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Metro.co.uk: News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities from Metro

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    Owl and their dog
    Switching pronouns for my dog seems to be one of the most easiest thing people do (Photo: Fox Fisher)

    I have a pretty weird dog.

    He’s a cross between an Italian greyhound and a whippet, which means that he’s very spindly and dainty. He also has a habit of crossing his feet in a very camp way and staring at you for too long, making him look even more alien.

    If you’re a dog owner that visits a dog park regularly, you’ll know that most dog owners like to make small talk even though they are much more interested in your pooch than they are in you.

    I can probably tell you the names of about 20 dogs in my local dog park, but can’t for the life of me remember their owners’ names.

    Whenever I meet a new person, the first assumption people make is that my dog is a she.

    I don’t really blame them. In a world so obsessed with femininity and masculinity meaning certain things, he certainly is on the more elegant side. Sometimes I just go along with it, because I’m pretty sure my dog doesn’t care.

    Once people realise that he’s not actually a she, they apologise deeply — not just to me, but also to my dog.

    Owl and dog
    My dog could not care less what pronouns you address him by (Picture: Owl)

    I can’t recall ever seeing a person more remorseful than when they accidentally misgendered my dog. Once they are corrected, there is never a single slip up that happens after that.

    Once people have been told he’s not actually a she, they stick to it. Simple.

    Yet somehow in the case of actual people, this easy task of switching pronouns becomes a whole other animal.

    As Laverne Cox famously said: ‘Misgendering is an act of violence.’

    When I was earlier on in my transition, I used to get misgendered a lot.

    I can understand why, and it was mainly because the people around me had gotten used to using he, and those that didn’t know me still perceived me as a boy. But no one ever seemed nearly as remorseful when they misgendered me as the people who accidentally misgender my dog.

    Priorities, right?

    When I corrected people and asked them to use another pronoun, it was as if I was asking them to perform the most difficult feat you could ever imagine. An array of excuses and even anger ensued, telling me that I shouldn’t expect people to be able to change that quickly, as it’s just a habit and they don’t exactly ‘see’ anything else but a man.

    The more abusive ones would go on a tangent about how it’s just a ‘biological reality’ and how people shouldn’t cater to my ‘delusions’.

    The fact I never get misgendered by people now (unless they make an actual effort to do so) shows me quite clearly that the pronouns people use has little to do with any ‘biological reality’, and more to do with people’s perception and preconceived ideas.


    Aside from your name, pronouns are one of the main ways in which we recognise and identify other people. It’s wrapped into our everyday reality and is closely tied to gender norms. It’s something that is an integral part of most languages.

    While most people have the privilege of not worrying about pronouns at all, it can be something that causes a lot of anxiety and hurt for trans people, in particular for those who are visibly trans or gender non-conforming.

    It can really ruin a person’s day or even week when they are misgendered, and when it happens constantly it can be draining. It hurts even more when it’s from someone close to you, as those are the people we love and care about. Their opinions and perception of us matters the most.

    As Laverne Cox famously said: ‘Misgendering is an act of violence.’

    To not change your behaviour and make an effort to use the right pronouns is to actively and deliberately causing harm to another person’s well-being.

    Even though it might not seem like a big deal to you, using the right pronouns indicates a level of respect.

    And who doesn’t want to be respected?

    If you’re making an effort, people can tell and they appreciate that. Instead of awkwardly assuming something if you’re unsure, simply ask. 

    Trans people are aware pronouns might take a while for people to grasp, especially when it comes down to gender-neutral pronouns like the singular ‘they’.

    But we certainly don’t need an explanation from anyone as to why anyone might struggle to use the right pronouns – they know why.

    What trans people need is for people to make an effort, and apologise when they get it wrong and move on.

    There’s a world of difference between those that accidentally misgender someone and those that actively do it.

    I don’t have time nor tolerance for those that actively do it. Those people are nothing but nasty bullies.

    There is no good and justified reason to misgender people and cause them harm in that way. It’s not a subject of anyone else’s opinion, or ‘biological reality’ – or anything other than offering others basic human decency.

    Switching pronouns for my dog seems to be one of the most easiest thing people do.

    It’s time people started affording that same decency and respect to all people as well.

    MORE: My parents are my biggest supporters – as a trans person it makes all the difference

    MORE: Everyone worries about getting older, but for trans people it can be terrifying

    MORE: I’m a short, transgender man who modelled at London Fashion Week to show that fashion can be diverse


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    (Picture: Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella)

    With Coachella starting this week, festival season has officially begun.

    You know what that means – it’s time to ponder festival style.

    Last year flower crowns died and crystals, gems, and glitter reigned supreme, but what will be the major fashion points for this batch of festival goers?

    According to Lyst, janties.

    You know, janties. Jean panties. Extremely short denim shorts.

    The style came to our attention thanks to Y/Project’s £235 pair, but when you think about it, denim underwear have been a long time coming. Last year we saw shorts that let a large portion of the bum cheek hang out. It’s only natural that hemlines would rise further and we’d eventually go for a full on thong effect.

    (Picture: Y/Project)

    And really, where else would you wear janties? A festival feels like the most appropriate option.

    As part of their festival trend prediction, Lyst reckons that the virality of janties could mean they’ll pop up all over Coachella, whether in the form of the real £235 deal or a DIY version of jeans hacked away above the thigh.

    Don’t panic if a denim wedgie isn’t quite your thing, though, as Lyst has also recapped some other trend predictions.

    Alongside janties, anyone going to a festival (or scrolling through the #Coachella tag on Instagram) will spot nostalgic pieces, embellished detail, ugly shoes, and retro hats.

    To be more specific, the nostalgia will lend itself to super-bright neon, tie-dye, and biker shorts, sometimes all in one very attention-grabbing package.

    In terms of embellishment, keep an eye out for sequins, shells, and metallics. Lyst reports that searches for sequin bikinis are up 76% over the last month, while men are going for the ASOS Jacket with Cut and Sew Sequins, with a 108% increase in views over the last two weeks.

    Chunky, ugly shoes remain on top, especially for those looking for comfort. Searches for rubber sandals are on the up, along with hefty trainers. Cowboy boots are also increasingly popular, thanks to the yeehaw agenda.

    For headwear, expect bucket hats. Lots of bucket hats.

    MORE: Beyonce gives us a glimpse at Rumi and Sir as Netflix drops trailer for Coachella doc Homecoming

    MORE: Commenter ‘mansplains’ what a labia is while defending high-cut Fashion Nova bodysuit

    MORE: Halima Aden turns fashion designer as she launches 27 new headscarves

    Street Style At The 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 2Street Style At The 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival - Weekend 2

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    Mixed Up is a weekly series that aims to elevate the under-heard voices of the mixed-race population in the UK.

    Mixed-race is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the UK, and this hugely diverse group comprises an enormous range of ethnicities, cultures and fascinating narratives.

    Having access to more than one cultural reference in your immediate family is an incredible privilege, but being mixed also comes with a unique set of challenges, conflicts and contradictions.

    This series explores the joys, sorrows and unique lived experiences of this relatively young racial group.

    Rob Parks is a former MasterChef contestant and is now the head chef at a south London restaurant.

    He grew up feeling proud to be mixed-race, but his opinions have become more complicated in recent years.

    Picture by Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk

    ‘I am, by all accounts, what everyone thinks of when they hear the term “mixed-race”,’ Rob tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘I am white British and black Carribean – even more stereotypically than that, I am white British and Jamaican. I think this is palatable to people. Everyone seems to accept this as a valid ethnic background, maybe because it is the most common variety of mixed heritage.

    ‘Many mixed-race friends of mine who come from what some people view as a more niche sub-genre of dual heritage, are frequently questioned on it, scoffed at or just not believed – meaning that they constantly have to justify themselves.

    ‘Thankfully this is not something I have ever had to tolerate.’

    Being mixed-race means that you don’t fit neatly into a singular category. When it comes to black and white, Rob is neither and both at the same time. But rather than causing confusion, Rob sees hope and possibility in this fluidity.

    ‘I see being mixed-race as a great opportunity to defy stereotypes and to be the person I want to be. I am able to draw on a wide range of cultural experiences and form the person that I am based upon these.

    ‘I don’t think this is something that is perennially on my mind, but it does inform the way I live my life.

    ‘If you are solely from one ethnic background, people expect you to conform to certain stereotypes – of course this is massively prejudiced – but unfortunately that is the nature of the society that we live in where people are pigeonholed.

    ‘Being mixed-race affords me the luxury of not being defined by one ethnic backgrounds in other people’s eyes.’

    Little Rob looking dapper with his dad
    Little Rob looking dapper with his dad (Picture: Rob Parks/Metro.co.uk)

    Rob’s early life experience informed this overall positive view about being mixed-race. He was widely accepted and embraced by peers – he saw himself reflected in the community where he lived.

    ‘Generally, I think society reacts pretty favourably to mixed-race people,’ explains Rob.

    ‘Even my very early experiences at primary school in Walthamstow were overwhelmingly positive. There were many other mixed-race children. We were almost cool by default.

    ‘That was a very powerful and uplifting experience as a child. I identified as mixed-race and I couldn’t comprehend if someone identified me as black. For me, that was only a part of my identity.

    ‘As I have grown older – and hopefully wiser – I would say that although I still agree with this mindset, my thoughts on it have become a bit more nuanced.

    ‘Secondary school had a large effect on this. I went from studying at a school that reflected the diverse cultural backgrounds of the local area in which I had always lived, to going to a grammar school in Redbridge, which did not.

    ‘The association that I had felt with a core group of friends of the same background suddenly disappeared.

    ‘At an age where everything becomes about pigeonholing and compartmentalising groups of people – the “nerds”, the “cool kids” etc – I felt like I didn’t easily fit into any one group.’

    It’s hard to overstate the importance of your environment when it comes to feeling comfortable in your own skin. When Rob’s surroundings drastically changed – and the demographic of the people in his social circles – so too did his opinions about his own identity and where he fit in the world.

    ‘As a teenager, there is a lot of pressure to conform to stereotypes, including racial stereotypes,’ says Rob.

    ‘In a largely Asian school with a very small black population – let alone a mixed-race demographic – it was necessary to listen to hip-hop and grime, for example. Although I do now, at the time I wasn’t much into music and this meant that I was often on the outside looking in.

