Clear, Glowing Skin with SheaMoisture Mud Masks

In the skin department, Summer usually means oilier than normal skin for me. Which also means clogged pores, and at times, acne prone skin accompanied by dehydrated and irritated skin thanks to time spent in the sun and insane amounts of sunscreen. One of the best ways that I deal with summer skin Read more

Try These 3 Sulfate Free Body Washes That Still Lather

It's a common beauty myth - switch to a sulfate free body wash and you have to give up that luxurious lather that makes pampering so much fun. But it's not true. Sure, you won't be able to bury yourself under a mountain of bubbles, but you don't have to Read more

How To Lighten Your Hair #MyOliaStory

I'm sharing #MyOliaStory as part of a Garnier sponsored series for Socialstars™ Taking your hair color from dark to light is a not something that can be done in a day. Well, at least not when you are doing it on your own at home. You want to be really Read more

Citrus Crumble Cookie Bars Recipe

What a way to treat yourself! Delicious, soft cookie bars topped with citrus marmalade, made with orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit essences, and of course, topped with sweet, crispy crumble. Hello everyone! It’s so nice to meet all of you, friends of A Girl’s Gotta Spa! I'm Lyuba and I Read more

Improve Your Brow Game with Chella

My brows are sparse and basically non-existent in some spots. They also do this caterpillar ish from years of plucking the wrong way when I was younger. I've considered getting permanent makeup with a brow tattoo, but to be honest, I'm not a fan of needles (which is also the Read more

Hair Care

How To Lighten Your Hair #MyOliaStory

I’m sharing #MyOliaStory as part of a Garnier sponsored series for Socialstars™

How to lighten your hair via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

Taking your hair color from dark to light is a not something that can be done in a day. Well, at least not when you are doing it on your own at home. You want to be really careful with dyeing your hair so as not to over-process it and cause any damage. When done correctly, you can end up with gorgeous hair at a fraction of the cost at the salon.

You just have to follow directions and need a little patience (enjoy the Guns and Roses earworm.)

I have dark brown hair, but I’ve been wanting to go lighter. Not blonde, but a much lighter brown, because I want to stick with something natural looking that won’t contrast with my skin tone in a negative way.

I’ve made that mistake before. I’ve dyed my hair red, I’m dyed my hair so black that it had hues of blue/purple and I’ve “frosted” (OMG so 80s) my hair. Red brought out the ruddiness in my skin. Black made me look goth (not my style, but it may be yours) and frosted looked more like I just randomly threw bleach in my hair (i.e. it looked like straw) and made my skin look sallow. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, DIY Beauty, Hair Care 11 Comments

Getting My Hair Summer-Ready #MyOliaStory #Ad

Disclosure: I’m sharing #MyOliaStory as part of a Garnier® sponsored series for Socialstars™ The fabulous hair color is all mine.

Shiny, healthy hair with Garnier Olia via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

Keeping my hair color vibrant, healthy looking… and most of all, covering the grays, is important to me. It feels like post-pregnancy that the gray hair is coming out in full force. I don’t want to look older than I am, so I have no shame in dying my hair.

4 weeks ago I gave Garnier Olia® a try in 6.0 Light Brown, as my goal is to start stepping down to a lighter color by Summer. A few years ago I frosted my hair blonde. Yes, you heard that right – frosted. So 80’s. And my hair totally looked the part. It was unnatural looking and I couldn’t wait for it to grow out.

This time I’m doing it right and taking it slowly instead of just diving in. My 14 year old had to learn the hard way recently when he wanted to dye his hair blue. He has dark brown hair like me and thought he’d be blonde in a matter of 30 minutes. That was a whole lot of nope. His hair turned an orangey yellow and once he added the blue… he was green.

Love my hair color with Garnier Olia via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

My hair color has held up well, as has the shine. It’s still a nice shade for the Spring and something I can step myself up to for Fall once I’ve gotten as close to a light golden brown as I can get without being too brassy for Summer. With 100% gray coverage, my grays are still nicely concealed. My hair doesn’t feel dry and is still soft to the touch.100% gray coverage with Garnier Olia via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

In a few weeks it will be time to color my hair again with Garnier® Olia® and I’ll be trying to take it a shade lighter. I’m thinking I might also chop my locks for some added effect. Maybe an angled bob or lob. I’ve had both, and to be honest I prefer to have long hair. But I just keep can’t seem to make it work and my hair tends to always be in a ponytail. One thing I can say, is that since coloring my hair, I’ve been curling my hair more often to show off how great my hair looks.

Best hair color to cover gray via @agirlsgottaspa #MyOliaStory #sponsored

Please check out my Garnier® Olia® review – I’d love to hear if you’ve used Olia® and/or if you’ll be changing up your hair color now that Summer is almost here!

Be sure to also follow Garnier® on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, Hair Care Leave a comment

Spa-Like Hair with Pai-Shau

Spa-like hair care from Pai-Shau - love it! via @agirlsgottaspa

This is likely the only time where you hear me rave about tea. I’m your coffee-obsessed kind of girl, but this hair care line by Pai-Shau based on a proprietary blend of concentrated steeped teas, is making my life right now.

