#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

Spa Week 2014 A Girl's Gotta Spa! and Giveaway

It's that time of year again when spas lower their prices on some of their spa treatments, otherwise known as Spa Week! From April 21–27th, spas, fitness facilities and wellness centers across the country will be offering $50 spa treatments, including a few spas that we've reviewed like The French Read more

Exfoliating

Garnier’s Clean + Balancing Daily Exfoliator Review

Garnier Balancing Exfoliator #review #skincare

I’m all over the place when it comes to skin care. I’ve been brand loyal with my daily moisturizer since I was 12, (my mom’s favorite is still my favorite,) but when it comes to face wash, I can safely say I’ve tried every product on the shelf at least once. After years of experimenting with pretty much every face cleanser under the sun, I can safely say Garnier’s new  Clean + Balancing Daily Exfoliator was the most pleasant morning pick me up (besides coffee) I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

There’s lots of exciting stuff coming from Garnier for Spring 2014. I think they are trying to target a young buyer with their new collection and I’m all about it. The new Garnier Clean + Skincare Collection is available with newly launched cleansers, a new moisturizer and a facial primer. Read more

Posted on by AmandaOnAir in acne, beauty, skin care Leave a comment

Tocca Esfoliante da Corpo in Stella

I love an exfoliating scrub that smells heavenly. Tocca’s Esfoliante da Corpo ($32), or Nourishing Body Scrub, in Stella smells amazing.

Rich in natural oils, the luxurious formula boasts the emollient and healing properties of olive oil, safflower oil and grapeseed oil that leave the skin feelings soft, supple and delicately scented. It’s a sugar scrub, so it gently exfoliates. When you rinse it away, it leaves behind a very light oil on your skin, however it doesn’t feel greasy.  Read more

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

DIY Coffee Grounds Body Scrub

My sister is, and always has been, my beauty mentor.  Whenever I’ve had  a beauty ailment (which is a weekly occurrence,) I’ve always been able to count on her to steer me in the right direction.  Whether it be over plucked brows, breakouts or a lackluster complexion, she always seems to have a remedy in hand.  Her latest beauty advice for me was a body scrub using coffee grounds.

This DIY body scrub was honestly one of the easiest and most enjoyable beauty adventures I’ve been on in a long time.  I got to enjoy a delicious cup cup of coffee then indulge in an amazingly effective…and cheap at home spa treatment.  I just took the leftover grounds into the shower with me and rubbed it all over my body.  The coffee grounds make a really gentle scrub, but also does a great job of exfoliating.  Caffeine is also known to be a fantastic anti-cellulite treatment. The strong smell of coffee in the shower also gave me an energy boost.  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in bath and body, beauty, DIY Beauty 7 Comments

Microbamboo Cleansing/Exfoliating Cloth

I have decided that this is the only wash cloth I am ever using…strong words I know but it is THAT amazing.  This cloth was suggested to me after getting eyelash extensions as a part of my lash care routine.  After getting eyelash extensions, you have to be really careful with your lashes and cannot get them wet 24-48 hours after having the extensions applied and a wash cloth is the best way to clean the face without getting your lashes soaked.  What peaked my interest with this cloth is that it is a Microbamboo Cleansing/Exfoliating Cloth, which is a fusion of  Microfiber and Bamboo-Charcoal. Bamboo-Charcoal is made by heating bamboo at a temperature of 1000°C, and then grounding it into nano-particles to combine with filament yarn.  The benefits of Microbamboo are: ultra-plush, velvety-soft, and super-absorbent, yet lightweight and durable cleansing cloth.   Read more
Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, skin care, Spa Leave a comment

Review: LARA Polishing Microderm Abrasion for Sensitive Skin

I absolutely love traveling, there’s nothing better than seeing and experiencing new places and getting out of my comfort zone for a few days, weeks or as my last traveling adventure would have it…an entire month.  One of the pitfalls of traveling for me though is that my skin always throws a tantrum.  The change in temperature, altitude, different water and change in region causes my pores to become clogged and I break out like I am still going through puberty.  As mentioned above, the last trip I took lasted for an entire month and I thought that just maybe since it was a road-trip my skin would behave, but I thought wrong.  I once again had clogged skin, which led to breakouts which in turn led to acne scars…ughhh.  Just my luck that modeling season in Miami was in full swing and the week after returning home I had three castings lined up, I needed help big time.

I thought about doing a series of microdermabrasion treatments, but was scared that my skin would be even more irritated, peels were not an option either as I have yet to find one that is not too aggressive.  So I opted to try LARA Beauty Polishing Microderm Abrasion for sensitive skin.  LARA Beauty is a line of anti-aging skincare for sensitive skin that contains natural and botanical ingredients, clinically proven anti-aging  compounds, a blend of antioxidants and peptides and is also free of retinol, phthalates, synthetic color, synthetic fragrance, parabens, GMOs, petrochemicals, sulfates or triclosan.  With such a cocktail of goodies, I hoped my skin would return to its usual clear, glowy state and the acne scars that I had picked up on my travels would begin to fade.

