‘I quit drinking for a month – this is what happened to my liver’

‘I quit drinking for a month – this is what happened to my liver’

Credit: REX

One writer put a booze ban – and the Fibroscan – to the test

How much do you drink on an average night out? Two glasses of Prosecco? Three? A bottle – or two?

No judgement here. Personally, I fall onto the latter end of the scale, and add a couple of Tequilas for good measure. I’ll readily admit it – I’m a binge drinker. I’d never buy a bottle of wine to drink on a school night, but as soon as the weekend hits it’s a different story. I’ll spend Saturday evening knocking back the bubbles and Sunday afternoon glued to the couch eating toasted sandwiches and gulping down mugs of gravy (it’s a cure, don’t @ me).

And I’m definitely not alone. The UK has a bit of a bad rep when it comes to alcohol; according to a study by Drink Aware, 27% of Brits were identified as binge drinkers because they consumed more than six to eight units (between two large glasses of wine to four low-strength pints) in a single session. The Office for National Statistics found that 7.8 million people in the UK binge drink.

It’s hardly surprising, then, that there are so many campaigns to get people cutting out alcohol for a month. Whether it’s to offset the effects of an indulgent Christmas period, or simply to ‘detox’ and improve our health, 4.2 million of us vowed to quit drinking (for thirty days, at least) this January.

Giving up your favourite tipple for just over four weeks of the year can reportedly aid weight loss, decrease blood pressure, and reduce the risk of diabetes. On top of that, it’ll supposedly give you a healthy glow, shiny eyes and a new lease of life.

Waking up one morning with no memory of getting home and an empty bank account, I decided I wanted to try going dry. I was desperate to see if a month without shots and bubbles would really make a difference to my health.

My life might be wildly different. I could smugly run 10ks on a Sunday morning, and I’d never avoid reading my Whatsapp sent messages again.

But first, I needed to know what was going on inside. I had to find out what state my liver was in.

I headed to the London Digestive Centre to talk to Consultant Hepatologist Dr. William Alazawi about whether a month off the sauce can really make a difference to your liver health.

‘Let’s say it’s Friday night, how much would you drink?’ he starts.


I cringe and consider offering a conservative estimation instead. We work out that my weekendly two-and-a-half bottles of Prosecco plus a couple of tequilas gave me a grand total of 26 units. Add to that what I’d drink if I had mid-week dinner plans and my average weekly total, rather worryingly, became 30 units.

For context, the recommended weekly is fourteen. FOURTEEN. I start to panic a little about what I’d been doing to my poor liver for the last 10+ years. How much does an individual have to drink before it starts having a negative impact?

Unfortunately, he tells me that there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

‘What we know is that continued harmful drinking at a very high level in excess of those recommended limits increases your risk of developing liver problems. But that’s not to say that everybody who drinks more than that is going to end up with cirrhosis,’ he explains.

So can thirty booze-free days really make a difference if you’ve spent as many years as I have torturing the poor organ?

‘If you stop drinking for a month, I can’t guarantee you that every last wisp of scar tissue will go away, I can’t guarantee you that the fat will go away, so I can’t guarantee you that your Fibroscan score will get better,’ Dr Alazawi admits.

‘But by stopping drinking, it can give a bit of breathing space. If someone is otherwise healthy, eats well, has no underlying genetic abnormalities that may predispose you to liver disease, then stopping drinking can help.’

It was time to bite the bullet and see what was going on.

So what is a Fibroscan?

A Fibroscan is essentially an ultrasound of the liver to test its condition and get a good idea of how fatty and stiff it is. It’s non-invasive, instead checking for inflammation using high frequency sound waves. The quicker the sound bounces back, the more supple the liver, and the more supple the liver, the healthier it is.

‘The most common thing we find when we do a scan is a bit of fat in the liver,’ Dr Alazawi explains.

‘Fat in the liver may represent being overweight, it might be associated with diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol – or it might be related to alcohol.

