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Cosmo team blog

  • What’s my ideal weight?
    2:14AM, Jul 30 Julia Naughton

    We all remember the Body Mass Index (BMI) right? If not, it’s a measure of your body fat based on your height and weight that tells you whether you’re underweight, overweight or average. Except that it’s bullshit.

    I remember calculating mine in high school PE, only to be severely confused: I was underweight. Great! I remember doubling my Curly Wurly intake immediately.

    What we know now though, is that the BMI is seriously flawed. Mainly because it doesn’t differentiate between amounts of fat versus muscle.

    Enter DEXA (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) – a new way to calculate what your ideal weight should be (that’s actually accurate). Last week I popped down to MeasureUp where Jarrod, the Exercise Physiologist there let me try out the fancy new screening machine.

    Before we got started, he asked what he asks all his patients: “do you have a specific goal for your body?” I told him that like most women I know, I’d love to lose a few kilograms.

    He told me that for women especially, it’s not so much about weight but instead, what’s made up of the weight you carry. So whether that’s fat tissue, muscle or our actual organs – weight itself isn’t the most important factor. Makes sense, I thought.

    The three-minute scan (which you’re fully dressed for) measured my total body composition (fat, lean muscle mass, total muscle mass which includes organs and bone density inallareas of my body). From that, it was able to calculate my total body fat percentage (mine was 28.6%). It also determined my risk of osteoporosis. According to Jarrod, osteoporosis risk is 80% genetics and 20% lifestyle factors (so, diet and how much you work out).

    It also calculates your resting metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories you need each day to survive (put simply, if you’re unconscious in hospital this is how many calories they’ll feed you through a tube to keep you alive).

    The best part was that the scan was able to divvy up exactly how much protein, carbohydrates and fat (in grams) I should consume per day based on my metabolic rate of 1448 kcal/day and my original goal of losing 2-3kg of fat tissue.

    If, like me, you’re serious about reaching your goal weight body in a healthy and sustainable way, this scan will be a much bigger help than any amount of protein powder.

    I’m heading back there in 10 weeks’ time to be re-scanned. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

    Yeah science!

    FYI the scan’s not covered by Medicare, but it is covered under most private health funds as an “Exercise Physiology Consultation.” You’re looking at $85 for the first session, and $77 for the second.

  • Fresh new sound: Lewis Watson
    3:23AM, Jul 16 Julia Naughton

    We chat to 21-year-old Oxford singer/songwriter, Lewis Watson about his debut album, the morning and how, this whole fame thing kind of happened by accident.


    You have a HUGE online following, with 5 million plus Youtube plays. How did that happen?

    Well it’s kind of an accident to be honest. YouTube was really new when I started making videos. I was trying to teach myself how to play guitar, so I’d post videos of me singing a song, and I thought no one would see them, really. Then I’d go back a week later and look at me playing and see what I was doing wrong and see what I was doing right.

    What was the first song you learnt on guitar?

    The first solo I learnt was probably a City and Colour song, Comin’ Home.

    And if you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

    Well just before this took off I was in college studying music technology. So I guess I’d probably be at uni or I’d just be playing gigs as often as I could.

    What’s currently on repeat on your playlist?

    I love Coldplay’s new album, and I’ve been listening to Matt Corby probably for about four years now. He’s kind of been a constant since I first heard his EP.

    We’re big fans, too. What about any Aussie female artists?

    I love listening to Gossling, and Julia Stone is just fantastic. Emma Louise as well, I think she’s brilliant.


    the morning is out now

  • I know what you did last summer
    2:08AM, Jul 8 Leigh Campbell

    Hyperpigmentation is the fancy scientific word for sun damage that results in dark spots and patches on your skin. It occurs when you sun yourself sans SPF (which we all know is very naughty). Its extra tricky because, often, pigmentation doesn’t make itself knows for several years, so even if you’ve been diligent with the sun lotion for the last few years, it still might surface from your earlier years. Hardly seems fair, does it?

    Winter is the ideal time to treat pigmentation because we’re in the sun far less. Most ingredients that are used to fade or lift pigmentation marks make your skin more susceptible to sun damage (while you’re using them), so you need to be extra careful. Basically, sunscreen is your BBF 24/7/365.

    So, what are your treatment options? Employing a pigmentation lifting skincare routine during the cooler months is the easiest approach. You can invest in a full set of products including cleanser, serum and cream, though it’s the serum and moisturiser that will be doing the hardest work. Most skincare systems take around three months to take affect (so you can see visible results), so get started now!

    Look for ingredients such as hydroquinone, alpha hydroxy acids and Retinol, as they boast powerful pigmentation fighting properties (say that three times fast!). If that’s too confusing (we don’t blame you), look for words such as ‘whitening’ and ‘brightening’  on the packaging, as that’s a good indication that the product is designed to even out skin tone.

