40 Days of Blogging, Beauty, Empties, Evening skincare routine, Morning Skincare Routine, My Life, Reviews

The Final Verdict: Neutrogena

For Neutrogena All-in-1 Acne Control Daily Scrub with 2% Salicyclic Acid

Scrub

What it is: A daily scrub that fades the look of past acne marks, clears present breakouts, and helps prevent future breakouts.

Key Ingredients: Salicyclic acid, water, soy bean extract, cetyl alcohol, polythylene, fragrance

How it feels/smells/looks: It is a white, pearly cream with scrubby beads in it. It smells strongly chemical and not very pleasant. It is moisturizing on the skin, while being a refreshing scrub.

Why I like it: It is a decent cleanser and scrub, but I would not buy it again. The beads in it are polluting the environment, so I cannot recommend this unless they reformulate it with environmentally friendly beads. This is the drugstore version of Lush’s Ocean Salt, but I love Ocean Salt ten times better since it has more immediate benefits for my skin. This scrub is good if you don’t work or don’t want to invest in fancy skin care. I would really suggest Ocean Salt though. The small pot has lasted me a year of use.

With Love,

Selena

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40 Days of Blogging, Beauty, Empties, Lifestyle

Empties: The March Edit

Heya Aspiring Gurus!

I have a whole list of empties for you this month. This month was a big cleansing for me, so I can safely say that April will probably be a lighter load. Who knows though? Maybe April will be a big empties month as well. Either way, I will be trying to use up my huge collection of beauty goodies!

Biore Charcoal Pore Nose Strip, 1 ct

Serena

I’m guilty of throwing things out again! So, enjoy this picture of Serena drinking green juice. She’s a weirdo. She will eat and drink just about anything really. I wasn’t a big fan of this pore strip. I don’t think it works as good as the original. A review is on its way.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, 0.06 fl oz foil packet

hand cream

A wrote a review for this that will be uploaded in the coming weeks. I enjoyed using this sample and I would consider buying it in the future.

MJCARE Collagen Essence Mask, 1 ct

Face Mask

I reviewed this HERE!

Epice Purifying Exfoliant, 1 oz

Products

A review for this is in the works as well! I tried to be real good this month and write reviews while I finished it up.

Maxwell House International Cafe Suisse Mocha, 4 oz

Lashes

My dad threw this out after he used up the last bit. I try to take pictures when I buy them, but I tend to lose pictures. For those of you who have asked how long my eye lashes are really, there are my bare eye lashes. They are extremely long. Falsies make me look RIDICULOUS and mascara makes me look like I am wearing falsies. I tend to use clear mascara during low key days like going to work. I have a review of this coffee coming soon to a computer near you.

Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller, 0.5 fl oz

eye cream

Review: coming soon.

Nesquik [Nestle] Single Serve in Chocolate, 1 pk

Alcohol

Raise your glass to forgetting to take pictures, you Alcoholic! I like chocolate milk sometimes.

Odwalla Original Superfood Smoothie, 59 fl oz

juice

Super yummy! I’m going to be writing about how I have really gotten into Green Juice. I drink a bottle a week.

MJCARE Aloe Essence Mask, 1 ct

Aloe mask

I reviewed this HERE!

Rimmel London Volume Accelerator in 003 Extreme Black, 0.23 fl oz

Mascara

Somehow, I lost the tube to my mascara. I suspect Shadow. She loves to steal my things and knowing myself, I probably just tossed them in there. I always wash off my mascara brushes to see if I can use it as a spoolie for my eye brows. I’m cheap, I know.

Lush Cinders Bath Bomb, 1 ct

Cinders Bath Bomb

I used up my other half this month and I was sad to see it go. I will be reviewing this, but overall, I wouldn’t repurchase.

Figs & Rouge Hand Cream in Mango Mandarin, 0.67 oz

Hand Cream

I am reviewing this, but this was so yummy smelling! Once I run out of hand cream, I would buy this in the Summer time. It is the perfect light lotion that sinks in quick for on the go.

NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair, 0.27 fl oz

Butter gloss

It was a sad day when I ran out of this guy. I’m telling ya. I need to get another one, but I legit have a whole makeup bag full of lip gloss, balms, lip sticks, and chapsticks. I cannot buy one for a very, very, very long time.

