This is why you should care about Nagini in Fantastic Beasts

This is why you should care about Nagini in Fantastic Beasts

The casting of South Korean actress Claudia Kim has ignited a major debate about race in the Potter universe

nagini casting controversy
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald / Warner Bros. UK

Another day, another Potter casting controversy. The internet was set on fire after the final trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald dropped and I’m not going to lie, it looks awesome. However there was one detail that rankled both me and a number of Potterheads as a character called Nagini – yes, Voldemort’s pet Nagini – was unveiled.

It turns out that Voldemort’s faithful reptilian servant and Horcrux is actually what’s called a Maledictus, a woman who ‘carries a blood curse from birth, which is passed down from mother to daughter’ according to J.K. Rowling. As you’ve probably guessed, Nagini’s curse is that she will eventually become a snake. Nothing wrong with that, it’s a cool magical concept. However, it was the choice to cast South Korean actress Claudia Kim in the role and J.K. Rowling’s defense that sparked controversy.

Let’s start with something vitally important: this isn’t about Claudia Kim. Nobody should be mad at Claudia Kim, she’s an actress who got a once-in-a-lifetime gig. Like many of us would have, she took it. However it’s everything surrounding the decision to cast her which doesn’t sit well with me as a half Asian woman, as it seems to reinforce stereotypes and it feels like a poorly conceived afterthought – a way to bring diversity to the film without really thinking too hard about it.

So, let’s start with what we already know about Nagini. In the books, the snake is essentially Voldemort’s slave and mostly non-verbal (except for when Harry parselmouths his way into understanding her). If you know anything about problematic Asian stereotypes, this smacks of them even if it’s not totally obvious on the surface.

nagini casting controversy

The Quiet American / Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock

There’s this backwards stereotype of Asian women as submissive to male men, an idea perpetuated back in the time when Asian countries were being colonised left, right and centre or written about by Western powers. In the books, Nagini is literally a servant enacting the wishes of a dominant white male, Voldemort, and is never given any real personality or voice – she’s defined by her relationship to Voldemort. It goes without saying that nobody should be defined by another person, but there’s a colonial undertone here that reinforces white superiority that’s kind of gross.

As one Twitter user put it, ‘I feel like this is the problem when white people want to diversify and don’t actually ask POC how to do so. They don’t make the connection between making Nagini an Asian woman who later on is the pet of a white man. So I’m going to say it right now. That shit is racist.’

Another more obvious stereotype that you’ve probably heard thrown around is the idea of Asian women as ‘dragon-ladies’. Nagini is literally an Asian woman who transforms into a scaly reptilian creature. Even to the untrained eye, the parallel is pretty obvious.

With Nagini, you get a one-two punch of conflicting yet pretty harmful Asian stereotypes – the subservient Asian woman and the Asian dragon-lady, defined by Penn State University as a Western trope of Asian women being portrayed as ‘oversexualised’ and ‘deceitful’ villains in a position of power. And then given that Harry later in the books has to actually kill her, as she’s a Horcrux and literal fragment of her master Voldemort’s soul, it’s a troubling image at its best of of white superiority. At its worst, Nagini’s own agency and identity doesn’t even come into question – she is her master’s object, and therefore, without her own right to existence.

nagini casting controversy

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 / Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

There’s also the fact that not just Asian women, but other Asian men and women of colour are usually relegated to sideline supernatural or alien characters in films that are generally dominated by white humans (and especially white human males). Think of Pom and Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Magnus Bane in The Mortal Instruments and Teen Wolf‘s Kira Yukimura. It’s not enough that we’re people of colour, we’re also shoved into yet another box that others us and sets us up as a deviation from the ‘normal’.

I know these things are complicated and might seem like a reach. As is the case with debates like this, there’s a lot of people in the Asian community who are mad and a lot of people who couldn’t care less: Asian and otherwise. But the fact is that it’s not just me that’s picking up on this, it’s a whole chorus of people on the internet that have noticed it and it needs to be called out for perpetuating these harmful myths.

However, J.K. Rowling explained on Twitter that the Nagini myth was rooted in Asian tradition to defend herself and it opens a brand new can of worms – or well, snakes.

