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Nicola Coughlan Is Ready to Make an Entrance in ‘Bridgerton’



nicola coughlan as penelope featherington in bridgerton

Like everyone else, Nicola Coughlan reads DeuxMoi, the celebrity gossip Instagram account run by an anonymous, seemingly all-seeing figure. While for many, blind items about breakups and the bad behavior of the rich and famous are merely a lurid diversion, for the actress, currently starring in the new Shonda Rhimes-produced Netflix romance Bridgerton, there’s another level of life imitating art. Based on the wildly popular novels by Julia Quinn, Bridgerton paints a steamy portrait of two high society families whose lives are upended by the sudden appearance of an anonymous, seemingly all-seeing gossip columnist named Lady Whistledown. Apparently, the only place a well-informed shadowy figure could have more power than contemporary Hollywood is the corseted, competitive world of Regency London, where spilling the tea means something altogether different.

Coughlan plays Penelope Featherington, the meek youngest daughter of a family of strivers whose presence on the cutthroat debutante scene is overshadowed by the boisterous Bridgerton family and their exploits—which are always showing up in the pages of Lady Whistledown’s paper. At a time in history when women had precious little say over their lives, the balls and their attendant courtships were both a lifeline and a cage for people like Penelope. “These people had no agency,” Coughlan tells “The girls were essentially property of their father until they were property of their husbands. There was no choice in that.”

Lady Whistledown’s transgressive presence creates new problems and new possibilities for all the characters but most especially the women, adding a brightly colored, modern sensibility to a reality that, historically, was much more gray. The series has the romantic fantasy of the Rhimes-penned Princess Diaries and the high stakes drama, passion, and intrigue of her flagship Grey’s Anatomy. Created by Chris Van Dusen, with production design by Will Hughes-Jones and costuming by Ellen Mirojnick, the series has a visual style that Coughlan calls “mind-blowing.” The cast wears elaborate custom gowns and wigs that took months to create. Soon after booking the role, Coughlan was whisked off to a three-hour fitting in London, like a montage out of a fairy tale. “I’ve never had more measurements taken. They drew outlines of my hands to make gloves. They were draping fabrics, different types of silks, different shades of yellow.” In the series, she’s bedazzled in Swarovski crystals and wears a custom corset designed by Mr. Pearl, who’s worked with the likes of Kim Kardashian. This is Regency London with the bling of the VMAs. “You feel like you’re wearing works of art every day,” Coughlan marvels.

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton.


While viewers will be swept up in the romance between Bridgerton daughter Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and brooding duke Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page), Coughlan arguably delivers the heart of the show as a passive wallflower who comes into her own. “She’s got a really rich inner life. She truly is very sweet and kind and open and hopeful. But then, she comes from this family that is really acerbic and tough and quite bitchy. There’s the nature/nurture question that I had to think about. There has to be a level of that Featherington that’s in her.”

For the Irish actress, the juicy role of the reluctant debutante who’s more than meets the eye is its own coming-out party. While Coughlan is already known for her comic turn as the anxiety-ridden Clare Devlin on Derry Girls, Bridgerton’s built-in fanbase and 190-country Christmas Day launch is poised to boost her into a whole new phase of her career. “It’s really hard to wrap your head around,” she admits readily. “Four years ago, I still had a part-time job. I was working in an optician’s. I was living at home with my parents.”

derry girls

Coughlan (center) in Derry Girls.


Though she got her first acting gig at the age of 9, Coughlan’s pre-Derry years were the kind of doubt-filled waiting game that plague the careers of many performers. “My 20s were crazy tough,” she says. “I was broke all of the time. If I wanted to buy a coffee, I’d be terrified my card would get rejected. It was all that stress.” Still, acting was the only thing that made her heart sing, so she kept at it, training at the Oxford School of Drama and Birmingham School of Acting and making inroads in theater productions. It’s a driven, scrappy feature of her career that still hasn’t worn off, even as she finishes her second full day of Zoom interviews for an international television series. “Because I come from a background in theater and doing little fringe plays, and wondering if 20 people would come to see it, I think that hunger and fear don’t leave you,” she says. “I’ll always have that motivation and drive to be like, ‘Please come and see my play.'”

