The creator of 'Sex and the City' has cast Lily Collins as his modern-day Carrie Bradshaw in Paris.
If it were any other year, we’d be spending the first week of October sorting through hundreds of fashion month street style photos in order to inspire our fall wardrobes. Hours would be spent trying (and likely failing) to make the over-the-top ensembles from Milan and Paris Fashion Week translate into daily wear. (To be fair, a number of shows took place in person in Europe, so there is some street style this season, but nowhere near as much as we’re used to.) Unfortunately, it’s 2020, which, in addition to being an all-around dumpster fire, means that instead of basking in all that fashion month leaves behind, this year, we have to look elsewhere for autumnal style guidance. That won’t stop Instagram’s most stylish from creating content — and tons of it. Influencers who were unable to travel to international shows due to government restrictions still managed to dress the part from home. Digital viewers, who maybe wouldn’t have been able to see shows happen live if not for the pandemic forcing fashion houses to stream them, used their first “fashion month” as inspiration to create a whole slew of top-notch autumn looks, too. All in all, even with little traditional street style, there’s still hope for October fashion yet. See what we mean by clicking through the 31 must-try autumn outfits ahead. This outfit was approved by TikTok's cottagecore collective. There's nothing else to do these days — why not get a little dressed up?Swipe for a VIP boot sighting. Check out this quintessential autumn look. Oversized collars for autumn actually are groundbreaking. If there's ever a perfect time to wear a groutfit, it's now.Are colourful tights à la Blair Waldorf making a comeback this autumn? If they're styled like this, then we will absolutely support it. This belt game is unmatched. Formal on top, casual on the bottom — this high-low look is perfect for a day of Zoom calls and Google Meets.And the award for best styling of a little white dress goes to...Get us a pair of bandana trousers, stat!Clashing prints were all over New York and Milan Fashion Week, and, according to this look, taking the trend from runway to every day is easier than it seems. One more of thrice clashing prints, just for good measure.Do you know what the first of October means? Leather weather is officially back.The baggier the suits, the better this autumn.Let's all take a moment to appreciate this mask-knit loungewear combo. A velveteen dream.With the right layering, bike shorts can still be weather-appropriate in October. Between the bow, the boots, and the bubble sleeves, this look is everything we never knew we needed for autumn.The shrugs of the early aughts are officially back — and we're 100% here for it.Nothing says autumn like cowboy boots and Telfar cable knits.It's official: we need a cow-print corset, effective immediately.Is it just us, or does this look give you major Boy Meets Girl vibes?Button-up skirt: check! Cowboy boots: check! Leather bomber: check! We'd give this look a 10/10.A lesson in dressing up your face mask. It's part sweater, part jacket — AKA the perfect autumn fashion staple. From now on, you can refer to us as Bag Lady.We're 100% invested in this yellow-and-green ensemble. The key to making Bermuda shorts work in the autumn is to pair them with over-the-knee boots.Whether you're going out for a socially distant outdoor dinner or staying in to lounge on the sofa, a little black dress will always be appropriate.Let the autumnal coat inspiration commence! Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?22 Quilted Jackets To Ease Into Autumn7 Ways To Wear Autumn's Breakout Hair-Colour Trend22 Kitsch & Cosy Cardigans For Autumn
The planet of love is entering the sign of the maiden on 2nd October, and things are about to get… messy. Venus and Virgo aren’t exactly compatible with one another, cautions Leslie Hale, Keen.com psychic astrologer. Virgo has a picky side; it can make people come across as overly critical or demanding, Hale says: “You may feel as though you are trying to help others help themselves.” Others might feel… differently, like you’re nitpicking or prying, causing conflict that can easily get blown out of proportion. Good to remember: When Venus is in Virgo, people will be more likely to actually ask for help if they want it. So try to avoid offering unsolicited support, especially in your romantic relationships. Astrologer Lisa Stardust tells Refinery29 that the Venus’s manoeuvre into earthy Virgo will kick start an intense chain of events called a Grand Cross, involving the Nodes of Destiny and Neptune retrograde. “This occurs when there are two oppositions and two squares in the stars,” she explains. Expect breakups, volatility regarding your finances, heightened emotions, and a desire to really assert yourself. She says politics may factor heavily in disagreements at this time. With the US election just one month away, that certainly tracks. Alexandria Lettman, the resident astrologer for The SoulUnity, a healing collective, agrees that this transit could be rough for couples. “The likelihood of us losing touch with our emotional sides in our relationship increases, which can manifest as bickering or nagging over petty and unimportant things,” she tells Refinery29. “The general theme when Venus enters Virgo is learning to balance the practical side of relationships with the emotional, without sacrificing one in favour of the other,” she continues. She says that if Venus in Virgo were a love language, it would be acts of service. Why? Because we become more honest, practical, sensible, and dutiful towards our loved ones under this transit — and less romantic or sexy. If you lean into that energy by trying to show your partner that you care, rather than telling, you can sidestep the negative side of this transit, Lettman notes. Meaning: Quietly do the dishes for them, rather than buying them chocolate. Single? Venus in Virgo brings a certain passivity to the table, Lettman says. You may catch yourself waiting for partners to approach you, rather than making the first move. As such, you may fall for someone who’s a great talker. It’s fine to take a less active role in your dating life — but with a little effort, you can also push against this inertia. Another thing to watch for — whether you’re dating or not — is a tendency to over-analyse, to fixate on little imperfections, and as such, to make mountains out of molehills, Lettman says. “This can cause us to become self-conscious and bring up insecurities within our relationships,” she explains. “We may become more picky and more willing to wait around for the perfect moment, or the perfect partner to come along as we’re looking for someone who ticks every box and suits our high standards.” No one’s suggesting you settle, but try to fact-check your concerns with a trusted friend to make sure Venus in Virgo isn’t playing with your perceptions. Your big takeaways while Venus hangs out in Virgo: Give people what they ask for (within reason); show love through service, not words or romantic gestures; be conscious of your insecurities surrounding love; and don’t be afraid to make a first move. Overall, it’s a delicate transit to navigate — but it doesn’t have to be a negative one. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Your October Horoscope Is HereIt’s Mars Retrograde; Welcome To HellYour Horoscope This Week
