Hair Health Tips

By Kirstie Boone

From hair dryers to curling and straightening irons, our hair takes a lot of heat throughout the year, not to mention the damaging hair products we often use. Summer is the perfect time to revamp your beauty routine and ensure your hair remains healthy all year long. There are many tips on keeping your skin safe from the sun, but how do you keep your hair healthy while lounging on the beach in the hot summer sun? How do you protect your hair from the chemicals found in chlorine pools? Refresh your beauty rituals this summer to have healthier hair. From hats to hair masks, we’ve got tips from the experts on the most effective ways to protect and rejuvenate your tresses.

Sun Safety

Like your skin, your hair can be easily damaged in the sun. According to Blair Wessinger at Studio SB, the best way to keep your hair safe from the sun is “hats, hats, hats!” Wearing a hat while lounging on the beach or by the pool protects not only your face from harmful UV rays, but also your hair. Hats will also protect colored hair from being tinted to undesirable shades.

Kelly Odom, owner of Kalikō Salon, advises the use of leave-in repair serums. “I always have one in my beach bag,” says Kelly. “The heat from the sun actually helps open the hair cuticles for better penetration.”

While many people use products such as lemon juice to “naturally” lighten their hair in the sun, this can actually be very harmful. I’ll never forget the summer my younger sister opted for “natural” highlights from the sun and sprayed a product called “Sun In” in her hair before we went to the pool. She continued this ritual for an entire month, but her hair turned more of a brassy orange color as opposed to the soft blonde she was hoping for. It also became very brittle and began breaking off around her roots. She quickly made an appointment at the salon, and to her dismay, learned that the product she was using to “naturally” lighten her hair was actually a combination of bleach, hydrogen peroxide and some other not-so-natural ingredients. Combined with the harmful rays of the sun, these ingredients temporarily ruined her hair. She was forced to cut the dry, brittle patches out, but her hair thankfully grew back healthy and in a natural color.

While results of using such products may vary from person to person, it is strongly encouraged that you check with a trusted salon before using any product. Everyone’s hair is different, so making sure you’re using products that are safe for your hair is key.



In addition to the sun damage that occurs while you lounge by the pool, the chlorine in the water can also be harmful to both your skin and hair. Wearing a swim cap is one way to prevent hair damage, as is fastening your hair in a high pony-tail or bun before taking a dip.

However, if there is no way around getting your hair wet, there are some options to reduce the damaging effects of chlorine. One way to minimize damage is by wetting your hair before getting in the pool, says Lex Moore of OCCO Luxury Spa + Salon. If your hair is dry when it comes into contact with pool water, the chlorine has a better chance of soaking into the strands of hair. By wetting your hair pre-swim, you’ll minimize the amount of chlorine that soaks in.

Another helpful tip is to rinse your hair as soon as possible after you come into contact with chlorine. Even if it’s only in a poolside shower, it’s best to rinse as much of the chlorine out of your hair and off your body as soon as possible. Later, to make sure all chlorine has been removed, you can use natural remedies such as baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one cup of water for an at-home remedy. Or mix one part apple cider vinegar and four parts water to create a natural method for removing the chlorine post-swim. Lex suggests using L’Oreal Professional Nutrifier Series after swimming. This is a new formula that’s silicone-free and contains glycerol and coconut oil. Its lightweight texture is perfect for dry and undernourished hair.

Also, hair masks are great for repairing hair after exposure to pool chemicals. Lex suggests doing a hair mask at home once a week to keep your hair healthy and stronger between salon visits. Blair also encourages the use of hair masks as a source of extra conditioning, but advises users to get the right mask for your hair type. “With fine hair especially, you don’t want to get anything to heavy,” says Blair. Many hair masks can be applied in the shower after, or in place of, your regular conditioner. Let it sit for several minutes before rinsing it out, or for hair in dire need of repair, leave it in for longer. Others should be applied to washed and towel-dried hair and left in for at least 20 minutes before rinsing.

beauty-15932_1920Hair dryers, straightening irons, curlers, oh my!