She wrote on Twitter, ‘The Naga are snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology, hence the name ‘Nagini.’ They are sometimes depicted as winged, sometimes as half-human, half-snake. Indonesia comprises a few hundred ethnic groups, including Javanese, Chinese and Betawi. Have a lovely day’.

There’s a couple of things here to unpack.

Claudia Kim is a South Korean actress. Even though the Naga myth is an Indonesian thing (according to Rowling, but we’ll get into that whole mess later), Rowling’s defense boils down to ‘it’s an Asian thing, so it’s okay’. She doesn’t take into account that the film cast a woman who is not Indonesian or even any of the other races she name-dropped, but I don’t know how involved she is with Fantastic Beasts. She may not have any power over casting, so I’m not going to point fingers at her for something that might have been out of her control.

I will however, take her to town for her response. Even if J.K. Rowling didn’t mean it this way, by implying that it was okay to cast a South Korean actress in a role that is Indonesian-inspired is almost like she’s saying that all Asians are the same. It’s a pretty insulting claim. And if you think I should get over it, just remember that British people get mad all the time when you get their hometown wrong, let alone which country they’re from. We aren’t all the same, we have our own unique and different cultures that we’re fiercely proud of.

nagini casting controversy

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald / Warner Bros. UK

J.K. Rowling actually got the origin of the Naga legend wrong. In fact, an expert on Nagas actually chimed into the Twitter conversation to tell her that the legend actually originated in India.

Amish Tripanthi, the author of The Secret of the Nagas, said, ‘Actually @jk_rowling the Naga mythology emerged from India. It travelled to Indonesia with the Indic/Hindu empires that emerged there in the early Common Era, with the influence of Indian traders and Rishis/Rishikas who travelled there. Nagin is a Sanskrit language word.’

Casting Nagini as an Asian woman, or even introducing Nagini at all feels like a feeble, ill-thought out attempt at diversifying the Harry Potter universe. I’m not making a controversial statement when I say that it’s always struggled with a lack of racial diversity and when it did dip its toe in, we got Cho Chang. Her name kind of says it all.

Although this might be the Potter team’s well-intentioned attempt to right their previous wrongs, Nagini is actually a harmful form of Asian representation for the community. I would have been happier if Claudia Kim had just played a regular non-Nagini witch who happened to be living in either England or Paris, where the new film is set according to CNET.

nagini casting controversy

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald / Warner Bros. UK

I’m still going to watch the film though, in fact I’m super excited for it and really enjoy Fantastic Beasts. (Why else would I have written several articles dissecting every new trailer that comes out?) But this is something that I feel is getting lost a little nowadays – you can love a franchise, watch and enjoy a film and yet still be able to call out and recognise why it’s messed up. I’ll still watch Sixteen Candles every now and again, even if Long Duk Dong makes me want to throw my TV out of the window when he comes on.

At the end of the day, the debates about representation in Harry Potter, Star Wars or anything in the Avengers universe stem down to the clear fact that people in the Asian community love these franchises. Like the rest of you, we just want them to do better.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will come out in the UK on November 16, later this year.

The post This is why you should care about Nagini in Fantastic Beasts appeared first on Marie Claire.

Lady Gaga was told to get a nose job when she was first starting out

Lady Gaga was told to get a nose job when she was first starting out

‘I love my Italian nose.’

lady gaga nose job
James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

Before Lady Gaga was Lady Gaga, she was Stephanie Germanotta. And Stephanie Germanotta was told she needed to get a nose job, if she ever wanted to make it big as a singer. During a recent interview, Lady Gaga revealed that she had drawn on her own negative experiences in the music industry for her performance in A Star Is Born. It makes sense, given that she plays a singer at the start of her own music journey.

She told The Mirror, ‘Before my first single ever came out it was suggested I get a nose job but I said ‘No.’ I love my Italian nose.’

And we’re glad she did, TBH. Gaga is without a doubt one of the most original performers of the past decade and it’s insane that anybody would have told her that to begin with.

lady gaga nose job

James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

In fact, being told she should get a nose job wasn’t the only thing she was told to do if she wanted to make it big and she made a habit of continually telling people no.

‘If people wanted me to look like a sexpot I would look like the opposite,’ she said. ‘If they said ‘Try dancing and looking this way’ I would always flip it on its head and do it my way.’

