How to double your work holiday allowance in 2019

How to double your work holiday allowance in 2019


holiday photography

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! As we wave goodbye to 2018 with endless festive fun, drunken work parties and too many Christmas sandwiches, we’re already planning a relaxing retreat in January to beat the new year blues and detox after an indulgent month (ahem, we’ve stocked up on Ferrero Rocher).

But how can you make the most of your work holiday allowance in 2019?

Most people are entitled to around 28 days holiday a year – but if that’s not enough time for those who love to jet off on lengthy holidays to far-flung destinations, we’ve got some pretty wonderful news. You can actually double your work holiday allowance with a few carefully placed leave dates.

That’s right. It’s easy to turn your 28 days into 59 days. Instant Offices have created a strategic calendar to show how workers can maximise their holidays in the new year and help boost their work-life balance.

Aava Thailand holiday offer

How to double your work holiday allowance in 2019

January 2019

Take a 6-day holiday by booking 3 days off

(1 Jan – 6 Jan)


Take a 10-day holiday by booking 4 days off

(13 Apr – 22 Apr)


Take a 9-day holiday by booking 4 days off

(4 May – 12 May)


Take a 9-day holiday by booking 4 days off

(25 May – 2 June)


Take a 9-day holiday by booking 4 days off

(24 Aug – 1 Sept)

December 2019 – January 2020

Take a 16-day holiday by booking 7 days off

(21 Dec – 5 Jan)

So what are you waiting for? Start booking those lovely lengthy holidays now before the rest of your team does…

The post How to double your work holiday allowance in 2019 appeared first on Marie Claire.

Kris Hallenga: ‘Frustration and anger didn’t serve me so I channeled them into breast cancer awareness’

Kris Hallenga: ‘Frustration and anger didn’t serve me so I channeled them into breast cancer awareness’

CoppaFeel! founder Kris Hallenga is next in our Women Who Win series, giving us some insight into how to turn a devastating diagnosis into a global movement…

Kris Hallenga

We’ve all heard of CoppaFeel! – with the London-based breast cancer awareness charity credited with saving lives through promoting early detection of breast cancer, and forming a sisterhood in the process.

But someone who doesn’t get enough credit is the inspirational woman behind the movement – Kris Hallenga, who turned an incurable cancer diagnosis into an opportunity to help other people by raising breast cancer awareness.

‘Frustration and anger didn’t serve me,’ Kris told Marie Claire Junior News Editor Jenny Proudfoot. ‘So instead I channeled them into something good, something I knew could help others so that no one else would be in the same position as me,’ with Kris’ cancer being diagnosed too late.

‘I was 22 when I came across a lump in my boob, which I had ignored for a while and never thought twice about,’ Kris recalled, going on to explain how it was ‘a pushy Mum and some persistence’ that led her to a breast cancer diagnosis, after several GPs had dismissed the lump as ‘nothing’.

‘I also found out it was late stage, the worst kind, as it had already spread beyond my boob and into my spine,’ Kris continued, explaining how her initial reaction was shock. ‘I couldn’t understand how it had gone from “nothing” to cancer and I had NO idea it could happen. It was awful, there were tears, I was frightened, I was confused, I was baffled but above all I was ready to do whatever I needed to survive.’

But the mission was even bigger for Kris, who instead of seeing her diagnosis as a problem for her, turned it into an opportunity to help others.

‘No one was educating young people, so I decided I had to, with the help of my twin sister and some very epic mates.’

The result? CoppaFeel! – the movement we all know and love, started by Kris and Maren, aiming to educate young women about breast cancer and informing them how to check their breasts for themselves.

As part of Swarovski‘s Stories of Yes campaign, celebrating women embracing change, Kris is one of many high profile women to come forward this year with her story of adapting to change – and to say that it’s inspiring would be a massive understatement.

Our Women Who Win interview series celebrates strong and inspirational female trailblazers, shaping the future for us all, and Kris Hallenga and her refusal to let a diagnosis hold her back is that in a nutshell.

Jenny Proudfoot sat down with Kris to find out how CoppaFeel! got started, and what we should all be taking away from it…

What message do you most want to spread?

First and foremost – CHECK YOUR BOOBS. But beyond that it’s a message of overall body awareness, knowing yourself and trusting YOUR touch and your intuition over anyone. You are your best health advocate and if you notice anything that isn’t right, you have to get it checked out.

How did you create CoppaFeel?

I did a lot of research! I wanted to find out what the state of ‘breast awareness’ in the UK was and how we could ensure it reached young people. The first thing we did was go to a festival because we saw that as a great challenge – if we could get through to young people in a field, where they are on a mission to have FUN, and we can speak to them, educate them and empower them, we would be onto a winner. We learnt on the job, adapted our methods as we went along and suddenly we were having so many healthy conversations about boobs. By the end of our summer of festivals we had applied to be a charity, I won a Pride of Britain Award and a month later we got charity status and that’s when the hard work really began. I have blinked and somehow 9 years have flown by! It would be over a year until I was officially ’employed’ by the charity and could afford to move away from my Mum’s house in Northamptonshire and take the charity to London, the only place I could see a future for the charity. People believed in me, and our mission so nothing could hold us back.

In the spirit of Stories of Yes, tell me about facing challenges head on…

In the face of something so terrifying, something we all fear, I learnt how to really live. I learnt to LIVE with cancer, how to be my own boss, the boss of a charity and a change maker. Cancer is the toughest challenge you could face – although, there are many MANY more equally if not worse things going on for people, and knowing that keeps me pretty humble and filled with gratitude. Of course I have bad days, I have had to dig SO deep at times to get my head above water again, but every time I do I have a renewed respect for my mind and my body and for life in general. I have been forced to confront my mortality but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I see life for what it is – fleeting! None of us are getting out of here alive, so really who is the winner here? I am.

What drew you to a campaign with Swarovski?

Working with Swarovski is a lot of fun. If you’d have said the day I was diagnosed I’d be working with them, with Swarovski rings on my fingers as I type away on my laptop answering these questions I’d have likely laughed. The CoppaFeel! message is for everyone, so we need to reach EVERYONE on as many platforms as possible. To be given a platform like this is wonderful and I am grateful that to this day people want to hear what I have to say. It’s a dream to work alongside mega babes Nadiya Hussain and Katie Piper, we all have such unique stories that people can learn from. They are tales of courage, resilience, and determination, all good stuff that needs to be shared with the world. In other words, we are all pretty badass and everyone should know that.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

‘Go to the GP’ – my Mum, in 2008.