    ‘Some of my black friends would call me “posh” just because I contributed in classes.

    ‘I found myself a bit like Mahershala Ali’s character, Dr. Don Shirley in Green Book – feeling neither black enough nor white enough for anyone.

    ‘But I realise, in hindsight, that this is an age at which we all have our insecurities.

    Young Rob with his parents
    Young Rob with his parents (Picture: Rob Parks/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘My confidence has hugely improved thanks to the relationships I have formed and the things I have achieved in my life – graduating university, competing on MasterChef and cooking in front of an audience of millions and now running my own kitchen.

    ‘All of that has help me realise that I don’t need to be white enough or black enough for anyone, I just need to be me, and this “me” is informed by both sides of my heritage in various ways.’

    Rob likes the idea that the mixed-race population are able to form their own narratives and build an identity for themselves. It is only in the last few decades that the numbers of mixed-race people have exploded in this country. There is so much scope for growth.

    ‘What I love about being mixed-race is that we are a relatively new ethnic group,’ says Rob.

    ‘I don’t feel that I am weighed down by any of the baggage that is associated with one ethnic background and this paves the way for me to just be who I am.

    ‘That being said, it’s not all rosy and there can be difficulties with this. But generally, I love my mix of cultures. I love having jerk chicken with a roast dinner and I love sharing experiences with a broader group of people than most people are able to.

    Race versus heritage or ethnicity is a tricky question. Rob and both of his parents were born in Britain – so really, the only difference comes down purely to skin colour. How do you grapple with the fact that you are still perceived as ‘other’ when even the generation before you were born in this country?

    ‘The issue when considering race in a question about heritage, is that both my parents are British,’ explains Rob.

    ‘Despite my Dad being of Jamaican heritage, he was born here and therefore he is culturally British. He embraces his roots, but he doesn’t let them define him in the eyes of anyone else.

    ‘Dad is just as likely to listen to Mozart as Marley and as a child I would deride him for listening to opera because I thought – what self-respecting black man listens to opera?

    ‘When all my mixed-race friends’ parents were listening to popular R&B and other urban artists, I saw it as a rejection of his heritage.

    ‘”You must be some kind of coconut” I would say – my own insecurities about the subject matter being verbalised in what I have come to see as childish nonsense.

    ‘But he is a man that is true to himself and escapes categorisation.

    Baby Rob on the beach with his dad and grandma
    Baby Rob on the beach with his dad and grandma (Picture: Rob Parks/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘I am immensely proud to call him my father and he sets a great example for me to follow. I don’t have to feel that being strongly aligned to the British element of my heritage is in any way a rejection of my Jamaican heritage.

    Rob has always strongly identified as mixed-race, rather than black or white. It is something he is incredibly proud of – but he is beginning to understand that as a mixed-race person, your identity often lies in the hands of how other people choose to define you.

    ‘I would love it if people understood that mixed-race people are whole and unique people,’ Rob tells us.

    ‘There is something quintessentially British about being mixed in the UK.

    ‘I think it is generally seen as desirable and something to be proud of. But there is a complexity about issues of racial identity in this country, and it is something that we are all still struggling with.

    ‘As a child I would reject in the strongest possible terms identifying solely as black because I felt as though that was a rejection of some of my heritage. But often it was my own parents who would encourage me to accept this label because that is how society would see me.

    ‘My parents, with their insight on how Britain works, understand that what is important is how you are perceived.

    ‘If you are anything other than white, you are considered black. Maybe even as adults we never truly get past that pigeonholing that I felt subjected to at secondary school.

    ‘Although I would say I have never felt subjected to any form of direct racial abuse or prejudice myself, I also have an awareness of the fact that I am a privileged exception to the rule.

    ‘Many friends of mixed ethnicities have not been so fortunate and even my own brother has been subject to abuse.

    ‘I think that perhaps to understand what being mixed-race in Britain means, is to understand that until there is no longer any racism in Britain, you must consider yourself black because that is how you are perceived.’

    Rob finds that being a mixed-race man means walking a fine line of duality. He no longer wholly rejects the label of ‘black’, as he did as a child, but that doesn’t mean he is OK with the lazy erasure of his mixed identity.

    ‘Mixed-race people make up a small proportion of the population but we have very unique experiences.

    ‘Not being totally represented by any ethnic group other than their own I believe that it is really important to hear from people who might have had shared experiences.

    ‘So often people of mixed black and white ethnicities get overlooked or absorbed into a single ethnic background. That’s not to say that this is always necessarily a bad thing.

    ‘I will never forget having performed a cooking demonstration at a Food Festival in Alexander Park, a black mother and her two sons approaching me afterwards and I spoke to them about how my time on MasterChef had inspired them as young black boys to pursue cooking.

    Rob competing on MasterChef
    Rob competing on MasterChef (Picture: BBC/MasterChef)

    ‘It was a really humbling moment and, in a society where we perhaps lack enough young black male role models, I think all black or mixed-race men should aspire to be one.

    ‘But then on the other hand, take Barack Obama, people so often forget that he is mixed-race. I don’t want to have to forfeit that part of who I am.

    ‘This is the dichotomy that mixed-race people often face and having an opportunity to hear more mixed-race experiences can hopefully address that.’

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘I want people to understand that there are different types of black’

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘You don’t get to tell me that I’m not really black’

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘Racism made me feel sub-human. I used to pretend to be anything but black’

    Rob ParksRob Parks

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    (Picture: Faima Bakar/Tasnim Akhter/Hira Salim)

    When you think hen dos, you think of a large girl squad all decked out, wearing feathers and penis-shaped novelties before heading to a strip club.

    The halal hen do – the bridal shower that Muslim women throw – is like that, but without alcohol, strippers, and anything phallic (the latter might depend on your squad though).

    Don’t think that means the shindigs are dry. They’re pretty much the best party you could get invited to.

    A halal hen do costs hundreds of pounds, causes arguments, and, of course, includes a large Whatsapp group that everybody in the world except the bride is on.

    Unlike the average stag, a halal hen do might include lots of family members too (all the fun ones, though).

    For the organisers it can be a bit of a headache to gather the troops, especially as they might not all get along.

    But in the end, the shower – complete with bespoke cakes, favours, picture cut-outs, and all sorts of games – is like a mini wedding dedicated totally to the bride.

    And it’s a great big laugh.

    Inside the world of halal hen dos Picture: Metro.co.uk
    You’ll find all the usual bridal shower merch (Picture: Faima Bakar)

    Some bridal showers happen abroad or include a weekend getaway at a luxury hotel or booked out apartment.

    The group gathering naturally features lots of food; usually a mix of ethnic food depending on where the groups are from and all the usual nibbles of a party.

    Some groups buy Snapchat filters for the day with the bride-to-be’s name on it or just ‘team bride’.

    What stands the halal hen do apart from the average stag do are the favours. These can be pots of honey, hot chocolate or special Zamzam water.

    Zamzam water is part of Islamic culture and considered holy because of its historical significance. It’s pretty bougie, and can only be sourced from The Well of Zamzam in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

    Bottles of the stuff can be sourced online where they come with Quranic scripture. Muslim couples also often distribute them on the day of the wedding.

    Inside the world of halal hen dos Picture: Metro.co.uk
    Lots of cake (Picture: Faima Bakar)

    Hira, who organised a halal hen do for her sister, wanted to do something different and set up an Alice in Wonderland theme. The details were an ode to her sister’s love of books.

    She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I must’ve spent approximately £120 -£130 on food, catering for 15 people. For decor, I made a lot of things myself, hurrah for Pinterest! We just happened to have a load of party supplies e.g. balloons, ribbons. Roughly £60 tp £80 was spent in total on decor.

    Inside the world of halal hen dos
    Hira’s Mad Hatter tea party (Picture: Hira Salim)

    ‘Then we bought the bride three red dresses to choose from (around £30 each) and returned the other two after the hen.

    ‘For me, it was more time that went into it than cost. I was adamant on keeping costs low by finding ways to make things myself. Some props I found in charity shops, for like 50p each.’

    Inside the world of halal hen dos
    (Picture: Hira Salim)

    Online marketplaces such as Etsy have allowed individual sellers to tap into the Muslim market and offer these novelties. Al-Party Favours is a seller that offers bespoke favours related to religion.

    They tell Metro.co.uk: ‘We noticed there was a gap in the market, where no business was providing an affordable, bespoke service of favours being custom-made to the bride/groom’s requirements, as well as favours with a meaning that is personable and close to the client’s heart, Islamic or otherwise.’

    Al-Party’s offerings all have some sort of Islamic link, such as dates and honey, which are praised in scripture for their health benefits. Usually, the products are emblazoned with quotes from Prophet Muhammed or lines from the Qur’an.

    Their ‘sunnah range’ includes honey jars, mini basil plant pots, olive oil favours, vinegar favours, mini black seed oil bottles, mini vials of musk, date boxes and the ever-popular Zamzam bottles.

    Inside the world of halal hen dos Picture: Metro.co.uk
    You can get personalised favours such as hot chocolate or zamzam water (Picture: Faima Bakar)

    One bridal party who used such favours tell us that internet culture allows these bridal showers to have lots of similar staples.

    Ana, who also planned her sister’s hen, tells us she spent over £300 for the night, though it was divided between a few.

    ‘It wasn’t hard putting it all together, most people were really keen to help and put themselves forward for tasks,’ she says. ‘We had people who could bake, people who were good at booking venues, who had time to go shopping for decorations, etc.

    Inside the world of halal hen dos
    No alcohol, please (Picture: Hira Salim)

    ‘It took about three weeks of planning to put the day together. We decided to book an apartment for the bridal shower and this was the most expensive thing we had to pay for.

    ‘We had personalised favours from an Instagram account and also planned a late breakfast/brunch the next morning.

    ‘For food, decorations and other little details, maybe a little over £100 in total, bringing the whole bridal shower to around £300.’

    Inside the world of halal hen dos Picture: Metro.co.uk
    (Picture: Faima Bakar)

    Tasnim, who helped organise her friend’s bridal shower told us the special day consisted of a handmade bridal frame, a macaron tower, and gift hampers.

