RuPaul’s Drag Race stars Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea, and Vinegar Strokes spill the tea on the wigs and outfits that can make the difference to their confidence levels.
RuPaul’s Drag Race stars Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea, and Vinegar Strokes spill the tea on the wigs and outfits that can make the difference to their confidence levels.
“Yes, absolutely it was real,” Bling Empire’s Kelly Mi Li told Refinery29, officially stepping in the shoes of a reality star on a press day. No sentence is more necessary for someone who has allowed prying eyes into their life via a Netflix docusoap. In this case, Mi Li was playfully defending the veracity of her Bling Empire date with Kevin Kreider, the oft-shirtless male model who pines for her over much of season 1, following Mi Li’s on-screen split with on-again, off-again boyfriend Andrew Gray. “When Kevin first quote-unquote asked [me out]. I was like, ‘Is he joking?’ I wasn’t too sure at the beginning, either,” Mi Li continued, empathising with wary audiences. “But at that time, Andrew and I, we broke up. And, sincerely, I was like, ‘This is it. This time, is it. We’re not getting back together. I’m putting my foot down. This is it.’ So I think, ‘Why not? Kevin and I have been friends.’” Mi Li accepted Kreider’s invitation, leading to the salsa dancing date viewers see in fifth episode “Private Lies.” “There’s nobody better to be on a first date with right out of a relationship than with your friend.’ There’s no pressure,” Mi Li explained. Bling Empire is peppered with these kinds of moments that need fact-checking and further explanation. Some of these hanging mysteries are fun, including the origin story of Mi Li’s friendship with breakout glam oddball Anna Shay or the full events of Mi Li’s unexpected shaman experience in “Private Lies.” Other sections of Bling Empire are a little more delicate, like Mi Li’s decision to open up her troubled relationship with Gray to cameras. But, no matter how intense, Mi Li — a Hollywood film and TV producer — is ready to set every record straight. Refinery29: How did you meet the cast — particularly the great Anna Shay? Kelly Mi Li: “I’ve known everybody for a pretty long time. Anna is a newer one. A few years ago, I read the book Crazy Rich Asians. I was like, ‘These are fictional characters of my real friends.’ What a great idea for an unscripted show. “Through Andrew I met Jeff Jenkins who is a veteran in the space. I started introducing all my friends [to him]. Anna has actually been friends with him for a long time. So Anna is the only one that I quote-unquote ‘didn’t know beforehand.’” So you actually helped cast the entire show? “I was involved in putting the project together, but as far as when we started shooting it, I wasn’t involved in the creative … First of all, workload-wise it would have been too much, to run production and be on camera. Because we all know how crazy production gets.” View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kelly Mi Li | Bling Empire (@kellymili) So how did you end up on camera? You don’t seem like someone who’s alway wanted to be a reality star. “Some of my friends, they’re from family money. A lot of times, families are very protective. One of them said, ‘Okay, I’ll give you the blessing if Kelly goes on camera with you.’ Because they think I’m not going to screw up my own show. Towards the end, when I was meeting with Jeff, I was like, ‘Oh, I shouldn’t be in it. I’m happy behind the scenes.’ And Jeff’s like, ‘Nope. You and Andrew have to be on it.’” What was your thought process on letting cameras into your relationship with Andrew? “It was really challenging for us. We had those issues before filming. Those issues were always there. We were kinda… not sweeping it under the rug, but we didn’t really quote-unquote ‘deal with it’ face on. “I learned so much about myself. Sometimes it’s hard for you to look at yourself. I have codependency issues. We both did. I think Andrew was in a different kind of codependence where he needed me all the time and he couldn’t do his own thing. He was very emotionally dependent on me. And then for me, my codependence was my dad left me and my mom at a young age. I wanted to feel needed.” Did you feel nervous about your loved one seeing what happens behind closed doors? You’re obviously very close with your mom. “If I say I didn’t, I would be lying. But at the same time, I made a decision to do this show when I signed up for it. I knew that I couldn’t hold back. “At the end of the day, the people who love you, they’re always going to be there for you. They might get shocked. They