Sunday 31 March 2013

Add a Fixed Background to Sidebar

Adding a sidebar pattern that runs all the way to the end of the blog content has always been something I have struggled with when designing blog layouts in the past. So I thought I would share with you how I manage to do it on the 'simple' template and hopefully this should be of some assistance to you. Please bear in mind that I use the simple template which I have customised and edited myself. I can only really advise on this specific template as it is the one I am most familiar with. But by all means ping me an email if you are struggling and I will try to assist. 

Firstly you are going to need to choose a background pattern. You need to be careful when choosing a pattern as some patterns are copyrighted which means that they may not be available for everyone to use. A good place to get simple backgrounds is Although they are not everyones cup of tea its a good place to start. Alternatively head to google and have a search of FREE background patterns.  

Once you have selected your background pattern, upload it to a photosharing site. I use Photobucket, but you could also use Flickr or many of the other free hosting sites available. Once you have uploaded it should look something like this. The code which you will want is the direct code. Keep this open in a separate window and you can flick back and forth as you please. 

Once you have chosen your background we can get onto adding it to your blog. 

Go to your template and choose the Edit HTML section. Tick the box 'Expand Widget Templates' on the top left. Then BEFORE going any further download your entire template. You do not want to be making any changes which can't be rectified. I will usually copy the entire code and then paste into a word document and save. Then if I make any errors I can re-copy from word back into the HTML section to restore it back to normal. I can't stress the importance of this enough.

Once we have backed up/saved/saved again etc you get the drift we can move onto editing. You are going to search for the following piece of code >

.fauxcolumn-left-outer .fauxcolumn-inner {
border-right: 1px solid transparent;
.fauxcolumn-right-outer .fauxcolumn-inner {
border-left: 1px solid transparent; margin-left: 18px; margin-right: 0px;

A quick CTRL and F of .fauxcolumn-right should bring up the code you want. Note this is for those with a right sidebar those with a left use the .fauxcolumn-left code. Do everything the same just under the left one which is the top one in my HTML code for the simple template.

You are now going to add the following code underneath, directly before the } symbol. Edit the following area in red to your image URL (the direct link from Photobucket).

background-image:url(ADD THE DIRECT IMAGE LINK HERE);
overflow: hidden;

It should look something like this >

Click preview and you should be left with a fixed sidebar background all the way to the end of your blog content. Something like this >

Let me know how you get on with this. I hope that I have explained it as clearly as possible yet if there are any areas that are not clear then drop me a note in the comment box below as it is open to amendments. Also please note that this has been done using the simple template on blogger. If you are using a different template then the codes may be slightly different. Feel free to ping me an email and I can always take a look. 

Weekend Wish List #4

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01 Ipad - Ok I don't need an iPad or so I keep telling myself. I own an iPhone and a MAC book and a Kindle so at the moment this is an unjustified desire. I am sure temptation will get the better of me but for now I am reluctantly resisting the urge to buy. 
02 Ray Ban Wayfarers - The more I see these across the blogs and Instagram the more I want. I know there are some really good dupes out there which may be the way to go considering my history with breaking sunglasses. 
03 NARs The Happening Palette - why is it that as soon as I catch glimpse of a Limited palette then it goes completely out of stock, everywhere thus making me want it even more so. I have hunted high and low for this with no luck. This includes 2 of my most used NARs products plus a selection of shadows right up my street I had imagined this to be the perfect holiday travel palette. 
04 Essie Polishes - As my love for Essie polishes grows so has my collection somewhat. A slight confession I have already purchase Sand Tropez and can't wait to slap some on my nais tonight. 
05 Tom Ford Lipstick in Wild Ginger - The more I see of Tom Fords lipsticks the more I want. But what really makes a relatively sane girl drop the best part of 40 notes on a lipstick? Right? A girl can dream though...
06 The Cambridge Satchel Chelsea Collection - I own a plethora of black handbags and have been eyeing up some colour to add to my collection. This is perfect for summer, if summer ever makes an appearance that is. 
07 - Canon EOS 600d for dummies - I purchased the 600d just before Christmas and have been slowly getting to grips with such a beasty bit of equipment. I am still a noob when it comes to the workings of a  DLSR but I want to be able to use it to the best of its potential so this looks a great starter book. 