    ‘We also had a memory jar, poo deodorant, room fragrance and chocolates.

    ‘The venue was a studio which had an upstairs dining area in north London. The place was simple and we had nine people in total, paying £70 each (minus the bride and two others)

    ‘We opted for a naked cake and spring theme (which was in line with the wedding theme) from Instagram.

    Inside the world of halal hen dosPicture: Metro.co.uk
    And cake (Picture: Tasnim Akhter)

    ‘A WhatsApp group was created roughly a month in advance and a dress code was chosen while the bride was given personalised bridal PJs!’

    If your Muslim friend is getting married and having a hen do, expect plenty of great food, some religious bits (depending on how they identify), and lots of family members.

    It’ll all be pretty lit.

    MORE: Muslim Women should look to the past to find the empowerment we need today

    MORE: Feminism needs to cater to Muslim women, not the other way around

    MORE: Muslims know what it’s like to fight for equality, so let’s support the push for LGBT lessons


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    (Picture: Getty)

    When writer Erynn Brook encountered an 18-year-old girl about to have an epileptic seizure on the train, she was told what to do.

    The well-prepared teenager had a laminated card with instructions for people so they knew what to do when she had a fit.

    Erynn detailed the story on a Twitter thread, lamenting that a young person has to navigate an ableist world on her own.

    Though Erynn was given a list of instructions on how to deal with seizures, most of us might not know how to help.

    It’s important to know what to do for different types of seizures, which can happen anywhere.

    Most of us will recognise convulsive (tonic-clonic) seizures, which is when the person goes stiff, loses consciousness, falls to the floor and begins to jerk.

    A focal seizure is a partial one. A person having this kind of fit might not be aware of their surroundings. They may have unusual movements and behaviour such as plucking at their clothes, smacking their lips, swallowing repeatedly or wandering around.

    What to do when someone is having an epileptic seizure

    • Protect them from injury by removing harmful objects from nearby
    • Cushion their head
    • Look for an epilepsy identity card or identity jewellery – it may give you information about their seizures and what to do
    • Time how long the jerking lasts
    • Aid breathing by gently placing them in the recovery position once the jerking has stopped
    • Stay with them until they are fully recovered
    • Be calmly reassuring


    • Restrain their movements
    • Put anything in their mouth
    • Try to move them unless they are in danger
    • Give them anything to eat or drink until they are fully recovered
    • Attempt to bring them round

    Call for an ambulance if:

    • You know it is their first seizure or
    • The seizure continues for more than five minutes or
    • They are injured during the seizure or
    • You believe they need urgent medical attention

    More information is available on the Epilepsy Action website.

    Erynn’s powerful thread explained what it’s like to watch someone have a fit and how to calmly guide them through it.

    She wrote: ‘I asked if she would like me to ride with her to her stop. She said she didn’t want to bother me. Then she seized. She had already moved her purse out of the way and folded her scarf in a place to catch her head as she slumped over. I sat next to her and read her seizure plan.

    ‘She’s 18. I check my phone and start timing her seizure. I sit down. My stop comes and goes.

    ‘This seizure plan paper is like an anchor. It says what to do, what not to do, how long seizures might last, what medication she takes if they last too long, what steps to take if she becomes non-responsive. She comes out after three minutes.’

    The writer then revealed that the teen experiences these seizures one to four times a day, each of which lasts between ten minutes to an hour. She urged readers to really think about being vulnerable that many times a day.

    Erynn added that we need to build a better world for disabled people.

    Towards the end of the thread, she wrote: ‘It’s not a story about me being a good person. It’s not a story about how brave she is (though she clearly is), it’s a story about human needs, through the lens of disability, and how accessibility is not the same as acceptance or community care.

    ‘It’s not good enough. Not for me, not for her, not for community and not for our world.  Build something better, folks. Build a better world.’

    MORE: People with mental health issues wear their thoughts on their faces for powerful photo series

    MORE: Woman who thought she was just ‘daydreaming’ was actually suffering epileptic seizures

    MORE: Model shares video of her epileptic seizure on Instagram

    Businesswoman looking out of the window of tram in San FranciscoBusinesswoman looking out of the window of tram in San Francisco

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    (Picture: NARS)

    When looking for beauty products that really work, we turn to the tried-and-true classics.

    We’re talking about the treasure trove of skincare and makeup products that we’ve been using for years – generations, even – that have risen in the ranks and managed to retain a place at the top, from Elizabeth Arden’s much-loved Eight Hour Cream to NARS’ salaciously named Orgasm blusher.

    They’re the products we revisit when our new beauty buys don’t cut the mustard and we don’t want to take a gamble on yet another purchase.

    So whether you’re a beauty obsessive like us, or searching for a new foundation or moisturiser to add to your arsenal, here are the beauty products that have stood the test of time.

    They’re worth the hype, trust us (and everyone else).

    Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

    Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream
    (Picture: Kiehl’s)

    Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream is beloved by many. So much so that 10 pots of the stuff are sold every minute globally.

    The best-seller which contains exceptional hydrators such as squalane and avocado oil, is thick, yet sinks into the skin nicely, working wonders at soothing and hydrating parched complexions.

    Fans of the go-to cream include Olivia Palermo, Reese Witherspoon and Cameron Diaz.

    And the best part? It’s just been re-launched with improved hydration testing (due to customer feedback) and has been formulated without parabens. And no fear, Kiehl’s has claimed the beauty hero is just as effective as before.

    Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, £24.50 50ml, feelunique.com, kiehls.co.uk and spacenk.com


    Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

    Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II
    (Picture: Estée Lauder)

    According to Estée Lauder 10 bottles of Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II are sold every minute around the world… and for good reason.

    Yes it is expensive, costing £55 for 30ml. But this serum has a gorgeous blend of ingredients including hyaluronic acid, that improves skin tone, clarity and the appearance of fine lines.

    It’s typically used as an anti-aging product, but it also works to tackle dryness, dullness and dehydration.

    Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II, £55 30ml, esteelauder.co.uk, lookfantastic.com and feelunique.com


    Tweezerman Slant Tweezers

    Tweezerman Slant Tweezers
    (Picture: Tweezerman)

    Considered the ultimate in tweezers, Tweezerman Slant Tweezers have been helping us achieve beautifully arched brows for over 35 years.

    They’re precise and perfectly aligned. To put it simply, they can’t be beaten.

    Tweezerman Slant Tweezers, £21.95, boots.com, amazon.co.uk and feelunique.com

    Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant (Fragrance Free)

    Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant 
    (Picture: Elizabeth Arden)

    Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream was created 89 years go by no other than Elizabeth Arden herself and still holds a place in ours and our Grandmother’s hearts.

    Don’t let the name decieve you, as it’s far from a cream, rather a glossy clear balm that can be used for just about anything.

    The popular multitasker can be applied to your eyebrows, cuticles, split ends, chapped lips and even knees – which is how the name ‘Eight Hour’ came about after a client claimed the cream healed her son’s grazed knee in just eight hours.

    But don’t just take her word for it, it’s so good one tube of the cult balm is sold every 30 seconds worldwide, and one every two minutes in the UK alone.

    Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant (Fragrance Free), from £19.95 50ml, allbeauty.com, lookfantastic.com and amazon.co.uk


    NARS Orgasm Blush

    NARS Orgasm Blush
    (Picture: NARS)

    World-famous NARS Orgasm Blush has won countless beauty awards since its 1999 debut and is praised for flattering every skin tone.

    When applied the blusher imparts a gorgeous ‘just had sex’ glow, thanks to its warm peachy-pink hue and golden sheen.

    The success of NARS Orgasm has not only seen more than two Orgasm Blushes sold every minute globally, the collection has expanded like no other with the arrival of a lip gloss, multiple, nail polish, illuminator, liquid blusher, lipstick and last Summer a lip blam AND loose powder.

    Once you try it, you’ll never go back.

    NARS Orgasm Blush, £25, lookfantastic.com, feelunique.com, cultbeauty.co.uk and narscosmetics.co.uk


    MAC Cosmetics Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo

    MAC Cosmetics Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo
    (Picture: MAC Cosmetics)

    There’s a whole world of red lipstick out there, but then there’s Ruby Woo by MAC Cosmetics.

    The iconic lipstick delivers a pack of blue-red color on the lips that lasts and lasts.

    If you’re an avid MAC fan then the chances are you’ve already bagged this beauty, but if not, then (why not?) it’s one to shop next time you’re in-store.

    Every beauty-obsessive needs a red lipstick in their collection.

    MAC Cosmetics Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo, £17.50, maccosmetics.co.uk, debenhams.co.uk and lookfantastic.com


    Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

    Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
    (Picture: Giorgio Armani)

    Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is a longtime standby that people in the industry swear by.

    The crowd pleasing foundation is a favourite because it’s buidlable, long-lasting, great for photos, non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores), covers up redness and delivers a lit-from-within finish.

    It also has famous fans including Kim Kardashian, Meghan Markle and Michelle Keegan.

    Did we mention it’s available in an inclusive shade range and it’s beautifully packaged too?

    Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, £42, armanibeauty.co.uk, lookfantastic.com and feelunique.com


    Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

    Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
    (Picture: Cetaphil)

    We always come back to this soothing classic when our skin is especially sensitive, or simply freaking out.

    No matter if you’ve got dry, oily, or combination skin, this stripped back cleanser will work for you.

    It’s particularly good if you’re oily or clogged as it doesn’t contain any comedogenic ingredients which can congest skin and cause breakouts.

    Plus it costs under a fiver.

    Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, from £4.99 236ml, amazon.co.uk, boots.com and superdrug.com

    Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

    Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
    (Picture: Urban Decay)

    Gone are the days when you’d set your makeup with hairspray.

    This classic cult-status mist does exactly what it says on the bottle and then some, giving your makeup some serious staying power so it lasts for hours and hours.

    It’s a must-have for gym days, sweaty commutes, nights out-out, weddings and hot holidays.

    Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, £24, lookfantastic.comurbandecay.co.uk and feelunique.com


    Essie Ballet Slippers Nail Polish

    Essie Ballet Slippers Nail Polish
    (Picture: Essie)

    For an understated manicure the polish that holds that reigns (quite literally) is Essie’s Ballet Slippers Nail Polish.

