((HEADER)) Online Beauty Sales in the UK Soar by 53% Since Lockdown
According to data analytics firm, Contentsquare, UK online sales of personal care products have increased by 53% over the past week (April 6th to 12th 2020).
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing beauty salons and spas to close, people are turning to online beauty in order to carry out their usual treatments at home. The report states that this 53% rise is part of an overall 111% increase in the number of online beauty transactions made since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in March. This increase can be described as a ‘lipstick effect’, which is when consumers spend money on small indulgences during an economic crisis and this is definitely evident in the UK at the moment.
Joanna Silva, the founder of Elan Skincare based in Greenwich, agreed with the statement saying her company “has experienced an increase in sales from March”. Particularly, the brand “could see women looking for hand treatment” and they “discovered that their body butter was being used to treat sore hands”, suggesting that, people are not only keeping their existing beauty rituals up but having to address new ones due the impact of handwashing to combat COVID-19. As for the rise in purchases at Elan Skincare, Joanna believed this was down to people having “more time on their hands” and “through social media are getting to know about new companies”. Additionally, after speaking to consumers she discovered that “they are more stressed, having problems sleeping and sometimes finding it difficult to cope with the situation. And as we know stress can affect your skin big time.” Suggesting that, the change in lifestyle and uncertainty of this situation could be another reason why the demand for more personal care products is even greater at this time.
((HEADER)) ‘No Sex and the City’: Love in Lockdown
Love it or hate it? We are all in lockdown. Some of us lucky enough, or maybe not so lucky, are isolating with our significant other and others, like myself, are recreating that opening scene of Bridget Jones’ Diary- penguin pyjamas and all. However, this article is not for the smug and instead for those, in true Bridget style, whose only major relationship in lockdown has been with a bottle of Pinot Grigio and two blokes called Ben and Jerry- yes, these two items now count as an essential food shop. As for the article, it is well and truly the epitome of taking advice from someone who knows sod all about the subject- but do not worry I have actually done some research and got opinions from real people, some of those professionals in the field.
Where better place to start than… Hinge- Londoner’s answer to Cilla Black! Hinge is essentially the love child of Tinder and Match.com- combining Tinder’s narcissistic, looks-based formula alongside Match.com’s almost top-trump style fact file. Hinge enables its users to form a pretty good impression of Max from Maida Vale before even matching (also, it is FREE, which makes a change because let’s face it from the moment you breath in London you have already spent a fiver). But the question is, is Hinge standing the test of lockdown and are all us singletons still bothering to trawl through the endless waves of the city’s top single surveyors and stockbrokers. So, it only seemed correct to contact Hinge and get some actual statistics of what is really going on behind closed doors. When it came to getting a response, it was almost as easy as half of the men on the app and certainly a lot easier than having to form an email pretending I had not the foggiest about its new ‘Date from Home’ feature. After managing to obtain a statement from Hinge, it turned out that there has been “a 30% increase in messages among users this past March (compared to January and February)” and as for the ‘Date from Home’ feature- “70% of Hinge users expressed interest in going on digital dates”. However, it appears first date nerves kicked in with “a third of users” stating “many conversations died before they were able to make that ask”- provoking the question, are we actually interested in dating at this time or just bored between the breaks of trashy daytime telly.
Introducing Olivia Foster… a real human, who lives in London and is single- essentially you who are reading this article and still waiting for some advice from someone in the same singleton boat. “I’ve had a look on the apps on and off during this period, however, I’ve definitely not been hugely focused on it”, was Olivia’s response to dating in this current time, which definitely supports my statement that maybe we are just bored but more to the point since we are not able to meet “there's the potential in a time like this, where all you can do is chat, for things to become stilted after a while and you can ruin what could have been a great connection by just chit chatting for weeks on end.”, was Olivia’s reasoning for being not so enthusiastic about the usual rigmarole of online dating. With it looking like remaining single being our best match in this time, then how can we ignore all those smug couples doing ‘PE with Joe’ together every morning and sharing their countless Instagram stories of ‘Baking Banana Bread with Bæ’. Fear not, we are actually luckier than we think as research suggests that “single, childless women are the happiest subsection of people in the world” and Olivia told me “most of the best experiences of my life have been without a partner”. But, how does she remain so positive in a world full of ‘Magda and Jeremys’ (read Bridget Jones, because to be honest that is the only advice you need) - “my main advice would be to look on the bright side, indulge in being able to be totally focused on yourself, doing whatever you want to do, eat what you want to eat, watch what you want to watch and don't focus on what you feel you don't have.”
But what about those of us maybe missing the equivocal nature of dating and having the ability to pick and choose from an array of tempting dates across the city. It’s like tapas. You can order plenty of small, noncommittal plates to keep your options open but let’s be real plenty of those dates, like Tapas from a dodgy little Mediterranean on Columbia road, can have a rather unsavoury effect. Nonetheless, that is part of the trials and tribulations of dating and now it can be enjoyed Deliveroo style from the comfort of your own home. Navigating the new ‘normal’ of dating is a tricky one, but from Netflix Party to Zoom quizzes there are plenty of fun and inventive ways to still enjoy dating and on the plus side there is no waiting for the night tube home. As for the more intimate side of dating, I managed to get in touch with a professional- Dr Earim Chaundry, the Medical Director of leading men’s wellness platform ‘Manual’. Dr Earim Chaundry told us “Sexting and sending nude photos online to a partner is a controversial topic at best. With concerns around privacy and consent, starting or maintaining an intimate relationship online should be approached with caution. Your partner’s privacy is paramount. Not only because it's the right thing to do, but because it’s illegal to distribute pornographic content without consent.” However, he did reiterate that sexual intimacy is essential for bonding with a romantic partner and this should not be discredited during lockdown.
