Teami Skinny Tea

// // National day(s) of complete diet obliteration ...also known as "the holidays," is almost upon us. As much as I am looking forward to unlimited pumpkin pie and stuffing, I know that beginning the day after Thanksgiving, all I am going to want to do is detox. This year I am one Read more

The Results of Softer Skin #AveenoDailyChallenge

I partnered with AVEENO® on this post. All opinions are 100% my own. I participated in the #AveenoDailyChallenge for three weeks. For the last three weeks I participated in the #AveenoDailyChallenge using both AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Body Wash + AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Lotion. The goal was to follow a daily Read more

Can Ultrasound Improve the Look of Skin?

I'll be honest, I was not very familiar with the world of cosmetic ultrasound treatments when I decided to try the Mira-Skin Ultrasound device. Upon doing my research, I learned that ultrasound is a non-surgical/non-invasive treatment that counteracts the effects of time and gravity on your skin. Ultrasound uses the body's Read more

Say Goodbye to Dry Skin This Winter with #Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Deep Moisture Jelly Cream

Although I absolutely love this time of the year with the brightly colored leaves and crisp fall air, I dread it at the same time. It seems all of my time is spent trying to prep all the livestock for the winter, insulating the house, cooking and freezing all Read more

3 Myths About Using Toner

Toner is one of the biggest misunderstood skin care products out there. And to be honest, at one point when I was younger, I also believed some of these myths. What about you? 1. Toner is a cleanser. This one bugs me the most. I've read blogger reviews where the person clearly Read more


Yay or Nay: Bobbi Brown’s New In-Your-Face Neons

I have mixed feelings about Bobbi Brown’s new ‘Neons & Nudes‘ collection. Mainly because I do love wearing nude makeup shades, but just about every beauty brand right now already has the same obsession (with Urban Decay knocking it out of the park with their 2-part Naked palette of course!) In other words, it’s hard for me to be impressed by yet another series of not-so-blah neutrals.

The neons, on the other hand, totally intrigue me. I’m not one to regularly incorporate many not-seen-in-nature colors into my daily beauty routine, but I’m always open to experiment, and the more “adventurous” side of Bobbi’s new collection is definitely inspiring me to dabble outside my comfort zone! Some of my favorite collection highlights include the three punched-up lip gloss additions – now in Citrus, Cosmic Pink, and Ultra Violet – which are fun and spring-festive but sheer enough to not appear costume-y or kitschy.

I also adore the new eyeshadows, in Ultra Violet Shimmer Wash and the stunning cobalt Blue Bell. Of course, I realize that these shades aren’t for everyone (and they require a very skilled hand to wear them chicly), so what do you think – gorgeous or gimmicky?

– Alexandra Gambardella

*Guest beauty post from my friends at

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Beauty Trends, eye shadow, lip gloss, Makeup Leave a comment

Rain Cosmetics: Blood, Sweat, and Tears Lip Trio

 It’s been said by passionate careerists time and time again – if you love your job, you’ll put your blood, sweat, and tears into it. Now, beauty lovers can apply the same mentality (well, maybe not literally) to their beauty regime thanks to Rain Cosmetics.

The Vegas-based beauty brand has a lot to live up to. The line was inspired by the city’s glamorous nightlife, and they even refer to themselves as “The Sexiest Makeup in the World”….so when I tested out their Blood, Sweat, and Tears lip trio, I was hoping to be nothing less than amazed.

Naturally, each product in the trio serves a different purpose. While you can definitely wear each of the shades alone, I prefer using the three together for the best effect.

Blood: Blood is a red lip stain. Stains can be tricky, but this one is an awesome product for first-time users because it isn’t too dark upon first application. I prefer a darker lip, so I put on about 2 or 3 coats. TIP – Make sure you exfoliate your lips before applying ANY lip stain! If your lips are dry, you’ll wind up with uneven color that is hard to remove.

Sweat: A shimmery champagne sparkle, Sweat adds some needed dimension to Blood. I found that when wearing alone, this product wears off pretty quickly…so for best results pair with Tears to lock the sparkle in.

 Tears: Tears is a standard, slick high gloss. The sheen lasted longer than other clear glosses and added the finishing touch to Blood and Sweat  that will make your lips pop.