The Body Shop Vit C Skin Boost, 1 fl oz

skin boost

I finally went throw this guy and I actually liked it in the end. I have a review for it coming up. I was actually impressed.

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream Moisturizer, 0.02 oz

I thought nothing of the sample. I wasn’t impressed and I wouldn’t buy it.

Ecobeauty Good Day Day Moisturizer, 0.5 fl oz

lotion

I have a negative review for this one. I didn’t like it. It is definitely geared towards drier skin types.

Lush Northern Lights Bath Bomb, 1 ct

Northern Lights Bath Bomb

I have a review for this one and sneak peek, I loved it!

What have you finished up lately? Was March a big month for you as well? Share your empties post below or say what your favorite empties product was in March. Love ya guys!

With Love,

Selena

40 Days of Blogging, Beauty, Favorites, Lifestyle

March Favorities

Heya Aspiring Gurus!

It is time to share my monthly favorites with you. I will break down everything that I have been loving and some things that I haven’t been loving this month. As always, you can leave suggestions for April’s posts to give me an idea of what you love seeing and what you want to see next here on Beauty & The Bookcase.

Favorites:

  • My giveaway going on know HERE. I am giving away a book that I have loved and that I would recommend to my readers. Let me know if you want to see more book giveaways. My next one will be beauty related. Did you want to see one book and one beauty and go back and forth like that? Let me know your thoughts on it.
  • I have been really loving 40 Days of Blogging for Lent and I haven’t missed a day! I know you guys are loving it too based on my current stats. I love you guys for reading my blog and letting me do what I love to do. There are so many posts that I want to do and so little time. I wish that I could post every day all the time, but that isn’t practical. After this event, I will go back to my regular blogging schedule which is Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, and Sunday with an occasional Manicure Monday. So, 5 days a week, where 3 posts will be a mystery and the others are an update and a review.
  • I loved going shopping this month and stopping at all of my favorite stores.
  • A new product that I am loving is my Glam Glow Mud Exfoliating Cleanser in the black bottle. It is amazing! I am seeing my skin improve every day, which reminds me that I have to update my morning and evening skin care routines. I think that is coming in the next week weeks on my blog. I want to share with you guys products that I use on the daily basis currently. It has changed totally since my last one over a year ago.

UnFavorite:

  • My unfavorite of the month is dealing with Mooky’s anxiety. She is driving me crazy, but we are going to try different meds and see if that helps at all.

What are you loving? What are you hating? Let me know. I love learning about new products and things to avoid.

With Love,

Selena

40 Days of Blogging, My Life, Writing

Chapter Five: The Makeup (Part 5)

Jess raised her eyebrows at this, surprised as he dips her backwards and kissed her, gently at first as though a brief taste, but soon, changing into something more passionate and loving as their lips moved in sync together. This time feels short as they both pull away from the kiss, but still remain close together. Absentmindedly, Jess wondered what it was about Felix that was so… intoxicating? No, it was not that. It was something stronger than that, what she felt for him was not lust that was clear. As she listened to his words, snapping out of her vivid daydream, she still did not think that she was beautiful at all. She wanted to reply to this, but decided against it. Instead, she smirked and asked.

“Sweet?”

That was definitely a foreign word to describe Jess. Felix pulled her upright, still holding her close.

“Oh, you know what I mean. You taste like sugar and spice and everything nice. Although you do have a fiery kick with the attitude, Missy.”

He teased her easily, as if he had always been passionate and caring like it was not foreign to feel feelings whatsoever. His lopsided smile appeared as he glanced down at her.

“I might have to tickle the spice out of you.”

Without warning, they were suddenly soaring through the air as his black feathers tickled her cheek lightly. If she was observing anything about his wings, she would have noticed that they were not as pitch black anymore. Although they were still black, they seem lighter than the shadows flying with them, clinging to Felix’s body like a second skin, although invisible to most paranormals and humans alike. Only species like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and Sith could see them as bright as day.

“Where do you want to go today, Sweetness?”

