Probiotic Skin Care: Miracle Ingredient or Marketing Hype?

As a consumer, my hope is that when a product comes to market, it delivers information that is true. I mean, we're all so busy, who has the time to fact check everything? For a while, we all believed the mascara commercials and ads where the spokesperson/model had the most Read more

Tips for Gray Hair #GrayAway

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 Read more

Charcoal Skin Care Products for Acne Prone Skin

Do you have oily or combination skin? You may want to consider incorporating charcoal into your skin care regimen. Sure, charcoal is totally on trend right now and may seem like a fad, but it's for good reason. Charcoal absorbs oil and draws out toxins and bacteria from the skin. Those Read more

Voluminous Beach Wave Hair

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, Read more

Must Have Airplane-Friendly Beauty Products

The holiday travel season is officially upon us so I've decided to share some of my favorite travel friendly beauty products in hopes that it will make this holiday travel season a bit less stressful...and germ free. 1. Farmaesthetics Cool Aloe Mist This spritz is ideal for air travel because it Read more

Lip balm

Therapy Systems ‘Even Better Than Lips’ Seriously Addictive Lip Balm

Every avid beauty collector has at least one product they can’t live without. Whether it’s your favorite moisturizer, a concealer that tops all the rest, or the best mascara that seems to completely transform your face, every gal’s got something they stock up on religiously and keep in every purse, pocket, or car compartment! That product for me is Therapy Systems‘ Even Better Than Lips lip balm. Made from 100% natural ingredients, this bad boy soothes and moisturizes (no matter how chapped my pucker is), and doesn’t feel too heavy or waxy.   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Makeup Leave a comment

What’s in My Summer Makeup Bag? e.l.f. Lotion Wipes and Clinique Chubby Stick

Summer Makeup Bag: Clinique Chubby Stick and e.l.f. Lotion Wipes
As much as I enjoy playing with makeup, one of the reasons I adore summer so much is because I don’t need to wear as much product as I do during the colder months.  Thanks to a (very gentle) kiss from the sun, my skin is clearer, allowing me to nix foundation, concealer, and bronzer.

On days when I dare to go especially bare, I pack only the essentials in my beach bag.  Aside from a standard SPF 45 and a sun hat (must haves!), there are two secret weapons I’ve yet to leave home without this summer.

The first: tinted lip balm. After floating from brand to brand, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Clinique’s Chubby Stick. The tried-and-true classic packs a triple punch with a kiss of color, SPF 15, and serious moisturizing properties.  I’m a personal fan of the “Chunky Cherry” shade, but the color is so subtle that almost any shade will do the trick.  Read more

Posted on by Amanda Huggins in beauty, lip gloss, Makeup, skin care, Summer Beauty, Travel Beauty Leave a comment

Lip Care: Besame Sweetheart Balm

I used to absolutely LOVE lip balms, but the older I get the more I seem to shy away from them.  I guess I just have memories of lip balms being really thick and sticky with overwhelmingly sweet fruity scents and somewhat childish packaging… I had apparently missed the boat on Bésame Sweetheart Balms.  This balm is nothing like the lip balms I have used in the past.  It is really moisturizing and conditioning without being  thick and sticky.  The Tangerine Sweetheart Balm smells like tangerines, but is not overpoweringly fruity, the scent is actually pretty refreshing.  I am absolutely in love with the sheer color of the balm, it’s a very flattering reddish coral shade.  The packaging is also quite beautiful, it’s apparent that a lot of detail went into the packaging of this balm.  It is pretty and feminine with just a touch of glamour.

Everything about Bésame Sweetheart Balm appealed to me, from the scent to the packaging to the feel and color.  I would not be surprised if while wearing this balm my boyfriend is tempted to sneak in some extra besos…

Have you tried this lip balm or any other products from Bésame?


Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, lip gloss, Makeup Leave a comment

For Dry, Chapped Lips Try These Lip Balms

These are just some of the lip balms I’m carrying around in my handbag right now. For one, winter always wreaks havoc on my lips, even though this hasn’t been much of a winter here in Northeast PA. Warm one day and then freezing rain the next…my skin is going a little crazy. Second, I love that none of these lip balms smell alike. I adore scented lip products and depending on the kind of mood I’m in, each of the lip balms pictured always suits me perfectly.

eos Smooth Lip Balm Sphere: Not only do I love the scent of this pink sphere (Strawberry Sorbet), my 4 year old Brody, loves it too…and has been known to sneak some when I am not looking. It’s comprised of shea butter and Vitamin E. It’s 95% organic and 100% natural. It gives long lasting hydrating and I LOVE it.

