Solid Lotion Bars from Faith, Soaps and Love

Know for their incredible handmade artisan soaps, Faith, Soaps & Love has another trick up their sleeves... or in this case, in their tubes. Good things come in 2 oz. packages. Don't let the small number fool you, as the Solid Lotion Bar tube is the size of my hand. Read more

How to Hide Unwanted Facial Hair #GoConfidently

No matter your age, unwanted facial hair can become a true confidence problem. From genetics to mature skin, it can be difficult to feel beautiful when dark excess hair lingers around. Bleaching the hair is an option and if you haven't tried it before and are curious, read on. First, Read more

nyakio ABC African Beauty Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen

I'm always on the lookout for a BB or CC cream that not only matches my skin tone but also has SPF 20 and over, covers without feeling heavy or oily, helps to reduce the size of my pores and gives me a little glow. My skin could be described as medium to Read more

Lancome Visionnaire [1 Minute] Blur #PhotoPerfectSkin #ad

I upgraded my beauty routine with Lancôme Visionnaire [1 Minute] Blur as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #PhotoPerfectSkin. All images and opinions are my own. Large pores, skin imperfections, fine lines, wrinkles - these are just some of the things that come with age (thanks 40.) Throw in Read more

Video: A Girl's Gotta Spa! Featured on Beyond the Vanity

Residents of Los Angeles may be familiar with LA Talk Live radio host, Indian Tyler, for her show Beyond the Vanity on Wednesday at 2pm PST. It's always fun and informative with a lot of beauty, wellness and fitness tips. I couldn't be happier to discover that Ms. Tyler Read more

DIY beauty

Healthy Recipes for Glowing Skin

2 delicious recipes from @thebeautybean1 Recipe for Radiance book via @agirlsgottaspa. #beauty #skincare

We all know that nutritious foods are good for our overall health, but did you know that it can also help you achieve glowing skin? Fellow beauty blogger, Alexis Wolfer of The Beauty Bean, has written a book complete with DIY beauty treatments, as well as recipes that will be your true Recipe for Radiance. Alexis was gracious enough to share two, simply delicious recipes, which should serve as the perfect appetizer to wet your palate for more from her book!

Age-Reversing Wine Mask

Good for: All skin types Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, DIY Beauty, Health, skin care Leave a comment

DIY Coconut Coffee Foot Scrub

DIY Coconut Coffee Foot Scrub Recipe via @agirlsgottaspa #beauty #bathandbody #DIY

Carolyn Doe, spa director at The Umstead Hotel and Spa (Cary, N.C.) has whipped up a DIY Coconut Coffee Foot Scrub recipe to soothe weary feet at home.

The rich blend of antioxidant-filled coffee and moisture-locking coconut oil, combined with the refreshing scent of vanilla extract, is a perfect combination of natural ingredients to remove and repair rough skin.

Coconut Coffee Foot Scrub Recipe Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, DIY Beauty 1 Comment

DIY Cooling Cucumber Mask

DIY Cooling Cucumber Mask #beauty via @agirlsgottaspa
During my two month stay in Bali, a significant amount of time was spent at Amo Spa in Seminyak.  I enjoyed the most amazing spa treatments that I’ve every experienced and though I have only been back in the US for a week, I am going through serious Amo Spa treatments withdrawal.  I figured the best cure for my withdrawal symptoms was to try to recreate one of my favorite Amo Spa moments at home.

One of the many things I loved about Amo Spa was the little luxuries that they took the time to incorporate into their treatments.  One such luxury was the cucumber mask that was always applied to my face during a facial, massage and body scrub.  The cucumber mask consisted of thinly sliced cucumbers sliced lengthwise (not rounds) and left in the refrigerator to cool, then applied directly to the face.  In hot and humid Bali, this cucumber mask was an absolute dream. Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, DIY Beauty, skin care 1 Comment

DIY Body Mask and Scrub Balinese Inspired

#DIY Body Mask and Scrub - Balinese inspired! #Bali #Beauty

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting a coffee plantation in the Kintamani region of Bali thanks to my fiancé’s obsession with the Luwak Coffee that is produced in this region.  The plantation we visited not only produced Luwak Coffee, but also produced ginger, turmeric and a host of other spices, fruits and vegetables.

At some point in the tour I mentioned to our guide that my sister and I have been using coffee grounds as a scrub for a few years now and it is still one of my favorite DIY body scrubs.  Our guide in turn told me that a lot of the women in that area also use coffee grounds as a scrub as well, but they combine it with ginger powder, turmeric powder and coconut oil for paste/scrub that is great for your skin.   Read more

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

DIY Yogurt Face Mask

#DIY Yogurt Facial Masks #skincare

Yogurt tends to be one of the most versatile foods that I consume on a daily basis.  I will have it with granola and fruits for breakfast, as a post workout snack with a few almonds, in a shake or on its own.  For me it’s easy, fast, nutritious, healthy and filling. After all, it is considered a super food, especially if you consume plain unsweetened yogurt. Yogurt also has some amazing skin benefits when used topically.

