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I have a long train commute to get to work each morning (about 1.5 hours EACH WAY). So, it's VITAL I get dressed faster than Kimmy K running from the paps if I want to make it into the office by 9am.
When I read this story about art director Matilda Kahl who wore the exact same outfit for three years straight, a little light bulb went on in my head.
This is the outfit Matilda Kahl wore for three years - she has multiples of the white top and black pants.
I decided to come up with my own work uniform and give it a test run for a week. I went with a simple black tee and skinny jeans combo with a camel vest and nude heels.
I have many black tees and jeans so this would be easy – not stinky.
The first couple of days were awesome. No thinking, just throw on clothes and go. I felt like I was beating the system.
By day 3 I started feeling a bit weird – surely people would start giving me funny stares?
No one said anything. I was shocked.
Maybe if I was not in a long-term relationship people would give me an eyebrow raise and a cheeky “Didn’t sleep at home last night?”
But I’m an old married person, so that didn't happen.
As day 4 and 5 rolled around, I was speeding out the door in the mornings, but I was feeling bored at the sight of myself in the mirrored work lift.
Just add a coat and swap heels for sneakers when walking to the station.
I’d lost my pizzazz. I felt beige. I missed showing my ~eMotIOns~ through my outfits and craved the occasional "Ohh, cute top," comment.
By the time Friday rolled around no one had said a word. Not even a judgemental side-eye.
They were either just being polite or didn’t care what I wore.
On the fifth and final day I asked my work friends if they noticed that I wore the exact same outfit every day that week.
“Oh, I thought you just really liked that vest?!” said one.
“Um, no. But that's great cost per wear,” said another.
The rest hadn’t even noticed... including my boss - she just laughed when I told her about my little experiment (I'm hoping she was laughing with me, not at me. *grimacing face emoji*).
As much as it was easy and convenient, uniform-dressing is not so fun.
Cosmo’s fashion director gave me a great tip: If it’s not something she could show up to an unexpected meeting or event in, she doesn’t have it in her wardrobe.
Since then, I’ve worked out more of a happy medium.
I now have five polished outfits that can be mixed-and-matched depending on my ~mOoD~ and I can get dressed without needing to check my calendar to see if I have meetings that day.
Less thinking, but more fun. Because that’s the beauty of working somewhere I can wear what I want, right?
That, and the fact I can write about it afterwards.
If you liked this, follow Bec on Instagram @bectobasics to find out when her next blog is up.
I love my iPhone. Like, I don’t know what I would do without it. It’s my alarm clock, bank, dictionary, and portal to a perve on everyone else’s social life. I also use it to remember my fave nail shades, book my appointments, and try on new makeup. Here’s a list of beauty apps I love and use.
In case you missed my earlier post, Make-up Genius by L’Oréal lets you try on make-up, virtually. The life-like make-up mirror shows you what you’d look like wearing new shades and styles, AND you can watch your style move with your face and expressions! Wear complete looks created by L’Oreal, watch tutorials, and even scan a L’Oreal Paris product to try on before you purchase it. It’s also super fun to try on boys. Because LOLS.
This app is a collective of tips and hacks in categories like beauty, wellness and DIY. Share and discover tips, tutorials and how-to guides by the Trusted Helpers, or use the chat function to ask the community with a problem or query.
Pretty self-explanatory, Try a new brow shape before committing IRL. Also ace for trying a new hue.
The name says it all. Watch videos on your iPhone or iPad that teach you how to choose the right haircut and colour for your hair type and face shape. Also learn how to create key styles. It’s kinda like a hairdresser in your pocket.
EWG’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database is the world's largest safety reference tool for personal-care products. This app helps you underrated chemicals and ingredients in your products so you can make an educated choice.
Hate it when you get a great manicure but can’t recall the shade they used? Not anymore! Scan the bar code on the bottle you choose, and this app records that data for posterity. Once your polish has dried, the app will send you a push notification prompting you to take a picture which you can store or share.
