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AUGUST 2018

HAVE A BLAST Party like you’re on the Rich List*

THE No.1 WOMEN’S GLOSSY MAGAZINE

ARE ORGIES THE NEW LINKEDIN?

The interns getting naked to network

DOUBT FAILURE ANXIETY A controversial new formula for success 08

AUGUST 2018

SNIP! SNIP! HOORAY! The rise of millennial vasectomies (p92)

THE SOCIAL MEDIA MAFIA How they got us all under the thumb HANKIES AT THE READY

CAROLINE FLACK A LETTER TO THE MEN SHE’S LOVED, LOST AND FOUND

9 770141 055290 WWW.COSMOPOLITAN.COM/UK

*Even if your bank account disagrees


Conten AUGUST 2018

✱ On the cover

68 DOUBT FAILURE ANXIETY A controversial new formula for success 72 CAROLINE FLACK A letter to the men she’s loved, lost and found 80 ARE ORGIES THE NEW LINKEDIN? The interns getting naked to network 86 THE SOCIAL MEDIA MAFIA How they got us all under the thumb 92 SNIP! SNIP! HOORAY! The rise of millennial vasectomies 131 HAVE A BLAST Party like you’re on the Rich List

✱ Know 11 LINKED IN No, not that ‘professional networking’ site Dave in IT always messages you on, but the new way to get – and stay – connected 13 SEE YOU AT… Where to eat, drink and be merry in July 14 SUMMER’S MUST-READS Warning: your holiday suitcase is about to get approximately 370kg heavier 16 OUT OF THE SHADOWS Meet the behind-the-scenes talent who wrote your favourite songs 17 MY CULTURED LIFE Giovanna Fletcher lets us in on why ’90s pop is her jam. (Same) 19 THE COMPASS This month’s cultural ups and downs 20 CONFESSIONS Because you’ve not truly shamed yourself till you’ve shared it with the nation

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104 We’re feeling the burn…t orange lip this summer


ts

131

Make hosting ice-cool parties your shtick

✱ Glow

✱ Read 98 SUMMER’S ANTI-HEROES From the people blaring Tinchy Stryder to sweaty shirtless men, here’s who to avoid this season 104 WEST FACE FORWARD Our new cowgirl-cool summer idol 112 ENDLESS SUMMER Swirling prints and retro sportswear? The ’70s are back, baby

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Retro ’70s sportswear is back, tell your friends!

✱ Lust 123 DON’T WING IT How to have an ’appy holiday romance… 124 ‘NOW OUR MARRIAGE IS OPEN IT’S HARD TO SEE HOW WE’D EVER GO BACK’ This month our columnist rediscovers kink 126 MY BEST SEX EVER WAS… with my housemate 127 WORST DATES EVER A date in B&Q’s car park? Oh, yes please… 128 FIRST LOVE Could an ex ever be your next? These two find out

✱ Move 37 SEE YOU AT THE BARRE Why experience of pub crawls will help you with this new exercise trend 39 REWRITE THE RULE BOOK Think you know how to get healthier? Think again 42 MINDFUL HIIT …to get your mind, body and soul fit 45 THROW SHADE Tasty icecream-coloured workout wear

✱ Play

✱ Wear 47 FOAM PARTY The ’90s called and platforms are back *plays Wannabe in celebration* 48 A BUDDING ROMANCE Fashion’s love for florals is still in full bloom 56 HEY, HOW DO I WEAR… Dungarees? 58 GET DRESSED You shall go to the ball! (Or bar, same thing)

65 EXIT STRATEGIES Finding Brenda’s 20-minute meeting on bin management a bit boring? Research says walk out 66 SELF MADE Venus Williams on how to smash your career

136 MICRO ROAD TRIPS Nothing beats the open road – especially when it leads to Michelin-star cuisine, discounted designer shopping and dog-friendly pubs

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Make-up brushes brimming with goodness

✱ And the rest… 7 FROM THE EDITOR 8 MEET TEAM COSMOPOLITAN 146 COSMOPOLITAN CONTRACT The barbecue ◆ C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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COVER PHOTOGRAPH MATTHEW EADES. FASHION DIRECTOR AMY BANNERMAN. FASHION ASSISTANT MADDY ALFORD. HAIR AARON CARLO AT FRANK AGENCY, USING TRESEMME. MAKE-UP AND NAILS CHRISTIAN VERMAAK, USING MAC COSMETICS AND EYLURE. CAROLINE WEARS (NEWSSTAND COVER) T-SHIRT, COTTON CITIZEN. TROUSERS, DOROTHY PERKINS. (SUBSCRIBER COVER) DRESS AND BAG, BOTH ATIKA LONDON. BOBBIN BIKE BROWNIE 21 IN EAU DE NIL, BOBBINBIKES.COM. THIS PAGE, PHOTOGRAPHS CHANTELLE KEMKEMIAN, SHUTTERSTOCK, JANE MCLEISH-KELSEY, DENNIS PEDERSEN

25 BRUSHES WITH BENEFITS Sweep your skin with these and watch the goodness seep in 26 HOT RIGHT NOW! Your mum told you to have more greens? Perfect! Stock up on these 27 TRY THE TREND The surefire way to brighten sleepy eyes 28 THE HAIRY TRUTH Why haircare brands are now all about going au naturel 33 INGE HAS ISSUES …but for now, let’s focus on micellar 34 BEAUTY LAB We put pollutionprotecting products to the test

✱ Earn


PHOTOGRAPH IAN HARRISON. HAIR AND MAKE-UP SHARI RENDLE

FROM THE EDITOR When you look back at the partners in your life, how do you feel? Do you look back with anger? Regret? Sadness? Or have the tides of time worn away even the sharpest edges from some of your most complicated relationships? I ask this because this month I sat down with our cover star, Caroline Flack, as she performed a live autopsy on the past loves of her life. It was an experience that was revealing, not because of the intimacy with which she talked about them (though that too, as celebrities rarely speak freely about anything – and certainly not love), but rather because of the generosity with which she spoke about each man. Some people say you should never look back – certainly not on the things that went wrong. But I believe you can’t move forward until you’re prepared to look back – even on the trickiest of situations. And love, as we all know, can be very tricky. I remember the boy whose heart I broke at 17, but who subsequently went on to break my own heart over and over again, until at last I upped sticks and moved 200 miles away, just so it felt like I could breathe again. I remember also the older man who played my emotions like a Stradivarius violin and whose footprints I was sure would stay on my soul forever (they didn’t). And then there were all the flings that never called back, the lovely, kind men I tormented (I’m sorry) and the ones who would probably have made pretty good partners had I the foresight to judge them by their virtues rather than by their shoes. But that’s the thing about relationships, particularly when you’re younger: it’s hard to excavate the sense from them until they’re over. Instead we experience only the in-the-moment profligate joys and wounding heartbreak.

MY READING LIST The books I’ll be packing this summer

THE MULTIHYPHEN METHOD, Emma Gannon THE essential guide to getting ahead, whatever your age. PICK THREE, Randi Zuckerberg At last – an honest,

And then we move on, boxing them up like parcels to be sent away to the land of ‘Lost loves and other things I don’t want to ever speak of again’. And yet some of our greatest personal learning can come through examining the men and women we have loved and lost in our lives. I look back on every one of my relationships now with a sort of wistful happiness. With the romance and pain wrung out of them, each one now offers a revealing rear-view mirror into who I once was. (The answer: a born writer whose relationships mainly failed not because of who those men were, but because of the fantasies I projected onto them of who I wanted to believe they were.) So here’s my advice to you: look back. Because when the pain and the sadness lifts (and it mostly always does), there are new joys and jewels to be found. 4Keep in touch by following me on Twitter @Farrah_Storr and Instagram @farrahstorr

uplifting read about why you really can’t have it all.

influencers, offering her funny, hopeful life nuggets.

WHAT A TIME TO BE ALONE, Chidera Eggerue The debut book by The Slumflower, one of my favourite

THE ALMOST WIFE, Jade Beer A gripping take on love and marriage that will fuel your wedding season.

FARRAH STORR TORR Editor-in ditor-in-Chief tor i

Bag, £130, Rae Feather


RANDOM QUESTION OF THE MONTH

Which celebrity would you most like to go on holiday with?

FARRAH STORR Editor-in-Chief Editorial Assistant DANIELLA SCOTT Deputy Editor SHOSHANA GOLDBERG Creative Director STUART SELNER Associate Editor AMY GRIER Special Projects Director LOTTIE LUMSDEN

Paul from S Club. After he tried to sell his Brit Award on Ebay, that lad needs a break.

FEATU R ES Senior Editor CATRIONA INNES Features Writer JENNIFER SAVIN Features Intern KATE PASOLA Acting Features Intern SOFIA TINDALL

DESI GN Art Director VICTORIA HORN Senior Designer JESSICA LOCKETT Junior Designer KATIE WILDE

PI CTU R ES Picture Director CAT COSTELLOE Picture Editor NICOLE HOLCROFT-EMMESS

A poolside chat with Spencer Matthews could answer a lot of relevant questions about some off th the men I’I’ve d dated... t d

PR ODU CTI ON Workflow Director CHRISTINA SIMONE Chief Sub-Editor HANNAH JONES Deputy Chief Sub-Editor STEPHANIE JACKSON

I’d like a London staycation with Charli XCX – she hosts these incredible parties at her mega-kitsch house (you can even Rollerblade in her hall!)

B EAU TY Beauty Director INGEBORG VAN LOTRINGEN Beauty Editor CASSIE POWNEY Beauty Writer JO TAYLOR

FASHI ON Fashion Director AMY BANNERMAN Senior Fashion Editor SAIREY STEMP Bookings Editor SOPHIE LEEN Fashion Assistant MADDY ALFORD

COS M OPOLI TA N .COM/ U K

Harry Styles – I just think that he’s a genuinely good dude and we’d get on as mates. Definitely nothing to do with his face.

Lisa Vanderpump, queen of The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills, so we could chill out in Villa Rosa surrounded by puppies and ponies (heaven).

Digital Editorial Director CLAIRE HODGSON Fashion & Lifestyle Editor JESS EDWARDS Beauty Editor VICTORIA JOWETT Entertainment Editor ANNA LEWIS Senior News & Health Writer CATRIONA HARVEY-JENNER Senior Sex & Relationships Writer PAISLEY GILMOUR Entertainment & Lifestyle Writer DUSTY BAXTER-WRIGHT Fashion & Beauty Writer LAURA CAPON Head of Social Media LAUREN SMITH Multimedia Producer ALEX HERING Senior Motion Graphics & Snapchat Animator CHARLOTTE TEMPLE Snapchat Editor SOPHIE BOYDEN

CON TR I B U TOR S AMANDA STATHAM (Travel) Acting Group Managing Editor CONNIE OSBORNE Finance Business Partner EMMA JONES

Cardi B, because she loves my two hobbies: eating and shopping. See, we’re basically the same person.

M ANAGI N G DI R ECTOR

JACQUI CAVE H EARST M AGAZ INE S U K President and Chief Executive Officer JAMES WILDMAN Executive Assistant to the President and Chief Executive Officer FAYE McNULTY Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer CLAIRE BLUNT Chief Strategy Officer ROBERT FFITCH Chief Operations Director CLARE GORMAN HR Director SURINDER SIMMONS Head of PR FAY JENNINGS Director, Hearst Live VICTORIA ARCHBOLD 020 7312 4105 MD, Hearst Brand Services JUDITH SECOMBE Marketing & Circulation Director REID HOLLAND Head of Consumer Sales & Marketing MATTHEW BLAIZE-SMITH Head of Subscriptions JUSTINE BOUCHER Head of Marketing Promotions CHARLOTTE CUNLIFFE Digital Marketing Director SEEMA KUMARI Deputy Head of PR BEN BOLTON Head of Business Management LUCY PORTER

H EARST CO M M E RCI A L Chief Agency Officer JANE WOLFSON 020 7439 5685 MD, Fashion & Luxury JACQUELINE EUWE MD, Fitness & Health ALUN WILLIAMS Director of Travel DENISE DEGROOT Director of Motors JIM CHAUDRY Client Director, Personal Finance JACQUIE DUCKWORTH Client Direct Director EMMA BARNES Group Agency Director JONI MORRISS Regional Director DANIELLE SEWELL Luxury Directors SHARON DAVIES RIDGWAY, LEE BAILEY, JHAN HANCOCK-RUSHTON Head of Classified LEE RIMMER 020 3728 7707

Cosmopolitan UK is printed in Poland by Quad/Graphics Europe and distributed by Frontline Ltd, Peterborough (01733 555161)

HEA R ST MAGA ZI N ES I N TER N ATI ON A L Senior Vice President, Managing Director Asia Pacific & Russia SIMON HORNE Director of International Licensing & Business Development RICHARD BEAN Senior Vice President/Editorial & Brand Director KIM ST CLAIR BODDEN Deputy Brands Director CHLOE O’BRIEN International Brands Editor JACQUELYN GALGEY Editor-in-Chief, Cosmopolitan (1965-1997) HELEN GURLEY BROWN

I N TER N ATI ON A L EDI TI ON S Argentina Australia Brazil CRISTINA NAUMOVS Bulgaria Chile China YVONNE LIU Croatia ALEKSANDRA ORLIĆ Czech Republic SABRINA KARASOVA Finland STINA MANTYNIEMI France MARIE LA FONTA Germany ANJA DELASTIK Hong Kong RUQIYAH LAW KAM YING Hungary JOHANNA SABJÁN India NANDINI BHALLA Indonesia FILISYA THUNGGAWAN Italy FRANCESCA DELOGU Kazakhstan ANEL ABDUALIYEVA Korea EUNJI KIM Latin America LUCÍA SOTELO SANTOS Latvia Lithuania VIOLETA KALIKAUSKIENE Malaysia NISA HALID Middle East KAVITA SRINIVASAN Netherlands ANNE MARIJE DE VRIES LENTSCH Poland HANNA WOLSKA Romania DIANA COLCER Russia ALIONA PENEVA Serbia NASJA VELJKOVIC Slovenia MANCA ČAMPA PAVLIN South Africa HOLLY MEADOWS Spain CECILIA MÚZQUIZ HERRERO Sri Lanka Turkey OZLEM KOTAN Ukraine OLEKSANDRA BURYNSKA USA MICHELE PROMAULAYKO

This magazine can be recycled either through your kerbside collection, or at a local recycling point. Log on to Recyclenow. com and enter your postcode to find your nearest sites.

Cosmopolitan is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation. We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think we haven’t met those standards and want to make a complaint, contact complaints@hearst.co.uk or visit hearst.co.uk/hearst-magazines-uk-complaints-procedure. If we are unable to resolve your complaint or you’d like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, call IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or go to ipso.co.uk.

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WORDS DANIELLA SCOTT. PHOTOGRAPH PIXELEYES

I F I T ’ S H O T A N D H A P P E N I N G , I T ’ S I N H E R E ...

LINKED IN

Remember your old pen pal – that person you bonded with on holiday who you thought would be your BFF, based on a series of letters you’d write about a life that barely resembled your own (so kind of like Instagram then)? Well, today making friends can be far tricker, which is why we’re down with the London Letters Club. It operates nationwide and matches you with new pen pals to exchange online or paper messages with. Want to meet someone IRL? Try Citysocializer or Hey! Vina – friendship apps designed to help you make friends with like-minded women. And for the truly nostalgic, there’s Slowly, where a message takes as long to deliver to the recipient’s phone as a real letter would. Although your mates might have given up by the time it actually gets there.

C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

SEE YOU AT... UUntil til 8th Sept

Because your work-life balance should always tip to one side

Until 18th Aug

The Lieutenant Of Inishmore, Noël Coward Theatre, London

Puttshack, London

What is it? Our favourite, Poldark’s Aidan Turner, plays Mad Padraic, a terrorist deemed too violent for the IRA. It’s dark. ÅInsider tip: Buy last-minute or weekday tickets to bag yourself some big discounts. Noelcowardtheatre.co.uk

What is it? A huge, very high-tech (no tiny pencils here) mini-golf venue that looks more like an edgy bar. ÅInsider tip: Get a hole in one and you can win free drinks, food and cash. The ultimate trinity. Puttshack.com

20th-21st July Gin Festival, Worcester

Circa’s

What is it? Bumclenchin ng, edge-of-yoursseat acrob batics, dance and ssome preccarious trapezing. Å ÅInsid der tip: The show includes i l d some ‘adult content’ so probably not one for a day out with your gran. Underbellyfestival.com

WHERE TO BE, WHEN, THIS MONTH

21s -22 d 21st-22nd Ju July

What is it? Tastings, masterclasses, live music and the biggest pop-up gin shop in the country. Can we just go now? ÅInsider tip: Work backwards, starting with the last stand first, because less queueing means more gin-ing. Ginfestival.com

JULY

Peepshow, London Pe

WORDS DANIELLA SCOTT. PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES, SHUTTERSTOCK, JOHAN PERSSON, STO OCKFOOD OOD

OPEN NOW

Taste Of The South Festival, Dorset

What is it? A weekend full of street food, cocktails and chef demos. So everything good, basically. ÅInsider tip: Want to know pure joy? Hit the Ministry Of Fudge stall and bury your face in a bag of their toffee vodka fudge. Tastesouth.events

LoveFit Festival, Sevenoaks

20th-22nd Julyy

What is it? By day, train with celebrity PTs like Carly Rowena, by night, hit the afterparties wearing glitter and A LOT of Spandex. ÅInsider tip: Have a go at slacklining (basically tightrope walking) – the fitness elite’s new obsession. Lovefitfestival.com

C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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SHORTLISTED

I Stop Somewhere TE Carter

Every book chosen has been independently judged by the readers and editors of Hearst Magazines – including ELLE, Women’s Health and Red. The awards showcase the finest new and emerging fiction and nonfiction across UK publishing. Check out our sister magazines to see what they chose!

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One of these three will win the Cosmopolitan x Big Book Must

(Simon & Schuster, £7.99) HYBRID Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones meets Roxane Gay’s Not That Bad. IN A NUTSHELL Ellie’s boyfriend raped and murdered her, and now she’s trapped as a ghost, watching him shatter the lives of other girls. Told through the past and present, while her family search for her body, it examines how women are treated after reporting assaults. Watch out: there are no happy endings here. FIRST LINE “They call the houses ‘zombies’ and our town is full of them.” READ IT In a cosy cottage in the Lake District with chocolate and a blanket to hand. You’ll need comfort.

The Queen Of Bloody Everything Joanna Nadin

(Mantle, £14.99) HYBRID Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere meets The Royal Tenenbaums. IN A NUTSHELL Dido wants a different mother – she’d settle for one that doesn’t bring home younger men in beat-up cars after drinking all day. But, specifically, she wants Tom and Harry’s mum – her next-door neighbours. And she resents everything, until it’s too late. FIRST LINE “So, how shall I begin? With once upon a time maybe?” READ IT On a striped deckchair, in your garden. This will take you back to the heady summers of childhood.

WORDS CATRIONA INNES. PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES

Picking a holiday read usually goes like this: get to WHSmith, pick up whatever has the nicest cover and end up slightly bored 10 minutes into your flight. Thankfully, we’re here to help. As part of our ongoing Big Book campaign, here’s a look at the seven titles on our ‘mustread’ long list, including the three big hitters fighting it out on the shortlist. You’ll spot them in book shops, with proud stickers on their covers, or pop the lot in your Amazon basket. Warning: you’re about to get seriously hooked.


The only books to pack in your suitcase this season Read prize in September. Watch this space…

LONGLISTED

The Taste Of Blue Light Lydia Ruffles

Pretend I'm Dead Jen Beagin

I Have Lost My Way Gayle Forman

(Hodder Children’s Books, £12.99) HYBRID Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar meets James St James’s Party Monster.

(Oneworld, £12.99) HYBRID Eat, Pray, Love meets Beauty And The Beast.

(Simon & Schuster, £7.99) HYBRID Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down meets Hannah Montana.

IN A NUTSHELL

Clean Juno Dawson

(Quercus, £7.99) HYBRID Cat Marnell’s How To Murder Your Life meets Gossip Girl. IN A NUTSHELL Mega-spoilt Lexi has the whole of London at her fingertips, until she’s put in rehab after overdosing on heroin. There, she meets a variety of other teens, all with their own problems, including transgender anorexic Kendall and reality TV star Brady. FIRST LINE “Face down on leather. New car smell. Pine Fresh.” READ IT In a luxurious urban hotel. Lexi’s dad owns a chain of them, and even though she’s a hot mess, you do end up feeling pretty envious of her plush surroundings.

Raced through those three? Try this lot on for size

An art student can’t remember what happened to her at a party. But she knows it’s something bad. A psychologist is now messing with her mind to help her remember. FIRST LINE “I will find the old Lux and when I do I will climb back inside her.” READ IT On a Berlin city break. The book paints a fascinating picture of the art world, and all you’ll want to do is go up to people and ask them what their deep-rooted secrets are. (Don’t. They won’t like that.)

IN A NUTSHELL

Twenty-four-yearold cleaner Mona is dating a toothless, charming heroin addict she met volunteering at a needle exchange. Things don’t work out. Mona then goes on a journey of discovery to find out why she fell for him so hard, making some crazy choices along the way. FIRST LINE “For months he was just a number to her.” READ IT In Japan, so you can understand the very zen couple who help Mona. Failing that, beside a bonsai tree. Or any tree. OK, a pot plant will do.

The Note Zoë Folbigg

(Aria, £7.99) HYBRID Sliding Doors meets Sophie Kinsella’s entire back catalogue. IN A NUTSHELL

IN A NUTSHELL

On one day, three strangers find each other, just at the moment they feel the most adrift. There’s pop singer Freya, who’s lost her voice, and Harun, who wants to come out to his Muslim parents, while Nathaniel is newly arrived in New York, with just a backpack to his name. FIRST LINE “I Have Lost My Way. Freya stares at the words she’s typed into her phone.” READ IT In New York, where it’s set. Or, y’know, in a park surrounded by pigeons. Same thing.