might get however they feel. But they’ll get over it. Because at the end of the day, my mom loves me unconditionally. She might not agree with everything I do, or everything I say, but at the end of the day she’s always going to be there to support me.” You’re an executive producer. You just founded a new production company. But so much of your Bling Empire narrative is your love life. If there were a season 2 would you like it to focus more on your busy career? “Absolutely. We filmed a little bit of my office and my staff, but I think the majority of that did get cut out. I would love to showcase that more. I think being a woman, you should have your own stuff going on. I think it’s very important to be independent. Work is such a big part of my life. With my friends, a lot of them, they’re lucky that they don’t have to work. But I really enjoy it.” And what was the shaman experience like? Since it was so trained on your emotions? “One of the things he said to me that I still remember to this day was, ‘Stop walking on eggshells.’ I don’t know if that made it into the final cut. That’s when I realised I have a problem saying ‘no.’ It’s okay to say ‘no.’ It’s something I really still remember nowadays: Just be yourself, it’s okay to say ‘no,’ and then you don’t have to feel like you’re walking on eggshells. “At the end of the day, you can’t pour from an empty glass.” This interview has been edited and condensed. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Selling Sunset's Christine Quinn On Her HomeThis Is The Winter TV Preview You NeedDirector Calls For Star Wars Rose Tico Series
“Honesty and transparency are everything”
Apparently it works every time...
The start of the week has an edge to it. On Tuesday, the ego-ruling Sun forms a square against change-making Uranus. We’ll be itching to move on to the next big thing. Navigating this nervous energy will require patience — with ourselves and others. Keeping our schedules simple and carefully taking small steps can help us maintain a positive mindset. Thursday is a good day to meditate on how we'd like to create more satisfaction from your relationships, as charming Venus forms a conjunction with powerful Pluto. This transit offers a double whammy of emotional energy: We're able to attract others with ease, and we're especially sensitive to each other's feelings. We should act and speak with honesty to build strong relationships during this transit, and not be afraid to create healthy boundaries. We're craving the spotlight on Thursday as well, as the emotion-ruling Moon waxes full in proud Leo. Feelings will run high as the Moon creates a square against innovative Uranus and fiery Mars, so we’ll have to do our best to manage any drama that arises with grace. The Moon will also oppose lucky Jupiter and rule-making Saturn, making it a day of jumping through hoops to make others happy. Here’s where those boundaries come in handy again: We can't please everyone, and that's okay. Later on in the day, we'll be feeling more optimistic about our goals as the ego-ruling Sun forms a conjunction with bountiful Jupiter. It's a beautiful transit to reach out to someone who needs a helping hand and encourage others. But we’ll have to try to be mindful of our words, lest we come off as boastful or braggy.On Saturday, it's time to begin conserving our energy and slow down as messenger Mercury stations retrograde in independent Aquarius. When the communication planet moves in reverse, he puts more responsibility on getting back to friends, family, and colleagues. We’ll want to make sure to check our texts, inboxes, draft folders, and junk mail to ensure that we’re on top of our correspondence. Getting ghosted hurts, even if it's not on purpose. Life might be looking a little different as we navigate this transit, but it's a great time to be extra-cautious about how we come across, find lost things, and reminisce. We can think of it as an opportunity to reconnect with our inner voice, and rediscover our rebellious side. AriesMarch 21 to April 19Does your space need some added flair, Aries? You could be in the mood to spice up your home decor on Thursday afternoon, when your domestic-ruling Moon waxes full in luxurious Leo. The moon creates a square against ruling Mars (so be prepared to negotiate design decisions if you share your space) and opposes career-minded Saturn and intellectual Jupiter (so consider your professional image while making decorating choices; place a plant where it’ll spruce up your Zoom screen, for instance). On Thursday, the creative-governing Sun in your 11th house of groups, friendships, and goals forms a conjunction