Enhance your Instagram Theme with Makelight Insights



Understanding Instagram and how to manage your profile is the first step to increasing your following and improving engagement. In a recent post, 7 ways to improve your Instagram feed, I listed some awesome ways to increase your impact and engagement on Instagram. I've been really focusing on these, and they're really do work! I've seen an increase of over 50 followers in just a matter of days. I really recommend taking a look. 


This morning I came across another super awesome tool which I just couldn't wait to share with you. Makelight Insights is a free tool which runs a diagnostic test on your Instagram profile. Makelight Insights returns a unique report with some useful insights to your profile. 

The most useful feature of the report for me has to be the theme and colour palette insight.  Themes are always highlighted as an essentail feature to any successful Instagram feed, but what if you can't identify your theme? I've been there. 

Makelight Insights returns a colour palette based on your most recent posts, and shows you exactly what colours you need to focus on to build a theme within your profile. It's no extra work, it's just understand what you've already got, and building upon it. 


How cool is that?

Get your own insight today, visit www.makelight.io/insights/


Let's be friends darling...


Inikia Mineral Blush Puff Pot

Inika Mineral Blush Puff Pot  review

Inika Mineral Blush Puff Pot  review

Inika Mineral Blush is just another reason why Inika can do know wrong in my books. I've been in love with the Inika Mineral Foundation for years, and recently purchased the Mineral Blush Puff Pot in Pink Pinch. And it's quickly become my go-to blush for everyday.

Inika Mineral Blush comes in two colours; Pink Pinch and and Rosy Glow. Pink Pinch, which I have here is a fresh rosy pink, where as Rosy Glow is more of a vibrant, darker pink tone. The Mineral Blush is finely milled with great pigmentation and laced beautiful gold shimmer, which adds a beautiful highlight to the product, without weighing it down.

Inika Mineral Blush Puff Pot  review
The most unique part about this Mineral Blush has to be it's packaging. The blush comes in a puff pot where the mineral product is applied by tapping it through the attached puff applicator. It also has a handy mirror on top which is an awesome addition. 

Application of the Mineral Blush is made super simple by it's design, combing the product and applicator together like this. Simply tap the bottom of the blush to release the powder and buff gently onto your cheeks. I suggest going lightly with your application as it's pigmentation can be pretty strong, so go lightly, and build to your desired look. 

Like all Inika products, the Mineral Blush contains only natural ingredients, is vegan and cruelty free! Meaning so nasties on your face! I can definitely see this product being a staple in my collection, so if you're in the market for a Spring blush - make sure you check it out. 


What's your favourite mineral blush? 

Let's be friends darling...

6 ways to improve your instagram feed



Instagram is one of the most powerful social media platforms used today, with over 300 million users, sharing 70 million images a day. Instagram is an integral part of my social media strategy, it increases site traffic, reader engagement and it's fantastic for networking. 


Like any other social media platform, Instagram can be tricky to master. Today, I'm sharing 6 ways to improve your Instagram Feed.

And if you're not already following Oh But Darling on Instagram, then click here so you never miss a post! 

1. Quality
These day smart phones have awesome integrated cameras, making it easier than ever to capture great photos. However if you really want to up your game and compete with the big boys, you may want to consider switching to a digital camera to shoot your photos. Images with higher quality, focus and clarity photos are certain to draw in an audience. No one wants to look at blurry photos. 

Some cameras come with an inbuilt Wifi, and can transfer photos directly to your phone on the go. Alternatively you can purchase Wifi SD memory cards, like this one here, which do the same. Failing that, you can always upload them to your computer the traditional way and email a bunch across to your phone in one go. Often I'll edit my photos in photoshop, and send a bunch via email to myself to use throughout the week.

2. Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to get your images in front of new audiences, but it's important to use hashtags effectively. Firstly, how many hashtags should you use? Instagram allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per image, so make the most of them! It used to be the case that more or 4 or 5 hashtags looked desperate, but now, thanks to the new Instagram antilogarithm, the more tags the better. 

Instagram now lists the number of images posted to that hashtag, which is super useful when selecting your hashtags. Aim to use tags with around 100,000-200,000 posts, rather than those with millions of posts as your image will just get lost in a mass of images. Stick with smaller hashtag groups to increase the lifespan of your images.

