Would you eat cotton to be thin (the models do!)?

In what has to be THE craziest diet move of all times, 23-year-old model Bria Murphy (Eddie Murphy’s daughter), has revealed that many models eat cotton balls to stay thin. Unfortunately, she is not the only one to have brought this frightening fact into the limelight – enough models and minders have spoken about the “cotton ball diet” in the past to have us realise that this is indeed a “trend”.

cotton ball dietAnd exactly how is this savoury dish served up? Cotton balls are dipped in orange juice and then swallowed. The reason? You feel full sans any calories as the cotton balls just dissolve away after a while – they don’t add any fat or calories to your body.

Sick as it sounds, this is just another version of extreme dieting that’s prevalent in the look-good-despite-feeling-awful circles. Earlier in the year, former Vogue Australia editor-in-chief Kristie Clements described similar behavior in The Vogue Factor, but with a twist: models eating tissues to stay off the calories. Different means, same effect.

Forgive me for sounding lame and untrendy but I was always under the impression that one ate food for the nutrition that a body needs to function. Am sure that nobody here needs a refresher course in what happens when the body is starved of life-sustaining vitamins, minerals, proteins and even (gasp!) fats and carbohydrates. Not to say anything about what a steady infusion of cotton balls and tissues would do to the digestive system.

Head. Spinning.

What about you? Tempted by the cotton ball diet? What’s the craziest or most extreme diet trend that you’ve come across?

How Diet Coke became fashion’s favourite fizz

Come Fashion Month and you see the cans of Diet Coke popping open in the hands of every fashionista wandering the couture aisles. And this year, the fizz becomes even more fashionable, with the super-chic cans designed by Marc Jacobs, the brand’s new Creative Director.

Diet Coke cans designed by Marc Jacobs
Diet Coke cans designed by Marc Jacobs

Paying homage to female empowerment in order to emphasise Diet Coke’s Sparkling Together for 30 Years tagline, Jacobs’ designs include a flurry of bow ties over a model in a strong-shouldered tuxedo and top hat to portray the ’80s Broadway razzle-dazzle; his own signature swallows flitting around a model dressed in a bustier dress, stiletto heels and a tall trilby hat from the ’90s; and a sporty-chic look straight from the Spring 2013 runway in a nod to the Aughts, surrounded by a shower of polka dots.

Which is all very interesting but exactly why does a soft drink brand would need a leading fashion designer as Creative Director? And how did Diet Coke become the drink of choice for the fashion pack in the first place? Was it a natural evolution or subtle orchestration? Take a look at the top 10 high points in the life of Diet Coke and tell me what you think.

1. It all started with a bang as Diet Coke made its debut with a “world premiere” television campaign that had Linda EvansTelly Savalas and Bob Hope toasting its success. The spot was filmed at Radio City Music Hall in New York and carried all the mystique of the Academy Awards: the brand’s name in lights on the Radio City marquee, the Rockettes performing onstage, and the voiceover, “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the world premiere of a great new soft drink called Diet Coke.”

2. Then, in a genius move, Diet Coke bought Columbia Pictures in 1983, stepping up the options for product placement and ensuring that all of Hollywood started toting around the fizzy cans.

3. In 2001, Ben Stiller “Blue Steeled” his way through a fake ad in Zoolander, spraying the brown, syrupy drink all over himself. Derek Zoolander may be a byword for fit-but-dim male models but it did not hurt the brand one bit.

4. The ’90s saw the rise of the paparazzi culture and while the supermodel diet of Marlboro Lights and Diet Coke may not have topped the bestsellers chart, it was there in celebrity photographs everywhere. Diet Coke was now the ultimate accessible fashion accessory: cheaper than an It-bag, more obvious than a perfume and available in every corner.

charlize theron diet coke
Charlize Theron

5. In 1994 came the ad most people are likely to remember: the Diet Coke Break, where the builder gets his kit off to the ballsy Etta James soundtrack. Clever, funny, sexy and a perfect counterpoint to the era’s stodgy campaigns, it further cemented Diet Coke’s position as “trendy”.