So this was quite a hefty wish list this week. Other than chocolate what have you been lusting after? Wishing you all a splendid Easter and hoping that you are having fun whatever you may be doing. 

Tuesday 26 March 2013

New Look Top Picks

I don't know about you guys but I am getting slightly fed up of the cold weather we have had in the UK lately. Bring me some sun already. Despite there still being dustings of snow on the ground I have been willing the sun to make an appearance just so that I can start packing away my winter wardrobe and introduce a few lighter items of clothing. New Look has always been a go to shop of mine when it comes to stocking up on trends due to their budget prices so whilst wrapped up in several layers including a blanket this weekend I found myself perusing through these gorgeous dresses at New Look amongst other equally gorgeous items. As I filled my virtual shopping basket, I resisted the urge to 'proceed to checkout' and thought i'd share with you the pick of the bunch of what I am currently loving.

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Being on the shorter side of average maxi dresses can swamp me so the latest offering in the form of the midi dress is a pretty good compromise. I have had my eye on a few midi dresses yet I was surprised how wide a selection that New Look have, ranging from neutral basics to garish aztecs, I have already made a mental note of these and reserved a hefty chunk of my pay check for a splurge, I think a holiday is called for to make these a justifiable purchase...right?  I tend to stick to darker colours but I have made it a resolution to start playing with colour more, whether that be in clothing or accessories and this coral number is definitely stands out!

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Speaking of wedges - give me a wedge for a heel any day of the week. I probably own about 3 or 4 pairs of New Look wedges from last summer and always find them super comfy whilst giving me those much needed extra inches! This summer will be no different and for less than £30 a pop they won't leave your purse weeping either. 

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Finally, I am not going to lie, but whether or not its 28 degrees outside I can never be with out my trusty ankle boots with the Topshop Mighty Boots being my current go to boot. However since I have literally worn the heels away to nothing I have been eyeing up these little numbers for replacement. 

So will you be picking anything up from New Look this Spring/Summer?

*Sponsored Post

Sunday 24 March 2013

Weekend Wish List #3

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1. Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning -  The latest spurts of cold in the UK has left me pale and dreaming of summer so this is the next best thing. I have heard some great reviews of this however am always a little sceptical when it comes to self tanning after a few mishaps in the past. 
2. Cath Kidston Limited Edition Roberts Radio -  I have always been a fan of the Roberts Radios. I love the vintage feel of them although my boyf would be inclined to disagree. I think this limited edition number would add a little colour to our kitchen although I am not so sure I can justify the huge price tag...
3. Leighton Denny Top Coat - I have been looking to replace my HG product of the Seche Vite top coat after hearing all the rumours that the ingredients could be  harmful. I am not sure whether the concerns apply to the UK version as I have heard it is made differently but with this in mind I have been on the look out for a new top coat. I spotted this Leighton Denny one in John Lewis the other day and have been contemplating it - thoughts please?
4. Clinique Even Better Eyes - I already use the Clinique all about eyes but having seen this reviewed a few times I love the roller ball and this could be perfect for early mornings. Watch this space as I already have this on my 'to buy' list. 
5. Ikea bedside lamp -  when my boyf and I moved into our apartment we settled for cheap 'do the job' bedside lamps. Mine has already broken so I have been eyeing these shabby chic numbers from Ikea. The photo does not do it justice and I have actually had a play with these and they are such good quality for their £21 price tag. 

What are you lusting after this week?

