ManukaClear Mask and ManukaClear Intensive BB Gel

I couldn't have received these products at a better time. With the extremely cold weather and the flu making its rounds at my home, it's left my skin dry, flakey and tight. My usual skin savers weren't doing the trick and my face was starting to look a bit dull. Read more

Longer Lashes Instantly with Physicians Formula #EyeBooster

Throughout history, women have always coveted longer, fuller lashes. Heck, it's one of the reasons we're all on the hunt for that holy grail mascara. Over the years, mascaras have gotten better at helping women fake incredible lashes and the fiber mascara trend is one of them. I had the Read more

Osmia Organics Milky Rose Soap

When it comes to cleansing my body, I never did like using a bar of soap, I have always preferred body washes, gels or shower oils. I have rarely found a soap that I enjoy using. They tend to leave a filmy residue that leaves my skin dry and Read more

At Home Skin Care with Michael Todd Soniclear

Sometimes getting to the spa for a deep cleansing facial isn't always an option. Thankfully there are plenty of beauty tools out there that can help your skin look its best regardless of your budget. The Michael Todd Soniclear and many of their skin care products are perfect for Read more

Silk Therapeutics Silk Renewing Peel Review #PowerofSilk

Are you in search of a facial exfoliant that can tighten, brighten and smooth skin? More importantly, one with the least amount of ingredients - yet the most effective ones? Since I'm now in the mature skin category (that makes me feel old), my skin is in need of something Read more

self tanner

How to Achieve a Sun-Kissed Glow if You Have Fair Skin

How to: Achieve a Sunkissed Glow if You Have Fair Skin

We all know the dangers of the sun, and those with fair skin (like myself), tend to avoid it at all costs to reduce the risk of sunburn. Sometimes, no matter how much SPF you apply and how often, fair skin becomes burned skin.

Thanks to the improvements with sunless tanning, a healthy glow can be achieved all year round without ever stepping foot on the beach… Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty Leave a comment

Supergoop! Gradual Self-Tanning Review

Supergoop! Self-Tanning Mousse Review

I’m so excited about Supergoop! Gradual Self Tanning Mousse because it’s the answer to a little ongoing internal battle I’ve been having with myself for a while.

When using self tanner, do you moisturize first? After? Both? Then … how soon after do you apply sunscreen? Since my life changing battle with Melanoma, sunscreen has become a necessary and important part of my daily routine, but where does it fall into your beauty routine when you’re also moisturizing and self tanning? All of these products can get confusing to know how and in what order to use … and then there’s Supergoop! Gradual Self Tanning Sunscreen Mousse. ($38) It’s 3 in 1. Just one step to tan, moisturize, and protect! The perfect answer to this dilemma I’ve been quietly keeping to myself. Read more

Posted on by AmandaOnAir in anti-aging, bath and body, beauty, skin care Leave a comment

How to Get the Best Fake Tan

It’s true that tanned skin gives the appearance of healthy skin, masks skin imperfections, and can even give the illusion of a thinner body (that’s my favorite part.)

When I use a self tanner I tend to have to wear (ie. buy) less makeup to tackle all of the flaws on my aging face. I don’t need to overdo it (as in Tan Mom who now is no longer tan), just a sun-kissed look is good enough for me!

Here are some ways to ensure that you get the best fake tan in the winter months:  Read more

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

Review: Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs

If there is one thing I don’t look forward to in the Winter to Spring/Summer transition…it’s when I don those shorts, capris or skort for the first month only to reveal super pale legs. Not to mention that now that I’m on TV weekly for PA Live, I can no longer wear tights and nylons (or pantyhose as we’d refer to it in my day) just look weird in HD. So one day while on the set of PA Live I overheard Monica Madeja say she uses Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. Seeing how natural it looked on Monica, I knew I had to give it a try.

I honestly was very skeptical of Airbrush Legs prior to seeing how it looked on Monica. I figured that it would be along the lines of a self tanner and would look orange and after my L’Oreal Sublime Bronze debacle, I’ve stayed away from this sort of product.

I went with Light Glow, which is their leg makeup for fair skin tones. Having Keratosis Polaris on my legs doesn’t help my plight when it comes to my legs. It’s something I’ve inherited from my mom and I’ve always hated it. One thing that has always helped minimize its appearance is a tan. With TV in HD, those red dots show up clearly, so without having to bask in the sun, Airbrush Legs seems like the perfect compromise.  Read more

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

Get a Head Start on Your Spring Break Glow With a Luminizing Body Lotion

As much as some of us would like to, we can’t all be blessed with a tan year-round – and it isn’t necessarily always in season to rock a just-back-from-the-beach glow. But that shouldn’t discourage you from benefiting from the more natural options of beautifying your complexion! Cop a spring version of the perfect faux glow in the most flattering way possible, with a luminizing body lotion. Unlike self-tanners, it won’t leave you streaky, discolored or unseasonably orange, and there’s no need for any tricky trial-and-error to find your ideal skin tone match.

Luminizers work for all skin tones and types, moisturizing skin while leaving just the slightest shimmery sheen that will catch the light in all the right places, making you appear just a tad bit slimmer and bringing out the best of your natural tone without tampering with it. You’ll get a more natural-looking spring glow that camouflages skin imperfections and leaves you naturally radiant!

