Less than two weeks into spring, and we already know there will be no shortage of manicure inspiration this season. From Hailee Steinfeld’s sexy, minimalist nude nails to Kylie Jenner’s colourful ’70s-inspired acrylics, celebrities and influencers have been experimenting with fresh and creative ways to customise their nail art — but Beyoncé’s latest gold-dipped manicure takes the entire cake. The star debuted an almond-shaped French manicure finished off with metallic bronze tips yesterday as the final slide of an Instagram carousel post. The rest of the photos show Beyoncé stunning in a double-denim ensemble punctuated by piles of luxe accessories, like a cream-and-gold belt and chunky diamond-pendant necklace, not to mention that highly-covetable Chanel camera bag. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) As per usual, Beyoncé left the gallery cryptic and caption-free, but that didn’t stop the world from noticing the nails. “So you just gone dip ya fingers in gold like that?!?” wrote one fan in the comments. This is Beyoncé we’re talking about here — of course she is. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
The Stranger Things kids have been quite productive over their summer break hiatus. This week welcomes the debut of two very different Netflix projects from the cast of the streamer’s sci-fi hit. On Friday, April 2, Netflix will premiere Concrete Cowboy, a drama starring Caleb McLaughlin — best known for his role as Stranger Things straight man Lucas Sinclair — and Idris Elba. Earlier this week, Gaten Matarazzo, aka Dustin Henderson, returned to the platform with the second season of his supernatural prank comedy Prank Encounters. Concrete Cowboy is based on true events, while Prank Encounters captures real events. The rest of this week’s Netflix’s releases are similarly obsessed with the truth. Viewers will also find clothing-obsessed doc Worn Stories and sex work drama Madame Claude, based on a legendary French figure, among other new TV shows and films. These are all the new Netflix offerings broken down by plot, genre, and whether you should watch something immediately or skip for now. Keep reading for the lowdown on all of these Netflix treats, including their trailers.The Serpent (Season 1) What is it?: A great aesthetic, gilding appalling subject matter. What is it about?: Charles Sobhraj (2021 Golden Globe nominee Tahar Rahim), a real-life deadly criminal. In The Serpent, we meet made-for-TV versions of Sobhraj and his wife Marie-Andrée Leclerc (Jenna Coleman) in the 1970s, as they travel across Southeast Asia’s “Hippie Trail.” While Charles and Marie-Andrée pose as posh gems dealers, they are actually scammers and forces of murderous destruction. The Serpent hops between Charles and Marie-Andrée’s frauds and the junior diplomat (Billy Howle) hot on their trail. See or skip?: Skip The Serpent and simply get your ‘70s style fix with a pair of new wide leg jeans like everyone else on Instagram.The real-life man at the center of The Serpent desperately wants to be famous and glamorized. No matter how awful The Serpent makes Charles Sobhraj’s alleged actions look — he’s still the inspiration for the sexily shot lead character in a series airing in nearly 200 countries worldwide. The Serpent plays directly into Sobhraj’s hand (as proven by Sobhraj’s current real-life Hollywood maneuvering), and there’s no reason to support the series in that collateral aim. Particularly not when The Serpent is already such a punishing viewing experience. Concrete CowboyWhat is it?: Idris Elbra in a cowboy hat and jeans. What is it about?: Giving you a new Thing, apparently. Also, a real-life subculture rarely seen in pop culture. Cole (Strange Things’ Caleb McLaughlin) is our introduction to a fictional take on North Philadelphia’s very real Black urban cowboy community. Viewers meet Cole after his latest fight at his Detroit high school. Worried for her son’s future, Cole’s mum drives him to Philly to live with his father Harp (a gruff and laconic Elba) for the summer (at least). As Cole adjusts to his new surroundings, he is pulled between the glossy, petty crime appeal of reconnecting with old friend Smush (Jharrel Jerome) and the gruelling, but ultimately rewarding, work of his dad’s stables. See or skip?: See. Concrete Cowboy — which is partially based on Gregory Neri’s 2009 novel Ghetto Cowboy — could easily lean on the shock and awe gimmick of Black cowboys wandering around a modern day major metropolitan city. Instead, the film uses this unexpected backdrop to tell an affecting story about a father and son, all while handing out memorable parts to enormously talented actors. Even Emmy-winner Jharrel Jerome’s Smush — who would be relegated to the role of two-dimensional, corrupting criminal in a lesser project — is made into a complicated dreamer here. Prank Encounters (Season 2) What is