On 30th September, the state of California passed a momentous piece of legislation into law. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, making California the first state in America to ban the use of 24 toxic chemicals, including mercury and formaldehyde, in beauty and personal-care products. “Every day, Californians use soaps, shampoos, makeup, and other personal-care products without realising that those products could contain chemicals that present serious health risks,” said Emily Rusch, executive director of the independent lobbying group Calpirg. “By banning some of the most toxic ingredients found in modern personal-care products, the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act will finally start to give consumers the protections they deserve.” The act, which was introduced by Assembly members Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), and Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), stands to have one of the biggest influences on the cosmetics industry in close to a century. Celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian and Hailey Bieber were quick to share the news on social media. “Wow this is so MAJOR and finally some progress,” Kardashian wrote. As you might know, the beauty industry in the United States is notoriously under-regulated. Ingredients continue to be used by major brands even well after research has shown them to be potentially unsafe. Companies have little to no obligation to provide consumers with any information about the impacts certain ingredients or additives could have on their health. Some of the now-banned ingredients include known carcinogens, like certain types of formaldehyde, mercury, and parabens, and a litany of other potential nervous-system and reproductive-system disruptors. With the exception of California, there are currently no state or federal laws requiring cosmetics manufacturers to test their beauty products for safety before shipping them out to stores across the country. Furthermore, there are more than 10,000 chemicals used to formulate cosmetics in the United States — and only 11 have ever been banned or restricted by the Food and Drug Administration. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, banning the use of these toxic ingredients in beauty products isn’t a novel concept; in fact, 40 other nations already have similar laws in place. Though the European Union’s list of more than 1,400 prohibited or restricted ingredients is often cited as the gold standard, critics point out that the parabens banned by the EU are not the same ones most commonly used in cosmetics. That lack of distinction has led to fear-mongering and green-washing in the category. Compared to other states, California has long been considered a thought leader, especially in the areas of health and safety. If it were its own country (which, by the way, could go to a vote in 2021), California would represent the sixth-largest economy in the world. For companies producing consumer products, that’s a big deal — so when important legislation, like the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, passes in California, it often sets a precedent for the rest of the country. Companies manufacturing products to satisfy the new California standards may be more likely to adhere to these standards across the board. The possibility of national regulations is already underway. Currently, several proposals are pending in Congress that would improve the safety of cosmetics for the entire United States. Considering the last time America put any sort of restrictions on the cosmetics industry was in 1938 — just a few years after people were eating arsenic wafers to clear up their acne — we’d say it’s about damn time. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?COVID-19 Has Created A Surge In Cosmetic SurgeryHaus Laboratories Is Launching Bronzer & BlushThe Truth About Natural Beauty & Climate Change
If you've ever ventured into making vegan cuisine, you'll know that vegan baking is a whole world harder than vegan cooking. The sad fact is that the texture and flavour you get from butter and eggs can be far harder to replicate than making a vegan version of your favourite curry.However, with the right guidance, it's far from impossible.Shannon Martinez is the chef mastermind behind Smith & Daughters, a deli and restaurant which has become a household name on the Australian vegan scene. Though not vegan herself, she's known for her killer vegan recipes, especially when it comes to desserts and baked goods. The secret? Adding a savoury element to make the sweetness pop, and using ingenious tricks and substitutes to emulate the texture of a regular bake.Ahead are three recipes from her newest book Vegan With Bite that will wow vegans and non-vegans alike. Just make sure you get the best quality vegan milk and butter you can find. Apple, strawberry and rhubarb pieServes 8–10Ingredientsvegan milk, for brushingraw (demerara) sugar, for sprinklingFor the pie crust:425 g plain flour50 g icing sugar½ tsp salt90 g cold vegan butter, diced150 g cold vegetable shortening100–120 ml iced waterFor the filling:250 g strawberries, hulled and halved300 g rhubarb, cut into 5 mm thick slices300 g peeled, diced apple170 g caster sugarfinely grated zest of 1 lemon1 tsp vanilla paste or extract1 tsp ground cinnamon1 tsp chopped thyme50 g plain flour2 grinds of pepperInstructions1. To make the pie crust, place the flour, icing sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times until combined. Scatter over the butter and shortening and pulse again until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. With the motor running on medium speed, slowly pour in the iced water, stopping as soon as the dough begins to form a ball. You may not use all the water.2. Tip out the dough onto a floured surface and bring together with your hands until it forms a fairly smooth ball. Flatten into a disc, then wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.3. While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and leave to macerate while the pastry is resting. