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18 Feb

MasterClass with Tata Harper Skincare at Neiman’s

My new favorite all-natural skincare line 

I have a confession to make. I, Christy Smith, am a skincare product addict. Just a little habit I picked up around the ripe age of twelve, thanks to my mom introducing me to the Beauty Terrace at Neiman Marcus in the 80’s.

Of course, my friends already know this, especially if they’ve seen all the lotions and potions I keep in my bathroom drawers. And if you happen to work in the skincare department at Neiman Marcus, well, then this is not news to you. At all.

My Skincare Additions

For years and years, I’ve been in love with three brands almost exclusively: La Mer, Sisley and my friend Lisa Alexander’s vegan skincare line, LA FACE SKINCARE. Now, I added Tata Harper to that list last Fall and it has transformed my skin.

So here is the scoop, and why I have fallen head over heals for Tata Harper! This skincare line unites health with beauty through all-natural and organic ingredients. It’s 100 percent free from GMOs, toxins, fillers, artificial colors, artificial fragrances and synthetic chemicals of any kind, and everything’s bottled in glass (recyclable and reusable!). Plus, it’s all formulated and packaged on a 1,200-acre farm in Vermont by a team lead by, who else, a woman named Tata Harper.

If it’s Good Enough for Gwyneth …

If you read the label of a Tata Harper product, you won’t find any ingredients with names you can’t pronounce. With that said, I didn’t really bother reading any of the labels myself either. I let Gwyneth do it for me. As in Paltrow. You know, the queen of clean beauty and founder of the Goop Empire. 

Well it turns out, Gwyneth is a Tata Harper superfan, and now, I am, too, thanks to Neiman Marcus Fort Worth and my own personal skincare seminar with Tata Harper herself.

Going Gaga over Tata 

That’s right – I met Tata! Here’s us together. Which means I am now only one degree of separation from Gwyneth! I mean, we are practically a squad now!

Seriously though, it was so inspiring to learn about natural skincare from the very woman who developed the line. She shared so much info about quality, natural skincare and beauty that I wanted to leap out of my chair and scream, YAAS GUURLL!! while giving her a big sloppy kiss and a dry hump to boot. I didn’t, of course, mainly because I wanted Neiman’s to invite me back again, but you get it. I was pretty much, blown away. 

The Dirty Truth

  • Here’s the deal, everyone is trying to live better and look better. Although you can’t make time stop, you CAN make sure you’re aging in an amazing way. Chemicals and unhealthy crap don’t accomplish this goal. We also know this when it comes to food, and the same is true when it comes to the stuff we slather all over our skin for our bodies to absorb.

 

  • I’m talking about parabens like isobutyl and isopropyl, formaldehyde (which is a known carcinogen), triclosan (a hormone disruptor) BHA, BHT, dyes made from coal tar and siloxanes and more. This is just a small list of the thousands of chemicals used in skincare formulations today which can range from not great to actually harmful.

 

  • European countries have banned over 1,300+ of these harmful ingredients. Here in the U.S., only eleven have been banned. Yup. Eleven Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice health for beauty thanks to Tata and her trademarked blends of hundreds of botanicals and all-natural ingredients. 

Beauty is a Process

Tata taught me that just using a natural product isn’t enough – the how and how much also matters. It’s all about finding the right routine for your skin, and layering products to ensure that your products are working for your face.

NM-Tata_Harper-361

As important as layering is to lavishing, Tata believes more is more. Don’t scrimp on product – slather your skin forehead to chest, then take a moment to let all the goodness sink in and be totally absorbed into the skin before starting the next layer.

NM-Tata_Harper-287

Oh, and one more tip: SUNSCREEN!!! If you wear sunscreen on a daily basis, this should be the last step, not the first step, of your morning skincare routine. If you put it on first, it blocks all of the beauty products from absorbing into your skin and doing their job. 

Does all of this take a bit more bathroom time? Maybe. OK, yes. Yes it does. But aren’t you worth it? Yes, my friend. Yes you are totally and absolutely worth it!

Wanna Get Started?

Are you ready to get down with your very own customizable Tata beauty routine? Then check out this really cool feature on how to personalize your very own Tata Harper regime.

Full disclosure!!! I am not getting paid for writing this blog post, I just want to give you the tools and the power to be healthy and to feel as beautiful as you already are. Besides, it’s not often I fall so head over heels about a beauty line, that I literally arm swipe all the products off the shelf and into a box.

Check out the 8 products below that have transformed my skin.

You can also watch my entire Tata Harper beauty routine in my Instagram highlights!

 

If you’ve tried Tata and want to share your experiences or have any comments about the importance of natural skincare in general and your thoughts, please post below!

SoFortWorthIt x Tata Harper x Neiman Marcus GIVEAWAY!