it?: A lot of Gaten Matarazzo maniacally giggling. What is it about?: Giving Matarazzo the keys to his own prank kingdom, for some reason. As with most prank shows, each episode of Prank Encounters is a standalone story. The Prank Encounters machine runs in a predictable manner: Two strangers find themselves in a spooky situation; everyone around them is an actor paid to heighten the stakes; Matarazzo, as host, monitors and manipulates the situation through secret cameras. Eventually, there is a grand culmination of horror inflicted upon Prank Encounter’s subjects. See or skip?: Prank shows have always felt creepily laden with schadenfreude. After over a year in a pandemic, the genre has been zapped of any traces of mischievous glee it may have once possessed. Among many painful truths, this era has taught us how difficult daily life can be — it seems cruel to add unnecessary terror to an unsuspecting person’s day… and film the entire process. You can — and should — skip if this kind of entertainment will only leave you feeling grimy (viewers already had a similar response in 2019, long before anyone was thinking the word “lockdown”). But, if you do watch, please let me know if you think episode fifth episode “mark” Locke is on a calming substance or two during his prank encounter. No one has ever reacted more calmly to an apparent world-ending mutant crisis than that guy. Worn Stories (Season 1) What is it?: Something to watch during lunch. What is it about?: The ways clothing can act as a foundation for our lives. Each of Worn Stories’ eight, half-hour-ish episodes focuses on a different genre of ensemble: uniforms, survival gear, romance, and more. The first episode of the docuseries even explores the connections that are built from not wearing clothing (yes, we’re talking about a very wholesome, full-frontal heavy nudist community). Each episode interviews a handful of core subjects, who take us into their lives and closets around the country. These bigger stories are buoyed by short, oftentimes fun, soundbites from other people commenting on the category of dress at hand. See or skip?: See, in whichever order intrigues you. The first full Worn Stories episode I watched was “Growing Up,” which included far more puppetry than anyone could have foreseen (it’s the only episode with such an effect). The chapter includes a thoughtful and heartwarming look at the experience of Los Angeles teen Spirit and their non-binary B’nai Mitzvah (the first of its kind in their synagogue). “Growing Up” also reveals the way that immigrants who would normally feel alienated in America use clothing to feel safe, and welcome, in their new home. Even if you don’t think you’re “A Fashion Person,” there’s something in Worn Stories for you. Madame ClaudeWhat is it?: A French-language period piece thriller. What is it about?: The larger-than-life exploits of French sex work legend Madame Claude (neé Fernande Grudet and here portrayed by Karole Rocher). In Madame Claude’s 1960s Paris, a dramatised Claude presides over the most exclusive brothel in France, impressing the biggest names in the world with her beautiful and elegant employees. The pressure around Claude’s business explodes when French Intelligence tasks her and her staff with spy work that also happens to pay very well. Soon enough, Claude is managing a massive empire and dodging bullets. See or skip?: See. Madame Claude offers the kind of lavish mid-century glamour we could all appreciate months inside of our own apartments — and then takes you on a roller coaster of twists. Haunted: Latin America (Season 1) What is it?: A reenactment-based Spanish-language horror series. What is it about?: Real-life supernatural encounters. Like Worn Stories, Haunted: Latin America interviews its subject in-depth about their experiences. Unlike Worn Stories, all of these tales have to do with individuals’ most hair-raising brushes with the bone chilling and otherworldly, including haunted houses and the actual devil. CGI-heavy, sorta-silly recreations of the stories are paired with these confessionals. See or skip?: See, if you grew up watching Syfy channel docuseries and are feeling nostalgic. But, if you want to sleep easy at night, you can skip without guilt — especially since the casting of Haunted: Latin America is glaringly whitewashed. IrulWhat is it?: A Malayalam-language scary movie. What is it about?: Ensuring you never ask a stranger for help again. In the middle of a rainy evening, a couple (Darshana Rajendran and Soubin Shahir) winds up stranded in a creepy house. There, they meet an eerie man, who wrote a novel about the bloody murders that previously occurred in the abode. Soon enough, a dead body is found in the basement. A fight for survival ensues in a dangerous game of cat and mouse. See or skip?: See, as proof that horror projects about people of colour do not have to be