Lighten Dark Spots with Dermalogica PowerBright Trx Trio

I'm paying for the skin sins of my youth in hyperpigmentation and an abundance of dark spots from both acne and lack of sunscreen usage. Over the years I've learned how to best conceal them with makeup in order to fake a great complexion. However, when the makeup comes Read more

DIY Peppermint Eucalyptus Bath Bombs

Candy canes may be great for stuffing stockings, adorning trees, or a sweet snack, but the minty holiday staple can also be incorporated into your beauty routine. Peppermint oil contains minerals and nutrients including iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and C, and is soothing to the Read more

Subtle Green Customizable Skin Care

Subtle Green, a Montreal-based luxury skin care company, recently caught my attention. Much of what they stand for is something I have been saying for years - "The best moisturizers do not have to contain 'miracle ingredients' developed using 'breakthrough technologies' in a remote secret laboratory." There are tried Read more

#HeartMyHair Twitter Party November 25 1-2pm EST #ad

Photo Credit: Great Contradictions Do you love a good Twitter Party? You know we do and we’re excited to host a party about hairstyles! On November 25, 2014 at 1:00pm ET, please join us for the #HeartMyHair Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing the new Conair Curl Secret and the Read more

DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte Face Scrub

With the busiest season of the year upon us, sometimes caring for ourselves (and our skin) sadly ends up at the bottom of the to-do list. (Please don't let it.) Fortunately, facialist Cecilia Wong has designed a seasonal at-home, DIY facial scrub that requires little time and effort, which can Read more

Celebrity Beauty

What Meeting Joan Rivers Taught Me

What I learned from meeting Joan Rivers via @agirlsgottaspa #realtalk

Back in 2011 when attending the first Lucky Fabb (Fashion and Beauty Blogger) Conference, Joan Rivers was a guest speaker. Prior to this event, all I knew of Ms. Rivers was what I saw on TV. I have to admit, I was more excited about hearing Tory Burch speak than I was Ms. Rivers because it was my belief that she would be rude, crass, obnoxious and basically full of herself.

She changed my mind that day. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Celebrity Beauty Leave a comment

Michelle Williams Say Yes Makeup by DeeDee Kelly


Michelle Williams Say Yes Video Makeup. Details from her makeup artist, DeeDee Kelly! #makeup #Makeuptips

Michelle Williams is back with her new album, Journey to Freedom (now available for pre-order.) Good Morning America dubbed it as a “personal journey,” however my personal opinion is that it is more of a spiritual journey. On the debut track, Say Yes, Queen Bey and Kelly Rowland are featured and I am so stoked for a Christian song to go mainstream.

Michelle looks AMAZING and that meant I needed all the details on what makeup was used for the video as well as the look the makeup artist wanted Michelle to evoke. Thanks to the Indian Tyler’s Beyond the Vanity show on LA Talk Live, I discovered celebrity makeup artist DeeDee Kelly who did Michelle’s makeup for the LA portion of the video filming. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, beauty interview, blush, bronzer, Celebrity Beauty, eye shadow, eyeliner, foundation, highlighter, lipstick, Makeup, makeup tips, mascara, mineral makeup 2 Comments

Men’s Grooming and Fashion Trends from Pearson Knight


Trends in men’s grooming, fashion and…motorbikes from Celebrity Hairstylist, Pearson Knight.

Many years ago men were known for  getting groomed, talking trash, and hanging out at Barber Shops whether urban or suburban. In more recent years, the metro-sexual movement and the boom in hair and fashion reality TV shows have given everyday men comfort and being drawn into salons world wide. This may have been a bit annoying for the ladies in their own temple of feminine freedom. I mean how are they supposed to talk about how their man screwed up AGAIN with the neighbor’s husband in the chair next to them? Not cool.

There is hope! A new trend we are seeing and will continue to see boom, is the return of barber shops. The reason for the movement to salons was the variety of style and education on new trends that most stylists were equipped with. The old school barber just wasn’t ready for David Beckham. The modern barber shop, from the ones I have gone on site to check out, are designed with style and masculinity. They are equipped with salon education as well as old school straight razor shaves, manicures, and grooming. I am very excited to see these launch and become a cultural influence once again. I am personally working on some training on the art of men’s hair and participating as a guest artist periodically on my travels at www.gentcg.com in MPLS. I have the luxury of splitting my men and women being a guest artist at lounge.smartandchicbeauty.com in MPLS, as well.