Here I am testing out Blood, Sweat, and Tears lip trio from Rain Cosmetics.

I was very pleased with the collection and it has officially been added to my daily beauty routine – a girl can never have too many red lip stains! The set retails for $30.00. Check out to learn more about other products in the collection.

Have you tried Rain Cosmetics products before? What was your experience?

Posted on by Amanda Huggins in beauty, lip gloss, lip stain, Makeup Leave a comment

29 Cosmetics at Cake Plate Boutique

I have a friend named Felicia who can rock a red lipstick like nobody’s business. Have you secretly always wanted to wear red, but just didn’t think you could pull it off? I sure have. So when someone from Cake Plate Boutique approached me to review a line of cosmetics they carried in their Napa Valley store, I took the chance to ask her to pick a color she felt would best suit me. I was told 29 Cosmetics’ Wine Critic, a red, would look great on me. I took a big gulp and felt worried.

Wine Critic, from 29 Reserves Moisturizing Lipstick Collection (SPF20), utilizes grape seed extract, an anti-oxidant that smoothes, softens and prevents aging, straight from regional grapes. More powerful than Vitamin E and 20 times more efficient than Vitamin C, the extract is said to have the ability to keep lips looking young, vibrant, and stylishly smooth. Although, for me, the lipstick didn’t feel very moisturizing. Additionally, the colors are named in honor of the Napa Valley region–hence Wine Critic.

Wine Critic is rich and vibrant. I personally love it and there is something about wearing this color that just makes you feel sexy. Like most lipsticks, the color doesn’t stay put very long if you are eating/drinking.

Here’s a shot of me wearing it, what do you think?

29 Cosmetics can be found in-store at Cake Plate Boutique at 1000 Main Street in Downtown Napa.


Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, lipstick, Makeup Leave a comment

Get Dazzling Eyes This Season With Tinsel-Colored Liner

Holiday party season is officially here, and if you’re opting to go the subtle route fashion-wise by avoiding ultra-sparkly cocktail dresses and glitter heels at all costs, there’s still plenty of ways to add some celebratory glitz to your seasonal party look! Instead, try focusing the festiveness on your makeup. Metallic silver liner adds just the slightest dash of holiday vixen appeal that makes a surprisingly gorgeous impact. It’s like tinsel for your eyes… which is way less painful than it sounds!

Try not to go too 90s-fabulous with the trend (that whole frosty lid look might make you look dated), and instead stick to just the corners of your eye and the inner rim. Similar to how white pencil makes peepers appear wider and brighter, silver liner will make eyes sparkle with a sexy metallic sheen. Also, make sure you pick an easy-glide, extra-bright chrome silver – darker gunmetal shades just won’t have the same tinselly effect!

Pictured above: Milani Liquif’Eye Metallic Eyeliner Pencil in Silver, L’Oreal HiP Chrome Eyeliner in Silver Lightning, Stila Smudge Stick in Silverdollar, and Bobbi Brown Dual Ended Eyeliner in Jet/Chrome.

Guest post for A Girl’s Gotta Spa! from my friends at

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, eyeliner, holiday, Makeup Leave a comment

Get Ready to Put Urban Decay’s Naked 2 Palette on Your Shopping Radar

NO JOKE. I seriously just got my hands on Urban Decay’s most freaked-about product ever, the Naked Palette (I know, two years late – I’m pathetic), and the makeup geniuses have already released its sequel! However, unlike The Hangover 2, The Godfather Part III, and the endless Land Before Time sequels that refused to die, the Naked 2 Palette seems like one of those rare sequels that won’t disappoint. As excited as I am about this, it admittedly doesn’t look too different from the original Naked Palette, so unless you’re an Urban Decay super-fan like me or are still too exhausted from tracking down the first one, you might be okay sitting this one out. (Ugh, did I really just say that?!) But its new sister palette does incorporate some pretty tawnier shades and russet reddish-browns as opposed to the first one’s sparkly champagnes and shimmery bronzes. And that’s different enough to justify a purchase on my part! Unfortunately, if you weren’t one of the lucky 5,000 to snag one up on Urban Decay’s short-lived presale, you’ll likely be out of luck until who-knows-when… but it doesn’t hurt to keep it on your shopping radar… or letter to Santa!