limited to meditations on racism (see: Them, also released this week). There’s a wide world of non-white scares out there — and movies like Irul are a much-needed reminder for Hollywood. Just Say YesWhat is it?: A Dutch-language movie not to be confused with Yes Day. What is it about?: Finding the silver lining in a bride’s worst nightmare. Just Say Yes heroine Lotte (Yolanthe Cabau), a TV presenter and lifelong romantic, is dumped by the man she thinks she’ll marry, Alex (Juvat Westendorp), on-camera. Then, her social media star sister Estelle (Noortje Herlaar) gets engaged. Just Say Yes follows Lotte as she tries to put her life back together — and crosses paths with her handsome new colleague, Fritz (Jim Bakkum). See or skip?: See if you’ve enjoyed Netflix’s other non-English, mid-budget rom-coms, like Isi and Ossi or Squared Love. Otherwise, skip. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Your Complete Netflix Spring Preview Is HereWhy Are We All Watching "Deadly Illusions?"The Top 10 Titles Streaming On Netflix
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By the time Melbourne-based photographer Ying Ang gave birth to a baby boy in October 2017, her whole world had changed. “Devastated and in love,” she says, she entered the terrain of new motherhood. It felt like rushing – or falling – towards a new identity and a whole new way of being. She was experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety but when she tried to talk about it, she found that words couldn’t adequately encompass the totality of her experience. So she picked up a camera and began taking pictures. From these moments emerged her new photobook, The Quickening. The pictures in The Quickening are a gorgeous cacophony of tender and tension-filled scenes interwoven with moments of luminosity which show how easily the lightest moments of motherhood can slip into the difficult ones (and back again). There’s a softness to the pictures, too – a dreaminess that feels like the first moments of waking up, where everything is a little blurry and sleep images linger. Ang worked completely intuitively with her camera because taking pictures was “a need that was propelled from the gut” during that period. “The moment, the camera at hand (of which there were several), the intensified feeling from the gravity of the moment,” she says, “all building to the variety of photographs that form the tapestry of my experience.” Recalling that experience, Ang says: “It was profoundly disturbing, the way I couldn’t distance myself from my own experiences anymore. What I was feeling was literally moving inside me. The visceral nature of pregnancy began tying my sense of self, my identity, to the aches, movements, otherworldly sensations of my body and I was inescapably tied to the present, forced to live each moment instead of observing it from a safe distance.” She talks about the physical changes of pregnancy and motherhood – how small your world can become, how focused on domestic space, the repetitiveness of your days – as well as the changes that happen within. “In increments and then suddenly faster and faster, you become internally unrecognisable. The task of navigating this new geography, the new days and nights, how you eat, how you sleep, how you love – this seismic transition – is called matrescence.” Matrescence is perhaps best described as the process of becoming a mother. It is an anthropological term used to encompass the complex web of physical, emotional and psychological changes a person can experience during that transformation. The process is different for everyone but for Ang, wrapped up in the brutal experience of postpartum depression/postpartum anxiety (PPD/PPA), it felt like “a sudden landslide” and subsequent wading through the rubble, picking up the pieces and rebuilding. Ang was born in 1980 and grew up on the Gold Coast on Australia’s eastern seaboard. “I always felt like an outsider there and ultimately internalised that attitude and found solace behind a lens, cementing my position as an observer through life,” she says. “I moved through the world holding real life an arm’s length away, shying away from relationships and stable homes. The first major book that I made, titled Gold Coast, was shot very much in this way – cool, calculated and dry-eyed. Having a baby changed all that.” Gold Coast confronted the insidious culture of crime and corruption that simmers beneath the all too perfect facade of her hometown. “A sunny place for shady people” is how she recalls the press referring to it at the time. The book won awards and was the last major project Ang worked on before she gave birth. Though of course all her work is autobiographical to some extent, The Quickening is an entirely more personal endeavour. Ang had taken pictures of herself in private before, and a self-portrait of sorts was included in Gold