Jess raised her eyebrows once more at this. Well that was true, actually, but she was still getting used to all of this. For example, him being all nice to her. She remembered the first time she met him; they were both extremely rude to each other. Not sweet at all. And now, he was as sweet as candy, besides the tickling part. Her eyes widened as he suddenly grabbed her and took her into the air with him, but they soon fell due to his wings. Was it just her, or did they look somewhat different? They seemed…lighter? Or perhaps she was just seeing that. At his question, she turned her attention back to him and shrugged slightly.

“Hmm… I don’t know. Where do you want to go?”

She returned with a question of her own. But if they were keeping their relationship a secret, the place probably should not have too many people around. Felix’s smile took a wicked turn as he carried her higher into the sky.

“How about the….cove? There should not be many people around, plus there looks to be a storm brewing on the beach. There will not be much people venturing out in the storm. A perfect time for us to be alone to…talk.”

Felix arches an eyebrow at her suggestively as he swerved around in the sky. He would not land without her assent, so they hovered in the sky until she decided. The ends of her mouth twitched slightly as Jess restrained from smiling at that. The cove, huh? Oh, yeah. The best place for talking, she thought to herself, her gaze not leaving his even though the atmosphere around them really was brilliant.

“Well we do have much to talk about…”

She trailed off, seeing the suggestiveness in his expression and finally smiling faintly.

40 Days of Blogging, Entertainment, My Life, Reviews

Entertainment Monthly: March

Heya Aspiring Gurus!

It is that time of the month again, where I share what I have been watching. I always limit these to 5, because I think anymore would get too long. I have actually finished a few series and have watched quite a few movies these past months. I think that I could make four of these, no joke. I might just do that. lol. No, I will have one today and maybe, I’ll upload another one next weekend. I will do four series this week and one movie. All of my shows on ABC Family have ended their seasons recently, so I wanted to do them while they are still fresh in my mind. I watched all of the tv shows while they were airing on cable.

Pretty Little Liars Season 5

pretty-little-liars-season-5-poster-full

This season was so intense and exciting. I could not believe the ending! What a twist! For a long time, I thought A was HannAh, but then, Shepard told us that she would never let A be one of the four girls. So, there blew my theory out of the water. I don’t want to say any spoliers for Dan [say hi!], but you NEED to watch this show. I need someone to gossip with about what is going to happen next. I hope none of them get killed off of the show and it would make things more interesting if Ali is released from prison, which in light of things, will probably happen. I’m bummed that I cannot say anything more for fear of spoilers, but this show has never lost it’s fire. It continues to burn just as bright as season 1. It has been picked up for two more seasons. Could we be looking at least one more A in season 7? I love this show, but honestly? The A game cannot last forever. I hope these actresses get picked for movies and other great tv shows. I would cult follow Ashley Benson and Lucy Hale any day. 5 out of 5 stars

Switched @ Birth Season 4

switched-at-birth

Talk about losing their fire, I think this show has gone downhill, but the season did pick up at the end. The middle of the season fell flat for me. Is anyone feeling this way? I feel like season 5 should be this show’s last. It’s been dragged out for far too long. I would love to see Lucas play in some other show or to finally come out with his own album. I watch the show, because I have invested too much years into it. I haven’t felt excited about it in a while. It has it’s moments, but with shows like PLL, it just doesn’t compete. 3 out of 5 stars

Chasing Life Season 1

chasing-life

I love this show! I cannot believe how it ended! I cannot wait for Season 2 to come on, so I can see what happens next. This show is really great. It had a couple of ify moments, but overall, I am totally invested in this show. I didn’t think that I would really like it, but it surprised me. It wasn’t at all how I thought it would be. It is very drama filled and entertaining, but it also brings up hard issues in a way that isn’t forceful. This show has made me cry and I love shows that can bring out true emotions from me. This is a must watch. 4 out of 5 stars

The Fosters Season 2

The fosters

I have to say that I didn’t think this show could get any better, but it did. It dealt with so many different issues and this truly was a family show about a very diverse family. Out of all of ABC Family’s shows, I think that this one really shows you what a true family is like in America. Of course it is dramatized for entertainment, but at its core, it really is a true reflection of what is out there. I look forward to season 3 to see what happens with Callie’s adoption. For some reason, I think that she is going to just choose her dad anyway. Does anyone else get that feeling? 4 out of 5 stars

Men, Women, & Children

Men-Women-and-Children-2014-movie-poster

I will start off by saying that I had high expectations for this movie based on its great cast of characters and actors and actresses. This move was a total flop to me. It was boring and only really had a small amount of appeal. I thought that it would be really funny, but it was a very serious and at times disturbing movie about how controlling parents can be. It is also about how stupid parents can be as well, when it comes to their children. I didn’t like this movie at all and don’t think that it’s worth watching. I felt like I wasted my time and money. I rented this from Redbox. 2 out of 5 stars

Well, that is it. It was a mixed bunch and the movie was a total fail. What have you been watching and what are your thoughts on the PLL finale???