6. In 2008, Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field gave the Diet Coke bottle a limited edition makeover. In 2009, Moschino, Donatella Versace, Angela Missoni, Alberto Ferreti, Consuelo Castiglioni and Etro designed their own Diet Coke couture bottles to raise money for the victims of Abruzzo’s earthquake.

Diet Coke’s various couture avatars

7. Come 2010 and Diet Coke cans as hair rollers became the real stars of Lady Gaga’s Telephone music video in one of the smartest feats of product placement ever.

Lady Gaga’s Telephone music video

8. Then dawned the era of Karl Lagerfeld, who declared: “I drink Diet Coke from the minute I get up to the minute I go to bed. I don’t drink coffee, I don’t drink tea; I drink anything else.” The fact that he only drank it from a crystal goblet simply upped the drink’s cachet. Subsequently, Lagerfeld worked with Diet Coke as Creative Director, launching a bottle design with a troupe of male models dressed up like, um, Karl Lagerfeld.

9. In 2012, Diet Coke collaborated with beauty giant Benefit, creating three cans inspired by the bestselling Benetint, Posietint and Cha Cha tint.

diet coke benefit
Diet Coke & Benefit

10. Jean Paul Gaultier was the creative director of Diet Coke in 2012 before Marc Jacobs stepped in. His designs incorporated all of the JPG signatures – corsets, breton stripes and body art. To advertise the Tattoo bottle the designer chose Ms Daisy Lowe, who matched the design of the bottle as she was decorated in head-to-toe body art.

And now back to Marc Jacobs, who has designed three cans and three bottles for the brand’s 30th anniversary, along with starring in a series of print ads and a cheeky short film entitled Marc Jacobs’ Photo Booth Break, which is his own take on the Diet Coke hunk ads from the 90s.

Marc Jacobs in the new Diet Coke print ads

Personally, though, what I am drooling over the new Diet Coke hunk ad, in which British model Andrew Cooper sizzles as a totally hunky gardener. He’s seen pushing a lawnmower while a group of women ogles him shamelessly. One of the women sends a can of Diet Coke rolling down a hill. He picks it up, opens it and the contents come shooting out, spraying his shirt – so he removes it, revealing his well-muscled chest. The womens’ jaws drop. Take a look and tell me if you like the eye candy!

Bizarre celeb beauty secrets (that you can recreate at home!)

It’s no secret that international models and Hollywood A-listers go to great lengths to look their best on the red carpet. But unlike leech facials or umbilical cord injections, some of these beauty tricks are actually doable by your average non-celeb. Well, if it works for a super model… !

celeb-beauty-secretsEva’s kitchen

Desperate Housewife or not, one can’t deny that Eva Longoria has simply the most flawlessly glow-y complexion in Hollywood. Her secret? A homemade mask made of 4 parts coffee grounds, 4 parts olive oil and 1 part lemon juice. Piece of cake!

Emma Stone’s grapeseed fixation

The Help actress, who always seems to have flawless skin, reveals that her look doesn’t come courtesy expensive creams – it’s actually the work of grapeseed oil. In fact, the 24-year-old is allergic to many beauty products, so she uses the pure vegetable oil as a moisturiser all the time. Emma jokes that the oil, which costs around US$3 from most supermarkets, makes her smell like grapes “pretty much all the time.” Which, I think, just makes her even more appealing!

Make like Moss

Kate Moss preps for a big night out by dipping her face into a bowl of ice cubes and cucumber slices to tauten up her skin and create a fabulous glow.

celeb beauty secrets 2Kerr goes coco

Australian beauty Miranda Kerr believes that beauty comes from within. So, she has a daily shake made from natural juice and a supplement of chlorophyll and spirulina to help maintain her clear skin. Besides this, she “doesn’t go a day” without four tablespoons of coconut oil – spreading it over her salads, cooking or cups of green tea. Now it might seem like coconut oil is fattening (and it is when taken excessively) but the composition actually makes for more energy and leaner bodies. That’s because it’s composed of lauric acid rather than saturated fat, which has unbelievable health benefits like fighting off bacterial infections, cleansing our bodies, and boosting metabolism, besides warding off breast and colon cancer.