Coast – a picture from a newspaper article in which she is photographed as a witness to a double murder – but this was the first time she opened herself up to being seen – really seen, in all sorts of ways – by a wider audience, and by herself. One of Ang’s most memorable pictures from the project is a close-up of her chest, with her baby’s arm reaching up to clutch a little fistful of her gold chains. “This was the first time I noticed that my baby would tug and pull on anything that he could grab…my hair, my clothes, my necklace, my glasses. He would literally hang off me, a permanent appendage. I remember reading that babies don’t understand that they are separate entities and that they even regulate certain physiological functions like heart rhythm and respiratory control on proximity with their mothers.” Another picture that stays with her is one of her breastfeeding, taken from the night monitor in the baby’s room. Grainy and monochrome, the figures of Ang and her son appear as if blended into one indistinguishable form as she feeds him. “I spent so much of my time in the first year of his life sitting in that chair, in the dark, feeling helpless, desperate and unseen,” she recalls. The Quickening takes its name from an old term which, Ang explains, referred to the first foetus movements felt during pregnancy. “Before the advent of the ultrasound, it was this movement that would confirm pregnancy and declare the presence of life,” she says. “The word itself also means to accelerate, to move at speed and the sensations that come with that – the exhilaration, the loss of breath and, possibly, the leaving of things behind to reach a different place. From the moment of my son’s birth, I was plunged into a place where, like the landslide I reference, the ground beneath me gave way to form a new topography, suddenly and dangerously. A deep necessity to stay alive backed up against the need to die. That is what it felt like to mother with depression. Two continental shelves pressing against each other, buckling from pressure as ancient and inexorable as the gravitational pull of the sun. It felt impossible to experience and impossible to avoid at the same time. Excruciating fear and dominating love colliding.” Ang deliberately edited the series of photographs she took to tell a particular story. “I am pointing at something specific,” she explains, “a darker, lonelier experience than the ones usually described outwardly in the public domain of the motherhood story. I felt entirely blindsided by the nature of my struggles in parenting a baby and was completely steeped in anger at the opacity of this transition in the arts, in the medical community and in public discourse. I was also angry at my own hesitation in making this work, that a story as ubiquitous as motherhood could find a place in the arts as something serious enough to consider as important. I place this squarely at the feet of the patriarchy – the gender politics of medicine and the resultant bias that leads to under-researched topics that are exclusive to females… The historical makers and gatekeepers of art minimising experiences of a classically female role, such as mothering, despite its profundity and outsize importance to humanity.” After her time making this work – and living its subject matter day to day – Ang says she learned “that there is an incredible richness and multiplicity to the experience of mothering” and also a surprising unity. “Given the enormous diversity that forms the cultural background of how women go through matrescence, the thread that binds women through this experience varies in thickness and colour but binds together nonetheless. I have also learned that the patriarchal attitudes still left in place in our medical and social structures need to give way to provide adequate understanding and support for women who are having babies, in order to move some way into circumventing the devastating statistics that we have about PPD/PPA. One in five women experience it and it is also the leading cause of maternal death next to cardiovascular complications.” The true consequences of postpartum depression and anxiety are still not talked about – or understood – enough, in any context. Ang’s project helps those of us who haven’t experienced it to get some sense of what it looks like and how uneasy it feels to live through. This is profoundly affecting work about the way your identity changes when you become a mother and the psychological, social and physical toll that can take, in front of and away from the public eye. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