What should all women be aware of?

All women AND men should know that checking their boobs could be one of the best things they could do, it could save their life and bonus factor: it could even be fun! Most breast cancers are detected by the person noticing a symptom – that could be a lump but isn’t always. There are different types of breast cancer so don’t assume no lump = no cancer. Equally, if you do find a lump, the chances of it being cancer is actually very slim. The important thing is that you know what is normal FOR YOU. If you notice a rash, some dimpling, persistent pain, discharge in your breast tissue (which reaches right in to your armpit and your collarbone by the way!) and you know it’s not normal, it’s always worth having a chat to your GP about it. He or she is there to listen to you and take what you say seriously.

When were you proudest?

When we realised that what we did ACTUALLY made a difference was a pretty momentous occasion. Not long after we became a charity, a young woman had heard about my story and re-visited her GP about her breast lump, and lo and behold she was diagnosed with breast cancer within a week. She was so thankful for us empowering her, making her feel like she wasn’t going mad and giving her confidence to stand up for her body and her health. She credits still being alive to CoppaFeel! which no one can prove, but an early diagnosis gives you a better chance of surviving a long life. I am proud of who I now am because of cancer, because of CoppaFeel! and because of all the experiences I have had over the last 9 years. I really like who I am and what I have become – how many people can say that at the age of 33?

View this post on Instagram

How to start the day right – by @frances_quinn 😍

A post shared by CoppaFeel! (@coppafeelpeople) on Oct 22, 2018 at 11:30pm PDT

What is your superpower?

Procrastination, but still, somehow getting shit done. Creating CoppaFeel! was a real challenge, but I believe anything that is worthwhile is bloody hard work – it would also be really dull if it was easy.

What has creating CoppaFeel! taught you?

That people are bloody great! People can be so kind, so generous, so CREATIVE, and so brilliant not because they have to be, but because they want to be, and that is very cool. I never realised how good it felt to enable others to be good people, but that is one of the best off-shoots from starting my own charity. Every day I witness people being good humans and that is awesome.

What decision has changed your life?

Building CoppaFeel! has made my life, and it has saved my life. Without it I would never have had a purpose and a reason to live so ferociously – aside from my family of course – they’re totally worth sticking around for too.

The post Kris Hallenga: ‘Frustration and anger didn’t serve me so I channeled them into breast cancer awareness’ appeared first on Marie Claire.

Aged 26 – 30? You can now officially get a millennial railcard

Aged 26 – 30? You can now officially get a millennial railcard

This is not a drill. We repeat. This is not a drill.

Women only train carriages

Getting older is never good news – hangovers get worse, going to the gym becomes necessary and saving money becomes a reality.

One of the worst things about passing the 25 mark however is losing your rail privileges, with our young persons railcards (for 16 to 25-year-olds) expiring.

Yes, that means paying full price for national train fares.

sleeping on the train

It was announced last year that there might be hope, with Greater Anglia Railways breaking the news that it would be trialling a new Millennial rail card, offering up to a 30% discount on train travel for 26 – 30-year-olds.

We were hesitant with our celebrations as it seemed too good to be true, but sure enough, the news has been confirmed, trialled, and as from today, is available for everyone deemed eligible.

Yes, really. The 26-30 railcard is going to be rolled out nationally by the end of the year.

What is the millennial railcard?

The millennial railcard is a digital annual pass for 26 – 30-year-olds, costing £30 a year and entitling the holder to up to a third off their train fares. It’s essentially a continuation of the young persons rail cards – but it’s a first for the UK.

How can I get a millennial railcard?

The millennial railcard scheme is coming to the end of its trial stages, and has received the green light to be rolled out nationally by the end of the year. Head on over to the National Railcard site to apply!

We’re off to form an orderly queue for our railcards but given the popularity, it looks like we might be queueing for a little while!

The post Aged 26 – 30? You can now officially get a millennial railcard appeared first on Marie Claire.

This is what went down at the Future Shapers Awards 2018

This is what went down at the Future Shapers Awards 2018

Here are all the details from this year’s Future Shapers Awards, where we celebrated 11 incredible women. ICYMI, this is what happened

This year’s Marie Claire Future Shapers Awards, in partnership with Neutrogena, saw us recognise the work of 11 game changing women.

From cyber experts and nursing trailblazers to sporting legends, Marie Claire Editor in Chief and Future Shapers judge, Trish Halpin, recognised our winners, announcing: ‘Finding out what has driven our winners to success and what gives them such a unique take on the world is something I’ve found truly inspiring.’

Editor in chief Trish Halpin

Joining her on the judging panel to select our eleven extraordinary winners was the marketing director for beauty in Northern Europe at J&J, Meghan Davis, campaigner and author Gina Miller and Marie Claire columnist and TV presenter Angela Scanlon.

Angela Scanlon

This year, the women we honoured ranged from cyber experts and fashion designers, to award-winning actresses and champion sportswomen.

But the inspiration wasn’t limited to the stage – all of our attendees are shaping the future, not only looking incredible on the red carpet, but also passing on their words of wisdom to Marie Claire readers about how to succeed in different industries.

Emma Gannon, author of the bestselling Multi-Hyphen Method, gave us her top tips for women starting out in her industry, saying that we need to ‘harden up a bit’. Passing on her advice she explained, ‘You’ll get a get a lot of rejection and it’s okay to feel like you’re being rejected: it’s part of the process!’

Emma Gannon

TV and radio broadcaster Kirsty Gallacher also shared her wisdom, telling young women to ‘Listen to your gut and take the right advice.’

Kirsty Gallacher

And of course it’s unsurprising that the ceremony itself included a healthy dose of #inspo. In her acceptance speech, Daisy Kendrick, founder of anti-climate change non-profit organisation Ocean Generation, encouraged us to be aware of our daily habits, as ‘the way we choose to work, eat, drink and spend our money can literally save people on this planet.’

