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Cosmo team blog

  • The designer collab that won't break the bank!
    3:50AM, Nov 27 Nicole Lucas

    Famous for his quirky and colourful designs, Henry Holland is personally one of my favourite designers. So when I heard that he was collaborating with South African retailer MRP and everything was going to be cheap as chips, I could not wait!

    Fronting the campaign is the fashion industry's cool girl, Chloe Norgaard. A perfect fit for this bold collection with clashing prints and a sports edge, the matchy-matchy sets are right on trend for the hot summer ahead.

    The most insane shots from Kendall Jenner's Dazed shoot.

    Not only is it cheaper than your average meal, for every piece sold, a percentage of proceeds will be donated to the MRP foundation who help underprivileged South African children through education initiatives.

    I tried and tested some of my favourite pieces from the collection below, and I've got to say, I want it all! You can shop the range now at MRP's online store, HAPPY SHOPPING!

    Photography by Michelle Lobb @littlelobby


    10 unbelievable celebrity style overhauls.


    This Miley Cyrus tights commercial could not get any more Miley Cyrus if it tried.

  • Confessions of a Kardashian addict
    1:46PM, Nov 27 Leigh Campbell

    I don’t care what you say, I love the Kardashians. If you’re going to lecture me about the fact that Kim is only famous for having a sex tape and its wrong and immoral for her to get her booty out on a magazine cover, save it. If it were Kate Moss in the same pose on the cover of Paper, it would have been cool and arty. She’s a mother too, you know.

    The stars have spoken and grey hair is officially trending.

    Anyway, I want to be a Kardashian when I grow up. I switch between loving Khloe and Kourtney the most. Khloe for how brave and outspoken she is, and Kourtney because she is emotionally unavailable, like me. I’m also really intrigued by the Jenner girls (I know they’re not technically Karadians but they are on the show and they are in my mind). I’ve watched, with interest, Kylie transform from an innocent, goofy girl to a fully-fledged woman. I feel like it almost happened makeover-scene-style right in front of our eyes like in a Hollywood movie. I’m not sure if I agree with the extreme lip augmentation and the 90s brown liner, but she looks happy and confident in herself, and that’s all that matters.

    8 secrets for making sure you get the haircut you want.

    What I do agree with, though, is her new hair. It’s no secret that I’ve had love affairs with extensions over the years, so when I heard about Kylie’s range of clip in locks, my interest piqued (I’m at the stage where I don’t want to commit to proper extensions, but still like to flirt with a longer length from time to time, and take my top off to pretend I am a mermaid. At home of course).

    Kylie Jenner Hair Kourture is made from 100% real remy hair, in a variety of 12 shades. The standouts are the signature black, and the teal dip-dyed colour you might have seen her rocking on Instagram. I decide to road-test the dark brown, as it most closely resembles my own hair hue. When the pack arrived I was surprised by just how much hair there was. It was so soft and shiny; I brushed and petted it for a while, much like a puppy.

    How to do at-home hair colouring like a pro.

    It was super easy to put in; I sectioned my hair from the back and worked at clipping pieces in, moving upwards. I would backcomb my own roots a little before securing to give the clip something to grip to. Then, I very lightly curled using a ghd to give a bit of body.

    What do you think?


    Am I a Kardashian now?

    Kylie Jenner Hair Kourture is available for pre-order today here.

  • Cornish has it covered
    10:54AM, Nov 17 Leigh Campbell

    How did your work with the Pretty Shady campaign come about?

    “I heard about Pretty Shady and thought it sounded like a really cool campaign. My boyfriend Mitch is also supporting the campaign and we thought why wouldn’t we want to be involved? Having clothing that’s cool to wear and taking care of your skin so you can continue enjoying being outside, you can have the best of both world’s, just be smart about it. That’s what Pretty Shady is all about.”

    Why is sun safety, and spreading the message, so important to you?

    “I feel really passionate about the Pretty Shady campaign. It’s not only about raising awareness, but also having the power to save lives by stopping skin cancer, one summer at a time. Through film and modelling, I have a great following and it’s nice that I can help inspire young Aussies to be proactive about sun protection. I’m stoked to be part of such a cool campaign.”

    Celebs going grey: the new hair trend all the stars are embracing.