Thanks to pandemic-induced stress, anxiety and the dreaded maskne, lots of us have become more invested in skincare over the past year. Whether you’re looking to quell breakouts, minimise fine lines and wrinkles or give cooped up skin a much-needed glow boost, a handful of brilliant skincare products have gone viral recently for totally transforming skin. Last week we were obsessed with No7’s Line Correcting Booster Serum; before that, Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial was the product to watch. But right now, there’s only one beauty buy on everyone’s radar: L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Laser Pure Retinol Deep Anti-Wrinkle Night Serum, £24.99. The brand-new serum is L’Oréal’s biggest skincare launch of 2021 and, like all buzzy beauty products, it’s currently making waves on social media, especially @fun_fearless_beauty. So is it worth the hype? Here’s everything you need to know. What’s in L’Oréal’s Retinol Night Serum and what are the benefits? The star ingredient in this serum is 0.2% retinol, which is a relatively low but effective dose. Retinol is derived from vitamin A and encourages skin cells to regenerate fast. As a result, it reduces blackheads and whiteheads, helps improve hyperpigmentation left behind by acne and minimises the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and rough skin texture. Other ingredients in the bestselling serum include hydrating hyaluronic acid, which attracts moisture to skin, as well as moisturising glycerin, which makes skin soft and plump. Does L’Oréal’s Retinol Night Serum work? On Boots.com, the product has almost five stars, with reviewers saying their skin looks “alive”, “healthier” and “glowing” since using it. Of course, I had to try it for myself. I’m most impressed by how the serum has minimised my faint lines. It’s hard to tell in pictures but up close in the mirror, my skin looks and feels a little more bouncy and plump. In this selfie, I’m wearing a dot of concealer around my nose and chin to blanket redness but no foundation whatsoever. As you can see, my forehead is especially smooth and glowing. @nikkissecretxx #ad @lorealparis Pure Retinol Night Serum is a GAME CHANGER😱 It helps improve my skin texture and prevents wrinkles!❤️ #revitalift #retinolserum ♬ original sound – NikkisSecretx In some skin types, one side effect of retinol is skin purging, which I experienced in the form of tiny little whiteheads on my cheeks, chin and forehead. Skin purging means increased breakouts and while it’s difficult to tell the difference between purging spots and acne spots, I put it down to the retinol working its magic. Slowly but surely, my spots began to let up. While my skin is still a tad bumpy, it usually takes 12 or so weeks to notice a big difference from any new skincare product or routine. I’m three weeks in so I’m going to persevere and will use it as part of my anti-ageing routine rather than an acne treatment. One thing I’m not too keen on is the floral fragrance. I’m not a fan of perfumed skincare in general as my skin can be very sensitive. That said, this didn’t sting like other perfumed products and the smell doesn’t linger. How should you use L’Oréal’s Retinol Night Serum? If you’re a retinol beginner, experts suggest starting at a low percentage. Luckily, this serum contains 0.2% retinol, which is a great number to ease you in. Retinol breaks down sunlight so it works best as part of an evening skincare routine, especially as skin tends to regenerate when you’re sleeping. A retinol serum should be applied after cleansing and before moisturiser, as it’s quite light in texture. You can take it up to your eye area but the skin here is delicate so you might like to apply an eye cream as a barrier beforehand. In terms of frequency, start by using it two to three times a week. As retinol makes skin sensitive to sunlight, it’s important to wear a high factor, broad spectrum sunscreen in the daytime to protect against damaging sun rays. Your chosen product should read UVA and UVB on the label. Try the new La Roche-Posay Anthelios Age Correct SPF50+ Cream, £25, which is light but moisturising; Vichy Idéal Soleil Dry Touch Face Cream SPF 50, £16.50, which doesn’t leave behind a white cast; or Eucerin Sun Oil Control Face Protection SPF 50+, £16, which is great for oily, acne-prone skin. Side effects of retinol include peeling, redness and flaky skin, the latter of which I noticed around my nose and lips. This is all normal but if your skin becomes very sore and irritated, stop using the product and switch to a bland, hydrating moisturiser instead. If you’re worried about any side effects, consult a skin expert as necessary. What are the best retinol serums? Aside from L’Oréal’s serum, skin experts such as SKNDOCTOR’s Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe recommend La Roche-Posay 0.3% Retinol + Vitamin B3 Serum, £38. This contains 0.3.% retinol, which is a little higher but still gentle. The addition of vitamin B3 boosts hydration and moisture in the skin. Also try skinSense Retinol Serum 0.3%, £39. It was created by skincare expert Abi Cleeve, who believes in a very slow and gentle approach when it comes to retinol products. R29 rates Typology’s Fine Lines & Wrinkles Serum 0.3% Retinol, £15.30, for combating signs of ageing, too. Overall, the L’Oréal retinol serum is a brilliant route into trying retinol products (which can often be quite scary and complicated) for the first time. It was so easy to slot into my routine and once I got past the purging stage, my skin loved it. With retinol, consistency is key so I’ll be sure to stock up on another bottle to keep up my newfound glow. 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?This Natural Retinol Alternative Transforms SkinBad Habit Skincare: An Editor's Honest Verdict4 Oily Skin Mistakes To Stop Making ASAP
