Tips to Stay Stress-Free and Glowing during the Holiday Season

Shannon Smyth
Tips to stay stress-free and glowing during the holidays! #beauty #health #wellness When I was in college I often went skiing in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. I always tell myself that one day I'll get back there (but this time to check out the spas in addition to the skiing!) One of those places is Stoweflake Spa and Wellness Center in Stowe, Vermont. Surinda Oberai Cavanagh, Spa Director and Ayurvedic Consultant at Stoweflake Spa and Wellness Center, offers A Girl's Gotta Spa! readers these tips to stay stress free and glowing this holiday season. Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season
  • Begin your day with a large glass of warm or hot water. This is great for hydration and cleansing the digestive system.
  • Before you bathe, generously apply a high quality massage oil (Sarada Ayurvedic massage oil) to your entire body. Use minimal soap. This practice will calm and coat your nervous system, nourish and hydrate your skin and leave you feeling warmer when the cold winds blow this season.
  • Eat your main meal between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. This is when your digestive system is most efficient. This will minimize holiday weight gain.
  • Have warm milk with nutmeg before bed. This is a wonderful evening routine and nutmeg is a very effective sedative.
Facial Glow Tips for the Holidays
  • Make sure you moisturize your face each day before heading out in to the elements with a heavy winter moisturizer or facial oil. This will protect against the drying effects of the winter weather.
  • Take a teaspoon of turmeric in raw honey internally for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
  • Make sure you exercise to the point of breaking a sweat. This will ensure your lymphatic system is stimulated.
Try this at home facial mask to cleanse and exfoliate daily. Simple Holiday At-Home Mask
  • 3 Teaspoons raw honey
  • ½ Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon whole plain yogurt
  • Mix together and apply to face and neck. Leave on for 8-10 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
If you try any of these, let us know how they work for you! 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 too! Shannon on G+

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Beautifying Morning Smoothie Recipe

Gail Lewis
Beautifying Smoothie Recipe I've always believed in caring for my skin from the inside out.  There is nothing that makes me happier than when I have clear, glowing skin that does not require a stitch of makeup. To make sure my skin looks as good as possible I try to maintain a clean, healthy, balanced diet...much easier said than done- get regular exercise, good sleep and make sure I make it to hot yoga at least twice a week.  Lately I've been incorporating more smoothies into my diet.  They are a quick and easy way for me to get a meal in when I don't have a lot of time or if I'm much too lazy to cook.  My favorite smoothie is the one that I frequently have in the morning.  It gives me the energy I need to start the day off right, I feel good that I've consumed something for breakfast and the ingredients in the smoothie contribute to radiant skin and hair. My morning smoothie contains green tea, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries and kale. Unfortunately I have a tendency to not measure anything so I can't give you the exact quantities of the ingredients, but if I were to estimate I would say about two cups of green tea, a handful of blueberries, a large handful of kale and about 4-5 strawberries.  I combine the ingredients in my Magic Bullet and in less than a minute I have a tasty, filling smoothie that's healthy and great for my hair and skin. The berries in the smoothie are loaded with Vitamin C, which is responsible for the health of collagen and contribute to radiant, glowing skin and hair.  The green tea in my smoothie also contains antioxidants, but in addition it has anti-inflammatory properties.  Green tea has also been linked to enhancement of sun protection when combined with sunscreen.  Last but not least, kale is anti-inflammatory and has high levels of  vitamin C, K and A, which help to clear acne prone skin, combat hyperpigmentation and wrinkles and encourages cell reproduction.  Kale is also abundant in lutein, a nutrient that makes eyes whiter.  I love the taste of this smoothie, but if you would prefer it a bit sweeter I would recommend mixing in some organic honey for a bit more flavor.  Hopefully you enjoy drinking your way to healthier, radiant skin and hair as much as I do! 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