There’s little doubt people will come and see Bridgerton. The series has been in Netflix’s top 10 since its release last week: Quinn’s books have a loyal readership eager to see the screen translation, while Rhimes’s track record is legendary. Bridgerton, like a Regency ball’s most admired debutante, couldn’t be better situated. To hear Coughlan talk about being part of the series calls to mind a kind of wish fulfillment, the happily ever after we tune into shows like Bridgerton seeking. When she picked up Rhimes’s bestseller The Year of Yes during her trying early acting days, she never would’ve thought that one day, she’d get to tell the mogul how much her words meant to a struggling actress. “I really held her hands like Oprah does to people,” Coughlan says of their first encounter at the Shondaland offices. “I had never done that to anyone in my life. There was a voice in my head that kept saying, Let go of Shonda Rhimes. This is weird. But she couldn’t have been more gracious and lovely.”

Though her life has changed remarkably, Coughlan’s personal year of yes has taken the same detour everyone’s else’s has for the last nine months. But she counts quarantining with her mom in Ireland as helping to keep her grounded. “She makes me do all the cooking, the cleaning. I’ve been painting walls. I’ve been laying flooring. I’ve been cleaning toilets. They have no problem putting me to work.” Whether the work is home renovation or onscreen romance, Coughlan is quick to express humility and wonder at the place where she finds herself. “I thought, ‘What if you get the job you think you’ve always wanted and it doesn’t fulfill you?’ But it really does. That will never not be a privilege for me.”

Watch Bridgerton on Netflix

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Princess Beatrice and Husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi Welcome a Baby Girl



Princess Beatrice and Husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi Welcome a Baby Girl

Princess Beatrice is officially a mom. The royal and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi welcomed their first child, a daughter, over the weekend, Buckingham Palace confirms.

In a statement, the palace write that the couple—who married in July 2020—“are delighted to announce the safe arrival of their daughter” on September 18 at 11:42 P.M. at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Both mother and child, who weighed in at a healthy six pounds and two ounces, “are doing well.”

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Adds a spokesperson, “The new baby’s grandparents and great-grandparents have all been informed and are delighted with the news. The family would like to thank all the staff at the hospital for their wonderful care.”

No name has been announced yet, but a Palace statement says that the couple are “looking forward to introducing their daughter to her big brother Christopher Woolf,” who is Edoardo’s son from a previous relationship.

Parents Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew are said to have both left Balmoral in Scotland when their daughter was admitted in hospital on Friday. The Duke of York had been accused of “hiding” on the Queen’s holiday Scottish estate as lawyers tried to serve Virginia Giuffre’s sex abuse lawsuit on him.

Princess Beatrice had enjoyed a relatively low-key pregnancy, continuing her work right up until her September due date. Most recently she stepped out for a visit to England’s Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice to meet families, staff and volunteers as she highlighted their work.

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“In the last 10 years, the charity has supported over 800 families—I am simply lost for words as to the difference that this support has made to so many lives,” Beatrice said in a statement. “When people ask me why I became the patron of this amazing charity, I only have to explain how much of an important part of the community Russell House and the charity has become. And how much of a momentous achievement it is for us to be stood here today celebrating 10 years of supporting that community.”

Earlier this month, she also joined Richard Branson’s children Holly and Sam at an event for an organization that finds and backs pioneers who lead early-stage projects that support young people. As a trustee of the Big Change charity, she remains active in a number of their activities and initiatives.

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The 15 Best Nail Polish Removers You Need For A Fresh Mani




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Full disclosure: I’m a polish chipper. I’ll slowly peel off gel polish, leaving delicate, ruined nail beds underneath. I forcibly evict press-ons after an hour, glue be damned. Nail polish remover? No thanks, I’d rather completely ruin my hands and then complain about how my nails always break and never grow long. So I get it. If the thought of maturely soaking a cotton round in acetone offends you, just know it offends me too. But we’re adults now. It’s time to stop leaving little piles of nail polish on whichever surface happens to be in our vicinity. I’m tired of paying someone to remove my gel nails when I paid to get them put on in the first place.