Based on the author’s real-life love story, commuter Maya falls in love with a man on her train. The problem? He’s never spoken to her. So she sets up an elaborate plan to find him again. FIRST LINE “ Maya has done it. She has delivered three sentences and a friendly sign-off, and now it is out of her hands.” READ IT This is classic beach reading. It’s light, romantic and a bit silly. But if you don’t have a holiday planned, it also makes for ideal commute reading (for obvious reasons).

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Out of the shadows Behind many great songs is a brilliant but often-unknown lyricist. Meet the geniuses who are stealing the show by releasing their own solo material…

hW is she? Norwegian hWho singer-songwriter who’s ssinger been wr writing chart hits ffor fo a deca ecade. Now the sspotligh l ght’s on her. hWhat ban h angers has she w written? i en? Basically every song you ou’ve ve ever liked. She’s behind 26 UK top 40s including Clean Bandit’s Rockabye, Calvin Harris and Disciples’ How Deep Is Your Love and Jess Glynne’s Hold My Hand. hHer background? Wroldsen started pursuing a music career aged 14 by hanging around outside recording studios hoping to get noticed. Not official National Careers Service advice, FYI. hRandom fact: In 2016, she appeared as a judge on Norwegian Pop Idol. Surprisingly not available on Netflix. hHer sound? Native Norway – ethereal and at-one-with-nature. Good for contemplative staring. hWhere can I listen to her? She’s just released her debut solo EP, Hex. Track Sea is especially worth a listen.

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JULIA MICHAELS

SAMPHA

hWho is she? Songwriting royalty, y lty nominated for Be Ne Best ew Artist at this year’s Grammys. ye

hWho is he? Real name Sampha Sisay. His debut album Process won the Mercury Prize in 2017.

h hWhat bangers has she written? Heard of Sorry H by Justin Bieber? You know, the one with around 3 billion views on YouTube? She’s also written for Selena Gomez, Britney Spears and Ed Sheeran.

hWhat bangers has he written? He co-wrote Solange’s Don’t Touch My Hair, and he’s Drake and Frank Ocean’s go-to guy.

hHer background? Michaels began writing m music at 16 after her mum bartered her wedding ring for a baby grand piano. h hRandom fact: It took her just 30 minutes to write Sorry. The same length of time it takes most people to get out of bed in the morning. hHer sound? Classic pop, with an occasional dash of acoustic. hWhere can I listen to her? Check out her EP Nervous System and watch her Jimmy Fallon performance on YouTube.

hHis background? London born and raised, he was tipped as one to watch six years ago, but put his career on the backburner when his mother fell ill. Now, a lot of his music refers to losing her. hRandom fact: He was discovered on Myspace (remember that?) by a record company who sent his track to Drake. hHis sound? A mix of real emotion and silky soul. hWhere can I listen to him? This month at Longitude Festival, plus check out his feature-length music video, Process. Good Sunday afternoon watching.

TAYLA PARX hWho is she? Actress who starred in the big-screen hit Hairspray. hWhat bangers has she written? My Everything for Ariana Grande, four tracks on Janelle Monae’s album Dirty Computer, and Christina Aguilera’s Accelerate, for starters. hHer background? Born in Dallas, Texas, Parx gave up acting to pursue songwriting and got signed aged 19. hRandom fact: She voiced a Sim on a niche online version of the game. Top-ofthe-CV material. hHer sound? She’s the clever new take on R&B, introducing a poppy blend. hWhere can I listen to her? Her debut album, Tayla Made, is now available on SoundCloud.

WORDS DANIELLA SCOTT. PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES, ALAMY, SHUTTERSTOCK

INA WROLDSEN


MY CULTURED LIFE Author Giovanna Fletcher shares what’s keeping her entertained this month

AS TOLD TO LOTTIE LUMSDEN. PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES, REX/SHUTTERSTOCK, INSTAGRAM/@SUSIEJVERRILL

First thing you read in the morning? Instagram. I particularly like Susie Verrill’s account – she has an amazing sense of humour. Last film that made you cry? Wonder. Tom [Fletcher, of McFly, Giovanna’s husband] and I were crying right from the start. And the next morning! What’s on your workout playlist? Sometimes I try to get with it and listen to Spotify’s Top 40. Other times I just whack on cheesy ’80s or ’90s music. h TV show h ws do you What u bi Blindders. s. binge on?? Peaky P d I like to igno Tom and ore then cave. c . a trend ffor ages, a W We mett Tom Hard dy ffrom m the cast aat the Prince’s Trust Awards and nd had a reall ally cryptic conversaation i about seeries 4.

What book is on your bedside table? Currently, I’m reading The Cows by Dawn O’Porter. I’ve also got Dorothy Koomson’s The Brighton Mermaid, Weisberger’s and Lauren La Wives on there, too. The Wi hing you bought? A little wheelie Last th suitcasse for my son, Buddy, for our holiday. Song tthat’s guaranteed to ge et y on n the dance floor? If it’s you ’90s pop that requires me to jump around and make a tit of myself then I’m all over it. Last podcast you listened to? The Guilty Feminist. I find out about topics I’d never have known about. It’s intellectual, but done with great humour. What was your last Google search? W The word ‘glamorous’. I wanted to check how many ‘u’s there were. che Favourite emoji? F The T laughing one. Last account you followed on L Instagram? Interiors company Vincent And Barn after blogger The Anna Edit posted a gorgeous picture of one of their units. Last tiime you were star-struck? I don’t know k about star-struck, but I was caught off-gua o g ard once when I got on a plane l e and Jeremy Kylle was th I was like, ‘Oh my there. d itt’s Jeremy!’ God,

Eve Off Man by E Giovan Giovanna and Tom Fletche l her, out now in harddback, £12.99 hael Joseph) (Micha C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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The

Compass CRAYOLA CUTICLES CR

Th summer, if your This naills aren’t hosting a ccrayony -worthy hue, you may as well sttay home. Try All That JJazz’s Caaribbean Collection. W (and ( d Rihanna) are fans. We

LAUNDRO-BOTS Can’t be arsed to fold your own clothes? Same here. But spending £12,000 to get one of L Laundroid’s mechanica ec a cal cabinets to do the job feells a bit extreme.

CHEESE TEA Invented in Taiwan, now big in New York, this may be growing in popularity, but the thought of blending cold tea with whipp d ped cheese isn’t quenching ourr thirst. t . Make ours a cup of builde der’s, please..

CYCLING SHORTS

BEE THERAPY

All hail the return of Lance Armstrong’s favourite garment as a fashion choice. We’re rocking these lace-trimmed Shein ones under a floral dress. Braver? Pair with a jacket and heels.

Of course being stung by bees be dea of is Gwyneth Paltrow’s ide a healing treatment. B But we’ll acupuncture steer clear of this ac p alternative after a w woman diedd from an allergic reactio tion.

MAMMAA MIA! M 2

V-KINIS

Has Meryl Streep’s character died? Will we care, given that the queen of everything, Cher, is playing Sophie’s (Amanda Seyfried) grandma? All will be revealed on 20th July.

One wrong move ve in this hs boob-boosting swimwear mwe and you could slip a nip. Holidays are for relaxing, not stressing about the visibility of your areolas…

APOLOGY CAKES We love this trend for penitent puddings. With iced reasons ranging from ‘Sorry I threw up’ to ‘I didn’t mean what I said during Mario Kart’, any excuse for a Vicky sponge is fine by us.

Sinking our ship

WORDS JENNIFER SAVIN. PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES, SHUTTERSTOCK, INSTAGRAM/@KIANAS_DELICIOUS_TREATS, @CHEESETEA.MEGABEKASI, @BAMBASWIM, @ANNALISEMCLACHLAN, KOOL POOL, SHEIN.CO.UK. *OUT NOW

FUGITIVE-LIT? We’re in! This soul-search ching, g, true story of Tyler Wetheerall’s rocky childhood, spent on the run with her father in i his quest to escape the policce, is a beautiful coming-of-age read.**

Floating our boat

Pointingg yyou in the right cultural direction this month...

NOVELTY FLOATS It seems we’ve succumbed d to inflata-fatigue. The final nail to puncture the proverbial blow-up coffin? This sausagedog offering. Sorry.

C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

19 9


Because sometimes life is stranger than fiction

HAIR OF THE DOG I was wandering the streets of Brighton, trying to walk off a hangover from hell, when I spotted a gorgeous little dog outside a charity shop. Besotted, I bent down to give it a stroke. I must have still been drunk, because as I got closer, it became clear it was actually an artificial Dogs Trust dummy. HOLLIE, 23, MARKETING MANAGER, LONDON

CHICKEN RUN Feeling hungry during a night out, I nipped across the road for some chicken. I didn’t look before crossing and a car swerved into me, catapulting me through the air. I stood up unscathed, but the shock of it all had the street in hysterics. Not sure what was more dented, the car or my ego. CATHERINE, 21, RECRUITER, LONDON

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN I got so carried away on a boozy date that I missed my 7am flight to Berlin. I told a cock-andbull story and managed to con my way onto the next flight without even buying a ticket – but given the sheer stress of it all, I’ll stick to setting an alarm next time… GABRIEL, 27, CASTING AGENT, LONDON

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· C O S M O P O L I TA N

STRANGER DANGER

I WAS ON HOLIDAY AND FEELING PRETTY SOCIABLE, SO I STARTED DRINKING WITH SOME STRANGERS AT A BAR. I WAS HITTING IT OFF WITH THIS WOMAN AND THINGS GOT VERY FLIRTY – AT ONE POINT, SHE EVEN SLIPPED HER HAND INTO MY TROUSERS. AT THAT MOMENT, ONE OF THE OTHER GUYS TURNED ROUND AND BEGAN TO ROW FURIOUSLY WITH HER. TURNS OUT THEY WERE A COUPLE AND I’D JUST CAUSED A BREAK-UP. BAILEY, 24, DIRECTOR, LONDON


AS TOLD TO KATE PASOLA. PHOTOGRAPHS ANTONIO PETRONZIO. HAIR AND MAKE-UP AMI PENFOLD, USING LAURA MERCIER; MUZHDAH, USING MAC COSMETICS, BOTH AT LHA REPRESENTS. STYLING MAKEDA STAIR. WITH THANKS TO THE HOXTON (THEHOXTON.COM)

DIVE BAR

I went to a bar-job interview at the dingiest club ever and the entrance was flooded. Freaked out, I rushed through the interview. As I left, I turned to wave to the boss and fell up to my waist in the gross water. KATE, 25, JOURNALIST, LONDON

SLAP IN THE FACE After an audition, I was waiting to find out if I’d got the part. But when they called me back into the room, I failed to notice a closed glass door, and hit it so hard it dented my face. SOPHIE, 28, MAKE-UP ARTIST, MONTENEGRO

HOLY SPLIT I was out shopping and getting a lot of attention, but I assumed the world was just admiring my new high-waisted chinos. It was only when a woman on the train home pointed out the knee-to-waist tear on the back of my trousers that I realised what everyone had actually been gawping at – my exposed bum cheek. PAIGE, 23, MODEL, LONDON

CHUNDER ON THE DANCEFLOOR

I WAS WORKING AS A DANCER ON A MUSIC-VIDEO SHOOT AND THE CHOREOGRAPHER WAS SUPER-STRICT ABOUT US TAKING BREAKS, EVEN THOUGH WE WERE WORKING GRUELLING 10-HOUR DAYS. ONE MORNING, I’D SKIPPED BREAKFAST, AND BY LUNCHTIME, I FELT EXHAUSTED AND NAUSEOUS. NEXT THING I KNEW, I WAS RETCHING ON MY HANDS AND KNEES, PAINTING THE SET MULTICOLOUR WITH VOMIT. OLE, 18, STUDENT, NETHERLANDS C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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WORDS JO TAYLOR. PHOTOGRAPH DENNIS PEDERSEN. LAB 2, BEAUTYMART.COM AND TESCO

YOUR NO–BS GUIDE TO ALL THINGS BEAUTY

BRUSHES WITH BENEFITS Following the success of Sephora’s charcoal-infused antimicrobial make-up brushes in the US, we’re getting an influx of innovative bristles Brit-side. The new It Cosmetics Heavenly Skin One-Sweep Wonder Brush (£34.99) is packed with hydrolysed collagen for hydration and cell-repairing niacin for anti-ageing. Using similar technology, LAB2 has launched free-radical-busting green tea and purifying charcoal brushes (from £12) that, much like Look Good Feel Better’s anti-bacterial brushes (£28), also combat breeders lurking between your bristles. Useful, although we wouldn’t recommend you dump your skin regime for them. Plus, LAB2 and It Cosmetics claim these infused benefits will last as long the brush does. It’s a big promise but, still, every little helps…

C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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Estée Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelée in Heat Wave, £34 This highlighterbronzer combo is so addictive you’re in danger of going TOWIE.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum, £73 Great for toning down redness, with more antioxidants than a greengrocer’s frontage.*

Paul & Joe Fragrance Sun Protection Gel Milk SPF50+, £25 Smells good, looks good, does good. Sold, to Team Cosmo.

Vichy Dermablend Green Colour Corrector, £15 Disguise acne scars and rosacea with this neutraliser. Will endure the gym, too.

Jessica Custom Nail Colour in Flower Crown, £11 The cast of Wicked called. They want their signature mani back. Nope.

Hot right now! Buy these August beauties, then watch the green-eyed monsters come circling

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Highlight Activating Brightening Conditioner, £6.99 Boost dull highlights with an injection of avocado oil. No, we’re not av’-ing you on.

Starskin Coco-Nuts Nourishing Hot Oil Hair Mask, £8.50 For strong hair and a jazzy free shower cap, look no further.

Floris 1927 EDP, £140 (100ml) One for Granny, you say? This musky mimosa scent may surprise you.

Venus Bikini Trimmer, £22.49 The only lady gardener you’ll need – whether you’re pro-Brazil, Hollywood or California.

LOVES + 2 01 8 +

Beauty Pie Plantastic Apricot Butter Cleansing Balm, £10.57† Soothing, hydrating and filth-slaying.

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When you see beauty products with this logo anywhere, you can be guaranteed they are Cosmopolitan-beautyteam-approved.

WORDS JO TAYLOR. PHOTOGRAPHS LUCKY IF SHARP. *MAYBE. †MEMBER PRICE. NON-MEMBER PRICE £55

Benefit 3D Browtones in Deep Teal, £20.50 Haven’t you heard? Coloured brows are in. This teal will make brown eyes pop.

Crème De La Mer The Moisturizing Cool Gel Cream, £120 Sinks into skin instantly for a visibly hydrating pick-me-up.


HI-VIS EYES Always wanted to be a lollipop lady? dy? Stop traffic with these orange lids ds

It’s time to own your overboard feline flicks. You know the ones where you’re trying to even out your eyeliner and all of a sudden, it’s covering your entire eyelid? Yep, those ones. According to make-up artist and Real Techniques co-founder Nicola Chapman, mastering the S/S 18 House Of Holland look is as easy as pie. First, make sure you slather on an eyeshadow primer, then “using an orange eye paint and a shading brush, follow the eyelid crease, winging it out at the corner”. If you’ve gone a bit eye-paint happy, just clean up your mistakes with a cotton bud (we won’t tell anyone). For maximum impact, “Keep brows, lips and cheeks almost productfree.” It’s that simple.

2

Real Techniques Fine Liner Brush, £19.99 (as part of set) CYO Crush On Metal Metallic Eyeshadow in Cooeey, £4.50

Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Color Paint in M-70, £18.50

2

CRY BABY

MAC Chromaline in Genuine Orange, £17

DIFFICULTY 2/3

If Atlein S/S 18 is anything nything to go by, cried-off make-up just got wearable. And this time you won’t be needing that crappy ex to achieve the look. Chapman recommends working from the centre of the eye outwards, using a “cream eyeliner and a fine brush for an orange cat-eye flick”. Then, for the fun part: “Using a shadow brush,

Spectrum Malachite B04 Shadow Brush, £5.99

3 CHROMAT S/S 18

WORDS JO TAYLOR. PHOTOGRAPHS JASON LLOYD-EVANS. *MAKE UP FOR EVER, AVAILABLE AT ESCENTUAL.COM

DIFFICULTY 1/3

1

ATLEIN S/S 18

1

PUT A LID ON IT

HOUSE OF HOLLAND S/S 18

TRY THE TREND

smudge the colour under the outside corners of the eyes.” For definition, finish with a waterproof black liner in the top waterline. No Kleenex required.

3

INNER BEAUTY DIFFICULTY 1.5/3

If you’re not ready for a single shock of shadow, jazz up a classic metallic eye with a hint of neon, as seen at Chromat S/S 18. Using a cream shadow and your fingers, “Dab a small amount on the inner corners of the eyes,” says Chapman. Then “grab another metallic paint pot a couple of shades darker than your skin tone and run that all over the top of the eyelid”. Finish with a swish of mascara and black liner inside the top and bottom waterline. You’re ready for your close-up. C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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Haircare ingredients now read less like a periodic table and more like a garden-centre shopping list. Here’s what you need to know about putting your locks on a chemical detox…

THE HAIRY TRUTH L et’s face it, haircare brands have always tried to align themselves with nature – orgasmicfaced models lathering up under waterfalls and prancing around fields stroking flowers. The truth is, while skincare has been busy

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· C O S M O P O L I TA N

ditching chemicals and harnessing the power of plant-based ingredients for years, haircare has been hiding in a corner with its ingredients list to the wall, whispering, “Don’t look at me,” in a creepy Christina Aguilera voice. But, due to a sharp rise in scalp sensitivity and hair loss, plus a genuine

concern for our planet, big brands are catching up with ahead-of-the-curve niche ones, launching natural franchises faster than you can say “Hello, petal”.

What makes a product natural?

Good question. There are no legal standards in the

UK, so even if a formula’s synthetic ingredients far outweigh its homegrown ones, it can still have the word ‘natural’ emblazoned across its grass-green packaging and not a rule is broken. If you see a certified stamp from a body such as Soil Association or COSMOS (COSMetic i


Organic Standard) on a product, its percentage of natural and organic ingredients, farming conditions, sustainability and eco footprint have all been scrutinised and deemed up to scratch – hurrah! But that’s not to say you should run screaming from all non-stamped products – synthetic doesn’t automatically mean bad. “All cosmetic ingredients have to be considered safe under the EU Cosmetic Regulations, natural or not,” confirms trichologist and My Hair Doctor founder Guy Parsons. The next best thing to a stamp is a ‘free-from’ claim, likely to be followed by one or all of the following ingredients: parabens, sulphates (also known as surfactants or foaming agents), phthalates and silicones.

Why are these dudes on the free-from list? They all do a job, but sometimes to the detriment of your hair or scalp health. For example, sulphates create foam to cut through grease but can gobble up natural oils, too, leaving hair stripped and scalps sensitive. Silicones are essentially a waterproof coating that reflects light and fakes shine. But they’re a bit like an overzealous doorman, also denying entry to essential moisture and conditioners. They have a tendency to cling on and build up over time, requiring harsher surfactants to budge them – vicious circle, much?

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Dang! So why aren't all brands banning these baddies? Because it’ll cost them “Parabens and sulphates are very cheap for hair companies, which is why we have to pay more for free-from products,” says pharmacognosist (an expert in the study of natural products) and co-founder of Modern Botany, Dr Simon Jackson. “But inevitably, the more people use them, the more the price will come down.” People love a lather You know how bad boys are no good for you but give you all the feels? And the nice-guy alternatives who call when they say they will just don’t feel as satisfying? There are plenty of milder yet foamy-as-you-like surfactants, it’s just about finding the ones that hit the (grease) spot. “Replace the likes of sodium lauryl sulphate and ammonium

B

lauryl sulphate with milder, coconut-derived alternatives,” advises Dr Jackson. “Cocamidopropyl betaine seems to be the favourite among brands.” No one wants a mouldy shampoo Without chemical preservatives, bacteria would have a party in your products. Parabens are preservatives that are regularly on free-from lists. Why? Because several are potential skin irritants and hormone disruptors, and people have heard enough to play it safe. The same concerns also surround phthalates, used to improve products’ pliability and extend scent. Glossy hair equals healthy hair, right? Wrong. As mentioned, silicones are great for faking gloss, but they also act as a barrier to any real nourishment. “My advice?” says Dr Jackson. “Cut them out.” But if (like two thirds

THE FULL PACKAGE B

Save the planet with your hair haul ➤ LUSH is setting the eco-friendly bar high, with its package-free shampoo bars, 100% postconsumerrecycled bottles and paper, plus a free face mask for every five large empty pots you return. ➤ The new L’OREAL PROFESSIONNEL SOURCE ESSENTIAL range (aside

from having pretty petals floating in it) comes in square stackable bottles to minimise packaging during shipping. The company has committed to all their plastic being fully recyclable by 2025. ➤ WINDLE & MOODIE salon in London will refill customers’ empties for a 30% discount.

➤ Look out for the limitededition HEAD & SHOULDERS bottles in store from next month, made with up to 20% plastic washed up on beaches. Owner P&G pledges that 90% of its haircare bottles in Europe will be made of up to 25% recycled plastic.

of the Cosmopolitan beauty desk) your hair is fine, dry and prone to knots, you’ll need to get your detangling fix elsewhere. “Behentrimonium chloride [derived from rapeseed oil] is a long molecule with a positive charge at one end,” says Noughty Haircare botanical bod Jennifer Hirsch. “This means it’s attracted to the damaged parts of the hair, attaching itself where needed and bringing the charged environment back to neutral.” In layman’s terms, it forms a cuticle-smoothing film without the heavy downsides of silicone.