It’s important to also state that before exfoliating with the Polishing Microderm Abrasion, I could clearly see the blackheads that were clogging my pores.  I could not be happier with this scrub/polishing treatment.  It did not feel  abrasive or rough on my skin at all.  After using it, my skin looked immediately brighter and a lot more refreshed.  My face also felt smoother, I could no longer see, nor feel, the blackheads that were very noticeable before using the Polishing Microderm Abrasion.  The tiny acne scars that are a result of me picking at my face (I know a big no no but I always think it’ll be better if I pick…yet another habit to break) are still present but they do seem to be slowly fading, I think exfoliating twice a week for the next month will definitely erase them.

I absolutely love the Polishing Microderm Abrasion and cannot wait to see how a few other products from this line perform.  One thing I did forget to mention is that LARA Beauty also lists each ingredient used in their products so that you can test for allergies and also better understand why their products work the way they do…definitely a fan of this skincare line. Have you used it?

For more anti-aging tips and advice, Safer Cosmetic Surgery offers a range of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

*Disclosure, press samples, ad

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

Review: Repechage Rapidex Marine Exfoliator

One of the very first things I like to do after summer has made it’s departure is to exfoliate my entire body from head to toe.  Summer has a tendency to leave me with clogged pores and flaky skin that I just cannot get rid of soon enough.  Exfoliating from the decolletage downwards is pretty easy…I am never lacking for great body scrubs, my face and neck on the other hand are another story.  I generally prefer to visit a spa to have a professional perform a mild peel or intensive facial, but in these economic times sometimes that’s just not an option.  I did some research and found an overwhelming amount of DIY at home facial peels (some with much better reviews than others), but still had no idea which one would be best for my skin so I decided to go with the ones that are actually used in spas and narrowed it down to the Repechage Rapidex Marine Exfoliator (which they kindly sent to me.)

The Rapidex Marine Exfoliator is a 14-day treatment that comes in a pre-saturated cotton swab (14 individual swabs in the pack) and is ridiculously easy to use, which for clumsy me makes it that much more foolproof.  The claims are that Rapidex will, “retexturize the skin, reducing the look of lines and wrinkles, and improving tone by eliminating the appearance of age spots and other hyper-pigmented areas.”  I was more concerned with dull skin due to clogged pores and dead skin build up, I also had a few blemishes that were really bugging me.  I am extremely impatient and love seeing immediate results (which has resulted in more than a few beauty mishaps in the past) so having to wait 14 days seemed like an eternity to me. But I also love being surprised and after using Rapidex for about four days I started noticing results…not drastic, but definitely noticeable.  The bumps that started popping up on my jawline and chin started to dry up and flake off and when I applied my facial moisturizer, my skin definitely felt smoother.

In addition to using Rapidex on my face and throat, I also used it on the backs of my hands.  After using it for 14 days my skin was a lot smoother and glowing, some of the brown acne scars had faded a bit so they were not as noticeable and the little spots that seemed to appear on the back of my hands had also faded (not entirely but enough for me to notice a difference.)   During usage of the exfoliator, I always expected to feel a sting or burn of some kind and would wait for it, but it never felt uncomfortable, at times it tingled a bit but that was all, it felt pretty gentle.  Not bad at all at $55.

Have you tried this product? Share your experience in the comments.

Posted on by Gail Lewis in acne, anti-aging, skin care 1 Comment

Review: pura Body Naturals Mint Exfoliating Lip Scrub and Cocoa Mint Lip Butter

Yes, I know all of you are aware by now that I am absolutely insane about exfoliating…after all I’ve only blogged about it a gazillion times. Well now exfoliating is  my way of saying goodbye to summer and hello handsome to fall, so I have more of a reason to be insane about it.  Only problem is that I’ve noticed my lips still have not bid adieu to summer where some dryness abounds.  The body scrubs that work so well on my body just seem a bit too harsh for my lips.

That said, I decided to try pura Body Naturals Mint Exfoliating Lip Scrub in an effort to remove the flakiness from my lips.  The lip scrub smells great…minty and refreshing and is also really moisturizing.  But alas, those were it’s best features.  It did nothing for my lips in terms of exfoliating them.  I could feel the beads on my lips,  but they just seemed  to lightly massage my lips instead of sloughing off the dead skin cells. I held out hope for the Cocoa Mint Lip Butter.  Much like the lip scrub, the lip butter also smelled great…faintly of cocoa and a lot of mint.  It was also moisturizing and left my lips really soft, but it would work a lot better in a pot instead of a stick as it comes off in chunks on my lips whenever I use it.  I actually removed it from the stick and placed in into an empty lip gloss pot I had and I love it in the pot a lot better.

