A recent Goop order reviewed; a story of love, hate and sore armpits.

I receive Goop newsletters and follow Goop on Twitter. Their minimal, clean and simple aesthetic speaks to the me I want to be ( ⬜ ♡ ⬛ ) if I wasn't the me that I actually am ( 🔮 🌴 💖 💃 ). 

Depending on my mood I can either love or hate Goop. My cynical and easily annoyed side is roused while reading their often ridic' "Do" health and wellness section. You can find me actually LOL-ing and audibly tsk-ing as I devour vaginal steaming, shower head detoxing and I eat only raw, sprouted and liquidized things articles on my commute in a "I can't believe this is real, but here I am reading it, shit" fashion.

But then on the flip side (perhaps we can blame the moon, or something, for this?) you'll find my wide-eyed side, my side that falls pray to buy yourself the perfect life subliminal messaging (#Taurus), throwing down her credit card, virtually, in a fully committed, passionate pursuit of the glowing, hydrated, ethical, well rested and detoxified life promised to her, for a price, in the "Shop". That Gwynnie will sell you your aspirations by the artisan crafted bucket load!

So after a few months of carrying existential doubt around with me like a colostomy bag, I wanted to feel good. Is that so wrong!? It was time for a mental and digestive reset; frozen pizzas, mood elevating and sugar laden (read, not the antioxidant kind) chocolate + nightly bottle hitting (yeah, I'm not fussy here I'll take anything from beer, to whiskey, to wine, gin, rum, yeah...) is fun but my pants were getting tight.

What better way to start this shift than with a little shopping for things that hold the promise of improving my existence in some way? Like, I get to feel like I've done something, but I actually haven't apart from acquiring a few air miles... I'm SO in.

Cue my Goop shopping spree:
Agent Nateur deodorant - because toxins absorbed through the armpit are a real thang.
Glow Inner Beauty Powder - because this is about more than just my face looking like shit, but my internal self needing all the help it can get too.
Delicious Mint Cocofloss - because right now this is easier than finding an afternoon to go and get my bi-annual dental check up.
Korean Black Charcoal Soap - because, well no real reason for this really, it just looked cool and I heard this was the good shit in the soap world.

My package arrives and it's smaller than predicted. I assume maybe another box is coming with another part of the order, but upon opening it's all in there. All the products seem miniature, I can hold all 4 items in my not exceptionally big hand. I question if this was really worth the $130 price tag but then I remember that Gwyneth fucking Paltrow uses this shit so I should just shut my pauper thoughts down and bask in the smugness of having the same products that Chris Martin looks at while peeing and visiting the kids in my (unclean) bathroom. 

This thing smells lovely; the perfect notes of eucalyptus that are noticeable but not headache inducing are exactly what I expected and wanted out of a Goop approved deodorant. However, what Goop doesn't mention is that this thing is hard, hard and somewhat sandy. In fear of a friction burn I have to stop applying before I am covered in the amount of this deodorant I actually need to cope with my normal levels of womanly perspiration. However, the packaging looks great by my sink and makes me want to stage an IG for it against one of those $10 white sheepskin Ikea rugs. But I don't. 

Ok, I think I'm going on the record to say this stuff works. I look at the ingredients and it's a bunch of rice and quinoa powder and some other crap ground up that I can't understand why it would work, but my skin looks visibly better after a week or so of using it. Only downside is it tastes somewhat synthetic and needs to be concealed in a blended beverage with many other flavors (Pina Colada, anyone?). The Goop reco that this could be mixed with water is some straight BS, don't do it unless you like clumps of stevia laced yellow powder in your Crystal Geyser. And upon some pretty elementary googling of this product, I found an advanced version of it (whatever that means) for $10 LESS than the reg' run o' the mill version I bought. Not cool Goop, and not cool me for not doing more research before hitting "buy". 

In a Goop article I read, a light framed woman wearing oversized, minimal attire with icy-bleached, short blonde hair liked this floss. I don't think I have anything in common with this woman, but her approval is apparently enough for me to want to buy this. I looked up Cocofloss and they are a Bay Area company, so now I have twice the reason (#shoplocal) to spend $8 on dental floss. This item is another winner. Which I'm kinda bummed about TBH because this just seems like too much money to spend on fibers to drag betwixt my teeth to dislodge old food and plaque. But I have to say, this is the most thorough floss I've ever used and again, packaging that could inspire an IG shoot. I'm a S.U.C.K.E.R.

