Lani Tropical Hair Treatment - Cruelty Free and Vegan

Gail Lewis
Lani Tropical Hair Treatment review via @agirlsgottaspa Lately a lot of my beauty obsessions have been due to my other obsession, Instagram.  Thanks to Instagram I've discovered beauty products and brands that would have otherwise never been on my radar. My most recent IG beauty product discovery is Lani Tropical Hair Treatment. I was immediately intrigued by  their gorgeous beachy IG pics, amazing packaging and the fact that the hair treatment is both 100% natural, cruelty free and vegan. Getting my hands on Lani Tropical Hair Treatment was a bit more difficult than I thought and I was close to giving up. Then I just happened to walk into Urban Outfitters and almost squealed out loud when I saw that beautiful turquoise bottle sitting on the shelf in their beauty area. I've been using Lani Tropical Hair Treatment for two weeks now and absolutely love how my hair looks and feels after each use. It takes my hair from dry and dull to shiny and hydrated even after I colored my hair. I normally apply it to my dry hair, place it in a top knot and leave it in my hair for almost an entire day. If you do not have the time to leave it in your hair for that long, it is recommended that you leave it in your hair for at least 30 minutes. Lani Tropical Hair Treatment review via @agirlsgottaspa. Great for textured and thick natural hair. Vegan and cruelty free. It's also recommended that you shampoo twice then condition as usual after using it, but depending on how my dry my hair feels, I'll just shampoo once to leave a bit of the treatment in my hair without weighing my hair down or leaving it too oily.  I also love using it as both a hair treatment and curl tamer whenever I opt to leave my hair in it's naturally curly state. Please keep in mind that I have thick, highly textured hair so this may not be the case for someone with fine or even medium hair. There are not a lot of hair products that my hairstylist Pearson Knight (Elle genius awarded hairstylist) approves of, but after reading the ingredients in Lani Tropical Hair Treatment (Camellia seed oil, Coconut oil, Kukui nut oil and Macadamia nut oil) and after seeing firsthand what it has done for the condition of my hair, he encourages me to use it every time I wash my hair. He has even started using it, especially after a surf session. As I mentioned above Lani Tropical Hair Treatment can be found at Urban Outfitters online and also at the Third Street Promenade location in Santa Monica.  I just hope that Urban Outfitters starts carrying the Lani Tropical Body Treatment in all stores as well, since I was too late to purchase it online before it sold out! Have you tried this hair treatment? 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 and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! *Disclosure: affiliate link

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Herbacin Make-up Remover Review

Shannon Smyth
Herbacin Two-Phase Make-up Remover Review via @agirlsgottaspa For a long time now, I've been using make-up remover wipes to take off my make-up at night. It's been easy and convenient, but it's not always the best choice for my skin type. I wanted to get back to using a make-up remover that wouldn't cause me to tug on my skin, especially around my eyes, in order to remove make-up, as well as one that would nourish my skin without leaving a greasy feeling behind. I believe I've found that in Herbacin's Two-Phase Make-up Remover. Even better, it's natural and cruelty free. Herbacin make-up remover review via @agirlsgottaspa Herbacin Two-Phase Make-up Remover ($36) gently removes make-up while giving your complexion a velvety, clear, radiant, fresh look and feel. When you have combination skin like I do, oftentimes these descriptions are not within reach to describe your skin. And don't be fooled that oily or combination skin does not agree with the use of oils - it all depends on the kind. The inclusion of sweet almond oil prevents skin from feeling stripped and "squeaky-clean" - two things that are known to lead to an overproduction of sebum, while vegetable glycerin and aloe promote hydration. Your skin will not feel like an oil slick or tacky, but instead it will feel soft, hydrated and clean. The scent is also very light and pleasant, although hard to describe. It's neither floral nor fruity. It doesn't linger on your skin either. I found that I really don't need to put much on my Swisspers Cotton Squares, making this product last quite a while. Have you tried it? I'd love to hear your thoughts! 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 and G+. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! *Disclosure: press sample

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Block Island Organics Review

