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10 Things You'll Find On My Bookshelf

Yes, I keep my make-up on my bookshelf. There wasn't really anywhere else for it to go (my room's smaller than it was last year) but I don't mind, because at least this way it's all in easy reach. Naturally, I also keep some of my books here  a large portion of them are back home  and my aim is to gradually add more to the shelf; it's one of my ambitions in life to have a killer book collection, and it makes me sad to think that I'll never get to read everything. Just me? Anyway, here's some of the stuff you can find on the shelf.

1. My make-up collection. I used to sort everything by product type  — lipsticks, eyeshadows, base products, etc  but it took up a lot more space. When I moved in here I ended up just throwing it all together, which means I often have to empty the everything out (yep, there's more than just my favourite Charlotte Tilbury bag) to search for that one blusher.

2. Nail polish. I keep most of my nail polishes in a Soap & Glory box, and then leave whatever I've been using on show so that I can grab them to cover up any chips (I end up doing this a lot). Because I'm here for winter and not summer, my uni collection mostly consists of darker shades and some nudes, although I'm loving Models Own HyperGel Polish in Purple Orchid right now.

3. Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil. I've been loving this recently, and since I apply it just before bed I like to leave it where I can see it so I don't forget! I'll be talking about this in more detail in a future post, but basically my skin is getting a much-needed hit of hydration.  

4. Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson. This is the book that broke me out of my 'I don't know what to read' rut last autumn  I was hooked, finishing it in a matter of days. Christine, the protagonist, suffers from memory loss, and is living with her husband, who she doesn't fully trust. You're left to question everything as you read about her experiences. A page-turner.

5. Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson. Bill Bryson is one of my favourite writers, and Notes On a Small Island was the first book of his that I read. It was on the bookshelf of a holiday cottage I stayed at when I was fifteen, and I picked it up on a whim  a good move, because Bryson is funny, observant, and witty, and he makes ordinary things like ordering breakfast into hilarious anecdotes. I had to leave Notes On a Small Island in the cottage when we left, but I bought my own copy as soon as we got home.

6. The Armstrong and Miller boxset. Comedy is by my favourite type of television programme but it can be difficult to pull off, especially because it's so subjective (my dad and I rarely crack a smile at the same jokes, for example). Personally I find the Armstrong and Miller sketches to be a good balance of silly and clever, and I turn to them whenever I need cheering up.

7. The Collected Dorothy Parker. Dorothy Parker is the queen/king/almighty ruler of the barbed one liner. Before I bought this book, I was only familiar with her poetry  fed up with love? Parker's got your back  but she also wrote short stories and articles. This is the kind of book you can dip in and out of whenever you fancy it.

8. Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes. Sali's bullshit-free approach to beauty has won her legions of fans, myself included. Pretty Honest is a treasure trove of tips (I especially love the skincare advice) and a book I would recommend to anyone who has an interest in beauty and make up.

9. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. I didn't enjoy this as much as The Virgin Suicides but it's still a good read, even though it feels like it's dragging in places. My favourite thing about this book is that, despite the title, Eugenides *SPOILER* eschews the traditional 'one or the other' choice between suitors and has the protagonist end the book as a single woman who needs to spend time by herself to figure things out (a relatable situation if there ever was one).

10. The Hungry Student Vegetarian Cookbook. My manager at the charity shop gave me this, which I very much appreciated, because I'm really trying to mix up the kind of meals I make (and not have so much pasta). I admit, initially the main reason I started eating vegetarian food most of the time is because meat is so expensive, but after chatting to my housemate, Giulia, and reading more about other cruelty-free bloggers' experiences, it's made me consider making the switch full time.

What do you keep on your bookshelf? And what are you reading at the moment? Let me know in the comments!

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Beth, 23, South East England. I'm a writer with a love of books, lipstick, and the Oxford comma. I love beauty and I also love animals, so I only buy, use, and feature products from cruelty-free brands. (Seriously though, I am the person who stops to fuss over every dog she sees.) You can also expect posts about vegan/vegetarian food, and plenty of musings about life as a 20-something. Want to get in touch? Email me at

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