Beauty and Fashion

Your Summer health & wellbeing guide. 10 top companies who can help you feel good

SUMMER is literally upon us – with the mercury soaring this week many of us are using our lockdown downtime to get outside.

With all this extra time on our hands – it's a good time to take a look at your general health and fitness.

From supplements to CBD and everything inbetween, these 10 companies are here to help keep you looking and feeling fabulous in lockdown.

Shave off years with collagen supplements

Collagen supplements are associated with many health and wellness benefits.

To start with, they may help to improve your skin health by reducing wrinkles and dryness – making you look younger!

On top of this, they’re also said to help increase muscle mass, prevent bone loss and reduce joint pain – so they’re a perfect addition to your daily routine if you’ve embarked on a lockdown fitness kick!

With over 20 years experience in Collagen Supplementation, AHS are a leading supplier of the highest quality natural anti ageing collagen based supplements manufactured in the UK.

They have an ever growing range of products so you’ll easily find something that fits with your lifestyle and that may improve your health and wellbeing.

You could give the AHS Super Collagen and Vitamin C a go which naturally contains hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine, two amino acids, specific to collagen. Both of these can help replenish our bodies natural collagen production.

Click here to buy AHS Super Collagen and Vitamin C 90 & 180 tablets from Superdrug.

Brush up!

SoInvogue is a one stop shop for all of your beauty needs. They’re stocking some great brands that we bet you won’t be able to get enough of.

Brushworks offer an extensive range of new and exciting products as well as everyday beauty essentials that are loved by makeup artists and hair stylists world-wide.

If you’ve been scrolling through Instagram all lockdown long looking checking out new make up looks then it’s a great time to invest in their range of make-up brushes, sponges, implements and beauty accessories all at affordable prices.

So Eco is the face of responsible beauty, the brand incorporates eco-focussed principles that ensure a lower impact on the environment through responsibly sourced product and packaging solutions.

Create a spa atmosphere at home with products like their gentle cleansing body buffer and the lava stone pumice.

For those of you missing the nail salon, Nail HQ have everything you need for the perfect at home manicure all manufactured in the UK, free from parabens and formaldehyde.

Click here to shop and get 20 per cent off all products with code CHECKLIST20. 

Say goodbye to bladder weakness

We all love a candid chat over a cuppa or a glass of wine, and though these conversations often include taboo topics, there’s one that is rarely included – bladder weakness.

In the UK it is estimated that between 3 and 6 million people – that’s 5-10 per cent of the population – suffer from urinary incontinence.

If bladder weakness is holding you back, it doesn’t need to.

Bladder weakness (or stress urinary incontinence) is caused by weakening or damage to the pelvic floor muscles, the muscles that control urination.

The products offer dry zone technology for ultra-fast liquid absorption which keeps liquid locked in the pad as well as anti-leakage protection, fast absorption and odour control.
Ontex specialises in products for continence management and has designed a product range centred around discretion and giving confidence to the user.The iD product range covers all types and levels of incontinence for males and females of all ages.

To take advantage of a special 20 per cent online discount (until end of June) use promo code CHECKLIST20 at the checkout.

The iD range of products is available to buy here. Also click here for tips on managing incontinence and for product guidance for men, women and children, or call their advice team on 0800 389 6185.

Treat yourself to a new skincare device

As we are spending most – if not all – of our time at home these days, it’s really important to focus on our wellbeing.

We all know that eating healthily, exercising and getting a good night’s sleep are really important – and so is looking after your skin. One way to enhance your at-home skincare is to treat yourself to a new beauty device.

Using expert diode laser technology, Tria empowers you to achieve clinically-proven results at a fraction of the cost of a professional salon. Their powerful handheld laser devices offer a great solution for many skin concerns, from removing unwanted hair, to reducing the signs of ageing and skin blemishes.

In fact, their bestselling laser, the Hair Removal 4X, can permanently remove hair, so you never have to wax or use IPL again! If you’re thinking of splashing out you can buy with peace of mind as they offer a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Click here to find out more and get £30 off any Tria Beauty laser! Use code GET30.

Switch up your fizzy drinks

To look good on the outside and feel good on the inside we all know it’s important to watch what we’re fuelling our bodies with.

Though it can be tempting to reach for your favourite fizzy drink, there are lots of healthier alternatives available, like OTC.

Launched in August 2019, OTC are relatively new to the health drinks space.

OTC make both sorrel drinks and ginger beer. The ginger beer's key ingredient is real Ginger Juice which elevates the flavour. Both beverages come in still and sparkling versions.

Not only are their drinks refreshing, they cleanse your system too and provide all sorts of benefits. OTC cleans the system and provides healthy and tasty alternative to traditional fizzy soft drinks.

They're offering 10 per cent off from 1 June to 10 June if you take a picture of yourself eating a meal and enjoying an OTC – so make sure you tag them on Instagram and Tiktok.

Click here to find out more. 

Give CBD a go

CBD has taken the world by storm over the past few years as people reach for a natural remedy for a variety of common ailments.

From pain relief to help with anxiety and depression, and even as an acne cure there are lots of exciting and promising claims made about CBD oil.

CBD oil is created by taking the CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a another oil like coconut oil or hemp seed oil. CBD is not psychoactive.

For those of you wanting to give it a go, Nordic Oil makes it easy.

They believe in the healing potential of the cannabis plant and they want to give you the chance to try it for free.

There are no hidden fees or subscriptions – you just need to cover your shipping costs to try the product which usually retails at £35.

Click here to try Europe’s most sold CBD Oil for free today.

Have you tried probiotics for immunity?

It's a well-known fact that a strong immune system is integral to health. But did you know that 70% of our immune system lays along our digestive tract? So a well-functioning digestive and immune system can be vital in maintaining good health.

Friendly bacteria play a vital role in maintaining the delicate balance of the immune response and taking a supplement can be a really helpful and easy way of improving your overall health and wellbeing.

The team of experts at Probio7 have been supporting the UK's digestive and immune health since 1995. With a wide range of supplements to support the whole family.  Their new product, Probio7 Immune+, is specifically formulated for daily immune support. Immune+ contains 10 billion live 'friendly' bacteria as well as the optimum amount of vitamin D to support your immunity. Plus they’re gluten free, dairy free and GMO free as well as being suitable for vegans so it's easy to fit them into your diet.

