Spa Pedicure at Utopia Salon & Day Spa in Hawley, PA

The best part of living in a tourist area (the Poconos), is that there are a lot of little gems waiting to be discovered. For me, this gem has been right in front of my face for 13 years. I've driven by Utopia Salon & Day Spa countless times, but Read more

Reflekt Facial Exfoliator Review

This luxury facial cleanser makes skin feel amazing! I've been using Reflekt Skincare for the last 6 weeks about 2-3 times per week. In the summer, a regular cleanser alone won't do the trick to thoroughly rid my skin of all the "gunk" that warmer weather brings when wearing makeup, Read more

Malia B Luv Perfume Review

Some of the best perfumes are made by indie brands. When I first began blogging in 2005, I came across perfumer, Sharon Bolton, and her amazing fragrances. For a few years she went off the radar, but I was so thrilled when she recently reached out with the relaunch as Read more

Erbaviva Organic Deodorant Review

Mention "organic deodorant" and you may get a few raised eyebrows combined with some skepticism. People often wonder - Does organic deodorant smell weird? Is it strong enough? What exactly is it made of? I'm going to be straight up honest, I've never tried organic deodorant before simply because I Read more

Dry Skin Solutions for Women Over 40

Sponsored by AmLactin Skin Care Check out the end of this post for a GIVEAWAY!   We all know that getting older comes with pros and cons. Older and wiser (that's a definite), knowing who you are and what you want... and then all those lovely skin issues. Dark spots, wrinkles, and other Read more

Pocono Spas

Spa Pedicure at Utopia Salon & Day Spa in Hawley, PA

Review of Utopia Spa & Salon in Hawley, PA's spa pedicure via @agirlsgottaspa

The best part of living in a tourist area (the Poconos), is that there are a lot of little gems waiting to be discovered. For me, this gem has been right in front of my face for 13 years.

I’ve driven by Utopia Salon & Day Spa countless times, but let me be honest, I never really gave it a second thought based on the outside. I guess you could say, I judged a book by its cover.

Utopia Salon & Day Spa is located on the busy highway of Route 6 in Hawley, it’s also right by an intersection for Wallenpaupack school district and Turkey Hill (where all of those tourists going on Lake Wallenpaupack are gassing up their boats.)

When one of my favorite spas was totally booked, I decided to do a quick search of others in the area. Utopia was the first to pop up. I looked at their menu and saw that they were completely affordable and when they said they could get me in next day, I was stoked.

It was when I pulled into the parking lot that I realized there was a lot more to the building than you could see from the road. When I entered the back of the building, I was taken back by how beautiful it was inside with its local flare of wood floors, stone fireplace and wood beam ceilings. Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, Nail Polish, Pocono Spas & Salons, salon, 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

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

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 Leave a comment

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

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

The Lodge at Woodloch Unveils Pre and Post Natal Spa Treatments

I feel so lucky to have The Lodge at Woodloch located only about 30 minutes from where I live. I was there last December for an amazing massage and facial and spent some time in their whirlpool, sauna and indoor pool (with amazing waterfalls!) Having had 4 kids, I know how badly I wanted to just relax and be pampered during each of my pregnancies and now The Lodge at Woodloch has unveiled two new Pre and Post Natal spa treatments that will do just that for expecting moms and those moms who just have children clinging to your legs every second. Not speaking from experience of course.

Read more

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

Review: The Lodge At Woodloch Women’s Retreat

Last Christmas my husband gave me a gift certificate to The Lodge at Woodloch. It is listed as one of Forbes Top Ten Most Luxurious Spa’s and it happens to be only about 30 minutes from my house. I finally got to use this gift certificate this weekend and treated myself to a facial and massage.

Before I even get to the review of the treatments, The Lodge at Woodloch has a fabulous Women’s Retreat (and a separate one for men) that is also worthy of a write up. You get a locker to store your clothes, bags etc. which is really not a “locker” at all. It is a gorgeous wood mini storage closet, complete with shelves and a hook to store your things. It has an electronic keypad, where you determine the lock code for safe, secure access to your things. In between storage units are oversized leather ottoman’s. On the other side of the storage units is a room filled with plush comfy seats, leather chairs, an entire glass window wall that looks out to a lake and a roaring fireplace. There is a counter with fresh fruits, nuts and teas available.

There are two hallways that contain 5 private shower rooms each with stone flooring in the glass shower stalls and has Rosemary scented Shampoo, Conditioner, Shower Gel and Lotion. A large vanity room joins both hallways and comes complete with hair dryers, curling irons, hair styling products and everything necessary to freshen up.

The Women’s Retreat also has a whirlpool in a frosted glass enclosed room. The frosted glass gives you small peaks of the outdoors with its fern stenciling. In a separate room in the same area of the whirlpool is a steam room, a sauna that boasts scents of lavender and an enclosed porch with a view of the lake. A pitcher of iced water and fresh slices of lemon await you on a table outside all of the rooms.

Further into the retreat is the Aqua Garden. It has a large indoor pool and a waterfall that cascades in to a multi-level whirlpool (one on an upper level and one below it). The Aqua Garden is surrounding by windows on 3 sides and just outside is the Horizon Whirlpool that is heated enough that it can be used in the winter.

The Women’s Retreat can be used by spa patrons for one hour before treatments and up to one hour after your treatments have completed. The Women’s Retreat alone is worth a visit to The Lodge at Woodloch.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Pocono Spas & Salons, skin care, Spa, Travel Beauty 7 Comments