In regards to men’s hair, I am currently participating in the look of the high fashion man ranging from a sleek Mad Men to the untamed pompadour. The modern pompadour can be completely clean and groomed or have variation of texture and size. I think James Franco shows this well with the sides being a bit unruly and the top wavy in texture. I recently had the honor and excitement of being on the other side of the lens during a shoot with the talented Miami based photographer www.facebook.com/ALisaRaunerPhotography. The theme for the shoot was late 1960’s James Dean feel. We used a 1964 Lincoln Continental just like Drama’s from Entourage. It was so fresh, my favorite part was cranking it up and driving it a bit. Along with the movement of hair change, we are even taking long men’s hair and shorting it up a bit. This reminds me about facial hair. Not so much on the long beard and crazy handle bar mustache (although I participated in this for years!) We are taking it to a clean shave and groomed low cut mustache to a 5 o’clock shadow. We are still working that facial hair but just cleaned up all around.

Speaking of cleaning up, men’s fashion has been and will continue to be versions of the geek or nerd if you will. This means tucked in plaid shirts with mismatched pattern ties, sweater vests, leather belts and suspenders. Color schemes this fall are going to lean a little more towards lavender or hues of magenta and away from honeysuckle pink from spring etc. For more visual explanation this can be researched in any current Details or GQ magazine. The main interest this fall is boots, any boot. I am talking mid/low/high cut boot, motorcycle, Doc Martens you name it. As far as me personally, I have been inspired and will not be looking as put together and clean as most. I am totally inspired by Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars and Han Solo in Empire Strikes Back. I am wearing utilitarian style pants and shirts with a color scheme of desert tan, light brown, off-white cream, olive to army green, different light greys, and hints of orange. I will be topping it off with some Harrison Ford from Raiders of the Lost Ark. That means the more distressed and dirtier the better. I am pulling out all of my stained white undershirts full of motor grease and dirt. All of the pants that should have become a garage rag by now and flexing them like they’re fresh~!

Motor oil? Garage rags? That is an easy chance to mention this motor oil fans…put away your Super bikes and Harleys and get some fresh fall air on a new Cafe Racer. This can also be achieved by stripping down your sport bike and tossing on a straight bar if don’t want to part with your honey or add more to the entourage in the garage. I am seeing a ton of these race around my home based neighborhood in Miami. I almost thought I was in Europe or something. Some seemed to be tricked out and custom, some new, and some straight up real vintage. This is a ton of fun. I love helmets and going too fast~!!!

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in Beauty Trends, men's grooming Leave a comment

HIPP x RGB Nails The Nude Polish Look With Nail Foundation

As any style-watcher knows, nude is the must-have shade for everything from heels, booties, lip gloss, nails, and beyond. However, despite its timeless popularity, the perfect nude nail lacquer can also be a pretty tricky hue to get one’s hands on; after all, it’s relative to your specific skin tone. But what if choosing your shade was as straight-forward as selecting the correct shade of foundation?

Eco-friendly nail artist to the stars, Jenna Hipp, along with her team at Nailing Hollywood LLC, has already has had her work featured in various magazines and on countless celebrity cover girls, but her recent collaboration with green enamel line RGB (and founder Gina Carney) takes trendy, eco-conscious manicures to the next level. With their recent Nail Foundation collection, the power duo seeks to help beauty mavens get that perfect nude shade just for you, no matter what your race – for graceful, elongated fingertips. In-the-spotlight stars Keira Knightly, Michelle Williams and Lea Michele, among others, have already rocked their own specialized ‘nude’ shades in the public sphere – are you curious enough to join them?

- Alex Gambardella

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

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

Relax at the Spa Like a Star: Popular Spa Treatments of Celebrities

Guest beauty post from Jessica Krznaric

Are you maximizing your inner celebrity spa treatment? We all try to replicate celebs and their trends from where they’re shopping to how their beautifying, but what about what they are ordering at the spa? I know when I visit the spa, my number one priority is to relax, but I also like to feel as if I’m getting top-notch treatment. When considering how to spend your next spa day, here is a helpful list of spa treatments some of our beloved stars are getting to add a little R&R into their lives:

Lash Extensions
Often a best kept spa secret, lash extensions transform your lashes into a fuller, thicker look. Usually made of a synthetic material, extensions are applied one by one on upper and lower lids. Non-damaging to your natural lashes, the extensions stay on for roughly four to six weeks and fall out on their own. I have to admit, getting lash extensions sounded somewhat painful to me. I envisioned hair extensions but on the eyes. Eek! After my sister-in-law got the lash extension treatment done recently, the entire process had me intrigued. Her lashes were definitely longer, fuller and thicker. She 100% rest assured, it did not hurt at all to apply, and reiterated that they fall off naturally on their own. The “naturally on their own” part was what really changed my mind about them.