Visit Probio7 and shop now. 

Bring the sauna home!

If there’s one thing we’re really missing during lockdown (friends and family aside, of course) it’s relaxing in the gym, spa or sauna.

Saunas aren't just a great place to relax and unwind, they've also been proven to boost immunity and help you sweat out toxins.

Well, now you can sauna from home. From celebrities to global sports stars, infrared saunas are being praised for their benefits on body and mind. MiHIGH's infrared blanket brings all of these benefits directly to your home.

This new infrared sauna blanket allows you to totally relax and get your sauna fix without leaving your bed. Have a sauna wherever or whenever you want it – without having to book.

It’s not all about relaxation either as you can also burn up to 600 calories per session!

Unsure about the power of infrared? Take advantage of MiHIGH’s 30-day, risk-free trial.

Visit the website to find out more and place your preorder.

Invest in some ethical skincare

Based in London and founded in late 2019 by a sibling-duo, Lumen Vitae is an ethical skincare company. If you’re looking for guilt-free skincare that works then look no further!

Founders Coline and Raphael were on a mission to create healthy, effective skincare without any environmental compromise.

Made exclusively in the UK and France, the products are formulated without any nasties or controversial ingredients and they're rich in powerful actives such as Vitamin C, glycolic acid, stem cells, algae and precious oils.

Lumen Vitae are all about making your skin glow naturally. Best of all they never make promises they can’t keep and don’t use artificial fillers that only make your skin look good from the outside.

Furthermore, all of their ingredients are sustainably-sourced and come in glass containers with bio-based labels and compostable boxes so you don’t need to worry about excess packaging waste.

Find out more about Lumen Vitae by clicking here. 

There's an environmentally friendly alternative to tampons

Aussie brand ModiBodi™ are here to help offer women a better solution for managing periods and leaks and one that is more environmentally friendly than traditional pads or tampons.

The original period underwear brand offer women a fantastic alternative to wearing disposable sanitary products. Each pair has been designed to look and feel just like regular underwear, all whilst keeping you 100% leak free.

With a thin, yet highly absorbent layer to product from leaks, the technology also ensures any bacteria or odour is quickly wicked away too, so you can be leak free, smell free and worry free.

Super comfy and surprisingly stylish, each pair can simply be washed after use (according to instructions) and then reused. Plus every body type and every flow is catered for in the range.

Simply order online on its UK website and the item will be delivered straight to your door, all from the UK warehouse.

As a first-time customer, you can try one Modibodi garment for 30 days risk-free by clicking here.

Source: Read Full Article


Everything You Need In Your Sexual Health Toolkit

For the longest time, sexual health advice seemed to start and end with “have condoms!” or “talk to your doctor!” Which was underwhelming and less-than helpful for people who are hungry to be proactive about keeping their sex lives healthy and pleasurable.

These days, the conversation around sexual health has totally changed. The term now not only encompasses preventing sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy (that is, if you don’t want to get pregnant) but female sexual pleasure, consent and comfort (heck yeah!)  — at every stage of our lives. So it’s only right that the sexual tools we need should change with it.

“There’s no reason that sexual activity shouldn’t be safe and pleasurable,” says Dr. Lauren Streicher, MD, medical director of the Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual Health and Menopause and author of Sex Rx. “For so many women, their sexual activity is about making it nice for the guy or their partner… and while that’s good, it should also be about themselves.”

Consider this a go-to list of basics that every woman should have in her sexual health toolkit.

Your HPV vaccination

The number-one preventive measure that every sexually active uterus-haver should take is getting vaccinated for the most commonly transmitted STI, human papillomavirus, Dr. Streicher says. The new vaccine, Gardasil 9, protects against strains of HPV that cause 90 percent of genital cancers and 90 percent of genital warts. Although some people think the HPV vaccine is only for young people (it’s approved for ages 9 to 45), getting the vaccine at any age, even if you’re beyond childbearing years, is a good idea, she says.

If you fall into the over-45 age group, know that even though the vaccine has shown to have value for women in that age range, it isn’t yet FDA-approved for women 45 and up, so you’ll have to pay for it out of pocket. But, unless you’ve been in a 100 percent sexually monogamous relationship for many years, it’s worth the money, Dr. Streicher says.

Condoms (including the “female” condom)

Having a box of condoms on hand is an obvious — but critical — toolkit item. Using them correctly is vitally important, and not just to prevent pregnancy.

“Even if you are using the pill or IUD and this is not a mutually monogamous situation, you should be using a condom as well for STI protection,” says Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University.

Along with your usual condom stash, consider the FDA-approved internal condom, sometimes called the “female” condom, FC2, which better protects against sexually transmitted infections such as herpes and HPV because it covers the entire vulva rather than just a male partner’s penis, Dr. Streicher says. Plus, it puts you in charge.

Another benefit: Because you generally need a prescription to get the internal condom (either from your usual provider or online via the HeyDoctor app), if you’re insured, you’ll usually pay nothing out of pocket. If your insurance doesn’t cover it, they’re usually about $20 for a 12-pack. Sometimes health centers give them out for free: Contact Planned Parenthood for help locating them.

Dental dams

If you’re going down on a woman or you’re performing oral sex on your partner’s anus, dental dams — rectangular sheets of latex — protect against STIs. FDA-approved Sheer GLYDE Dams are a safe bet. If you have trouble finding them in stores, you can order them online, or you can make your own dental dam by cutting open an unlubricated condom lengthwise. Put some lube on the side of the rectangle that touches your partner’s skin to give them extra pleasure.

The morning-after pill

If your regular contraception method fails or you were forced to have nonconsensual sex, making a mad dash to the pharmacy for an over-the-counter morning-after pill can add stress to an already stressful situation. Just in case, it’s worth it to keep emergency contraception, such as Plan B One-Step, on hand to make sure you have access to it, Dr. Streicher says. Even though you can wait up to five days after unprotected sex to take the pill, the sooner you do, the more likely it is to work. Just keep an eye on the expiration date.