Book and pay for same-day and next-day beauty services. Search for your desired beauty treatment in your location and choose a vacant appointment from a huge section of salons in face, body and hair.
When Jen had to mingle with the contestants
“Some of you are still in PYJAMAS.”
Ewww, pyjamas. The horror. We feel you, Jen.
When Lauren thought modelling in a trolley was a good idea
“I’m set on this trolley. Kimmy K will LOVE the trolley.”
Mmm maybe not. But props for creativity.
When Ayieda was confident AF
“I know what looks good on me and what doesn’t, sooo it was kind of easy.”
Like, give the girl a challenge already.
When Didier tried to pretend like he knows his lines
“I hope you guys slept well cos it’s time for another photo shoot.”
Oh. Kay. Did. The. Producer. Also. Tell. You. To. Talk. Like. You’re. Just. Repeating. The. Lines. That. Are. Being. Said. To. You. In. Your. Ear. Piece. Question. Mark?
When Brittany said words
“It’s crap. I just feel like crap.”
Hey Brittany, why don't you tell us what you really think?
When Kelly Osbourne asked Cassie this serious question…
“What’s the matter?”
Guyz, this is definitely going to be a dramatic moment.
And Cassie responded by saying…
Nothing. No really, she said, “Nothing.”
Hahahaaaa. Well, that was awkward.
Don't miss Australia's Next Top Model next Thursday at 7.30pm on Fox 8.
Follow Bec on Instagram @bectobasics to find out when her next blog is up.
First episode baaaack and straight up it's Tyra SMIZING Banks. And she’s smizing. And talking to us.
“This season will be the biggest and fiercest EVER,” she says.
And she should know, because she’s Tyra and she invented the show. So I definitely believe her.
There is a lovely tribute to Charlotte Dawson. Then we “meet” the girls. Oh, actually it’s just four of the girls because you only need to care about these ones for now.
Insert dramatic music.
Now we’re in a well-lit studio with Jen Hawkins and Alex Perry standing next to a table, swooshing around photos of girls and making important decisions. OMG, who will make the cut?
“She’s almost a hobbit,” says Alex. Okaaaay, looks like somebody has his bitchy-pants on this season.
“I’m going to fight for her,” says Jen.
By fighting, Jen means shuffling more photos around and talking.
“It is absolutely the best selection we’ve ever had in nine years of the show,” says Alex.
But have you forgotten the hobbit already A-Pez?
REALLY DRAMATIC MUSIC. Back-lighting, slow-motion, powdery chalk stuff in the air like it’s a boxing ring.
But it’s not a boxing ring. It’s a runway and they’re modelling. See what they did there?
Flashes of the girls as J-Hawk gets slow-talky: “In 2015 [long pause] 12 ordinary girls [these girls are like, TRADIES AND STUFF], will be transformed into Australia’s next crop of supermodels.”
DREAMS ARE ABOUT TO COME TRUE!!!!! JOURNEYS! DREAMS! WOO.
Insert lots of famous people who will appear as guests this season (Kelly Osbourne! Kimmy K! Other model people. etc)
(Mmhmm sound like Fox 8 threw some monies around this year, like…)
Now the contestants are getting on a bus! Lots of excited squeals and clapping.
We’re on a bus!
They meet Jen and A-Pez in some warehouse.
“As soon as I saw Jen and Alex I just crapped myself,” says Brittany. LOL, we like you Brittany.
We’re told Brittany usually spends her days driving a Bobcat back home.
(The casting director is definitely high-fiving herself right now.)
More squeals and clapping. They head off to get ready for their very first catwalk show, which is TONIGHT. Ohmygod.
“Some of them are freaking out,” says J-Hawk.
“I like it when they freak out,” says A-Pez.
(You’re still on camera, guys.)
They’re practising walking now.
