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Archive for the ‘Charleston’ Category

Hunter Brooks Charcoal Scrub: A Word with the Creator

Posted on: April 18th, 2014 by admin

Right now I am staring down less than 100 days until I turn forty. I know everyone says what great skin I have and yes, some of it is in the genes, but a lot of it is the work I’ve put into it.
I am not a good person. I rarely pass a bottle of wine without testing it out, you know for the sake of others just incase it’s gone bad. I am quitting smoking, please don’t judge too harshly. And I was a swimmer all of my life and still don’t wear sunscreen all that much. I even sleep in my makeup more often than I care to admit. See, not a good person.
About fifteen years ago my girlfriend who is an amazing friend but also a bad person, we were sitting in her art gallery guzzling wine when we realized we either become better people for the sake of our aging or figure out how to cheat. We started asking some of the women that were coming in what their secrets were and a few ingredients kept popping up again and again. Persian ladies and ladies of Asain descent all said that they made their own sugar scrub and used it daily. Olive oil and coconut oil were also biggies. We went to work. The scrub that you see now was perfected over fifteen years and too many girlfriend happy hours that I care to admit.

How It Works & What Is In It

The Activated Charcoal Sugar Scrub contains
Activated Charcoal
Coconut oil
Olive oil
Castile soap.

The sugar scrub I make is different in that one of the main ingredients is activated charcoal, a detoxifying substance. Not only is my product locally made, all organic, all natural and hand made but contains one of the strongest detoxifying ingredients there is without drying the skin.

Activated charcoal is carbon and can be made from anything from hardwood to bamboo. I use virgin coconut shells that are heavily ground by hand. To activate the carbon it is heated to 800 degrees so it expands to max its surface area making it extraordinarily porous. How porous? A gram of active charcoal has the surface area of roughly 5400 square feet or the size of a football field.

These pores are micro-pores and work by electrical attraction called adsorbtion. It pulls molecules, atoms and ions towards its surface and stick to the charcoal. Toxins are attracted to activated charcoal pulling them out of your skin’s surface clearing your face and body of acne and bacteria. Medicinally, it is used in hospital to remove poisonous substances from your body, alcohol and drugs, mercury, snake venom and spider bites. It is also used in Brita water filters, pool filters and gas masks

The second ingredient is sugar. Sugar not only exfoliates the skin but sugar cannot breed bacteria so it is a safe base for the scrub and will have a good shelf life.

Coconut oil, as I think everyone has become aware of in the past year, pulls out bacteria while also helping even skin tones, such as pulling down sun spots and taking some of the redness out of scars.

The coconut oil and olive oil are great at hydrating the skin leaving you feeling soft, not oil slicked.

Castile soap is a big part of what makes this scrub so different. Castile soap has been made since 1529. It is made from olive oil so it is gentle but thoroughly cleanses for even the most sensitive of skins. Castile soap is a great cleaning agent without leaving the skin dry and taught.


This is the same recipe I use everyday on my face and body. The product is designed to help with any skin conditions without drying and has a soap component in it so that extra drying soaps are unnecessary.

I sell the 2 oz. samples for $8 and the 16 oz. containers for $22 a jar. My goal is to make this affordable enough so that everyone can afford to use it everyday and not just for that special occasion. It comes in two fragrances which I have kept slight so as to not overwhelm your perfumes or lotions, peppermint and lavender.

Candy Shop Vintage launches Charleston Rice Beads!

Posted on: April 4th, 2014 by admin


One of our very own Style Mavens, Deirdre Zahl, of Candy Shop Vintage has launched her newest collection

Charleston Rice Beads!



 The confetti placements and gold flatware from Polished! pair perfectly with our turquoise croc tops.



The George Gallery on Bogard was the perfect backdrop for this festive fete!acandy0036


 There was even a special appearance by Ryan Gosling!

Hey, girl, get some Charleston Rice Beads!







Photos by Clay Austin!

Swoon & Out of Hand Hit the Runway at Charleston Fashion Week – Photos by ANP Photography!

Posted on: March 24th, 2014 by admin

Runway Photos by Aaron Nicholas Photography

Friday night was Night 4 of Charleston Magazine’s Charleston Fashion Week and we could not have been more excited to be a part of it this year!

Out of Hand and Swoon walked together playing with the juxtaposition of light and airy, ethereal figures while Swoon featured chic separates and gowns, along with fabulous bags. All the girls wore headpieces from the fabulous ladies at Out of the Garden.