Author of The Language of Kindness, Christie Watson, also moved us, using her speech to pay tribute to her career as a nurse. ‘I cannot think of a better job than holding someone’s hand during the darkest period of their life’, she announced, going on to make an impassioned plea about the future of nursing and the gender bias. ‘Nursing is the most undervalued of all the professions and it’s the most undervalued because it’s 89% female.’

Christie Watson

Who are our 2018 Future Shapers?

  1. Anna Whitehouse – Founder of Mother Pukka and Flex Appeal campaign for flexible working
  2. Catherine Allen – CEO and founder of virtual reality company Limina Immersive
  3. Cristina Gavrilovic – Head of European Programmes for Justice and Care, which fights against modern slavery
  4. Christie Watson – Author of Sunday Times bestseller The Language of Kindness and registered nurse
  5. Daisy Kendrick – Founder of and CEO of anti-climate change non-profit organisation Ocean Generation
  6. Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke – Authors of the seminal Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible
  7. Eniola Aluko – professional footballer for Juventus FC, sport and entertainment solicitor and football pundit.
  8. Hannah Weiland – founder of faux-fur brand Shrimps
  9. Jodie Comer – BAFTA-winning actress and star of Killing Eve
  10. Sarah Taylor – Director of Cyber and National Security Capabilities at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Our VR Pioneer Catherine Allen set out her dreams for the future of cutting edge technology insisting ‘It is not a boys’ toy, not a gimmick. It’s actually an artistic medium of social and artistic potential. We are really shaping this industry against the tide, and we’re making it more diverse.’

Authors of the groundbreaking bestseller ‘Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible’, Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené, spoke about what the success of their incredible book meant to them, explaining, ‘When we had recognition from the mainstream media that this book was a cultural landmark, it was overwhelming, and made all those sleepless nights, and the worry that we wouldn’t get it right worth it.’

Marie Claire Editor in Chief Trish Halpin, Slay In Your Lane authors Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené, and DJ Clara Amfo

One of the most moving speeches of the night came from anti-trafficking warrior Cristina Gavrilovic, who spoke passionately about her work and how it needed to be talked about more.

‘This award helps bring attention to one of the biggest humanitarian challenges of our times,’ she told the room. ‘Human trafficking and modern day slavery involves children, women and men being forced into a situation of exploitation where violence, deception and coercion is just a way of being.’

The last speech of the night came from flexible working pioneer Anna Whitehouse, who gave us the sobering fact that 54,000 women every year get made redundant for having a child – something that needs changing, as well as paying a tribute to her own parents, who had accompanied her to the awards.

Marie Claire Editor in Chief Trish Halpin with Anna Whitehouse and Neutrogena’s Meghan Davis

Celebrity guests from Ella Eyre and Vick Hope to Hayley Hasselhoff and Jasmine Hemsley joined us for the post-ceremony party, where we sipped on Red Door Gin cocktails and feasted on gourmet canapés and luxury macarons, with the DJ sets going into the night.

Future Shapers Awards 2018

Vick Hope

Future Shapers Awards 2018

Jasmine Hemsley

What did we eat?


Truffle marinated salsify, Jerusalem artichoke

Black pepper tuna, olives

Sesame chicken

Bone marrow croquettes

Party food:

Beef sliders

Vegan sliders

Fish & chips

Dessert canapés:

Salted caramel, chocolate ganache, shortbread

Lemon curd, toasted meringue, vanilla sablé

Apple mousse, blackberry, honeycomb, macaron

What did we drink?

The Red Door Gin & Tonic

Red Door Gin, tonic, raspberries to garnish

The Red Door Gin Elderflower Collins

Red Door Gin, elderflower cordial, lemon juice, soda, lemon to garnish

If that wasn’t enough, each of the guests left with a bumper goody bag… see below for all the products:

What was in our goody bags?

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Cleanser

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye-awakening gel-cream

Neutrogena Scented Hand Cream

Neutrogena Spot Proofing Oil Free Moisturiser

Living Proof dry shampoo

BUXOM lip gloss

BEPPS vegan snacks

Pip & Nut sachet

Klorane conditioner

Kind Snacks bar

Marie Claire November issue

Huge thanks to the Principal London for the gorgeous venue, and Collective Two and Loop VIP for making the night so special.

What an inspirational evening!

The post This is what went down at the Future Shapers Awards 2018 appeared first on Marie Claire.

Frequent fliers, here’s how to maximise your productivity while travelling for work

Frequent fliers, here’s how to maximise your productivity while travelling for work

As more of us are commuting long-distance and travelling for work than ever before, Alix O’Neill speaks to the women who have nailed the art of the business trip

Frequent fliers is no longer only a term for the international jet-set, now we’re all expected to get on-board with work travel. For the past 11 years, sales and marketing director Aoife Delaney, 35, has been working at around 30,000ft, averaging four trips a month to far-flung destinations from Cairo to Cape Town. Since having her second child in April, she sticks to a strict routine while travelling for work to maximise her time on-the-go. ‘My biggest issue is maintaining the healthy lifestyle I have at home while on the road,’ she says. ‘I’m all about eating well, practising yoga and hitting the gym, but airports are fundamentally unhealthy places.’ Her ultimate productivity tip is making nutritious boxed snacks for days when she’s flying. ‘This means that when I get to the airport, no time is wasted trying to find a semi-decent place to eat. I park myself in a good spot, connect to wifi, have my snacks and get straight to work writing sales pitches.’

As more of us spend our working day on planes and trains (according to networking site Maiden Voyage, women are the fastest growing segment of business travellers), the patronising trope of a female flier shopping in duty free no longer applies. Women are just as likely to power up their laptop in the lounge or be on the hunt for a charging port to check their emails as men are.

