Sunday, 27 January 2013

There is no such thing as too many books, just not enough shelves to put them on.

It would seem that whenever I have work to do, or I'm busy, I always get the urge to read. Reading is my biggest downfall when it comes to distractions. I can normally ignore other distractions and focus on my work, but books...not so much.  Normally when I order books around my exam times or my coursework period, I have to hand them over to my parents for safe-keeping. You can probably imagine how hard it was to maintain focus during my last exam period when I decided to start reading A Song of Ice and Fire...

  Fortunately, I handed in my first piece of coursework last week, and I've made a good start on my second piece, so I don't have to completely ban myself from reading. I always seem to buy books at this time of the year. I think I buy most of my books in January/February and in July. I seem to have ended up with quite a few new books, so I thought I'd post about them as I keep saying that I'll start writing more book related posts and I never do. I always enjoy seeing people's book collections so I'm hoping that somebody might like to see mine!

The first few were Christmas presents. I included them in my Christmas post, but I thought I'd take a few more photographs and go into a little more detail.

My original LOTR set was badly damaged when I was in Spain last year. I'd had those books for around eight years or so (which actually isn't a long time compared with some of the books I own) but I was pretty upset at having to leave them behind. They also left a very empty gap on my bookshelves, so I was thrilled to receive new copies! I don't normally like book covers with shots from the films on them, but I don't mind these. I keep meaning to buy them in hardback but I haven't gotten round to it yet. I'm hoping that these don't suffer the same fate as my last copies!

I bought this with a gift voucher that a friend gave me. I'd seen it in both Tesco and WH Smiths several times before Christmas and I'd been itching to pick it up, but at £22 I just couldn't justify it, regardless of how beautiful it is! Luckily, it was reduced in the sales so I very happily went and picked this up on Boxing Day. It's a very heavy book, and the quality is superb. I really love the gold lettering across the front; it's almost a shame that you can only see the spine on my bookcase! This book goes into all the background behind the making of the series; the costumes and the sets and so on. I think my favourite part is actually the photos that are spread across the book; some of them are really lovely and I think I spent ten minutes after I first purchased it just flicking through to look at them. I'm very glad that I bought this; it really is a gorgeous book!

These are books that I have acquired recently. I really ought to spread these posts out a little, because this might be a bit of a long post!

These belonged to my grandmother, who unfortunately now suffers from alzheimers so she can no longer read, and so these now belong to me. I'm not a big fan of Jane Austen (neither was my grandmother so how she came by the set I do not know) but I figured that I would probably need them for university. They are a really nice set and are in excellent condition considering that they've been on my grandmother's bookshelf for at least twenty years!

I was cleaning my shelves last weekend and I came across my set of Balefire books by Cate Tiernan and I remembered how much I loved her Sweep series and I thought I'd have to look to see how much it would cost to buy the books. I bought these from the Book Depository for  around £4 each. Strangely, it's the same price to buy them as a 3-1 set than it is to buy them individually. I think they were printed under a different name and covers in the UK, but I much prefer these covers (I really dislike covers with people on them). I think that these definitely improve as you go through the series. They are very easy to read but really enjoyable too. I bought the first three (technically the first nine books) to see if I still enjoy them as much as I did. There's another two books that I'll probably buy at some point!

While I was searching for Sweep I also discovered her Immoral Beloved trilogy which I'd put on my book list ages ago and completely forgotten about, so I ordered this for £6 or so with my other books. It has had good reviews so I'm really looking forward to reading it!

If you managed to actually get to the end of this post, well done! I will probably do updates like this in smaller doses from now on instead of one huge post.

Have you bought any interesting books recently?

Disclosure: I bought the Cate Tiernan books myself, the Game of Thrones book I bought with a gift voucher and the others were gifts.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in Exquisite Plum

You know those products that you always admire but you never buy because they are stretching your budget a little too far? Mine was always a YSL lipstick. I would also look at them in Boots, but at £23.50 they were just a little too expensive. I would never ever pay that much a lipstick (unless I won the lottery of course, which sadly has not happened). However, having a few points vouchers for Boots along with Christmas really boosted my points, and I thought why not? So I took a gamble and ordered this from their online store.

This lipstick comes in beautiful gold casing with the YSL logo inscribed around it, with the lipstick shade in the background. The packaging is probably the most beautiful I've ever seen for a lipstick. You absolutely wouldn't be embarrassed to take this out of your handbag! It certainly looks and feels expensive. It feels a little weightier than your average lipstick. I think you can imagine my horror when I was opening this when it first arrived and I managed to drop it onto my tiled floor! Fortunately no damage was done, but I think I came pretty close to having a heart attack...

