Girly stuff

Reviews and info on girly stuff I’ve been buying lately. Get your mind out of the gutter … not THAT kind of girly stuff.

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 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 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)


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 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.




Goodiebox, February unboxing

Goodiebox, February 2014

I had mixed feeling about the February Goodiebox: good value in that four of the five samples were actually full-sized products, but not such good value for me because I’ll never use at least two of those products. And the lifestyle helper bonus product was a bit of a washout for me, too.

The theme for February 2014 was “Ready … Set … Enhance!” and once again, the good people at Goodiebox have taken enhance as meaning “get a fecking suntan”.

I get that it’s hard to please everyone, but I’m hoping for something better next month.

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

SKINFOOD EXFOLIATING CLEANSER  (RRP $14 for 100ml. Full size product provided)
Nice to see some skincare product for a change, it’s been all fake tan and lippies for a while now! A natural New Zealand facial scrub with aloe and sweet almond.

ST MORIZ SELF-TANNING MOUSSE (RRP $20 for 200ml. Full-sized product provided)
It’s a conspiracy: Goodiebox want everyone in New Zealand to be both hairless and sun-kissed. I suppose the self-tan stuff is a tad better than the smelly hair removal cream, or the eye-watering “rip it out by the roots” wax offerings of previous boxes. So, self-tanning mousse. In a rather dark shade, as well. What can I say? With my corpse-like colouring, I’m never going to look convincing with a dark tan. And it doesn’t smell too flash, either.

SWISSPERS ALOE EVERYTHING BALM (RRP $15 for 50ml. Full-sized product provided)
An all-purpose balm with aloe to soothe and protect. Smells pretty good!

DENTEK SCRUB BETWEENERS (RRP $10.70 for a pack of 40. Sample pack of 5 provided so value of $1.33)
These things are like the Ferrari of toothpicks for when you want to get in and have a good old poke around your gums. Gently, of course (or so the info card says). When you look closely at the end, you can see lots of tiny bristles. Thousands, apparently. Not that I counted them. Sort of like a cross between a toothpick and dental floss, they do what they say on the box but I’m not sure I see the value in them. Particularly if you already happen to the be the proud owner of toothpicks and dental floss.

MANHATTAN SOFT MAT LIP CREAM (RRP $15 for 25g. Full-sized product provided)
Yes indeedy, another lip product in this month’s Goodiebox. It’s a good one, though.

LIFESTYLE BOOSTER: Celebrity Slim (RRP $6 per sachet)
A diet approach that comes with “sass and a lifestyle plan”, according to the GoodieBox card. Would be better if it came with  a decent flavour.

Total value of the February Goodiebox: $73.33, so as always, good value for $30.

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.


Blistex Five-Star Lip Protection

BlistexEveryone knows the Blistex name and the move to making a lip balm is a good one. This has protection from the sun (SPF30-plus) and ingredients that moisturise as they protect.

In general, this was OK-ish but I did find it seemed to disappear off my lips fairly quickly so I was constantly reapplying.

It also felt a little waxy when first applied, but that settled down. Er, probably because it disappeared so quickly! I reckon that much like Coke, the original recipe is better.



Palmers Eventone tone perfecting cream

Palmers EventoneThis was OK but nothing spectacular. Although, it was a tiny sample provided by GooodieBox this month so it’s really hard to tell just how good a product is from just one application.

Plugging this cream as “magical” on the info card, GoodieBox says it’s able to “visibly reduce the appearance of dark spots caused by sun damage, ageing, scarring and pregnancy”.

I didn’t think there was any way to reduce the appearance of something other than visibly but maybe I missed that day in school.

It didn’t irritate skin, it didn’t smell bad but it also didn’t excite me. It was just OK.

I’ll stick with my BB cream.



Party Feet Ultra Slim

Party FeetParty Feet have a new design that is made to fit into narrow shoes. Not that I have narrow feet.  In fact, most Kiwis don’t have narrow feet.

Any-hoo, I use the normal width Party Feet gel cushions and they are great: they stop the balls of your feet absorbing all the impact and seem to be pretty much indestructible: the pair I’m currently using have been in action in my shoes for close on 10 years.

One wee improvement for these new ones in comparison to my old faithfuls is that they are sticky on one side so you can stick ’em where you want ’em and they’ll stay put.

If you have narrow shoes that need a little cushioning, these little gems will be a good investment.



NS8 heel balm

NS8 Heel Balm ComplexMy husband has the world’s worst feet: gnarly and cracked, with callouses so sharp they should be registered as lethal weapons.

I don’t go near them. Ever.

I know there are people out there who find feet quite attractive; who even get quite excited by the sight of a well proportioned foot. I’m not one of them: even the most attractive of feet is still just a foot. And feet aren’t sexy.

And they often smell.

The blurb on the info card said this stuff would “soften and smoothen” (is that even a word) and promised to restore my feet “to their former glory”. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel that my feet have ever been particulary glorious.

But I digress. Back to hubby and his feet. I gave him this to try and he was pretty happy with the result: his heels were much smoother and much less like a cheese grater in texture.

Although, I’m still not going to go near the things. They are feet, after all.




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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