‘Over time, what can happen is that the liver can become very fatty. While that in itself doesn’t harm the liver, in some people the fat and alcohol can injure the liver cells themselves. So they’re no longer just sitting there with fat inside them but they’re actually now being damaged.

‘There’s inflammation because that’s our body’s response when there’s any damage, and if the injury doesn’t go away then you get scar tissue, and that scar tissue is called fibrosis and the extreme end of this is called cirrhosis. The scar tissue is harder than normal soft, supple liver tissue and that’s where the Fibroscan comes in.’

Dr. Alazawi began the examination by lightly knocking at my right side, attempting to find a good hollow point. Thanks to some rather inconveniently placed ribs, it took a little longer than expected to find the sweet spot. But once we got there, it was over in just a few minutes.

Using a pen-like device, he gently prodded the spot where my liver could most easily be examined through my awkwardly positioned bones and the readings began appearing on the screen. With every light pulse, new numbers and images appeared that I couldn’t decipher, but they were rating my liver for fattiness and scarring/inflammation.

After ten light pops, it was done. Easy. So what did it tell me?

As expected, the Fibroscan detected that my liver was a little on the tough side. Slightly stiffer than it should be, but nothing to be too concerned about, apparently. Phew. Maybe I could reverse the damage after all. But could I do it in a month?

The results of not drinking for a month


Photo by Konstantin Planinski on Unsplash

I decided to conduct this experiment during a month when I knew there would be plenty of opportunities to drink – December. As my family and friends knocked back flute after flute, I was sipping on soda waters with fresh lime.

But I did it. A month without drinking – I felt like a new woman. I was sleeping better, I was more sociable on the weekends and my skin definitely looked brighter. Not to mention the money I saved. I was happy to bow out early at parties, meaning no costly 3am Ubers, and I was free of ‘The Fear’.

Satisfactorily smug, I skipped back to the London Digestive Centre to see Dr. Alazawi and find out if my booze-free month had made a difference to my slighter-tougher-than-it-should-be liver.

And the results were surprising. The Fibroscan read that my liver had indeed softened up dramatically after just thirty days – but the test also revealed that it was fattier. Huh?

The reason for this, Dr Alazawi explains, could be that the tests are not usually repeated so close together and the amount of fat in the liver does vary a lot from day to day. Also, when it comes to excessive fat it’s usually down to a combination of things: a healthy diet and lifestyle also come into play. So while cutting out alcohol over an extended period of time can help a fatty liver, it’s important to remember that it’s not the only cause. While the Fibroscan is used as an indication of liver health, it’s not an exact science.

‘The other issue is it’s not just your liver,’ Dr Alazawi explains.

‘[Alcohol] can affect the heart, the skin, the reproductive system, the brain, your kidneys. There are a lot of ways that alcohol can affect your body.’

But if thirty days booze-free doesn’t make that much difference to your liver, should you bother with these ‘detoxes’ or are they all just a fad?

‘If by stepping away from the booze for a month you also think about your diet, more exercise, if it makes you sleep better, gives you a better sense of wellbeing, makes you more positive, whatever it may be…. then it’s probably a good thing,’ he continues.

‘People might think about how they feel when they drink less, and that may well have a resetting beneficial impact throughout the year.’

Who should have a Fibroscan?

According to Dr Alazawi, NICE recommends that if a woman drinks more than 35 units a week, and a man 50, and they’re worried about their alcohol consumption, they should have a Fibroscan.

However, it can also give a good indication of what else is going on with your body – as I found out.

A week after my consultation, I got a phone call from Dr. Alazawi. Something had caught his attention after our meeting. Following the Fibroscan, I had several blood tests under his instruction just to make sure that everything was okay, and they detected that I potentially have an underactive thyroid which would need to be monitored regularly and could result in me taking lifelong medication. It’s something that affects my mum and sister, but without having the test done, I would have been none the wiser.