A blonde girl called Alex is getting a lot of air time. We’re continually reminded her face is fierce, but she is SHORT. In fact, the shortest of all the girls. Do not forget it.
In case you didn't know, Alex is the shortest. FYI.
Then Cheyenne Tozzi and Didier Cohen appear. They will be mentors for the contestants. Cheyenne does some actual mentoring, while Didier asks non-helpful questions like, “Have you ever worn high heels before?”
Meanwhile, Brittany is fuh-reaking out.
Apparently she has a history of freaking out.
“I’m terrified she’s going to freak out,” says Cheyenne.
The runway show happens.
Lots of weird, awkward walking shots.
Plot twist: Britanny freaks out. Medical people attend to her.
Meanwhile, the show must go on and now it’s Alex-Pouty-Perry’s turn to freak out.
It’s Ayieda’s feet. The angle of her ankles. He just can’t even.
Alex Perry while looking at Ayieda's feet: “This is really killing me. I can’t… I don’t know… I’m rarely lost for words, but…”
“I had a shoe problem,” confirms Ayieda once she's completed her walk.
Now it’s time for Shortest Girl to walk. A-Pez thinks Shortest Girl has a solid walk, but, “It’s just a pity about the height.” (We get it already.)
The runway show is over.
They move into the house. Lots of screaming and freaking out in general. Because, it’s a HOUSE and there’s a balcony with, like, a beach RIGHT THERE.
Next up, it’s The Challenge! On the way there, someone asks Bobcat Brittany how she’s feeling. She’s freaking out. Obviously. Dumb question.
Didier MONOTONE Cohen announces they have a portrait photo shoot.
Alessandra Ambrosio pops by.
Poses, poses, poses.
Judging time! Lots of girls we haven’t seen up until this point. They now get about 1.5 seconds air time. Scores, etc.
It’s Shortest Girl’s turn. “Let’s talk about your height,” says A-Pez. (Let's not.)
Then, just when you think she won’t get through (because, short), she’s through to next week! Phewf. You had us there for a second.
Girl With Shoe Problems also gets through. Even though A-Pez “hasn’t slept for three days” thinking about her feet. Ummm, a tad dramatic. But ok.
We’re down to the last girl.
“Do you want to be here? Are you just really chilled?” J-Hawk asks her.
Sh*t. Is this a trick question?!
Then Bitchypants Alex pipes up. “I think you’re extra chilled. When you walked down the runway it was like, are you going to fall asleep?”
Uh-oh. You mean she’s so chilled she’s asleep?
That clearly means she’s NOT freaking out.
Don’t you know that all good models totally freak out All. The. Time?
Chilled Girl is eliminated.
Tune into Australia's Next Top Model next Thursday at 7.30pm on Fox 8 for more exciting freakouts. We presume.
If you liked this, follow Bec on Instagram @bectobasics to find out when her next blog is up.
So Cody Simpson has weighed in (albeit temporarily) on the vaccination debate sparked by the Abbott government’s revoking of childcare rebates for parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids.
The singer (whose most recent claim to fame is dating Gigi Hadid) tweeted, “Tony Abbot let go of your controlling infant vaccination laws. I’m appalled. Free Australia. Free humanity.” He quickly deleted the post, but the clever folks at Buzzfeed captured it before it was lost to the internet’s black hole.
Aside from the general eyerolling that accompanies this kind of statement, here’s the real kicker about Simpson’s comment: being pro-vax is not anti-freedom. Quite the opposite, actually. A society that has high rates of vaccination is healthy. I’m not talking green-juice-for-breakfast healthy. I’m talking, “You don’t have to worry about getting malaria today” healthy. That sort of thing. And that health allows freedom.
When your society isn’t worried about contracting whooping cough or smallpox or scarlet fever or polio or tuberculosis or any of the many other diseases vaccinations have all but eradicated, it can get on with the business of being a society. Of building things. Of nurturing communities. Of developing technology. Of encouraging young men with excellently floppy hair to pursue their dreams of being pop stars.