    The soft pink, near-translucent polish is one of the brand’s most popular nude hues and apparently Meghan Markle wore it on her wedding day, which could be seen as a nod to the Queen as it’s her favourite polish.

    The shade was also mentioned in the novel The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger, where it’s reported that Vogue staff wear the polish followed by coat of Essie’s Marshmallow.

    Essie Ballet Slippers Nail Polish, £7.99, superdrug.com, boots.com and amazon.co.uk

    MORE: Exfoliation benefits, tips and best skincare products


    10 classic beauty products that have stood the test of time10 classic beauty products that have stood the test of time

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    Hair brush review
    (Picture: Moroccan Oil/Philip Kingsley/YVMV/Tangle Angel)

    Finding a good hair brush is difficult, but important.

    You know the age old adage; treat your hair well, and it’ll thank you for it.

    Just as you need to try your way to a good product that’s suitable for your skin type, you should invest in a hair brush that suits your hair – whether it be short, curly, straight, thick or thin.

    But haircare can be expensive business, with brushes costing anywhere between a few pounds to more than you’d spend on your weekly food shop.

    So, to help you (and your wallet), we’ve tried out a few ourselves.

    Great Lengths paddle brush, £22.95

    Best hair brushes Provider: YVMV Source: https://www.dropbox.com/s/04n2oxov9c73k9c/2017_main-1.jpg?dl=0
    (Picture: YVMV)

    This brush did next to nothing for me.

    The handle is too big and uncomfortable to use, and the bristles are too soft to make any kind of difference.

    It didn’t serve its purpose of actually brushing my hair, but just provided a nice sheen on top (while I was left with a mess underneath).

    Great Lengths has designed it for people with extensions, so that might be an explanation – but I would imagine it would annoy those people, too.

    I grudgingly admit that it’s a nice finishing brush, but I wouldn’t recommend it for anything else.

    T3, volume (3), £35


    Best hair brushes Provider: lookfantastic.com Source: https://www.lookfantastic.com/t3-volume-3.0-round-brush-us/11637469.html?affil=thggpsad&switchcurrency=GBP&shippingcountry=GB&thg_ppc_campaign=71700000047040822&adtype=pla&product_id=11637469&gclid=Cj0KCQjwnKHlBRDLARIsAMtMHDGP2mYXPStqzBqmLQj1onf2kPSrjaaMg9vvajIbhbt8HZIKhm3VadIaAhEDEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
    Picture: lookfantastic.com/T3)

    The T3 Volume brush is a good styling brush (which seems to be its purpose) but I wouldn’t use it as a daily item, because it only smooths the surface – and I want more from a brush.

    However, as far as styling, it’s not bad and I like the gold rose colour.

    This particular size (three) made the locks a bit too ‘bouncy’, I’d prefer the smaller sizes for a more natural curl.

    Overall, it’s an OK brush but for this price point, I’d expect more.

    Best for medium to longer hair.

    Kent bristle and nylon paddle brush, £11

    Best hair brushes Provider: Kent Brushes/Boots Source: https://www.boots.com/kent-brushes-perfect-for-large-natural-bristle-and-nylon-paddle-brush-pf01-10210099
    (Picture: Kent Brushes/Boots)

    This bristle brush has become a staple in my handbag – I won’t leave the house without it.

    To date, it’s the only brush I’ve found that will get through the knots in my hair without pulling out strands in the process.

    Although I only use this on dry hair, as it’s a bit harsh on wet hair.

    I also like to curl my strands every morning, and use this to give my waves a softer look.

    The only downside is that it can sometimes ruin the styling I’ve spent time on.

    Tangle Angel pro, £18.95

    Best hair brushes Provider: Tangle Angel Source: https://www.tangleangel.com/angelpro/
    (Picture: Tangle Angel)

    The Tangle Angel pro has a sleek and girly design of wings in a shiny pink colour.

    The bristles are firm throughout, and pull through tangles in wet and dry hair with ease.

    It was light and easy to use and glides through my wet hair in minutes, leaving it knot and pull free with no damage to my long, thick hair.

    My hair was in a good condition for blow drying too, which took minutes. The brush is also perfect for styling dry hair and adds an extra shine with no flyaway hairs.

    Would 100% recommend for any hair length and thickness.

    Philip Kingsley vented paddle brush, £25


    Best hair brushes Provider: Philip Kingsley Source: https://www.philipkingsley.co.uk/philip-kingsley-vented-paddle-brush.html
    (Picture: Philip Kingsley)

    Oh, how I wanted to like this brush.

    I have very thin, flimsy hair and it was just too painful to use. The bristles were hard and kept hitting my scalp.

    However, the brand recommends it be used on someone with thick, long hair, so perhaps I’m not the ideal candidate for it.

    On one positive note, it has vents (holes) on the back, which did help dry my hair quicker.

    Phil Smith detangling brush, £4.50


    Best hair brushes Provider: Phil Smith Source: https://britishbeautyblogger.com/hair/phil-smith-smooth-detangling-brush/
    (Picture: Phil Smith)

    As someone who has thick, curly, frizzy hair – picture a curly candyfloss mop packed into a low bun – I was a little sceptical at how the bristles would stand up.

    It managed to glide through my tricky hair quite easily, and made the morning battle against knots that bit easier.

    I loved the look of the brush, I’m a sucker for any form of colour and the rainbow bristles were designed in little ‘skewwhiffs’ to really help go to town on my hair. Quite a lot of hair normally comes out when I’m brushing but I didn’t find it much of an issue with this.

    My one problem – which is quite a big one when you think about it – is that the actual bristle pad detached from the handle a couple of times.

    Moroccan Oil boar bristle brush, £55

    Best hair brushes Provider: Moroccan Oil Source: https://www.moroccanoil.com/uk/hair-care-boar-bristle-classic-brush-uk
    (Picture: Moroccan Oil)

    This is the softest brush I’ve ever used, meaning it’s very kind on damaged hair.

    But unfortunately I had to swap it out on bad hair days, so I’d get the knots out.

    I prefer a wooden handle, so that was a plus, and it’s very pretty.

    I’d say it’s worth the investment if you have money to splurge and have a few back-up brushes handy.

    MORE: Woman left devastated after stylist charged her £65 for a ‘wonky’ haircut

    MORE: Huda Kattan’s newest beauty hack is taking makeup off with men’s shaving foam

    MORE: Woman receives abuse from trolls after sharing her hairy legs online

    Best hair brushesBest hair brushes

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    Man cycles around world with cat Picture: 1bike1world METROGRAB
    (Picture: Dean Nicholson)

    Deciding to journey around the world is by no means an easy feat. But Dean Nicholson, bored with his 9-5 job as a welder, wanted a global adventure. So he got out his bike.

    After saving up for months, Dean set off on his bike from his hometown in Dunbar, Scotland.

    The 31-year-old had travelled through eight countries, documenting it all online.

    Along the way, he was joined by an unexpected guest.

    While crossing the Bosnian border into Montenegro, Dean was in his own world listening to music. In between songs, he heard a meow.

    He found a gorgeous tabby cat climbing the hill alongside him. After patting her, he went about his way. The kitty, however, wasn’t ready to let go.

    Man cycles around world with cat Picture: 1bike1world METROGRAB
    Best of friends (Picture: Dean Nicholson)

    Unable to leave the cat alone, Dean decided to feed her, take her to the vet, and see if she was microchipped. She wasn’t and by then Dean had fallen in love with her.

    He named her Nala and took her along with him on the long journey. The two have since become the best of friends.

    ‘I wanted to cycle the world as I felt it was a good challenge to set myself, I wanted to do something exciting,’ Dean tells Metro.co.uk.

    Man cycles around world with cat Picture: 1bike1world METROGRAB
    Little Nala (Picture: Dean Nicholson)

    ‘It didn’t take that long, it was a split second decision that I was going to do it and after that, I worked for about seven months, saving every penny I could and getting all my equipment.’

    Last September, Dean headed off. He is currently in Santorini, Greece, where he and Nala are enjoying kayaking.

    Dean often travels with Nala in a little pouch at the front of the bike so he can watch her while he cycles. She either naps or sits atop her loving owner’s shoulder.

    Man cycles around world with cat Picture: 1bike1world METROGRAB
    Look at the kitty jump (Picture: Dean Nicholson)

    ‘I found Nala when I was cycling through Bosnia,’ he tells us. ‘I was cycling up a steep hill so wasn’t going that fast and had my music system on the back of my bike playing music, there was a break in the song and I heard this meowing coming from behind me.

    ‘I stopped and here’s this wee kitten chasing me up the hill trying to get my attention.

    ‘I gave her some of my pesto which is all I had and she wouldn’t leave my side since. After the vets, I got her chipped, a passport and started with her vaccinations allowing me to keep travelling.

    ‘I let her do her own thing and she sometimes climbs onto my neck and sits there instead.

    ‘She’s actually a lot easier than most people think: she sits and sunbathes most the day and falls asleep when I’m cycling.

    Man cycles around world with cat Picture: 1bike1world METROGRAB
    Long walks at the beach together (Picture: Dean Nicholson)

    Dean works as part of his trip to raise funds for his travels. At the moment he is a kayak tour guide – Nala often joins him on the waters.

    ‘Nala is doing really well,’ he says.

    ‘We are living in a cave down the beach and she loves playing in the sand so she’s very happy.’

    Send us your cat stories!

    As the media partners of CatFest, coming to London on 29 June, we're excited to share loads of stories about brilliant cats.

    All cats are wonderful, of course, but if you have a story of a truly exceptional kitty, we want to hear it.

    We're talking about lifesaving cats, cats who've overcome challenges, kitties who've changed things for the better.

    If you've got a story to share, send us an email at ellen.scott@metro.co.uk with the details and pictures.

    To book your tickets to CatFest, do head over to Eventbrite.

    MORE: Matt the cat sitter has been living rent-free in London for two years

    MORE: Can anyone find where the cat is on this rug?

