Lighten Dark Spots with Dermalogica PowerBright Trx Trio

I'm paying for the skin sins of my youth in hyperpigmentation and an abundance of dark spots from both acne and lack of sunscreen usage. Over the years I've learned how to best conceal them with makeup in order to fake a great complexion. However, when the makeup comes Read more

DIY Peppermint Eucalyptus Bath Bombs

Candy canes may be great for stuffing stockings, adorning trees, or a sweet snack, but the minty holiday staple can also be incorporated into your beauty routine. Peppermint oil contains minerals and nutrients including iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and C, and is soothing to the Read more

Subtle Green Customizable Skin Care

Subtle Green, a Montreal-based luxury skin care company, recently caught my attention. Much of what they stand for is something I have been saying for years - "The best moisturizers do not have to contain 'miracle ingredients' developed using 'breakthrough technologies' in a remote secret laboratory." There are tried Read more

#HeartMyHair Twitter Party November 25 1-2pm EST #ad

Photo Credit: Great Contradictions Do you love a good Twitter Party? You know we do and we’re excited to host a party about hairstyles! On November 25, 2014 at 1:00pm ET, please join us for the #HeartMyHair Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing the new Conair Curl Secret and the Read more

DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte Face Scrub

With the busiest season of the year upon us, sometimes caring for ourselves (and our skin) sadly ends up at the bottom of the to-do list. (Please don't let it.) Fortunately, facialist Cecilia Wong has designed a seasonal at-home, DIY facial scrub that requires little time and effort, which can Read more

Nail Polish

Deborah Lippmann Goes Back to Basics With Her “Get Nailed” Manicure Essentials

Reigning nail polish queen of the Fashion Week runways, Deborah Lippmann, is known for her trend-setting neutral shades and show-stopping, in-your-face glitter polishes. But just because a lady knows how to turn heads doesn’t mean she can’t take a step back and provide some much-needed essentials for us girls who just want a darn-good manicure. After all, awesome-looking nails starts with the basics, and Deborah Lippmann’s got our back (and our tips!) with her Get Nailed Manicure Essentials Set.

At $49, the set includes The Stripper, her lavender anti-bacterial polish remover, Ridge Filler base coat for smooth application, Addicted to Speed quick-dry top coat, and Before He Cheats and It’s Raining Men lacquers (so you can switch it up between naughty and nice)! The kit is a must-have for all Deborah Lippmann fans, those just starting out, and gals who don’t mind paying a little extra for quality at-home manicure basics. It also makes a great gift for fellow beauty addicts that like to enjoy a little pampering in the comfort of their own home!

- Alex Gambardella

Something’s new at TheFind, have you seen it yet? Just launched Visual Search will make it easier to discover what you want to buy (like those fab Vera Wang ankle booties!) and where you want to buy it.

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

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in Nail Polish 1 Comment

Salon A.K.S. Manicure Trends for Spring and Summer

One of the events I had the pleasure of attending during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was a Manicure Trend Event hosted by Salon A.K.S to showcase their custom blended nail creations for Spring and Summer.  With a lot of their clients embracing bolder nails (thanks to the likes of fashionistas like Rihanna and Fergie),  for Spring and Summer the Salon A.K.S nail team went for a modern twist on the French Manicure and produced six amazing (three for spring and three for summer) looks that have me peeking down random holes for any sign of a Groundhog.  All six looks were the result of custom blended nail colors from Essie and Deborah Lippmann by the three A.K.S Nail Technicians Kelly, Doris and Rita.

For Spring the looks were very soft, feminine and ethereal.  The three custom blended shades for Spring are Greek Goddess, Baby’s Breath and Lilac in the Tuleries…I feel ethereal just saying them out loud.

The looks for Summer are flirty, fun, edgy and sexy…I can definitely picture them on the likes of Rihanna,  Katy Perry and even Lady Gaga.  Of the three shades (Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Polka Dot, Sizzling Summer Pink and Hot Poppy) my favorite is Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Polka Dot (try to guess which one that is from the pic).

Of course one simply cannot attend a Manicure Trend Event without sampling one of the trends.  The shade I chose was Lilac In The Tuleries…with the exception of the white tip.  The shade looked great on my skin tone and although it was Lilac it seemed to go with everything I wore that week.  I also left with tips from my nail technician, one being that the white spots  nails do not indicate a calcium deficiency as many people think, but is actually a sign of dehydration, the other tip was that miniaturization right before bed is necessary in the prevention of dry cuticles and hang nails.

With this winter seemingly being one of the worst I can recall in a very long time, it was great to experience (if even very fleetingly) a taste of early Spring.

Posted on by Gail Lewis in Beauty Trends, Nail Polish, salon, Spring Beauty, Summer Beauty 4 Comments

Grown Up Grunge and Aristocratic Fantasies at Jenni Kayne

At Jenni Kayne AW11, the inspiration for the collection was the idea of an urban woman who would have been in her 20’s  in the 90’s, revisiting her childhood home in the country…simple but luxurious clothing with a lot of  “noble” fabrics like fur, silk and feathers.

Makeup artist Lynn Desnoyers for MAC created a look that was both glamorous and polished but had an easiness to it that reflected both the richness and easiness of the collection.  The look consisted of a very strong magenta lip, peach toned blush for a fresh but contoured cheek, “pantyhose colors” on the eyes, brown mascara on just the top lashes and creamy foundation set with powder.  She wanted every detail to look completely honed…her fantasy of  “New York aristocracy.”

Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, Fashion Week Beauty, Makeup, Nail Polish Leave a comment

Look Lovely in Lavender Makeup Shades this Spring!

