Wedding Attire for Men by BrandsExclusive

From black tie to smart-casual, we break down what to wear to different types of weddings, no matter your role on the big day.

Black Tie Weddings

Definitely on the more formal side of the spectrum, you’ll want to go all out if you’re attending a black tie wedding this summer. The goal here is sophistication and class, so whether you’re the groom or a guest, you’ll want to be rocking a standard tuxedo.

Traditionally, a tuxedo features a black dinner jacket crafted from medium-weight wool. Depending on how hot it will be on the day, this might not be the ideal option. Unless you simply wear the jacket during the ceremony and pray for air conditioning. A more lightweight option crafted from cotton will allow more breathability, and ensure you avoid those dreaded sweat patches.

Peak lapels, a bow tie and a pocket square will add an extra dandy touch of debonair to the look, while trousers featuring a grosgrain stripe down the leg will add even more classic detailing. Keep your shoes simple and traditional by opting for black leather lace-ups and avoiding perforated brogues. And the shirt? Keep it crisp and clean, or go fancier with a textured Marcella fabric.

Tropical Weddings

Living in Australia, it’s more than likely you’ll be attending a wedding with a warmer climate. Or if you’re extra lucky, you might be jetting off to an exotic island to walk down the aisle or be the Best Man. More often than not, the dress code will be much more relaxed here. It could even take on a more tropical twist.

Think cotton and linen suiting, in lighter hues such as powder blue, cream or beige. This will allow you room to be a bit bolder with your shirting, tie and pocket square; perhaps with warmer colours such as burnt orange. You could even pick a tie featuring a fun print, just make sure you don’t upstage the groom if you’re a guest!

Slip-on loafers are perfect to wear in hotter temps, whether you opt for a tasselled style or suede slippers. The trick is to go sockless, so pop in some low-cut invisible socks to avoid sweaty soles.

Smart-Casual Weddings

what to wear to a wedding

If your wedding sits somewhere between a formal and relaxed affair, you’ll want to take a smart-casual approach to your attire. This doesn’t mean you can get away with wearing jeans and sneakers – unless this is what the groom has specified, of course (it’s becoming more and more common to see men at weddings team tailoring with trainers).

Our suggestion would be to go for relaxed tailoring that still looks thoroughly thought out. Whether you’re more comfortable sticking with basics hues or wilder colours, a smart-casual wedding is often the place to do this. Perhaps try teaming different hues together instead of sticking to the classic formula of matching pants and jacket. You could team a striped navy blazer with mustard trousers for a fashion-forward approach.

Your shirt and accessories will allow for extra creativity if you’re feeling confident (and you know it’s appropriate for the event). But a tip would be to choose one or the other; if you’re going to choose a vibrant tie and pocket square, keep your shirt clean and minimal. A pair of colour-popping socks could also add some personality to your ensemble worn with a pair of more classic brogues.

Whatever look you go for this wedding season, ensure you wear it with confidence and panache. Weddings are the perfect excuse to get dressed up, so don’t let the ladies have all the fun.

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5 Reasons Being an Auntie is the Best Job Ever by BrandsExclusive

Siblings are cool. They make for automatic best friends, drinking partners, shoulders to cry on, career advisers and plenty more. In fact, if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably fleetingly thought at some stage that your sibling could be the coolest person on the planet. But we’ve recently discovered someone even cooler than a sibling… any sibling. Their offspring.

First of all, we’d like to offer a massive shout out to all the siblings out there creating miniature humans, every single day. We thank you, because you have given us the opportunity to take on the single best job in the world; Auntie. And why is this job so cool? Well, we’re glad you asked.

We get to buy teeny tiny clothes for the teeny tiny human
Holy hell, baby clothes are the cutest things we have ever seen in our lives. And we don’t have to go for the boring basics like socks and practical onesies… oh no! It’s tutus, fairy costumes and Superman outfits making their way into our baskets!

We get to see our siblings become parents
It’s a pretty epic transformation to see that trouble-making brother who used to sneak away to eat cat food take on the responsibility of parenthood… and to think that maybe we played a small part in helping him become the man he is now.

It’s an excuse to visit home more often
In times gone by, you might have made it home two or three times a year for a family visit. But now, well, now a month simply cannot go by without you seeing how much those chubby cheeks have grown and what weird and wonderful new sounds they’re making. Sure, it hasn’t helped your bank balance, but who can put a price on love?

