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Technology US

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 event: the biggest announcements

Samsung just finished its first Unpacked event of 2021. The headline announcements were the three new phones in its S21 lineup, but the company also announced new true wireless headphones, an item tracker, and a few other things.

We’ve rounded up all of the biggest announcements from the event right here.

Photo by Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge

Samsung announced the $799 Galaxy S21 and $999 S21 Plus, which are available for preorder today ahead of availability on January 29th. They’re largely the same phones, except for their physical size. And their camera module takes up an entire corner of the phones, giving them a whole new look.

Photo by Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge

Samsung announced the $1,199 Galaxy S21 Ultra, its newest top-of-the-line flagship smartphone. It has a bigger screen and more cameras than the S21 and S21 Plus, and, in a first for Samsung’s S line of smartphones, support for the S Pen stylus. It’s also available for preorder today and will launch on January 29th. Samsung is also working on an S Pen Pro with Bluetooth, which is coming later this year.

The Galaxy S21 Plus box.
Image: Samsung

Samsung is following Apple in not including a charging brick in the box with its newest phones. The phones will come with a USB-C to USB-C cable, but you’ll need to own a compatible charging brick or buy a new one if you want to plug your brand-new phone into a wall. The S21 lineup also won’t include headphones in the box.

Image: Samsung

Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds Pro true wireless earbuds have improved active noise cancellation, a refined ambient sound mode, an IPX7 rating for water resistance, and more. They cost $199, are available for preorder today, and you’ll be able to buy them in stores on Friday.

Photo by Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge

Samsung announced a Tile tracker competitor called the SmartTag. It’s a small Bluetooth Low Energy dongle that you can attach to things, and you can pair it with Samsung’s SmartThings app. The SmartTag only works with Galaxy devices, though. The SmartTag will be available on January 29th and it will cost $29.99. Samsung also announced the Galaxy SmartTag Plus, which uses ultra wideband for more precise tracking. The SmartTag Plus is launching later this year, and you’ll be able to buy one for $39.99.

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Technology UK

Monster Hunter Rise could possible be one of the biggest games of 2021


It’s been three years since Capcom blew everyone away with the release Monster Hunter: World and it’s safe to say that fans are still enjoying the Iceborne expansion.

But much, to everyone’s surprise, Capcom announced that the next instalment Monster Hunter Rise would be a Nintendo Switch exclusive.

This was definitely a shock as Monster Hunter: World was a must-have on PS4, Xbox One and PC, so it would have been an obvious choice to make Rise multiplatform.

This means the fans will get a game that is specifically built to utilise the Nintendo Switch’s functionality and not just a substandard port.

The Monster Hunter Series has evolved over the years adding new features, abilities and weapons to be used in the various different areas.

Hunters will be able to ride monsters

However, the core gameplay loop where players take the role of a Hunter to slay or trap large monsters as part of the quest to gain loot remains the same throughout.

Players can use the loot to improve their weapons and armour which in turn allows them to hunt stronger monsters.

One of the best features is the multiplayer mode where players can team up with other Hunters to tackle really hard quests and slay a really powerful monster.

If you haven’t played any of the previous Monster Hunter games, no need to worry as even though the games take place in the Monster Hunter World all the stories are independent of each other.

In anticipation of its worldwide release on March 26th, Capcom sent the Mirror Online an early access demo for us to sink our teeth into.

Firstly Monster Hunter Rise looks great on the Nintendo Switch, characters models are extremely detailed with each colourful hunter bursting with personality.

It runs smoothly in both docked and undocked modes with no frames drops even during hectic combat, it will be interesting to see if this holds up in the full version with the larger monsters and during online co-op.

After completing the tutorial I was able to test my skills against the Great Izuchi and the Mizutsune in the missions provided.

If you’ve played any of the previous entries then you’ll be able to jump right in, picking one of the fourteen Hunters who feel very unique and original.

Gameplay feels very similar to the to Monster Hunter: World with combat being very different depending on which character you pick.

Players will want to make use of the Endemic Life for stat boosting, they really make a difference during quests.

The major new addition is the Wirebug- an insect that produces a special kind of silk that acts like a grappling hook allowing players to reach new areas.

It’s very similar to the Clutch Claw in Monster Hunter: World but a lot more flashy and a few other technical differences.

The Wirebug can also be used with each weapon to create a Skillbind action, this adds to the weapons move set and combos.

Players will also be able to use the Wirebug to ride monsters, allowing them to aid you in battle with other behemoths.

Palicos returns to help hunters during their quest, but this time players will also have another companion.

Palamutes are new additions to the Monster Hunter series, these canine companions will become your new best friend as they allow players to ride them and they even help in battle.

Capcom has said that new travel buddies can personalise, so it will be interesting to see the level design that will be allowed.

From what the Mirror Online has seen from the early demo, Monster Hunter Rise is shaping up to be an amazing game with so much depth.

The Wirebugs and Palamutes are fully welcomed new additions that feel like they should have always been included in Monster Hunter games.

Players are going to relish being able to take play on the go in undocked mode which currently works like a charm

Monster Hunter Rise is out for the Nintendo Switch on March 26th and a demo is avaliblew from the Nintendo eShop now.