Yogurt contains nutrients such as Lactic Acid, Zinc B Vitamins and Calcium.  Lactic Acid smoothes and exfoliates skin, moisturizes dry skin and is beneficial in preventing wrinkles and reducing existing wrinkles.  Zinc contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation caused by acne. It also helps to tighten tissue and reduces the size of acne and pimples. Zinc also regulates oil production and prevents oily skin and breakouts.  B Vitamins are essential for cell growth and regeneration.  They also protect skin cells from free radical damage.  Calcium is an amazing anti-oxidant that helps to heal skin and also facilitates skin renewal. Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, DIY Beauty, skin care 1 Comment

DIY Lip Care Treatments

DIY Lip Treatments #skincare #DIY

My lips are one of those areas of my face that I will admit gets neglected. I wear a protective lip balm to keep them hydrated, but when it comes to pampering them I am neglectful. 

Lately I have been making it a beauty priority to give my lips their very own spa time.  I exfoliate them, apply a lip mask and hydrate them the same way I do with the rest of my face.  I’ve realized that it is actually extremely easy to whip up lip care treatments with a lot of the items in my refrigerator for soft, plump, hydrated lips.  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, DIY Beauty, skin care Leave a comment

Lemongrass Facial Steam

Benefits & How To: Lemongrass Facial Steam #skincare #DIYbeauty

Whenever I have any type of a skin concern I can always count on my friends for advice. Advice, that sometimes can be great, sometimes not so good and a lot of times just plain weird. The last bit of skin care advice I received from my best friend was actually one of the great ones and one that I have been practicing weekly.

My best friend Sam mentioned that her mom uses lemongrass whenever she steams her face for skin that’s clear, toned, glowing and looks almost poreless.  Apparently her mom has been doing this for years and it is something that was passed down from the other women in her family in her native Cambodia.  Lemongrass is an anti-microbial and anti-bacterial herb. This means it will help limit bacterial or microbial growth on the skin. It can help ward off skin infections as well as lessen skin issues caused by bacterial infections. Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in acne, beauty, DIY Beauty, skin care Leave a comment

Beauty Benefits of Red Wine

Beauty Benefits of Red Wine

Normally the last thing I consider doing with red wine is applying it to my skin, I mean that just sounds like a complete waste of a good glass…or bottle of wine.  But little did I know that this entire time I could’ve been drinking and having a spa experience at the same time for under $20.

I’ve been aware of the fact that consuming red wine in moderation can protect my heart and can also protect my body from various diseases caused by inflammation thanks to resveratrol, the antioxidant in red wine that has anti-inflammatory properties, but was completely unaware that I can also apply wine to my face, straight from the bottle for beautiful, glowing skin. I guess there IS a reason why red wine facials have gained a cult-like following in spas worldwide.  Combined with the right ingredients, red wine can be used in a facial masque, facial scrub and facial toner. Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in anti-aging, beauty, DIY Beauty, skin care Leave a comment

How to Remove Blackheads


How to Remove Blackheads #beauty #skincare

Blackheads. Simply put – they are the bane of our existence.

Our teen years are when our pores become defined, which is dependent on using the right skin care products and using them consistently. How we take care of our face during our teen years determines how large or small our pores will be (mainly just how much they’ll hold tightly to dirt and debris as we age), but yet it is during these same years that we seem to lack the knowledge (and motivation) to implement a preventative beauty routine that will save us the grief from our older selves. Oh Marty McFly, why can’t time machines be real?!

Since I can’t turn back time, all I can do now is learn how to properly extract and remove blackheads, and try to minimize just how often those little skin pockets fill up with gunk. If you are younger and reading this, take heed now and do yourself a favor: keep your skin well-maintained.

There are a few ways to remove blackheads: Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in acne, anti-aging, beauty, DIY Beauty, skin care 3 Comments

Stay Beautiful Naturally

Stay Beautiful - Naturally! (Includes a DIY lip balm recipe!)

We all want to stay looking our best, but sometimes you have to wonder exactly what is in the products that you buy at the beauty counter. We always advise to read the label and know your ingredients. With more and more people looking towards more natural ingredients, it’s good to know which one’s work best for your skin according to the season.

One of the many winter skin ailments we all deal with is dry, cracked lips. This is because the humidity is very low in the winter and when you turn your thermostat up, you’re depleting moisture which further dries out your skin. What you really need is a good lip scrub and lip balm to nourish and protect your lips!

Here’s a DIY Lip Balm recipe: Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in acne, beauty, DIY Beauty, skin care Leave a comment