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Gunpowder Milkshake: Carla Gugino Wants to Do a Sequel or Prequel

Gunpowder Milkshake: Carla Gugino Wants to Do a Sequel or Prequel


Carla Gugino stars as Madeleine in Gunpowder Milkshake. StudioCanal

When Carla Gugino received a screenplay from the Israeli writer-director Navot Papushado in mid-2019, the title immediately caught her eye. “When I saw the words Gunpowder Milkshake, I thought, Mmm, I think I want to be a part of this,” she says with a laugh in a recent interview.

Directed by Papushado and co-written by him and Ehud Lavski, the female-led action thriller follows Sam (Karen Gillan), an elite assassin who has followed in the footsteps of her estranged mother Scarlet (Lena Headey), whom she hasn’t seen in nearly 15 years. After being raised by The Firm, the ruthless crime syndicate that her mother had once worked for, Sam has become the organization’s ultimate hitwoman, as she is tasked with cleaning up the group’s most dangerous messes.

But when a high-risk job goes wrong, Sam must choose between serving The Firm — a wealthy group that includes Nathan (Paul Giamatti) as its head of PR — or saving the life of an innocent 8-year-old girl named Emily (Chloe Coleman). With a target on her back, Sam reunites with her mother and their lethal associates, known as the Librarians (Gugino, Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh). Together, this intergenerational group of female assassins takes a stand against The Firm and its army of henchmen.

It’s not like your typical day involves fighting with a tomahawk in your right hand.

In a phone interview from her home in New York City, Gugino opens up to Observer about her character Madeleine, the “super refreshing” appeal of playing characters who are not defined by their age, the opportunity to collaborate with an all-star group of kick-ass women for the first time, and the way that the industry has evolved over the course of her career to fill an untapped market and growing desire for more female-led stories.

[Note: The following interview contains spoilers for Gunpowder Milkshake.]

Observer: When you first received this script, what was it about the character of Madeleine and her relationships with these fascinating women that really spoke to you?

Carla Gugino: I had a conversation with Navot Papushado, and he was so passionate about what he wanted to do with this and also having a lot of his film references in terms of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez—[who] are people I know well or who I have collaborated with. So I loved the idea of the poppy nature that he wanted to bring to the screen, but also this incredible group of women that he was assembling. I, first and foremost, just really wanted to be a part of helping him bring his vision to the screen.

It felt like there was a creative connection that I really appreciated initially, and at that time, Lena and Karen were attached and I think Angela, Michelle and I were all coming on at around the same time. And I thought, What a total joy to work with these women — which it, indeed, was. We’ve all been admirers of each other’s work over the years, but none of us had ever worked together. And the first day on set, it felt like there was no ego, there was a natural collaboration, there was a very strong work ethic, and we also wanted to have fun. So that was such a beautiful, kind of kismet experience.

In terms of Madeleine, I talked to Navot, just in terms of the backstory that I was working with and what I wanted to bring, even if it wasn’t explicit. We would sort of feel it, which is the notion that she truly is a lover of literature, and the library is her sanctuary. Maybe she’d even sworn off of violence for a period of time, and it’s not until a kid is in there and needs to be protected that she will stop at nothing [to protect her]. I loved the idea that when you live with people, you all sort of take on a role. And we know, in our families, that when we go back home, all of a sudden you’re sitting down and you’re however old you are, you’re talking to your parents, and you feel like you’re 12 again. So I felt like, in this way, I was intrigued about Madeleine’s role in this family of three. I love that Anna Mae [played by Bassett] has this hot-headed nature, and [Florence, played by Yeoh] by nature is this beautiful, zen goddess anyway, and then in some ways, Madeleine represents the heart.

How did you work with the rest of the production team to come up with Madeleine’s distinctive look?

Well, we had such a beautiful team and our costume designer [Louise Frogley] is amazing. There are some early Brigitte Bardot images that came to mind for me, oddly — I don’t know why. It’s the 1960s, so she had this certain kind of hair that was [pulled] back that felt both innocent and kind of sexy at the same time — a juxtaposition that was sort of unusual — and I loved the notion of a little tie or something. I felt like I wanted it to be very feminine, so I found this image of this sort of ribbon, and [with] our costume designer, we started working from there with it. It emerged from there, and she got very inspired as well.

It was honestly 100 degrees in Berlin that summer. So let’s put it this way: It felt like you were doing stunts in a sauna.

The costumes are certainly one piece of the puzzle in this beautiful film, but you ladies definitely put the costumes through the wringer with those unbelievable stunts.

Yeah! Angela and I keep laughing about it because we had a sweater or wool pants, or she had a vest, and it was honestly 100 degrees in Berlin that summer, which is where we shot it. So let’s put it this way: It felt like you were doing stunts in a sauna.