Oh my gosh y’all, I am thrilled to share this Tata Harper giveaway with you. The Tata Harper MasterClass at Neiman Marcus Fort Worth wasn’t just a blog-worthy experience, but it was incredibly educational! I wish everyone could have been there to further their knowledge on healthy beauty.

 

With that said, I am giving one lucky winner a lovely start to build a Tata Harper collection of their own!

17 Jan

My Liquid Facelift Experience with Dr. Peter Malouf

The Lowdown On What It’s Really Like To Get Botox And Fillers

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you probably know I’m a bit of a health-nut, and now I’m letting you in on a little secret-I’m also a big weenie when it comes to needles!

So, branching out at the ripe age of 43 to get Botox and Fillers to look my best before attending last years 90th Academy Awards was entirely out of my comfort zone.

Christy Dunaway Smith

I’ve never been one to cut corners to save a buck, so it was imperative that I see only the very best for these procedures. I needed to go to the doctor I knew to be the best, which was Doctor Peter Malouf.

I’ve been a patient of Dr. Malouf’s since college graduation.

Dr. Malouf started his practice from the ground up and eventually brought in partners till his business was bursting at the seams.

In 2017, he decided to simplify and start over with a new private concierge boutique practice, Dr. Malouf Dermatology.

At the time of my appointment, Dr. Malouf’s new Fort Worth location was under construction, so I drove to his Dallas office with my photographer Maria, and my husband’s work wife, I mean operations manager of his company, Kelly, to hold my hand.

I have to admit; I was a bit nervous about what would unfold with all of the pokes I was about to receive.

Dr. peter malouf christy dunaway smith

But first, we popped into The Gem, an all organic juice bar/vegan cafe located in Preston Center, for a quick healthy bite.

Besides, I needed a moment to slather all the prescription numbing cream onto my face before my beauty doc appointment.

I’m not gonna lie, the stares I received while doing this in the middle of the restaurant were awkward, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

Even more awkward, my Dallas cousin Chris Winn also happened to walk in for a quick bite. It’s one thing to do weird things in public when you don’t know anyone, but when family sees you acting weird, now THAT’S embarrassing.

Christy Dunaway Smith Dr. Malouf
Christy Dunaway Smith Dr. Malouf

By the time we pulled up to Dr. Malouf’s office, my face and lips were so numb from the cream, I had to keep wiping the drool from my mouth. Due to this attractive side effect, my anxiety had lessened.

As soon as we walked into the waiting room, Dr. Malouf immediately put my mind at ease as we caught up on life and chatted about everything under the sun.

Dr. Peter Malouf Christy Dunaway Smith
Dr. Peter Malouf Christy Dunaway Smith

Once we settled into the exam room, he asked what I was looking to achieve aesthetically. I pointed to the hard forehead lines I’ve had since middle school and mentioned my face had slowly journeyed South.

I told him my primary concern was not to look frozen or have unnaturally arched brows like The Joker. I mean, I have seen some terrible Botox jobs in my lifetime. The overall goal was natural with a splash of youth.

He said, “I’m going to give you a Liquid Facelift.”

Dr. Peter Malouf Christy Dunaway Smith

Before we got too far along, I decided to bust out my phone and go LIVE on Instagram for a behind the scenes experience of what it’s like to be with me in a doctors office, WITH NEEDLES!

Dr. Malouf knew I was paranoid about feeling any pain. Before he started the Botox injections, he prepped me for a dental block for the facial fillers.

He put a liquid numbing agent onto two Q-tips and stuck them in between my lips and gum-line to numb that section of my mouth, where the potentially painful numbing injections would go.

The three-minute wait for the numbing to kick in was far worse than the actual injections, which, by the way, didn’t hurt at all. Not even a pinch, only pressure. If life were only that easy, right?

Dr. Peter Malouf Dental Block
Dr. Malouf Dental Block Injection

To my surprise, I didn’t even feel the first Botox needle poke, but I yelped out anyway because I just knew it was going to hurt. In fact, I didn’t feel about 80% of the needle pokes, and the ones I did, felt more like mosquito bites. Mind you; I did have a whole jar of prescription numbing cream on my face.

Dr. Peter Malouf
Dr. Peter Malouf Botox Christy Dunaway Smith
Dr. Peter Malouf Christy Dunaway Smith

I’m dying laughing here cause I had worked myself up over nothing. Everyone was laughing. I seriously couldn’t believe how easy it was. Like a total cake walk, people.

Laughing after 1st injections

By the time Dr. Malouf finished the Botox injections, my cheeks and nasolabial folds (aka parentheses lines) were numbed entirely and ready for the Restylane Refine filler. Filler, just the sound of that word made me want to run home to mama, but my shallow Hollywood vanity gave me strength for the next process. I didn’t want to look like a skid mark on the red carpet at the Oscars.

