Name Your Own Nail Polish with Pretty Please

Here's a cute gift idea for those of you who like to impress the beauty addict in your life with something unique. Pretty Please nail polish allows you to choose a polish color and name it yourself. My head ran wild with all of the possibilities for gifting - from Read more

#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

a girl’s gotta spa

Review: Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont in Aventura, FL

For those of you thinking about taking a vacation during the month of July or August, might I highly suggest giving serious consideration to visiting Miami? If not for the sun, sand, beaches, nightlife and beautiful people then definitely for Miami Spa Month. Yes, the city of Miami devotes two entire months to our favorite past time here at A Girl’s Gotta Spa!…spaing (no, that’s not a grammatical error, it is a verb in our world!)

Miami Spa Month runs from July 1st to August 31st and during these months you can enjoy a vast array of specialty spa treatments for just $99 at some of Miami’s premier spas. I had the privilege of previewing one of the $99 spa treatments being offered at the Four Star Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle in Aventura, FL.

In celebration of Miami Spa Month , Willow Stream Spa is offering spa goers the choice of an indulgent 90-minute Customized Deep Cleansing Facial or 90-minute Relaxation Massage for only $99. Since I feel like my pores have the tendency to get pretty clogged during the summer (excess sweat, sunscreen etc,) I of course went for the 90-minute Customized Deep Cleansing Facial.

The Customized Deep Cleansing Facial is personalized for you based on your skin’s needs and includes a skin analysis, exfoliation, massage, a nourishing masque and antioxidants for the skin. As I sipped my orange infused water and munched on pineapple slices and cantaloupe before my facial treatment in the very relaxing spa waiting room at Willow Stream, I couldn’t help noticing that there were also a number of men waiting to partake of the spa’s services.  My boyfriend, who accompanied me to the spa, was himself at that very moment enjoying the steam room in the men’s lounge. Although I love spa getaways with the girls, I can also appreciate the idea of enjoying a couple’s spa day.

I enjoyed my water, fruits and magazines in the waiting room for a few minutes before I was introduced to Alexandra, my aesthetician. On our way to the facial room Alexandra asked me about my skincare regimen, my water intake and my usage of sunscreen (I was happy that I had been drinking a ton of water lately and going through a bottle of sunscreen per week because I did not want to disappoint Alexandra with my answers as I could tell immediately that although she was smiling and extremely pleasant, she takes caring for the skin very seriously!)

After the questions, Alexandra presented a series of cards and asked me to close my eyes and choose one. The cards were spirituality cards and the one I chose was the “Freedom is my divine right” card (which was given to me as a gift after my facial and I now carry it with me everywhere in my purse.) Spirituality card having been chosen, it was then on to my skin analysis. My skin was analyzed as combination (I always thought it was just plain oily), which made perfect sense once Alexandra explained what combination skin entails.  Alexandra then let me know what sort of products she would be using on my combination skin and my wonderfully relaxing facial experience began.

I absolutely loved the hand massage and heated hand mitts that remained on my hands almost for the entire facial. During the scalp massage with lavender oil, I am pretty sure I sighed…or moaned out loud.  I don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun and give away every aspect of the facial, but the experience was sheer bliss and my skin afterwards was absolutely amazing.  It was soft, supple and positively radiant.  Although it was just a facial, my entire body was completely relaxed.

All of the products used in the facial were from the Kerstin Florian skincare line and they all smelled heavenly. Before I left, Alexandra reminded me about the importance of sunscreen and drinking enough water.  I promised her that I would be back soon…what I did not tell her is that for the next two months I plan on going back so frequently she may get tired of seeing me.

When you visit Willow Stream, I would strongly suggest arriving early to your appointment so that you can enjoy the the spa’s steam room or amazing exercise facility.  Also, if you have a night out planned after your service or simply just want to look great and don’t feel like giving up the relaxing sensation you just experienced, there is also a full service salon in the spa that offers cutting and styling, up do’s, color, highlighting, straightening & treatments as well as manicures & pedicures, waxing and makeup application. And for those of you who might be visiting with companions who do not appreciate the spa experience as much as you do, within the Fairmont resort there are two 18-hole championship golf courses completely redesigned by World Golf Hall of Fame recipient, Raymond Floyd and nearby tennis courts. So there is plenty to keep them occupied without you having to worry about them being bored and just focus on complete and utter relaxation, exactly what Willow Stream specializes in.