When using styling tools, it’s important to be mindful of the heat setting. Kelly advises you to consider the texture of your hair when choosing the temperature for styling tools. Blair says that you get what you pay for when it comes to choosing styling tools. It’s worth it to spend a little extra to get high-quality, salon-brand tools. Joye Fowler of Ashley’s Alley recommends only purchasing ceramic hot tools that have the capability of exceeding 400 degrees, and the higher above that the better — even if you don’t need that level of heat, it ensures that the ceramic is high-quality and thus safer for your hair. Lex advises her clients to go no higher than 410 degrees, however it’s best to stay around 350 degrees. “Play it smart. Start lower and, if you feel like you need to go up more, slowly turn your iron up. This keeps your hair from getting singed!” Lex also says it’s best to use a heat protectant, such as the Infinium 3 spray, when using styling tools.

The possibility of avoiding heated styling tools completely isn’t a realistic option for most. However, summer is an excellent time to take a break from the nonessential tools. There are many fun, summer up-dos that don’t require styling. After drying your hair, hairstyle-1473541_1920try braiding it or putting it in a chic bun for the day instead of using a straightening iron. Bonus points if you can avoid the hair dryer all together for a day or two. Blair suggests using a sea salt spray like R&Co Rockaway when your hair is wet. After using the spray, scrunch your hair to give it a nice “beach wave” without having to use styling tools. When you’re on vacation, give your hair a vacation as well. Ditching the styling tools for a bit will give your hair a much-needed break, and the time you’d normally spend styling your hair can be spent enjoying a vacation. It’s a win-win situation!


Kelly says that the amount of time between washes will vary from person to person. However, washing your hair every day prevents your natural oils from doing their job. If you find that you have an extra oily scalp, try a hydrating shampoo instead of stripping the natural oils with harsh shampoos that often cause your scalp to overcompensate from being stripped and produce even more oils. Kelly also suggests using dry shampoos between washes. They absorb oils and add texture! Blair suggests only washing your hair two to three times per week. In regards to the application of dry shampoo, Joye says the best way to use the shampoo is to shake the can before spraying at the roots. Massage the dry shampoo into your hair, then lightly blow dry on low to get rid of the dry shampoo residue.


The frequency with which you get a haircut usually depends on your styling methods. If you use heated styling tools or chemicals in your hair, Blair suggests visiting the salon every six to eight weeks. Lex says that although it is often assumed that getting your hair cut makes your hair grow faster, that’s not necessarily the case. Getting you hair cut on a regular basis keeps your ends healthy, which makes your hair grow longer and healthier because it prevents splitting and breaking. In the long run, if you don’t maintain a regular haircut routine, you have to cut your hair shorter to get rid of more damage.

Follow these easy tips and hints to ensure your hair stays healthy all summer long. Whether you plan on spending the summer by the pool, on the boat or on the beach, make sure you take the necessary steps to protect both your skin and your hair. Now let your hair down and enjoy our beautiful, South Carolina summer!



Emanuel: Love is the Answer

By Kirstie Boone

Like many people in the South, I have a very special place in my heart for Charleston. I will never forget June 17, 2015, when nine precious lives were taken by someone filled with hate and evil. Along with several others, these individuals were in a place of worship, a place they felt safe — Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. After the events of that day unfolded, many wondered how this church, this city and this state would recover from something so heartbreaking. How would we recover from losing these nine special individuals as a result of such a senseless and hateful crime?

Not only would Charleston soon begin to recover, but it would also set an example for cities across the nation in moving forward after a tragedy. Violence was not met with more violence, as Charleston responded with love, faith, hope and forgiveness. Charleston and the state of South Carolina demonstrated that in the face of evil, love always prevails.

