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doctor_beth "doctor_beth" RSS Feed (Upstate NY USA)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (#1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   

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Hershey's Nuggets Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Almonds, 60 Ounce
Hershey's Nuggets Milk Chocolate with Toffee and Almonds, 60 Ounce
Price: $29.95
2 used & new from $29.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious creamy chocolates with a satisfying toffee crunch!, April 20, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am usually someone who prefers dark chocolate--I like the richness of the dark chocolate, and I find some milk chocolates too artificial tasting. This Hershey variety is definitely an exception. It is labelled "Extra Creamy" milk chocolate, and it's true--although sweeter than dark chocolate, these nuggets are definitely more creamy than the standard milk chocolate. The little toffee bits--along with the crushed almonds--add a delicious bit of extra sweetness and crunch.

Four of these little nuggets makes a single serving, which is a reasonable amount of calories at 200, but a bit high in fat, carbs, and sugar for me (13g, 21g, and 20g, respectively). So, I just eat two nuggets at a time for a yummy little 100 calorie treat. If you enjoy a toffee (or caramel, since I think it's quite similar) flavor, I would definitley recommend these nuggets and this generous 60-ounce bag.


L'Oreal Paris Cosmetics Infallible Pro-Last Color Lipstick, Toujour Teaberry
L'Oreal Paris Cosmetics Infallible Pro-Last Color Lipstick, Toujour Teaberry
Price: $9.88
5 used & new from $7.96

3.0 out of 5 stars Could not get consistent color or longevity from this gloss, April 15, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am always interested in the idea of a gloss that 1) won't feel sticky, and 2) will last. This gloss worked on the first count, not so much on the second.

First, this gloss came with no instructions. This wasn't THAT big a deal, as the gloss side is labeled "1" and the clear top coat part is labelled "2." However, there was no other guidance--e.g., should I apply the top coat immediately, or should I allow the gloss to dry first? (I found out on my own that doing the latter DID cause the gloss to become sticky.) The color I received, Teaberry, was an attractive pink, although a little bright for my liking and very pigmented. I think this relates to the problems I had with this product, as most of the time, I could NOT get an even application.

If you view my attached photos, you'll see that immediately after I applied the product, it looks okay--although even then, I wasn't completely happy with how the product seemed to cling more to more outer lip line. The second picture I posted was taken only about THREE hours later and after a SINGLE meal. You'll see that the color has faded significantly and is even more patchy. This was my usual experience with this product. There was maybe one occasion when this gloss went on smoothly (I'm not sure what I did differently!) and lasted most of the day, but otherwise, my experience was pretty spotty.

I could see how this might work better for someone else, particularly for someone with smaller lips. However, the product was not for me, and I would not recommend or repurchase.
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Colgate Optic White Platinum Toothpaste, Express White, 3 Ounce (Pack of 6)
Colgate Optic White Platinum Toothpaste, Express White, 3 Ounce (Pack of 6)
Price: $29.87

3.0 out of 5 stars No major visible results after almost two weeks., April 15, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have been using this toothpaste just under two weeks. Normally, I would wait longer before writing a review, but since Optic White Platinum promises whiter teeth in THREE days, I think it is fair to write one now.

This is a paste toothpaste, which I prefer. It has a strong mint and hydrogen peroxide taste, which I did not find unpleasant, and I have used if faithfully twice per day. At first, I DID think that my teeth looked slightly whiter, but after examining the photos (the before photo at far right was from 4/4, and then the two follow-ups were 4/10 and 4/15, giving the product well over the promised 3 days), I really didn't notice much of anything.

I will keep using this product until I finish to see if I get better results. However, a cheaper and completely safe alternative is to simply brush/rinse with hydrogen peroxide, so I will return to doing that--which gave me better results--after I am done with this product.
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Konjac Sponge Works Forpro Teardrop Konjac Sponge, White
Konjac Sponge Works Forpro Teardrop Konjac Sponge, White
Offered by 123 Skincare
Price: $5.50
2 used & new from $5.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent daily use product, April 15, 2015
NOTE: I received a free sample of this product for review.

I faithfully cleanse my face before bed at night to remove dirt and makeup. I don't like to use a makeup remover product, preferring instead to use a good cleanser plus a facial sponge to assist. Up until now, I was using Eco Tools Konjac Pure Complexion Facial Sponge, Deep Cleansing. I liked this product and found that it worked quite well, although the size was a bit bulky--i.e., it was similar in teardrop shape to this Konjac sponge, but it was significantly thicker, making it difficult to use around my eye area in particular.

