Goodiebox, March unboxing


The theme this month was “Blissful Indulgence”, which seems a bit fluffy given the contents of the box. Sure, there was little block of chocolate in there (and I was a good little diabetic and Buy zithromax online passed it on to my hubby), but the rest of it didn’t feel particularly indulgent.

Earlier this year the GoodieBox experience felt a little pedestrian but this one was a bit better than the previous month, which in turn was a lot better than January’s Goodiebox. However, they have yet to live up to the offerings from the latter half of last year.

Total value of the March Goodiebox: $87.87, plus whatever the Hershey’s chocolate was worth.

Here’s the rundown on my March goodies. Click on the links for full reviews of some products.

AVEDA HAND RELIEF (RRP $15 for 40ml. Full-sized product provided): A dinky week tube of hand cream with vitamin A and E. Not as perfumed as some hand creams. Not sure this fits the “blissful indulgence” criteria: it’s more functional than indulgent.

ANGEL HAIRCARE ORANGE FLOWER SHINING COLOUR SHAMPOO & COLOUR PROTECT HAIR MASK (RRP $39.50 each for 400ml shampoo/300ml hair mask. 8ml sachet of each provided so value approx $1.85): I don’t have coloured hair: who’d have thunk it? Anyone who knew me “back in the day” would probably have been shocked at the thought of me going “au naturale” with my noggin: no spikes, no streaks, no pink or purple, no nothing. Just boring ol’ me.  According to the Goodiebox info card, this stuff  can defy science and logic, and  magically “will strengthen hair from within”.  Bullshit.

ANGEL HAIRCARE HELICHRYSUM REVITALIZING SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER (RRP $39.50 each for 400ml. 8ml sachet of each provided so value approx $1.62): This is more my style: it’s for dry, dull and damaged hair. Let’s hope it lives up to the hype. Not such a fan of the stingy foil sachet samples but I guess there’s a pretty decent range of full-sized goodies to make up for it.

JEMMA KIDD TONE-ON-TONE DUO (RRP $48 for 3g. Full-sized product provided): A cream-to-powder from the range produced by supermodel Jemma Kidd. Says it’s non-creasing so it will be interesting to see how it goes, since cream eye shadows aren’t always great on older eyes.

MANHATTAN DOUBLE LOOP LIP LINER (RRP $18 for 6ml. Full-sized product provided): Another Manhattan product this month, this time a lip liner with a built-in lip gloss.

ROBERTO CAVALLI ACQUA (RRP $85 for 30ml. 1.2ml sample, so value approx $3.40): A Mediterranean holiday in a bottle, according to the GoodieBox info card. This was in a little glass tube with a squirter on top. Cute.

LIFESTYLE BOOSTER: Hershey’s Milk Chocolate (unsure of price): The bloke of the house appeared to enjoy this. I asked how it was but he just muttered something along the lines of “mmmmm” and carried on chewing. I think that was a positive response!

What is Goodiebox?

It’s a subscription service where you pay a monthly fee to receive a box of beauty products delivered to your door. The cost is around $30 a month (including delivery), and for that you will get a minimum of five “premium” beauty samples. These samples are generous sizes, and often there are a few full-sized products in your little box of goodies. Click here to join.



Manhattan Soft Mat Lip Cream

Manhattan Soft Mat Lipcream

All the way from Denmark, this product performs a little magic trick. It starts as a liquid but dries matte, so there’s no smudging. And interestingly, even though it dries to a matte finish, it doesn’t feel dry on the lips.

It also smells pretty amazing: none of that weird melted plastic pong you get with so many liquid lippies. Nosiree Bob, my one was reminiscent of a chocolate cake. Not overly strong, but there was a subtle hint of it.

I got a fairly innocuous shade that works well for my colouring without being too boring … sort of a coffee-ish colour.

I might even try this one out in one of the more in-your-face shades on offer.



Celebrity Slim milkshake

Celebrity SlimOne of those diet drink things, this one was in banana flavour, which put me off from the get-go. Bananas aren’t really my favourite fruit anyway, but fake banana flavours are just plain nasty.

A quick read through of the information and words like “green tea extract” and “soy protein” put me off even more: they both taste like arse and I’m sick to death of them being heralded as the be-all and end-all of good health. Especially soy: it makes me itchy and I actually know more people who have been found to have issues with soy than with the lactose in real milk from those things that go moo (although, I’m still wondering how humans first worked out that you could drink cow’s milk and Cheap viagra from canada what exactly the first person to make that discovery was actually doing to the cow when he had the moo breakthrough).