The big oil con You know that popular mainstream oil you’ve been smothering on for years? Check the ingredients list – see any dimethicone lurking near the top? That’s right, your ‘conditioning’ wonder oil is, in fact, silicone-based. Instead, look for ‘long-chain fatty acids’ like argan oil. “Dry, coarse or afro hair can really soak them up,” explains Dr Jackson. But that’s not to say those with fine hair can’t treat it with plantbased oils, too. “Abyssinian oil is becoming popular for finer hair, as it’s light and water-soluble so it doesn’t build up and leave hair greasy.” Give Tropic Hair Smooth Radiance Oil, £24, a go. Or ease yourself in with oil-infused haircare, such as the Tweak’d By Nature Dhatelo Restore Hair Strengthening range, from £23, with light-asyou-like dhatelo seed oil. ◆


THE FREE-FROM FOAMERS AND SMOOTHERS WE LOVE

Mother Dirt Shampoo, £13.99, and L’Oréal Paris Botanicals Fresh Care Lavender Soothing Therapy Shampoo, £7.99, use plant-based cleansers to create fabulous foam.

WORDS CASSIE POWNEY. PHOTOGRAPHS ONDREA BARBE/TRUNK ARCHIVE. STILL LIFES LUCKY IF SHARP. MOTHER DIRT AVAILABLE AT CONTENTBEAUTYWELLBEING.COM

OGX Shea Soft & Smooth Shampoo, £7.99, contains shea butter, a longchain fatty acid that coarse, curly hair will drink up. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Conditioner, £24, boasts a unique molecule that shields hair like a silicone, but doesn’t weigh it down by clinging to daily dirt.

“Synthetic doesn’t automatically mean bad”

Both Noughty Pumped Up Volumising Conditioner, £6.99, and Swell Ultimate Volume Conditioner, £28, detangle and smooth (thanks to positively charged behentrimonium chloride).

C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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INGE HAS ISSUES

Cosmopolitan’s beauty director INGEBORG EBO VAN LOTRINGEN gets some things off her chest

What’s the deal with …

Micellar every h g?

Hold up, we thought the point of micellar water was that it was, like, a no-rinse cleansing water (the clue being in the name). So what’s with all the micellar oils, foams and wipes?! Sorry, what’s a micellar again? Micelles are tiny clusters of surfactants (soapy cleansing agents) and oil droplets, traditionally suspended in a water base. They involve detergents?! Yes, but in most cases, mild ones. It’s all in the teamwork: the oil bit attracts sebum and dirt, allowing for surfactants (which lift the lot off the skin) to be gentle, as the oil’s already done half the work. Although micelles can actually be made with sulphates (skin-stripping surfactants such as sodium laureth sulphate and TEA-lauryl sulphate), so check the ingredients! Then what’s a micellar foam? It has the benefits of a micellar water (onestop gentle cleansing and make-up dissolving) without the need for cotton wool: just rub a pump or two onto your face (even over your eyes) and rinse.

And micellar oil? It’s an oil with mild surfactants in it. To be honest, that’s how most cleansing oils are formulated, so I’m not sure that ‘micellar’ isn’t just a buzzword here. Same goes for micellar cleansing milks. …Micellar wipes? Micellar-water rules apply. Be sure they don’t feature sulphates, and use sparingly: like micellar water, they do leave surfactants on the skin, and you don’t want these to build up, even if they’re ultra gentle. My advice: rinse afterwards.

PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES

G E N U I N E LY G E N T L E M I C E L L A R S

The Hero Project Micellar Mousse, £14 No cotton pads, no residue.

Nivea 0% Residue MicellAir Micellar Water, £3.99 Mild, but 0% residue is doubtful.

Decléor Aroma Cleanse Micellar Oil, £28 Rinses off to leave skin soft and clean.

Simple Kind To Skin Micellar Cleansing Wipes, £4.19 An irritant-free quick fix.

PERSONAL SHOPPER

OBSESSED

✱ Aveeno Dermexa Daily Emollient Cream, £9.99 Full of soothing oats and panthenol, it calms eczema, itchy flare-ups and heat rash for less blotchy limbs.

IMPRESSED

✱ Benefit Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation, £25.50 Yay! It’s a foundation bottle that doesn’t look boringly po-faced. And its shades match its contents: genius in its simplicity.

NON-PLUSSED

✱ Assome! Ultrasonic Technology Massager, £159 ‘Sculpts your bum with ultrasound, LED and radiofrequency.’ I’m unconvinced even the far more powerful in-clinic versions work. C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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BEAUTY LAB

Chanel D-Pol Pollution Essentiel Daily Protection Mist, t, £48 £ Can a refreshing, super-fine mist (how wever regularly applied) really y create the same pollutiontight g film as a serum or fluid? d? No, according i to some experts. But if money ney ey w were we n object (and pollution no polluti a big e en enough paranoia) anoia), noia) I would apply my yh heavy-duty y y p pollution shield first, then u use this to top up at my y desk throug ughout ug the day. y.

E tor’ pick...

Pollution protectors

It’s time to stand up to the invisible ible ble ag ager invading your skin, says Beautyy Editor inv ditor a d smo and smog dodger CASSIE POW OWNEY Y Dr. Barbara Sturm rm m Anti-Pollution o o Drops,, £105 5 This Th hy y ydrating, fast-absorb orbing rb seru ru rum contains a marin rin rine bacteria a ferment that clings to o and a deactivat an a ates cell-damaging airborne nastie ie such as the carbon ies, in car fumess and heavy metals emitted fro om o coal burning. Its price reflects th he impressive ingredients h list, butt h having to use a full pipette at a tim me means you’ll be digging m aroun un und for dregs within a month.

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· C O S M O P O L I TA N

l sun Brightening Ultrasu i-Spot And AntiAnti-S Pollution Face Fluid P Pollu SPF50+, £28 There’s no SP SPF point blocking entry to po pesky pollution then letting pe UV rays (responsible for U the majority of skin-celldamaging free radicals) step in and duff up your skin instead. Again, with such high SPF comes a slight tackiness to the skin, but if you’re down with no-frills skincare, this is one to trust.

Lavera Hydro Effect Serum, Se £19.95 W its barely-there textu With ture, great p price point, certified organic ic stamp and anti-pollution complex, this wa as looking l a hot contender. Then I spotte like tted alcohol as the second ingredient (organic, but b still alcohol). Yes, certain alcohols do h have a place in skincare (they can help to preserve other ingredients and speed up p their absorption), p but in a product p that claims to strengthen the skin’s n natural armour? I’m steering g clear.

PHOTOGRAPHS DANIELLA MIDENGE/BLAUBLUT-EDITION.COM/AUGUST IMAGE. STILL LIFES LUCKY IF SHARP P

Tmhiosnth...

B BareMinerals omplexion Ba i lls Co o l i n Rescue ense Radi dia iant Moistur riser Defense o r e SPF30, £35 A mineral-ba l based ba d SPF uickly d gives a that sinks in qu kl and mong pollution-subtle glow. Am g its tss poll coa-seed extract fighting agents is coco urm’s)) to bat u (also found in Dr. Stu ue llight ffrom your back the ageing blu S makes computer screen. The Th SPF k the h xtu slightly tacky, cky, but ut this texture h ticks k oo many box not to be my w winner.. to y boxes


WORDS JENNIFER SAVIN. ILLUSTRATION JUSTIN METZ. ADDITIONAL IMAGES FREEPIK.COM

STRETCH YOUR BODY

A N D Y O U R M I N D ...

SEE YOU AT THE BARRE First came sober raves, then the gyms that served cocktails (albeit kale ones). Now, the latest trend to hit the healthy hedonism scene is sweat crawls. Think of it like a pub crawl, but instead of floundering between bars, you hop between fitness studios. It began in New York, where SweatCon Rally saw participants hit up three studios back-to-back. While it’s yet to hit the UK, it’s easy to organise your own. Do a strength-based class first (like weightlifting), then something cardio-orientated, finishing with yoga, advises personal trainer Pennie Varvarides. Apps such as MoveGB can point you in the right direction. Now all we need is a cider-infused recovery shake. C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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Rewrite therule book Forget everything you know about diets, and embrace a kinder (and more successful) approach. Fun fact: it involves chips t’s that time of year again, when everywhere you look there’s a diet or fitness regime being touted as a way to ‘get your bikini body’. And we’re calling bullsh*t on it all. Not just the idea that you have to lose weight to fit in with someone else’s ideals (that’s crap), but also the diets themselves. Because science has now proved that what we’ve been taught in the past no longer applies. It’s actually changing your mindset, rather than what’s on your plate, that counts. Read on, and never feel guilty about that extra doughnut again.

I

1

Out with the old Hating your body as motivation In with the new Being more mindful

➤ Ever gone to a spin class because you hate your thighs (and ended up hating the instructor instead)? It won’t help your mind, or your body. Research from Syracuse University found that the more dissatisfied women are with their bodies, the more likely they are to avoid exercise. And, what’s more, even just thinking

you’re overweight could predict future weight gain. But how can you flip that mindset? Hint: it’s not by doing a crazy HIIT class, it’s by slowing down. Way down. A study, published in the Annals Of Behavioral Medicine, found that those on a weight-loss programme who received one-day mindfulness workshops not only showed greater improvements in how they rated their quality of life, but also lost more weight. So incorporate more yoga or meditation into your routine – and make sure you prioritise them just as much as the high-intensity sessions. i C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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gaining back the weight when we return to our old ways,” says Dr Lisa Orban, who deals with emotional eating issues. “Instead, identify lots of small changes.” Sir Cary Cooper, professor of psychology and health at the University of Manchester, calls this ‘habit stacking’ and says it tends to be more successful than making one huge change: “You’re more likely to stick to small, easy changes, and the confidence boost you get from making a small change often leads to another.” So swap those two sugars in your tea for one, that white pasta for brown, or rice for quinoa. Simple.

2

Out with the old Bad foods are a no-go In with the new Rewrite your rhetoric

➤ Those scaremongering headlines about eating too much sugar/ham/ potatoes aren’t doing us any favours. A study from Arizona State University in the US found we’re more likely to make unhealthy food choices when we’ve been warned not to. Participants were given positive, negative and neutral messages about foods before being offered them. Those who were warned off puddings ate 39% more of them than those who weren’t. Lead researcher Nguyen Pham says the findings suggest dieters are prone to rebellion: “Rather than leading dieters to make healthier choices, messages from the food police make

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unhealthy foods even more enticing.” Amelia Freer, author of Eat Nourish Glow, says, “Don’t label food – if you see salad as ‘good’ and chips as ‘bad’, you reinforce the idea that salad is virtuous, but boring. Chips, however, will become alluring.” Make ours a salad... with a side of chips.

3

Out with the old Overhaul everything In with the new Little tweaks, big results

➤ You know the drill: when you embark on a new regime, you set high expectations for yourself (by basically banning anything fun from your life). But our brains don’t respond so well to that. “Fad diets require drastic changes to our eating habits, which only increase the likelihood of

➤ Monday always starts well. But by Wednesday your boss has shouted at you, your foundation’s spilled all over your bag and you just need a pizza. And do you know what? That’s absolutely fine. Yep, research shows that the occasional slip-up doesn’t have to mean the end of a good run. A study by the University of Sydney found that obese mice that were fed a consistent amount of daily calories shed less weight than those given the same number of calories for five or six consecutive days, followed by unrestricted intake for up to three days. “Despite the belief that any instance of overeating can derail weight loss, our study shows that taking a break from a restricted-calorie diet could actually increase the amount of weight lost relative to the effort put in,” explains lead researcher Amanda Salis. Dr Orban explains how this thinking fits with the idea of being flexible with the rules: “Evidence shows that an ‘all or nothing’ approach is self-defeating and often leads to failure long-term. Instead, make your goals realistic and accept there will be setbacks.” Dominos it is then. ◆

WORDS MARIA LALLY. ADDITIONAL WORDS CATRIONA INNES. PHOTOGRAPHS STEVE GALLAGHER

4

Out with the old To falter is to fail In with the new Cheat days for the win


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WORDS CATRIONA INNES. PHOTOGRAPH SHUTTERSTOCK. ILLUSTRATIONS LIZZY THOMAS

ant to de-stress, and rewire your brain? You go to yoga. Need a hardcore-cardio sweat-fest? HIIT. That’s how we’ve always compartmentalised our workouts. Until now – as Equinox (the mega-expensive gym chain it costs thousands to train at) has put together a workout that combines both with its ‘HeadStrong’ class. “It trains your mind as well as your body,” says yoga expert Michael Gervais, who created the class, along with personal trainer Kai Karlstrom. “Unpredictable sequences encourage new brain connections.” Try this taster for the ultimate all-over boost…

W

HIIT Yep, it’s a thing. Celebrityfavourite gym Equinox shows us how...

Mindful 1 With your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your sides, drop into a deep squat then jump, swinging your arms upwards. 2 Land in a squat. 3 Do as many as you can in one minute, then rest for two before moving on to your next move.

STEP 1 Squat jump TARGETS Legs and glutes

EXPRESS WORKOUT


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TARGETS Nervous system and recovery 1 Stand tall with your arms outstretched in a V shape. Hold for three deep breaths. 2 Finish by lying on your back, focusing on breathing deeply into your stomach, for four minutes. You deserve this.

STEP 5 Victory pose

1 On all fours, keep your spine neutral and stretch your right arm forward and left leg back. Hold for three breaths. 2 Lower your limbs and repeat on the other side. Do five reps on each side.

STEP 3 Bird dog TARGETS Core, glutes and balance

1 Start in a press-up position, with your weight on your forearms and hands clasped. 2 Keep your body straight by engaging your core and glutes. 3 Hold for three minutes. This might seem impossible at first, but build up slowly and you will get there.

STEP 4 Forearm plank TARGETS Core

TARGETS Shoulders, legs, core and neuroplasticity 1 With your legs wide apart, shift into a side lunge and reach your hands up, down or to the side. 2 Alternating sides, reach your arms in different directions, varying the speed, for three minutes.

STEP 2 Lateral weight shift


Trousers, £145, Hanro

Sweatshirt, £75, Carhartt WIP

VARLEY S/S 18

Socks, £17.11, Stance

Bumbag, £20, New Balance

THROW SHADE Give yourself a sugar rush in sweet pastel colours (because apparently Haribo aren’t a health food)

Top, £80, Thenorthface. co.uk

Watch, £199.99, Fitbit

Shorts, £16, Asos.com

Trainers, £75, Vans UltraRange

Top, £16.99, Tezenis

COMPILED BY SOPHIE LEEN

Yoga mat, £17.95, Adidas

Body, £25, Ellesse at Jdsports.co.uk

‘Alight 3’ bike, £369, Liv Cycling

Flipflops, £24, Gandys

Top, £60, Sweaty Betty

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WORDS AMY BANNERMAN. PHOTOGRAPHS LEO ACKER. *HEIGHT-WISE, BUSINESS INSIDER UK

SOMETIMES IT’S WHAT’S ON THE OUTSIDE THAT COUNTS

FOAM PARTY

What did the ’90s give us? Take That covered in spray cream, dummy necklaces worn by people who weren’t babies, inflatable furniture, furry picture frames and men in their pants. So many men in their pants. Thankfully, some of these have been left behind, but some are back for good (see what we did there?). These ultra-comfy Tommy Hilfiger platform sandals will make you around 7cm taller, and given 50% of people in the UK are classed as petite,* this adds up to more opportunities for kissing tall people. At the time of going to press, we were still waiting for Pop-Tarts to be hailed as an acceptable breakfast choice. Sandals, £60, Tommy Hilfiger at Schuh

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Dress, £229, Hobbs. Earrings, £14, Claire’s. Shoes, £42, Faith at Debenhams

A

budding romance Looking for a new way to wear florals? Summer’s freshest prints are going to sweep you off your feet all over again

Senior Fashion Editor SAIREY STEMP Photographer SAM COPELAND


Trousers, £1155,, Otto D’ame

Sunglasses, £159, Kate Spade New York

Dress, £225, Reiss

Bikini top, £15; briefs, £8, Monki

SHOP ME NOW

Swimsuit, £79, Bimba Y Lola

Watch, £95, Olivia Burton

Dress, £55, V by Very Unique at Very.co.uk

Shirt, £85, Gant Shoes, £395, Mother Of Pearl

Graphic & bold

Top, £65, Bimba Y Lola

Watch, £225, Guess Collection

Want to stand out at a summer wedding or party? Your solo interpretive dance to Livin’ On A Prayer: wrong. Wearing one of these striking statement prints: so right

Shorts, £35, Monsoon

Trousers, £54.90, Wearethought.com

Necklace, £7, Claire’s

Psst... Dresses over trousers made a runway comeback this season. Layer your floral number over jeans for a modern urban look.

Ring, £75, Pandora

Swimsuit, £19.99, H&M

Trousers, £75, Boden

Boots, £53, Find at Amazon. co.uk/find Watch, £229, Kate Spade New York at H Samuel i

Robe, £14.99, Lindex

Dress, £49, Topshop

Dress, £595, Mother Of Pearl

Jacket, £59, Joules

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Shirt, £28, Dorothy Perkins

Earrings, £88, Kate Spade New York

Swimsuit, £59, Guess

Shirt, £25, Red Herring at Debenhams

Shirt, £69.95, The Oxford Shirt Company

Dress, £163, Suncoo

Kimono, £115, Verry Kerry

Shoes, £395, Mother Of Pearl

English eccentric Top, £145, Dagnylondon.com

Sunglasses, £175, Orla Kiely

Bag, £25, Oasis

Blouse, £350, Mother Of Pearl

Trousers, £55, Monsoon Robe, £69, Intimissimi

· C O S M O P O L I TA N

Skirt, £99, Début at Debenhams

Earrings, £100, Pandora

Trainers, £65, Seavees.com

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Shoes, £245, Kate Spade New York

Reasons to thank Gucci’s Alessandro Michele: 1) For returning Deirdre Barlow to eyewearicon status. 2) For beautiful country-garden prints blooming all over your high street Psst… The rules are: there are no rules. Wear a print shirt under a clashing print jacket, or an embellished shoe with a pair of boldly floral trousers. Shrinking violets: it’s time to be brave.

Trousers, £385, McQ by Alexander McQueen at Coggles.com

Blouse, £45, Michelle Keegan for Very.co.uk


Jacket, £239; trousers, £155, both Otto D’ame. T-shirt, £14.95, Gap. Earrings, £60, Kate Spade New York. Necklace, £150, Mirabelle. Rings, from £55 each, Pandora i


Jacket, £36, Topshop. Jumpsuit, £59, Urban Outfitters. Earrings, £8.99, H&M. Ring, £45, Adore. Shoes, £135, Dr Martens


Playsuit, £45, V by Very.co.uk

Playsuit, £275, LoveShackFancy

Dress, £139, Plümo

Dress, £209, £ 09 Claudie Pierlot

Dress, £343, Isabel Marant Etoile at Coggles.com

Shoes, £25.99, Zara

Top, £149, Whistles

Dress, £215, Essentiel Antwerp at Irisfashion.co.uk

Ditsy

Top, £95, Gant

Sweeter than icing and prettier than a Lily James-Zoë Kravitz hybrid, these florals punch way above their weight. Add boots for a festival uniform to out-Moss La Moss

Playsuit, £140, Forloveand lemons.com

Watch, £92, Olivia Burton Dress, £30, Miss Selfridge

Boots, £135, Dr Martens at Office

Psst... Pair these prints with a utilitarian or masculine outer layer to get a head start on one of autumn’s biggest trends.

Ring, £80, Pandora Dress, £69, Studio By Preen at Debenhams

Bikini top, £24; bottoms, £22, Floozie By Frost French at Debenhams

Bandeau top, £22, Urban Outfitters

Skirt, £395, Mother Of Pearl i

Skirt, £29, Topshop

Dresss, £290, 0, Sandro o

Trainers, £54, Bensimon.com

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Dress, £25, Monki

Dress, £45, V by Very Unique at Very.co.uk

Earrings, £105, Brooks Brothers

Shirt, £239, Sandro

Sunglasses, £175, Paredeyewear.com Top, £22, H! by Henry Holland at Debenhams Swimsuit, £42, Floozie By Frost French at Debenhams

Shirt, £69, People Tree

Sunglasses, £125, Orla Kiely

Top, £92, Intropia

Retro

Top, £125, Essentiel Antwerp

The ’60s gave us space travel, George Clooney and the spirit of flower power that’s filtered down into these summer beauties. Best trio since the Sugababes… Psst... Retro prints like these can feel a little full-on, so try picking one piece and layering it up with frayed denim and a simple white shirt or tee.

Skirt, £32, Topshop

Socks, £9.95, Happy Socks Sandals, £25.99, Zara Bag, £59, Plümo

Earrings, £40, Olivia Burton at Ernest Jones

Bikini, £40, Lands’ End

Dress, £38, River Island

Shoes, £130, Ted Baker Shirt, £260, Sandro

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· C O S M O P O L I TA N

Dress, £42, Topshop


Tank top, £390; shirt, £227, both Markus Lupfer. Shorts, £150, Agolde. Sunglasses, £12, Asos.com ◆ Model Jasmine Hussain at Elite Model Management. Hair Liam Curran at Carol Hayes Management, using L’Oréal Professionnel and Tangle Teezer. Make-up Megumi Matsuno, using Elemis. Fashion assistants Maddy Alford, Alice Seer. Photographer’s assistant Sami Weller


HEY, HOW DO IDungarees? WEAR… Yes, your childhood favourite is back

3 THE EXTRAS

Dungarees comprise 80% of your outfit, so make your accessories count. Hats are a great way to personalise the look – baker-boy styles and berets feel current. Statement earrings and sunglasses will also make your dungas look more considered, less KwikFit.

1 WHY IT WORKS

According to Pinterest, ‘saves’ for dungarees are up by 25% in the last year – they’ve been papped on everyone from Sofia Richie to Selena Gomez, and have cropped up on catwalks such as Moschino and Tommy Hilfiger. Chances are, you’re going to want a pair of these babies.

