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

pedicure

The Perfect Spa Pedicure

Perfect #Spa Pedicure

When you visit a spa, you want your entire body to be pampered. Your tired muscles are massaged, your face is rejuvenated and perfectly moisturized, and your hands are elegantly manicured. If you pay all this attention to the rest of your body, then why not do the same for your feet as well? A spa pedicure can be a truly special experience, particularly if you know what to look for and where to go.

However, the sad truth is that spa pedicures vary considerably in quality. (I totally see you nodding in agreement.) In some spas, a pedicure doesn’t amount to much more than having your toenails buffed and polished (been there, done that), whereas other spas provide an amazing range of treatments. So, exactly what should you look for when you are choosing a spa to look after your feet? Just what is the perfect spa pedicure? Read more

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

NightCare Heel Treatment Kit Review

NightCare Heel Treatment Kit If you are a gal who tries to extend the life of a pedicure as long as possible, then you probably know the first thing that usually needs attention in between pedicures are your heels. I mean really, who has time to get pedicures weekly or even every other week?

Sometimes we need to wait longer than we’d like to make our feet pretty. For some reason, toe nail polish and shaping can last up for 4-5 weeks after a pedicure, but our heels start to get dry and look less than fabulous soon after a pedicure. In an attempt to keep my heels hydrated and keep my feet looking fab in between pedis, I tried NightCare Heel Treatment Kit.

In the kit you get: Read more

Posted on by AmandaOnAir in bath and body, beauty Leave a comment

Pure Fiji Home Spa Collection Review

Pure Fiji Rub If you’re ready to charge full speed ahead into Spring with warmer weather and leave the cold Winter months behind … set aside a hour and lock yourself in the bathroom (aka your home spa) and indulge in Pure Fiji’s line of luxurious and deliciously scented spa products.

I’m all about spa’ing at home, especially because this is our wedding year and I want to look my absolute best on the big day. I like to spa and I like to spa often, so A Girl’s Gotta Spa! at home once in a while! The moment I opened Pure Fiji’s Facial Solutions products, I was instantly reminded of summer. I kind of felt like I was in a commercial because I literally closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and pictured myself in the South Pacific. I set aside an hour on Sunday to lock myself in the bathroom and pamper myself with Pure Fiji’s home facial samples, sugar scrub, and pedicure sampler. On a cold March day, it was an instant mood booster. Read more

Posted on by AmandaOnAir in bath and body, beauty 3 Comments

Bare Foot Repair! Review

We all know the dry winter weather dries out our skin, but let’s not forget those little 10 little piggies! I hate to admit it but my feet are a dry callused mess in the winter time.  There are two must-have products for those crime scene paws–Bare Foot Repair! for Callus Softening and Bare Foot Repair! for Cracked Heels. After using these two products, your footsies will be sexy sandal worthy.

Freeman Beauty Foot Repair! for Callus Softening ($6.99) - this callus softening cream exfoliates rough, dry skin without harsh abrasives while paraffin helps to soften skin leaving it feeling smooth.  I used to use a PediEgg but honestly, too often I would get carried away and end up with sore, slightly bloody feet. The texture of this is thick and paste-like, just spread on a thin layer to clean, dry feet and wait about 10 minutes for it to dry. Then gently rub and all the dry dead skin comes sloughing off–even the super dry skin! The peppermint has a cooling effect and smells good too. I was amazed at how well this did at exfoliating and it left my feet very soft and smooth.  Read more

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

Review: True Blue Spa 60-Second Manicure Hand Scrub & Smoothing Foot Scrub

Although going to the spa can never be an overrated experience, there is something to be said of being able to bring the spa to the comfort and privacy of your own home with you and a few of your closest girlfriends…or sometimes just solo.  The only problem with bringing the spa to your home is the quality of the spa products.  More often than not, spa products that I am able to get my hands on are never spa quality and being that neither me nor my girlfriends are professional estheticians, we need our products to do the job that we can not.  Which is why I love products from True Blue Spa by Bath & Body Works.  The brands products are spa quality without the spa prices, they really allow you to experience the true spa experience at home.

