Nine Things I've Learned in Nine Years of Beauty Blogging

A lot has happened since 2005. A Girl's Gotta Spa! began as a beauty blog intended to help other women, short on time, discover meaningful reviews and tips that they could incorporate into their daily lives. It was also a way for me to connect socially with women in Read more

Hydrating DIY Coconut Oil Foot Scrub

Feet are always in need of some restoration and hydration no matter the season. Whether you’ve had a long day at the office, you’re suffering from dry flip-flop feet, or you’re trying to break in a new pair of heels, there is nothing a DIY at-home foot scrub can’t Read more

GR8SKN Acne Spot Treatment

Teen skin issues are in full force in my house. Thankfully my sons have taken an interest in caring for their skin and always come to me with questions about how to clear up blemishes, moisturize and cleanse their skin, and for my oldest, asked my husband to show Read more

Lemon Ginger Lavender Spa Elixir

With the change of season it takes an extra dose of effort (and nutrients) to ward off dreaded colds. The Umstead Hotel and Spa (Cary, N.C.) is treating spa guests to a soothing seasonal Lemon Ginger Lavender Elixir that will be more pleasant on the palate than cough syrup! Chef Greg Gettles shares his recipe for a refreshing, Read more

NEOVA Copper Moisture Mask

Copper has many skin care benefits including the promotion of collagen and elastin production, as well as acting as an antioxidant. Copper peptides help to firm, smooth and soften skin, and it's said that copper can accomplish it in half the time compared to most other anti-aging skin care Read more

Facial

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

Breathe Salon and Day Spa Facial Review

Review by Courtney Smith

You should get a facial,” I would hear my sister-in-law say to me over the past few years, “they are so great, so relaxing.”  It sounded nice, but other than imagining mud plastered over my face, I really did not know what a facial was or what kind of benefits to expect from getting one.  Low and behold as I made my daily drive past Breathe Salon and Spa of Lansdale, PA I noticed a big sign that hung promoting anti-aging facials. Weeks away from thirty-five and with enough fine lines on my face to show it, anti-aging sounded fantastic to me.

I have had the pleasure of enjoying Breathe Salon and Spa’s knock out cut and colors in the past and thought this would be a terrific opportunity to explore one more, of the many, self-care aspects that the salon and spa has to offer.  Per usual the staff was friendly and welcoming, the environment was creatively inspiring and offered a sense of serenity, and upon meeting Maureen Barnes, Breathe’s premier certified Esthetician, who is filled with 20 years of cosmetology wisdom, I was provided with a tour of the room where my facial would be done, as well as educated on what to expect from our time together.  Maureen displayed confidence, professional and practical knowledge, and her presence emitted calm energy that placed me in a mood of ease for the hour we spent together. She was able to answer all my questions and then some and offered me some simple tips to assist me in dealing with the season’s harsh effects on my skin and for my my anti-aging  (appearance) journey.   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, salon, skin care, Spa 1 Comment

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

Spa Review: Sphatika

As a beauty lover, I’ve been to a good amount of spas. There are the boujis, “better than you” spas, the super-busy “get your facial and get out” spas, and your standard but efficient salon/spa combination. Once in awhile, however, a girl is lucky enough to come across a spa or treatment that is a true standout, one that makes her feel special, relaxed, at peace. For me, that spa was Sphatika in NYC.

A tranquil oasis conveniently tucked behind a Starbucks in Columbus Circle, Sphatika is a truly a hidden gem.

Sphatika takes a holistic, sensory approach to the entire spa experience. All spas are meant to make you feel beautiful, but Sphatika places a very special emphasis on treating the whole you “mind, body, and soul.” Their welcoming staff encourages you to create an intention for your visit, one that you have a chance to reflect upon during your personal sauna that kicks off your treatment session.   Read more

Posted on by Amanda Huggins in anti-aging, beauty, skin care, Spa Leave a comment

NuFace Lifting and Toning Facial at The Woodhouse Day Spa, Kingston PA

I am a big believer in monthly facials. I wasn’t gifted with perfect skin and in order to keep a younger looking appearance sans plastic surgery, taking care of my skin is a priority. I love going to The Woodhouse Day Spa in Kingston, PA (and there are others around the country too) and have had their Four-Handed Massage and Minkyti Facial before, so I was all for experiencing something new. As I just turned 37, I became most interested in a new facial they are performing there involving the NuFace toning device. I’ve heard a lot about NuFace and I’m familiar with microcurrent technology, so I was ready to see if it would work for me.

This facial starts off like any other facial at The Woodhouse Day Spa, using products from Amala skincare to cleanse and exfoliate (from the Rejuvenate collection), then NuFace’s Conductivity Gel is applied. As the esthetician smoothed the NuFace device ($325) on the right hand side of my face and under my chin, I felt absolutely nothing. I even began to wonder if it was on, assuming I was supposed to feel my skin tingling. However, once she got near my hair line, especially my eyebrows, that’s when I began to feel a tinge here and there. Whenever you are getting a facial (or any spa treatment) it’s good to speak up if you feel any discomfort so that the treatment can be adjusted. Once I told my esthetician that I was feeling small pin pricks, she applied more gel and that remedied the situation.

The esthetician moves the device with the contour of your face and the microcurrent is delivered to lift and firm the skin. As we age, we lose about 1% of our skin’s elasticity each year. So if you want to avoid going under the knife, this is a great way to reprogram your muscles. (I asked if it would work on my chest too, but she just laughed. I was serious though!)

After about 10-15 minutes of using the device, she then spritzed my face with the Optimizing Mist and applied Amala’s Rejuvenating Face Cream. I was told that it takes about 8 treatments to see a complete difference, then maintenance with the device about 1-2 times per week. However, I did notice that my skin felt a bit tighter, especially above my eyebrows and in between them. I had the esthetician take a before and after picture and you can see that the wrinkle I have between my eyebrows is much less and that the skin above my eyebrows does appear to pull them up slightly.


While I didn’t purchase NuFace (the kit is about $325) I was still happy with the results. The facial itself is $70. What do you think? Have you tried NuFace for yourself?

If you are local here in Northeast PA, please visit The Woodhouse Day Spa via their website or Facebook fan page. If you happen to book a spa treatment, let them know you heard about them from A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Not local? You can still find The Woodhouse Day Spa nearest you by visiting their corporate website.

Ps. They sell Farmhouse Fresh products in their boutique! I’ve tried their Honey Heel Glaze….AMAZING.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, Pocono Spas & Salons, skin care, Spa 5 Comments