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, Spa, Travel Beauty 3 Comments

Pocono Spa Getaway: The Lodge at Woodloch, A Destination Spa in Hawley PA

A few years ago when I went to The Lodge at Woodloch for a facial and massage, I swore that one day I would spend the weekend at their destination spa. The rooms are luxuriously appointed, the spa cuisine is to die for (I had lunch there during a recent event with Christopher Drummond Beauty) and the grounds are breathtaking. Although I only live about 40 minutes from The Lodge at Woodloch, the resort is tucked away here in the Poconos in such a way, that it felt like I was traveling far far away…

One of the first things I noticed about The Lodge at Woodloch, was their superior customer service. We (Bryan & I) pulled up to the gated entry to give our name for our stay and by the time we got to the valet, they opened my door calling me by name and once inside, the concierge, also motioned to me calling me by name…all of which made me feel like a valued customer and not just some random person checking in. We scheduled a spa treatment, 9 holes of golf at Woodloch Springs, Wake-Up kayaking for 7am the next morning and made a reservation for dinner. After a quick tour of the resort, Bryan sat down for lunch at Tree while I was whisked away for a Tension Tamer massage with Gwen.

If you haven’t heard me tweet and Facebook incessantly about how much I LOVE this spa, then you certainly need to stop by and try it for yourself. I chose the Tension Tamer massage, as sitting at my desk all day working has really had its way with my upper back and shoulders. At times, the pain has become unbearable. The Tension Tamer focuses on this key muscle group to help melt that stress away. And boy did it! At the beginning of the massage I told Gwen that I could barely feel any pressure from her hands in the area surrounding my neck because some of the area had gone numb. She worked her magic and within 30 minutes I was telling her that she was a magician. Suddenly there was feeling back in that area and the tension in the surrounding muscles began to ease up. I honestly did not want to leave after my 50 minutes were up. Gwen told me that due to my line of work, that I really needed to have massages focusing on that area more often. I completely agree!

After finishing up a lunch plate that Bryan brought me to the room, we made our way over to Woodloch Springs, which is a private community with an 18-hole PGA 2 golf course. Since I have never played golf before, we decided on just doing 9 holes. The course was gorgeous despite how wet the green was from all of the rain we’ve been having in the Poconos. Bryan taught me how to play and I have to say, golf is hard work! I have a new respect for pro-golfers now!

Dinner at Tree was delicious and we each had salad and chicken that was out of this world. At about 9pm we decided a swim was in order and made our way to their Aqua Garden (which has amazing waterfalls) and their Horizon Whirlpool. On a dark night with a view of the stars, it was breathtaking.

I slept like a baby that night and I honestly didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning because the bed was so comfortable! Made me realize that I’m about due for a new mattress for my own bed. The morning was a little chilly, but we made our way to Little Lake Teedyuskung for our 7am kayaking. Since the rest of the people who signed up for the session were no-shows, we had the guide all to ourselves! This 1:1 session was great as we learned more about the area we live in and got to take in all of the wildlife. Although the really ridiculous spider that kept jumping into my kayak, which almost made me flip over when trying to get it out, was not so amusing (at least for me, but Bryan and our guide thought it was pretty funny.)

After breakfast at Tree, my feet begged me for a Restorative Rosemary Pedicure at their Lotus Salonand how could I say no? The view from my seat was beautiful and the bourbon vanilla soak helped soften my dry heels. I loved the seaweed wrap and Antoinette made my toes look pretty with SpaRitual’s Crystal Water nail polish.


All in all, it was a relaxing and fun-filled weekend that we truly enjoyed. So whether you live locally and are looking for a staycation without feeling like you are really still local or are looking for a Pocono getaway, The Lodge at Woodloch should top your list of places to go. If you’ve visited or have had a spa treatment here, please share your experience in the comments!

Find them on Facebook and Twitter, too!