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).4. To assemble the pie, divide the dough into two pieces, making one piece slightly larger than the other. Roll out the larger piece on a floured surface to fit a 23 cm (9 in) deep pie dish, then line with the pastry, pushing it evenly into the base. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the filling into the pastry case, leaving behind any juices.5. Brush the lip of the pie with a little milk. Roll out the remaining piece of pastry to fit the top of the pie and gently place over the fruit. Press the edges together with your thumbs, then trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife. Create a pinched (crimped) effect around the edge of the pie by pressing the top and sides of the pastry together using your thumbs.6. Brush the top of the pie with more milk, then sprinkle with raw sugar. Place the pie on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 170°C (340°F) and bake for another hour, or until golden. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting. Apricot crumble cakeServes 8–12Ingredients225 g plain flour3 tsp baking powder½ tsp salt1 tsp ground cinnamon½ tsp ground cardamom115 g caster sugar3 tsp No Egg80 ml cold water125 g vegan butter, melted125 ml vegan milk1 tsp vanilla paste or extract1 × 825 g tin apricot halves, drained (reserve the liquid for another use or reduce it with a little sugar and use as a syrup to drizzle over the cake)icing sugar, for dusting (optional)For the crumble:60 g plain flour1 tsp ground cinnamon100 g caster sugar55 g cold butter, cut into cubesInstructions1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Grease and line the base of a 20 cm (8 in) round cake tin.2. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and ground spices into a bowl. Mix in the sugar.3. In a jug, whisk together the No Egg and water, then mix in the melted butter, milk and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until combined (the batter will be quite thick).4. To make the crumble, place the flour, cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl, then rub in the butter with your fingertips to make a coarse crumble.5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Arrange the apricots on top, cut side up, then sprinkle over the crumble. Bake for 45–55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.6. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then carefully remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Finish with a light dusting of icing sugar if you like.Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. El’s rum, rye and sea salt cookiesMakes 12Ingredients210 g vegan butter190 g brown sugar1 tsp vanilla paste or extract1½ tbsp rum1 tsp No Egg1 tbsp cold water70 g rye flour200 g plain flour½ tsp ground cinnamon½ tsp bicarbonate of soda100 g dark chocolate, chopped into chunkssalt flakes, for sprinklingInstructions1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F) and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until pale. Beat in the vanilla.2. In a separate bowl, combine the rum, No Egg and water, then add to the butter mixture.3. Mix together the flours, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda, then add to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chunks.4. Roll the dough into 12 even-sized balls. Place them on the prepared tray, allowing room for spreading, and gently press to flatten.5. Sprinkle a pinch of salt flakes on each cookie and bake for 8–10 minutes. Cool completely on the tray before removing. Hardie Grant Vegan With Bite: Because Taste Matters, $, available at AmazonLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
In the ever-evolving landscape of sustainable fashion, this year’s lockdown and Black Lives Matter movement have stirred our collective conscience and led to Black Pound Day, an initiative that highlights Black-owned businesses to support, running the first Saturday of every month. One would assume we have become more ‘woke’ as a result. But is this wave of conscious consumption really creating equality? Despite the flurry of black squares posted on Instagram, it’s hard to ignore the distinct lack of commercially prominent, Black- and brown-owned sustainable fashion brands available to consumers, because we continue to remain largely invisible to a wider audience. This isn’t simply down to brands not disclosing their ownership, nor is it a case of inferior design; it’s a far more nuanced issue, boiling down to opportunity and, more crucially, the white gaze. Until recently, the Black and brown population has largely operated as part of fashion’s shameful secret. We’re either the unacknowledged and exploited hired help, hailed as creative enigmas or exoticised in luxury brand aesthetics as the untouchable supermodel or the brown face of poverty. We’ve primarily served to be consumed without any real prospect of gaining power, the colonial hangover of the white gaze creating such a bias that our fight to be fairly represented is stalled and dismissed. But what exactly is the white gaze, this invisible, intangibly destructive phenomenon which stifles Black and brown progress in fashion? It is the world as told by white people for white people, creating and presenting content, products and services from a white perspective and offering this as the only correct and desirable point of view. “The white gaze as a whole has informed everything for a movement that was created by and for white folks for their own privileged self-interest,” Dominique Drakeford, founder of MelaninASS, tells me. Flick through Instagram and you’ll find that brands often stick to a certain formula, narrative, palette, style and tone. Sustainable fashion is particularly homogenised in this respect, with its rigid use of altruistic messaging, neutral palettes, sans serif fonts and uniform of flat lays. Drakeford describes its visual identity and aesthetic as “a holistically synthetic mosaic”. This conformity, brushed off as consumer-driven trends, hinders Black and brown brands because the white gaze exclusively defines what becomes the default visual language, subverting every element of consumption and creating white aspirational standards for all that is deemed ‘successful’. Therefore the visual promotion of sustainable fashion is dictated and defined by, and tailored to, white people. Is there really a problem though, you might ask, if this gaze aids the creation of aesthetically pleasing feeds and content? Well, yes. If Black and brown brands only stand a chance of success and recognition through whitewashing their feeds, there’s an issue. If we’re forced to learn to express ourselves in the only language the sustainable fashion world understands, there’s an issue. If we spend a lot of time assimilating