4 WEAR WITH

2 PICK A PAIR

Smart fabrics – think wool blends or velvet – look more polished and grown-up. Finish with a patent block-heeled ankle boot, or some platforms like Diane’s for added smartness. Or if tomboy casual is more your vibe, baggy vintage denim pairs ooze the cool factor, and tough workwear styles feed into the street/skate trend.

Diane Kruger

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· C O S M O P O L I TA N

Knits or structured blouses layer well under more tailored pairs, while slouchier styles can be topped off with a hoodie or logo tee. Skintight ’70s dungarees can even be worn on their own, without a tee, for the ultimate sexy summer look (provided you can adjust the straps so the bib is high enough to protect your modesty, of course).


4 BOY’S OWN

No one does dungarees better than heritage workwear brands like Carhartt WIP and Dickies, who have been perfecting them for decades and build them to last. Brown, black or pinstriped pairs look effortless with a hoodie underneath and trainers. Throw on gold chains and sunglasses to add polish. Dungarees, £120, Carhartt WIP. Top, £50, Diesel. Sunglasses, £45, Quay. Phone case, £25, Urban sophistication.boutique. Watch, £76, Swatch. Trainers, £80, Adidas at Schuh

PSST...

Turn up hems to show off fashion acumen in sporty socks.

Thora Valdimars

WORDS AND STYLING MADDY ALFORD. PHOTOGRAPHS REX FEATURES, GETTY IMAGES, SGP/VANTAGENEWS.COM, PIXELATE

4 GRUNGE GIRL

To pull off baggy, battered dungarees, you’ve got to embrace grunge. Clunky sandals or boots, plaid shirts and bandanas are all winners. For a flattering fit, choose a pair that doesn’t have more than two to three inches of excess fabric around your thigh. Cut jagged hems at the bottom of the legs to personalise, like model Imaan Hammam. Smells like teen spirit, indeed. Shirt, £58, Abercrombie & Fitch. Top, £10, Topshop. Dungarees, £120, Levi’s. Sunglasses, £45, Thomas James at Veryexclusive.co.uk. Bandana, £5, Claire’s. Sandals, £110, Dr Martens Imaan Hammam

4 ’70S VIXEN

‘Dungarees’ and ‘sexy’ might not be words that often go together, but find a pair that fit like a glove and you’ll sizzle. There won’t be room underneath for much more than a T-shirt – and even that will need to be as bodycon as your dungas. When you’re buying, sit down in them in the fitting room – if they’re even a centimetre too short in the torso, you’ll get major camel toe. Wear with some wooden clog sandals and carefree waves à la Elsa Hosk to amp up the ’70s feel.

Elsa Hosk

Dungarees, £45, V by Very.co.uk. Top, £95, Cotton Citizen at Harvey Nichols. Earrings, £59, Adore. Bag, £49, Maison De Nimes at House Of Fraser. Sandals, £159, Swedish Hasbeens

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· C O S M O P O L I TA N

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WORDS CATRIONA INNES. PHOTOGRAPHS PIXELEYES. ADDITIONAL IMAGE SHUTTERSTOCK. *BY THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

WORK SMARTER, NOT HARDER…

EXIT STRATEGIES

Bored in a meeting? Walk out. See colleagues chatting? Wade in and demand they tell you what they’re discussing. Got something important to say? Write a six-page memo and force your peers to read it – IN TOTAL SILENCE. Once upon a time these were certain ways to get yourself fired, but today? They’re the business tactics of some of the world’s greatest minds. Elon Musk walks out of comatose meetings, Jeff Bezos enforces long memos, and an unnamed PayPal executive breaks into rooms and asks what people are talking about (if it’s deemed unworthy, said meeting is cancelled). Anyone who’s endured death by PowerPoint will know they’re onto something. But what can you do to mix up meetings if your company isn’t based in Silicon Valley? Keep the guest list short, and if you can, do it standing up. Groups of fewer than 20 people get the most done (the bigger the group, the less likely we are to participate), and research* has shown that stand-up meetings are 34% shorter than sit-down ones, but produce the same solutions. Yes, it’s likely everyone will hate you a little bit – but that’s never stopped Elon Musk, has it?

C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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SELF MADE

‘Don’t just show up – compete’ ³Learn fast, move faster Starting a business from the ground up [Venus owns fitness-wear brand EleVen and design firm V Starr Interiors], there’s nothing that you don’t do. So you have to learn quickly. And educating yourself doesn’t have to mean university. It’s about getting out there and meeting people, reading all you can and understanding how other CEOs run their businesses. With a tennis game, if I lose, it’s on me – but in business, it’s my employees’ livelihoods. Now I always have a back-up option, and move forward as soon as I notice something isn’t working. ³You can always find a way When I was growing up, there was no fooling around. There was no being lazy – and that’s down to my parents. I know the power of hard work. My father’s philosophy was ‘always find a way’. [When you begin something] you might not know how you’ll finish it, but just start and believe that you will. I was taught confidence as a child. My parents told me I could do anything, so I believed them. You have to be your biggest cheerleader, and even if you aren’t, you have to fake it. To do that, you have to change the way you talk to yourself. Out loud. Say over and over that you can do it. Everyone should talk themselves up in bathroom cubicles!

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· C O S M O P O L I TA N

VENUS’S BUSINESS ESSENTIALS Book: Originals – How Non-Conformists Move The World by Adam Grant. It looks into how to change the status quo and experiment in business. Podcast: The Business Of Fashion. But I struggle to sit still even when I’m listening to something. I always want to be working. Business inspiration: Sallie Krawcheck, the CEO of Ellevest, which encourages women to invest. She’s grown her firm exponentially in the past few years, which I find so inspirational.

³Failure is your personal fuel Failure isn’t a bad thing; it’s a chance to look at yourself, and what went wrong. And there’s no one else you can blame. You can fail at something over and over again, in a different way, and that’s acceptable. But only if you’re learning from it. After a game, I evaluate everything: what my mindset was, whether it was [due to] technical mistakes, and from there I work even harder. I use it as fuel, because [if I lose] I’m really upset. ³Don’t just show up, compete In reality, you have to wake up and get out of bed, so why not make the best of it? My sister, Serena, always says you can’t just show up, you have to compete. I hate meetings and I hate emails. I don’t even like cardio that much – it hurts in the butt! But we all have to do stuff we don’t like, and once it’s done, you feel amazing. And at least if I put the work in, I can look in the mirror and say, “Hey, I didn’t succeed but I gave it my all.” It’s not about always being comfortable. If you’re comfortable, you’re a couch potato. Uncomfortable is Olympic-gold level.

AS TOLD TO CATRIONA INNES. PHOTOGRAPH ZEBE HAUPT

She’s won 11 Wimbledon titles and runs two successful businesses. VENUS WILLIAMS, 38, shows us how it’s done


The

SUCCESS MYTH

Billionaires, Nobel Prize winners and the idiot running your company. How did they do it? Will Storr reveals the only four things you need to know In the entire world, there are only 120 restaurants that have earned the highest honour of three Michelin stars.* One of them is Gordon Ramsay’s flagship on Royal Hospital Road, London, at which Clare Smyth MBE ran the pass until 2016. She opened her first solo restaurant, Core, in London last year, and was named Best Female Chef In The World this year.** Now, aged 39, Smyth has reached the top. If you’re hungry for a hot dinner, hers are the best. You might expect her to be pretty pleased with herself. “Oh, I’ve not achieved…” she trails off, when asked. “I’ve got a lot to do.” For Smyth, feeling you’ve made it is a terrible danger. “You can’t allow yourself to think that. If you don’t continue to evolve, you’ll be

gone in 10 minutes.” That’s the sound of real success. Contrary to what you might have been led to believe, the super-achievers who walk among us are not swollen with their own marvellousness, nor are they laden with IQ points. They probably weren’t even born with any particular talent. The secrets of these individuals are almost all surprising. Take, for instance, Smyth’s upbringing. In recent decades, it’s been widely believed that if children are to grow up to be successful, they need high self-esteem. That means receiving praise for everything they do, believing they’re special and being protected from failure. Were Smyth’s

parents like that? “Not at all!” she laughs. “We were very disciplined as children. We didn’t speak unless we were spoken to.” Raised in Northern Ireland, Smyth is the youngest of three children. “I used to do showjumping and, for Dad, it wasn’t good enough to win, I had to be perfect. If I made a single mistake I would’ve heard about it,” she says. None of this comes as much of a surprise to psychology professor Carol Dweck of Stanford University, who began studying the effect of praise on children in the ’90s. “This was during the height of the self-esteem movement,” she says. “Parents were told to i

“Constant feedback fuels success”

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praise their kids to the hilt, that this would give them supreme confidence and set them up for life.” In one of her studies, a group of children was asked to complete a simple IQ test. Some were told, “You’ve got a really good score. You must be really smart at this.” Others were given ‘process praise’, which concentrates on hard work, focus, improvement and perseverance, rather than the end result. “We found most of the kids who were praised for their intelligence did not want a challenge,” says Dweck. “They wanted to make sure they kept on looking smart. But the vast majority of the kids who were praised for the process wanted to try something hard that they could learn from.” Dweck believes overpraised children risk forming an unhealthy obsession with their own success. A parent who makes a constant issue of how clever their child is risks making them think cleverness is what counts more than anything. The effect is that image maintenance – rather than success in the world – becomes a priority. If a task becomes tough, and threatens a child’s feelings of superiority, they give up. “If someone praises you excessively, it often becomes almost addictive,” says Dweck. “You start defining yourself by it. The kids we praised for intelligence had these self-satisfied little smiles… but the smiles were short-lived because when we gave them a hard task, they fell apart.” Not only is self-doubt something that’s normal for high-achievers, then, but a certain amount of the right kind of it seems to be essential. As well as not being over-praised as a child, Smyth also had the fortune to work under a series of fantastic chefs. Her kitchen life began with making sandwiches at the Bayview Hotel in

Portballintrae, Northern Ireland, for £1 an hour. Next was the posher Hill Crest Country Guest House. “That’s when I started really getting into cooking,” she says. “I realised there was an amazing career to be had.” She was 15. “My chef really took me under his wing. He taught me a lot.” After her stint at Hill Crest, she trained under superstars Heston Blumenthal, Thomas Keller and the Roux brothers. She taught herself French just to get a spot in the kitchen at Alain Ducasse’s three-star Le Louis XV restaurant in Monte Carlo. Throughout this period, she benefitted from a regime of constant feedback that continues today, with her dishing out the advice: “It’s funny because HR was talking about having ‘job chats’, telling people how they’re doing. But my guys get job chats every two minutes – it’s constant.” This environment of constant feedback, it turns out, is perfect for achieving success. Surprisingly, if you practise alone, it’s unlikely to actually make you better. “I sometimes use the example of playing doubles in tennis and missing an overhand volley,” says psychologist Dr K Anders Ericsson. “The game is just going to continue. It’s not like you’re getting opportunities to [stop and] make adjustments. You need that cycle of feedback, where you get a sizeable improvement.” Even more surprisingly, Ericsson has found that years of experience can also add up to not very much. “There are relatively few domains where we’ve found a correlation between more experience and higher performance,” he says. “Surgery is one, and that’s because you have very immediate feedback. But if a doctor diagnoses a patient, the patient goes away and the doctor never really learns whether or not they’ve made a mistake.”

“Seek out wise and regular criticism”

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Perhaps the most remarkable thing Ericsson has discovered – partly through studying accomplished violin players – is that natural-born talent might account for not very much. His research suggests that the difference between elite violinists and the rest was likely to be related only to the amount of practice they’d engaged in, particularly during adolescence. “Some people assumed we’d find out the really talented individuals required less practice than the others,” he says. “But what we found was completely the opposite.” So what does that mean for people who believe that, in order to succeed, you need to be born with a ‘gift’? “The issue is, do people have genes that others don’t have that would give them an advantage?” he says. This would prove there is such a thing as inherent talent. “We only have compelling evidence that genes give you an advantage in certain sports, with respect to body size and height,” he says. “People have generated data comparing the genes of competitive long-distance runners from Kenya with [athletes from other countries]. They haven’t been able to find even a single gene everyone agrees would give you an advantage. I’m taking the hard line here; I don’t know of any firm evidence that proves it’s necessary to have certain types of genes to be successful.” So you don’t need to be supremely confident and you probably don’t even have to be talented – you’re not born with these things. That counts for successful moneymakers, too. “People think entrepreneurs are born,” says Kelly Shaver, professor of entrepreneurial studies at the College of Charleston. “But they’re definitely not.” Neither is the cliché true that successful moneymakers are happy risk-takers. “They describe themselves as people who are managing risk rather than taking it,” he says. “It’s the investor who is taking the risk.” And do they do it because they love


PHOTOGRAPHS SANDRO HYAMS/THELICENSINGPROJECT.COM. *FORBES. **ELIT VODKA WORLD’S BEST FEMALE CHEF AWARD 2018

money? “They do it because it’s fun,” he says. “It’s about the game. Money is how they keep score.” What is true, though, is if your interest is strictly business, you need to focus on the positive. You’re unlikely to find yourself profiled by the Financial Times if you’re constantly dwelling on all the terrible things that might happen. Shaver’s study of the secrets of super-wealthcreators suggests that many share an inability to imagine negative outcomes. They also have an unusual attitude towards failure and blame. “There’s a pile of studies that have come to the conclusion that people run away from blame,” he says. “But not entrepreneurs. If they fail, they embrace it. They say, ‘I’m going to learn from this.’” If such a quality is abundant in a chef such as Smyth, so are two other

traits: grit and willpower. Her belief that she’s not yet achieved what she wants to suggests, says Dweck, she possesses grit – the willingness to persevere over a long period of time. Less secure people tend to find failure so unpleasant they give up. “But if you have this vision of what you’re aiming for over time,” says Dweck, “you might not be satisfied with where you are now, but you’re gratified with the progress and aiming towards more.” Willpower, meanwhile, is the shorter-term ability to push yourself to do things you might not want to. “There were times we’d work over 100 hours in a week,” says Smyth. “Sometimes I’d start at 5.15am having been to bed at 12.30am. I remember buttoning my chef’s jacket up in the morning and, because I’d been preparing langoustines, my fingers

were bleeding. I was exhausted – physically and mentally. But there’s a kind of weird enjoyment you get out of that. I was pushing myself to get to where I wanted to. I knew I could handle it, whereas a lot of other people couldn’t.” If you’re now thinking ‘Clare Smyth is a superhero, I could never be like her’, you’re making a mistake. It, of course, comes down to ‘mindset’ – and the beliefs you hold about willpower rather than some special capability lurking in your frontal lobe that will dictate how successful you’ll be. “The idea that willpower is this very limited thing that’s easily depleted is only true if you believe it,” says Dweck. “People who don’t think that, you can give them task after task – they’re like the Duracell Bunny.” The same goes for talent and cleverness – if you think you need to be born with something, and it’s something you don’t have, you’re likely to fail. Even IQ isn’t especially important. “It’s predictive of some kinds of success, but not very much,” says Dweck. “And they’re mostly things that relate to what IQ measures, like academic success.” Even then, “not greatly”. The myths about success, then, are many. And the lessons we can learn from the high achievers and the people who study them are valuable. Don’t believe the voice that says you could never do it because you lack the talent or the energy. Accept failure as an inevitable and valuable part of the learning process, not as evidence that you’ve let yourself and the universe down. Seek out wise and regular criticism. Self-belief is vital, but in a specific form. “There are two mind-sets,” says Dweck. “It’s fixed and I have it or I don’t have it, or it’s something that can be developed.” So don’t tell yourself you’re brilliant or you’re not. Reassure yourself that, if you work hard enough, then brilliant is what you’ll inevitably become. ◆ C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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Dear

LOVE She is the presenter of TV’s most famous show about relationships, but when she looks back at her own, what has she learned? Here, Caroline Flack writes an open letter to the men she’s loved, lost and found i P h o t o g r a p h s M AT T H E W E A D E S

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Dear First Crush

Boys weren’t on my radar before I saw you. But when I spotted you, sloping along the school corridor with your blond hair parted down the middle in a pair of ‘curtains’, looking like Zack from Saved By The Bell, everything changed. “WHO is that?” I whispered to my friend. A few days later, I found out. “Caroline… there’s a boy on the phone for you,” my mum said, her eyebrows raised and a smile on her face. “He’s asking to speak to the ‘girl with the red headband’.” That was me. I wore a scarlet Alice band to school every day. My heart raced: you had noticed. I should have known from that first conversation that we came from different worlds. You were from the town. I was from the village. You asked me what my favourite brand of trainers was and I was embarrassed because I didn’t even know you could buy different brands of trainers. And yet… slow-dancing with you at the school party to Madonna’s Crazy For You was the highlight of my time at school. I was so nervous that when you walked away, I swear you could see my sweaty handprints embedded in the back of your T-shirt. We used to hold hands, and at lunchtime we would walk up to the top fields together and talk, and because of that I assumed you were my boyfriend. I was naive about love, you see. I thought it was uncomplicated. I thought affections were matched, and that when a boy said he liked you, that was it. But you taught me otherwise. You might not remember how it ended but, 25 years later, I still do. We were walking down the corridor one day when you turned to me and said, “If you took a picture, it would last longer.” God, that hurt. I never saw it coming. I couldn’t understand what had changed – only that

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everything had. After that, we barely spoke again. Yours was the first name I ever wrote on a desk and you were the first person to make me appreciate the power of love songs. (Gloria Estefan, it turned out, was the bard of teenage angst. I played her song Can’t Stay Away From You on repeat for about two months.) When I closed my eyes in bed at night, I’d think, ‘One day he’ll come back.’ And then, three years later, you did. But not because you wanted to. I was dating your friend and I guess you had a point to prove. You came to me holding a teddy bear as a gift and, just like that, I took you back. But it wasn’t the same. The intensity had gone. The purity of emotion that I had first felt was polluted now. I knew you were by my side out of jealousy rather than because you wanted to be there. We lasted a month. As a 13-year-old, I believed love was simple. Girl likes boy. Boy… well, doesn’t always feel exactly the same way about girl. You taught me that, and it was a lesson I would learn again and again.

“I took you back… but it wasn’t the same”

Dear Older Guy I was 17, you were 34, and the minute my mum caught wind of your age, she warned me to steer clear. But it was the early noughties; Cambridge. Life was about work and play. I was there for dance school, you ran your own company. You swaggered over one night in the local club, introduced yourself and bam! I was hooked. Not everyone approved of you, and so dating was problematic. Do you remember

how I used to climb out of my bedroom window at night just to meet you and then climb back through again to get home? It’s the first time I had experienced a real grown-up relationship. You would open car doors for me. You could hold a conversation with just about anyone. Sometimes I wished I was older so that our relationship made more sense to you. You see, I wanted more than you could give me. You told me one night, as honest as the day is long, “Caroline, this is fun but I can’t offer you what you want at the minute.” I nodded and smiled like I was OK with that. But I wasn’t. Not really. Your friend, the one with the big shoulders, used to say to me, “If I was your boyfriend, I’d treat you better than he does.” I sometimes suspected he was right. In the end you got back with your ex. I was hurt, of course, but then you two had so much history together that I could never compete. But I didn’t hate you for it, not for one minute, because you were always honest. For you, love was uncomplicated – age had taught you that. But for me there was still a lot to learn.

Dear Right Man, Wrong Time I didn’t come looking for you. But you definitely came looking for me. You were ‘the friend with the big shoulders’, the one who said you’d treat me well. I was vulnerable after the break-up and there you were, always around. Always lovely. I was resistant to getting into a relationship at first, but you pursued me. And I’ll be honest, it was nice to be pursued. You were the first man I took to meet my family. They adored you straight away and, before I knew it, i

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T-SHIRT, CAROLINE FLACK X RIVER ISLAND. SKIRT, URBAN OUTFITTERS. EARRINGS, ADORE

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I adored you, too. You looked after me just as you said you would. You were kind. You taught me how to drive. You loved me so completely that years passed before I looked up to see that the world had moved on without me. Friends from dance school were moving out and up. They were getting jobs in the West End and on Top Of The Pops while I was folding Baby-gros in a shop. London was calling me. If I wanted to make it as a dancer, it was where I needed to be. I asked you to move with me but, deep down, I knew you’d never leave. You had a big career of your own. “Go to London,” you said. “We’ll make it work because I’ll never change the way I feel about you.” You drove me all the way there with my bags piled high in the boot of your car. But the minute you drove away I knew something had changed. I wonder if you felt it too. Being a 20-year-old woman, living in a house full of girls, with the capital at her feet, I realised what I really wanted was to be free. And that meant no longer being with you. Ours wasn’t a simple break-up – it couldn’t have been. There was still so much love left in it for it to have been anything other than long and drawn-out. Eventually I ended it, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Heartbreak without rejection… I often think it’s more devastating. I cut all ties with the life we’d built together. It was too painful not to. I didn’t want to look back into your life ever again because if you look, you find, and if I found, I wasn’t sure I could deal with it. But I did see you again. Many years later, I was presenting on stage at a music festival and you walked past… a ghost in the crowd. My heart banged so hard against my chest

“Time wears down the jags and pain of heartbreak”

it felt like the whole world could hear. But I didn’t go looking for you afterwards. Some ghosts are best left undisturbed. I often think about our relationship and how badly it ended. But then, not so long ago, I heard you got married. Time wears down the jags of heartbreak, and with it all the associated pain, and to hear that you were happy made me feel only… joy. So much so that I wrote to you. I didn’t say a lot – there wasn’t a huge amount to say, only “Thank you. I’m so glad you’re happy.”