    MORE: Chunky cat Barsik is looking for a family who can help him with his fitness journey

    Man cycles around world with cat Picture: 1bike1world METROGRABMan cycles around world with cat Picture: 1bike1world METROGRABMan cycles around world with cat Picture: 1bike1world METROGRABMan cycles around world with cat Picture: 1bike1world METROGRAB

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    High Angle View Of Woman Sitting With Cat And Dog At Home
    Dog owners are more likely to describe themselves as ‘very happy’ (Picture: Getty)

    A new study has found that dog owners are significantly happier than cat owners.

    According to the findings, 36% of dog owners report being ‘very happy’ compared to just 18% of cat owners.

    The General Social Survey (GSS), which is run by social research organisation NORC at the University of Chicago typically use a sample size of between 1,500 – 3,000 to collect data about the attitudes and behaviours of Americans.

    Their latest findings appear to prove that dogs really are man’s best friend – and that they can even make us happier.

    But you have to take the findings with a pinch of salt. The figures don’t necessarily suggest a causation. It could be that other factors in the lives of dog-owners are contributing to this improved level of happiness.

    The survey’s findings also revealed that dog owners are more likely to be married and own homes than cat owners – both of which are factors that typically improve life satisfaction.

    If you have a dog, you’re much more likely to live in a bigger house, near green, open space – this fact alone could improve your overall happiness levels.

    Cats are much more flexible and you can technically have one anywhere, even a shoe box high-rise flat surrounded by concrete. Not exactly a winning combination for perpetual life satisfaction.

    Additionally, owning a dog means walking that dog. That’s at least an extra 30 minutes outside in nature that cat owners aren’t necessarily getting every day. And, as we reported, just 20 minutes in nature every day can reduce stress levels.

    A woman and her Dalmatian dog out for a walk on an idyllic woodland path.
    Being out in nature has an effect on happiness too (Picture: Getty)

    Being physically active on a daily basis can be hugely beneficial for your mood and overall well being. Having a dog is a natural way to ensure you don’t spend every evening glued to your sofa. Whereas a cat sleeping on your lap can have the exact opposite effect.

    So is it time to consider giving up your feline friend? Are you destined for a lifetime of despair if you happen to prefer kittens to puppies?

    We don’t think so.

    Owning any pet will help to improve your happiness. Goldfish, hamster, rabbit, kitty – research suggests that owning any of these furry friends can improve your cardiovascular health and lower your blood pressure.

    Another survey of 1,000 dog and cat owners from last year found that pet owners are more likely to be satisfied in their jobs while almost half of those surveyed said they never felt lonely.

    So while it looks like dog owners might just have the edge when it comes to happiness, it’s more likely the big house, financial stability and regular exercise associated with having a dog that is causing the spike in satisfaction.

    If you can persuade your landlord to let you have a pet, any pet, it’s definitely worth a try and your serotonin levels will thank you.

    Send us your cat stories!

    As the media partners of CatFest, coming to London on 29 June, we're excited to share loads of stories about brilliant cats.

    All cats are wonderful, of course, but if you have a story of a truly exceptional kitty, we want to hear it.

    We're talking about lifesaving cats, cats who've overcome challenges, kitties who've changed things for the better.

    If you've got a story to share, send us an email at ellen.scott@metro.co.uk with the details and pictures.

    To book your tickets to CatFest, do head over to Eventbrite.

    MORE: Man cycles around the world with a stray cat by his side

    MORE: Chunky cat Barsik is looking for a family who can help him with his fitness journey

    MORE: Can anyone find where the cat is on this rug?

    High Angle View Of Woman Sitting With Cat And Dog At HomeHigh Angle View Of Woman Sitting With Cat And Dog At Home

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    embroidery tattoos
    (Picture: Instagram/tabatatattoo)

    For a while, tattoos were primarily associated with prisons, gangs, and skulls and crossbone designs.

    That’s clearly not the case anymore.

    Take a scroll through Instagram and you’ll find dainty floral designs, watercolour portraits of cats, and plenty more tattoo styles that don’t scream ‘tough’ or ‘edgy’.

    But you might still feel as though you need to be a certain type of ‘cool’ to grant access to a tattoo. Perhaps you’re a homebody who likes baking, gardening, and origami, and thus feel as though you’re not allowed to join the tattoo club.

    This particular tattoo trend might help to ease you in.

    Behold embroidery tattoos.


    Don’t panic, they don’t actually involve a needle and thread. Embroidery tattoos are tatts created to look as though they’ve been stitched on. They’re also known as patch tattoos, because they look a little like those patches you used to iron on to your denim jacket, and stitch tattoos.

    Through embroidery tattoos, you can get a design you love that pays homage to your preferred type of stitch. They feel far more folk-y than your usual design, and have the added factor of looking a touch 3D.

    You can choose whatever design you fancy, pick your inks as though they’re threads, and have a multicoloured masterpiece sitting on your body.

    They look so realistically embroidered that this might be the tattoo trend that convinces your grandma to give body art a go.

    As with all tattoos, tread carefully. Consider your decision carefully before rushing out to permanently ink your body based on a trend (even if it does look great on Instagram). Do your research and go to a professional with experience in this style of tattoo, so you don’t end up with a blotchy, scribbled mess. Embroidery tattoos are all about precision and detail, so they need some expertise.

    Need inspiration? We’ve popped some of our favourites from Instagram below.

    Look at this lovely faux embroidered heart



    Prefer cross-stitch? You can go for that style too



    Embroidery tattoos work best with plenty of colour



    And flowers always look glorious



    Think about patches you’d sew on to a jacket



    And ask for zig-zag stitch-style lines to sell the look



    You can go big…



    …or small



    And do feel free to just take along a piece of embroidery you’ve done for reference



    Or go a bit meta


    We’re big fans.

    MORE: You’re going to see janties and neon bike shorts at festivals this summer

    MORE: A granddad has fallen in love with getting tattoos in his 70s

    MORE: Woman with alopecia gets a tattoo covering her whole head to help her embrace being bald

    embroidery tattoos-f9cbembroidery tattoos-f9cb

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    (Picture: Andrew Marshall /SWNS)

    Kayla Gerber, who works for a medicinal cannabis clinic in Ontario, Canada, has fibromyalgia – a chronic condition that causes pain all over the body.

    The 27-year-old, who is also a dance teacher, has been educating patients about the benefits of marijuana since it was legalised in Canada last year.

    Wanting to help others suffering from chronic pain, Kayla signed up for a job opening for a weed expert.

    Toronto-based brand AHLOT offered a role to join what is said to be the world’s first Cannabis Curation Committee. To her delight, Kayla landed the job.

    She will now be testing different strains of the plant and rating them for physical qualities, smell, and taste.

    Kayla also has to evaluate a strain’s effects on the body and mood, such as changes in appetite, energy, creativity and sociability.

    She’ll also need to test out ‘consumption accessories’ such as vaporizers, pipes and bongs and storage accessories to retain freshness.

    She is paid $50 (£38) an hour for the gig and has to work a minimum of 20 hours a month.

    Unsurprisingly, she said it is her dream job.

    *** EMBARGO 2PM ET/ 7PM GMT April 9 2019 *** Kayla Gerber, 27, was picked out of 25,000 applicants to become an expert on the world???s first ??? Cannabis Curation Committee??? , and is being paid $50 an hour to rate different kinds of weed for Toronto- based company AHLOT. See SWNS story SWNYweed. Meet the woman who gets paid $50 an hour to use cannabis. Kayla Gerber, 27, was selected from almost 25,000 applicants to land her dream job as an expert on the world???s first ???Cannabis Curation Committee.??? Kayla samples different strains of the plant and rates them for physical qualities, smell, and taste. She also evaluates the effects on the body and mood - such as changes in appetite, energy, creativity and sociability.
    (Picture: Andrew Marshall /SWNS)

    Only eight people out of 25,000 applicants were chosen for the highly coveted role, after a seven-month selection process.

    ‘It’s was a long process but I am really in the dream job of a lifetime,’ she said.

    ‘When I found out I’d got the job I lost my mind. I got up and started dancing, my mind was totally blown, it was so surreal’.

    *** EMBARGO 2PM ET/ 7PM GMT April 9 2019 *** Kayla Gerber, 27, was picked out of 25,000 applicants to become an expert on the world???s first ??? Cannabis Curation Committee??? , and is being paid $50 an hour to rate different kinds of weed for Toronto- based company AHLOT. See SWNS story SWNYweed. Meet the woman who gets paid $50 an hour to use cannabis. Kayla Gerber, 27, was selected from almost 25,000 applicants to land her dream job as an expert on the world???s first ???Cannabis Curation Committee.??? Kayla samples different strains of the plant and rates them for physical qualities, smell, and taste. She also evaluates the effects on the body and mood - such as changes in appetite, energy, creativity and sociability.
    (Picture: Andrew Marshall /SWNS)

    When Kayla was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at the age of ten, she was prescribed medicines which barely eased her pain.

    ‘I was living in misery from pain, taking about twelve prescription medications every day, but sometimes I could hardly move, so I had to look for alternatives,’ she says. ‘I discovered that weed and CBD oil could significantly reduce my pain.’

    Kayla doesn’t take prescription medications anymore and leads a busy, physically active life. But the cannabis connoisseur is keen to warn that the substance must be used with caution.

    ‘Anyone who is thinking of trying cannabis for the first time, either for recreational use or medicinal purposes, should get educated first,’ she advises.

    *** EMBARGO 2PM ET/ 7PM GMT April 9 2019 *** Kayla Gerber, 27, was picked out of 25,000 applicants to become an expert on the world???s first ??? Cannabis Curation Committee??? , and is being paid $50 an hour to rate different kinds of weed for Toronto- based company AHLOT. See SWNS story SWNYweed. Meet the woman who gets paid $50 an hour to use cannabis. Kayla Gerber, 27, was selected from almost 25,000 applicants to land her dream job as an expert on the world???s first ???Cannabis Curation Committee.??? Kayla samples different strains of the plant and rates them for physical qualities, smell, and taste. She also evaluates the effects on the body and mood - such as changes in appetite, energy, creativity and sociability.
    (Picture: Andrew Marshall /SWNS)

    ‘It’s also so important to be very careful with dosing, we always go for microdoses, “low and slow” is the mantra.

    ‘It’s really beautiful to see the progression here in Canada.

    ‘I am a black woman, who would typically be victimised for using cannabis, now I’m sitting on the Curation Committee and speaking out publicly about the benefits.’

