Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil Made Me Reconsider Microblading

There are several unfortunate things I’ve done in the name of beauty, but over-tweezing my brows was never one of them. Occasionally, I would pluck a few stray hairs or carefully trim them with the same scissors I used to open packages (try the latter at your own peril), but mostly, I let them grow in peace. In turn, they rewarded me by not needing much enhancement. It was a prime example of the kind of healthy, symbiotic relationship that I will one day find when I can get a text back.

Of course, I still wanted them to look just a tiny bit fuller and more elongated. Some days, I would try to accomplish this with eyeshadow and an angled brush. Others, I’d try whatever brow gel, pen, or pencil happened to land on my desk that week. They were all basically interchangeable, which is to say that none of them made a lasting impression. Some brands got the color too dark or too warm. Others made pencils that crumbled as soon as I applied the slightest pressure, or deposited blurry splotches of pigment. Eventually, I learned to apply everything with a light hand, so that my brows were just barely tinted and filled in. I could have skipped this step entirely and it would have made little difference. Please observe the image of me holding a cookie below for photographic evidence. I went over my brows with a pencil that shall not be named, but can you even tell? The answer is no.

When I heard that many of my colleagues were booking microblading appointments, I gave the technique some serious consideration. Microblading, microfeathering, and microshading are forms of semi-permanent eyebrow tattoos that emphasize subtle, realistic results. The implements used are so fine that they really do a convincing job mimicking your actual hair. The only problem: I was still scared that a mistake would be made, leaving me with bad brows for the next one to three years. Having edited plenty of horror stories about microblading sessions gone wrong, I wasn’t feeling great about taking my chances.

The universe must have gotten fed up with listening to my never-ending internal agonizing because it put a stop to all of that with a single package. Inside: Anastasia Beverly Hills’s best brow products. Even before I got into beauty, I’d heard of founder Anastasia Soare, who made an art form out of creating perfect eyebrows. Now was my chance to find out why. I’d heard of the iconic Brow Wiz already, so I decided to start there.

I never got around to using anything else in that box.

Brow Wiz doesn’t look that special upon first glance. It’s a thin, waxy brow pencil—and if you’re going by shape alone, you can definitely find plenty of dupes. But, ABH gets the consistency just right. It’s thin enough to quickly draw super precise hairs, similar to the sharp strokes of microblading. At the same time, it has a waxiness that simultaneously helps to keep your brow hairs in place and imparts a softness that looks natural. No matter how much of a rush I’m in, I never end up with brows that are too dark or too overdrawn. They just look full, feathered, and perfectly defined. (I know that for a fact based on the number of times someone has asked me what I use on my brows, something that never happened B.B.W.—before Brow Wiz.) Then, there are the shades: the brand offers 10 and they’re exceptionally good. After flirting with Dark Brown and Granite, I’ve eventually settled on Ebony, which ABH says is for black hair with warm undertones. That sounds confusing and I won’t attempt to describe the color, but it’s by far the best match I’ve found.

To get the perfect eyebrows, I start at the head and draw upward lines, concentrating on the sparser areas. I also lightly outline the bottom edge of my brow, tracing diagonally across until I hit the halfway point. Then, I tackle the tails, extending them with a few short lines. Start to finish, this takes about 30 seconds. Afterward, I flip the pencil, uncap the spoolie, and brush everything out so there are no harsh marks and everything is blended. And then the final, important step: I say a fervent thank-you to Brow Wiz for ensuring that I will never have to risk a microblading appointment gone wrong.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, $21, sephora.com

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Peter Kraus and Bibiana Julian Are Reportedly Dating, and I’m Thrilled

Happy days are here again, because Peter Kraus—a.k.a Hot Peter from Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette—and Bibiana Julian, Winter Games queen and contestant from Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s Bachelor season, are reportedly dating.

This news comes from E!, which reports exclusively the two reality stars are “casually” seeing each other. They were supposedly spotted at a Miami Heat game on Tuesday, December 4 (in Julian’s hometown of Miami) and have actually been friendly for a while now. “Most recently [they] started hanging out alone,” a source reveals. “There is definitely a romantic connection there.”

“It’s very new and they are seeing how things go,” adds the source. “It’s hard because their relationship is long distance, but they are trying to see how things pan out and are definitely into each other.”

I ship this hardcore—more than I’ve shipped any Bachelor couple. In fact, I’ve never really shipped a Bachelor couple until this moment. JoJo Fletcher? A legend, but I was never invested in her love life. Nick Viall? Cared more about his tenure on Dancing With the Stars than his final rose. Peter and Bibiana, though? Wow. If they’re actually a couple, I never have to find love.

Below, a video of Hot Peter and Bibiana sitting together at the Miami Heat game:

Peter Kraus, as we all remember, was an icy-haired dream on Rachel’s season of The Bachelorette who just wanted to drink wine and paint. Who doesn’t want to drink wine and paint?! Now Bibiana gets to drink wine and paint with Peter as he just sits there with his sexy teeth gap and broad shoulders. It’s a modern-day Nicholas Sparks novel.