My great-aunt Julie knew the limits of freedom caused by disease. She was a small, frail woman with pin curls and handwriting so neat it could have been a font. She contracted polio as a child and spent the remainder of her life in a wheelchair. When I was a kid, I assumed she was, too, because she was so tiny. Trapped in permanent childhood, Julie was a beautiful, kind and caring woman – but she was not free. But maybe if there’d been a vaccine for polio back then, she would have been.
Having worked for women’s magazine for the past eight years (Not that anyone’s counting – cos time flies when you’re having fun. Haaaa), I’ve heard just about every horror story ever about women who have gone off the Pill: The ones whose skin went crazy, who put on weight, whose boobs shrunk...
I have a girlfriend who didn’t get her period back for nine months. NINE MONTHS. That’s almost a year of thinking her body was EFFED. “I thought it was karma for skipping my period so many times over the years,” she told me when she finally got it.
I started taking the Pill at 18. Pretty much just because I wanted to have sex with my boyfriend but didn’t want a baby. Simple. Decision made. Sign me up.
Ten years (and a few boyfriends) later and I was still taking it. I didn’t know myself NOT on it.
Then, a few months ago (at 28 years old), I stopped taking it. I was coming to the end of a pack and I would have had to make an appointment with my GP to get a new prescription. (SUCH a hassle. Why can’t you just order it online?)
I thought, screw it.
We had about a month to go until our wedding day and we’d vaguely talked about maybe being nearly ready to start thinking about kids. Because, you know, our friends are doing it and you’ve gotta keep up with the Joneses, right?
Anyway, at 28, I thought I should see what happened to my body without the daily fake hormone hit telling it what to do. I was nervous.
It didn’t help that we’d just had a meeting at work where one of my colleagues brought up a study, finding going off hormonal birth control could impact how attracted a woman is to her partner. In summary, if he was no Chris Hemsworth before, you’ll rate him even less now. Soz about it.
My professional self responded by saying, “Mmm interesting, we should write a story about that.”
My brain responded by saying, “Shiiiiit. But I’m about to go off the pill. AND I’m about to get married. AND shouldn’t this warning be on the packet?!”
I realised I didn’t even know my relationship NOT on the Pill.
Anyway, I refrained from Pill-taking and waited. A month, then two months passed.
I waited for my skin to break out. Nothing.
I waited for my body to lose its shit. Nothing.
I waited to want to divorce my new husband. Nothing.
Just when I started getting worried that I wasn’t going to get my periods back, after about two months I got a natural period.
Sadly, I was wearing white pants that day. But happily, PERIOD.
“Ummm, this is all a bit non-event,” I was thinking.
How am I supposed to write a story about a whole lot of nothing?
But then I realised, maybe it’s refreshing? I know my experience of going off the Pill is just that – my own personal experience – and it might be very different to other women’s. But I think it’s good for women to be open about this sort of thing.
To not be afraid to say periods (periods, periods, PERIODS) for fear of offending a male that may happen to read it.
And to keep sharing. Because while one woman may have a hard time adjusting to going off the Pill, others may not. And it can’t hurt to hear stories from both ends of the spectrum.
And who knows what will happen when my partner and I ARE ready to start trying for a baby. It may happen easily or it may not – but what I WILL know is that I should be prepared for both possibilities because many women before me have shared their stories.
Just like YOU now know that going off the Pill won’t necessarily suck. And won’t necessarily make you want to trade up your boyfriend for Chris Hemsworth. But it might. Just FYI.
For more health and fitness stuff follow Bec on Instagram @bectobasics
By now, we all know the story of Stephanie Scott. The 26-year-old who should have been basking in her new marriage is dead – and she’s allegedy 31st woman to die violently this year. That’s two dead women every week.