Gunpowder Milkshake: Michelle Yeoh as Florence, Angela Bassett as Anna May, Carla Gugino as Madeleine. Together they are the Librarians. Reiner Bajo/StudioCanal

How did the stunt training for Gunpowder Milkshake compare to the training that you underwent for Jett or San Andreas?

Different in the sense that I’ve done quite a few stunts, but I haven’t done a lot of fights. I’ve done certain work with guns or running or jumping or flying or wirework, but I hadn’t done a lot of real flat-out fight sequences. So this is very different in the sense that Laurent [Demianoff] and Sébastien [Peres] — our two main stunt coordinators, they’re from France and they had done Lucy and a bunch of other cool films — they were so fantastic. They designed these sequences like dances, and they also gave us the confidence that we could do it. I think that Karen obviously had many more fights, so she had a longer time to prep. I think the Librarians, we all had a week and a half of training every day until we shot our sequences. And it was intense! It’s always good to push yourself to the limit where you’re not sure if you’re gonna be able to pull it off.

There was no warm-up. Had I known what the fight would have been, it probably would have been good for me to do a bunch of arm exercises leading up to it. (Laughs.) But it’s not like your typical day involves fighting with a tomahawk in your right hand. So, at about day three, I woke up and I could not lift my right arm. I was like, “Oh no… I desperately want to do this fight scene, and maybe I shouldn’t tell them.” But I felt like I had to tell them because they were going to notice pretty soon, and I said it. And they were like, “Oh, don’t worry. Get a little physical therapy, put some ice on it, you’ll be good as new.” And I was! So actually, it was fine. And then I was able to do about 95 [percent of the stunts] — maybe even more. I don’t even know if there is a shot in that particular sequence that is a stunt person, but I was able to do a large part of it, which was really cool. It was very gratifying.

Well, your right arm must have been very big and muscular by the end of those fight sequences!

Totally! Yes!

When you work with a group of seasoned veterans both behind and in front of the camera, do you feel even more pressure to deliver — particularly in a movie that is as physical as it is emotional — or does it breed an even more open and collaborative environment?

I always feel like you want people who will up your game, and you’ll do that for them. So for me, the more skilled and talented people are on both sides of the camera, the more in heaven I am, because there’s not anyone who’s trying to prove themselves or who is defensive. Navot definitely surrounded himself with people who have had a lot of experience, which, I think, was super smart on his part.

It’s been reported that a sequel for Gunpowder Milkshake is already in the works. Even though your character technically dies in the film (as far as we know!) there could always be an evil twin lurking around the corner or another twin who could come back…

One hundred percent! Yes, we are in a world of potential flashbacks and twins and many things, so I know what you mean. There are many possibilities.

So would you be interested in revisiting this world in some capacity and who would you like to add to this intergenerational group of female assassins?

Oh, wow. I would absolutely have such a blast jumping in with this group again. And I hope it would be all of this group, and in terms of what other people, my gosh — well, my friend Jodie Turner-Smith, who’s a fantastic actress. She would be a badass in this genre. She plays Josie in Jett, and she’s obviously done many other things since then. But wow, I mean… (Long pause.) Well, Paul Giamatti was so amazing, even though we never got to have a scene together. It’s funny [that] we were both in San Andreas and we were both in this, and we still have not actually worked together in a scene yet. So, maybe the third time will be the charm on that one. (Laughs.)

But there are so many great actresses that I want to work with. I think the fact that all of us have been working for so long, and none of us had worked together is actually kind of case-in-point that there is usually only one or two women in a movie. So, you don’t usually get to have what guys have where there are five male characters and they get to work with their fellow peers, you know what I mean? Obviously, there were a bunch of wonderful characters in Jett as [writer-director] Sebastián Gutiérrez always does, but I do feel like that list could go on forever. It would take too much of your time.

Gunpowder Milkshake: Chloe Coleman as Emily, Carla Gugino as Madeleine. Reiner Bajo/StudioCanal

I was struck by how young Chloe Coleman was when she shot this film, but she has a maturity beyond her years. You began acting when you were 13, a little bit older than Chloe is now. How have you managed to navigate being under the spotlight from such an early age? How has your approach to fame changed over the course of your career?

I think it’s an odd position to be in, to be in the public eye for most of your life and to see yourself grow and change and age. It’s a very unusual set of circumstances. But I think what’s good is that — for whatever reason, and I have my parents to thank for this and the support system of friends that I’ve had around me — fame or recognizability has been just part and parcel with doing the work that I love. It’s never been my driving force, and it wasn’t from the start either. I think maybe now, more than ever, the thing that might have shifted is, I guess, I’ve gone even deeper into the process and [I’m] even less interested in that aspect, though I’m extremely appreciative that I have an audience that I get to tell stories to and with.