Detox
Known as a way to lose weight and become energized, detoxing targets the toxins in your body and breaks up fatty deposits. A common way the stars get their detox on? Seaweed body treatments! Your skin absorsb the minerals in the wrap. The minerals work to make your skin smooth. Detox treatments are great for targeting cellulite or after giving birth. I’ll save this one for after I’ve had a child!

Holistic Facial
The mind, body and spirit focused facial takes your entire body into a deep state of relaxation. Sounding the most appealing to me out of all the celebrity spa treatments, this spa treatment not only beautifies my face but targets my inner self. Based on Chinese traditions, the holistic facial uses “chi” energy to target nerves in the body for incredible revitalization.

Other treatments spotted being purchased by celebs include Oil Massages, the Caviar Pedicure, which uses fish eggs to replenish the skin, and the Geisha Facial. More commonly known as the Bird Poop Facial, this Japanese traditional spa treatment uses natural ingredients including nightingale droppings to improve the skin’s complexion. I think I’ll pass on that last one.

Make sure when you are visiting a spa to look and check if your beauty pro has graduated from cosmetology school or beauty school and has received their cosmetology license. Many salons showcase this in the windows or on their desk, It is better to be safe than sorry, so if I don’t see it, I ask! Now, who’s ready for a spa day!

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

mark Celebrity Makeup Artist Mai Quynh 3 Steps to Summer Makeup

We’re now in the throes of summer (I’m sure Back to School commercials will begin playing any day now…) and that means dry heat, humid weather, finding a way to make your makeup last from day until night. I recently asked Mai Quynh, mark Celebrity Makeup Artist, if she could pass along 3 summer makeup tips (which would include mark makeup of course!) Read on…

Summer makeup should be easy and effortless. Definitely wear sunscreen all year round, not just in summer.  Try mark Get a Tint Tinted Moisturizer, it has a built in SPF 15 and it has light coverage which is great for evening out the skin. Lightly dust, mark Matte-Nificent Oil-Absorbing Powder on the t-zone to set.

For the eyes, stick to waterproof formulas  This will help keep your makeup on longer and it will stay put.  I love mark Keep It Going Long Wear Eyeliner and Eye Shadow Duos. They come in plenty of colors and they do not budge! They seriously last all day.

My other favorite product for summer are the mark No Place To Run Eyeliner pencils. They are very creamy eyeliners and they go on smoothly, but they also don’t budge. They stay on for many hours.  Also, use mark Lash Splash Waterproof Mascara. This will guarantee that you won’t have smudges or runs from hot, humid weather. Lastly, my other summertime fave are the new mark Lip Click Color Shine Lipsticks. They are sheer but give a hint of color and they have an SPF 15.

So there you have it! (Most important tip here for me is lip gloss with SPF!) Have you used any of mark’s products?

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, eye shadow, eyeliner, lip gloss, Makeup, makeup tips, mascara Leave a comment

Gretta Monahan’s Hair Care Tips for New Moms

New moms may be short on time, but their beauty and style routines don’t have to suffer. Gretta Monahan, spokesperson for Dove and celebrity beauty and fashion expert (and new mom to Kai) offers her expert tips and tricks for staying stylish even when you are in “mommy mode” all day.

• Hair texture changes during pregnancy and after delivery. It can become drier, more susceptible to damage and more difficult to manage. To restore hair to pre-baby glory, the new Dove® Nourishing Oil Care Collection combines almond, coconut and light mineral oils to smooth up to 100% of roughness and frizz. For extra nourishment, the Daily Treatment Conditioner provides the nourishing power of a treatment in the time it takes to use a conditioner, and allows a whole minute of relaxation while the formula locks in nutrients for speedy damage repair!

• If you only have a few minutes to spend on your hair after showering, dry the front and top pieces and pull the rest into a high bun with a clear elastic, or one that matches your hair color, for a polished look in seconds. Remove the elastic a few hours later for – voila! – effortless waves that you can let fall naturally or play-up with bobby pins. Spread a few drops of Dove Nourishing Oil Care Serum throughout to smooth flyaways and add shine to this very “in,” beachy-wave style.