Some of these women we know by name. Masa Vukotic, the 17-year-old schoolgirl walking through a park, stabbed to death. Prabha Arun Kumar, who was speaking to her husband from his home in India when she was fatally stabbed. But many of them will never raise so much as a national headline. Which is why, when our community does express shock, outrage and heartbreak over the violent death of a young school teacher, we must take that moment to talk about what Leigh Sales called “a source of profound shame for our nation.” We must talk about why it is, as deputy leader of the opposition Tanya Plibersek pointed out, that “for young women under 45, the most common form of death or injury is domestic violence.” While Stephanie’s alleged murder could have been an opportunistic attack, violence against women occurs on a continuum – whether it’s domestic or committed by a stranger, we need to do more than simply say, “That’s not good enough.” We need to change.
One woman who wants to do something about this is Jennie Hill, who last week launched the Facebook page Rest In Peace Stephanie Scott. Without even linking to it on her personal profile, the page grew and grew – today, less than a week after it was founded, the page has over 76,000 likes. Clearly, Stephanie’s death resonated far outside the limits of Leeton. But Jennie was moved to start the page not simply because of the tragic nature of Stephanie’s death: she started the page because she’d overheard two men talking about how Stephanie shouldn’t have been at work that Sunday, how she shouldn’t have been there alone.
As Jennie wrote, ‘When women are murdered in their own homes by their own partners or ex-partners, people say "Why didn't she just leave?"
When women are thrown from balconies or stabbed to death with scissors in the street, people say "Why didn't she realise he would do that?"
When a woman is murdered running through a park in broad daylight, people say "Women shouldn't be on their own in parks."
Now that a woman has allegedly been killed at her own workplace doing the normal, everyday task of getting her school class ready for another teacher, what will people say? That women can't be at work in the middle of the day on their own? That women have to be chaperoned everywhere they go?’
I chatted to Jennie this morning about her page, which has reached 6 million people in just under a week, Stephanie’s killing and what it means for Australia. This is an edited transcript of our chat.
Cosmo: You’d had contact with Stephanie, hadn’t you?
Jennie: I had. I run a safe driving course and I’d spoken with Stephanie about bringing it to Leeton High for her students. She was warm, bright and bubbly. I have a daughter who is the same age, and she reminded me a lot of her. She was so enthusiastic about doing something for the students, wanting to make it safer for them.
Cosmo: So how did you feel when you heard the news?
Jennie: It took me a few days to piece together that I’d actually spoken to Stephanie, and when I did, I was just so shocked.
Cosmo: And when did you decide to launch the page?
Jennie: I was at a café eating lunch, and I overheard two young men talking about how sad it was, but then ended with, ‘Well, but what was she doing there without her boyfriend?’ And I just… I just got so angry. I was full of rage. I’m a teacher, too, and I was married around the same age. I remember doing exactly the same thing as Stephanie – going to school to prepare for being away for my honeymoon. I went back to my office but I couldn’t concentrate on work, so I decided to make the page.
Cosmo: Victim blaming is so insidious, but I also find it hypocritical. Like, when I tell people I’m a feminist – and I’m quite outspoken about it – I hear a fair bit of, ‘We don’t need feminism anymore, women in first-world countries have it so good.’ But when you blame victims and say, ‘Well, you shouldn’t have been in that park at that hour,’ or, ‘You shouldn’t have let him buy you a drink,’ you’re essentially saying that women in first-world countries don’t have those rights you say they do, that they don’t have the right to go about their business like a man would.
Jennie: Absolutely. Just because things aren’t as bad for women in Australia doesn’t mean they’re good. I mean, you can’t be a little bit oppressed – you’re either oppressed or you’re not. And there will be women, who, after this, won’t go to work alone because they’re afraid. That’s oppression. But I think there’s a continuum at work here: women aren’t as visible as men in the media, in business, in government. And that gives the impression, to some men, that women aren’t worth as much as men. That they’re not entitled to the same rights. That they’re lesser beings. Not all men think this way, but some do. And that has to change.
