IT Cosmetics Summer Kick-Off Giveaway

Shannon Smyth2 comments
Enter to win this giveaway from @agirlsgottaspa and @itcosmetics! Some of the most frquently used products in my makeup bag belongs to IT Cosmetics. From brushes to concealer to mascara and lip care, it's all IT. So why not kick off the unofficial start to summer by giving away some amazing products so you can see what all the fuss is about? You'll soon realize why IT Cosmetics is literally a gem. (And I swear one day I'm heading down to QVC to meet Jamie Kern Lima myself to tell her.) Here's what's included in this prize pack worth $183! Your Skin But Better™ CC+™ Cream with SPF 50+ Travel Size Travel Size Bye Bye Under Eye™ Anti-Aging Concealer Brow Power™ Universal Eyebrow Pencil Mini No-Tug™ Waterproof Anti-Aging Gel Eyeliner Confidence in a Cream™ Travel Size Heavenly Luxe™ Flat Top Buffing Foundation Brush #6 IT’s Your Brush Love Mini Superhero™ Mascara Je Ne Sais Quoi™ Lip Treatment in Rose Here's how to enter:
IT Cosmetics Summer Kick-Off Giveaway
Here's all that legal stuff I have to post: Giveaway runs from May 29, 2017 until 11:59pm EST June 3, 2017. Only one entry per person/household/email. US only, age 18+, void where prohibited. In order for an entry to be valid, the following actions are mandatory: (1) Follow @agirlsgottaspa and @itcosmetics on Twitter. Bonus entries include: (1) Tweeting about the giveaway, can be done daily (2) Visiting @agirlsgottaspa and @itcosmetics on Instagram. Invalid entries are disqualified. One person will win the following from IT Cosmetics: Your Skin But Better™ CC+™ Cream with SPF 50+ Travel Size, Travel Size Bye Bye Under Eye™ Anti-Aging Concealer, Brow Power™ Universal Eyebrow Pencil Mini, No-Tug™ Waterproof Anti-Aging Gel Eyeliner, Confidence in a Cream™ Travel Size, Heavenly Luxe™ Flat Top Buffing Foundation Brush #6, IT’s Your Brush Love Mini, Superhero™ Mascara, and Je Ne Sais Quoi™ Lip Treatment in Rose. ARD is $183. No prize or cash substitutes. Void where prohibited. A Girl’s Gotta Spa! and IT Cosmetics have the right to cancel this giveaway at any time. Once the winner is chosen, announced and contacted, they have 3 business days to reply or a new winner will be chosen. 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!

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Get the Glow: Gerard Cosmetics Star Powder

Gail Lewis
Get the glow with Gerard Cosmetics Star Powder. Full review via @agirlsgottaspa Wouldn't it be great if we could have that bronzed, sun-kissed skin all year round? With Gerard Cosmetics Star Powder your skin can still maintain its summery glow even if you live in Minnesota. Gerard Cosmetics’ Star Powder is inspired by iconic Hollywood starlets; Marilyn, Audrey and Lucy.  The lightweight powders each add a hint of color and buildable sheen.  Marilyn Star Powder is inspired by the ultimate blonde bombshell and is a luminous powder with an ultra luxurious, creamy texture. Audrey is a warm champagne gold that is reflective with high shine and can be built up for an intense glow or dusted lightly on cheekbones for a subtle sheen.  Lucy, which I am currently using, is a really velvety, finely milled powder that adds a hint of golden shimmer and looks beautiful on cheekbones or mixed with blush. Gerard Cosmetics Star Powder review and swatches via @agirlsgottaspa A little goes a long way, even when mixed with your blush, so just a light dusting is needed for an insanely gorgeous, sun-kissed look.  I also love sweeping a light dusting over my eyelids for an extra glowy look.  For less of a sheen I mix Lucy with my everyday face powder to tame down the sheen factor. What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know! 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, affiliate link

