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

makeup reviews

bareMinerals bareSkin Foundation Review

@bareminerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation #review #beauty #makeup

The bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation appears to be a love it or hate it type of product. I’ve been using it as my only foundation for a few months now and there are some definite pros and cons. But are the cons enough to make me ditch it? I’m undecided until I see how it functions when my skin changes due to the elements of winter.

In total transparency, I have never used a foundation from bareMinerals before, so I can’t really compare this to the coverage their other foundations provide. However, since it is a liquid foundation, I’ve used plenty of those like LORAC’s POREfection Foundation and Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Foundation, so I know what I’m looking for in comparison. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, foundation, Makeup, makeup tips 6 Comments

Butter LONDON Wink Eye Pencil Twigged Review

butter LONDON Wink #review #beauty

Don’t you just LOVE when you try something new and then that’s the very thing you get complimented on all day long? That’s always the #1 way I know I’m onto something good.

The very first day I took Butter LONDON’s new Wink Eye Pencil in Twigged ($18) for a spin, two ladies in the office asked, “Are you doing something new with your eye makeup?” My usual look is a little black eyeliner on my lid with some eye shadow and mascara, but on this day, I used some blended and smudged Twigged on my lower lash line and a little bit smeared inward from the corner of my upper lash line. Read more

Posted on by AmandaOnAir in beauty, eyeliner, Makeup Leave a comment

Koh Gen Do Fresh Face Cheek Color

Ever since an amazing makeup artist in Minneapolis used Koh Gen Do Cosmetics on me for a shoot, I have been obsessed.  The Moisture Foundation and Face Powder both felt really light, gentle and incredibly luxurious on my skin and my face looked uber flawless and amazing. A few weeks ago I noticed that Koh Gen Do was on Hautelook so I figured it was the perfect time for me to try the Fresh Face cheek color.

The Fresh Face cheek color has the most perfect packaging.  It is just absolutely gorgeous, yet simple and sophisticated.  The Fresh Face cheek color itself  is just heavenly! It just glided on my skin like a dream.  It felt silky, soft, smooth and positively splendid.  It left my cheeks with color that truly looked like it was radiating from within, just as if I were actually blushing or had just come back in from being out in the cold.  In addition to gorgeous color, the Fresh Face cheek color also gave my skin the most lovely glow. Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, blush Leave a comment

Review: e.l.f. Essential Flawless Eyeshadow

Steps 1, 2, and 3 of e.l.f.'s Essential Flawless Eyeshadow application.

I’m usually a sucker for a low price point, but any $6.00 foundation or $1.00 lip gloss immediately has me questioning the product’s quality.  For this reason, I’ve always been skeptical of e.l.f. makeup. In my mind, it seems nearly impossible for a company to sell a truly great product at such a low price point.

This week, I decided to give e.l.f.’s Essential Flawless Eyeshadow compact in “Sea Escape” a go (in spite of my own skepticism).  Truly, the name says it all: this palette is absolutely foolproof and yields flawless results.

Each color section is labeled (base, lid, crease, liner) for seamless application, the soft powder goes on smooth, and the colors are crisp.  This definitely isn’t a  shadow compact designed for 16-hour wear, but  it does the job for a few hours of  amazing color. Of course, using a lid primer prior to application will help the color stay on dramatically longer than it would otherwise.  Read more

Posted on by Amanda Huggins in beauty, eye shadow, Makeup Leave a comment

Makeup Review: Boots 17 Falsifeye Mascara

I am a mascara addict. If there is one thing I will not leave the house without, it is a quick coat of mascara on my lashes. I’m fine with nothing else on my face. So I am always happy to be given the chance to try out any new mascara that comes onto the market and was therefore excited when I received a tube of Boots 17′s Falsifeye mascara, having heard good things about the product itself and already loving the brand anyway.

Falsifeye claims to “create wow effect eyelashes.”

I gave the mascara its first real outing for brunch with my girlfriends. Wearing nothing else on my face, just a lick of blackest black mascara. The brush is pretty big and looks like a mass of unruly bristles when covered in mascara but I wasn’t deterred and I was pleasantly surprised by the look it created: My lashes were left defined and curled* right to my little lashes at either side.


For a mascara that comes in at under a tenner I’d say I’ll be buying it again! Which is your go-to budget mascara? Or are you only a top dollar girl when it comes to your lashes?

Thank you to Shannon for letting me loose on her blog again!

You can find my beauty blog at http://the-eyeofthebeholder.tumblr.com and my fashion and lifestyle blog here http://sugar-and-spice.com.

*I should add, I do use a curler too as my lashes are flat, flat, flat!

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Makeup, mascara 2 Comments