4 Beauty Blogger's Must-Have Beauty Accessories for Fall

Shannon Smyth1 comment
I love beauty products, but don't forget the beauty accessories! I'm talking hair dryers (can't live without my Conair Infiniti Nano Tourmaline Ceramic hair dryer), skin care accessories, makeup accessories...you name it! Here's some must-have beauty accessories for Fall from my fellow beauty bloggers (and myself!): Aly from AlyWalansky.com: For me, it's Crest 3D White Pro Effects Whitestrips. My income is super limited and yet, I'm expected to constantly smile for pictures and attend events, sometimes with just a few days' notice! This really truly makes my teeth look whiter in one day - which is great, until I break out the wine! Adina from Krasey Beauty: My must-have accessory is the Clarisonic, of course. It is a skin game-changer, a face fortifier, and a confidante to complexions everywhere. I use mine nightly for a massage and proper cleansing in one, and my skin glows for it.   Julie from I Heart Heels: The Zeno is my go-to on the spot "facial." It really keeps my skin clear (with one ingredient - heat!), and I'm really loving the Zeno Hot Spot for fall because it's so portable - and pretty! Shannon from A Girl's Gotta Spa!: Renee Rouleau Toning Cloths. I cannot live without these and if you have used them yourself, then you know that once you try them, you will never ever go back to using cotton balls or cotton pads! There is no lint, and these cloths are gentle enough to use on your face to remove makeup and apply toner, yet also strong enough to use when removing your nail polish. They are triple duty beauty! What is your must-have beauty accessory? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! for more beauty reviews! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle tooShannon on G+ *Disclosure

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Four-Handed Massage at The Woodhouse Day Spa in Kingston, PA

Shannon Smyth
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.  I was guided upstairs, bypassing a glass stained window and window box, and entering a room with ice water, fresh tea and plush chairs while I waited for Jenn and Mary to bring me into the duet room. I noticed there was a doorway at the back of this room with a small glass encased porch for guests to sit in and relax, as well. Once I received my microfiber/microchenille robe...which I will tell you is the MOST comfortable robe I have ever worn...I entered the duet room filled with the fragrance of lavender and vanilla. Jenn and Mary went to work giving me the most amazing and relaxing massage ever. They paid special attention to my upper back, as I had requested on my guest form, and avoided my sprained ankle. I warned them that it was entirely possible I would fall asleep during the 50 minute massage, and I have to say there was a few times where I dozed off.The Woodhouse Day Spa, Kingston, PA After the massage I went down to the gift shop and saw the robes were for sale (hi Mom, birthday present please!) as well as Primavera aromatherapy products (used during the massage), amala skin care, Supracor Spa Cells, handmade soaps, as well as mineral makeup. Maurita, the owner, and Rebecca, the manager of the spa, both took the time to introduce themselves as well. Thanks to my twitter followers for recommending The Woodhouse Day Spa! I can see why everyone highly recommends them! See www.Kingston.WoodhouseSpas.com and their Facebook fan page for more information.

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Hair Color Tips from Wella Professionals

Shannon Smyth3 comments
This past Saturday I was given the opportunity to go to the Wella Color Discovery Tour in Philadelphia. Despite the crazy humidity and 92 degree weather, there was a great turn out. But better yet I was able to get hair color tips direct from the Wella Professional stylists who were there to bring them straight to you.