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Technology US

Wi-Fi’s biggest upgrade in decades is starting to arrive

Wi-Fi is about to get a lot better. Many of this year’s new phones, laptops, TVs, routers, and more will come with support for Wi-Fi 6E, a new upgrade to Wi-Fi that’s essentially like expanding your wireless connection from a two-lane road to an eight-lane highway. It’s the biggest upgrade to Wi-Fi in 20 years, and connections should be faster and a lot more reliable because of it.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, the industry-wide group that oversees Wi-Fi, is now starting to certify the first wave of products with support for Wi-Fi 6E. Phones, PCs, and laptops with support should start hitting the market in the first months of 2021, according to the IDC research group, and TVs and VR devices with support are expected to arrive by the middle of the year.

Some of the first devices are likely to be announced over the next week. During CES, which kicks off on January 11th, router companies will preview what they have coming up for the year. Samsung is also planning to announce its next flagship phones, the Galaxy S21 series, and some if not all of them are likely to have support for Wi-Fi 6E thanks to the Snapdragon 888 processor. Because the chip includes support for it, Wi-Fi 6E should be present in many of this year’s top Android phones.

Wi-Fi 6E is such a big upgrade because it relies on a huge expansion of the wireless airwaves available to consumer devices. In April 2020, the Federal Communications Commission opened up this wide new swath of spectrum in the United States, but new hardware was required in order to make use of it. Nearly a year on, we’re finally starting to see devices with those capabilities.

Existing Wi-Fi devices operate on two spectrum bands, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Wi-Fi 6E adds a third — 6GHz — and there’s a lot more of it, quadrupling the total amount of airwaves used for typical Wi-Fi. That means you can have larger, higher-speed connections, and that airwaves are less likely to be congested. In an apartment building, for instance, your neighbors’ Wi-Fi networks might interfere with your own. But with Wi-Fi 6E, there’s a lot more bandwidth to go around, so there’s less of a chance that you’ll be fighting over the exact same airwaves.

It’ll be some time before most new devices are shipping with Wi-Fi 6E, though. Not all new gadget are even shipping with standard Wi-Fi 6 yet, and that version of Wi-Fi started rolling out about two years ago. By the start of 2022, IDC only expects 20 percent of shipping Wi-Fi 6 products to also support Wi-Fi 6E.

Another hurdle is support from regulators worldwide. Though the US has approved use of 6GHz airwaves, communications regulators in other countries need to approve the spectrum for Wi-Fi use, too. The Wi-Fi Alliance says that the UK, EU, South Korea, Chile, and United Arab Emirates have all given a green light on allowing 6GHz usage for Wi-Fi, while regulators in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and Japan are among others where progress is being made.

“There is absolutely momentum, and it is building around making [6GHz] available for Wi-Fi,” Kevin Robinson, the Wi-Fi Alliance’s marketing leader, told The Verge.

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Technology US

Wonder Woman 1984 and Hamilton’s three biggest lessons for streaming

Wonder Woman 1984 and Hamilton were two of 2020’s biggest films — at least where streaming was concerned. Recent third-party data suggests both releases drove crowds of subscribers to their streaming platforms (HBO Max and Disney Plus, respectively). More than any other movies that debuted online this year, Wonder Woman 1984 and Hamilton drove the most initial signups, according to new data from research firm Antenna. Data from research firm Screen Engine found similar results.

But digging into the data shows the successes of both releases are more complicated than they look. Unlike a conventional box office release, streaming success is measured not just in how many people saw the movie, but in how many people stuck around afterward. Measuring that success is much harder, but with this lesson, three new rules of the streaming game are already becoming clear.

Blockbuster releases drive immediate signups

This one is kind of obvious, but it’s nice to see it spelled out in the data. Wonder Woman 1984 led the pack for the most signups over a film’s opening weekend on streaming services, with Hamilton generating 71 percent as much and Soul 35 percent as much. Although, Wonder Woman 1984 was HBO Max’s first major release, while Soul premiered after The Mandalorian’s second season. (Its overall weekend signup numbers may be lower because people already had Disney Plus.)

Determining the value of “biggest” on streaming platforms is complicated. Neither WarnerMedia (HBO Max’s parent company) nor Disney shares data for their films’ performances. While those numbers would allow reporters and analysts to see total subscriber numbers and determine how much a single movie drives in subscription revenue, they’re not the most important figures. (It’s also difficult to translate streaming success into box office performance as there are too many variables, but Wonder Woman 1984’s domestic box office revenue in the film’s subsequent weeks following its initial release is far from phenomenal.)

Blockbuster releases don’t always lead to long-term subscriptions

Getting people to sign up is one thing; keeping them is another. Arguably, keeping them is also the most important part. Think of the United States. Once the majority of households have signed up for a service, it’s much tougher to continue growing at scale in that region. What becomes more important than growing in that territory is convincing people to stay. Recurring revenue only makes sense if companies can convince the majority of their customers to continuously pay month after month, year after year.