Shannon Smyth
Block Island Organics Skincare review via @agirlsgottaspa Block Island - a gorgeous island located in Rhode Island. Yes, many people get confused - "isn't Rhode Island an island?" they ask me. I go on to list many islands found in Rhode Island - Patience, Goat, Aquidneck, Hog, Hope, Prudence Island... and so many more. My grandparents owned a home on Aquidneck Island, right on Naragansett Bay, that as a child I had hoped to one day inherit. Unfortunately they sold it years ago (I still hope one day I can buy it back.) I spent countless Summer vacations on Prudence Island, which I hope to one day bring my children to. And Block Island, the place where a number of US Presidents have visited, as well as Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh, is another prestine and spectacular piece of beauty in RI. Nostalgia aside, I became obsessed with an organic skin care line named after Block Island that I want to share with you. Block Island Organics is a safe, effective, and non-toxic suncare and skin care product line created by brother and sister, Lauren and Will von Bernuth, and Will's wife, Kelly. I've had the opportunity to test out their Purifying Facial Cleanser, Revitalizing Night Cream and Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 for a few months now. Block Island Organics Purifying Facial Cleanser review via @agirlsgottaspa Block Island Organics Purifying Facial Cleanser: A cruelty free and vegan formula of goodness. I use this cleanser in combination with my Michael Todd Soniclear Classic. It's a clear cleanser that glides on your skin and doesn't really have a fragrance to it. It doesn't lather, as it is sulfate free and it rinses clean. Block Island Organics Revitalizing Night Cream review @agirlsgottaspa Block Island Organics Revitalizing Night Cream: I'm going to admit that I don't just use this as my night cream, but I use it as my day cream in combination with the Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30.  It's not a thick cream at all and applies just like a lotion. This night cream is rich in vitamins C and E and has kept my skin hydrated, as well as blemish free. Block Island Organics Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 review @agirlsgottaspa Block Island Organics Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30: This sunscreen is like a very thin lotion upon application. It smells deliciously of eucalyptus when you first apply it, but then the scent fades. It absorbs quickly, is non-greasy and hydrates skin with aloe, shea butter and coconut oil while blocking UV rays with zinc. It's lightweight enough that I can mix a little with my Night Cream and wear it during the day under my makeup. Block Island Organics skin care review @agirlsgottaspa This is such a great organic skin care line that I hope you will discover for yourself! You can learn more about this cruelty free and vegan line via 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! Disclosure: press samples

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CIRCA Beauty

Mandy Lewis
I absolutely love getting new makeup. Trying the different colors and products, choosing a favorite, bringing it home and opening that pretty new package. It's even better when I get something I haven't tried before. Like makeup from CIRCA Beauty, a cruelty free makeup line that's affordable, long wearing, trendy, and appeals to different skin tones. And oh yeah, the Creative Director just happens to be Eva Mendez. Circa beauty foundation review via @agirlsgottaspa

Left: BB Cream in 03 Medium. Right: Liquid Foundation in 07.

I usually cannot find foundations or a BB cream that doesn't end up being too dark or makes my skin looks ashy. This makeup line is simply amazing! My skin tone would be considered medium brown with yellow undertones and both the Color Balance BB Cream (03 Medium) and Color Balance Liquid Foundation (07) matched my skin without being chalky. My skin looked smooth and radiant! The BB Cream provides full coverage, it's hydrating, lightweight, oil free and it gives my skin a soft focus finish while evening out my skin tone. I normally don't use foundation because I pretty much gave up on finding one that would match my skin tone. This foundation worked well for my skin; it didn't match exactly, but it was close! It provides medium to full coverage, it definitely hid my imperfections, didn't feel dry or flakey and just like the BB Cream, it evened out my skin tone. Circa Beauty lip treatment review via @agirlsgottaspa

Color Treatment Tinted Lip Butter in Apricot.

The Color Treatment Tinted Lip Butter is absolutely wonderful! It's moisturizing, conditions and soothes your lips without being sticky. I use it before applying any gloss or lipstick and it keeps my lips soft and smooth. I also use it before bed and wake up with a soft moisturized pout. It comes in a variety of colors and the Sheer Apricot that I received was a bit too light for me, so on my lips it looks like my natural lip color with a subtle shine. Enriched with oils and shea butter, this Lip Butter is a must for your makeup bag or purse! I love that although the Color Absolute Velvet Luxe Lipstick in Marilyn (a darker red), provides full coverage in just one swipe, I can also lightly dab it on and add some Lip Butter for just a hint of color. It's rich pigment adds rich, beautiful color while being weightless and non-drying. Circa Beauty lipstick review via @agirlsgottaspa