With Love,

Selena

40 Days of Blogging, Book, My Life, Reviews

March Book: Dream Talker*

Dream TalkerDream Talker by Jon Etheredge

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my first finished book in March and I’m about 30% through with another ebook that I need to finish before the end of March. This was an ebook that I read fairly quickly. It is one of the best books that I have read in a while and I am not just saying this because I am friends with the author over on Goodreads. This is honestly a great book worth the money. I am actually going to purchase another book by this author. That is how much I enjoyed this one.

DISCLAIMER:

I promise to be brutally honest with my opinion, but it should not be taken as fact. Any reader should read it for themselves, before they decide if this book has any merit or not. Do not judge this book biased solely on my opinion. If you do, you might miss out on a great read. You never know. It could happen. My review may contain spoilers, but I really strive to be spoiler-free. I was given this book by the author for reviewing purposes only. This book was not suggested to me by the author. I have no affiliation with the author or his/her publisher, meaning I have nothing to gain by promoting them.

Main Character(s):

I will argue that Adrian is the main lead in this story, although there are different POVs. Adrian is just your average guy trying to hold onto his trust money and please his perky girlfriend. I loved Adrian’s sense of humor and his gullibility. You can see his character develop throughout the novel and he does come out better for it in the end. I also like that he isn’t the strong, heroic male hero in the end. It was a surprising twist that made me like Adrian even more for being a supportive character.
5 out of 5 stars

Evil Antagonist(s):

I really liked that there were a lot of elements and side plots going on within the novel as a whole. It created a depth to the story and the characters. It gave the antagonists a deeper hold on the reader’s attention. I don’t want to give anything away, but the bad characters were very nicely developed and very believable. I just wished that their motives were a bit clearer, but I think it is supposed to keep you guessing.
4 out of 5 stars

Minor Character(s):

I really loved Adrian’s girlfriend, Ella. I loved how Jon turned her character into a heroine in the end and the one with all the power. It turns out that everything is really all about her, the star of her very own show. I thought that Henry was an interesting character, but I thought Ella’s mother came across a bit…a lot flat. I didn’t really care for her. I cared a bit more for Tom, Ella’s father, because he was a bit crazy, hence interesting. To be honest, I kind of speed read past the POVs that weren’t either Adrian’s, Ella’s or O’Brien’s [a bad guy].
3 out of 5 stars

The Plot:

In a nut shell, boy likes girl, whose father hates him. Boy and girl do something naughty and end up paying for it throughout the novel, only to realize in the end that the events were set into motion long before. I thought the plot was very unique in the way that it was written, but the story has been done before in YA fiction.
4 out of 5 stars

The Setting:

This part I loved about the book completely. There were so much detail about everything right down to the mundane that we take for granted. I will never complain about too much detail and this novel delivers. So if you love descriptions as much as I do, you need to go online and buy this book.
5 out of 5 stars

The Dialogue:

I’m not going to lie. There was one point in the story that the jargon was so technical that I skipped a few pages and again at the end. It is a little too much technical stuff for the average person. Otherwise, the interactions to the characters had just the right touch of humor and sarcasm to make the novel funny but heavy at the same time. I’m not sure whether I would label this as regular [the average person] conversing or an amped up/staged interaction for increased drama. It is not unbelievable or far-fetched in any way, but I don’t know a lot of people really clever like these characters in my life.
3 out of 5 stars

Engaging Surprises:

The novel hits you with surprise after surprise and when you think the novel is going on way, it breaks through the wall. It is totally unexpected and refreshing. There was no foreshadowing, but somehow it all works and flows together without seeming awkward or forced. I love it when a novel can surprise and whack me over the head. It is fresh and exciting. It really attracts me to more of the author’s work.
5 out of 5 stars