I’ve worked with so many kids, and Chloe has such a strong head on her shoulders. She is a super grounded kid, and it’s always super wonderful when you see that because she’ll fare so well in this business. And she’s so talented, obviously.

In this industry, it’s certainly no secret that the roles for most women of a certain age have historically been limited or boxed in to fit a specific narrative. But I loved how fierce and unapologetic the Librarians were in this film. Have you noticed a shift in the types of roles that you are offered now compared to earlier in your career? And was it refreshing to play a character who is not defined by her age?

Absolutely. I think one of the things that is so refreshing about the people involved in this movie is the age is never mentioned, and it’s never even a part of the plot. Because like you said, it’s so often [that] male ages are not mentioned and female ages are mentioned. And as soon as you can say a female’s age, it gets said, so it’s confusing because it would be fine if it worked both ways.

What is encouraging is that, from when I was in my late teens and early twenties, there wasn’t a young woman who was writing, directing and starring in her own show. I think what’s really exciting is now there’s a lot of those, and you have things like Fleabag. You could list a bunch of them, but more importantly, the 25-year-old women in my life are galvanized to create their own material and feel really empowered to do so and feel like there’s a world in which they can make it and that people will be interested in seeing it. So, for me, that is so gratifying. I really do see a really positive shift in that direction.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Gunpowder Milkshake is now streaming on Netflix in the U.S., Canada, and the Nordics and will be available in theaters internationally this summer.

Carla Gugino Definitely Wants to Do More ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’


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Woman’s ‘traumatising experience’ due to ‘cruel’ Covid rule

Woman’s ‘traumatising experience’ due to ‘cruel’ Covid rule

A Sydney woman who miscarried twins is among a growing cohort of women who say their treatment in a NSW hospital was cruel and that their experience was traumatic.

Hospitals have implemented a variety of new rules during Sydney’s coronavirus outbreak that mean women who are giving birth, experiencing complications with pregnancy or having a miscarriage need to do it alone — their partners and support people are not allowed in.

The measures are in place to protect healthcare workers from the risk of being infected with Covid-19 but even Health Minister Brad Hazzard questions whether they are a step too far.

“I must say from a human point of view, I would like to see mums who are about to give birth and post birth have their support person with them as long as possible,” he told reporters last week.

So bad is the situation that some women are “afraid to fall pregnant … due to the restrictions hospitals are placing on labouring women”.

Katherine*, a 31-year-old woman from Sydney’s south, told she would never forget her horrific experience last week.

It started when she went in to see her obstetrician for an eight-week scan and was told she could only attend alone.

“I had my hubby on FaceTime during the entire appointment where my scan revealed an unviable twin pregnancy,” said Katherine, whose name has been changed to protect her identity.

“I was in absolute and utter shock. In that moment all I needed was my husband’s hand to hold. But there I was, clutching my mobile phone as I fought back the tears. My OB recommended a (procedure to remove tissue from inside the uterus) and I had to process it all on my own.”

Things got worse for Katherine from there when, a day later, she received a notification from NSW Health that she was considered a “close contact” of an infected case because she visited an Ikea store. She was told to isolate for 14 days.

“I immediately contacted the hospital and was honest and transparent about my situation,” she said.

“They explained that I could not come for the procedure and that essentially I should only go to emergency if I were to start miscarrying on my own. This was an absolutely terrifying prospect for me.

“I reached out to NSW Health to seek an exemption on compassionate grounds, and, to their credit, they worked tirelessly to get me off that close contact list. I only attended Ikea for four minutes using their Click and Collect service. How could I be a ‘close contact’?

“Within a few days I finally received word that after reviewing my case, which included three negative Covid tests and receipts from Ikea showing time stamps of a person working in Click and Collect, NSW Health no longer considered me to be a close contact. Relief.”

Katherine booked in for the procedure the following day but was again not allowed to have her husband by her side.

“I had to go in alone. It was absolutely the most traumatising experience of my life. I was first put in a room in the maternity ward where I had to take a pill to start the miscarrying process and wait for theatre to be ready.

“I was there for close to three hours. Alone. Cramping. Unable to cry in my husband’s chest. Listening to the beautiful sound of crying babies around me. It was an extremely difficult experience.

“Opening my eyes for the first time after my procedure, I looked around and remembered I was alone. I was alone, in pain and in tears. I couldn’t stop crying and all I needed in that moment was my husband. But he wasn’t allowed in.”

Katherine says the hospital “should have granted me special exemption” for a support person.

“I believe we need to put an end to not only birth restrictions, but restrictions on support people attending when women experience miscarriage,” she said.

Other women are sharing their stories via a petition at that has been signed more than 32,000 times.