I told Dr. Malouf my concerns of looking like an over-filled chipmunk with my already cheeky smile. He assured me that he does cheek injections in a precise location, so his patients don’t look blown up. And thanks to that dental block, I only felt a little pressure during the process.

Restylane Filler Dr. Peter Malouf
Dr. Peter Malouf

WE HAVE A BLEEDER! Now, most people don’t bleed when getting Botox injections, but I made the mistake of taking Advil the night before, which most likely caused the excessive bleeding. Oops!

Restylane Filler Dr. Peter Malouf

But then the inevitable came, and I just had to ask him about my lips! Talk about playing with fire. Of all the lip jobs I have seen in my life, about 90% of them are an embarrassment to society and ain’t nobody got time for the Kylie Jenner lip challenge look. Dr. Malouf agreed that many specialists over inject patients lips, which can cause an unnatural ‘trout pout’ look.

Dr. Malouf mentioned he had perfected the perfect natural lip with Juvederm Voluma injections. He said, “The cupids bow is the center curve on your upper lip, and when enhanced, it improves its definition.

Over-injection in this area will produce a ‘beaky lip.’ In our youth, the vermilion border of the lip looks like a ski jump from the side view but is lost with aging and sun damage. Subtle enhancements with this filler will make it look youthful again.”

So, I said why not, let’s give this a shot! And just like that, there was hardly any discomfort, and instantly I had the perfect natural upper lip. In fact, I am SO IN LOVE with my new lip; I’m probably going to keep up with the look for life.

Dr. Peter Malouf

Despite my nerves, Dr. Malouf and his staff were amazing! I knew I was in the best hands DFW had to offer.

He has been voted Best Doctor by Fort Worth Magazine every year since 2000, a Texas Monthly Super Doctor, and the #1 Cosmetic Producing Practice in Tarrant County by Fort Worth Business Press.

His credentials and awards are long, and he deserves every single one.

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Photography by Maria Ciszek

The ULTIMATE Liquid Facelift GIVEAWAY with Dr. Peter Malouf!!!

Dr. Peter Malouf is giving away the exact same Liquid Facelift he did for, to one very lucky reader. This amazing $2000 valued beauty package includes:

  • 45 units of Botox, which will last between 3-6 months. ($540 value)
  • 1 syringe of Restylane Refine, which will last up to 14 months. This was used in my cheeks and smile lines. ($700 value)
  • 1 syringe of Juvederm Voluma, which will last up to 18 months. This was injected along the top rim of my lip to define the slope again. ($800 value)

*Please read the TERMS & CONDITIONS for the official rules at the giveaway link below, including following all requested social media accounts and being subscribed to the SoFortWorthIt newsletter for your entry to qualify. 

27 Nov

Tape-In Hair Extensions for A Red Carpet Look with Novak Hair Studios

Hairdreams Tape-in Extensions

The 411 in the 817: Hair Edition

Red carpet hair extensions featuring Novak Hair Studios, the latest and greatest solo artist, eco-friendly salon in Fort Worth.

Most of you know Jason and I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Academy Awards this past March alongside our wonderful friends Angelique and Mike De Luca. But before we headed out to La La Land, I needed to kick my beauty routine up a few notches.

So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried a few things I hadn’t done before, including Botox and fillers (this post coming soon) and a total hair makeover, which included hair extensions.

SoFortWorthIt Hair Extensions

Anyone who knows me knows I am very particular when it comes to my hair. Through the decades, I have had multiple experiences at different salons and various stylists that ranged from not-so-great to exceptional. Check out the homemade perm job from my grandmother and a run-in with Sun-In at Camp Longhorn. NICE, huh?

My signature-look for the longest time was blonde hair, and it perfectly fit my bubbly personality. After transitioning to a more healthy, brunette color a few years ago, I thought it would be fun to experiment with extensions to keep that full-bodied, voluminous look.

Christy Dunaway Smith Chair for Cancer Care Services 2013

Being the research queen that I am, I reached out to a few experts in the beauty industry in search of the top stylists who specialized in hair extensions. Ben, the co-owner of Novak Hair Studios, and his ultra-talented sidekick Madalyn were recommended with the best of the best reviews.

I knew that Madalyn at Novak would provide the service I was looking for, and would ultimately understand what I needed to take my hair game to the next level.

Ben Novak and Madalyn Porche

I may be biased, but I am here to tell you that Ben’s team is indeed the best in the industry, and that is no exaggeration. In fact, Novak Hair Studios is the official sponsor for Mrs. Texas, Mrs. Oklahoma, Miss America Texas, and Miss Teen Texas. Whoa, that’s kind of a big deal, right?

Not only that, local Trinity Valley student Brenna Flynn of Fort Worth took the crown as reigning Miss Texas Teen USA 2018.

