Cosmo team blog

  • The shopping hangover
    2:25AM, Apr 3 Rebecca Sloan

    I’ve made dud purchases more times than we’ve seen Miranda Kerr’s knockers. You know what it’s like – you buy a random ganster-style oversized T-shirt complete with leopard print sleeves. At the time of swiping your debit card, it seemed like a no-brainer - you’d seen Rita Ora wearing onejustlike it, - but then you get it home and, looking at it alongside the array of paisley in your wardrobe, you realise you’re in fact not Miss Ora and that you made yet another money-wasting buy.  Your tummy backflips and you feel mega guilty – hello, shopping hangover. If you’ve thought, “Why the eff did I buy this?” one too many times, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what the experts advise (read: girls who are profesh shoppers) to help you never have to line up in the “returns” aisle ever again.

    In store:

    The Westfield Insider, Alyce Cowell, shares her top five tips for getting it right at the counter the first time…

    1. Do your hair and makeup: If you’re not feeling good about your looks, you won’t be feeling anything you try on and that leads to bad decisions.

    2. Shop alone: For serious shopping, go without a friend in tow, then there’s no risk of being persuaded in to (or out of) something.

    3. The five-second reaction: Note how you feel straight after you put it on in the change room. If you feel a million bucks, you’re meant to have it. If you just feel “meh”, this piece is not for you.

    4. The three-item golden rule: Mentally scan your wardrobe – can you think of at least three items it will work with? If you’re not sure, pop it on hold and check your wardrobe first.

    5. The “it’s on sale” test: Ask yourself, “If it was full price, would I still love it?”


    The Iconic ( magazine’s fashion editor Katerina Agiostratitis gives her top five pointers to become a pro at adding to cart…

    1. Keep it Aussie: Don’t get caught out by international sizing. Always check the site’s size guide - this is where you’ll find bust, hip and waist measurements. It should show Australian size equivalents too.

    2. Don’t drink and click: Just like when texting, never shop online when you’re tired, hungry or intoxicated. Obvs.

    3. Do the “cart linger” rule: If you’re prone to impulsive WTF purchases, make yourself leave any item sitting in your shopping cart for two hours, minimum, before hitting “buy”.

    4. The buy-per-wear question: Always ask yourself if you’ll wear the item more than once, and that it suits the place or occasions you plan on wearing it to. A puffy vest for work is only appropes if you’re an astronaut.

    5. Know what suits you: When you can’t try something on instore, you really need to be aware of the colours and shapes that flatter you most. Dark skin works well with neons, while fair skin suits primary colours like blue and green.

  • Three videos that made me cry this week
    4:14AM, Mar 26 Alexis Teasdale

    Granted, I am a bit of a wuss. I cry reading books (omg The Fault In Our Stars, anyone?!) movies (Hello, About Time!), ads on TV… I even well up just looking at other people crying. But this week, these three videos really got me good. Prepare yourself.

    1. The lotto guy

    At first I was panicked that this was a prank on a homeless man, but watch on. His reaction made me bawl. Like I did.

    2) The hair cut

    This little cherub is too cute and wise beyond her years. Listen to her super sweet reasoning for a very important hair cut (for both herself and her doll.) Waaah!


    3) The song by the 96 year old

    Fred submitted a handwritten song about his late wife of 73 years for a competition. “I saw the ad in the paper and I thought, ‘Oh shoot I’ll send in the song’ never thinking I would get a response.” He didn’t win the competition but got so much more. Watch all the way through for Fred’s reaction. That’s love.


  • Get Jared Leto's hair
    11:34AM, Mar 24 Alexandra Whiting

    It was that ashy golden blonde only achievable by genetics. Thick, glossy locks that fell just-so. I was nine, and I wanted that hair. I am of course talking about Taylor Hanson, lead singer of nineties pop legends, Hanson. He had the most beautiful hair I’d ever seen, but no amount of lemon juice (the only colouring product I was allowed at that age) would turn my brown hair blonde. Sigh.

    For those of you too young (or too cool) to have grown up singing MMMBop, you may be experiencing your first male hair-crush in Jared Leto and his similarly gorgeous mane. Like the rest of the world post-Oscars.