70557237-ccb17-0079 (1)- Ashley ConcannonArtistic and Executive Director of Columbia City Ballet, William Starrett, set out to honor the Mother Emanuel church by creating the ballet, Emanuel: Love is the Answer which took place in Columbia April 7th and 8th. “I felt it was a time where we needed a positive healing tool of transcendence and unity,” says William. “To me, art and particularly dance is a form of prayer. The extraordinary message of forgiveness coming from families echoing from South Carolina took on an unexpected strength and awareness that inspired me to personally commemorate these important individuals whose lives were taken as they were celebrating their God. I wanted to help use this tragedy to learn that we must embrace our differences and that love is the answer.”

The ballet balanced the sadness of tragedy with the hope for unity that came as a result. During one of the performances, the voices of victims’ families speaking to the court room echoed through the speakers during one of the performances. Over and over, the words “I forgive you” were repeated by the family members. On stage, the dancers expertly portrayed the emotion and heartbreak felt by the victims’ families in this difficult moment. Of those who were killed in the shooting, William says, “I tried to makeemmanuel- Kevin Kyzer their voices and lives have even greater importance. We must learn that we are more alike than we are different. Hate is a cancer, and love is the answer.” Later in the ballet, dancers performed to the song “All You Need is Love” and encouraged the audience to clap and laugh. This performance demonstrated the hope and love that were shown in the aftermath of the shooting.

William says that he hopes those in the audience took away a spirit of love from the ballet. “We must live every moment with compassion and kindness. We must celebrate our differences, because they are gifts that we were given when we were placed on this earth. We must use these differences to grow, develop, evolve and become more enlightened. We each have an importance and it starts with us always coming from a positive place of love.”
emmanuel-85 - Kevin Kyzer

Though losing these precious nine lives broke our hearts, it did not break Charleston or South Carolina. We, as a united state, demonstrated what it means to love and what it means to believe that the best thing to do in a time of tragedy, despair or confusion is to show unity, hope and love.

For more information on the Columbia City Ballet, visit

A Night in Wonderland

The 2017 Columbia Museum of Art Gala
By Kirstie Boone

On April 1, Columbians are invited to step into the middle of a fairy tale and escape reality in exchange for a world full of art, fun and whimsy at the Columbia Museum of Art’s “A Night in Wonderland” Gala. The event, which celebrates and supports the arts, will feature delicious cuisine, specialty cocktails, lively entertainment and enchanting décor. Guests will have the opportunity to sip tea (or something stronger) in Alice’s garden party, dance to dueling pianos with the Queen of Hearts, nibble on treats from Scott Hall Catering, sample sweets in the Caterpillar’s dessert lounge, marvel at performances by the University of South Carolina Dance Company, and follow the Cheshire Cat and the Root Doctors down the rabbit hole.

unnamedColumbia Metropolitan Magazine is a proud sponsor of “A Night in Wonderland,” which will showcase the CMA’s spring exhibition Salvador Dalí’s Fantastical Fairy Tales, curated by CMA Chief Curator Will South. Prints are a major part of Dalí’s work, and the spring exhibition features 36 colorful prints from The Dalí Museum. With illustrations of beloved fairy tales and legends like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Don Quixote and The Little Mermaid, this exhibition explores the connections between art and literature as well as Dalí’s fine and varied techniques in creating art.

This whimsical, black-tie gala attracts 800 to 1,000 prominent community citizens, museum supporters, and art lovers from around the state. Since the museum’s first gala, hosted 10 years ago, the event has grown to become the CMA’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Gala65 copy“The Gala is not only the museum’s signature fundraising event, but also an opportunity to expose the museum to new audiences,” says Emily Brady Bedenbaugh, 2017 CMA Gala chair. “The Gala committee is charged with creating a unique and unforgettable experience that dazzles with food, entertainment and art to celebrate the Dalí exhibit and hopefully convert guests into lifelong museum members. We can’t wait to see you for a night in Wonderland!”