*Some images from The Lodge at Woodloch’s website; disclosure: a portion of this stay was gifted.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in Pocono Spas & Salons, salon, Spa, Travel Beauty 3 Comments

Review: Leonor Greyl Huile de Palme

Lately I’ve been becoming increasingly desperate in my search for a product that will improve the condition of my hair.  After trying a vast array of deep conditioning treatments and having none that I tried work, I decided to whip up a homemade deep conditioning treatment that was recommended to me by our celeb hair guru at A Girl’s Gotta Spa!, Pearson Knight.  While I did see  improvement in the condition of my hair,  I made such a mess in my apartment that I spent the following day cleaning avocado and oil off the floor and counters. I was getting very close to checking myself into a salon for professional help when my beloved FedEx guy showed up with a package containing Leonor Greyl’s Huile De Palme.

The Huile de Palme is a Pre-Shampoo treatment that you apply to the hair when it’s dry and leave in for ten minutes or longer to detangle, soften and protect it. This hair treatment is recommended for normal and dry hair, or hair sensitized by coloring, bleaching, straightening or perms.  My hair is highly sensitized from coloring and flat irons…not to mention salt water and the sun.

I applied the oil to my hair (smells awesome), put my hair in a braid and went for my nightly run. I think I left it in my hair for a total of two hours.  My hair felt softer as I was un-braiding and preparing to wash it, but I knew the true test would be what it looked like after it was blow dried.  Well it looked and felt amazing!  I don’t know why I have had no prior knowledge of Leonor Greyl or Huile De Palme but I think if I did, I would have saved my hair a lot of agony in the last few months.  The oil detangled my hair so blow drying was a lot less painful and damaging, my hair also felt a lot softer, and not as rough or dry.  After blow drying my hair, it was shiny and the ends no longer resembled straws…I actually think I can wait a few additional weeks beforel I get my next trim.  I have been applying a teeny bit to my ends at night and I also use it to smooth flyaways.

I would highly recommend this product for summer or for any other season for that matter…but especially if you plan on spending a lot of time in the sun and at the beach, it can be applied to hair before you go into the water (chlorine or salt.)  Also, if you have highly textured hair like me don’t be afraid to use a bit more than is recommended on the box…it will work wonders for your hair.  If you have naturally curly hair (which I do as well), leave it in and let your hair go natural, not only will it actually help to control your curls, but you will also be conditioning you hair at the same time.  I did notice on the box that the Huile De Palme can be combined with the Creme Aux Fleurs as well for a conditioning treatment. Can you tell what the next product that I will be purchasing will be?  I currently live with a hairstylist and cannot wait to see what he thinks about this oil and what it has done for the condition of my hair.

I can honestly say I am now a complete Leonor Greyl Huile De Palme devotee and something tells me once I try more products from the line, I may become  a Leonor Greyldevotee altogether. If any product deserves a cult following, it is definitely the Huile de Palme!

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*Disclosure

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, Hair Care Leave a comment

Review: Homemade Deep Conditioning Hair Treatment



Lately I’ve been into creating my own beauty products…not completely from scratch, but more like mixing different colored nail polishes to create my perfect shade and doing the same with lipsticks and glosses.  I’ve also been mixing body scrubs with oils to create my own version of moisturizing body scrubs so it was only a matter of time before this obsession moved to my head. I am always obsessed with the condition of my hair and would love for it to always be strong, healthy and shiny, but it seems that lately my hair has been a bit challenged.  I blame it on sunny Miami…my hair seems to be taking a beating from the sun and feels really dry and brittle, it needs help big time.

I decided to take advantage of our new “Celeb Hair Guru” here at A Girl’s Gotta Spa!, Pearson Knight, and asked what would be a great at home deep condition treatment that would help (and that I could create myself) to improve the condition of my hair. Pearson recommended that I do “the olive oil/coconut oil/avocado treatment.” Basically this involves combining olive oil, coconut oil and avocados together to create a super moisturizing hair masque. I had the coconut oil and olive oil (as I mentioned earlier I have been into combining oils with other products to create ones that suit me perfectly…and sometimes I just use them as moisturizers by themselves), but I was missing an avocado so off to Publix I went. Of course the olive and coconut oil mixed together well…the avocado on the other hand….I should have gotten an avocado that was softer or should have blended everything in a blender (didn’t have one handy as we literally just moved into a new place.) Instead I mushed it with my hands…a fun process and I felt like a kid again.  However, when I started applying the mixture to my hair, there were chunks of avocado stuck in my hair and every time I moved my head they would go flying all around the apartment…I spent all day today cleaning the floors.