– Alex Gambardella

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

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, eye shadow, Makeup 1 Comment

A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Holiday Gift Guide

If you survived Black Friday and are still in need of some holiday gift ideas for the family or friend who loves beauty products, then I know you’ll find our Holiday Gift Guide useful. Amanda, Gail and I put together some of our best and most favorite gift ideas (i.e. gifts we’d like to see under the tree) into a 13 page catalog. We opted not to create a multitude of holiday gift posts and thought a handy catalog that you can browse through and link directly to the product would make for a great all-in-one-place guide.

Here’s what we covered: Hair care, skin care, bath & body, holiday kits, cosmetics, gifts that give back and spas and spa treatments that we love. There’s some nail polish mentioned in there too!

Many thanks to Kelli & Co. for creating the cover for our Holiday Gift Guide. When reading it, make sure you view it at 100%; it is a downloadable PDF.

Enjoy the catalog and please feel free to pass onto your friends! Download it by clicking this link: Holiday Gift Guide

Disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links and 2 brands mentioned are clients.

A Girl’s Gotta Spa! bath and body products also make great gifts!

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

Vegan Makeup Review: GlamNatural Hydrating Foundation

This past summer, Christine Holmgren and Brittany Norman attended my social media panel at Cosmoprof North America and approached me to tell me about a new cruelty-free, gluten-free, vegan makeup brand they were launching. It sounded interesting and soon enough they popped a sample in the mail of their initial product, Hydrating Foundation. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love, which says a lot considering I haven’t worn liquid foundation in forEVER.

Why? Well that’s the interesting part. In the fall/winter, my skin goes a little wack and will peel or have dry patches.  Wearing liquid foundation was like putting a magnifying glass on these problem areas and only made it more noticeable. So what makes GlamNatural’s Hydrating Foundation so different? It is shea butter based, therefore it’s actually moisturizing my face, not to mention its other skin conditioning ingredients like grape seed oil, sunflower oil and jojoba oil. I have combination skin and had been worried that the shea butter would be too much for my skin, but it is not at all.

Glamnatural’s Hydrating Foundation comes in a 30ml glass bottle with an airless pump. That means it contains no water and therefore, no preservatives. It also is only comprised of 6 BodySafe ingredients plus color. So no fillers and unnecessary add-ons. Due to the formulation and consistency of the shea butter in it, you apply this foundation slightly different than you would your typical liquid foundation. I think of it like La Mer where you can only pat the cream on to activate it. For the Hydrating Foundation, you have to either pump a pea sized amount onto the top of your hand and rub your index finger on it to “heat it up” or disperse a pea sized amount onto your index finger and then warm it up between your finger and your thumb. The bottom line is that you need to let your body heat warm it up a bit so that it glides on your skin smoothly. And a little goes a long way, as the saying goes. My face only needs about a pea and a half dollop of the foundation to give me the coverage I like. And what’s great is that I can ditch my daytime moisturizer since this foundation already contains one.

This is full coverage foundation that is buildable. I do use a concealer on the sides of my nose, under my eyes and on my lids still, but I know a concealer is in the pipeline for GlamNatural, so I look forward to using a concealer that will work great with my skin.

I can’t begin to tell you all of the compliments I have gotten on my skin since including it in my makeup regimen (I’m wearing Ivory 2 in the picture above.) Even my cousin ended up buying some and raved about it on GlamNatural’s Facebook fan page (and she has super fair skin, so I was thrilled it worked for her!)

GlamNatural’s Hydrating Foundation is available for $65 at And in full disclosure, I work with this brand for their social media, but I wouldn’t have posted this review if I didn’t think it was absolutely amazing. If you’ve used their foundation or have questions, please leave a comment!

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, foundation, Makeup, skin care 1 Comment

Makeup Review: Boots 17 Falsifeye Mascara

I am a mascara addict. If there is one thing I will not leave the house without, it is a quick coat of mascara on my lashes. I’m fine with nothing else on my face. So I am always happy to be given the chance to try out any new mascara that comes onto the market and was therefore excited when I received a tube of Boots 17’s Falsifeye mascara, having heard good things about the product itself and already loving the brand anyway.