• There are lots of fun ways to keep your hair out of baby’s grasp. Fold a silk scarf or bandana into a bandeau and use as a headband by tying the lengths at the nape of your neck – very ‘70s chic. Be sure to leave some stray pieces out around your face to keep the look feminine, and apply Dove Nourishing Oil Care Leave-in Smoothing Cream to the loose strands so they fall softly and, most importantly, frizz-free. For a softer, more natural look, take the front section of your hair and pull into a side braid, creating a cute crown effect.

• The “mom cut” is a thing of the past – you do not have to chop off long locks just because a little one has entered the picture. Work with your stylist to create a look that is both easy to maintain and reflective of your personal style. Slight changes such as layers or bangs can cut your hair routine down to minutes. Ask your stylist to demonstrate a few simple, no-fuss looks to be replicated at home in a flash – that is what they are there for, after all!

Don’t forget Gretta’s previous feature on A Girl’s Gotta Spa!: Tips to Fight Hair Damage.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in Celebrity Beauty, Hair Care Leave a comment

Spring Makeup Looks from Celebrity Makeup Artist Shalini Vadhera

I’m thrilled to give you this guest beauty post for A Girl’s Gotta Spa! from celebrity makeup artist, Shalini Vadhera, who also authored the book Passport to Beauty:

Spring is all about flawless looking skin. Whether your opting for the no makeup makeup look or going for the drama with smokey eyes, everything needs to start with beautiful, healthy glowing skin.

Prepare your canvas and get that glow!

A good face scrub 2-3 times a week will slough off dead dry skin and leave your skin glowing. Make sure you follow with a good moisturizer. Even if you’re oily! One of my favorite products this season is the The Body Shop’s Apricot Illuminating Face Base. It works as the perfect primer and adds an amazing light reflection to the skin. You can also get this look with the Revlon Skinlights. It’s also great to use on days you want to go makeup free. The apricot tone works to even out all skin tones.

A Few Of My Favorite Looks for Spring:

Natural – I love this look. Clean skin, soft neutrals on the eyes, and soft cheeks and lips. Bright lips, especially Coral lips are hot this season! This is the look I love to pair them with. If you’re too scared to go bold, opt for a gloss. I love Boots No7 Tangerine Twist (I’m obsessed with Boots!) and Bobbi Brown Soft Coral.

Pink Cheeks – Love love love this look. You can’t help but look pretty and feminine. The trick to this is to apply it on the apple of the cheeks and blend upwards. I’ve been using the M.A.C. Posey to get this look. If you feel like you need to warm it up a bit use a bronzer!

Smokey eyes – Hot. Who doesn’t love this look? However, smokey this season is not just with charcoal. Color is hot so have fun and play! I’m loving tones of greens. Starting with a wash of light gold green and smoking it up with deep forest green. If you opt for the traditional charcoal, throw in some pink on the lid to brighten it up for spring.

You can find Shalini at TheCulturedLife.com.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in Beauty Trends, Celebrity Beauty, Makeup, makeup tips Leave a comment

Pearson Knight Recaps Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Hair Trends Fall 2011

Finally back at home and working on my next fix. I was on the road for about 5 weeks. I stopped off this season in Minneapolis as I was a Guest Artist in Smart and Chic Beauty Lounge on my way to New York Fashion Week. I was back on Aveda homegrown soil and was able to see friends, the city, and attend a Reef Shoe Graffiti event. I was also impressed with the snow fall this year, WOW!

I got into New York a few days early to prepare my week and double check schedules. I began the week backstage at Christian Siriano’s show that kicked off NYFW. I was only there to style MTV’s beauty Sophia Black as she was a front row guest of Christian’s. I wasn’t working his show but I was able to say hello to some of my favorite models, Aveda stylists and watch the craziness come together. The hair was down with texture. It appeared to be blown straight then braided in 4 sections, sprayed, flat ironed, and let down leaving it with a textured kinked wave. I was invited to watch the show which was a treat being I’m usually deep in hair until it’s over. Beautiful.

Next stop was Jason Wu. He is one of my favorites every season. The hair was creatively put up. The center part pulled back hair was secured with Aveda’s Control Force spray into a low ponytail, then a twist braid with ends fanned out was looped up and pinned. The final touch was 24K gold leaf was delicately added to the ends. So sharp and elegant. I love the creativity of the hair combined with the Batman like lace mask for some of the more elegant pieces shown. As usual I had a great time at this show with some of my favorite stylist, make up artist, models, and of course Jason Wu and Aveda.