Climax:

It is frightening and griping with action. This novel satisfies my recent craving for adventure and violence. I honestly could see this story being turned into a block buster movie someday. The action made me feel like I was watching all this action go down right in front of me. I was very interested in the story and how it would turn out in the end. My dad is already reading this book and told me that it was a great alternative to watching an hour of tv. And my dad hardly ever reads/nor does he know the author.
5 out of 5 stars

Emotional Response:

No, I wasn’t moved to tears and I didn’t break out in song at the ending. I was very invested in the characters and blushed a bit at the more romantic scenes. I also winced at Adrian’s harrowing escapes and found myself gripping my Kindle…hard. I was immersed in the story and my world no longer existed. I found myself finding every opportunity to keep reading it.
4 out of 5 stars

Ending:

Can I say that I was slightly traumatized at the ending where Ella transforms into an utter goddess? I was also confused by all the technical jargon at the end, but I got the jest of it. There better be a sequel. That’s all I’m saying, but it better be as good as or better than this one. I want it to be the sequel that ends all sequels.
3 out of 5 stars

The Writing:

I was blown away at how beautifully crafted this story was. I didn’t come across many grammatical mistakes, thanks to a fantastic editor. The story is easy to follow and understand what is going on in the novel [except for the computer genius talk]. The author has a distinct voice and sarcastic humor to his work. I could easily identify this author’s work as his own, because of the unique voice to the story. It is refreshing to have found another author that I can count among my favorites.
5 out of 5 stars

The Artwork:

One of the worst that I have seen. It is plain and boring. It is a letdown. It needs an attractive cover worthy of the story inside. The novel is so good. The cover needs to be invested into. I judge a book by its cover, so if I did not know this author, I probably would not have purchased it on my own. How sad, because this author really does great work.
1 out of 5 stars

Genre:

I would classify this as fantasy, but I cannot pin down anything else specifically. The novel is hard to pin down, because of so many different elements. It could also be considered a romance, supernatural, troubled romance, but it is so hard to just get a single word or type to describe it.
3 out of 5 stars

Title:

Dream Talker suits the story in so many different ways. It is almost as if the novel is divided into three distinct parts and in each one Dream Talker means a slightly different thing. I truly enjoyed the novel along with its very unique title.
5 out of 5 stars

So, there you have it. I give this novel an average of 4.2 out of 5 stars, so this novel is a 4. I think that f the cover was redone, it could be enough to push this novel into a 5 for me. I look at all of the aspects of a book, when I judge it. Not just the material itself, but the whole experience. I hope you guys know that my opinion truly was not influenced by the fact that I know the author and was given the ebook for free. I am being used merely as a beta reader and was not paid to endorse this book. I just really loved it.

With Love,

Selena

The ebook was provided by the author. All opinions are still my own.

View all my reviews

40 Days of Blogging, Book, Lifestyle, My Life, Writing

Update Thursday

Heya Aspiring Gurus!

Okay, so a quick life update for all of my readers. My beauty buying ban is still underway and I have decided to only splurge on one non-beauty item for my birthday. I have decided that I will be in the market for buying clip in hair extensions for fullness. I don’t know what brand or anything yet, so if you know of any good ones, let me know in the comments. I will of course pop into Lush for one of their fresh face masks, go to the movies, and go out to dinner for my birthday. Don’t worry! You will be spending the day with me [post goes up after the fact]. Shadow’s results can back from the blood test. Her counts are lower, but the vet wants to see them even lower. Her kidney indicators are still high. Her blood will be retaken in four months to see if that changes. The vet says that so far so good and to keep up with just feeding her her Prescription Diet wet and dry food. My toe still looks beaten, but there is no more pain. I cannot trim the nail though, so it is crazy long. It hurts if I finagle with it.

I also wanted to give you all an update on what I am doing in regards to writing. Most of you probably do not know, that I am a published author under an assumed name, a nom de plume if you will. I am working on writing a second installment of poetry and short stories under the name of Selena Hannah. It will be a short collection of poems from the first book [which I am considering pulling from the market but I’ll probably leave it as is for now], a selection of new poetry, and a collections of excerpts from the four novels that I am currently working on. Would you guys like to know more about this, along with status updates? I’m not trying to plug in my goods [I never even told you the name of the published book]. I’m just to share more of what I love, which is writing.