    MORE: People tell us how smoking weed affects their mental health

    MORE: Smoking super-strong weed makes people five times more likely to develop psychosis

    MORE: Pregnant women are using weed to combat morning sickness and it’s a very bad idea

    Woman gets paid $50 an hour to use cannabisWoman gets paid $50 an hour to use cannabis

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    (Picture: Boots/ Getty)

    Mascara is an essential in every beauty lover’s makeup bag.

    Lengthening, thickening, curl-enhancing, eye-widening; there are so many mascara options for every lash requirement, which can make finding ‘the one’ a hard task.

    So it’s not surprising brands are constantly bringing out new formulas in a bid to help you achieve the long-lasting, va-va-voom lashes you’ve been lusting after.

    But one new mascara women are going wild for is Boots’ own brand No7 The Full 360 Mascara, with one sold every nine seconds around the UK – impressive, huh?


    The now best-selling mascara that launched earlier this year is ‘enriched with volumising spheres that layer upon one another to build volume, creating dramatically more noticeable lashes’.

    Notably the No7 The Full 360 Mascara has a curved bristle wand, meaning it will hug your lashes from the root to the tip, curling your lashes as you coat them.

    If you’re looking for a more dramatic look, applying three coats will make your lashes look longer and can last up to 12 hours.

    Despite its impressive sales stats the mascara has received a mixed response online at Boots with an overall rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

    But having tried it, we can confirm it’s thickening, lengthening and completely non-clumping.

    We’re not alone, as one customer said: ‘I could not love this mascara any more if I tried.’

    Another happy reviewer added: ‘It works wonders on my short eyelashes. It curls, lifts and separates beautifully with no clumps or smudges and on me it lasts all day.’

    With a price tag of £14 it goes to show you don’t have to splurge on fancy mascara to achieve ‘are those your real lashes?’ lashes.

    And with Boots reinventing their beauty halls this month there’s never been a better time to snap up this high street favourite.

    Brand new beauty halls at Boots

    From April, Boots will refit 24 of its beauty halls becoming the first highstreet retailer to fully remove traditional beauty counters, replacing them with open furniture, trend driven zones, play stations, discovery areas and live demonstration zones.

    Customers will be able to browse and play with the latest products as well as established, cult heroes from new brands including BECCA Cosmetics, Tony Moly and Nude by Nature.

    Commercial Director and VP of Beauty and Gifting at Boots UK, Joanna Rogers said: ‘The ambition has been to shake up our current beauty offering to create an open and inspiring environment where customers can explore and play’

    ‘A place to excite them where they can try and buy the brands they want, from on trend colour cosmetics for as little as 70p to premium beauty under one roof.’

    Zones in the new beauty halls include:

    • Beauty Live: An interactive window showcasing brand stories and experience demonstrations.
    • Beauty Edits: Providing inspirational stories and edits.
    • Beauty Experience Zone: Experience is hugely important to today’s consumer. This is all about personalisation, and interactions with your new favourite brands.
    • Beauty Discovery: Showcasing Beauty trends and latest beauty finds curated by Boots to provide beauty inspiration.

    MORE: The new launches to add to your beauty routine

    MORE: 10 classic beauty products that have stood the test of time

    This No7 mascara is sold once every 9 secondsThis No7 mascara is sold once every 9 seconds

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    the orange logo on a sainsbury's shop front
    Who doesn’t love a bargain? (Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

    After Sainsbury’s launched a 25%-off TU sale back in February, people have been left wondering when the next one might be.

    The supermarket’s clothing brand TU’s last 25%-off sale happened just in time for World Book Day, with costumes included in the promotional offer.

    The brand includes clothing of all sizes for men, women and children, so there’s something fro everyone.

    Keen on knowing when the next TU bargains might be coming your way?

    Then you’re in the right place, because we’ve got the latest on when there could be another 25% off sale on Sainsbury’s TU items.

    When is the next 25% off TU clothing sale?

    According to hotukdeals, there will be 25% off TU clothing and accessories, online and in-store, from April 16 right the way through Easter weekend until April 22.

    Metro has contacted Sainsbury’s for confirmation on the start date but in the meantime you can take a look at what items could be on offer.

    This deal will apparently include plenty of Easter clothing such as bunny slippers, T-shirts and school uniforms.

    On top of that, you’d be able to enjoy these price reductions at Argos too, as they also sell TU products.

    While you wait for the deals to get underway, there are discounted items offered fairly regularly in the TU clearance sales, which you can keep an eye on by visiting the official TU website or the Argos website.

    Currently TU is offering some of these clothes at up to half off, so if you’re into bargains (why wouldn’t you be), then it’s really worth a look-in.

    MORE: Asda and Sainsbury’s merger could push up food prices and reduce quality

    MORE: Sainsbury’s launches 1.8 metre long BBQ sausage

    Sainsburys Announce Rise In Sales For First QuarterSainsburys Announce Rise In Sales For First Quarter

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    (Picture: H&M)

    Eco-fashion is, thankfully, becoming more mainstream as brands are rethinking how to offer ethically sourced products to customers.

    Some brands are more committed to ethical fashion than others. And H&M is trying to prove its commitment to the environment with its Conscious Exclusive range, which just dropped its 2019 spring collection.

    Taking inspiration from the wonders of planet earth and different communities, the Swedish brand is using new, sustainable materials.

    The collection is made from Piñatex (a leather alternative made from the leaves of the pineapple plant), an orange fiber textile (made from citrus peel from juice production) and bloom foam (made from algae).

    Bold prints inspired by plants and trees are major features and the colour palette is inspired by healing crystals with colours including lavender, aqua blue, petrol blue and coral pink along with black, gold and silver.

    You’ll have to wait until 11 April though when the line drops online and at all H&M stores.

    Who said ethical fashion has to cost a fortune?

    H&M Conscious Collection Picture: H&M} supplied to metro.co.uk
    (Picture: H&M)

    ‘The Conscious Exclusive Spring 2019 collection is the perfect mix of glamour and effortless style,’ H&M said in a press release.

    ‘Inspired by the wonders of planet Earth, the collection explores the healing power and beauty of nature, while also embracing technology and innovation in the development of sustainable materials and processes, for a more sustainable fashion future.’

    You can expect to see dramatic ruffles, uneven hems, cut-outs, silhouettes, v-necklines and sparkling sequins.

    H&M Conscious Collection Picture: H&M} supplied to metro.co.uk
    (Picture: H&M)

    Other sustainable materials in the collection include recycled polyester, organic cotton, linen, and silk, recycled plastic, recycled glass, and recycled silver.

    H&M wants to show customers it means business when it comes to being environmentally friendly.

    The brand is said to source 57% of its materials from a sustainable resource. By 2040, H&M wants to be known as a climate positive value chain.

    We can definitely get behind that.

    MORE: Hilarious H&M t-shirt design flaw revealed by Scottish children

    MORE: Check how ethical your fave fashion brands really are with this app

    MORE: Meghan Markle’s crawler earrings arent just super trendy, they’re ethical


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    Why can we not admit we're successful at work?
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Earlier today, a former colleague got in touch to tell me that she’d like to use me as a case study to showcase successful career progression in a presentation for new employees.

    I thanked her, but also brushed off the compliment the moment she gave it.

    Despite having a great job and being very good at it, I often struggle with the concept of success and am unable to admit to myself that I’m actually doing quite well.

    This type of feeling is common. The term for it is known as impostor syndrome, and presents itself as doubt on your abilities – even if there’s evidence to the contrary.

    Often it’s because people compare themselves to others or because they’re constantly trying to reach new goals, which overshadows the good work that’s already been done.

    Hayley Smith, 30, started her PR firm with one client and has built up her roster over the years, regularly acquiring new contracts.

    She tells Metro.co.uk that she struggles to acknowledge her achievements and her mental health problems can exacerbate the issue.

    Hayley said: ‘I work incredibly hard, and I love what I do, which I would say is success. But I also suffer with anxiety and depression, and if something negative happens, such as losing a client or even not winning one, I will take it really hard, and then that will be a sticking point, blanking out everything.

    ‘In the past, due to impostor syndrome, I have cancelled meetings, turned down clients, or even gone the opposite end of the scale and made impulsive decisions, which has had long term negative effects.

    ‘My main issue is that I have literally come from nothing, and it can sometimes be hard to accept how far I have come.’

    (Picture: Ella Byworth/Metro.co.uk)

    According to research, 70% of people will at some point struggle with impostor syndrome, some for just a few weeks and others for their entire lives. Links have been found between the syndrome and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, but it’s not a sole cause for it.

    And it doesn’t necessarily transpire when you’ve reached the peak of your career (in other words, impostor syndrome is not reserved for business owners, CEOs or people in high-powered positions).

    A common symptom among people who suffer from it is an inability to accept positive feedback – or rather, to accept that this feedback is accurate.

    Marian Kwei, 37, is a blogger and celebrity stylist. She has been featured in publications such as Huffington Post, Vogue Italia and New York Post, and styled people for the red carpet – but will still change the subject if someone comments on her success.

    ‘My friends say I’ve realised my dreams, having styled people for the red carpet, but to me I feel as though I haven’t because I don’t see what I’ve achieved,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘I’ve felt that way in all my roles that I’ve ever done. Even when I’ve achieved success, to me it seems that I haven’t yet and I get embarrassed when people say so.

    ‘I have an issue grasping that I’ve actually “arrived”, as it were.’

    Unsurprisingly, impostor syndrome tends to be more common in women.

    However, a recent study says that while women are more likely to suffer from it, men have more ‘severe reactions’ to it, such as anxiety.

    ‘Lots of cultures don’t encourage boastfulness and admitting success is often seen as an act of arrogance and bragging,’ Karen Kwong, founder of the coaching business RenOC, tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Additionally, there is a fear that if one admitted success, any future failure would be seen as “greater” because the fall is from a “higher” level.

    ‘It’s always more common among women.

    ‘Women tend to wrap up talking about their achievements in a “we” and collaborative form and tend to downplay achievements.  Men tend to talk up their achievements as down to their own abilities and are more overtly ambitious about their aims (e.g. even if not wholly qualified, they’ll go for a job whereas women tend to only go for roles where they can tick every box.