The week continued with some house calls for events, media parties, other shows and excellent dinners. I ended up at a venue that was hosting 4 shows that day. I was going to help with the 2nd and 4th show. The teams were well staffed and I had some time to hang around the neighborhood for lunch and head back to wait for the 4th show. I started to notice the designer of the 3rd show was crying and for whatever reason had no makeup team for her show. I asked if she needed makeup done, knowing time to walk would be soon. She replied “yes” graciously and told me the feel for the show was Ghost Geisha. I said “done!” I quickly grabbed 3 talented familiar faces waiting for the next show and built a mini makeup team. This was out of my normal Fashion Week bag of tricks so it was super fresh for me. I had a great time being a part of the solution and she had a great show.

My favorite show every season is Rodarte. I love the girls, the runway, makeup, clothes, hair and inspiration I get from working with them every season. The venue was in the Gagosian Gallery and was beautiful. The hair was organically down with texture. The hair was prepped with Aveda Phomollient and free hand blown out. The top front section to the right of the part was blown forward and hand styled up and back. The rest was free hand blown and given texture with Aveda’s air control. Then it was loosely brought to the right shoulder and secured with a small fishtail braid leaving the ends out. The feel and inspiration was wheat. The texture of the hair and collection went hand in hand of course. After I calmed down from the stimulating show I headed out to Kate and Laura Mulleavy’s apartment to style them up again for their after party. Unfortunately they were beat from the day and needed all their rest for the party and I wasn’t able to dial them in and shoot the breeze.

Right when I thought that was the end of my fashion week, I was invited to be a part of a collaboration with an amazing team for a photo shoot. We were locked and stocked with wardrobe, stylist, locations, makeup, models, photographer and everyone pumped full of inspiration from the week. We ended up shooting 12 hours starting at the crack of dawn. We shot 5 models with 3 wardrobe changes, 3 different hair looks, and 7 locations including a vintage tavern, NYC rooftop and Times Square. It was fresh! Amazing way to end Fashion Week. I can’t wait to see the shots.

I flew into Orlando and rested with family for a couple days when I was invited to tag team everybody’s favorite food celebrity, Giada De Laurentiis. I headed out to meet up with the very talented celebrity makeup artist, Julie Morgan. We were working off and on throughout the South Beach Wine and Food Festival as Giada was host. She had multiple events to be at with changes of clothes, hair and makeup. My favorite was making sure she was looking beautiful at the Ocean Drive Magazine rooftop party. I couldn’t be too fixated on her hair with great music, all the sushi I wanted, and an amazing view distracting me. I have worked with her and her husband before and they are amazing. In all seriousness I was honored to participate in the parties with Julie, Giada, her family and crew. If your going to do South Beach, party hopping with Giada and crew is the way to go!

Thank you all for an amazing 5 weeks! I love what I do and you make it better. You are the most beautiful version of you so keep it great! PK Hair has exciting news coming soon so keep up or follow @1Pearson1 on twitter and Facebook.com/PKHair.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in Celebrity Beauty, Fashion Week Beauty, Hair Care Leave a comment

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Q & A with Expert Hairstylist Pearson Knight

It’s almost that time of year again! In just a few short weeks Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week will be upon us once again. As we have in the past, A Girl’s Gotta Spa! will be there to recap beauty trends and try to get you as much behind the scenes info. as possible!

I thought it would be fun to let you in on the inner workings of an expert hairstylist working the shows at fashion week, and who better than my friend Pearson Knight who has recapped trends for us the last few seasons? Pearson works with the Aveda team at some pretty rockin shows. So enjoy some of his backstage photos that he shared with me and hear all of the fun and interesting tidbits of the intense and exciting week that is Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week!

Shannon: When assigned to do hair for runway shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, how much notice are you given regarding which designers you’ll be working with?
Pearson: Fashion Week is such a crazy venue, week and experience that it doesn’t surprise me everything is done on the fly. I usually get my schedule for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week just a few weeks prior to the shows. The schedule, teams and times are constantly changing as we get closer to go time! There are some staple shows every season which gives a chance to get to know the designers style more intimately to help produce better results creatively. Although, having new designers on the schedule is always exciting and challenging.

Shannon: How far in advance does the lead hairstylist prep you on the hairstyle for a particular runway show?
Pearson: I have been fortunate to have been the Lead Stylist, Assistant to Lead and Team Member. The prepping of the team is done on the first model that shows up for the show as it starts. No pre-knowledge goes beyond the Lead, Assist and Designer until go time!  Read more

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