NouriSHEA Lip Balm: This is another 100% organic shea butter and essential oil lip balm. The scent is Mango, which I typically don’t tend to gravitate to, however, it does smell good and the lip balm is very moisturizing.

Pacifica Coconut Pearls Luminizing Lip Quench: This is by far my favorite of the bunch.  It is 100% vegan and uses coconut oil, avocado oil, cocoa seed oil and Vitamin E to nourish dry, cracked lips. It gives a beautiful iridescent sheen to your lips as well, so many times it doubles as my “lip gloss.” The coconut fragrance is heaven. This is also a very large lip balm and has lasted me about 8 months so far (it looks like I’ve barely used it!)

Barista Bath and Body Indulgent Lip Balm: I love coffee. No, I mean I LOVE coffee. I have a Keurig that gets so much use, you’d think I’m the area Starbucks. I found Barista Bath and Body while at Cosmoprof North America last summer. They have a complete line of coffee-branded products, but froth is my favorite. It smells of peppermint and coffee, is vegan, and uses olive oil, shea butter and jojoba oil to moisturize the skin. Yum.

Not Soap, Radio lip balm: The bottom two pictured are lip balms from Not Soap, Radio. The first one, Cherry Cordial, is from their Cocoa Nostra Confectionery collection. It’s vegan, natural and contains cocoa and fruit extracts. Cherry Cordial smells of milk chocolate and cherries and is yet another lip balm Brody steals from me (who can blame him?) The second lip balm is You’re the Cutest from their Greeting Card collection. It’s hard to pin down exactly what flavor this is as it is different in every batch (according to their website), but the one I have tastes to be a strawberry-cherry combo. The greeting card lip balm has a little more weight and lasts longer than Cherry Cordial, but both serve their purpose.

Have you tried any of these lip balms? Which is your favorite?


Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, skin care 3 Comments

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

Review: Smith & Vandiver Aromatherapes Moisture Balm

So ladies, a lot of us love our ginormous purses.   What’s not to love…we can load them up with all those things we think that we “need” to carry around on a regular basis, they’re our fashionable security blanket.  But the days of lugging around everything but the kitchen sink in our purses seem to be coming to a very sad end.  It seems as though every  fashion magazine I flip through lately has been featuring a much less compact version of our favorite everyday suitcases.  These “new, fashionable” purses seem barely capable of holding  a respectably sized makeup bag much less my fold up flats in a bag, magazine, snacks, bottled water and change of clothes…  It looks as if  it’s about time to downsize and what better way to start the process  than by trimming my beauty products.

Although I knew I might face a few anxiety provoking moments while undergoing the trimming process, I was very unprepared for just how much trimming would be required to make the fit…no wonder we couldn’t find my younger brother, he was squatting at the bottom of my super sized hobo! The process was going to be tougher than I thought, but thankfully I had one product that made the process less painful, My Smith & Vandiver  Aromatherapaes All-Over Balms.  The balms come in a .5 ounce very easy to carry stick (very lip balm like) and are available in two aromatherapy blends; Sweet Orange and Vanilla for REFRESHING Moisture and Neroli and Lavender for SOOTHING Moisture.  Besides smelling great, not too heavy or cloying, but more natural and being the perfect size to fit into any sized purse and easy to carry, the balms are very moisturizing.  I use it on my hands, cuticles, lips sometimes, heels of my feet (especially on airplanes), to smooth flyaways …I use it just about everywhere and it works great on just about every part of the body.

I don’t know if it was the knowledge that I had an all over moisturizing product that would fit in my new teeny purse that erased my anxiety, or if it was the Neroli and Lavender essential oils in the Soothing Moisture Balm. Either way, the balm works great, smells great and can give me energy when I need it or relax me when I need it…fashion can be as fickle as it wants to be…carrying around my Aromatherapaes All-Over Balms shall remain a constant.

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

Review: glominerals The Mint Balm

One beauty product that we all seem to have in common, both men and women, is lip balm. Although there are a lot of my male friends, and family members, who do not consider lip balm to be a beauty product but as more of a necessity (sorry guys it may be a necessity, but it is also a beauty product.)

Lip balm is one of those products that most people refuse to leave home without and also own a lot of.  I know of quite a few people, myself included, that have a lip balm (or two) in their purses, cars, desk at work, pockets, gym bags etc.  Admit it, we are all crazy about our lip balms.  It is an easy impulse item to justify because they are fairly inexpensive and for some odd reason, much like socks, we tend to misplace them a lot…I blame this on the size, so it makes perfect sense to have multiple balms stashed EVERYWHERE (even then I always seen to lose them.) What if someone made a balm that wasn’t so teeny so it would last longer and be pretty difficult to misplace?

