One of those days

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That personal touch

Now for something completely different. And pretty cool to boot: a wedding. If you haven’t yet seen the viral video of Father Ray Kelly’s surprise, personalised rendition of Hallelujah at the wedding of Chris and Leah, you’re in for a treat. While you might expect it to be a bit corny, it’s anything but. And the dude has a pretty decent voice.

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An intrusion by the boss

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

Is your boss your Facebook friend? Do you want the person who oversees your work also having an overview of your private life?

While chatting with a friend this week, she commented that her boss has friended all the staff at her office and not everyone was happy about it. However, they faced a dilemma: do you reject the boss’s friend request and put him or her offside? Ignore the request and hope they don’t mention it again? Or, as most of them had, do you feel obliged to hit the approve button and live with the knowledge that your boss is now privy to your drunken escapades, romantic meltdowns, “I hate my job” tirades and all manner of other outside-of-work information?

While most businesses have some sort of accepted code of conduct for face-to-face interactions between bosses and staff in the workplace, the online version is often overlooked. Sure, there are usually rules and guidelines for when, where and how you can surf the net (do it in your lunch break, stay away from naked people sites and don’t download dodgy stuff), but I’ve never heard of a company with a policy covering the social minefield of social media on a boss versus staff level.

So, should your boss friend you on Facebook? I think probably not: they are in a position of authority and you may not feel you have any choice but to accept their request because of that imbalance.

If you want to be their friend on Facebook, then that’s fine. But they should allow you to be the one to make the first move.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a set of guidelines for strange dudes who insist on emailing messages through my website with details about their dangly bits, but it’s safe to say the accepted unwritten etiquette would be to avoid exaggeration of the acreage of said bits and please, wash your hands.

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Manhattan double loop lip liner

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This nifty little critter from Manhattan is a lip liner with a built-in lip gloss. Or is it a lip gloss with a built-in lip liner pencil?

Either way, you get one of each with this product, which was included in my March GoodieBox. I got a deeper shade than the lip cream from last month: this time it’s more of a berry tone. It smells just as good though and the gloss actually stays in place reasonably well (unusual for me).

I wasn’t as much of a fan of the lip liner pencil because I found it a bit hard: I prefer them a tad softer. This one was like a rock. I’m not sure I’d buy this product: instead of one good and one average item, I’d rather just have one of them that works really well. Besides, what if you use one faster than the other? You’re then stuck with carting around an empty lip gloss so you can still use the lip pencil.

MANHATTAN DOUBLE LOOP LIP LINER (RRP $18 for 6ml)

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Awesome ducking bags

The last Louis Vuitton catalogue that arrived in my letter box was so cute, I took some photos and thought I’d share the awesomeness. Of course, that was months ago and I’m only just getting around to sharing them now because I’m a bit slack.

Anyway, here they are!

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Jemma Kidd Tone-on-Tone Duo

Jemma Kidd duoThis is a cream to powder eye shadow in a compact with two complementing shades.

The colours provided were neutral enough to suit anyone of any age (Silk, according to the compact), so I was pretty happy about that.

The compact itself is has a mirror in the lid and is small enough to tuck into your makeup bag.

The shadow goes on smoothly and looks nice on: the colours aren’t overpowering but have enough pigment to avoid falling into the wishy-washy category that so many neutrals hit. It also stayed on well, without creasing or disappearing as so many cream shadows do.

It actually has quite a strong metallic sheen to it … a stronger look than you’d expect from looking at it in the compact. Not too strong, but enough to be interesting.

JEMMA KIDD TONE-ON-TONE DUO (RRP $48 for 3g)

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Angel Helichrysum Revitalising shampoo & conditioner

2014-03-angell-helichrysumSamples from the Angel II Provence range were included in the March GoodieBox and  while I’m not a fan of getting little foil sachets in this monthly subscription package, I was pretty happy with the results from this product.

In fact, when my current supplies of Redken shampoo and conditioner are gone, I’ll probably go buy the Helichrysum Revitalising shampoo and conditioner s as a replacement.

A bonus of my new, rather short hair, is value for money when it comes to expensive hair stuff: my Redken supplies are lasting forever and I actually got three washes out of these little sample sachets.

This stuff smells amazing and is packed with good stuff to protect your hair from UVA and UVB damage.

My dry and quite curly hair felt soft after chucking this on, and it also had a wee bit of a shine.

Good stuff.