Friday 22 March 2013

Merumaya Skincare - Quick Review

When it comes to skincare I hold my hands up to only going to the brands I know and trust or has been recommended by a fellow beauty enthusiast. So I am always a little sceptical when trying a brand thats not familiar, I always feel a little out of my comfort zone so to speak. However when I was sent a couple of samples of Merumaya skincare* they could not have been sent at the right time. Having run out of my HG Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm and my local Space NK being completely out of stock I was keen to try the Merumaya Melting Cleansing balm which has been sitting on my bathroom cabinet waiting for its debut.

The cleansing balm is quite a thick consistency which can either be applied directly to a dry face and worked into the skin or can be mixed with a touch of water to provide a more milky cleanser. Initially I found it quite sticky and was not used to the scentless formula but with a little work it did the trick of removing makeup but failed to cut it in the eye makeup stakes which I would recommend you remove beforehand rather than relying on the balm alone. After a quick rinse with a muslin cloth my skin was left feeling cleansed and smooth without feeling dry. Topped off with the Iconic Youth Serum which compliments the balm perfectly and I was good to go. 

I actually really liked the combination of the balm and serum, as I only had sample sizes its hard to say whether it had any effects on my skin as this can sometimes take a few weeks for me to notice the difference however if you ever do find yourself perusing around the skincare aisle of John Lewis then its definitely worth a look. 

*PR Sample

Thursday 21 March 2013

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

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Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette £20

When a new Naked Palette launched earlier this year, I sensed mixed feelings amongst the beauty community. I, like many already owned both the 2 naked palettes with their original palette shade ‘Naked’ being an everyday necessity. I have to admit I was a little sceptical at first - was this a ploy to jump on the back of the original palettes and make a little dollar from loyal Naked fans or was this palette a genuine asset to an already cult line. 

The Naked Basics Palette* is a fraction of the size of both of the original palettes, measuring roughly half the size of the Naked 2. Unlike the former Naked palettes it comes in a rubberised case with embossed lettering on the front and consists of 6 ‘basic’ shades featuring 4 of which are exclusive to the Basics palette. Whilst you won’t be seeing any additional brushes, primers or lip-glosses as seen previously, this is straight up eyeshadow goodness. To give you  quick round up of the shades - Venus is a light shimmering champagne-esque shade, Foxy (which has already made an appearance in Naked 2) is a light cream highlighter, Walk of Shame is leaning towards Foxy with a slight pink undertone to it, Naked 2 is a light base brown -  a lighter version of its predecessor Naked which featured in the original palette. Faint is a darker version of Naked 2 perfect as a crease colour and finally you have Crave which is basically a newer version of Blackout - a matte black. 

5 out of the 6 shades are straight up matte with the exception of Venus which has a very fine shimmer running through it - perfect for the brow bone or in the corner of the eye. As with all Urban Decay shadows I cannot fault for pigmentation and longevity. They are smooth, long lasting and blend well, hence why the Naked Palettes will always be my go to of choice in addition to the fact their colours are so versatile particularly for a colour-phobe like me! There has also been mention that Faint makes a good eyeshadow shade, it definitely has a slight MAC espresso feel about it so I shall definitely give this a try. 

If you don't already own either of the Naked palettes then this is great starter palette and a way of dipping your toes in before deciding whether you really want to invest in the full palettes. If however you are already a loyal fan of the Naked Palette brigade  then this will be a welcome addition to your collection regardless of whether you need or not :-). But if you still can't bring yourself to part with 20 notes then MUA and Sleek both do budget friendly nude palettes for a fraction of the cost. 

Will you be investing in the new Basics palette?

*PR Sample

Sunday 17 March 2013

Giveaway - 10 x Magazine Subscriptions

Magazines are my virtue. Its a fact. I can't go into a newsagents without perusing the magazine aisle for my evening read. And do not even get me started when I do the weekly food shopping. Seriously aside from blogs I can more often than not be caught with a magazine in my hand. It has always been that way going as far back as when I was younger and I would fight to the newsagents for the latest copy of Shout or Mizz. So when the lovely ladies at Zinio contacted me and offered 10, yes 10 subscriptions for my readers I had to snap them up. 

Not familiar with Zinio?