Like other sponges of this type, the Konjac sponge is hard upon receipt, but it softens up significantly upon application of water. As noted, both the teardrop shape and the thinner style (although still adequately thick) make this sponge easy to use. It also has a little string attached (not pictured for some reason) for the purpose of hanging to air-dry; while this is a good idea in principle, I've actually considered cutting mine off, as I don't really have anywhere to hang it by my sink. (At this point, I've been hanging it off my cleanser bottle, but I'm not really happy with this arrangement.)

I have the gray "Bamboo Charcoal" sponge, which is supposed to be good for acne and oily prone skin. That does describe my skin type, although I have had these conditions under control prior to using this product, so I can't really speak to whether this sponge is helping in this particular area. Still, I definitely like this sponge for cleansing purposes, and I would recommend it.


She Packed Up - Lined Writing Journals - Notebooks - Spiral Bound - Eco Friendly 7" x 7"
She Packed Up - Lined Writing Journals - Notebooks - Spiral Bound - Eco Friendly 7" x 7"
Offered by Celery Street
Price: $15.95
2 used & new from $15.95

5.0 out of 5 stars High quality journal with beautiful Curly Girl design, April 11, 2015
I have been a long-time fan of Curly Girl, a line featuring beautiful original artwork combined with sayings for strong women. Some of the products can be a bit pricey, but when I needed a journal for my yoga teacher training program, I knew that I would treat myself to one from this line.

This is a gorgeous journal that is worth every penny! I love that it is spiral bound, and it has a substantial, quality cardboard cover featuring the Curly Girl design--this one is one of founder Leigh Standley's oldest ("She packed up her potential and all she had learned, grabbed a cute pair of shoes and headed out to change a few things"). The pages are lined and extra-thick--in fact, the ONLY downside I can find to this journal is that the pages are SO thick that sometimes they accidentally stick together. The journal is also a generous square size (7x7").

A final plus that sold me on this journal is that it is eco-friendly, made from recycled paper AND produced using wind power. I bought this for myself, but I would definitely consider purchasing another Curly Girl journal as a gift--highly recommended!


PLATINUM Firm & Lift Intensive Serum ~ 1.7 oz
PLATINUM Firm & Lift Intensive Serum ~ 1.7 oz
Offered by PRAI BEAUTY
Price: $65.00

3.0 out of 5 stars No problems, but no visible results, either, April 7, 2015
I received this product as a Christmas gift this past year and have been using it since that time--in fact, I just ran out of it yesterday. I wasn't using it every day, partly because I have other products I like better, and partly because whenever I try a new product, I am concerned that it might make me break out. Still, I probably used this serum an average of three times per week for the past several months

So, the good news is that to my knowledge, this serum did NOT cause me to break out. It felt smooth going on, and it was absorbed well by my skin without feeling greasy. I also had no problems using this serum under makeup. But although I found this serum user-friendly and well-tolerated by my skin, I saw no noticeable results after several months of use. Usually, I spend less than fifteen dollars for my skincare products, so there is no way that I am going to pay four times that much without serious evidence that it is having a MAJOR benefit. For that reason, I won't be repurchasing this serum, although someone else may still find it to be helpful.


The Vendetta Defense
The Vendetta Defense
by Lisa Scottoline
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
291 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Another enjoyable legal thriller in Scottoline's Rosato & Associates series, April 6, 2015
I have been reading author Lisa Scottoline's novels since my aunt turned me on to them some time ago. I do tend to like legal thrillers, but an even bigger reason that I enjoy these books is that they are set in Philadelphia--or, even more specifically, South Philly, were I was born and both my parents were raised. Also, many of Scottoline's novels revolve around an all-female law-firm, Rosato & Associates. Since I had started reading this series at random, about a year ago, I went back to the beginning of this series, starting with Scottoline's first novel, Everywhere That Mary Went (Rosato & Associates Series).

THE VENDETTA DEFENSE, which follows Moment of Truth (Rosato & Associates Series), is the first novel to put attorney Judy Carrier in the starring role. Judy is the best friend of Mary DiNunzio, who was featured in several prior Rosato & Associate novels, and both woman work as associates for Bennie Rosato, sole partner and owner of the Rosato & Associates law firm. In this novel, Mary is on leave recovering from injuries, and Judy gets a call from Mary's father, Mr. DiNunzio, asking if she can help one of his neighbors, a seemingly frail old man who has been accused of murder. Judy's new client is "Pigeon Tony," as he is known to all, for he is part of a pigeon racing club. To Judy's surprise, Pigeon Tony readily admits to killing the victim, yet he makes the distinction that he KILLED, "no murder." Can Judy convince the jury of this as well?

