Goodiebox, May unboxing

June 7, 2014


The May theme was “Tailor Made” and tagged as being “for your finishing touches”.

It came with and the box came with three full-size products and two samples. There should have been a fourth full-sized product but it was missing. I have emailed GoodieBox and am awaiting a reply (UPDATE: The missing product was sent in the June box).

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

MOR Correspondence Argan Oil hand cream (RRP $35 for 75ml); 40ml sample so $18.60 value: Handcream, always nice to get. Have heard good things about this range and it’s a decent sized sample tube.

DR LEWINN’S Skin Perfect primer and foundation (RRP $45.90 each for 30ml); 2 x 2ml samples of each so $12.20 value: Hmm, not a fan of foil sample sachets … too much like the freebies you can get at any beauty department or in a magazine. Besides that, it’s not even the right shade for me. Pass … next please …

NYC eyeliner duet (RRP $16.50); would have been $16.50 value but was missing from the box!: OK, moving right along …

NYC Kiss Gloss (RRP $15.50 for 9.4ml); full-sized product supplied so $15.50 value: Another lip gloss product. NYC is very much a budget brand in the States, but that’s not to say all the products are rubbish. I’ll give this one a go.

SWISSPERS cotton makeup pads (RRP $5.69 for 80 pads); full-sized product supplied so $5.69 value: Well, this is an exciting turn of events. I buy cotton makeup pads to remove nail polish from the $2 Shop.  Another bit of a failure in this month’s GoodieBox.

U BY KOTEX Designer Series tampons (RRP $5.50 for pack of 16); full-sized product supplied so $5.50 value: Tampons? WTF? Dudes, please. This is neither a goodie nor a “finishing touch”.

My thoughts

Theme of “finishing touches” has to be a joke, right? Tampons? Sheesh. This month’s goodies had a retail value of around $73.99, which on the face of it looks good. However, deduct $16.50 for the missing eyeliner and the value drops to $57.49. And I’m not convinced the NYC values stated by GoodieBox are entirely accurate, since it’s very much a budget brand in the United States. For example, the missing eyeliner duet retails over there for just $1.99. And the cotton wipes? Not my idea of a “goodie”. Ditto for the tampons Crappiest GoodieBox yet.

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.



I wonder what sides come with it?

June 4, 2014



The stench of oversharing

May 30, 2014

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

What would Benjamin Franklin make of all this interweb malarkey?

During a chat about the perils of Facebook this week, a workmate reminded me of the old saying that compares houseguests and fish, but I reckon the internet has given Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote even more oomph.

The United States founding father and inventor of the lightning rod and bifocals said that both fish and visitors stink after three days but I suspect that if @bennyF happened to be around today he would extend his range of things that stink to the pleasingly alliterative families, friends and Facebook. And perhaps he would shrink that timeline, too, because three days is a tad generous when it comes to smug status updates, drama queen moves and pointless hashtagging.

It’s a strange old world we now live in, where social networking via Facebook and Twitter means we know a whole lot of stuff about almost total strangers and even more about our nearest and dearest. And that can make things more than a little uncomfortable.

There’s that person you followed or friended because you met them at a friend’s party or they made an interesting comment on a friend’s Facebook or Twitter feed: suddenly you are getting all their updates and know the intimate details about their life that should really be saved for those who know them well. One person who friended me after a chance meeting via a mutual friend-of-a-friend and a cold beer shared with the world every angry word between her and her then-partner, the perils of menstrual cramps, a three-week battle with thrush, an ongoing comparison of the best home cures for constipation for those following the Atkins diet, her brother’s relationship woes, her thoughts on the pedigree of the aforementioned brother’s “cheating slapper of a girlfriend” and the financial crisis facing one of her colleagues. Until she popped up on Facebook, I didn’t even know her last name or where she worked, but after hitting that little button to accept her friend request I knew far more than I ever wanted to about her life, and the lives of those around her.