My two favorite True Blue Spa products are the 60-Second Manicure Hand Scrub and the Smoothing Foot Scrub.  The Hand Scrub is a sugar based exfoliating treatment that also contains moisturizing Shea Butter.  I love starting  my at home spa manicures with the scrub because it immediately softens my hands and cuticles and allows any moisturizing products that follows, whether it’s a hand lotion, masque or cuticle oil, to do a more effective job.  The scrub also has a great citrusy scent…like a blend of sugar and grapefruit.  Much like the hand scrub, the Smoothing Foot Scrub also smooths and softens, allowing moisturizing products to be better absorbed by the feet.  The foot scrub also has a great refreshing minty scent, due to the Peppermint Oil that is a part of the ingredients and that also stimulates tired feet.

I may never completely give up going to a spa in favor of spa-ing at home, but for those days when the spa budget is a bit too tight or if I just want to have a girl’s night in with my at home spa products and a bottle of wine, it’s great to know that I have two amazing products on hand that very closely captures the spa experience and results without the steep spa price tags or having to change out of my jammies.

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

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

Pedicure at 5th Avenue Hair Color Studio & Spa in Honesdale, PA

Do you have cracked heels? You know the kind…where your skin is so dry that you actually snag the sheets with your feet as you slide into bed? I’m not sure why, but most people focus on foot care only when they’re ready to slip on the sandals. I’d like to start a revolution that a pedicure should be done 1-2 times per month all year round. Super soft feet, pretty polished toes…neglect them no longer!  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Nail Polish, Pocono Spas & Salons, Spa 1 Comment

butter LONDON New Pedicure Collection

butter_london_pedicure_beautyIt is sandal weather my friends and I don’t know about you, but I cringe when I see people out and about with calloused, cracked, dry heels and unkempt toenails with the polish chipping off. Consider your feet an accessory to your wardrobe and make them look great! I’ve previously reviewed butter LONDON’s nail lacquer, so I am excited that they have launched a new pedicure collection. Feet will now officially be fabulous (and sexy!)

Read more

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

Review: SpaSensials Intensive Moisturizing Socks & Gloves

I recently got to try out Spasensials Intensive one-step moisturizing and conditioning socks and gloves. Both are infused with Vitamins A, b5, E, Aloe and Jojoba and both are geared to get the job done within a 15 minute time period.

The socks and gloves are lined with a thin layer of gel and the outside is cloth with ridges, there is a fresh clean fragrance to the gel. While this particular kit didn’t come with the exfoliating buffer for the feet (such as the one sold through Amazon) , it is highly recommended to exfoliate both your hands and feet, sloughing off the dead skin, before using these products to get the full effect of the moisturizer easily absorbing into your skin. You can read more about the benefits of exfoliating on Beauty Pro.

Both the socks and gloves say “One size fits most.” I found the socks to be a bit too small and struggled a bit to get them on my feet (my foot is a size 7), so if your feet are any bigger you may just have to cut a small slit at the top to allow more room for your foot to slide in. Once my foot was in, the sock wasn’t tight at all and it appeared the main issue had to do more with the opening to the sock than the actual size of the sock. The gloves were the opposite, as they were a little larger than my hands, but then again I am only 5’1″ and have pretty small hands.

You should only use one product at a time and should start with the socks. The directions do advise caution as your feet will be slippery within the sock and if you walk around you could slip. I personally chose to walk around because I found that the ridges on the outside of the sock tended to massage my feet as I moved. This made my feet feel great, as did the cooling sensation of the gel. For my hands, I chose to massage each hand with the gloves on as the ridges again played an important role in massaging my skin.

After 15 minutes you take the product off and further massage in the gel. It dries in about 1-2 minutes and your skin will feel great. My hands felt very moisturized and the callouses on my hands were substantially minimized. Even the day after using these products my hands and feet still felt very soft.

The SpaSensials kit is a nice treat and a great way to pamper yourself. The kit costs $11.99 and comes complete with 2 sets of gloves, 2 sets of socks and 2 buffers. All SpaSensials products are sold exclusively through Amazon.

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