our style to present an offering that is palatable to the majority defined by the white gaze, there’s an issue. Our relevance in the sustainable fashion world is directly linked to whiteness, and our recognition linked to conformation. Beyond expected assimilation, sustainable fashion also has a white saviour complex. The most common expression of this is tokenism which, for Black- and brown-owned brands, is far more destructive than constructive. Take Black Pound Day. Set up by Swiss of So Solid Crew fame, it’s billed as a campaign to encourage consumers to disrupt their usual shopping habits in favour of Black-owned businesses on the first Saturday of every month. But is it enough? More to the point, does it let white consumers off the hook, ignoring a greater call to permanently include Black- and brown-owned brands in their shopping habits? According to the Financial Times, around 40,000 of the UK’s 5.9 million businesses are owned by Black people, which is equivalent to 0.67% of the business base. Consumers need to be habitually encouraged to push past their familiar white go-tos; a regular call to action to peruse Black- and brown-owned brands on the most basic level will lead to greater exposure, because in part change is a game of numbers and frequency. It’s creating new, positive associations, separate from the media coverage that links the Black and brown population with catastrophic, life-ending events and which highlights and associates Blackness with ‘our plight’ as the victims or perpetrators of violent crimes, diminishing our narrative in order to serve and centre the white gaze. Kalkidan Legesse, founder of Exeter-based sustainable store Sancho’s, tells me she has noticed an increase in sales and agrees that Black Pound Day has increased her reach and gives people a good reason to share her content. As a brand owner myself, I’d suggest that Black Pound Day is a good start but crucially it is just that: a start. It’s by no means enough but it is needed to remind consumers of the uncomfortable truth that without intentional change, the fashion economy at large will continue to prop up white business. Stateside, we see the 15% Pledge, founded by Aurora James, which calls on businesses to commit to sourcing 15% of their shelf space from BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of colour). It is another much-needed campaign with good intentions, this time focusing on corporate responsibility over the consumer. In an ideal world, it wouldn’t be either/or, it would be both. Beyond these initiatives, the real problem is that the white saviour complex is so deeply embedded in fashion that the industry is not motivated to create real change or equity. “Until recently, sustainable fashion lacked critical conversation about intersectionality and oppression,” stylist and activist Aja Barber tells me. In a shifting landscape that has started calling out these inequalities, we see embers of hope in the growing number of Black designers who have been credited with changing the narrative; when their success is based on their proximity to whiteness, however, this remains a far cry from structural reform. The power structures remain in place because significant change requires sacrifice – giving up power is the antithesis of the white saviour complex – so rather than structural change, we’re offered conditional help (when it suits these gatekeepers), which upholds the industry’s existing imbalance. Its power-mad desire to control the narrative and continually centre itself as the hero means the industry’s white saviour complex constructs a landscape that leaves Black- and brown-owned brands as indentured creators: we only ‘pass go’ if we meet a prescribed criteria and are granted access. It maintains the upper hand by making consumers believe they’re doing us a solid by shopping with us, ensuring that spending money with us is seen as ‘support’, something to be congratulated – all the while, shopping with white brands remains the status quo. This mentality undermines our progress and mirrors the charity sector, where a monthly contribution to Oxfam serves to assuage white guilt rather than creating a conscious reckoning acknowledging how our spending habits detrimentally affect the developing world’s economy. Supporting Black-owned brands shouldn’t be a goodwill gesture, like a monthly charitable donation, but an action taken on a regular basis as part of diversified and rich consumer behaviour. Black Pound Day is a great start in altering our perspectives and opening up our rolodex of brands but it should be the first step in a wider shift in outlook, not a once-a-month pat on the back. So beyond Black Pound Day, how can we change this? In a world where the problem is always ‘over there’, the first step you can take is to accept responsibility and acknowledge that your viewpoint is almost exclusively informed by the white gaze. Secondly, disrupt it by consuming media, content and products created by non-white, non-Western creatives, platforms and brands. Intentionally see the white gaze and your presumed correct view as not ‘right’ or ‘best’ but simply your perspective. It’s vital that white consumers have a greater, broader and more in-depth understanding of other cultures in order to better understand their own. Finally, drop the subconscious superiority complex and when you are consuming non-white content, don’t judge it with a white stick: equity looks like habitually shopping with non-white brands and services (Black Owned Everything has a wealth of inspiration), and understanding that if a website doesn’t have your preferred (white) aesthetic, it doesn’t necessarily affect the offering. We’re at an exciting point in the sustainable narrative: every purchase you make can be part of making greater long-term change. We have the unique opportunity to shape the sustainable fashion landscape by detangling it from white saviourism, building intersectionality and creating equitable systems where the white gaze is no longer the right gaze. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Meet The Women Decolonising Sustainable FashionSustainable Fashion Has Failed The Black Community26 Black-Owned Fashion Businesses To Support Now