Petition author Sarah Fowler wants the hashtag #endbirthrestrictions to gain traction and for the situation to be corrected immediately.

“The restrictions that are currently in place are inconsistent across hospitals throughout Sydney and are damaging women,” she wrote.

“Women are stressed, anxious, worried and fearful about what may happen if they have to go in to birth their babies with no support people. It is no secret that our hospital system is failing women already, the system is hard to navigate under normal circumstances, now it is nearly impossible.”

The Health Minister said last week that he was in discussion with health officials but they were holding firm to their decision.

“It is a difficult issue because at the moment Covid is in the community more broadly,” he said.

“I must say from the human point of view, I would like to see mums who are about to give birth and post birth have their support person with them as long as possible.

“I have discussed that with the senior health officials and the instructions they’ve given out are reflective that on the ground health authorities just have to make some really challenging decisions.”

He said issues had arisen in recent weeks at both hospitals on Sydney’s north shore and in Fairfield where hundreds of staff had to be furloughed because they came in contact with known Covid cases.

“Everybody in the health system innately wants people to have support in a whole variety of circumstances but at the end of the day it has to be a health decision in not only keeping that mum and that dad and that baby safe,” he said.

“It is a highly difficult and challenging circumstance. My heart goes out to those people. Compassion and care and concern has to be the overriding factor, but that compassion and care and concern can also mean you have to look at what risks there are around Covid.

“This one in 100 year pandemic is not easy when it comes to those issues.”


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Sydney worker keeps getting dobbed in

Sydney worker keeps getting dobbed in

A popular Sydney personal trainer has taken aim at a community of naysayers who continue to dob him in for working throughout lockdown.

Rory Stephen, who owns Roar PT, has been abused and heckled since the Greater Sydney lockdown begun and is fed up with members of the public trying to shame him.

“I’ve been in eight different spots now, because at every one there’s been someone who has complained or had something negative to say,” Mr Stephen, who works in the inner city area of Potts Point, told

“The people I’ve come across have been pretty rude.”

In one instance, a random man yelled out to complain about the noise from Mr Stephen’s speaker.

“He was really rude about it as well,” he said, detailing how the man threatened to call the police if he didn’t move.

Another woman blasted him for having loud music outside while she was working from home.

“She was just so rude about it, and telling me how she would appreciate it if I left. She just had no respect for me,” Mr Stephen said.

“I’m always a people pleaser and don’t want to upset anyone, but I’ve had enough.”

He said he had been told to move at least eight times by disgruntled members of the public.

People were constantly pointing and taking photos of his set up too, which he suspected may not have been solely due to his impressive collection of equipment.

“I’m just trying to service my clients as best as possible. Because everyone’s in a tough place, working from home and going crazy, so the highlight of their day is working out,” he said.

“It’s hard when I’m trying to keep my clients happy and the community happy as well. It’s frustrating.”

Police have stopped in three times, likely after receiving calls from the public, and “they have been fine with it”, Mr Stephen said.

“They have not said one negative thing to me and council has been really good too, it’s just the community.”

Government health advice stipulates that exercise can be undertaken outdoors with “a friend, family member, or trainer”, so long as there are no more than two people at all times.

Exercise is one of four reasons Greater Sydney residents are allowed to leave their home.


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‘How I became best friends with my ex’s new wife’

‘How I became best friends with my ex’s new wife’

A woman who is now best friends with her ex’s new wife has told how the pair forged a friendship even though they loathed each other when they first met.

Taylor Cole, 27, who shares son Beckham, three, with her ex Gentry Hatch, 27, admitted she was threatened by his new girlfriend and later wife Madison Hatch, 22.

The US women even fought when Taylor was upset by Madison posting pictures of her toddler on Instagram.

“I didn’t like Madison. No mum wants to be replaced and the idea that Beckham would like her more than me was hard,” Taylor said.

Madison added: “I made assumptions about who Taylor was as a person and I didn’t see things from her perspective.

“We didn’t really like each other but it wasn’t because of each other, it was because of the situation.”

Taylor, who is now also mum to Ledger, one, with her new husband Cameron, said it was difficult at first because of her strained relationship with Gentry.

“I met Gentry in college and we went out for two and a half years and I got pregnant by accident,” the Utah woman explained.

“It was a really big deal and a really stressful time. We ended up in courts fighting over custody – it was a very acrimonious split.

When he met Madison, things became even more tense as Taylor didn’t like how often her ex’s new partner was posting photos of her son Beckham.

“I just felt like I didn’t want someone showing off Beckham on the internet,” she said.

“I had a fight with Gentry about it which only caused more problems.

“I couldn’t have foreseen a time when we would be friendly.”

But now the pair have turned their relationship around and even consider themselves best friends, speaking to each other every single day and enjoying spa days.

