#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

hair color

Find the Perfect Hair Color

How to Choose the Right Hair Color #haircaretips #Haircare

If you’re anything like me, whether you’re searching for the right shade to color your hair at home or to request of your hairstylist at the salon, seeking the perfect hair color is a priority. (There was this one time when my hair wound up a weird shade of red….) But it goes beyond finding the right color by simply saying, “I like this shade of red.”

According to Patrick McIvor, expert hair colorist and Artistic and TechniCultural Director for Goldwell/KMS California, to find the perfect color, three factors must always be considered. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care 2 Comments

eSalon Offers Salon Quality Hair Color at Home

eSalon Home Hair Coloring Kit

The scenario: Your bank account gives you a firm NO to getting your next hair color done at your favorite salon, so you head down to your local drugstore and browse the home hair color aisle. All of the models on the package look amazing. You SO want hair color like that. You grab a few locks of your hair and try to find the perfect “before” match on the back of the box so that you can accurately predict what color your hair will likely ending up looking like “after.” On occasion you find yourself asking complete strangers, “Do you think this hair color will look good on me?” To which they usually smile, nod and say, “Yes,” only to quickly leave the aisle so that you won’t ask them anymore questions that you’ll expect them to be an expert at. Because clearly, they are not (unless that’s Ted Gibson in the aisle with you, which is highly unlikely.) Read more

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

Touchback Plus Instant Color Renewal Review

Touchback Plus Instant Color Renewal #Review Many of us go out of our way to make sure our skin is protected from the sun, but it never dawned on me until now that our hair needs some protection too. Touchback Plus has a system of dual UVA/UVB protective shampoos and conditioners that are just that … sunscreen for your hair! The system helps to maintain your hair’s color and prevent fading, while also hydrating.

In addition to providing sunscreen protection, TouchBack Plus Instant Color Renewal shampoo and conditioner actually improves the condition and health of your hair, delivering smoothing and reparative benefits to dry, damaged strands, so you can enjoy your time in the sun without damaging your hair. Read more

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

Aveda Clove Color Conditioner Review

Whenever I can do something, anything, that will lengthen the time in between beauty services, I am all about it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love receiving any and all types of beauty services…the dreaded bikini wax included, but I never enjoy receipt of the bill for said services. I am always in search of a way to make my services last longer so as to go into the spa/salon less frequently.  My latest beauty budget friendly discovery is Aveda Clove Color Conditioner.

This conditioner is a color enhancing conditioner, so it conditions your hair while rejuvenating and refreshing your color at the same time. The Clove Conditioner is supposed to enrich warm tones in medium brown hair, but I have dark brown hair and it worked just fine with my hair color.  My color looked a lot richer and my hair was super shiny and soft.  The scent is pretty great too, the only drawback of this conditioner was that it does get messy in the shower and my fingers were a bit stained after using it. If you have a white shower, don’t be alarmed as it washes away pretty easily with soap and water…and it is after all a color conditioner.  Read more

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

How to Make Hair Color Last Longer



Why spend money coloring your hair if you’re only going to use products that fade your color instantly?

In my latest hair care video, I give 4 tips to extend the life of your hair color, along with my favorite sulfate-free shampoos, conditioners, dry shampoos and styling balm. These tips are applicable regardless of season, because I don’t know about you, but I color my hair all year long (gotta hide those greys!Read more

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Hair Care: Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme

The highlights I regretted

It’s my typical hair care ritual every late Spring into Summer to highlight my hair. I’d usually go to the salon, but unfortunately my favorite stylist moved to a salon down in Philadelphia. So I ventured into CVS and grabbed a frosting kit that said it would give me caramel highlights…which really turned out bottle blonde. (And I kind of overdid how many highlights I’d have.) Needless to say, I wasn’t too excited about how I looked–even my kids told me they liked my hair better just plain old brown. How boring.

I waited about a month hoping the color would grow on me, but it never did. So back I went to CVS, this time picking up Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme in Cocoa Bean. I knew I was taking a chance dying my hair brown over the blonde, but was tired of looking kind of ruddy that I didn’t really care. Have you ever felt that way?  Read more

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

Hair Color & Cut at Lotus Salon at The Lodge at Woodloch

It’s no secret that the Poconos has an amazing destination spa tucked away in the hills of Hawley, PA: The Lodge at Woodloch. I’ve been to The Lodge at Woodloch several times and have had the pleasure of experiencing a facial, massage, pedicure, enjoying a weekend getaway with my boyfriend golfing and kayaking, makeup consultation with Christopher Drummond in their boutique and last week for the launch of their renovated Lotus Salon, along with the newest addition of Master Stylist Christine Lafferty, I headed up for a much needed hair color and cut.

First of all, while the spa may tend to be on the pricey side (it is a luxury spa after all) the Lotus Salon’s prices fall in line with what most hair salons in the area charge. So if you’ve been hesitant to try them out, put your wallet woes to rest. Lotus Salon uses Wella hair care products for color, which I have had a very good experience with in the past when I previously went to Salon L’Etoile in Jenkintown, PA. Christine used a demi-permanent color on me with a color lock. They also use Alterna (the LOVE of my life) and Moroccanoil (love their anti-frizz and hairspray) hair products.

Christine is amazing. She listens to what you want, skillfully cuts your hair all while engaging with you like you’ve been lifelong friends. And there’s nothing fake about it–Christine is super personable and it makes you want to hang out with her. But I’ve found that of most of the staff at The Lodge; just real, down to earth people (which essentially is what the Poconos is about–a truly hometown feel.) Christine previously had an upscale salon in Boston, but came back to Northeast PA when a family member was dying from ovarian cancer. Since then, she decided to remain in the area and landed at The Lodge at Woodloch (they are lucky to have her!)

