Give your loved ones the gifts they deserve this Christmas

Give your loved ones the gifts they deserve this Christmas


Promotional feature with Rituals

Think beautiful, indulgent treats for everyone on your festive shopping list…

Christmas is just around the corner, but the pressure of finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list can 100% put your joyous festive spirit on hold.

What you need is a place to pick up something thoughtful and lust-worthy for each special person in your life, which is where Rituals, our favourite bath and body brand comes in.

Find your perfect gift for…

The one who deserves a pamper…

Whether it’s a friend who’s had a tough year or a parent who needs a thank you, The Ritual of Hammam Purifying Treat gift set is a covetable option for the person in your life who deserves a good old pamper. This fabulous set will save you the £££ a trip to the spa would set you back, and instead allows its recipient to bring a luxurious Turkish bath feel to their own bathroom. Inspired by Hammam, one of the oldest cleansing traditions in the world, the set features six products from Rituals’ Hammam collection.

 

The one who’s always on the go…

Rituals’ The Ritual Of Ayurveda has been created to keep body, mind and soul in balance, which is why this gift set (aptly named The Balancing Ritual) is ideal for those who never seem to stop. People constantly on the move sometimes seem to forget that taking time to re-balance and indulge in a little self care is really important. This lovely keepsake box contains a foaming shower gel, body scrub, body cream and hand wash, all infused with fragrant Indian rose and sweet almond oil.

 

The loved one…

The beautifully packaged Ritual of Samurai Refreshing Collection is perfect for the man in your life who enjoys a spot of grooming. Inspired by Japanese Samurai warriors, who paid great attention to their personal appearance when preparing for battles, this collection is blended to empower and build confidence. There’s a foaming shower gel, shaving gel, aftershave and eau de perfume – in short, everything a man needs to look and feel sharp.

 

The one who needs it the mostyourself

As much as we all love shopping for our nearest and dearest over the Christmas period, we mustn’t forget to treat ourselves to a little something too. Rituals’ The Ritual of Happy Buddha Energising Ritual includes everything you need to feel positive, revitalised, and ready to take on the festive season with pizazz. Treat your hands and body to a selection of products scented with sweet orange and cedarwood in one big, beautiful box.

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The personalised chocolates we can’t resist this Christmas

The personalised chocolates we can’t resist this Christmas


Promotional feature with Thorntons

Chocolate with your name on it… Thorntons, we salute you

You can’t beat choccies for presents – and Thorntons has gone all out to create a mouthwatering range of luxury, high-quality treats for the festive season.

What’s more, you can personalise most of the range from advent calendars to chocolate Santas and sophisticated selection boxes, with a free message or a name handwritten in icing.

There are lots of special offers across the Christmas ranges, too, so you’ll be able to give lush gifts for less. Simply add your free personalised message when you place an order online or in store. Here’s our pick of irresistible, personalised chocolate gifts…

Advent calendars

The build-up to Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a fun advent calendar (whether you’re four or forty!) and many have 3 for 2 offers from 20 November. Each calendar comes with a personalised chocolate plaque and you can choose from classic festive themes to characters like The Gruffalo or The Snowman and The Snowdog, a mega calendar with 24 delicious milk chocolates.

Thorntons

Stocking fillers

From cheeky elves to cute reindeers and white chocolate snowmen, chocolate models make perfect secret Santa gifts for colleagues – and they’re brilliant stocking fillers.

Personalised hampers

Looking for a family present? Choose from gift sets to wonderfully indulgent hampers, such as the Personalised Signature Chocolate Hamper, which is packed full of selection boxes and bags of fudge, toffees and honeycomb.

Thorntons

Favourite boxes

Mouthwatering selection boxes range from truffles to marzipan fruits, and are just right for taking along to a Christmas dinner party, for passing around during a board game or to dip into in front of a movie.

We love this Christmassy Star Collection and we can’t get enough of  the Continental Winter Market selection, 25 yummy treats inspired by the taste sensations you’d find in European Christmas markets, think Italian panforte and clementine caramel.