    Have you always been sun safe?

    “Growing up in Newcastle I was always at the beach, surfing with my dad. Even on holidays we’d go away to the ocean, so I’ve always spent most of my time in the sun. But I’d never leave the house without sun protection. You can have the best of both worlds, just be smart about it. That’s what Pretty Shady is all about.”

    What skincare do you use?

    “I use Arbonne organic skin care and put on moisturiser with SPF30+ before I leave the house in the morning. It’s really quick, and I can easily re apply at lunch time.”

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

    “Spray on sunscreen. Makeup artists often use this to give the skin a beautiful glow in photographs!”

    You're doing your makeup all wrong! Follow these tips to get it right.

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

    “I try my very best not to touch them but if it is necessary I do it after a hot shower when my face is clean. I also like to use the arbonne blemish mask if I feel anything coming up.”

     What essentials is always in your handbag?

    “I always have moisturiser with SPF30+ in my handbag ready to put on throughout the day. I think it’s really important because you’re getting the sun protection and it’s on your skin wherever you go.I couldn’t go anywhere without my favourite pair of sunnies. And of course coconut oil, for that extra moisture boost.”

    For more info on the Pretty Shady campaign, head to

    17 life-changing makeup hacks every woman should know.


  • WTF is #GamerGate?
    1:48AM, Oct 31 Lauren Smelcher

    For a few weeks now, I’ve seen the hashtag #gamergate on almost every news site I visit. I knew, vaguely, that it had something to do with accusations of misogyny in the gaming industry, but on the specifics, I wasn’t clear.

    Then I looked into it, and what I found was incredibly distressing.

    #GamerGate, for those not in the know, began when game developer Zoe Quinn’s ex-boyfriend wrote a post about her affair with a game reviewer who mentioned her game, Depression Quest. Among other things, he claimed their relationship should have been disclosed and that it was unethical for journalists to have relationships with their subjects. So far, so understandable.

    Except that all of the hatred and disgust was directed at Quinn, not the reviewer himself, Nathan Grayson. After all, wasn’t the complaint that HE should have disclosed his relationship with Zoe? That he should have been transparent, in the interest of journalistic ethics?

    After the blog post, things quickly spiralled out of control. Zoe’s game, Depression Quest, was attacked because it didn’t fit the traditional idea of what a video game should be. It’s a role-playing game where the player answers a series of questions – but their choices become increasingly limited as they suffer depression. Quinn herself has suffered from mental illness. The game highlights her experience, and was intended to shine a light on what’s often a neglected topic.

    Zoe was doxxed – meaning her personal documents were posted online, with a tacit agreement that these details should be used to track down and harass her. And on 4chan, things got ugly. Here’s a selection of the things said in the thread “burgersandfries” (named after Zoe’s ex-boyfriend’s nickname for her, which rhymes with “five guys”… the number of men she allegedly slept with while they were in a relationship).

    JLaw calls nude photo leak a "sex crime".

    “It's only the fact that Zoe has a festering cheese-filled vagina that's keeping them from writing about it.”

    “Look gentlemen, the lesson here is that never trust or date any bitch with crazy colored hair. At best, pump em and dump em!”

    “What the hell would she know about depression?”

     “I just want to see her die horribly.”

    “All I know is I want Zoe to die like that.”

    “Why have her die? She’s just gone then.”

    “She’s a known attention whore.”

    “Wtf why won’t she just shut up?”

    “I love how feminists think they have a handle on comedy.”

    “Feminists are too stupid to know when they’re being fucked.”

    Hackers threaten Emma Watson with nude pics.

    Zoe’s response – via her tumblr – was this: “This is another example of gendered violence, whereby my personal life becomes a means to punish my professional credentials and to try to shame me into giving up my work. I’m still committed to doing my small part to create a world where no woman is at risk of experiencing this.” And fair enough.

    Except then came the death – and rape - threats.  She was forced to leave her home and couch-surf. And she’s not the only one. Since then, various women weighing in on the #GamerGate controversy have been attacked for their views.  Game critic Anita Sarkeesian, who has posted a series of Youtube videos calling out tired, sexist tropes in video games, was forced to cancel an appearance at Utah State University after she too received a death threat. The organisers received this email: “I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs. She is going to die screaming like the craven little whore that she is if you let her come to USU….I will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America.” Then they came for Brianna Wu, an indie game developer who posted an image on Twitter comparing GamerGaters to crying children. And just this week, actress Felicia Day was doxxed too, for speaking out against #GamerGate.