And it’s what Bibiana deserves. She was put through the ringer on Bachelor Winter Games and Arie’s season. Remember the romantic love nest she set up for Arie that he cuddled in with another girl? Peter would never do that! He’s too busy figuring out Bibiana’s pinot grigio of choice and booking them a session at Color Me Mine. Please let this be real!

Bibiana’s rep had no comment.

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Watch The Bachelor‘s Colton Underwood Meet Three of His Contestants for the First Time

A Case For Wearing Maternity Jeans When You’re *Not* Pregnant

Ever since the dawn of athleisure, the apparel market has been dominated by stretchy fabrics and varying levels of compression. Same goes for my closet. This isn’t just for workouts: These days, I’m wearing snazzy sports bras in lieu of underwires at any hour of the day and fancy leggings instead of denim. The allure of comfortable, forgiving clothes has been impossible to resist, to the point where it’s strained my relationship with the most tried-and-true wardrobe staples.

My jeans have taken the hardest hit. Who in their right mind would wriggle into stiff selvage denim and zero-stretch vintage 501s when leggings—which do so much more than hold me during downward dogs and spin classes—exist? I recently realized there is, in fact, a magical, happy medium between jeans and leggings. No, it’s not jeggings… but it has been right in front of my eyes this whole time, just not marketed to me. Two words: maternity jeans.

This utterly genius category of pants combines the best parts of jeans (the look, the feel) with those of leggings (spandex-packed goodness, support, stretch.) The paneling in maternity jeans—their main draw, really—is designed to support and expand for a baby bump, but it’s just as wonderful a feature if your stomach and hips shift-shape more than any other body parts, be it due to weight gain, fluctuation, or bloating.

The prospect of wearing maternity jeans—despite most certainly not being or trying to become pregnant right now—first dawned on me this fall, as the temperatures began to drop. Pants and full-length leggings became necessary, but my aversion to tights meant dresses and skirts were out of the question. I’m fortunate that my remote-working profession renders leggings acceptable for, say, 70% of occasions—but for the rest, I needed “real pants.” What I couldn’t bear the thought of, though, was the angry-looking red marks I would get along the seams and waistband of the dark-wash, skinny-ish jeans I had on rotation. Also annoying: My thighs are muscular, and I tend hold weight around the stomach and hips, so I normally have to constantly hike up my denim to ensure that my butt and stomach stay fully covered. That’s never an issue with a snug pair of leggings—or bottoms with a comfortable elastic waistband, for that matter.

Well, that’s precisely what makes maternity jeans, well, maternity jeans. So I decided I would try, because, honestly, who would be the wiser? Plus, jeans that stay comfortable and continue to fit during weight fluctuations seemed like a relief and a practical investment to my closet. If these miracle pants are designed to support and accommodate a growing belly, and, with it, the average 30-pound weight gain pregnancy tacks on, I figured they could handle my 10-ish pound weight fluctuations with aplomb.

PHOTO: Madewell

Madewell Maternity Over-the-Belly Skinny Jeans in Lunar Wash: Tencel™ Edition, $138, Madewell

And the chic options abound: A slew of mid-range brands, like Madewell, carry maternity jeans; mass retailers like Target’s Isabel Maternity by Ingrid & Isabel label (a more affordable offshoot of Ingrid & Isabel, the label responsible for the well-loved Bellaband) have expanded their offerings, while premium denim brands like J. Brand and Hatch have extensive styles for sale. Even the OG players in the pregnancy fashion orbit, like A Pea in the Pod, have stepped up their game, with a denim selection that now includes Frame, Good American, and Mother. In other words, it’s a damn good time to be on the hunt for maternity jeans—whether or not you’re expecting.

Beyond jeans, the maternity fashion market is quite robust: It’s currently valued at $1 billion, with more than 1,500 brands expressly devoted to maternity clothing, according to a 2018 report, growing 200 percent from 2014 to 2017. And though in the minority, there are shoppers without child that buy into this section.

According to Ariane Goldman, founder of Hatch, approximately 20 percent of the brand’s shoppers aren’t pregnant. She launched the label in in 2010 as a pre, during, and post-maternity brand “with longevity in mind, so women can invest in products that don’t have finite use,” she says: “I didn’t want to spend money on something that was disposable or made me feel ugly because my body was already changing, and I felt that’s something that should be celebrated. ” Post-baby purchases “only [reinforce] our proposition as a solution-based company for before, during and after pregnancy,” she adds.

PHOTO: Hatch

Hatch x Current/Elliott The Easy Denim Overall, $378, Hatch

Hatch’s core customer is a 30-something pregnant woman, while her non-pregnant clientele “consists of girls in their early 20’s who are diehard fans and love the Hatch aesthetic,” as well as a “50- to 70-year-old demographic of women who recognize and celebrate our silhouette and the effortlessness of the collections.” Its denim, produced in collaboration with Current/Elliott, is one of its best-selling categories.