Ever since I was young, going to church is all I’ve known. There have been times in my life when I’d attend church up to three times a week. That wasn’t compulsory; I genuinely enjoyed being in church and having a relationship with God, both of which are still important to me now as an adult. Though I’ve always had a strong belief in God, I make it a practice to frequently question what my faith means to me. It was (and still is) crucial for me to know why I believe what I believe. As I’ve got older, I’ve continued to question the role that faith plays in my life. Now that I’m in my mid 20s, I’m thinking more about my relationships. I’ve not been in an ‘official’ relationship yet and I think my faith has been part of the reason why. When it comes to dating, religion has always played a huge role. In my house – like in most typical African households – dating wasn’t spoken about at all. My church spoke about sex but not about dating or how to date, which meant I had to figure out for myself what the dating world was like. I knew sex before marriage was a sin but the lines of the dating world were all a bit blurry. When I was a teenager, online sermons took off. I started to see churches use social media as a way of sharing messages about God. A lot of these videos were aimed towards young people and they often spoke about the same topic: relationships. This was perfect for me as I was able to get all of my relationship questions answered. It was via an online sermon that I first heard the phrase ‘dating to marry’ or dating with the intention to get married. At the right age, with the right mindset, dating to marry isn’t necessarily a bad idea but when I first heard it at 15, I became fixated on finding a husband. Oriana Jemide, a 24-year-old fine artist from London, shares my experience. She first heard about dating to marry through a sermon at around the same age I did and believes that social media amplified the concept. Oriana says: “Where it may have been taught in a few Christian circles or among Christians, social media gave it, like, a megaphone. This was now the standard for Christian dating.” After watching several of these sermons, I decided that I didn’t want to date seriously until I knew I had found my husband. For someone with some experience who knows what they’re looking for, this isn’t a totally terrible way to look at things. But as a teenager, it made dating extremely complicated. Though I told myself I wouldn’t date anyone ‘seriously’, I did still try and date. The idea that I should be looking for a husband added a huge amount of pressure, not only on myself but on my teenage crushes, too. Asking yourself, How do I know if this person is the one? sucks the fun and giddiness out of teen dating and, as I got older, I subconsciously began to attract people who I knew I wouldn’t take seriously. This meant I dated guys who weren’t ready for a relationship and who often strung me along. I wanted to get into something serious but didn’t think there was much point so I just ended up in situationships. At the time, I thought the mental toll of those situationships didn’t affect me but now it’s clear they made me anxious when dating other people. Looking back, I was conflicted: I wanted to date casually but I felt like it was a waste of time. Oriana says that dating to marry made her obsessed with marriage and the future. “I still find myself doing this thing where, when I’m meeting someone for the first time, I’m asking myself, What would it feel like being married to them? I go through my mental checklist and ask myself if I think they’re marriage material.” On a first date, she says, “I’m essentially already imagining myself being married to that person.” Mo Chunks is a 25-year-old media producer from West Sussex who feels like the idea of dating to marry made her overthink everything about relationships and dating. “You’re not relaxed [on dates] because you’re seeing them more as a husband than a person,” she says. However, like me, she doesn’t necessarily believe that dating to marry is a bad concept. “Once you’re more relaxed as a person, it’s good as it helps you decipher what type of person