I read a few reviews before I bought this, and they gave the impression that this lipstick was incredibly dark, one of those 'wear if you dare' kind of shades. I'm not normally one to be scared of something being too dark, but I was anticipating a really deep plum like MAC's Cyber. I was surprised when this came and I realised that it really isn't that dark and unwearable at all! It's probably the most wearable of all my plum lipsticks; it reminds a bit of a darker Rebel. It's a wonderful dark berry/plum.

This lipstick has a creamy, almost buttery texture. It's so soft and moisturising that when I when I first applied it I wasn't expecting it to last very long! It applies very smoothly. The only thing that I don't like about this lipstick is the scent. It has a very fruity smell. Fruity scents really aren't my sort of thing, I much prefer sweeter scents, but it's not a big deal.

I can wear this for over four to five hours or so before it begins to fade a little. It survived coffee, but I'd still recommend keeping this in your bag to touch up. I was impressed with the lasting time considering how creamy this lipstick is!

Overall, it's a nice luxury. It's great if you have Boots points to spare or gift vouchers, but I think I'd still cringe at the thought of spending that much on a lipstick.

This lipstick costs £23.50 and can be purchased from Boots or Debenhams.

Discloure: I bought this product with my Boots points.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Winter Wonderland

If you live in the UK, I'm sure you are aware that it has been snowing here, even if you haven't looked out of your window. Right now, I think my Facebook has more snow pictures than cat pictures, which is definitely saying something! You'll have to excuse the Christmassy nature of this post title, I'm not feeling very imaginative today!

I'm not the biggest fan of snow. I'm too aware that after snow, we get ice, and when we get ice, I fall over. I fell in town last year, and nobody came to help me. People literally stepped over me, and since then I've lost my faith in humanity and I'm also a bit scared of ice. Having the problems that I have with my leg means that my balance is pretty off, and I find it really difficult to get around. Fortunately, my university have been really understanding and sent me all of my notes for this week so I don't have to attempt to get in, so I've been a lot less stressed about the snow and decided to actually enjoy it for once (from a distance of course!).

My mum very kindly went to the post office for me this morning and picked up my winter boots that I'd ordered, and we decided to go for a walk in the snow after we'd been to check on my grandparents. My grandparents live in quite a horrible area, but there is a really pretty village right next to them, so we decided to have a walk around (I'm okay if I have somebody I can hold onto and someone to pick me up if I fall over) and take some pictures.

Isn't undisturbed snow just gorgeous?
The church and the graveyard are really beautiful in the snow. The church is actually supposed to be haunted; my mum refuses to go up there at night because it's so eerie. They've started doing ghost walks up there but I'm too much of a coward to go!

I'm yet to build a snowman because I lost one of my gloves at uni, but I might have a go some point this week! We are apparently going to get more snow this week, but it has been raining a tiny bit, so I'm not sure what's going to happen!

Have you been enjoying the snow?

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Branching Out

I just thought I'd do a quick post to let you all know that you can find me in a few different places now!

I received a shiny new phone today as an early birthday present (my birthday is in February) which has internet (my last phone was a little outdated to say the least) so I now I have Instagram (I haven't posted any photos yet but I will get there!) I also made a Tumblr the other week, but I'm not sure whether or not I'll actually use it yet!

My Instagram username is divineobscurity and you can find my Tumblr here

If anybody has any Instagram/Tumblr links to send me, please comment with usernames/links!

I'm currently in the middle of my coursework period at university, so I might be a little quiet on the blog front for a bit. I also think I'm coming down with a bug so I really haven't been in the mood to blog. I'm hoping that I'll be able to get back into the swing of things once I've gotten some of this coursework out of the way, and hopefully things will get back to normal a bit.

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Blistex Daily Lip Conditioner

This is another one of those posts which is seriously overdue. I've been using this product for at least two months now, and I completely forgot that I was planning to review it until I found pictures of it on my camera. Anyway, I suffer from horrendously dry lips. My lips are dry in summer, so by winter they are more than just an annoyance. I bought this on a whim on my way to university because I was willing to try anything to sort my lips out. I've tried so many lip balms but their effects didn't seem to last very long and they weren't quite moisturising enough, and Vaseline had never worked for me. I would also like to apologise for the photos, I think I must have taken them in the dark!

This product comes in a tiny round jar. It is super small, but fortunately you don't need a lot of product. It's definitely small enough to fit into your handbag. I'm still not a fan of pots, I much prefer sticks because I don't like having to use my finger to apply it, it's a little messy.

