Lipstick, glitter and pink, pink, pink: selfies rule at beauty festival a photo essay

Instagram-ready backdrops at every turn, 15,000 makeup buffs preen and purchase their way through Sydneys three-day beauty festival On a stage carpeted in hot pink, two young women race to apply lipstick while balancing on wobble boards. With seconds left on the clock, they make their way to a camera in the wings and pose for photos that are displayed on a large screen to the gathering crowd. The game is So You Think You Can Glam, and precision under pressure is the criterion though which, with shouts and applause, one of the women will be crowned the champion. Staff members of Clinique cosmetics take photos and spray mist onto attendees passing by their brand booth Around the rest of …

Hair raising! The return of the perm

The trend responsible for some of the 80s most memorable barnets is back. But fear not the modern look is less Deirdre Barlow, more a tumble of soft waves It is a truth universally acknowledged that everybody wants the opposite of the hair they have. Those with bountiful curls are wont to straighten them to a crisp, while the rest of us crimp and twist, chasing waves via diffusers, tongs, curl creams and, lately, perms. Thats right, the trend responsible for some of the 80s most memorable dos is making a return to the terror of many who are still scarred by their own perm-disasters. But fear not: the perm, which for many still conjures images of Neighbours-era Kylie Minogue, …

How we live together: the flex flatmates

It is a bit makeshift: my bedroom was the living room and theres a gap on top of my door Greg, 25I met Jessy at New York University and we really connected because were from the Cantonese region in China. We both love food and after class wed go out to a restaurant and eat a stupid amount. We lost contact after university but then we bumped into each other on our way to work. Id been living alone in a tiny studio that cost an obscene amount of money. As the New York rental market is so expensive, some people flex a one-bed apartment is converted into a twobed by using the living room as a bedroom. I decided …

Creepy men slide into women’s DMs all the time, but they can be shut down | Talia Jane

When I received an inappropriate message I didnt hesitate to point out that it was not acceptable. Many women dont and then regret their silence You can confidently put knows how to handle online sexual harassment on your CV, a wrote another. Both were reactions to prominent male journalist. The conversation started about reporter jobs and the media market at large and ended with him telling me You have so much cum on your face. After a few minutes of contemplation, I responded with This isnt acceptable or appropriate. A short while later, I posted the messages (with his information cropped out) on Twitter to add to the never-ending scrapbook called Things Women Deal With And How Much It Sucks. …

Table for one: how eating alone is radically changing our diets

From grazing on snacks to dining solo, a third of Britons now regularly eat every meal on their own. Is this fuelling the loneliness epidemic or providing hidden health benefits? Eating alone has become a defining feature of modern life: the breakfasting commuter; the household members with conflicting schedules; the widower who receives few visitors. Almost a third of British adults are eating alone most or all of the time, according to the The Way We Eat Now. Theres a constant mismatch between a sense of how we should be eating and how were actually eating. The multi-generational family meals of the Dolmio television ads are presented as the ideal, she says, but how many of us eat like that …

Hand dryers v paper towels: the surprisingly dirty fight for the right to dry your hands

The long read: For a century, the humble paper towel has dominated public toilets. But a new generation of hand dryers has sparked a war for loo supremacy In the summer of 2005, a Chicago marketing consultant named George Campbell received a tantalising call from a headhunter. Was he open to an interview at Dyson? The company was secretively preparing to launch a new appliance, and it needed a sales strategy for the US: that was all the headhunter would divulge. Campbell was excited; he saw Dyson as a company with the iconic quality of Apple, and an ability to take a basic product like a vacuum cleaner and make an 80% margin on it. He went along to Dysons …

Virgin territory: why the Japanese are turning their backs on sex | Roland Kelts

Young people in Japan are shunning physical love, and theyre not the only ones, says Japanese-American author Roland Kelts The grounds of Tokyos Yoyogi Park have been colonised by beautiful youth: women and men beneath the cherry blossoms surrounded by bottles of wine, sake and shochu, cases of beer and plastic bags stuffed with finger foods drinking, playing games and sharing smartphone screens as the buds bloom and fall. Hanami (flower-viewing) parties are a centuries-old rite of spring, a national symbol of lifes beauty and brevity. But as I walk by them this month, I cant help but wonder if any of the pink-faced revellers are hooking up, or even care enough to try. on this website, and talked about …

Why black people discriminate among ourselves: the toxic legacy of colorism

You cannot separate the often painful stereotypes of colorism from misogyny and the sexual exploitation inherent in American slavery. To combat it we need to speak about it My grandmother was a great beauty. Everybody said so. Like a black Elizabeth Taylor, was the comment heard most often, because her eyes looked violet in some light. She had a perfect hourglass figure, large clear eyes, a tiny waist, long slim hands, a killer sense of dress and smooth dark skin. The only trait I shared with her was her skin color. My mother always spoke of this with pride. It was a treasure to be kept whole through diligent care applications of thick, pasty Eucerin lotion, which used to come …

