La Fresh hello Eco-Beauty Lip Treat Review

In the summer, the last thing I want to do is to apply any sort of sticky or gooey product to my lips.  I am a lip gloss fanatic, but even the lightest gloss is too much product for me when it's sweltering.  I will usually just opt for Read more

Sabon Loofah Soap

// // Exfoliating my body is one of those acts of beauty that I try to perform about twice a week. I love how soft, smooth and radiant my skin feels and look after exfoliating.However, as much as I love freshly exfoliated skin, sometimes I am just too lazy Read more

A Girl's Gotta Spa! Natural Bath and Body Products on Amazon

A Girl's Gotta Spa! natural bath and body products can now be found on Amazon.com via etailz. I'm beyond thrilled at the exponential growth we're having with our retail partnerships! Amazon.com strives to be Earth's most customer-centric company where people can find and discover virtually anything they want to buy Read more

DIY Cooling Cucumber Mask

During my two month stay in Bali, a significant amount of time was spent at Amo Spa in Seminyak.  I enjoyed the most amazing spa treatments that I've every experienced and though I have only been back in the US for a week, I am going through serious Amo Read more

#SummerizeYourLegs Twitter Party 7/22/14 8pm EST #shop

Do you love a good Twitter Party? You know we do and we’re excited to host a party about summer legs! On July 22nd at 8:00pm ET, please join us for the #SummerizeYourLegs Twitter Party where we’ll be discussing women’s razors and shaving tips, and giving you a chance to win prizes! No matter your Read more

spa treatments

Spa Week 2014 A Girl’s Gotta Spa!

Spa Week 2014

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 Manor, Spa Ssakwa’q’n and Dorit Baxter Day Spa. To find other spas local to you participating in Spa Week, be sure to check out SpaWeek.com. And don’t forget to enter our giveaway mentioned at the bottom of this post! Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Beauty Discount, Spa, Wellness 45 Comments

The Perfect Spa Pedicure

Perfect #Spa Pedicure

When you visit a spa, you want your entire body to be pampered. Your tired muscles are massaged, your face is rejuvenated and perfectly moisturized, and your hands are elegantly manicured. If you pay all this attention to the rest of your body, then why not do the same for your feet as well? A spa pedicure can be a truly special experience, particularly if you know what to look for and where to go.

However, the sad truth is that spa pedicures vary considerably in quality. (I totally see you nodding in agreement.) In some spas, a pedicure doesn’t amount to much more than having your toenails buffed and polished (been there, done that), whereas other spas provide an amazing range of treatments. So, exactly what should you look for when you are choosing a spa to look after your feet? Just what is the perfect spa pedicure? Read more

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

At-Home Spa Treatments from Lapis Spa at Fontainebleau Miami Beach

spa facials at homeAs the summer season is finally upon us, Josie Feria, Director of Lapis Spa at Fontainebleau, shows you how to bring luscious Lapis Spa treatments home and get rid of dry, unseen skin just in time for the warmer weather!

Pre-Summer Body Exfoliation Simulates Spalicious Body Scrub

Skin softening natural all body exfoliating treatment

  • Ingredients:  ½ cup olive oil, ¾ cup fine sea salt and drops of your favorite aromatherapy oil. Keep in mind the oil selected should be specific to treatment goal – citrus is energizing – lavender relaxing – peppermint stimulating
  • Place all items in a bowl and blend together
  • Next, step into the shower and moisten the body – apply the blend by hand in circular motion or for increased exfoliation apply with loofah mitt or body brush
  • Rinse off thoroughly.  Skin will feel smooth and soft and supple. For further hydration apply body lotion directly to moist skin Read more
Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, DIY Beauty 1 Comment

A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Holiday Gift Guide

If you survived Black Friday and are still in need of some holiday gift ideas for the family or friend who loves beauty products, then I know you’ll find our Holiday Gift Guide useful. Amanda, Gail and I put together some of our best and most favorite gift ideas (i.e. gifts we’d like to see under the tree) into a 13 page catalog. We opted not to create a multitude of holiday gift posts and thought a handy catalog that you can browse through and link directly to the product would make for a great all-in-one-place guide.

Here’s what we covered: Hair care, skin care, bath & body, holiday kits, cosmetics, gifts that give back and spas and spa treatments that we love. There’s some nail polish mentioned in there too!

Many thanks to Kelli & Co. for creating the cover for our Holiday Gift Guide. When reading it, make sure you view it at 100%; it is a downloadable PDF.

Enjoy the catalog and please feel free to pass onto your friends! Download it by clicking this link: Holiday Gift Guide

Disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links and 2 brands mentioned are clients.