3. Branding
If you use your Instagram profile as an extension to your blog or business, try to focus it that way. It's important to keep your Instagram profile photo the same as on other platforms, this creates brand familiarity and build trust with your audience.

Try to keep your content relevant to that of your blog and business. Keep in mind what you're selling and promoting and ensure that you're constantly on message with your brand. It may be worth setting up an second profile for your day to day posts - which aren't relevant to your business.

Takeaway // Update your profile photo to match your blog and other social media, this is a great tip for self branding in general. 

4. Metrics
Know your stats. It's always good to know what your audience is reacting to, what sorts of images and hashtags get the most interactions and increase your following. It may be a theme or a certain hashtag that you're using which is really effective, and likewise, there maybe certain posts that cause people to unfollow you. The sooner you identify these trends, the sooner you can use them to your advantage! Icon Square is a site dedicated to Instagram metrics and will help you pin down what works for you!

Did you know that photos with more lines intersecting the boarder get more likes? Brighter, clearer photos get more likes too! Use what you learn from your metrics above to inform your post choices.

Takeaway // Sign up to Icon Square and take note of the photos that get you more likes and more followers. Consider what style you used, what subject was included and aim to post similar images in the future. 

5. Theme
It's a common understanding that profiles with themes grow their audiences quicker. When people initially come across your images, they want to see other images within that theme, therefore if your whole profile fits that - you're on to a winner!  Try keeping your images in tune with this theme, weather it's bright and colorful or muted and monochrome. 

6. Networking
Interacting with other users is a great way to network and build relationships for your blog or business. You want your audience and potential customers to that you're a healthy organisation, and that means engagement with your audience. Responding to comments, commenting on other people's images and starting conversation. This also makes you more appealing to companies looking for collaboration partners.

What other ways do you use your Instagram? And how do you ensure your feed is most effective? Let me know in the comments below! 



Let's be friends darling...


Tropic Summer Skin Natural Melanin Enhancer

Tropic Summer Skin Natural Melanin Enhancer Review


Tropic Summer Skin is one of those products that every women should have in their arsenal. These days, an all year round tan is as essential as having your roots done. A gorgeous natural looking tan is ultimate accessory, and living in England it's not a natural luxury we're blessed with. So fake tan is one of the only options. 

Tropic Summer Skin is my weapon of choice when keeping my tan topped up through the week. I tend to use a fake tanner once a week, and then use a gradual tanner throughout the week to keep the tan fresh. Tropic Summer skin uses Allo-melanin plant technology to enhance your skins' natural melanin pigment. It's this technology that keeps the tan looking completely natural, instead of a ghastly shade of orange. Tropic Summer skin is also a great moisturiser in it's own right, which helps keep your tan looking fresh for longer, and your skin feeling great! 

Tropic Summer Skin Natural Melanin Enhancer ReviewSounds pretty awesome right? Well wait till you smell this baby, it hands down has the best scent out of all of the gradual tanners I've tried. A exhilarating blend of Coconut Oil and Zest Lime, it feels as if the tropics have come to you! 

Tropic skincare is famed for their commitment to quality, and cruelty free products. Not only that, many of them are completely vegan, and make here in the UK. 

Tropic Summer Skin Natural Melanin Enhancer is one of my go to essentail products for healthy looking tanned skin all year round. Click the link below to check out more of Tropic Skincare's awesome products.

What's your favourite gradual tanner? Or do you love Tropic Summer Skin as much as me?! Let me know in the comments! 

An Entrepreneur's reading list ...//

An Entrepreneur's reading list

See yourself as an Entrepreneur? Building your own business, working on your own schedule, and using your skills to generate income? If that sounds like you, then you should definitely keep reading!

I'm compiled a list of 12 of my most favoured books, aimed to encourage and inspire you on your journey to entrepreneurship.  So, throw your hair in a top knot, pour yourself a cup of coffee and grab your kindle. Lets do this! 
1. Girl Code - Cara Alwill Leyba
An absolute must read for women who want to run their own business and build their empire. Girl Code calls for women to put away their competitive nature and jealous thoughts, and instead work together and build each other up. 

