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10 Dec

Top 5 Luxury Gift Guide

Top 5 luxury gift guide

Who doesn’t love a gift guide flush with luxury? Well, look no further, ’cause here are the budget-busting must-haves you’ve been waiting for! Half-joking aside, I really want to share with you what I’ve absolutely LOVED over the past year. This guide isn’t brought to you by a letter, number or a vowel. It’s a totally independent, unsponsored list of fabulous finds curated entirely by me that ranges from the affordable to the aspirational. So here goes — my five true favorites of 2019, along with a GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY at the bottom of this post!

luxury tata harper
We all know that skincare is every girl’s best friend, so when I started using Tata Harper earlier this Fall, it became my newest beauty obsession and it’s the perfect way to start off this luxury gift guide. Using this line over the past three months has left my skin feeling softer than a baby’s bottom, and I’ve never received so many compliments on my glow. And my skin doesn’t just look better, it’s also healthier: Tata Harper is 100% vegan and free of GMOs, toxins, fillers, artificial and synthetic crap. Sometimes it can be difficult to figure out what your skin needs but you can’t go wrong with Tata Harper. A great place to start is with the daily essentials or a gift package
luxury otto grill
Who says a girl can’t grill? Well let me tell you, my Otto Grill makes me feel like a Grill Gone Wild. I gave this to Jason for Fathers Day, but I secretly bought this cool tool so I could have fun replicating the perfect B&B Butcher’s and Restaurant steaks. With its incredible searing ability (yes, this machine heats up to 1500 degrees in 3 minutes flat!) this portable steak-maker creates steakhouse steak that have a decadent, crusty outside and a tender, juicy inside. But wait, I know what you’re thinking … isn’t Christy Smith a vegan? I am! But a girl can at least dream of sinking her canines into a perfectly cooked carcass, right?
Marky's Caviar
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I have a weakness for caviar. It’s actually the only time I break from my strict vegan protocol. But not just ANY caviar. I’ll only throw my dietary restrictions out the window for the best, and to me, that’s Marky’s. Not everyone is familiar with caviar so this little tasting gift set is the perfect place to start if you need a little guidance. Marky’s has been my go-to source of luxurious caviar for several years. This independent, family-owned company has been in business since 1983. Each order is hand packed and its commitment to caviar quality is legendary. Don’t be intimidated when you see caviar service at an exclusive event or private party, just know you have arrived. 

2. Ylang23

luxury gift ylang23
Not sure what to buy for your bae? It’s time to bring on the bling! A go to for luxury gifts. I promise you, women love jewelry, and they ESPECIALLY love getting to pick out their own jewels! Ylang23 makes the process fun, exciting and meaningful, whether you’re shopping solo or making it a couple’s outing (Jason always goes jewelry shopping with me — best date night ever!). Even better, Ylang23’s selection of unique designs by independent jewelry designers is unparalleled, and you’re guaranteed to find a gorgeous bauble for every budget. A few pieces that I have been admiring this year are HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Luxury Park Place Merceds
What girl hasn’t had the dream of waking up on Christmas morning and finding a brand new shiny car in the driveway, topped with a big red bow? I know I have, and it still hasn’t happened (hint, hint Santa Jason!). I’ve had the chance to get up close and personal with many of the top new models such as a GLE SUV, E-Class Sedan or Maybach S560– so many, in fact, that I would have a hard time deciding which Mercedes I want most. But trust me, I’d figure it out! No matter your budget, Park Place Motorcars has the perfect car to fulfill your Christmas wish!

SoFortWorthIt GIVEAWAY!!!

Ok y’all, in honor of the holiday season and the birth of baby Jesus Christ, I present to you the perfect gift from my luxury gift guide that ANYONE would want to win! Little Drummer Boy roll please …

A weekend use of a beautiful Mercedes GLE SUV or E-Class Sedan from Park Place Motorcars. You can cruise around town and experience true luxury in a top of the line vehicle.

Must be 21 or older with a valid Driver’s License and valid car insurance to be eligible.

Valid to be redeemed in 2020.

Announcing the winner on December 23rd, 2019. 

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.