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

Spa Week’s Top 10 Spa Trends for Fall 2011


Spa Week Fall 2011, presented by Carefree, is happening October 10th-16th with the founding mission of making the spa lifestyle accessible to ALL. This Fall, 800 spas and wellness facilities across North America are participating, offering 2-3 of their top spa services for just $50 a piece (normally $75-$500). Massages, facials, acupuncture, fitness class packages, eyelash extensions, Botox… the options are endless! Booking has now begun. Browse all treatments in your city on www.spaweek.com. It is recommended to book as soon as possible for preferred treatments and time slots.

And now for Spa Week’s top 10 spa trends for fall:

1. Shirodhara
We know what you’re thinking: Shiro-whata? Don’t try this at dinner, but drizzling warm sesame oil onto one’s forehead is extremely therapeutic. Shirodhara, which dates back to India circa 5000 years ago, is now being incorporated into more and more spa menus, and seen as an add-on to Western treatments like body wraps and Swedish Massages.

It’s the good kind of oil spill: The ritual’s steady spilling brings physical and emotional balance while giving hair an extreme conditioning. Shirodhara is known to calm nerves, release stored emotions, purify the mind, and fight fatigue, anxiety, insomnia and headaches.

2. Bamboo Massage

De-knot your body by getting rolled out like a sugar cookie with a Bamboo rolling pin-esque Massage. The massage therapist will knead, glide and roll a Bamboo reed along shoulders, back and legs to pamper and penetrate tense muscles.

The benefits of Bamboo-ing: Bamboo Massage promotes blood circulation, improves sensory nerve perception, and does lymphatic drainage. Bamboo also symbolizes longevity, luck and strength, making it a somewhat spiritual spa experience.

3. Cupping and Gua Sha
Did you ever wish you could literally suck or scrape the pain and soreness right out of your body? With the ancient Chinese healing therapies of cupping and Gua Sha, you can!

How it works: Cupping uses suction on the skin’s surface to “suck” stagnant blood from deep beneath the surface, and Gua Sha “scrapes” the skin to mobilize blood flow in a similar fashion. Both alternative therapies provide extreme pain and tension relief, especially on the back. These therapies are becoming more and more mainstream, despite the temporary bruising it causes, as new consumers experience their drastic benefits.

4. Acupressure
No pressure to get pricked here. Acupressure employs the concept of acupuncture, (the granddaddy of healing) only rather than needles, it uses physical pressure of hands, elbows and other devices. Practitioners target specific points along the body’s energy pathways, or “meridians,” to encourage healing and balance in the individual.

What it’s good for: Relief from allergies, chronic arthritis pain and migraines; pain-sufferers can reap the benefits of this ancient Chinese medicine without fear of being poked.

5. Boozing with Benefits
It’s always happy hour at the spa, but more and more spas are incorporating alcohol into their treatment offerings.

On the cocktail menu: Champagne and wine-infused treatments can smooth skin tissue, stimulate blood flow and are a powerful ingredient in anti-aging. Beer yeast is rich in elements that increase skin elasticity and improve acne by suppressing sebum. Even Scotch Whiskey is showing up on the spa scene; it’s full of sugars, minerals and vitamin B6, giving it excellent hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties.

6. Shellac Attack
There’s been a lot of hype around UV Manicures, especially the popular Shellac Manicure since it first launched last Spring – the hard lustrous finish! The zero dry-time! The 14-day no chipping/smudging/denting promise! And did you see the Shellac flash mob? A cross between gels and a regular manicure, products like Shellac and Axxium are certainly no fad, as the color selection gets larger and trendier each season.

Why Shellac? Spa-goers love Shellac Manicures because they get a long lasting, no-mess result, and spas love them just as much because it brings in new clients and revenue, without increasing the service time. Shellac Manicures are a win-win!

7. Men’s Treatments

Did you know men make up for 31% of active spa-goers? And did you know the most common spa packages offered are for men, with 45% of U.S. spas offering such a package? By incorporating no-frills, guy-friendly scents like sandalwood, mustard seed, eucalyptus and thyme, spas are able to successfully market to men.

What services are considered guy-friendly? Hot Shaves, Gentlemen’s Facials, Golf Ball Massages and more have enticed male consumers to experiment and experience the health benefits of the spa just as frequently as their female counterparts (who, oftentimes, are the ones who got them hooked!)


8. Mobile Spas  (not to be confused with Spa Week’s Mobile App)With more and more mobile food establishments rolling around the country serving gourmet dishes and desserts, spas aren’t far behind. One of the emerging trends is getting your massage, facial, or other spa service street-side, in a spa on wheels.

Why go mobile? Mobile spas are in high demand as they conveniently bring the day spa experience right to your home, office or venue. With gas prices at an all-time high, the mobile spa experience saves time and money, and is now a popular and sought-after addition to wellness and bridal parties and even corporate events.

9. Deep Sea Spa-ing

The word “spa” is derived from water, so it is a wonder that water-based spa treatments are so often overlooked. The Jacuzzi is perhaps the most well-known version of “hydro-therapy,” but more and more aquatic treatments like Hammam Rituals, Vichy Showers and Watsu are a booming trend, especially in hotel spas.