you like and it can help you reject what you don’t like.” The turning point for me was when I started to question why I was so focused on finding the ‘right’ person. Marriage is something I desire but I don’t want to get married until my late 20s; as a result, I’ve spent years avoiding commitment as I didn’t want to get into a relationship that didn’t lead to marriage. I knew it would make me feel as though I’d fallen short. When I look at my friends who date for fun or without expectation, dating seems so easy. Even when a relationship hasn’t worked out for them, they’ve been able to move on and find other suitable partners. Meanwhile I’ve spent years dating to marry when that wasn’t even what I wanted to do. I feel like I’ve wasted time and energy trying to turn unserious candidates into marriage potential. When Oriana’s last relationship ended, this is exactly how she felt. “I was in a serious relationship which lasted about three years. I thought we would get married and when we didn’t, I remember feeling like I had failed.” Oriana stayed in the relationship longer than she knew she should. “I knew the relationship wasn’t right but I continued to attempt to make things work because it felt like a do-or-die affair.” For myself, I’m trying to learn that it’s okay to focus on being in the present and have fun. I still want to find the right person and get married but all in due time. I’m learning to take the pressure off myself and the people I’m dating. I feel much freer knowing I’m dating to get to know someone – and myself – rather than trying to get to a final destination. I only wish I had felt this way when I was younger. If I could speak to my 21-year-old self I’d tell her to have fun and not to take men or dating too seriously. Oriana and Mo have also changed the way they approach dating. Oriana says she no longer obsesses about a relationship ‘going somewhere’ and allows herself to connect with someone in the early stages. She adds: “I’ve started to kind of see [a relationship] as a friendship. [I treat it] like you’re making friends with someone.” Mo is now in a relationship and says that when she met her boyfriend, she was also focused more on developing a friendship rather than marriage. “Now that I don’t overthink as much and I’ve relaxed more, I’m able to have great sustaining relationships.” For younger women who might have fixated on marriage, Mo’s advice is to remember that life isn’t that serious and to focus on having fun. “I’ll just say ‘Be open! Don’t overthink!’ and also, like, don’t be closed-minded to things. I think another thing that a lot of women don’t want to hear in church is that God doesn’t owe you a relationship. Sometimes it isn’t about how good or bad you are, it could just be the wrong time.” Like what you see? 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Unlike the Queen—and her step-daughter-in-law Kate—the Duchess of Cornwall usually steers clear of bright colors, favoring neutrals, pastels, and navy—with the occasional pop of bright blue. The Duchess of Cornwall stunned in a flowy light blue dress with gold detailing and a cream lace shawl for a reception on the first day of a trip to Athens in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Greek independence. Camilla looked stylish in a navy and white collared dress and black boots during an outing to meet with officials involved in England’s vaccine rollout.
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‘A vagina and a point-of-view is a deadly combination,’ the Basic Instinct star once said. Her new book serves as a spectacular reminder of the outrageous fun of her Nineties fame and why she is more than due for contemporary respect, writes Adam White
Hottest front-room seats: the best theatre and dance to watch onlineFrom live streams of new plays to classics from the archive, here are some of the top shows online now or coming soon – this page is updated regularlyThe stage on screen: our guide to films about theatre Miss Julie by New Earth theatre company and Storyhouse, Chester. Photograph: Mark McNulty
We endured the most interminable winter in living memory and then, just like that, we were gifted the holy trinity: a spate of good weather and the easing of lockdown restrictions, just in time for the bank holiday. A true Easter miracle. “Don’t blow it,” the Health Secretary warned, cheerily, as the English attempted to stay calm in the face of a spot of sunshine and a long weekend. The Hancocks, incidentally, are off to Suffolk. Just for the day, mind. “We’re saying that you should minimise travel but if you want to travel to see friends and family then that is absolutely fine,” Mr Hancock said graciously, this week. “For instance, I haven’t been home to Suffolk since November. I’m planning to go this weekend, but only go for the day because there’s no overnight stays, but I’m going to go for