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How to Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Shannon Smyth4 comments
How to combat seasonal affective disorder Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a type of depression that happens during the same time each year. While it can happen at any time of year, it is most often associated with Fall and Winter (you've heard the term winter blues, right?) This is due to lack of sunlight which of course results in a Vitamin D deficiency. It's getting darker sooner, which throws off your internal clock, remaining indoors due to cooler or bad weather (hello cabin fever!) and what I call a "lack of an interesting landscape"; in other words everything lacks the color, vibrancy and fragrances of the warmer months. I'm bringing this up because in the last few days I kept remarking to my husband, "I feel so tired all the time," and "I feel like I have no energy," and wanting to eat every carb in sight. Personally, nothing has changed for me to bring this on. I'm very happily married, am passionate about my career, enjoy my sons and so on. He then brought it to my attention that since the weather has gotten colder, I've been outdoors less; it's getting darker earlier, etc. And then it clicked. During the days of getting my degree in Psychology, I had learned about SAD and recognized the symptoms.


Beginning to feel the same as I am? Here is a SAD check list (as listed by the MAYO Clinic): Depression Hopelessness Anxiety Loss of energy Heavy, "leaden" feeling in the arms or legs Social withdrawal Oversleeping Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates Weight gain Difficulty concentrating While it is always recommended to talk to your doctor, there are some things you can do to help combat Seasonal Affective Disorder at home.


Seasonal Affective Disorder - tips to help at home via @agirlsgottaspa Hydro Chromotherapy: Light therapy has been used for a while to combat SAD. I love light therapy incorporated with the relaxation of water. Whereas some hydro chromotherapy systems can be very expensive, there are others that simply involve LED Showerheads that are completely affordable.  Prices do range from under $10 to upwards of $150. (Plus it may encourage your kids to actually want to bathe.) Tips to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder Aromatherapy: The power of scent can be mood altering. You know this the moment you walk into a spa, light a candle in your home or apply your favorite perfume. Bergamot, frankincense, geranium, chamomile, lavender, marjoram and citrus-derived oils are the most effective for treating SAD. There are some amazing products out there now that add essential oils to your shower head, as well. Essio uses essential oil pods that attach to your shower head. While you shouldn't attempt to wash your hair while the oils are being dispersed, it's just another great way to lift your mood (and soften your skin in the process!) You can read Gail's review of Essio for more details! Sidenote: Try A Girl's Gotta Spa! Energizing Citrus Body Wash while showering - it's made with citrus essential oils. I also love my aromatherapy diffuser from Gurunanda. I use it during the day to keep me focused and at night to help me sleep soundly. Exercise: A great way to boost serotonin and dopamine levels is with daily exercise. If you can get outside and enjoy the Fall/Winter landscape, even better, as you take in some Vitamin D in the process. Know the symptoms of seasonal depression and tips to help deal with them. Vitamin D supplements: I love Nature Made VitaMelts because they come in delicious flavors. Yum. You can take 1 tablet 4 times per day. And the Vitamin D supplement is great for bone and immune support too. Phototherapy at the spa: It's obvious, I truly believe that the spa is more than just a place of escape, but a necessity for a more balanced mind. Many spas offer phototherapy and are worth booking a treatment for!


Of course, none of this advice should be supplemented for speaking with your doctor. While I have my degree in Psychology, my tips should never trump that of a doctor. If you feel depressed in a way that is unrelated to the seasonal change, please consult a professional local to you. Have you ever suffered from SAD? What tips would you offer? Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram.

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Love Your Skin Love Yourself Q and A with Rachael Pontillo