    10 guy celebs who are feminists too.

    Maude Garrett, who runs the website GeekBomb, and is an avid gamer, says that these sorts of death threats in response to sexism “happen every day, especially to those that wish to take a stand within the games industry and support equality.” She says she’s been subject to abuse on Youtube, but that it doesn’t bother her. Still, she concedes, “it’s scary how people can hurl so much abuse and hate.”

    And speaking of that, one Australian woman I contacted for this story declined, saying that she was scared to after receiving threats of personal violence. I feel such anger towards these anonymous men – these cowardly guys who won’t put their real names to the threats they make, but who are forcing women to stay silent with threats of intimidation. Nobody should be so scared to speak out that they choose not to – and yet, this is what #GamerGate has done. Because the threat of violence – especially in an age where you can get doxxed – is very, very real. That this all stemmed from one angry ex-boyfriend – and has now become a blanket excuse to  target, humiliate and intimidate women for speaking freely about misogyny (that very clearly exists) says a lot about the dark side of gaming, and more generally, of the ways women are attacked for having differing opinions every single day.

    I thought about whether I’d put my own name to this piece, given that so many women – and not just the high-profile ones I have mentioned here – have been attacked for speaking out against #GamerGate. But since I’ve been researching this bizarre, aggressive and misogynistic sub-culture, I’ve felt compelled to tell people about it. Because it’s awful and sexist and disgustingly callous. So in the end, I decided I would speak up in my own name. Because if more of us agree that this is wrong, and are willing to go on record saying it, then we’ll begin to drown out the voices of the cowards whowant us to be scared.

    25 reasons being a totally girl rocks.


  • Nat the Great
    6:43AM, Oct 30 Alexandra Whiting

    Singer/songwriter-turned-actress-turned-presenter, Natalie Imbruglia is now, at 39, a beauty entrepreneur. She’s one clever lady. Her anti-aging skincare range ILUKA is in Priceline stores Australia wide from this month. Beauty Assistant, Alexandra Whiting spent some time with Natalie (on a fancy yacht) to talk childhood idols, natural ingredients and pimple problems.

    You have a skin care range! When did this start?

    It’s been in development for two years. My business partner, George approached me about it, and it’s actually something I’d always wanted to do. I used to look at the pictures of Isabella Rossellini in the Lancome ads when I was a little girl and think; I’m going to do that one day. Because she’s Italian and I’m half Italian, so I thought ‘I could do that’.

    And the range was inspired by your childhood, yes?

    Yeah, it’s more about me growing up on the Australian coast, by the water. Iluka an Aboriginal word meaning, ‘by the sea’. I’ve tried to get Australian ingredients in there too. We get our Manuka honey from Tasmania. I didn’t know we had Manuka honey in Australia! I thought it would be exciting to educate people about that as it’s so good for keeping hydration in your skin. I also love the Kakadu Plum. When I found out it has the highest amount of Vitamin C I was really excited to use that.

    So how does one create a skin care range? What’s the process like?

    I jumped at the chance when George came to me. He’s set up a company like this before so I knew he had the experience and as much as it was something I wanted to do, it’s a completely different world and I wouldn’t have known where to start. With everything else I’ve got going on, I probably never would have got around to it. Or at least not for a long time. So this was perfect.

    What kind of woman have you designed Iluka for?

    I hate to say it, but firstly I wanted something that would work for me. If you’re going to develop a product line, it’s got to work for you. I have oily, problem skin. I wanted something that wasn’t going to make me breakout, so that it wouldn’t make other people break out. When I went off the pill I got rosacea acne. It gives you redness between your cheeks and chin. I have to be so careful with moisturisers, especially the ones with SPF – so that was a really important product for me to get right. Ours is really light and doesn’t give me any problems. I love it. It’s the same with the Luxe Night Cream. If it was too thick or rich, that would give me problems. So we spent a lot of time on getting the absorbency right. I’ve tried it on my dry-skin friends also and they love it too.