As a 2016 winner of the Institute of Library and Museum Services National Medal, the CMA is exceptional in its impact on the community. The museum was established in 1950 and now welcomes more than 150,000 visitors per year. The CMA and its educational programs provide an opportunity for the people of the Midlands to experience art in meaningful and impactful ways. One of the CMA’s goals is to reach and serve children and youth who have the least access to arts education and enrichment programs. The museum is investing in the community’s children and families and sustaining that investment to help them achieve great successes in school, life and beyond through art and art education.

To learn more about the CMA Gala, visit or contact Brian Dolphin, development department: or (803) 343-2198.

Night in Wonderland.Still001

Gift Giving 101

By Kirstie Boone

Excitement fills the air as the holidays draw near. As the holiday season arrives, we anticipate fabulous parties, beautifully decorated homes, delicious food, the best of winter fashion and, of course, the joyous tradition of gift giving. Choosing the perfect gift can add stress to an already busy time of year as gift giving can be quite tricky and even frustrating at times. We are counting down our top 10 favorite gift ideas to give you inspiration for the gift giving season!

10. Picture this! A camera is the perfect gift for someone who truly values the little memories in their everyday life. In a world where iPhone cameras capture our every move, we often forget about the variety of high quality cameras to choose from. Cameras are perfect for capturing special memories especially during the holiday season. Polaroid cameras have recently seen an upgrade, and can be found in a variety of colors in a fun, new shape.


9. Date it! For a mom, sister or coworker who is always on the go, now is the perfect time to give her a new planner or calendar for 2017. The new year is almost here, and she will be filling up a new calendar with dates and to-do lists in no time! Lilly Pulitzer planers are always a favorite (check out Pink Sorbet or Invitation Station for adorable planners in all shapes and sizes).

Pink Sorbet

8. Personalize it! Men can often be difficult to buy for, but a genuine leather monogrammed wallet is the perfect gift for any man in your life. You can personalize it with a name, phrase or monogram if you’d like. Whether you are buying for your dad, brother or husband, this gift is one that will be put to good use for years to come. Check out Initially Yours Columbia Luggage on Lady Street for all of your monogrammed needs this holiday season!


7. Organize it! For the “techie” in your family or friend group, this charger roll-up will keep the chords for all of their gadgets organized. Perfect for storing chargers and headphones, this gift can also be personalized with a monogram. Its compact size allows for easy storage in a purse or glove compartment, and it’s a great way to keep all of your cords untangled and separated.


6. Smell this! Who doesn’t love a delicious smelling candle? Pair the yummy fragrance of Rewined candles with the fact that they are handmade out of recycled wine bottles, and you have the perfect gift. Not to mention that the company began in Charleston, South Carolina. The names and fragrances of the candles are inspired by various wines and include scents such as Pinot Grigio, Champagne, Merlot, Cabernet and Pinot Noir. Rewined also makes soaps and glassware which make wonderful gifts! You can find Rewined candles and other Rewined products at local boutiques throughout the Midlands.


5. Drink it! Tumblers make excellent gifts for anyone on your list whether you are purchasing the gift for a male or female. For this reason, they seem to be a favorite for Secret Santa gatherings and Chinese gift exchanges. Our favorite tumblers for this holiday season are Yeti tumblers and Corkcicle tumblers. Yeti tumblers are extremely durable, and Corkcicle tumblers keep beverages cold for nine plus hours and hot for three hours. Both tumblers come in various sizes and colors, and can be personalized by adding a vinyl or engraved monogram or name. Tumblers make a great gift for the hot chocolate lover or coffee addict, as well as someone who loves to keep ice cold water close by throughout the day. Check out your local hardware store for Yeti tumblers and local gift shops for Corkcicle tumblers!

Don’t Break it! Looking for the perfect gift for the wine lover or hostess in your life? Govino stemless wine glasses are made of shatterproof, recyclable material and are BPA and BPS free. Govino also makes champagne flutes, cocktails, beer glasses and decanters, all perfect gift options for a friend or family member who loves to entertain. These “unbreakable” wine glasses are great to have on hand during the holiday season, especially during busy holiday parties. They also come in handy in the spring and summer months when drinks will be sipped poolside.


