Winter Skin Care DIY

From your head to your toes, winter conditions are no fun for your skin. Not only does dry skin look unhealthy, it can be really uncomfortable, too. Did you know that everything you need to save your skin from winter is as close as your pantry or refrigerator? Below are Read more

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

Pocono Spas

3 DIY Holiday Inspired Spa Treatments

3 Holiday-Inspired #Spa Treatments

With winter vacation just around the corner kids of all ages are exploding with anticipation for many school-free days, Spafinder Wellness 365 has some budget friendly and tech free ideas to keep kids entertained for the days not dedicated to family gatherings, traveling, or last minute shopping. I’d even say these are perfect for those, “No School” snow days, as well!

Treat the kids (and yourself) to an at-home spa-day. Don’t trust the eight-year-old to paint your nails or do your makeup? Not to worry, we have three recipes for indulgent treatments that are kid-friendly and mom-approved! Best of all, these recipes feature ingredients you probably already have at home! Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, DIY Beauty, holiday, kid's spa, Pocono Spas & Salons, Self-Care, Spa, Wellness 1 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

PA Live and NEPA Blogs to Feature A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Tuesday October 11

It’s an exciting week around here at A Girl’s Gotta Spa! This Tuesday between 4pm-5pm EST, NEPA BlogsHarold Jenkins will be featuring A Girl’s Gotta Spa! on PA Live (check your local provider for channel.)

NEPA Blogs is a clearinghouse of blogs that are either about Northeast PA or are written by people who live in Northeast PA (that’s me!) PA Live is Northeast PA’s newest live lifestyle show and can be seen on WBRE (an NBC affiliate.) I’m so excited for my local area to get to know me and my passion for beauty (and people!) And it couldn’t come at a better time with the SHAPE Magazine Best Beauty Blogger Awards going on right now! (I really need your vote!)

Even if you are not local here in NEPA (i.e. Scranton-yes home of The Office, Wilkes Barre-recently on the news for the flooding from Irene/Lee and the Poconos-I live by a beautiful spot known as Lake Wallenpaupack), you can still watch the live stream of the show on PA Live’s website.

Thank you to NEPA Blogs and PA Live for the press! I’m so grateful! xx

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

NuFace Lifting and Toning Facial at The Woodhouse Day Spa, Kingston PA

I am a big believer in monthly facials. I wasn’t gifted with perfect skin and in order to keep a younger looking appearance sans plastic surgery, taking care of my skin is a priority. I love going to The Woodhouse Day Spa in Kingston, PA (and there are others around the country too) and have had their Four-Handed Massage and Minkyti Facial before, so I was all for experiencing something new. As I just turned 37, I became most interested in a new facial they are performing there involving the NuFace toning device. I’ve heard a lot about NuFace and I’m familiar with microcurrent technology, so I was ready to see if it would work for me.

This facial starts off like any other facial at The Woodhouse Day Spa, using products from Amala skincare to cleanse and exfoliate (from the Rejuvenate collection), then NuFace’s Conductivity Gel is applied. As the esthetician smoothed the NuFace device ($325) on the right hand side of my face and under my chin, I felt absolutely nothing. I even began to wonder if it was on, assuming I was supposed to feel my skin tingling. However, once she got near my hair line, especially my eyebrows, that’s when I began to feel a tinge here and there. Whenever you are getting a facial (or any spa treatment) it’s good to speak up if you feel any discomfort so that the treatment can be adjusted. Once I told my esthetician that I was feeling small pin pricks, she applied more gel and that remedied the situation.

The esthetician moves the device with the contour of your face and the microcurrent is delivered to lift and firm the skin. As we age, we lose about 1% of our skin’s elasticity each year. So if you want to avoid going under the knife, this is a great way to reprogram your muscles. (I asked if it would work on my chest too, but she just laughed. I was serious though!)

After about 10-15 minutes of using the device, she then spritzed my face with the Optimizing Mist and applied Amala’s Rejuvenating Face Cream. I was told that it takes about 8 treatments to see a complete difference, then maintenance with the device about 1-2 times per week. However, I did notice that my skin felt a bit tighter, especially above my eyebrows and in between them. I had the esthetician take a before and after picture and you can see that the wrinkle I have between my eyebrows is much less and that the skin above my eyebrows does appear to pull them up slightly.


While I didn’t purchase NuFace (the kit is about $325) I was still happy with the results. The facial itself is $70. What do you think? Have you tried NuFace for yourself?

If you are local here in Northeast PA, please visit The Woodhouse Day Spa via their website or Facebook fan page. If you happen to book a spa treatment, let them know you heard about them from A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Not local? You can still find The Woodhouse Day Spa nearest you by visiting their corporate website.

Ps. They sell Farmhouse Fresh products in their boutique! I’ve tried their Honey Heel Glaze….AMAZING.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, Pocono Spas & Salons, skin care, Spa 5 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

Makeup Consultation with Christopher Drummond at The Lodge at Woodloch

This past weekend I had the opportunity to head up to one of my favorite local spas, The Lodge at Woodloch, to meet up with makeup artist Christopher Drummond for a 1:1 consultation. Christopher Drummond Beauty is now being sold in The Lodge at Woodloch’s spa boutique and I am so excited that Northeast PA gets to experience this spectacular vegan makeup collection.