‘I’ve written some of the best business plans after flights’

‘It used to be weird travelling solo as a woman and heading to an airport or hotel bar alone,’ explains Juliet Kinsman, the luxury travel expert who helped found boutique hotel specialist Mr & Mrs Smith. ‘Now it’s much more acceptable to sit on your own with a drink and your laptop without worrying about a travelling salesman trying to pick you up.’ The demise of the traditional 9 to 5 is changing the nature of business travel and, as a result, hotel design. ‘Desks in hotel rooms are less of a priority these days, as when we’re travelling we tend to work from our beds,’ says Kinsman. Meanwhile, airports and hotels are increasingly catering to female business travellers. ‘The line between work and leisure is blurring, so when we travel for business, we demand a stylish environment and great food.’

frequent fliers

Suki Waterhouse At Heathrow Airport

At Heathrow, there are now a number of initiatives in place to make our working life on-the-go easier. These include independent lounges equipped with wifi, showering facilities and resting suites; a blow-dry bar in T5 Arrivals to help you freshen up for that big meeting; charger points for mobiles and laptops; plus a takeaway food service via the Heathrow app, which lets you pre-order food as you make your way through security.

‘Frequent fliers, book a window seat at the back of the plane for optimum quiet’

What about getting the most out of your time in the air? Don’t be tempted to use the flight wifi, advises Kinsman. ‘It’s always slow and besides, you can often be more productive when you’re offline − flying gives you a perfect excuse to disconnect. I use that time to get admin done instead.’ She also suggests booking a window seat at the back of the plane as it’s the quietest spot, and popping a tennis ball behind your back for a DIY massage.

Sometimes, though, using a flight or train journey to take a break from work altogether can leave you refreshed and ready to hit the ground running on the other side. Lucy Hutchings Hunt, MD of a North Yorkshire-based digital agency, spends her long-haul flights catching up on podcasts with inspirational businesswomen she admires. ‘I’ve written some of the best business plans after flights − that’s when I often have my most profound breakthroughs. On a plane, you physically can’t do anything else other than sit still and focus.’

The post Frequent fliers, here’s how to maximise your productivity while travelling for work appeared first on Marie Claire.

Crazy Rich Asians’ leading ladies tell the truths of being an Asian woman in Hollywood

Crazy Rich Asians’ leading ladies tell the truths of being an Asian woman in Hollywood

And playing women that don’t need to be saved…

Sanja Bucko

Crazy Rich Asians has just come to our screens, and unsurprisingly it is set to be the film of the year.

The strong female leads, the food porn (do not watch this film without snacks), the fashion (we’re talking Elie Saab, Dior, custom-made Michael Cinco and Carven Ong) and the many life lessons we can take away from it. But the film has of course become such a talking point because of the Asian representation (the first all-Asian cast in a major studio film in 25 years).

Junior Digital News Editor Jenny Proudfoot sat down with Crazy Rich Asians‘ leading ladies, Gemma Chan and Constance Wu, to talk high class couture, Asian representation, and why now is not the time for Crazy Rich Asians, it’s long past due.

Constance Wu and Gemma Chan in Crazy Rich Asians. Credit: Warner Bros

Crazy Rich Asians is such a long time coming, why do you think it took so long?

Gemma: To be honest, I don’t know. It’s been 25 years since there’s been a mainstream Hollywood movie with an all Asian cast and yeah, it feels like the film is somewhat overdue. There was the belief that if you have a film with non-white leads, it won’t sell abroad or that it will only have a niche audience, but these things have just been proved untrue.

Constance: There hasn’t really been an evocative voice that demands attention rather than expresses gratitude for belonging until recently. You know, in Asian-American culture there is an assumption that you play by the rules. But then when you have a voice as evocative and provocative as we do here, it causes people to think differently – it causes conversation and we need to have more conversation. We live in countries where we can express and so we should express. That’s what happened here. There were people who were willing to speak out and that started giving other people the confidence to express themselves, their views and their identities. And I think that when people see there is more than one voice out there with talent, that there are lots of different voices with talent out there, then they start paying attention.

What initially drew you in?

Constance: It’s a number one lead in a studio movie, and despite definitely having Asian actors that are worthy of it, it hasn’t really happened before. Sandra Oh for example is tremendous – and she should have been the star of her own movie ages ago, but she’s always been the number two or number three. She even said with Killing Eve when she read the script she just assumed that she was number two because it just doesn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong – number two is great, number three is great, everybody who is a supporting cast member is fantastic and it’s awesome. But it’s when the industry expects a certain ethnicity to only do that and to just be grateful for that, that’s when we have to ask for more.

Gemma: I think the conversation has really got going in earnest now and I hope Asian representation isn’t just a trend – I don’t think we can go back and I think people are now going to demand diverse and authentic storytelling, because there is a want for it. It has been proven – people will show up. They will get a babysitter on a Friday night and they will pay their hard-earned money to go to the cinema to see movies like this.

© 2018 Warner Bros. Ent. All rights reserved

Did you expect it to be such a hit?

Constance: This is going to sound cocky but yes. To everyone else it’s been a surprise but not to me – not because I thought I’m such hot shit but because this happened to me with my TV show, Fresh Off the Boat, on a smaller scale so I knew there was a drought of content of Asian-American pop culture and I knew that people would be moved to see their faces represented on television in a modern way. Nobody was talking about it before so it wasn’t an apparent problem, but it couldn’t not have been a hit because of the time we’re in. Right now, you don’t have to work for the major news stations to have a voice; if you have something provocative to say that is actually good, it will spread around.

Gemma: I certainly felt the film had potential to be something really special – I had read the books and I’d already fallen in love with the characters – but you never know whether that’s necessarily going to translate – whether all the elements that need to come together will actually come together to make a film work. We all had high hopes, we all worked incredibly hard and we had an amazing director who kept all the plates spinning but yeah, when I watched it for the first time I was blown away. It made me really emotional. It made me realise that I’d never seen people on screen that looked like my family – like my granny – it was incredible for me just as a viewer to see that and to realise how much of a lack of representation there’s been in the past.

Chrissy Teigen said she had never seen her family represented on screen either…

Gemma: That was amazing and I completely identify with it. My mum and dad saw the film for the first time last night and my mum was really emotional when I saw her afterwards. She started crying quite early on. There was a song on the soundtrack – a Chinese song – that she hadn’t heard since her childhood. It was what her mum used to sing to her and her dad. Sadly they’ve both passed now and so for her it was a really emotional thing – she never expected to hear that in a Hollywood film so it was just an amazing moment for us.

How did you get the part?