Although Hamilton drew in the most subscribers per single title on Disney Plus in 2020, the drop-off rate was higher than average Disney Plus subscribers who signed up for the service before the movie came out. Nearly a quarter of people who signed up for Disney Plus during Hamilton’s opening weekend canceled within 30 days, according to Antenna. After three months, less than 60 percent of that same subscriber group remained. Comparatively, about 70 percent of people who signed up for Disney Plus in June (about four weeks ahead of Hamilton’s premiere) remained subscribed three months later. This doesn’t imply that Disney Plus is in trouble — the platform had nearly 90 million subscribers in mid-December — but it speaks to the necessity of consistency.

Streaming’s beauty is also a problem to solve: it’s extremely easy for people to sign up, and it’s even easier for people to cancel. While big titles bring in subscribers, it doesn’t necessarily mean people are going to stay subscribed. Take Hamilton: if people are signing up specifically for the filmed version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical, they may not be as interested in staying for Star Wars or Marvel films and TV shows.

This group of subscribers is important for Disney, as they represent an audience Disney hasn’t already tapped into — but it’s a double-edged sword, as they’re more likely to cancel. People signing up ahead of Hamilton, however, may watch Hamilton when it lands on top of the other Disney properties they initially signed up to watch, but it’s not why they signed up. Figuring out how to keep both groups happy is essential.

Retention depends on what else is in your catalog

Wonder Woman 1984 is a more interesting case. It’s too early to tell if people are readily canceling their HBO Max subscriptions after watching Wonder Woman 1984, but the type of plan customers are purchasing does provide some insight. While more than 80 percent of people who signed up for Disney Plus to watch Hamilton chose the monthly subscription offering instead of annual plans (compared to 69 percent of average Disney Plus subscribers who signed up in June), roughly the same number of customers signed up for HBO Max’s monthly subscription as the six-month plan, according to Antenna.

There are a couple of reasons this may be the case — including that WarnerMedia offered a cheaper pricing option for the six-month tier ahead of Wonder Woman 1984’s release — but it also speaks to WarnerMedia’s wider plan. Just before Wonder Woman 1984 came out, WarnerMedia announced that every single Warner Bros. movie in 2021 will be released on HBO Max the same day titles premiere in theaters. Every month, there will be a “theatrical release” available at home for HBO Max subscribers. That’s on top of new HBO shows, a library of popular movies and TV series, and HBO Max originals.

WarnerMedia provided a good reason to keep the subscription. The same is true for customers who signed up for Disney Plus for Soul’s release. Unlike Hamilton, customers who signed up for Disney Plus during Soul’s opening weekend bought annual plans on par with those who purchased monthly plans. This comes just after Disney’s massive streaming-focused investor day, where executives touted a number of titles coming to Disney Plus in 2021. Like WarnerMedia’s HBO Max announcement, Disney gave people a reason to hold on to their subscriptions and return to the platform.

Streaming success is a balancing act of acquisition and retention. Subscription streaming is a valuable play for media and entertainment conglomerates because of its recurring revenue. That only happens if customers are routinely happy with a mix of new titles and an impressive library. See: Netflix. Netflix has the lowest churn rate (a term used to describe cancel rates) of any subscriber. There are enough new titles and a concrete enough library to justify increasingly expensive subscription costs.

2021 is an important year for streamers like HBO Max and Disney Plus. Each company has its own strategy, but the biggest takeaway from 2020’s streaming bets is something they both share: people want new things all the time. And with more places to get entertainment than ever before, each company needs to fight to keep their attention.

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Delhi Politics The Buzz

World’s biggest Covid vaccination programme set to begin in India, country proud of its scientists: Modi


New Delhi, January 4

*World’s biggest Covid vaccination programme set to begin in India, country proud of its scientists: Modi.

*We have to ensure ‘Made in India’ products not only have global demand but also global acceptance: PM Modi at National Metrology Conclave.

*Quality is as much important as quantity, our standards should rise with our scale in our quest for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’: PM at conclave. PTI





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Entertainment USA

Rob Kardashian’s ‘Biggest Goals’ For 2021 Revealed As He Continues Becoming The ‘Best Version’ Of Himself

While almost everyone is excited to finally put 2020 behind them, Rob Kardashian may be the one most excited for 2021 and what lies ahead.

Now that Rob Kardashian has reportedly reached a new custody agreement with his ex, Blac Chyna, according to Us Weekly, he can finally focus on his future. A source close to Dream‘s dad actually told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY that because of this new development in his life, “Rob has no distractions coming into 2021, and that makes everything so much easier for him to focus on himself.”

So what does that include exactly? Well, our source told us, “When it comes to 2021, Rob is looking to be as healthy as he can be for Dream, but he also wants to invest his time in sports cards. He is very much involved in the market of sports cards and sports memorabilia, and he would love to get more into that and have that be his pastime and make money off it on the resell market. He is still in his Jesus year and the next few months, he is determined to continue to change for the better in work ethic, health and being the best father he can be. That is really all he can hope for right now and he is making the strides to make it all happen.”

Another source close to the Kardashians also told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY, “Rob is healthy, and he is doing well.” After losing a ton of weight over the last several months, “He is going into 2021 with so much appreciation for his family and for being a dad and one of his biggest goals is to just continue to be the best dad he can be for Dream. She makes him want to be the best version of himself, and he wants her to be proud of him.”