Serve it! The holiday season is the perfect time to give someone special a festive serving tray. A serving tray makes a wonderful gift for a friend or mother-in-law who loves to entertain. With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, this thoughtful gift is sure to be put to good use for the parties that are in store. We love this festive serving tray with a matching cheese board and coasters!

Note it! You can’t go wrong with stationary during the holiday season. Correspondence cards or notepads are the perfect gift for a sister who loves to write letters or a coworker that likes to take notes or doodle. A thank you note never goes out of style, and a beautiful set of thank you notes makes a wonderful Christmas gift. We love the classic style of Kate Spade’s correspondence cards and thank you notes! Many gift stores in the Midlands carry an assortment of Kate Spade stationary.

Read it! Give the gift that’s a perfect fit for everyone on your list, a subscription to the city magazine for the capital of South Carolina, Columbia Metropolitan Magazine. We may be a little biased, but a subscription is a gift that will keep giving throughout the year. Click here to subscribe to CMM and receive free perks such as gift cards to restaurants and Pure Barre classes, tickets to ballets and a free Columbia Metropolitan t-shirt!




A Thoughtful Touch

By Kirstie Boone

With the holiday season quickly approaching and the atmosphere becoming more festive by the minute, it’s time to begin planning for your fabulous holiday parties. Between the cooking, cleaning, planning and decorating, it’s easy to overlook the small details involved in party planning. Decisions such as which color tablecloth to use, how many seats to plan for each table and what the menu should be often overshadow smaller, more personal aspects of party planning. However, the small decisions are just as important as the big details. Little things such as creative, personalized place cards can easily take your party from ordinary to amazing, and we’ve gathered our favorite place card ideas for holiday inspiration!

Add a pine cone to your place setting to display your place cards. Wrap wire in a circular shape then attach the wire to the top of the pine cone to hold the place card. For a creative twist, paint the pine cones a festive color like gold or red.

Visit for more information.

These gorgeous pumpkins are the perfect place setting for Thanksgiving dinner! Use twine or ribbon to tie the place card to the stem of a pumpkin. Bonus points if you use a fall-themed shape for your place card.

Your guests won’t “be-leaf” their eyes when they see this stunning place setting. Start by gathering large leaves or buying decorative leaves from your local craft store. Use gold spray paint to coat the leaves. Let dry, then write each guest’s name on the leaf and place at each setting.

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Use a small, potted succulent for each place setting. Attach each guest’s name to a short skewer to stick in the soil of the succulent. This place card holder doubles as a unique party favor that guests will be able to take home with them!

Ruffled - photo by -
Visit for more information.

For a more rustic place setting, use a cross cut of a branch or tree for your place setting. Use a marker to write your guests’ names on the wood. If you don’t have access to tools to cut up a branch, these cross cuts can usually be found at craft stores.

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Use rosemary or pine sprigs to add a natural, simple touch to your table. These place settings not only look gorgeous, but also smell amazing! One option is to place the sprigs through the card, or wrap the springs into a wreath shape to place on top of a napkin or dish.


Jingle bells! Use bells to hold your place cards. This simple yet creative place card holder is sure to spread good cheer (and maybe a few jingles) around the dinner table.

Visit for more information. 

Remembering the small details during the busy holiday season will make any party complete. With these adorable place settings, guests are sure to remember your holiday party as being the best of the season. Happy Holidays from all of us at Columbia Metropolitan!

SCSM Transforms into Museum of Oz

By Kirstie Boone

Throughout the month of October, the entire South Carolina State Museum will be transformed into the Land of Oz. The spectacular event will last all month long and includes family-friendly events as well as adult only options.