Dear Random Men Of My Twenties Oh, you were an odd bunch – all so different, so fun and so complex in your own ways. There was the pop star who only had one single. You were lovely... for a minute. I will never forget the ‘walk of shame’ from your flat to the underground station in nothing but a catsuit and heels, and then getting my heel stuck in the crevasse of the escalators in front of the morning commuters for what felt like an eternity! Then there was the lawyer, whose name I changed in my phone to ‘Don’t answer’. I’m sorry, but you wouldn’t stop calling and what else was I supposed to do? And how could I forget Mr I’ll Agree With Everything You Say? You know the real reason I would change my mind about everything all the time? To see if you would change yours, too. You did. Every time. If you had disagreed with me for once, it might have lasted longer. But do I regret meeting any of you? Not a jot. You were part of what makes London so great – this big mix of people from different corners

of the world all bumping up against one another. Each one of you tested my boundaries, my patience and what I was searching for in a partner.

Dear Mr Complicated

I was never what you wanted, let’s be honest. You had just come out of a big relationship, and the truth is I wasn’t sure you’d ever got over it. But I was 24 and impressed. You were much older. Sophisticated. Wiser… or so I thought. But the warning signs were there from the beginning. Like the way you would only ever come over to the house I shared with six other girls, even though you lived in your own beautiful house all alone. Or the way you would tell me about the colour of your ex’s eyes, your whole face lighting up every time you talked about her. I could never quite shake her presence out of our relationship and I knew, deep down, that I could never measure up. The problem was I was besotted with you. None of my friends could understand it, of course, but I did. I suppose it was because I knew I could never really have you. But then you started to get weird. Like the time you finally invited me round and we had to sit in the garden while you stroked a piece of string that was attached to your dead cat who was buried in the garden. (I thought it was a sign you were sensitive, my sister thought you were odd.) Your behaviour became strangely controlling, too – though I was too naive to notice it at the time. You would demand I wore my hair a certain way, berate the way I looked and make me feel bad about how little money I was earning. You made me feel pretty worthless a lot of the time, particularly towards the end. The irony of course is that you dumped me! But the good news is I got over you very, very quickly… i C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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DRESS, SUNSHINE SOUL. SHOES, TED BAKER. AS TOLD TO FARRAH STORR. FASHION DIRECTOR AMY BANNERMAN. FASHION ASSISTANT MADDY ALFORD. HAIR AARON CARLO AT FRANK AGENCY, USING TRESEMME. MAKE-UP AND NAILS CHRISTIAN VERMAAK, USING MAC COSMETICS AND EYLURE

Dear Big Heartbreak Oh, boy. You were the big one. You were the one who knocked me sideways. You were the one who left me unable to get out of bed in the morning. You were the one where the heartbreak was so crippling, I felt as though my entire body had been covered in clingfilm and I couldn’t even move. You were the one who changed the colour of everything for the longest time. I should have known early on. After our first date, it took you three weeks to reply to my text. In fact, if I hadn’t planned a second date, I’m not sure you would have ever got your act together. But I’m glad I did it. Because afterwards, that was it – we stayed together for three years. Those years were golden – you were so warm and kind and a bit of wally. Just like me. I thought we might be forever, and then one day it all changed. You got a job abroad. I’d been here before – so I took a risk and ended it, thinking you would change your mind and stay if ‘we’ were on the line. It was a threat – a way to test your love. And it was stupid. You agreed it was over and, just like that, you flew out of my life. But I never stopped thinking about you. I convinced myself that if I waited long enough, you would come back. I was like Ryan Gosling in The Notebook. I tried everything to get over you. I remember googling ‘How to get over heartbreak’ and then, when that didn’t work, ‘Can you die from heartbreak?’ Social media meant I knew all about your life and the many women who entered it – mainly platonic as it turned out, but it didn’t stop me hurting. It was like death by a thousand cuts. But the funny thing is you didn’t let me go completely, did you? I would hear through the grapevine that you

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still loved me and then, when you came back, we would bump into one another at parties and you would lean over and whisper maddening things, like the fact you’d never met anyone else. I was so confused. I used to listen to that song Gravity by Sara Bareilles on repeat. I remember there was this line in it: ‘You hold me without touch, you keep me without chains...’ and I used to think that was like us. That was the power you had over me back then. In the end, it was my friends who picked me up – because isn’t it always the women in your life who rescue you from the men in your life? They whisked me away to America on a girls’ trip, and out there something magical happened. I got over you. I grew. I changed. The possibility that I might move on and meet someone new felt real. Until the moment I touched back down in London and there you were, telling me you wanted to give it another go. Why did I take you back? It’s a good question. I look back now and want to slap myself for wasting two of the best years of my life crying over you. But pride is a powerful thing. The relationship was no longer about you, but more about proving a point to myself. This time around our relationship was about conquest, not love. And, because of that, it didn’t work. We faded out quickly. It was so odd because finally you were back where I had always wanted you and yet I just didn’t feel the same any more. I was 31. I was excited about what my third decade had in store for me. I wasn’t scared about being alone as I had been in my twenties. If I didn’t meet anyone then I was OK with that. But it took getting over you for me to see the strength I had.

“Isn’t it always the women in your life who rescue you?”

Dear Men Of My Thirties I dated friends and I dated younger men and I dated men who were hopelessly inappropriate and it was all… fun. (Cougarlife. com even offered me a heap of money to be the face of its website! And yes, I said no.) Dating as a thirtysomething woman felt more powerful than dating in my twenties – and all you guys made me see that. By your thirties, you’ve survived heartbreak, you’ve survived long, messy relationships, you’ve survived unrequited love and maddening love that leaves you tired and confused and willing to give it all up. Those are important things to have gone through and survived. Endings are different in your thirties, too. I remember calling time on one relationship and then seeing the woman he had chosen to settle down with instead of me. And here was the best bit: I didn’t feel sad or empty. I felt only happiness for them both. I looked at her and understood completely why they worked where we never could. That’s how break-ups in your thirties differ from break-ups in your twenties. The pain mellows very quickly.

Dear Best Mate Everyone thought we should be together. I mean literally everyone. Do you remember how we met and within minutes were laughing like old mates? Being with you was as easy as breathing. We both had the same fun outlook on life and we were always, always on the same page about pretty much everything. I don’t think we ever had a serious


CELEBRITY

Dear Husband-To-Be

conversation about anything at all, except perhaps when we were talking about our love lives. Even our parents thought we were a great match. Did I wish we were together

back then? No. But if we had had those feelings for one another, we would have been perfect together. The problem with love is that you can’t force feelings.

I’d been single for three years before I met you. And, to be honest, I wasn’t sure I had room in my life for anyone new. I wasn’t scared of being single on my 40th birthday in the same way I was on my 30th birthday. I was good at being by myself. I saw you on TV before we’d even met. ‘WHO is that guy?’ I texted my friend. ‘Oh, some man who was on The Apprentice, I think,’ she replied. I followed you on Instagram and you followed me back with the simple, emotionless line: ‘Thanks for the support.’ (I now know, of course, it took you hours to come up with that!) It made me laugh so I gave you my number. A few days later, we met. People talk about meeting someone and feeling as though you’ve known them your whole life. That’s what it felt like when I met you. I’ll never forget seeing you walk into the restaurant – tall, with a smile 10 miles wide, not just for me but for everyone in there. Talking to you was effortless. There were no first-date nerves – just two people laughing and getting to know each other until the early hours. It was how all first dates should be. Two days later, you turned up at my door with a teddy bear from Harrods, just like my first crush all those years ago. And, well, you’ve never left. We laugh until we cry. I’ve never had that before – with anyone. Every other relationship I’ve had has only been about love, but with you it’s about friendship, too. It’s what I’ve been looking for. My life was complete before you came into it – a man doesn’t complete your life. But I wanted to make room in it for you. I look at you and I think, ‘Yes, Andrew, you’re the one I’ve been waiting for.’ ◆ C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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Supermodels, high-net-worth players and lots of female-only group sex. Sofia Tindall gets tangled up in the world of upscale pleasure parties… i

Inside the UK’s most powerful orgy


here are five girls writhing on a bed. Reflected in the floor-toceiling glass window overlooking the Thames, I watch as a brunette goes down on a blonde. The rest? Very hard to decipher. It turns out that the logistics of an orgy are… complicated. A hand reaches up to grab a breast, a pair of glistening thighs collide, and the long hair of all participants is proving to be a problem. One girl looks panicked – her hair is stuck under the buttocks of another. She keeps tugging at it, unable to free herself. I’m on the side-lines, tepid glass of champagne in hand, making small talk, pretending the girl splayed beside me isn’t in the throes of an orgasm. “So do you come to these things a lot?” I venture, conversationally. Another rising crescendo of moans. “Sorry?” “SO DO YOU...” “OH GOD, YES!” “…COME TO THESE THINGS OFTEN?” It’s a Baltic Saturday night. While my friends are having identical conversations over the pounding decibels of a sticky bar in south London, I’m at a sex party. In the upscale porno unravelling around me, the obvious absence (other than of clothes) is of men. It’s strictly women only. Women, who I find out later on, tend to describe themselves as straight. I’m a bit vanilla for this. My idea of a wild Saturday night is less Eyes Wide Shut, more eyes literally shut (by 9pm). But then I met Joanna.* We matched on Tinder (my settings are both male

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and female) and our first date was spent on the Mayfair rooftop of one of her friend’s houses. She wore leather trousers and smelled of jasmine. We got on. We flirted a little. After two drinks, she suggested that next time we met it should be with her friends. I’m thinking cocktails, maybe dancing. At this point I knew that Joanna was wealthy. And with that, of course, came a degree of power. Learning that she’s one of the most prolific orgy organisers in London? That came next.

Friends with benefits

Two days later, I am added to an innocent-enough-looking WhatsApp group. Or so I thought, until I opened it on the Tube during rush hour to see

three nudes of a cosmetically enhanced dominatrix. As I grappled to conceal the breasts from the interested suit next to me, I realised I’d been invited into no ordinary circle of girls. “Joanna chooses girls she likes from Bumble and Tinder and adds them to the WhatsApp group,” explained Stella,* a 25-year-old PhD student. I wanted to know what I’d got myself into, so I privately messaged her and we met at hers, where she declined wine and instead lit up a joint. She was vague at first, referring to those in the group as Joanna’s ‘friends’, before adding casually... “And when she’s in London, she organises parties with them.” Stella has been to five of these parties. “My first experience was


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proclivity for international jet-setting. A scroll through her Instagram feed reveals a stylish thirtysomething who attends Core Collective classes and posts idealistic shots of her married life to a silver-fox husband (more on him later). But there’s only so much social-media stalking I can do. To find out more, I have to delve headfirst into her mysterious world.

Inside the female frat house

“There were women having sex everywhere, aggressively coming on to me…” overwhelming,” she tells me. “There were women having sex everywhere, aggressively coming on to me… it was like a female frat party.” So why keep going? “I have crippling social anxiety, and was lonely when I first moved to London. I met Joanna on Tinder and got caught up in her world.” I get it. Even after one meeting with Joanna, I’m intrigued by her. I’ve listened twice to a voicemail she left on my phone just after we matched. “Hey,” she coos. “I’m on the beach. Looking forward to coming back to London, to dancing and cocktails…” Somehow her attention feels intoxicating. But, of course, I’m nothing special – just another one of Joanna’s recruits. Everyone I spoke to for this feature

had met her in a similar way – through a dating app or online. And we look similar, too: on the Gen Z end of the scale, with the same kind of body type and looks. Most are also very rich, their homes providing the party venues: Belgravia mansions, glass apartments overlooking the river and smart Notting Hill addresses. It seems that all the 50 women on the group also had dates with her, where she vetted us to see if we’d fit in. When we spoke, she seemed impressed by the fact I am ex-boarding school and that I almost trained as a classical singer. Essentially, it seems as though Joanna’s type is a younger version of herself. She’s an Oxbridge graduate and financial consultant with a

The party I’m invited to begins at 8.30pm. There’s no door charge, but it is BYOB – among other rules that I’m sent in the lead-up to the party, ranging from the practical (no heels in the apartment) to the absurd (giving the doorman your name for the ‘bridal shower’). The location is a dimly lit fishbowl 10 floors up that surveys a panorama of the city and is filled with about 30 women who all look like they’ve stepped straight off the Victoria’s Secret catwalk. Most of the crowd here are in heterosexual relationships. There’s 23-year-old Jenny* who is married (“I’m as lesbian as I can be considering I have a husband”) and Lottie Moss lookalike Annie,* whose boyfriend is “totally OK” with her coming to these events. Even the apartment we’re in belongs to the CEO boyfriend of one of the attendees, who is notably absent. Katja,* 26, comes along to parties like this to escape the male-orientated, jeering world of investment banking. “I’m curious – I’ve never even kissed a girl, but it’s so nice to be here. When you go to meetings and there are two women and 10 men, it’s too much.” It seems she’s looking less to indulge her Sapphic side, and more to find female friendships. At 10pm, Joanna arrives to a flurry of greetings. Here, she has celebrity status – enhanced by the fact she arrives with a 6ft blonde supermodel in tow. Her presence seems to signal that the real party is about to begin – so far there’s been a bit of light groping and some illicit snogging in i C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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the corner. Shortly after Joanna’s arrival, a girl runs past me, giggling. “Will someone lick my friend please?” she shouts. “She’s wet.” It’s at midnight that I encounter my first orgy. I watch as on one bed, a girl sprays champagne over the sculpted rear of a Pilates teacher. On another, there’s a tangle of limbs. Kanye West blasts out, and, in the darkness, the only discernible faces are those illuminated by screens. All of this is being filmed. At other sex parties – ticketed ones – phones are banned. Some of the women here have experienced both – there’s the globally organised Skirt Club, which holds girls-only events in upmarket nightclubs, while another tells me she went to a party similar to Joanna’s held privately in Berlin. They say the crowd at those parties is older, whereas everyone here is a millennial living their life online. Via our WhatsApp group, I can see exactly what’s going on in the other rooms. In the bathroom, Joanna is filming a girl dancing. And, through my screen, I can watch the pile of girls in front of me, none of them paying attention to the cluster of iPhones hovering over them. I find Stella and ask what happens to the images. She shrugs. “I don’t think anyone here would share it outside of the group. But I don’t know them all personally…” Growing up, I was raised with dire warnings about strangers on the internet – but we were taught to expect grooming by creepy old men, not young, beautiful blondes. And despite what Joanna or Stella may say, these

girls aren’t friends – they’re strangers. Strangers who, at the click of a button, could repost this footage anywhere they wanted. Something made all the more sinister when I think about the ages of the women here – most, like me, are in their mid-twenties. But that model with Joanna? Eighteen. She told me Joanna added her on Facebook a year ago, and “kept pestering” her to come along. Another woman, Flora,* now 23, said she’d been coming since she was 17. Suddenly nothing about the party seems sexy at all, so I make my excuses and leave. No one says goodbye.

“Suddenly nothing about this is sexy”

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After-party

I step outside, and into the Uber that’s here to courier me back to normality. “What have you been up to tonight?” the driver asks. Too shattered to lie, I tell him the truth – and, predictably enough, he doesn’t shut up about it for the entire journey. That’s when it hits me: the glamour, the lingerie, the ‘straight’ girls – and the cameras. In some ways, this all feels like a performance: one that’s all about the

most common male fantasy of all. A fantasy that Joanna has orchestrated, with one person in mind… “Joanna and her husband have an arrangement,” Stella had told me. “She’s allowed to sleep with women, and so is he… but she chooses them.” I thought of her at the party, and realised I hadn’t seen her engage in anything sexual at all. Stella tells me this is common – Joanna always shows up with a new woman and, after an hour or so, leaves with her. Where they go, no one knows. Tonight she left with the 18-year-old model. Is she just a modern-day madam for her husband? I’m not sure. There’s been an explosion of femaleonly sex parties of late – as women decide to spend their disposable income on their fantasies, in the way men have been doing for decades. That element of the party is fine. What I found intriguing and a little saddening was how vulnerable so many women there appeared – lonely, or tired of men ogling them. They all seemed to need the attention Joanna was giving them. Since that night, she has kept in touch, sending compliments and invites. There’s one I receive that Joanna says she can’t make. “I’ll be in Sydney,” she types. “But,” she winks from thousands of miles away, “I’ll be watching.” ◆ BEHIND THE SCENES

Sofia Tindall “At the end of the party, a girl asked me for my phone number. She told me that she’d really enjoyed talking to me. It was a touchingly old-fashioned way to arrange a date, given that we were surrounded by nude women.”

*NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED. PHOTOGRAPHS ALEXANDER STRAULINO/TRUNK ARCHIVE. POSED BY MODELS

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Meet the most influ Thousands of people entered and voted in Cosmopolitan’s 2018 Inuencer Awards, in association Wo r d s S O F I A T I N D A L L P h o t o g r a p h s S A R A H B R O W N


ential people in the UK READ

with Pandora. Here, we speak to those who won, and get their insider secrets for standing out from the crowd i

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CHARLIE WEARS SHIRT AND TROUSERS, HIS OWN. JESS WEARS TOP, H&M. TROUSERS, SAMSOE & SAMSOE. SHOES, DUNE. ESSENCE OPEN BANGLE, PANDORA. OPEN SIGNATURE BANGLE, PANDORA ROSE. RINGS, ALL PANDORA. HEART AND BEE STUDS; NECKLACE; EAR CUFF, ALL PANDORA SHINE. FREDDIE WEARS SUIT, ALICE & OLIVIA AT SHOPBOP. TRAINERS, HER OWN. EARRINGS, PANDORA SHINE FOREVER, PANDORA. SMOOTH MOMENTS BRACELET; HONEYCOMB LACE CHARM; SHINING PATH CLIP; HALO RING; NECKLACE; RAYS OF SUNSHINE PENDANT, ALL PANDORA SHINE

Gold Standard Influencer Of The Year Freddie Harrel, 30 (@freddieharrel)

After leaving her job as a digital strategist and stylist at ASOS, London-based fashion blogger Freddie Harrel redefined ‘influencer’ as ‘everythingfluencer’. Today she boasts a following of 144,000. Since launching her blog in 2013, Freddie’s founded two brands: She Unleashed (confidence coaching for women) and Big Hair No Care, which sells ethically sourced afro hair extensions. “When it comes to turning your hobby into a business, sometimes it begins by thinking of ways you could make a small income stream (it doesn’t have to start as your main one). We always think of a job as something very serious and assume that there’s no money in the things that we love doing, but you don’t know unless you bet on yourself!”

Best Travel Influencers Charlie Wild and Jess Last, both 29 (@the.travel.project)

In ‘the world’s first Instagram-powered adventure’, Jess and Charlie put their travel decisions in the hands of the Instagram community. “We have a ‘don’t go chasing waterfalls’ rule (don’t follow the likes!), because we’ve had our best experiences off the beaten track. Our advice is to do what you truly love and don’t be afraid to take chances – this will shine through in your content and the likes will follow.”


SAMANTHA WEARS TOP AND JEANS, HER OWN. SHOES, KURT GEIGER. HONEYCOMB LACE EARRINGS; NECKLACE; QUEEN BEE PENDANT, ALL PANDORA SHINE. RINGS; CHARMS; BRACELETS, ALL PANDORA. BETTINA WEARS DRESS, GHOST. SHOES, BETTINA’S OWN. LOGO SIGNATURE STUD EARRINGS; RINGS, ALL PANDORA SHINE. RINGS, PANDORA ROSE. OPEN HEART EAR CUFF, PANDORA. SOPHIE WEARS DUNGAREES, TOP AND WEDDING RING, ALL HER OWN. ESSENCE OPEN BANGLE, PANDORA. FOLLOW YOUR HEART SPACER; CHANDELIER DROPLETS RING; HEART STACKING RING, ALL PANDORA. HONEYCOMB LACE EARRINGS; WHITE WAVES MURANO GLASS CHARM, ALL PANDORA SHINE. FOLLOW YOUR HEART SPACER; MOMENTS TWO TONE BRACELET WITH PANDORA SIGNATURE CLASP, BOTH PANDORA. DAVE WEARS TOP AND JEANS, BOTH HIS OWN. SHOES, VANS. MUNROE WEARS DRESS, HOUSE OF CB. SHOES, PUBLIC DESIRE. CARLY WEARS DRESS, H&M. SUNGLASSES, MONKI. SHOES, CONVERSE. WISHBONE RINGS; SLIDING BRACELET; SIGNATURE OPEN BANGLE; HEARTS FILIGREE CHARM, ALL PANDORA ROSE. SLIDING BRACELET WITH CLIP, UK.PANDORA.NET

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Best Vlogger

Best Fashion Influencer Best Newcomers

Her tip-packed videos and addictive lifestyle vlogs have garnered Samantha 1.8m YouTube subscribers and 591,000 Instagram followers. “Vlogging takes tenacity. It’s also worth thinking about the theme of your content: are you about higher-end or more accessible style? Also: lighting is important. I use LED panels and carry a portable light, which is useful on the go!”

As a personal shopper, stylist and entrepreneur, Bettina offers her 29,000 Instagram followers the chance to shop the looks she puts together, and access some of the brands she works with. “For me, success comes from the effort and hustle you put in – it stems from a business mindset. My best Instagram trick is an app called UNUM – it allows me to curate my feed nicely, especially if I’m doing a collaboration.”

Samantha Maria, 28 (@samanthamariaofficial)

Bettina Looney, 27 (@bettinalooney)

Sophie Scott, 27, and Dave Brown, 31 (@itssophiebelle, @the_dave_monster) With just a year’s experience under their belts, YouTube couple Sophie and Dave have a loyal subscriber base of 15,000 who check in weekly for updates on their relationship. “What keeps people watching is following our journey – taking people with you from the start helps build an engaged audience. From getting a puppy to wedding planning, we share it all!”

Best Health & Wellbeing Influencer Carly Rowena, 30 (@carlyrowena)

Disruptor/ChangeMaker Of The Year

Munroe Bergdorf, 31 (@munroebergdorf) Bergdorf’s modelling career began in 2013, and she became L’Oréal’s first transgender model. She now works with Illamasqua and uses her platform to call for racial justice and equality. “What if we all used the bad things that happened to us as a way to help other people? Speak about what makes you different, and you’ll find other people who resonate with you.”