I left the mixture in for about an hour then washed it in the shower (still had chunks of avocado all over the bathtub.)  My hair must have been extremely thirsty because I swear it sucked up the mixture.  After washing I used my regular conditioner, then blow dried.  My hair looked a lot less damaged and shinier…usually after blow drying my hair is really frizzy, but not this time.  I know that with the state my hair is in it will take a few more of these homemade deep conditioning treatments to get it to where I want to be, but the fact that after just one treatment I saw visible improvement makes me very hopeful. I will caution that if anyone decides to try this at home please be a lot more sensible than I was and use a blender…also don’t have something on the stove while you’re putting this in your hair or you might end up like me with healthier hair but a burnt dinner…

 

 

Posted on by Gail Lewis in Hair Care 1 Comment

Review: Andalou Naturals Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub

The arrival of Summer, for the most part, is a joyous occasion that always seems to have taken forever to make an appearance, but when it does finally arrive it is not without a few results of  beauty woes…I like to call them Summer’s Bummers.  One such woe is the breakouts that seem to be the result of sunscreen usage, of course I would much prefer to deal with a few pimples than to have a skin cancer scare, but I would love to be both protected from the sun and have a clear complexion.

I know that one essential step in making sure that my complexion remains problem free is to exfoliate on a regular basis, thus I am always on the lookout for facial scrubs that clarify my skin, but are also gentle enough to use more than once a week since I use sunscreen everyday and reapply multiple times throughout the day (which sometimes results in pore clogging buildup on my face.) The product that I am absolutely loving that seems gentle enough for everyday usage and also removes pore clogging buildup is Andalou Naturals Lemon Sugar Facial Scrub.

The first thing about a product that sucks me in is always the scent. Before I even begin reading what a product is supposed to accomplish, I have to make sure the scent is pleasing and this scrub smells amazing. The fragrance is really fresh…it actually smells just like lemon and sugar, so much so that I was tempted to taste it (I did!)  Once I started to massage the scrub unto my skin, it created an almost foamy lather…I was so excited about this because I was thinking, two products in one, a face wash  and scrub combined, which is how I intend to keep using it.

The scrub felt extremely gentle, not abrasive at all and once I rinsed my face my skin, was absolutely glowing.  In fact, right after using the scrub I went to my neighborhood Starbucks for my daily soy latte and the barista wanted to know what products I used because she thought my complexion looked amazing, she said my skin was absolutely glowing (I know the compliment was not so I would keep going back because I go there on a regular basis.)

I am happy to say that I can check two items off of my “summer essentials list”…an amazing facial scrub and wash combined and although this product smells incredibly edible, do not taste it, TRUST ME.

Find it at www.andalou.com.

*Disclosure; press sample

Posted on by Gail Lewis in acne, skin care 10 Comments

Citrus-Scented Pampering with Grapefruit-Infused Bath Products

Other than sunscreen and salty beach air, nothing smells quite like summer than light, refreshing, citrusy scents. True, the last thing you want to do in the sweltering weather is lounge in a bath for hours, but that’s no reason to skimp on pampering, and grapefruit bath products are on our radar to let you lather in a way that will leave you feeling clean and refreshed, even if you’re keeping your shower short, sweet, and on especially hot days, lukewarm.

Think of grapefruit as a sophisticated step up from the summer lemonade stands of your youth — it’s still sweet, punchy and summery, but with a bittersweet kick that keeps it wearable as a fragrance and not too sugary-sweet to lather up or lotion with. Plus, grapefruit itself has plenty of skin-boosting properties, from revitalizing vitamin C, moisturizing fatty acids, and toning oils. Whether you’re in it for its skin-smoothing abilities or just the summery aromatherapy, grapefruit will have you feeling refreshed and revitalized, no matter how hot the day!

From left to right: Niven Morgan White Grapefruit & Lime Hand Lotion, REN Neroli and Grapefruit Body Wash, Philosophy Blushing Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel, LaVanila Vanilla Grapefruit Body Butter, and The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Puree Body Lotion.

