Marketing Tip Tuesday From Jessica Howell

Jessica Howell is the CEO and Founder of Social Studio Shop, a company that offers social media marketing workshops and webinars for bloggers, creatives, entrepreneurs, and marketers. We are thrilled to have her on the blog sharing her 3 tools to up your Instagram game. Thank you, Jessica!

A little about Jessica…At fourteen, Jessica unintentionally fell in love with photography. Since then, she has lived in the creative world and had a passion for capturing and making connections with people. Fortunately, her love for photography and need to make a living led her to the wonderful world of social media marketing. Jessica spends her days consulting small business owners and entrepreneurs on digital strategy. She contributes to various blogs and is constantly sharing tips on social media marketing. Besides all things social, Jessica has a sweet spot for cats, running, coffee (lots of it!), and experiencing all that life has to offer.

Three Tools to Up Your Instagram Game by Jessica Howellcourtesy of Ashley Kelemen

Three Tools to Up Your Instagram Game

There’s no doubt that since it’s launch in 2010, Instagram has become one of the fastest growing social platforms to date. With over 300 million active monthly users (Simply Measured, thousands of brands are turning to this visually-focused platform as a means to connect with their ideal customer and clientele.

If you’re wondering how you can up your Instagram game, build awareness, and bring in more business, I highly recommend checking out these helpful Instagram tools…

At my company, Social Studio Shop, we believe in posting with a purpose. When I say posting with a purpose, I don’t just mean having a passion-fueled approach, but rather a measurable approach to your social efforts. Iconosquare is one of the most popular and easy to use Instagram tools that lets you manage your account via desktop and track your analytics. If you’re interested in learning more about Iconosquare, check out this post for three ways you can improve your Instagram with this awesome tool. [pullquote]Don’t just be on social media just because everyone else is. Break the cycle of monotony and post with a purpose.[/pullquote]

One factor that makes Instagram such a unique platform is that there is no shortage of strong visual content. If you want your account to stand out, you’re going to need to put your best content forward. Think, quality over quantity! VSCOcam is a photography app that allows you to capture, edit, and share your photos. I personally like to use this app primarily for editing purposes. Visual Supply Company originally offered presets and camera profiles to give digital images the “film” look. Eventually, the company became so popular they decided to launch an app — VSCOcam, to provide similar presets to smartphoneographers. This app is perfect for taking quality images to the next level.

For those of you who are fans of scheduling your content on Facebook and Twitter and wondering how you can do the same on Instagram, this app is for you! Let me preface this by saying that completely automating your posting is in direct violation with Instagram’s Terms of Use. If you are using some kind of automatic posting service, your account could be at risk of getting banned! Latergramme allows you to get around this Insta hitch by uploading your photo and creating a caption. You can then save your post to go out a specific time, then LG alerts you when it is for YOU to post to Instagram.

Be sure to check out Social Studio Shop for great workshops and webinars.
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Guest Post: Cassie Brewer

6 Tips To Avoid a Makeup Meltdown When You Have Oily Skin

Does it feel like the oil slick on your skin could become an environmental hazard? You know how easy it is for your makeup to suffer a meltdown when you have oily skin, but there are easy ways to ensure it sticks around and maintains a polished, flawless complexion. Read on to discover them.

cassie brewer: beauty tips for oily skin
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Blot, Don’t Powder

It can be tempting to pack on the face powder to soak up any excess oil, but this can actually cause your skin’s pores to create even more oil. Plus, you can clog them, leading to breakouts. Only apply a matte, translucent face powder to areas that suffer from excess shine, such as your forehead and chin. Instead of wearing too much powder, carry blotting papers with you. By gently pressing these onto your skin, you get rid of shine without ruining your perfectly applied makeup.

