CIRCA Beauty

I absolutely love getting new makeup. Trying the different colors and products, choosing a favorite, bringing it home and opening that pretty new package. It's even better when I get something I haven't tried before. Like makeup from Circa Beauty, a cruelty free makeup line that's affordable, long wearing, trendy, Read more

Sunscreen Pills - Do They Really Work?

With increasing frequency, I'm finding that I'm getting pitched more often to review sunscreen pills and drinks. I am a true skeptic when it comes to replacing what I know already works (topical sunscreen), and has worked for YEARS, with something so new that claims the same benefits. So Read more

St. Ives Spray Lotion Review #LiveRadiantly

St. Ives recently sent me their continous spray lotion in Naturaly Indulgent Coconut Milk & Orchid Extract and the new Smooth & Glow Apricot Hydration Lotion. This is the first time I've ever tried a spray lotion and wasn't sure what to expect. Will it be similar to spray Read more

Sexy Stems Firming Self Tanner Giveaway

Tanned legs help to give the appearance of slim, flawless legs. There's nothing I love more, than to bare my legs in my favorite dress once they have a little bit of color to them. To kick off Summer, we've partnered with Sexy Stems Firming Self Tanner to give away Read more

1907 Alkaline Water Review

By now, we all know...or should know the health and beauty benefits of drinking water. Approximately 50 to 70% of our body mass is made up of water so it is important to replenish our bodies with the water that we lose on a daily basis. Water is essential to our health because Read more

makeup tips

Makeup Brush Cleaning Tips from Makeup Artist Lauren Snyder




Tips for cleaning your makeup brushes from makeup artist Lauren Synder via @agirlsgottaspa

One part of our beauty routine that we tend to neglect quite often is ensuring that our makeup brushes are kept clean and bacteria free.  Dirty makeup brushes can transfer old makeup, germs, and bacteria to your skin each time you use them, so it is important to regularly wash your brushes to get rid of buildup. As a bonus, washing your brushes also makes them work better as well.  When it comes to cleaning my makeup brushes I will be the first to admit that I am absolutely clueless, so I decided to consult with an expert and consulted LA based Makeup Artist Lauren Snyder for her tips on cleaning and caring for makeup brushes.

A Girl’s Gotta Spa!: What are some of your favorite makeup brush cleaning tricks? Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, beauty interview, Makeup, makeup tips Leave a comment

The Perfect Pink Lipsticks and Lip Glosses for Dark Skin

The perfect pink lipsticks and glosses for dark skin via @agirlsgottaspa

Sometimes with my dark skin tone, it can be a bit hard to find the right lip color, especially when it comes to pink. So I was super excited when I received several different shades of pink lip glosses and lipsticks from NARS, Mehron and Uslu Airlines.

I’m pretty sure a lot of you are familiar with the cult favorite NARS, but for those of you who has never heard of Mehron or Uslu Airlines, here’s a teeny bit about these brands. Uslu Airlines is a Berlin based brand that was created by a Turkish makeup artist and German entrepreneur. The most advanced components are used and their products and colors have fun airport names using the global aviation 3-letter-code system. Their high quality products are largely used by international professional fashion makeup artists.  Mehron “represents an artisanal approach to creating quality cosmetics that are high impact and versatile.” With long lasting coverage and a built in hydrating cream I can see why Mehron is widely used by professional artists working in fashion shows, productions, movies and performers. All three of this beauty brands are cruelty free. Read more

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

5 Beauty Mistakes You May Be Making

Are you committing these 5 #beauty mistakes? via @agirlsgottaspa

There are some beauty mistakes that are often overlooked. I’m not talking about excessive contouring (although I may or may not wish someone could contour me to look 20 lbs thinner), or that you shouldn’t wear white eye liner on your lower lid (flesh colored is better.) I’m talking about the really simple ones that we forget are important and can lead to acne, infections, damage, etc.

Are you making any of these beauty mistakes?

Not Adhering to Expiration Dates on Your Beauty Products
For the most part, beauty products now have expiration dates listed on them. Additionally, if your beauty product has a batch code listed on it, you can always reach out to the brand’s customer service to ask the expiration date. (For our natural bath and body products, we have both the expiration date and batch code tagged to the bottom of each product.) An expiration date is not a “suggested” date for maybe tossing a product, it’s a pretty firm ingredients will be less effective or go sour (if they are natural/organic) by this date. Of course, some products can go bad sooner, such as natural ingredients being subject to sunlight/heat/cold or if you get pink eye, that eyeliner and mascara should be tossed immediately. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Makeup, skin care 1 Comment

Favorite Black Eyeliners

Favorite black eyeliners. #makeup #beauty #eyeliner via @agirlsgottaspa

There’s something that a black eyeliner conveys that brown or even brightly colored or metallic eyeliners can’t duplicate.

