This new seafood restaurant in Bangkok has a very clear concept, and it's not without some controversy. Is this sexist or should people lighten up?
This new seafood restaurant in Bangkok has a very clear concept, and it's not without some controversy. Is this sexist or should people lighten up?
As Refinery29's beauty editor, I'm very lucky to try hundreds of beauty buys, from skincare to makeup, hair and everything in between. But I have to admit that I'm selective. Out of all the products that land on my desk, only a handful are so good that I end up using them right down to the last drop – and of course I love to shout about them.Including Glossier, Gucci Beauty and La Roche-Posay to name a few brilliant brands, click ahead to shop the very best products from my beauty routine in February, and why I think they are total game-changers.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.This isn't new but in my honest opinion as a makeup obsessive, no liquid eyeliner pen compares. The tip is soft but sturdy so you can draw the most seamless flick in seconds. The best part is that the pigment doesn't budge. It stays jet black for hours, unlike some others which can turn to a disappointing shade of grey. Glossier Pro Tip, $, available at GlossierIf you're looking to introduce salicylic acid (otherwise known as a BHA aka beta hydroxy acid) into your skincare routine for the first time, start with this. It's a really gentle, non-sticky exfoliating serum which keeps breakouts at bay and tackles blackheads. I used this every other evening and alternated with a stronger acid (more in the next slide) on days when my spot-prone skin needed more of a boost. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ Ultra Concentrated Serum, $, available at FeelUniqueNo one knows skincare acids like Alpha-H. The star ingredients in this exfoliating toner are salicylic acid and tea tree, which gives the product a slightly medicinal smell. Salicylic acid is kind to skin but exfoliates deep inside pores to prevent spots and blackheads, while tea tree is antibacterial. Used every other night, it helped keep my hormonal whiteheads under control and worked wonders to smooth out my skin texture, all without stinging like similar exfoliating toners I've tried. For me, applying products like these with a cotton pad can be a waste and I always end up with cotton fibres on my skin. Instead, I patted it on with my fingertips (you can follow with moisturiser) and I'm certain this yielded better results! Alpha-H Clear Skin Tonic, $, available at Cult BeautyI can't get over how amazing this CBD body scrub smells, like lavender, sweet oranges and herbs. It revolutionised my shower time. A daily slather helped keep my body breakouts away thanks to the physical exfoliating beads and lactic acid, which also works well on keratosis pilaris (KP) or bumpy arm texture. I just wish the tube were bigger.This Works Stress Check CBD Body Polish, $, available at Sainsbury'sIf you're a fan of CeraVe's Hydrating Cleanser, you'll love this. The silky, creamy formula melts away face oil and grime without making skin feel tight or dry afterwards. It's the ultimate gentle morning cleanser and I really liked the subtle frangipane scent. Caudalie Vinoclean Cleansing Almond Milk, $, available at FeelUniqueAnti-frizz products can be hit and miss, often weighing hair down and making it feel greasy, but not this. It helped smooth down my frizzy roots and broken hairs and made my lengths smell so good. Top tip: use a hair mask in place of conditioner. I always do so after I've dyed my hair as it tends to need a bit more moisture and protection. Pantene Hair Biology Mask De-frizz & Illuminate, $, available at BootsI recently wrote a love letter to Gucci Beauty's foundation but their mascara is just as excellent. The thin, malleable, plastic brush makes it easy to separate lashes so that they look naturally fluttery and the formula can be built up to add drama. The packaging is so chic that I can't bear to throw it away, but it's come to the end of its lifespan. Gucci Beauty Mascara L'Obscur, $, available at SelfridgesLately, I'm into anything that makes my mundane shower experience feel more like a spa and this gel-to-foam shower gel does exactly that. The lather is indulgently creamy and moisturises skin as it cleanses. It smells like a sunny holiday, too.Rituals The Ritual of Jing Foaming Shower Gel, $, available at BootsThis foaming cleanser only just launched at Cult Beauty but I was lucky to get my hands on a tube in January and it's already gone. Fulvic acid (in the form of tiny pieces of peat suspended in the gel) is the mainstay ingredient, soothing skin instantly and brightening over time. I used this as an evening cleanser (I always double cleanse) as it quickly cuts through heavy makeup and makes skin feel so clean. I'm convinced it has reduced my breakouts, too.The Inkey List Fulvic Acid Brightening Cleanser, $, available at Cult BeautyLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?This Green Treatment Is Magic For Red SkinUndone Is Boots' New, Affordable Haircare BrandDisciple Is The Beauty Brand Fighting Anxiety Skin
