Solid Lotion Bars from Faith, Soaps and Love

Know for their incredible handmade artisan soaps, Faith, Soaps & Love has another trick up their sleeves... or in this case, in their tubes. Good things come in 2 oz. packages. Don't let the small number fool you, as the Solid Lotion Bar tube is the size of my hand. Read more

How to Hide Unwanted Facial Hair #GoConfidently

No matter your age, unwanted facial hair can become a true confidence problem. From genetics to mature skin, it can be difficult to feel beautiful when dark excess hair lingers around. Bleaching the hair is an option and if you haven't tried it before and are curious, read on. First, Read more

nyakio ABC African Beauty Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen

I'm always on the lookout for a BB or CC cream that not only matches my skin tone but also has SPF 20 and over, covers without feeling heavy or oily, helps to reduce the size of my pores and gives me a little glow. My skin could be described as medium to Read more

Lancome Visionnaire [1 Minute] Blur #PhotoPerfectSkin #ad

I upgraded my beauty routine with Lancôme Visionnaire [1 Minute] Blur as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #PhotoPerfectSkin. All images and opinions are my own. Large pores, skin imperfections, fine lines, wrinkles - these are just some of the things that come with age (thanks 40.) Throw in Read more

Video: A Girl's Gotta Spa! Featured on Beyond the Vanity

Residents of Los Angeles may be familiar with LA Talk Live radio host, Indian Tyler, for her show Beyond the Vanity on Wednesday at 2pm PST. It's always fun and informative with a lot of beauty, wellness and fitness tips. I couldn't be happier to discover that Ms. Tyler Read more

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Exfoliation Massage (Mandi Lulur) At Bodyworks Bali

Exfoliating massage at Bodyworks #Bali review #spa

Nothing says complete and utter relaxation to me quite like indulging in a massage, especially a 75 minute long massage, followed by total body exfoliation, body mask and a luxuriating soak in a warm flower-filled bath.  This is how I spent two hours at a spa in Bali thanks to the suggestion of a woman I was lucky enough to share a taxi ride with.  As soon as I got out of the taxi I knew where I was headed to next: Bodyworks spa in Seminyak, Bali. Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in bath and body, beauty, Spa, Travel Beauty Leave a comment

Sports Massage Demystified

What is sports massage and the benefits. Click to read!

Whether you’re a pro athlete or you just work out for fun, physical activity is always accompanied by the risk of injury. According to the CDC, more than 10,000 Americans are admitted to ER rooms every day from injuries related to sports, recreational activities, and exercise. The CDC also reports that more than half of these injuries are preventable.

Before doctor’s visits, prescriptions, or even physical therapy, it should be said that Sports Massages serve to treat athletic injuries of every caliber, and in many cases, act as a preventative measure against them. Massage therapy isn’t new — especially for serious athletes — but it’s still underutilized by the general public. Read more

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

Mount Airy Casino and Spa Review

mount-airy-casino

One of the many reasons I love living in the Poconos, is that there are a variety of things to do. Since the area is a popular tourist attraction, especially now that the Jersey Shore is still being rebuilt, there’s not too much you CAN’T do in Northeast PA.

Back in 1998, Mount Airy Lodge was the location chosen for my honeymoon with my first marriage. Unfortunately it did not live up to expectations when it came to cleanliness, activities and overall impressiveness (and I’m sure my ex-husband would agree.) Soon the Lodge became an eyesore and an undesirable place until the DeNaples family were given a gaming license and completely demolished the old Mount Airy Lodge and crafted an amazing luxury experience that is now Mount Airy Casino Resort. The transformation is amazing. The resort is continuing to transform as it adds outdoor cabanas and a pool to their luxury spa.

I recently had the opportunity to stay for a weekend with my fiance. This is my review:  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Pocono Spas & Salons, salon, Spa, Travel Beauty Leave a comment

Spa Review: Canyon Ranch Spa Miami Beach

Receiving an invitation to visit the largest spa in South Florida (70,000 sq ft to be exact), was definitely one of the highlights of my year in Miami and it just happened to materialize when a visit to the spa was very much needed…at the tail end of the moving process when I was sore, running low on energy,  and anxious about fitting a studio apartment’s worth of stuff into a minivan to go across the U.S.  So the invitation to visit The Spa at Canyon Ranch Miami Beach was a very welcome diversion from the moving process.  As soon as I checked, in the staff was very welcoming and friendly…something that was rare during my year in Miami.  The Canyon Ranch Miami Beach property is impressive and absolutely breathtaking to say the least.  The service I received from the spa is called Yatra.  Yatra, as explained to me by my service provider, is a Sanskrit word that means journey.  The treatment  is a journey through the senses and is intended to unwind every sense, relax every nerve and melt every muscle.  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, skin care, Spa Leave a comment