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Cuepido Cosmetics

Gail Lewis
Cuepido Cosmetics review via @agirlsgottaspa When it comes to makeup, I prefer a look that is natural, simple and that enhances instead of covering or transforming, which is exactly why Cuepido Cosmetics peaked my interest. Cuepido Cosmetics champions the idea of an absolute clean appearance by just putting on what you think is necessary and not overdoing it and instead keeping things natural, simply lovely yet classy. Cuepido Cosmetics mascara, blush and lip gloss review via @agirlsgottaspa Cuepido was launched on Valentine’s Day 2013 with the mission to provide healthy makeup that is safe for every woman’s skin. Each product is infused with ingredients such as flowers and plant extracts, vitamins, essential oils, minerals and other naturally derived ingredients.  All products are formulated without parabens, fragrances, phthalates, triclosan, sulfates, BPA and gluten. Cuepido Cosmetics ooh blush review via @agirlsgottaspa I decided to try the oomph-lash Waterproof Mascara, cue-smooch Gloss in Ariel and ohh blush in Camellia. Unfortunately, the blush and gloss did not work with my dark skin tone, but because I loved the texture of both, I decided to bring in an expert and have a makeup artist try them out and see how the colors worked on her. Cuepido Cosmetics mascara review via @agirlsgottaspa The consistency and texture of both the blush and lip gloss were amazing.  They both felt lightweight and moisturizing and I could barely tell that I was even wearing anything at all.  As far as how the makeup looks, I will let you decide based on the pictures in this review of LA based makeup artist Lauren Snyder, who also loved the product! Cuepido Cosmetics review via @agirlsgottaspa Doesn't it look so effortless and natural? Cuepido Cosmetics is available on their website and via Have you given them a try 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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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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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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nyakio ABC African Beauty Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen

Mandy Lewis
nyakio ABC African Beauty Cream #review via @agirlsgottaspa  #beauty I'm always on the lookout for a BB or CC cream that not only matches my skin tone but also has SPF 20 and over, covers without feeling heavy or oily, helps to reduce the size of my pores and gives me a little glow. My skin could be described as medium to dark with green undertones and most BB or CC creams ends up making my face look slightly ashy or like I went crazy with a really dark bronzer. I find that mixing two of the several variations of medium colors that I have sometimes gives me the look I'm going for, but honestly with my busy schedule most days I don't have the time for mixing as I need something that simplifies my morning routine. I've never heard of nor used any products by nyakio, so I was excited when I received their ABC African Beauty Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen in Cinnamon. The founder, Nyakio, uses "naturally effective African ingredients", and combines them "with modern, result-driven formulas to deliver superb multi-tasking products." The best part? Her products are formulated without parabens or sulfates. The nyakio African Beauty Cream states that it provides a sheer coverage and natural radiance, wears for eight hours, reduces the look of fine lines and leaves skin smooth and hydrated. The following morning I smoothed the Beauty Cream onto my face after cleansing and applying a serum. As I still have a bit of my summer tan, Cinnamon wasn't too dark for me. The consistency is creamy but on my face it feels light and sheer; I felt like it melted into my skin to provide the coverage I'm looking for giving me a natural glow. Not only did it hide my imperfections, but it also moisturized my skin without feeling greasy. Even with the SPF 20 in there, my face did not have that ashy tinge. As I wanted to see how it would hold up for a day at the office, I didn't use any other make-up besides lip gloss. Throughout the day and until I cleansed my face before bed, my face still looked smooth and radiant and although it felt hydrated, I didn't feel like it was greasy or heavy. At the moment Cinnamon is working for me,  but I believe once my tan fades, I'll probably have to switch to a lighter color. Nyakio ABC African Beauty Cream #swatch in Cinnamon via @agirlsgottaspa #beauty I love that a little goes a long way and I know this will be a staple for me! If you're looking for a product to help simplify your daily beauty routine and one that "protects, perfects and primes skin while helping to prevent skin from showing the signs of premature aging and staying color-true throughout the day", this is it! akio ABC African Beauty Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen comes in five shades and is cruelty free: Macadamia (light) Honey (light-medium) Almond (medium) Cinnamon (medium-deep) Coffee (deep) It sells for $39.00 and will be available this month at HSN, and 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! *Disclosure: Press Sample