Seraphine, the U.K.-based maternity line that counts Kate Middleton as a fan, has also found that there’s “a small proportion [of shoppers] who buy our jeans without being pregnant,” according to founder Cecile Reinaud. “Many of these are returning customers, who have had Seraphine jeans through pregnancy and love the comfort of them so much that they want to keep wearing them afterwards,” she explains.

Knowing that I wasn’t alone, I began my quest for the perfect maternity jeans for my non-pregnant body. Step one: Understand that there’s not just one type of “maternity jean”—rather, there are a variety of options, depending on how you would want it to sit on your bump.

PHOTO: Jono/Seraphine

Seraphine Over Bump Slim Leg Maternity Jeans, $99, Seraphine

I was vaguely aware of the over-the-belly style—basically, a pair of jeans that doesn’t have a fly-and-button closure or denim waistband, instead featuring a stretchy swath of fabric that serves as a sort of low-compression girdle. Without a baby inside my belly, though, that fabric portion extended much further north, literally right below the boobs. So I sought out alternatives.

First, I tried out this Isabel Maternity pair, which doesn’t have the full-fledged fabric waist—rather, that stretch material covers all over the front, but then folds into a V shape in the small of the back. So, you get a lot more body real estate than most non-maternity jeans, but it’s still less than the more traditional styles in that category.

PHOTO: Target

Isabel Maternity by Ingrid & Isabel Maternity Crossover Panel Skinny Jeans, $29.99, Target

Then, through Seraphine, I discovered under-the-belly maternity jeans, where the soft waistband dips a bit lower in front than in back. As someone who loves the held-in, no-plumber’s-crack security of a super-high waist, I was pretty skeptical of the lower front—but this pair, in a dark grey wash, basically felt like sweatpants, which I didn’t hate. They were, however, pretty baggy on my frame, so I’d recommend sizing down if you’re trying on an under-the-belly style as a non-pregnant person.

PHOTO: Seraphine

Seraphine Under Bump Rock Chic Maternity Jeans, $95, Seraphine

I did have luck with these $33 under-belly skinnies—they’ve got a zip fly and button closure and denim waistband like non-maternity jeans, but triangular wedge-like gussets of black elastic inserted right below it that make it bump-friendly.

PHOTO: Target

Isabel Maternity by Ingrid & Isabel Maternity Plus Size Crossover Panel Skinny Jeans, $32.99, Target

Besides the very real comfort factor, maternity jeans could be seen as an unexpected “investment piece” of sorts—a hopefully-not-too-crazy-early closet addition that can be enjoyed for a couple years in advance of the target timing, but that you get to enjoy for years before it happens. You could see it as a more economical alternative to buying and holding onto jeans in various sizes that fit at different weights or shifting physiques. Plus, why would you want to wait to wear the most comfortable jeans on earth?

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Rachel Brosnahan and Michael Zegen on That Final Scene in the Season 2 Premiere of ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’

Pick any scene in the season two premiere of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel—really, any scene—and it will show you just how brilliant Rachel Brosnahan is as stand-up comedian and Upper West Side divorcée Midge Maisel. (She didn’t win that Emmy for nothing…) But if I had to pick a scene that stayed with me long after the episode ended, it’d be that heartbreaking last one.

In the four-minute moment—stop reading now if you haven’t watched—Midge is swept up in emotion while she watches couples kiss in Paris. It’s romantic and gorgeous, but Midge is miserable. It serves as a reminder of what she used to have—or rather, what she thought she had. Out of loneliness and fear, Midge phones estranged husband, Joel (Michael Zegen), in New York to get back together. Yes, the same Joel who cheated on her with his secretary.

The moment could have been a disaster, but it ends up being a showcase of expert storytelling in the hands of co-creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino. The scene somehow humanizes Joel, while still making your heart break for Midge. She wants to make their marriage work; Joel does, too, but he knows he can’t. After seeing his wife shine on stage—in a way he never could—he realized he’d be holding her back. The very thing Midge excels at, finding humor in the devastation she felt because of Joel, is the one obstacle he can’t get past. He doesn’t want her to stop performing, but he also can’t be with her because of it.

The-Marvelous-Mrs-Maisel-Season-2-Episode-1-Rachel-Brosnahan.jpg

PHOTO: Nicole Rivelli

The scene is so good, it may come as a surprise that it was filmed in under two hours and without any formal rehearsal. It was also a big concern for Brosnahan and Zegen after they read the script. The phone call represents a big shift for the Maisel’s relationship, and Brosnahan wanted to make sure it stayed authentic to her character. “To be honest, I was so frustrated by that scene when I first read it,” she tells us. “We spent season one establishing that when Midge gets hurt she doesn’t cry, she gets funnier. This scene really broke that rule. I had a little bit of a hard time pushing past that, because when Joel left, Midge didn’t cry. She got on stage. Here it really breaks her.”

Zegen felt the same way. “I also had problems with it,” he says. “I didn’t really understand where Joel was coming from. He’s telling Midge that he can’t be with her, even though he tried to get back with her over and over again.” Plus, as Brosnahan notes, “They had all but gotten together immediately before that moment [in the season one finale], which is what Midge was saying.”