“Dream really has changed his life and given him so much more purpose, it’s beautiful,” the source continued. “His family’s so happy — it’s one of the biggest blessings. They all love Dream so much and they love seeing what a good dad Rob is. He’s so close to his sisters again, he goes to them for advice on Dream all the time and they love to share it. It’s very sweet and none of them are taking it for granted. Rob’s back — he made it through some very dark days, but he’s good again and very excited about 2021. He’s got big plans for his clothing line Halfway Dead next year, too. And he and his mom are doing great with their hot sauce Grandeza — they have plans to grow that in 2021, too.”

It sounds like Rob has a busy year ahead of him, and we can’t wait to see what unfolds for him.

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Entertainment USA

11 Of The Biggest Celebrity Weight Loss Transformations Of 2020: Rebel Wilson, Adele & More

2020 is finally coming to a close! Before the year wraps up with small celebrations and new resolutions, check out the celebrities who went on healthy weight loss journeys in 2020!

While some people may have let themselves go during 2020, others took the opportunity to focus on fitness and getting healthy! This has allowed for some incredible celebrity weight loss stories from what has been a fairly dismal year, with several big-name stars shedding major pounds over the course of the last 12 months. As 2020 comes to a close and millions set their new year’s resolutions for a healthier, happier life, check out some of the celebs who completely transformed their lives in 2020!

While some stars, like Rebel Wilson, have been super open about their weight loss journeys, others have kept quiet about what they’ve been doing to lose weight, and are letting the photos do the talking! Rebel often posts updates on Instagram of her fitness journey. She’s often sharing her workouts on her page, and isn’t shy about showing off her slimmed-down figure in social media photos.

Rebel Wilson lost roughly 60 lbs. over the course of 2020 [SplashNews/AP Images].

From glamorous gowns to workout attire, Rebel has put her new bod on display in a number of different looks. The Australian actress has lost roughly 60 lbs., but previously admitted that she has a bit of work to still do to get down to her goal weight of 165 pounds. Now, the Aussie star is fully embracing her look and flaunting her loving relationship with partner Jacob Busch, too!

Rob Kardashian has gone through many ups and downs with his weight over the years. The only KarJenner boy has been known to take major breaks from the spotlight when he’s not feeling confident. This year, he’s been focused on himself, though, and the hard work is paying off! Rob made a triumphant return to the public eye after his sister, Khloe Kardashian’s, birthday in June. Although he still hasn’t been caught by paparazzi, he’s been sharing plenty of photos of himself on social media, and his slimmer figure has been on full display.

Like Rob, Adele has also avoided paparazzi throughout most of 2020, but every once in a while, she’ll post a photo on Instagram that gets fans buzzing about her slimmed-down look! For her birthday in May, Adele wowed everyone with a picture of herself in a little black dress. She looked completely different after losing 100 pounds. Considering Adele is SO private and barely posts on Instagram, her fans go crazy over any glimpse they can get of her. Needless to say, she basically breaks the Internet every time she shares a photo of herself!

christopher schwarzanegger
Christopher Schwarzenegger before and after his 2020 weight loss (BACKGRID/SplashNews).

Meanwhile, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s son, Chris Schwarzenegger, also debuted a noticeable weight loss this year. “He made it his goal to get healthy for graduation and he stuck to it,” a source told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “He started working out and making better food choices. He’s been away at school, living like a typical college kid, the past few years, but he’s growing up now and ready to take better care of himself.”

There are plenty of other amazing weight loss stories from this year, though! Scroll through the gallery above to see Kelly Osbourne and more stars who debuted new looks in 2020.

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Technology US

TikTok’s one-night Ratatouille musical will star some of Broadway’s biggest names

Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical has some big Broadway talent on board for its January 1st streaming performance. Adam Lambert, Wayne Brady, Kevin Chamberlin, Mary Testa, and Priscilla Lopez will play key roles, with Tituss Burgess starring as Remy, the sophisticated rat who loves fine food.

The one-time only performance will benefit the Actors Fund. Based on the 2007 Disney-Pixar movie Ratatouille, the musical came together on TikTok, with creators composing songs based on the original film, building the “show” piece by piece. Emily Jacobsen (@e_jaccs) made the original “Remy the Ratatouille” song for TikTok, and composer Daniel Mertzlufft, created the very Broadway-esque arrangement of Jacobsen’s song that really started the ball rolling for a full-blown show. Honestly it’s so good.

“The Rat’s Way of Life” and “Ratatouille Tango” created by TikToker Blake Rouse will be featured in the musical, and the Playbill program created by TikToker Jess Siswick is the musical’s promotional artwork.

TodayTix, which is the ticket vendor for the show, tweeted that “creators are, indeed, being compensated and credited! Our teams are collaborating with them to make this the show of all your dreams.”

Disney isn’t directly involved with development but has apparently given its blessing to the project. As has actor Patton Oswalt, the original voice of Remy.

The show will stream via TodayTix on January 1st at 7PM ET, with ticket prices ranging from $5 to $50. Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical will be available on demand for 72 hours after.

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Glasgow Headlines UK

Asian-inspired dishes will be the biggest food trend of 2021, Waitrose reports says

The new year will see Brits sipping on flavoured vodka, eating fermented food and continuing with upmarket at home dining, according to a new report from Waitrose.  