Shannon Smyth
Love your skin, love yourself author Rachael Pontillo My friend, fellow blogger, and holistic skincare expert, Rachael Pontillo has a book coming out on September 3rd: Love Your Skin, Love Yourself: Achieve Beauty, Health, and Vitality from the Inside Out and Outside In. It'll be available on both Amazon and Kindle. Considering that her skin is absolutely flawless and nothing short of amazing, I needed to find out all I could about what she is dishing in her new book. Women with skin issues often feel like they have to hide or that there is something wrong with them. Whether the condition starts as early as adolescence, or develops later on during a pregnancy or for other reasons, it affects much more than just the skin. Sometimes issues that accompany a skin condition are physical such as weight gain, digestive issues, systemic infection, chronic inflammation, etc. Other times, however, the issues are emotional and even spiritual. This was the case for author and coach, Rachael Pontillo. After living the majority of her life with acne, she cleared up her skin for good (and simultaneously lost 80 lbs) once she cleaned up her diet and upgraded her lifestyle. Though she looked and felt better on the outside and was healthier on the inside, she still had issues having to do with self-image and self-love. These are issues common to many women, especially those who have experienced a visible skin condition, and many feel misunderstood, alone and insecure because of it. By incorporating simple practices into her daily routine, Rachael was able to feel beautiful, confident, and empowered—that’s what she wants her readers to experience after reading this book. By reading Love Your Skin, Love Yourself, women with skin concerns and self image issues will discover how to heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Love Your Skin Love Yourself Book Q&A Shannon: What is holistic skincare? Rachael: I define “holistic skincare” a little differently than some other practitioners who use the term. Many aestheticians and spas consider themselves "holistic" if they use all-natural, organic products and provide non-invasive and wellness oriented services. While this is a piece of the puzzle, it isn’t the complete picture. Other practitioners like health coaches and nutritionists define holistic skincare simply as "beauty from the inside out." Again, this is an important piece of the puzzle, but after my years of education, personal life experience, and professional experience as a health coach, aesthetician, and health and wellness writer, I’ve come to realize that both are necessary to ensure the best results. So my definition of holistic skincare is “caring for the skin from the inside out with proper nutrition and lifestyle choices and from the outside in with safe and healthy products, proper hygiene, and the right skincare regimen. ShannonWhy did you decide to focus this book and your career on holistic skincare? Rachael: I've lived more than half my life feeling ugly and insecure because of acne. I tried everything from prescription medications to over-the-counter medications, chemical peels and microdermabrasion, drugstore products, department store products, mail order products, and professional strength products. Some things worked, and many didn't…and those that worked usually had side effects and only worked until I ran out of the product. I knew I was missing something. When I changed my diet and saw the quick and dramatic improvement in my skin, I knew I was onto something. However, based on my knowledge of the body as a whole and the skin as its barrier, I knew that the skin needs hydration and nourishment on the outside too. Plus, there are so many harmful chemicals and toxins in products and in our environment that the skin takes quite a beating. My own experience changed my life and I've had clients with similar life-changing experiences, and I knew that this message needed to be brought to a larger scale with this book and in my other work. Shannon: Is holistic skincare as effective as expensive and high-tech spa and cosmetic treatments? Rachael: Holistic skincare and conventional/medical skincare are completely different modalities—it’s like comparing apples to oranges, and the efficacy in this case is subjective. Some people consider quick and dramatic results to be effective, even if those results fade quickly and require numerous ongoing treatments to maintain and come with risks and potential side effects. Others consider long-lasting, sustainable results that can be achieved at home over time to be more effective. The efficacy of holistic skincare varies per person, since each person’s condition, current diet and lifestyle, and physical and emotional constitutions are so different. Some people do achieve quick and dramatic results like I did, and these results continue to last and my skin continues to improve years later. Others see a more gradual improvement over time, but also experience improvements in other areas of their health and lives—all of which become part of a permanent lifestyle. That being said, holistic skincare is not a quick fix for everyone…but the results are long lasting for everyone. Because of that and the fact that it doesn't come with a laundry list of risks and side effects, I’d say it’s more effective than conventional aesthetic and cosmetic treatments and procedures. Shannon: How is this book different from all