Although Lady Gaga has now racked up numerous albums, Grammy wins and number one hits and you’d think she would never think about those naysayers again, she delved into her past for her new acting role. Her character in the film, Ally, appears to be the complete opposite of Gaga – a person who is beaten down by the industry and has little confidence until somebody else helps raise her up.

She said, ‘”I really believed in myself when I started out pounding on doors to break down all of the barriers in the music industry, I really had courage. [Ally] doesn’t have that, she’s not brave and she’s not full of self-confidence.’

Lady Gaga stars in A Star Is Born alongside Bradley Cooper, who also directed the film. The film hits UK cinemas on October 5.

The post Lady Gaga was told to get a nose job when she was first starting out appeared first on Marie Claire.

Sophie Turner said a lot of Game of Thrones fans ‘will be disappointed’ or ‘over the moon’ about the finale

Sophie Turner said a lot of Game of Thrones fans ‘will be disappointed’ or ‘over the moon’ about the finale

‘I think it will be really interesting to see people’s reactions, but for me reading the script it was just like heartbreaking.’

sophie turner game of thrones finale
Sky / HBO

Any Game of Thrones fan by now will know that the HBO fantasy will never give you what you want. A happy family unit? For a few episodes, then your wife and kids will be forced to watch your public execution. True love? Sure, for a second, before somebody murders your pregnant wife in front of you in cold blood. And now that the series is drawing to an end, apparently the show’s grand finale is going to be a divisive one too and GoT’s Sophie Turner thinks it’s not going to please anyone.

Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, spoke to IGN about the anticipated final series next year and was pressed on the end of the entire show. She said, ‘I think a lot of fans will be disappointed and a lot of fans will be over the moon.’

There’s a lot to unpack here. You can take this a few ways: does this mean we’ll get a miserable ending that makes total sense for Game of Thrones, but keeps all our favourite characters from true happiness?

sophie turner game of thrones finale

Sky / ©2016 Home Box Office, Inc. All

Or, does this mean that we’ll get a happy ending that would make no sense because joy and closure are things that don’t exist in Westeros? If we were betting people, we’d put our money on the first TBH – especially after what she said next.

Sophie said there were ‘a lot of tears’ and continued, ‘I think it will be really interesting to see people’s reactions, but for me reading the script it was just like heartbreaking.’

Okay, now we’re really worried. Heartbreaking?! We had steeled ourselves for the death of at least one of our favourite characters, but now we’re prepping to have joint memorial services for everyone in the show.

sophie turner game of thrones finale

Sky / ©2017 Home Box Office, Inc. All

Even if she thinks the ending will be divisive, Sophie’s pretty happy with the way it all turned out. She said, ‘As an actor it was really satisfying. I think for everyone, everyone’s storylines — to be able to act out the way that it all ends. It was really satisfying for us. Who knows if it will be satisfying for the fans.’

Well, there’s only one way to find out and it’s a long, hard few months away. The next and final seven-episode series of Game of Thrones is set to drop next year, though no exact release date has been announced yet. We know that the show’s motto is Valar Morghulis, a.k.a. ‘All men must die’, but we really hope they don’t double down on that in 2019.

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Meghan Markle said this spiritual hack made her much ‘happier’

Meghan Markle said this spiritual hack made her much ‘happier’

We miss The Tig. So much.

meghan markle meditation
Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

Good at sitting in silence and reflecting on the state of your existence? Well, you and the Duchess of Sussex have something in common then. Meghan Markle’s old lifestyle blog The Tig was one of the most wholesome places on the internet before it shut down: a little peaceful place she used to share interviews with inspiring women, her favourite recipes and – as we’ve recently discovered – one of her secrets to happiness. An old post of hers was uncovered in which she revealed she had met a ‘mystical man’ who introduced her to something called Vedic Meditation and it changed her life.

You can still read the 2015 post here and it’s a fun one to read as she really has a knack for writing (bring back The Tig, please). In the piece, she described meeting a Vedic meditation coach called Light – ‘This is LA after all’ she wrote – and how there was ‘something illuminating about his energy’ even if she was initially sceptical of his methods. However after talking to him about it and taking his course, she became a total stan.

meghan markle meditation

Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

She revealed in the post that she had continued to practice Vedic meditation and it marked her ‘one year anniversary of [her] relationship with meditation’ – as well as the launch of Light’s book on the practice.