    Beyond products, you have a few treatment options. Omnilux Revive is a light therapy system that rejuvenates the skin by stimulating the natural renewal process. The treatment is painless (ironically, it kind of feels like laying under the warm sun, its bliss!), and its recommended you have a course of sessions.

    Clear and Brilliant (nick named ‘baby Fraxel’ in the industry) is a laser treatment that resurfaces the skin, urging the complexion to rejuvenate itself. Numbing cream is applied before the laser is used, as the sensation is uncomfortable, but not unbearable. The joy of this option is that most people only require one session.

    Fraxel is another laser option. It’s like Clear and Brilliant’s big sister. The treatment is more intense and requires a few days downtime. Expect your skin to flake and peel as it sheds away to reveal a fresh complexion. This is a great option for acne scarring also; just makes you do your research into the process – it’s not for everybody!

    Whichever approach you opt for, make sure you apply sunscreen from this point on (like your life depends on it!). If you do get further damage, you’ll have undone all your hard work!

  • The day I got my face tattooed
    10:53AM, Jun 26 Leigh Campbell

    My brows are sort of my beauty ‘thing’. Some girls are known for their cascading hair, or ability to wear a bright lip without looking like a clown (oh, how I envy you). Me? My signature is the two clusters of hair above my eyes.

    Exhibit A:


    I’ve had them shaped and maintained once a fortnight religiously for years by the truly talented Kristin Fisher, based in Sydney’s Paddington.

    However, due to the tadpole trend of the 1990’s (cheers, Drew Barrymore), my shape is still a little sparse and patchy thanks to excessive over plucking. Each day, I comb the hairs up then fill in the gaps (and create a sharp edge at the start of the brows) with brunette wax, setting it with dark powder.

    This is all well and good except for when I go to the gym first thing in the morning; I can’t exactly have brown streaks running halfway down my face, so I have to go with un-filled-in brows. The injustice! And, when I am getting about, all (almost) fresh faced on weekend, I still have to fill in my brows. Not ideal. Plus, I have oily skin, so I often find my brow product shifts throughout the day.

    For all of these reasons I decided to try Feather Touch Brow Tattooing.

    Enter, Amy Jean. She’s one of those annoyingly stunning women who are equal parts nice and talented. You just want to be mates with her. Anyway, I visited her in her Sydney salon, though she has locations in Melbourne, the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, New Zealand, and even New York!

    During my initial consult she discerned that I was a candidate for Feather Touch Tattoo (as not all people are), then filled in my brows to give me an idea of what they would look like.

    The day of the treatment I went in an hour early to have numbing cream applied before the procedure. Then, she tidied and filled my brows in again to confirm we were on the same shape-page. Next up, show time! I was expecting a noisy traditional tattoo gun, but the reality is a lot more civilised.

    Amy Jean uses a tiny scalpel-like instrument with several heads to gently scratch the skin, before the colour is applied. That’s the trick to getting hair-like stokes – not a heavy block shape.

    The process is that simple. I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve been asked if it hurt. No, it’s a tad uncomfortable, but totally bearable (and the numbing cream is a dream). I’ve also had people assume that the actual brows are removed beforehand. Not so – you keep your own brow hairs – this just helps to bulk them out visually.


    I will go through the process once more in a months’ time, as the first application fades quite considerably (depending on your skins ability to hold the pigment). Results last for about a year, and can be easily topped up if you feel it’s needed.

    As a lazy beauty girl, I’m clearly a fan. Now, if they could just invent a robot to cleanse my skin before bed, I’d be happy. 

    For more deets on Amy Jean, including the other treatments she offers, visit her website.

  • The one item you need this winter….
    11:20AM, Jun 25 Nicole Adolphe

    It’s time to get familiar with the turtle neck. This piece is a stylish way to keep warm, especially if you plan on shrobing (that’s shoulder-robing) your jacket and wearing leather shorts or ankle grazing trousers through winter.

    Good news! I’ve done the shopping for you, and showed you how to style it up.

    Seriously, it couldn’t get any easier…

    1. Add a quirky necklace for extra fun in the dreary cold.


    Turtleneck, $35, River Island.


    2. Layer it under a cool jacket and ditch the scarf. This winter, it’s about finding clever ways to stay warm without drowning in layers.


    Turtleneck, $65, Hello Parry.

    3. Team with a sleeveless vest for work day polish.


    Turtleneck, $129.95, Witchery.

    4. Black is always safe but layering with grey or white works with like a charm against this season’s gelato jacket shades.


    Turtleneck, $19, Mix @ Coles.

  • The TV Workout
    11:43AM, Jun 20 Lauren Smelcher

    It’s winter. It’s cold - and we live in Sydney, where it’s relatively warm, compared to the likes of folks in Canberra and Melbourne and Hobart and Wellington and, like, pretty much everywhere else (except Darwin. Enjoy these balmy months, Darwinites).