the other skincare books out there? Rachael: There are many great books covering the nutritional aspect of skincare, with certain diets and detox regimens that really do focus on the "inside out" piece. There are also many wonderful books covering the importance of natural skincare products, with recipes for handmade products as well as information about the effects of the chemicals in conventional products. And of course there is a myriad of self-help books that talk about transformation, lifestyle, self-esteem, finding one’s true self, and more recently, the concept of self-love. However I haven’t seen many that encompass all aspects—nutrition, lifestyle, topical skincare, and self-love—and really tell the whole story. Without all of these components, my own healing would not have been possible or sustainable. I've also noticed that many holistic skincare and diet books out there tell people what to do and why to do it, but not necessarily HOW to do it—meaning how to incorporate these new changes into their existing lifestyles without feeling completely overwhelmed. Many also insinuate that these changes are easy for everyone, and I think that this message is part of the reason why so many people have a hard time keeping up with diets or lifestyle changes. In Love Your Skin, Love Yourself I tell it like it is—some of the changes I made were easy for me but some did not come naturally at all; and there were times that I almost quit completely. I discuss how I came through those challenges and also share tips for how readers can get started and what to do if things seem overwhelming or challenging. Life is not always sunshine and rainbows and most journeys of true healing and transformation have areas of shadow…but the shadow passes and then the sun returns. That being said, we can’t ignore the shadow. Too many books don’t talk about the parts of the process that are hard for people—I wanted to present my own journey as well as the changes I recommend honestly and authentically, and for me that means telling the whole story—the triumphs but also the challenges and how I dealt with them in that moment. Shannon: Was this book hard to write? Rachael: Yes and no. A large amount of this book came to me in spurts from my muse late at night. I’m a very creative person, and I've learned that when the muse wants to work I step out of the way and let her have at it. However a lot of these late night musings didn't transition well from one thought to another. I decided to get some help and work with a book coach as well as a very talented editor to help me organize my thoughts. Though I've been writing for nearly half my life, writing blog posts and magazine articles is very different from writing a book since they are more condensed and one doesn't necessarily have to flow into another. The thought of writing an entire book on one topic was very scary to me. This book is also much more personal than my more fact-oriented articles and even most of my blog posts. Piecing together the manuscript and going through the editing process was very emotional for me, since I didn't realize when I initially wrote some of it how raw my own thoughts and experiences still were for me. That’s the part of the process I was expecting the least—feeling vulnerable. Writing has always come naturally to me, as has expressing myself in other ways, so the actual writing part was not hard—it was the feeling of vulnerability that was more difficult. The process of going through the editing, design, formatting, proofreading, and getting the book published was challenging at times but was an incredible experience at the same time. I am so blessed to have consulted with my incredible topic matter experts: Dr. Ben Johnson from Osmosis Skincare, Dr. Georgia Tetlow from Philadelphia Integrative Medicine, Sharonah Rapseik, PhD from Spa Holistica, and Christine Arylo, bestselling author and Queen of Self-Love. My editor, Daniella Thoren, designer Michelle Fitz of Hat Trick Strategies, and publisher Sennin Group also really helped the process run smoothly and helped me create something that looks more amazing than I ever could have imagined. Overall it’s been one of the most rewarding journeys of my life and I look forward to doing it again! About Rachael: Rachael Pontillo is a holistic health and image coach with more than 15 years in the beauty and healthcare industries. Following her own challenges with acne and weight, she has helped many women overcome skin conditions and self image issues in her private coaching practice. She is also a published author whose work has been featured in the top aesthetics trade journal, Dermascope Magazine, the international magazine Complete Wellbeing, as well as on several blogs and websites such as Spa Week Daily, Holistic Vanity, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, and WholesomeOne, in addition to her own popular blog, Holistically Haute. She is a recipient of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s prestigious Health Leadership Award, is a featured skincare expert for NeoCell Health, and spoke on a national stage before the Association of Holistic Skincare Practitioners Conference where she educated aestheticians about the benefits of offering nutritional counseling services to their clients. 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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Everyday Heroes Beauty Transformation