    Jared’s hair is the perfect mix of ‘I woke up like this’ and salon-esque shine. There is even a Tumblr dedicated to it ( And with the multi award winning actor hitting Aussie shores this week with his band 30 Seconds To Mars, what better time to recreate it? Luckily it’s totally doable. Here’s how…

    The colour: according to his stylist Chase Kusero, Leto has been growing out an ombré dye job for several years. If you’re in the same, dedicated boat – ideal. But if not then this is easy to fake using the L’Oreal Préférence Wild Ombrés ($19.45). Just be sure to follow the instructions on the box.


    The shine: For Jared’s hair-so-shiny-McConaughey-could-see-his-reflection-in-it you could pop into the salon for a gloss treatment, O&M’s Liquid CCT gloss is divine. Or for an at-home fix, rub two or three pumps of Toni & Guy Hair Meet Wardrobe Classic Shine Gloss Serum ($15.99) through the lengths and ends of your hair post blow-dry.


    The style: Jared rocked second-day hair at the Oscars, with a few extra bends. ‘Bending’ with your hair iron is something between straightening and curling. Firstly, spray a light heat protectant (like label.m Heat Protectant Spray, $34.95) over your ends then run your straightener through your hair to knock out any natural waves. Turn your wrists at the ends to create the bends. Remember the aim is to achieve polished kinks, not curls. And centre part. Always.

    Now for that goatee…

    (Too far?)

  • A Fashionable Foodie
    4:28AM, Mar 21 Lotta Backlund

    Two of my greatest passions in life are fashion and food. I love and appreciate a well-cooked meal as much as a pair of Manolos.

    Just this morning my friend from Melbourne emailed me and asked where’s best to eat in Sydney. She received a reply back with my top ten spots and even what to order at each place.

    So seeing as I’m the go-to authority for my friends on all things food, I thought I’d share my wisdom in case you’re looking for somewhere to eat out this weekend.

    And if you don’t live in Sydney, come visit! It really is delicious...

    - Rushcutters for a brunch and Bloody Mary's 

    - Chiswick for a long Sunday lunch with your girls. The lamb is to die for.

    - Room 10 for coffee and breakfast rice on the go.

    - Bread and Circus for the most delicious bread in Sydney.

    - Cheap middle of the week catch up is all about Chur Burger's pop up above The London.

    - Apollo for Thursday night date night. There’s melt in your mouth saganaki and great atmosphere.

    - Nomad for my current favourite. Go with a group of people and share everything.

    - Lobo Plantation for Friday night cocktails and scrumptious bar food.

    - Ananas for the beautiful decor, French food and a side (or 2) of champagne.

    - Finish the week at North Bondi Fish for Sunday sunset cocktails and dinner.

    Not sure about you, but this is making me hungry...

    Love, Peace and food,

    Charlotta x

  • 5 with Kacey Musgraves
    4:14AM, Mar 24 Julia Naughton

    Kacey Musgraves beat out Taylor Swift for Best Country Album and Best Country Song at this year’s Grammys. She’s also supporting Katy Perry on her tour later this year. So get to know the 25-year-old Nashville-native you’re about to hear a lot more from…

    What are you wearing right now?

    Jeans, boots, and a vintage butterfly 70s polyester blouse.

    Who do you follow on Instagram?

    Wild Fox Couture.

    Anyone else?

    I just started following Blue Ivy Carter and Lena Dunham – she’s awesome.

    Who’s the most famous person in your phone?

    I guess, Katy Perry.

    What’s on your bucket list?

    I want to ride an elephant in India!

    What quote do you live by?

    Work hard and be nice to people.

    Describe your ultimate weekend…

    Well, I’m usually travelling so I’d like to be at home in Nashville. I’d be getting some good workouts in, hanging out with my dog and eating delicious food.

    What’s on your bedside table?

    One of those Timberland salt lamps, a candle and a notepad because I’ll often get random ideas right before I’m going to sleep and I’ll have to write them down otherwise they’re gone forever!

    What’s your go-to beauty look?

    Big mod lashes and nude lips.

  • Is lip balm a lie?
    11:14AM, Mar 14 Amelia Bowe

    My dependence all started when I’d take a pencil case of Lip Smackers to sit on my school desk for liberal shimmer application. But it was yesterday I realised I was addicted to lip balm (or at least a bit ‘chap-happy’). I reached for my near-empty beloved balm three times – scraping the bottom – before throwing it away and replacing it with one of the five already in my handbag. But my lips still resemble crusty semi-dried tomatoes. What the?!!

    According to chapped lip legend, I’m not alone when it comes to loving lip balm (THANK GOODNESS). Yet with my lips a little on the dry side, I thought to myself, has my lip balm been lying to me all these years? Is it actually making my lips – heavens forbid –drier?