With 3 for 2 offers on selection boxes and advent calendars from 20 November until December 21, we’re thinking Christmas may have come early!

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The 5 editor-approved ethical beauty gifts topping our Christmas wishlists

The 5 editor-approved ethical beauty gifts topping our Christmas wishlists


Promotional feature The Body Shop

Have yourself an ethically conscious little Christmas…

With many of us shopping more thoughtfully, is it any wonder that Christmas gift lists are starting to reflect this ethical trend? When it comes to iconic brands, The Body Shop has always been at the forefront of ethical beauty, creating fabulous products that ultimately give something back to both the environment and community projects across the globe – and this Christmas is no exception.

This festive season, The Body Shop will pledge 1.8p from every transaction to help protect and re-wild more than 10 million square metres of forest in England and Armenia, supporting the World Land Trust (WLT) and new partners The Woodland Trust UK as part of The Body Shop’s World Bio-Bridges Mission. To ensure this target is achieved, The Body Shop has committed to donate a minimum of £100,000 to the World Land Trust and £150,000 to the Woodland Trust respectively. Running throughout November and December, this Re-wild The World campaign will add an extra level of ethical value to your Christmas haul.

Plus, The Body Shop has been famously opposed to animal testing for over 40 years – an issue we feel very strongly about here at team Marie Claire – and with all products boasting a 100% vegetarian stamp (many are also vegan), you can feel rest assured you’ll find gifts to please everyone.

It’s also worth mentioning The Body Shop has designed many of its festive gift containers and packaging to be reused and upcycled to help reduce that post-Christmas waste.

So, with that in mind we’ve compiled our top five gift ideas from The Body Shop’s Christmas collection. Inspired by the winter forest, this range is all about escaping into nature. Enjoy…

1. Perfect for… mum

Ideal for sensitive skin, the Almond Milk & Honey Ultimate Collection (£40) is packed full of creamy pampering treats. Using Community Trade organic almond milk from Spain and sustainably sourced Community Trade honey from Ethiopia, hello home spa goals.

2. Perfect for… gym fans

Infused with the uplifting scent of peppermint candy canes, this Festive Sack of Peppermint Candy Cane Delights (£18) is perfect for those who love a fresh fragrance kick post-workout. Plus, the sack is made from natural materials and is 100% reusable.

3. Perfect for… the BFF

Guaranteed to have skin glowing well into the New Year, this iconic vegan Facial Mask Duo (£32) is the ultimate bestie present. The Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Mask helps draw out impurities and refine pores, while the British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask leaves skin feeling replenished with moisture and visibly smoother. Hello festive indulgence!

4. Perfect for… Secret Santa

Containing handcrafted Community Trade shea butter from Ghana, this nutty Shea Soft Hands, Warm Kisses Duo (£8) will tick any last-minute Secret Santa boxes – just try not to keep it for yourself…

5. Perfect for… the chaps

Up his grooming game this Christmas with the Guarana & Coffee Skin Energising Kit (£18), enriched with invigorating ingredients such as Brazilian guarana seeds and caffeine-rich green coffee beans from Ethiopia to help rejuvenate and moisturise.

To see the full range of gifts, pop into your local The Body Shop or shop online and make this Christmas the most ethically conscious one yet!

 

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How to stimulate all 5 senses for the best date night ever

How to stimulate all 5 senses for the best date night ever


Promotional feature with BOSS The Scent

Attraction is all about playing to your sensory strengths…

When it comes to dating, the right chemistry is critical, but why do we feel an instant attraction to some people more than others?

Believe it or not, relationship experts are now encouraging those of us who are looking for love to disengage from the digital dating world, and tap into the powerful link between seduction and our senses for greater dating success.

This new ‘augmented sensuality’  is a key theme in the latest BOSS fragrance ad, starring Irish actor Jamie Doran and Dutch model Birgit Kos as would-be lovers sitting side-by-side in a grand concert hall.

The chemistry between them is palpable as they disappear behind the virtual reality glasses everyone is wearing for the piano performance. As Kos leaves the concert, Doran takes off his glasses to find her IRL. When he does, the magnetic attraction as they gaze into each other’s eyes is pretty intense – a perfect example of disconnecting to reconnect.