Our first look is this CP Shades dress and Brightly Twisted hand dyed, one of a kind scarf, paired with floral embroidered Old Gringo boots.OOHEvents-Swoon-CharlestonFashionWeek2014-5

Twine & Twig necklaces were the perfect accessory is to wear with this Jonny Was top and flowing linen Krisa pants!


Kerry Cassill floral top with Aryn K shorts Old Gringo boots make the perfect combination in this spring outfit!OOHEvents-Swoon-CharlestonFashionWeek2014-17

These silk Johnny Was pants, Groceries tee, and Subtle Luxury sweater make the cutest outfit that is ridiculously comfortable.

This look features a CP Shades dress and Vintage Junkies Jewelry.OOHEvents-Swoon-CharlestonFashionWeek2014-30

Z&L pants and a Freeway gold knitted top accented with Out of Hand‘s signature antlers.OOHEvents-Swoon-CharlestonFashionWeek2014-34


Biya dress by Johnnay Was clothing and CYDWOQ booties make for the perfect boho glam look.

This gorgeous two piece printed suit is from Parade.


Ted Baker makes amazing handbags but this pleated halter proves his gowns are just as fabulous!


Ring in spring in style with silk Nicole Miller dress and nude pumps.


This textured white suit by Yoanna Biraschi.


 This Raoul dress is absolutely beautiful!OOHEvents-Swoon-CharlestonFashionWeek2014-66

 This Ted Baker bag is everyone’s go to for spring and pairs perfectly with this Teri Jon cocktail dress!


This beaded masterpiece by Aidan Mattox.


 Our finale showstopper is this black gown from Halston Heritage and Swoon is the only boutique in Charleston to carry the line! Stop by and see us in the Old Village.


 Check out AaronNicholasPhoto.com to see more amazing photos!


Find us on Facebook to keep up with all the happenings at Swoon and Out of Hand, especially all the amazing trunk shows we have coming up!


How to Get the Perfect Wedding Hair with Charlotte Belk!

Posted on: January 30th, 2014 by admin

No one in Charleston knows hair quite like Charlotte Belk. We are delighted she is sharing her wisdom and favorite styles for brides with all of us.

I adore down styles with loose waves and barely any bobby pins. Teased with a little volume and polished to perfection, this look is one men seem to love and it is very natural. The one thing I will say about this look is that if your hair tends not to hold curl this is not the style for you. Also during the summer months, between non holding curl and humidity, it could be a disaster area. December to April and September to December brides, this look is best for you. If you do not mind your hair falling into more of a beachy wave textured look go for it. There are no products than can hold or tame this look during those summer months. The down styles look amazing pinned on one side or all down with a beautiful headband or nothing at all. Just be aware of how your hair reacts to certain conditions.
You can also pair a veil easily with a down style. Clip in extensions or tape in extensions also help in length and volume if needed.

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I love a bohemian relaxed hippie glam bride. Sometimes we leave the hair down center part with natural waves maybe throw in a flower wreath.
I created these hairstyles for brides who love braids but don’t want to look too trendy. The styles I try to stay away from are the braided updo’s that start at the beginning of the part and are braided around the head into the back. This is very hard sometimes for brides that do not have the hair thickness because It takes away from the actual updo as there is so much hair needed for just the braid. Needless to say this is a great style for people who have hair on the thicker side. Incorporating braids such as a regular one or a fishtail and kind-of piecing or pulling it apart creates a softer feel. For this style I feel flowers are a better hair piece to use or nothing at all because its so ornate.





One of my all time favorites, the vintage bride. Such an elegant timeless look which can range from the 20′s to the 50′s. This look is perfect paired with a softer, lighter shade of shadow and nice eyeliner and a red or dark red lip. You can also go more natural, I don’t think you can go wrong. This hair is such a statement piece.

Pin curls, old Hollywood glam waves and faux fingerwave’s exude this look. Hair generally collar bone length and above is better for this look because its easier to mold and not heavy and the hair thickness isn’t an issue. These hairstyles look fab paired with a vintage veil, hairpiece or bird cage veil. My favorite vintage hair piece designer is Treats For Tresses. I think this look will never grow old and it’s not one of the trendier looks.

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Intricate styled updo’s are amazing! Hair on the thicker side and longer than shoulder length are needed. Clip in and tape in extensions aid in this or a lovely hair insert called a doughnut.