with philosophical Jupiter, encouraging you to get social. If you’ve been thinking about kicking off a group project, this is a good day to organise a brainstorming session with your besties. Prepare to accept little speed bumps in your day on Saturday, as routine-ruling Mercury stations retrograde in easy-going Aquarius. Be flexible and figure out solutions as you go. TaurusApril 20 to May 20Feeling constrained by your space, Taurus? Consider carving out a new place to get your work done on Tuesday, as the domestic-ruling Sun in your 10th house of career, structure, and public image forms a square against status-minded Uranus. This transit can be tense, so research simple solutions that help you to create tranquility and nurture your mind and if you notice yourself getting frustrated, take action to create harmony ASAP. On Thursday, ruling Venus creates a conjunction with passionate Pluto. If you're in a relationship, take advantage by blowing off some steam in the bedroom. Single? Your powers of attraction are growing, and you're able to capture the attention of both friends and possible romantic interests. Make sure you use your powers for good, as this transit can go off the rails when used to manipulate. Money-ruling Mercury stations retrograde in independent Aquarius on Saturday, encouraging you to be extra-cautious with your cash. It's best to use this transit to analyse your spending and get a little thrifty. Work to understand your spending habits better so that you can save for an exciting future goal. GeminiMay 21 to June 20Is it time to treat yourself, Gemini? You may want to keep your spending on the smaller side on Thursday, when your money-ruling Moon waxes full in royal Leo. This Moon opposes love-minded Jupiter, encouraging you to keep your relationships in mind before you break out your wallet. You may need a reality check before deciding to buy something — talk to your partner about the purchase, or ask yourself if you’d be better off tucking the money away for a big-ticket splurge down the road. Like travel: Also on Thursday, the Sun in your 9th house of exploration, adventure, and belief forms a conjunction with love-ruling Jupiter, putting you in the mood to hit the road. Start planning now, and when it's safe to travel again, you could embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey. Learn to love yourself more fully starting on Saturday, as ruling Mercury stations retrograde in eccentric Aquarius. Find a hobby that allows you to explore new talent and encourages your creative side. CancerJune 21 to July 22Are you ready for a change, Cancer? You could be struck with inspiration to bring more joy to your home on Thursday, when domestic-minded Venus creates a conjunction with pleasure-seeking Pluto. If you share a space with roommates or loved ones, you'll be excited to dust off some board games and make your fun as these planets complement each other. If you live alone, you might want to ring up your friends for a virtual night together. You're ready to try out a new way of getting things done on Thursday, as the money-ruling Sun in your 8th house of transformation, mystery, and dramatic change forms a conjunction with routine-ruling Jupiter. Use this optimistic transit to change up your schedule with an eye on saving money, so that you can further other goals on your to-do list. Be extra kind to yourself beginning on Saturday, and get ready to slow down as inner growth-governing Mercury stations retrograde in independent Aquarius. Check in with your spirit, and decide if you need to spend more time in mindfulness as you navigate this transit. Consider what you can do now to reconnect with your hidden self as the messenger planet moves in reverse. LeoJuly 23 to August 22Be careful with how you present yourself to others, Leo. It's crucial to preserve and protect your professional relationships on Tuesday, when the ruling Sun in your 7th house of partnerships, contracts, and business forms a square against passionate Uranus. Keep a cool head if tensions rise, as it's easier for everyone to become more excitable as these heavenly bodies clash. Do your best to see both sides of an argument, and stay flexible. On Thursday, as career-ruling Venus creates a conjunction with domestic-ruling Pluto. If you’re working from home, this transit gives you a chance to revamp your setup and even make the backdrop of your Zoom calls look a little more creative. Get serious about your finances starting on Saturday, as money-minded Mercury stations retrograde in assertive Aquarius. Use this transit to exercise your ability to say "no" and save towards something special. See