Zinio is the worlds largest newsstand and bookstore for digital products and services. Founded in 2001 Zinio is HQ'd in San Francisco with offices based in New York, London, Paris, Barcelona, and Taipei. 

Not only does Zinio hold all the latest titles including some of my favourite above but it is also offering up to 50% off in its Spring Cleaning offers - see here

So if you are interested in winning an electronic subscription to one of your favourite mags then complete the Rafflecopter form below! Best of luck. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and conditions - Please read

- The giveaway is open internationally. 
- There are 10 prizes, therefore 10 winners
- The prize is being provided for and will be supplied by Zinio
- By entering you agree (if you win) for your details to be passed to 3rd party i.e. Zinio 
- Winners will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond. 
- The giveaway is open for 1 month 
- The 10 winners will be contacted and will need to provide their details including their email address. 
- Please note that these are electronic subscriptions.
- I have not been compensated in anyway for this giveaway.  

Best of Luck!

Weekend Wish List #2

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1. I am running low on my usual REN pore detox mask so I have been eyeing up the Origins Clear Improvements mask.
2. Loving the nude shades in the mini collection from OPI for Oz the Great and Powerful. 
3. I said I would not jump on the great blogger cliche with the Muji storage but I after looking for some storage ideas for my everyday makeup I can't help wanting these. 
4. I don't usually indulge in TS makeup although after a recent visit to the ma-husive counter in Oxford Street I managed to have a few cheeky swatches of their lip crayons. I am loving Powder Room and Secret Party. 
5. Being the fickle creature that I am I have been looking to change up my iPhone cover. I love the Moschino cases but they are so darn expensive. I found these cheaper alternatives on eBay for less than a fiver. Bargain. 
6. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser is my HG product but I feel like I need a little more coverage since the latest cold spurt and I have heard good reports on the Silk Creme Foundation. I just need to save a few more N.Dulge points to justify a purchase. 

Thursday 14 March 2013

Other Ways to Follow Beckys Makeup

When my Twitter feed exploded with the news that Google Reader was shutting down with the view of GFC possibly following suit, it didn't really bother me. Yes I would be sad to see GFC leave. Its been with me from the start and it has taken me time to build a collective number of followers, but its not the be all and end all. So in light of the current situation I wanted to take the opportunity to remind you guys that there are several other ways to follow my blog so feel free to take your pick from the bunch above!

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Amazing Advertisers

Introducing Gemma's Thoughts and Loves

Gemma's Thoughts and Loves is a blog that mainly focuses on Fashion, Beauty and lifestyle. I regularly enjoy writing posts on getting certain looks, such as how to get the Downton abbey style for example.  I have no set age group which I target but most readers are primarily from the U.K

Gemma is taking advantage of my 30 day advertising. I am currently offering 50% off for the first 10! Click here for more details

Monday 11 March 2013

Bobbi Brown Makeup Lilac Rose Collection SS 2013

Aside from this Chanel Highlighter from their 2013 Spring Collection I am yet to be wowed by a Spring makeup collection. So when I feasted my eyes on the newly released Lilac Rose Collection from Bobbi Brown I was blown away by the colours alone. When someone puts nude, pinks and a touch of shimmer together, I am sold. Brought to you fresh from the runway of #LFW Spring/Summer 13 this Limited Edition collection brings a capsule of nudes, pinks and lilacs. The complete star of the show for me has to be the ridiculously gorgeous Lilac Rose Eye Palette which I have already made a mental note to purchase. . So heres a quick run down of whats included. 