2. The 7 Habits of highly effective people - Stephen R. Covey

3. Thirty one days of Prayer for the dreamer and the doer - J. Sprinkle & K. Rucker

4. How to win friends and influence people - Dale Carnegie
First written in 1937, Dale Carnegie's commentary on the science of people is still spot on! An essential read for any business person who wants to know how to communicate with people and get results.

An Entrepreneur's reading list

5. Anyone can do it - Sahar and Bobby Hashemi
57 real life laws on entrepreneurship, written by the founders of Coffee Republic. 

6. Build a Business From Your Kitchen Table - Sophie Cornish

7. Shape Up Your Business - Sophie Cornish  

The founders of notonthehighstreet.com share their story in a 30-day success plan. 


8. Think and grow rich - Napoleon Hill 
An Entrepreneur's reading list

9. Screw it lets do it - Richard Brandson 
A quick read full of inspirational anecdotes and life lessons from Richard Brandson. 

10. Creativity inc. - Ed Catmull 
Explore the history behind Pixar and legendary movies such as Toy Story and Ants. Learn form the experiences of Ed Catmull for over coming obstacles when working within the creative industry.

11.  The Conquer Kit: A Creative Business Planner for Women Entrepreneurs - Natalie MacNeil

12. Leave your mark - Aliza Licht 

Lily Lolo... Mineral Bronzer in South Beach...//

Lily Lolo Mineral Bronzer REVIEW

Lily Lolo is a brand that I recently stumbled across while researching cruelty free and vegan beauty brands. I expressed my excitement in finding such well priced and lovely products in a recent post, which you should definitely check out here. I also promised to give a more in depth review of the samples I ordered and let you know how I got on. So here we are...

I've been trialling the Lily Lolo products for the past few weeks, and for sure my favourite product so far has to be the Mineral Bronzer in South Beach.  First off, I'm a huge fan of mineral make up, so it's already in my good books before it's even on my face! And I absolutely love that they offer small samples for about £2 each, so you can test out a product with no real loss if it doesn't work out. I think more brands should do this! So a big win for me! 


The Bronzer it self is a beautifully fine milled powder with all organic and natural ingredients, so no nasties on your face! The Mineral Bronzer has a matte finish, which is s soft and easy to blend into the skin. I've been loving this as a light contour powder, it looks natural, adding a really soft summery glow to the skin.

I was really impressed with the quality of the Lily Lolo Mineral Bronzers, I found that they lasted all day and were gentle on my skin. All Lily Lolo products are natural and so well priced, a full sized Mineral Bronzer comes in at £13.49. Bargain! 

Have you tired any Lily Lolo products? What do you recommend I try next?

Wedding Registry Made Simple...//

Wedding Registry Made Simple

Wedding gift registry, is a great way to ensure that you're getting something you actually want. With all the best intentions in the world, we all have that relative that will turn up with a tea cosy. Ha! 

There are so many options out there for wedding registry, and there are some really great alternatives too. It's actually quite a daunting task to decide where to have your registry, let alone what items to put on it. So I figured I'd do us all favour a put all the best options in one place. Do note, that as I live in the UK, most of  these are UK based.

Wedding gift registry, is a great way to ensure that you're getting something you actually want. With all the best intentions in the world, we all have that relative that will turn up with a tea cosy.

Department Stores.
The most traditional option is to choose a department store for you wedding registry. This is the best option for all round items to fill your new marital home. Anything from a toaster to bed linens, a 50 inch TV to a new whole new kitchen, Department stores have got you covered.

Department store wedding registries are also a great option when you're guests are on a varied budget, you can add a range of items to fit every budget! You can also sneak some real wish list items too, Hello kitchen aid!

Department stores registry is also super easy, you simply register online and go into store where they give you a scanner to scan away to your hearts' desire as you wonder through the store. You can later edit this once reality checks in! Ha! You then simply provide the link to your guests, who can select an item to gift you, and mark it as bought. It's all that simple.

Department Store Wedding Gift Registry: John Lewis | Debenhams |


Online Stores.
Another take on Department store wedding registry is online shopping.  With much of the same process, the only variance is that it's all online! Simply create a wish list, send out the link and you're done! Perfect for those who are short on time, or those who simply detest shopping - if that's even possible?