A couple of friends had told me about the benefits of black charcoal soap. YES! I was about to buy something based on the opinion of real people who I actually trust. Take that Goop and your faux influence! *while I give you my money*

Goop promised that this soap "inspired by the purification ceremonies of modern-day female Korean shamans" would leave my skin "of course, deeply purified" (actual words). Do you think they laugh when they write this stuff? Anyway, it actually burned my eyes and got a chunk knocked out of the side of it in transit to boot. This product made me kind of sad - full of deep promise but basically Irish Spring's weird brother. Not everything I was hoping for, but then maybe that's my bad for pinning so much on lowly bar of cool looking soap.

So to conclude: in life you win some and you lose others. Shopping via Goop is no different. In the meantime, I've put myself on Whole 30 (which the damn beauty powder is not compliant with), joined a gym and low and behold, the actual action of doing something - vs. trying to buy it - has been wholly more satisfying. At least for now, anyway. 


Feminist commentary: "woke"

This went from being a pretty light hearted fashion journal, with occasional eats and vacation reports, to a give no fucks feminist diary. This sentiment has always been inside me, coming out when my back has been most up about a particular political issue or injustice. However, in the past few years, I became undeniably complacent and comfortable because nothing major challenged me.

Basically me from 2008 - 2015. And yes, I'm going to illustrate this post with Beyoncé gifs, why the fuck not? Gif credit. 

After being a young, pissed off punk in the George W. Bush years, I lived the last 8 with political leadership I actually had respect for. I shook off the awkward, and retrospectively ridic' quarter life crisis years for a content personal & professional existence. 

The mouthy dame who had "resistance is bliss" tattooed on her arm in 2005 to remember to always be fuck you first became somewhat settled. And in hindsight that was bloody naive.

But, there is no denying, I did become "I have a New York Times subscription, but I only really dig in for an hour or two on a Sunday" complacent vs. "I read it between meetings, on my commute and every evening (while flicking between news channels)" in a strange state of fear and wanting to not know but needing to know at all times. I became "I love President Obama" complacent vs. "fuck all authority, or at least vehemently question it, always and forever". 

I was in the kind of complacency where my world felt a-ok; fashion, travel and the good life were all I wanted to document. 

Don't worry, I still love clothes. I still try to get dressed and not look like ass everyday but it is safe to say, like the Colin Kaepernick of fashion and lifestyle bloggers, I've been 1000% shaken from this complacency of late. 

Through both Brexit and the 2016 US presidential campaigns/elections, I've been shaken from a "the good will out" mind set. I've gone from sitting on the side lines in my Gucci loafers and casting my vote where I can in quiet confidence that the Force is with the world to "holy fuck, I need to do something and I need to do it now. Actually, yesterday. I know nothing. My truth doesn't mean shit."

I'm not going to harp on about November 9th, a lot has happened in the past few months and I feel like a different person with almost every one of those political twists. But, a strange thing happened to me that day that changed me. It's like my eyes were opened, literally for the first time in my life; this 30-something woman who thought she knew shit, thought she got shit, stays politically tuned in, and considers herself a fucking feminist woke up.

Me today. Basically me everyday for the last year or so, but especially during the past few months. Just a million times less fabulous, and more just the middle finger part. Gif credit. 

I read Teen Vogue, I know I'm not the target demo, but it's worth keeping up with. What I've gleaned from its pages is that it is cool to be a self aware, self assured, unique, positive and grounded female teenager today. You are not competing with your peers, you simply like and celebrate each others differences. I wholeheartedly admire this and it fills me with hope for the future. It took me being twice, almost three times the age of a Teen Vogue reader to feel like I've navigated this mentality that is now just the everyday, "duh, no shit" mindset of a generation.

I mean, obvi' too young to read Teen Vogue but I know little Blue Ivy - who KILLS me in the Gucci, FYI - will have exactly the empowered approach to livin' i'm talking about here. Gif credit

Teen Vogue (and Humanly Magazine, if you're into actual cultural and generational research) tell me that Gen Z has Teflon levels of resistance to the BS of perpetual doubt set upon women by The Man

The system that told my Mom, and therefore me as I grew up watching the same TV shows, passively looking at the same magazines, and that silently fueled and reinforced a POV already decades old - "you're too fat, you'll never get a man to look after you with those extra lbs. But, we've got a diet recipe book for you, we've got these meal replacement shakes especially for you and this work out video you can even do at home. Because heaven forbid that anyone would see you sweaty."

It cooed in TV spots with catchy music, "you're looking a little old to be considered universally attractive with the totally expected greying of your hair, you'd better buy this hair dye to hide it and as a result, feel shame about a perfectly normal element of your human body".

It suggested, "you can't dress like that anymore, you're a little old. You still need to be put together, but not 'mutton dressed as lamb'. Transition to Anne Taylor LOFT from Forever 21. Because there is literally an opportunity to buy yourself out of all types of low self esteem at every life stage."