Of course, there’s more to falling in love than eyes meeting across a crowded room. Studies have revealed there are three key stages when it comes to falling in love – lust, attraction, and attachment. Each involves different chemical reactions within the body and brain, with feelings triggered by hormones during each stage.

What’s more, the five senses – sight, smell, touch, taste and sound – can heighten our powers of attraction if they’re stimulated the right way. Here’s what you need to know…

The allure of scent

Recent studies have suggested that a staggering 75% of our emotions are triggered by what we smell* – proof that scent is probably one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to dating.

The perfumiers behind BOSS The Scent know what they’re doing…  Using feminine and seductive top notes of honeyed peach and freesia, with delicate heart notes of oriental osmanthus, and aphrodisiac base notes such as roasted cocoa, this scent is designed to arouse and stimulate the senses. And wearing a fragrance that makes you feel great is a surefire way to radiate inner confidence.

The beauty of sight

Whether you’re planning a night on the town, a spontaneous post-work tipple or a walk in the country, beautiful scenery and settings have a powerful effect on our brains that trigger all kinds of emotions (no wonder couples pop the question in beautiful landmark locations). Suggest a trip to a rooftop bar with a fabulous skyline view or a cosy pub with a roaring fire.

And don’t underestimate the importance of eye contact either. Studies have shown staring into each other’s eyes triggers the brain to release lovey-dovey hormones within just 0.2 seconds**.

BOSS

The tease of touch

The smallest of tactile interactions can ignite a spark, and lightly touching your date’s arm is a great way to connect. If you’ve been dating for a while and feel at ease, suggest a massage – sensuous rather than sports-style obvs. Or step things up a gear by suggesting a spa break somewhere fabulous where you can both indulge in soothing massage treatments.

The sense of taste

It’s well known that oysters and chocolate have aphrodisiacal qualities, but it’s a little obvious. Suggest a dining in the dark experience to heighten your sense of taste… You’ll savour not just the food but every moment – just make sure you know where your wine glass is!

The power of sound

Music has the power to change our mood, to energise and lift us up or calm and soothe us, and studies show that listening to music can cause a release of dopamine, which creates feelings of pleasure and reward.

So book tickets for a romantic concert, cool jazz club or glitzy musical – and just wait for the right moment to exchange sweet nothings.

BOSS

Now, if you want to high-five in the romance stakes, we say combine all five sensory experiences. First, take a leaf out of Brigit Kos’ book for style and spritz on a seductive fragrance like BOSS The Scent.

Next, choose a beautiful setting with plenty of soft candlelight, delicious food (in the dark if you’re dining at home), something sublime to listen to – whether that’s Nina Simone or Arvo Part depends on you – but make it lingering and sensuous, then maybe just slip off your shoe and run your toes softly around your date’s ankle…

*Source: The Scent-It Palette, August 2014

**Source: Nature.com

 

 

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In need of some last-minute winter sun? This Tenerife hotel has it all

In need of some last-minute winter sun? This Tenerife hotel has it all


Promotional feature with Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife

When it comes to splashing out on some last-minute winter sun, we’re of the opinion that short-haul is often best – especially if (like us), you’ve a) not got much annual leave left, and b) want to have an amazing trip without having to spend all your precious time travelling.

With temperatures averaging in and around a balmy 20° during its early winter months, the Spanish island of Tenerife makes a great destination choice for a pre-Christmas jaunt and the Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife, located on the island’s south coast, is already topping our 2018 must-stay wishlist.

And with 35% off November and December bookings, there really isn’t a better time to go.

Boasting an Ibiza-style beach club, Insta-worthy pool facilities and a packed events calendar to keep you dancing until dawn, the Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife is perfect for an impromptu girls weekend, couples getaway or family break. Plus, the Canary Islands are only around a four-hour flight from most UK airports, which means you get to make the most of your downtime.