    It’s also very affordable [all under $30], was price point important to you?

    I wanted it to look expensive, something you could put on your dresser with your fancy fragrances, but be very affordable. Packaging was really important to me. I was very into it. There were a couple of presentations that were initially way too foofy. I wanted something clean and I like that it feels a bit Japanese.

    There’s ten products in the range, which do you use?

    I like to keep my everyday regime simple. I don’t use the polish all the time because if you have skin like mine it stimulates the glands too much. I use it every other day, and use the foam cleanser. It’s great for my skin. I’ve never liked cream cleansers, but actually, ours is great for removing my mascara without stinging my eyes. Bonus! Then I use the toner and moisturise. That’s my basic routine.

    Best beauty tip you’ve learnt?

    Lots of sleep, lots of water, and running is really good for your complexion. And with makeup, Less is more.

    When you travel, what do you always have on you?

    I have the whole Iluka range with me at the moment, but if I had to choose, I’d take the Luxe Night Cream, a cleanser and the primer. I like to use it as a highlighter under my eyes. And a good shampoo and conditioner. Hotel ones just don’t work for me. I like Kevin Murphy’s hair products. He uses Kakadu Plum too I’ve noticed.

    How do you treat a pimple?

    With proper acne, the kind of thing I have, you can’t go anywhere near it – if you try to squeeze it, it can spread. This facialist in LA, when I was living there, told me only to touch a pimple if it’s on your jawline or up high, anywhere else and it spreads. The only thing to do is use the right products and prevent it.

    Do you have a signature fragrance?

    I like Amber and Lavender by Jo Malone or Coco Chanel Mademoiselle. There are my two I wear at the moment. One day I’ll do my own.

    So you do think a fragrance or make up might come next?

    Who knows, I just want to see how this goes. If I’d chosen from everything, this range would be my ideal. I’m less into makeup than skincare, but it’s one of those things. When I first started in music I wasn’t interested in fashion, and then I learned about fashion through music. I definitely want to do a tinted moisturiser. I’m passionate about the products you can’t live without and things that I struggle to find. Those are the things I want to do, and we’re already talking about products we’ll be adding. Things like serums. Watch this space.

  • The Railway Romeo nobody needs
    9:43AM, Oct 22 Lauren Smelcher

    Meet Brian Robinson. He's 48, single, and since 1999, he's gone on dates with 500 women - all of whom he's met on the subway.

    Last week, he even published a book - a manual of sorts - called How to Pick up Women on the Subway. His MO is to appear lost, ask for directions, and then enquire as to the accent of the woman he's speaking to - where is she from?

    While Brian's intentions might be completely harmless, what he fails to understand is that, for women, public transport isn't exactly a safe place. The proliferation of women-only carriages and guards' cars on trains and buses shows that women need safe spaces on public transport. Look around you, at the way women hold themselves on public transport. There's not a lot of unsolicited chatter. Not a lot of eye contact. Most women do that subconscious thing where they pull their bag in close to them - the public transport equivalent of holding your keys between your fingers walking home late at night, I guess.

    What makes Brian's story that much ickier is his purported "family history" of harassment. He told the new York Post, "My late Uncle Minor was a big womanizer - maybe that was part of my gift. He got kicked out of nursing homes for pinching the nurses' bottoms." Well, Brian, womanizing is not a "gift", it's really gross. And getting kicked out of a nursing home for harassing the very people who are caring for you is a really odd thing to be proud of.

    And look, there are plenty of women who meet men on public transport by chance and it turns out to be true love (hello, Missed Connections!) But going out of your way to purposely target women is just plain creepy. There’s a big difference between a flirty smile with a stranger and a calculated, rehearsed way of getting women’s phone numbers. Women deserve the right to keep to themselves, even in public. We deserve the right to feel safe, to feel protected, to go about our business without worrying that (in the best case scenario) someone's going to think we're "bitchy" because we don't respond to their advances. We deserve to be able to sit down, scroll through our Instagram feeds and get to and from work safely, for God's sake. Is that really too much to ask?