The Wizard of Oz 4-D Experience

Open since Oct. 1, The Wizard of Oz comes alive as never before in the amazing 16 minute 4-D experience. With digital 3-D and state-of-the-art special effects including wind, lightening and many more surprises, this beloved classic becomes a modern 4-D adventure as the infamous tornado carries guests to the magical Land of Oz. Guests will join Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and even the Wicked Witch as they follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City. The Wizard of Oz 4-D Experience will run through Nov. 4.

Growl at the Moon (Oct. 27)

SCSM’s annual Halloween extravaganza, Growl at the Moon, will feature local food from Doc’s Barbeque, live music from the Flat Out Strangers, craft beer, fortunetelling, a digital LED Bling Bar and Laser Floyd featuring Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon inside of a Jack-o-Tarium (Planetarium). An all-inclusive ticket to this event purchased before the show will also include access to the 4-D presentation of The Wizard of Oz, the Boeing Observatory and an unfilled, souvenir growler to take home. Good Witch or Bad Witch? Oz costumes suggested! (This event is for ages 21 and above.)

Saturday’s In OZ

Every Saturday in October the museum will host a number of family-friendly activities from scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, as well as some Wizard of Oz characters on site.

Visit the SCSM this month for a trip to Oz!

Find more information about events at SCSM on their events page


Columbia Chamber Gala

By Kirstie Boone

Columbia Metropolitan Magazine was a proud sponsor of the Columbia Chamber’s 114th Annual Gala on Thursday, September 29. This event was presented by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and celebrated the Chamber’s achievements of 2016 while previewing the agenda for 2017. Five individuals were recognized at the event for their extraordinary impact and involvement with the Midlands community. These individuals were people who have made a difference in the community and become leaders in the Midlands. “The Annual Gala gives the Chamber an opportunity to celebrate the outstanding individuals in our community who elevate the Midlands and create positive change,” says Carl Blackstone, Columbia Chamber President and CEO. “These honorees are the leaders in our region who work tirelessly to aid the Chamber’s mission of creating and promoting an environment where businesses can flourish.”


The Ambassador of the Year award is given to an individual in the community who exemplifies outstanding business ethics and influences the positive promotion and preservation of the greater region. The 2016 honoree for the prestigious Ambassador of the Year award was John W. Folsom, president and CEO of Colliers International South Carolina. John serves on the Executive Committee of the Midlands Business Leadership group, is a former board member and chair of Providence Hospital and a current board member and founder of “Salute from the Shore.” He is a former chair of the United Way of the Midlands, the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities and the South Carolina Independent Schools Association. John is a founding board member of Transitions, Columbia’s homeless service center. “Folsom’s leadership within our region is unwavering,” says 2015-2016 Columbia Chamber Chairman, Boyd Jones. “His passion for community involvement and commitment toward growing the economic and business environment in the area makes the Midlands a better place to live and do business.”

The 2016 Young Professional of the Year was Ashleigh Wilson, an attorney at Bowman & Brooke, LLP. Ashleigh was recently elected Secretary Treasurer of the South Carolina Young Lawyers Division where she also serves as the district representative for South Carolina and the Virgin Islands. Ashleigh serves on the Board of Directors for the Special Olympics South Carolina and spearheaded the implementation of FEMA’s Disaster Legal Service Hotline in the wake of the historic flooding. As a successful young professional in Columbia, Ashleigh strives to make the Columbia community better on a daily basis.

The 2016 Military Advocate of the Year was Steven Mungo, president of Mungo Homes. Steven is a past Honorary Wing Commander of the 169th Fighter Wing of the South Carolina National Guard. He has a passion for the Armed Forces, and has raised nearly $90,000 for the McEntire Joint National Guard Base event which has impacted over 2,000 South Carolina Air National Guard personnel. The event recognizes the sacrifices that Airmen and their families have made. Steven strives to help businesses better understand the importance of employing military in our community.