In a year like no other, our attitudes towards what we eat, the way we eat and the way we shop have been fundamentally reshaped by the pandemic. 

While our tastes are constantly changing, 2020 has seen a return to classics and retro favourites as people seek comfort from the food and drink they enjoy.

As we look to 2021, Waitrose has predicted the foodie fashions and top tipples we can expect to see leading the way. 

In a year like no other, our attitudes towards what we eat, the way we eat and the way we shop have been fundamentally reshaped by the pandemic. While our tastes are constantly changing, 2020 has seen a return to classics and retro favourites as people seek comfort from the food and drink they enjoy. Pictured is sherry spritzer 

ASIAN INSPIRATION

With such a wide variety of flavours and dishes, from Kung Pao Chicken to Okonomiyaki, Asian food culture has seen a consistent rise in popularity and this is set to continue into 2021. 

As tasty as they are versatile, store cupboard essentials from Asia are the fastest growing in the Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients range – and Waitrose has seen sales of Chinese Rice Vinegar up 194 per cent, Mirin Rice Wine up 188 per cent and Japanese Rice Vinegar up 180 per cent.

One Asian dish that has caused a social media stir has been the Tornado Omelette – a traditional Korean made famous through TikTok. 

One Asian dish that has caused a social media stir has been the Tornado Omelette - a traditional Korean made famous through TikTok

One Asian dish that has caused a social media stir has been the Tornado Omelette – a traditional Korean made famous through TikTok 

Step-by-step: Easy guide to making your own tornado omelette at home

Step-by-step: Easy guide to making your own tornado omelette at home

The dish is created by using chopsticks to whisk eggs in a hot pan – incidentally eggs sales increased by 22 per cent in 2020.

Earlier this month, Waitrose reported searches overnight for liquorice had shot up thanks to the ‘Nigella effect’. The supermarket said it had seen 29 per cent more searches for the salty sweet since the show aired.

Highlighted as essential in Nigella’s larder, Korean gochujang chilli paste, mace and smoked paprika have seen sales increase by 49 per cent, 149 per cent and 70 per cent respectively – as customers stock up on new store cupboard staples 

BACKING BRITISH

Fishing rights were a key negation point in the Brexit deal, set to come into effect January 1 and as such British seafood is back in the spotlight, with sales having tripled over the last six months and clams, cockles, mussels and oysters proving particularly popular. Pictured is a fish market in Glasgow

Fishing rights were a key negation point in the Brexit deal, set to come into effect January 1 and as such British seafood is back in the spotlight, with sales having tripled over the last six months and clams, cockles, mussels and oysters proving particularly popular. Pictured is a fish market in Glasgow

Provenance, animal welfare, taste and value have never mattered more. There is an ever-growing interest in ethical sourcing, and as more people become worried farming standards from overseas, 2021 will be the year of choosing to buy more British and organic produce.

Fishing rights were a key negation point in the Brexit deal, set to come into effect January 1 and as such British seafood is back in the spotlight, with sales having tripled over the last six months and clams, cockles, mussels and oysters proving particularly popular.

Sales of the Waitrose Duchy Organic range are also up 13 per cent in total, while sales of organic chickens are up 42 per cent and vegetables are up 23 per cent – with Waitrose selling 375 bags of its Duchy Organic carrots every hour.

FAVOURING FLAVOUR

Following in the footsteps of gin, flavoured vodka is set to be the top spirit of choice for many throughout 2021. Without the heady botanicals of gin, it is amazingly versatile in a wide range of homemade cocktails and with so many fun flavours to choose from – such as fir, rhubarb and marmalade – the possibilities are endless. Pictured is Black Cow flavoured vodka 

SHERRY SPRITZERS  

Mediterranean food isn’t the only trend from across the channel.

Straight from the Med – spritzers in a highball glass are also having their time in the limelight.

Think sherry or white port, served simply with tonic and ice for a refreshing, long drink, or go the extra mile and add a fruity twist.

With many flavoursome options to choose from – including an Orange and Ginger Wine Spritzer and Fruity gin spritzer – these drinks are set to become more mainstream in 2021.

 

Following in the footsteps of gin, flavoured vodka is set to be the top spirit of choice for many throughout 2021. 

Without the heady botanicals of gin, it is amazingly versatile in a wide range of homemade cocktails and with so many fun flavours to choose from – such as fir, rhubarb and marmalade – the possibilities are endless. 

IT’S FERMENT TO BE

Preserving is where it’s at right now. Originally introduced as a method of preservation, fermentation continues to be one of the fastest growing trends amongst shoppers and home cooks.

With an increase in time spent at home, the nation is experimenting with preservation techniques using spare cupboard food, whilst reducing waste continues to be high on the criteria. UK social media mentions of preserving and fermenting are up by 28 per cent and searches on Waitrose.com for ‘pickling’ are 222 per cent higher.

As well as fermenting at home – Waitrose continues to see a rise is sales of fermented favourites such as sourdough and kimchi – the classic Korean dish made by fermenting cabbage and carrots in a flavoursome, spicy sauce – as well as the popular fermented drink kombucha.