Constance: I was approached for the role by the director, Jon, and I couldn’t do it because of my television shooting schedule, but I knew it was going to be a smash – not just financially but in people’s hearts. So I just let it go and he auditioned a bunch of other girls, but I knew how much it was going to mean so one day I wrote him a really impassioned email. It wasn’t long – it just said why it was going to be meaningful to me and to kids growing up and what I would do with the part. I wished him all the success with the project regardless of whether I got a role, but I said ‘If you wait for me, I can and I will do it. I know how to carry a movie and you won’t regret it’. So then he did. They actually pushed the movie back! I know so many Asian actors or any actors, who are so scared to ask for what they want. I’m just like ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’

Gemma: Mine was relatively straightforward. I got the call from my agent that they wanted me to audition and sent off a tape, not expecting to hear anything back. I had asked to go for Astrid because I had fallen in love with her when I had read the books – and gosh she’s got a fabulous wardrobe. I went to L.A. and I met our director Jon M. Chu, and Nina, one of our producers, and heard about their vision for the film and then they offered me the part.

Talk me through filming…

Constance: We filmed in Singapore and Malaysia, and I think it took around 6-8 weeks – it was pretty fast. There were some real highs – the location, set design, the people and crew and the passion that everyone had for the project. But there were lows – the hours were long, and the weather!! It was hot and super humid every day – I don’t even know how my hair held up.

Gemma: Filming in the tropics is tough – the humidity and the heat was insane. You know, we had all those party scenes when the men were all dressed in their suits and gosh, I don’t know how they weren’t dropping like flies, I felt so, so sorry for them.

Warner Bros.

What were your favourite scenes to film?

Constance: My favourite scene to film was probably the dumpling scene because there’s so many different layers going on. There’s so many different generations at that table and there’s something about the act of making food with your hands that’s interesting. There’s so many different conflicts and relationships in that scene that are so subtle, and that’s what makes them real. When you sit down with family you’re not like, ‘I have issues with you because you were always better than me’. Instead you say something like ‘oh, you’re going to take all those mashed potatoes?’ – you do little cutting things that are sugar-coated – or should I say ‘dumpling-coated’! She’s taking it all in and seeing the family dynamics – there’s just so many things going on in that scene that I really think make it complex and alive.

Gemma: Mine was my final scene where Astrid is speaking to her husband, Michael. She finally stands up and asserts herself and it was a very satisfying scene to play. I think the arc of the character was really interesting – at the beginning, she’s taking a backseat and hiding her light, but by the end, she’s reasserting her power. I think it’s really refreshing that in this film, none of the women need saving. You’ve got at least four very different women, and none of them are waiting to be rescued. In fact, many of them have made sacrifices for the people in their lives but they figure out a way to save themselves really.

Constance: Yeah. Patriarchy is strong in Asian culture, but it’s nice that it’s more the matriarchy in this movie.

Can we talk about the fashion?

Gemma: Gosh, Astrid had such good clothes, and there’s so many to choose from, I couldn’t pick a favourite. I loved the Audrey Hepburn inspired outfit she makes her first entrance in – the shades, the pale pink drop-waist dress – I love that look. I also loved the Alexander McQueen dress, which I wore for the wedding – that was another one of my favourite scenes to film. I got to walk down the aisle with Lisa Lu, who plays Ah Ma, and she’s an incredible actress. She was in the last film that featured an all-Asian cast, The Joy Luck Club – 25 years ago, so it was lovely to have that continuity between that film and ours. She has such an amazing energy and I love working with her.

Warner Bros.

Why go watch Crazy Rich Asians?

Gemma: It’s the kind of film that you can see with your family and your friends – it’s a feel-good movie, but it has substance as well. You’ll laugh, you may cry and hopefully you’ll leave the cinema feeling like certain things have been affirmed. Our story is a specific story about this Chinese-Singaporean family but the themes are so universal. We’ve taken this film all over America and I’m amazed at the amount of people who’ve come up to me saying, ‘my family isn’t Asian but I completely identify with it’. There’s so much going on in that family and I think people can really relate to it.

Constance: And also just the scenery, the colours, the clothes, the food – it’s all just beautiful.

Well that we can all agree on – see you all there.

The post Crazy Rich Asians’ leading ladies tell the truths of being an Asian woman in Hollywood appeared first on Marie Claire.

Meet the hidden women behind London Fashion Week

Meet the hidden women behind London Fashion Week

Here’s how fashion week actually happens…


Another London fashion week has been and gone, seeing bad traffic, excellent celebrity spotting and a lot of well-dressed people frequent the city.

Burberry, Victoria Beckham, Erdem, Christopher Kane and Roksanda highlighted the weekend, with Kendall Jenner and Winne Harlow being among those walking the runway.

But it’s not just models, designers and influencers that make London fashion week. What about the hidden women that are actually making it happen?

From fashion illustrators and street style photographers to backstage managers, DJs and make up artists, we spoke to the women behind LFW to find out what really goes on…

Jessica Bird

Job title: Fashion Illustrator

What my job entails at fashion week: Lots and lots of drawing. Capturing backstage activity and key looks from shows, live drawing, interpreting the collections from 3D to 2D essentially.

This LFW I have been… In residency each evening at the London EDITION hotel drawing guests and LFW goers, capturing their looks in 15 minute pastel portraits. I’m also SHOWstudio’s collection artist for London for this season so I have been illustrating shows live from their studio during the day.

What I wear on the job at LFW: I feel like my wardrobe has started to reflect my work – I play with colour a lot as I do in my illustrations, my wardrobe is very bright, quite fun, lots of fluorescent colours. This week I’ve been wearing a few of my favourite pieces from Roksanda – with my trusty artists apron over the top of course!

Three essentials in my LFW bag: Pastels, sketchpad and paint markers.

My most stressful part of fashion week: Trying to keep up with all the shows, there’s just so many looks I want to capture!

My most exciting fashion week experience: Being asked to cover LFW for Showstudio for sure. It’d been a dream of mine since I started illustrating so I’m feeling very grateful to have been asked!

Fashion week work snack: Popcorn!

Top LFW tip: COFFEE!