HAIR EXTENSION 101

Highlighting the hair extension process and procedures.

I started this process by booking a complimentary consultation with Madalyn so she could asses my hair and pick the best extensions that matched the color, texture, and length of my current locks.

SoFortWorthIt Hair Extensions Novak Hair Studios

Although Novak Hair Studios uses several different extension brands, Madalyn chose Hairdreams, a tape-in brand that uses real human hair and is known for its natural texture. Human hair just feels better over synthetic, and it is by far the superior way to go.

Tape-in extensions are best for keeping your hair thick, happy, and healthy. Plus, they can be reused up to 4-5 times which will save money and time in the long run.

Hairdreams
Hairdreams tape-in

The extension process didn’t take nearly as long as I had imagined. For my hair, the installation was around 45-60 minutes, in addition to the standard amount of time it takes to color, wash, cut and style.

I go in every 5-7 weeks to have the extensions taken out, cleaned, rebound, and moved up closer to my scalp, on top of the services mentioned above. A reinstall day is always a little bit longer than the 1st time you have them put in.

Overall, I always plan for 4 – 4 ½ hours in the salon on extension day.

At the moment, I am on my second set of tape-in extensions this year. The 1st set, which were installed in February, lasted all the way through Halloween while taking a Memorial through Labor Day break. Since we are at the lake as much as humanly possible during the summer months, I really wanted to preserve the integrity and longevity of my Hair Dreams extensions by not exposing them to harsh conditions like lake water, sunscreen and chemically treated pool water.

Remember above when I mentioned how tape-in extensions don’t damage your hair? This picture was taken right after I had them removed for summer break. I believe using these particular extensions has actually made my hair healthier.

How Much do Extensions Cost?

So here is the scoop, Novak Hair Studios truly wants to take care of their customers- so much so that they do not mark up their hair extensions when they purchase from a third-party distributor. Instead, they pass their cost directly on to the customer.

When I originally had my first set of extensions put in before the Academy Awards, Madalyn used seven packs of hair for a fuller Red Carpet, glamorous look. Each pack included six pieces, so we used 42 extensions total, which came to $500 for all of the hair.

For the first time around, it is about $900 for the average person to walk into Novak for a full extension service, including color/hi-lite, cut and style. Paying for your hair upfront is the priciest part of this gig, but after your initial appointment, your regular maintenance is most likely similar to what you have been paying for a typical hair appointment.

For everyday purposes, Madalyn recommended we go down to six packs at the next install to maintain a more manageable look.

Novak Hair Studios is in a League of Its Own

Now let me highlight this luxury solo artist salon in downtown Fort Worth a bit more for you. There are so many unique characteristics that make up Novak; it’s just too exciting not to share.

Novak Hair Studios
Novak Hair Reception Desk

Novak Hair Studios is partnered with Green Circle Salons, a sustainable salon solution that helps recover and repurpose beauty waste to ensure that 95% of everything is recycled, including the hair trimmings.

Novak
Novak

Their eco-friendly model also goes as far as using water-saving Ecoheads on their European wash bowls (reduces water and energy usage by 65%) and an HVAC system that is continuously cleaning the air from chemicals released throughout the day.

The customer service at this salon is unparalleled. A concierge service will check on guests periodically to make sure they are being taken care of and comfortable, and who can resist a complimentary glass of wine from their digital beverage menu.

While you are waiting for your foils to set, enjoy that glass of Chardonnay in a PRIVATE processing lounge so you can rock your lovely foil-covered head without other guests seeing you.

And I’m head over heels with the organic and cruelty-free Eufora hair product line that is exclusively sold at Novak Hair Studios. This stuff is the BOMB!

Eufora

Last, but not least, the attention to detail that Novak prides itself on is unlike any other. Novak’s fantastic staff members and stylists radiate passion for their work and continuously strive to create a positive pampering experience for all guests. I immediately feel right at home when I walk into Novak.

Photography by Maria Ciszek & Novak Hair Studios

SoFortWorthIt GIVEAWAY

Who is ready for a very exciting giveaway from Novak Hair Studios! After all, what says red carpet more than having red carpet hair?!

Start your night out with an Oscar inspired HotTools Pro 24k Gold 1.1/4 inch curing iron with a pure gold finish, along with an arsenal of the styling products you will need to be ready to make headlines for your academy awards debut. Eufora Retain Spray to help retain curls and provide heat protection, Eufora Tame Spray to help lock out frizz and provide additional memory for curls that will last through the after party, Eufora Full Effect Dry Texturizing Spray to help separate and add fullness to any style, and lastly Eufora Uplift Extra Firm Finishing Spray to finalize and perfect those locks. But that’s not all, Madalyn is throwing in a full blowout and style for your next big night out on the town.

Please read the TERMS & CONDITIONS for full details and disclosures located in the Rafflecopter link below.