the day on Easter Sunday.” So are you bundling the buckets and spades in the boot and hot footing it to the coast and back, like Matt, Martha and the three little Hancocks? Does a weekend of hosting and barbecuing await you, whatever the weather? Or will you be staying safely within the confines of your own home and letting the rest of the country get on with it? As the first weekend of post-lockdown socialising begins, here’s how to tell which bank holiday tribe you’re in... The back-to-backers You’ve drawn up a spreadsheet for the next three days and will be hosting groups of six at two-hour intervals throughout the four-day weekend. Anyone who fails to stick to their allotted time slot will be bumped from the schedule. After all, you were very clear on the rules in your email invitation: “Send us a text to say you’ve arrived, then follow the solar-powered lanterns down the side of the house to the back garden. You’ll need to bring your own shatterproof glasses but please visit the hand sanitiser station before entering ‘Dave’s Bar’ (note the jaunty sign on the gazebo) and helping yourself to punch made with the hooch we brewed in Lockdown 1. “Stay as long as you like (not really, we’ve got the Hendersons coming at 16:00) but bear in mind it’s strictly no bathroom trips allowed so you’ll want to be on your way before you need to use the facilities.” The outdoor preppers Fairy lights, gazebo, action! We have all become preppers of some sort this year. If the first lockdown was all about stockpiling lentils, loo roll and wine, this third has been spent squirrelling away more garden accoutrements than Charlie Dimmock on Ground Force circa 1998. You're hoping your guests notice that your Ibiza-meets-Copenhagen outdoor living space, complete with rattan sofa and weatherproof soft furnishings, now looks chicer than their sitting room. Come rain or shine, you are ready for anything this weekend. Should temperatures drop below 10 degrees, your chiminea is ready and waiting to be fired up and in a triumph of hope over experience, the Cornish shade sail you ordered in January is on standby for a freak reappearance of the sun. The day trippers After months of being told to stay at home, this is the weekend to make up for lost time and hit the motorway to visit much-missed loved ones. Overnight stays might not be allowed yet, but what better way to celebrate the easing of restrictions than by finally vacating your neighbourhood for the day and heading in the direction of grandparents, fresh air and a dose of bank holiday fun. Sure, you might end up regretting your life choices should the weather take a turn. You might even decide half way up the M1 that you’d rather your family were being forced to isolate in separate rooms than spend the next three hours in the same car listening to Taylor Swift. But even if you only manage to snatch an hour on a windy beach or back garden with family or friends you haven’t seen for months, it’ll be worth it for the memories. At least that’s what you’ll tell the children. The half in, half outers You’re not quite ready for the full social whirl yet so you’re dipping your toes in gently. The neighbours are popping round for a few distanced drinks in the garden on Saturday and you’re planning a socially-distanced Easter egg hunt for the kids, but you certainly won’t be venturing far or hosting the masses. Instead, you’ve got a repeat of last year’s virtual Easter quiz on Zoom, a long list of jobs to be getting on with around the house and a nice leg of lamb ready to be roasted on Sunday. And if you’re really honest, there are still a good three seasons of Schitt’s Creek you’ll need to get through before you can even think about fully emerging from lockdown. The bank holiday hermits You will not be venturing out to commune with the world and his wife in the park this weekend. Nor will you be hosting in your garden. Lockdown is not over and you plan to stay put indoors for the foreseeable. If you do pop out, it’ll be to make your twice daily circuit of the local environs, keeping a watching brief on the numbers congregating on the common, peering over fences and reporting all groups larger than six to the authorities. The belligerent barbecuers When the mini heatwave was raging earlier this week, you stocked up on a lifetime’s supply of charcoal and Pimms, have been marinating a butterflied shoulder of lamb to barbecue as per Jamie’s instructions for the past 24 hours, and will be damned if Arctic temperatures are going to stop the official inauguration of the full outdoor kitchen set-up you have been building all lockdown. All you need is an umbrella to shield you from the elements and you’ll happily spend all day at the helm of your Weber Genesis® II E310™ (ensuring everyone is made aware of the make and model, of course).
Even if you can’t see a blue sky, be sure to slap on that sunscreen.