We remember how to laugh at ourselves
Let’s face it, it’s difficult not to have a bit of a giggle when you’re dancing around the living room to The Wiggles or Frozen… but how much fun is it?! This is the kind of stuff we’d never do on our own (mainly because that Frozen song makes us want to gouge our ear drums out) but being an auntie allows you the freedom to totally surrender to the silliness.

We get to hand them back
Sure, we love babies… but that doesn’t mean we’re ready for one ourselves. Being able to hand back that little prince or princess after a few hours (or a few minutes if they really start screaming the house down) means that we get all of the wonderful auntie love and fun, without too much of the responsibility. Now that’s what we call #winning.

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Why You Should Use Organic Skincare by BrandsExclusive

Just like the old adage, “you are what you eat” – the same goes for your skincare regime, you are what you apply to your skin. The skin is the body’s largest organ; therefore taking good care of your skin is vital.

It seems easy enough though, right? Wrong. Every day, we are inundated with thousands of “effective” skincare products on the market, often being promoted by flawless models and false promises. More often than not, these mainstream products contain nasty toxins and chemicals that suffocate the skin – and quite frankly, your skin deserves better!

So what’s the secret to naturally gorgeous, radiant skin? Organic skincare products!

Go Organic

Going organic is not only more effective in helping you aid your skin issues; you’re also feeding your skin with fresh, pure and natural ingredients, which means that those with sensitive skin can rejoice! Think no more rashes, irritations or burning sensations (eek). Another great benefit is that you’ll be protecting the environment. Organic products are much more environmentally friendly than their non-organic opponents. Products with toxins and chemicals cause detrimental effects to the planet.

But before you scour your local health market, it’s important to be conscious of what you’re slathering on your face or body, as even organic skincare products can contain pesky preservatives and preparation aids. We advocate reading the product’s ingredients list first! This can be a challenge at first, as you may be faced with a multitude of foreign, four-syllable words that make zero sense to you. To help you separate the nasty from the nurturing, we have provided a list below featuring the harmful ingredients to steer clear of!

  • Propylene glycol
  • Sodium lauryl sulphate
  • Methyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben, ethyl paraben
  • Imidazolidinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea
  • Stearalkonium chloride
  • Triethanolamine

So have you gone green yet?

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5 Easy DIY Face Masks to Try by BrandsExclusive

Whether a special event is on the horizon or you just want your skin looking its finest every day, face masks are an easy and enjoyable way to treat your skin to all kinds of nourishing benefits. But don’t worry, no need to scour your local beauty store and spend your life savings on a bunch of high-end products to achieve a flawless complexion – these DIY face masks are the beauty loophole you’ve been searching for!

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Mask

Your secret weapon for combatting breakouts and improving the appearance of acne scars and pigmentation.

1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons of cooled green tea
1 teaspoon of organic honey
5 teaspoons of organic sugar

1. Combine apple cider vinegar and cooled green tea into a bowl. Add sugar and honey, and with a little elbow grease, stir mixture well.
2. Generously spread the scrub over your face, massaging it in well. Leave for 10 minutes and then rinse! For best results, use this mask twice a week.

2. Egg White Mask

Great for tightening and toning skin. It also minimises the appearance of pores and helps reduce acne.

1 free range egg white
1 teaspoon of organic orange juice
1/3 teaspoon of organic turmeric powder

1. Combine ingredients in a bowl and whisk well until the consistency is thick.
2. Spread over your face and leave on for 15 minutes. Once the mask has dried, rinse your face well.

3. Honey Mask

A skin saviour for calming irritated and inflamed skin. It also works wonders in reducing the appearance of dark spots.

2 tablespoons of warm organic honey
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 wedge of lemon


1. Combine honey and cinnamon in a bowl, and then squeeze in lemon. Stir mixture well.
2. Massage mask onto your face and leave for 20 minutes, then thoroughly rinse off.

4. Oatmeal Mask

A great natural exfoliating mask for stressed, tired and dry skin. It also has super power soothing properties for burnt or irritated skin.

2 tablespoons of organic raw oats
1 teaspoon of organic honey
½ ripe banana

1. Combine oats and honey in a bowl and mash in banana to create a paste.
2. Massage mixture over face and leave for 10-15 minutes. Once mixture has dried, rinse off thoroughly.