Dear Daniela,What’s the deal with natural skincare? I keep seeing it everywhere but is it better than other skincare? And what natural products would you recommend for my skin? I think I’d feel more comfortable using natural skincare…Thank you,Fran, 31 Sometimes the shortest letters say the most. In a few lines, you’ve managed to express so much – about industry jargon, greenwashing, marketing fluff and essentially, fearmongering. ‘Natural‘ and ‘clean‘ are possibly the two biggest buzzwords in beauty, which I’ve seen applied to everything from candles and dry shampoo to haircare and nail polish. They’re uniquely challenging for journalists because the terms – surprise, surprise – are totally unregulated and have no official meaning. Brands love to tout their products as being green, clean, natural and sustainable but these are, for the most part, utterly meaningless terms. The natural and organic market is worth billions and while it was perhaps popularised by small indie brands, even huge mass-market brands now have at least one ‘natural’ diffusion line. When I worked as a shop girl in a beauty retailer, I would ask any customer who said they wanted something natural one question, which I’ll put to you now: what does natural mean to you? That’s not in any way a trap or intended to catch anyone out. It’s just that sometimes, people say that and mean “I would like something that features botanical/plant-derived ingredients” but sometimes it means “I would like something that’s vegan” and sometimes it means “I would like something without chemicals.” Well, natural and vegan are not synonymous, lots of ‘natural’ products are not vegan or even cruelty-free, lots of them have tiny, trace amounts of botanical actives and, quite simply, everything – including water – has a chemical name. So let’s step back a little bit. “As a product formulator, whenever I hear the word ‘natural’ I wonder if natural also infers ‘naturally derived’,” said cosmetic chemist Nausheen Qureshi. “For example, glycolic acid is something that a natural skincare fanatic wouldn’t use because of the chemical name, but it’s derived from sugar cane,” she explained. Some of the ingredients which are most often in the crosshairs are mineral oils, PEGs, parabens or, as Nausheen put it, “any long chemical name or any ‘hormone-disrupting ingredient‘ heard about from a non-peer-reviewed and non-scientifically credible source.” Now, as a journalist and a good citizen, I think it is my responsibility to interrogate conglomerates and corporations when they tell consumers that something is safe, and many big scientific breakthroughs have started as tiny movements which snowball. What’s important to remember is that lots of the blogs and influencers who try and claim that ingredients are unsafe have an agenda of their own to push: perhaps they’re a business that offers ‘clean’ accreditation which they want brands to pay for, or perhaps they’re trying to build their own personal brand or generate a fanbase for when they launch their own line. Ultimately, the only way to navigate this is to look for peer-reviewed trials and studies, and see who paid for the trial. Clinical trials are expensive and so if a study proving that X ingredient is bad was paid for by a brand which is trying to push Y ingredient, while it doesn’t falsify the results, it certainly calls for close attention. Peer reviewing means that other groups of researchers have looked at the results in detail, identified any mistakes or generalisations and vetted the validity of the study. A good example of how the panic and the reality often don’t match up would be the preservatives known as parabens. Often decried as hormone disruptors (a claim that’s yet to be proven robustly), they’re actually found abundantly in nature, in fruits and vegetables like cherries, blueberries and carrots. “Natural doesn’t mean safe,” cautioned Nausheen. “Some natural brands have products without certain preservatives because they don’t feel ‘natural enough’ but the colossal side effect of that is that their product may be sitting on the shelf with a huge bacterial growth, which could be harmful to your health.” What’s more, essential oils can be incredibly irritating, argan oil can cause breakouts and some acids from fruit can cause burns, to give just a few examples. Something else to consider is that natural ingredients, i.e. things snipped straight from the plant, don’t really have very long lives. How long does a bag of lettuce last in your fridge? What kind of mulch have you peeled from your vegetable crisper in your life? If you’re going to use a 100% natural formula, are you okay with needing to repurchase every week? Paula Begoun, founder of Paula’s Choice, once said to me: “It [natural skincare] all sounds so romantic, you know, I made this small-batch product using my grandmother’s recipe and she looks so young. But we know that the best option is a mix of natural and bioengineered ingredients. The research is clear. For example, antioxidants. Grapes are great, there’s good research behind them, they’re not irritating. The active antioxidant in the grape is resveratrol. When you bioengineer it, you get a more stable and potent version that can get into skin and interrupt inflammation and oxidative damage,” such as pigmentation and fine lines, which are caused by the environment. Paula added: “Given pollution and sun damage, wholly natural can’t deliver.” Adaption is the key here: using the brilliant botanical bits and tweaking them slightly to make them suitable for long-lasting, efficacious use. Nausheen said: “Many of these ‘nasty ingredients’ are being used in small amounts to make your products safer and better. Sometimes high amounts of a natural ingredient will do more harm to you than a ‘nasty’ ingredient.” Your skin barrier is quite the barrier. The physical composition of it, the naturally acidic state of it and the microbiome (friendly bacteria living on your skin) is quite a lot for a product to penetrate, which is just another reason why formulas need to be tinkered with to make sure they’re truly potent. So, if you want me to tell you some brands which make skincare that’s largely non-irritating, has some botanical ingredients and offers great results? Caudalie, Allies of Skin, OSKIA, Indie Lee, Pfeffer Sal and Paula’s Choice will probably all have some products you like. You need to work out what’s most important for you when it comes to natural. For me, I avoid fragrance, mineral oils, the drying alcohols and phthalates, and attempt to shop sustainably. Maybe it’ll look different for you.Good luck!Daniela Got a question for our resident beauty columnist Daniela Morosini? No problem, qualm or dilemma is too big, small or niche. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, including your name and age for a chance to have your question answered. All letters to ‘Dear Daniela’ become the property of Refinery29 and will be edited for length, clarity, and grammatical correctness. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The Truth About Natural Beauty & Climate ChangeThe Best Vegan & Eco-Friendly Indie Beauty BrandsHow To Make Your Beauty Routine Cruelty-Free