Color Absolute Velvet Luxe Lipstick in Marilyn

For my eyes, the Fade to Black Precision Eye Ink adds a dramatic finish that stays all day and doesn't smudge. Used along with the Absolute Lash Icon Mascara in extreme black, these two products accentuated my eyes without irritating and leaving little black flakes or smudges. The mascara coats my eyelashes giving it a natural glossy finish along with some awesome length and the thin tip on the Eye Ink is perfect for just that one line or for going bold! Circa Beauty mascara and eye liner review via @agirlsgottaspa Before and after with Circa Beauty's mascara via @agirlsgottaspa

Before and after with Absolute Lash Icon Mascara

The highly pigmented Eye Shadow Palette is smooth, weightless and adds dramatic color to your eyes. I love that all three of these products can go from day to night! Circa Beauty eye shadow palette review via @agirlsgottaspa

Color Focus Eye Shadow Palette in Provocateur

I would absolutely love for the Lip Butter and BB Cream to have SPF in them and maybe have some of the packaging be a little less bulky, but otherwise this line is fun, versatile and nothing is over fifteen dollars! Have you tried CIRCA Beauty products yet? 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! *Disclosure: Press samples, affiliate links

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Prevent Dry Cracked Hands - Try This

Shannon Smyth

One of the worst offenders of dry or dehydrated skin is when it comes to cracked skin on your hands. So painful and it feels like a neverending cycle of trying to keep germs at bay with repeated handwashing, which totally dries you out, and then moisturizing to try to combat the dry skin.

A few years ago I learned this simple trick you can do at home that really helps to get rid of the dry skin and hydrate it leaving those cracked, painful hands behind.

What You'll Need:
A bowl Hot water (but not scalding)
4 paper towels
1 cotton towel
Plastic wrap

How- To:

  • Pre-cut plastic wrap in a large enough section that it would cover a 13x9 dish (do this twice) and place to the side.
  • Fill a bowl with hot water and putting it aside.
  • Break off 4 paper towels all as one, but then split in two (so that you have two sections that are two paper towels connected.) Place them in the bowl of water.
  • Over the sink apply an exfoliating scrub, like A Girl's Gotta Spa! Salt Scrub, to dry hands. Be sure to massage the scrub thoroughly getting in between fingers and paying attention to the cuticle area, too.
  • Rinse.
  • Before drying hands, remove the two sections of paper towel from the bowl and ring out the water and lay them flat on the counter.
  • Use the cotton towel to pat hands dry, leaving them slightly damp.
  • Applying an uber hydrating lotion, like A Girl's Gotta Spa! Energizing Citrus Body Lotion, to your hands generously (as in, more than you would typically apply to hands.)
  • Wrap one hand in one section of warm paper towel and then wrap with the section of plastic wrap. For your remaining hand, you'll need to enlist some help to do the same for this hand.
  • Relax and wait 3-5 minutes, then unwrap and if hands are still damp, gently pat dry.

Sometimes I apply a little more lotion once I've unwrapped my hands. It really depends on how bad your hands are.

Repeat this twice weekly until you see a marked improvement in your hands. In between this DIY hand pampering, always apply your lotion as you normally would.

I can say I always notice a difference after the first time I do it, but I've had friends who are mechanics or work in construction that the cracking is really bad and while they notice some definite softening and hydration right away, it takes repeat treatments before the cracking completely resolves.

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Makeup Wars: It Cosmetics CC+ Radiance Palette

Shannon Smyth12 comments
It Cosmetics CC+ Radiance Palette review via @agirlsgottaspa #makeup One of my favorite cruelty free makeup brands is IT Cosmetics. They also happen to make the most amazing makeup brushes that are incredibly soft (like swiping a cloud across your face.)  Their newest palette, CC+ Radiance, contains a color correcting powder, as well as a universal blush and bronzer to brighten skin. Each powder is aimed at improving the appearance of your skin tone - so not just concealing an uneven skin tone, but enhancing it in a very natural way. I don't know about you, but lately all of these conceal and contour how-to's out there seem to take beauty to an extreme. I'm really more about natural beauty and that's what I really love about this Radiance Palette. It Cosmetics CC+ Radiance Palette via @agirlsgottaspa #beauty Looking at the CC+ Radiance Palette on their website, the blush looks to be a very light, pale pink. However, in person, it is more lively. I have fair to medium skin and the blush is not too bright, yet not too light. It's actually a very buildable color as well. I was able to lightly dust on color for day and then apply it a little more generously for night. The bronzer, despite looking dark in the photos, is really more subtle on my skin for a sun-kissed glow. It Cosmetics CC+ Radiance Palette via @agirlsgottaspa #makeup For application I used their new Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Brush and French Boutique Blush Brush. Both grab the powder and disperse it without it applying beyond its target. (I'm not a fan of brushes that blow powder all over your face, at all.) I use this palette daily and love the fact that it doesn't take a lot of the CC powder to make a difference on my skin. Plus it is very very light, so it doesn't appear cakey. Not to mention, there are days when I don't even need to use my regular concealer at all because this palette gets the job done. @agirlsgottaspa wearing the IT Cosmetics CC+ Radiance Palette #beauty If I could ever get up the confidence to post a picture of myself without makeup, you would see that my skin doesn't look this good without the help of a palette like this! I'd love to hear from you if you've used it! 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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Exfoliating Body Scrub