So whether you’re a binge or heavy drinker, or just want a peek at what’s going on with your liver, the Fibroscan can be used as a tool to see inside and get a good glimpse of your health.

For information, prices and to book a Fibroscan, visit www.hcahealthcare.co.uk

The post ‘I quit drinking for a month – this is what happened to my liver’ appeared first on Marie Claire.

These are the International Women’s Day Events not to miss in London

These are the International Women’s Day Events not to miss in London

We can’t wait

international women's day events london

Needless to say, one of the biggest days of the year is 8th March, AKA International Women’s Day.

Every year, more and more events are being organised and curated with the aim of celebrating women worldwide, highlighting the progress that has been made, as well as looking at the challenges both new and old that we face. This year’s theme is #BalanceForBetter, with the aim of building a gender-balanced world through collaboration.

As well as celebrating our own incredible Marie Claire International Women’s Day event, in association with the United Nations and Salesforce, we’ve compiled a list of the events that we cannot wait for… see you there!

Spirit Forward London – Monday 4th March 2019

international women's day events

Bacardi Ltd. and S.H.E. SUMMIT, the flagship event of S.H.E. Globl, is hosting its first-ever European event in London on Monday 4th March: Spirit Forward. The day will bring together men and women, and boasts a super impressive speaker lineup, including ‘upskirting’ law-changer Gina Martin and Laura Haynes, Chair of the UN Women National Committee.

With the theme of the day centring on the concept that You Don’t Need to be in Charge to Lead, Spirit Forward promises to be an inspiring event not to miss.

The Book Club – events running from 3rd-11th March

Super-cool East London venue The Bookclub is living up to its reputation with its International Women’s Day Programme. From its ‘Has anything changed with gender relations since MeToo?’ panel discussion on Wednesday 6th March, to their Bloody Big Brunch, to listening to the all-womxn houseband, rappers, singers and poets jam at the Imaginary Millions Int Women’s Day Special on Sunday 3rd March, this is one for those who want slightly less traditional, but equally as meaningful, International Women’s Day events.

Seven Dials, London – events running from 4th-10th March

Hosted in one of London’s most iconic areas, this week long International Women’s Day celebration includes a live podcast recording with Scarlett Curtis hosting special guest Chidera Eggerue (aka @TheSlumflower) at the Donmar Warehouse, as well as a range of intimate conversations and workshops with influential founders and leaders from Seven Dials. We’re also super excited for the daily yoga workshops with boutique fitness centre Another_Space.

Tech(k)now Day, The Curtain, Saturday 9th March

Want to up your tech skills? This event, open to anyone who identifies as a woman, at the Curtain in East London. Expect hands-on workshops offering courses like Android 101, Introduction to Python and beginner HTML/CSS. There’s also opportunities for personal, business and career development – the latter containing ideas on how to make your CV stand out and salary negotiation for women and equal pay regulations.

Audible’s Spoken Worlds: To The Woman, The Savile Club – Wednesday 6th March

international women's day events

Hosting the world’s first ever women’s event at The Savile Club, Audible is celebrating the launch of author Scarlett Curtis’ new podcast To The Woman (to be released on International Women’s Day) with an interactive panel talk that includes TV presenter June Sarpong, author Lisa Luxx and blogger Sangeeta Pillai.

In addition to listening to some of the love letters that have been written and narrated for the podcast, guest will be asked to write and share their own letters to the women they’re thankful for.

Tickets are £7 each – all the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Bloody Good Period, a organisation that helps end period poverty in the UK.

The post These are the International Women’s Day Events not to miss in London appeared first on Marie Claire.

Everything you need to know about creating the perfect Bullet Journal

Everything you need to know about creating the perfect Bullet Journal

Is this diary system the answer to all your problems?

bullet journal
Credit: The Journal Garden | Vera Bitterer on Unsplash

Have you started your own Bullet Journal? If not – then why not?