Avoid Layers of Product

If a truckload of beauty items gets applied to your skin even before your foundation goes on, this can lead to product overload. A classic offender for oily skin is your can’t-go-without-it sunscreen product. Since it is applied last before your foundation, its greasy consistency can leave your skin with a film of oiliness. This is exacerbated by the moisturizer you’re wearing underneath. You definitely don’t want to skip the sunscreen, but choose a moisturizer that already contains SPF in it. This will protect your skin against the damaging sun while preventing product overload and oiliness.

Make it Matte

You should never go without priming your skin before applying makeup. Primer helps the foundation applied after it to stick to your skin, creating a flawless finish. Make sure the primer is matte, though, so that it will absorb any excess oil your skin produces throughout the day. A primer meant specifically for your eyelids is also a must to prevent horrid eye shadow creases or color fade, and this is especially important if the skin on your eyelids is prone to feeling oily.

cassie brewer: beauty tips for oily skin
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Get Your Hands on a Facial Spray

When the weather is hot, your oily skin will feel even oilier than usual. You want to use a product that will cool down your skin while preventing a makeup meltdown. A facial mist, mineral spray, or hydration spray comes in handy here. These help to keep your skin moisturized and cool, giving you a fresh-faced appearance.

You can also make your own facial mist. Use two bags of pomegranate or green tea and add them to a cup of boiled water. If you have oily skin, you want to add in a teaspoon of witch hazel to the cup of tea. Put this mixture into a spray bottle and use it on your skin to revitalize and hydrate it while keeping oil under wraps! This provides the perfect, refreshed complexion on which to apply makeup.

Don’t Dehydrate!

It’s incorrect to think you need to dry out your skin if it is oily. You actually need to keep your skin moisturized because if you don’t, this will make your skin produce more oil! Keep your skin hydrated with a light moisturizer so that you don’t clog your pores with a thick product consistency or give your complexion too much shine. This will keep your skin looking healthy while preventing any oiliness from showing up.
Choose Oil-Fighting Ingredients

Another important way to make your skin oil-free so that your makeup stays put is to choose skincare products that contain ingredients which mop up excess oil. These include glycolic acid, a popular ingredient found in skin brightening products because it clears away dead skin so that your skin is radiant; caffeine; and salicylic acid (found in anti-blemish solutions). Look for these in your cleansers so that your daily skin washing routine becomes part of your oil-free and fabulous appearance.

cassie brewer: beauty tips for oily skin
Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Guest Post: Kaftan Love by Peter Minkoff

Peter Minkoff is a Writer and Fashion Stylist in Brisbane, Australia. He is a trend forecaster and stylist for fashion events in Brisbane and today, Peter talks about this season’s must-have, the Kaftan.

Kaftans are associated with many different cultures, evolving into a trendy piece of clothing we are now familiar with. Kaftans we wear nowadays bear the mark of many different cultural influences. What the history of kaftans is and how contemporary age sees this item, you can discover if you stay with us.

The history of the kaftan

The history of the kaftan

Now one of the trendiest pieces of clothing, kaftans actually date back from 1000 B.C. The first examples were found in northwest China. Through nomadic invasion, they came to Western Asia. During Ottoman Empire, kaftans were worn by sultans, while Moroccan and West African kaftans have been worn by both men and women. Under the influence of Russia and its empress Alix of Hesse who wore a kaftan at her coronation, this item grew in popularity in Western culture. The French designer Paul Poiret popularized the kaftan paving the way for Christian Dior and Balenciaga reviving this piece in their fashion lines during the 50s. From then on, more and more designers adopted kaftans.