Mayor Steve Benjamin was named the Small and Minority Business Advocate of the Year. With a passion for small and minority businesses, Mayor Benjamin has created and retained over 160 jobs for small businesses. For the past five years, Mayor Benjamin has joined forces with the Columbia Chamber and Richland County to host the national Small Business Week Conference. Mayor Benjamin also had a crucial role in launching the Bull Street project in Columbia. Mayor Benjamin’s efforts ensure that Columbia will continue to grow toward becoming a better place to work and live.

Mike Weaver, owner of The Weaver Agency, was named Diplomat of the Year. In his 28 years as a Diplomat, Mike has given tirelessly to advance the Columbia Chamber. His experience has consisted of calling on Partners, attending events, assisting at various functions, winning numerous awards and serving as a knowledgeable leader as the Diplomat chair three times. Through his work at his company, Mike focuses on providing professional insurance and financial services to small businesses and individuals. The Weaver Agency’s focus is on understanding goals and challenges and creating, accumulating and protecting wealth. During his time as a Diplomat, Mike recruited his wife, Susan Weaver, to join the Diplomat team.

Columbia Metropolitan would like to congratulate all of the honorees from the 114th Annual Gala!


Sun-Safe Skin Care

By Kirstie Boone

With Labor Day weekend just around the corner and many of us preparing to escape to the coast for the long weekend, it’s time to talk about sun-safe skin care. Even as summer comes to a close, dangerous UV rays still beam down on your skin. If you are not careful, these UV rays can cause sunburn and an increased risk of getting skin cancer or melanoma. If you plan on soaking up the last little bit of summer outdoors, the only way to protect yourself from this vicious, ultraviolet radiation is by using sunscreen and covering up!

  • Cover up! Whether you are going to be outside for 30 minutes or 3 hours, always grab a hat to cover your face. The best way to keep your face looking youthful is by protecting your skin from the sun when you are outdoors, and the easiest way to do that is with an adorable floppy hat or a stylish baseball cap, both of which you can easily find in Columbia! Even while driving, sun can still creep in through tinted windows and damage your skin, so it’s best to cover up as much as possible.
  • Know your SPF! SPF, short for sun protection factor, shows how strongly a sunscreen protects from UV rays and how long you can be exposed to the sun before burning. If you use 30 SPF, which is the lowest level of sunscreen you should apply, it means that you can be in the sun without burning 30 times longer than you could without sunscreen. Be cautious when it comes to sunscreens that claim to have unusually high SPF numbers though, as some products might not actually give you as much protection from UV rays as you think. It’s best to reapply often, no matter what strength of SPF you use.
  • ALWAYS wear sunscreen! And be sure to give your skin enough time to fully absorb the sunscreen before taking a dip into the pool or ocean. Thankfully, society seems to become more aware of the dangers of not wearing sunscreen when spending time outdoors, so applying sunscreen isn’t as much of a problem anymore. The problem lies in not allowing enough time for the sunscreen to soak in or not reapplying the sunscreen after a few hours in the sun. Besides the obvious plus of protecting you from harmful UV rays, sunscreen can also keep skin from drying out in the scorching summer heat. The popular sunscreen company, Hawaiian Tropic®, makes a lightweight, moisturizing sunscreen that I’ve used all summer long. It’s SPF 30, and called Hawaiian Tropic® Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen. It doesn’t leave a sticky residue that some sunscreens leave behind, and it works great!
  • Reapply! Even if you don’t feel like you are getting a sunburn, it’s best to reapply sunscreen every two hours. Yes, even if you are nose-deep in one of Mary T. Dial’s amazing garden features in the latest issue of Columbia Metropolitan Magazine, you should still take a break long enough to reapply that sunscreen! Recently, watchdog Environmental Working Group submitted a letter to the Food and Drug Administration commissioner regarding sunscreen with outrageously high UV protection numbers. Their concern is that these unusually high numbers could be giving users a false confidence that they can stay in the sun for longer amounts of time. Higher SPF protects from skin redness but not necessarily UV damage, thus the redness associated with damaging amounts of sunlight is not present while UV rays still are. Whether you are applying SPF 30 or SPF 100 sunscreen, you should still reapply after two hours. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to sun-safe skin care.
  • Wear sunscreen during every season! Even if it’s the middle of winter, it’s important to always apply sunscreen if you are heading outdoors. In winter months, our skin is mostly covered by boots, pants, scarves and long sleeves, but our faces are typically exposed. This means that when choosing a make up for winter months as well as summer months, you should look for products that have sunscreen in them such as Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream. This cream is an advanced anti-aging moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF 30. This product, like many others, moisturizes while protecting your skin from the sun.
  • Don’t even think about a tanning bed! There is so much research proving that tanning beds cause irreparable damage to skin. Fortunately, as we become more aware of the dangers associated with tanning beds, more and more sunless tanning products arrive on the market. One of the most popular products is Jergens® Natural Glow®. There are numerous choices within the Jergens® sunless tanner product line, which is all the more reason to stay away from tanning beds. Somewhat new to the sunless tanning scene is Rodan and Fields’. The company’s Essentials Foaming Sunless Tanner claims to create an even, natural-looking tan.