All you have to do is type ‘Bullet Journal’ into Instagram and you’ll be met with over 3,000,000 pictures of ridiculously pretty, perfectly colour-coded, meticulously organised diaries. While they look like dreamy, no two are the same, making every single one completely unique.

Why? Because everything in it is created by yours truly. That’s right – all those beautiful swirls and lists you see on social media are made with just a pen and some imagination.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to find out how you can create your very own Bullet Journal.

What is a Bullet Journal?

The Bullet Journal is a system created by Brooklyn-based designer Ryder Carroll, who spent 20 years developing the method so he could stay organised. Essentially, it’s a modern Filofax – a place to dump all your thoughts, organise yourself and also involve your creative side.

So how do you do it, and does bullet journaling work? Basically, it’s a coded system for organising your thoughts, but it’s essentially a DIY journal that admittedly takes a little effort to perfect and create. The journal itself can be any notebook you like. It’s the system that’s the interesting part

Firstly, watch this video for an overview – these are the basics, and might not seem hugely inspiring just yet.

How to Bullet Journal

1. Get the right notebook. That’s all you need, because with this system you ditch your twenty million half-started notebooks and put everything in one place. One notebook with everything in it. The popular choices are Moleskine or Midori Traveller Notebooks.

2. You can make you own rules in terms of what goes in and how you use it. There’s a basic formula for keeping track of things (see the video above) but you can include lists for tracking my meals, meditation, exercise, downtime – the possibilities are endless. And that’s the beauty of this system – you personalise it.

3. Get planning. Invest in some nice pens, a ruler, a mechanical pencil (you will mess up when you start) and go online for inspiration – there are tonnes of videos and Pinterest boards about Bullet Journaling to get you inspired and send you on the way to creating your own bespoke diary.

Bullet Journal ideas

Looking for Bullet Journal inspiration? If you’re a Bullet Journal beginner and want some help getting started, here are some excellent Instagram accounts to follow.


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#Repost @viacalligraphy ・・・LOVE: “be present” I’ve been mentally preparing for December for the last three months. It’s always a busy (and expensive) time of year so lots of planning needs to happen to stay on top of it all. I actually changed up my monthly layout for the first time this year to fit in some holiday things. How is your December looking with all the holiday parties and days off?! #viabulletjournal⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you’ve been meaning to finally get your shit together, I just posted tickets for my next bullet journal workshop in January! It’s the perfect time of year to get organized— my bujo is the only notebook that I’ve completed 100%! Join me at the beautiful @makelemonadeco and get your @leuchtturm1917canada notebook and we’ll set it up together at my most productive workshop. Link in bio for more info and tickets (limited space available!)

A post shared by Ryder Carroll (@bulletjournal) on Dec 3, 2018 at 12:43am PST


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September sleep log and mood tracker filled in! 💡💛✨ ———————————————————————— ———————————————————————— 🇪🇸¡Registro de sueño de septiembre y rastreador de estado de ánimo completado! 💡💛✨ ———————————————————————— 🇫🇷terminé journal de sommeil et suivi d'humeur de septembre! 💡💛✨ ———————————————————————— #bulletjournal #bulletjournaling #bulletjournalnewbie #bujo #bulletjournalideas #bulletjournalinspiration #bujojunkies #bujoideas #journaladdict #journalling #planner #planneraddict #bujosetup #bulletjournalsetup #doodles #bujomonthly #bujomonthlyspread #bujomonthlylayout #bulletjournalmonthly #scribblesthatmatter #sleeplog #sleeptracker #moodtracker #afterthepen

A post shared by •Brooke (@b.bulletjournal) on Sep 30, 2018 at 9:24am PDT


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cred :: @b.bulletjournal

A post shared by B U L L E T . J O U R N A L (@bulletjournal.ideas) on Jan 8, 2019 at 1:49pm PST




