COMMODITY GOODS PERFUME

Commodity Perfume

Annie and I both love the hunt for a new fragrance.  We've spent plenty of time testing and traveling around Los Angeles for scents that distinctly suit us, and more importantly wear well on our skin.  But, at the end of the road, the hunt is long and definitely a bit tricky.

Not so with Commodity Goods.  Annie first heard about this new venture through our friends at I Love Creatives and after receiving our first batch of fragrances, we are really excited to share our experience with you.

The process is refreshingly simple.  First, you order either a women or men's fitting kit which includes 10 samples of each of their fragrances for nine bucks, $9!  From there, you've got 30 days to live in them and really get a sense of how they wear on you.  If you fall in love with one (or more), you place your order online for a travel ready 10ml or the signature 100ml bottle.  And here's the kicker, you receive a $9 refund for your sample kit upon check out.

As much as we love the concept, we really love the scents.  Each is significantly different from the next, crossing a full spectrum and delivering a serious variety to fit your mood.  Here's a breakdown of a few of our top picks:

  • Moss - warm, earthy, and green.  Reminded us of a walk in the forest after a spring rain.
  • Magnolia - true to its name.  Great depth but not too overpowering.
  • Mimosa - citrus based and very lively.  Feels like a weekend-getaway kinda scent.
  • Tea - a calming earthy scent with a hint of lemon and mint.  An entirely new fragrance we are addicted to.
Commodity Perfume

AUTUMN'S BOLD LIP

Autumn's Bold Lip

Passing by the autumnal equinox, I felt inspired to refresh my makeup palette.  Returning to one of my all time favorites, Rouge Allure Velvet by Chanel, I swiped up the rather striking La Malicieuse (#46).  Chanel's Velvet collection is moisturizing and smooth, and while the color doesn't last all day, I love the texture.  As for this hue, I've never picked up anything quite so...girly.  I mean, I can handle a red lip every now and then, but I typically stray away from pink undertones since they can make my skin seem a bit more blue.  This pinky-red combo is perfectly balanced for my complexion, not to mention it makes me feel like the ultimate Larkspur Barbie (dreams really do come true).

Autumn's Bold Lip

THE AFTERMATH: EMMA WATSON'S UN SPEECH

In case you haven't had the chance to watch Emma Watson's history-making UN speech on behalf of women's rights, now's your chance! In her speech, Emma calls on men to join the gender equality movement, not just on behalf of women, but also on behalf of themselves. She says, "I want men to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too—reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves." 

I had chills through watching the entire thing. Emma is exactly my age--and to witness such a young woman express herself with such power was truly moving and inspiring to me. But strangely, what's moved me even more towards speaking out on behalf of women is the reaction that Emma's very balanced speech has had in the depths of the internet. 

Since her speech went live, the internet has exploded. Immediately after its broadcast, so-called hackers launched a quest to leak nude pictures of Emma in order to discredit her. Thankfully, it was later revealed that this over-the-top nudie movement was actually a hoax orchestrated by a viral marketing company with the aim to shut down the site 4chan (known for leaking celeb nudes). So we can all wipe our sweaty brows with relief, right? It was jut a hoax, so it's fine. Not so much. Hoax or not, it was a blatant violation of this woman's privacy, comfort, and sense of personal safety. Not to mention that fact that it was met with disgusting joy by a certain faction of the internet. One truly eloquent commenter posited that "If only her nudes got leaked and she had the load on her face. Her feminism kick would be over." Cute, right? Many comments targeted at the young actress were blatantly violent, with graphic photoshopped images attached. A movement even began to promote the hashtag #RIPEmmaWatson on Twitter to make people believe that she had died of a drug overdose. Some comments were just ignorant. One Facebook user, who was brilliantly called out by the parody Twitter account "WomenAgainstFeminism" posited that Emma's speech is an attempt at "brain-washing the next generation of men to be weaker and more feminine." 

So why does all this sickening behavior only bolster and encourage my support of gender equality? Because even a so-called hoax that aimed to shut down a site used to victimize women, used victimization as its tactic for gaining attention. Because behind the myriad disgusting comments is a deep-rooted belief that women who speak out must be punished. A belief that says that all women are "whores" and "bitches," that will irreparably damage the next generation of men with their loud-mouthed, bossy ways if they are not silenced and put back in their place. A belief that says that women who are sexual have no agency or credibility. A belief that says that if we give women too much power, who knows what they'll do next. The goal of these vile intimidation tactics is to make it uncomfortable and even dangerous to speak out on behalf of gender equality. And to that I say, bring it. 

THE WOOD SPOON

The Wood Spoon

Last week Annie and I dropped by a great little restaurant spot in downtown, The Wood Spoon, for lunch with a friend (her name is Jill and she makes ah-maze-ing clothing!).  Featuring a delightfully fresh menu based on traditional Brazilian cuisine, the meal definitely hit the spot.  We went with their tried and true staple, the Brazilian Grill plate, which gives you a little bit of everything.  Between the char-grilled chicken, buttery rice, homemade salsa, and fried plantains, we left feeling happily full.  Not to mention the price tag is so worth the generous portions!

SMARTPHONES & DOMESTIC ABUSE

Smartphones and Domestic Abuse

On my drive to work the other day I was listening to KCRW, you know, just getting prepared for the daily grind.  A story popped up about spyware technology and domestic abuse by Aarti Shahani.  With so many domestic abuse cases slamming headlines these days, my curiosity perked up.  I mean, I am SO excited to check out the new iPhone 6 but smartphones are getting p-r-e-t-t-y smart these days.  And that's definitely an adjustment worth paying attention to.

Beginning her research at a domestic violence shelter in the Silicon Valley area and then expanding to over 70 shelters, Shahani discovered that 85% of surveyed shelters are "working directly with victims whose abusers tracked them using GPS."  Even more shocking is that 75% say they are "working with victims whose abusers eavesdropped on their conversation remotely - using hidden mobile apps."  I had no idea.

Most spyware companies operate with pay-as-you-go subscriptions, offering services that allow someone else to track you by turning your computer, tablet, or smartphone into a spy.  One program, called MSpy, can be downloaded onto your smartphone and sit, hiding in some nondescript folder.  The stalker can then use the MSpy software to access "contacts, call logs, text messages, call recordings (full recordings of entire conversations), photos, video files, and a log of every website visited by the person being stalked."  What?!?

After thinking about the spyware technology and my familiarity with it's positioning in the marketplace, I admit I have heard about apps like MSpy, but in a totally different context.  For instance, I've seen ads for software directed towards parents which enables them to keep tabs on their kids.  This has always seemed well-intentioned and innocent enough.  But of course stalkers and abusers would take advantage of these apps.  Especially when they are so readily available and easy to use (most have step-by-step user guides!).  When NPR reached out to MSpy to inquire about how they report and prevent abuse, their response was alarming.  Long story short, they have their users "[sign] an agreement acknowledging it's illegal to secretly spy on someone and [that] the company is not liable."    

Readers, please read Shahani's piece so you can pick up all of the details.  Our privacy, security, and safety is absolutely becoming more and more compromised as the world becomes an increasingly digital place.  

P.S.  Take a minute to donate to KCRW's fundraiser to support content like this.  If you don't listen to public radio yet, it's time!