This advice applies if you’re 40 or older, too, Dr. Streicher says: “Particularly where we see a lot of unplanned pregnancies are women in their 40s, because they have this idea that they’re not fertile anymore, so they don’t have to worry about it. In fact, while fertility is diminished after 40, that doesn’t mean that it’s eliminated.”

A fantasy item (or several)

What truly turns you on? It belongs in your kit. “Whether you’re turned on by images, videos or the written word, we can all use a helping hand to get us in the mood after (or before) a busy day,” says Jess O’Reilly, Ph.D., host of the Mindful Sex Video Course. “Keep a collection of erotic stories in your toolkit — check out Rachel Kramer Bussel’s Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4 — or bookmark your favorite site. I like”

If having an orgasm is important to you, but you’ve never had one or you want to learn a new technique, check out, a scientific-research-based website that features videos of women self-stimulating and having orgasms in order to teach other women (and other interested parties) how to do it themselves. There are even graphics and touchscreen simulations.

If you’re into vibrators, put your favorite one (or more) into your kit to enjoy solo or with a partner: “If you’re new to toys, consider a simple bullet vibe to start, and if you’re a seasoned pro, check out the Womanizer line, which uses ‘pleasure air technology’ to create an intense sensation similar to sucking right on the head of the clitoris,” O’Reilly says. “If you like the idea of the rabbit vibes but want a toy that actually hits your G-spot and clitoris simultaneously, try the We-Vibe Nova, which provides rumbly vibrations both internally and externally.”

The right lubricant for you

First, it’s important to note that sex should never hurt (if it does, see your doctor; if she doesn’t find a physical problem, talking with a therapist could help address psychological issues stemming from trauma, etc.), and keep in mind that both young and older women may require lubricant for comfortable, pleasurable sex, Dr. Streicher says. That said, some lubricants aren’t condom-compatible: coconut oil, baby oil, and olive oil break condoms down and make them less reliable.

For both safety and comfort, either choose silicone lube — Dr. Streicher recommends Replens Silky Smooth because it’s easy to find and super-slippery — or look for a water-based lube that’s closest to the vagina’s water-molecule concentration, called “osmolality,” in order to minimize friction and irritation. A vagina’s osmolality is about 300; water-based lubes that clock in at 400 or less, like Good Clean Love’s BioNude, are ideal. A water-based lubricant with an osmolality that’s above 1,200 is not only more likely to tear delicate vaginal tissue and cause discomfort, but it’s actually considered unsafe by the World Health Organization due its elevated risk of transmitting HIV. (Note: Silicone lubricants do not have osmolality problems.)

Those fun-sounding flavored lubricants and lubes that tout their warming or tingling benefits? They’re more likely to irritate vaginal tissue, Dr. Streicher says.

If you’re actively trying to get pregnant and are timing sex, you might be a bit dry, considering that scheduled sex isn’t necessarily the most romantic, says Dr. Minkin. In that case, use a lubricant that’s sperm-friendly, such as Pre-Seed.

Another tip for before you hit the sheets with your partner: “Trying out the lubricants on your own before sex can be helpful so you can find a lubricant that doesn’t irritate you,” Dr. Minkin says.

Prenatal vitamins — if you’re trying to get pregnant

Even before the pregnancy test is positive, if you’re in baby-making mode, grab a bottle of prenatal vitamins the next time you’re at the drugstore.

“Make sure you are taking a prenatal vitamin with plenty of folic acid in it,” Dr. Minkin says. “We know that women who conceive while they are taking folic acid substantially reduce their chance of having a baby with a neural tube defect.”

A version of this story was published March 2019.

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes. 

Looking for your new best friend? Try our ultimate vibrator list: 

Source: Read Full Article

TV and Movies

If You’re Sick of Your Apartment, Please Enjoy the Real Estate on ‘The Great’

For most of us, life right now looks like a lot of days spent indoors, doing mostly nothing, and wishing we had any other view than the one from our bedroom windows. While it’s much better for the world to stay indoors right now, it can also be pretty… boring. Enter Hulu’s The Great, a show that focuses on Catherine the Great’s rise in Russia way back in the old days. It stars Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, and there’s a ton to love about it, but number one on the list has to be the really great castle footage. The sets on this show are so damn good that you might temporarily forget that you’re stuck indoors. Promise.

Here, seven pictures that will inevitably have you drooling.

For starters, this is where they live:

In this big ass castle. It’s fine! Everything is fine. I’m sure that, just like my three bedroom apartment, it also only has one bathroom.

Here’s their entryway:

My entryway, with its little four-digit entry code and an unsightly mountain of Amazon packages, could quite literally never.

LOL, a regular hallway:

That looks exactly like yours, I’m sure!

The place they park their carriages:

Again, same! Totally same.

Their banquet room:

Are you reading this with a bowl of cereal resting on your stomach, your body having fully melted into your couch?

Catherine’s bedroom:

See all those books? Have you even cracked a book during this quarantine? Woof.

Another look at that entry hall:

Just for fun to fuel the deep jealousy inside your heart.

Source: Read Full Article


Happy Valley tips: Your betting preview from Templegate as Happy Valley races on in Hong Kong on Wednesday


Race 1 – 11.45

ZAC Purton is an eye-catching booking for LORIZ who has landed his two wins over this trip. The champion jockey hasn't ridden him before and he showed enough when second at Sha Tin a couple of starts ago.

Super Lucky has been unlucky with the stall 12 draw which makes it very hard to win. He's the form horse in the line-up and won well over this trip two starts ago before finishing a cracking second from out wide latest. He could hit the frame again despite starting in the car park.

Monkey Jewellery looks a threat after putting up an improved display when third here latest. That was over this trip in today's grade so he should be on the premises again from a fair draw.

All Best Friends won in lesser company at Sha Tin earlier this season and wasn't disgraced when beaten two lengths there latest. A repeat of that could see him hit the frame.

Race 2 – 12.15

ROYAL RACER has been showing positive signs including when beaten just over a length here last time out. He was coming back from a break so may have needed the run.

He runs off a similar mark to his second over course and distance in January when he was half a length off the pace in this class. Joao Moreira is an upgrade in the saddle which could be the final piece of the puzzle.

Rich And Lucky has had 80 days off but Purton gets back on board which never hurts. He was in the saddle when winning a hotter contest than this at Sha Tin three runs ago. The four-year-old is just 2lb higher in the weights today.