Spa Review: Blue Harmony Spa, Orlando FL

What’s the best way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon (or any afternoon for that matter) in Orlando, FL? At the spa of course! And that is exactly where I found myself on such an afternoon, at the amazingly beautiful and tranquil Blue Harmony Spa at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort.
Upon checking into the spa, I was immediately offered a beverage and opted for a glass of water mixed with PURE Inventions Blueberry Antioxidant Fruit Extract (which is also available for purchase at the spa).  I was then taken on a brief tour of the facility which includes indoor and outdoor treatment rooms, Relaxation Lounge, outdoor spa garden, outdoor hot tub, full-amenity locker rooms, men’s and women’s steam rooms and chromotherapy experience showers, Couple’s suite with side by side soak tubs, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

I also learned that each Blue Harmony experience reminds guests of the nourishment provided by the great blues of the world, water and skies.  After the tour I could’ve honestly just hung out in the serene relaxation lounge for the rest of the day indulging in healthy snacks, sampling the other flavors of the PURE Inventions Antioxidant Fruit Extracts while curled up with a magazine.  I was then taken to the women’s locker room where I slipped into my super soft spa robe in preparation for my massage.  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, Spa 2 Comments

Pocono Spa Getaway: The Lodge at Woodloch, A Destination Spa in Hawley PA

A few years ago when I went to The Lodge at Woodloch for a facial and massage, I swore that one day I would spend the weekend at their destination spa. The rooms are luxuriously appointed, the spa cuisine is to die for (I had lunch there during a recent event with Christopher Drummond Beauty) and the grounds are breathtaking. Although I only live about 40 minutes from The Lodge at Woodloch, the resort is tucked away here in the Poconos in such a way, that it felt like I was traveling far far away…

One of the first things I noticed about The Lodge at Woodloch, was their superior customer service. We (Bryan & I) pulled up to the gated entry to give our name for our stay and by the time we got to the valet, they opened my door calling me by name and once inside, the concierge, also motioned to me calling me by name…all of which made me feel like a valued customer and not just some random person checking in. We scheduled a spa treatment, 9 holes of golf at Woodloch Springs, Wake-Up kayaking for 7am the next morning and made a reservation for dinner. After a quick tour of the resort, Bryan sat down for lunch at Tree while I was whisked away for a Tension Tamer massage with Gwen.

If you haven’t heard me tweet and Facebook incessantly about how much I LOVE this spa, then you certainly need to stop by and try it for yourself. I chose the Tension Tamer massage, as sitting at my desk all day working has really had its way with my upper back and shoulders. At times, the pain has become unbearable. The Tension Tamer focuses on this key muscle group to help melt that stress away. And boy did it! At the beginning of the massage I told Gwen that I could barely feel any pressure from her hands in the area surrounding my neck because some of the area had gone numb. She worked her magic and within 30 minutes I was telling her that she was a magician. Suddenly there was feeling back in that area and the tension in the surrounding muscles began to ease up. I honestly did not want to leave after my 50 minutes were up. Gwen told me that due to my line of work, that I really needed to have massages focusing on that area more often. I completely agree!

After finishing up a lunch plate that Bryan brought me to the room, we made our way over to Woodloch Springs, which is a private community with an 18-hole PGA 2 golf course. Since I have never played golf before, we decided on just doing 9 holes. The course was gorgeous despite how wet the green was from all of the rain we’ve been having in the Poconos. Bryan taught me how to play and I have to say, golf is hard work! I have a new respect for pro-golfers now!

Dinner at Tree was delicious and we each had salad and chicken that was out of this world. At about 9pm we decided a swim was in order and made our way to their Aqua Garden (which has amazing waterfalls) and their Horizon Whirlpool. On a dark night with a view of the stars, it was breathtaking.

I slept like a baby that night and I honestly didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning because the bed was so comfortable! Made me realize that I’m about due for a new mattress for my own bed. The morning was a little chilly, but we made our way to Little Lake Teedyuskung for our 7am kayaking. Since the rest of the people who signed up for the session were no-shows, we had the guide all to ourselves! This 1:1 session was great as we learned more about the area we live in and got to take in all of the wildlife. Although the really ridiculous spider that kept jumping into my kayak, which almost made me flip over when trying to get it out, was not so amusing (at least for me, but Bryan and our guide thought it was pretty funny.)