She said she found it ‘endlessly daunting at first’ detailing how ‘the thoughts, the distractions, the boredom of it’ intimidated her, but a year on it had become ‘the quietude that rocked [her] world.’

Meghan wrote, ‘I can’t put my finger on the why or the how, but I will tell you this much, for me…I am just happier. And meditation has much to do with that.’

meghan markle meditation

Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

As for how one actually practices Vedic meditation? Meghan Markle and her pal Light kindly shared a five step guide to the spiritual ten minute cooldown, which involves getting comfortable, ‘noticing your breathing and getting lost in your thoughts’ and to not ‘resist any thoughts, including ideas, songs, conversations, images, feelings or sensations’. Or, you could just grab Light Watkins’ book The Inner Gym and find out what Meghan fell in love with meditation from the Duchess’ ‘mystic man’ himself.

Meghan Markle’s not the only famous name who’s in love with the practice, as she claimed in her piece that Russell Simmons was a fan of Vedic meditation as well. Also known as transcendental meditation, there’s a number of other celebs who are big fans as well including Katy Perry, Hugh Jackman and Oprah Winfrey.

If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us TBH. We might give it a shot later today because even if it sounds a little weird, there’s no real harm in it.

As Meghan says, ‘The worst thing that can happen is that you gave yourself ten minutes of quiet in an endlessly loud world.’

The post Meghan Markle said this spiritual hack made her much ‘happier’ appeared first on Marie Claire.

How to work the ancient Ayurvedic wellness trend into your beauty routine

How to work the ancient Ayurvedic wellness trend into your beauty routine

Rituals- Ayurveda

Words by Rebecca Fearn.

If you often feel out of balance, you’re not alone. This time of year during the changing of seasons, we can experience an imbalance when it comes to our mental state, emotional and physical wellbeing. We get it – life can feel stressful and overwhelming, and sometimes a simple session of ‘Netflix and chill’ isn’t enough to save us. But fear not, keep reading to discover the best ways to re-balance yourself using the age-old practice of Ayurveda.

What is Ayurveda?

Wellness and beauty have never been more connected, and one of the most talked-about trends of the moment is the Ayurvedic system.  This ancient wisdom originates from India, and focuses on helping us to re-balance our lifestyle through improving health and well-being. The practice aims to cleanse and nourish your energy to make you feel better and less stressed. Ranges such as Rituals’ the Ritual of Ayurveda are committed to helping you live more of a balanced life and prove it’s possible to do so through your beauty routine.

Rituals Ayurveda

Find your dosha

The first step in improving your lifestyle through Ayurvedic practices is to discover your dosha. It is essentially your mind-body type, and it’s important to find out which one you are in order to find out how to re-balance yourself and feel healthier and in tune with the world around you.

There are three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Although you will ultimately relate to one the most, we all have a little of each within us. Vatas are associated with the air element and tend to be creative and sensitive, yet when imbalanced they can be fearful or anxious. Pittas are most aligned with the element of fire and are usually intelligent, understanding people. However, if they are off-centre, they can act in frustration and anger. Kaphas are associated with water and earth as they are cohesive and level-headed. Imbalanced Kaphas suffer from greediness, possessiveness and stubbornness. Discover your mind-body type by taking this short Rituals’ test and take first steps towards a more balanced living.

Rituals Ayurveda

Take time to re-balance your life

Once you’ve established which dosha you most relate to, it’s time to discover how to re-balance things (phew). Traditionally, the Ayurveda principle recommends reconnecting with the elements. If you are a Vata for example (who are air elements), get outside into nature and take a moment to just breathe and rest. Pittas are best to quite literally cool off if they get angry and fiery, either by being in water or eating and drinking cool, water-rich foods. Kaphas are encouraged to kick-start their routine and get active while also taking time to look after themselves.

Taking care of yourself is actually crucial for all doshas in order to reduce stress, stay balanced and feel better. Rituals’ the Ritual of Ayurveda acknowledges that in order to re-balance, we all need to take a second to chill out with a bit of self-care – and this is easily done through your beauty routine. Their Ayurveda-inspired range features luxurious, soothing products to help balance your dosha through relaxation.