Coined the ‘girl-next-doo or’ of fitness by her followers, PT-turned-wellness-guru Carly Rowena has won over he er 405,000 YouTube and 14 49,000 , Instagram audience with her confidence-first brand off fitness. e She’s also worked with the he likes e of Adidas, Sony and Evian, and created her own program mme, Get Gorgeous Guide. “The world of fitness and health has got a bit confu using, so I try to bring it back to o basics. I never used to feel comfo ortable a e posting pictures of my fa ace, but one of my friends told me e to give it a go, so I started trying to smile and have fun… putting asside personal insecurities mad de a big g difference to my following g. When someone is taking your photo, p keep moving your body, making slight adjustments, don’t hold the pose – you’ll look more n natural and have a less fixed face e!” i

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Content Of The Year Sara Tasker, 34 (@me_and_orla)

Best Beauty Influencer

Within six months of starting her Instagram in 2014, Sara had 35,000 followers. She now runs coaching programmes for aspiring influencers. “Find your unique visual voice online – the thing that lights you up is what attracts other people. When I started, I did a 365-day project, taking a picture every day. It forces you to create when you’re not feeling creative.”

Roxi Janiszewska, 22 (@roxxsaurus)

Since starting out in 2012, Roxi’s bold make-up tutorials have garnered her 2.8m subscribers and 416,000 Instagram followers. “Bringing something new to the table gets you noticed. On YouTube, use tags while you’re uploading so that your content comes up when people search for certain words. I also like to put other YouTuber’s names in the tags so that if we’ve done similar videos, mine might come up in the sidebar next to theirs. More people see it that way.”

Celebrity Influencer Of The Year Caroline Flack, 38 (@carolineflack)

Since her first TV appearance on Bo’ Selecta! in 2002, Cosmopolitan’s cover star has earned her stripes as one of the UK’s best presenters. Her trademark honesty and authenticity has built her an Instagram following of 1.4 million. “I want people to know it’s fine not to have a perfect life, because the perfect life doesn’t exist. So I try to be real, honest and have fun.” ◆ Crafted from the highest-quality materials – sterling silver and 18-carat gold-plating – PANDORA Shine adds a timeless touch to any look and occasion. Let it illuminate your styling this season and beyond. To find out more, visit Uk.pandora.net/en

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ROXI WEARS DRESS, DEBENHAMS. SHOES, KURT GEIGER. SLIDING BRACELET; SMOOTH MOMENTS BRACELET; HONEYCOMB LACE CHARM; LINKED LOVE RING; RADIANT HEART RING; ENCHANTED CROWN RING; SIGNATURE HEARTS OF PANDORA RINGS; HEARTS OF PANDORA RING; HEARTS OF PANDORA NECKLACE, ALL PANDORA SHINE. SARA WEARS T-SHIRT, H&M. SKIRT, GHOST. SHOES AND RING, HER OWN. PANDORA ROSE WISHBONE RINGS; BANGLE; OPEN SIGNATURE BANGLE; PINK ENCHANTED CROWN RING; SIGNATURE HEARTS OF PANDORA RING; CLASSIC HEARTS OF PANDORA RING; HARMONIOUS HEARTS PENDANT; WISHBONE RINGS, ALL PANDORA ROSE. HAIR AND MAKE-UP CAMILLA AKEHURST, USING URBAN DECAY AND FUDGE HAIRCARE; CHARLOTTE GASKELL, USING MAC PRO COSMETICS AND PAUL MITCHELL; JOLANDA COETZER, USING URBAN DECAY AND PAUL MITCHELL, ALL AT LHA REPRESENTS. ALEXIS DAY USING SACHAJUAN AND CHARLOTTE TILBURY. MUNROE’S MAKE-UP BIANCA SPENCER, USING URBAN DECAY. MUNROE’S HAIR EDMUND BOSSMAN AT WIG LONDON AGENCY. NAILS TINU BELLO AT ONE REPRESENTS, USING NAILBERRY. STYLING MADDY ALFORD. PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT TARYN FRANCIS. CAROLINE PHOTOGRAPH MATTHEW EADES. CAROLINE WEARS TOP, CINQ A SEPT AT SHOPBOP. SKIRT, TOPSHOP

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THE DADDY COMPLEX READ

Stalled career, sleepless nights and a mind that’s turned to mush. What fatherhood does to a man – and why Andrew Hankinson has had enough i Photog raphs A N T O N I O P E T R O N Z I O

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I

’m sitting at a desk in Northumbria University library at 1pm on a Sunday trying to write this article. I have an office at home but I couldn’t write there because my son was downstairs vacuuming rooms that didn’t need vacuuming, the baby was wailing, and my daughter kept knocking at the door asking me to judge her fart noises. So I came here to write in peace. My wife’s at home with the kids. It’s Mother’s Day. What a chauvinist. What a sh*t husband. What a dick. I get what you’re saying, but you don’t understand. The truth is, my wife is getting the good end of this deal. She’s been away in Glasgow for two weeks attending lectures for work. She stayed in a hotel. She had breakfast alone. She had a second to think. She slept. I was here with the kids. I was at the battlefront. My day in the library? That’s the bad end of a negotiated settlement. Everything is negotiated when you’ve got three kids. Any moment alone – minutes in the shower, a phone call, putting the kettle on – has a price which must be paid. It’s like you’ve clocked on at a crappy, full-time job assisting three bosses who need everything done for them – feeding, cleaning, transport, forms, clubs, beds, bottoms, doctors – and although you’re entitled to holidays, if you take them, your boss and all your work comes with you, so you don’t bother. I’ve tried to explain this to nonparents, but they don’t understand. Why would they? I didn’t before we had kids. My wife and I used to think we’d have four children (we changed our minds after the third), great careers, foreign holidays and a life in London. All that has disappeared, leaving just three kids. People talk of it as a sacrifice, but that’s overdramatic. It’s more like you quietly sneak upstairs to smother your old life with a pillow while downstairs your kids watch Mr Tumble on the iPad.

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My point is this: me and my wife are knackered. I’m 37. She’s 35. Maybe she’s 36. I don’t know. She doesn’t care that I don’t know. Our own lives are comically irrelevant. We exist in a stupefied daze of servitude. If you see photos of us from a decade ago, we glow. Now there’s a deadness in our eyes. It’s like those photos of murderers which make you think, “Of course they were murderers, look at their faces.” That’s me and my wife. And my mind? Bad. Not good. I don’t read. I don’t have conversations. I watch TV, but crap TV, and always tensely and distracted, like I’m on lookout at a forward operating base – ‘Did you hear something? Is that the baby?’ My mind is mush. It shows in my work. If someone without kids wrote this feature, it’d be a lot better than this. I used to fizz with words and sentences and clever ways to transition from one paragraph to the next. Not any more. Then there’s the sex. Look, it’s what you’d expect from two people who’ve been together for over a decade and who haven’t had a good night’s sleep in seven years, and who sometimes have to say to each other, “Is that poo on your sleeve?” We’ve been through a lot, some of it rough, so the sex is fine, but obviously there are times that I wish she was a twentysomething dirtbag and, of course, she’d prefer that I was a hot tub filled with rugby players. We do it though, sex. Which is the problem. We don’t want more

“I exist in a stupefied daze of servitude” children. We need to recover our lives, our work, our fun, just a little. But my wife’s against an abortion, so we need to be careful, and she doesn’t want to return to the pill, or try an IUD, and neither of us is likely to be sleeping with anyone else so we don’t need STI protection. So, like a bruised boxer telling a cornerman to “Cut me, just cut me,” I booked a vasectomy. Predictably, my wife’s found the whole process hilarious. I didn’t know much about vasectomies before all this, other than they usually prevent


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pregnancy, and they hurt, but my GP printed off an information sheet and said he’d find out what the “referral pathway” was. Great. A few months later, I went to a large, multi-purpose NHS clinic in Newcastle city centre. The receptionist gave me a sticker to wear so that everyone would know why I was there. After a few minutes in the waiting room, a man in scrubs asked me to go into a room with him. He told me to pull my pants down, then he squeezed my balls. I assume he was a doctor. I’d never had my balls touched by a man.

It wasn’t great to be honest. It hurt. “Are they always that sensitive?” he asked. I said nobody had ever squeezed them like that, which he regarded as the end of the discussion. I asked if I should worry. He said not to. I will. A nurse showed me to a bed and drew the curtain. I got undressed, put on a gown, then read a text from my wife: “I think I want another baby.” See – hilarious. In the operating room there were three people: the man who’d squeezed my balls, the nurse, and a second female nurse. The doctor injected my scrotum with

a local anaesthetic. It felt like a needle being stuck in my scrotum. He cut my scrotum open. I think two cuts. I still don’t know. I haven’t looked. This wasn’t the worst bit. Next I felt him tugging, pulling, rummaging. Not in a good way. I knew from my inadequate research that he was cutting two tubes that carry sperm to the testicles. They’d said I might feel it. I did. If I had to describe it, I’d say it was unbearable. Obviously it wasn’t as bad as childbirth, a point made to me several times when I’ve mentioned the pain of a vasectomy. i C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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I accept that my agonised writhing was mere ‘manwrithing’. Concentrate on breathing. That was my preferred method. I’d seen my wife do that when I held her hand during childbirth. It worked, but the medics preferred distraction, so they asked me about my work. It felt like a stressful interview. From my answers, the second nurse realised we went to the same school. “Nice to meet you,” I said. When the cutting was over, I think she wiped my balls. The first nurse asked me my waist size. I said 36 inches. She handed me a jockstrap. It was too tight, but I didn’t want to admit I was fatter than I thought, so I forced it on. The doctor said I could leave. I got dressed and took a taxi home. My mother-in-law collected the kids from school. My wife texted to say her friend’s husband collected their kids from school a few hours after his vasectomy. I didn’t reply. The first week was awful. My balls hurt, but so did my groin and up into my abdomen. If I lay down, I had to put two pillows between my knees to avoid any pressure. If I walked, I walked like John Wayne, as my mother-in-law put it. If I sat, I manspread. If my jeans rubbed against my balls, it killed, but after a week of abstinence I was also… agitated. So I asked my wife to help me check everything still functioned. It did, which was a relief. All the guidance seemed to suggest there would be only mild discomfort for a few days, but I was still very sore after a fortnight. I looked online and wasn’t alone. Men were panicking about pain, erections, ejaculations, and even loss of length due to the nature of the stitching. I asked my wife to check my balls. She said they were black and blue. She compared them to pictures

GROOMING CASSIE STEWARD AT LHA REPRESENTS, USING MAC COSMETICS AND BUMBLE AND BUMBLE. STYLING MADDY ALFORD. SHIRT, BOOHOO MAN

“My wife has found the process hilarious”

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online and said mine seemed standard, then mentioned that she’d never asked me to check her bruised labia. Since then, things have been fine. After a month, the bruising and pain were mostly gone, though I was still tender. I could exercise, as long as I wore supportive briefs. It took about five weeks for the stitches to disappear. Now I’m waiting for the four-month mark, when I’ll have to wank into a pot and drop it off at the hospital, so they can test if the vasectomy was successful. If it wasn’t, they’ll have to do it again. My wife would love that. You might think that the best thing about a vasectomy is it frees you up to have sex without worry. I texted my wife to ask if that was the case

for her. It wasn’t. She texted back to say that the best thing about my vasectomy was the fact that it was painful. I asked her why. She replied: “The sadist in me, I guess. I feel like it’s fairer that you’ve also experienced physical pain for the sake of our family.” Long may our happy marriage continue. ◆ BEHIND THE SCENES

Andrew Hankinson “When I first became a dad, I thought it was about sleeplessness and nappies and pushing swings, but really it’s about time. You give many, many of your hours to your kids every day. It’s very hard to accept that.”


The woman doing 24/7 selfie poses The person FaceTiming everyone

The couple with no inhibitions

The ‘solo’ traveller trying to catch your eye


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The group playing VERY LOUD grime

The one pretending to read Dostoyevsky

SUMMER'S ANTI-HEROES

It’s high summer and the season’s archetypes are out in force. First, identify them. Then steer clear… i Wo r d s A M Y G R I E R

The girls who are only here for the ’Gram 99


M

aybe it’s the heat. Or the sudden blast of vitamin D. Or maybe it’s that some clever dick at Urban Outfitters HQ has reimagined a new range of ‘nostalgia’ picnicware for people to lose their sh*t over. Whatever the (highly unscientific) formula, the result is always the same: summer brings with it a whole cast of characters who will be cropping up on train platforms and in parks near you very soon. Approach at your peril…

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The MAD party guy

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The guy whose hair “CAN’T GET WET OK”

2

The self-conscious woman with a hat Whether it’s a novelty purchase from a Majorcan market (that the 80-yearold stallholder told her would go with everything) or a TK Maxx ‘find’ that someone had left by the tills – presumably because they realised

it wouldn’t go with anything – this woman is wedded to her ‘summer hat’. The problem is, when she bought ‘the hat’ she mistook the life she actually has (nine-to-five office job, summer parties that consist of a gin-in-a-tin on a neighbour’s sliver of Astroturf) for the life she wants (summer house in the Hamptons, pool parties with cabana boys). And so she finds herself trying to self-consciously style it out in

PHOTOGRAPH (PREVIOUS SPREAD) SEBASTIAN MADER/ TRUNK ARCHIVE. THIS PAGE: PHOTOGRAPH NICK ONKEN. FASHION DIRECTOR KRISTEN INGERSOLL. FASHION EDITOR JESSIE AJLUNI. FASHION ASSISTANTS VERONICA GONZALES AND GRAHAM DOYLE. HAIR EMILIANO DE

This guy was THE BOMB back in secondary school. Literally, that was his name. The. Bomb. He was the guy who threw his school dinner out of the refectory window in an act of solidarity with the Big Brother contestants who were on rations that week. People used to stop and whisper his name in the school corridors. Weirdly, not one of them has actually looked at him since 2004. He cannot understand why this is. “Summer...” he tells himself as he drifts off to sleep at night. “In the summer, I will become The Bomb again.” He goes about this by buying a giant inflatable shaped like a hot dog. Because nothing says ‘This guy doesn’t just bring the party, this guy IS the party’ like turning up to a land-locked event with a 7ft float. He takes it to pay-day drinks. People look at him. He likes this feeling. He orders a round of shots. Later, he forces the intern to snort one. When his boss intervenes, he decides now is the time to ‘stick it to the man’ and spews forth ill-formed ideas about ‘the corporation’. He doesn’t remember much after this. Apart from someone stepping over him and his deflated float saying, “Man, you really bombed.”


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May and September – mainly because they think it’s a cool thing to do. They are the ones who remind us to stay in the shade, and that modest dressing can actually be quite ‘cooling’. They would rather eat their own capes than eat on the grass, and take great pleasure in congregating in small groups inside, doing ‘indoor’ hobbies such as photo development or kombucha brewing. They are maintained by a solid core of iron smugness that comes from knowing they will age half as quickly as those cavorting around covered in petroleum jelly that smells of coconuts.

The one who “had a sick night, bro”

4 That guy on the night train home

PASQUAL, CREATIVE MANAGEMENT AT MC2 FOR KERASTASE. MAKE-UP SAGE, CREATIVE MANAGEMENT AT MC2 FOR DIOR COSMETICS. NAILS ANDREA BATTISTA, CREATIVE MANAGEMENT AT MC2. PROP STYLIST CRISTINA FORESTIERI (CONTD OVERLEAF)

The cash-strapped student on his sixth holiday

a Primark tea dress. She feels fraudulent in ‘the hat’. It is not her. It will never be her. Everyone knows ‘the hat’ is making her miserable. She can’t dance in ‘the hat’. It looks novelty with every single outfit. And yet she has now committed to it. She dreams of a time when the sun no longer shines so she can bury ‘the hat’, along with any socialmedia evidence that she ever, in fact, thought wearing it was a good idea.

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The person who is too cool for summer Identifiable by the fact they wear long-sleeved black or navy clothing, carry an antique silk fan on all forms of transport, and have been ruining summer for everyone since 1985. They ‘dread’ the three months between

At first he is funny. You titter behind your magazine as he makes polite banter with the elderly couple on their way back from a night at the open-air theatre. He is wearing the intriguing combination of smart work suit with brown leather sandals, and appears to have a bottle of gin stuffed down his pants. Soon he is bored with the old couple and moves to sit next to the mild-mannered hipster who is reading a book on bushcraft survival and wearing a hand-knitted tank top. “Oi, what’s with the tea cosy, mate?” he snarls. The entire carriage stops laughing and puts their heads down. Tumbleweed drifts through the train. He stands up, unbuttons his shirt and starts singing Tubthumping by Chumbawamba at the top of his voice. Everyone freezes. Suddenly you hear him coming your way. You search frantically for your headphones before you are saved by his phone ringing. Thankfully he spends the rest of the journey explaining to whoever is on the other end where he’s been for the past 24 hours (in a beer garden) and why he is on the 11.57pm to Ipswich when, in fact, he lives in Margate. i C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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5

The person who wears athleisure to… everything Ever get the feeling that all those people brunching along your local high street, picnicking in parks and strolling around Sainsbury’s wearing nothing but gym kit and a rosy glow couldn’t possibly have been exercising? You are correct. They haven’t. They are the members of an elite but powerful underground guerilla group designed to make you feel bad about not doing a morning Parkrun. There’s no knowing how far up this conspiracy goes: they could be employees of the Department Of Health, designed to shame the wider population into working out more (or they could just really like wearing skintight, stretchy clothes in public). We’ll never know. What we do know is that they are one of the British summer’s newest additions. Welcome, legging-clad friends! Mostly seen at weekends, they tend to operate in pairs and can be identified by their Apple watches, KeepCups, rose-gold S’well water bottles and, of course, the fact that they are wearing Nike short-shorts and racer-back tops to an evening barbecue. Everyone hates them, but they do not care, because they are so. Damn. Comfy.

...and some other people you only see from June to August

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to take them off. Because they have been to a festival. And they would really like you to ask them about it. For 310 days of the year, these people are entirely normal. Then summer hits and BAM: they are every photo taken of Kate Moss at a festival ever. They swap workwear for boho white dresses and wear Hunter wellies when it’s 32° outside. They preface normal things with the words ‘secret’, ‘forest’ or ‘silent’: not been to a forest campsite then tried silent swimming in a secret pool? WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Also, you know those people who think longer nights are an excuse to play bad acoustic guitar while sitting on old fruit crates? Yeah. Them.

The guy who hates posing for photos

6

The person who really wants you to know they have been to loads of music festivals Their right arms are like a bedpost. Except in place of notches, there are seven murky beige wristbands in various forms of decay. The ends are frayed from being repeatedly dunked in pints of Estrella, then dragged through fields of mud, yet they refuse

BEHIND THE SCENES

Amy Grier “If summer had a hype-woman, I’d be it. I love it so much I once instigated a picnic on the tarmac in my friend’s local authority block car park as her grassy garden – a few feet away – was in shade. Which, I guess, also makes me the founder of the carpark pop-up dining trend. (You’re welcome.)”

THE BARBECUE MASTER

THE OVEREXUBERANT COUPLE

THE ‘MIXING IT UP’ WORKWEAR LOT

Bill loves to barbecue. It makes him feel useful and manly. He marinades everything in ‘Bill’s secret sauce’, which is nothing more than ketchup. Average time spent waiting to see the fruits of Bill’s labour: four hours for a kebab, three for a sausage.

The very minute the temperature hits double digits, you can guarantee that this amorous pair, who you haven’t seen all winter, will be touring the country on a mission to dry-hump a metre away from every family picnic in the land.

Whether it’s the account manager in his pinstriped suit with Havaianas or the woman who thinks it’s entirely OK to wear a see-through kaftan and bikini to work if you team it with a pair of black court shoes, this person gets top marks for ‘creativity’.

THE TOPLESS MAN He is large. He is hairy. And he is very sweaty. And quite frankly he doesn’t give a damn if his stomach touches your bare arm for the entire 50 minutes of your train journey home. This man is #bodyproud – and really you should kind of love him for it. ◆

(CONTD FROM PREVIOUS PAGE) CREATIVE MANAGEMENT AT MC2. PRODUCER REBECCA SVITILA. PRODUCTION COORDINATOR KELLY GRIFFITH. WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO MONDRIAN HOTEL FOR PROVIDING LOCATION. MODELS GABRIELA AT FORD, CLAYTON AND COLE AT ELITE AND JOSE AT MC2. GABRIELA WEARS SWIMSUIT, TRIANGL. CLAYTON (LEFT) WEARS SHORTS, SOLID & STRIPED. SUNGLASSES, ETNIA BARCELONA. COLE (CENTRE) WEARS SHORTS, DESIGUAL. SUNGLASSES, ETNIA BARCELONA. BRACELET AND WATCH, COLE’S OWN. SANDALS, QUIKSILVER. JOSE (RIGHT) WEARS SHORTS, WRK. NECKLACE, JOSE’S OWN. PHOTOGRAPHS (THIS PAGE) BEN WATTS/TRUNK ARCHIVE. POSED BY MODELS

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West face The beach babe is dead. Long live the cowgirl. Yee-haw! i

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P H O T O G R A P H S Chantelle Kemkemian S T Y L I N G Saire y Stemp

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orward


s the sun sets over a dusty lawless land, the heavybooted, wild-haired silhouette of a woman strolls into town. She is sunkissed and kickass, with sand-gritted hair and lips the colour of flames. She does not bask semi-naked on our pages as previous summer beauty idols once did, their freshly waxed, oil-slicked limbs glistening in the heat. Instead, her tenacity speaks of a different kind of beauty – one that’s adventure-bound and effortless, inspiring Versace’s leather tassels and Chloé’s ditsy-print dresses. The classic Wild West woman has evolved; once saloon dancer and comedic Calamity-Jane type, now the epitome of strong femininity. She looks hot and calls the shots. So pack away your panama and dig out your bandana. Because this girl is summer. This girl is true grit. Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta, £16

Texas braid

Nailberry L’Oxygéné Nail Lacquer in Ring A Posie, £14.50

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Rimmel London Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Liner in Tiramisu, £2.99 Percy & Reed Beyond The Beach Texture Spray, £16

Sunrise smile

Essence Loose Pigments in Copper Queen, £3

Burnished orange lips on an unfussy face… serious showstopper for all skin tones. Our shoot make-up maverick, Kenneth Soh, applied a red lip crayon to the inner corners of the model’s mouth and used a soft eyeshadow brush to blur it outside the lip line for a fuller effect. Next, he patted a matte brick-brown lipstick into the centre, blending it to the corners, followed by a dab of shimmery, rusty orange powder onto the middle of the lips. “This gives the illusion of a glow,” says Soh. “Plus, it lasts longer than a liquid highlighter.” Outline the lips using a liner in the same shade as your lipstick. i Nudestix Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil in Stiletto, £24

PREVIOUS PAGE: JACKET AND RING, JESSIE WESTERN. EARRINGS, DINNY HALL. NECKLACE, PEBBLE. THIS PAGE: DRESS, TOPSHOP. EARRINGS, JESSIE WESTERN

What, this old rope? Spritz a sea-saltbased texture spray into the roots of your bedhead and blast it dry. Nexxt,, separate a section of hair off at the th crown, and then at the nape, leeaving g orr your the middle section to split fo y ur two Dutch braids (the bestt type y off hair braids, according to our shoot sh ecause the sheriff, Heath Massi, bec er tthan over strands go under rather dly on so that the detail sits proudly these h the outside). Continue to plait thes strands off the scalp, securing the ends with a snag-free band. Finally, pull them into a large, messy plait with your remaining hair, securing it only halfway down so that your ends are free to whip away pesky flies. Short-haired cowgirls, turn to page 110.