With Love,

Selena

40 Days of Blogging, Beauty, Empties, First Impressions

Sample Wednesday: MJCARE

For MJCARE Collagen Essence Mask

Face Mask

What it is: This sheet mask is supposed to firm up the face, reducing fine lines and stimulating the growth of collagen.

Key Ingredients: water, glycerin, aloe, jojoba oil, shea butter, witch hazel, collagen, parabens, and fragrance.

How it feels/smells/looks: My dad used this mask, so I cannot comment of the mask itself. I can comment on the serum inside the packet, though. I used the extra serum on my face, although there was not much left in the packet. The serum was much thicker and more like a gel. It was sticky and felt like it tightened up the skin/pores a bit.

Why I like it: The gel was thicker and stickier than what I am used to. It did seem to tighten my pores, but that left my face feeling tight like it was dry, even with moisturizer on. It felt that way for a couple of hours, so I would recommend using this mask before a night out if pores and wrinkles are your concern. My dad said that his wrinkles seemed plumper after application for an hour or two.

With Love,

Selena

40 Days of Blogging, Lifestyle, Reviews

The Final Verdict: Walgreens

For Walgreens Wal-itin

Black hair

[Forgot to take a photo….again….Enjoy the pic of when I dyed my hair jet black!]

What it is: A non-drowsy allergy tablet that works for both indoor and outdoor allergies for up to 24 hours.

Key Ingredients: Loratadine and nothing else. They are pure allergy pills.

What it feels/smells/looks: It is a small round, white pill. Enough said.

Why I like it: When I have a minor stuffy nose or congestion or itchy watery eyes, I take one of these pills and they really do not help. I get sporadic allergies from mold and moisture. I try to take these on a daily basis and just use my prescription when my allergies are bad. The off-brands work for me, so I stick with them. If they work just as well, why not? You can save a lot of money this way. I don’t really have anything else to say about this product really. I purchased the Equate brand from Walmart this time around for 5 USD.

I put up a quick product review today, because I went to the car dealership and applied for the car. I will know tomorrow if the bank approved my loan or not. If not, I will just try a different dealership. I already have another car in mind if this one doesn’t go through. I have really good credit too, so I’m hoping that the bank gives me a shot. Wish me some luck or add me to your prayers. Thanks! And I ❤ you guys!

With Love,

Selena

40 Days of Blogging, Book, Reviews

GIVEAWAY: USA ONLY (Includes Alaska & Hawaii & Puerto Rico)

Heya Aspiring Gurus!

Instead of my normal Manicure Monday, I thought that I would sponsor my first giveaway here on this blog. I realized that sending anything to Europe is 50 USD. What?! Canada was 20 USD. What?! If anyone knows if I can send a prize to any other country for 10 USD or less, please let me know, so I can adjust who can enter the giveaway. Right now though, it is only for USA, but if you know someone who lives in the USA who would send you the prize, you can enter using their address as long as you have their permission. Now, that I have that out of the way. What is being given away?

This time around I am giving away a book that I have loved:

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

book

You will also receive a personal note from me and maybe some freebie samples. It will be a secret, but I promise that you will love the package that I send you. This giveaway is happening, because I have hit 100 followers. After this giveaway, there will be another for 200 followers and it will be a beauty giveaway!

So, the rules for entering are as follows:

  • You must have a mail able address in the USA
  • You must have a parent’s permission to give away your address if under the age of 18

The giveaway will run for one month’s time, so please enter it everyone who can.

Here’s what I thought of the book, when I read it:

This book is about a girl named Ginny, who goes on this fabulous adventure, because her aunt told her to do so in a letter before she died. Her aunt wrote 13 letters with instruction for Ginny about where to go and what to do. It was highly entertaining and funny. There is supposed to be a sequal to this book and I would really enjoy reading that one as well, if it is as good as this one is.

You must be following me to enter the contest. This is a reward to my followers for being a fan of what I write about. Also, this is my first time doing a giveaway, if you encounter any problems, please let me know. Love you all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

With Love,

Selena