There were also sample sachets of the Orange Flower Shining Colour shampoo and colour protect hair mask but I didn’t try those because I don’t have coloured hair.However, if it’s anything like the Helichrysum duo, it should be good.

Although, I snorted at the “will strengthen hair from within” claim on the Goodiebox info card. You can’t do anything to strengthen your hair from within by spreading goop on it of any description, no matter how flash it is, how shiny the packaging, how good it smells or how much it costs. All you are doing is coating your hair in goop. It may feel slightly better to touch, but you’ve done nothing to the inner bits of it.

ANGEL HAIRCARE: HELICHRYSUM REVITALIZING SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER (RRP $39.50 each for 400ml)

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Fun with veges

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Quite a display for April Fool’s Day

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

I managed to get through April Fool’s Day pretty much unscathed, unless you count a slightly demented cat trying to ankle tap me from under the bed as an April Fool’s Day prank.

Avoiding the many and varied pranks that populated the internet wasn’t really particularly difficult, since I spent most of the morning stretched out on the couch reading, making the most of an extended long weekend off work.

googlesearchAs usual, Google had a range of jokes, ranging from the not-particularly-believable Google Maps Pokemon Challenge to the ridiculous but sadly too believable Gmail Shelfie that popped up on logging in to your email.

With the Pokemon Challenge, Google explained you’d need to use the map to find nearby Pokemon, then catch them by going to the location in person before adding them to your Pokedex. While I’m sure there are plenty of fans who would be keen to take on the role of Pokemon Master such as my nephew Zeke), I’m pretty sure there would be few people who wouldn’t have twigged that this one was a prank.

However, the Gmail Shelfie, or the SHareable sELFIE, likely had a ring of truth to it for many users: “everyone can now set your Shelfie as their Gmail theme “so they can enjoy checking, reading, and writing emails while seeing your friendly face in the background”.

And while we’re on the subject of selfies, please: stop with the #makeupfreeselfie craze. If you want to donate to cancer research, then do so. But honestly, taking a photo of yourself sans mascara and lippy doesn’t really do a lot to raise awareness of cancer. Besides, some of us rarely wear makeup anyway, so it sort of loses its oomph. I suppose I could just post a #lookingmorehaggardthannormal photo on Facebook instead.

My personal favourite from Google was the Auto Awesome Photobombs, featuring the Hoff. Yes, the feature claimed to let celebrities make a spontaneous appearance in your pictures. Well, just one celebrity to start with: David Hasselhoff, the man, the legend, the Speedo-filler.

If you fancy getting your bum into a more perky state, Virgin Active came up with the idea of a pair of undies with a digital counter on the waistband that counted every time you did a butt-clench, while Domino’s opted for an edible pizza box. Sounds quite reasonable.

The Mail Online rounded up a lot of the day’s offerings and even managed to create a quirky story of its own about the possibility of a new flag if Scotland opts for independence.

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Small victory for fat chicks

Radio presenter Rachel Smalley found herself in the poo after a not-so-timely comment or two this week but it was her attempt to weasel her way out of it that offended me.

Smalley thought her mic was turned off after a news story about the effectiveness of an emergency contraceptive pill for women weighing more than 70kg. Obviously gravely offended by the knowledge that the average New Zealand bloke-ess weighs in at  (gasp) 72kg, she was heard to comment that we Kiwi chicks are “heifers” and a “bunch of lardos”.

Outrage ensued both online and off, and Smalley did the cliched “apology” thing: I’m so sorry, please forgive me, yada, yada, yada …

But let’s be honest here: she was apologising because she was caught out, not because she felt bad about what she said. Because if that had been the case, she wouldn’t have said it in the first place.

As someone who falls into the slightly more generously proportioned category, I’m not particularly offended by her comments. I am, however, offended by yet another person in the public eye who has cocked up and expects us to believe that suddenly, they have seen the error of their ways and want us to forgive them.

On Facebook, several people commented that Paul Henry has said worse. And yes, he has. And I have no doubt he will continue to say things that offend the masses. However, at least he owns it. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying the man says what he thinks and would never consider offering a bullshit apology just to stay in the good books.

I’d have had more respect for Smalley if she’d just told all us heifers to fuck off and eat a pie.

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MEET YOUR BLOGGER

Jillian "George" Allison-Aitken

I live in the deep south of New Zealand, where smelly dairy cows are taking over from sheep in the livestock stakes. My hometown is the small but perfectly formed city of Invercargill, which is also the hometown of the original boy racer, Burt Munro. Find out more about me here.

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