The biggest lockdown trend in bread making was sourdough, with 115,000 related page views on the BBC Good Food website between March and May – up 900 per cent on last year.

Waitrose continues to see a rise is sales of fermented favourites such as sourdough and kimchi - the classic Korean dish made by fermenting cabbage and carrots in a flavoursome, spicy sauce - as well as the popular fermented drink kombucha. The biggest lockdown trend in bread making was sourdough, with 115,000 related page views on the BBC Good Food website between March and May - up 900 per cent on last year

Waitrose continues to see a rise is sales of fermented favourites such as sourdough and kimchi – the classic Korean dish made by fermenting cabbage and carrots in a flavoursome, spicy sauce – as well as the popular fermented drink kombucha. The biggest lockdown trend in bread making was sourdough, with 115,000 related page views on the BBC Good Food website between March and May – up 900 per cent on last year

AT HOME EXPERIENCES

At home dining has taken on a greater significance – with almost two thirds of Brits saying mealtimes have become more of an event – and this has driven more people to recreate restaurant-style meals at home.

But recreating experiences at home doesn’t stop at food. 

Sales of ‘bean to cup’ coffee machines at John Lewis are up 64 per cent and coffee beans at Waitrose up 44 per cent as people look to replicate a coffee shop vibe at home. 

While at-home cocktail bars, cinemas and music festivals have been popping up in homes and gardens – a trend set to continue throughout 2021.

At home dining has taken on a greater significance - with almost two thirds of Brits saying mealtimes have become more of an event - and this has driven more people to recreate restaurant-style meals at home.

At home dining has taken on a greater significance – with almost two thirds of Brits saying mealtimes have become more of an event – and this has driven more people to recreate restaurant-style meals at home.

What have Brits been eating in lockdown?  

FORMATS

Consumer awareness of the ethical credentials and sheer convenience of alternative formats has never been more prevalent. Lockdown saw people reduce the number of visits they made to shops, so larger formats like bag in box were in demand and customers haven’t looked back. 

Wine in cans, cocktails in post-friendly sachets and bag in box wine have all pushed the boundaries of how people expect to buy good-quality drinks. This trend will only continue as we see more innovation in the industry and more customers embracing different types of packaging than ever before.

THE OLD VS THE NEW

A year of uncertainty and change in 2020 saw us turn to old favourites. In terms of drinks, this meant we polished up our mixology skills to ensure we didn’t miss out on our favourite cocktails, and we settled down for nights in with a trusty bottle of Malbec or Sauvignon Blanc. For 2021, our sense of exploring the new will be refreshed with 20 per cent of us saying we plan to continue experimenting with new drinks at home, rising to a third among 18-24 year-olds. We also expect to see a rise in popularity of lesser-known wine regions and grape varieties as well as more exotic spirits and unusual flavour combinations.

WINTER ROSÉ

Storming sales in autumn 2020 (up 57% versus last year) prove that pink is officially for all seasons. Versatile, foodie friendly and with the ability to take us straight to Provence in a sip, rosé wine had its biggest year ever last year, and this will only continue to grow in 2021.

SPRITZERS

The trend for enjoying a spritzer in a highball glass is straight from the Med – think sherry or white port, served simply with tonic and ice for a refreshing, long drink.

 

SHERRY

Martinis with a sherry rinse, the rise of sweet sherry and a world of food matching delights from salty cured meats to rich, indulgent desserts – sherry is seeing a steep incline in popularity. Interestingly, people seem to be rediscovering the classic or traditional styles of Manzanilla, Amontillado and Oloroso – where previously it was all about sweet cream sherries.

ENGLISH WINE

The quality of the 2019 vintage of English and Welsh wines is the best we’ve ever seen and this, combined  with the increase in popularity of English and Welsh reds – particularly lighter styles – make a bumper year for home-grown wine. Still wines from 2019 are in stock now, while fizz will take a few more years, so keep an eye out!

LOW AND NO

18% of us plan to continue trying more low-alcohol or alcohol-free drinks or ‘mocktails’ to reduce alcohol consumption, rising to a third of all 18-24 year-olds. Sales at Waitrose corroborate this trend, with low and no sales up 22% year on year. New additions include a sparkling wine, IPA and stout, broadening the range of non-alcoholic versions of our favourite beverages even further.

GRAPES

Spanish Albarino (or Alvarinho if from Portugal) is going from strength to strength, and will have its truly mainstream moment in 2021. Primitivo also shows no signs of slowing in its meteoric rise.

FLAVOURED VODKA

The growing trend for flavoured spirits, led by gin, has seen flavoured vodka become the latest spirit of choice. Without the heady botanicals of gin, it is amazingly versatile in a wide range of homemade cocktails. Fun flavours like fir, rhubarb and marmalade mean the possibilities are endless.

 

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The biggest beauty trends of 2021, according to experts

Beauty, hair and skincare experts have revealed the trends you need to know for 2021.  

Face-shaping cosmetic surgery trends from the US are set to become popular across the UK as people seek to make their jawlines more defined after spending time looking at themselves on video calls, according to The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

Meanwhile, with face masks restricting make-up experimentation, Hollie Ellis, a PRO makeup artist with Bobbi Brown, predicts the return of bold smokey eyes that dominated Eighties. 

