Do you know what your vulva is? Apparently 73% of you don’t…

Do you know what your vulva is? Apparently 73% of you don’t…


Clue: it is not part of an oyster

We seem to be having a vaginal-reawakening. Earlier this month, Cult Beauty launched their online shop for your vagina to encourage an open, non-judgemental conversation about women’s nether regions.

And now Bodyform are launching a new PureSensitive range for intimate care, alongside their #vivalavula campaign to get women to understand more about their bodies and tackle the taboo surrounding their lady gardens.

According to research carried out by Bodyform, 73% of women in the UK don’t know what a vulva is, 42% have felt embarrassed about theirs (it’s a shocking 63% in 18-24 year-olds) and 61% believe society puts a pressure on women to ensure their vulva looks a certain way.

Watch the campaign video below…

Bodyform’s campaign hopes the Viva La Vulva campaign will get more women talking about this particular part of their bodies, help to drive education and boost’s women confidence.

They want to ‘talk about vulvas and liberate women from the pressure to adhere to fake ‘vulva standards’.

Are you with them? Will you start chatting to your friends about it?

Let us know, but tweeting us @marieclaireuk.

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Serena Williams has opened up about her sister’s murder

Serena Williams has opened up about her sister’s murder


‘I think we need to get comfortable with having uncomfortable conversations’

Serena Williams is known to speak out on important issues, even if they prove painful on a personal level. This is something she proved this week, sitting down with 12-year-old Naomi Wadler to be interviewed on gun violence, as part of Wadler’s series, DiversiTea, on Ellen DeGeneres’ YouTube channel.

‘I was affected personally by gun violence,’ Serena told the 12-year-old interviewer. ‘My sister, unfortunately, passed from that.’

Serena and Venus’ half-sister, Yetunde Price, was shot dead in a 2003 drive-by shooting in Los Angeles by Robert Maxfield, who was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

‘People are talking about it now because it’s happening more widespread,’ Serena explained of gun violence. ‘But it’s been affecting our community for years.’

Explaining how she had dealt with her half-sister’s murder, Serena continued: ‘I think we need to get comfortable with having uncomfortable conversations. Situations are never really gonna get better if you always avoid it, you have to take it head-on.’

This comes after Yetunde’s murderer Robert Maxfield was released from prison last year on good behaviour, something Serena found out minutes before her match in the first round of the Silicon Valley Classic.

top 100 list of highest paid athletes

REX

‘I couldn’t shake it out of my mind,’ Serena explained in her interview with Time after the match. ‘It was hard because all I think about is her kids – what they meant to me and how much I love them. No matter what, my sister is not coming back for good behaviour. It’s unfair that she’ll never have an opportunity to hug me.’

When asked if she has forgiven her sister’s killer, Serena replied: ‘I’m not there yet. I would like to practice what I preach, and teach Olympia that as well. I want to forgive. I have to get there. I’ll be there.’

Our thoughts are with Serena and her family.

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Priyanka Chopra has finally addressed the Meghan Markle ‘feud’

Priyanka Chopra has finally addressed the Meghan Markle ‘feud’


priyanka chopra
Credit: REX

Meghan Markle has been surrounded by continuous speculation since becoming a royal, involved in not one but two rumoured feuds.

Yes, now that the social media backlash from her rumoured feud with sister-in-law Kate Middleton has died down, after it emerged it was actually the two brothers who had clashed, Meghan’s got another rumoured fallout to address – with A-list pal Priyanka Chopra.

The speculation started when Meghan didn’t attend Priyanka’s wedding, only escalating when Priyanka was unable to attend Meghan’s New York baby shower. And instead of coming to the logical conclusion – that they are two of the busiest women in the world – it was instead decided that the pair were at war.

meghan markle going to priyanka chopra's wedding

Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

This was something that Priyanka addressed this week, appearing on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen to rubbish the rumours.

‘Are the rumours true that you were upset that Meghan Markle skipped your wedding to Nick Jonas?’ a caller asked the actress, to which the host added: ‘They said you didn’t go to her baby shower because you were pissed at her!’

