Spa Pedicure at Utopia Salon & Day Spa in Hawley, PA

The best part of living in a tourist area (the Poconos), is that there are a lot of little gems waiting to be discovered. For me, this gem has been right in front of my face for 13 years. I've driven by Utopia Salon & Day Spa countless times, but Read more

Reflekt Facial Exfoliator Review

This luxury facial cleanser makes skin feel amazing! I've been using Reflekt Skincare for the last 6 weeks about 2-3 times per week. In the summer, a regular cleanser alone won't do the trick to thoroughly rid my skin of all the "gunk" that warmer weather brings when wearing makeup, Read more

Malia B Luv Perfume Review

Some of the best perfumes are made by indie brands. When I first began blogging in 2005, I came across perfumer, Sharon Bolton, and her amazing fragrances. For a few years she went off the radar, but I was so thrilled when she recently reached out with the relaunch as Read more

Erbaviva Organic Deodorant Review

Mention "organic deodorant" and you may get a few raised eyebrows combined with some skepticism. People often wonder - Does organic deodorant smell weird? Is it strong enough? What exactly is it made of? I'm going to be straight up honest, I've never tried organic deodorant before simply because I Read more

Dry Skin Solutions for Women Over 40

Sponsored by AmLactin Skin Care Check out the end of this post for a GIVEAWAY!   We all know that getting older comes with pros and cons. Older and wiser (that's a definite), knowing who you are and what you want... and then all those lovely skin issues. Dark spots, wrinkles, and other Read more

a girl’s gotta spa

Named Best Beauty Blog by NYLON Korea

Can I even tell you my excitement level today? Someone in Korea reads my beauty blog! Not only someone, but an editor for NYLON Magazine in Korea. As I posted on my personal facebook page, “How cool is it that someone in Korea knows who the heck I am!” I am STOKED, stoked I tell you!

On their blog today, A Girl’s Gotta Spa! is listed amoung a handful of beauty blogs as being the best in NY & London. While I’m really not in either city, but the Scranton area of Northeast PA, I am still taking the compliment!

The image may be hard to see, so here is the link to the actual post (just hit google translate so you can read it!): NYLON.co.kr

If you are here because of the NYLON Korea mention, please do say hi in the comments section!

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty 5 Comments

Review: ArganMagic Restorative Hair Mask.

Soft, shiny, silky hair…another one of those beauty ambitions that we never tire of pursuing relentlessly.  I can attest that I’ve oftentimes went to great lengths in the pursuit of healthy looking and feeling hair.  Along with trying many mainstream deep conditioning treatments, I’ve also experimented with a few homemade remedies suggested by family members, friends and fashion magazines.

I’ve coated my head in mayonnaise and ended up smelling like a sandwich for days after, I’ve tried the “egg white” treatment and swore there was a hard boiled egg  following me around, I’ve soaked my head with coconut oil, olive oil and mashed avocadoes (try explaining oil coated doorknobs to your roomates.)  While some of these recipes/treatments actually gave me soft, silky and shiny hair at times, the side effects were just not worth it.  I wanted attention for the condition of my hair…not because I was in a roomful of hungry people and my hair smelled like their next meal. So when I opened the jar of  ArganMagic Restorative Hair Mask, I thought that even if it did not work at least I would have great smelling hair.  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, Hair Care 1 Comment

Minkyti Facial at Woodhouse Day Spa, Kingston PA

Monthly facials are a necessity, not a luxury. As I’m inching my way to 40 (I hate thinking about it), I know this now more than ever. Not only do you get a really in-depth cleaning of your pores, but it sure is a great way to relax and let go of the stressors that have been plaguing you.

The last time I was at Woodhouse Day Spa in Kingston, PA for my Four-Handed Massage, I came across Amala skincare in their gift shop. I’ve heard amazing things about Amala and even began working with them. So I had been dying to find the time to get an Amala facial. Woodhouse Day Spa uses Amala skincare exclusively for their facials, and when I asked Woodhouse’s manager Rebecca which facial would be best for me, she recommended their signature spa treatment, the Minkyti Facial ($95). It’s 80 minutes of pure bliss.   Read more

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

Review: ArganMagic Bath and Body Products


There’s nothing that inspires exultation during bath time more than the thought of trying out new bath and body products for the first time.  There’s always so much hope that this will be the product/line of products that will give you your “dream skin.”  At least this was my mind-state right before trying some of ArganMagic‘s bath and body products.  I was even more excited because the name has the word “magic” in it, needless to say I went in with very high expectations and I was not disappointed.

I started off my in shower spa session with the Zesty Orange Body Scrub.  The scrub ad a mild orange scent that was not at all overpowering and it exfoliated my skin as promised…gently. After I rinsed off the scrub, my skin felt instantly smoother and softer; not like it had been buffed over with an electric sander.