So whether you are heading to the beach this Labor Day weekend or working in the yard during the cooler fall and winter months, it’s important to follow all precautions when it comes to sun-safe skin care to make sure skin stays clear and youthful for years to come. What are some sun-safe skin care tips you have learned while living in our famously hot city of Columbia, South Carolina? Comment on our Facebook page with a favorite tip that you’d like to share!

Five Ways to Wear a White Button-Down

By Kirstie Boone

It may seem like a trend from the past, but a classic white button-down blouse is still a must have for every woman’s closet. Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe all owned and loved this timeless, versatile piece. And who can forget Jennifer Grey’s twist on the classic white blouse with her tied up button-down as Baby Houseman in Dirty Dancing? Despite the growing popularity of geometric patterns and fresh, bright colors, the white button-down is one piece of clothing that has stuck with us through the ages. At CMM, we put together a list of ideas on different ways to wear a white button-down in today’s world!





1. When you’re looking for the perfect outfit to wear to an interview for your dream job, you can’t go wrong pairing a white button-down blouse with a blazer, slacks or a pencil skirt and pumps. A professional, yet sophisticated outfit isn’t complete without a crisp white button-down shirt.






2. When the work day is over and it’s time for a night out on the town with friends, simply pair a white shirt with a scarf for a fun, playful look. Adding a pop of color to your outfit is easy with a beautiful silk scarf and a colorful handbag or bright shoes. Pair with dark or black jeans and your favorite pair of heels. This look is the perfect transitional day-to-night outfit because you can wear a sleeveless button-down under a blazer, and the scarf if it matches, then simply take the blazer off when work is over and it’s time to play!




3. Who says a white blouse is too plain? Pair that classic white button-down with a tea length or floor length skirt and amazing jewelry for a dressy occasion such as a wedding or party. Whether you dress the outfit up with a stunning statement necklace or sparkly earrings, a white button-down can be the perfect option for a dressier outfit.




4. A white button-down is the perfect solution for when the hot summer sun is beating down on you. Our fourth option is perfect to wear in these last few months of summer in South Carolina. Pair a white button-down blouse with scalloped or seersucker shorts and your favorite sandals or summer flats for a classic, southern style and a look that will keep you cool throughout the summer months.



5. Lastly, we can’t forget about fall outfits, as cooler weather is (hopefully) right around the corner. For a look specific to fall, pair an oversized white button-down blouse with skinny jeans and ankle boots for a cozy yet trendy outfit. Whether you are running errands on a Saturday or taking kids to and from school and extracurricular activities during the weeks, this outfit centered around a white button-down is sure to keep you looking fabulous all day. Add gold accessories, a neutral tote and a hat for the perfect fall outfit.