Camera Roll // March 2015


Apparently this month, I mostly took selfies and screenshots so it was pretty difficult to choose photos that didn't include my face. Sorry about that!
Drinks reception in the Hogwarts Great Hall with Leona // Deserted Diagon Alley
My natural curls // I accidentally had my MAC lipstick posted to my mum's. She sent me this!

I finally learned how to do a fishtail braid // Funny faces with Paige
Morning face! // I started clearing my wardrobe and ended up buried under clothes

My little brother was in the paper! // Me and Leona got matching nails like losers



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Book Review // The Husband's Secret


The Husband's Secret*- Liane Moriarty
Like The House of Mirth, this book was sent to me by Beth, and I spent forever getting around to reading it! When I started hearing more and more good things about it, I knew I had to put it on the top of my pile.



The Husband's Secret follows the lives of different women whose lives intertwine in ways that become increasingly clear as their stories develop and close towards each other. All stories revolve around a letter found by Cecilia, written by her husband only to be opened in the event of his death. Eventually curiosity gets the better of her and she reads the letter to discover information that changes her life, and the lives of the other women, forever.

I'm going to put this out there straight away: It's predictable. As predictable as can be. I knew the secret within about 15 pages and, although I thought it couldn't possibly be that obvious, it turns out it was. The main women are irritating: Cecilia spends far too much time fussing, simpering and generally being a do-gooder and Tess needs to stop fat-shaming her beautiful, witty cousin. Rachel is adamant on ruining a man's life because she suspects him of killing her daughter and ends up neglecting her son as a result. 
Having said that, it wasn't a terrible book. It's pretty much the epitome of a summer beach read: Nothing challenging, nothing confusing. Even the parallel stories are easy to follow. It was entertaining enough and I became impatient to find out how the stories would come together even though, as I said, I didn't expect my prediction to be completely accurate. I will also say that Moriarty's use of short sentences to build up tension in the climax of the novel is well developed and certainly creates suspense.

Although the book wasn't terrible, it was far from the best book I've ever read. This may be influenced by the fact that, as a rule, I'm not interested in what you may call "light women's reading". I'd still encourage people to give it a go, though, as it seems very divisive- some people were not impressed while others absolutely loved it. For me, though, it's a four out of ten.



If entwined, character-based stories are your thing, I completely recommend JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy. It's a lot more complex than The Husband's Secret but also more developed and a lot less predictable!

*This post features affiliate links

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SS15 Beauty with MAC at House of Fraser


Spring is well and truly on its way, and I'm starting to think about spring/summer beauty looks. One of the biggest trends this season is no-make-up-make-up but that doesn't really work for me. I like bright, bold, fun looks. It's probably not a surprise to you that I am all over the Moschino SS15 ready-to-wear collection. Pink! Barbie! Tacky! It's everything I love! With that in mind, I set about using products from MAC at House of Fraser to create my perfect spring/summer make up look.
MAC Pink Make UpJeremy Scott actually used MAC make up artist Lucia Pieroni for this collection, who achieved this plastic fantastic look by honing in on bright pink lips and exaggerated lashes. Since these were the two key features, I concentrated on these areas to recreate my look.

The focal point of bold, glossy lips was achieved using Pink Pigeon lipstick* which is a hot pink, similar to Candy Yum Yum but deeper and warmer toned. As it's a matte lipstick, and I wanted a glitzier statement, I topped it off with Viva Glam Miley Lipglass*. Like the Viva Glam Miley lipstick, it's a deep pink but with the addition of iridescdent blue-based sparkles for a glossy shine.
SS15 make up trends
I kept the rest of my face simple with just some foundation, concealer and a touch of coral blush but applied layers of Haute & Naughty Waterproof Lash* in Shockproof to give me those long, dark lashes seen on Moschino's catwalk. 

To tie the whole look together, I decided to keep my hair big and bouffant, and team with my kitsch, retro My Little Pony jacket for that 80s childhood theme. This is going to be my go-to look throughout summer, I think! 

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Review // Wilko Make Up Brushes- Powder, Blusher & Concealer


Wilkinson is my weakness. No matter how much I tell myself I'm "just popping in for...", I will come out with a horde of homewares, stationery, storage boxes and so on. Needless to say, I couldn't resist when I saw these gorgeous make up brushes. To be honest, I bought them because I was hoping they'd be cheap Real Techniques dupes. They look alike so they must be similar, right?
Obviously the first thing you notice is the design. I love the sleek, sophisticated look of them and they look great on my dressing table, even if they are a teeny tiny bit close to the mark in terms of Real Techniques. Each brush costs around £3 so they're an absolutely bargain and, surprisingly enough, are actually pretty good!

Of the three I bought (there is also a foundation brush but it's always out of stock when I visited, as well as lip, eyeshadow and other basics), the powder brush is by far my favourite. It's absolutely huge and has a fluffy quality that defies its low price. When using with my powder, I find it picks up a decent amount of product and applies evenly in just a couple of swipes. 

Unfortunately, the blusher brush isn't quite as great for me. The brushes are more wiry which makes it difficult to apply evenly. No matter how much I try, I always end up with blotchy, inconsistent blusher. However, the concealer brush is more of a success. It's a decent size- fine enough for accurate application but still large enough to blend effectively. Using this brush, my concealer goes on evenly and I've found it very easy to blend outwards, although it does have a tendency to pick up too much product, even with a light touch.

Although there are a couple of problems, I am astounded by the quality for such a great price. If only they'd restock the foundation brush! 