READ


READ


MAC Powder Blush in Frankly Scarlet, £19.50

Nars Blush in Taj Mahal, £24

Scorched cheeks

Obviously, you slather on your SPF daily, so recreating that I’ve-beenriding-my-horse-in-the-sun-all-day complexion will require some clever blush placement. Soh buffed two types (a matte red and a shimmery orangegold) onto our model’s cheeks, blending them up into the temples and across the eyelid. “Darker skin tones will carry off more red,” says Soh. “So don’t be afraid to dial it up for a fiery flush.” He finished by lining the orange blush halfway along the top and bottom lashes with a shader brush.

SHIRT, JESSIE WESTERN

Gold rush

The subtle ways to warm paler skin tones are ever-increasing and totally foolproof. We’ve fallen for the newest self-tan innovation from St.Tropez – a refreshing face mist that can be spritzed over make-up to hydrate on a hot day, but then develops into a sunkissed glow four to eight hours later. Soh created the model’s spattering of freckles by dipping a pointy eyeliner brush into a brow pomade and dotting it over the nose and cheeks, gently softening them with his fingertips. i

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil in Whispering Orchid, £9.99

Dior Diorshow Waterproof Cooling Eye h d wS i k in i Bronze Wave, Wave £23 Eyeshadow Stick

St.Trop opez Self Tan Pur Purity y Bronzing Water Face Mist, £22

L’Oréal Paris Bonjour Sunshine Tanned Skin Embellisher Embel i Universal, in i l, £8.99 99

Eylure Waterproof Brow Pomade in Mid Brown, £8.95

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READ

HIGHLIGHTS

Illuminators light up the beauty aisles (and our lives), but which should you catch the sun with? SKIN TONE

LIGHT TO MEDIUM Highlight with Pearly-pink and champagne shades. We recommend

SKIN TONE

MEDIUM TO OLIVE Highlight with Golden peaches.

We recommend Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Powder in Dayglow, £13

Western waves

Top-of-the-head Dutch braids can be tricky to master, so lasso a friend in to help if you can. Need to add effortless texture to straight hair? Take the dried-in salt-spray base from our ‘Texas braid’ look and just add heat. “The key is to clamp each strand of hair with a medium to large barrel tong, rubbing it in a gentle horizontal motion for 10 seconds to create a dent,” explains Massi. “Then, for the section directly below it, flip the barrel so you’re clamping the opposite side of the strand, continuing to alternate all the way down to the ends for a subtle ripple effect.” ◆

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SKIN TONE

OLIVE TO DARK Highlight with Golden to bronze.

We recommend Laura Mercier Liquid Face Illuminator in Seduction, £29

DRESS, JESSIE WESTERN. HAIR HEATH MASSI AT FRANK AGENCY, USING L’SWITCH. MAKE-UP KENNETH SOH AT FRANK AGENCY, USING MAC. NAILS LOUI-MARIE EBANKS, USING NAILS INC. MODEL ANNEKEE MOLENAAR AT VIVA MODEL MANAGEMENT

Givenchy Bouncy Highlighter in African Light Gold, £30


E N D L E S S The spirit of the ’70s lives on this season in retro sportswear, swirling prints and earthy tones. The peace and love will follow, right?


S U M M E R

F A S H I O N D I R E C T O R

Amy Bannerman P H O T O G R A P H Y

Jane Mcleish-Kelsey Jacket, £360, Isabel Marant Etoile. Trousers, £220, Dondup. Pink earrings, £30, Pebble London. Small hoop, stud and cross earrings (worn throughout), model’s own

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Top, £550, Mulberry. Bikini bottoms, £101, Made by Dawn. Sunglasses, £148, Kyme. Earrings, £6, Atika London. Bag, £69, Plümo.com. Towel, £140, Missoni Home


Shorts, around ÂŁ140, Shopredone.com. Hat, ÂŁ555, Missoni

115


T-shirt, £29.95, Weareprojectzero.org. Shorts, £218, Stella Jean. Hat, £110, Ashley Williams. Earrings, as before. Beaded earring, Marrakech Medina. Necklaces, from a selection, Pebble London

116


Top, around ÂŁ225, Tessa. Trousers, ÂŁ245, Dondup. Earrings, as before

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118


Shirt, £35, Rokit.co.uk. Swimsuit (just seen), £118, Solidandstriped. eu. Sunglasses and earrings, as before. Sandals, £495, Isabel Marant

119


Kaftan, around ÂŁ769, Pippa Holt. Hat and earrings, both Marrakech Medina. Necklaces, from a selection, Beldirugs.com. Sandals, as before

120


T-shirt, £20, Reef.eu. Trousers, £600, Mulberry. Bag, Marrakech Medina. Earrings and necklaces, as before. Towel, from a selection, Amara.com Model Tyvanni Ebuehi at Code Management. Make-up and hair Jessica Mejia at Stella Creative Artists, using Moroccanoil and Lancôme. Fashion assistant Maddy Alford. Photographer’s assistant Bee Beardsworth. Locations Atlantic morocco.com; Castlesinthesand.com. Production Aandrcreative production.com; Castlesinthesand.com

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COSMOPOLITAN PROMOTION

That gut feeling Looking to up your healthcare game? Start taking care of your gut and it’ll do the same for you. Get ready to switch on your ‘second brain’…

A

sure-fire way to navigate life’s trickier situations, we all owe a lot to gut instinct, but isn’t it time you gave your body some TLC in return for bearing the burden of your big life decisions? More than a psychological myth, studies show that gut health plays a huge role in maintaining your overall wellbeing, impacting everything from your mood to common colds. It all comes down to the bacteria that live in your gut. Research suggests that the presence of good bacteria in the gut can strengthen your immune system and help improve mental health, while a build-up of bad bacteria tends to do the opposite. With years of research under its belt, Bimuno® has developed a supplement that can be added to any drink, or sprinkled over food, to restore balance in the gut in a week. Bimuno® works by feeding and stimulating the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Unlike the live bacteria found in probiotics, which are heat-sensitive and often don’t make it to the gut, prebiotics are stable and reach the colon intact. The result? A happier, healthier you. Bimuno Daily (powder), Bimuno Ibaid (pastilles) and Bimuno Travelaid are all available from Bimuno.com, Boots, Holland & Barrett and Tesco

THE HEALTHY GUT RECIPE BOOK

Repeat after us: fermented foods are your friends. Stock up on the sauerkraut, kimchi and miso soup and your stomach will thank you later. And be sure to fill your fridge with kombucha to keep those good bacteria levels up.

1

A true flavour chameleon, Bimuno can be slipped into everything from juices to Insta-worthy smoothie bowls. The easiest way to ensure you get your daily dose? Sneaking it into your morning brew.

2

Beans, beans, good for your… gut. If you’re looking for nutritional bang for your buck, beans are your best bet. From broad beans to baked beans, all types are beneficial, so don’t discriminate!

3


WORDS JENNIFER SAVIN. PHOTOGRAPH LOUISA PARRY. ADDITIONAL IMAGE GETTY IMAGES. CCINEE FLAMINGO FLOAT INFLATABLE DRINK HOLDERS, AMAZON.CO.UK

SINGLE? SETTLED? WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED

DON’T WING IT

Finding a holiday romance in 2005 involved smiling seductively (read: manically) at any vaguely attractive waiter, then praying he had more than just tips in his trousers. In 2015, finding a holiday romance meant downloading a dating app and swiping (also manically) from your sunlounger. Finding a holiday romance in 2018? That means hopping onto Tripr or Skout – apps that allow you to plan your hook-up before, or just as, you jet off. You simply select your destination and find other locals and travellers to meet while you’re there. Whether you choose to do that manically or not is entirely up to you.

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THE POLYAMORY DIARIES

‘NOW OUR MARR HARD TO SEE HO

E

very time I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of being polyamorous, this new lifestyle throws me another curveball. The latest one involves kinky sex – and it’s a lot harder to handle than I’d imagined. While I am beginning to settle into a routine of regularly seeing my new girlfriend (we have sex most times we meet, in hotel rooms and sometimes in the back of my car), we agree that kinky games can wait until we’ve built up a little more trust. But my wife, Lucy,* is taking a different approach… She is having more trouble than me finding a ‘non-primary’ relationship that lasts for more than a few weeks. However, there seems to be no shortage of men on dating apps who are quite willing to be completely upfront about the kind of sex they are into – and she admits she’s attracted to men who want to be dominant. It shouldn’t really be a big surprise that polyamorous people are such ‘free-thinking individuals’, but nevertheless, I find myself feeling somewhat uncomfortable about my wife arranging a meeting with her latest interest, as he seems to be more of a ‘booty call’ than a romantic beginning. Polyamory feels like Pandora’s Box: now our marriage is open, it’s hard to see how we might ever go back to closed monogamy. Still,

I’ve come this far… I’m now falling for Nell,* so pulling the plug on the whole set-up just because I don’t like the sound of Lucy’s new boyfriend would not only be hypocritical, but also fraught with personal sadness. So when Lucy spends the night with James,* a ‘poly dom’, I try to put the whole thing out of my mind and focus on looking after the kids and getting a good night’s sleep. It works, for a few hours, but when she returns the next morning I can’t help but ask her how it’s gone... It turns out James had a ‘toy box’ from which Lucy chose a ‘hog-tie’ – wrist and ankle restraints that connect to a metal loop, keeping her legs and arms behind her back. It’s too much for me to hear. I immediately fly into a jealous rage. While over the past few months I’ve largely come to terms with my wife sleeping with other men, kinky sex feels like a bridge too far. When we first met, over 10 years ago, Lucy and I played around with bondage, dressing up and sex games. But, after we had children, she went off all the kinky stuff, and we never quite managed to get that thrill back again – she told me she wasn’t into it any more. So now, the fact that she is into it again – only with someone else – makes me feel rejected. Lucy tries to reassure me that this is actually a good way for her to

rediscover kink. And, in fact, after a few days of upset, we do end up exploring this side of our relationship for the first time in years, with her dressing up in a French maid’s outfit she’d bought with her new lover in mind (but never used) and buying some restraints of her own. The whole strange month comes to a fittingly complicated end. James backs off from Lucy because he is getting jealous of his primary partner’s lover. Lucy meets another poly guy on a dating app, whom she sleeps with once – but quite by chance he turns out to be James’s girlfriend’s poly lover, who is also married (I know, it’s hard to keep up). For a moment, it feels like everyone in our local area is sleeping with everyone else and the ‘polyamorous community’ has taken over our town. But then, no sooner has it started, than the whole thing falls apart. Lucy decides that the situation has become way too complicated and backs away. I’m glad, but I’m also left wondering how much longer I’m going to be able to keep myself steady while riding this polyamory roller-coaster. The Polyamory Diaries chronicles one man’s reluctant journey into polyamory in order to save his marriage. Read the previous instalments at Cosmopolitan. com/uk/polyamory-diaries

*NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED. PHOTOGRAPH AGATA PEC

Last month, Jack’s* wife dropped a bombshell: she wanted to explore S&M the way they had 10 years before. But, this time, with another man…


IAGE IS OPEN IT’S W WE’D EVER GO BACK’


A D U LT N O N - F I C T I O N

MY BEST SEX EVER WAS… with my housemate

As soon as Ollie* walked into the flat to view our spare room, I knew he was my type. There was something about his northern accent, the smart white shirt paired with Dr Martens, and the way he carried his 6ft 2in frame with such confidence that pulled me in. When he messaged a few days later to say he wanted to take the room, my stomach flipped. I told myself it was just a crush, that nothing would – or ever could – come of it. Under no circumstances could I get with Ollie and ruin the harmony within our tiny flat of three. But almost straight away, we started spending all our time sitting at the kitchen table together – laughing, shooting flirty glances at each other and occasionally just giggling at the unspoken tension. Whenever I was heading off on a night out and had dressed up, or had come home from the gym wearing tight leggings, I made sure I ‘casually’ bumped into him in the flat. I’d make an excuse to talk to him, or offer him a cup of tea. Once, before I went out for a mate’s birthday, I knocked on his door about something typically unnecessary and he told me my outfit ‘looked cool’.

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When he gestured for me to sit on his bed, my heart rate shot up. I knew it was risky, but I wanted him to find me attractive, too. Even if nothing could happen, it was becoming my secret fantasy to sleep with him. One Sunday we went for a hungover dinner, and it felt like one of the best first dates I’d ever been on. When we hugged goodnight at the end, I had to resist grabbing his face and pulling him in for a kiss. A few weeks in, even the smell of his shower gel in the bathroom turned me on. I was insanely jealous that he was still messaging a girl he used to date who’d recently moved to the US. After a month of longing for him, I came home from work to find him sitting at our kitchen table – and our other flatmate out for the evening. We decided to be spontaneous and crack open a bottle of fizz to celebrate it being Friday, which led to us heading to a bar to meet some of my friends. When we returned home at the end of the night, we both lingered in the hall and Ollie bit his knuckles. That’s when I knew he felt the sexual

chemistry between us too, so, emboldened by the champagne, I moved my face closer to his. Straight away, he kissed me, hard. Ollie knew exactly what he was doing. He unzipped my trousers and pushed his fingers inside me, while softly kissing my neck. “I shouldn’t be doing this to my flatmate,” he whispered, half-laughing, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. He then lifted me onto the kitchen counter, and I wrapped my legs around his waist as he thrust inside me. Next, he carried me over to one of the chairs we’d spent so many hours sitting on when the sexual tension fizzled away between us. He lowered me onto his erection and I rode him frantically. Knowing that our flatmate could walk in at any moment, and that the neighbours could probably see us through the window, only added to the thrill. We came within seconds of each other. A few days later, over dinner, our other housemate commented that the chair he was sitting on felt rickety. I smiled, but said nothing.

“The sexual tension fizzled away between us”

AS TOLD TO CATRIONA INNES. PHOTOGRAPH GETTY IMAGES. *NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED

When it came to orgasms, Leanne* didn’t have to look too far from home…


WORST DATES EVER Hey, we’ve all been there…

We went to a party with a buffet, where my date (a personal trainer) repeatedly slapped food out of my hand and said, “Don’t eat that. Think of the gym.”

While walking me home, my date said he needed a wee. I offered him my bathroom, but he insisted it was urgent, undid his zipper and proceeded to urinate in front of me. It all flowed downhill, forming a puddle by my feet.

GEORGIA, 24

LUCY, 22

AS I JUMPED IN THE CAR, MY DATE SAID WE WERE HEADING TO A SURPRISE. I WAS IMAGINING A ROMANTIC PICNIC OR SOMETHING… UNTIL WE PICKED UP HIS BEST MATE AND DROVE TO A B&Q CAR PARK. WE LISTENED TO MUSIC FOR TWO HOURS, THEN I WALKED HOME. GEORGIA, 21

It was a scorching day and the soles of my ballet pumps melted off as I walked through London with my date. I had to pretend nothing had happened.

MY DATE TOLD ME HIS SISTER WAS ALSO AT THE SAILING COMPETITION WE’D GONE TO WATCH AND ASKED IF SHE COULD COME OVER TO TAKE PHOTOS OF US TO SEND TO THEIR FAMILY WHATSAPP GROUP. KATE, 28

ARIANNA, 23

I waited outside the cinema in the rain for an hour, until my date messaged me saying, ‘Bit wet to leave the house today.’

AS TOLD TO JENNIFER SAVIN. PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES, SHUTTERSTOCK

ROSIE, 22

He wanted to do something ‘quirky’ and took me to a choir practice, despite neither of us being members or me ever having expressed an interest in singing. It was the last rehearsal before their ‘big performance’ and nobody seemed particularly pleased to see us. ELIZABETH, 26

Thirty minutes into our Sunday roast, he told me he’d made headlines years ago for kidnapping someone with a group of guys (that he refused to call a gang). He then demonstrated how to ‘properly’ break someone’s clavicle. MIRANDA, 22

CRAZY FROG

OTTER LOSER

LAURA, 27 ✱ Got a dating nightmare to share? Email worstdatesever @ @cosmopolitan.co.uk

FERAL FACTOR HOLD YOUR HORSES

A month into dating, it was my birthday. Over dinner, he presented me with some perfume and said, “Thought you’d like this – I used to buy it for my ex all the time.”

AW WKWARD T TURTLE

TOTAL PIG

C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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Paul Aisha and o ag five years

“I didn’t have to pretend with him” Aisha, 27,

is a freelance stylist from Sidcup

Six years ago, my friend signed me up for online dating – I think she must have done it for a laugh, as I really wasn’t looking for a relationship at the time. But when I checked my matches, Paul stood out, mainly because he’d made a really bad joke. I thought, ‘OK, maybe this isn’t so bad’, and we started to chat. I remember our first date so clearly: I’d had such a horrible day at work – I almost didn’t go! But Paul made me feel better very quickly. I didn’t have to put up the pretence with him that everything was fine. We were official within a month. It was all such a surprise. It was my first proper relationship – I didn’t really know what I was doing. A few weeks in, he went to Rome and bought me a bracelet. No guy had done anything like that for me before. Paul set the bar high, and because of him, I’ve always known what a relationship should feel like. I refuse to settle for anything less now. But for both of us, being together was a distraction. It came at a time when I needed to sort through some stuff, while he had his own issues to work out, too. After a year, I woke up one day feeling that I just didn’t want to be in the relationship any more, and I knew I had to say something. Ending it was sad for both of us, but he took it well. That was five years ago, and a lot has changed in that time. I feel I’ve changed and grown up a lot since we last spent time together. I’m very aware now of what I want. As lovely Would you see him again? “It’s definitely nice to spend as it was to see him, the attraction has faded. That said, time with him as a friend. our capacity to get along hasn’t, There was a time I thought about us getting back and we stayed at the restaurant together, but not any more.” for some time catching up.

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Each month, we send two former lovers on a date to see what happens

“She was a whirlwind of cool” I met Aisha on OKCupid where we bonded over our shared passion for Azealia Banks. To be honest, I was surprised when she messaged me back – she’s so gorgeous I didn’t think I had a chance! On our first date, we got along so well the waitress could barely get our order out of us as we were chatting so much. A few days later, however, I bumped into Aisha while she was on another date. I tried not to think about it, but I was disappointed, especially as I thought our connection was so strong. Thankfully, she felt the same, and we started officially going out. Aisha was a whirlwind of cool. One day, we saw a guy playing the bongos in Covent Garden and, keen to impress her, I said, “If I dance to this in front of everyone will you kiss me?” so I did and it worked. That was our first kiss. If I wanted to do something – even if it was a music festival she wasn’t into – she’d always say “Yeah!” which is different to other relationships I’ve had. We had our ups and downs – there was an air of tension being an interracial couple. Even in London, we’d get looks, and guys would often hit on her not realising we were together. I was never jealous: I trusted her implicitly. The truth is, our relationship was a bit of an escape – at the time I was dealing with a lot of traumatic personal stuff. I was quite accepting of the break-up; I just didn’t want her to be upset. I still think she’s awesome. She grabs life with both hands and is even more of a positive ‘yes’ person Would you see her again? “I’d be happy being friends than she was before. It’s – as long as she’s not fed brilliant to see her so happy. 4Want to be reunited with your first love? Email us at first.love@ cosmopolitan.co.uk

up with me! Plus, there’s an opportunity in the future if I ever need a stylist!”

C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

129

AS TOLD TO SOFIA TINDALL. PHOTOGRAPHS ANTONIO PETRONZIO. STYLING MADDY ALFORD. HAIR AND MAKE-UP CASSIE STEWARD, USING MAC AND PAUL MITCHELL. AISHA AND PAUL’S CLOTHES, THEIR OWN. AISHA AND PAUL ATE AT THETRADINGHOUSE.UK.COM

Paul, 32, is an assistant producer from Battersea


BECAUSE LIFE’S ALL ABOUT THE 5-9

SUMMER

PARTY

KAPOW!

WORDS AMY GRIER. PHOTOGRAPH SHUTTERSTOCK

SUMMER ON A STICK

ZAP!