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[Werbung/Advertisement] ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Hi guys, thank you again for all the love you're giving me recently, it makes my heart explode! 😍 and just so you know, I read and appreciate every comment and message, I might not write back asap but I'll come back to you, I promise! 🤗 . . . Today's spread is an oldie to some of you but I just love it so much and I can just say try it out! The switch from a monthly habit tracker to a weekly habit tracker was so important to me! I never filled out my monthly habit tracker because it was so overwhelming but when you try to include it somewhere in your daily or weekly layout you will use it more often in my opinion. 😊 I created this monthly dashboard page (as I like to call it) as a rough planning for the upcoming week. I write down all the to dos in my running to do list on the right side and I try to get them done in order and it makes me so much more productive. 🙌🏼 the left side keeps my meal planning and my daily and weekly habit tracker. Everything important for the week is on these two pages, I couldn't be happier at the moment with my system. 😊🎉 and as always I like to add some of the stickers out of my etsy shop @journalspiration.shop to spice it up a bit and it makes it a lot easier, because it's such a big time saver. 🤗 has anyone tried this layout yet? If so let me know what you think! And please tell me in the comments what you would like to see in the future, I would like to give you inspiration for other spreads, but I'm not sure what you would like to see, workout tracker, finance planning, business planning…? Tell me. 😘 have a nice day wherever you might be right now! . . . #bulletjournal #bujojunkies #bulletjournalcommunity #planner #plannercommunity #plannergirl #filofax #filofaxing #stationery #wearebujo #germanbujojunkies #nuuna #notebook #planwithmechallenge #journalspiration ‭‭‬‬#minimalbujo #minimalbulletjournal #minimalistbujo #minimalistbulletjournal #school #study #notes #notestagram #studyblr #studygram #studyspo #planneraddict #plannerstickers

A post shared by M A R I E (@journalspiration) on Aug 17, 2017 at 8:16am PDT


Need more inspiration? Watch this video from another Bullet Journal fan, Amanda Rach Lee, on how to get super organised with your new Bullet Journal:

Now you know where to buy a Bullet Journal notebook and how to create the journal of your dreams, there’s only one thing left to do: start.

So what are you waiting for?

Happy Bullet Journalling!

The post Everything you need to know about creating the perfect Bullet Journal appeared first on Marie Claire.

The Duchess of Cambridge just took sartorial inspiration from an unexpected icon

The Duchess of Cambridge just took sartorial inspiration from an unexpected icon

You know what’ underrated? A cape. Mary Poppins knows it, and so does Kate Middleton apparently. The royal is currently on tour with Prince William in Northern Ireland, and seemed to have taken inspiration from one of your favourite literary characters for her look on day 2.

The Duchess of Cambridge wrapped up warm in a chic blue button-up cape coat by Mulberry, so on trend for the new season.

She kept things tonal with a navy Jimmy Choo clutch and suede Rupert Sanderson court shoes. As for her jewellery, we all know about her sapphire engagement ring of course, which she paired with matching earrings.

The look is a lovely nod to Emily Blunt’s latest movie, in which she reprises the role of the magical nanny, wearing a checked blue cape coat for the occasion- judge for yourselves.

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In 2 weeks, #MaryPoppinsReturns.

A post shared by Disney (@disney) on Dec 5, 2018 at 8:49am PST

Coincidence? We’re hoping not.

The Duke and Duchess are expected to visit children at the Braid Arts Center later today. Just saying.


The post The Duchess of Cambridge just took sartorial inspiration from an unexpected icon appeared first on Marie Claire.

This Sézane top sold out within 24 hours (but it’s being re-stocked)

This Sézane top sold out within 24 hours (but it’s being re-stocked)

If you’re going to buy one top this season, you might as well make it this Sézane shirt, because everyone else is, so much so that it sold out within a day.

It comes in various styles, including an ochre dot print and a tropical floral, but it’s the classic white embroidered with dots that has been the most popular, thanks to its versatility. It goes nicely with a flared jean, as well as a midi skirt.