I found this story to be fast-paced and suspenseful. The tension builds as Judy tries to figure out how to save her client, and the reader is right there with her as the threats to her own safety increase as well. Of course, some of Judy's actions seem pretty unbelievable on the part of an attorney, but no more suspension of disbelief is required here than in any typical thriller. The only real issue I had was when Scottoline, a Philadelphia native, made an outright error. She refers to North and South of Broad (talking about different areas of South Philly), but this is impossible--Broad Street RUNS North-South, so you can only refer to East and West of Broad.

Overall, I found THE VENDETTA DEFENSE to be an entertaining, enjoyable read, and I would rate it 4 1/2 stars.


Herbal ZAP "DIGESTIVE COOL & CALM" 25- Count Box
Herbal ZAP "DIGESTIVE COOL & CALM" 25- Count Box
Offered by Herbal ZAP
Price: $20.99
4 used & new from $16.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual supplement aimed at digestive health, April 3, 2015
NOTE: I received a free sample of this product for review.

This is an Ayurvedic-based supplement that is intended to aid in digestion. It comes in single serve packets that are meant to be mixed with hot or cold water (unfortunately, the amount is not specified) to form a drink. I tried it both ways and found that I preferred drinking Herbal Zap hot, like a tea, as the granular product did not dissolve well in cold water.

As a tea, this product had a very odd taste. I have had MANY herbal teas, and this was unlike any other and very difficult to describe. At best I can suggest that the flavor is reminiscent of white grape skins, which makes sense since dried grapes are the first ingredient. Perhaps I am also tasting coriander, the fourth ingredient, as I don't commonly use this spice. In the end, I didn't find the flavor completely unpleasant...just not particularly enjoyable, either.

I can't speak much to the effectiveness of this product. I have tried it several times now--including during an incidence of stomach upset--and have not noticed any particular benefits. Like many supplements, I think this is a product with which users may experience very individualized results.


Tom's of Maine Women's Naturally Dry Antiperspirant Stick, Fresh Meadow, 2 Count
Tom's of Maine Women's Naturally Dry Antiperspirant Stick, Fresh Meadow, 2 Count
Price: $9.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Good anti-perspirant, but could use more deodorant properties, April 3, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The opportunity to try this product came just as I was thinking about switching to a new antiperspirant/deodorant. (Previously, I had been using Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant Deodorant, Revive, which was decent, but there were some things I did not like about it as well.)

Upon trying this Tom's product, I liked several things right away. First, I found the "Fresh Meadow" fragrance, a very subtle floral, to be pleasant. Second, I like that the product applied smoothly, with none of the flakiness that I have gotten from other antiperspirant/deodorants. Similarly, the product did not flake off during the day, another plus. On the down side, I found that this product did leave white streaks on my clothing if I was not careful getting dressed, but that has been true of virtually every antiperspirant/deodorant I have ever tried, even the ones that claim to leave no residue (this one does not).

As an antiperspirant, this product seemed to work quite well, keeping me dry through all day yoga trainings and other vigorous exercise. As a deodorant, however, it didn't perform quite as well. When using this product, I found myself feeling a bit self-conscious by the end of some days, as I felt like I could smell my own body odor. This is certainly NOT what you want from your antiperspirant/deodorant! It's too bad, because otherwise, I really liked this product.

Overall, I would rate this Tom's antiperspirant/deodorant 3 1/2 stars, recommending it only for light day or perhaps winter use.


Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant Deodorant, Revive 2.6 oz
Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant Deodorant, Revive 2.6 oz
Offered by Tee Gee's Corner :)
Price: $7.34
9 used & new from $2.35

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good overall...but a few issues, April 3, 2015
I generally like this anti-perspirant/deodorant. First, it does a very good job protecting against wetness. Sometimes I feel as if my underarms have gotten damp, but when I check, I am always dry. As a deodorant, I think it does a decent job. What is a bit problematic is that the scent of this product is rather odd--I actually found it to smell a bit like balsam fir, a fragrance that I like, but not on my armpits!--and when mixed with body odor, the resulting scent is not particularly pleasant!

One thing that I do NOT like about this product is how it tends to become flaky. It goes on smoothly (unless your underarms at even the tiniest bit damp), but it has a tendency to flake off, especially when I am exercising. Also, the container itself becomes VERY messy, with excess product constantly flaking around the cap--this was a huge annoyance! For these reasons, I would give this product a 3 1/2 star rating, and I would not purchase this again, although I might try something else in the Dove line.


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