In Selma's words..."For fall, my goal was to give Shannon a rich, shiny look. I filled in Shannon's hair so the blonde wouldn't pop out. I also made the color deeper so it doesn't fade out and looks shinier, more healthy. I used L'oreal Power Dose protein treatment to hydrate and make her hair stronger. This is a great post-summer product that helps restore hair from the damages of the sun."My hair color was definitely dark and I was happy with the shine. Selma is a pro at her job and I highly recommend her! Now onto the cut with Alain..who is so super nice by the way. I explained to Alain that I was tired of my hair doing a flip at the bottom as it touched my shoulders. I said I wanted to look youthful but necessarily young (there's a big difference!) To solve my dilemma he suggested that I cut my hair shorter than it currently was. I don't care who you are, when you hear someone saying to cut your hair shortER, you kind of freak out. He explained that as my hair looked now, I was hiding my neck and that a shorter style would suit me better. My response was, "You can do what you want, just don't make me look like a boy." Looking at this picture, you can see on the white cover just how much length was taken off. To style my hair, Alain's assistant used Phyto Professional Glossing Cream and Phyto Professional Strong Sculpting Gel. And voila! A richer hair color, with a shorter style that suits both my age and face shape. I shouldn't have stood in front of a window for the after shot--however if you go to the A Girl's Gotta Spa! fan page and look in the Cocktails & Couture photo album there are some super pics of my hair. Phyto products can be purchased directly on the Salon A.K.S. website and when you register, you can get product discounts and 10% off any service. They also have a spot on their blog where you can pose questions to Alain or Selma (or any of their experts), just click Ask AKS. So what do you think? If you've been to Salon A.K.S. please share your experience in the comments! Don't forget that you can get 40% off on spa and salon gift certificates at for a participating place near you using discount code AGGS40 on www.icitycerts.com. *Disclosure
After getting my summer hair coloring at Salon L'etoile, those pesky UV rays had their way with me over the weeks that followed bringing out more of my highlights and lightening my hair considerably. When I went to NYC to attend Cocktails & Couture during fashion week 2 weeks ago, I decided it was time for the hair color switch to fall. I was looking to get back to my dark brown hair color and visited Salon A.K.S. on 5th Avenue to help me with my transformation. With the capable hands of hair colorist, Selma Aktas, and co-owner Alain Pinon working the scissors, I walked away a very happy customer. I explained to Selma that I wanted my hair darker and she flipped my hair over looking right at the roots. She explained that she didn't want to go darker than my original hair color and I agreed. I have to mention the sink for washing and conditioning because typically this is the most uncomfortable part of getting my hair done. You know when you lay uncomfortably into the sink? Well the lip of the sink somehow conforms to your neck, so there is no awkward arching or pressure on the back of your neck. I could simply do the one thing I like to do most---relax.Â
I'm excited to announce that if you will be at the HBA Expo on September 28th, so will I! I'll be on a panel alongside my fellow beauty bloggers Lianne from The Makeup Girl and Nadine Jolie of Nadine Jolie. We'll be answering questions about the beauty blogosphere and providing tips on how to approach today's beauty influencers. Sounds like fun, right? You can register at www.HBAExpo.com (use code GPSZ at check out for 30% off!) If you are a brand, PR firm or marketer, please leave a comment to let us know you are coming. It'll be great to put faces to names!
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Whether 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.Â 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. 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 theÂ 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.