  • Powerful Paula
    10:30AM, Oct 21 Leigh Campbell

    You’d be forgiven for not knowing about the skincare line Paula’s Choice (because it’s only just landed on our shores!), but it’s likely you’ve heard of one of Paula Begoun’s books, considering she has 20! Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me, and The Original Beauty Bible are just two in which Paula reviews and rates thousands of cosmetics products based on what is in them. I had a chat to the beauty industry veteran when she was in Sydney last week to launch her skincare line in Australia.

    What inspired you to write your first book?

    “I wrote my first book, ‘Blue Eye shadow Should Be Illegal’, in 1984. I got pissed at the cosmetics industry very early on. I had acne at a young age. I had terrible debilitating eczema and no matter what I used, no matter what I put on, no matter how many dermatologist I saw, no matter what skincare I used, my skin just never got better. Not only did it not get better, it got worse. And then in 1975, in the United States, the food and drug administration made ingredient labels on cosmetics mandatory.  Now, most countries do have mandatory ingredient listings but even with that regulation, there are still a lot of companies who won’t put it on their website. I wanted to give consumers a place to find information on what was in the products they were using.”

    Following the success of your books, why did you launch Paula’s Choice Skincare?

    “Well just because I didn’t want to write any more books! It really is the truth. From the exhaustion and the frustration of writing books and having people who read my books say “you always say a product is good BUT, it shouldn’t contain this or that”, and “this is good BUT it’s too expensive”, “this product is good BUT it shouldn’t contain fragrance”, and then they would ask “what should we buy then?”, and were like, “give us something!”. So I did. That’s what started it. I obviously went on from there; but I couldn’t give up the passion for writing the books. Not to mention, writing the books also helps me be a better researcher, it keeps my feet to the fire, so to speak, to understand what’s in products, to understand what are other people doing.”

     Can you name your favourite three products from the Paula’s Choice range?

    “One of the reasons the line is so extensive is because skin problems and skincare concerns are vastly different. And there are permutations and combinations. Take my skin for example; I have oily skin, I have blemish-prone skin, I have sun damage, I have large pores. And that’s classic, I’m hardly the exception to have such different issues, and so the problem with saying the three must-haves is that if that’s not your skin type, your skincare concern, I would be leading you in the wrong direction. I have so many products in my range because there are so many different skin types and concerns to address.”

     What are your best sellers?

    “Worldwide actually I think our biggest seller is our Resist Super antioxidant Concentrate Serum. The two categories that really set Paula’s Choice apart, at least in the minds of new customers, are our serums, and our exfoliants. The serums, because we pack a lot of great ingredients in there for a very affordable price. The exfoliants, because we have so many, there’s one to suit any skin. I think we have twelve different exfoliants!”


    Resist Daily Pore Refining Treatment 2% BHA, $38.


    Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum, $44.

     Do you have some favourite ingredients to formulate with?

    “Well, I don’t know that glycolic acid and salicylic acid are stand out ingredients, they’re pretty well-known ingredients, but we love using them. It’s more that we use them in a wide variety of textures and combinations with other skin-beneficial ingredients. We also frequently use niacinamide and retinol. They’re also pretty standard cosmetic ingredients, but what we do to keep them stable and the other ingredients we combine them with is what really makes them unique.”

     Check out for a full list of products.

  • Survey says sexism
    9:24AM, Oct 16 Lauren Smelcher

    Last night's Family Feud episode asked contestants to "name a woman's job." The top eight responses? Cooking, cleaning, nursing, hairdressing, domestic duties, dishes, receptionist and washing clothes. And remember, these aren't random answers - they're the answers of 100 ordinary Australians, surveyed for the show. Wowsers.

    Behold! The most sexist Australians of 2014...

    We can't change what happened last night, but if you're listening, Family Feud producers, we'd like to offer a few more suggestions for these "women's jobs."

    COO of Facebook

    Prime Minister of Australia

    Sex Discrimination Commissioner

    Anchor of The 7.30 Report

    Oscar-winning director

    Managing director of the IMF

    Creator, producer, writer, director and star of a hit HBO show

    Deputy leader of the Opposition

    Chancellor of Germany

    Secretary of State

    CEO of Yahoo!

    Best-selling author

    Australian Fashion Laureate

    First female self-made billionaire



    Any more suggestions?

    10 guys who are feminists too *swoon*


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