    Anyway, it is cold. Nobody wants to exercise. Everybody wants to sit on their lounge and drink tea and watch TV because everybody is normal. But exercise is (annoyingly) good for you so we’re going to do you a solid and let you in on our little secret: the TV workout. Simple exercises you can do in front of the telly while watching your favourite show and dreaming about your boyfriends, Jon Snow and Rick Grimes. And Danny Castellano. Bless you, Danny Castellano.

    If you’re watching… Game of Thrones

    image Do five push-ups every time Cersei is a major b!tch.

    Do ten sit-ups every time Jon Snow looks sad.

    Do five lunges (on each side) every time a Stark child almost meets another Stark child… but then decides to go somewhere else entirely (Sidenote: get it together, Starks).


    If you’re watching… The Mindy Project


    Do ten tricep dips every time Mindy wears something fabulous.

    Do five burpees every time Danny says something you can totally hear your Dad saying.

    Do ten squats every time Mindy nabs another amazing celebrity guest star as her boyfriend (If we ran our own shows, yeah, we’d totally do this too).


    If you’re watching… The Walking Dead


    Do ten squat jumps every time Daryl totally saves the day.

    Do fifteen oblique crunches every time the gang meets someone and invites them to join their gang and you just know it’s going to end really badly.

    Do fifty burpees every time Carl takes his hat off (Ha! Obviously this is a joke. Don’t worry, we’d never make you do 50 burpees).


    If you’re watching… Orange is the New Black


    Do ten Turkish get-ups (yes, these are a thing!) every time Piper cries.

    Do five kettlebell swings every time Pennsatucky shows her teeth.

    Do five jump lunges every time you think, “Jesus, these women are allowed to get away with murder in there.”


    If you’re watching… Girls


    Just do a shot every time they are all The Worst™.

  • Beauty news worth knowing about
    4:46AM, Jun 17 Leigh Campbell


    Create your own custom skincare:

    Who doesn’t love something that’s tailored just for them? Bespoque is a new skincare brand that is literally mixed from scratch to match your every skin need. You head into a Terry White chemist and use the Bespoque screen to fill out a skin survey. During, you nominate your concerns, the scent you would like, you even get to name your potion and choose the packaging colour! From there the trained staff custom-mix your formula. So fabulous.

    A free treatment for acne sufferers:

    Having spots is no fun, let alone proper acne; it’s legitimately depressing. That’s why I think it’s so awesome that the Clear Skincare Clinic is offering a free SGA treatment (valued at $300) to anyone who signs the Clear Skin Pledge. “SGA is a revolutionary new drug free treatment that permanently treats the cause of acne and breakouts,” says founder Dr Philippa McCaffery, who developed this new technology in January 2012. It boasts a 90% success rate after six to 10 treatments, with no side effects (it involves a needle being injected into the problem area). Head to for full details.

    Give back (and get great skin):

    Not only does skincare brand Emergin C boast powerful and effective organic products (think luxe potions for the posh green girl – the Kombucha Cleanser is divine), they also create innovative initiatives to give back to nature. Launching in a few weeks is their latest, called Emergin Ceeds (cute, huh?). With every online order you receive a packet of seeds to plant your own edible garden. Seeds are apartment friendly, meaning you can literally grow your own lettuce. No excuses! They also plant a tree for every single product sold. Legends!

  • Get more from your winter coat
    4:19AM, Jun 6 Nicole Lucas

    Although we hate to admit it… it’s getting cold outside and winter dressing is upon us. The grey coat is the perfect go-to piece for chilly days and nights, so I’m here to show you three clever ways to wear it (and reuse your summer buys!).

    Party time: You can still look sexy and party ready with a coat - just pair it back with a cropped tank and pencil skirt. A quirky clutch adds a fun element to an otherwise classic look.


    Jacket, $111, Glamorous from Glue Store.

    Top, $49.95, Sportsgirl.

    Skirt, $89.95, Sportsgirl.

    Clutch, $30, Monki from ASOS.

    Heels, $80, Asos.

    Date night: You still want to impress your date (even though the weather isn’t too appealing!). High-waisted jeans and sensible heels are the perfect pairing for casual cool and an off-the-shoulder top keeps it classy… with a necessary hint of sexy.


    Jacket, $111, Glamorous from Glue Store.

    Top, $33, River Island.

    Jeans, $72, River Island.

    Heels, $90, River Island from ASOS.

    Earrings, $36, Johnny Loves Rosie from ASOS.

    Sunday brunch: It’s all about the trainer and skirt combo this season, and it’s a foolproof relaxed yet polished brunch outfit. A high neck top adds a chic finish.


    Jacket, $111, Glamorous from Glue Store.

    Top, $99.95, Witchery.

    Skirt, $178, J.Crew from NET-A-PORTER.

    Sneakers, $138, New Balance from ASOS.

    Clutch, $79, Foxlane Collection from THE ICONIC.

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