Falsifeye claims to “create wow effect eyelashes.”

I gave the mascara its first real outing for brunch with my girlfriends. Wearing nothing else on my face, just a lick of blackest black mascara. The brush is pretty big and looks like a mass of unruly bristles when covered in mascara but I wasn’t deterred and I was pleasantly surprised by the look it created: My lashes were left defined and curled* right to my little lashes at either side.

For a mascara that comes in at under a tenner I’d say I’ll be buying it again! Which is your go-to budget mascara? Or are you only a top dollar girl when it comes to your lashes?

Thank you to Shannon for letting me loose on her blog again!

You can find my beauty blog at and my fashion and lifestyle blog here

*I should add, I do use a curler too as my lashes are flat, flat, flat!

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Makeup, mascara 2 Comments

Makeup Review: GloMinerals GloBlush

I find myself in the market for a new blush only every so often. Like most women, I have my staple products that I know and love (hel-lo Nars Torrid blush), but I do like to test out new products once in a while to make sure I’m not missing out on anything.

I was excited to learn about GloMinerals products. A beauty brand comparable to the beloved Bare Escentuals line, GloMinerals promise flawless skin with oil-free, light reflecting pigments, and SPF of 15 in most products.  Personally, I’ve always felt mineral makeup is the way to go.  It’s good for your skin and always leaves a natural, radiant finish…not to mention it’s incredibly easy to apply.

Thanks to my Irish roots, I have very fair skin with naturally pink undertones. For this reason I tend to select peach-toned blushes to play down any redness and add a hint of bronze glow to brighten up my face (especially during those sun-deprived, vacation-less winter months).

I selected GloBlush in Nectar – a peachy powder with a nude shimmer. When applied to my cheekbones and blended out to my temples, it highlighted my face nicely and gave a nice natural glow for daytime. I loved the color as a simple everyday look, and am definitely planning on trying their powder cheek stain (yes, a powder stain!) for a more bold look in the future.

Check out the GloMinerals website to view all products. If you need another reason to go shopping, the site promises a free gift with purchases over $150.00. Have you tried any of GloMinerals makeup?

Posted on by Amanda Huggins in beauty, blush, Makeup, mineral makeup Leave a comment

Review: Anastasia Beverly Hills Holiday 2011

 “If your eyes are the windows to your soul, your eyebrows are the curtains.”

I’d like to thank the anonymous beauty babe who came up with that bit of wisdom – and I’m sure eyebrow expert to the stars Anastasia Soare of Anastasia Beverly Hills would, too.  Anastasia has built a legacy creating products that cater to the brow-obsessed, and her 2011 Christmas Holiday Gift Sets do not disappoint.

 I’ve been a longtime fan of Anastasia Beverly Hills, but up until now had only used a select few products. Naturally, I was psyched to see what the Holiday Sets had in store…

BRIGHT EYES, BIG CITY – Nordstrom, $39

This kit is awesome. It’s a great sampling of products that contains everything you need for a perfectly polished brow: clear eyebrow gel, tweezers, brow powder, and a selection of illuminating products that keep your eye area looking dewy. If you’re just jumping into brow shaping, this is the kit for you.


This eyeshadow kit comes complete with 9 stunning neutrals, a mini mascara, and the Anastasia signature clear brow gel. The shadow lasted me through a workday, and it was easy for me to transition into a nighttime look by playing around with the colors a bit.

KISSES ON MY LIST – Sephora, $30

This limited edition gift set comes with six lip glosses in a spectrum of pouty pinks and neutral shades. Perfect for the holiday season, you’ll be looking kissable when standing under that mistletoe.

Ultimately, my favorite set was “Bright Eyes, Big City”, but any of the kits are a great way to introduce a friend (or treat yourself!) to the brand. The eye sets have a nice variety of products, with shadow highlighters and colors that suit all skin tones, and the lip gloss collection will leave your lips plump and color-perfect.

Do you use Anastasia’s products? Share your experience in the comments!

Posted on by Amanda Huggins in beauty, brows, brows, lip gloss, Makeup 1 Comment