They also celebrate holidays and co-parent Beckham together.

Relations between the women began to change when Madison reached out to Taylor to explain she had no intention of taking over her role as Beckham’s mother.

“I was posting pictures of Beckham like he was my child and from Taylor’s point of view, I was just the girlfriend,” Madison said.

“But for me those posts showed that I was serious about my relationship with Gentry.

When they spoke, she explained this, reassuring Taylor she was there for “extra support and extra love”.

“[After] She texted me saying: ‘If Beckham has to have another mum, I’m glad it’s you’.”

After, Madison invited Taylor and Cameron, 27, to her December 2019 wedding to Gentry, firming their bond in “an act of solidarity”.

Over the past 18 months, the women have grown so close that they speak daily and consider each other best friends.

“I think she’s my best friend, I tell her everything, we share a child,” sports reporter Taylor said.

“It’s a woman-to-woman relationship, not just mum-to-mum.

“We speak at least once every day.”

The pair also try to have a girls’ night at least once a month where they get massages and go for dinner.

They also go on holidays together and celebrate Beckham’s birthday and Christmas to ensure that one parent doesn’t have to miss out.

The pair have even set up a joint Instagram page, @steppedup.coparenting, to encourage other divorced parents to take the steps that will help them bond with their ex’s new partner.

The friends share their top tips to becoming friendly with your ex’s new significant other.

“Start doing little things together that will make you feel more comfortable in each other’s company,” Madison said.

“And finally have compassion for each other.

“Co-parenting is very emotional and you have to take a step back and look at it from the other person’s perspective.”

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Best Mineral Face Sunscreens: SPF for Sensitive & Acne-Prone Skin 2021

Best Mineral Face Sunscreens: SPF for Sensitive & Acne-Prone Skin 2021

At this point, you know how important it is to wear sunscreen every single day. SPF should always be the last step in your daytime skincare routine, and it’s especially important to apply sunscreen during the summer, when the sun is beating down more than ever. Aside from helping keep wrinkles and dark spots at bay, sunscreen most importantly also helps lower the risk of skin cancer, by protecting your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

You’ve also surely heard plenty of talk (and heated debate) about the differences between and benefits of mineral (also known as physical) sunscreens versus chemical sunscreens. The main distinction between the two is that mineral sunscreens contain just two active ingredients (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), which essentially sit on top of your skin and deflect harmful UV rays to prevent sun damage. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, typically contain a number of other active ingredients, and actually absorb UV rays like a sponge, and dissipate the rays as heat.

Mineral sunscreens tend to be much gentler on the skin, and for those of us struggling with acne-prone skin that is also extremely sensitive, I’ve found that mineral SPFs are the way to go. I try to use clean and nontoxic skincare and beauty products whenever possible, and made the switch to primarily using mineral sunscreen about a year ago. I’ve occasionally used a chemical SPF in the time since (usually for a body sunscreen), but over the past few months, my skin has been more sensitive, reactive and generally fussier than ever, which hasn’t been helped by allergy issues. Using any kind of chemical sunscreen on my face or chest is a nonstarter for me right now, and I’ve realized (especially after hours upon hours spent at my dermatologist) that when it comes to protecting my face, mineral sunscreen is my only option.

Aside from a personal preference for clean skincare in general, I’ve found that mineral sunscreens don’t aggravate my highly temperamental skin in the same way that chemical sunscreens often do; oftentimes, chemical SPFs result in bumps and redness all over my face (and especially my cheeks), though I’m the first to admit that my skin is exceptionally volatile, particularly when it’s this hot out. Or cold out…or any weather that’s not 70 and breezy. Anyway, since mineral sunscreens don’t absorb into skin the same way as chemical sunscreens, they also don’t clog pores in the same way, and as an added bonus, mineral SPFs are also pretty much immediately effective in providing sun protection.

In the past, mineral sunscreens were known for leaving behind a heavy white cast and being far less blendable than their chemical counterparts, but it’s all about finding the right formula. Yes, some mineral SPFs do still leave a white cast, but there are plenty of options that easily blend into your skin, without that ghostly residue.

Not all mineral sunscreens are the same, of course, as some brands use fragrances or other additives that can cause major irritation for certain skin types, like my own incredibly sensitive and blemish-prone skin. Luckily, there are quite a few mineral SPFs that have absolutely saved my skin this time of year, especially since I’m *always* slathering on sunscreen to protect myself from harmful UV rays, and especially so during this endless heatwave also known as summer.

And just a quick disclaimer: The most important thing is that you actually wear some form of sunscreen every single day, and find a mineral or chemical sunscreen that’s right for you. Definitely do you research, as after the recent sunscreen recall situation, it’s more crucial than ever to make sure that you’re using a clean, trustworthy SPF in your routine.