- Alex Gambardella

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

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body 1 Comment

Review: Quench Bath & Body

One of the reasons I get insanely excited about Spring and Summer…besides the obvious warmer weather of course, is that this is the time of year when I actually have multiple and very valid excuses to go shopping for not only a new wardrobe but also new makeup and beauty products.  I mean you can’t really expect a girl to venture into Spring/Summer with products that are strongly scented and feel heavy.  While they might have been great for Fall/Winter, when used in Spring /Summer they might attract some very unwanted attention (ever been chased by Bees?) and can also leave you looking a hot mess…literally.  So I was looking forward to trying out a new line of bath and body products called Quench Bath & Body from Around the World (the around the world part comes from the fact that their formulations are based on beauty “secrets” from around the globe) that launched this month in the hopes that it would be my go to line for the warmer months. I also figured you can’t really go wrong with any beauty products that launch in Spring or Summer.

The products I tried were the Almond Sandal Facial Masque, the Saffron Herbal Body Wash, the Saffron Herbal Body Lotion, the Sandal Honey Body Butter and the African Black Soap All Over Wash.  First off everything smelled incredible.  None of the scents are overpowering or too strong for Summer, nothing was overtly fruity or flowery, and the scents were all unique and sophisticated but still very light.  My favorite scent was the Saffron Herbal Body Wash and Lotion…the scent is feminine, pretty and soft, in fact I wanted to slip on a sundress after using both.  A little bit of the wash does go a long way, which is always appreciated.

I absolutely LOVED the feel of the Sandal Honey Body Butter.  I was skeptical about using body butter in Miami…it’s only May and temps have already hit the high 90s, but this body butter worked great.  It moisturized without leaving me a sweaty, clammy mess.  The Almond Sandal Facial Masque was great too, it left my face feeling clean without stripping any moisture…my face was also noticeably softer after using the masque.  The African Black Soap All Over Wash however was not my favorite.  The scent was great, but my skin felt a bit dry after using it.

So far my first round of beauty product testing for summer has been successful.  I found a new body butter and body wash that I’m excited about, a definite plus that they not only make me want to bring out my girly side and wear pretty sundresses, but I also feel like I am doing my small part by purchasing products from Quench because the company employs small companies and co-ops, often from native communities and they also seek to foster fair trade.  They never use animal based ingredients in any of their products and never test on animals.  I have a few bridal and baby showers this summer so will most definitely be purchasing a few of the Quench gift sets so I can share the love with my girls.

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

A Girl’s Gotta Spa! 4th Annual Mom Get Glamorous Contest

Announcing the kick off to the 4th annual Mom: Get Glamorous contest! This year I am partnering with the lovely ladies from my home state of Rhode Island, Mom Generations, to find the most deserving mom to award the grand prize.

A Girl’s Gotta Spa! and Mom Generations are seeking nominations for moms across the U.S. who have overcome adversity, boldly negotiated impossible odds, triumphed over tragedy, went above and beyond or is a pillar of her community. Simply put: a woman of fortitude and strength, someone deserving of the recognition and undeniably in need of some pampering. Is this you? Do you know someone who fits the description? Then you have until May 25th to submit a nomination and put her on our radar for an amazing prize package!

One very lucky mom will win $870-worth of beauty products:

Three Custom Color: A Century in Red Lip Palette, Cool Mom on the Go Lip & Cheek Stain, Aurora Creme Eye Definer, Eye Liner Brush (retail value: $108)

Zoya Nail Polish and Treatments
: Zoya Nail Polish Color Wardrobe- Zoya Color Lock System, Zoya Sunshine Collection, Zoya Summertime Collection, Zoya Tasha (retail value: $152)

Lierac Skincare
: Sensorielle Oil, Initiatic Fluide (retail value: $82)

Redken
: Extreme haircare collection- Extreme Shampoo, Extreme Conditioner, Extreme Anti-Snap, Extreme CAT treatment, Extreme Strength Builder, Extreme Strength Builder Plus (retail value: $91)

Meaningful Beauty
: Wrinkle Smoothing Capsules, Glowing Serum, Lifting Eye Cream (retail value: $176)

Spa Week
: $75 Spa Gift Card – indulge in the gift of health with massages, facials, mani-pedis and more at over 3000 spas and wellness centers nationwide. (Get incredible spa deals all year long, too!)