how you can do more with less as the messenger planet moves in reverse. VirgoAugust 23 to September 22How do you handle unexpected challenges, Virgo? Your patience may be put to the test on Tuesday, when the ego-ruling Sun in your 6th house of health, order, and service forms a square against schedule-savvy Uranus. Before you start your day, begin with a mindfulness practice that helps you to combat stressful situations. Today, you’ll likely encounter people who may not have the same outlook, and you’ll want to be ready to defuse tense situations. Thursday's potential shines brighter, as the Sun in your 6th house forms a conjunction with domestic-ruling Jupiter. It's time to make progress on your task list so that you can fit in more exciting projects. Get ready to reassess your goals starting on Saturday, as career-ruling Mercury stations retrograde in analytical Aquarius. The messenger planet moves in reverse, helping you to be more conservative with your energy. You can do anything, but you can't do everything. LibraSeptember 23 to October 22If you could do anything, what would you do, Libra? You've got the tools to bring your dreams to reality on Thursday, as ruling Venus creates a conjunction with money-minded Pluto. Get started on your financial planning as these planets work together. Career-ruling Moon waxes full in warmhearted Leo on Thursday as well, putting you in the limelight. Don't be afraid to take credit where it's due — but with the Moon creating a square with affection-ruling Mars and opposes communication-ruling Jupiter as well, make sure that you share the love and accept your praise with modesty. On Saturday, inner growth-ruling Mercury stations retrograde in independent Aquarius. This transit brings a magical energy that can supercharge a daily affirmation habit. Don’t have one? Get started: Write up a few affirmations that help you to empower yourself, and observe thankfulness.ScorpioOctober 23 to November 21Tap into your stoic side, Scorpio. On Tuesday, the status-minded Sun in your 4th house of family, instincts, and foundations forms a square against domestic-ruling Uranus. You’ll need to remove emotion from the equation to help manage feelings of confusion. You'll be feeling pretty powerful on Thursday, as passionate Venus creates a conjunction with ruling Pluto. If you've been working to convince someone to see things your way, you may be able to use your influence as these planets complement each other. Thinking about how to attack your long-term goals? You’ll have an opportunity to put the pieces together on Thursday, as the career-ruling Sun in your 4th house forms a conjunction with financial-minded Jupiter. Start spitballing ideas, and predict what will work best for you — with feedback from friends and family.SagittariusNovember 22 to December 21Set aside time to nurture your hidden self, Sagittarius. You may be surprised by the impact a simple change to your schedule can have. Start on Thursday, when routine-ruling Venus creates a conjunction with inner-growth ruling Pluto. Whether it's meditation or a daily tarot card pull, taking the time to reflect on your spiritual side can change your perspective. Voice these new learnings with your loved ones on Thursday, as the Sun in your 3rd house of communication, thought, and community forms a conjunction with ruling Jupiter. This transit's positive energy can help guide you towards creating a regular practice from your newfound habits. Have you tried doing less, Sagittarius? It's okay to slow down your output starting on Saturday, as career-ruling Mercury stations retrograde in analytical Aquarius. See how it feels to concentrate your attention on one task at a time as the messenger planet moves in reverse. Use this transit to get focused and dream up new ways of doing things that make sense with your schedule. CapricornDecember 22 to January 19If you could convince people to support your cause, how would you prepare? It's time to put plans into action on Thursday, as career-ruling Venus creates a conjunction with influential Pluto. Do your homework before you hit the virtual pavement, and schedule a time to discuss potential collaborations as these planets work together. You may feel called towards supporting a humanitarian cause on Thursday, as the Sun in your 2nd house of finances, values, and possessions forms a conjunction with inner growth-ruling Jupiter. Try not to oversell yourself, and stick to what you can commit to during this transit. Learn to reduce your output and take things slowly beginning on Saturday, as routine-ruling Mercury stations retrograde in easy-going Aquarius. See how taking