#EyeHeartNY Twitter Party 4/24 #ad

This summer I'll be 40. Wrinkles and fine lines know their way around my face like a road map. I wish what I know now about anti-aging, I knew 20 years ago so that I could take better care of my skin. However, since I can't literally turn back Read more

Beauty Benefits of Lime

It may sound silly, but even though I don't drink, those Corona commercials snag my attention every time. Sounds of the ocean, the sense of relaxation and the refreshing lime placed perfectly in the bottle neck. It's that lime that calls out to me saying, "Let me quench your Read more

Gail Lewis - SUPER Model

If you've read the bios of the A Girl's Gotta Spa! editors, you may stumble across the fact that Gail Lewis is a model. I don't mean model being kind, like Gail is attractive, I mean model like fierce, confident and in-demand. And of course, as in actually having Read more

#BeautyInspiration Twitter Party April 16th #shop

 Image credit: Hairspray & High Heels We have major love here at A Girl's Gotta Spa! for makeup. From makeup trends to makeup tips, when to spend and when to splurge, as well as the latest products for each season, you can count on us to bring that info to you. Read more

Spa Week 2014 A Girl's Gotta Spa! and Giveaway

It's that time of year again when spas lower their prices on some of their spa treatments, otherwise known as Spa Week! From April 21–27th, spas, fitness facilities and wellness centers across the country will be offering $50 spa treatments, including a few spas that we've reviewed like The French Read more

smashbox

Smashbox Photo Op Eye Enhancing Palette Reviews

Dramatic, bold eyes are very popular, however an elegant soft eye never gets old.  Create a bold eye with Smashbox’s Photo Op Eye Enhancing Palette ($39) in Smokebox or go for a more romantic look with the Softbox palette. Get a camera-ready look with this set of six perfectly coordinated Photo Op Eye Shadows.

Each palette comes with an awesome compact with a nice size mirror and not to mention a double sided makeup brush that is soft as can be. Each palette consists of 6 pigmented colors, which apply smoothly, last all day and the colors blend very well. The Photo Op Eye Enhancing Palettes are timeless and will create the perfect look for women of any age.

Smashbox Softbox palette Read more

Posted on by Ashley Smith in beauty, eye shadow, Makeup, makeup tips 1 Comment

Be The Ultimate Beach Babe With These Ocean-Inspired Shadows

While the average person may be day-dreaming of summer breaks full of sun and sand, relaxation, beach days, barbecues, and a tropical vacation, we fashion and beauty addicts are more likely fondly thinking of candy-colored sandals, printed maxi dresses, and the perfect summer faux-tan. And now, just in time for that aforementioned tropical vacay, I’ve got yet another seasonal trend to covet: ocean eyeshadow shades! Incorporating pops of color into your makeup routine is a fun, fresh, and daring way to get into the summer spirit and make your eyes really stand out, and turquoise, aqua, and sea-inspired hues are undoubtedly beach-festive for the season at hand.   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Beauty Trends, eye shadow, Makeup Leave a comment

Review: Smashbox LIMITLESS Cream Shadow

Between work, work, and a more work (okay, we’ll throw a little “play” into the mix for sanity’s sake), I need makeup that will last for longer than a typical 9 to 5.  When it comes to eye makeup, I run into one of two problems: the color either settles in my lid creases, or it wears off within the first few hours post-application.

I was intrigued when I heard about Smashbox’s LIMITLESS 15 Hour Wear cream shadow, and knew I had to try it. I normally trust Smashbox products (hel-lo, primer collection) so I already had a good feeling going into it.  The shadow comes in twelve different shades, and I chose to put the Quartz shade (a soft rose gold) to the test.

What I love most about the product is that regardless of which shade you choose, it can be worn day or night with a few simple alterations. During the day, the cream provides awesome sheer coverage with  a healthy, glossy sheen. For a nighttime look, I added a touch of shadowing and liner for a smoky plum eye (pictured below). I’m looking forward to trying some of the other colors and testing out more looks soon – my next shade is “Riches”, for sure.  Read more

Posted on by Amanda Huggins in beauty, eye shadow, Makeup Leave a comment

Smashbox Photo Finish SPF15 with Dermaxyl

I have never really seen the point of primers and tended to regard them as a way for a cosmetic company to sell a product that is essentially superfluous. That is until I bought Smashbox Photo Finish SPF15 ($17) and discovered that it completely transforms the look and behavior of foundation to create a super smooth and long-lasting look. OK, I get it now. But there’s a lot more going on with this primer.

Smashbox Photo Finish SPF15 is an anti-aging version of its cult status foundation primer, Photo Finish. In addition to sunscreen ingredients, it boasts something called Dermaxyl, which makes this version of Photo Finish an anti-ager. Makeup morphing into skincare is a trend that we are going to see more of. In a way, this makes Photo Finish something of a BB cream, these new multitaskers that are all the rage in Asia and are taking off in the US. But do these additional bells and whistles really add up to much?

My guess is that Smashbox’s Dermaxyl is one of the collagen-boosting peptides that is known as Matrixyl 3000, palmitoyl oligopeptide, and antioxidant green tea and grape seed extracts. Plus there’s kola seed (which is a source of caffeine) and moisturizing ceramide-2. These are all worthwhile additions and I like the thought that a humble primer is doing my skin some good.

On the other hand, I would prefer Photo Finish SPF15 if Smashbox hadn’t decided to include a sunscreen at all. I can see why it wouldn’t choose chalky (but relatively safe) zinc oxide, but I wish it hadn’t opted for the toxin and estrogen mimicking, octinoxate (although researchers disagree on the concentrations needed before it becomes harmful). The other sunscreen used here is the relatively safe octisalate. There’s also diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate, a UVA absorber, which the EU has pronounced as harmless in concentrations up to 10%. So, all in all, it could be worse. There is, though, retinyl palmitate and this is increasingly being regarded as to be avoided if exposure to sun is expected as research has shown it to be carcinogenic.

There’s a ton of silicone here, but then it is a primer after all and that silky layer has to be achieved somehow. Most of the other ingredients, even the solvent methyl perfluroisobutyl ether, seem to be fairly benign.

Before buying this again, I’d prefer that Smashbox made a few formula alterations such as leaving out the retinyl palmitate and finding alternatives to phenoxyethanol and propylene glycol. But until then, Smashbox has given its cult primer a nudge in the right direction for those of us that want makeup to contribute to their anti-aging regimen.

For more honest reviews and information about beauty and personal care products, visit Truthinaging.com

Active Ingredients: 7.5% octinoxate, 5% octisalate. Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone crosspolymer, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, methyl perfluroisobutyl ether, methyl perfluorobutyl ether, diethylamino hydroxybenzoyl hexyl benzoate, safflower seed oil, cola acuminata seed extract, green tea, grape seed extract, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, tribehenin, ceramide-2, PEG-10 rapeseed sterol, palmitoyl oligopeptide, tocopheryl acetate, retinyl palmitate, water, ethyl trisiloxane, caprylyl methicone, methicone, silica, silica silyate, hexylene glycol, propylene glycol, triethoxycaprylysilane, caprylyl glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, phenoxyethanol, (+/- iron oxides, titanium dioxide)

Posted on by Marta Wohrle in anti-aging, Makeup, Primer Leave a comment