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

skincare

nyakio ABC African Beauty Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen

nyakio ABC African Beauty Cream #review via @agirlsgottaspa  #beauty

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 dark with green undertones and most BB or CC creams ends up making my face look slightly ashy or like I went crazy with a really dark bronzer. I find that mixing two of the several variations of medium colors that I have sometimes gives me the look I’m going for, but honestly with my busy schedule most days I don’t have the time for mixing as I need something that simplifies my morning routine. Read more

Posted on by Mandy Lewis in anti-aging, beauty, Makeup, Primer, skin care Leave a comment

DIY Face Spritzer/Makeup Refreshing Spray



This past summer I had the opportunity of traveling to the city of Cebu in the Philippines to shoot a show for Fashion One Television. While there I was fortunate enough to work with an amazing makeup artist by the name of Beatriz Lopez.  Beatriz is a  London based freelancer, who provides makeup and hair styling for a broad range of clients from fashion and advertising to private commissions. Fully certified in all aspects of makeup, including special effects and body painting, she is also experienced in styling natural and synthetic hair.  Bea is just downright super talented and I absolutely loved my hair and makeup whenever she worked on me on set, so I was readily accepting of any beauty suggestions/tips she was kind enough to offer.  Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, DIY Beauty, skin care, Travel Beauty 1 Comment

Microbamboo Cleansing/Exfoliating Cloth

I have decided that this is the only wash cloth I am ever using…strong words I know but it is THAT amazing.  This cloth was suggested to me after getting eyelash extensions as a part of my lash care routine.  After getting eyelash extensions, you have to be really careful with your lashes and cannot get them wet 24-48 hours after having the extensions applied and a wash cloth is the best way to clean the face without getting your lashes soaked.  What peaked my interest with this cloth is that it is a Microbamboo Cleansing/Exfoliating Cloth, which is a fusion of  Microfiber and Bamboo-Charcoal. Bamboo-Charcoal is made by heating bamboo at a temperature of 1000°C, and then grounding it into nano-particles to combine with filament yarn.  The benefits of Microbamboo are: ultra-plush, velvety-soft, and super-absorbent, yet lightweight and durable cleansing cloth.   Read more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in beauty, skin care, Spa Leave a comment

Face Mask Review: Murad Age-Diffusing Firming Mask

I’m a big believer in facials regardless if they’re done at home or at a spa/salon. The complete ritual of a facial is so relaxing even if you’re doing it at home; just light a few candles, put on some light music and maybe pour yourself a glass of wine.

As my birthdays seem to pop up faster each year, I’m always on the lookout for products that will, “ahem”, assist with those delicate face issues that some of us ladies and gents find on the other side of our bathroom mirror. Me, personally, I blame those harsh apartment lights. But just in case the lights aren’t to blame and it’s father time just one step behind you, I’ve recently found a little gem of product that just may keep that pesky fella away for a while. The afore mentioned birthdays and driving cross-country has made my face a bit unhappy so I was thrilled to try this new product from MuradRead more

Posted on by Gail Lewis in anti-aging, beauty, skin care Leave a comment

Chemical Exfoliants and Physical Exfoliants Compared

Back in September I was blessed with the opportunity to speak to a crowd of about 120 people at the HBAExpo on social media and the beauty industry. Imagine my surprise when the very lovely Renee Rouleau was sitting in the crowd (and came up to introduce herself afterwards!) Renee has an amazing skin care line based on 9 different skin types. Below is the comparison of chemical exfoliants and physical exfoliants, which used in combination, is an effective way to reveal more youthful, radiant skin.

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, skin care 9 Comments

Need a 401K facial: 5 Alabama Spas Launching Economic Inspired Spa Treatments

Known for great golf at a real value, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama has added world-class resorts and spas. With the recent opening of the Spa at the Battle House Hotel in Mobile, the RTJ Golf Trail’s Resort Collection now has five spas and eight hotels. With these locations, Alabama currently ranks fourth in the country for the number of spas recommended by BestSpas USA. These spas are adding new treatments that may be just what your financial analyst ordered.

In response to the current economic conditions and increasing stresses, the Spas in the RTJ Golf Trail Resort Collection have come up with a series of new special treatments. This week, the five spas will begin offering: 401(k) Facials, an Economic Freefall Refresher and the Banker and Broker Escape.

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, skin care, Spa 3 Comments

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.

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

Review: Bethesda Sunscreen Soap

Bethesda #Sunscreen Soap

We often hear about people who go on to be a doctor because someone in their family battle a life threatening disease or someone who was inspired to create a product because nothing on the market could meet their needs. Well Jamie Collins Doss, owner of Bethesda Skincare, is one of those people. Her father had multiple skin cancers removed from his face after years of working in the field of his farm without sun protection and after becoming ill herself, Jamie’s skin could no longer tolerate traditional soaps. Thus the Bethesda Sunscreen Soap was born.

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, bath and body, beauty, salon, skin care 7 Comments

Warm up to Winter with a Mud Bath at Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort

Ok, so it’s not winter yet, but here in the Poconos, there are plenty of nights where I could easily believe it was! Warm up to winter as you slide into a toasty mud bath or hot mineral springs pool at the world-famous Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort in historic Calistoga, California. Dr. Wilkinson’s features three thermal pools: an enormous 80 degree pool, a large 90 degree pool, and an 102 degree indoor pool, a gigantic “hot tub,” perfect for a soak or swim the year round.

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, skin care, Spa, Winter Beauty 3 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