You know those products that you start using and you are completely astounded that you ever managed to survive without them? This is one of those.  I apply this at night rather than in the day. I use my Lush lip scrub (reviewed here) first, and then I apply this. You only need a tiny amount, and it applies clear despite looking very yellow in the pot. It has quite a minty smell, and it feels quite tingly when it's first applied (although it is not an unpleasant sensation). It doesn't take very long to sink in.

By the morning all the dry areas on my lips are gone, and my lips are incredibly soft. I don't like my lips feeling slick which is why I don't use it during the day, but I've found using it at night really works for me. By the end of the day my lips are tiny bit dry again, but nowhere near as extreme as they were before. At £2.59 (it's actually £2.19 if you buy it from Superdrug) it's definitely affordable too!

This is by far the best lip balm I have used, and I can't praise it enough. I've tried so many lip balms (most of which were a lot more expensive than this one!) and none of them have lived up this. I can't see me ever using anything else!

Blistex costs £2.59 and can be purchased from Boots and Superdrug.

What's your favourite lip balm?

Disclosure: I bought this product myself.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak

About half a year or so ago, I attended one of those in store events at Debenhams. While I was there I was given a little sachet of this (which I actually forgot to review at the time). I'd never previously used Elemis before, their price tags are far too out of my price range and I really couldn't justify it, regardless of how much I loved the product. My Mum surprised me with a full bottle of this for Christmas, and I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised!

This product is mainly targeted at people who exercise and are into sports, which I am not. I was interested in this product when I first received a sample of it because of the tightness in my leg, which you can read about here (it would take far too long to go explain this again, so I recommend reading the specific post I wrote on this as it goes into more detail), so I won't be able to talk about the effects that it has on tired muscles from exercise.

The product has a screw top lid. It doesn't have a pump, you have to pour the product. Elemis recommends that you use the bottle cap to gauge how much of it you put in the bath (they recommend three capfulls). The bottle is quite large, and surprisingly heavy! You get 400ml of product. 

You only need the smallest amount of product. Elemis recommends that you use three capfulls, but I tend to use even less than that, as the product is quite thick. When I received this on Christmas Day, I could smell it before I had even ripped off the wrapping paper! It smells of deep heat. In the bottle it smells extremely strong, and I wasn't sure about the smell at first as I don't like the smell of deep heat. In the bath I don't find it to be as overwhelmingly strong, and I actually find the smell to be quite soothing. If you like herbal scents I think you will like this! It also creates a lot of super soft, almost creamy bubbles.

After I use this I find that I feel a lot more calm and relaxed and the tension in my back and the tightness in my leg has been reduced. I also seem to sleep a lot better after I use this, which is probably because I'm much more relaxed. Better still, the tightness in my leg is still a lot better the morning after.

Because of the price I will definitely be using this sparingly! It is an absolute miracle worker for me in the colder months and for anybody suffering from back pain. I will definitely be saving this for colder days and for my longer days at uni (sitting in lecture theatres and on buses is extremely uncomfortable so my back is normally hurting when I get home).

Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak costs £34.50 for 400ml and can be bought from Debenhams (although the price seems to vary from site to site, so I'd recommend shopping around).

Have you tried anything from Elemis?

Disclosure: This was a Christmas present, I didn't buy it.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

NOTD: imPRESS Press on Manicure in Rated R

Some of you may remember me reviewing these nails a few months ago. My nails are the kind of nails which break and peel incredibly easily. At the moment my natural nails are very, very short, because I trimmed them down so they were all even. I was given another set of these nails for Christmas in Rated R, and I decided that this was probably a good opportunity to use them!

Rated R is a deep red/purple. When I first received these I thought that they were the same as the ones I reviewed last time, but there are much less red and are a little darker. They are exactly my kind of colour, it's really pretty! I actually wouldn't mind a polish in this colour. I took the picture before I filed them (they all have little rectangular tabs on the tips of the nail, I'm not sure why!). They're perfectly fine to file.

I love these nails because they are so easy to apply and they don't look fake. They aren't irritating to wear and they last a considerable amount of time on me (around five days). I like how neat they look and they only take five minutes to apply, if that.

The only downside to these nails is that your own natural nails need to be quite short to apply them. You might also struggle to find the right size to fit you, the last two packs I've had have been perfect but with this one some of them are too large and some of them are too small. Fortunately you can only see that they're too small if I tilt my nails sideways, so it isn't too much of a problem!

imPRESS nails cost £7.99 from Boots and Superdrug (where they are on offer for £4.99).

Have you tried any imPRESS nails?

Disclosure: These were a Christmas present, I didn't buy them.

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