Here’s why we’re looking to the Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife this Christmas for some vacay rock star vibes…

It’s a food blogger’s dream

Love a jaw-dropping panoramic? The Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife’s exclusive sky bar ‘The 16th‘ provides fabulous views of the Atlantic Ocean, making it ideal for a sunset glass of rosé or two. And if you like your trip with a foodie twist, the resort happens to have six beautifully designed restaurants on-site with a smorgasbord of worldwide cuisine available. From the traditional tapas flavours on offer at Spanish restaurant Ali-Olé, to the chic surroundings of modern Asian eatery Narumi, every palette is more than catered for. We especially love the Montauk steakhouse for its fine selection of top quality beef and wines, plus The Beach Club overlooking the lagoon offers a fantastic selection of healthy food options if you fancy something a little lighter.

You can relax and recharge

Up the pampering potential (ahead of the festive madness) with any of the gorgeous treatments and indulgence packages available at Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife’s fabulous The Rock Spa™. Think beautifully designed thermal water bathing areas, plunge pools and hydrotherapy tubs, all waiting to be enjoyed. The luxe spa menu even offers massage treatments set to specially curated playlists to maximise your rock star experience, and Tenerife’s only Snow Room. Yes, really.

There are rooms fit for a rock star

Want to feel like a Rock Hall of Fame inductee? Stay in one of the Rock Royalty Rooms located on the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th floors of the Nirvana Tower, all boasting floor to ceiling windows and panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Or, if you’re travelling with little ones the hotel’s three kids clubs will keep them entertained while you live your best A-lister life. Still no booked anything for NYE? The Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife’s THE LEGENDARY NIGHT is the island’s most famous end of year bash, giving you the chance welcome in 2019 like an absolute celeb. Think a 7-course menu plus Old Havana-themed celebrations and you’ve got the makings of a night to remember.

What are you waiting for? Now’s the chance to see out 2018 in true rock star style…

 

 

 

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Michael Kors has restored our faith in tech-meets-fashion with this luxe smartwatch

Michael Kors has restored our faith in tech-meets-fashion with this luxe smartwatch


Promotional feature with Micheal Kors

Calling all Kors fans, this smartwatch is everything you could ever want…

We can’t move for stylish designer jewellery this season but if, like us, you have been willing the fashion gods to deliver the ultimate smartwatch – the wait is officially over.

Enter the new Michael Kors Access Runway smartwatch – part watch, part fitness tracker, it’s a high-tech timepiece that’ll help keep your life and fitness in check and your style on point.

Curious to know more? Here’s why it’s taking the fashion world by storm and what it’s able to do…

1. Make everyday life less complicated…

Seriously chic, this latest piece of arm candy has a voice control feature that lets you text, set reminders, check the weather, and ask for directions, you’ll never have to tackle your busy day solo.

It works with iPhone and Android phones and runs Wear OS, which means you can hit the shops while you’re out and about and pay for it with your smartwatch via Google Pay. Now we’re listening…

2. Follow your fitness…

As well as being super comfortable to wear, the latest Kors addition to drop has an optical heart-rate monitor, which allows you to track your heart rate across multiple workouts types through Google Fit.

There’s built-in GPS, too, so you can go for a walk or run without your phone and the Michael Kors Access Runway smartwatch will record your route and distance.

Using Google Fit on your smartphone you can track your ‘Move Minutes’  for any physical activity you do, from walking to yoga, while ‘Heart Points’ are scored when you do activities at a higher intensity – the higher the intensity, the more points you get. Believe us, after about a week of wearing this sophisticated smartwatch, you’ll be hooked on reaching your daily fitness goals.

3. Play music (or podcasts) anytime, anywhere!

Streaming music and downloading podcasts to listen to via smartwatches is fast becoming the norm and we have to admit, the thought of only having to take the Micheal Kors Access Runway smartwatch and some (wireless) Bluetooth headphones is dreamy – heck, it may even make us run a bit faster!

Battery life depends on how you use the watch but the Michael Kors Access Runway smartwatch charges up in just one hour and lasts up to 24, which means no more running (or commuting) in silence because you’ve run out of juice. Amazing, huh?