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Top 10 Silver and Gold Makeup Products

Shannon Smyth1 comment
Two of the most luxurious colors out there - whether jewelry, accessories, home decor or makeup - is silver and gold. I'm not the matchy matchy type and firmly believe you can mix and match these metals. Here are my top ten drool worthy silver and gold makeup products and some nail polish for good measure. Top 10 Silver and Gold #Makeup via @agirlsgottaspa #beauty 1. Milani Jewel FX Nail Lacquer 2. NYX Studio Liquid Eyeliner - Silver 3. Butter LONDON Cream Eye Shadow - Randy 4. Rouge Bunny Rouge - Highlighting Liquid - Sea of Showers (White gold) 5. Smith & Cult Nail Polish - Bridge & Tunnel 6. Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon - Champagne Diamonds For Blue Eyes 7. Jane Cosmetics Cream Eye Shadow - Gilded Gold 8. Napoleon Perdis Luminous Lip Veil Gloss - Gold and Beautiful 9. Kre-at Beauty Silver Splash Lash 10. Too Faced Bulletproof 24-Hour Eye Liner - Silver Lining What are you favorites? 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 tooShannon on G+
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Miracle Skin Transformer Lip Rewind Review

Courtney Smith BSN
Miracle Transformer Lip Rewind #review I LOVE brands that stand for something beautiful, the type of beauty that envelopes the essence of love, joy, and hope. The kind that gives and quietly supports the unspoken interdependence we each need at some level in our lives. When I look to review a brand I not only want to know how the product will work for the caregiver and busy woman, I want to know what the brand stands for, and if they will multiply the blessing of success to pass it on to others. In other words, what are they doing with what they have to produce positive community impact? Sarah McNamara's Miracle Skin Transformer beauty line stands for all the above. She states, "Making other people's lives better simply makes sense. Women want powerful, multi-purpose products, designed to transform their skin and simplify their beauty routine." With over 15 years of experience in the business, I guess Sarah heard us loud and clear. She spent over a year doing extensive research with lead chemists to help produce such a product line, furthermore the Miracle Transformer products rendered from this research are produced using all- natural, ethically-obtained ingredients. Oh and wait, just when you think Sarah can't knock it up a notch, in support of Children's Action Network's efforts to find loving families for waiting foster children, $5 from the sale of every Lip Rewind in the shade LOVE will be donated to the charity. If any of you have followed me enough to know at least a portion of our families story you might know how near and dear this is to my heart, as my husband and I adopted 3 of our 7 children. I knew from our foster care workers, and previously having worked in the mental health system, that there are TONS of kids in need of a home in this country. According to The Children’s Action Network there are 107,000 foster children in the United States in need of a loving family. Way to go Sarah for supporting such a beautiful and much needed charity! Indeed these children need loving homes and indeed a loving home makes all the difference in creating a better world for them and all of us. Before Lip Rewind The scoop on Miracle Skin Transformer Lip Rewind is simple, but it has several unique aspects that I feel set it apart from your average gloss. First, one of the things I noticed is that it did not produce that burning feeling I have experienced in other products with lip plumping-type properties. Second, I was impressed with the long period needed between re-application; I’d have to estimate about an hour or two…pretty awesome for a gloss. Three, it's multi-faceted in its duties, which as you know saves us time and money. Besides giving you supple gorgeous looking lips, it has awesome anti-aging and protective qualities, such as the ability to repair daily damage, boost volume and moisture content, protect from UVA/UVB sun damage, and it improves the definition of the lip contour and shape. What's not great about enhancing our pout with a gloss filled with youthful peptides, all-natural, ethically-obtained ingredients, and supporting an awesome cause? Miracle Transformer Lip Rewind 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 tooCourtney on G+. *Disclosure

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I Found the Perfect Red Lip Color