The thought of being alone will send some hearts racing with delight and some with despair. For introverts, being alone can be a crucial sanctuary and opportunity to recharge their batteries. For extroverts, it can send them into a meltdown. Twenty-nine-year-old Francesca Specter falls into the latter category. That is, until now. The journalist, podcaster and author has spent years struggling to enjoy her own space and was determined to learn to practise solitude. In 2019, she coined the term ‘alonement‘, which she defines as celebrating the time you spend alone. “It’s giving dignity and value to solitude, in a hyper-connected society,” she writes on her website. The concept was born out of realising that while there were negative words to describe the state of being alone (like loneliness and reclusiveness), there weren’t many positive ones. “If loneliness is one end of the spectrum, alonement is the other.” Alonement has nothing to do with your relationship status, she adds. It’s all about learning to value alone time. Launching a podcast of the same name in 2020, Specter has interviewed everyone from Alain de Botton and Konnie Huq to Florence Given and former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, asking them about the time they spend by themselves — and why it matters to them. Now, in her debut book, Alonement: How to be Alone and Absolutely Own It, she dives deeper into the concept, offering tips and tricks on how to find out what you like to do, what your interests are and how to be comfortable with your own thoughts, as well as learning to achieve personal ambitions and maintain your independent sense of self. Thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Specter has put her own concept into practice after spending months in isolation. The benefits? You develop greater self-awareness, have healthier relationships and live a more fulfilled life, among others. In the following extract from her book, Specter expresses the importance of finding solo space wherever you are, whether you’re living with your parents, a partner, housemates or alone, and how finding ‘me space’ can help you find the peace, quiet and positive solitude you need amid the chaos. DashDividers_1_500x100 The notion of a solo space has been often defined in gendered terms over the years. The humble shed enjoyed something of a rebrand in the late 1990s, with the notion of the man-cave introduced in the cult self-help book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. ‘Men go to their caves and women talk,’ wrote author John Gray. Oh, John, there you go perpetuating the damaging, centuries-old gendered stereotype that ‘real men’ need time alone to process their feelings rather than seek help (we’ll forgive him – it was the 90s). Still, his writing sparked the popular term ‘man-cave’, used to describe a physical, male-only space to watch sport or play video games. Advocates of the man-cave take it very, very seriously. No, really. Here’s a statement taken from the official Man Cave website: ‘We believe that every Man has a basic, primal, instinctual need to have a space to call his own. It’s his territory. Furthermore, we believe that space should be used to enjoy his favourite activities, whatever that might be.’* But what about women? A female-centric notion of ‘me-space’ – or ‘a room of one’s own’ – was introduced by writer Virginia Woolf in her essay of that same title. Woolf argued that it’s essential for a woman to have intellectual freedom and financial means in order to write fiction, which boils down to ‘money and a room of one’s own’. In contrast to the humble shed, Woolf’s imagination of a female space was for much loftier purposes. The phrase has since become shorthand to describe a woman’s need for a space to sit and think and create, alone, and has inspired the naming of everything from a feminist bookshop to an all-female co-working space. There’s also the lesser-mentioned ‘woman-cave’ or ‘mum-cave’ concept, which journalist Victoria Richards championed in a personal essay for HuffPost. ‘When I’m in that room, I feel like I can breathe properly,’ she wrote, later adding: ‘The real challenge? Believing we deserve that space in the first place.’ Here’s what I propose: a non-gendered 21st-century rethinking of me-space. The concept of a room of one’s own has been dressed up over the years as a space for a sort of mystical creativity; for the enactment of a feminist ideal; or for the performance of masculinity. It would serve us well to think of these ideas – from the shed to the man-cave to the room of one’s own – under the wider umbrella of alonement, because alonement is worth valuing, whatever the hell you choose to do with it behind closed doors. My grandad’s beloved shed is just one example of how alonement can be built into the daily fabric of existence, particularly in a shared space. ‘Going to the shed’ has functioned as a justification for having some me-time, unobserved, without feeling guilty about it. So why not apply that principle to the space around you? You don’t need to be writing Mrs Dalloway or even changing a bike tyre to build alonement into the infrastructure of your home. All you need to do is accept three basic truths: • Alonement is a value in and of itself. • You are worthy of quality time alone. • A space to yourself will help you thrive. Lockdown, and the consequential rise in ‘work from home’ culture, made separate spaces more necessary than ever. A closed door creates a respected physical boundary; an unspoken ‘do not disturb’ that you don’t get if you’re working at the kitchen table. While I was thinking about this chapter, I called my mother – as I often do – to bounce ideas off her. This is how the start of our conversation went: ‘Sorry, darling – I’ve got to go because I’ve picked the landline up in your dad’s study and I’m disturbing his thought process.’ The idea of me-space works well in theory and is a no-brainer if you’re rich and famous. That’s why the occasional story about an A-lister couple opting for separate-but-adjacent houses – like the ill-fated Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton, or Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk – spark a level of ‘oh, if only’ intrigue. Equally, if you’re in a long-term relationship, having separate bedrooms can be a godsend. In 2018, a YouGov survey found one in seven couples would prefer to sleep in separate bedrooms if cost and space weren’t an issue, while Catherine Zeta-Jones once said the key to marriage is separate bathrooms. There you have it. What comes as more of a challenge is divvying up space in your home that’s just for you. The starting point, as with so much of alonement, is to justify the need for space in the first place. If you can identify me-space as a value within your household, whether you live with housemates, children, a partner or even by yourself (I’ll get on to this later), then that’s half the battle won. It’s true that size and cost considerations mean that some of us will have to fight for our own space more than others, but me-space can be just as much psychological as it is physical. It’s about approaching that space with intention – whether it’s an armchair in a corner or a Kardashian McMansion – that makes all the difference. Alonement by Francesca Specter is published by Quercus on 4th March (£14.99). Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Podcasts Save Me From My Own ThoughtsThere Is No Shame In Feeling Lonely Right NowIs Romantic ASMR The Cure For Loneliness?
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Lockdown's financial impact on women is being “overlooked”, more than 60 female business leaders and MPs have warned as they call for more support in the upcoming Budget. In a letter published in The Daily Telegraph, leading names including Dame Helena Morrissey, Dame Jenni Murray and former home secretary Amber Rudd have joined the British Beauty Council in urging the Government to commit to safeguarding the retail and beauty industries. The letter, also signed by Trinny Woodall, Mary Portas, Cherie Blair QC, Tamara Gillan and Baroness Bertin points to evidence that the clock is being turned back on Britain’s working women, and urges the Government to halt the reversal by “properly assessing the impact the pandemic has had on women’s lives in the UK”. The group is calling for a temporary cut to VAT for hair and beauty salons down to 5 per cent [from 20 per cent], in line with the VAT relief offered to the hospitality sector. They are also asking the Government to continue the business rates holiday to the end of the pandemic, and to lower it to 50 per cent thereafter. The letter adds: “These actions would show the Government’s commitment to backing business women in Britain, and that the female workforce is considered as a vital part of the UK’s recovery plan.” Rishi Sunak is due to announce a £5 billion grant for high street shops and pubs in the Budget on Wednesday, with individual businesses eligible to apply for up to £18,000 each. Vivienne King, Chair of the Shopkeepers’ Campaign, welcomed the fund but said it doesn't go anywhere near far enough to solving the problems faced by the retail sector. "While government grants are always welcome, up to 18,000 per business is a drop in the ocean for what these sectors need," said King. "We need long term reform of the business rates system, which is killing retail." Research by the Resolution Foundation has found that women are more likely than men to be working in sectors that have shut down during the pandemic. While Institute for Fiscal Studies research has shown that working mothers are almost 50 per cent more likely than fathers to have either lost their job or quit during the pandemic. Due to school closures, one in three working mothers has lost work to cope with extra unpaid duties at home, according to the Fawcett Society.