Samantha Qureshi

Job title: NARS UK Senior Makeup Artist

What my job entails at fashion week: As a makeup artist ambassador for NARS, my job behind the scenes entails various missions: assisting the lead makeup artists backstage is one of those, making sure my hands become the extension of their creative vision without a fail and I am also in charge of doing VIP makeup sessions during Fashion Weeks seasons.

This LFW I have been… Part of the most beautiful shows from New York to London so far. Rodarte was a dream and the exquisite pop art inspired makeup by James Kaliardos and beautiful flowery hair composition by Odile Gilbert, was part of one of the most inspirational moments of my career. I had the privilege to assist Lucia Pieroni during her makeup test at Christopher Kane’s studio in London, I loved to see how she creates and works the skin and how she really connects with Christopher Kane’s vision of beauty. All the shows always feel really special to me. As a creative person I feed my artistry juice with all the artists surrounding me, fashion designers, makeup artists, hairdressers, nail technicians, models are a huge part of my artistry growth.

What I wear on the job at LFW: All black, neutral and chic, comfortable clothes. Backstage, it’s always speed, you have to be ready to run, be on your knees, and be 100% effective and dynamic. I keep my makeup very glowy and lightweight with a lot of NARS Skincare. Our new Climax Mascara and the Radiant Creamy concealers are my bests products to wear when working on shows.. Orgasm lip balm this season and go!

Three essentials in my LFW bag: I make sure all my NARS skincare set is ready – radiant Creamy can do it all without fail, and my precious brushes which I never live without.

My most stressful part of fashion week: Time keeping, sometimes we have to wait for a while for the models to come from other shows, and when they arrive, hair, nails, and makeup teams become one big team making sure in the last minutes before the line-up, every model looks fabulous and ready to go on the catwalk.

My weirdest fashion week experience: The day we used just a concealer on a show was not the most satisfying feeling being a makeup artist. It also shows how being an artist is so subjective and I appreciated the reflection and inspiration behind it… but my brushes stayed clean!

Fashion week work snack: In my bag I always carry a protein and cereal bar, a banana and plenty of water. (Take away coffee isn’t an option…)

Top LFW tip: No coffee on an eyeliner/bold lips look day. Unless you have a really steady hand… Lucky you!

View this post on Instagram

orange works.

A post shared by Yossy Akinsanya (@ya.photographs) on Sep 18, 2018 at 5:03am PDT

Yossy Akinsanya

Job title: Street style photographer

What my job entails at fashion week: This fashion week I’ve taken to the main venues being used for shows and have captured every kind of outfit you can think of from designer to conceptual to on trend.

This LFW I have been… Running from venue to venue trying to find the most interesting and eye-stopping outfits out there. I’ve lost count of exactly how many people’s Instagrams I’ve asked for after taking their picture.

What I wear on the job at LFW: As it’s fashion week I do try and dress up a little bit myself but bring an element of comfort as I’m doing a lot of running around so I’ve been wearing dresses paired with vans, so pretty much girly but comfortable.

View this post on Instagram

models after the @burberry show, part one.

A post shared by Yossy Akinsanya (@ya.photographs) on Sep 18, 2018 at 5:08am PDT

Three essentials in my LFW bag: A power bank for sure because my phone is always in my hand whether it’s for directions, taking usernames, checking the fashion week schedule or snapping the experience. Water because it is a long day and you will find yourself feeling dehydrated if you don’t. Lastly, business cards. I made the mistake of not having any ready but after working it I’ve come to realise how much everyone uses them and how helpful they can be for building contacts and getting your name out there.

My most stressful part of fashion week: I think trying to feel like you’ve covered everything and getting to places on time definitely.

My weirdest fashion week experience: I got stopped myself along with my friend who was doing photography and we were interviewed on our outfits and being black girls in fashion which was cool!

Fashion week work snack: Energy bars, they fit anywhere, taste good and are quick to eat.

Top LFW tip: Always do a schedule for your day the night before – times, locations and shows. You need to be prepared on the day.

london fashion week careers

Cathie Carday

Job title: Showcaller/Backstage Manager

What my job entails at fashion week: Ensuring the show goes smoothly, making sure any backstage requirements are met, setting up and breaking down the backstage area, and liasing with the show director, technical team and security to identify and solve any problems that arise. I’m also the go-to person for the designer and stylist to keep to schedule and ensuring everyone can do their job within the given timescale. I take care of the models and inform them of choreography and creating model line ups before and during shows, provide model lists for hair, make up and dressing teams. And as a showcaller I work with the sound and lighting team and cue the sound, lighting and models when we go to show.

This LFW I have been… Working primarily as backstage manager in the BFC main show space but have worked on Steven Tai, Johnstons of Elgin and Mark Fast as a showcaller this season.

What I wear on the job at LFW: I need to be I invisible but not insignificant – the standard ‘uniform’ in event world is smart blacks but it is fashion so think utility chic – a jump suit with a designer pair of trainers is working well this season!

london fashion week careers

Three essentials in my LFW bag: A bum bag, a clipboard and Paracetamol/ lipstick.

My most stressful part of fashion week: The most stressful moment is when the alarm rings at 4am for a 5am call!

My most exciting fashion week experience: Richard Quinn last season – our special guest was the Queen !!!

Fashion week work snack: Bounce balls!

Top LFW tip: Be fabulous, fierce and feminine!

The post Meet the hidden women behind London Fashion Week appeared first on Marie Claire.

Hannah Shergold: ‘Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn, but everything happens for a reason’

Continuing our Women Who Win series is Hannah Shergold, an award-winning artist and former Lynx helicopter commander in the British Army

Hannah Shergold
Copyright Andy Barnham

Some people struggle to find the one thing in which they excel – Hannah Shergold is in no danger of that.

Following a degree in pre-clinical Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge University, she became an internationally-exhibited bronze sculptor. Three years later, after what she calls a ‘whirlwind of an experience’, Shergold decided that she needed a new challenge, and joined the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.

During her tours as a Lynx helicopter commander, Hannah combined her passions, now working with the WWF as well as recently being selected as the only Wild Card artist for the 2019 Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year competition.

Our Women Who Win interview series celebrates strong and inspirational female trailblazers, shaping the future for us all, and Hannah Shergold and her refusal to let anyone or anything stand in her way is that in a nutshell.