Below, see the best mineral face sunscreens that won’t irritate sensitive, acne-prone skin, and don’t forget to slather on the SPF this summer.

EltaMD UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44

EltaMD is a longtime dermatologist favorite, and they have a huge selection of sunscreens, including versions that leave you with a true glow or matte finish. Lately, we’re partial to this 100 percent mineral UV Elements formula, which is safe for sensitive and even post-procedure skin, and also contains hyaluronic acid, for a little hydration. It’s lightly tinted, so you get a touch of coverage without having to apply additional products. $36.50, EltaMD.


SkinBetter SunBetter Sheer SHEER SPF 70 Sunscreen Lotion 50 ml

I only recently tried out this SPF 70, and already love it. SkinBetter’s oil-free, fragrance-free face sunscreen goes on super lightweight and sheer, and it’s a dependably high SPF, plus it’s water-resistant. $75, SkinBetter.

Sun Bum.

Sun Bum Daily Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 30

I’m a longtime fan of Sun Bum’s sunscreen, and they recently branched into skincare. Their new mineral SPF moisturizer is super lightweight, and is a great choice when you want a moisturizer-sunscreen combo. It’s also filled with antioxidants like banana and skincare hero niacinamide, which is one of our favorite ingredients for fighting acne, rosacea and eczema. $21.99, Ulta.


Isdin Eryfotona Actinica Daily Mineral SPF 50+ Sunscreen

If you want your sunscreen to simultaneously protect your skin and reverse that sun damage from those years you may have been too lax with the SPF (we’ve all been there), then you must try this silky smooth Isdin sunscreen. Aside from 100 percent mineral sun protection, it also contains photolyase, an enzyme that helps repair sun damage. $55, Isdin.

Eminence Organics.

Eminence Organics Lilikoi Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF 40

This has become my go-to daily moisturizer-sunscreen over the past month, as not only does it provide SPF 40 protection, but it also keeps my skin hydrated with natural, organic ingredients like cocoa seed extract, satsuma mandarin peel extract, larch tree and lilikoi. Plus, it smells amazing. $68, Eminence Organics.


Farmacy Green Defense Daily Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

Farmacy recently relaunched its Green Defense 100 percent mineral sunscreen, with a new formula that includes zero reef-damaging ingredients. Winter cherry and beta carotene help protect your skin from blue light rays, while moringa water and seed extract, which have natural vitamin c, help purify and refresh. $36, Farmacy.


Medik8 Physical Sunscreen Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

This no-nonsense physical sunscreen provides SPF 50 protection as well as a healthy dose of double hydration, thanks to the combination of hyaluronic acid and squalane to help maintain a healthy skin barrier. Grape seed extract, green tea extract, bisabolol and allantoin work together to soothe irritated skin. $46, Medik8.


Cocokind Daily SPF 32

Cocokind products are simple and straightforward, and their mineral, non-greasy sunscreen is no different. Aside from sun protection, this formula also keeps skin hydrated, courtesy of humectants like glycerin. $24, Cocokind.


Avène Solaire UV Mineral Multi-Defense Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50

This is one of my favorite French drugstore brands; the formulas are great for sensitive complexions, and this mineral sunscreen also helps calm and soothe irritated skin. It’s also super lightweight, with pretty much zero white cast. $32, Avène.


Supergoop Mineral Sheerscreen SPF 30

I’ve always loved Supergoop sunscreens, and as much as I adore the dewy look from my beloved Glowscreen, I’ve had to make the switch to exclusively mineral formulas. The brand’s mineral SPF 30 is one of my favorites, as it’s non-irritating and easily blends with no white reside, for a natural finish that isn’t too matte. $38, Supergoop.

Paula’s Choice.

Paula’s Choice Hydralight Shine-Free Mineral Complex SPF 30

If you want a mineral sunscreen that also hydrates *and* reduces redness, look no further than this Paula’s Choice SPF. It does leave a subtle matte finish, so it’s great if want to tone down those natural oils. $29, Paula’s Choice.


Native Unscented Face Sunscreen SPF 30

Native’s unscented face sunscreen is ideal if you’re looking for an SPF with zero fragrance additives. Don’t get nervous about the Benzyl Alcohol and Behenyl Alcohol listed in the ingredients, as those actually help with keeping the sunscreen non-greasy, and are an asset if your skin tends to be on the oily side. $16, Native.


MDSolarSciences Mineral Crème SPF 50

This is a super sheer physical sunscreen with a matte finish, for those that aren’t into the whole dewy donut look. This is one that contains lots of vitamin c, so make sure your skin is okay with these antioxidants before applying this one on your face. $30, MDSolarSciences.