With the world finally waking up to a racial reckoning in 2020, Black History Month remains a vital and powerful time to celebrate the achievements of Black people in the UK, as well as looking to the future. However with social distancing measures in place for the foreseeable future, the majority of events that would have taken place this month are going virtual for the first time. But worry not, there are still plenty of things to sink your teeth into. For a whole month until 31st October, events celebrating African and Caribbean cultures and histories will take place up and down the country to help people find out more about the African and Caribbean people and events that have made a difference to the UK. Whether you’re learning about Black British history for the first time or wanting to explore your own heritage, below you will find all the events happening this month, from JW3’s Anti-Racism Workshop to Aké Festival’s digital arts and book event. They’re not to be missed. DashDividers_1_500x100 Do What: Windrush: Portrait of a Generation Where: Brixton Library, London When: 1st October to December 2020 Celebrating the Caribbean community in south London, this photo-story by award-winning social documentary photographer Jim Grover illustrates the customs and daily lives of the Windrush generation: community clubs, dominoes, dancing, faith, family gatherings, the Jamaican home and service to the “Mother Country”. To book a free slot to view the exhibition, please call 0207 926 1058. What: Black & British History: Jamaica, Britain and the Akan Maroon War Where: Online When: Thursday 8th October, 7-8pm The pioneering African Caribbean genealogist and acclaimed author Paul Crooks discusses a hidden Black and British history of Jamaica’s Maroons, focusing on the Maroon War with Britain and highlighting the impact of the Maroon activities as the prequel to Britain’s Industrial Revolution and the rise and fall of Britain’s system of slavery in the Caribbean. In the 45-minute online live cast, Paul critically discusses some key historical figures in this Black and British history, which is suitable for anyone new to exploring family history, Black history or to develop your skills and knowledge of Black history further. Tickets are £5, click here. What: Black UK History 101 Where: Jewish Community Centre London (JW3) When: Wednesday 14th October, 8pm, £10 North London’s JW3 has joined forces with The Black Curriculum to host a series of workshops exploring the history of Black people in the UK, hearing the stories of Black Jews in the UK and focusing on how to combat racism in Jewish spaces and communities. Costing just £10, the 90-minute workshop is open to all at the Finchley venue. Due to social distancing measures, tickets will be sold in bubbles of one or two. For more information, email email@example.com. Tickets here. What: My Black Mitzvah Party Where: Jewish Community Centre London (JW3) When: Thursday 29th October, £10 Celebrating Black and Jewish voices, My Black Mitzvah Party will hear from Yiddish singer Anthony Russell, songwriter and producer Autumn Rowe, actor C. Gerod Harris, rapper Nissim Black, and actor and director Rebekah Murrell as they respond to the question: if you could give your Bar or Bat Mitzvah speech today, what would you say? Tickets cost £10 and will be sold in bubbles of one or two. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets here. What: The Power of Words Anti-Racism Workshop Where: Jewish Community Centre, London (JW3) When: Wednesday 21st October, 8pm, £10 Want to learn how you can be more inclusive within the Jewish community and to hear the stories and voices of Black Jews in the UK? Tickets here. What: Young & Gifted Chats: Decolonising Education When: 16th October, 7.30pm Where: Theatre Peckham, London Bringing together Black artists, academics, educators and entrepreneurs who have excelled in their fields, Decolonising Education looks to shake up systems such as higher education and law enforcement in light of the resurgence of the international Black Lives Matter movement. Featuring a panel of Black people making strides to deconstruct what is on the syllabus, as well as those who are creating their own, the discussion will pose the question: what does it mean to actively decolonise when living in the UK? Tickets are £5. Book here. What: Black Rights Matter: Defending Equality Against the New Far Right When: 2nd October, 7pm Where: Online Shami Chakrabarti will be delivering this keynote speech which will be streamed via Facebook to reflect on the global movement for change from a human rights perspective. Chakrabarti is a campaigner and Labour peer, the former director of Liberty and a lawyer specialising in human rights. What: Aké Arts and Books Festival When: 22nd-25th October Now in its eighth year, Aké virtual Arts and Books festival will be bringing together over 170 major speakers from across books, poetry, music, theatre and art, including Tayari Jones (author of An American Marriage), Jamaican novelist Marlon James, journalist and writer Afua Hirsch and author Esi Edugyan, to celebrate creativity on the African continent through panel discussions, art exhibitions, workshops, storytelling, book chats and more. Tickets here. What: Photo exhibition by Garfield McKenzie Where: St Pauls Learning Centre, Bristol When: October until December 2020 Bristol-based artist and photographer Garfield McKenzie has documented the Black elders who left their homeland to make the journey to a new life. The exhibition will feature sets of portraits of the Black pioneers who paved the way for the generations of Black British communities living in the UK today. For more information, click here. What: Zari Gallery exhibition When: 1st-30th October 2020 Where: 73 Newman Street, London, W1T 3EJ Zari Gallery in London is presenting an exhibition featuring Black artists for Black History Month. The team have carefully curated a number of artists from Alexandre Elenga, Lola Okunola, Marisa Quartin and Cherise Hewitt, highlighting each of their stories and contribution to the art world. Book your visit here. What: The Untold Stories of Africa by Global Outreach Foundation Where: Garthwaite Crescent, Milton Keynes When: 31st October 2020, 10am-12pm The Global Outreach Foundation is investigating the role of history in the manipulation of consciousness, enquiring about structural racism as a means to suppress and perpetuate the oppressive conditions that people of African descent, especially youth, find themselves in most aspects of their lives. The free programme focuses on combating self-hate through imparting pride in African history and heritage. If you’re in Milton Keynes, this is an event you shouldn’t miss. Get tickets here. What: The Humble Gallery presents Black History Everyday: Black Presence Where: Stratford Library, London When: 10th October, 11am-12.30pm This is a workshop to study photographic exhibition The Missing Chapter: Black