Well, someone did, and that (or those) someone(s) is glōminerals and the lip balm is called, the mint balm.  It comes in a stick that is .65 oz, most sticks of lip balms are .15 oz, so the mint balm is a little more than four times the size of most lip balms.  The mint balm of course has a minty fragrance (perfect if  you are out of breath mints or gum) and is really moisturizing but without feeling thick and goopy.  I love that my lips feel cool, tingly and refreshed after I apply the balm, a welcome sensation in the summer and especially in 95-100 degree temps.  In addition to the light feel of the balm, it is also perfect for summer because it contains SPF 15.  It is also great as an after sun treatment for your lips because it contains ingredients such as hemp seed oil, meadowfoam and mango seed butter, which soothe and heal.

If you are looking to experiment with different beauty products this summer, the mint balm is definitely a perfect one to start with.  It is inexpensive ( just $12) and works great.  I have had it now for one week and have not misplaced it once (a record for me.)  I am sure this will be the first lip balm that will see me through summer, into fall and winter…and quite possibly even through spring into summer of next year, and that I would not mind one bit…all the money I will save from sticking with one amazing lip balm can go towards experimenting with other beauty items…I am remaining loyal to this one.

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, mineral makeup 4 Comments

Review: beautyAddicts SweetLIPS Lip Gloss

I am addicted to lip glosses.  At any given moment if one were to inspect the contents of my purse, they would be sure to encounter at least six lip glosses…sometimes in different colors but mostly in varying shades of the same color.  I love how easy they are to apply, just swipe and go, to me there is no other make-up product that is as user friendly as a lip gloss.  I don’t have to be too precise with the application process, there is no blending required…basically there is no way I can go wrong with applying  lip gloss (I just wish this were true for eye shadow, eye liner…eye anything.)

However, as much as I adore lip glosses, there are some attributes of a gloss that are  major turnoffs.  Scent is a big one for me, overpowering aromas have the tendency to become irritating throughout the day (especially since someone decided to place  lips  right below the nostrils.)  Goopy, heavy glosses are also a pet peeve, especially when your hair gets stuck to your lips and removing it leaves gloss residue on varying parts of your face (I once greeted clients with a line of berry gloss on my cheeks.)  There are also a few other attributes such as; taste, container shape and size and hydration factor, but texture and scent will usually determine right away whether a gloss gets added to the collection or not.  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, lip gloss, Makeup Leave a comment

Review: Kaeline Argabaume Levres

kissable_lipsIf there is any one day in a calendar year that soft kissable lips are the most important, it would be Valentine’s Day. This winter has been brutal on the skin and chapped lips everywhere have abound. If you’ve been reading A Girl’s Gotta Spa! long enough, you’ll know I am quite a fan of Kaeline Argatherapie. Argan Oil does wonders for the skin and replenishes the hydration your lips need to be kissably soft. Their newest lip balm, Argabaume Levres, not only provides nourishment via Argan Oil, but also shea butter and beeswax.

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, giveaway, holiday, skin care 3 Comments

Review: Einstein Cosmetics Lip Therapy

The nights are getting colder and soon enough we’ll be turning up the heat to keep warm this winter. Of course, along with that comes dry skin and of course, chapped lips. Einstein Cosmetics has two lip products to help keep you one step ahead of dry lips (which never look pretty no matter how much lipstick you apply) .

Einstein Cosmetics Cooling Relief Balm is deliciously scented. A combination of vanilla and mint provide a warm-cool sensation to your lips. The balm isn’t waxy feeling or tacky and it’s rich with cocoa butter and Vitamins A & E to intensely hydrate your lips.

Einstein Cosmetics Lip Therapy is quite an interesting creation. In the jar it is a cream that looks and feels like body lotion. It contains tiny yellow Vitamin C beads that first lead me to believe that this was an exfoliating cream rather than a lip product you wear. However, rubbing your lips together enough will slough off the dry skin and minimize the beads to a size that you can no longer feel them on your lips. The scent is very light and resembles a mint or eucalyptus fragrance. It surely makes your lips tingle and feel cool.

Both products kept my lips well moisturized; have you used these products? Let me know what you thought!


You may also like:
For Dry Chapped Lips, Try These Lip Balms
Besame Sweetheart Balm

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, lip balm 3 Comments