But first, pictured here is Rose from Philadelphia. She came out to the Wella Color Discovery Tour because she's never been to a salon for professional hair color before. She's only used home coloring kits that were vegetable-based. Cait from Salon L'Etoile gave her some great recommendations. 
salon-l'etoileCait Kinslow, Salon L'Etoile Question: How long will my color last? Answer: I always tell my clients to come in for a touch up when it starts to bother them. For some, they come in within two weeks while others will wait up until 2 months. Koleston Perfect, which is Wella Professionals' permanent hair color, can last anywhere from 4-6 weeks and Color Touch, which is demi-permanent hair color, will last up to 24 washes. Question: How do I know which hair color is right for my skin tone? Answer: There is a simple trick you can do to figure this out; look at the veins in your wrists. If your veins are green then you would look good with warm tones (like chestnut and reds.) If your veins are blue, then you would look best with cool tones (like ash or pearl blonde.) Michael Antinore, East End Salon101_0303 Question: How can I make my hair color last longer? Answer: Don't shampoo everyday! You need the oils and dirt in your hair for it to stay healthy. Always stick with color-safe shampoo, otherwise you will be stripping the color from your hair. In the summer, a UV protectant spray is also beneficial as it will seal the cuticle to help you retain your color. Question: Why choose a salon versus doing it yourself? Isn't home hair color more affordable? Answer: The directions on DIY box hair color are very easy to mess up. For example, if it is your first time coloring your hair, then your 1st application should always be root to tip. However, for future applications, you only need to color your roots--not your whole head! Many people will just disregard this because it's easier to just apply it to your entire head. However, what happens is that only the roots give you the color you see on the box, but the rest of your hair will be a different color. For Grey hair, which is more pourous, this will be the most noticeable. When you choose home hair coloring kits, essentially you are spending less to spend more (to have a professional fix it.) richard-nicholas-hair-studioRebecca Haig, Richard Nicholas Hair Studio Question: Can you make my hair color like (insert name of celebrity here)? Answer: People bring in pictures of celebrities all of the time asking me to duplicate their hair color. However, they are basing their choice on the celebrity, not the actual hair color. I always tell them to cover the face on the picture, then look at it again to see if they truly want the color. Most times the answer is no. Question: Is blonde the easiest color to change your hair to? Answer: It may be the most popular, but it is not a color you want to try to do on your own. Home hair coloring kits tends to produce more brassy colored and over processed blondes. Also, depending on the color your hair is currently, it may be something you want to fade into gradually. A salon professional can color your hair blonde in a way that leaves it looking more natural, in better condition and with results that will last longer. Liz Wright, Panyc Salonpanyc-salon Liz offered some fantastic tips to help you alter your daily routine in order to achieve a longer and healthier shelf life to your hair color.
  • Like Michael said, don't shampoo everyday. The more you shampoo you make your sebaceous glands go into overdrive producing more oil. Simply, wet your hair, but rub your fingers along your scalp as if you are shampooing. This will help disperse the oils in your hair more evenly.
  • On the days you don't shampoo, it's OK to use conditioner only. However, apply from your tips at the bottom up midshaft, don't apply conditioner to the top of your head.
  • Detangle hair in the shower with your fingers. Hair is most fragile when it's wet. You know that squeaky clean sound when you brush your hair when it's wet? That's the sound of your hair breaking.
  • Water temperature makes a big difference in the health of your hair. My advice, even in the winter, is to turn down the water temperature when shampooing or conditioning. Wash your hair in a temperature you would wash a baby in.
I honestly learned so much from attending this event by Wella. "Like" their fan page to get updates on when their Color Discovery Tour is coming to a city near you! *Disclosure

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Summer Skin Care Advice from Paula Begoun

Shannon Smyth
Summer #SkinCare Tips from Paula Begoun With warmer weather here, I asked Paula Begoun to share some summer skin care advice to help us get our glow on! Paula is the creator and innovative force behind Paula's Choice skin care and cosmetics. She also launched Beautypedia.com, which features tens of thousands of candid, research-supported product reviews by Paula, herself. For a summer of fun in the sun, check out what Paula had to say: 
  • You may need to change your skin-care routine during summer weather. Many women find switching to a gel cleanser and lighter moisturizer preferable.
  • If you're spending more time outdoors and showing more skin during hot weather, be sure your sunscreen is rated SPF 15 or greater (and greater is better) and that it provides broad spectrum protection.
  • Don't forget to reapply sunscreen during long days outdoors and there's no such thing as "all day," "sweatproof" or "waterproof" protection!
  • Don't forget to apply sunscreen to often-missed areas such as the back of the neck, tops of ears, tops of feet, and along the hairline.
  • If your hairstyle has a strong part that exposes your scalp, massage a bit of sunscreen on this exposed area of be sure you have a hat to protect the exposed part of your scalp.
  • If you happen to get sunburned, get out of direct sunlight immediately and seek shade. Apply a lightweight, alcohol-free, gel-textured moisturizer or use plain aloe vera gel.
  • Apply cool, wet compresses to sunburned areas to reduce heat. You may also want to sit in a cool, plain bath (no bubble bath or bath oils, but you can add powdered oatmeal for its soothing qualities.)
  • Aspirin or other over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines can help reduce the redness and pain of sunburn; follow the directions on the bottle and make sure you consult your physician first if you're taking other prescription drugs.
  • Stay out of the sun until your sunburn heals and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, juices, or any alcohol- and caffeine-free beverage you prefer.
Love these tips? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too

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Haircolorist Michael Angelo Offers 10 Tips To Pamper Your Color-Treated Hair