Ramp up the runway quotient

Backstage, models and make-up artists have been known to concoct a powerful face pack consisting of aspirin and honey. The salicylic acid within the aspirin sloughs away dead skin cells and unblocks pores while the honey soothes and softens. Dreamy!

Glow like a Kardashian

A spoonful of sugar helps your skin glow, according to Kim Kardashian, who adds the sweet stuff to her body wash “for a gentle exfoliating experience”.

Gaga over spinach

Lady Gaga claims that drinking spinach juice works wonders on her skin. Dermatologists and nutritionists concur: The phytonutrients in green leafy vegetables such as spinach help the detoxification and biotransformation systems in the body, which is a crucial element in clear and glowing skin.

Gisele’s bed head

This Brazilian beauty often has a sexy, come-hither “bed hair” look in public… and she doesn’t need an army of stylists to achieve the same. Gisele washes her hair at night, ties it up while it’s still damp, then goes to bed. When she wakes up in the morning it looks nice and wavy, so all she needs to do is add a bit of hair serum for a shine.

celeb beauty secrets 3Laundry locks

A celebrity cannot afford to have one hair out of place on the red carpet. So, stylists sometimes use spray-on laundry starch on their tresses, which helps control fly-aways and prevents frizziness even in the steamiest of situations.

Jennifer Lopez’s appetite killer

J-Lo is known for her slender frame and legendary curves but she has an unusual method for maintaining the same. The singer-dancer-actress sniffs grapefruit oil for 15 minutes (there is always a vial on her person somewhere) to reduce cravings and stop her reaching for the chocolates.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the pursuit to beauty? Would you be tempted to follow any celeb fads? Tell me below!

6 super-weird beauty tricks that work wonders

When you have been backstage at enough red carpet affairs and fashion shows, nothing surprises any longer. Putting cellulite cream on the face? But naturally! Getting into a bubble bath after making up your face for a party? Of course! Using Pepto-Bismol as a face mask? Duh! Here are some of the staple beauty shortcuts that I have personally seen in operation over and over again. And each one of them delivers fab results!

bathGet steamy to set your makeup

It sounds counterintuitive but almost every celeb I have met swears by the ritual of applying makeup and then stepping into a hot bath for 10 minutes (no bathtub? Stand near a hot shower!). The steam sets makeup, while the mega-dose of moisture makes skin look plump, fresh and dewy.

Dodge a double chin

Want to get rid of a pudgy chin in a jiffy? Rub a caffeine-rich cellulite cream along the entire jawline. How does it work? Caffeine, being a diuretic, will suck out all excess fluids and reduce puffiness. The effect will only be noticeable for three or four hours but that’s long enough to parade around a party or get through a hot date. Just make sure this stuff goes nowhere near your eyes!

pepto-facialA Pepto-Bismol facial

A tablespoon of the anti-acid Pepto-Bismol (or Gelusil or Digene) not only takes care of your insides before an anxiety-provoking event, it can also save skin. That’s because it contains bismuth subsalicylate – an antibacterial active agent that’s very similar to salicylic acid. So, smooth on some Pepto-Bismol onto your face, let it dry for 20 minutes, then rinse with plain water to help tighten skin, shrink pores and dry out zits. However, it  dries out the skin so use occasionally and not a substitute for a daily acne regimen!

Erase the acne

Have you noticed that celebs never look cakey on the red carpet? That’s not because they always have perfect skin – it’s just that they know how to banish even the reddest zit instantly. Instead of piling on concealer, they dab the spots with nasal spray and Visine (Clear Eyes and All Clear work just as well) eye drops. These contain vasoconstrictors, which shrink blood vessels, thereby taking away the redness and bringing down inflammation – the effect is akin to that of a topical steroid.

De-bloat with apple cider vinegar

Feeling like a bloated mess and nothing fits? Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with half a glass of water and drink up! Within 30 minutes, the vinegar’s enzymes will slow down your gastric juice production and start flushing away the bloat.

Lash booster

Forget all those controversy-laden lash boosting concoctions – simply dab a bit of flax seed oil on your lash line every night. Flax seeds contain Omega-3, -6, and -9, along with B vitamins and lecithin to repair lash damage and stimulate their growth.