Courtney Smith BSN2 comments

Two Everyday Heroes Translate their Inner Strength into their Outer Pow!

Makeover Sherona McFadden of Harleysville, PA and Keara Ramos-Coles of Greenlane, PA are two women who define what it means to be everyday heroes. Sherona is a wife, a mother of five children (two are affected by a disability and a serious medical condition), a friend, a working-woman, a singer/songwriter, and a community/church volunteer. Sherona emulates creative flare to the point where she seems to breathe it with every idea she speaks and song she writes. She is a natural visionary, but with much of her time spent caring for her family and/or living between frequent doctor appointments and hospital visits, Sherona struggles with a sense of zapped energy. She longs to reconnect with her keen sense of artistic allure when it comes to makeup, and shared with me that she is looking for some products/looks to reignite this flame. Keara is a wife, a mother of three children (all of which have a learning disability), a friend, a professional caregiver for the elderly and those affected by disability, and also volunteers in her church and community whenever she is able. Keara so poignantly shared her struggle, which so many caregivers face, with balancing taking care of her self vs. others. Her compassionate heart for others wins in weight, but with that she said, “I am now at a time in my life that as much as I love taking care of everyone else I am also learning that I have to find ways to take care of myself.” They’re inner strength and love has an overflowing glow, and I think that Keara hit a key note in understanding that it doesn’t have to be about choosing to care for someone else vs. yourself, but rather finding the delicate balance and boundaries to care for both. Keara further shared that she has come to this balance by “Placing God first and trusting Him with all I have.” It’s the spiritual aspect of beauty we so often forget, as it is this peace that has allowed her to rest assured that she doesn’t have to combat her struggles or that of others alone. There really is a beauty in peace. Harnessing the power of their wow factor during our self-created mini-caregiver retreat was no trouble at all! My awesome husband kindly took the children out for a swim while we started our evening with some good conversation, a homemade dinner, and quenched our thirst with water-enhanced Stur (of course)! We followed up dinner with hysterical laughter while striking the before shot poses. Boom! Then these gorgeous ladies took a seat to discuss what they wanted for their look. Sherona wanted to flesh out her creative nature with some bright colors on her already exotic-looking eyes, while Keara opted for an elegant glamour that she could recreate during her daily routine, more then just what she said, “Is my once a month dress up night.” Before applying their makeup both ladies cleansed their faces with Kaia’s 100% biodegradable juicy bamboo cleansing cloths. Keara commented, “Ooooh I LOVE the smell!” and Sherona joined, “and it feels so good on my skin…doesn’t dry me out.” I informed the girls that the cloths were also vitamin rich, packed with 8 purely plant-based essential oils, alcohol-free, sulfate-free, and awesome for so many other reasons. Kaia Juicy Bamboo Cloths Next, I moisturized both ladies skin with Delivre. I decided that since I only tried it on myself I wanted to see if they felt the same as I did about it (Read: 5Products That Will Help You Transform and Revive.) Ding, Ding, Ding, just as I had felt in my last post, Delivre delivered! Sherona and Keara have dry patches on their skin too. Hydrating with water and using topical hydration like a moisturizer are imperative elements in maintaining the health of one of your most important, and definitely the largest organs in your body (yes it is an organ!), which also happens to be one of the primary defense systems of your body too…so treat it especially well. *Note: it is also essential to have a smooth base for the application of great looking makeup. Then I applied the makeup mediums to create the elegant and innovative look that each woman aspired to produce. As always, eyes first when applying makeup, so you can clean up the rest of the face later. For Sherona’s eyes (Creative/Innovative look), I used MAC’s Back to the Beach Collection Sweet & Punchy, TIGI’s Posh Quad, and Smashbox’s Nocturnal and Nude, e.l.f.’s super affordable liquid eyeliner, and I intertwined her lashes with Butter London’s Wink Jaded Jack with Kevyn Aucoin’s Rich Pitch Black The Curling Mascara. Makeover Before and After (Sherona)purple-green-makeup For Keara’s eyes (Elegant Glamor Look) I used AVEDA’s petal essence Ginger Root, TIGI’s Posh high density quad eyeshadow, and Smashbox’s Bark from their Studio Pop eye palette, e.l.f’s liquid liner, and Kevyn Aucoin’s Rich Pitch Black The Curling Mascara. Let me just add that I LOVE Kevyn’s Mascara, I have had countless people ask if I was wearing false lashes…that is how good we are talking! Before and After pictures #makeover gold-purple makeup Finally, the rest of their resilient canvases were finished off using Mally’s Pro-Tricks correcting palette, the variance in Mally’s palette allowed me to create just the right combo to match each of their skin tones. Mally Beauty Concealing Palette I added a natural looking shimmer to their skin using e.l.f.’s baked blush peachy cheeky, and accentuated their cheek bones using MAC’s In the Groove collection: Mineralized blush duo, New vibe. For the lips I used AVEDA’s lip liner Plum Petals coated with their rehydrating lip glaze on Keara, and on Sherona I used AVEDA’s lip glaze by itself. Check out the final results and drop our awesome heroes a line of encouragement! Everyday Heroes Makeover 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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5 Products That Will Help You Transform and Revive