I’ve known Christopher for about 4 years now, but this was the first time we actually had the chance to meet in person. Like a mother hen, I am so proud of him because I knew him when he was just launching his line with only 1 product at the time: Saude Pele Radiance Booster. When I walked into the spa boutique, Christopher was working with another customer so I had a chance to talk with The Lodge at Woodloch staff, my favorite being Stephanie who was so personable and funny, I was ready to give her my phone number so that we could hang out some time. There’s nothing better than being able to feel at ease in a spa where the atmosphere is inviting versus some that are so pretentious with their noses in the air (do you know what I mean?)

When Christopher told me I had to arrive without any makeup on, I was ready to put a paper bag over my head with holes cut out for the eyes. My skin just happens to be breaking out and I feel like a new age spot is debuting on my face every day. Christopher promised that the products he would be using from his line would conceal the flaws and highlight my natural beauty. (Chris and I were laughing hysterically before the picture on the right was taken. This is our “trying to be serious” shot.)

Here is the before and after shot (i.e. before shot was at 10:30am sans coffee):

The biggest thing I notice between the two pictures is how much my eyes pop. Christopher used Alluring Apricot Sateen Blush on my eyes, Soft Black cream to powder eyeliner and his mascara. On my face he used Concealer in Light, Veludo Velvet Foundation in Luz/Light, Finale Finishing Powder in Branca/White, Alluring Apricot Sateen Blush and Bronzing Powder. Lastly, on my lips he used Coral Reef Lip Stain (LOVE.)

If there is anything that I can say about this makeup, it’s that it feels as light as air on your skin. With the concealer, it is creamy with great coverage without feeling thick or cakey. And the best part is that you only need tiny dabs of it on your skin, so a little goes a long way! The Veludo Velvet Foundation is AMAZING–velvet, indeed!

You can find all of these products online at www.ChristopherDrummondBeauty.com or if you are local here in Northeast PA, stop by The Lodge at Woodloch‘s spa boutique to see them in person (and book an out of this world spa treatment while you are there! I know that their Lotus Salon and I will have a date for a pedicure soon enough!)

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in blush, bronzer, concealer, eye shadow, eyeliner, foundation, lip stain, makeup tips, mascara, mineral makeup, Pocono Spas & Salons 4 Comments

Minkyti Facial at Woodhouse Day Spa, Kingston PA

Monthly facials are a necessity, not a luxury. As I’m inching my way to 40 (I hate thinking about it), I know this now more than ever. Not only do you get a really in-depth cleaning of your pores, but it sure is a great way to relax and let go of the stressors that have been plaguing you.

The last time I was at Woodhouse Day Spa in Kingston, PA for my Four-Handed Massage, I came across Amala skincare in their gift shop. I’ve heard amazing things about Amala and even began working with them. So I had been dying to find the time to get an Amala facial. Woodhouse Day Spa uses Amala skincare exclusively for their facials, and when I asked Woodhouse’s manager Rebecca which facial would be best for me, she recommended their signature spa treatment, the Minkyti Facial ($95). It’s 80 minutes of pure bliss.   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Pocono Spas & Salons, skin care, Spa 2 Comments

Four-Handed Massage at The Woodhouse Day Spa in Kingston, PA

vichy showerWhether you are a local in Northeast PA or just visiting on a seasonal basis, there are some great spas in the area worth checking out. While tweeting with fellow NEPA’ers on Twitter a few months ago, I asked which spa was the best in the area. The Woodhouse Day Spa in Kingston was mentioned a few times. Seeing that A Girl’s Gotta Spa! (sm), I knew I had to make the hour-long trip from where I am in the Poconos over to Kingston to experience what they call the “four-handed massage.”

The Woodhouse Day Spa can be found on the very bustling Wyoming Avenue just off Rt. 309. But don’t be fooled by the busy road as the spa, set in a Tudor-style house, has no sights or sounds of the road once inside. Once you walk through the over-sized doors, you are welcomed with the aroma of lavender in a dimly lit retreat full of soothing sounds. I could honestly feel the difference from the stress of the outside world to a more relaxed state once inside the spa.  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Pocono Spas & Salons, skin care, Spa 2 Comments

Review: Spa Pedicure at The French Manor Inn & Spa

Tucked away in the Pocono Mountains is a small slice of heaven at The French Manor Inn & Spa. Following a twisting and turning road up the mountainside reveals gorgeous stone buildings and a glorious view of the valley. My mouth fell open upon seeing it as I mouthed, “Wow.” There are 3 buildings on the property with Le Spa Foret found below the Spa Suites. Upon entering the spa, you are greeted with the relaxing scents of Danielle & Co.   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Pocono Spas & Salons, Spa, Travel Beauty 1 Comment

SpaFinder’s Deal Days: Le Spa Foret

French Manor Inn and spaIt’s that time of year again, SpaFinder is holding their Deal Days March 8th-14th where you can receive select spa treatments for $50. Living out in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, I wanted to spotlight a local spa that is participating and lucky for me Le Spa Foret at The French Manor (only 25 minutes from me) is one such spa.

Le Spa Foret is offering the following two 50-minute treatments for $50 each:  Read more

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