Chronicles, featuring rare images portraying people of African and Caribbean descent in 19th century Victorian and Edwardian Britain. Participants will also get an opportunity to discuss the archival images and what they represent to young people today. For more information, email email@example.com to register. Tickets are free. What: Black Films Matter: Black Panther (Tribute to Chadwick Boseman) Where: Statford East Picturehouse, London When: 11th October, 7pm-10pm A tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, Stratford East Picturehouse will be showing Oscar-winning Black Panther, which tells the story of T’Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, who must step forward to lead his people into a new future and confront a challenger from his country’s past. Tickets go on sale on 1st October. To book your place, click here. What: Speak Truth To Power: Decolonising The Curriculum When: 12th October, 7pm-8.30pm Where: Online (details to be released on 1st October) A series of community conversations, aimed at raising awareness, posing challenging questions, sharing knowledge and information and ultimately celebrating the achievements of Black people in Newham, the UK and across the world. Details will be released on 1st October. Read Anti-Racist Ally by Sophie Williams (out 15th October) Anti-Racist Ally is a punchy, pocket-sized guide which unpacks complex anti-racist topics into their most important concepts and shows us how to be a truly better ally, by the brains behind @officialmillennialblack, dedicated anti-racism advocate and activist Sophie Williams. Preorder here. Loud Black Girls: 20 Black Women Writers Ask: What’s Next? by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené (out now) Curated by the authors of Slay in Your Lane and boasting a foreword from Bernardine Evaristo, Loud Black Girls is a dynamic anthology of writing on the modern Black female experience from a host of powerful new voices including writer and journalist Fiona Rutherford, award-winning journalist and writer Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff and journalist and cofounder of Black Girl Fest, Paula Akpan. Buy now. The Power of Privilege by June Sarpong (out now) The Power of Privilege offers practical steps and action-driven solutions to empower those who have been fortunate enough not to be ‘otherised’ by mainstream Western society and enables them to become effective allies against racism, written by the BBC’s first director of creative diversity and TV broadcaster, June Sarpong. Buy now. Good Hair by Charlotte Mensah (out 29th October) In 2018, award-winning British-Ghanaian hairstylist and Hair Lounge salon owner Charlotte Mensah was the first Black woman to be inducted into the British Hairdressing Hall of Fame. Having spent three decades styling thousands of people from all walks of life, she has now written this guide to loving and caring for your curls. Preorder now. Watch Rocks Rocks is the joyous new British coming-of-age drama from filmmaker Sarah Gavron (Suffragette), starring Bukky Bukray as 15-year-old Jamaican-Nigerian Olushola — nicknamed “Rocks” by her friends — a resilient teenager who returns home from school to discover that her mother has abandoned her and her younger brother Emmanuel. It’s a joyful yet heartbreaking story about young female friendship. Available to stream on Netflix now. Growing up Black in the UK This powerful documentary shares the experiences of three Black teenagers who describe what being Black is like for them in the UK. Coming together to create their own manifesto to advocate for change, they speak to celebrities including DJ Ace and Lewis Hamilton for advice. Available on BBC iPlayer late October Mo Gilligan’s Black, British & Funny Channel 4’s new hourlong show is due to air this month. BAFTA-winning comedian Mo Gilligan will be looking back at the Black comedy circuit’s history, detailing the UK’s pioneering Black comedians (Angie Le Mar, John Simmit, Slim and Michael Dapaah) who paved the way for him, as well as exploring why so few of its stars have found mainstream success. The show also highlights the new faces that you should keep your eyes on. Airs 15th October on Channel 4 at 10pm TV’s Black Renaissance: Reggie Yates in Hollywood This documentary explores how a wave of hit shows written by and starring African-American talent is shaking up the TV industry. Reggie Yates travels to LA to meet some of the stars, writers and directors of shows such as Atlanta, Dear White People and Insecure including Mahershala Ali, Caleb McLaughlin, Lena Waithe and Justin Simien, and tackles some of the questions in Trump’s America that their work addresses. Watch on 6th October at 10.30pm on BBC Four Check back here for more updates and listings throughout the month. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Gen Z On Being Young & Black In BritainThe Queer Black History Of RiotingGoogle's "Most Searched" Ad Honours Black Icons
It might be a chillier time of year but, get ready to heat things up with your makeup. Haus Laboratories is expanding its assortment with two major new launches to turn your cheeks on in a major way: World, meet Head Rush and Heat Spell, Mother Monster’s interpretation of blush and bronzer duos to instantly warm up your complexion. “Gaga is most known for her eyes — it’s the thing that draws people in,” Haus Laboratories Global Artistry Director (and Gaga’s longtime makeup artist) Sarah Tanno-Stewart exclusively tells Refinery29. “We have a lot of great eye products, but people always talk about her skin as well, and how it always looks so beautiful and natural.” Her secret? Working up a sweat to “Rain On Me” choreo works wonders for a natural flush, but so do these new launches, which you can Prime to your doorstep as of 6th October. “I’ve always believed in the power of makeup to elevate self-love,” Lady Gaga tells us in a statement. “These bronzer and blush duos are meant to celebrate the heat of your passion. We formulated them to be a silky powder, that leaves a clean buildable finish with rich, flirtatious hues and beaming highlighters. I’ve named them Heat Spell and Head Rush to indicate the ecstasy of celebrating you.” Like everything else in the Haus lineup, inclusivity and top-shelf quality were at the heart of the cheeky debut. Featuring five shades of bronzer and seven blushes to suit a wide range of skin tones, the soft-matte duos were also strategically paired with a complementary highlighter shade that can be used to strobe cheeks or even across lids. “We like to ‘glaze’ the apple of the cheek so when the light hits it, it looks really soft and beautiful,” Tanno-Stewart says of her signature method of blush application. P.S. It’s also mask-friendly: “We’ve actually been rising the placement of the