    ‘The language men use also tend to “excite” leaders more – e.g. “I led X to Y” – whereas the language women use tend to the more “soft skills” end, such as “we collaborated” and “together we” – thereby subtly suggesting they’re unable to do things on their own and it wasn’t particularly down to their skills and abilities.’

    Regardless if you’re male or female (or gender-neutral) you’re not doomed.

    Impostor syndrome is often tied to your self-worth and self-esteem, and both of these can be worked on.

    It might be helpful to break your success up into pieces, and focus on the facts. Or, talk to someone you trust about your issues – a friend or even a mental health professional, if you’d prefer a neutral space.

    Do not compare your life or career to others’ and accept that there will likely always be someone who is better at something than you are.

    Also, try to recognise where your impostor syndrome stems from. For instance, are you a perfectionist or do you lack trust in others to help you complete a task?

    Most importantly, don’t be afraid to talk about your success.

    Karen said: ‘Be factual and realistic, but yet ambitious about your successes.

    ‘If you don’t talk about them (vs boast about them) then no one will know what you’re capable of. Because you are the only person who can truly know yourself and your strengths well – no one else!’

    And if you feel the fear of ‘what if I lose my success one day’ creep up in your mind, simply squash it down.

    Failure is a part of success, and does not take away from what you’ve done up until that point.

    Trying your best is success – own it.

    MORE: What to do if you hate your job

    MORE: Why imposter syndrome makes me feel like I’m faking my mental illness

    MORE: Dealing with Impostor Syndrome: The secret to becoming a ‘proper grown up’ is realising that you will never actually be one

    Is toxic positivity ruining your mental health?Is toxic positivity ruining your mental health?

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    (Picture: SWNS)

    An schoolboy with autism has inspired the first ever doll with the condition – complete with ear defenders, sunglasses and communication cards.

    Space-mad Hayden Geraghty, nine, was non-verbal and only started saying full sentences around four years ago – and hasn’t stopped since.

    Toy company Lottie Dolls was so impressed with his transformation it designed a little toy inspired by Hayden.

    The first ever doll with autism, the figure wears blue astronaut overalls and ear defenders and sunglasses, to cope with light and sound sensitivity.

    ‘Mini Hayden’ – officially called Finn Boy Doll – also has a service dog to help him cope with difficult situations, and communication cards to help him chat with his friends.

    The £28.50 doll wears a T-shirt which reads ‘Tesla, Einstein & Me’ – a nod to genius scientists Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein, also believed to be on the autistic spectrum.

    Hayden is obsessed with space travel. He was largely non-verbal until he watched Tim Peake go to the International Space Centre in December 2015.

    He began shouting at the television: ‘10, 9, 8 , 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…. blast off!’.

    It was one of the first times his mum Caroline, 41, had heard her little boy say a full sentence – and it triggered a rapid increase in his language skills.

    Collect of Hayden with his Lottie Doll .Space-mad Hayden Geraraghty, 9, who has autism, has had a doll designed in his image - complete with ear defenders, sunglasses and communication cards .See SWNS story SWTPdoll .An autistic schoolboy has inspired the first ever doll with the condition - complete with ear defenders, sunglasses and communication cards.Space-mad Hayden Geraghty, nine, was non verbal and only started saying full sentences around four years ago - and hasn't stopped since.Toy company Lottie Dolls was so impressed with his transformation it designed a little toy inspired by Hayden.The first ever doll with autism, the doll wears blue astronaut overalls and ear defenders and sunglasses - to cope with light and sound sensitivity.
    (Picture: Caroline Geraghty /SWNS.COM)

    Mum Caroline, from Limavady, Northern Ireland, said: ‘The doll has the same headphones and clothes as Hayden so he really has put a lot of himself into the doll.

    ‘The doll is there now for children across the world who might have autism. It also gets the message out there to children who don’t.

    ‘When I first looked at the doll I thought “That’s the spitting image of Hayden”.

    ‘Whenever we go to space conferences Hayden always wears the signature flight suit.

    ‘He wears his ear defenders just to help shut out the stormy weather. He’s amazed by the fact that boys and girls around the world can have a doll like him.

    ‘It’s helped him understand if you have an idea you can achieve anything.’

    Mum-of-one Caroline said she knew Hayden was ‘different’ from around ten months old because he wasn’t meeting common milestones or making eye contact.

    After battling with doctors for years, he was eventually diagnosed with autism aged five.

    He learned Makaton at school – which combines signs, symbols and sounds – but aged around four he said his first sentence when he asked ‘what’s the crack?’

    However, he struggled to speak fully until he saw Tim Peake go into space in December 2015.

    Collect of Hayden with his HERA mission award he recieved in Madrid. Space-mad Hayden Geraraghty, 9, who has autism, has had a doll designed in his image - complete with ear defenders, sunglasses and communication cards .See SWNS story SWTPdoll .An autistic schoolboy has inspired the first ever doll with the condition - complete with ear defenders, sunglasses and communication cards.Space-mad Hayden Geraghty, nine, was non verbal and only started saying full sentences around four years ago - and hasn't stopped since.Toy company Lottie Dolls was so impressed with his transformation it designed a little toy inspired by Hayden.The first ever doll with autism, the doll wears blue astronaut overalls and ear defenders and sunglasses - to cope with light and sound sensitivity.
    (Picture: Caroline Geraghty /SWNS.COM)

    Hayden sent astronaut Dr Niamh Shaw a painting of Mars, and she was so impressed she got in touch with the CEO of Lottie Dolls to tell them about Hayden.

    Hayden was sent three Lottie Dolls – a range of dolls which are inspired by children – and, after reading the leaflets inside each box, he realised there wasn’t a doll with autism in the range.

    Hayden then wrote to Lottie Dolls CEO Ian Harkin to tell him of the gap in the market, and got a response before the end of 2017.

    Both he and mum Caroline met with Ian in February 2018 and seven months later Finn Boy Doll was launched in the UK and Ireland.

    Caroline, a former fitness instructor, said: ‘He was just transfixed by these dolls and his imagination would run away with him.

    ‘When he read the leaflets he turned to me and said “I’d love to have one like me.” So we wrote to Lottie Dolls to tell them about Hayden’s journey.

    ‘He thought it’ll be great to reach and inspire a wider audience with his story. With autism nothing is visual.

    ‘When he went to the European Space Agency in October we bought six dolls with us. We handed them out but Hayden was dead set on giving one to Tim Peake.

    ‘We know people in the circle now so we were able to pass it on to the right people. For two months Hayden would ask me; “Have you heard anything from Tim mummy?”

    ‘He’s based in Cologne and know he is an extremely busy man.

    ‘But two months later he sent a postcard which read: “Hayden. Thank you for the Lottie Doll – keep doing amazing things! Tim Peake”. Hayden was over the moon.’

    Collect of Hayden with his Lottie Doll.Space-mad Hayden Geraraghty, 9, who has autism, has had a doll designed in his image - complete with ear defenders, sunglasses and communication cards .See SWNS story SWTPdoll .An autistic schoolboy has inspired the first ever doll with the condition - complete with ear defenders, sunglasses and communication cards.Space-mad Hayden Geraghty, nine, was non verbal and only started saying full sentences around four years ago - and hasn't stopped since.Toy company Lottie Dolls was so impressed with his transformation it designed a little toy inspired by Hayden.The first ever doll with autism, the doll wears blue astronaut overalls and ear defenders and sunglasses - to cope with light and sound sensitivity.
    (Picture: Caroline Geraghty /SWNS.COM)

    The company behind Lottie Dolls does not outwardly highlight diversity on the packaging or marketing but anyone who buys the doll will find out more about Hayden.

    Ian Harkin, co-founder and CEO of Lottie Dolls, said: ‘We want kids to buy it first and foremost because it is a cool doll and they later discover inside the box that he has ear defenders (not headphones) a dog (which happens to be a service dog), communication cards and a pair of sunglasses because of light sensitivity.

    ‘By playing with a diverse set of doll kids develop empathy and understanding of kids with disabilities and it normalises behaviour.

    ‘We want all kids to have a diverse toy box, as much as its important for kids to see dolls that look just like them its important for other kids to learn about empathy.

    ‘Hayden’s doll will be on sale in over 30 countries within the coming year.

    ‘We are huge fans of Hayden’s work in promoting his love of astronomy and being a role model for other kids with Autism and ADHD.’

    In January, Hayden was awarded the title Planetary Defence Ambassador after impressing astronauts at Nasa’s Human Exploration Research Analog.

    He is also the youngest member of Irish Astronomical Association and even has his own monthly column in Astronomy Ireland magazine.

    In June, Hayden will travel to Luxembourg to meet some of his space heroes having been personally invited to attend World Asteroid Day.

    Caroline said: ‘His dream is to get the doll out into space whether that be Tim or another astronaut.

    ‘He’s adamant to get the world’s first autistic doll into outer space.’

    MORE: I won’t support Autism Awareness Week because autistic people are not a ‘problem’ to be aware of

    MORE: Mum of autistic boy ‘made to wear neon bib’ takes legal action against school

    DOLLED UP - Autistic schoolboy inspires the first ever doll with the condition - complete with ear defenders, sunglasses and communication cardsDOLLED UP - Autistic schoolboy inspires the first ever doll with the condition - complete with ear defenders, sunglasses and communication cards

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    (Picture: Playtime Edventures)

    A dad has come up with a brilliant idea to help children have fun while spending time in hospital.

    Kevin Gatlin, from North Carolina, has created some board game bed sheets, after realising how boring the hospital environment can be.

    The Playtime Bed Sheets are bed sheets with board games and lessons for kids to play while they’re spending time in bed.

    The idea first came to Kevin with his son in mind. After a hospital visit, he wondered how he would entertain his own son if he were ever to stay in hospital.

    So, he and his wife started brainstorming ideas.

    He told Scary Mommy: ‘My wife used to utilize the bed with our son, they would play board games, they would do homework assignments, it was the biggest piece of furniture in the room.’

    METRO GRAB - taken from the Playtime Edventures without permission - advertising Board game bedsheets https://www.facebook.com/pg/PlaytimeEdventures/photos/?ref=page_internal Picture: Playtime Edventures
    (Picture: Playtime Edventures)

    Two years later, after Kevin had met with teachers to explain what the sheets should have on them, his idea came to life.