Its genuine, you know?: why the online influencer industry is going authentic

The long read: Calamities such as Fyre Festival have tarnished the booming business of YouTube and Instagram stars. Now the industrys top tastemakers have a new plan: keeping it real In a central London hair salon last December, the fashion influencer Victoria Magrath (@inthefrow) mingled among a few of her 849,000 Instagram followers. Magrath tall, with signature silver hair was celebrating the launch of her book, The New Fashion Rules, at an event organised by her talent agency, Gleam Futures. She chatted easily, her high, delighted voice ringing out over the roar of the hairdryers and her manner so convincingly intimate that it was possible to think she knew her followers as well as they knew her. In a group …

Peasant revolt at earls bid to build flats on allotments

Anger at attempt by green aristocrat Earl Percy to develop wilderness site in London It is a row that the scion of one of Britains oldest aristocratic families could rather do without as he carves out a career promoting his green credentials. And, gallingly for the Percy dynasty (one of whose ancestors was the inspiration for Blackadders half-witted sidekick, Lord Percy) much of it has been self-inflicted. In the one camp is Earl Percy, friend to Wills and Kate and owner of Syon House, a historic Grade-I listed pile in west London where Henry VIIIs body once lay in state. In the other camp are the 40 or so disgruntled members of the management company that oversees the interests of …

Bauhaus: 100 years old but still ubiquitous in our homes today

How a revolutionary idea became our go-to way of living Spending a night at the hallowed Bauhaus school in Dessau, in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, was my teenage dream come true. The walls of my childhood bedroom were plastered not with posters of pop stars, but with the furniture manufacturer Vitras chart of iconic 0th-century chairs. As a design geek, growing up in a house bedecked with Laura Ashley, I found the idea of the Bauhaus thrilling: each chair was a mini manifesto, embodying the world of stripped-back modern design that I might one day inhabit (Im still waiting). Yet, almost 20 years later, readily available from Habitat for 95, but these were in fact Albers original version, designed …

Hopes rise for male contraceptive pill breakthrough

Trial of once-daily capsule appeared to reduce sperm count with few side-effects Hopes for a male contraceptive pill have increased after a trial showed a once-daily capsule appeared to work with no significant side-effects. The drug aims to suppress levels of hormones that drive the production of sperm and testosterone in the testes. In the month-long study, doctors found that levels of the hormones required for sperm production fell in men who took the daily capsule, suggesting their sperm counts had been markedly reduced. The next step will be to confirm the fall and determine if it is sufficient. Scientists have been searching for a male contraceptive pill for years, testing numerous injections and Similar side-effects have hampered other experimental …

Running among the ruins: seeing Cambodia at a trot

A dawn jog around the magnificent temples of Angkor is the perfect way to meet an ancient country with deep roots Temple Run is a relentlessly addictive computer game. The concept is simple enough. Youve stolen a cursed idol from an ancient crumbling temple and now you have to run for your life to escape the evil monkeys gnashing at your heels. The temple run I am doing, however, is much slower, far less frantic and it only features a handful of snoozing macaques. But it is so infinitely more life-affirming. The temples Im jogging round are the colossal remains of the city of Anantara hotel in Siem Reap. I am, in fact, the only entrant which handily means Im …

Welcome to hell, fellas! Now the world of fashion is coming for you, too | Arwa Mahdawi

After centuries of women being given rigid rules about how they should dress, a recent article in the Observer gave men similar advice and it didnt go over well Im going to let you in on a little secret about the Feminist Agenda: were not actually too bothered about equal rights and bodily autonomy and all that other guff. No, what were really interested in is equal misery. We want to make men suffer. (Why else do you think they were called the suffragettes?) You can imagine, then, how my heart sang when the Observer published a piece over the weekend called fuck offbody of a man of 50 is not extraordinary at all. It is even less extraordinary in …

Reality check: life behind Insta-glam image of social media influencers

Online they feature in glossy posts as the epitome of cool. But that is often worlds apart from how they live their lives Standing amid the reeds and staring pensively into the distance, Jordan Bunker looks every part the moody model, dressed head to toe in black in a direct contrast with the setting. Another image from his portfolio shows him in industrial environs, sporting a minimalist brown trench coat as he looks directly at the camera. However, the reality for the 24-year-old is far from the glamour associated with the fashion world. In his pyjamas in bed hes fighting a cold at the home he shares with his parents in Leicester, Bunker says his set-up is worlds apart from …

The joy of folding: how an everyday chore became an online, anxiety-busting sensation

YouTube folding tutorials have millions of views, while the likes of Marie Kondo have become a global phenomenon. But do perfectly neat drawers lead to a perfectly neat life? Fifteen years ago, Gal Rozov was so fed up with failing to meet his wifes high standards for laundry folding that he decided a different approach was required. He was not adept at doing the dishes either, he reasoned, but he did know how to load and unload the dishwasher. What if he could deal with clothing the same way? Nine prototypes later, his guide to 10 folding life hacks has almost a million views, and a simple demonstration of Instagram staple, while Marie Kondos books on decluttering in which folding …