wrap, spa podder’s may take advantage of a full range of techniques from vibratory massage to foot-spray massage and vitamin therapy – while a full-spectrum fiber optic LED light Colorbathâ„¢ delivers a rainbow shower of color, enhancing balance and relaxation.

Other benefits of the spa pods? Increased lymphatic metabolic circulation; stress reduction; re-mineralizing, moisturizing and hydrating; detoxification; and anti-aging treatments. The system can increase Basal Metabolic Rate equal to the energy expenditure of a 6-to-9-mile run that burns 900-to-2,400 calories. Um, yes please. I would love to simply relax yet have my body think I just ran 9 miles….without the actual running.

The treatments that now incorporate the Spa Pods are: Desert Sports for Men, Desert Healer, Sea Enzyme Body Wrap with Green Tea & Ginger, Nopal Detox Desert Wrap, Phyto-Marine Mask & Slimming Wrap, and Desert Flower for Women. And some of the new Spa Pod Packages include: Walking on the Clouds, combining Spa Pod, Raindrop Therapy and a Pedicure; Dreaming in Nirvana, with Spa Pod, Grounding Equilibrium Shirodara Therapy and Ultimate Hot Stone Mini Facial; Cleopatra Ceremony, blending Spa Pod, Dry Brushing, Honey and Yogurt Wrap, Milk Bath and a Nourishing Body Massage; Full Day of Wellness, with Spa Pod, Ultra-Rich Citrus Exfoliant, Body Massage, Mini Facial, Pedicure & Manicure; Half-Day Retreat, combining Spa Pod, Masaje de la Casa and a Manicure; and Just for You, with Spa Pod, Ultra-Rich Pineapple & Grape Exfoliant and Hot Stone Massage.

Have you booked your trip yet???

You can learn more at www.lasventanas.com. (Now on my bucket list of resorts to visit.)

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in Spa, Travel Beauty Leave a comment

Hairstylist, Rodnei Ferby and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model, Damaris Lewis

In the middle of all the Fashion Week madness last week, A Girl’s Gotta Spa! took some (much needed) time out to tag along with amazing hairstylist (and Odile Gilbert protege) Rodnei Ferby as he styled the hair of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, Damaris Lewis, for the 2011 issue release party.  Rodnei was requested by Damaris herself and has worked with her  in the past at various shows including Baby Phat (they were both  broadcast all over Times Square on the jumbo-tron for the live feed of the Baby Phat Spring/Summer 2010 show.)

Rodnei arrived (fresh from assisting Odile Gilbert at the Rodarte Show) with the look he wanted to create for Damaris in mind. He wanted a style that was flirty yet sophisticated and since  she is so young he also wanted the hairstyle to be cute and discreet…but she IS a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, so the style had to be flirty and sophisticated as well.  He wanted to show her neck (but not too much of it) as well as frame the magnificent earrings she was wearing that night.

And being as kind as he is talented, Rodnei gave us a step by step on how to achieve the look using products by TRESemmé. Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty interview, Celebrity Beauty, Fashion Week Beauty, Hair Care 2 Comments

Alice + Olivia Punk Makeup & Hair for AW11

The make up look at Alice & Olivia was all about the punky eye.  According to lead makeup artist , Polly Osmond for M.A.C, there was no specific reference for the look, it was just the “street version of the punky eye.” To achieve the look; Fluidline in Blacktrack was used on the lids to create a thicker/rounder line around the eyes, the brows were penciled in, Haute & Naughty Lash Mascara on the top lashes, a bit of highlighter on the cheeks and Runway Lipstick on the lips.  A lot of edginess on the eyes and a very glamorous lip.  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in Fashion Week Beauty, Hair Care, Makeup Leave a comment

Strong Eyes and Pale Lips at ADAM AW11

Lead makeup artist at ADAM, Romy for MAC Cosmetics took the attention to the eyes.  Black creme liner (a full, thick line) was applied to the lids in a winged shape along with two coats of Haute & Naughty Lash Mascara to the upper lashes only.  Face And Body Foundation as well as concealer was applied to the face as needed, on the cheeks Posey and Laid Back Blush Cream were mixed and applied to the apples and the lips were left very subdued with just lip conditioner applied using the fingertips.  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in Fashion Week Beauty, Makeup Leave a comment

Easy, Glamorous Hair at Carmen Marc Valvo AW11

Lead stylist (and Ted Gibson protege)  Devin Toth created easy, simple, clean but glamorous hair at Carmen Marc Valvo AW11.  The look was inspired by a ballerina, but softer.   Ted Gibson Styling Sheets were used to remove any excess oil in the hair, it was parted half up, half down, the top part was then finger combed to the back, twisted into a bun and secured with pins.  It was very pretty, but not too elegant.  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in Fashion Week Beauty, Hair Care Leave a comment

Girlfriend Spa Getaways at Cara Mor Spa Retreat in Spruce Creek, PA

While spa vacations have always been popular, spa retreats designated specifically for a girlfriend getaway has picked up speed in the last year. Just about 3 hours from me, in Spruce Creek PA, Cara Mor Spa Retreat is the latest luxury health spa to open…but not only just for women–but private parties of women. That means you and your friends get the entire place to yourself. Talk about personalized service!

Cara Mor is tucked away in a serene setting with 3 different lodges to accommodate the needs and size of your private party. Chef Rock is your personal Chef, who’ll whip up some comfort food–whether it is organic or a midnight snack, for you and your friends. During your stay, 7 hours at the spa is split between you and your guests each day…can you imagine getting a massage or facial on your time line and not based on the spa’s availability to squeeze you in? Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in Pocono Spas & Salons, skin care Leave a comment

Suno Got Out of Africa for AW11

Meryl Streep in Out of Africa was the inspiration referenced by lead make up artist for MAC Cosmetics Carole Colombani at Suno.  The look was feminine and soft as well as graphic and modern.  The same palette was used for the lips and cheeks, Haute & Naughty Lash mascara was applied just to the upper lashes, a beige/moleskin shadow on the eyes, Teddy eyeliner (which is an eye kohl) on the lid,  a brush dipped in water first then dipped in color on the lower lash line for a softer look and the skin was kept very natural with just moisturizer and concealer where needed.

I absolutely loved this look, it was clean, fresh, feminine and seemed to be the most wearable…on an everyday “I wish I had something to dress up for at least twice a week but that lifestyle keeps alluding me” basis.

~Gail

Posted on by Gail Lewis in Fashion Week Beauty, Makeup Leave a comment

Authentic 70s Hair & Makeup at Bill Blass AW11

Lead makeup artist for MAC Cosmetics, Lisa Butler, went for an authentic 70s look for the Bill Blass AW11 runway show.  To get the look she applied very light foundation and concealer to the skin…so the skin would look perfect, but not made up.    On the eyes she applied a thin line of black cream liner and extended it out a bit, Black Opulash Mascara was applied to the lashes and fake lashes with the length chopped off were applied to the upper lashes (all on the inner lashes, none on the outer lashes) to create a black, sharp area on the eyes.  To complete the look Seaside was applied to both the lips and cheeks.  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in Fashion Week Beauty, Hair Care, Makeup Leave a comment