It’s that time of year again when people congregate on rooftops, in parks and on random patches of sunny pavement – eking out every last ray before summer wanes and we all go back to wearing bed socks. But, for the next two months, an opportunity is open to you: you are invited to become the person who hosts the best summer parties. The person who does away with medium-rare bangers and warm Pimm’s and stages gatherings that are talked about long after the nights start drawing in. How, you ask? Well, with this guide to upping your entertaining game with minimum faff, maximum impact.

C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

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E AT

M E

PIMP YOUR PICNIC…

Baste in show

…with these DIY swaps from IZY HOSSACK, author of The Savvy Cook

SWAP #1 SUPERMARKET DIP FOR SPICY DIY HUMMUS

Pulse cooked chickpeas with lots of fresh coriander and mint, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, red onion and jalapeños. Top with crumbled feta and pomegranate seeds. Scoop with tortilla chips.

Red Rooster is the place to go for BBQ (Obama’s a fan). Chef Marcus Samuelsson serves up three lipsmacking sauces

SWAP #2 SWEATY BABYBEL FOR SWEET HALLOUMI

Slice thickly, grill, then toss in a dressing of lime juice, chilli and honey.

SUMMER MINT CHIMICHURRI Combine lemon, garlic, parsley, coriander and chilli, then add mint and spice it up with aleppo pepper.

AND FOR DESSERT...

BBQ PEACHES

by Jackson & Levine

SWAP #3 CARROT BATONS FOR CRISPY VEG FRITTERS

Grate any vegetables of your choice – try courgette, parsnip or sweet potato – mix with egg, flour and herbs, then pan-fry by the spoonful.

Halve, stone and cook peaches directly on a barbecue or grill for a few minutes so they caramelise. Serve with a dollop of mascarpone in the hollow. Done!

CORIANDER CHUTNEY WITH RHUBARB Cook down rhubarb in a pan, then add coriander and chickpeas.

LOADED GUAC Mix avocado, coriander and chillis, then add sesame seeds and charred tomatoes.


SUMMER

PARTY

The showstopper Lifestyle blogger POPPY DEYES’ watermelon ‘cake’ takes the hassle (and the calories) out of dessert

INGREDIENTS

1 watermelon Toasted flaked almonds Pistachios Thick Greek yoghurt Handful of berries

TIP!

*BALSAMIC STRAWBERRIES AND CRANACHAN BY NEIL CAMPBELL, HEAD CHEF AT YOTAM OTTOLENGHI’S NEW RESTAURANT, ROVI. LOLLIES BY SAM BOMPAS, CO-FOUNDER OF BOMPAS & PARR

Want something more decadent? Decorate with dark chocolate shavings. Need some extra sweetness? Scoop a vanilla pod into the yoghurt and mix well before slathering.

Lastminute wins

Three more easy desserts for summer*

BALSAMIC STRAWBERRIES Half the berries and sauté in butter for a minute. Sprinkle on some sugar, cook for a further minute. Add a dash of white hite balsamic vinegar, vinegar spoon over vanilla ice cream and finish off with a sprig of elderflower.

CRANACHAN Toast jumbo oats with light brown sugar. Macerate raspberries in icing sugar, orange zest and whisky. Whip cream with vanilla and honey and layer it in a tumbler with the oats. Top with fresh raspberries, honey and more oats. The Scottish version of Eton Mess!

METHOD

1 Take a watermelon and, with a sharp knife, slice away the rind. 2 Chop off the top and bottom and shave the sides to sculpt into a cake shape. 3 Slather on one or two (depending on the size of your melon) big pots of yoghurt, smoothing it like icing with a palette knife over the edges and top until the melon is covered. 4 Decorate with a handful of berries, crumbled pistachios and toasted flaked almonds. Refrigerate until your guests arrive, then serve, cut in large slabs.

FRESH-FRUIT ICE LOLLIES Hollow out fruits such as pineapples and melons, and use the pulp to make ke de delicious ice treats. Fibrous fruits f such ch as mangoes will melt incredibly slowly when frozen, makin ng for nonmelting ice lollies! i

133 33


1

D R I N K

M E

CAN-DO ATTITUDE

THE BIG FREEZE

The summer’s top tinned cocktails and the fanciest ways to serve them

Blend ice, fresh fruit and a teaspoon of agave syrup together, then stir into any of the tinned cocktails with a dash of soda water for an adult slushie.

2 3

1 RHUBARB & GINGER GIN LIQUEUR by Edinburgh Gin

4 PASSION FRUIT MARTINI by All Shook Up

A blend of rhubarb gin and ginger ale ideal for summer evenings. £2, 5%, Tesco ¨SOPHISTICATED SERVE Freeze water and lemon zest in ice-cube trays. Enjoy together for a fresher twist.

Rain or shine, this is a holiday in a glass. £1.25, 4.5%, Tesco ¨SOPHISTICATED SERVE Add soda and a dash of Angostura Bitters for the grown-up version of the porn-star martini.

2 GIN & TONIC by Portobello Road Gin

5 PASSIONISTA by WKD

West London’s craft distiller boasts the best-looking tinned G&T this summer. £3, 5.5%, Ginkiosk.com ¨SOPHISTICATED SERVE Use upside-down lollipops as stirrers to add colour and sweetness.

Horrible name, surprisingly delicious tipple – a punchy combination of rum, passionfruit and lemonade. £1.89, 6%, Nisa ¨SOPHISTICATED SERVE Freeze passionfruit pulp for bespoke ice cubes.

3 PINA COLADA by Malibu

6 ALCOHOLIC ICE TEA by Harry Brompton

The Del Boy special now comes in canned form. We approve. £1.80, 5%, Tesco ¨SOPHISTICATED SERVE You’re going to need an incredibly flamboyant cocktail umbrella to do this one justice.

Made with black tea, peach juice and vodka (so not your traditional brew). £1.50, 4%, Sainsbury’s ¨SOPHISTICATED SERVE Pour into a Kilner-jar tankard and add a lime wedge and raspberries.

Time to punch it up

All you need is a jug and some mates for these winners 134

· C O S M O P O L I TA N

EASY-PEASY

CHILLI MARGARITA Sam Jeavon, head bartender at London Cocktail Club Shake 500ml good tequila equila (100% Blue Agave is a must), 250ml fresh lime juice, 150ml agave syrup and 100ml mineral waterr with 10 small slices of fresh jalapeño chilli, plus ice. Stir.

4

BIT OF EFFORT

5

TRIPLE BERRY PUNCH Greg Almeida, head bartender at Scarfes Bar at Rosewood Blend 10 strawberries, 20 raspberries, 20 blackberries, big bunch of mint, 200ml cranberrry juice, 200ml lime juice e, 150ml orange liqueur, 400ml tequila, 150ml syrup. Strain, add ice, top up with prosecco.

6

OUT TO IMPRESS

PINA-COLADA SHOWSTOPPER Jake Goldstein, head bartender at Plotting Parlour, Brighton righton Mix 700ml tequila, 400ml coconut rum, 160ml lime juice, 300ml pineapple juice, 400ml green tea. Warm 300ml milk. Pour into booze. Leave for 24 hours until clear. Garnish.


H O S T

TURN IT UP

SUMMER

M E

From playlists to lighting, here’s how to (subtly) get the party started

Life & soul

THE TUNES

“Increasing the energy of the music needs to be done subtly,” says Salvatore Aloe, DJ and founder of Radio Alice. “Don’t suddenly go from laid-back acoustic to fast hip-hop – you’ll lose the crowd. Create a broad playlist that allows you to slowly increase the tempo – moving from jazz to funk and then soul works well.”

The playlist

by DJ MARY CHARTERIS

WORDS BEN OLSEN, AMY GRIER. CAKE PHOTOGRAPH LOUISA PARRY. FOOD STYLING ELEANOR MULLIGAN. ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES, INSTAGRAM/@POPPYDEYES, SHUTTERSTOCK

THE DANCING

AIN’T NOBODY, Rufus & Chaka Khan “The intro is too good. Once it starts you have to hear the rest.” KISS, Prince “Guaranteed to get you in the summer mood.” GOT TO GIVE IT UP, Marvin Gaye “This reminds me of Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu in Charlie’s Angels. What could possibly be wrong with that?” I’M SO EXCITED, The Pointer Sisters “The title says it all.” PYT, Michael Jackson “The first time you hear this song it makes you want to get up and dance. It’s instant and never gets old.”

THE LIGHTING

“Lighting is so important to create a welcoming atmosphere,” say party experts Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison of Tart London. “Use fairy lights and candles at different heights.”

PARTY

“People will only dance if the music is over 85 decibels,” says Sam Bompas of design house Bompas & Parr. Time to turn up the volume!

Two more ways to bring a party to life

MAKE SCENTS “Choose flowers in season,” says Mairead Curtin of Rebel Rebel florists. “All the British flowers come in over summer and they’re good value. Larkspurs, delphiniums and stocks are tall flowers that are great for big displays. Scented roses and dahlias will add colour.”

THE ENTERTAINMENT

The best way to end a bash? A good old-fashioned singalong. Natalie Lee-Joe, co-founder of London restaurant and karaoke bar Jidori, suggests the following: Africa, Toto; I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Whitney Houston; Since U Been Gone, Kelly Clarkson; 9 To 5, Dolly Parton; Shake It Off, Taylor Swift

¨ Stellé Pillar, £249, Amazon.co.uk

CREATE A CINEMA “You need a big white space to project a film so use a wall, or hang up a white sheet,” says Dominic Davies of Backyard Cinema. “Projector tech changes quickly, so you can pick up last year’s models at half the price. Play your film off a laptop and Bluetooth speakers: no wires!” ◆ C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

135


MICRO ROAD TRIPS Turn a mini-break into a full-blown adventure by adding a car, a Spotify playlist and a route that is as sexy as the destination


THE TRIP

Secret Provence

This viineyard-lined, gorge-encompassing route Th linkss two of France’s most iconic foodie hotels, both ow wned by Alain Ducasse, France’s godfather of grub

WHAT TO PACK Kaftans and elasticated clothing are advised.

70KM

S TA R T

Hostellerie de l'Abbaye de la Celle Housed in a former abbey in the quiet Provençal town of La Celle, Hostellerie, owned by chef Alain Ducasse (right), is everything you want from a French hotel. Service is friendly but never fawning, while th he 10 rooms are simple but smart, with h views over the manicured gardens or the town square below, where locals play boules by streetlight. But it’s the he

Gorge, indeed

food y you really come for. Breakfast and lunch are se erved on the terrace, where the warm Prov vençal air blows through the trees as you y enjoy pillowy croissants, hand h d-pressed juices and hom memade jam. As for dinner… in the t Michelin-starred kitchen, m miraculous things are done w local ingredients. Will with yo ou come back a dress size llarge er? Entirely possible. Will you everr want to leave? Definitely not. ¨ rom £210 per night; ¨F Abb Abbaye-celle.com/en

The route Only 70km of road separates Ducasse’s two hotels, and what a drive it is. Start in the sprawling vineyard territory of the Var (Brad Pitt’s winery isn’t far away), before weaving your way up into the crown of Provence, the Verdon Gorge. Lakes, cliffs, villages untouched by modern life (take the small detour to the tiny village of Châteaudouble for lunch) – it’s all here. Then arrive in Moustier-Sainte-Marie (left), a town as famous for its pottery (not cheap but worth the splurge) as its winding streets.

La Bastide de Moustiers Wind your way along a dirt path just minutes from Moustiers, and there, peering down from a small grassy incline, you will find La Bastide de Moustiers. Originally intended to be Alain Ducasse’s private home, his personal touches abound – from the glossy ponies that roam in the surrounding grounds to the beautiful pieces of furniture in each room, mostly handpicked by Ducasse himself. No one room is alike – we slept in La Chambre Framboise

Hostellerie: sounds like ‘hostel’, looks like heaven

(raspberry), a sugary-pink room with a crackling fireplace and French doors that opened out onto meadows – and that’s kind of the point. La Bastide feels like shacking up in a very stylish friend’s summer house – well, that’s if your mate’s family had a Michelin star hanging over the kitchen. Again, local ingredients and kitchen-garden fare are whipped into veloutes and sauces, the likes of which you will only ever taste again in your dreams. ¨From £237 per room per night; Bastide-moustiers.com i

THE CAR

Fiat 124 Spider S-Design

WHY? You need a top-down experience to gulp in all that Provençal air. Also, it purrs like a kitten and looks damn fine at traffic lights, too. TO BUY From £26,905. TO RENT From £670 per week.*

Fairy-tale home complete with ponies? Coming up

END C O S M O P O L I TA N ·

137


THE TRIP

Italy In Style

This th hree-hour blast from Florence to Rome offers lots of dettours, from hilltop villages and shopping outlets hipster restaurants and undulating countryside to h

WHAT TO PACK Sunglasses, a BIG suitcase and some sensible shoes.

275KM

S TA R T

Relais Santa Croce, Florence rence You’re in Italy. You’re going to wa ant romance, staff that can charm birds from the trees and plenty of top-notch carbohydrates. Step forward, the Baglioni Hotelss group. Its Relais Santa Croce n outpost (far right) is slap bang in one of Florence’s most interesting and ‘real’ districts – a short walk from the madding crowds, but allso an area where locals live, work

Food for two, chair for one: perfect

and d han h g out. Inside is a whole other ball gam me, however: light-filled roomss with soaring ceilings, mar arbled bathrooms and vie ews across the terracotta rooftops. Sink into a leather armchair in the palatial lounge with an Aperol spritz and feel (quite ( rightly) like you’re the queen of the world. ¨From £250 per night, bed ¨F and d breakfast; Baglionihotels.com

The route Leave EARLY and head for The Mall in Leccio. Here you’ll find discounts of up to 75% on Prada, Saint Laurent and, well, just about any designer you can think of. Then hit up Mac Dario in the village of Panzano (a butcher’s with a burger joint upstairs – a pilgrimage for hipsters) before heading to Castello di Brolio (left) to stock up on a few bottles of Chianti Classico – this was the place where it was created. Before cruising into Rome, head to Montepulciano for an ice cream and at least 900 #nofilter shots.

Baglioni Hotel Regina, Rome Fancy the finale of your trip playing out in a bygone world of opulent Art Deco luxe? Then park up and allow white-gloved doormen to welcome you to this place. The setting is old-time elegance, with chandeliers and an epic marble staircase that will have you sashaying towards the bougainvillealaced terrace feeling like you’re a ’20s film star. You’re five minutes from Villa Borghese here, Rome’s Central Park – 200 acres of statue-lined paths leading to 18th-century

END

temples, a lake with boats to rent and swans. If you can’t find your romantic picnic spot here, you never will. Too relaxing? You’re a short stroll from the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain (inset, above), and not far from the Vatican and Colosseum. Finally, be warned: in our hotel bathroom was a set of scales. Don’t get on them. There’s a price to pay for all that pici cacio e pepe (don’t leave Rome before trying this), tiramisu and gelato – but you don’t need to know that now. ¨From around £228 per night, bed and breakfast; Baglionihotels.com

THE CAR

Kia Picanto

WHY? Nothing squeezes through nonexistent gaps in Italian traffic better than this, and yet there’s plenty of room for all the discounted Prada. TO BUY From £9,500. TO RENT From £170 per week.†

Almost as grand as our bedroom at home…


THE TRIP

Classic Britain

Discovver Roman ruins, verdant scenery a d political scandals on the road and f om Buckinghamshire to Wiltshire fro

130KM

Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire Cliveden is a beautiful mansion that sits atop a grassy hill. It iss the house where a naked encounte ter in the ’60s between British politician John Profumo and a 19-year-old party girl, Christine e Keeler (right), precipitated the e fall of the government. And it’s where everyone from Churchilll to Roosevelt have partied. Room ms are

The route THE CAR

Ford Mustang

WHY? It’s the convertible dream – and with the top down and a lover beside you, you’ll feel like a ’90s romcom star. TO BUY From £36,035. TO RENT From £173.25 per week.‡

A teeny sliver of M4 (sorry) will take you to Silchester, the site of one of Britain’s great Roman towns, before you pick up some of the country lanes that zip through the Marlborough hills and reach Stonehenge (above). Feeling unstoppable? You could go on to Bath for a dip in the thermal waters.

The Three Daggers, Wiltshire Entering this cosy pub is like stepping back in time – dogs (whose? Anyone’s guess) roam the floor, locals smile and food and beer is locally grown and made. It’s only as you enter the rooms that you hit the 21st century. The three above the pub are delicious – biscuits on arrival, Hunter wellies for guests to use – but it’s the six rooms in nearby Hillside Cottage that get our vote – there’s even a hot tub. ¨From £85 per night; Threedaggers.co.uk

END

Biscuits on arrival? Sign us up

decadent, but there are modern touches, h too. t The newly renovated spa is a co ool, cream space built around the infamous outdoor pool (where that naked enccounter took place). Book in for a Sarah Chapman C Skinesis facial. Here on a seduction mission? Take a gin martini in the Library Bar before settling in to the t André Garrett restaurant. Need a further recommendation? Meghan Markle stayed here the night before her wedding. ¨From £445 per night; ¨ Clive edenhouse.co.uk

UK ROAD TRIPPIN’ Three more journeys definitely worth the drive

ATLANTIC HIGHWAY, SOUTH-WEST ENGLAND Duration: Two days. Stay: At The Beach in Bude to run on the sand, sit on the terrace then crash out; Thebeachatbude.co.uk NORTH COAST 500, SCOTLAND Duration: Four days (if it starts sleeting, you’ll have to slow down). Stay: Luxurious Ackergill Tower, near Wick; Ackergilltower.com BLACK MOUNTAIN PASS, WALES Duration: Less than a day. Stay: At the highest pub in the Brecon Beacons, The Dragon’s Back; Thedragonsback.co.uk ◆

WORDS FARRAH STORR, AMANDA STATHAM, SHOSHANA GOLDBERG, DANIELLA SCOTT. PHOTOGRAPHS TRUNKARCHIVE.COM/FOLIO ID – ESPERANZA MOYA, DIEGO DE POL, GETTY IMAGES, PIERRE MONETTA, ALAMY, DAVID BORDES/CHATEAUPHOTO.COM, SHUTTERSTOCK. *HPMOTORRAD.RENTALS. †SIXT.CO.UK. ‡HERTZ.CO.UK

S TA R T


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THE COSMMOPOLITAN CONTRAACT

Th b b cu co t act

T is an agreement This g made byy A Person Havingg A Spontaneeou e us u Barbecue,, f referred f rg ) __________________ (hereafter to as Thee Grilll Serg rgeant) ALL FIRED UP

The Grill Sergeant will wake up on a boiling hot T k d and d decide d id to have h b b weekend a spontaneous barbecue. ‘BBQ! Today! Mine!’ she will message everyone, and start googling recipes for meat rubs. The Grill Sergeant will unearth the barbecue from its usual home, draped in cobwebs underneath that rowing machine she never uses. Halfway through chipping off the rust and evacuating the colony of spiders, her phone will beep. Everyone is busy.

2

GARDEN OF DELIGHTS

3

MEAT FEAST

Just two weeks and three Doodle Polls later, The Grill Sergeant will have her spontaneous barbecue. It will be cloudy. She will spend a long time untangling her fairy lights and put on a playlist called ‘Sunshine!!!’ to try to make up for the weather. The playlist will be limited to the greatest hits of Bob Marley, Graceland by Paul Simon and half an Ibiza ‘chill-out’ album from 2001.

When people ask what to bring, The Grill Sergeant ! She Sh will end up will reply ‘Nothing, just yourselves!’ a every single person to pick up so ometh asking something on their way, y as she is too busyy massaging g g the ffivvve-spiice pork belly. The Grill will hall Th ll Sergeant g ll then h skewer k h llloum mi and marinate seitan ffor her ffriend’s vegan Laterr, the girlfriend L g ggirlfriend. f will w ll announce that h she’s h actually lly onlyy a flexxi-vegan, and ggo to town on the Taste The Differe ff ence e lamb koftas.

4

UP IN YOUR G GRILL

Th Grill The ll Sergeaant a w will tell people to o drrop by ‘from 33pm m’. This means tthe they will all turn up p aat 6.30, except

one weird guy who she didn’t even realise g y from her office o was on the WhatsAp up. Weird Guyy will then d pp grou n proce proceed l i every single i ng h he knows ab to explain thing about barbecues, h is doing it wrong. Later he and all the ways in which she will take all the ice and peas out of her freezer to make room for a vodka-infused watermelon that only he will eat.

5

MALIBU BARBIE

In an effort to stick it to the patriarchy, The Grill Sergeant will insist she doesn’t need any help getting the barbecue going. It will immediately start drizzling. She will stand in a plastic poncho, blowing feebly on the hot coals for 45 minutes, yelling, “The pork belly won’t be much longer!” while everyone stands inside drinking and eating Kettle Chips. Eventually The Grill Sergeant will return to the house, proudly holding a plate of black sausages and charred chicken drumsticks. These will turn out to still be raw in the middle. Somebody will Deliveroo a takeaway.

6

SPIRITS WILL NOT BE DAMPENED

The rain will finally stop, and The Grill Sergeant will make everyone go back to the garden where she will light lots of tealights to make things feel summery and bohemian. Everyone will sit round shivering in hoodies, pretending to be excited about melting chocolate buttons inside a hot banana. After singeing off some knuckle hair in a small flambéed pineapple incident, The Grill Sergeant will decide it is safer to just drink the rum instead.

7

OH, THOSE SUMMER NIGHTS

Eventually, some time after 1am, everyone will leave. The Grill Sergeant will find herself alone surrounded by empty bottles, dirty paper plates, three tubs of coleslaw and approximately 372 bread rolls. She will suddenly remember the pork belly. It will be cooked to perfection.

gned: Siggn (The Grill Sergeant)

146

·

WORDS LAUREN BRAVO. PHOTOGRAPHS GETTY IMAGES, SHUTTERSTOCK

1


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