I passed this on to my well-insured husband, who said it was okay but a bit sickly and that he prefers the Eat Me Supplements Lean Shake mixes I’ve been buying of late. Besides, at $6 a sachet, these work out a lot more expensive and have a lot less protein: one serve of Celebrity Slim has just 18.7g of protein, one serve of Lean Shake (made with non-fat milk) has a whopping 40.9g. It also works out at just $1.96 a serve (plus the cost of milk) if you buy the 1kg bag.

And it does taste better.

LIFESTYLE BOOSTER: Celebrity Slim (RRP $6 per sachet)


Clean one-liners

Who’d have thunk it: I know some clean jokes! OK, so they aren’t particularly funny but it’s a hard road finding the perfect joke.

Why is the ocean wet?

Because the sea weed.


Why did the fly fly?

Because the spider spied her.


What do you call a kungfu pig?



What do you call a blind deer?

No idea.


What do you call a dead blind deer?

Still no idea.


How do you kill a circus?

Go for the juggler!


No wuckin’ furries

In the greatest scandal to rock children’s television since Big Bird started toking up and imagining a big hairy critter named Snuffy, a mum in Cardiff reckons her young daughter has picked up a naughty word (starts with F, ends in UCK; rhymes with duck) from Peppa Pig.

To be honest, I initially thought she was just having a bit of a whinge, but after listening I have to say it certainly sounds like one of those words that would have made my Standard 1 teacher Mrs Bridgeman shudder. And Mrs Bridgeman was pretty resilient (and hairy, too. But that’s probably not relevant to the conversation. But damn, that woman had a hairy chin).

But I digress. Have a listen: what do you reckon?


Peppa Pig taught my little girl the F word


Shock, horror: Wrinkle alert!

I make no secret of the fact that I am no fan of any of the Kardashians (famous for fuck all apart from dodgy marriages and, well, actually that’s about it). But I really think it’s scraping the bottom of the barrel to be banging on about Bruce Jenner’s puckered jawline being a combination of ageing and botched plastic surgery.

Yes, he may well have had some questionable plastic surgery back in the day but holy crap … he’s a 64-year-old bloke with a wrinkly neck. Isn’t that normal? A whole lot more normal than mama Kardashian (Kris?) and her taut, line-free face. Or indeed the faces of so many Hollywood types, with their wind-tunnel look hiding any evidence of age.

Here’s the deal: as we get older, our skin loses a little of it’s perkiness. As do many of our other bits and pieces. This is how it is meant to be. I hardly think gravity is newsworthy.

OK, so he’s a slightly odd-looking bloke with slightly effeminate features (rumours are of an impending sex change surgery, which he has denied … who knows), but the wrinkly neck is probably not as bad as that of the average, normal REAL 64-year-old.

The high-waisted grandad pants (click on the link below)? Well that’s a whole other story!


Bruce Jenner reveals puckered jawline


Swisspers Aloe Everything Balm

SwisspersI was pretty happy with this one: it’s a good, all purpose balm that comes in a convenient little tub that will fit in any handbag.

I loved the Burt’s Bees Res-Q Ointment that I tried out a few months ago and I reckon this one will become another of my “go to” products.

While the Burt’s Bees concoction is a great little balm to heal all manner of bites, scratches and Cialis canadian pharmacy burns (great for a klutz like me), this one does a fantastic job of general soothing and smoothing. You can use it to remove eye makeup, spread some on your lips if they are a bit dry, even use it to sculpt your eyebrows if they are getting a bit unruly.

It has a pleasant and fairly neutral smell and unlike some aloe vera products, it didn’t irritate my skin. It’s a pretty good price for something that does so much and looks like a 50ml tub will go a long way.



Skinfood exfoliating cleanser


On the face of it, pretty good value (being a full sized tube of the stuff rather than a sample). However, my problematic, sensitive skin comes into play here: I don’t use an exfoliant. If I do, I end up looking like I’ve taken a belt sander to my face.

Yes, it says on the info card with this month’s Goodiebox (this was part of the February GoodieBox package) that this stuff is “gorgeously natural” and that it “will get your skin ready”.

Ready for what, you may ask? I don’t know: it didn’t say. Just “ready”. For action? For war? For shredding? I vote for the latter.

Exfoliating prevents breakouts, it says, and it “promotes youthful skin, win win!” In my case it also leaves the skin looking like some raw and scratchy. It also left it dry and (contrary to the promised breakout prevention) I ended up with spots! Was it purely a co-incidence? I don’t know for sure, but I won’t be trying it again to find out.