These styles can be romantic and loose or more polished and no wave. Any hairpiece can go with these looks. Either a side swept soft bang a down the middle with loose prices falling cheek bone level or an all back with volume front are beautifully paired with this look.

They are very detailed and do take quite a bit of time but the outcome…WOW!

Usually if you bring a photo and like the front of one and back of another we can tweak to fit your face shape and style. Be prepared to pull out a lot of pins. These styles go with any dress are classic yet unique to the person and hair type. Wavy hair or curly hair looks amazing with this type of updo because of the texture it brings.





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Side updo’s are beautiful and youthful if done correctly they can really make a statement. I create side updo’s that are either soft side pony but not rubber banded I think this pulls us away from an actual pony tail and lends more to a sophisticated appearance creating more of an up with it. To more intricate side updo’s still keeping the hair low on the neckline and staying more side back than side. Then there is always the very romantic pieced unkempt side do that has a very natural appearance but still dressy. I love to pair all of these looks with hair pieces vintage or floral and a veil still works perfectly. Keep in mind pulling all of the hair to one side you need more hair to work with so it’s balanced. Hair on the thinner side may require clip or tape in extensions which I work with regularly and can be hidden nicely.




Charlotte Belk of Elysium Salon and Wedding Hair by Charlotte


Charlotte Belk, a South Carolina native started her career in Charleston in 2001. Since then her career has taken off in the beauty industry. An obsession with hair and make up since her early childhood meant it was only natural that she would open Elysium Salon with her husband in 2004. At the same time she expanded her business into Charleston’s niche wedding industry, providing superior hair and make up services to brides and wedding parties.

In 2012 Charlotte created the Wedding Hair By Charlotte Agency representing hair and make up artists with over 150 weddings in 2012 and 2013. During this same year she also created the Elysium Agency representing hair stylists, make up artists, photographers, videographers, and wardrobe stylists. The Elysium Agency in its first year have worked for and contributed to; The Ford Agency, Talbots, American Express, Fox News, Weddings Unveiled, Southern Wedding Magazine, Marie Claire, Bed Bath & Beyond to name a few.

Charlotte is a freelance hair and makeup artist working on runway, editorial, commercial and TV projects locally and Nationally.

She is married to husband Kevin Belk and they have two daughters Avery & Hayes.

Four Resolutions That Should be on Everyone’s List This Year By Shauna Mackenzie

Posted on: January 15th, 2014 by admin


Another year has gone by, and another list of resolutions has been torn up and trashed long ago. Every year it’s the same, we aim high and we fall hard. And every year we write out that list again, the same resolutions, the same outcome.

 This is the year to shake it up. Instead of writing the same old list you’ve written several times before, step outside the box and challenge yourself to a new set of ideas. Embrace who you are and work with what you can accomplish in 2014. Build confidence and be the better you. Below are a few fun and challenging resolutions that should be on everyone’s list for 2014.

Develop a Personal Style

Developing a personal style is an art, and it can be fun. It’s a way to get to know your own unique identity lurking under the surface. Your wardrobe and the way you carry yourself can help you build confidence, allow you to express yourself and your values, and it can capture your creative selfhood.

Spend an hour looking through magazines and Pinterest pages and make two piles: clothes/looks you absolutely love and clothes/looks you would never, ever showcase. After a while, you’ll start to see certain patterns emerge, and you’ll have a new sense of yourself and the look you want to achieve. Stick to what you love in 2014 to help you develop your very own look.

Work with You, Not Future You

We all have it in our minds that someday we’re going to be perfect. With a little more time and effort, we’ll achieve the look we’ve been striving for our whole lives. As if our perfect images are dangling on a fishing line right in front of us, but every time we go to grab it, it shifts away and out of reach.

If we spend our whole lives chasing the ideal, we’ll never learn to love and appreciate who we are now. Live in the moment. Embrace who you are and do all the things you’ve been putting off for when you’re thinner, richer, or more confident. You’ll build confidence along the way, and in the end, you’ll be able to say that you weren’t the person who let obstacles get in the way of happiness.

Reserve Judgment

We’ve all heard the phrase “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” before. But maybe if we were a little more flexible and open-minded, we could give others a second chance. This year, try to reserve final judgment until you’ve really gotten to know a person.

