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Cosmo team blog

  • Made by a model
    2:45AM, Sep 16 Leigh Campbell

    When I was young I remember pawing through the pages of Dolly and Cosmopolitan, admiring all the happy, pretty models on both the editorial and advertising pages. One particular model I had a girl-crush on was Josie Maran. She was always smiling back at me form the Maybelline and Guess ads and I just wanted to be her buddy. Fast forward a few years *cough* and not only do I work at one of my fave mags, I was given the opportunity to interview my old fan-girl subject about her beauty brand.

    Do you think modelling gave you the opportunity to experience a wide range of makeup? How did this exposure inspire you to create your own line of beauty products?

    “When I was traveling the world on modelling shoots, I was always asking my makeup artists what was in the stuff they were putting on my face, and wasn’t happy with their answers. I was hearing them say the names of many toxic chemicals. I asked if they could substitute healthy, natural cosmetics and they said no such thing existed that performed at the same level. So I became determined to find a way to create high performing cosmetics that were good for people and planet!”

    Josie Maran Cosmetics launched in 2007. How has the brand evolved between now and then?

    “When I started the company, I was doing nearly everything by myself. I learned a lot very quickly! Our cosmetics have always been about simplifying and purifying what you have in your makeup bag or medicine cabinet. But as I’ve grown my team, we’ve started to pioneer major advancement in cosmetics technology. My Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment is a great example of this. It’s a blend of microdroplets of Argan Oil suspended in water without the use of harsh chemical emsulfiers. I had no idea seven years ago that we’d be innovating in the oil category so dramatically.”

    How do you sum up the brand philosophy?

    “Our philosophy is Luxury with a Conscience, which means we strive to make the best, most effective products while also treating people and the planet with the utmost care. I try to make my cosmetics for everyone. I think all women care about being healthy and about contributing to the health of others. It’s my mission to contribute to a healthy lifestyle while empowering each woman to live the fullest, most beautiful life she can.

    If you had to choose one favourite product you’re loving right now, which would it be?

    “I’m always in love with my 100% Pure Argan Oil. It’s the cornerstone of my brand, and my ultimate head-to-toe solution. But right now, I’m also obsessed with my Argan Black Oil Mascara. It’s 91% natural, which is pretty unprecedented for mascara, and it lifts, lengthens and curls like no other.”

    What is your your daily skincare and beauty routine like?

    “I like to think I’m pretty low maintenance! I wash my face only at night with my Argan Cleansing Oil or Argan Cleansing Treatment. In the mornings, I just apply my Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment and then my 100% Pure Argan Oil. If I have time before getting out the door, I apply a bit of my Argan Tinted Moisturiser, my Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee, and a few swipes of my Argan Black Oil Mascara. I am also so addicted to my Shu Uemura eyelash curler. I love the feeling and the look — I need it!

    What’s the best beauty tip you’ve learnt on a shoot?

    “I think the most important thing I learned is to hydrate your skin before putting on makeup. Without properly hydrated skin, your makeup is just never going to look as good and as glowing as you want it to.”

    When your travel what beauty essentials do you always carry with you?

    “I always have my Argan Infinity Intensive Creamy Oil. It has infinite uses. I use it under my eyes and on my lips while I’m flying to prevent my skin from getting dehydrated. I also always carry my Bear Naked Wipes to keep my face and hands clean. If I’m travelling with my daughters, wipes are a must to clean grubby hands and faces.”

    How do you deal with a zit if one pops up?

    “Before I discovered Argan Oil, I would deal with blemishes pretty regularly. Argan Oil balances my skin perfectly so I don’t break out very often anymore. But if one does pop up, I make sure to keep it simple. My Argan Cleansing Treatment is ultra-hydrating, but helps decongest pores and gently exfoliate. I’ll use that for a few days and get my washcloth really warm to help soften my skin. Then I just use my 100% Pure Argan Oil Light on it. I find keeping it simple and not letting your face dry out is the best way to help a pimple heal. 

    Do you wear a signature scent or have a favourite fragrance?

    “I don’t wear a lot of perfume because it’s often packed with synthetic fragrances, which are neurotoxins. My mom is very sensitive to fragrance so I try to keep it light so that it doesn’t affect her. I like to blend essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, patchouli and bergamot.”