Shannon Smyth2 comments
Michael Angelo_haircoloristI don't know about you, but I color and highlight my hair. And trying to stretch my dollar as much as I can, maintaining the color for as long as possible is super important to me. Michael Angelo, certified haircolorist and owner of The Michael Angelo Hair Studio and The Michael Angelo Masterpiece Haircare product line, is an expert in advanced haircoloring techniques and fashion forward hairstyles. Known by many within the professional beauty industry as "The Haircolor Guru", Michael Angelo has pioneered the art of turning haircolor into visual works of art. Michael Angelo knows the importance of properly handling your color-treated hair in between salon visits. He has provided ten essential tips to pamper your color treated hair, restoring shine and manageability:
  • Tip 1: Trim your hair every four to six weeks to remove split ends and to help make your hair more manageable. A great haircut is the best foundation for keeping your hair healthy and looking its best.
  • Tip 2: Use a shampoo specifically formulated for haircolor treated hair. If you must wash your hair every day, shampoo only once. When you shampoo, avoid tugging your hair and wash gently. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of shampoo. Michael Angelo recommends products like Mane-Tain Shampoo by Michael Angelo Masterpiece Haircare. This professional haircolor safe shampoo gently cleanses, restoring your hairs essential nutrients and natural beauty.
  • Tip 3: Use a conditioner formulated specifically for color-treated hair and apply it to your hair every time you shampoo. It is best to apply an additional amount to the ends of your hair and to rinse thoroughly to remove all traces and minimize any film that can hide your natural shine. Michael Angelo recommends Main-Tain Conditioner. The unique formula is infused with structurizing proteins and botanicals to penetrate into your hair shaft, producing benefits above and beyond any singular protein conditioner.
  • Tip 4: Invest in a special micro-fiber towel that removes excess moisture from your hair after you shampoo and condition. These towels absorb more moisture than regular bath towels and can cut down on drying time. Once your hair is towel dried, use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair. Wide tooth combs are less likely to cause split ends and breakage.
  • Tip 5: After you towel dry your hair, allow your hair to minimally air dry prior to blow drying. The more heat you apply to your hair, the more damage you can inflict to the cuticle.
  • Tip 6: Avoid curling irons, hot rollers and flat irons as much as possible. It is best to style your hair with a brush and a blow dryer. When you do opt for styling your hair with heat activated appliances, always apply a protective hairstyling aid directly on your hair to keep moisture locked in like Inner Fuel by Michael Angelo Masterpiece Haircare.
  • Tip 7: If you do apply styling products like a mousse, styling gel or hair spray, apply them sparingly. Many of these hairstyling products contain drying chemicals that can dull the haircolor and shine.
  • Tip 8: Avoid chlorine. If you do swim, thoroughly wash the chorine out of your hair immediately with a special haircolor safe clarifying shampoo.
  • Tip 9: Try to avoid excessive sun exposure to your color-treated hair. UV and UVB rays from the sun and indoor tanning beds and booths can leave your hair looking look less vibrant and lacking shine. If you are a sunbather, it is best to help protect your haircolor with products that contain UV ray protection.
  • Tip 10: Always take the time to consult with your professional haircolorist prior to receiving your haircolor treatments. Ask questions on the best way to maintain your haircolor in between salon visits and haircoloring services. Ask about future haircolor options.

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Why I Won't Be Spotlighting BCA Beauty Products

Shannon Smyth16 comments

For months now I have been receiving pitches from beauty brands and PR firms far and wide about which beauty products will be donating some or all of their proceeds to breast cancer charities. Most beauty magazines and beauty blogs have already started posting about them.

This year I thought to myself...if I want to support a breast cancer charity and research, why do I have to buy lipstick to do so?

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Suncare: UVA and UVB protection

Shannon Smyth3 comments
Protecting your skin from UV rays is a daily task. I know several people who have had a Melanoma and Melanoma Cancer. When caught early, it can be taken care of; however, I did have a favorite family member pass away when I was 6 years old from Melanoma Cancer. My aunt was only in her early 20's when she died. So this is not something that can happen at an older age--but at any time in life. What's the difference between UVA and UVB and how do they affect our skin? #suncare #skincare #skincancer #melanoma So let's talk about what we can do to protect our skin from the sun's damaging rays. First, what are UVA and UVB rays and where and how do they affect us?

How UVA Affects Us:

Can pass through window glass. Is not affected by a change in altitude or weather. Is present all day and every day of the year. Penetrates deep into skin layers. Is 5% of the sun's rays. Is 20 times more abundant than UVB rays. Affects long-term skin damage.

How UVB Affects Us:

Cannot pass through window glass. Causes sunburn. Causes tanning. Helps the body with normal vitamin D production. Varies with the season. It is more intense in the summer than in the winter. Varies with weather conditions. Is more intense at midday than in the morning or late afternoon. Is more intense at high altitudes and near the equator. Is protected against by the SPF in sunscreens. Is related to more than 90% of non-melanoma skin cancer. SPF (sunscreen protection factor) is your key to protecting your skin from UVA and UVB rays. The SPF # is what predicts how long your skin can be in the sun with a low risk of burning or damaging your skin. SPF 30 is best, while the higher SPF only provide minimally more protection. While water resistant sunscreens help maintain sunscreen on your skin through perspiring and water activity, it is only for a few hours and it is best to reapply sunscreen every two hours regardless. Should you get a sunburn, you will feel the effects within 2-6 hours of the burn. In more severe cases, sun poisoning can occur. I have had sun poisioning in the past, and it is not fun! While we're discussing using sunscreen in the spring and summer months, it is incredibly important to wear it year round. UVA and UVB rays are ever-present regardless of season. The intensity may vary, but you are still at risk for sun damage to your skin. As you age, dark spots will begin to emerge showing sun damage from years ago. I can certainly see the age spots on my face, but it is even more disturbing when I have my skin looked at under UV light when getting a facial and see just how extensive the damage is. Check out our post on sunscreens that won't detroy the coral reefs which includes our favorite sun protection products. If you're not convinced you need to always wear sunscreen, check out our Q&A with a Melanoma survivor. How do you protect your skin from the sun year round? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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