The Best Mineral Face Sunscreens for Sensitive and Blemish-Prone Skin

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Kyly Clarke shows off 6-pack in workout vid

Kyly Clarke shows off 6-pack in workout vid


Kyly Clarke has put her super ripped physique on display, and fans are loving it.

The 39-year-old took to her Instagram on Thursday to share an at-home workout for some inspiration during lockdown.

In it she performed six leg exercises with a kettle bell and while many thanked her for the “much-needed push”, others couldn’t help but notice her six-pack and bulging biceps.

She even did a cheeky flex at the start.

In her post, the mother-of-one and House Rules judge said she was originally just going to post a picture before adding, “who does that help”.

RELATED: Kyly Clarke flaunts washboard abs in tiny bikini

“When in lockdown, we all need a little push, a little Inspo, and if this gets just one of you moving a little more or following along tomorrow then I’ll be even happier than I already was today,” she said.

Kyly, who like millions of other Sydneysiders and Melburnians are currently in lockdown, reminded her followers to not “fret” having no gym.

“There are so many exercises you can do at home, you just need to explore,” she said.

“I hope you can use this time to better your best and explore new movements and exercise techniques to add to your current training regimen.”

RELATED: Michael Clarke and wife Kyly divorce

Apart from a kettle bell, Kyly, who was wearing a green sports bra and blue tights, also used a step platform to help break a sweat.

She then demonstrated various leg-dominated workouts including squats, lunges and knee ups.

Many have since taken to her post thanking her for the workout inspo, while others joked they would rather sit back with a drink and watch her train.

“I do that everyday, but I don’t look like you,” one person wrote.

“Gorgeous,” said another, while a third person added: “I’ll have my G&T and just watch you.”

RELATED: Model grows booty by eating six big meals a day

It’s not the first time Kyly has left fans in awe over her “killer” body.

Just a few weeks ago, the 39-year-old shared a snap wearing a hot pink bikini and high-cut bottoms as she took advantage of the warm weather.

She posed oceanside for the Instagram photo with her toned tummy on display.

Kyly said she is trying hard to stay motivated during lockdown, having spent some of the day sitting on her couch eating chocolate and watching Netflix.

“Life is a divine balance between relaxation and movement,” she said in a separate post last week.

Kyly and Australian cricketer Michael Clarke were married for seven years before calling it quits in February 2020. They have a daughter, Kelsey-Lee, 5.

The pair were recently spotted together on Sydney’s northern beaches. However, in an interview on The Morning Show Kyly denied rumours they were back together.

“A family holiday. It’s a great opportunity to get everyone together,” she said.

“Kelsey-Lee’s aunty, uncle and cousins were there, and I think like anything, you’re trying your best to put your daughter first and prioritise her and she really had a ball.

“It’s fantastic; it’s what anyone would want to achieve or try to achieve if you’re in this position, and I think her smile on her face says everything.”

Since their split, Michael went on to date founder of P.E. Nation, Pip Edwards, but the duo broke-up in February this year. And Kyly enjoyed a short romance with V8 Supercars champion James Courtney which ended in December.


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Cruel Summer: Olivia Holt on Portraying Kate’s Trauma

Cruel Summer: Olivia Holt on Portraying Kate’s Trauma


Olivia Holt Handout

During the COVID-19 pandemic, traumatic events have been a dime a dozen. According to Johns Hopkins University as of today more than 609,000 people lost their lives. Week after week many more lost their jobs, and domestic abuse and adolescent suicides also spiked.

The general public reels with trauma on our collective psyche. It’s widespread and often hard to personally reckon with. This is one of those moments where a good TV show can help us understand the nuances of trauma without directly confronting our own, at least at first.

One of the most popular shows of the summer reckoned in part with that trauma, even if it narratively wasn’t about our current pandemic itself. Freeform’s Cruel Summer, which just wrapped up its first season. Cruel Summer takes place in a suburban Texas town in the early 1990s. Kate Wallis, portrayed by Olivia Holt, disappears at the hands of her high school vice principal Martin Harris, portrayed by Blake Lee. Nearly a year later, Holt manages to escape. She accuses a classmate, Jeanette Turner, portrayed by Chiara Aurelia of knowing about it and failing to report it. Turner then quickly becomes infamous due to the ensuing scandal.

The show follows the two young women simultaneously over the course of three years and grapples with the layers of trauma they both faced in the process. Observer spoke with Holt about how she approached the role, why she thought it could portray the nuance and complexity of trauma and what she wants viewers — especially adolescents in crisis — to take from her character’s journey.

Observer: Tell me about how you approached the nuances of trauma that your character experienced within the show.