Shop now: Pierro shirt for £80 from SÉZANE

The Parisian online store also tells me their knitwear is also very popular, with the Mario Jumper in Peony and Eduardo jumper also selling out within a day, which come in nice pastel colours for spring.

Wear it now with tonal corduroy trousers and over a slip skirt for the new season.

All the items have been re-stocked however it’s probably only a matter of time before they sell out again (the Mario jumper and Pierro shirt have low stock again).

The post This Sézane top sold out within 24 hours (but it’s being re-stocked) appeared first on Marie Claire.

BEAUTY BYTES: Adwoa Aboah on paperclips, cryo facials and girl power in 2019

BEAUTY BYTES: Adwoa Aboah on paperclips, cryo facials and girl power in 2019

Adwoa Aboah interview

Welcome to Beauty Bytes: a place where I chat to celebrities about all things beauty – from their favourite products, to their biggest beauty disasters. Plus I grill them on everything from their social media habits to their favourite cheat meals. You know, all the important and essentials things that we need to know about.

Adwoa Aboah set up Gurls Talk to create a safe space online for girls and women. With the help of Revlon, of which she is one of the faces, she has created three make-up sets in collaboration with Gurl’s Talk. I sat down with the model to chat about the power of this partnership, her favourite Instagram accounts and what five things she loves about herself.  KT – Digital Beauty Editor



AA: It was kind of obvious from the start – once they’d taken me on as a model and ambassador. From the get-go they’ve always celebrated and encouraged Gurls Talk. I think, or I hope, that that’s one of the main reasons they decided to work with me. It very quickly became a discussion about what can we do together? I like how we can use makeup as a tool to get other messages out there. What I really admire about Revlon is that they’re such a massive long-standing brand that’s been around for years and years, and yet they’ve beautifully given us their platform to do our Gurls Talk thing. It’s just really amazing and I’m entirely grateful for that.


Revlon X Gurls Talk by Adwoa Aboah – Love Yourself Makeup Set, £12.99 ASOS

adwoa aboha interview

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AA: What’s a beauty influencer? Like people who do videos?


AA: At Gurls Talk we do a lot on social media. Last month we actually covered addiction as part of our monthly theme and talked about social media as an addiction. Personally, I find it quite hard to navigate through social media at the moment. I find that I get confused about the messages I’m putting across sometimes and I get confused by the messages I see, which kind of goes into what you said about creating a façade and a false representation of who you really are. I’ve been quite savage and anything that makes me feel like shit I’ve unfollowed on Instagram. We can’t stop that this stuff in on social media, but we can stop ourselves seeing it. I think it must be very hard for young girls and I’m really starting to realise that; we’ve been speaking a lot about comparison and it’s terrifying. I’m 26 and I’ve done a lot of work on myself, but I can still get into these dark spaces that are created by social media. I start comparing myself to others, when it’s not even real.


AA: My loyalty, my perseverance, my freckles, my eyes and my boobs.




AA: We’ve all been great at setting our own initiatives up and creating our own messaging, but I think 2019 is about us all coming together and seeing how we can collaborate and team up because we can’t do this by ourselves. Gurls Talk hasn’t got longevity without the people we collaborate with, without the girls that send in their submissions. For example, I’m teaming up with Period Poverty this year; I think it’s really important that we just come together.


AA: Modelling has taught me that I’ve just got to be myself. It’s hard to do, but I think I’ve got to have some sort of self-confidence. It might sound cheesy, but it definitely comes from within you. No validation from magazines or certain photographers will do, you have to feel it.


AA: I would apply a lot of black eyeliner just in my waterline with no mascara, yeah it was quite scary.


AA: I’ve got two: Dr Paw Paw Lip Balm and Revlon Candid Foundation.


AA: Revlon obviously! Glossier and Marc Jacobs.