‘Oh my god,’ Priyanka responded, before confirming: ‘No, it’s not true.’

This comes after a close source via E! reported that the rumours couldn’t be further from the truth.

‘All the rumours that Priyanka and Meghan aren’t friends anymore are totally not true,’ the source explained to E!. ‘Priyanka and Meghan are still very close friends and they talk frequently. Meghan confides in Priyanka about the adjustments she has to make with being a royal.’

The source continued: ‘Just because Priyanka didn’t go to the shower, or that Meghan couldn’t come to her wedding, doesn’t mean anything about their friendship. They’re still very close friends and Meghan considers Priyanka one of her closest confidants.’

‘There are no issues between the two women,’ another source added in response to the rumours. ‘They are friends, and anything you’re being told otherwise is inaccurate and untrue’.

Well, that’s a relief.

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How Meghan will break royal tradition after giving birth

How Meghan will break royal tradition after giving birth


It’s ‘unheard of’ apparently

meghan markle
Credit: Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

Since the announcement that Meghan Markle is pregnant, all eyes have been on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Everyone wants to know as much as possible about Baby Sussex, from potential baby names, to the nursery decor plans, to whether they’re hoping for a boy or a girl.

Prince Harry and Meghan have been pretty open about becoming parents, sharing details about her pregnancy symptoms and revealing the due date.

But there has been a lot of speculation about the birth – will Meghan give birth at the Lindo Wing? Is she using a doula? And why won’t Prince William and Kate Middleton be godparents?

In particular, many have been curious about whether or not Harry and Meghan will hire help to look after their little one when he or she is born.  There were reports that George and Amal Clooney’s nanny might be helping the couple, but according to a new interview they’ll be breaking the royal tradition by opting not to have a team of nannies.

A source told new! magazine: ‘She’s determined not to do things the conventional way. Meghan’s already told Palace chiefs that she and Harry want to be hands-on parents.

‘She doesn’t want a team of nannies, which is unheard of for a new mum in the royal household. Meghan feels she wants to show other women out there that she’s independent and strong and can relate to new mums who don’t have the luxury of having a lot of extra help.’

A close friend of Meghan’s added: ‘Meghan is determined it will be a totally natural experience and she’s insisting absolutely no pain relief.’

It was announced that Harry and Meghan will welcome Baby Sussex in the Spring, and Meghan herself admitted she will give birth in April – meaning it won’t be long until we get to meet the little one.

Excited? Same.

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MAC is launching an Aladdin collection and it’s about to open up a whole new world of magic

MAC is launching an Aladdin collection and it’s about to open up a whole new world of magic


Calling all Disney lovers…

MAC Aladdin

Words by Sophie Saleh

Your wishes are about to come true, as MAC has announced a collaboration with Disney’s live action Aladdin movie, which hits cinemas on the 24th May.

Packed with a mix of precious metals and Jasmine-inspired jewel tones, there’s no doubt you’ll be left feeling like a princess when this drops.

MAC’s senior artist and BBC 3 Glow Up judge Dominic Skinner took to Instagram to confirm the news, writing: ‘Just you wait till you see what the collection has in store for you!! Your wish, our command!

‘Manifest your magic with the Disney Aladdin Collection by M·A·C. Launching this May, this wish-fulfilling collaboration highlights the self-determination and confidence of Princess Jasmine in the upcoming live-action adaptation of Disneu’s animated classic, Aladdin – in theatres May 24.’

The campaign puts Naomi Scott, who plays our hero Princess Jasmine in the upcoming film, at the forefront adorned in turquoise and gold.

A lot of the details are still yet to be released, but at the moment there are three products that we know about – cleverly mirroring the Genie’s three wishes granted to Aladdin. Until then, you can sign up for Aladdin updates on MAC’s website.

So far we’ve seen an eyeshadow palette, lipstick and bronzer, all encased in beautifully golden packaging, and MAC have shared some of the eyeshadow swatches on Instagram. All we can say is, take our money NOW.