Loved the outcome of my hair! Have you experienced the Lotus Salon, or any of the spa treatments, at The Lodge at Woodloch? To view all of their offerings see their website at www.thelodgeatwoodloch.com.

*Disclosure

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care, Pocono Spas & Salons, salon Leave a comment

Hair Color Review: John Frieda Precision Foam Colour



We’re heading into the colder months, which typically means making the switch from highlighted hair to warmer tones. My natural hair color is dark brown, but typically I lighten or highlight it in the summer months. Being that it is only 6 weeks until Christmas, getting my hair colored at the salon was not in my wallet’s vocabulary, so I opted to color my hair at home. I made my way to CVS and decided upon John Frieda’s Precision Foam Colour. I went with 4BG  (Dark Chocolate Brown.)

My highlighted hair before, colored immediately after and results 1 week later.

I have to say, I don’t typically read the warnings on home hair coloring kits because I have been coloring my hair since I was 13 and they typically all say the same thing. However, I noticed John Frieda’s included some things I have never seen before like you need to remove all accessories you are wearing and cannot use metal tools. Since there seems to be an issue with metal, I assumed that the accessories they meant were jewelry.  So I removed my earrings. It also says you shouldn’t use this product if you have a temporary black Henna tattoo, as it is likely to increase an allergy risk. If you wear contacts, you need to remove them also…however I’m not sure how you could put on your glasses since you can’t have metal around. If you’ve colored your hair previously with compound hennas, metallic dyes or color restorers you have to wait until your hair has grown out and then cut.

And don’t try to put the foam on your eyelashes or eyebrows because it may cause blindness.

So, basically, by the time I was done reading that I was freaked out. Then I went on to read how to mix the product. It says you cannot shake the mix (you need to gently tilt it 5 times,) you cannot use the pump but instead have to squeeze the bottle to make the foam come out of the pump…which is psychologically confusing because you are holding a bottle with a pump…that you cannot pump. The bottle needs to remain upright at all times and you can only apply the foam to your hands first (in gloves of course) and not directly onto your hair.

So basically I felt I was going to mess this up big time.

Application was tricky because the instructions state that you cannot get the foam on your face or ears at all. My hair is shoulder length, so good luck with that Shannon! Trying to prevent the foam from touching my skin, while trying to keep the bottle upright and not pump it was like playing a game of Twister.  Additionally your hair needs to be “frothy” with foam in order to be “done.” Ok, guess what? Foam evaporates or absorbs into your hair. Especially if you have long-ish hair and are trying to make sure you get each section equally. Wait time from this point is 30 minutes.

I rinsed my hair, applied the conditioner, rinsed that out after 3 minutes and then blew it dry. I was pleasantly surprised with the color. I loved it. Tweeted about it. My 7 year old snapped my pic for me and I was happy I was still alive with great looking hair.

Fast forward 1 week and while my hair is still brown, as you can see from the picture…the color has significantly faded. Ugh. I do not wash my hair everyday, in fact I usually only wash it every other day. I also used sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, so I know it wouldn’t have been the culprit to strip my hair color. I also hadn’t washed my hair 24 hours before applying the foam as the instructions stated and I did not have any product build-up to prevent the color from adhering.

So was it worth it to save myself the $60-$75 of coloring my hair at the salon? Not really.

Have you used John Frieda’s Precision Foam? I’d like to hear about your experience (good or bad.)

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care 12 Comments

Rita Hazan Root Concealer: Banish Roots & Grays with Just a Spritz!

As someone who has a tried-and-true hairstyle that doesn’t quite come naturally (in other words, plenty of products, irons, and time spent in front of the mirror are often required,) I’ve definitely become a lover of quick hair fixes. Dry shampoo for greasy bangs, root-lifting spray for limp second-day washes, etc. — if it’s a shortcut that will preserve my ‘do and save me some precious time, consider me a fan.

You can also add Rita Hazen Root Concealer to the list of convenient hair-savers — with a quick spray to your grays or pesky growing-in roots, this handy color-reviver disguises your discolored ‘do while you wait to pencil in your next touch-up, and stays put until you wash it out. While I have yet to try it myself, I’m fascinated by the advanced color technology that it boasts — with only 4 broad shades to choose from (blonde, red/auburn, light brown, and dark brown/black), this product claims to have any shade covered and blended seamlessly so well that even you might forget that you’re in dire need of a touch-up!

- Alex Gambardella

*Guest beauty post for A Girl’s Gotta Spa! from my friends at TheFind.com.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in Hair Care Leave a comment

A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Hair Makeover for Fall at Salon A.K.S.

A Girl's Gotta Spa! Before at Salon A.K.S.After getting my summer hair coloring at Salon L’etoile, those pesky UV rays had their way with me over the weeks that followed bringing out more of my highlights and lightening my hair considerably. When I went to NYC to attend Cocktails & Couture during fashion week 2 weeks ago, I decided it was time for the hair color switch to fall. I was looking to get back to my dark brown hair color and visited Salon A.K.S. on 5th Avenue to help me with my transformation. With the capable hands of hair colorist, Selma Aktas, and co-owner Alain Pinon working the scissors, I walked away a very happy customer.

I explained to Selma that I wanted my hair darker and she flipped my hair over looking right at the roots. She explained that she didn’t want to go darker than my original hair color and I agreed. I have to mention the sink for washing and conditioning because typically this is the most uncomfortable part of getting my hair done. You know when you lay uncomfortably into the sink? Well the lip of the sink somehow conforms to your neck, so there is no awkward arching or pressure on the back of your neck. I could simply do the one thing I like to do most—relax.  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care, salon 2 Comments