And then, on the flip side, you're starving and primped to perfection, "you deserve a treat for all your hard work. Buy the candy, smoke the cigarette, drink the sugar laden Frappucino. Go girl! You're perfect the way you are!". But oh wait, not for long. "You're looking fat again... you've enjoyed life a bit too much. You need to get back in your place; not feeling too good, depriving yourself on some level, striving to the idea of perfection that we control." And so it goes, objectifying and putting women's bodies under a microscope, minimizing the power of our minds, keeping us small. 

Yes, this one again. Because it literally is everything. 

So, what is my point you're perhaps wondering? Well, on November 9th it hit me like a 95mph fast pitch to the gut that this narrative is the reason Hillary Clinton did not become the 45th POTUS. This life long mainstream communication that women should never actually be taken too seriously, that they are to be controlled and manipulated based on manmade insecurities that reinforce the too easy, "second sex" misconception and spoon feed our minds that the value of a woman should be placed on how well she has kept up with these unrealistic expectations vs. what she does and achieves throughout her life. And that any woman who has ideas outside of this needs to be reminded that this is not her role. 


I knew this, but I didn't actually know this until then. Anything that had ever made me feel small, made me feel like I had to hide a part of myself, be quieter, strive to be different and not unequivocally embrace myself was rooted in this. But I thought that was some kind of unique female experience due to personal "only I have can possibly have these" insecurities. Conceited, right? But seriously, moon does not orbit just my ass and my ass alone. 

But taking a step back, having thought this - at less assured times in my life - was part of my subconscious playing of the game. Women have been pitted against each other for at least mine, my mothers and grandmother's lifetimes; quietly, inconspicuously. Someone will always be thinner, more beautiful, more funny, someone wore it better than you. Are you team Beyoncé or team Adele? Because you can't possibly accept that each has unique value in their own right, someone needs to be "worse". The aforementioned adverts you watched as a kid, to the POV of the bully in the playground and the celebrities on diets (when they're already 20lbs less than you at their "worst") reinforce you that you aren't enough. 

This kind of hyper awareness is exhausting. But it keeps you where "they" want you; buying away your inadequacy, not getting in the way of anyone man. I naively always thought there were exceptions to this rule, and of course there are, but the US is a lot later to this party than I expected. I thought Hillary was going to be the example that showed the antiquity of that narrative, and when that didn't happen and that narrative was, in fact, wholly reinforced, that was the wet fish around the face of November 9th. 

Ok, Beyoncé break. Paying homage to my Britishness with this Great British Bake Off jaw dropper. Gif credit.

And that wet fish shifted my focus, and in doing so, shifted this blog. It stopped being about my experience on earth and became about ours. Because what November 9th told me is that we, as women, are in this shit together. We are all being told the same thing, we are all casting an overly critical eye across ourselves because of it and if fucking Hillary Clinton, who has dedicated her life the political cause still couldn't beat an unqualified man to the presidency, then we are literally all fucked. We actually need the strength of each others shared experience to navigate this and move forward. And this tiny blog that a handful of people read can be a small part of that. 

So a raging feminist diary, with travel, creativity and style, is born. Getting this sentiment out in the world at this unprecedented time where people, myself included, are seeking coping mechanisms and trying to find the words to sum it all up, is important to me. So buckle your asses in, we've got 4 more years of this. And I promise, i'll throw some transitional pre-spring outfits back in the mix when it stops f'n raining here in northern California. 


Feminist, nasty, proud & THANKFUL

Back on November 9th I was going to donate a few hundred bucks to Planned Parenthood. But then I thought, as the old proverb goes, "what if I speculate to accumulate here? What if, instead of just donating that money, I use it to make something. Something that makes a statement that empathizes with, literally, millions of other women (and some dudes too, of course) that allows us to wear this feeling, this heart on our sleeves (or lapels) and allows me to quadruple, then double that original few hundo and donate even more $ to PP?!" 

Well, $375 bucks spent to make 300 lovely little pins, a little hustle from me and a lot of heart & buying power from YOU, I am able to donate almost $3000 to Planned Parenthood and even a little to the Ghost Ship Relief Fund, for another unforeseen kick in the guts, along the way.

For this, I cannot thank you all enough. I couldn't have done this without you.

I've been shocked and inspired by the success of this experiment. So much so, I'm keeping on keeping on. Why stop now? Basic human rights continue to be on the chopping block; this fight needs all the help it can get. So, here is a sneak peek at a few designs (yep, these pics dotted throughout this post) I have in the works for shirts and more pins that will soon be available for sale. Proceeds will continue to be donated to Planned Parenthood as well as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

In the meantime, follow my creative process and stay looped in on when these new designs drop. Oh, and if you bought a pin and love it, 'gram it and tag me @4725magazine!