    What would you say your influences are?

    My influencers range from poets to chefs to my mama. My favourite poet is Rumi, who inspires me to live in love in every moment and create delightful things that will inspire more love in the world.  I am influenced from many chefs including friends of mine who artfully cook because they create courageously, boldly, take risks, and are often spontaneous in the kitchen and that’s how I like to think about making my products. And my mom is an artist who has given me the utmost respect for life’s aesthetic beauty.”

    Who is your beauty icon?

    “My mum has been my biggest inspiration in discovering what it is to be a beautiful woman. She has an inner light that just invites the world in. She always taught me that a smile does more to make you beautiful than any makeup ever could.”

    Josie Maran products will be available 28 September at Kit Cosmetics, Mecca Maxima and


  • Hey b*tch, Aaron Paul is the new Ryan Gosling
    12:05PM, Sep 5 Lauren Smelcher

    We’re calling it: Breaking Bad actor/Best Husband Ever/World-Class Instagrammer/Whiskey and Pizza Fan/All-Round Amazing Human Aaron Paul has officially superseded Ryan Gosling as our Main Celeb Crush. Soz, Ryan. Here’s why...

    Aaron broke his wife’s website (note: a good thing) after mentioning her anti-bullying campaign in his Emmy’s acceptance speech.


    Aaron encourages his fans to perpetuate his BB catchphrase, “Yeah, bitch.”


    He ran a BB scavenger hunt in the lead-up to the Emmys. The prize? A signed copy of the finale script. The real prize? Meeting Aaron Paul, all dressed up in a suit. Day-um.


    He was once almost kicked out of a Radiohead concert for dancing. The next day, he went back and made his whole row start dancing.


    Like us, sometimes fashion confuses him.


    The biggest similarity between him and Jesse Pinkman? “We both love kids. We have a huge soft spot for the young ones and we don’t want them to be raised by meth heads. We want to protect them.”


    Sure, R-Gos was in The Mickey Mouse Club, but A-Paul was on The Price is Right. And from the looks of it, he had a great time.


    He invited Angus and Julia Stone around for a private party. As you do.


    He loves his wife, Lauren Paul, so freaking much. If they weren’t so bloody perfect together, we’d be jealous.


  • On Wednesdays, we wear pink
    4:53PM, Aug 25 Alexandra Whiting

    I bought my first red lipstick at eighteen from the Napoleon Perdis counter at DJ’s Kotara (regional NSW represent!). It was from the DeVine Goddess collection and called Aphrodite ($35 – yep, it’s still available).

    The colour is a blue-based red, so it made my teeth look whiter; eyes look brighter and enhanced my whole complexion. It also made me look like a grown-up. Totes profesh. I scored the big Sydney retail job I wanted and my very first mag internship in that lipstick, all in the same week!

    Our Lifestyle Director Alexis (who was then the Beauty Editor at a different title) gave me the internship, and still remembers her workie with the lip.

    So, red lipstick, I will always love you… but this summer for something fresh, fun and different, I’m switching to pink. I also plan on maintaining a killer (fake) tan all season, which will make the perfect base for that pop of colour.

    My pink of choice is fuchsia. Chiefly because that’s what my girl crush Julia Restoin-Roitfeld told ITG she was doing three years ago (I only just found out). Plus, fuchsia is a blue-based colour too, so it’ll have all the flattering skin tone benefits of the red.

    Last, but certainly not least, there have been SO MANY great fuchsia lips colours landing on the beauty desk lately. They’re all in wand form - which means their life expectancy is way longer because it won’t get destroyed in my handbag. Lipsticks can smoosh and snap, lip gloss wands cannot (unless you throw them really hard at the ground).

    Wands at the ready! Here's where you'll find these punchy shades (left to right):


    Mac The Simpsons Lipglass in Red Blazer, $39 (available September 4th)

    Designer Brands Lavish Lip Gloss in Hot Pink, $7.99

    Physicians Formula pH Powered Lip Gloss in Pink, $19.95

    Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in India Intrigue, $25.95

    Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in Pink Pong, $24

    Bite Cashmere Lip Cream in Moscato, $28.34


  • Diary of a health retreat
    2:59AM, Aug 6 Leigh Campbell

    I’ve been a beauty editor for about eight years and I have never been to a health retreat. Criminal, right? I mean, all the celebs go to lavish spas and opulent retreats all the time, so I figured I really should know what its like. In the name of research, obvs.