Conclusively, I feel the ideal way to sum up this article is by reiterating something that Olivia told me- “being single should never be seen as a bad thing”. Not exactly groundbreaking but something that we need to remind ourselves, because although it may seem Ben and Becky downstairs have it all, they have not spoken for two days and are secretly both wishing they had the option of tapas.
((HEADER)) What would Carrie Bradshaw be wearing in quarantine?
After spending the last few weeks in bed, along with the rest of the nation, watching copious amounts of trashy television, I decided it was about time I re-educated myself and rewatched all six seasons of Sex and the City- after all, it is the only kind of education any single, fashion-forward, city girl needs aside from of course ‘The Sister Line’. Other than episode after episode of sexually explicit content, looking for love like that in the movies, expensive Choos and of course… bucket loads of ‘cosmos’, I was repeatedly being drawn to Carrie’s eclectic style and ‘I couldn’t help but wonder’ what would Carrie Bradshaw be wearing in quarantine? So, this article is exactly that- Carrie’s top four quarantine outfits and how you can recreate them at home.
The first look is by far the simplest and probably what most of us are wearing- but rather than a baby blue cashmere shawl, the fluffy throw off the end of the bed. Carrie wore this outfit in season two of the show when she went to a restaurant and ordered a glass of wine by herself to prove that she was no longer single and fabulous? But instead, fabulously single. In this current time a strong act of independence is necessary while facing isolation. Shorey Andrews, freelance writer and self-confessed Sex and the City super fan, described this look as “casual, yet chic” and she said since “it’s all black, it is certainly a mood given the current state of things”- that could be COVID-19 or “grieving another melodrama with Big.” When it comes to recreating this look it could not be simpler and it solely relies on using the basics in your wardrobe. We asked Shorey what her main tip would be to imitate this look- “The main goal here is to incorporate the colour with an accessory, as Carrie did with the scarf and if black isn’t really your jam, you could swap out for white or another solid colour of your choosing.”
Number two is another minimalist look and reflective of the current trending #️homecouture- raiding your boyfriend’s wardrobe (or dad’s) is your first port of call. This look is iconic, as it highlights how effortless it was for Carrie to pull of just about anything. Speaking to Stephen Leng, also known as @samanthajonespr on Instagram, he said “It's classic Carrie (and I'm not her biggest fan!) - but she's repurposed what would be quite hideous on most people and makes it look like something fashionable and chic. Although obviously if you saw someone wearing JUST this with no bottoms on at all in Manhattan you might think they'd been mugged.” Not only is this look the epitome of city chic but COVID-19 practical, as it covers the hands meaning you do not have to touch anything- perfect, since hand sanitiser is about as hard to come by as Chanel Velcro sandals. We asked Stephen his thoughts on recreating this look- “the look would be remarkably easy (to recreate). Over-sized white work shirt and a Hermes belt! Oh, and heels. For budget, make it a standard belt...”
Three is probably the most dressy and reflective of true spring style (“groundbreaking- florals for spring”). Super girly and on trend with its bright floral print, this look is again easy to emanate as it only requires one piece- a flowery dress. For me this look would fall into the later stage of Carrie’s quarantine journey, as she can longer put up with dark tones and misses getting dressed up- something she is infamous for. Sara Zenui, the brains behind @sexandthecityquoted Instagram page, said she could see Carrie wearing this look “while calling Miranda for her usual venting session where she confesses that to stay sane, she has online shopped yet again for another pair of Manolos.” Sara’s primary tip for recreating any of Carrie’s looks was to “always start at the bottom”, “first think about which pair of shoes you want to wear and then begin to construct the outfit” around them.
The final look just should not work but it does- and oh so well. A mixture of clashing patterns and silhouettes, the elements of this look are so now. With everyone jumping on the ‘Tik Tok’ tie dying trend, these cut offs are the ideal quarantine outfit- also super comfy and stretchy they are ideal for those at home workouts. Paired with the 90s style bandana, another trend infiltrating Instagrams explore page, the look is the ideal balance of casual yet carefully combined. But what would Carrie be doing in this outfit? Not ‘Yoga with Adrienne’ for sure since shopping is her only cardio. I asked Stephen how he thought Carrie would be exercising this look- “She'd be smoking too much, anxiously writing columns linking the virus to her dating life and panicking because she doesn't understand technology enough to do a Zoom call.”
Hoping on quarantine trends, going back to wardrobe basics, panic online purchases and melodrama with men- I think it is fair to say we have all already been obliviously recreating Carrie in quarantine and now we can go as far as imitating her outfits. See page 12 and 13 for a style guide of pieces you can buy to recreate these looks. Oh, and a ‘cosmo’ is certainly the only accessory you will need.