So maybe the lip scrub did not let my lips  say goodbye to summer as I had hoped and I had to rely on the ole warm wet wash cloth instead…but this just means I am focused on the task of locating a lip scrub that will actually exfoliate my lips…know of any you can recommend?

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

Slough Away Summer with Soap & Glory Body Polish

Now that the rare afternoons of the San Francisco sun are starting to become even fewer, as the closest thing we have to fall weather gradually rolls in, I’m finding it especially tough to keep up any semblance of a summer glow. And let’s face it – no tan at all is better than the unsightly, sickly-looking aftermaths of a dying tan: dull, flakey, dry skin. Yuck! The cast of Jersey Shore may not agree, but I’d rather be pale than look diseased. That’s why I’m putting my tan-preserving products away and embracing a new body polish to help slough away dry summer skin and unveil the healthier-looking epidermis underneath!

Soap & Glory’s “Flake Away” Body Polish is the perfect happy medium between gentle but not too gentle; it’s seriously effective without irritating sensitive skin, and leaves my body feeling baby-smooth right out of the shower! The shea butter, almond oil, peach seed, and sea salt mixture helps rid my skin of its parched surface, while the bad-ass brand’s signature fragrance with mandarin, rose, jasmine, amber, and vanilla makes me feel like I’m experiencing a spa-worthy treatment right in my own bathroom. If anything could actually make me feel relaxed about losing my summer glow, it’s definitely this body polish!

- 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, beauty, skin care Leave a comment

Review: True Blue Spa 60-Second Manicure Hand Scrub & Smoothing Foot Scrub

Although going to the spa can never be an overrated experience, there is something to be said of being able to bring the spa to the comfort and privacy of your own home with you and a few of your closest girlfriends…or sometimes just solo.  The only problem with bringing the spa to your home is the quality of the spa products.  More often than not, spa products that I am able to get my hands on are never spa quality and being that neither me nor my girlfriends are professional estheticians, we need our products to do the job that we can not.  Which is why I love products from True Blue Spa by Bath & Body Works.  The brands products are spa quality without the spa prices, they really allow you to experience the true spa experience at home.

My two favorite True Blue Spa products are the 60-Second Manicure Hand Scrub and the Smoothing Foot Scrub.  The Hand Scrub is a sugar based exfoliating treatment that also contains moisturizing Shea Butter.  I love starting  my at home spa manicures with the scrub because it immediately softens my hands and cuticles and allows any moisturizing products that follows, whether it’s a hand lotion, masque or cuticle oil, to do a more effective job.  The scrub also has a great citrusy scent…like a blend of sugar and grapefruit.  Much like the hand scrub, the Smoothing Foot Scrub also smooths and softens, allowing moisturizing products to be better absorbed by the feet.  The foot scrub also has a great refreshing minty scent, due to the Peppermint Oil that is a part of the ingredients and that also stimulates tired feet.

I may never completely give up going to a spa in favor of spa-ing at home, but for those days when the spa budget is a bit too tight or if I just want to have a girl’s night in with my at home spa products and a bottle of wine, it’s great to know that I have two amazing products on hand that very closely captures the spa experience and results without the steep spa price tags or having to change out of my jammies.

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

Review: PURE Sensual Sugar Scrub

The beauty industry is always changing and evolving. It seems like every other day there is a new miracle product that promises to perform some outlandish miracle, like giving you the skin you possessed at two years old or recreating the natural highlights that you had at eight years old after playing outside in the sun for 4.5 hours.  Even though the beauty industry may always be changing, what does not seem to change are the demands of the consumer.  We all want better, healthier skin, hair, eyes etc.  For me, my top two beauty desires are always healthy shiny hair and smooth, glowing touchable skin.  The hair is still a work in process but I have definitely got a foothold on the skin.

I recently discovered PURE Sugar Scrubs. The scrubs contain all natural ingredients such as sugar, honey and lemon juice but have no preservatives, animal product or by-product and are not tested on animals.  I especially love the Sensual Sugar Scrub.  The scent is indeed very soft and sensual (Sandalwood Vanilla) and the scrub exfoliated my skin beautifully but without feeling harsh and scratchy. I love using the scrub on my skin when it’s both wet and dry. If I want a bit of a stronger exfoliation, I just use the scrub on my skin before I step into the shower and it works amazingly.  The scrub contains it’s own oils so I don’t need to add any oils to my skin when it is dry before I exfoliate.  I also love that the scrub also does not leave a huge mess in my bath tub like a lot of other body scrubs that I have used in the past.

I can definitely see why this PURE scrub is called the Sensual Sugar Scrub.  After using it, the scent of sandalwood not only lingers in my shower but also stays on my freshly scrubbed, soft, glowing, touchable skin.  My boyfriend definitely seems to appreciate the sense of touch and smell a lot more after I’ve used the scrub!

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