    He continued: ‘We put together bedsheets and slumber bags that cover everything from geography, math, science, grammar, word find games, over-sized game boards… all on a three-piece set.

    ‘It’s an unfortunate situation that a child is in.

    METRO GRAB - taken from the Playtime Edventures without permission - advertising Board game bedsheets https://www.facebook.com/pg/PlaytimeEdventures/photos/?ref=page_internal Picture: Playtime Edventures
    (Picture: Playtime Edventures)

    ‘It’s great for the child life coordinator and the nurses and doctors — it gives them a tool that they can use before they just poke the kid.’

    Kevin went on to add that the bed sheets are great for more than just the hospital stay – as generally the unwell child doesn’t go straight back to school after a hospital stay. The bed sheets are perfect for at home, too.

    So far, Kevin’s sheets are in 10 hospitals and people can buy them online.

    He said: ‘To a child, the bed is the most important piece of furniture in their life. It’s not a place just for punishment or only to be used when they’re sick or when it’s time to go to sleep!

    ‘We want our Playtime Bed Sheets to help create an environment where kids can continue to play, learn, sleep, and heal on their favorite piece of furniture!’

    MORE: Little boy’s adorable friendship song is the best thing you’ll see today

    MORE: People are putting cannabis up their bums and vaginas to have better sex

    Board game bedsheetsBoard game bedsheets

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    METRO GRAB - How to get tickets for Bear Grylls' Adventure Park (to schedule one hour before TX tonight pls) Bear Gryll's Adventure Assault Course https://www.beargryllsadventure.com/birmingham
    (Picture: Bear Gryll’s Adventure/Ben Queenborough)

    After months of hype, Bear Grylls’ Adventure park opened earlier this year.

    Last August, our interest was piqued when we were given a sneak peak behind the scenes at the park, which has been designed after the real-life challenges that Bear has faced during his career.

    The 8,000 square metre site offers indoor skydiving, climbing and, at 20 metres high, the highest free-roam high ropes in Europe.

    If those are the kinds of thrills that float your boat, then you’re in luck, because we have everything you need to know on how to get tickets to the Bear Grylls Adventure Park.

    METRO GRAB - How to get tickets for Bear Grylls' Adventure Park (to schedule one hour before TX tonight pls) View of Bear Gryll's Adventure Park in Birmingham https://www.beargryllsadventure.com/birmingham
    (Picture: Bear Gryll’s Adventure)

    Getting tickets to Bear Grylls’ Adventure Park

    Tickets, or ‘packages’, come in four tiers and cost from £25 to £175.

    For £25, you get access to the four Basecamp activities – the Assault Course, the Survival Maze, Breakout puzzle solving, and Target Archery – for 90 minutes, and photos of your time at the Basecamp.

    For £30, you get all of that, plus a choice of doing the iFly indoor skydive, Shooting, Dive, Snorkel, High Ropes or Climb activities, for two hours.

    For £55, you get all of the above, but a choice of two out of the list of extra six activities, and for three hours.

    For £175, you get to stay all day, enjoy the four Basecamp activities, get pictures of your Basecamp experience, try the iFLY indoor skydive, Indoor Climb and Outdoor High Ropes, and, to top it off, choose between Diving or Snorkeling.

    You can purchase all of these packages from the Bear Grylls Adventure website.

    On top of that, if you want to skip everything but the Basecamp and a specific activity, you can also buy Climb, Snorkel+Dive, High Ropes and iFly packages separately.

    The park is located in Birmingham, and is open Monday-Friday from 10am until 8pm, from 9am until 9pm on Saturdays, and from 9am until 7pm on Sundays.

    If that’s not enough, Bear Gryll’s new interactive Netflix show You vs Wild is now available to watch on Netflix.

    MORE: Netflix’s Bear Grylls series lets you choose his adventure as he confronts the harshest environments on Earth

    MORE: David Walliams complains rat tastes of poo – after Bear Grylls made him eat one

    METRO GRAB - How to get tickets for Bear Grylls\' Adventure Park (to schedule one hour before TX tonight pls)METRO GRAB - How to get tickets for Bear Grylls\' Adventure Park (to schedule one hour before TX tonight pls)

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    Happy young woman listening to music in office
    38% of workers said listening to music improves their productivity (Picture: Getty)

    What is the perfect soundtrack to your working day?

    Non-stop Beyoncé? Heavy metal? Soothing classical? Or do you need the deepest silence?

    The issue of the workplace radio is a contentious one. Should there be music on at all? Just on Fridays? And who gets to DJ?

    Despite the potential for arguments, playing music in the office can actually leave workers feeling more motivated according to a new study.

    The research, conducted by Workthere, has found that two-thirds of UK office workers think listening to music at work is a must.

    38% of workers said that listening to music improves their productivity and 35% said that music at work helps to improve their mood.

    ‘Listening to music is known to be a great way to improve a person’s mood,’ explains Cal Lee, head of Workthere.

    ‘There are also many reports revealing how music is often used within psychotherapy to help relieve anxiety and stress, so its no surprise that music within a workplace setting can have a huge impact on an employees’ mindset and productivity.’

    But music in the office isn’t for everyone.

    For some, having music playing can be completely distracting and make even the simplest of tasks like writing an email, practically impossible.

    If you have ever found yourself writing down the lyrics to the song that’s playing instead of the report you’re supposed to be working on – you might be one of those people who needs silence in order for your brain to work properly.

    There are lots of people like this.

    gold headphones on blue background
    Some people find office music unbearably distracting (Picture: Getty)

    ‘I can’t work with music on at all,’ says Sarah.

    ‘It drives me crazy as I end up singing along or listening to the lyrics. Very distracting! I love having music on when I’m doing the housework though, or any other work that doesn’t involve reading or writing.’

    ‘I prefer total silence,’ agrees Naomi, ‘music can be so distracting when trying to concentrate. I end up dancing instead.’

    Claire says music is the perfect excuse to do anything other than work.

    ‘I am the world’s worst procrastinator at the best of times,’ she explains.

    ‘When I have a deadline or a really important piece of work to focus on, I need complete silence or I will somehow use the music to avoid my work.

    ‘I end up singing along and then forget what I was reading or writing. Quite often I will then get my phone out and google the lyrics or something about the artist I’m listening too.

    ‘Ultimately, I cannot take in information or think straight when there is noise in the background. For everyday stuff, I love having music on in the background, but anything that really requires thinking and concentration I need silence.’

    So maybe it depends on the type of work you’re doing, or the type of music.

    According to the research, 38% of people prefer to listen to pop music at work, but classical music is a close second favourite. Given that most classical is instrumental and lacking in distracting lyrics, this isn’t surprising.

    ‘I prefer having instrumental music on. Something to match the mood of what I‘m writing,’ says Sammy.

    ‘When I am writing I go for either non-lyric music or other-language music,’ explains Cat.

    ‘I can only have classical music on,’ agrees Jessica.

    So what happens when half of the office needs music to work productively and the other half need silence? The experts say that listening to music in your headphones can have the same effect as having it blasting out of communal speakers.

    Which means the entire office doesn’t have to listen to your Disney soundtrack megamix. Their loss.

    ‘It’s clear from our research that people want to listen to music whilst at work and it has an incredibly positive impact on their working day,’ explains Cal from Workthere.

    ‘It is also interesting to note that the office environment can play a big factor in how workers listen to music with those preferring to listen via their earphones perhaps more likely to work in an open-plan environment where they need to zone-out and focus, where-as those in smaller offices are more likely to have communal music played out loud throughout the office.’

    So if you’re resistant to office music it might be time to give it another try. You never know, a little bit of grime might help you fly through your to-do list.

    MORE: Boy inspires first ever doll with autism

    MORE: Why are we so reluctant to call ourselves successful?

    MORE: Dad creates bed sheets with board games to make children’s hospital stays fun

    Happy young woman listening to music in officeHappy young woman listening to music in office

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    The Tom Ford Lip Vault that will cost you a months wages
    (Picture: net-a-porter/Getty

    Pucker up ladies, Tom Ford Beauty just launched the lipstick vault of your dreams.

    And it’s exquisite.

    That’s right, luxury beauty brand Tom Ford has dropped an entire VAULT of their Boys & Girls lipsticks – and we’re already contemplating eating beans to bag this beauty, because it will set you bag a pretty obscene £1,120. But we still like it.

    There’s always room for another tube, or two and the Tom Ford Beauty Lip Vault includes 30 of Tom Ford’s highly covetable lipsticks in every shade you could possibly ever need, no matter whether you’re a lover of crimson hues or nudes.

    The vault is made-up of 15 Boys lipsticks housed in dark-colored tubes that contain more of the richly pigmented matte shades, and 15 of the Girls lipsticks in white tubes that are sheer and shimmery.

    Tom Ford Beauty Lip Vault
    (Picture: Net-a-porter)

    This includes the brands best-selling bullet in ‘Sonja’ a gorgeous cool red and sell-out Cardi B-inspired lipstick, unsurprisingly named ‘Cardi’, a bright, sheer blue.

    And they’re full-sized too. But there’s one caveat; a full-sized Boys & Girls lipstick is a clutch-sized miniature weighing 2g, in comparison to MAC Cosmetics and Glossier lipsticks which weigh 3g.

    This aside, each lippy is formulated with soja seed extract and Brazilian murumuru butter to plump, hydrate and condition even the most parched of pouts.

    They’re ultra–creamy and application is effortless. But let’s be real, you’d expect nothing less for a month’s rent.


    Normally, a single Tom Ford Boys & Girls lipstick is £30, which means buying 30 shades would cost you £900. Meaning this collector’s edition would cost you £900 if bought individually — which technically saves you, well nothing…

    But you do get a department store-worthy, over-sized lipstick case display for your dressing table.

    If beans and lipsticks are your thing, then it’s totally worth the investment, right?

    The Tom Ford Beauty Lip Vault is exclusive to net-a-porter.com.

    MORE: 10 classic beauty products that have stood the test of time

    MORE: Pat McGrath Labs has finally arrived in-store and online at Selfridges

    MORE: Exfoliation benefits, tips and best skincare products


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