We sat down with Hannah to talk about tours of duty, her Sandhurst experience and the words that she lives by.

What inspired you to join the army?

‘My father has been in the army, and his best memories and friends and stories are from that time. I liked the idea that you form such strong relationships with people when you’re going through the same experience. My cousin’s boyfriend at the time was at Sandhurst then, and he’d tell me heaps of stories: the things that most people would say, “Oh my god that sounds horrendous!”, I thought, “That’s awesome!”’

How tough was Sandhurst?

‘There were hundreds of moments at Sandhurst when I thought, “What am I doing?” I remember being on guard in the middle of a night in the woods and it was pouring with rain. I was sat in a puddle, starving hungry and couldn’t fall asleep, otherwise we would get punished. I thought, “One day, I’m going to find it really funny how miserable I am at this moment, but definitely not right now.”’

What was it like living and training in such a heavily male environment?

‘The army is full of the most awesome people, and the majority of them are really, genuinely good, but as in any organisation, you come across some people that really don’t think that women should be in the army. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t encounter any prejudice – I didn’t really notice it at first and found it much easier to brush off earlier in my career. I suppose in hindsight I was in survival mode, and also I was so busy I didn’t have time to sit back and think about it.’

Why did you choose to be a helicopter pilot?

‘The short answer is because helicopters looked really cool. My piloting course, which was 18 months long, was the toughest thing I’ve ever done: if things start going badly, you can go from being absolutely fine to being chucked off the course in less than a week. I’m very self-deprecating and would be quite honest about it, and sometimes I found with the guys they would always say that their flights were fine, so I got into my head that I was the only one that was struggling. But I only failed one flight in the entire time I was training: my last one!’

How did you get your start in the art world?

‘My secondary school had the most fantastic art department, with a wonderful old building that looked like a proper old-fashioned artist’s studio. We got to use oil paint and do sculpture: a friend of a friend tried to buy some A-level pieces that I’d made from clay. In 2006, after I’d finished university, I booked myself a stand at Bleinheim Horse Trials to sell statues cast out of bronze – when I booked it I didn’t actually have any pieces to show… I went to Dubai to sell my pieces for three summers, but the credit crunch hit in the autumn of 2008 and luxury products are the first thing to go.’

Copyright Andy Barnham

How did you balance art and the army?

‘I was in Kenya for six months on medical duties, which means a lot of sitting around, waiting for something to go wrong. Some people read, some people played on the Playstation, and I drew. I did pen and ink sketches of life out there; I just found it so beautiful out there.’

What’s your mantra?

‘Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. I’m a massive believer in things happening for a reason. If things are genuinely disappointing or go wrong, my fall back is, “Well that happened because something else amazing is going to occur as a result of not getting it.” Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start something new!’

How should women ask for more?

‘Have proof that you deserve something. You shouldn’t necessarily be expected to cite that proof, but if someone has the audacity to question why you deserve something, you can back it up quickly with the reasons.’

The post Hannah Shergold: ‘Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn, but everything happens for a reason’ appeared first on Marie Claire.

This is the future for women according to our MC 30th birthday panel

This is the future for women according to our MC 30th birthday panel

Here’s everything you need to know…

Robert Chadwick

This month marks Marie Claire‘s 30th birthday, a milestone that we are celebrating with a special commemorative October issue featuring none other than Jodie Whittaker, the first ever woman to take on the role of Doctor Who.

‘It’s no coincidence that our 30th birthday October issue cover star is Jodie Whittaker, the first female Dr Who in the show’s 50 year history,’ our editor Trish Halpin announced as she opened our Marie Claire 30th birthday breakfast on the future of women this morning at The Clock Library and Gym, in Marylebone. ‘I think that it demonstrates just how much can change, and an awful lot has changed in the 30 years since Marie Claire was launched.’

Robert Chadwick

‘But we all know that there is so much more that needs to be done to really get to a position of gender equality and to ensure that the voices of women of every creed, colour and age are really truly being heard,’ she continued, going on to introduce a powerhouse female panel to speak on the future for women in work, technology, diversity and sustainability.

Female guests networked over fresh fruit, granola and plenty of caffeine – hearing the expert insights on the future of women from the panel, and taking away invaluable advice.

These are the most inspirational takeaways from the Marie Claire 30th birthday breakfast, and what they tell us about the future for women…

The future of work and women

(Jo Swinson CBE and MP for East Dunbartonshire)

‘Thinking about what’s happened in the workplace in the last 30 years, we have made progress for the position of women,’ explained Jo Swinson MP. ‘We’ve seen a lot of legislative progress – in the 1970s the ladies at the Ford plant campaigned for equal pay which ultimately became legislation in the equal pay act, yet we still don’t have that as a reality over 40 years later. We won new protections for women in terms of maternity leave, and yet still today we have 54,000 women a year in this country losing their jobs because of pregnancy and maternity discrimination. It’s illegal, it’s been illegal for years and yet it still happens.’

‘Yes, there are more women at the top,’ she continued. ‘The number of women in parliament has gone from 3% to 30% so there is progress, but when I was 21 I didn’t think we’d still be having this discussion 20 years later, and it doesn’t feel like progress has been as quick as it should have been.’

What can we do?

Well according to Jo, there are three things that everybody can do to make change.

‘The first is to just sit at the table. Sheryl Sandberg once said that and it really resonated with me. How often have we gone to a meeting and women have sat around at the sidelines or not felt like they could contribute? So sit at the table – you are there on your own merit, and make sure you say something even if you’re scared inside. The second is to amplify the voices of other women. In Obama’s first term, the women in his cabinet decided to praise and amplify each other’s points in order to get them the credit they deserved – something we can all follow. And finally, break the mould – think about how you can challenge stereotypes and have an impact on what young boys and girls will see.’

The future of technology and women

(Anne-Marie Imafidon – co-founder of Stemettes)

‘If we had more women involved in the creation of technology, it would be more altruistic,’ Anne-Marie explained, going on to use the new FitBit period tracker as an example.

‘They put out this feature and it limited a period to ten days which is an interesting restriction to put on something like period tracking,’ she continued. ‘It just goes to show that there should have been more women in the room. We need to make sure that we are there.’

What can we do?