Courtney Smith BSN6 comments
As a caregiver, both on the floor as a nurse who works 12-hour night shifts and a parent of children with special needs, I often don’t get the recommended hours of sleep. Yes, I’ve seen all the studies of just how bad lack of sleep is for you…and no I would not recommend skipping out on the Z’s if there is a choice on the matter, but the truth remains that it is part of my (and many other caregivers) unavoidable realty. Since this is the case, instead of stressing about it, I implement little things throughout my day to help revive my energy and keep my look lively. First, it’s part of my self-care routine. Secondly, I truly believe that it helps those I care for to know that they are in good hands. I mean do any of you really want a tired-looking stressed out nurse to walk into you or your loved one’s hospital room and say she is the one who’s going to take care of you for the next 12 hours? Not if we had the choice, right? I am not sure of many who would contend the ideal notion of wanting a nurse with a positive attitude, know-how, and a put together look that sends an unspoken message of trust.
The saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” So, since I have recently been struggling with anemia and recovering from a painful injury, I thought it would be a neat opportunity to allow a personal picture story post for you as I got ready for work. Here is a peak at my paler then usual face (from lack of sun, sleep, and anemia), undone hair, and the five product lines I used to transform and revive. The last pic is a must see for the transformation! Tired #mom? Try these #makeuptips to transform and revive! Marc Anthony Hair Care Step 1: Take a refreshing shower with Marc Anthony (pause, lol) sulfate-free Oil of Morocco Shampoo and Conditioner for some super workable soft hair. When you get out of your makeshift oasis, toss in a bit of his Argan oil treatment and then some volumizing mousse. I am very picky when it comes to my hair products, as I have plunged the pocket in the past and came up with less than satisfying results. However, I am happy to report that Marc’s line is healthy for your hair, fantastic feeling, and super-easy on the wallet. It’s hard to find this type of a triple threat! Stur. Drink up! Step 2: Grab myself a cool glass of H2O to sip on while I get ready, and add a 10 second squeeze of water enhancer, Stur. I love that Stur has no calories and uses Stevia to sweeten. Besides the fact that I am hydrating, it allows me to throw back SEVEN energy giving, health-enhancing, essential vitamins. Stur meets the win-win category in my book! Tastes great too with your choice of six different flavors to yum it up with. Delivre Review Step 3: Moisturize! My skin is normally that beautiful Italian-olive tone and supple, but with my recent conditions it’s been pale and suffering from dry patches. Yeah, OK plus I’ve hit my mid-thirties too and can’t go on without it anyway. I used Delivre's daily nourishing moisturizer for my face and their hydrating lip balm for my puckers. Delivre delivered! It was thick, creamy and smooth, but not greasy. It was also just the right skin basis for an over-all smooth look. Mally Beauty Pro Tricks Correcting Palette   Urban Decay Naked Foundation Step 4: Be successful in achieving transformation by including your base and primers. They truly make a HUGE difference in the outcome. I used Mally’s pro-tricks correcting palette to hide the dark circles under my eyes, as well as some age spots on the side of my face (thank you Mally!) I also use and swear by Urban Decay’s Eye shadow primer potion, as well as their Naked Skin (my foundation base). Naked Skin fused with my skin as if it was my own, giving it a natural appearance while improving my skin tone. Let’s just say that Naked Skin is a totally appropriate name.