It’s only natural to judge a person by sight the first time you see them, so don’t worry about your first thoughts that pop into your head. But do try to think beyond those first thoughts and get to know the person before you make your final decision. You’ll find yourself opening up to a lot of new people and experiences and perhaps making great friends along the way.

Relax and Have Fun

No matter what our image or personal style goals are for 2014, remember that these resolutions are all about enriching our lives. Whether we want to be thinner, healthier, better dressed, or more caring, we are trying to achieve betterment through our actions and our character. Overall, we want to be happier and more fulfilled.

That’s why it’s important to remember to have fun and be creative with your resolutions. If it feels like work, we won’t want to do it. So make it feel like play. Take the time to challenge yourself: shop at a store that you once found intimidating, wear a color you’ve never worn but always wanted to, or let yourself be pampered. And pay it forward: compliment others on their style and dress, declutter and donate clothes to charity, and help others who seek style advice. Face any new challenge head on and make 2014 the year you stand out, for your style, your confidence, and your generosity.

About the AuthorShaunaMackenzie

Shauna Mackenzie is a small business expert and founder of Mark’d, Mackenzie Image Consulting, and the Studio for Image Professionals, an online interactive training hub that teaches aspiring image consultants how to start their image career.She’s been featured on CareerBuilder.com, Mint.com, in Young, Fabulous & Self-Employed Magazine, on Huffington Post, Successful Living Magazine, and featured regularly in local Charleston publications and news stations. She was also nominated as one of Charleston’s 40 under 40 by the Charleston Regional Business Journal in 2011 and recently one of Charleston’s Most Influential Women in Business.

Find her on Facebook, LinkedIn, & Twitter

Hart Winter Wedding

Posted on: January 9th, 2014 by admin

Citadel Beach House is always beautiful but especially so on this crisp Charleston winter day!I_0312

Harp music filled the winds as the bride walked down the sandy aisle.I_0075

Her bouquet is filled with peonies, hydrangea, chocolate cosmos, seeded eucalyptus, and optic grass. The added bits of dried lotus pod and fern curls add a bit of natural whimsy.


And a matching boutonniere for him!I_0484

The Colors of 2014!

Posted on: January 3rd, 2014 by admin

For as long as we can remember,  soft colors  have marked wedding days with plush ivory hydrangeas and soft blush peonies, brides have sauntered down the aisle and looked ethereal and …well… bridal. And while those color choices are popular for good reason, and I adore the complimentary soft nature of such simple and pretty pallets, I can’t help but gravitate toward bold jewel tones as the new way of weddings.


Let’s start with the vows. Of course, in Charleston, a million dollar view is yours for the taking. But embracing the surroundings by popping in some dark woods, lush greenery, and a statement Oriental runner like at this Lowndes Grove ceremony are truly sights to behold. It’s something that we can do here in the Lowcountry that you can’t do anywhere else, utilize the nature around you that is. And we’re fortunate enough to have options at our fingertips.


Oh, then there is the pop of color lounge. Yes, flanking that bold blue with striking neutrals, as pictured here on the veranda of the I’on Creek Club, is a great option – or you can insert emerald green chairs, or raspberry velvet, or even a complimentary navy ikat. Being playful with your surroundings is an opportunity you’re only afforded on your wedding day. You don’t have to live in a home with a turquoise high-back love seat if you don’t want, but you can certainly set one against the backdrop of the Charleston harbor when you marry your love – and the pictures will be worth a thousand words.

You don’t always have the option of a tent, but when you do, get funky. Allow your guests to see the stars through the bold swagged fabric. Or pop in a jewel toned drum shade. The simple swoosh of a gorgeous hue can be dictated by the lipstick you wear that day, the antique Sapphire from your grandmother that serves as your “Something Old,” or even the color of his eyes. Make it memorable, special to you, and purposeful.


I hear it all the time, “who notices the plates?” Well, I can honestly say, as soon as your plate makes a statement, everyone notices. Whether it pulls in the metallic undertones you’re using or plays up the floral centerpieces, plates and glassware are a fabulous way to bring in that extra hint of color.

So many times, our brides say that they want their bouquet to be all white or ivory, and that is stunning … don’t get me wrong. But when you pop in even just one bold statement flower, you get a look that is so unique every time. It doesn’t all have to be bright and vivid – or even all floral. Insert scabiosa pod, lavender, or succulent here …


Oh … and that bouquet …


No matter what, having those statement colors creates dimension you can’t get any other way.