a more relaxed approach to your schedule improves your outlook as the messenger planet moves in reverse.AquariusJanuary 20 to February 18Do you ever feel as though you're fighting against yourself, Aquarius? You could feel a little uncomfortable in your skin on Tuesday, as the love-ruling Sun in your 1st house of self, first impressions, and appearance forms a square against ruling Uranus. The key to finding reconciliation with your inner and outer selves is practicing self-love. Try to forgive yourself for any perceived imperfections and allow yourself to heal. Ground yourself at home on Thursday, and approach work with an optimistic attitude as domestic-minded Venus creates a conjunction with career-governing Pluto. You may find yourself inspired by exciting new thoughts, so make sure to write them down and collaborate with colleagues as you build new projects together. The same day, the routine-ruling Moon waxing full in proud Leo gives you a chance to pat yourself on the back for taking care of yourself. Treat yourself like royalty, and enjoy the fruits of your labour. PiscesFebruary 19 to March 20You're on top of the world, Pisces. On Thursday, your creative-ruling Moon waxes full in enthusiastic Leo, gifting you with a beatific energy. Make sure that you're giving credit where it's due as this full Moon opposes career-ruling Jupiter. It's also essential that your bills are paid as this Moon creates a square against money-ruling Mars. Have you been rethinking your concept of what success looks like? You could have an "ah ha!" moment on Thursday, as the routine-ruling Sun in your 12th house of inner growth, vulnerability, and conclusion forms a conjunction with status-minded Jupiter. Explore your options before you jump ship, and research new opportunities. Be extra kind to yourself starting Saturday, as affection-ruling Mercury stations retrograde in independent Aquarius. You may need more time to process your emotions as the messenger planet moves in reverse. Ask for support from trusted loved ones, and remember that you're not alone. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Your Money Horoscope For 2021 Is HereYour Career Horoscope For 2021 Is HereSnapchat Is Adding Two New Astrology Features
Tougher restrictions could soon be introduced for arrivals
Comparisons have been drawn to a young Princess Diana
The highlight of the week for Sevillano families is the intergenerational paseo (stroll) on a Sunday morning before lunch. Locals love to perambulate down the main shopping thoroughfares – yes, everything might be closed, but browsing accompanied by animated discussions about wedding outfits and this year’s Feria fashions (colours, frill placement, spot size), along with matching accoutrements, is a favourite pastime. Even in the hot summer months, the morning is still cool enough to manage gentle exercise. Take in the orange-tree-lined Avenida de la Constitution next to the majestic cathedral (mind the trams), or head over the river to Triana, the gipsy and ceramic tile quarter. This is the moment tapas were created for – a glass of chilled, bone-dry manzanilla sherry perfectly paired with a plate of delicately sliced, nutty jamon iberico (cured ham) or gambas (prawns), standing outside in the sun – Plaza Salvador, overlooked by the magnificent baroque church, is a lively gathering spot. Of course, one of the best things about a relaxed weekend in the southern Spanish city is that improbably blue-sky backdrop – whatever the time of year, it’s likely to be face-caressingly, soul-stirringly warm and sunny. Something to look forward to when we are able to travel to Seville again. Got the brunchies? The traditional Andalucian breakfast of tostada con tomate, aceite y jamon (toast with tomato, olive oil and ham) retains sacred status, but Seville has broadened its offering in recent years. Indulge at vanguard gastro-tapas bar, La Azotea, near the Alameda (Conde de Barajas 12-13; laazoteasevilla.com). Its three-course weekend brunch (11am-2pm) features toast with flavoured butters (think cardamom and fennel); eggs; pancakes or patisserie; and the best part – a glass of cava, a Bloody Mary or a mimosa (€18/£16). At boho La Cacharreria (Sun 10am-9pm; Calle Regina 14; facebook.com/lacacharreria) near Las Setas, scoff toast, bagel, waffle or muffin, yogurt with chia, cereal and fruit, plus smoothie, for around €12. New arrival Puerta Urbana (9am-4pm, Puerta de Carmona 2; puertaurbana.com) is an airy urban space, where the beetroot hummus, grilled courgette, feta cheese and pistachio pancakes (€7) are outstanding; vegans options too.
It comes influencer- and editor-approved.