‘We all know the three Rs – reading, writing and arithmetic, but there are now four,’ Anne-Marie explained to the room. ‘We need to re-digital. Digital literacy is something we all need to make sure we’re clued up on. Rather than being just a consumer, we should look to be creators, get ourselves in that room and take control.’

The future of diversity and women

(Ella Hammad – Authentically Ella and Civil/ Tunnel engineer)

‘When I started in construction there were only a few women, and fewer women of colour, and even fewer women that were muslim,’ Ella explained during the panel discussion. ‘There were a lot of things about diversity that really resonated with me. I am treated differently – and not just because I’m a woman, also because I wear a headscarf.’

What can we do?

‘We need to encourage younger girls to get into engineering, and something that I definitely want to encourage is for those young girls to find the role models that I didn’t have when I was growing up,’ Ella explained. ‘My mother was my role model but she wasn’t an engineer, and when I got into engineering, if I had a role model that looked like me, I would have had a clearer idea which path I should take and I’d feel more comfortable and a lot more confident. It is difficult to talk about an issue that you are facing to someone who doesn’t look like you and doesn’t understand it.’

She continued: ‘But we shouldn’t just be trying to raise the number of women in engineering and construction. We need to shatter the misconception that our intellectual abilities are defined by the way we look and the fashion we choose to wear.’

The future of sustainability and women

(Amy Powney – Creative Director of Mother of Pearl)

‘There is a huge campaign going on at the moment with increasing numbers of women wearing t-shirts saying “I’m a feminist”, but I don’t think anyone is actually thinking about the woman that manufactured that t-shirt,’ Amy explained. ‘She probably had no maternity rights and didn’t get paid enough money, and we’re just walking around wearing them flippantly and throwing those t-shirts in the bin at the end of the trend, not thinking about the women earlier in the journey.’

What can we do?

‘It’s not just about us,’ Amy Powney explained. ‘We obviously have issues that we need to deal with here but there are huge problems out there that are bigger than our problems that need addressing. We need to talk about the women in the supply chain and think about them too.’

Amy continued: ‘We are a fast-fashion nation who are consuming clothes very rapidly and throwing them into the bin. We have got circulatory issues, we have got synthetic fibre issues – we are basically killing the world through fashion, and as the women that we are, we need to make choices that can ensure that we look great and save the planet at the same time.’

Robert Chadwick

Discussing these topics – writing about them, tweeting about them and addressing them in forums like this – is what is really going to push the agenda and make change,’ Trish explained to the room, encouraging us all to keep the conversation going.

Feeling inspired? Come along to our next event and experience the first hand empowerment yourself.

The post This is the future for women according to our MC 30th birthday panel appeared first on Marie Claire.

These are the essential student discounts that you need to cash in on pronto

These are the essential student discounts that you need to cash in on pronto

ASOS, Spotify, Amazon – they’re all here…

Words by Roisin Kelly

With A-level results coming out last week and summer drawing to an end, everyone’s feeling excited about heading off to their retrospective universities. Regardless of where you’re off to, student life is undeniably expensive; the endless nights out, paying for your own meals and the responsibility of rent can all really take their toll on your bank account. In fact, for most people, university is all about crying into your pot noodles with your friends about how you’re going to make rent.

One serious perk of university life has to be the student discounts – take it from people who are no longer students – this is something you need to cherish. So from ASOS to Apple, we’ve compiled a list of the best student discounts available and how you can access them…

Kick off student life by splurging on a brand new wardrobe. Sign up with your university email address online and ASOS will give you 10% off all your purchases until you graduate.

Get your beauty fix on a student budget. LookFantastic offer a 10% discount code when you register with UNiDAYS. Keep an eye out at the beginning of term too, as they often offer double student discount for a limited time.

Because chic new stationary at the beginning of term is essential! Sign up to UNiDAYS and you can get 10% off all full price products online.

Register with Amazon as a Prime Student and you’ll get some serious perks, starting with a six-month free trial, including Unlimited One-Day Delivery and access Prime Video and Prime Music. Following the end of the trial period, you’ll be given Prime membership for half the price; £39/year instead of the usual £72.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen
Help cure your hangover with a GBK burger, minus the guilt of a hefty bill. Simply download the Gourmet Burger Kitchen app and you’ll benefit from an exclusive 25% off food discount, as well as other offers and even the occasional freebie.

You can maintain your fitness routine whilst studying thanks to PureGym, who offer up to 30% off fixed-term memberships and 10% off rolling monthly memberships via UNiDAYS.

Sign up with Student Beans for an exclusive student code, giving you a 10% discount at Topshop, in-store and online.

Get your hands on a TOTUM card (the new name for NUS Extra) and Spotify will give you 50% off their Premium membership, giving you unlimited access to music with no ads for just £4.99 per month.


Bond with your new flatmates over a takeaway with Deliveroo’s exclusive introductory offer for students. Register with UNiDAYS for £4 off your first order and £2.50 off your second. (Minimum spend is required.)

Student life doesn’t have to mean the end of Ruby Woo. Use your UNiDAYS account for 10% off MAC Cosmetics when shopping online.

Rush Hair
Get 10% knocked off your hair or beauty treatment with an NUS card and 25% off with TOTUM. Just make sure you bring your student ID card along to your appointment.

Everyone’s partial to a Superdrug haul, so why not save 10% as a student? Sign up for a Superdrug Health & Beauty Card and present a valid UNiDAYS ID or TOTUM card to earn your discount.

Good news for English Literature students! Waterstones offer a 10% discount online with UNiDAYS. Or, you can download the Waterstones app to earn 10 points for every £1 spent in-store with their Student Rewards feature.

Apply your UNiDAYS code at checkout and Adidas will give you 15% off when shopping online.

National Express
Save money on your coach trip home at the end of term. TOTUM cardholders can get an exclusive 20% discount on travel across the UK with National Express coaches.

Sign up for a NUS TOTUM card and you’ll be eligible for Apple’s ‘special education pricing’. This includes up to 10% discount on Mac, 5% on iPad, 20% on Apple Care and 10% on accessories. Perfect if you’re looking for a new laptop for uni.

Happy shopping.

The post These are the essential student discounts that you need to cash in on pronto appeared first on Marie Claire.