Shannon Smyth
@agirlsgottaspa Energizing Citrus Salt Scrub. Exfoliating dry skin with Dead Sea Salts and hydrating with avocado oil. #scrub #bathandbody #beauty A year ago when A Girl's Gotta Spa! began the quest of producing the best bath and body products, this exfoliating salt scrub was the one I was looking forward to most. It's no secret that body scrubs are by far my most favorite skin care item due to the way it transforms your skin. Transformation is important when it comes to self-care. When you take the time for yourself, even to simply scrub away dull, dry skin, you make yourself a priority and that's important for your emotional well-being. If you don't make the time to care for yourself, who else is going to? Can we talk about how amazing this 10 oz. exfoliating body scrub is? As my fellow beauty blogger Christine from 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic told me, "I'm going to eat the scrub. OMG." Now, please don't consume this product, but I don't blame you if that's the first thing that comes to mind. It is 100% natural, though, as well as vegan and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free. The natural ingredients listed on the label are super easy to understand. Don't you hate when you look at a label and scratch your head at an ingredient? I aimed to make it as simple as possible. That's why if you see Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis, I let you know that's Sweet Almond Oil in paranthesis. Some of the incredible ingredients include: Dead Sea Salt, Avocado Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Beet Root, Green Tea and pure essential oils. So not only is the Energizing Citrus fragrance out of this world like ripe citrus fruit at the peak of freshness, the other natural ingredients are skin smoothing and hydrating.   You want to look and feel your best and sometimes that can be difficult with everything you may have going on. Believe me, it happens to all of us (sometimes more often than we'd like to admit.) Give yourself just 5 minutes. It's too easy to neglect ourselves and become worn out, stressed out and run down. Rid your skin of environmental stress while treating yourself to some me time! You deserve to be pampered. To stay in the loop regarding A Girl's Gotta Spa! bath and body line, please subscribe to our mailing list (you get 15% off your first order if you do!) Also check out our ever growing list of retailers that believe in our mission. Interested in becoming a retail partner? Please see our Wholesale page.

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A Girl's Gotta Spa! Leaping Bunny Certified as Cruelty Free

Shannon Smyth2 comments

A Girl's Gotta Spa! Leaping Bunny Certified as #Crueltyfree

Something I've learned in my 8+ years of beauty blogging, is that many brands like to say they are something without any proof to back it.

Brands say they are natural, but the ingredient label tells a different story. Brands say they are organic because they assume you won't know that sometimes natural doesn't necessarily also mean organic.

Brands also say they are cruelty free knowing that there may not really be a way for you to know one way or another.

When I launched the A Girl's Gotta Spa! bath and body line, I wanted to make sure you knew who we were and not have to guess.

A Girl's Gotta Spa! is a natural beauty brand. Our product pages clearly state how natural our products are so that you don't have to wonder. We are also transparent about our ingredients and have a page dedicated to telling you, in detail, what our products contain.

A Girl's Gotta Spa! products are vegan. Our initial products are vegan and it is our goal to try to keep future products vegan as well. If we can't for some reason or another (such as with a lip balm), the product page will clearly tell you so.

A Girl's Gotta Spa! does not test on animals, our ingredient suppliers do not test on animals and our manufacturer does not test on animals. While we do review all kinds of products on our beauty blog (and that may be confusing to some), I did not want to be the brand who tested on animals.

We now can officially back up this claim with our Leaping Bunny certification. You can find us listed in their Cruelty Free Consumer Shopping Guide. Our mission at A Girl's Gotta Spa! is to empower women to believe - You Deserve to Be Pampered - and we do this without harming any animals, without toxic ingredients and without harming the earth.

I hope you love our products as much as we do. If you have questions, please leave a comment or contact us. 

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