Race 3 – 12.45

YEE CHONG PEGASUS has not finished out of the first two this season and the handicapper has not gone mad with a 2lb rise for a close-up effort on his return to Happy Valley last time. This trip is ideal and stall seven gives him a chance.

Good Shot was a 46-1 winner in this grade here last month but that wasn’t a fluke and he should improve on just his third outing.

Zac Purton takes over on Bright Kid. He needs to raise his game but has the plum draw and has tumbled down the weights.

Race 4 – 1.15

LIGHTNING STEED didn’t get going at Sha Tin last time after a solid second ere two runs ago. He was in front entering the final furlong and Moreira on board today may help him get home.

Methane has been consistent with a win and two places here this season. He was beaten in a tight finish on his most recent run at the Valley in March. He’s just 1lb higher in the weights today so should be right there.

Regency Gem is another on a fair mark and he can’t be ruled out despite starting from stall 12, while Eptiwins is going up in distance from a handy mark and is lightly raced for his age.

Race 5 – 1.45

HARMONY N HOME is having just his fifth run and has touched lucky by being drawn in stall one. He came back from a short break two runs ago to finish third in a blanket finish over course and distance. He disappointed in a similar contest latest but it’s early days and he can get back on track.

Destine Jewellery rarely runs a bad race and was a comfortable winner here last time out. The handicapper was watching and an 8lb walk up the weights gives him a bit more to find.

The Runner enjoyed dropping back to this distance when less than a length off the pace here latest. He comes back from a similar mark and should be right on the premises again, while All You Know has been going well at this level and has been given a chance by the assessor.


New Customers get a risk free £20 bet. If your first bet loses, you will be refunded in CASH! CLAIM NOW

T7Cs: New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Apple Pay will qualify for this promotion. 18+ T&C's apply

Race 6 – 2.15

BE READY has every chance of landing an overdue success from a good low draw. He had to settle for second behind Larson over course and distance last time but is much better off at the weights today. His main rival has also been snookered by drawing stall 12 over this sharp trip around a tight track.

Very Sweet Orange landed three wins on the spin before chasing home Larson and Be Ready latest. He led as usual but couldn’t get home after more punishment from the assessor. He’s off the same mark today so it could be the same result.

Flying Genius is a consistent performer over this trip and was a solid second off this mark at Sha Tin latest. He is near the rail and should be competitive despite being 8lb higher than his last success.

Race 7 – 2.45

SUNSHINE WARRIOR has been getting the job done well and can strike again despite a hike in the weights. He won at Sha Tin in January and made it two victories from just two outings at the Valley 21 days ago. He’s got another 6lb in the saddle today but looks capable of a bold showing.

Enfolding was less than a length off the tip last time and is better off at the weights. He is suited by this distance and looks a threat. Best Alliance won cosily here two runs ago before a solid fourth off this mark in Sunshine Warrior’s last success.

He has place claims again, while Chairman Lo scored over 7f at Sha Tin last week and can’t be ignored.

Race 8 – 3.15

WINNING FEELING could be overpriced after three good runs over course and distance. He was a good winner before Christmas and was again right on the premises last time out. He’s had a little break since then but this race looks wide open and his mark gives him a chance.

Golden Dash has a poor draw but won well here two runs ago and was a close-up second latest. He’s proven at this level so could hit the frame.

Island Shine is up 6lb for a narrow success under Zac Purton here latest and the top jockey stays on board. He has the perfect inside draw so should be right there again.

Race 9 – 3.50

DANCES WITH DRAGON has won on his past two visits to Happy Valley including in this strong class last time out. He got the best of right battle in the straight and looks capable of pulling out more.

Enrichment was just a head away in second there but just couldn’t get past. He’s 3lb better off at the weights today and it should be another ding-dong.

Happy Fun has plenty of strong form at Sha Tin where he’s usually right on the premises. This is his first trip to the Valley but he’s proven in this grade and should run well.

Happy Dragon went close in a hot contest here two runs ago and has had a little nudge down the weights since then.

Tote: Pool betting available on all races from Hong Kong through our betting partners. 


Source: Read Full Article


Who makes YOUR lockdown top ten? A team of top writers reveal theirs

Who makes YOUR lockdown top ten? A hairdresser, a good cook… but will your spouse make the cut! As the Government suggests you may be able to widen your corona bubble to 10 people, top writers wrestle with this thorny social dilemma

  • One idea for easing lockdown restrictions is to allow us to choose ten friends with whom we could socialise
  • The details are being finalised but it does raise a difficult social conundrum  
  • Broadcaster Jenni Murray would pick her husband first who she hasn’t seen since March 15 

As the Government prepares to ease lockdown restrictions, one idea is to allow us to choose ten friends with whom we could socialise. Details are being finalised — but it does raise a difficult social conundrum. Who would you choose and who would you leave out? Seven writers explain how they would pick their lockdown Top 10.  

As the Government prepares to ease lockdown restrictions, one idea is to allow us to choose ten friends with whom we could socialise

First on the list would be my husband, David, whom I haven’t seen since March 15

My snipper is a shoo-in

Jenni Murray, broadcaster

How I long for the Government to allow us to nominate ten people with whom we’re allowed to socialise. I’m so alone stuck in London with only three dogs and a cat to keep me company.

It’s a conversation-free zone. But deciding who to choose is a dilemma. Do you go for sentimentality or practicality? Give in to family obligation? And what about the people you don’t choose. How much do considerations of offending someone who might never forgive you play a part?

Stripping your social circle down to ten is hard, but I’ve tried to combine head and heart.

First on the list would be my husband, David, whom I haven’t seen since March 15. I’m in London for work and he’s in our home on the South Coast, also alone. The temptation to drive to the sea has been overwhelming but I’ve been a good girl and resisted it.

My two boys and their respective partners would both have to be included. Ed and Liz are in the New Forest and Charlie and Minal are not far from me in North London. I’ve seen Charlie twice as we’ve chatted at a safe distance in my front garden, but there’s no way I could exclude him from the list. He and his brother never fail to play the ‘She loves me best’ game if one feels excluded.

Sally, my best friend and her husband, Lawrie, would be invited. He is the most amusing conversationalist I know and she has been loyally keeping in touch by phone.