Normally I wouldn’t go recommend something quite so cliche as wearing uber-festive pastel makeup shades just to get into the pre-spring mood, but how can I resist rounding up a selection of appropriately-hued beauty buys when San Francisco keeps getting blessed with prematurely springy weather? Let’s face it — lavender is just waiting to be embraced, so you might as well jump on the beauty trend now before it grows overdone and stale!

Think of the shade as considerably easier to wear than full-on purple, yet a bit trickier than your average plum; the idea is to go for soft and pretty, not Grandma-“chic” or garish, which can be tough with such an Easter egg color. But just because the color is traditionally mild doesn’t mean it can’t edge things up — try Deborah Lippmann nail lacquer in Wicked Game, a smoky gray-lavender, or opt for a lavender version of the smoky eye, courtesy of Maybelline Smokes quads, for a cool take on the pretty shade!

Pictured above: Topshop Lip Polish in Lavender, Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish in Wicked Game, NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Lavender, Lancome Color Design Eye Shadow in Camisole, and Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Quad in Lavender Smokes.

- Alex Gambardella

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

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Beauty Discount, eye shadow, eyeliner, Makeup, Nail Polish, Spring Beauty 1 Comment

Review: Nail Fraud Nail Decals

I haven’t yet found a nail salon here in Northeast PA that does Minx and I have been dying to try out the new pattern nail designs that all of my girlfriends are sporting. Nail Fraud to the rescue! Not really “fraud” but the brand new nail color solution company that creates nail decals that can add some personality to your beauty routine, and if you are Italian like me, let your hands do the talking.

I received “Wild Thing” leopard nail decals which come in a pack of 20, although mine are white with brown spots (the image on the website shows tan with brown spots). I was excited to try something new, and only had Avon’s Instant Manicure and Incoco’s Applique’s to compare them to.

So are they easy to use and do they last? Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Nail Polish 3 Comments

Protect While You Polish With Dr.’s Remedy Nail Polish

As a girl with weak, brittle, sad nails, my nail polish fetish is a bit, well… under utilized. That’s why I can totally appreciate polish that boasts nail-boosting qualities to help strengthen and protect them from breakage, not only helping me grow my nails to their long, healthy potential, but also giving me more of an excuse to paint my stumpy excuses for nails! Dr.’s Remedy brand, founded by podiatrist Dr. Cirlincione, didn’t necessarily have the most novel idea by deciding to create a polish using natural ingredients that’s free of harsh chemicals, but the fact that the brand boasts the benefits of a non-toxic, nutrient-enriched polish along with the staying power, color saturation, and variety of shades of our favorite salon brands is a pretty impressive feat!  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Beauty Discount, Nail Polish Leave a comment

Review: Zoya Nail Polish Wonderful Collection Fall 2010

101_0462I have a love affair with Zoya and there is no hiding it. If you are a fan of A Girl’s Gotta Spa! (sm) on Facebook, you know I often post pictures of nail polish and swoon over Zoya colors and products (Don’t believe me? See my review of their Color Lock System!) And they have wowed me again with their cream collection for fall 2010 called Wonderful (they also have metallics in their Wicked Collection.) By far, my favorite color in Wonderful is “Kelly.” (pictured)

Kelly is described as a paynes gray cream, but as you can see from the picture, it is more of a swirl of gray mixed with black and small hints of purple. I love it because depending on how the light hits it, it appears to change color. Which reminds me, do you remember those t-shirts in the late 80’s, early 90’s that changed color depending on your body heat? I forgot what they were called (if you remember post it in the comments!) but I loved them. This nail polish reminded me of them and maybe that’s why I enjoyed wearing it even more.  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Beauty Trends, Nail Polish 2 Comments

Sephora by OPI Chic Prints for Nails Bring Minx To The Forefront!

Minx, a breakthrough system for creating long-lasting nail patterns, has been a huge celebrity favorite for awhile. However, despite its growing popularity, it’s still been hard to find a salon that actually offers Minx… and once you do find one, chances are they charge a pretty penny for the service. Not to say that isn’t worth it, but still — for people who have been waiting for Minx to become more available for us beauty-loving non-celebrities, it can be a long, frustrating wait full of boring normal manicures and smudged Nail Art Pen disasters.   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Beauty Discount, Nail Polish 3 Comments

Butter London JELLY Nailcolor Collection

Butter London touts gorgeous shades of nail lacquers, all with an added bonus. Every one of Butter London’s nail colors are ” 3 Free”. This means that they contain NO Formaldehyde, NO toluene, and NO DBP (Phthales). And in this case less is more of a good thing! The company was founded by British entrepreneur Sasha Muir with a vision of combining high fashion and health into the premier British fashion brand, Butter London. You’ll find lots of lovely fashion forward shades with cheeky British-inspired names like “British Racing Green”, “Artful Dodger”, and “Old Blighty” to name a few.  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Beauty Discount, Nail Polish 1 Comment

Which Nail Polish is Good for Vacation?

Robyn_ZoyaThe warmer weather is here, which means no more hiding our hands in gloves and instead finding some great nail polishes to show off our jazz hands. And just in case you haven’t noticed, nail polish has now trumped lipstick as the recession staple. So when I received a question about nail polish recently, I thought it was a good break from some of the hair care questions the blog has been receiving lately.

“What are your suggestions for a good vacation nail polish? (My swimsuits are aqua and navy.) Kathryn, Rhode Island”

This is a great question because honestly how many of you have applied your most favorite polish only to have it chip a few days into your time away? I guess if you are going for the Chris Isaac/Helena Christensen “Wicked Game” video look then you are all good, otherwise it is very frustrating.

First, before recommending a color, I strongly suggest Zoya Nail Polish’s Color Lock system. I cannot sing the praises of it enough and I use it with other brands because it is THAT good. Do I dare say I could potentially guarantee that your nail polish will last longer if you use it? I think I just did.  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Nail Polish 5 Comments