Follow our 3-step pamper guide to feel more relaxed instantly:

  1. Take an evening to yourself and start by brewing a cup of Rituals’ Rose Wisdom tea. The Indian rose and Himalaya honey in the blend help to re-balance and soothe from the offset.
  2. After drinking your tea, pop on a candle (we like the Ritual of Ayurveda Scented Candle, which features sweet almond oil and smells AMAZING) hop into the shower and lather on the brand’s Foaming Shower Gel, or alternatively, the Body Scrub. Both contain Indian rose and sweet almond oil, so be sure to take in a few deep breaths before you wash away.
  3. Step out of the shower and slowly massage in a layer of the Ritual of Ayurveda Dry Oil (choose the one that matches your dosha) before climbing into bed with a good book and some cosy pjs. We feel more balanced just thinking about it…

The post How to work the ancient Ayurvedic wellness trend into your beauty routine appeared first on Marie Claire.

This unexpected actor wants to be in a Harry Potter film and sent J.K. Rowling his CV and a reference

This unexpected actor wants to be in a Harry Potter film and sent J.K. Rowling his CV and a reference

Those Home Alone traps were nothing short of magic TBH

macaulay culkin harry potter

There’s been a lot of buzz about the new Fantastic Beasts sequel and more specifically its cast, as it’s been the subject of a lot of celebration and a handful of controversies. From Jude Law’s suave young Dumbledore to Johnny Depp’s casting in the wake of his domestic abuse allegations, the new faces to the Potter universe have been stirring up a lot of emotions and the upcoming Fantastic Beasts will be interesting to say the least. However, there’s one person who wants to be in it – and we need this to happen immediately.

So, who is it? Well, Home Alone’s Macaulay Culkin has publicly made the case for why he should be in the next Fantastic Beasts film. He tweeted J.K. Rowling herself and even provided his CV and a reference – clearly, this is a guy who knows how to apply for a job.

macaulay culkin harry potter


He tweeted at her, ‘Can you write me into the next movie? I’m Macaulay Culkin (From Home Alone: The Movie) and I was also a Pagemaster (experienced with magic).’

He also then roped his ‘real life’ friend Dan Fogler, who will be reprising his role as Jacob Kowalski in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, for a bit of extra help. He said, ‘Hey @mrdanfogler put in a good word for me. There’s a back rub in it for you. ;)’

His friend Dan Fogler later chimed in, telling Macaulay that he has ‘the same colouring as [the] Malfoy clan’ and that he could see the actor ‘as a grad student at ILVERMORNY‘. Ilvermony is the American version of Hogwarts, which we didn’t know till just now either.

Culkin’s also clearly been on Pottermore as he fired back, ‘While I may look like a Malfoy I’m actually a Gryffindor and my patronus is a Mastiff which is a dog. So that’s cute!’

He also threw in his own hashtag #MakeMeAWizard. It’s time to get this trending, people.

However he was brought low by another Twitter user, who pointed out why he probably wouldn’t last a day in the wizarding world. Referring to his death by bee in the film My Girl, @andymilonakis said, ‘Don’t do it he can’t even handle a bee sting.’

Although J.K. has yet to respond, fingers crossed the pair have just taken negotiations off Twitter and that Macaulay will poke his head into the next instalment (if there is one). We want to see hilariously over the top traps being laid for Grindelwald and we want to see them now.

Macaulay also threw his hat into a recent Fantastic Beasts casting controversy, referring to South Korean actress Claudia Kim who has been cast as Voldemort’s pet snake Nagini.

Since the new trailer dropped, it was revealed that He Who Shall Not Be Named’s reptilian servant was actually a Maledictus. Don’t worry if your Potter knowledge fails you here either, it’s a new concept. J.K. Rowling revealed that she’d known for twenty years that Nagini was a Maledictus, which she explained wa  a woman who ‘carries a blood curse from birth’ and eventually becomes an animal according to J.K. Rowling.

At the moment, fans and especially members of the Asian community have taken issue with it as some perceive the casting as an ill-thought out way to diversify the film. Others have pointed out the issues of playing into a dragon lady stereotype, as well as framing an Asian actress as somebody subservient to a white man like Voldemort.