Norma is the family’s longest-standing friend, and used to be our dentist. Everyone would be keen to see her. And that leaves two, who would be Lisa B and Annie. Annie colours my hair and Lisa cuts it, and I haven’t seen them since February 11. I’m desperate.

I know my second best friend, Griselda, will be miffed that I have chosen somebody’s else’s husband and my hairdressing team over her. She might never speak to me again. But, hey, in such straitened times, needs must!

If I have learned anything during these past few weeks, it’s not that people matter, it’s that the right people matter

No to my moody mother-in-law 

Jane Green, novelist

With six adult children, there are eight of us living in our suddenly-not-so-big cottage, whose plumbing was clearly not designed for this many people.

I would gladly swap the seven other people for ten new people, because we’re all a bit sick of one another at this point, although the children are very good at cooking.

But if I am allowed a shortlist of ten people with whom to socialise, how do I pick and, more important, who do I pick? Who would I want to see on a regular basis who wouldn’t drive me mad?

My husband will almost certainly want his mother added to the list — but I shall have to protest. When in a good mood, there’s no one more fun, but her mood these days is dark, and the last thing I need is someone else to take care of.

If I have learned anything during these past few weeks, it’s not that people matter, it’s that the right people matter. Life is shorter than we think and, even housebound, there is never enough time.

When I do have time to see people, when I am allowed, I want them to be the people I truly love, the friends who have become family. If you aren’t now prepared to make tough decisions and gently let go of the outer circle, when can you?

Two of my very best girlfriends, Emily and Lisa, are unequivocally at the top of the list. I adore Emily’s husband and baby son but I’m afraid I can’t add them. The list is short and I must be ruthless. Also, they don’t make me laugh. Emily and Lisa, however, are filled with laughter, wisdom and support.

Jennifer is on the list because she’s the perfect drinking buddy, and given that I have taken up serious drinking as my quarantine hobby, I need tips from an expert.

My brother Charlie makes the cut because I miss him terribly, and his presence makes everything better. I’m afraid I’m not having my parents. Not because I don’t love them, but because my father never stops eating and we can barely feed everyone as it is.

My friends Fiona and Andy are on the list because not only are they great conversationalists but also Fiona would make me feel guilty about my new-found slothfulness.

Nancy will expect to be on the list — but she is not. She is wildly competitive, constantly talking about the brilliance of her children, and, frankly, the break I’ve had from this friendship has been something of a welcome relief.

My friend Steve is definitely included because he’s always up for a party. My God, I miss dancing. I’m throwing in Sophie and Stefan because they’re neighbours, so it’s easy to release them if I need to. And for my tenth person, it would have to be my cleaner, Lucy.

I am drowning in cooking, cleaning, laundry and ironing, with little time for much else.

And when Lucy’s back, she is getting a very big pay rise.

My wife is insisting we have Gok Wan over for a complete style makeover

I want Gok Wan for a makeover

Gyles Brandreth, author and broadcaster

I could do with some stardust to brighten up the place. So I am starting with my friend Barry Cryer. No one knows more jokes or tells them more brilliantly. Next up, it will be Sheila Hancock. We went on a canal-boat holiday together just before lockdown and she’s the best company and a vegan, too. I am a vegetarian, but my diet has gone to pieces these past few weeks. Sheila will put me right.

I need some exercise so I’m going to include national treasure Dame Judi Dench and her grandson, Sammy, who has been teaching her how to throw some shapes on TikTok. Drag queen Baga Chipz from RuPaul’s Drag Race is definitely invited. We met doing Pointless Celebrities. He has discovered that I have appeared in drag in my time, so he wants to come and have a good look through my wardrobe.

During lockdown I’ve been dressed in my notorious 1980s jumpers, so my wife is insisting we have Gok Wan over for a complete style makeover. I think all I need is a haircut — which is where Joanna Lumley comes in. Years ago, she did cut my hair in my kitchen simply to prove that she could.

I’d love to have two poets-in- residence. I’m opting for two friends: Pam Ayres and Roger McGough. Roger stood outside my window recently to show me his latest poem Work In Progress. In full it read: ‘So far, so good.’

Oh yes — and since I know him a little, I’m including Boris Johnson. I need him to come over if he will. I would like to find out what’s going on.

Being forced to select just ten comrades reminds me of a party a friend threw to impress a chap at college

I need great mates to motivate me

Hannah Betts, writer

Being forced to select just ten comrades reminds me of a party a friend threw to impress a chap at college, at which everyone had been chosen to bring something to the party.

There was the cool guest, the funny one, the beautiful one. Each had to cater to a different practical or emotional need. When choosing would-be lockdown companions, it’s similarly important to choose people who bring different aspects to our lives.

The first pick for my dream team is my friend Harry, whom I have holidayed with repeatedly while never being anything less than enchanted. He races about doing things while I sleep in, then we are united over books and bitching.

Our friend Ned once negotiated us to the front of a three-mile long Turkish ferry queue while knowing only the word ‘kebab’, so would be required for his diplomatic skills.

My friend Fitz is so joyous she would bring cheer even if the world were ending, which it may yet be. I would also call upon Jules, a real-life psychologist and beyond wise. Eleri would be another obvious choice, a dazzling cook and seamstress. Clem can read tarot cards and administer reiki.

My foodie neighbour, Geoff, is included because he is a man who understands my need for asparagus, decent bread and stinky French fromage. Eliza’s jewellery shop is my happy place, and I see no reason why isolation shouldn’t mean gazing at diamonds.

My family is as belligerent as it is enormous: put more than two of us in a room and warfare ensues. So I would airlift my niece, 15-year-old Issy, into my gang of ten to take care of grooming, social media and pizza-ordering. My boyfriend, Terence, has been the best and worst of lockdown allies: early-rising, over-achieving, living his best life, while I slob about in a state of terminal torpor. He does the garden so I’ll keep him in my iso-bubble, provided he lays off the motivational speeches.

Mine is a very practical list. Those who live beyond London will be excluded

My ABBA heroine — and Dame Joan!

Andrew Pierce, Mail columnist

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. I hope they’re right. I’ve been apart from my partner Russell for five weeks as he’s working on the South Coast. If he’s not top of the list, there will be divorce papers in the post.