But, “The key thing Joel tells her is, ‘I can’t be a joke,'” Zegen says. “I think that really says a lot. [Her comedy] is completely embarrassing, not to mention emasculating, for him.”

The-marvelous-mrs-maisel-season-one-michael-zegen.jpg

PHOTO: Nicole Rivelli

Sherman-Palladino understood the actors’ concerns and walked them through the scene. “[She explained] that so much has changed for them over the course of the first season, and I think ultimately what breaks from this one is there’s something that feels even more permanent about this,” Brosnahan says. “No one cheated [this time] and no one walked out the door. They’re just at a crossroads, and in that moment they are both choosing to walk different ways. That’s what’s so heartbreaking about this. It shows how much they have grown and evolved over the course of the first season.”

Once Brosnahan and Zegen hammered out the specifics of the scene, Brosnahan says she was really able to sink her teeth into the moment—especially when Joel says, “I love you too, honey, and you’re going to be OK.” Midge hangs up the phone and collapses in tears before walking away. “That moment was the one that felt the most clear to me of that whole scene,” Brosnahan says. “Amy just let me walk with it; in that moment, she and Joel have said everything they want to say and are both choosing to walk away. It breaks my heart because [the scene shows] you can love someone that much and know you’ll never be together.”

The-marvelous-mrs-maisel-season-one-rachel-brosnahan-michael-zegen.jpg

PHOTO: Nicole Rivelli

Brosnahan also hints that even if Midge and Joel do get back together, it may never stick. “Early on, before we even shot the pilot, I was asking Amy where Midge is [theoretically] headed,” Brosnahan says. “She told me—and this still breaks my heart—that Midge will go on to be wildly successful, live in a penthouse apartment on Park Avenue with 12 poodles, and will have everything she could have imagined this new dream to become. But, she’ll still remember the day before Joel left her as the happiest day of her life. So I think the moment [with the two of them on the phone] is the beginning of her journey toward that path. I do believe they’re soulmates, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be together.”

The second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Rachel Brosnahan and Michael Zegen on That Final Scene in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Season 2 Premiere

Pick any scene in the season two premiere of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel—really, any scene—and it will show you just how brilliant Rachel Brosnahan is as stand-up comedian and Upper West Side divorcée Midge Maisel. (She didn’t win that Emmy for nothing…) But if I had to pick a favorite scene, it’d be that heartbreaking last one.

In the four-minute moment—stop reading now if you haven’t watched—Midge is swept up in emotion while she watches couples kiss in Paris. It’s romantic and gorgeous, but Midge is miserable. It serves as a reminder of what she used to have—or rather, what she thought she had. Out of loneliness and fear, Midge phones estranged husband, Joel (Michael Zegen), in New York to get back together. Yes, the same Joel who cheated on her with his secretary.

The moment could have been a disaster, but it ends up being a showcase of expert storytelling in the hands of co-creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino. The scene somehow humanizes Joel, while still making your heart break for Midge. She wants to make their marriage work; Joel does, too, but he knows he can’t. After seeing his wife shine on stage—in a way he never could—he realized he’d be holding her back. The very thing Midge excels at, finding humor in the devastation she felt because of Joel, is the one obstacle he can’t get past. He doesn’t want her to stop performing, but he also can’t be with her because of it.

The-Marvelous-Mrs-Maisel-Season-2-Episode-1-Rachel-Brosnahan.jpg

PHOTO: Nicole Rivelli

The scene is so good, it may come as a surprise that it was filmed in under two hours and without any formal rehearsal. It was also a big concern for Brosnahan and Zegen after the read the script. The phone call represents a big shift for the Maisel’s relationship, and Brosnahan wanted to make sure it stayed authentic to her character. “To be honest, I was so frustrated by that scene when I first read it,” she tells us. “We spent season one establishing that when Midge gets hurt she doesn’t cry, she gets funnier. This scene really broke that rule. I had a little bit of a hard time pushing past that, because when Joel left, Midge didn’t cry. She got on stage. Here it really breaks her.”

Zegen felt the same way. “I also had problems with it,” he says. “I didn’t really understand where Joel was coming from. He’s telling Midge that he can’t be with her, even though he tried to get back with her over and over again.” Plus, as Brosnahan notes, “They had all but gotten together immediately before that moment [in the season one finale], which is what Midge was saying.”

But, “The key thing Joel tells her is, ‘I can’t be a joke,'” Zegen says. “I think that really says a lot. [Her comedy] is completely embarrassing, not to mention emasculating, for him.”

The-marvelous-mrs-maisel-season-one-michael-zegen.jpg

PHOTO: Nicole Rivelli

Sherman-Palladino understood the actors’ concerns and walked them through the scene. “[She explained] that so much has changed for them over the course of the first season, and I think ultimately what breaks from this one is there’s something that feels even more permanent about this,” Brosnahan says. “No one cheated [this time] and no one walked out the door. They’re just at a crossroads, and in that moment they are both choosing to walk different ways. That’s what’s so heartbreaking about this. It shows how much they have grown and evolved over the course of the first season.”