MAC Aladdin

We’re already lusting over the nine-pan eyeshadow palette filled with purple and golden shimmers, and the hot pink lipstick named A Whole New World has really caught our attention. Not to mention the warm-toned bronzer that we hope will give us that Jasmine-esque glow.

The limited edition collection is said to be available on the 1st of May, so be sure to save that date as it’s going to sell out pretty fast. And, if we’re lucky, there may be a few more additions to the colourful range.

Thanks, Genie.

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A new book just made some very loaded allegations about Donald and Ivanka Trump’s relationship

A new book just made some very loaded allegations about Donald and Ivanka Trump’s relationship


What does it all mean?

Ivanka Trump
Rex

Donald Trump’s relationship with his family has long been a talking point, with the president known to have a soft spot for his oldest daughter, Ivanka Trump.

Donald and Ivanka’s relationship caused controversy when the 37-year-old former TV personality and socialite was made Assistant to the President – a highly-coveted position – and given a West Wing office, classified information clearance and a government-issued phone.

Coupled with the fact that he once said he would probably be dating Ivanka if she wasn’t his daughter, people tend to find their father-daughter relationship a little odd.

Ivanka Trump

Their relationship seemed to get even weirder last year when Emily Jane Fox’s book, Born Trump, suggested that before she ventured into politics, Ivanka wanted to pursue a career in modelling – something that reportedly prompted Donald to encourage his daughter to get breast implants.

Yes, really.

But this week, it was another book that got everyone talking about the father-daughter relationship, Kushner Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption.

According to Vicky Ward’s book, based on hundreds of interviews, the two are almost uncomfortably close, with Mark Corallo, a former legal spokesperson for Trump, reportedly telling Ward, ‘You can’t have a conversation without him talking about Ivanka.’

The book states that ’Multiple people noticed that [Ivanka would] regularly wander into the Oval Office, often with a child in tow, and talk to Trump in a singsong voice.’ And not only that, apparently ‘He’d call her “baby” or pat her on the bottom.’

The book did however also apparently report the tensions between the two, with Trump reportedly on occasion putting his daughter in her place.

One source recalled a put down from Trump to his daughter after ‘she stormed into [his] office’, with the President reportedly telling her ‘Honey, you sell shoes. Calm down’.

The book has already been disparaged by the White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, something Ward responded to by announcing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: ‘If Sarah Huckabee Sanders wants to get into a credibility ratings battle with me, I’ll take her on.’

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Emilia Clarke has broken her silence on the two brain aneurysms she almost lost her life to

Emilia Clarke has broken her silence on the two brain aneurysms she almost lost her life to


‘In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die.’

emilia clarke nudity

Emilia Clarke is one of the most talked about women in the world, from her meeting with Prince William to her final goodbye to Game of Thrones.

This week, the 32-year-old actress made news for a different reason however, as she launched the SameYou charity, a campaign very personal to her.

The SameYou charity supports young people with brain injuries, something Emilia Clarke started after surviving a life threatening stroke herself.

This is something the GoT actress broke her silence on this week while launching the charity.

Opening up about suffering a subarachnoid haemorrhage, something a lot of victims don’t survive, and undergoing surgery, Emilia recalled her personal struggle to bring attention to the ‘invisible illness’.

‘I reached the toilet, sank to my knees and proceeded to be violently, voluminously ill. Meanwhile, the pain – shooting, stabbing, constricting pain – was getting worse,’ Emilia explained to the New Yorker, recalling her stroke. ‘At some level, I knew what was happening – my brain was damaged.’

The surgery that followed left her unable to string sentences together or remember her own name,’ something that she recalled, saying: ‘In my worst moments, I wanted to pull the plug. I asked the medical staff to let me die. My job—my entire dream of what my life would be—centered on language, on communication. Without that, I was lost.’

‘While I was recovering, I saw that access to integrated mental and physical health recovery programs are limited and not affordable for all,’ she explained. ‘I am determined to help.’

‘I know from personal experience that the impact of brain injury is shattering,’ Emilia went on to explain. ‘Recovery is long-term and rehabilitation can be difficult to access. Brain injury can be an invisible illness and the subject is often taboo. We must help young adults take control of their recovery and allow them to open up without fear of stigma or shame.’