Online Wedding Registry: Amazon


Something a bit different.
Other online stores are getting in on the action now too, so forget your generic wedding registry and enter the totally insta-worthy world of wedding registry. Definitely for the bride who already has everything they need, and wanting to make their home a Pinterest home.

Wedding Registry: Etsy | Not on the High Street 


Collective.
There are some really great all rounder companies out there too, they're well worth a look. These independent companies offer registry with brand partners as a way to combine everything your heart desires in to one place!

Collective Wedding gift registries: Prezola | The Gift Collective


The Honeymoon fund.
It's becoming more common for couples to ask for donations towards a honeymoon. As most couples set up home before their big day these days, they really have no need for a new blender. So instead they opt to invite their wedding guests to fund their honeymoon! There's great advantages to doing this, you get your honeymoon paid for, and you don't have to worry about remembering who bought you what! The downside is that some guests may feel obliged to give more than they would of invested in a gift, this option can be a bit restrictive to you guests.

Despite that, I'm sure someone will still be adamant on buying you silverware so win-win?

Honeymoon fund: Honey Fund | Buy Our Honey Moon


The charitable option.
It is becoming more common for the happy couple to favour a charity over a gift registry. Instead of listing all of the items they want, they ask their guests to give donations to their preferred charity. This is a beautiful way to pay it forward and make your wedding day about more than just you. A great way to share your heart and cause with friends and family as well as really making a difference.

Charitable giving: Just Giving

If you want to know more, leave me a comment below and I'd be more than happy to help! 
Whichever option you choose, I hope you have a beautiful wedding! 

LoveLula Beauty Box April ....//

LoveLula Beauty Box April Review

LoveLula Beauty Box April 2016 is a corker, given it's the first box I've received since subscribing, I'm so impressed! This is the biggest value beauty box LoveLula have produced to date, with a combined value of over £50, all for the awesome price of £12.50! Have I got your attention? :)

LoveLula is an online boutique for all natural, organic and cruelty free products, they stock over 200 global brands to date, and never compromise on standard or quality. The means, no nasty chemicals, no parabens, no SLS's and absolutely no animal testing! They even have a dedicated section to certified Vegan products!

The LoveLula Beauty box is a monthly subscription box for £12.50 per month including P&P in the UK, with international shipping available. I received my first box this month and here's the products I received 6 products in total, 3 sample sized and 3 full sized products. 


Urban Veda - Purifying Collection | £11.99 - £18.99 Full sized | The box came with 3 sample sized products from Urban Veda's Purifying Collection, including; Daily Purifying Facial Wash, Purifying exfoliating facial polish and Purifying day cream. The Urban Veda purifying collection has everything you need for your daily skincare routine, with a focus of detoxifying skin, refining pores and mattifying oily skin. The collection has a beautiful wild mint scent, which gives that invigorating tingle to the skin! Full Review coming soon. 


Barefoot SOS - Repair + Renew Light moisturising lotion | £21 | Generously Lovelula included a full sized bottle of the Barefoot SOS Repair and renew cream with an RRP of £21. This light moisturiser is advised for normal to sensitive skin types with properties which work to strengthen the skin's natural barrier and protect again moisture loss.


PHB Ethical Beauty - Brightening Eye Gel | £16.95 | Another generous offering of a full sized product from LoveLula. PHB's Brightening eye gel is certified vegan and made with a blend of stimulating organic ingredients to help tackle those dark circles and reduce puffiness. I've been in the market for a new eye treatment, so I'm super excited about this one

Skin Blossom - Nourishing Face Moisturiser | £7.95 | The Skin Blossom nourishing face moisturiser is definitely the best priced product in the range. To have a natural and organic skin care product coming in at under £10 is unheard of! This light moisturiser is a blend of jojoba oil, Shea butter and Aloe vera which delivers nourishing hydration and protection for the skin. Definitely excited for this one.  

The LoveLula April beauty box, as you can see is all skin care items, which is a real treat. Skincare is one of the splurge areas for me, and I'm alway a little cautious on trying something new, incase it's a flop. So this box is great!  However, it would have been nice to maybe have a bit of make up thrown in there to mix it up. Other than that, I'm so happy I subscribed to this box and highly recommend you check it out! 

They toss in a 20% off voucher to use when purchasing any of the featured products! 