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Giveaway: Ideal Home Show Tickets


I don't know about you but I am blooming obsessed with homes and architecture. When I was 10, I wanted to be an interior designer, something I intended to do right until I started applying for uni and realised art school would destroy me. My childhood hero, I kid you not, was Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen (a fact I referenced here). Changing Rooms was my jam and I loved how he always broke the rules and always created something crazy that the owners absolutely hated. And you'll never guess what! Next week, thanks to British Gas, I am going to... give me a second to regain my composure... be at the Ideal Home Show in London seeing Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen speak. (Yes, I am totally wearing that frilly dress!)

As if that wasn't enough, my favourite TV architect and winner of Becky's Loveliest Voice on TV Award (I may have made that award up), George Clarke, is going to be at the Ideal Home Show the very same day. Seriously, guys, I'm crazy excited! 

Since I'm doing up my living room and all, I'm looking forward to a day of inspiration, not only for my home but also with the fashion and beauty areas and, of course, being in the presence of my childhood hero!

Anyway, all this babbling is for a very good reason because you could win 2 tickets to the Ideal Home Show yourself. The tickets are valid throughout the whole exhibition (until the 6th April) so you can go whenever is best for you! To enter, just use the form below and I will contact the winner on Friday morning! Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and conditions: Prize consists of two tickets to Ideal Home Show courtesy of British Gas. Giveaway open to all followers of Becky Bedbug. Closing date Friday 27th March at 12:00am. 

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How to create an effective media kit for your blog


CREATING A MEDIA KIT FOR YOUR BLOG



WHAT IS A MEDIA KIT?

For bloggers, a media kit- also known as a media pack- is a document that explains exactly what your blog is about and what you can offer brands or advertisers who choose to work with you. It includes all the information they need to know, such as statistics, the content you post and the types of advertising you offer. Think of your media kit as a brochure for your blog. 

WHY IS A MEDIA KIT IMPORTANT?

Your media kit is a priceless document if you wish to monetise your blog or work with brands. Before a PR agency or brand decides to work with you, they need to know exactly what they are going to get from your blog in order to justify working with you. Rather than spend ages answering endless questions, a media kit gives them all the information in one hit. It saves time for both yourself and the people you're dealing with, allowing them to decide immediately whether your blog is a good fit. Not only this, but a media kit makes a professional statement and tells the brand that you take your blog seriously.


WHAT SHOULD A MEDIA KIT INVOLVE?

Information

The essentials are very simple:

- About your blog (include where you're based, how old you are and your blog genre)
- Recent statistics (visits, page views, unique users for the past three months)
- Content you offer (sponsored posts, banner advertising, and the like)
- Your reader demographics (age, location, gender, income. Parents/ students/ professionals?)

- Your policies (including disclaimer and no-follow policy)
- Contact details (Blog name/ address, email and social media)

Other information that is useful to include:

- About you (some background about yourself and why you started blogging)
- A photo of yourself is nice
- Your rates for the content you offer
- Previous brands you have worked with
- Your most popular posts

Format

Always remember that first impressions count. An effective media kit reflects the blog brand in terms of consistent design and the message it sends out. I created mine in Photoshop but the program's not important- just try to make it fit with the overall look and feel of your blog. Once it's created, a PDF is the best method to save it as it can easily be shared without being edited.   

Some bloggers recommend three pages for a media kit but I prefer to keep it to two- one page for all my blog information and one page for details of the content I offer with rates. The way I see it is that this could be printed on one double-sided sheet of paper and is therefore more convenient than further pages. 

HOW DO I GET MY MEDIA KIT OUT THERE?

Great! You've created your media kit. Now what? How do you get PRs and brands to see it? Easy! Next time you get an email asking about the opportunities you offer, send over your media kit. You can also put a link on your blog that allows people to download it using Google Docs- the first page of my media kit is here on my sponsorship page so anyone who is interested in working with me can access it. If you're brave enough, you might want to reach out to some PR agencies or brands and include your media pack when you do so.


ANYTHING ELSE?

Make sure to keep your media kit current. I update mine every month to reflect my statistics for the past three. I also go over it at intervals to check all the information is still relevant.


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Review // Lush Big Shampoo and Veganese Conditioner


As I mentioned in my most recent Lush post- a review on R&B Hair Moisturiser- I'm really amping up the effort I take in keeping my hair healthy. In doing so, I've shunned my old John Frieda Frizz Ease and instead looked to Lush for shampoos and conditioners to use. There are so many to try but I've started with Big Shampoo and Veganese Conditioner as they were part of a gift set I bought in the Christmas sales. 
Lush Veganese Big Review

Big Sea Salt Shampoo
Lush Big Sea Salt ShampooSea salt is my jam right now so I was really excited to try this shampoo. It's essentially a tub full of wet salt but, let me tell you, it feels incredible! The scent is so fresh that it's like standing in the sea breeze with notes of lemon, lime and mandarin as well as sea weed. Somehow it lathers, despite being about 80% salt, and the grains feel great on the scalp too- a shampoo and a scalp exfoliator in one! Once it has all been rinsed out, my hair feels incredibly clean and smells absolutely amazing for hours. 

Veganese Conditioner
Lush Veganese Conditioner ReviewI'm such a fan of this conditioner that I gave Leona a bottle for her birthday. First of all, the fragrance is to die for! It's a sharp lemon scent but also has hints lavender and rosemary for floral complements. The lemom juice makes up a huge part of the conditioner, which is designed to leave your hair super shiny. It also contains agar seaweed which goes beautifully with Big shampoo. Although it's a light conditioner, I find a little goes a very long way which is fantastic with my long, thick hair. This light formula also makes it much easier to rinse out than some heavier conditioners. Not only that, but I've definitely noticed my hair is much easier to tame and a lot less frizzy since using Veganese. I love it! Now that I've ventured into the world of Lush haircare, I'm excited to try some new products. I've got Curly Wurly in my sights for when Big runs out!

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