For those of you who can scrub your skin with an exfoliant, this may well be a good one. I don’t know, I just ended up with that freshly sanded look.




One for the haters

The sad death of Charlotte Dawson at the weekend has reignited the whole debate over online assholes being, well, assholes.

Not that it’s much of a debate: “if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, then keep your trap shut” is probably a good code to live by. Unfortunately, there are plenty of trolls out there who get their kicks from aggravating and Order viagra annoying.

If you’ve spent any time on a message board or chat room, or if your name is in the media for any reason, you are likely to become a target at some point. For most of us, we can shrug off their bullshit. But some people are a little more fragile, and sometimes the bullying and bullshit becomes a lot more persistent.

A few years back, there were a couple of quite public suicides in a relatively short space of time, one of them actively encouraged by chat room participants who egged on the victim as he put in place the rope he planned to use to hang himself.

Since then, online bullying seems to have become more and more common. As wrong as that is, I’m sick of seeing the blame being laid with Twitter, or (a stupid fecking site, certainly, but participants are there by choice) or any other site. The blame belongs to none other than the person doing the bullying.

Although, I’m seeing several young people I know personally getting themselves worked up into a lather lately over questions and comments on their accounts and am starting to think that sometimes the “victim” needs to take some of the blame. Not a lot, and not all the time, but sometimes. If you are being abused on Twitter or Facebook, you can block the person but you can’t really stop them saying what they want. However, the sole purpose of seems to be to set yourself up to be asked dodgy/sexual/nasty/leading questions. Really people: don’t go there if you don’t want the negativity!

Sure, I’ve had some thoughts that I’ve shared online about the like of Justin Beiber being a douche, but he brings that on himself by doing stupid and uncool shit like spitting on his fans, driving like an idiot and generally behaving like a spoiled brat.

Anyhoo, the little ditty in the video is both catchy and Low cost viagra timely.


Wise up about smartphone security

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

I it’s safe to say we are all a lot more clued-up when it comes to online security than we were a few years ago, but what about when it comes to our favourite little mini gadgets?

Kiwis are keen on smartphones, tablets and the like, but according to the security gurus at Symantec, we aren’t so quick to keep them safe.

Net nasties are out there so take care.This year’s annual Norton Report on the world of online nasties was released yesterday and shows that there is “a general lack of security awareness when it comes to using mobile devices”.

The number of us who became cybercrime victims increased to one million, but while the global cost is up, the cost in New Zealand is down from $462 million last year to $152m this year.

Symantec New Zealand country manager Michelle Amery says this is because the crims have changed their methods, most likely as Kiwis become more aware of the scams.

The company believes online scammers are also working on the theory that it is better to take smaller amounts of money from a larger group of people because they have more chance of flying under the radar.

Whatever the explanation behind the numbers, the fact that these online parasites are still making money is a worry:

The report also says 27 per cent of New Zealand survey respondents had experienced mobile cybercrime during the past year, up from 16 per cent in 2012, and about one in five of us have managed to lose our mobile device. Ouch.

Add to that the fact that the cybercrims are embracing mobile devices every bit as enthusiastically as the rest of us – developing mobile-specific malware and scams and taking advantage of all those lost and stolen phones – and users who are either unaware or unwilling to protect themselves and you have what Symantec calls a “perfect storm for cybercriminals”.

Security is every bit as important for your smartphone or tablet as it is for your computer, especially if you are using that smartphone or tablet as it was intended: to do your banking, check your emails and generally live your online life.

Another worrying trend for Kiwis in the report is that we are taking major risks online when it comes to social media and “blurring the lines between their work and personal devices”.

Great, now I’ve got that damned song stuck in my brain and a vision of Miley Cyrus waggling her foam finger and other things.

But I digress. The Norton Report says 39 per cent of us are using our personal devices (desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets) for work-related activities and nearly half of those surveyed say their company does not have policies in place for using personal devices for work.

Symantec Pacific region product marketing manager David Hall says that creates new risks for businesses because “cybercriminals have the potential to access even more valuable information”.

But wait, there’s more: we aren’t even very good at protecting our own personal data. Just more than a quarter of those surveyed connect with people they do not know on social media and one in four share their social media passwords with others. Yes, really: we are sharing our passwords. Well, I’m not, but someone out there is and they need to stop. It’s a really, really, incredibly stupid thing to do, so stop it!

Click for Invercargill, New Zealand Forecast