Vegan Almond Breakfast Bar ...//




These Oowey goowey almond breakfast bars are definitely worth getting up for. The perfect treat to keep you going when you're on the go. I just love how the almonds add a good crunch to the bar, along with the sticky sweetness of the date! A match made it heaven if you asked me!  And what's more, they're completely Vegan, No added sugar and Oil free! 

You'll need:
1 cup Pitted Dates
1/4 cup Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar
1/4 cup Organic Smooth Almond Butter 
1 cup Almonds
2 cups Rolled Oats
1/4 cup Warm Water
4 drops Vanilla essence

Method:
1. Start by lightly toasting both the almonds and rolled oats by spreading them in a thin layer over a tray and placing in an oven preheated to Gas Mark 5. Toasting should take between 10-15mins, but keep an eye on the oven and stir the nuts and oats regularly so they toast evenly. 
2. Gently warm the syrup or agave nectar in a pan and stir in the almond butter until melted together.
3. Blend together the dates and water until they reach a nice paste consistency. I use a food processor here! 
4. Pop all wet and dry ingredients together in a bowl along with the vanilla essence and mix together.
5. Once all the ingredients are mixed up, spread the mixture evenly into a flat tray and pop in the freezer.
6. After 15mins in the freezer, take the tray out and slice before removing from the tray.

And voila!

I recommend keeping these in the fridge and they should stay fresh for about a week. However I doubt they will last that longer than a few days! So I recommend doubling the batch as they're so irresistible! 

Let me know if you try these out! 

A Simplistic Life Project...//


For me this year is all about Simplicity. Simplifying my busy and cluttered life. With a Wedding on the way, I simply don't have the capacity to be bothering with anything other than what's absolutely necessary. So I'm embarking on a year long, Simplistic Life Project, where I hope to focus on a number of areas of my life that really need decluttering. The Simple Life Project will include; decluttering my home, my mind and my diet, as well as any other areas I discover along the way.

Decluttering and having a more simplistic lifestyle isn't about just throwing stuff out, it's about considering what you really need, what you don't need and what really matters to you. It's about recognising that we live in a society that is obsessed with possessions, and having more 'stuff'. Our lives are often so busy that we neglect to look after what's going on inside of our own mind and look after our own mental health. And similarly, our diets are all over the place.

The main goal of this project is to achieve a renewed sense of peace with the environment I live in, as well as a new peace with myself and my body. I'm after a lifestyle change, where I'm focusing on health and wellness. I'm going to be posting updates and elements of the project as I go, so I hope that you will join me! Let me know down in the comments if you're up for a Simplified life!






Mean Green Spring Salad

It's definitely warming up to be salad weather, and I couldn't be happier. I love a killer salad for a snack or for lunch at the office and this Mean Green Salad is packed with awesome flavor and nourishing plant foods. If you're looking for a light spring salad which will fill you up and give your body a boost, keep reading!

Ingredients:
1 Head of Broccoli
1 cup Spinach
1  large zucchini
1/4 Cup Chia seeds
1 Lime (Squeezed)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Optional: 2 tsp pesto



Let's do this:
1. Shred the Zucchini into noodles, using a Julienne peeler or a Spiralizer.
2. Chop the head of broccoli and Spinach into small pieces small enough to mixed into the salad
3. Toss all dry ingredients in to a bowl - Broccoli, Spinach, Zucchini, Chia Seeds
4.  Squeeze your lime over the salad, add the olive oil (and pesto if you're feelin' it)  and mix

It's really super simple, but this salad is a total staple for me at the moment! Toss it all together and throw it in the fridge and you're good to go throughout the week!

Let me know if you give it a go! What's your favorite salad for spring? 


Free Inika Mineral Blush...//



FREE gift with purchase?! Yes please!

I got all excited when I saw my favourite natural beauty website was offering a FREE gift with purchase! So I couldn't help but share it with you! LoveLula are offering a FREE Inika mineral puff blush worth £17 (!!) with any purchase of Inkia Foundation. Inika Mineral foundation, is my ultimate go-to foundation. I've raved about it for years, so I'm not going to go into too much detail, check out my previous review post to see why I'm so in love with it - here

Inika mineral puff blush looks so beautiful, and a great cruelty free blush for spring!  I'll definitely be placing an order!

I just wanted to share this deal with you - everyone loves a free product!