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

spa treatment

Girlfriend Spa Getaways at Cara Mor Spa Retreat in Spruce Creek, PA

While spa vacations have always been popular, spa retreats designated specifically for a girlfriend getaway has picked up speed in the last year. Just about 3 hours from me, in Spruce Creek PA, Cara Mor Spa Retreat is the latest luxury health spa to open…but not only just for women–but private parties of women. That means you and your friends get the entire place to yourself. Talk about personalized service!

Cara Mor is tucked away in a serene setting with 3 different lodges to accommodate the needs and size of your private party. Chef Rock is your personal Chef, who’ll whip up some comfort food–whether it is organic or a midnight snack, for you and your friends. During your stay, 7 hours at the spa is split between you and your guests each day…can you imagine getting a massage or facial on your time line and not based on the spa’s availability to squeeze you in? Read more

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

A Girl’s Gotta Spa!’s Best Beauty Products of 2010

Happy 2011! Hopefully you are ringing in the new year with a positive attitude that this year will be even better than 2010! Have you made any skin care resolutions? I know I have…especially as I realize that I am not getting any younger.

Just in case you missed any of these posts, I’ve put together my list of the best beauty products reviewed in 2010 by A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Was your favorite listed?

1. Skin Care:

Renée Rouleau Vitamin C & E Complex

2. Bath & Body:

Silky Cosmetics Body Creme & Whipped Sugar Body Polish

3. Hair Care:  Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, Hair Care, Makeup, men's grooming, Nail Polish, salon, skin care, Spa 2 Comments

SpaFinder Names Top 10 Global Spa Trends for 2011

Calling all spa girls! Want to know what’s on trend for 2011 when it comes to spas and their treatments? Susie Ellis, SpaFinder President, author of the SpaFinder blog and column and a contributing editor to NewBeauty magazine, has developed a global trend report that I’m going to republish below. Which of these trends do you think will take off the most? I personally like trend #5.

Additionally, check out the SpaFinder blog for “Hot and Getting Hotter Spa Trends 2011.”

2011 SPA TREND REPORTâ„¢ Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Beauty Trends, Spa 1 Comment

The Spa at Stone House in Little Compton, RI

I am a native Rhode Islander (go West Warwick Wizards!) and I love all things about the ocean and New England. It’s no wonder I had such amazing skin when I was younger since I spent so many days swimming in the ocean (err looking at boys.) I’m planning at some point to make my way to Stone House in Little Compton RI some time in 2011 (it’s on my I really want to go here list) simply because I have heard so many people rave about their spa. What could be more perfect than staying in a historic building in Newport County to take in all that my quaint home state has to offer?

Since it’s the holidays, here are some Peppermint spa treatments that Stone House has on their menu:

Peppermint Pedicure $45
Cooling Peppermint Pedicure completely natural and intensely nourishing and hydrating. This pedicure utilizes natural peppermint essential oil and organic sugar.

Peppermint Massage $75
Fresh, cool, and lively, Peppermint massage is wonderful for the circulation, this sparkling scent invigorates the mind, increases memory and concentration, and relieves fatigue. You will be massaged with super-absorbable exotic oils and peppermint essential oil.  Read more

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

For the Spa Girl: At-Home Spa Tips from Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

diy_spa_treatmentHere is a guest post from Brennan Evans, Director of Spa Operations at Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess!

Winter weather unfortunately can lead to dry, flaky skin. Here is an at-home spa remedy for keeping your skin hydrated and nourished!

  • Use a dry soft fiber brush before showering and gently dry brush the skin. This helps to exfoliate dead skin and increase blood circulation to the skin surface – enhancing skin luminosity.
  • Then shower off skin using a favorite body shower gel.
  • Depending on skin type you can create your own hydrating/exfoliating scrub from either sugar or salt incorporating a base oil and drops of your favorite essential oils to blend together. Sugar for sensitive skin and salt for deeper exfoliation. Thoroughly and gently exfoliate and rinse skin then pat towel dry to allow the hydrating effects of the oil to remain on the skin.

Depending on skin type/sensitivity this can be repeated once or twice a week. Healthy skin aids in the efficient removal of toxins from the body.

In addition to these tips, Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Scottsdale is offering two very fun and festive treatments this holiday season:   Read more

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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

DIY Hawaiian Rain Shower Polish From Spa Moana at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

DIY Spa Treatment #spa

I have always wanted to go to Hawaii. My dad used to live there and would often email me pictures of this amazing place. So when Spa Moana at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa reached out to me about their Hawaiian Rain Shower Polish that guests receive there, I asked about how those of use who can’t afford the flight to this oasis, can bring the experience in-home. Because naturally, a girl’s gotta spa!

At Spa Moana, guests booking the Hawaiian Rain Shower Polish receive a 45 min body scrub and wrap. The service uses Raw Maui Sugar and fresh Hawaiian botanicals which are applied to the skin producing a naturally exfoliating and softening effect. Coconut oil is massaged into the scalp and hair, and a warm towel is then wrapped around the head. This allows for a deeper penetration for the oil to hydrate the hair follicles and repair damaged ends. To finish, a six shower head Vichy shower glides above the body to rinse and revitalized. To complete this journey the therapist applies a warm coconut milk and macadamia nut oil to the body, leaving skin moist and nurtured from the ain’a (land) of Hawaii.

Here’s how to recreate the Hawaiian Rain Shower Polish at home: Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, DIY Beauty, skin care, Spa 3 Comments

Spa Crawl Video: Spa Week April 12th-18th

The 12th edition of the Spa Week Event is slated for April 12th – 18th, 2010. In total, the nationwide Spa Week Spring Event will include 30 markets and a list of participating spas has been poted www.spaweek.com as of March 15th. The Spring Spa Week Event will bring $50 spa treatments to consumers at over 800 spas across North America. As always, the goal is to introduce a new generation of consumers to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle by opening up the spa industry to the masses.

I LOVE this video that Michelle Joni from Spa Week did for her spa crawl to promote the promotion. (And I really want in on that aloe mask too!) A Girl’s Gotta Spa after all…

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Beauty Discount, Spa Leave a comment