Shannon Smyth
The Perfect Red Lip Never did I thought I would see that day when I would be able to say I'm wearing red lip color. Friends would tell me, "Try this one, it's best!" or "This type of red is more your color," only to be greatly disappointed. I began to think red just wasn't for me and would instead would be green with envy over those who could pull it off. I'm just too pale, it brings out the ruddiness in my skin, it makes me look like a clown... believe me, I've given every excuse there is. Until AVON sent me their newest lip crayon for Fall. In two words: holy crap. OK, better words: stunning, vibrant, youth-enhancing, brilliant, powerful. The Ultra Color Lip Crayon ($8) in Reddy for Me, is truly the red for me. It is jumbo in size, glides on smooth and instantly brightens my face. It's not too bright, not too matte, and doesn't bring out the unevenness in my skin tone. While this new lip color is said to have moisturizing shea butter and Vitamin E, I did find it to be drying. Does it stop me from wearing it religiously? Nope. Without a lip pencil, the lip color does wear off (inner part of your lip first) after the usual eating/drinking. However, I found that if I use a nude lip liner and fill in my lips with it then apply the Ultra Color Lip Crayon over it, it has much better staying power. To combat the dryness, I just use my Beau Bain Mint Mojito Lip Scrub prior to application. The Ultra Color Lip Crayon does have mica for the sparkle. That's really the only thing I'm on the fence about. Sometimes the mica looks like large glitter on my lips, and at 39 years old, makes me feel childish. However, sometimes what I think and what people say are two different things and everyone continues to rave about how this red looks on me. Mica lips and all.

Red Lip Color

Have you found your perfect red?

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 tooShannon on G+


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New England Inspired Fall Makeup Look

Courtney Smith BSN2 comments
New England Inspired Fall #Makeup Look Since I have been receiving frequent requests for how-to’s on my eye makeup looks (especially on Facebook), I decided to do a step-by-step picture post for my dedicated readers and those to come on a 2013 fall makeup look that I created. I like trends, but I also like to do my own thing, too. Today I opted to create a look that reminded me of a favorite past time of taking fall drives in my home state of RI on the back roads in the small town of Scituate. Just imagine listening to the crunching sound as your tires roll over old dirt roads while staring out at a beautiful reservoir surrounded by vast amounts of huge trees in the prime of fall filled with gold, orange, red, purple, and green leaves…some being whisked away by a gentle breeze. Are you all starting to get why I am in LOVE with fall, and all the more inspired by it? There was not one year in my childhood that went by that I did not take that drive with my mom and family, and then follow it up with apple picking and hot pie a la mode! Just writing about it makes me want to return home right now…but I will patiently wait until October to do that! Fall Makeup Look #Makeup Brushes To create this New England-inspired 2013 fall makeup look, I decided to use Smashbox’s 24K (lid and inner corner), Aveda’s 991/Antique Gold (brow bone and highlighter), Cargo’s Moreton Bay (center of my lid), and Aveda’s 990/Bronze Patina (outer corner and lower lid). I used Tarte’s Strike a Pose lash set, which included the Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara and the Lash curler. Cargo HD Picture Perfect Eye Shadow Primer was used as my base/enhancer to help the colors pop and Rimmel London’s Scandal Eyes Waterproof Gel Eyeliner was used for my liner to finish it off. Step-by-step Fall Makeup *Quick tip: Blending is one of your most important elements for a nicely finished look. If you notice in the picture before I apply my mascara the colors are popping (but not yet blended), then look at the last picture. Do you see the difference blending makes? Also, don’t be afraid to blend and then lightly re-apply where it needs enhancing or contrast (and lightly blend again.) If you are new to applying eye makeup: practice, practice, practice…I promise that you will get it! I am still learning new things too! Fall 2013 Makeup How To How many of you were able to figure out why I put the green (Aveda’s 990/Bronze Patina) in the outer corner of my eye instead and the deeper plum color (Cargo’s Moreton Bay) in the middle instead of vice versa? I'd love to know what you thought of this New England themed makeup look! 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 tooCourtney on G+. *Disclosure

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