Once Brosnahan and Zegen hammered out the specifics of the scene, Brosnahan says she was really able to sink her teeth into the moment—especially when Joel says, “I love you too, honey, and you’re going to be OK.” Midge hangs up the phone and collapses in tears before walking away. “That moment was the one that felt the most clear to me of that whole scene,” Brosnahan says. “Amy just let me walk with it; in that moment, she and Joel have said everything they want to say and are both choosing to walk away. It breaks my heart because [the scene shows] you can love someone that much and know you’ll never be together.”

The-marvelous-mrs-maisel-season-one-rachel-brosnahan-michael-zegen.jpg

PHOTO: Nicole Rivelli

Brosnahan also hints that even if Midge and Joel do get back together, it may never stick. “Early on, before we even shot the pilot, I was asking Amy where Midge is [theoretically] headed,” Brosnahan says. “She told me—and this still breaks my heart—that Midge will go on to be wildly successful, live in a penthouse apartment on Park Avenue with 12 poodles, and will have everything she could have imagined this new dream to become. But, she’ll still remember the day before Joel left her as the happiest day of her life. So I think the moment [with the two of them on the phone] is the beginning of her journey toward that path. I do believe they’re soulmates, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be together.”

The second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Padma Lakshmi Takes the ‘Glamour’ Big Questions Survey

If you don’t know Padma Lakshmi from her activism or for her award-winning cookbooks and memoir, chances are you definitely know her from Bravo’s reality cooking competition show Top Chef. The Indian-born multihyphenate has been its host for 13 years now and sends aspiring chefs home with the famous catch phrase “Pack your knives and go.” This season—the show’s sixteenth!—takes place in Kentucky, where the 15 ambitious chef contestants will battle it out for the top prize. Ahead of its premiere tonight (December 6) at 9 :00 P.M. Lakshmi answered Glamour‘s Big Questions, below.

What is your full name and where does it come from?

My name is Padma Lakshmi. Padma is Sanskrit word for lotus. It is also the flower that blooms in stagnant water. And my last name is Lakshmi, which is normally a first name in India. In Hinduism it is the goddess of prosperity and abundance. It’s my mother’s middle name that I took because I wanted to have my mother’s last name.

What is your idea of true happiness?

Wow. I guess my idea of true happiness is when you feel content and productive and useful. And not that you need to have everything great happen to you every day, but that you feel like you are living with purpose in your life as a mother, in my profession, and in my romantic and platonic relationships as well. In my memoir, Love, Loss, and What We Ate, I actually talk about this in the beginning. I used to ask my grandmother, who is a huge mentor to me, about happiness. And she would always say that happiness to her was not a noun, but a verb. And that if she felt like she got everything done that she needed to do, then she went to bed happy. That she was content that she went to sleep more accomplished than she got up that day. I think my definition of happiness definitely aligns with that.

If you could come back as one person, real or fictional, who would it be?

I would come back as myself, but knowing everything I know now. My life took such a twisty and turn-y path that I didn’t have a lot of the knowledge that I needed to do things in a straight line, so I wound up doing a lot of things the long way or the hard way. So I don’t really think I need to come back as anybody else, but I would love to retain the knowledge and the wisdom I’ve gained from this life into the next one.

What do you consider to be the greatest invention of all time?

Motherhood. My assistant would say coffee.

What do you think is the worst one?

Some days I think it’s the Internet, but I know that it is also really good…. I think high-fructose corn syrup is probably the worst invention.

What is your most irrational fear and where does it come from?

My most irrational fear is sugar. I am always afraid of eating too many sweets because I’ve had a lot of cavities and I’ve had eight root canals in my life…. Every time my dentist says he has to see me again, I feel like I am being called to the principal’s office.

Would you rather be able to stop time or speed it up?

I think I’d rather stop time. I don’t want time to speed up. I have an eight-year-old, and I’ve seen how much she’s developed and grown from one year to the next. And I sound like every silly parent, but I look at her and I think, Why can’t you be three again? I also sorely miss people I have lost. I wish I had a little bit more time with my grandfather, who was also a big influence in my life. I wish I had more time with one of my lovers who passed away seven years ago now.

How do you stand up for what you believe in?

You open your mouth and you have your convictions be bigger than your fears. I first found my voice when I started talking about endometriosis almost a decade ago. It was really hard to do that, but I thought that any embarrassment I’d have talking about my body or my vagina was smaller than the issue of all of these millions of women suffering in silence and not getting a proper diagnosis. The needs of the next generation of young women superseded my own personal embarrassment of talking about my period or this icky disease.That was the first big leap in a journey that’s taken me now to immigration rights, and the U.N., and the ACLU, and different things like that. Find something you’re really passionate about that you know is wrong in the world that you can set right. That will vanquish any fear you have of stepping in to speak about it where others won’t and maybe have not yet.

You’re stuck on a desert island and can bring only three things. What are they?