He defended the casting in his message to J.K. Rowling, saying, ‘Hey @jk_rowling I’m with you! Nagini can be whatever she wants to be! She’s a strong woman/snake.’

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released later this November 2018, starring Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander and Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore.

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Donald Trump held an 80-minute press conference on Brett Kavanaugh but barely mentioned him

Donald Trump held an 80-minute press conference on Brett Kavanaugh but barely mentioned him

And no one is remotely surprised.

How Donald Trump could still win
How Donald Trump could still win

The Trump-Kavanaugh scandal has dominated US politics recently, with the President’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct.

Trump spoke out at the time in response to Kavanaugh’s original accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, questioning her historic case for the fact that she didn’t file a police report for years on the alleged attack.

Christine Blasey Ford is sworn in at the Senate Judiciary Committee Brett Kavanaugh nomination hearing. Credit: REX

Deborah Ramirez later came forward with claims of sexual misconduct, and just today, a third woman has come forward, Julie Swetnick, who claimed through her lawyer Michael Avenatti that Kavanaugh was present at a party where she was ‘drugged and gang raped’.

Since then, the #BelieveSurvivors and #WhyIDidntReport movements have been gaining momentum, with high profile figures, most recently Padma Lakshmi, speaking out in support of Kavanaugh’s accusers, coming forward with historic rape allegations of their own, and explaining why they didn’t report at the time.

Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump. Credit: REX

Yesterday it seemed that Trump had had enough, holding an impromptu solo press conference to discuss the matter where he called the claims a ‘big, fat con job’. But given that he held the press conference to discuss Kavanaugh, Trump’s choice to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, he didn’t spend too much time talking about the candidate.

It’s hardly surprising though that the words he did say about him were praise.

‘This is one of the highest quality people that I have ever met,’ Trump announced of Kavanaugh. ‘And everybody that knows him says the same thing. And these (allegations) are false, to me.’

Brett Kavanaugh. Credit: REX

Trump then went on to use the press conference to call out his political opponents – who he spoke about far more than Kavanaugh – insisting that they were the ‘con artists’ behind these women’s allegations.

‘They know it’s a big, fat con job,’ he stated. ‘And they go into a room, and I guarantee you, they laugh like hell at what they pulled off on you and on the public. They laugh like hell.’

When asked about the allegations of sexual misconduct about him, Trump responded, ‘I’ve been accused. I’ve been accused. False accusations. Excuse me. I’ve been accused. I was accused by — I think it was four women.’

ivanka trump

Credit: REX

He continued: ‘Excuse me. I was accused by four or five women who got paid a lot of money to make up stories about me. We caught them and the mainstream media refused to put it on television. There were four women, and maybe more, I think the number is four or five. But one had a mortgage paid off her house, $52,000. Another one had other things happen.’

‘It does impact my opinion. You know why? Because I’ve had a lot of false charges made against me,’ he went on to explain. ‘I’m a very famous person. Unfortunately, I’ve been a famous person for a long time. But I’ve had a lot of false charges made against me. Really false charges. I know friends that have had false charges. People want fame, they want money, they want whatever.’

We will continue to update this story.

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One of the royal family just modelled for a beauty brand and we are speechless

One of the royal family just modelled for a beauty brand and we are speechless

Clue: it’s not Prince Phillip

Members of the royal family have been mighty busy this week – first the Duchess of Sussex closed a car door (By. Herself.), then her and her hubby, Prince Harry, went on a mini break to Amsterdam for the opening of the new Soho House, and now another royal is fronting a beauty campaign. Phew, they must be knackered.

Illamasqua, the British beauty company known for pushing boundaries, celebrates is 10th anniversary this year and to celebrate, they’re launching a special collection, called The Reign of Rock. With a name like that it’s no surprise that the enlisted a member of the royal family to be the face.

Lady Amelia Windsor, Princes William and Harry’s cousin, appears in the dramatic and moody shoot created by the brand’s Director of Artistry Pablo Rodriguez.

The young royal is no stranger to the fashion industry, she’s stormed the catwalk for Dolce & Gabbana and has graced the cover of Tatler twice. Who knows, perhaps we’re about to see a little more of the 38th in line to the throne?

Whilst we’ll have to wait until October 10th to get our hands on any of the products, if this image is anything to go by we’re in for a treat.