Artisan Naturals: Ultra-C Antioxidant Treatment Serum, Tangerine Exfoliating Creme Cleanser, Environmental Defense Antioxidant Face Creme (retail value: $98)

NouriShea: Mango Shampoo, Mango Conditioner, Mango Body Wash, Mango Shea Body Creme (retail value: $88)

Contest Rules and How To Enter:

First, the person being nominated must absolutely 100% be a mom, age 18+ and a legal US resident. You can nominate yourself or nominate someone else. Your nomination must be a picture of the mom with her kids, as well as a 600 word or less written nomination telling us why this mom is so amazing. All entries are to be submitted via the Contest tab on the A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Facebook fan page. You must Like the page in order to have an eligible entry (as well as Mom Generations fan page.)

By entering the contest, should you (or the mom you nominate) be chosen as the winner, you are giving me the right to post this information and letter of nomination in the winning announcement on A Girl’s Gotta Spa! and Mom generations.  Contest begins May 12, 2011 taking submissions until May 25, 2011 at 12pm EST. Mom Generations and A Girl’s Gotta Spa! will select the top 3 entries to put up for a public vote until May 30th. Winner (1) will be announced on May 31st. Retail value of the prize pack is $870. All products are brand new and unused and come “as is” without warranty. There are no cash or product substitutes. I retain the right to revoke or cancel the contest and prizes without warning. Myself and the product sponsors are not liable if you do not like the products, if they cause an allergic reaction and the like. All information submitted via the app (phone #, email, etc.) will not be rented or sold by A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Previous winners are Jo Coiner Burzyki, Trina Davidson and Gerry Morrison.

Good luck!

*Image created by Weston Carls.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, giveaway, Philanthropy 5 Comments

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

Review: Smart & Chic Beauty Lounge

What is a model to do when the opportunity to shoot with an awesome photographer pops up last minute, but finding a great makeup artist to be on set at the last minute …on a Saturday…in the middle of Minneapolis Fashion Week…and in the beginning of wedding season, proves impossible…

Well in my case, she gets her makeup done before the photo shoot and hopes that it looks great on camera, stays put and goes with the hair and wardrobe once on set…that’s a lot of hoping!  I just could not leave that much to chance.  I needed to find a place to have my makeup done A.S.A.P and a department store makeup counter was not an option…nothing against department store makeup counters but I was already “hoping” that a lot of things would work out for the best and I did not want to “hope” that I would end up with an experienced makeup artist.  As luck would have it, during Minneapolis Fashion week I had the opportunity to be a part of a fashion show that was co-produced by  Smart & Chic Beauty Lounge and the makeup look they created for the show was absolutely amazing so I knew that’s where I needed to go to have makeup done…if they could fit me in at the last minute of course…and thanks to the founder of Smart & Chic, Julie Swenson, they did.

Smart & Chic Beauty Lounge is a Bridal Studio, Beauty Boutique and Blow Dry Bar that also carries some pretty amazing beauty brands as well as hair accessories and purses…I HAD to have the lip slip by Sara Happ and my new favorite makeup bag item; my love and toast roller perfume in candied citron…frankly I am still shocked that I only left with two items because I had my eye on a lot more.  Smart and Chics’ atmosphere is very warm, inviting, comfortable and feminine, thanks to the furniture and decor that are all either heirlooms of Julies’ grandmother or were acquired from local antique shops.  I was actually pretty bummed that it took makeup artist, Asia Schulz, less than an hour to create the look because I just did not want to leave my new happy place.

The makeup that Asia expertly applied was exactly what I had in mind for the shoot, it also lasted for the duration of the shoot and would have lasted longer had I not removed it (photo shoot makeup can be a bit much when you’re having dinner at a family restaurant). While I was getting my makeup done I also caught glimpses of hair and make up that was being created all around me and I can definitely see why it is a local favorite for bridal and special occasion hair and makeup.  I will be back in MN in July for a friends’ wedding and will definitely be making an appointment at Smart & Chic to have my makeup done…I also need to grab the rest of those fabulous  beauty products that I missed on the first round.

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, Fashion Week Beauty, Makeup, salon 3 Comments