My daughter, a tooth brush, and survivalist Bear Grylls, who was in that show called Man vs. Wild. I think that’s a good mix. A toothbrush, my kid (with lots of books in her book bag), and Bear Grylls.

Never have I ever ____ .

Never have I ever tried acid or LCD because I’m scared that my imagination is already overactive when I’m sober. Is that lame? I’d be like one of those kids you saw on the after-school specials. I am anxiety averse.

What advice would your 18-year-old self give to you now?

Try once in a while to enjoy the success you’ve always wanted because sometimes when you get the success you always crave, you don’t have the time to enjoy it. You’re so busy maintaining the success or chasing the next thing. You really want to stop and say, This is a moment where I’ve actually got a lot of things I didn’t have in my twenties and I am really thankful.

If you were on a dating app, hypothetically speaking, what would your opening line be?

“High-maintenance but definitely worth it.”

Padma Lakshmi Takes Glamour’s ‘Big Questions’ Survey

If you don’t know Padma Lakshmi from her activism or for her award-winning cookbooks and memoir, chances are you definitely know her from Bravo’s reality cooking competition show Top Chef. The Indian born multi-hyphenate has been its host for 13 years now and sends aspiring chefs home with the famous catch phrase “pack your knives and go.” This season — the show’s 16th! — takes place in Kentucky where the 15 ambitious chef contestants will battle it out for the top prize. Ahead of its premiere tonight (December 6) at 9 p.m. Lakshmi answered Glamour‘s “Big Questions,” below.

What is your full name and where does it come from?

My name is Padma Lakshmi. Padma is Sanskrit word for Lotus. It is also the flower that blooms in stagnant water. And my last name is Lakshmi, which is normally a first name in India. In Hinduism, it is the Goddess of prosperity and abundance. It’s my mother’s middle name that I took because I wanted to have my mother’s last name.

What is your idea of true happiness?

Wow. I guess my idea of true happiness is when you feel content and productive and useful. And not that you need to have everything great happen to you every day, but that you feel like you are living with purpose in your life as a mother, in my profession, and in my romantic and platonic relationships as well. In my memoir, Love, Loss, and What We Ate I actually talk about this in the beginning. I used to ask my grandmother, who is a huge mentor to me, about happiness. And she would always say that happiness to her was not a noun, but a verb. And that if she felt like she got everything done that she needed to do then she went to bed happy. That she was content that she went to sleep more accomplished than she got up that day. I think my definition of happiness definitely aligns with that.

If you could come back as one person, real or fictional, who would it be?

I would come back as myself, but knowing everything I know now. My life took such a twisty and turny path that I didn’t have a lot of the knowledge that I needed to do things in a straight line so I wound up doing a lot of things the long way or the hard way. So I don’t really think I need to come back as anybody else, but I would love to retain the knowledge and the wisdom I’ve gained from this life into the next one.

What do you consider to be the greatest invention of all time?

Motherhood. My assistant would say coffee.

What do you think is the worst one?

Some days I think it’s the internet, but I know that it is also really good… I think high fructose corn syrup is probably the worst invention.

What is your most irrational fear and where does it come from?

My most irrational fear is sugar. I am always afraid of eating too many sweets because I’ve had a lot of cavities and I’ve had 8 root canals in my life…every time my dentist says he has to see me again I feel like I am being called to the principal’s office.

Would you rather be able to stop time or speed it up?

I think I’d rather stop time. I don’t want time to speed up…I have an eight year old and I’ve seen how much she’s been developed and grown from one year to the next. And I sound like every silly parent, but I look at her and I think why can’t you be three again? I also sorely miss people I have lost. I wish I had a little bit more time with my grandfather, who was also a big influence in my life. I wish I had more time with one of my lovers who passed away 7 years ago now.

How do you stand up for what you believe in?

You open your mouth and you have your convictions be bigger than your fears. I first found my voice when I started talking about endometriosis almost a decade ago. It was really hard to do that but I thought that any embarrassment I’d have talking about my body or my vagina was smaller than the issue of all of these millions of women suffering in silence and not getting a proper diagnosis. The needs of the next generation of young women superseded my own personal embarrassment of talking about my period or this icky disease.That was the first big leap in a journey that’s taken me now to immigration rights, and the U.N., and the ACLU and different things like that. Find something you’re really passionate about that you know is wrong in the world that you can set right. That will vanquish any fear you have of stepping in to speak about it where others won’t and maybe have not yet.

You’re stuck on a desert island and can only bring three things. What are they?

My daughter, a tooth brush, and survivalist Bear Grylls who was in that show called Man vs. Wild. I think that’s a good mix. A toothbrush, my kid (with lots of books in her book bag), and Bear Grylls.

Never Have I Ever ____ .

Never have I ever tried acid or LCD because I’m scared that my imagination is already overactive when I’m sober. Is that lame? I’d be like one of those kids you saw on the after-school specials. I am anxiety averse.

What advice would your 18-year-old self give to you now?