Next has to be the Mail’s Amanda Platell, one of my best friends. A near neighbour, she performed a modern-day version of Florence Nightingale delivering daily fresh food when I was recovering from the virus. She also never runs out of vodka!

Mine is a very practical list. Those who live beyond London will be excluded, especially my friend Debbie, as that will spare us having to endure her homemade carrot soup, which has the same consistency as lumpy porridge. If I’m allowed to cheat, I would draft in a personal trainer as I can already feel the pressure of the lockdown on my waistband.

My chum Judy Craymer, the genius behind the musical Mamma Mia!, is included as she has every track of Abba music ever written. I want tickets for her show when the West End reopens.

Dame Joan Collins and her husband Percy will have a long list of people who want to be in their top ten. I might just make it. They’re great company, incredibly generous, and they have the best Hollywood gossip. It goes without saying I’ll include my sisters Sue and Shirley. They’d never let me forget if I didn’t. But not my brother Chris, as we argue too much.

Finally, Jane Moore, star of ITV’s Loose Women, who is unflappable, funny and just great to be around. As for her husband Gary, he will be included — but only if there is a suitable barn for him to sleep in if we all stay together.

If you’re going to be limited to a social circle of ten then you don’t want it to be hard work

My manicurist Nicky is a must 

Aggie MacKenzie, TV personality and writer

Obviously my gorgeous, funny sons Rory, 28, and Ewan, 24, would be right at the top of my list. They are both chefs, so we would enjoy the best fun and food imaginable. Mind you, they do like a drink, so our livers — and my bank balance — would take a pounding.

I would need to include their girlfriends (happily so), otherwise the boys would get very grumpy.

Next up would be Nicky, who does my Shellac manicures and pedicures. Much as I love the longevity of Shellac, it is impossible to get off without picking, and is better when removed by a professional.

The ends of my fingers and toes currently look abysmal. Nicky is also great company.

Out of my two best friends Elaine and Alison, I would choose Alison, because I don’t want to be ‘piggy in the middle’ between two people I am very close to but who barely know each other.

I understand the pressure to be diplomatic, but if you’re going to be limited to a social circle of ten then you don’t want it to be hard work. Second, Alison’s partner is far away in Yorkshire and Elaine is happily married to Jeff. (Phew, think I managed to slither out of that one unscathed.)

There’s someone who would probably expect to be on my list but I’m afraid would have to be excluded. Martin is an old, dear (ex-boy)friend who is divorced and lives alone.

Unfortunately, he’s also highly opinionated, competitive, vocal and palatable only in small doses. He gets very touchy if anyone levels any criticism towards him — or his small, similarly yappy dog. Much as I love you, Martin, you will have to find a different bubble to burst.

Finally, my relatively new boyfriend Fin. He and I have been in lockdown together at my house since March 23. It took us a full two seconds to decide that was what we both wanted; each time there’s an announcement that lockdown will continue a while longer, big grins break out across our faces.

I don’t really feel the need for any more people in my cluster, but to make full use of my ten, I would keep it in the family and add Fin’s sister Roz, who introduced us and also conveniently knows my friend Alison.

And I would add Fin’s two sons, Lucas and Hugh, who are the same age as my sons and another couple of cheeky, companionable North London boys.

I have the advantage of having been conditioned by boarding school and being in the Big Brother House

A house of fun — but no smokers!

Rachel Johnson, journalist and author

I have the advantage of having been conditioned by boarding school and being in the Big Brother House. I know that what you want from a ‘housemate’ in order of importance are 1. Cheerfulness. 2. Conversational ability 3. Cooking skills and 4. Cleanliness.

I was tempted to have an all-female household. But I’ve decided that would be too sterile. I want to have a red-blooded House of Fun.

So I would have a few fellow frustrated super-socials: The ‘tastemaker’ Nicky Haslam, without whom no social occasion is complete, as every night would be a party. I’d have the fun-magnet Nicholas Coleridge, who is a jukebox of jokes, accents, and anecdotes, plus Jemima Goldsmith, who sings like Maria Callas for her supper, as well as being incredibly clever and easy on the eye.

I would have P.J. O’Rourke but I fear he’s a smoker and I’d start puffing away like a locomotive. In fact, I’d exclude all smokers (and vegans — the catering!)

My family is too numerous but I insist on having my three adult children whether they liked it or not.

You want a film and TV buff to ‘curate’ evening viewing, so I would nominate as proxy Peter Morgan, the screenwriter of The Crown, as he is both omniscient as well as immaculate.

I’d throw in the TV critic and blonde bombshell Camilla Long, although I’m not sure she can boil an egg, and the celebrity crimper Josh Wood, as most crucially, he could do all our hair.

For romance, I’d choose Joanne Salley, the drop-dead-gorgeous artist and former art teacher who had to leave Harrow as she was too distracting.

Source: Read Full Article

Beauty and Fashion

Teach your kids Maths with our fun and practical lessons for children aged 5 to 14 – The Sun

HERE’S how to make your child’s home learning as easy as 1, 2, 3.

This week we are supporting parents with The Sun Home School, an exclusive series of educational tools from Collins to help teach core subjects while schools are shut. Covering Key Stage 1 (5 to 7-year-olds), Key Stage 2 (7 to 11-year-olds) and Key Stage 3 (11-14-year-olds), The Sun Home School has practical, fun and easy-to-follow lessons you can use with your kids.

Today we look at maths, covering topics from basic counting for little ones to square roots for older children.

And to continue learning at home, Sun readers can get 50 per cent off a huge range of Collins books, or use their vast range of FREE online resources.

Key Stage 1 – download here and here

Save on kids' learning books: 50% OFF

CHECK out more free learning resources online, plus enjoy 50 per cent off a range of kids’ learning books!

Collins has an impressive record in publishing market-leading education and reference books for use in schools and at home. Established 200 years ago, Collins creates innovative textbooks, homework and revision resources to support children in their learning. Covering English, maths, science and more, Collins books provide high-quality learning activities children can do at home, helping families find answers to questions about schoolwork quickly and easily.

For more free resources to keep your kids busy simply head to

To get 50 per cent off kids’ learning books just go to and enter the code ATHOME50 at the checkout.