After breakfast at Tree, my feet begged me for a Restorative Rosemary Pedicure at their Lotus Salonand how could I say no? The view from my seat was beautiful and the bourbon vanilla soak helped soften my dry heels. I loved the seaweed wrap and Antoinette made my toes look pretty with SpaRitual’s Crystal Water nail polish.


All in all, it was a relaxing and fun-filled weekend that we truly enjoyed. So whether you live locally and are looking for a staycation without feeling like you are really still local or are looking for a Pocono getaway, The Lodge at Woodloch should top your list of places to go. If you’ve visited or have had a spa treatment here, please share your experience in the comments!

Find them on Facebook and Twitter, too!

*Some images from The Lodge at Woodloch’s website; disclosure: a portion of this stay was gifted.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in Pocono Spas & Salons, salon, Spa, Travel Beauty 3 Comments

Review: Indaba Spa at Innisbrook Resort

Laying on a beach in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida on a perfect 80 degree day after an amazing seafood lunch and visit to the Salvador Dali museum, I was feeling pretty content and thought there was just no way that life could get any better that day.

Well it did, as soon as I checked in to the Innisbrook Resort to prepare for an entire day of pampering at the Indaba Spa.  You might wonder exactly how does one prepare for a spa day, well in my case it involved checking into one of their amazing suites, donning the ultra plush robe that greeted me as soon as I entered the bedroom and letting my mind and body completely relax, before my scheduled day of relaxation, it seemed like the right thing to do!

The Indaba Spa is absolutely beautiful, I love and appreciate that it did not have a gimmicky feel nor was it trying to be one of those uber trendy spas that people tend to forget after the hype is over. It was just very inviting, beautiful and calming, to me everything a spa is supposed to be.

My first order of business was to choose what I wanted for lunch (this is a part of The Indaba Experience), then off I went to my locker to change into my official spa gear; a snugly robe and mildly massaging slippers. My first treatment of the day was the Signature Facial. All of the products used for the facial were from a natural and organic skincare line called Eminence Organics and with names such as  Lemon Cleanser, Pineapple Enzyme Peel and Apricot Lip Moisturizer, I felt like my skin was getting the nutrition that my body is so deprived of. The neck, shoulder and foot massage that Jennifer administered (and are a part of the Indaba Signature Facial) left me so relaxed I didn’t think I needed the full body massage that was next on my schedule of services. Well after Melissa (my masseuse) was finished with me, I realized how silly that notion was. I wondered if I had morphed into the bad guy from Terminator 2; my limbs felt like liquid!

Next up was my lunch of salad, water and white wine that I ordered upon arriving and which I had the choice of eating inside in the lounge area or outside in the wonderful Florida sunshine surrounded by nature (I also had the option of laying out in the shade or sun on one of their super cute lawn chairs.)

I ended my spa day (or as I now refer to it my outer body experience) with a Coco-Lucious Manicure and Pedicure (I just love saying Coco-Lucious!) All of the products used for the mani and pedi were also from Eminence Organics and smelled absolutely heavenly…nothing less expected with names like Coconut Scrub and Mango Enzyme.

I highly recommend either arriving early or staying late or both, to partake of the steam room, hot tub or laying out with a good book or magazine.

In addition to being completely relaxed and pampered from head to toe surrounded by absolute beauty, I also gained some valuable beauty knowledge from my esthetician, masseuse and nail technician.

1) Brushing my lips with a toothbrush (which I read in a fashion magazine), was not a good idea as there are great lip scrubs out there.

2)There is a very big difference between a Physical Therapist and a Physical Terrorist.

3) The nail shape that I prefer has a name: squoval

4)Try to moisturize your hands after every wash (prevents dryness and hang nails)

5)And last but definitely not least, people in Florida really pay attention to your hands and feet, especially feet; so keep up with those mani’s and pedi’s on a regular basis! Thanks Indaba Spa!

 

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Posted on by Gail Lewis in Spa, Travel Beauty 7 Comments

Review: Scandle Body Massage Candle

I have long been a fan of soy candles and also love the moisturizing properties of soy for my skin. The Scandle makes a great body massage candle that has the clean burn of soy while also including essential oils for a hydrating, yet relaxing massage.

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, skin care, Spa 2 Comments

Review: EMBER Cocoa + Fig Massage Candle by Jimmyjane

If you follow me on Twitter, then you may have heard me tweeting about the Cocoa + Fig Massage Candle from Jimmyjane the day it arrived. Without even lighting the candle my entire home office was filled with the scent of a dark rich cocoa aroma complimented by a fruity and earthy fragrance. It’s not too often that I fall insanely in love with a fragrance, but when I do, look out because then I am telling everyone all about it.

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, holiday, skin care 4 Comments