Tucked away in the Pocono Mountains is a small slice of heaven at The French Manor Inn & Spa. Following a twisting and turning road up the mountainside reveals gorgeous stone buildings and a glorious view of the valley. My mouth fell open upon seeing it as I mouthed, “Wow.” There are 3 buildings on the property with Le Spa Foret found below the Spa Suites. Upon entering the spa, you are greeted with relaxing scents. I was invited to try Le Spa Foret’s Huckleberry Mountain Signature Spa Pedicure, which is about 50 minutes in duration. The difference between the spa pedicure and their regular pedicure is the addition of using a foot polisher, a tightening masque among other vitamin and antioxidant treatments to enhance the skin care in your pedicure. Towards the end they also massage your lower legs and feet. The chair I sat in had a massage system, which was so relaxing. I ate yogurt with granola and fruits while my spa pedicure was being done. The scents from the aromatherapy products being used in the water and on my skin were so soothing. I chose Ivy & Aloe, which is a water and citrus fragrance. My favorite part had to be the tightening masque that was applied to my feet and ankles. It was warm and felt fantastic on my skin. At the end I asked to look around the property and fell in love with the Spa Suites. You could hear the soothing music from the spa up in the rooms, which have a sunken tub, King sized beds, flat screen television and sitting area, as well as a veranda that looks out at the valley. Each room is decorated completely different and are very spacious. The French Manor dining area was breathtaking. 2 large fireplaces in a colonial-looking room that opened up to a stone terrace with a mountain view. While I was there, they were setting up for a wedding that would be taking place. The white tents on the terrace, complete with chandeliers made it look like a fairytale. The menu is a bit out of my price range, but the dishes sounded divine. What’s so lovely about Le Spa Foret at The French Manor Inn & Spa is that it is quietly tucked away off the beaten path here in Northeast PA. It is quiet and tranquil and makes you feel like you took a step back in time. The perfect place to retreat to, even if you are a local. You can learn more about them at www.thefrenchmanor.com. 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: This spa treatment was comped.
- 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.
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.
I 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.
I have always wanted to go to Hawaii. My dad used to live there and would often email me pictures of this amazing place. So when Spa Moana at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa reached out to me about their Hawaiian Rain Shower Polish that guests receive there, I asked about how those of use who can't afford the flight to this oasis, can bring the experience in-home. Because naturally, a girl's gotta spa! At Spa Moana, guests booking the Hawaiian Rain Shower Polish receive a 45 min body scrub and wrap. The service uses Raw Maui Sugar and fresh Hawaiian botanicals which are applied to the skin producing a naturally exfoliating and softening effect. Coconut oil is massaged into the scalp and hair, and a warm towel is then wrapped around the head. This allows for a deeper penetration for the oil to hydrate the hair follicles and repair damaged ends. To finish, a six shower head Vichy shower glides above the body to rinse and revitalized. To complete this journey the therapist applies a warm coconut milk and macadamia nut oil to the body, leaving skin moist and nurtured from the ain'a (land) of Hawaii. Here's how to recreate the Hawaiian Rain Shower Polish at home: Ingredients: 1/4 cup Raw Sugar 1/4 cup Coffee grounds (can be used from your coffee pot filter or freshly ground) 1/4 cup Coconut Oil A few drops of your favorite essential oil (Tangerine, Rose, Lemon, or Lime) 1 can coconut milk for bath Supplies: 1 large sheet 1 small plastic trash bag/ grocery bag 2 bowls 1 hand towel Microwave
- Prepare your bathroom for DIY treatment by laying an old sheet down on the floor, this will help with clean-up. Separate 1oz of coconut oil from the rest, and massage gently into your scalp, and pull through the ends of your hair. Microwave a dampened hand towel for 45 seconds, or until steamy, and wrap securely around your hair. Cover warm towel and hair with small plastic bag, and secure tightly with a knot.
- Mix everything except coconut milk together in a glass bowl, and warm in the microwave for 18 seconds. Scrub your entire body with this delectable homemade mixture, with special focus on any excessively dry areas, like heels, elbows, and knees. (A helping hand from someone to help exfoliate your back is always nice!)
- If you have a bath tub, pour coconut milk into warm bath water, and enjoy a relaxing soak. If you do not have a bath tub, rinse skin in a warm shower, and mix one tablespoon of coconut milk with one tablespoon of coconut oil, warm together in microwave for eight seconds, and massage into damp skin as an excellent moisturizer.