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday — Billie Holiday, one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, spent much of her career being adored by fans across the globe. Beginning in the 1940’s in New York City, the federal government targeted Holiday in a growing effort to escalate and racialize the war on drugs, ultimately aiming to stop her from singing her controversial and heart-wrenching ballad, “Strange Fruit.” Billie Holiday (Andra Day), shown. (Photo by: Takashi Seida/Hulu) When you think of Billie Holiday, you might think of her anti-lynching song “Strange Fruit” or another of her classics like “God Bless the Child.” Maybe you think of her signature look of bold lipstick and flowers in her hair. Perhaps you’ve heard about her struggles with drug addiction. But, after watching The United States vs. Billie Holiday, it’s impossible not to see Holiday in a different light, beyond that of a legendary singer. The new film from director Lee Daniels focuses on Holiday’s (Andra Day) addiction to heroin and the way the Federal Bureau of Narcotics attempted to take her down. They knew they could catch her on drug charges, but as the film shows, the head of the FBN, Harry J. Anslinger (Garrett Hedlund) was actually targeting her because she was a popular Black woman who had an anti-lynching protest song as one of her biggest hits. The movie shows Holiday’s relationships, her friendships, the highs and lows of her career, and briefly touches on her childhood. But how accurate is all of this to what really happened in Holiday’s life? Billie Holiday’s Early Life & Real Name The United States vs. Billie Holiday shows Holiday’s childhood during a flashback. A young Holiday — who was then called her birth name, Eleanora — is living in a brothel with her mother, who kicks her out, telling her she should become a sex worker herself. This scene condenses a lot of information into a couple of minutes. (It’s also not meant to seem entirely like reality, since it’s part of a drug trip scene.) In real life, Holiday was born Eleanora Fagan in Philadelphia in 1915 and spent much of her childhood in Baltimore. When she was a young teen, she and her mother moved to New York. By the time she was 16, reports Time, they were both sex workers. Holiday eventually got arrested for prostitution. The Height of Billie Holiday’s Career & “Strange Fruit” Holiday’s story in the film begins in 1947 when she was 32 years old. At this point, she was well into her career after being discovered when she was 20 and “Strange Fruit” was well known. As a reference point, “Strange Fruit” was recorded in 1939 and “God Bless the Child” in 1941, so the movie begins when Holiday’s career is taking a turn for the worst. Holiday married her first husband, Jimmy Monroe (Erik LaRay Harvey) in 1941 and they divorced in 1947, which is in line with what we see in the movie. According to Biography, she began doing hard drugs in the early ’40s with Monroe, and started on heroin with her boyfriend and trumpeter Joe Guy (Melvin Gregg). The Takedown & Trial Of Billie Holiday If you’ve seen the movie, the number one thing you’re probably wondering about is what Holiday’s relationship was really like with Jimmy Fletcher (Trevante Rhodes). Fletcher really was a federal agent and he really was hired to infiltrate Holiday’s circle. One of the key differences between real life and the film is that Fletcher’s bust of Holiday isn’t the one that led directly to her prison sentence. Holiday was busted on drugs multiple times before she was convicted, according to Johann Hari’s book, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, on which the film is based. Is it true that Holiday asked to be sent to rehab when she was sentenced, but instead was sent to prison. She spent nearly one year in prison in West Virginia. As for the relationship between Holiday and Fletcher, not too much is known, so the film takes some liberties. “I had so many close conversations with her, about so many things,” Fletcher once said, according to Hari’s book. “She was the type who would make anyone sympathetic because she was the loving type.” Trevante Rhodes, who plays Fletcher in the movie, told Refinery29 that he gathered from an interview he read with Fletcher that the agent really did love Holiday, but that he had to create a character for the film. Billie Holiday After Prison, Until Her Death Holiday lost her cabaret card as part of her sentencing, which meant she couldn’t perform in small clubs. But, as seen the movie, she really did perform at Carnegie Hall after prison and was able to tour. She was also arrested again during this time. In 1959, Holiday was diagnosed with cirrhosis, which meant the function of her liver was impaired. She was hospitalised, and it’s true that she was literally arrested on her deathbed for drug possession. According to Britannica, she was denied methadone treatment and her body had to detox on its own. Holiday died in the hospital at age 44. As you can, see the general story of Holiday’s life is depicted accurately in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. But, as the film focuses on Holiday and Fletcher, details had to be created to tell that story and some presumptions made about their relationship. And, of course, there’s plenty that was left out — the movie doesn’t go too in depth about her marriages, for one thing. But no one’s full life story — especially that of one of the world’s most legendary artists — can be told in two hours. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Trevante Rhodes Is Conflicted About Jimmy FletcherWatch These 14 Globe Nominated Shows ASAPThe 2021 Globes Will Be Weird
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