How to H2O: Each of these water treatments utilized hydro-thermal therapy to relax tight and sore muscles and promote smooth and cleansed skin all while stimulating blood circulation to promote healing. Hammam Rituals combine heat, aromatherapy, steam, bubbles, water and mud to cleanse the skin and detoxify the body. A Vichy Shower is a unique aquatic therapy that invigorates your body while laying flat under powerful water jets, inspired by treatments used in the French city, Vichy. Watsu, short for water Shiatsu, is a massage performed in a warm, shallow pool.  As the water gently cradles the guest so the massage therapist can work the full 360 degrees of your body.

10.  Spa with a Conscience
“Green” spas and treatments are thriving right now in the industry; spa owners are making critical revisions by incorporating renewable energy, holistic and eco-friendly services and indigenous ingredients into their businesses, and it’s paying off in the long run.

But how? More and more consumers are considering a spa’s environmental philosophy, along with price and location in their decision to visit a new spa. Spas are practicing conservation by purchasing organic linens, biodegradable aesthetic gauze and eco-friendly cleaning supplies to keep each guest sanitary and safe during their appointment. How’s that for a feel-good spa day?

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Beauty Trends, Pocono Spas & Salons, Spa 1 Comment

A Spa Cleanse at Home: Expert Tips from Mirbeau Inn & Spa



A seasonal detox is an effective way to clear toxins out of one’s system to speed up metabolism, and to enhance overall health. On the heels of its successful Fresh Start Cleanse Retreat this spring, the award-winning Mirbeau Inn & Spa offers up a do-it-yourself detox for those who seek to continue its health benefits at home. While I’ve never been to Mirbeau, I hear it is only about 3 hours from me and I’ve heard amazing things about it…I may just have to take a trip up there one weekend…

Here are Spa Director Matt Dower’s top tips for an at-home cleanse:

  • Start your morning with a tall glass of water with the juice of ½ of a lemon. Lemon helps re-hydrate the system and promotes digestion, which will help the flow of waste out of your body.
  • Decrease your sugar intake, including honey, molasses and artificial sweeteners. If you eat more sugar, you ask your body for more insulin, straining your pancreas and wearing yourself out. In the long term, this kind of habit can cause you to become chronically fatigued, diabetic, develop cancer, and pack on excess weight.
  • Eat more rice products and less wheat and processed grain. Eat more garbanzo and mung beans. Certain foods contain nutrition that enhances the liver’s ability to clear toxins from the body.
  • Eat as much fresh organic fruits and vegetables as possible, especially leafy greens, carrots, beets, broccoli, cucumbers, garlic, onions, artichokes and peppers. Certain foods contain nutrition that enhances the liver’s ability to clear toxins from the body.
  • Use unheated flax seed oil instead of other cooking oils.
  • Eat vitamin C-rich foods to help detoxify your liver and strengthen the immune system against toxic exposure.
  • Make sure you have adequate amounts of vitamins D, E and K in your diet. Many people are deficient in these vitamins that play a key role in antioxidant function.
  • Sweat. Sweating is a natural way for the body to get rid of toxins. Whether through aerobic exercise, heated yoga, a sauna or otherwise, sweat daily.
  • Make sure you drink plenty of filtered water during and after your workout to replace the water loss.
  • Eat more foods with amino acids such as grass-fed meat, wild fish, cage-free eggs, milk and legumes. Amino acids have a special ability to attach themselves to toxins and drag them out of the body.
  • Meditate. Creating a quiet, calm and focused mind helps eliminate toxins that build up in the mind.
  • Exercise. Regular exercise encourages circulation in the blood and lymph system, enhances digestion, reduces tension, lubricates the joints, and strengthens the body. People who exercise regularly have far fewer total toxins in their systems.

Spa-goers can complement their at-home cleansing rituals with a variety of detoxifying spa treatments at Mirbeau Inn & Spa. These include:

Aromatherapy Ritual (lymphatic drainage massage): A personalized aromatherapy experience and fusion of eastern and western massage techniques promotes balance of mind, body and spirit.

Pinot Noir – Body Polish & Wrap (Vinotherapy treatment): Pinot Noir Body mask is applied and exfoliated off to expose fresh nourished skin. The body is then wrapped with a Shiraz Firming Cream to tighten, nourish and hydrate.

Nature’s Most Pure Facial: Blue lotus symbolizes purity of mind and body. Restore balance, clarity and radiance to skin with this deep cleansing facial. A Spirulina Mask is used to draw out impurities and aid with extractions. (From what I hear, they use Amala skincare products for this facial…which I am very partial to. In full disclosure, I also work with Amala–which is why I know they have amazing skin treatments!)

Have you ever been to Mirbeau Inn & Spa? Please leave a comment!

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in anti-aging, beauty, Spa 1 Comment