So welcome to polish chipper recovery. Here, we invest in nail polish removers. For the gel manis, we bring you liquids strong enough to break down those bonds. For a light coat of polish, we bring you the classics in the family. For the acetone-wary, we bring gentle alternatives. I will offer you every possible option so that together we can stop anxiously chipping off polish. Below, find the 15 best nail polish removers that are so satisfying, you won’t even miss that delightful first peel of an at-home gel manicure removal.


Soy Nail Polish Remover

For a classic run-of-the-mill mani, you don’t need to reach for strong chemicals. This soy-based, essential oil-infused nail polish remover is actually good for your nail beds, but will still remove any trace of lacquer.


Ultra-Powerful Nail Polish Remover

This stuff is powerful. It can remove even annoying glitter and super dark polish, so you can get clean nails without scrubbing at your hands for an hour. Used correctly, it can even remove gel polish.


Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover

For those who don’t want to accumulate a pile cotton balls, you can actually dip your finger into this nail polish remover-soaked sponge, twist around, and then suddenly have polish-free hands.


Remove+ 3 in 1 Formula

If you can’t go a few days without having polish, then this nail polish remover was made for you. Not only does it remove color quickly and easily, but it also conditions and preps your nails for their next journey.


Gel Polish Remover Pads

This little box comes with 100 (!!!) individually wrapped nail polish removing pads for life on the go. Say goodbye to accidentally spilling an entire bottle of acetone all over your clothes in your luggage.


Rose Polish Remover

You know that sickly, chemical smell that you just accepted came with manicures? Well, this polish actually manages to smell good, with a combination of clean ingredients and soothing rosehip.


Kwik Off Nail Color Remover

This gentle nail polish comes in sponge form, so you don’t need a bunch of different equipment to achieve clean nails. Just dip a finger in, let it sit for a moment, then remove your now blank hands.


Kur Strengthening Lacquer Remover

For nails that need some TLC, this acetone-free polish remover contains plenty of antioxidants for healthy, strong nails. 


Non-Toxic Soy Nail Polish Remover

This remover skipped the chemicals and instead uses natural oils to gently remove lacquer. It also smells like yummy grapefruit, which is a nice change from the headache-inducing scent most nail polish removers have.


100% Pure Acetone

This stuff is the real deal. If you gravitate toward harder to remove polishes, like gel, or glitter, dark tones, or false nails, this stuff will get it off. Since it’s pure acetone, it’s not for the faint of heart. But damn, it works well.


Nail Polish Remover

With soybean and lavender essential oils, this plastic-free nail polish remover is gentle for both the planet and your hands.


Nail Polish Corrector Remover Pen

If you just need a quick touch-up, these remover pens will let you fix any mistakes without having to completely start your manicure over again. 


Non-Toxic Nail Polish Remover

This one-ingredient nail polish remover contains no chemicals, has barely any scent, and was made with sustainable and environmentally conscious practices in mind. If you’re looking for a new way to remove your polish without harming your hands or the world, this is a must-have.


Strawberry Nail Polish Remover

This no-muss no-fuss nail polish remover does everything you want it to: It removes all traces of lacquer at a bargain without stinking up your entire apartment.


Acetone Nail Polish Remover Pads

For a quick polish removal, these pre-packaged nail polish remover wipes are easy to travel with.

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New York Fashion Week Predicts Next Year’s It Bags



thom browne   presentation  september 2021 new york fashion week  the shows

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When designers weren’t presenting the next chic It bag of the season, they got a little weird. This is not an understatement. At Thom Browne, the brand’s signature dachshund-shaped top-handle bags were dressed up as Greek gods. Moschino’s Rugrats-themed runway featured a clutch in the shape of a baby bottle. LUAR’s holographic mini bag might blind you. And in Coach’s ode to New York City, a leather tote honored one of the best bagel shops in Manhattan. Don’t worry if you favor handbags on the subtler side, because Altuzarra and Khaite’s refined designs are sure to make next year’s wish list.

No matter your preference, get carried away with our favorite bag styles spotted at NYFW ahead.

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