T&Cs: Offer expires on 31/08/2020. Valid on UK and Republic of Ireland orders only. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer and is subject to availability while stocks lasts.
Excludes Collins Big Cat Sets and The Times Comprehensive Atlas. Postage and packaging costs apply Excludes orders on school account.

Key Stage 2 – download here

Key Stage 3 – download here

Answers (for parents)


1. a) 15 seconds, b) 30 seconds, c) 20 seconds.
2. b.

1. Fizz.
2. Line should be drawn on the 18 seconds mark.
3. a) Lap 2, b) Lap 3, c) 8 seconds.

1. a) 50, 125, 150, 175, rule +25. b) 24, 30, 36, 48, rule +6. c) 9, 27, 54, 63, rule +9. d) 21, 42, 49, 56, rule +7. e) 3000, 4000, 5000, 7000, rule +1000. f) 54, 60, 72, 90, rule +6.
2. a) −4, −3, −1, 1, 2. b) −3, −2, −1, 2, 3. c) −7, −6, −5, −3, −1, 0. d) −2, −1, 0, 1, 2, 4.
1. a) 54 and 86, b) 540, c) 154, d) 229, e) 124 and 86, f) 419.
2. a) 8262, b) 11923, c) 6063, d) 9025 e) £46.44, f) £136.05, g) £48.75, h) £66.40.


1. a) +/-5, b) 4, c) +/- 12, d) –4, e) 9, f) 64, g) 10000.
2. a) 1100, b) 10111, c) 10000.

  • GOT a news story? RING us on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article

Beauty and Fashion

Your Favorite Adidas Superstar Sneakers Just Got A 2020 Makeover

The adidas Superstar is one of the most instantly recognizable shoes, well, ever. With its classic all-white silhouette and iconic three stripes, you can easily spot a pair miles away, likely paired with a matching tracksuit or a crisp pair of jeans.

Most recently, designers Ji Won Choi and Olivia O’Blanc joined forces to create an elevated capsule for women, with a re-imagination of the adidas Superstar at the center of the collection.

“Our inspiration was to maintain the core of the adidas Superstar while bringing in both mine and Olivia’s aesthetics,” Choi tells Bustle. “We merge Olivia’s functionality and my visually graphic concepts into each product, creating multifunctional items.”

The collection spotlights O’Blanc’s utilitarian aesthetic while weaving in elements of Ji’s signature striped detailing. “Together, we blended these styles to create an interchangeable layered sneaker and tracksuit,” O’Blanc says.

By mixing their respective styles, the two New York City designers introduced an unexpected, unique take on the Superstar, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Their rendition of the shoe goes on sale Friday, April 17 and will be available as a limited edition release.

This collaboration marks O’Blanc’s third collection drop with adidas Originals. The sportswear giant approached her about taking on the Superstar just four months after she launched her own eponymous label. It didn’t take much convincing to get her onboard, especially because of Choi’s involvement. “I really valued this collection because it was a triple collab with Ji,” O’Blanc says. “Her and I have been friends since we graduated from Parsons together.”

Choi, who you might recognize from her previous collaborations with adidas and her stint on Amazon’s Making the Cut, says she loves pairing her sneakers with jumpsuits. And much like her Instagram feed, Choi describes her personal style as “bright and statement-making.”

“[It] involves a lot of color,” Choi says. “I love a set because it makes an outfit look so pulled together while being so easy to style. You definitely will be seeing me in the Superstar tracksuit all spring.”

As for O’Blanc, her wardrobe tends to lean heavily in the “utility and graphic branding” space. “For spring I am really into layered mesh and layered denim,” she shares. “Layering and mixing tight with baggy. My go-to pieces are a vintage graphic T-shirt and thick metal chain necklaces." And a cool pair of sneakers, of course.

Source: Read Full Article


Relive Your Teenage Thirst With Mindy Kaling’s ‘Never Have I Ever’ Trailer

Ah, the horny days of adolescence. If you miss it, Netflix’s new trailer for Never Have I Ever will bring you right back to your teenage thirst. Set to debut on April 27, Never Have I Ever is a coming-of-age series that follows an overachieving, first-generation Indian American teen named Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) as she navigates the trials and tribulations of high school. Created and executive produced by Mindy Kaling, the series is based on Kaling’s own childhood in the suburbs of Massachusetts.

The new trailer released on April 15 is full of adolescent familiarity: it’s the start of sophomore year and Devi and her friends want to reinvent themselves as “cool” so they could get boyfriends and have their “cherries popped.” The friends posit in the clip, “We are smart, and idiots are banging all the time; we can learn how to do it, too.” Like any quintessential teen narrative, such reinvention entails a makeover of some sort: Devi changes up her clothes and her pals muse of her new look, “You look like an Indian Kardashian.”

The Netflix series also stars Poorna Jagannathan, Richa Moorjani, Ramona Young, and Benjamin Norris. And Kaling is reuniting with The Mindy Project’s Lang Fisher for the project, who serves as showrunner, executive producer, and writer.

At a Netflix brunch event in February, Kaling discussed the series and its depiction of “badly behaved” nerds — or, more specifically, a badly behaved Indian nerd. “Nerds are not only the wallflowers and the quiet ones,” Kaling said, per Variety. “We’re ambitious, we have obnoxious personalities sometimes, we want to have sex and dreams like all the other kids.” She later added, “I felt lucky to be able to do a show about an Indian nerd who’s also badly behaved, to show that because I’m deeply familiar with it.”

The series’ infusion of Indian culture is significant, too. Kaling noted that Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s vice president of local language originals, played a significant role in getting the series made. At the event, Bajaria addressed the significance of diverse stories in the YA category. “There’s been these amazing YA shows from around the world that have the same universal themes of relationships, coming of age, right of passage,” Bajaria said, per Variety. “To see yourself in your own language, in your own country, with the nuances and specificities of that country, has been a really powerful next step in YA for us.”

Source: Read Full Article

Beauty and Fashion

How to make your toiletries last longer in lockdown

We’re all doing our bit to make sure we’re wasting as little as possible, and limiting how often we have to go to the shops.

That means we have come up with all kinds of clever hacks to make our food shops stretch for longer, making jams and pickles from fruit before it turns, and emptying the fridge to make a casserole.