After just a couple of weeks, I quietly deleted and blocked her and hope to never run across her again.

But perhaps even worse that the over-sharing semi-stranger is the over-sharing family members. It’s easy enough to block someone you don’t really know but when family members are littering your feed with drivel you’d rather not have to read, it can be a lot more awkward. It’s all about attention seeking, from their I’m at the gym/my child is a genius updates to the endless photographs of every boring, mundane meal they stuff into their gobs, or those cryptic “life is so hard” posts designed to have everyone asking in their very best pretend-concerned-online-voice: oh, are you OK 🙁

I don’t care about your latest sweaty efforts at the gym, I don’t care that you believe your child is some sort of prodigy (besides, my cat is a genius and furry, that’s even better), and I certainly don’t care about your Sunday roast. Sure, if you’ve been to an awesome new restaurant, share your thoughts. Or if you’ve just had an amazing degustation menu, show us all a photo or three. But if you’ve just dished up meat and two veg? No one needs to see that.

And if you ever feel compelled to make one of those drama queens posts telling the world how hard things are for you, then when a concerned friend or followers asks if you’re OK you reply with “I don’t want to talk about it”, be prepared to be unfriended. You aren’t Greta Garbo and you really aren’t that interesting.


Eleven Miracle Hair Treatment

May 29, 2014

2014-04-elevenMy hair’s been in a bit of a state over the past year or so, with my heart problems and heart medication combining with recovery from last year’s surgery to make for dry, brittle hair.

Apparently, it’s a fairly common complaint with the series of health issues I’ve been dealing with and I got so fed up with my hair a few months back that I made a trip to the hairdresser to have it chopped off.

It’s still dry and brittle, just a lot shorter.

Because of all that, I was very keen to try out this product that is so popular with the Aussies: it’s the number one selling hair product across the ditch, apparently.

You apply it to the middle and ends of your hair after towel drying, then you simply leave it to dry. That was great for me because I’m incapable of driving blow dryers and the like (I’m a bit of a hair-tard), so anything that doesn’t take too much thought and/or effort has got to be a good thing.

I goes in quite smoothly and doesn’t feel sticky or heavy. When it dried, my hair felt really smooth and silky. Better than it had for a long, long time.

OK, so I realise it’s simply coating the outside of the hair and that my bonce is STILL actually dry and brittle, but it looked better. And sometimes that’s all we ask for.

And the added bonus is that it protects your hair against sun damage.

I’ll definitely be buying this again.

ELEVEN Miracle Hair Treatment (RRP $32 for 125ml)


Play that funky music …

May 29, 2014

And now for something completely different, and something of a trip down memory lane for those of us who are of a slightly more, ahem, mature vintage: do you remember the Benny Hill Show and it’s catchy little theme tune that usually involved the wee bald guy and Benny Hill himself being chased by a bevy of scantily clad women?

The Awakenings Festival is an annual techno music festival in the Netherlands that features cool dudes and dude- ettes shaking their groove thangs (or whatever the young’uns call them these days) as shown in this video:

The music isn’t really to my taste and the dancing does look a bit like they are auditioning for roles in The Walking Dead, but I guess I’m not really the target market in this equation.

But I digress. Some bright spark has taken the Benny Hill music and overlaid it on this video to produce a mash-up of epic proportions:


Sebamed Anti Dry Defence day cream

May 22, 2014

2014-04-sebamed-daycreamThis day cream comes with an alphabet soup of added vitamins and good-for-you stuff and I was pretty happy with the result.

All in all, this one’s pretty good and left my skin feeling clean and smooth but not greasy. It smells fresh and clean, not heavily perfumed.

The idea with this is to apply it while your face is still damp after cleansing, which helps lock in moisture.

Looking at the price on this one, it’s not bad value but I still prefer Kiri day cream, which is made here in New Zealand.

SEBAMED Anti Dry Defence Day Cream (RRP $22.50 for 50ml)



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.


Click for Invercargill, New Zealand Forecast