4. Keep your style on point for any scenario…

Like jewellery, a watch is a very personal choice – some like a classic look while others prefer a standout piece. With countless, easy ways to personalise your smartwatch, Michael Kors has made it easy to give its latest smartwatch your own signature style, whether that’s a colourful watch face or a statement rose gold-tone strap.

Once you’ve decided what best suits you, you can also get your name or initials to be embossed on the leather strap. Another tick from us.

Discover the new Michael Kors Access Runway smartwatch at michaelkors.com

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Found! The kids’ shoe brand that’ll keep feet stylishly supported…

Found! The kids’ shoe brand that’ll keep feet stylishly supported…


Promotional feature with Primigi

Picky little ones? Up their school style with this comfy and on-trend footwear collection…

Let’s face it, every parent can relate to the hassle of buying school shoes.

Striking that fine balance between style and comfort is paramount and because kids are quite often trendsetters in their own right (ever tried making them wear something they don’t want to wear… exactly), sending them to off to school in shoes they love is so important.

Plus, you also want a collection that’s affordable, which is why this season we’re turning to Italian brand Primigi’s Back To School range for all our shoe style updates.

Boasting a wide range of models from classic Mary-Janes to super cool trainers, all shoes from the range come with a removable leather insole to encourage good foot hygiene and ensure your kids’ feet stay happy all day while they’re at school.

The rounded-toe design also allows feet to move without restriction, while the anti-shock sole system helps protect ankles from impact. It’s these features alongside nickel-free hardware and a chromium-free lining that guarantees your little street stylers are rocking durable, comfy designer shoes, from schoolyard to story time.

And once you’ve kitted the kids out in their new Primigi kicks, it’s essential that you help maintain strong, healthy feet.

Unbelievably, kids’ feet perspire more than any other part of their bodies so simple things like drying their shoes outside, or inserting newspaper to help reduce humidity will keep their shoes in good order and pong-free!

Similarly, alternating shoes will help prevent bacteria from forming.

Busy mornings followed by a hectic school run? Primigi shoes feature easy to put on details such as elastic laces, velcro closures and side zip fasteners, which means no more scrambling around with double-bows before dashing out the door (toast in hand).

Come on, who doesn’t love a handy parent hack?

With prices starting from £35.99, head online to find your nearest authorised Primigi retailer and let the styles speak for themselves.

 

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Don’t miss this amazing weekend of beauty and wellbeing events

Don’t miss this amazing weekend of beauty and wellbeing events


Promotional feature with The Body Shop

Leave the stress of life and the city behind you and step into
The Body Shop’s Enchanted Forest pop-up…

 

From 3-4 November, The Body Shop is celebrating its Christmas collection and inviting you to discover The Enchanted Forest – a magical event designed to pamper, inspire and inform.

Hidden deep in the heart of London’s Shoreditch, it’s the perfect feel-good fix for the festive build up. So step #IntoTheForest and immerse yourself in a sensory paradise where you’ll experience the benefits of nature in the heart of the city.

You’ll enjoy free exclusive shopping discounts, talks by experts and influencers on a host of ethical beauty subjects – from winter skin to wellness to party season make-up, plus free makeovers, massages and skin consultations.

Take part in #EnchantedByNature hands-on workshops, including Christmas wreath-making to gift wrapping and fitness classes.

The Enchanted Forest has been created to highlight the importance of protecting, preserving and re-wilding natural spaces, such as the Forest of Dean. Not only are they environmentally important, they’re good for us too – getting back to nature makes us feel grounded and reboots physical and mental wellbeing.

To see the full timetable of workshops and talks, and to buy tickets, visit The Body Shop. Price of tickets are redeemable against any purchase. We’ve already lined up our top picks…

Beauty & The Ethical Beast

Lisa Oxenham and Pixie Geldof

Marie Claire’s Beauty & Style Director Lisa Oxenham joins an inspiring panel of women including model and singer Pixie Geldof and BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Sarah-Jane Crawford. They’ll be discussing sustainability and ethics around beauty.