But what about when it comes to toiletries?

The queues for the pharmacies are just as long as for supermarkets. And if you use particularly fancy or specialist products, you might not be able to get hold of them at all at the moment.

If we run out of our favourite products then our beloved self-care routine goes out the window. And that’s just not something we’re willing to sacrifice.

Luckily, Rich Quelch from home and beauty packaging experts Lifestyle Packaging has shared his top hacks for making all of your toiletries go that extra mile.

So take some notes and try these clever ideas to help you save money and stay indoors.


Handwash was one of the first products to disappear from the shelves as people stockpiled. 

If you start to run out, add a dash of water to the dispenser bottle to loosen the remaining soap and give you a few more pumps.

If you prefer bar soap, keep it out of the water and allow it to dry and harden up in between uses. 

Shampoo and conditioner 

To avoid your shampoo and conditioner sticking to the bottom of the bottle, store upside down so you can get every last drop.

Like with soap, if you’re running low, add a dash of water and shake. 

You can also make DIY hair conditioners and masks if you fancy getting crafty. Kitchen essentials like rapeseed, coconut and olive oil, honey, eggs, bananas and lemon juice can work wonders.

Nail varnish

With salons closed for the foreseeable future, many of us are going back to basics. 

If you fancy giving yourself an at-home mani or pedi but find your old polishes are thick and difficult to spread, they’re probably a bit stale. Instead of binning them, add a few drops of acetone nail polish remover to the bottle and shake well to loosen it up. 


To make your favourite scent last longer, apply a small amount of petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) where you’d normally spray your perfume to hold the fragrance for longer. 

Don’t store your perfumes in the bathroom as humidity and dampness will weaken the fragrance, instead keep your perfume bottles in the original box away from sunlight. 

Though it can be tempting, don’t rub your wrists together as the friction will cause the top notes to fade faster meaning you’ll have to reapply sooner.


Storing your body and face creams correctly can extend their lifespan.

Your products last longest when stored in cold, dark and dry places, so be sure to keep them away from moisture and direct sunlight.

A cool dark cupboard is an ideal spot or even the fridge. 

Think to yourself – do I really need to use all my normal products? If you’re stuck indoors, you probably don’t need as much makeup and will have less exposure to UV and pollution. 


If your favourite lipstick has run out and you have a Zoom call in five, grab a lip brush or Q tip and scrape out what’s left.

You can apply this directly to your lips or combine with a lip gloss to get more wears. 


Maintaining good personal hygiene is still important during lockdown, especially if you’re isolating with someone else.

As the weather gets warmer, opt for light clothes like cotton and linen which lets the skin breathe. 

Whether you’re using a roller or spray, applying talcum powder afterwards can help you smell fresher for longer. It also prevents that sticky feeling after re-applying deodorant. 


To make your toothpaste last longer, roll up from the bottom squeezing every last bit up the tube.

When you can’t get any more out, cut the tube halfway up and you’ll be able to squeeze out enough for a few more days.

If you have any clever hacks for making your toiletries last longer, or making your own products, we want to hear from you.

Get in touch: [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article

TV and Movies

'Curb Your Enthusiasm': Larry David's Crucial, But Reluctant, Role in Bringing Cheryl Hines and Robert Kennedy, Jr. Together

Curb Your Enthusiasm star Cheryl Hines has been married to Robert Kennedy, Jr., since 2014. Their union is Hines’ second marriage and Kennedy’s third.

How they met involves her HBO series co-star, Larry David, and of course, it’s funny.

Larry David was the unwitting matchmaker of Cheryl Hines and Robert Kennedy, Jr.

The third time was the charm in bringing the couple together for the HBO star. According to The New York Times, David introduced the pair to one another at three skiing events: the first time, in Banff, Alberta; the next meeting was at a ski resort in Deer Valley, Utah; and finally, the one that “took,” a ski trip at another resort in Aspen, Colorado.

Kennedy was attracted to the mother of one but had his reservations about dating an actress. He expressed his hesitations to David, who reassured him of Hines’ personal character saying, “She’s the most solid person I’ve ever met, and the most beloved person among her peers. Nothing you ever do will rattle her.”

Hines’ version of how she met her husband

While the official story of Hines and Kennedy’s fateful meeting takes place on a ski slope, Hines tells it differently. Each account of the romantic encounter contains the common denominator of Larry David, and that’s all that matters.

The 54-year-old actress spoke with Jenny McCarthy on her SiriusXM program, The Jenny McCarthy Show, in Feb. 2020. The two chatted about Hines’ marriage and her costar’s misgivings about his TV wife’s relationship with the environmental attorney having any chance of succeeding.

McCarthy kicked off the topic by asking if it was true that Larry David had introduced Hines to her husband.

“He did! But he didn’t introduce us like, ‘Hey, you guys should be together.’ I went to, Bobby was doing a fundraiser for Waterkeeper, his organization to keep water clean, and Larry asked me if I wanted to go, and I said ‘oh yeah, I’ll go.’ Then I met Bobby and then years later, Bobby and I sort of looked at each other like, ‘Hey. Hey! You’re so cute!’ “

As far as optimism is concerned, Hines says Larry David is ‘not that guy’

Hines went on in her conversation with Jenny McCarthy, explaining how love blossomed between her and the nephew of slain president John F. Kennedy, and how the 72-year-old David didn’t see anything good about it.

“And then I called Larry and I said, ‘I think Bobby and I might go out.’ And he’s like, ‘That’s a terrible idea. That’s not gonna end well.’ And I said, ‘Ok, you’re probably right, but I’m gonna risk it.’ “

McCarthy, wondering what makes David the curmudgeon he is, asked “Why do you think he’d say that?”

Hines replied, laughing, “Oh, well, I mean, he’s not an optimist. I can’t imagine that I would say, ‘Hey! I’m gonna go out with this person, how do you think that’s gonna go?’ I can’t imagine one person where he’d be like ‘Oh! Great idea! You guys have fun!’ He’s not that guy.”

Luckily, Larry David was wrong, as it seems that these two are in it for keeps.

Read more: ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’: Cheryl Hines’ Net Worth and Why She Thinks Each Season of the Show Will Be Her Last

Source: Read Full Article