Pictured above: L’Occitane Crème de Roses Perlée, Pacifica Coconut Crushed Pearl Luminizing Body Butter, Daisy Eau So Fresh Marc Jacobs Luminous Body Lotion, and Borghese Brightening Body Glow.

- Alex Gambardella

Guest post from my friends at

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, skin care, Spring Beauty Leave a comment

Get Your Glow On All Year Round With a Gradual Self-Tanner

While I wouldn’t say that I’m tanorexic, so to speak, and I never verge on the orange side of way too tan, I have to admit that I do enjoy my summer glow. It makes me look and feel healthier, sexier, thinner, and looks great against my favorite brightly-hued wardrobe pieces. But does it really have to be summer to rock a summer glow? Is being tan strictly a seasonal thing? Technically no, but there is something to be said about using self-tanner in moderation in the off-season!

Gradual self-tanners help you get and maintain that subtle glow without showing up at work one day looking an entirely different shade than the day before! Moisturize with a gradual self-tanning lotion and skin will be nourished, soothed, and firm while slowly but surely building an even sun-kissed tone. Let’s face it – unless you’re heading out to the tropics for the holiday season, you have no reason to look like you’ve spent a week at the beach in one go!

From left to right: St. Tropez Tanning Essentials Everyday Gradual Tan, Sisley-Paris Soleil San Soleil Self Tanning Lotion, purminerals Get a Little Self Tanning Lotion, and La Prairie Gradual Tanning Lotion.

- Alex Gambardella

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

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

Xen-Tan Partners With E! For The Perfect Hollywood-Worthy Sunless Tan

E! already reigns supreme with their coverage of Hollywood glamour on the red carpet, and now the network has been lending its name to beauty brands (like Stila!) and fashion labels (like Adrianna Papell!) to help we non-celebrities channel our inner fashion icon. The latest hit from the E! Live From The Red Carpet collection is its collaboration with Xen-Tan.

The Perfect Blend Shimmer Bronzer is designed to help us get our glow on without visiting a salon, and aims to make it easy enough for us amateurs to get a streak-free, natural-looking tan from home! It even has a dial to help customize your tan, so application is disaster-free. Red Carpet frequenters Audrina Patridge, Holly Madison, Karina Smirnoff, and E! correspondent Lisa Rinna all swear by the spray-on blend because it delivers a natural-looking glow that still makes an impact from afar and in photos, and doesn’t have that yucky canned-tan smell of many bronzing mists. If it’s good enough for the notoriously unforgiving red carpet, I’m certainly willing to give it a try!

- Alex Gambardella

Guest beauty post for A Girl’s Gotta Spa! from my friends at

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Celebrity Beauty 2 Comments

Review: L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Luminous Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion

sublime_bronze_self_tannerWith the short spurt of warmer weather last week, I got the itch for Spring. Yet there is nothing worse than wanting to wear a skirt only to have pasty, snow white legs. That’s when self-tanning is in order and I decided to give L’Oreal’s Sublime Bronze Luminous Bronze Self-Tanning Lotion a try. I’m a fan of L’Oreal products and since they make purchasing easy (completely affordable at $10 and found at my local CVS) it was definitely worth a shot. However, this time around I realized the $36 for Aqua Tan’s Body Milk really outbeat the results of this product.

Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, skin care 57 Comments

Self Tanning Tips from Dera Enochson, Creator of Xen-Tan

headshotIf you are looking in the mirror lately and see dull, drab skin staring back at you, then some self tanning may be in order. We all know there is a right way and wrong way to self tan, as evidenced by those Sunkist-orange type ladies we often giggle to ourselves about. So why not get some tips from someone who created a self tanning brand herself? Dera Enochson, tanning Expert and creator of the Xen-Tan self-tanning collection, is sharing her tips on creating the perfect, natural looking self-tan with product recommendations to boot.

Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty 6 Comments

Review: Aqua Tan Clear Self Tanning Treatment For Faces

I’ve raved about Aqua Tan’s Self Tanning Body Milk before (no orange color, no overwhelming smell) so I decided to give their Clear Self Tanning Treatment for Faces a try. The picture to the left is the light color my skin normally is and to the right is my color after two applications of Aqua Tan. Not a huge difference, but the effects is just the way I like it…a natural looking sun kissed skin tone. As you can see from the picture above–no orange look at all (let’s leave that to Sunkist Ok?)

Aqua Tan’s Self Tanning Treatment for Faces comes in a 1.7 oz. spray bottle. You can either spray it directly on your face and then smooth it out or you can spray into the palm of your hand and rub it over your face. I chose to spray it into my hands, as I felt like it gave me more control over knowing exactly where the solution was being smoothed over on my face. I definitely feared orange streaks or worse–missing areas and looking patchy. Since the solution is clear it is all about being diligent with ensuring you smooth it from the inside moving out to the hair line and down your neck. Aqua Tan’s color doesn’t show up right away, it does take about 6 hours before you notice any color change.

I’m definitely very happy with how the color has turned out on my face. If you choose to spray Aqua Tan into your palms, be sure to wash your hand thoroughly afterwards. Aqua Tan is available at

Other self-tanning posts on A Girl’s Gotta Spa! (sm)

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty 3 Comments