Black says bold, daring, classic, sexy. While there are times that I opt for brown or grey, a good black eyeliner is always my first choice. Read more

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

#AllDayLook Twitter Party August 19th at 1pm RSVP

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#AllDayLook #TwitterParty August 19th at 1pm EST #shop #cbias RSVP!! Great prizes! via @agirlsgottaspa

Do you love a good Twitter Party? You know we do and we’re excited to host a party about beauty tips, celebrity looks and Neutrogena products available at Target. On August 19 from 1-2 pm ET, please join us for the #AllDayLook Twitter Party where we’ll be chatting about achieving an all day beauty look with help from the Beauty Concierge. We’ll also give you the low down on locations offering exclusive samples (while supplies last) and giving you a chance to win prizes! Read more

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

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

Michelle Williams Say Yes Makeup by DeeDee Kelly


Michelle Williams Say Yes Video Makeup. Details from her makeup artist, DeeDee Kelly! #makeup #Makeuptips

Michelle Williams is back with her new album, Journey to Freedom (now available for pre-order.) Good Morning America dubbed it as a “personal journey,” however my personal opinion is that it is more of a spiritual journey. On the debut track, Say Yes, Queen Bey and Kelly Rowland are featured and I am so stoked for a Christian song to go mainstream.

Michelle looks AMAZING and that meant I needed all the details on what makeup was used for the video as well as the look the makeup artist wanted Michelle to evoke. Thanks to the Indian Tyler’s Beyond the Vanity show on LA Talk Live, I discovered celebrity makeup artist DeeDee Kelly who did Michelle’s makeup for the LA portion of the video filming. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, beauty interview, blush, bronzer, Celebrity Beauty, eye shadow, eyeliner, foundation, highlighter, lipstick, Makeup, makeup tips, mascara, mineral makeup 3 Comments

NARS Kauai Eyeshadow Duo Review

Review: NARS eyeshadow duo #makeup

NARS can do no wrong. They are like that best friend that always knows the right thing to say and do. NARS products always deliver exactly what I’m looking for with the perfect pop of color and fun! PERFECT for Spring and Summer! This season, color is everything! (As long as it’s not the kind of color that leaves you looking like you’re on stage performing with Kesha! You know what I mean?) With bright colored shadows, I’m always careful that I’m not painting my face like a clown. I love to have fun with color, but the texture of the shadow and the way it applies can make or break the shadow and the color it claims to be. Read more

Posted on by AmandaOnAir in beauty, eye shadow, Makeup 1 Comment

#BeautyInspiration Twitter Party April 16th #shop

Twitter Party Disclosure

#BeautyInspiration #TwitterParty #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. That’s why I am more than thrilled to be participating in a Twitter Party with Rimmel London, especially on the heels of the launch of their new Stay Matte Foundation and Retro Glam Mascara!

If you have a passion for makeup and love to talk beauty, you’ll want to join me for a #BeautyInspiration Twitter Party next week – with lots of great prizes, too! Read more

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

Spring Beauty Essentials Under $150

Spring Essentials Kit - 7 beauty products to bring you back to life! #beauty #rmnspringessentials

Keeping up with the season’s best beauty trends can be fun…but costly! (I much prefer the fun part over the expense of it all.) There’s also that Winter to Spring transition that requires a vast array of different products based on your individual needs – for example, my hair tends to lack shine this time of year and my skin looks lackluster (much like the landscape before the first flowers bloom.)

So how can you stay up to par with the Spring beauty essentials while keeping your bank account in check? Know when to spend and know when to splurge – and also know when to use coupon codes!

90% of my shopping is done online and beauty products are no exception. I first search my inbox to see if any of my favorite beauty retailers are having a sale or offering a discount. Next I head to RetailMeNot.com and type in the retailer I’m looking to purchase from. RetailMeNot will list discounts and sales for your favorite retailers – many times codes you can use in addition to the ones the retailers sent you! This is also a great way to weigh whether you should shop Sephora, Ulta, Beauty.com or your favorite department store retailer by doing a quick scan of any discount offerings. If you’re not one to shop online for cosmetics, no worries, RetailMeNot also has printable coupon codes.

When the weather begins to warm up one of the things that require a shake up is my skin care. I live in the mountains where the air is drier, as is my home from my wood stove. So Autumn through Winter my skin is like a nomad lost in the desert in search of something to quench its thirst. This is when I’m using heavier creams and serums targeted to dry skin. Oftentimes, no matter how much moisturizing I do, my skin remains parched and flakey. My hair seems to have the same issues as well. To brighten up for Spring, new skin care, hair care and cosmetics are in order!

As I move into Spring, here are my essentials – totaling under $150! Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, eye shadow, foundation, Hair Care, Makeup, Nail Polish, Primer, Spring Beauty 1 Comment