Here, FEMAIL rounds up a selection of the biggest trends… 

MAKEUP: THE RETURN OF A BOLD EIGHTIES AESTHETIC 

Hollie Ellis of Bobbi Brown, revealed bold make-up looks (pictured) that were popular in the Eighties are likely to make a return 

Hollie Ellis, a PRO Artist for Bobbi Brown with over 14,000 Instagram followers, revealed make-up trends that were popular in the Eighties are likely to return next year, including bold lip colours and smokey eyes.

She said: ‘For Spring/Summer, bright colours is the trend we will be seeing for sure. Whether it’s a focus on the eyes or the lips, bold or a soft stain, it’s a look for not only the catwalk but to stand out in a crowd. 

‘Bold lips stand out more if you apply a lip pencil to give it that crisp, clean effect. Outline and fill in your lips to work as a primer for your lipstick. Go in with your bold lipstick for that statement look. I’d recommend the Lip Pencils and the Luxe Matte Lip Colours for a bold lip that will keep perfected.

Cosmetic surgery: Jaw shaping and eye lifts 

Caroline Payne, of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, predicted a rise in facial sculpting and contouring of jawlines and chins in a bid for a more flattering video call look. 

‘The lighting on video calls is often very unflattering’, she said. ‘This is making people unnecessarily concerned about their appearance. Many have become focused on the lower face and are worried about this area, when they do not realise that often it is just a case of, the camera angle, shadows and bad lighting.’

Caroline Payne added that she expects to see upper eyelid lifts increasingly popular throughout 2021. ‘Upper eyelid surgery can produce very good results and has long-lasting results and low downtime as well as being one of the more affordable surgical procedures,’ she added.

BAAPS has also seen a rise in demand for non-invasive skin tightening, breast reductions and smaller implants, inspired not only by the wellness and fitness trends but also by new fashion trends for tailored suits emerging from the US. 

‘I have not seen a drop-in demand for implants but there has definitely been a swing towards smaller implants. Many women now say, ‘I don’t want to double bra when I exercise,’ said Caroline.

 

‘The smokey eyes are back and this look is set to be big in 2021. Kohl liner smokey eyes are a makeup classic that will never go out of fashion. It is effortless, chic and sophisticated. Why do we love this trend? Because we can most certainly do at home and in good timing too.’ 

ANTI-AGEING: LED THERAPY AND FOOD FOR THE SKIN 

Jennifer Rock who is a dermal facialist and founder of Skingredients, explained at home treatments are likely to remain popular throughout next year.

She said: ‘LED (light emitting diode) therapy is becoming an incredibly popular treatment in salons and clinics, as it can target redness, acne and ageing without a need for physical touch or a potential for skin irritation. It is on the up and up in multi-modality treatments, meaning treatments that blend multiple therapies such as a peel plus LED, or mesotherapy and LED. 

‘LED is highly effective and it is becoming more commonplace to see at-home LED devices – however, buyer beware! At-home LED devices cannot deliver the same results as in-clinic LED. These devices are simply not as powerful. With this in mind, if you are looking for something that may assist with spots, perhaps an LED device could be for you as a secondary line of defence.’ 

Jennifer revealed wellness and nutrition is also likely to become a key factor across the beauty industry.

‘Adaptogens, if you have not heard of them, are herbs that can assist in our body’s stress responses when eaten, and I think we will see more and more in skincare. Some examples include ginseng, tulsi (holy basil) and ashwagandha. They have topical benefits too: ginseng has antioxidant properties and is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects, holy basil is said to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects, and ashwagandha has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and is also believed to brighten skin.’ 

HAIR: CURTAIN BANGS AND THE ‘CHOPPED OFF’ BOB

Celebrity stylist Nicky Clarke said: ‘The fringe trend never really goes away, and we’re constantly seeing different versions coming into fashion whether they’re brand new trends or reinvented looks. Side sweeping bangs have been popular lately but we’re now starting to see a blunter version coming through with ‘curtain bangs’, adding a new twist.

Celebrity stylist Nicky Clarke explained fringes are always popular but next year will see an increase in curtain bangs (pictured)

Celebrity stylist Nicky Clarke explained fringes are always popular but next year will see an increase in curtain bangs (pictured)

‘Curtain bangs are incredibly versatile, working on any length of hair, and allow the wearer to really take ownership of their look, pairing well with edgy rock chick looks or more pared back, off duty styles. Styling the rest of the hair in soft, beachy waves that aren’t too done allows the fringe to look strong and be the focal point of the look.

Cosmetic dentistry: Natural smiles aided by porcelain veneers

Aesthetic dentist and Founder of Bespoke Smile Dr Sam Jethwa predicts an  increase in clients who want a natural smile.

Dr Sam said: ‘As long as video calling exists, ‘zoom smile anxiety’ will continue. We don’t normally see ourselves speaking so this new awareness of how we look has meant that improving lower teeth has become a trend. Usually we focus on what is seen when we smile, but now what we see when we talk is just as important.

‘The “Hollywood” smile from the 90s has evolved into a smile that complements the natural features of the face. Natural does not mean yellow or crooked – it means perfectly balanced so it looks like it truly belongs to you. 