Try once in awhile to enjoy the success you’ve always wanted because sometimes when you get the success you always crave, you don’t have the time to enjoy it. You’re so busy maintaining the success or chasing the next thing. You really want to stop and say this is a moment where I’ve actually got a lot of things I didn’t have in my twenties and I am really thankful.

If you were on a dating app, hypothetically speaking what would your opening line be?

“High maintenance but definitely worth it.”

Anxiety Can Be a Good Thing—Here’s How I Make Mine Work For Me

A few days ago, I was settling into my office, getting ready to start work for the day, when I was hit with a familiar wave of anxiety—a heart racing, mind spinning sense of dread and unease that gushed from the pit of my stomach to the knot in my throat.

A year ago, I would have been submerged; so overwhelmed by the anxiety I would have either a) cried; b) had a full-blown panic attack; c) got back into bed for the day; or d) all the above. But today—after a full year of working to change my relationship with anxiety (thanks, therapy!)—things are different. I didn’t cry. I didn’t panic. I didn’t crawl back into bed.

Instead, I turned to the strategy I’ve been using for the past year to make my anxiety work for me rather than letting it drag me down. The idea, essentially, is to avoid looking at it as an roadblock, and instead focus on my relationship with anxiety. “When you’re afraid of anxiety, you are going to make it worse,” says Alicia Clark, PsyD, a licensed psychologist and author of Hack Your Anxiety: How To Make Anxiety Work For You In Life, Love, and All That You Do. This might seem like a crazy idea to anyone who has ever wrestled with the feeling—I have spent my entire adult life doing anything and everything to get rid of it. Antidepressants. Therapy. Floating. Breathing exercises. Yoga. A startling amount of alcohol (and an even more startling number of self-help books). You name it, I’ve tried it.

But nothing managed to remove the unsettling undercurrent that runs through my life—instead, the harder I tried to eradicate my ongoing panic, the more anxious I became when I couldn’t. I was convinced my anxiety—the intrusive thoughts, the racing heartbeat, the nagging doubt, the constant fear of failure, the tightness in my stomach, the inability to truly relax (like, ever)—must be a clear indicator that something was very, very wrong with me. As if my inability to deal with it meant I was just too weak to cope.

“Too much of the information out there is unintentionally scaring people about anxiety because the message is that it’s bad,” Clark says. For years, that was definitely the message I was getting; anxiety was bad and I must be bad for having it. But the more people have started opening up about their own struggles, the more I realized it’s not that simple—plenty of people I consider smart, charming, inspiring, and successful (I’m looking at you, Kristen Bell!) are anxious, too.

The truth is, anxiety isn’t all bad. With the right mindset, it can actually be a good thing, Clark says.

The harder I tried to eradicate my anxiety, the more anxious I became when I couldn’t.

There’s science to back this up. Stress—aka the heightened sense of arousal you get while wrestling with anxiety—can actually improve performance. It’s a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears: too much anxiety can leave you feeling paralyzed, too little and you may be missing out on a dose of kick-in-the-pants motivation. Just the right amount of anxiety, however, can work to your advantage, making it easier to power through a deadline, push yourself at the gym, or step outside of your comfort zone to accomplish your goals. “[This approach] is important because it takes us out of being uncomfortable about anxiety and it has us using it instead,” Clark says. When we think of it as a tool, we can ask what the anxiety might be trying to tell us, Clark explains.

After a lifetime of doing everything physically possible to avoid my anxiety (which, let me tell you, is pretty exhausting), harnessing it to make it work for me sounded like a much better plan.

“When you notice anxiety, notice how it’s affecting you,” says Clark. “What are you worried about? What are you scared about?” In my office, submerged in the sinking feeling that something wasn’t right, I tried to think of what might be triggering it—if I could get to the bottom of what that “something” was, I could use it as a way to turn the anxiety into motivation to power my day.

I reviewed my to-do lists to make sure I hadn’t missed a deadline; checked my email to make sure I hadn’t dropped the ball on any client communications; searched my desk for any unpaid bills. Nothing. If nothing is immediately obvious, go deeper, says Clark. I had my first article for a new (and big) client due later that day and the more I thought about it, the more obvious it became that my imposter syndrome was rearing its ugly head and throwing me into an anxious tailspin. I was feeling fearful that I didn’t have the chops to deliver, that my business was going to fail, that I was a terrible writer, that I just wasn’t good enough.

Back in the day, I would’ve either pushed the fear down and tried to ignore it or followed those negative thoughts down the rabbit hole until I was a hot, anxious mess. But making your anxiety work for you isn’t about avoiding it or letting it overwhelm you to the point of no return. It’s about doing something with it.

So I did. Instead of letting the fear that I’m not good enough drag me down, I used the imposter-inspired anxiety as a catalyst to make my work better. Rather than stress about failing, I would take every measure I could to make sure I couldn’t fail. I finished the assignment early so I’d have time for an extra round of edits. I sent the article to a few other writers to get their feedback before I submitted it to my client. I tackled another project I felt more comfortable with to deliver a boost of much-needed confidence—and then poured that confidence right back into my writing.