How to wear it

How to wear it

The versatility of kaftans is really unsurpassed. From the beach to the black tie event, a kaftan is your way to go. For the black tie event, a red caftan dress designed by Ralph Lauren combined with metallic strappy heels, a bib necklace and a metallic clutch bag introduces a dreamy note to the formal event. How to wear one and the same kaftan for the evening and casual day wear may be a tough question. But it is not. Wear a black&white embellished kaftan with metallic silver pumps and simple orange accessories for the day outfit. Add metallic gold strappy heels and heavier make-up for the evening. Choose a bright printed kaftan for a wedding. Accessorize your look with heavy jewellery, a bag and high heels in neutral colour. That’s not the end. Kaftans are an excellent choice for office wear as well. A printed or solid colour kaftan paired with black or white skinny pants is the practical and stylish outfit. Add your favourite earrings and you are done. Do not forget wearing a kaftan on the beach. Your favourite black bikini and a tribal print kaftan is the perfect example of stylishness.

Celebrities wearing kaftans

Celebrities wearing kaftans

Kim Kardashian loves wearing kaftans and, without shadow of a doubt, she looks stunning in them. During her first trip to Dubai, she chose a mulberry kaftan with a silver bead detail and nude Louboutin platform heels. Fergie was spotted wearing a leopard print kaftan combined with a white wide-brimmed hat and beige peep-toe boots. Paris Hilton chose a turquoise kaftan top with the embellished neckline, black skinny jeans and black booties. She accessorized the outfit with a turquoise sash and a metallic silver headband. If you run out of fashion choices for the beach, check out Jessica Alba’s outfit including a bluish kaftan top, white shorts and a white fedora hat. That kaftans look adorable on moms-to-be proved Gwen Stefani who embraced kaftans of various prints and colours during pregnancy. Nicole Richie was gorgeous when she paired a beautiful red caftan and beige peep-toes with a golden Indian-inspired hair chain.

Kaftans are undoubtedly a true must-have this season. Embrace the versatility of this piece of clothing and enjoy the following summer days.

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Guest Post: Modernize

Based in Austin, Texas, Modernize is a place where your interior dreams become reality. We’re very excited to feature their tips and tricks in designing a modern conference room.

By Jane Blanchard

Many places that you spend a lot of time in are not designed to be aesthetically pleasing. Places like your high school cafeteria or the DMV lobby are good examples of this. However if you are a business owner or office manager you have the ability to make sure your employees do not suffer this same fate at work. You can quickly spruce up your conference room to provide your employees or co-workers with an elegant and functional place to do business.

Put Up Some Conference Room Art

Posting up a couple of pieces of beautiful artwork or other art can do wonders for a conference room. Note that we are not talking about adding a cat picture that reads “hang in there”…try and find art that appeals to most people and since you are at work and want to encourage productivity do not hang up or place anything too dark. Ansel Adams nature scenes and portraits are a popular choice. Matisse and impressionist art is also something that appeals to a broad swath of people.

One idea we love is hanging beautiful gallery wrapped canvases of photographs that your employees took of cool area of the city you live in or pictures of your employees all having fun together at a company event.

Make sure that whatever art you choose meshes well with the rest of the decor in the room. If the art clashes with the furniture you will be doing more harm than good.

conference room


Add Warmer Lighting

Ask any cubicle dweller and they will tell you that one of the most off putting things about working in a big office can be the clinical fluorescent lighting that all workplaces seem to have. There are two reasons these light fixtures dominate the corporate world – they save electricity and they are cheap to install.

If you are looking for an easy yet effective way to make your conference room more welcoming for employees and clients you should seriously consider adding in some warmer incandescent light – either by adding new lightbulbs into existing fixtures or bringing in a whole new light set. If you have the ability to make major changes in your building consider installing a skylight!

conference room light


Think Outside of the Box

This tip may seem to be common sense but there are so many conference rooms out there that are hastily put together with no thought given to aesthetics. Oftentimes there are standard work chairs put around a random conference table which gives the room a shoddy and sad vibe.

You can avoid this by making sure that your table and chairs compliment each other. This does not mean you have to go out and buy an expensive set of chairs to match your tables or vice versa. Simply put a little bit of time and effort into making sure that the chairs compliment the desk and you will be miles ahead of most other office decorators.

conerence room


For more design ideas and inspiration from Modernize:

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