    I sussed it out with expert Emma Hobson, Education Manager for the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica so we can pucker up with peace of mind.

    12 things you need to know about fragrance...

    Although you can’t literally become addicted to the ingredients in lip balm like you would with nicotine in cigarettes, you can become addicted toapplyingit out of habit. But be aware, as Emma explains there are ingredients you should avoid.

    “You normally use a lip balm because your lips are dry, so you apply balm and feel instant relief.  Some work brilliantly, others come off easily and some can actually be drying.”

    It’s these lip balms you need to avoid as they can contain a high proportion of humectants e.g. glycerine, advises Emma.

    “The problem with these formulas is they don’t contain sufficient proportions of moisture for the humectant to hold on to. Instead they grab the extra moisture from the lips themselves. This can result in the perpetual cycle of dry lips – instant relief with the balm – dry lips – balm – dry lips etc.”

    Emma recommends looking out for balms with a high emolliency which are rich in essential fatty acids, oils such as avocado and wheat germ and ingredients such as Shea Butter and Cacao Seed Butter. Mmmm… cacao!

    “Hydrating ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid work wonders. You can get some fantastic lip complexes that renew and restore the tissue as well as minimise contour lines with age fighting peptides such as Arginine/Lysine, Polypeptide and Palmitoyl Oligopeptide. SPF also doesn’t make any difference to the ‘nourishing’ properties of a lip balm – it does however offer protection.”

    The worst celebrity fake tan disasters - and how to avoid them.

    It’s important to nurture your lips with these ingredients as they rely on saliva and balm for moisture. But sometimes saliva can make our pouts look worse.

    “If you over-lick your lips they can become dry and chapped due to moisture evaporation. The process of evaporation also causes dehydration especially when the climate is very cold and dry.”

    So how do we assist with moisture retainment? Apparently, apply our lip balm at certain times of the day and gentle exfoliation.

    “Apply first thing in the morning underneath your lipstick, post meals, as necessary after drinking and just before bed. Avoid lipsticks that dry out your lips, often ones with strong dark pigments. On a side note, in Chinese face reading it’s believed that the lips become dry due to gastric stress, for example too much rich heavy foods can put stress on our digestive systems. Ensure you cleanse your lips every day, don’t leave a fine residue of lipstick as this helps with the exfoliation process and allows the lips to be free of makeup and SPF.”

    Waking up feeling extra tired ATM? Here's how to fix a puffy face pronto.

    The good news about this pocket hero? Applying your lip balm doesn’t block the skin’s rejuvenation process… #winning

    “Lips shed skin effectively as they have a very thin epidermis due to friction from simple things such as eating and drinking. To assist with the process an extremely gentle exfoliant is key, but avoid harsh exfoliation with scrubs and hydroxy acids.”

    Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant does the trick as the gentle rice bran polishes the surface of your lips without causing irritation or sensitisation.

    “You can also use a moisturiser that contains acid-free smoothing agents and state-of-the-art technology that enhances cell renewal promoting natural exfoliation without irritation or flaking (an effective combination of algae, yeast, glycosamine and urea).”

    Follow this by applying a long lasting therapeutic balm or reparative lip treatment like Dermalogica Renewal Lip Complex every few hours especially after eating or drinking.

    And there you have it, pretty people. Now go forth and pucker up.

    90s hair trends we'd rather forgert. #cringe

  • Fragrance for dummies
    1:01AM, Mar 13 Leigh Campbell

    Fragrance is an overwhelming topic. Like, for starters, why do we call it fragrance now and not perfume? I don’t know. A while ago someone cool decided we will never use the word ‘dye’, when referring to ‘colouring’ our hair, and ‘perfume’ is strictly ‘fragrance’. So now if you say dye or perfume you sound like you know nothing about anything, which obviously isn’t ideal.

    So what else do you need to know? Here are my fragrance footnotes:

    1) Eau de toilette is not pronounced ‘odour toilet’. If you can’t say it right, just use the acronym ‘EDT’. You’ll sound like you’re totes in the know, anyway. Eau de toilette does translate from French to ‘toilet water’ though, so you’re not far off. An EDT is typically a lighter fragrance in terms of the concentration of ingredients.

    2) An eau de parfum (acronym: EDP. Write that down.) is typically stronger in scent due to the higher concentration of ingredients. For the same reason you’ll most often find it’s more expensive, too.