blush, taking the colour across the apples of the cheek, and swiping it all the way towards the temple,” she says of her trick to keeping skin looking fresh and healthy. As someone who’s tested it all, I was insanely impressed with the quality. Just like the next-level eyeliner (another personal favourite), the cheek products feel expensive and blend just as well, if not better, than anything else in my stash. “We worked so hard on the formula, which has a very cushiony, velvety texture,” Tanno explains. “You can get the lightest wash of colour if you want, or you can go full-on pigment and build it up. It will always look super soft on your skin — it’s not like you can really see the line of demarcation where the bronzer stops and the blush.” In addition to next-level quality, there’s much to be said about the relatively accessible price point: $26 (£20) for two generously-sized pans of product. “That was all Gaga,” Tanno-Stewart explains. “She was really adamant about making sure you were getting a lot for your money, and the best quality; anyone can use these and look like they have their makeup professionally done.” Refinery29’s selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Every Product From Lady Gaga's Beauty BrandLady Gaga’s 9 Face Masks Won Her VMA Best-DressedLady Gaga's Ocean Blonde Hair Has A Deeper Meaning
If Sex and the City were filmed today, its fashion would look a lot like that of Emily in Paris. It might be an easy comparison to make, given that both the creator, Darren Star, and the costume designer, the legendary Patricia Field, are behind Netflix’s newest show, but its nods to the late ‘90s/early ‘00s HBO show are subtle enough to entice fashion-loving viewers who’ve never seen an episode, and absolutely delight those who watched every single one (many times over). Emily in Paris follows 20-something Emily (played by the newly engaged Lily Collins), a Chicago marketing executive who gets sent to Paris for a year when her company acquires a French luxury marketing company that needs (but doesn’t want) help with their social media strategy. From the start, there is no doubt that Emily, much like Collins in real-life, watched Sex and the City as a young woman, and was inspired by Carrie Bradshaw’s unapologetically over-the-top style. In the most obvious example, in episode 2, Emily wears an Alexandre Vauthier strapless top with a black tulle skirt, an homage to Carrie’s tulle skirt in the series finale of Sex and the City, which also takes place in Paris. In another, she dons earrings that say “Emily” in cursive, a nod, of course, to Bradshaw’s famous “Carrie” necklace. There are more sly references, like Emily’s love for kitschy prints and accessories that would look gaudy on anyone who’s less fearless when it comes to fashion. When she shows up for her first day at work in Paris in an Alice + Olivia blouse depicting the Eiffel Tower — paired no less with Christian Louboutin heels that say “Paris” — it’s so on-the-nose that she gets looked down on by her new boss Sylvie (Philippine Leroy Beaulieu) whose quintessentially Parisian all-black looks are, no doubt, plucked from the runways of Rick Owens and Yamamoto. (This type of cold assessment repeats when a haute couture fashion designer calls Emily the French equivalent of a “basic bitch” for wearing an Eiffel Tower charm on her handbag later in the season. Harsh!) But Sex and the City isn’t the only inspiration for the Emily in Paris fashion. Field, who came up with the looks in collaboration with French costume designer Marylin Fitoussi, also took a lot of inspiration from the 1951 movie An American in Paris. For a night in the opera, Collins wears an exquisite strapless gown look paired with full-length gloves, an elegant nod to Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face. The labels featured on Emily in Paris read like a list of brands on fashion-forward retailers like Farfetch, Luisa Via Roma, and Net-A-Porter. They range from more affordable contemporary French favourites like Maje, Sandro, and The Kooples to French luxury powerhouses like Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Dior, and Kenzo. The show also features looks from decidedly American designers like Christian Siriano (who is behind the opera dress) and Off-White’s Virgil Abloh (a clever wink given that both Emily and Abloh have ties to Chicago), as well as clothing that looks newly acquired by Emily in Paris — unless I am the only one who has a hard time finding adult-size Aigle rain boots in the US. Like with Carrie, it’s unclear how Emily can afford so many designer clothes. Though it’s not discussed how much money Emily makes, it’s still hard to believe that a young professional who ships peanut butter to Paris and gets put up in an apartment that the rental agent describes as “a room for the housekeeper” can pay for a wardrobe made of numerous Chanel jackets and handbags and a Christian Louboutin collection that could rival Blake Lively’s. Speaking of the Gossip Girl star, there’s definitely traces of the late-‘00s show, about Upper East Side high school students, present, too. (This makes sense as Emily admits to watching it in the series.) While Emily doesn’t have Blair Waldorf’s love for all things preppy, there are traces of Queen B in the green Chanel jacket she wears to an influencer lunch, and in her plaid skirts. There is also Emily’s penchant for hats — classic French berets (I imagine Emily bought them specifically for Paris), Kangol bucket hats, and beanies all make an appearance! — and bold outerwear that includes brightly coloured coats that look to be made out of cashmere, as well as statement jackets. What’s most interesting about the fashion in Emily in Paris is that, while Emily does undergo a style transformation over the course of the show, it’s not as obvious as those we’ve come to expect from fashion films like The Devil Wears Prada, featuring a young woman trying to fit into an industry that tries vehemently to keep her out. Instead of transforming herself with a makeover to gain inroads into an exclusive circle, Emily instead continues to wear kitschy prints and quirky accessories — a look that prompts Mindy (Ashley Park) to say that she “look[s] American” upon first meeting her. But, as the 10-episode show goes on, though Emily begins to adopt a more French aesthetic, which includes a muted colour palette and timeless silhouettes, she still keeps mixing it with her own clothes for looks uniquely her own. The result? Standout style that would make Carrie Bradshaw proud. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The Dark Significance Behind Ratched's CostumesMeet The Women Decolonising Sustainable FashionWhat Does A Fashion Brand Need To Go Cult?
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