Re-Wild Your Home

Wild at Heart’s Nikki Tibbles

Forage amongst forest foliage to create your own beautiful Wild Wreath, with renowned florist Wild At Heart and up-cycling fanatic Hermione Chantal. This workshop will give you all the inspiration you need to pimp up your presents and re-wild your home this Christmas.

Skincare Supercharger

Chidera Eggerue and Sali Hughes

Author, Guardian journalist and beauty evangelist Sali Hughes will be joined by beauty YouTuber and TV presenter Nadine Baggott, author and The Slumflower body-positive blogger Chidera Eggerue, along with The Body Shop’s International R&D Director Neil Watson, to discuss holistic ways to supercharge your skincare this winter.

Candlelit Yoga

Kickstart or enhance your yoga practice with a magical hour-long class led by yoga teacher and health and fitness blogger Cat Meffan (pictured). Her strength and calm will motivate, inspire and give you the gift of inner stillness, something we could all do with.

Ethical beauty has been at the heart of The Body Shop since it was founded in 1976 and it has always upheld fairtrade values. Escape to The Enchanted Forest this November for a much-needed breathing space.

 

 

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The connection between scent and attraction, explained

The connection between scent and attraction, explained


Promotional feature with BOSS The Scent

When it comes to connecting with someone on a deeply sensual level, could finding the perfect partner mean simply sniffing out the right match?

Come on, as blissfully easy as that sounds, establishing a meaningful and emotional connection with someone special takes more than an app or algorithm.

Despite living in an age that’s becoming increasingly reliant on digital interaction, the hopeless romantic within us wants to believe that pure love is based on chemistry. Crossing paths with someone unexpected, or a chance encounter that’s left you breathless. These indescribable attractions cannot be replicated, especially via social media.

So, rather than becoming a slave to the swipe, dating experts are now suggesting that singletons rely more on their instinctual emotions and attractions. Why? Because harnessing the power of our senses – AKA augmented sensuality – may well be the key to truly connecting with those around us.

Of all the senses, scent is particularly powerful – and only works through real-life interaction. We all know certain fragrances can evoke powerful emotions and memories, but you might be surprised to hear that scent triggers a response faster than a thought, making it the heart of instinctive attraction and desire.

Recent studies have suggested that our own natural odour and signature fragrance is key when attracting a mate. In fact, a staggering 75% of our emotions are triggered by what we smell* – proof that smells like freshly washed sheets or a favourite perfume, push our unique pleasure buttons.

Think about it. An alluring scent ignites and heightens the senses, making romantic interaction, however brief (hello, gorgeous tube stranger) so much more intense and electric. It’s a spark that certainly doesn’t happen if you’re spending your entire lunch break trawling through dating profiles. It’s no wonder that people are beginning to look beyond the screen to face-to-face interaction.

Hayley Quinn, a 31-year-old romance guru who has almost 100k YouTube subscribers and hosts regular all-day ‘renegade’ group training sessions for women, agrees that a growing number of people she meets are hoping to disconnect in order to truly connect.

‘I’ve been doing this for 10 years now and already I’ve seen a shift,’ Hayley says. ‘People are going on endless strings of dates, which are often unfulfilling and unrewarding.’

Not only is meeting the right person through dating apps exhausting, but there’s a prevalence of online behaviours such as ghosting (disappearing without a trace), orbiting (similar to ghosting) and breadcrumbing (leading someone on).

While these behaviours are not specific to the digital age, when you add to this the huge social media footprint left behind when a relationship breaks down, Hayley acknowledges that it’s often difficult to detach ourselves from the digital space.

That’s why we have to get back to basics and make real-life, sensory connections the starting point.

When it comes to romance, smell reigns supreme, so try wearing a fragrance that exudes femininity and seductiveness, such as BOSS The Scent. Honeyed peach and freesia make for a head-turning combination that will engage and intrigue, whereas notes of irresistible roasted cocoa add an addictive boost, arousing the senses even further.