Pai-Shau is a vegan and cruelty free hair care line that marries an ancient bathing ritual from Vietnam with modern day science. I received Pai-Shau’s Replenishing Hair Cleanser and Supreme Revitalizing Mask (from their Hydrating Ritual) and Biphasic Infusion (from their Enhance Ritual) to review.

Having never heard of this brand, I held no expectations – which honestly, is the best thing to have, because I was totally WOWED. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care 4 Comments

Mitch Stone Essentials Giveaway

@mitchstonehair #giveaway via @agirlsgottaspa

Remember how much I raved about Mitch Stone Essentials Texturizing Spray for beachy waves and volume? Well now you have the opportunity to try to win it, along with Mitch Stone Essentials Lustre Drops and Session Spray! (2 other products I really love!)

Dates of entry are February 23, 2016 at 12am EST until  March 1, 2016 at 11:59pm EST. ARV is $56. Please read the fine print at the bottom because that’s important too.

Check out Mitch Stone Essentials social media:

Twitter
Instagram
YouTube
Facebook Read more

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

Tips for Gray Hair #GrayAway

Tips for gray hair (ways to slow it down or cover it up!) via @agirlsgottaspa @grayawayeverpro

I hate to break it to you, but eventually gray hair will rule your mane. Chances are, if you are reading this article, you already know this to be true.

When we go gray, and how much, is a mix of genetics and lifestyle. So while you may not be able to avoid it, you can slow it down or simply cover it up.

Slow Gray Hair Growth with Vitamins and Minerals:
Eating healthy benefits you in more ways than one, and that includes gray hair! When you have a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals, it can not only affect the strength and sheen of your hair, but your hair color, as well. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, Hair Care, Health 1 Comment

Voluminous Beach Wave Hair




How to get beach wavy hair and volume with @mitchstonehair

Little did I know when growing up on the beaches of Rhode Island, that the wavy hair that came naturally among the sand and surf, would be a hairstyle I would try so hard to achieve as an adult.

While my hair does have a slight natural wave to it, it’s not really the kind that magazine hair is made of. Pinterest is full of how to get beach wavy hair tutorials that include curling wands, flat irons and braiding your hair before bed… but let me be honest with you, I prefer to do some things the easy way. Who has time for all of that? Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care 17 Comments

Makeup Wars: KEUNE So Pure (and so awesome)




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Keune So Pure hair care review via @agirlsgottaspa

KEUNE’s So Pure products should simply be called “bottle of awesome.” I had never tried this line prior to being sent them a few months ago, and I was skeptical that anything could combat my scalp issue at the time. All I can say is, scalp dryness and flaking? GONE.

I’ve been on the hunt for a while for a good scalp exfoliator, especially one that is cruelty free. And let’s get real, I don’t really have the time or energy these days to whip up a good DIY. When I learned about KEUNE’s So Pure Exfoliating Shampoo, I was intrigued. Its main ingredients are tea tree oil, lavender, coconut and argan oil. It aims to remove build up, relieve itching and prevent future flaking. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care 7 Comments

HASK Beauty

Hask Beauty Macadamia Oil hair care review via @agirlsgottaspa

Anyone who is of mixed ethnicities knows how hard it is to find shampoos and conditioners for our hair types. I’m always on the look out for products that will keep my hair healthy, smooth, moisturized and soft. My mixed ethnicity (Afro-Guyanese, Indonesian, Amerindian and Portuguese), sometimes makes it difficult to find a product that works well for my hair type. Although my hair is thick and coarse, most products that are extra moisturizing tend to leave my hair oily and flat or sometimes even adds more frizz and leaves it feeling dry. Not so with HASK products! Read more

Posted on by Mandy Lewis in beauty, Hair Care 1 Comment

Best Products for Curly Hair

These products will get you the BEST curls! via @agirlsgottaspa #beauty
Looking to embrace your natural curls? I’ve been on the hunt to find the best products for curly hair since forever. Below are some amazing curly hair products that I recently had the chance to test out:

One of my favorite curly hair product lines is called The Gold System, which was developed by Oprah Winfrey’s longtime hair stylist, Andre Walker. The Gold System contains a series of products specially designed for naturally curly hair. These products work together to create gorgeous curls without having to go to a salon.  The Gold System products include; the Ultimate Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo, TKO Ultimate Moisture Conditioner, Beautiful Kinks Styling Crème Gelee and Get It Straight Styling Crème.  Combined together, the Ultimate Moisture Sulfate Free Shampoo, TKO Ultimate Moisture Conditioner, Beautiful Kinks Styling Crème Gelee left my curls moisturized, shiny, defined, bouncy and frizz free.  I will say that a little of the Beautiful Kinks Styling Crème Gelee goes a long way. I used the Get It Straight Styling Crème to blow dry my hair and this product was also a wonder! It took my curly hair to straight with shine, body and frizz free yet still looking and feeling healthy and moisturized. Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, Hair Care Leave a comment

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

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#HeartMyHair Twitter Party

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 Infiniti Pro 3Q hair dryer, and giving you a chance to win prizes!

Whether you have long or mid-length hair, switching up the way you style your hair can take a drab hairstyle to fab. From decreasing frizz with the type of hair dryer you use to giving your hair volume (and life!) with a curling iron, having great hairstyling tools at your disposal are key to a good hair day. I cannot wait for this Twitter party because I think most of us always welcome hair advice! Come chat with us if that’s your passion too! Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care, Twitter Party 1 Comment