    I booked myself into The Golden Door Elysia in The Hunter Valley in New South Wales. I’d heard so many good things and seen images of blissed out people and rolling hills, so I knew it was me all over.

    The first day I drove myself through the Pokolbin around lunchtime to arrive at the retreat for 1pm check in. It struck me how ironic it was to have a health retreat in the midst of our states biggest wine area. Maybe it was a test?

    This video of ballet dancer Misty Copeland will totally blow your mind...

    Once I’d checked in (at which point I was given my fancy gold water bottle which I was to carry with me at all times to keep hydrated, flush the toxins out, you know), I unpacked in my little villa. I was very pleased with my huge bathroom and generous bath. I was unimpressed with the lack of mini bar. An empty fridge and a few herbal teas? Where are the Kit Kats? I had to remind myself where I was.

    After reluctantly leaving my beloved phone in the villa (they are banned elsewhere. For reals.) I headed to the restaurant for lunch, where I would meet my fellow Golden Door-ers. Lunch was a lush vegetarian lasagna, which was clearly healthy but also delicious. The food got a big tick, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

    I got chatting to a few of the other guests as everyone compared reasons for being at the retreat. Many wanted to lose weight, some wanted to quit smoking, and few wanted to get off caffeine and slow down in general. I fell into the later category. I couldn’t help but feel that we were in some sort of rehab (Hi, my name is Leigh Campbell and I am addicted to social media).

    Post lunch we were given a tour of the property. It really was a stunning setting and I felt more relaxed already. The spa in particular was world class and I was looking forward to getting my paper g-string on in there later.

    Next up was my health assesment. The nurse took my blood pressure, then asked what I wanted out of my stay. I said I wasn’t there to lose weight (even though I was keen to shift 1-2 winter kgs ) as I feared they might take away some of the yummy food. I explained I wanted to see if I could go without coffee and my phone. Oh, how I missed my phone.

    Before I knew it, it was dinner time. The meal (a Moroccan tofu curry) was sensational again, which made me immediately purchase the cook book from the retreat’s boutique. Very clever.

    5 superfoods for under $5: Simple supermarket foods that’re so good for you, they damn well deserve a cape.

    Off to bed at 8pm. Most people were not sure what to do with themselves for the evening, but I’m an early-to-bed kinda person so I had a soak in the tub and passed out (but not before I searched my bags for the dark chocolate I thought I’d smuggled in. I must have forgotten it. Devastated).

    The next morning at 6am a friendly knock at the door woke me for sunrise Tai Chi. It was calming and scenic, if not a little slow (but then again, I’m there to learn to like the slow pace, right)?

    The rest of the day was filled with activities like Bocce, a walk or jog,  under water running, boxing, hockey and yoga. I dipped my toe in a few of the activities but if I’m honest, I naturally gravitated toward the spa. It’s my job, right?

    The day I got my face tattooed: Cosmo's beauty director, Leigh Campbell on her awesome new eyebrows...

    I had a Watsu treatment, followed by a heavenly 80 minute salt scrub and mud bath. I was covered in oil and Canadian sea salt, then rubbed in the same way you might prepare pork crackling. I was then left ot soak in a mud bath before 40 minutes of hot stone massage. At this moment I think I knew how it felt to be Kimmy K; I was truly pampered.

    The following day I hated everyone and the world. Hello, caffeine withdrawal. I considered escaping, but realised I’d have to tell them where I was going at the gates. Laps of the pool, a few sessions in the steam room and a jog of the property helped. And I left my phone in the room the entire time – where is my medal?

    I left after my three day stay feeling very relaxed, if not a little bored. I certainly slowed down, recharged and felt lighter as I drove out of the gates. If only I’d kidnapped that chef and put him in my boot.

    13 reasons you need to stop putting off that manicure...

  • 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.

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