1. Lilac Rose Eye Palette (£45): Featuring eight wearable shades, all pretty neutral with the off stunning lilac and pinks. Every shade in this palette is right up my street and ticks all the boxes I look for in a palette. 
2. Lilac Rose Shimmer Brick (£32): Pink, golden pink, icy pink and pearl pigments altogether in a handy compact - whats not to love! 
3. Nail Polish (£11): Available in 3 new Limited Edition shades - the nude (Roza) which is a pinkish grey colour has really caught my eye. 
4. Sparkle Eyeshadow (£20): Limited Edition Shade Lilac. Probably my least favourite of the bunch. 
5. Brightening Lip Gloss (£17): Limited Edition Shade Pink Lilac. 
6. Blush in Pastel Pink (£18): Pastel Pink is a new limited edition blush which complements their existing blush range. I am a big fan of MAC's Dame blush and this looks very similar. 
7. Lip Gloss (17): Limited Edition shades available in Lilac Rose and Pink Lily. 

So whats the verdict? The only niggle that I have is that I would have liked to have seen a few lipsticks included which they have sadly left out. Being more of a lippy girl than a gloss this would have just been the icing on the cake, but hey you can't win them all.  Aside from the fact that zero lippys have been included this is a pretty sweet collection. If you are a trusted 'Urban Decay Naked Palette' lover and fancy adding a little colour into your collection this could be the perfect intro to colour without being too garish. If pinks are not your thing then step/look away now because this is the ultimate feminine collection. I have a feeling this collection is going to fly off the shelves pretty sharpish, so you are going to have to be quick. Are you going to pick anything up from the Lilac Rose Collection

The Lilac Rose Collection is available now at - click the link to take you directly to the page. 

Sunday 10 March 2013

Add a Blog Button with Grab Box

I know that these tutorials are all over the internet but I wanted to assist with newer bloggers that may be struggling with basic HTML tricks. A majority of bloggers will be accustomed to what a blog button is and will probably have one sitting in their sidebar. I have found though that having a box underneath with a HTML code which other bloggers can just grab makes it easier to share your button with other fellow bloggers. No faffing around with copying the button and adding a link etc. If you are wondering what I am going on about a grab button looks like this [see below].

Firstly you need to have an account with a photo sharing site. I use Photobucket. Upload your blog button and it will give you a variety of links [see below]. The link you will need is the one labelled 'Direct link'.

Next up, the important bit. The code. Change all the info in RED to your info. I have made a quick reference to the jargon below [promise I am not trying to teach you to suck eggs]

Image URL: This is the 'direct image' from Photobucket
Blog Name: Your blog title 
Blog Address: This is the URL of your blog i.e. mine is

<div align="center" style="padding: 5px;"><img src="YOUR IMAGE URL"  title="BLOG TITLE" alt="BLOG TITLE" /></div><textarea style="background:#f0f0f0;border:solid 1px #cccccc; color: #777777; font-size:100%; height: 50px; margin:auto; text-align: left; padding: 2px 0 2px 5px; display: block;  width: 200px;">&lt;div align="center">&lt;a href="BLOG ADDRESS" title="BLOG TITLE"&gt;&lt;img src="IMAGE URL" alt="BLOG TITLE" style="border:none;" /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div></textarea>

Next you need to go to layout and 'add a gadget'. Select HTML/JavaScript and copy and paste the above code into the box. Save and preview your blog. 

The result should be something like this. 

Bloggers can then grab the code below and add to their blog with an instant link to yours. I hope this has been helpful to some.

Weekend Wish List #1

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Beauty blogging, I swear is a serious killer for my bank balance. After doing a little 'window shopping" this weekend I have come up with a list list as long as my arm. At this rate I shall be bankrupt before Christmas this year.