The bold centerpiece, whether it’s the flower or the container, is the most common way to make a color statement, and the best way to dispense it throughout your reception … a pop here, a punch there and you have successfully added color without being loud or busy. Highlight it with neutral linens and chairs or the William Aiken modern centerpieces with wispy textures.

Perfect Place Settings from Polished!

Posted on: December 13th, 2013 by Lisa

The holidays are a time for fun, family, and friends!

The best way to bring everyone together is with a good meal and while we know you have that covered, your place setting is something where you can let your personal style shine! Our friends at Polished! have that covered!

6_Virgil Bunao Photography

The one rule for a formal table is for everything to be geometrically spaced: the centerpiece at the exact center; the place settings at equal distances; and the utensils balanced. Beyond these placemats, you can vary flower arrangements and decorations as you like.


The placement of utensils is guided by the menu, the idea being that you use utensils in an “outside in” order. For the illustrated place setting here, the order of the menu is:

  • Appetizer: Shellfish
  • First Course: Soup or fruit
  • Fish Course
  • Entree
  • Salad

Styled shoot with Ashley Nicole Events at the Daniel Island Club, Charleston SC, modern vintage photography, amelia + dan, 843.801.2790, ameliaanddan.com

(a) Service Plate: This large plate, also called a charger, serves as an underplate for the plate holding the first course, which will be brought to the table. When the first course is cleared, the service plate remains until the plate holding the entree is served, at which point the two plates are exhcnaged. The charger may serve as the underplate for several courses which precede the entree.

(b) Butter Plate: The small butter plate is placed above the forks at the left of the place setting.

(c) Dinner Fork: The largest of the forks, also called the place fork, is placed on the left of the plate. Other smaller forks for other courses are arranged to the left or right of the dinner fork, according to when they will be used.

(d) Fish Fork: If there is a fish course, this small fork is placed farthest to the left of the dinner fork because it is the first fork used.

(e) Salad Fork: If the salad is served after the entree, the small salad fork is placed to the right of the dinner fork, next to the plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the forks would be arranged (left to right): salad fork, fish fork, dinner fork.

(f) Dinner Knife: The large dinner knife is placed to the right of the dinner plate.

(g) Fish Knife: The specially shaped fish knife goes to the right of the dinner knife.

(h) Salad Knife (Note: there is no salad knife in the illustration): If used, according to the above menu, it would be placed to the left of the dinner knife, next to the dinner plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the knives would be arranged (left to right): dinner knife, fish knife, salad knife.

(i) Soup Spoon or Fruit Spoon: If soup or fruit is served as a first course, then the accompanying spoon goes to the right of the knives.

(j) Oyster Fork: If shellfish are to be served, the oyster fork goes to the right of the spoons. Note: it is the onlyfork ever placed on the right of the plate.

(k) Butter Knife: The small spreader is paced diagonally on top of the butter plate, handle on the right and blade down.

(l) Glasses: These can number up to five and are placed so that the smaller ones are up front. The water goblet (la) is placed directly above the knives. Just to the right goes a champagne flute (lb); in front of these are placed a red (lc) or white (ld) wine glass and a sherry glass (le).

(m) Napkin: The napkin is placed on top of the charger (if one is used) or in the space for the plate.


 A few extra tips!

  • Knife blades are always placed with the cutting edge toward the plate.
  • No more than three of any implement is ever placed on the table, except when an oyster fork is used in addition to three other forks. If more than three courses are served before dessert, then the utensil for the fourth course is broght in with the food; likewise the salad fork and knife may be brought in when the salad course is served.
  • Dessert spoons and forks are brought in on the dessert plate just before dessert is served.


Swoon – Design for the Cure

Posted on: December 12th, 2013 by admin

Last weekend some really inspiring women walked the runway and we want to share it with you!


Cure By Design is an event in which the fashion, design and retail communities join forces with the local corporate community to benefit the American Cancer Society. The event is unique because each model who walks the runway is a cancer survivor. We are celebrating cancer survivorship and hope for a cure by focusing on the role that research, prevention and early detection of cancer plays in everyone’s life.


The American Cancer Society saves lives and creates a world with less cancer, and more birthdays, by helping you stay well and get well; by finding cures and by empowering communities to fight back against cancer.


Cure By Design reinforces the message that more and more people are surviving cancer. It is also another way of creating a sense of community of people fighting for a common cause - the elimination of cancer as a health threat.


For more information about this amazing organization, click here.

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