And if you want to know more about the power of augmented sensuality, watch the tantalising encounters between Jamie Dornan and Dutch model Birgit Kos in the new BOSS The Scent ad. It’s a stunning reveal of the non-verbal signs that signal intense attraction, from smouldering looks to barely touching hands.

Whatever scent she’s wearing, trust us you want it…

*Source: The Scent-It Palette, August 2014

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New relationship? 7 things to remember when meeting the family


Promotional feature with Warner Bros

© 2018 Warner Bros. Ent. All rights reserved

Crazy Rich Asians is the feelgood romantic comedy of the year – but it can also teach us a LOT about family etiquette…

We’ve all been there.

You’re in a new relationship and you’ve passed a few milestones already: swapping clothes, spare toothbrush in the bathroom, sharing the TV remote.

But now it’s the big one. No, not that big one (step away from the bridal mags), it’s the next best thing – meeting your partner’s parents for the first time.

Now there are some who find moving and shaking with the parentals easy as pie, but if (like us) you’re already getting heart palpitations at the thought of exchanging polite chit-chat with a mother who – in your partner’s words – is sometimes ‘a little outspoken’, don’t worry. It just so happens we’ve gleaned some savvy tips from this season’s hottest rom-com Crazy Rich Asians about how to nail that first encounter.

© 2018 Warner Bros. Ent. All rights reserved

Featuring chortle-out-loud comedy scenes, quirkily dysfunctional families, stunning sets, a stellar cast and the feel-good soundtrack of the year, Crazy Rich Asians is probably our favourite flick of 2018.

Directed by Jon M. Chu and adapted from Kevin Kwan’s 2013 novel of the same name, Crazy Rich Asians follows the fabulous Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), an Asian-American NYU economics professor who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick (Henry Golding) to attend his friend’s wedding and, yes, meet the family.

But guess what? Things don’t go to plan. Turns out Nick is basically heir to one of the richest dynasties in Singapore, complete with disapproving mother, bitchy aunts and a whole host of crazy cousins who will stop at nothing to tear Rachel’s relationship apart.

And you think you’ve got it bad?

© 2018 Warner Bros. Ent. All rights reserved

So, taking some cues from Crazy Rich Asians, here’s a set of fool-proof pointers to help you pass that parent-approval with flying colours…

1. DO a little bit of research

Ok not full-on cyber stalking, but talking to your partner about things their parents or family enjoy will ease you into conversation when you’re face-to-face. Sure, your colleagues may wonder why you’re Googling miniature railway sets, but hey…

2. DO take a little gift

Again, don’t overdo it with expensive candles or bespoke bottles of booze (that can come later), but a thoughtful, small offering like flowers or homemade treats goes a long way when you first meet.

3. DON’T dominate the conversation

Yep, we know that when nervous we have a tendency to prattle on, but try to rein it in. Your partners folks are probably nervous too, and the last thing they want to hear about is that time you went to a HIIT class and got stuck in your sports bra. Read the room, people.

4. DO listen

If you love your partner, being part of their family is a very important step in your blossoming relationship – listening to what they have to say is paramount to understanding how they communicate both at home and in company. Take the time to speak to individuals (yes, even the uncle who dresses like Elvis), and show an interest in their opinions – even if you don’t necessarily agree.

5. DO offer to help out

From passing the salt to pouring drinks, offering to help out always goes a long way. It shows you are a team player and happy to muck in with the family tasks.

6. DON’T drink too much

As we said above, it’s easy to get a little loose when nervous but that doesn’t mean reaching for the vino. We tend to lose inhibitions over a snifter and, while it might help you feel a little more relaxed, there’s always the risk you’ll wind up in full dancing queen mode in front of grandma’s antiques cabinet. Don’t go there.

7. And finally, DO be yourself

Your partner feels you’ve got enough of a bond to take this next step, and the reason you’re together is because of you as an individual. Put trust in that. Sure, we all have our quirks but the chances are your partner’s family do, too. There’s nothing more charming than a person that’s comfortable in their own skin, so go knock them dead tiger.

Crazy Rich Asians is in UK cinemas from Friday 14 September.

Pictures: © 2018 Warner Bros. Ent. All rights reserved

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