Follow #sameyoucharity to find out more about Emilia’s campaign for immediate post-acute rehabilitation.

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Could there be a fourth baby Cambridge on the way?

Could there be a fourth baby Cambridge on the way?


Wait, what?

kate middleton groceries

2018 was a big year in terms of royal babies, with two little Mountbatten-Windsors joining the fold.

Zara Philips gave birth to baby Lena in June and Kate Middleton and Prince William welcomed their third child, Prince Louis, in April.

But 2019 could be giving it a run for its money, with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry expecting their first baby together in the Spring, and now rumours that a new baby Cambridge could be on the way soon.

REX

While the Duchess of Cambridge was greeting the crowds at a royal engagement in Northern Ireland, she reportedly greeted a male fan and his baby, gushing over the newborn and telling the father, ‘He’s so diddy. It makes me very broody!’

The father reportedly then asked her whether she would like a fourth baby, to which Kate replied: ‘I think William may be slightly worried!’

Talking about the likelihood of a fourth Cambridge baby, royal correspondents Emily Andrews and Omid Scobie discussed the comments on podcast ‘On Heir’.

And according to Scobie, there could be more to the comments than meets the eye, with Kate reportedly making a similar joke before announcing her third pregnancy.

kate middleton

‘I remember having a conversation with the Duchess a few months after Charlotte was born,’ the royal correspondent recalled. ’She had just put Charlotte to sleep and said how lovely it was to have a baby around again.’

And when Omid reportedly asked her whether it made her want to have a third child, the Duchess replied: ‘Oh I would love to, but William would kill me if he heard me say that!’

‘Then of course, lo and behold, we had Prince Louis some time later,’ he reminded listeners.

Will there be a fourth baby Cambridge coming soon? Only time will tell.

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Prince Harry explaining pregnancy to children is the sweetest thing you’ll see all day

Prince Harry explaining pregnancy to children is the sweetest thing you’ll see all day


This is too much!

prince harry meghan markle
Credit: REX/Shutterstock

Ever since Prince Harry showed off his parenting skills, jokily scolding a little boy for pulling his wife’s hair and then catching two-year-old Emily Henson stealing his popcorn at last year’s Invictus Games, fans have been waiting for the 34-year-old Prince to become a father himself.

And now the time is here, with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle expecting a royal baby this Spring.

Since announcing the exciting news, the couple have voiced their happiness, with Meghan telling fans that they were excited to ‘join the parenting club’ while Prince Harry let slip a nickname for the future royal baby – ‘our little bump’.

Last week, a month before his baby’s due date the prince gave us a look at his parenting skills as he met a newborn baby, but it’s an interaction this week that has got everyone talking about the expectant father.

While visiting St. Vincent’s Catholic School in Acton this week, the prince reportedly crouched down to talk to some excited school children.

And while one little boy, Emmanuel Osei, had to take some convincing from Prince Harry that he was ‘the real Prince Harry’, it was the royal’s interaction afterwards that got everyone talking, as he could be seen describing pregnancy to a group of children.

Yes, in a now viral video, Prince Harry can be seen acting out a growing baby bump to a group of children, explaining about Meghan Markle and their future baby.

Like we needed proof that Prince Harry would make an incredible dad!

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How to make your beauty routine more sustainable and eco-friendly

How to make your beauty routine more sustainable and eco-friendly


Plus the brands that are doing their bit for the planet

It’s been a long time coming, but people are finally realising that it’s cool to give a crap about the planet we live on. From ethical fashion brands to upping our recycling, most of us are being a bit more conscious about our lifestyle choices and wastage.

‘As consumers, I think we’d all like to feel as though we’re helping make a change for the better; but sometimes it’s hard to know how to do that, and understand what impact a small change can really make,’ says Jo Chidley, founder of Beauty Kitchen.

‘For me, sustainability is a combination of things. It’s how we consciously develop and formulate products to the long term environmental impact they have.