Olivia Holt: Well, the trauma is definitely really heavy and incredibly brutal and terrifying. I’ve never been through a traumatic experience, let alone something like this. It was something that I really had to educate myself on. I had to give myself the proper research and proper emotion. I had to get in the right headspace and mental space in order to execute this in a transparent and honest way. It was tricky to find all those layers. I really give a lot of kudos to my scene partners and the creatives on this show because if it wasn’t for the communication we had, I don’t think it would have been showcased quite the way we showcased it on the show.

What do you mean? 

I mean that it’s important to have communication with your creatives because if you don’t have that and you don’t have the proper insight, you can’t have an informative show. You can’t have all of the elements that our show had.

Olivia Holt and Chiara Aurelia star in Freeform’s Cruel Summer. Freeform

Your character seemed to have some kind of evolving understanding of trauma. At one point it looked like PTSD, and at other points it looked like it was a result of more generalized societal pressures. What do you think people should take away from the show about the nuances of dealing with trauma?

What I learned was because of what she went through and the year after, I had to make sure that we were executing it in a way that was showing how she decided to not let that take over her life and not letting it control her life but rather decided to move forward from it. Everybody handles trauma differently. She gained perspective and decided to feel comfortable in her own skin again, make the choice to go to therapy and walk through all of those terrifying moments again, make the choice to form our own opinions and be separate from anything that she’s ever been in her life.

The trauma your character experienced seems to be very comparable to the isolationism that the pandemic evoked. People were homebound and saw friends, relatives and colleagues die over the last year. Obviously the situation is different in the show, but the character sought out therapy. That’s not something that is as prevalent in TV as some think it should be. Do you think that through your character you conveyed the importance of seeking help when you need help and recognizing the warning signs? 

Of course, I do. I think that there’s a lot of stigma behind going to therapy and even the subject matters in our show from the grooming to the gaslighting to the manipulation, there’s so much stigma behind it because it’s not talked about enough. It’s not shown enough in our industry. Having the opportunity to be able to express the subject matters in a transparent and honest way was really important to the show.

Yes, it is entertaining, but also it needs to be informative and it needs to be talked about. There are layers obviously. We can’t necessarily show too much or say too much, but it was important not to glamorize it, not to romanticize it. That is exactly what we did. We stuck to our guns and decided to make a show that was going to move the culture forward and not push it back.

Olivia Holt Handout

Do you channel anything of your own personal experience to create this character?

There are more differences than similarities between Kate and I. I found myself really diving into her shoes versus pulling from my own life. There was a lot more that she experienced than I ever had. I think for me it was really about diving into the emotional, mental and even physical state that she was in.

I’m playing three different versions of one character. To make choices for each year was incredibly important to me. I wanted to make sure people knew the difference between each year but not making it feel like a completely different role, just that she’s gone through changes and that she is flawed. She is not just one note. She’s complicated. I think that she’s a beautiful mess. All of those pieces were really important to me. I have a really hard time compartmentalizing my life. I had to just live in that space and then come home and decompress and then work that way. It is not easy for me to just turn it on and turn it off like a lot of actors have the ability to do that. I need to live in that moment in order to give a good performance.

You also made some music for the show. Can you tell me about what you were going with, what was your approach?

The producer came to me and asked me if I would like to do a Smashing Pumpkins cover. I was like… “What do you mean? Of course, I would love to.” I am a fan of The Smashing Pumpkins and to incorporate music into the show was really important to me. I’m so grateful that they asked because it led into another song in the show and then one more, so now I have three covers in the show that I am extremely proud of. When I get to do both and they align together, that just makes my whole career surreal even more than it already is.

What do you mean?

Well, what I do for a living has been my dream. I act and I make music. To do both in the same space is a Pinch me, am I dreaming? moment.

You have a new single. Tell me about that.

I’m incredibly proud of this song. I made this song during the beginning of the pandemic last year. I’m so happy I waited to put it out because the song really is a liberating song. It’s something to move and dance to. We’ve gone through a really hard year and we want to all dance again. This song is that.

It’s also just the beginning of a new era of music for me. I really feel that to my core. I’ve been making music since I was a teenager, and now I’m entering my mid-20s, and I feel like I’ve really solidified my artistry in a real way. This song is the beginning of that.

Are you changing your approach?  Are you changing in the genre you’re trying to fall into? What do you mean by that? 

I’m still making pop records, but I’ve never had so much creative control in music before. I’ve started writing and going into sessions everyday. I am collaborating with producers and songwriters. I am really finding my sound, lyrically what I want to say and how I sing. That seems like such a silly thing to say because yes I know how to sing  but finding my voice, and the thing that makes me different, especially being a female in pop music. I am finding a way to create a sound that is mine and only mine.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Cruel Summer is available to stream on Hulu.

How Olivia Holt Found Her Way to Her Character’s Trauma in ‘Cruel Summer’


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