AA: With a lot of Barbara Sturm stuff – wash, moisturise, exfoliation, maybe a face mask.


AA: Yes, although I really like Glam Glow face masks.


Glamglow Supermud Mask, £42 Look Fantastic

adwoa aboah interview

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AA: No, no I don’t like massages at all. I love facials – Barbara Strurm does really good facials. I recently tried this new Cryo one, but I didn’t actually like it. It was freezing. But it made my skin really great, so I’ll  probably try it again.


AA: I go through obsessive phases of exercise – I get really into it and then I get like get a bit lazy. It just really, really helps my mental health. I like hard-core cardio, something sweaty like boxing.




AA: Wellness to me means taking some time to yourself.


A: The paperclip, the dinosaur and the laughing face.


AA: Oh, I’ve got so many, I’m an avid TV watcher. I binge watch everything. Game of Thrones, Escape from Dannemora and Sex Education are my favourites at the moment.


AA: Oh, that’s a good question. My favourites are all the interior design accounts. I would say my favourite home decors are @decorhardcore and @worldofinteriors. Oh and anything dogs, like @doxiecentral, which is just sausage dogs.




AA: Yeah, I have been star struck by! Oh god I got really star struck when I met Lauryn Hill; I couldn’t even speak.


AA: Oh, I’ve got so many good ones right now! That is really good question, I love that. I’ve got ‘Lamu Legends’ and ‘Sexico’ from two different holiday groups. Yeah, I’d say those two are the weirdest.


The post BEAUTY BYTES: Adwoa Aboah on paperclips, cryo facials and girl power in 2019 appeared first on Marie Claire.

This ‘bloody brunch’ is here to help end period poverty

This ‘bloody brunch’ is here to help end period poverty


bloody big brunch

A Bloody Big Brunch is happening in London by the buy-one-give-one social enterprise, Hey Girls, in a bid to end period poverty for good. The aim of the event on March 3rd, the first weekend of Women’s History Month, is to de-stigmatise periods and raise awareness of period poverty.

Many of us take it for granted that we can afford sanitary items, however a staggering number of women in the UK can’t. In fact, research by Bloody Big Brunch showed that almost a quarter of British women have experienced period poverty at some point in their lives.

It also revealed that over a quarter of schoolgirls and women affected have missed school or work because they’ve been unable to afford sanitary products.

The Bloody Big Brunch promises to bring the issue to light, by not only reducing embarrassment around periods but also by making it easy to send menstrual products to where they’re needed most.

The event at The Book Club, Shoreditch, will include lots of bloody treats, like Bloody Mary cocktails and red velvet pancakes, and there will even be tampon macaroons.

If you live outside of London, you can still get involved. The Bloody Big Brunch is also asking people to host their own brunch at home and serve Bloody (or Virgin) Marys to friends and family.

But guests must pay for their drinks with period products, which they can do easily by purchasing Hey Girls, who will automatically double donations and distribute products to charities around the UK including The Red Box Project, Bloody Good Period, Girlguiding Scotland, YWCA and Freedom4Girls.

So what are you waiting for?

It’s time to get bloody brunching this weekend.

The post This ‘bloody brunch’ is here to help end period poverty appeared first on Marie Claire.

Study says marriage is actually more stressful than having kids

Study says marriage is actually more stressful than having kids


TIME marriage app tells you what age to get married
TIME marriage app tells you what age to get married

According to a study, making a marriage work is actually twice as stressful as raising a family.

The University of Padova found that 75% of female participants admitted that they take on the majority of the parenting and household duties, and one in five revealed that they were the most stressed when they didn’t feel supported by their other half.

The research also suggests that a man’s health deteriorates when their significant other passes away, whereas women actually become healthier when they lose the one they love because they handle stress better.

Lead researcher Dr Caterina Trevisan of the University of Padova said: ‘Widows cope better than widowers with the stress deriving from the loss of a partner.’