A host of new shows and films are attempting to expose the reality of women’s sexual experiences – but what might be the risks? Miriam Balanescu investigates
Metropolitan Police officers shut down a pub operating despite coronavirus restrictions in London on January 16. Body camera footage shows police entering the Dalston bar, which was open and serving customers indoors. Police said they also handed
With images of political turmoil and dissent reminiscent of our own era, the author’s fourth book is a strikingly timely read, says Michael Dirda
As fans pay tribute to the legendary TV host, Louis Chilton reflects on the qualities that made Larry King such a revered interviewer
On the scale of a fringe (or “bangs”) from baby to curtain, the latter undoubtedly takes the cake for being the most versatile. The trend, which creates curtain-like layers in front of your face, has been in high demand in salons and popular on TikTok, with the #curtainbangs hashtag amassing over five million video views. It’s also the style of choice for Chiara Wolff, Hair Me Out’s latest star. “I really want curtain bangs because I think it’s the cutest hair trend ever,” Wolff says. “I want to add some volume and bounce and give my hair some sass and attitude.” For Wolff, sass and attitude haven’t always been part of her hair’s M.O. She’s worn her hair straight and simple for most of her life, so a fringe was the perfect way to switch up her look. Wolff went to Aaron Watkins, a professional stylist in Beverly Hills, to create her curtain bangs. Watkins, who specialises in transformative haircuts, started his client’s fringe by beginning in the middle and working towards the perimeter. “I cut the curtain bangs longer and start at the chin for shock value,” he explains. “Then we’ll progressively go shorter because you can’t put it back on after you’ve cut it short.” He created a wispy fringe for Wolff that sat right above her chin, then created layers to frame her face. According to Watkins, if you’re looking for a quick upgrade with lasting impact, curtain bangs may be a good option. “You can be out in 15 to 20 minutes if you have the right stylist,” he says. “It can be a drastic change for something that’s so quick.” For Wolff, her results were a full “sassy” fringe that cascaded along her face, which looked even more stunning when styled in tousled curls. Click play to see her complete transformation. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?My Damaged Pink Hair Transformation RevealJessie J Gave Herself A Dramatic At-Home Haircut5 Breakout Haircut Trends To Watch In 2021
From aunts Hilda and Zelda to Harvey and Libby!
Though Netflix now has a “Top 10” feature, the streaming giant doesn’t yet release comprehensive viewing figures. Because of this, trying to work out the most watched Netflix shows still requires a bit of guesswork. It’s clear from social media that Bridgerton and Bling Empire are capturing viewers’ imaginations at the moment, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right at the top of the Netflix charts. In fact, new data compiled by tombola reveals that the highest-rated episode of a Netflix original during the last year is… the season finale of The Queen’s Gambit. Three months after the series premiered, the chess drama’s concluding chapter has a sky-high 9.4 rating on IMDb. In fact, five of the ten highest rated Netflix episodes on IMDb are chapters of The Queen’s Gambit. Three episodes of Mindy Kaling’s coming-of-age drama Never Have I Ever make the top ten, including its season finale, which is the second highest rated Netflix episode with an 8.9 score. Check out the top ten below: 1. The Queen’s Gambit (finale) – 9.42. Never Have I Ever (finale) – 8.93. The Queen’s Gambit (ep.2) – 8.84. Never Have I Ever (ep.6) – 8.65. The Queen’s Gambit (ep.4) – 8.66. Outer Banks (ep.8) – 8.57. Never Have I Ever (ep.9) – 8.58. Sweet Magnolias (finale) – 8.59. The Queen’s Gambit (ep.3) – 8.510. The Queen’s Gambit (ep.6) – 8.5 At the other end of the spectrum, the rather underwhelming “aftershow” episode of Tiger King is the lowest rated Netflix episode. It has a score of just 5.2 on IMDb. Right behind it are four episodes of dating series Love Is Blind. 1. Tiger King (aftershow) 5.22. Love Is Blind (Pilot) 63. Love Is Blind (ep.2) 6.14. Love Is Blind (ep.3) 6.25. Love Is Blind (ep.4) 6.2 Oh, and for what’s it worth, 36.4% of IMDb users gave Bridgerton a perfect score of 10, suggesting that if you love the warmhearted period drama series, you really love it. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?You Have 6 New Netflix Treats To BingeBridgerton Is Getting A Second SeasonThe Best Documentaries On Netflix
Another day, another iconic thong moment for Cardi 💅
How does she have so much energy? Teach us your ways, Kelly!
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 regularly
Work on these key skills to develop a healthy, happy partnership that lasts.