The post One of the royal family just modelled for a beauty brand and we are speechless appeared first on Marie Claire.

Meghan Markle might be a Duchess but there’s one thing she’ll never change

Meghan Markle might be a Duchess but there’s one thing she’ll never change

And it’s exactly why we love her


Words by Zoe Knight

From lessons in etiquette and elocution, to the Royal’s ‘no seflies’ rule, headlines have made no secret of the training Meghan Markle has undergone in her four months of marriage to hubby Prince Harry.

But the Duchess of Sussex sent social media into a spin this week when she reportedly breached royal protocol by – take a deep breath folks – closing her own car door. I know right? Sounds like something straight from the plot of a Princess Diaries film doesn’t it?


The ‘incident’ occurred on Tuesday evening as Meghan made her first solo appearance at an official engagement at the Royal Academy of Arts. Looking breathtaking in an all black Givenchy gown the Duchess stepped out of a black sedan, before shocking onlookers by closing the luxury vehicle’s door.

Many took to Twitter to commend Meghan, calling her humble and a more relatable member of the Royal Family, while others criticised the move as disrespectful.

William Hanson, Mail Online columnist and etiquette and protocol coach, wrote ‘Usually royalty and dignitaries have someone to open/close car doors for security reasons: nothing to do with “princess behaviour.”’

Well we’re all for the former actor’s less traditional approach to the royal role. We can’t wait to see what she does next!

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Post-summer hair detox: because your locks are in need of some serious TLC after this hot, hot summer

Post-summer hair detox: because your locks are in need of some serious TLC after this hot, hot summer

Re-discovering Your Hair’s Mojo After the Summer

post summer hair

Welcome to our Marie Claire Masters series, a regular beauty franchise that celebrates and utilizes the expertise of women who are bossing it in their fields. Each month these Masters will educate, demonstrate and impart some of their industry wisdom to you the dedicated Marie Claire reader. From current trends and hot topics to how tos and how not tos, these beauty whizz kids are at our beckon call. So get reading, you never know what you tips you might pick up. KT – Digital Beauty Editor

Hi, I’m Nicola Clarke – I am the Creative Colour Director of John Frieda Salons, and in the past I’ve done Kate Winslet, Kate Moss, Kate Beckinsale, Cate Blanchett and Kate Bosworth’s colour. All the Kates! I am the Marie Claire Hair Master and I’m going to divulging some of my tricks and secrets that I normally only share with my clients. With the end of the summer holidays here and everyone making their way back from the sun, hair needs a bit of TLC.

I don’t know anyone who would say that their hair is at its best after the summer. Sun, salt water and chlorine can all take its toll, so autumn is a great time to focus on restoring condition and bringing colour back to its best.

How to combat brassy tones

Warm blondes are often transformed into harsh, brassy tones by the sun. Not only is this unflattering on almost every skintone, but it leaves roots standing out sharply in contrast. Next time you’re in the salon, ask your colourist about a toner. I tone down brassy shades on my clients by applying one after fresh colour, and will be very careful about adding more bleach to the lengths; if the client is keen to stay as blonde as possible I will break up lowlights with ultra-fine highlights at the root. My advice to avoid further brassiness? Use the best purple shampoo – it really works to neutralise yellow tones.

Redken Color Extend Blondage Shampoo, £10.05 Look Fantastic

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How to blend your roots

If summer sun has made your hair too blonde, root blending is a great way to tone it down. I recommend applying darker colour with Balayage to bring out the contrast, toning down overly blonde shades to give hair a fresh, youthful look.

Go for a California Cleanse

We’ve introduced California-inspired cleansing treatments into the John Frieda Salons – they’re perfect post-summer, because they removes all build up of chlorine, product, sea water, you name it. All the things that after the warm months dull and damage your hair. They work as a ‘deep cleanse’ for your hair, removing build up from hard water or chlorine; and in true West coast style they are natural, vegan, sulphate and paraben free. Hair is left bright, healthy and glossy.

From £20 at John Frieda Salons

As we make our way into the colder months, having massively overdone this summer – it’s the perfect time for a detox.

For you bod and your hair.


The post Post-summer hair detox: because your locks are in need of some serious TLC after this hot, hot summer appeared first on Marie Claire.