Urban Decay Makeup Tips Mirabella Cosmetics Eye Shadow

Step 5: Apply your makeup. A tip I learned from makeup artist, Ashley Smith, is to apply eye makeup first. That way you can clean up underneath later for a clean finished look. I used Mirabella’s eye shadow, as well as Urban Decay’s Moondust Zodiac and Intergalactic. For my lashes and liner, I used Rimmel London’s waterproof gel liner and ScandalEYEs flex mascara. Lastly, I brushed on L’Oreal Project Runway’s the Temptress’s blush/226. eye-shadow-tips tired-mom-makeover AND VOILA! As usual I LOVE to hear from my gals, so give me your feedback and share some tips on what you do to transform! 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 too!Courtney on G+. *Disclosure

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AVEDA Heart Lands Makeover

Courtney Smith BSN23 comments
Aveda Heart Lands Five years ago my step-mom, Cindy Crino’s, life changed in an instant. One moment she was a successful science teacher in Hawaii, the next moment she was trapped in a school elevator that crashed three floors down, damaging her spine and spirit. Since that dreadful day in 2008 Cindy’s life path changed forever more as the accident caused permanent disability. No longer able to afford their home, they lost everything they had with the exception of their environmentally friendly cars. Five fighting years later in June 2013 it was those cars that helped them to make their way back to a much-needed family support system on the east coast. I remember visiting my dad and step-mom prior to her accident and, per usual, Cindy looked put-together and displayed a jolly spirit. However, when she arrived to my home this past June 2013 after spending five years in what she calls “the wilderness” of Utah (the first nearest spot they could afford to get to on the mainland after Hawaii) the toll of chronic pain, mild mobility impairment, and still needing to be a caregiver herself was apparent. My arms wrapped around her with a verbal reminder that she was now safe at home, as the tears streamed down our faces. Caregiver #Makeover Before with @Aveda Heart Lands This week a cleanly designed recycled bag of AVEDA's Heart Lands limited edition makeup line for AW13 arrived at my home. I opened the bag with excitement only to be moved by a clearly defined mission statement,
“Our mission at Aveda is to care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways in which we give back to society. At Aveda, we strive to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility, not just in the world of beauty, but around the world.”
As an Americorps NCCC alumni and a nurse who believes strongly in treating body, mind, and spirit to achieve well-being and beauty, AVEDA's mission truly grasps the concept of beauty being more than just skin deep. As I scanned through their history, their open descriptions of natural ingredients used in their products, and their obvious vision for promoting holistic care and positive community impact I couldn’t help but be inspired to help transfer AVEDA’s bag of well-being to be that of Cindy’s. @Aveda Heart Lands Makeover After Products used: AVEDA Petal Essense Eyeshadow = Lid 991/Antique gold, Crease 989/hyacinth & 990/bronze patina, Outer and lower lid 986/dusk orchid, eye contour 992/juniper, lips lip liner 923/plum petals, lip glaze 921/honeytree My 20 minute makeover using AVEDA’s petal essence and nourish-mint makeup products from the Heart Lands collection on Cindy did wonders…note not only the obvious difference of her finished hair and makeup, but more importantly, the brightness of life that invigorates her smile and lights up her face. I loved turning her around to see her reaction! Cindy said, “Oh my word, oh my word! It is beautiful. I AM beautiful. I think I forgot how to care for myself over these years, but now I see it’s just a little bit of time to help me feel amazing!” It was also funny to me that Cindy noted (without reading my last post Quick Ways to Subside Caregiver Role Strain), “You know Courtney, one of the things that I noticed is that no matter what you have going on you take a little time to care for yourself and keep yourself looking nice. It makes me realize I can do the same too. I don’t have to let myself go anymore.” Were you inspired today? Please share, we LOVE to hear from you and pass along that inspiration to others! 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 too! Courtney on G+.

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