Do I need another Zara bag? Probably not but that does not stop me lusting after the latest offering in the form of this ridiculously gorgeous bowling bag. After purchasing the bucket bag and the office city bag its fair to say I should not be allowed to step foot in Zara without being chaperoned. I cheekily made a little purchase in Rituals the other day and bought a candle in Spring Garden. My justification? Bathtimes just aren't the same without a candle. They are long lasting - 50 hours to be exact, look pretty and are a fraction of the Diptyques which I have also been tempted by this week, but we won't even go there. A little while ago I purchased the Aromatherapy Associated mini bath oils set from Space NK in order to spice things up at bath time (in an inncocent way of course - you naughty ladies :-)). I have fallen in love with Deep Relax and am tempted by the full size but at £37 a pop I might have to wait until my birthday and leave subtle hints about the house... Having every Urban Decay Naked pallette going I do not need another neutral palette, but boy do I want this limited edition Nars palette from their And God Created the Woman collection. The new L'Oreal Glam Shine Stains are something I keep seeing popping up and they look like competition for the Rimmel Apocalips. I had a quick swatch in Boots the other day before being hurried up by the bf but from what I can tell these were a lot less sticky without compromising on the colour payoff. I may have to indulge in a spending a few Boots points on these, they certainly beat a meal deal. My eyebrows are the bain of my life and I thought I had found my holy grail in Cliniques Superfine brow pencil but having watched Lisa Eldridge's videos religously I am keen to try the Suqqo brow pen. At £20 I am not sure I can justify it just yet though. Finally, I eventually managed to swatch some Illamasqua blushes in Selfridges last week and this cream blush in Promise has been stuck in my mind ever since. 

So there you have it a few albeit expensive products I am lusting after at the moment. Whats on your wish list? 

Saturday 9 March 2013

Illamasqua Faux Pas Nail Polish

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Illamasqua is a brand I swoon over but have never got around to actually dipping my makeup obsessive toes into. Then I was lucky enough to win Sams giveaway which included a pretty stunning Illamasqua nail polish in the shade Faux Pas. So cheers Sam for breaking my Illamasqua virginity :). This week my nails were looking a little shabby, bearing the remains of last weekends nail polish and were  in desperate need of a little TLC. So this afternoon, with the boyf packed off to work I indulged in some me time and can report back that I don't think this will be the last Illamasqua nail polish you will see on this blog. Yes, I am smitten. Faux pas is a deep rich violet with a rubber finish. Yes, you heard me right. Rather than leaving a rubber finish the polish dries matte. Remember the fuss over the Rimmel Matte Top Coat, this gives the same effect without the need of a top coat. However, in true Becky style I do like a glossy finish so a quick coat of my trusted Seche Vite sorted this out and I was left with beautiful glossy talons! The colour payoff is second to none. I used 2 coats but if you are in a rush you could easily get away with the 1 as this is ridiculously pigmented. No streaks, glides on perfectly, this is the perfect formulation. I won't say this has overtaken my love of Essie just yet but its a good runner up. The wear time? I shall keep you posted on that but I usually find that I get a good weeks wear when topped with Seche Vite with all polishes so we will see. 

Friday 8 March 2013


Essensity Shampoo and Conditioner*

Ask me about haircare and I will shamefully hang my head and admit that I often can be seen picking the first thing on offer in Boots. Its not that I neglect my hair as such. I always use heat protectant, never brush wet hair etc, but the thought of spending 20 odd quid on a shampoo alone makes me shudder (yes, Ojon I am looking at you). To me a shampoo is just that - shampoo. So with that out of the way I shall continue. I was recently sent both the shampoo and conditioner of the Essensity range* from Schwarzkopf. The range consists of a collection of shampoos and conditioners including styling products which cater for a every hair type. So whether you are a dry/fine/coloured haired lady there is something for everyone. Judging by my research this range has been around for a while and it introduces a natural range to the Schwarzkopf empire. Yes, all products are free from artificial fragrances, silicones and parabens. So whats the verdict?  The shampoo itself has a rather herbally aroma to it. Some are going to hate it and some are going to love it. I fall into the latter. For a product that has no parabens it kicks a good punch in the lather stakes and my hair was left feeling clean but not in a squeaky way. The conditioner was similar scent wise. Its not a thick conditioner but its not runny either, it sits somewhere in between. Personally I like a nice thick conditioner. Unfortunately the conditioner did not cut it for me and my longer hair was left rather knotty so if you are a longer haired lady you may want to give this one a miss. If you do want to give this a try then they site just under a tenner each. Not the most purse friendly of shampoos but not the most expensive either. You can purchase the full range at - just click the link to go directly to the site.

*PR Sample