Next up, the Bloomin Body Wash.  This product is described as a “gentle soap-free cleanser” and it most definitely is! Once applied to my skin it transformed into a very subtle, but creamy lather, so creamy in fact that I didn’t feel like I need to moisturize after I stepped out of the shower…but I was on a roll. I was enjoying the experience so much I decided to put some music on while I moisturized with the Multi-Purpose Treatment Oil, it had “magically…ArganMagically” become a shower/spa party (ok maybe the ArganMagically was a bit much, but I was having fun with the products.) The Multi-Purpose Treatment Oil was rapidly absorbed by my skin without leaving an oily residue, my skin felt so smooth and soft I chased my boyfriend around the house demanding that he feel my skin…someone had to witness the magnificence and he was the only one around. I’m sure interrupting whatever he was working on was worth feeling pure silk (yes a bold statement but it really did feel that good.)   Read more

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

Review: eco-armour Shaving Foam

If  you’re anything like me, shaving is one of those beauty rituals (chores) that most of the time (every time) you wish you could skip…it’s just not that enjoyable (and doesn’t make much sense) to drag a sharp object across your skin in pursuit of smoother, softer skin.   It is, however, kind of a necessity if you plan on wearing anything shorter than ankle length…or if you’re not in THAT stage of the relationship, when if your someone special runs their hands across your legs and encounters a bit of stubble you’re not embarrassed and they don’t immediately remember that the have an early deadline tomorrow and have to head home to get some sleep (I thought you worked for the government, they have Sunday deadlines…go figure).  Nothing ruins a perfect, romantic Sunday morning faster than stretching seductively in bed and in the process revealing a not so sexy patch of underarm fuzz…and you even woke up with glowing skin, not so bad morning breath and sexy bed head…in which country is it again that women don’t tend to shave their armpits?  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in bath and body, beauty, men's shaving, skin care 3 Comments

5 Winter Skin Tips by Skin Care Expert & Celebrity Esthetician Renee Rouleau

There is no question that the cold air wreaks havoc on our skin and for many of us, dryness is a huge concern. In anticipation of the cold temperature outside and the dry heat indoors, skin care expert, Renee Rouleau, offers A Girl’s Gotta Spa! readers some precautionary steps to take to prepare your skin for the cold front!

Reanalyze your current routine:

How do we know when it’s time to change up our daily skin routine? The key is to really listen to your skin. If your skin doesn’t feel comfortable then a product is not working how it’s meant to. It’s time for a change! Ask yourself if your skin feels too tight or maybe you’re discovering excess oil. What product in your routine might be causing these symptoms? Is one of your moisturizers leaving a greasy residue? Or if your skin is flaking then perhaps it’s time to go easy on exfoliating. If you have questions that can’t be answered on your own, take a look at our 9 Skin Types or e-mail Renee Rouleau for suggestions!

Bottom line: If the products aren’t working, your skin will let you know!   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in acne, anti-aging, beauty, skin care, Winter Beauty 1 Comment

SpaFinder Names Top 10 Global Spa Trends for 2011

Calling all spa girls! Want to know what’s on trend for 2011 when it comes to spas and their treatments? Susie Ellis, SpaFinder President, author of the SpaFinder blog and column and a contributing editor to NewBeauty magazine, has developed a global trend report that I’m going to republish below. Which of these trends do you think will take off the most? I personally like trend #5.

Additionally, check out the SpaFinder blog for “Hot and Getting Hotter Spa Trends 2011.”

2011 SPA TREND REPORTâ„¢ Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Beauty Trends, Spa 1 Comment

A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Welcomes Gail Lewis to the Team!

We have a new blogger here at A Girl’s Gotta Spa! (sm). Please help me in welcoming Gail Lewis, who’ll be jumping right in posting reviews here. Here’s a little more about her, in her own words…

Born in Guyana, South America, my family relocated to Minneapolis, MN (in the dead of winter) in my teens…at which point I was assaulted with my first beauty challenge: dry skin, dry scalp, hair that would give out mini volts of electricity, and the list goes on. Like it or not I was forced to start my research into haircare and skincare appropriate for my “new climate” as well as current make-up trends (hoping that if I wore the right make-up, fitting in on a completely different continent would be a breeze.) **Side note, I also just relocated to Florida so have been researching beauty products suitable for my new climate again…so far so good.  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty 1 Comment

Review: Crabtree & Evelyn Pomegranate Body Wash & Scented Soap

Crabtree & Evelyn PomegranateThere are certain scents that, when I close my eyes, remind me of holidays past. Does this happen to you? Crabtree & Evelyn’s Pomegranate Body Wash and Scented Soap does just that. The fragrance of pomegranate is fused with season-inspired notes of mulberry, citron and mistletoe making this the perfect complement to your bath and body collection for Christmas.

The body wash contains moisturizing ingredients like shea and cocoa butter, glycerin, mistletoe extract and tangerine peel oil. The scented soap is triple milled and smells equally as fabulous as the body wash. I adore how fragrant these two products are. Not overwhelmingly so, but just enough that the scent lingers on your skin and in the air for a good bit of time after your shower.  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, holiday, skin care 2 Comments

LiQWD Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner

LiQWD-Volumizing_Shampoo-ConditionerI am all about my hair. Maybe even more so than I am about any other aspect of beauty. I’ve permed my hair (and my hair has forgiven me), highlighted it, dyed it, bleached it, had a tail (no forgiveness there though), teased it so high that they could see it from the satellites in space,  put in so much Aqua Net that it would retain its shape for days…well you get the picture. I love trying out new hairstyles, especially new hair care products.

LiQWD is fairly new in hair care, but it sure is getting a lot of buzz. Pictured here is their Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner; I’ve been using it for quite some time now. Here’s how LiQWD positions itself differently from other hair care brands:

“The Nano-Hydrasphere,” which LiQWD deems as beauty’s silver bullet, is said to deliver their ingredients of essential oils, fatty acids, proteins, etc. deep into the cortex layer of the hair. They also use ColorLife Technology, which utilizes UV filters to prevent your color from fading as well as guard against environmental damage (something I wish more hair products would contain for those of us constantly hiding our greys.)

So how did it work for me? Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care 3 Comments