Talking to The Telegraph, Dr Caterina explained: ‘Since women generally have a longer lifespan than men, married women may also suffer from the effects of caregiver burden, since they often devote themselves to caring for their husband in later life.’

She continued: ‘Widows cope better than widowers with the stress deriving from the loss of a partner and widowhood, with a significant increase in the risk of depression only in the latter.

‘Many studies have shown that women are less vulnerable to depression than men in widowhood, probably because they have greater coping resources and are better able to express their emotions.

‘These aspects may help to explain the lower risk of exhaustion seen in single women, who are likewise more socially integrated than single men, and consequently less exposed to frailty.’

What do you think of this research?

The post Study says marriage is actually more stressful than having kids appeared first on Marie Claire.

Was this the most worn bag at Fashion Week?

Was this the most worn bag at Fashion Week?

As well as attending the shows to spot the new summer fashion trends, we always keep an eye out for the London Fashion Week accessories worn on the street, to dictate what we should be adding to our seasonal wardrobe. Or more specifically carrying.

One bag in particular has been making a regular appearance on the cobbles of Copenhagen, London and even Milan, a sure sign it’s got the fashion crowd’s seal of approval.

It is called the NEO ring bag, and comes courtesy of STÉE. As its name suggest, it’s got a futuristic vibe to it, thanks to a rounded metal handle and clean leather design.

Parisian designer Estelle Orilland, the woman behind Stella McCartney’s famous Falabella bag, says, ‘ the inspiration behind the NEO Ring Bag‘s design came, first of all, from furniture design & metal parts from different chairs. Marcel Breuer as well as Mies van de Rohe chairs.

‘From the MR20 to the wassily shape, I am completely obsessed with designer chairs. How the round metal tubes/chair legs would be covered with leather and leave oval holes around the tube. The NEO bag itself has leather covered press buttons, which are inspired by these design details.’

It’s been spotted on influences such as Bettina Looney and Bonnie Langedijk, as well as many a fashion editor.

I’m loving the cream version, however it also comes in black, olive and embellished versions to cover all tastes. They will launch on the STÉE website at the end of Paris Fashion Week so make sure you add that to your diaries.

The post Was this the most worn bag at Fashion Week? appeared first on Marie Claire.

Lady Gaga addresses the Bradley Cooper ‘romance’ rumours

Lady Gaga addresses the Bradley Cooper ‘romance’ rumours

Here’s what she said

lady gaga bradley cooper
Credit: Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s Oscar performance has become one of the most talked about moments from the entire 2019 award season. The A-listers joined forces to sing fan favourite Shallow from their nominated movie, A Star Is Born, and their chemistry was undeniable.

But it has also lead to the pair being plagued by ‘romance’ rumours.

Lady Gaga appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to set the record straight (alongside the golden statuette she won for Best Original Song, naturally).

Jimmy said to Gaga: ‘You had such a connection with Bradley that, instantly, and I guess this is a compliment, people started saying, “Oh, they must be in love”.’

After a huge eye roll, Gaga replied: ‘First of all, social media, quite frankly, is the toilet of the Internet.

‘And what it has done to pop culture is abysmal. And people saw love, and guess what, that’s what we wanted you to see.

‘This is a love song, ‘Shallow’. The movie, A Star Is Born is a love story. We worked so hard, we worked all week on that performance.

‘Bradley, who – and you know, I never relinquish control about a live stage performance and I’ve done a million of them – but he directed this film and he directed, obviously, the musical moments in the film, and Shallow, the moment, in the film.

‘So I knew that he had the vision for how it should go, and so I was like, ‘What do you think Bradley?’ And he laid it all out.’

She continued: ‘From a performance perspective, it was so important to both of us that we were connected the entire time.

‘Look, I’ve had my arms wrapped around Tony Bennett for three years touring the world. When you’re singing love songs, that’s what you want people to feel.’

So there you go.

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