‘Super thin porcelain veneers can be contact lens thin and are more in demand than ever. When done well, veneers can look just like teeth, and produce an incredibly beautiful result with minimal or no touching of the natural teeth underneath – most people will choose this for 6, 8, or 10 upper teeth and whiten or straighten the lower teeth to give them a naturally perfect smile.’

‘The bob has had myriad interpretations over the years, and it’s no surprise that the “chopped off” blunt look is surging in popularity again for 2021. Whilst bobs can be adapted for a range of lengths, I feel this one works best when it clears the shoulders, giving more impact. 

‘The beauty of a bob is that it’s open to so many interpretations, from adding layers and texture to creating waves and movement. This style will be all about the bluntness, and works in a side or centre part, or with a blunt fringe.’

NAILS: LOW-MAINTENANCE MANIS 

Lynn Gray who is a nail expert for Natural Nail Care brand Mavala revealed the most popular nail colours for 2021 will be aqua, metallic, rainbow tint and au natural. 

‘The trends for 2021 are set to be better than ever, letting loose all the fun and colour than was hidden away in lockdown. 

‘For the most part, a lot of the upcoming nail designs are easily achievable, so if you found yourself enjoying doing your own nails at home, there is nothing to say you will need to return to your nail tech to stay on top of next year’s trends,’ Lynn said.

SKINCARE

Dr Bibi, of British Aesthetics, said: ‘I believe that 2021 will see growth in the popularity of ‘combined tweakments’. It will be the era of the cosmetic medicine consumer taking advantage of a multifaceted approach to facial and skin rejuvenation, using their doctor’s input to incorporate medical grade skincare into their daily routine and learning how to combine this with skin boosters, advanced medical facials and delicately tailored injectables to achieve subtle and natural results. Gone are the days of over-inflated lips and abnormal facial contours.’ 

Lesley Reynolds who is a beauty and aesthetics expert and co-founder of Harley Street Skin, added that the impact lockdown has had on skin will influence skincare regimes in 2021.

Lesley said: ‘Increased screen time, bad diet, stress, lack of fresh air, constant hand-washing and mask wearing took their toll on the nation’s skin, so treating the effects will be a major trend next year. It’s going to be about inner beauty. Skin quality will be the new buzzword with products and treatments that will foster good health, helping to improve skin conditions like rosacea and acne. 

‘Celluma – the latest and most powerful form of light therapy will be the one to watch. The treatment uses a face like mask that beams a combination of blue, red, and near-infrared light, which stimulates the circulation, firming the skin, and banishing any pimple-producing bacteria.’ 

BROWS: NATURAL FULLER BROWS

Leigh Blackwell who is the founder of The London Brow Company, said eyebrows (pictured) will be naturally defined throughout 2021

Leigh Blackwell who is the founder of The London Brow Company, said eyebrows (pictured) will be naturally defined throughout 2021

Leigh Blackwell who is the founder of The London Brow Company, predicts bushy brows and defined but natural brows will be popular throughout 2021.

He said: ‘Lockdown has given us a new beauty regime and this includes leaving our brows alone! In the beginning we all had no choice bring housebound and didn’t have to face anyone so we took this much enjoyed break away from make-up and incessant brow grooming. 

‘What happened? We found Brow Liberation! Having naturally messy untamed brows grew on us, literally. We found the much needed freedom of leaving all the little stray brow hairs alone to become nice and long and strong. Going back to natural skin care, no make-up and bushy brows was one of the great things to come out of lockdown. 

‘Now we feel a lot more confident showing off the natural fuller brow and not panicking when a single hair is misplaced. It’s okay not to pluck them, it’s okay if they are not in a perfect line and its okay to feel happy wearing them just as they are. Putting away the brow liner and tweezers is the new lockdown brow liberation. ‘ 

SUPPLEMENTS

The resident facialist at the Dorchester, Adeela Crown predicts an increase in beauty lovers supporting their regime with supplements to boost their health.

‘Beauty consumers are beginning to recognize the relationship between their diet and skin. This increased awareness has made ingestible collagen the hero ingredient of the moment. Collagen and its derivatives have become such a mainstay in our daily topical skincare products like collagen creams, serums and sheet masks. 

‘Now thanks to its skin repair and restructuring beauty powers, brands like LQCollagen have marine collagen in hydrolysed form (broken down molecule for easy absorption) available in functional daily dose shots and powder supplements to provide noticeable results in as little as 30 days when consumed daily.

‘Ingestible collagen is bio-identical, meaning our bodies recognize it as its own, as it is already naturally found inside our dermis. Therefore increasing collagen intake for several months can improve skin elasticity, (i.e., wrinkles and roughness) as well as signs of ageing.

‘The wrinkle reducing effects of collagen supplements have been attributed to their ability to stimulate your body to mimic its own collagen production. Additionally, taking collagen supplements may promote the production of other proteins that help structure your skin, including elastin and fibrillin, which give the skin its bounce and elasticity.

‘My mantra is that ‘prevention is smarter than a cure’ – so start adding collagen supplements to your skincare routine early – ideally from your early- mid 20s – and your skin will thank you in your 30s, 40s and beyond!’