    3) The term ‘notes’ refers to the smelly stuff in fragrance. A fragrance will have base, middle and top notes, and these all add up (much like ingredients in a recipe) to provide the final smell. The rest of the liquid is traditionally an alcohol base (not to be mixed with lime and soda). 

    4) Fragrances fall into categories. There was four back in the day (floral, oriental, woody and fresh) but now there are so many sub-categories and sub-sub-categories that if I listed them all I would get very tired. It’s only helpful, really, to know what category your favourite fragrance falls into if you are shopping for something similar. Google a few of your tried and tested to determine their category before you hit the cosmetics floor.

    5) You might think that your fragrance has worn off after a few hours, but that’s unlikely. Your nose ‘cuts off’ or gets used to the scent, because it’s so close to it. Sure, it’ll subtly fade throughout the day, but it’s still there. That’s why when people say ‘you smell great!” after a full day you’re surprised (unless you’ve been rolling in fertilizer. That could be another reason).

    6) Fragrance has an expiry date. Typically its three years (check the bottom of the bottle. See that tiny jar symbol with a ‘36’ next to it? That indicates how many months a product lasts for. It’s on all your lippies and creams. It is. Go check. I’ll wait here.) BUT if you keep your bottles near the window or in a steamy bathroom, they’re likely to go off sooner. You’ll know because the liquid will turn yellow and smell less like pretty stuff and more like the alcohol base.

    7) Pulse points (the neck, the back of the knees and the wrist) are the places where you want to spritz your fragrance. That’s because blood circulation and body warmth is higher here, which helps permeate the smell. How many sprays? It’s an individual thing, but please don’t marinade in it. Don’t spray your clothes, either, as they don’t have a pulse so the smell won’t last.

    8) It’s a technical no-no to spritz perfume on one wrist and then rub your wrists together. This ‘bruises’ the scent, which can change the smell. I’m more concerned with animal cruelty over cruelty to liquids, but if you want to do it correctly, spritz each wrist separately.

    9) Steer clear if spraying fragrance on exposed skin if you’ll be in the sun. The alcohol base can cause sun damage and pigmentation. Opt for an alcohol-free scent (often oil based) if this is you.

    10) A fragrance will smell different on you than it does on your mate for several reasons. It has to do with your diet, genes and body temperature. It’s an individual thing, so try to test a new fragrance on your skin as opposed to a paper card when possible (like when you take your skin to the shops).

    11) Buying a new scent can be really daunting. A million* new fragrances launched in 2013 alone. Start by working out which ones you like at home, and why.

    12) Next, look at a brands advertising. Is a girl frolicking in a field? Then the scent is likely to be lighter, playful and great for the day. Is the girl in a sexy ball gown and diamonds in an evening setting? This indicates the scent will be richer, stronger and more appropriate for formal occasions.

    13) But above all, just follow your nose.

    *Okay. It was roughly 1400, according to Fragrances of the World. My mum has told me, like, a thousand times to stop exaggerating.

  • Deflate your face
    12:38PM, Mar 12 Alexandra Whiting

    Maybe it’s my terrible sleeping pattern and hitting snooze repeatedly in the morning, maybe it’s all the sobbing I’m doing catching up on the last season of Downton Abbey, or maybe it’s to do with all the Easter chocolate left over from our April issue shoot which is now in my belly…

    Whatever the reason(s), lately I have been waking up looking like Katniss Everdeen post-tracker-jacker stings and pre-healing leaves. Aka puffy-mc-puff-eyes. So, in the absence of Rue’s plant knowledge (and because unfortunately we don't live in The Hunger Games) here are a few tried and tested remedies for the dreaded swollen eyes.

    1) Roller-ball magic: These babies are cooling on the eye socket and actually massage away the aches and swelling. A few strokes and you’ll see a difference (a deflation, if you will) but it feels so good you’ll want to keep doing it, which I do.

    2) Better than cucumber: I’ve never been that into the cold cucumber cuts on my eyes (I also didn’t like my foods touching on my plate when I was a kid). However, these faux-cucumber gel eye pads are great for de-puffing on the weekend – when I have a little more time. I don’t know why, but they also seem to relieve the pains of a hangover. Bonus.

    3) Cold Spoons: If you don’t have any time, or tools, put two spoons in the fridge to go cold while you shower and get ready. Then, after you’ve applied your moisturiser press the convex curve of the spoon onto our eye, hold it there until it goes warm, et voilà – svelte face! You're welcome.

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