By the time I sent that assignment to my new client, it was a much better, well-written piece than I had originally planned on submitting—and the work I had done to get it there (the feedback, the additional edits, the confidence and expertise I was able to infuse into the writing) had been a direct result of the wave of anxiety I felt that morning. It helped me produce better work.

Shifting my approach from avoidance and fear to curiosity, completely changed the way I experienced anxious feelings.

By getting curious about my anxiety instead of avoidant or overwhelmed, I’ve been able to level up my performance across the board—in my relationships (if I’m feeling anxious about an argument I had with my husband, I’ll examine my behavior and see if there’s anything I need to apologize for; which, 99 percent of the time, there is), in my running routine (if I’m feeling anxious about the fact that I haven’t run in awhile, I take a look at why I haven’t had the motivation to lace up my shoes and come up with a plan to get back in the game), or with my own personal growth and development (anytime I feel anxious about a decision or the way things are going in my life, it think of it like a warning alarm alerting me I’m not in alignment with what’s really best for me).

I won’t lie, calmly questioning my anxiety felt really uncomfortable at first. But shifting my approach, completely changed the way I experienced anxious feelings. To be clear, I’m in no way saying that debilitating anxiety is a good thing. It’s not. And if your anxiety is getting in the way of living a happy, healthy, and peaceful life, you should get whatever support you need in order to feel better. I’m also not saying that after a year-long attempt to change my relationship to anxiety, I’ve got it completely under control—I definitely still have moments when my anxiety feels overwhelming and crosses the line from helpful to harmful. In those moments, I have zero hesitation in seeking out the support I need (whether that’s getting in for a session with my therapist, going for a long run, or writing things out in my journal) to get to the other side.

What I am saying is that trying to get rid of my anxiety didn’t work for me—in fact, it only made me more anxious. But accepting my anxiety for what it is and working with what I have to be more productive, accomplished, and happy? That feels like it’s working.

Claire and Jamie Are the Sexiest They’ve Been in Months in This New *Outlander* Sneak Peek

Ask any Outlander fan what they love about the show, and the sex scenes between Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) will inevitably come up. Of course, those romantic moments aren’t the only thing we love about the time-traveling series, but…yeah, they’re high on the list.

Here’s the thing, though: Claire and Jamie don’t get that many opportunities to, uh, get down. They’ve spent the past three seasons constantly being separated by dramatic circumstances—a battle, a wayward horse, typhoid fever, to name just a few. And when they are together, they’re usually around smelly sailors, smelly soldiers, or smelly Rollo. Not sexy.

Considering all of that, it’s incredible they’ve found any moment alone—even Heughan agrees. “It’s amazing how their love lasts,” he told Glamour earlier this year. “They haven’t lost anything in their passion for each other, even though they seem to get very little time together. There’s always something going on.”

This season, however, Claire and Jamie have settled down to build their first home together. And naturally, Outlander fans hope this means more sexy times are on the horizon. Heughan promises that’s the case: “That’s one of the great joys of this season: They finally get to be together, somewhere safe and theirs to call their own.”

Claire and Jamie might be nesting, but that doesn’t mean they still don’t get the occasional interruption. Watch this exclusive sneak peek from this week’s upcoming episode—titled “Blood of My Blood”—and you’ll see what I mean:

“With all the sex scenes, or anything like that, we always try to approach them from a place of empowerment—not only the characters, but of the actors and the audience,” Balfe told Glamour about the show’s steamier scenes.

Outlander airs Sundays at 8 P.M. ET on Starz.

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Kylie Jenner Just Shut Down a Troll Who Posted Fake Travis Scott Cheating Pics

Earlier this week, obviously-very fake photos of Travis Scott cheating on Kylie Jenner made the rounds, and it turns out they were a prank orchestrated by some troll trying to “fool the Internet.” Jenner is (rightfully) peeved by this stunt, and she took to Instagram Stories last night to air her grievances.

“Idk if this is really a social experiment to some people but you’re messing with real people, real relationships, real family,” she posted next to a screen-shot of the “prank.” “I’m happy my relationship is strong because this is getting out of hand. The Internet scares me sometimes for real.”

PHOTO: Instagram

Jenner’s family, obviously, rallied behind her. “I hate that I am bringing attention to this but this is absolutely disgusting that you would find this funny to mess with Travis & Kylie who just started a family together,” Kim Kardashian tweeted. “This is really damaging to relationships, families and is just so wrong!”

Khloé Kardashian also expressed her disapproval of the incident. “People are absolutely disgusting,” she wrote, also on Twitter. “The mind games this would do to somebody… That is so completely not OK! This person should be so ashamed of themselves! What filth.” This no-doubt hits close to home for Khloé because of the cheating scandal that plagued her relationship with basketball player Tristan Thompson earlier this year.

Scott himself shut down the fake photos in a series of Instagram comments. “Only got love for my wife,” he posted. “No time to be wasting. Try again.”

Jenner and Scott welcomed their first child together, a daughter named Stormi Webster, in February 2018.

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