Cosmo: How do we change that?
Jennie: I don’t know. I honestly don’t. But I do know that 95 per cent of people who liked the page are women, and that says something to me. We have to get men to be part of the conversation, because at the moment, they’re just not.
Cosmo: What will happen to the page? Do you see it continuing?
Jennie: I’ll keep posting until Stephanie’s funeral, and then I think we’ll see what happens from there. I know I don’t have any real connection to Stephanie, I only spoke to her a few times. But something about this has just made me so, so angry.
Cosmo: Us too.
I’ve done coffee art classes, watercolour courses and knitting school, so I can’t believe I’ve not done a makeup class. When I do go, I’m going to the Napoleon Perdis is the master classes. Makeup guru Napoleon Perdis is on a mission to educate the women of Australia how to perfect their makeup at any age with his Makeup Academy and Master Classes.
The classes teaches tips and techniques at different levels, so whether you’re a makeup rookie or smokey-eye pro. “Everyone will take something different away with them,” says Perdis. “That’s the most important thing for me. Everyone is on a different level. At best, you’ll learn how to modernise and quicken your makeup routine and feel more confident to do something new.” Perdis, whose company is very much a family business, both his wife and mother featured in campaigns for the Everlasting Elegance Master Class that ran through March, says a timeless beauty look is one you feel confident and beautiful in. One he recommends for all women at any age? “Start with impeccable skin, a beautifully arched brow, richly coated lashes and a flushed cheek, then personalise with your favourite lippie or eye liner.”
Running his own cosmetic company for over 20 years, Napoleon has seen it all, but the most common beauty mistake women make? “Too much foundation. I see it too often. Foundation should be you, but better. It should enhance your natural beauty, not mask your face.” His tip to get it right and natural looking? “Begin by applying it to what I call the ‘feature focus’ area of the face – the triangle of features made up of the eyes, nose and lips – this is where the eye is first drawn to. From here, blend outwardly, tapping the product to fuse it away to nothing.” He emphasises that you don’t have to put foundation on your whole face, only where you need it. “Generally the forehead and cheeks don’t need coverage, and if you have a pimple, use concealer for spot coverage rather than slathering on foundation.”
The signature Napoleon philosophy is to apply mascara first. The reason? “Mascara (and brows) are the road map for the face. Starting your makeup here means you can control the final destination for your look. After your brows and mascara, you might not need much more, so you’re in control of your coverage and colour story to hit your perfect intensity.”
Napoleon Perdis has recently launched a stellar skin care line to compliment the makeup range. “To get the most out of your makeup, you need to start with good cleanse and facial massage, this boosts hydration with a serum and use a skin primer to create a barrier for your foundation.”
To book your own class, head to napoleonmakeupacademy.com.au.
The reactions shocked me.
Here’s a list of beauty apps I love and use.
It must be, cos these moments were HILARIOUS
Covergirl @shaym = Everything goals 🙌🙌
TFW the first round of Friday night cocktails arrives 🍸🍸
Us RN ☝️ #rg via @cosmopolitanuk
Here's a sneak peak at the incred gift bag for Cosmo's first ever 'Be The Boss' readers' forum with Kayla Itsines, Alyce Tran and Jane Lu 😍 Nab your ticks now, link in bio. @kayla_itsines @thelazyceo @alyce_tran
There are no words 😻 via @cosmobride #weddingwednesday
Hump day = Hat day 💁
#rg ALL of the pretty from @thedailyedited. 💕 Hear from them at Cosmo's 'Be the Boss' Series - tickets through the link in our bio. 🎉
This week's viewing sitch = sorted with the new 'Ghostbusters' movie👌👻
Monday morning just got a little better 😉#yourewelcome
The struggle is real 🙃🍕 #rg @cosmopolitanuk
And that’s that – all done! We told you it’d only take a minute. Now, go. Enjoy!
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