‘We carefully consider the ethical sourcing, the packaging and the production and how we operate as a fully rounded sustainable business. Consumers want to know that as a sustainable business you truly care about them and the environment.’

With that in mind, keep reading to find out how you can gradually upgrade your skincare to be more planet-friendly.

What are some easy first steps you can take to make your beauty routine more sustainable?

Shop with a brand that follows environmentally friendly practices

From thoughtful packaging to sustainable ingredients, make sure they’ve covered the bases so all you have to do is decide on what products to try.

‘Consumers used to think that natural meant compromising on quality, smell, texture or all three,’ says Jo. But today, our products stand up against their synthetic counterparts and really do perform – proving that effective, natural and sustainable is possible.’

Ensure the brand is cruelty free and against animal testing

‘The leaping bunny is a guarantee that none of the products will have been tested on animals. If you can’t find it on the products, research!’ says Jo. ‘You’ll find brands are very good at telling you about all the work they’re doing to become more sustainable and eco-friendly, so if you still can’t find the answers you’re looking for, ask the brand directly.

‘We love to hear from our customers and will always answer questions and help arm them with the info they want whenever we can.’

Start with one product and take your time!

If you’re used to a certain routine it’s best to swap things out gradually to make your transition into a more sustainable routine all the more smooth. Start by buying just one sustainable product to incorporate into your routine, then gradually build it up.

What easy sustainable ingredient swaps can you make?

‘Understanding that we do not have an infinite resource of ingredients is an important part of the journey,’ Jo explains. ‘Look at Argan Oil – what was once a niche ingredient from Morocco is now a thriving industry. But how long can small communities work to meet demand? Trees and ingredients take time to grow and for us, it’s important to take our time and do things the right way.

‘Swapping from Argan Oil to Abyssinian Oil and using products that have marine extracts and algae in them is a great start. When these ingredients grow they turn carbon dioxide into oxygen and are truly effective on your skin.

‘You’ll get the same enjoyment from the products, but you’ll also be helping to ensure that those ingredients stick around for a lot longer as they’ll become more sustainable – and the cycle then becomes a totally renewable one.’

Beauty Kitchen Abyssinian Oil Concentrate, £12.50, Feelunique

Buy now

‘Here at Beauty Kitchen, we work tirelessly to ensure we’re doing things as well as we can – from the efficacy of our products, to the way we source ingredients right down to the packaging we use for each and every one of our products,’ Jo continues.

‘Being the most sustainable beauty company in the world is what I’m working towards.’

Other brands doing their green bit

As well as the brilliant Beauty Kitchen, there are other brands below who are working to reduce their ecological footprint, whether through recycling initiatives or using less harmful ingredients. Read more about them below.

REN has pledged to be a zero-waste brand by 2021, working towards 100% recyclable packaging, reusing ocean plastic and offering refillable services. They’ve also teamed up with Surfrider to clean up the world’s beaches, currently touring the UK.

Tata Harper‘s packaging is almost entirely reusable and recyclable glass, and everything is made on their 1,200 acre farm in Vermont, USA.

L’Occitane’s Teracycle Initiative will accept your used beauty products to be recycled (not just L’Occitane ones!). Simply take them to your nearest store and they’ll do the rest – as well as giving you 10% off your next shop.

WE ARE PARADOXX use no plastic in their packaging, instead opting for aluminium which, unlike plastic, can be recycled an infinite number of times. Using recycled aluminium requires only 8% of the energy used to make new aluminium.

Origins recycle their empties at counters, meaning consumers can take their empty Origins containers and the brand will ensure they are recycled. They also never use Styrofoam packaging or PVCs and  avoid using cartons where possible, but any that are used are FSC certified, post-consumer recycled fibre and made using wind and and hydro power. Cosmetic bags are made from 100% recycled materials, while shopping bags are 100% craft paper that is itself recyclable. Not bad, eh?

bareMinerals products are all free from chemical sunscreen, coal tar, formaldehyde, mineral oil, palm oil, parabens, peanuts, propylene glycol, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclocarban, and triclosan.

Beauty just got a whole lot cleaner.

For more tips and tricks head to our Hair & Beauty section

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