The Luxe List: Shopping for Luxury Holiday Gifts & Gets - December 2009

Haute Holiday Gifts - This Months Favorite Finds: Finding fabulous holiday gifts for those who seemingly have it all can be a challenge at best. Each month I scour the luxury marketplace to uncover new, innovative and otherwise exemplary must haves – the best-of-the-best across a range of product and price categories. My annual Haute Holiday Gifts Luxe List is a mix of tasteful, trendy, and high quality goods - some extravagant, some practical - that are all sure to please.

Consider this month's roundup of glam gift ideas:

Galit Rondin “Make Believe” Necklace - $375
When done right, fashion can transport the wearer to another place and time – real or fantasy – if even for a moment. This is why I adore Designs by Galit Rondin's incredibly imaginative line of fashion jewelry. The company's inspired “Make Believe” design necklace is no exception.

This mythical hand-crafted necklace is garnished to enhance the wear's fascination – and those who gaze upon her. Affixed to a linked plated silver metal chain is a vibrant textured brass ring layered with a decorative silver plated dragon and flower flanking a bejeweled leopard. Dual cascading loops of decorative chain dangle freely aside this charm of sorts. Further down the links is an ivory charm that's reminiscent of an Italian horn, which dangles casually from a separate, longer chain. I love this necklace's asymmetry and seemingly random - though entirely purposeful - styling. She will, too.

Designs by Galit Rondin is well-known for its bold and evocative pieces. The company's designs uniquely combine the delicate with the wild and rough applied in a magnificent mélange of classic and modern styling that's both glamorous and surprising. This necklace will be a pleasant surprise, indeed. (

Taryn Rose Rebel REBEL Platform Shoe – $275
No wardrobe is complete without an open-toe platform shoe versatile enough to translate among nearly any casual, office or night-on-the-town look. Taryn Rose's REBEL design fits that bill perfectly.

This 4” platform wedge, available in black or walnut, gives added height and just the right amount of attitude to an array of outfit choices. Taryn Rose's artisan-crafted REBEL design is constructed with fine Italian-imported calf leather that is incredibly soft and supple. A plush full-length Poron foam-padded footbed assures maximum comfort, and the combination leather and rubber sole will safeguard her from slips and falls. A large, decorative antique brass side buckle and striated, lightweight walnut wood wrapped wedge heel completes the look. She can wear these adaptable, casual-chic shoes with shorts, jeans, slacks, skirts or dresses.

Many hours of hand stitching go into a single pair of Taryn Rose shoes. The company uses only soft buttery fine leathers that are hand-chosen for optimum aesthetics, fit, comfort and durability. The REBEL shoe exemplifies this achievement. (

Centrix Technique Ceramic Styling Iron - $169.95
There's no bigger follicle faux pas than frizz, and most of the people on your gift list may already have a hair styling flat iron in our collective quest for lustrous locks. Even so, all styling irons are not created equal. Those you love certainly deserve the best, and the Centrix Technique Ceramic 1” Styling Iron more than fits the bill.

With state of the art circuitry promoting professional straightening and curling results, this impressive iron also employs moisture infusing ionic/ceramic technology to not only smooth and shine hair, but also ensure it remains virtually damage-free. Very important for those like me who use styling irons with regularity. This unit's ceramic heater provides perfectly even heat distribution and a quick recovery, and the results are incredible. I've personally been using the iron and my hair has never been so sleek, manageable and able to endure – even when I've been outdoors.

Other notable features of this highly rated, professional-grade Centix Styling Iron include rounded/floating plates to eliminate snagging and enable both straightening and curling techniques, variable temperature controls suitable for all hair textures, rapid heating in mere seconds to a maximum temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and a full 9 foot swivel cord for ease of use. The company also offers a 1 year exchange warranty covering any and all manufacturer defects. (

AKG K 340 In-Ear Headphones - $89.95
These days, who doesn't have an iPod, iPhone, laptop or other portable device filled with music, podcasts, movies and other digital A/V files? Forego those generic earbuds that come with most devices and instead opt for AKG's K 340 In-Ear Headphones for superior sound quality, accuracy and control, to which I can attest. These high performance ear canal headphones – available liquorice or fudge-colored - feature outstanding frequency response, high-output sound and a in-line precision so you can easily maintain control – even when your portable player is stored away in your backpack or pocket. Other highlights of AKG's K 340 Headphones include a hard gold-plated jack plug and contacts, extremely comfortable non-slip silicon sleeves in three sizes (small, medium and large) that naturally block out ambient noise, and a compact hard-side carrying case to keep it all tidy. The headphones arrive in handsome, rather dramatic black packaging. (

Strap Diva - $24.95
I have a very expensive handbag that I love the looks of, but the straps are very short and constantly fall off my shoulder, forcing me to inconveniently carry it with my hand. Not great when shopping and doing other tasks for which I need to be hands-free. I've been lamenting this problem for a while, as I love the bag and spent a bundle on it, but it's just so impractical – and downright annoying - for me to use. So you can imagine my delight when I learned about Strap Diva – a tasteful fashion fix actually designed to rectify this very problem. Oh, bliss. StrapDiva is a must-have handbag accessory for anyone who carries a purse on their shoulder and doesn't want to constantly hike the strap up and constantly adjust for slippage – or who simply wants some relief from the pressure. This nifty handbag helper was invented by a California fashionista who reportedly had one too many trips through a busy airport trying to juggle a cup of coffee and luggage with her purse straps down around her elbows (been there!). Made of natural leather and suede, StrapDiva is discreet and does not detract from even the post fabulous handbag. They're available in two sizes and six fashionable colors in lambskin: Black, Dark Brown, Tan, Red, Light Gold and Dark Blue. The company also offers a grain leather version in Black, Tan, and Dark Brown (For a heavier bag or messenger-type bag, it's best to choose grain leather). Simply wrap Strap Diva around both of your handbag straps, snap it together and go! (

HoMedics Dual Foot Massager - $9.99
Now here's one way to score major points with someone – just give them HoMedics Dual Foot Massager and let the appreciation ensue! This dual action massager, which may be used manually or with a battery, delivers a manual rolling massage with 6 nodes for each foot, either with or without invigorating vibration that's controlled with the (toe) touch of a button. This foot massager is small, lightweight and entirely portable, making it easy to transport and use pretty much anywhere – at home, in the office, on an airplane…wherever. If someone's hands can use a little TLC as well, no problem as HoMedics Dual Foot Massager sits comfortably on the lap and can be used on hands as well. The massager is available in three fun and trendy colors – pink, purple and blue. Go ahead, give someone happy feet! (

- Merilee Kern
JustLuxé.com's "The Luxe List" Executive Review Editor

The Luxe List product, service and travel review editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for new and captivating “musts.” Submissions are accepted via e-mail at View all of Merilee’s Luxe List articles from here (scroll to page bottom).

Galit Rondin “Make Believe” Necklace
Taryn Rose Rebel REBEL Platform Shoe
Centrix Technique Ceramic Styling Iron
AKG K 340 In-Ear Headphones
Strap Diva
Strap Diva
Strap Diva
HoMedics Dual Foot Massager

Merilee Kern

Forbes Business Council Member Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist who reports on noteworthy industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all categories, both B2C and B2B. This includes field experts and thought leaders, brands, products, services, destinations and events. Merilee is Founder, Executive Editor and Producer of “T...(Read More)

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