5. Chocolate Mask

I know what you’re thinking – yum! But this mask not only looks delicious, it works wonders topically too. Boasting a plethora of anti-aging properties, this mask will greatly help the production of collagen.

½ cup of organic cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of organic oats
4 tablespoons of organic cream
¼ cup of organic honey

combine cocoa powder, honey, oats and cream into a bowl and stir mixture well to form a thick consistency. Apply a thin layer to your face and leave it for 10 minutes. Bask in the delicious smell and then gently rinse off!

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Guide to Picking The Right Fragrance by BrandsExclusive

Picking the right fragrance for you (and even somebody else) can be an overwhelming experience. It’s not uncommon to walk into a department store and spritz yourself with every conceivable sample bottle in sight and exit smelling like a bouquet gone bad (let’s be honest, we’ve all been there). With an exhausting selection of fragrances on offer, how do you know which scent is best for you?

We sat down with Brands Exclusive’s beauty buyer, Jessica Travers to make scents of the situation (see what we did there?) and give us a few tips on picking the right fragrance.

Why is wearing a fragrance important?

Fragrances can be an emotive expression of self – wearing the right fragrance can be just as important for our confidence as say, wearing the right shoes and makeup. So put your best foot forward every day with a spritz before walking out the door!

Can you have more than just one signature scent?

Absolutely! Depending on your current mood, the occasion or even the season! Typically we are drawn to scents with deeper, richer base notes in winter, and lighter, more floral scents in the summer/spring.

What is the correct way to try a fragrance?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this one, but the way I prefer to try fragrance is directly on the skin. The best spots are the wrist or back of the hand. Let it settle on the skin before sampling and don’t try more than 3-4 or you’ll confuse yourself.

Do you have any tips on narrowing down the fragrance hunt?

It may sound really simple but follow your nose! If you are generally drawn to floral notes stick to the floral family. For a fresh change in season, try Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia. If you’re drawn more towards oriental notes, try Guerlain Shalimar Edt Spray.

What scents are trending this spring?

Rose is an ever-changing scent that never goes out of style! You can’t go wrong with the iconic Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb. Caramel and Vanilla typically lend themselves better to the colder months but this season you should change it up and the result – you’ll smell good enough to eat! Try another classic, Thierry Mugler Angel.

And for the blokes, go sophisticated this spring and opt for Citrus Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Men Edt Spray.

What fragrance are you wearing now?

Today, I’m wearing Daisy Dream. Its top notes of grapefruit, blackberry and pear are irresistible, and they linger all day. You can try it here.


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How to Buy the Perfect Baby Shower Gift by BrandsExclusive

Hands up if you’re a parent or will be very soon, and have more size 00 jumpsuits than you know what to do with? Hands up if you know someone who’s expecting but the world of parenthood may as well exist on another planet, and purchasing a baby shower gift is looking a tad scary?

Well, you’re all in the right place. We’d like to help both parties out with a few tips that will inspire you to think ‘outside the cot’ next time a baby shower invite comes your way, and give your dear friend or relative something they will truly appreciate.

Think a few years down the track.

Parenthood is a wonderful time, but it’s also a stressful and expensive time. So naturally friends and family want to help out as much as they can by showering parents with things they need right away. But people aren’t talking about their rose garden when they say “they grow up so fast, don’t they?”

The truth is that there’s only so many newborn-sized clothes and swaddles the little bundle of joy needs before they’ll be bursting out of them. Think a few years down the track instead, and purchase a cute toddler outfit or beautiful quilt cover set that mum and dad can put away and save pennies on down the track.

Consider parents’ needs as well as baby’s.

Being at the beck and call of a tiny human around the clock isn’t an easy job. So, what do parents want more than anything else in the world? Time and sleep! Date night or a day at the salon are just some of those little luxuries that dwindle once two become three. And, while you can’t put sleep in a box and put a bow on it, what you can do is give new parents a baby shower gift that’s just about them.

We love the idea of making a personalised pamper pack with luxurious bath, skin and hair products so mum can indulge in an at-home spa treatment. Take this one step further by volunteering your time to babysit while she pampers herself.

Shop beyond the cot.

If you’re not confident with bibs and breast pumps but you happen to have a knack for interiors, consider buying something to spruce up the nursery instead. This is particularly thoughtful if you know that the parents-to-be haven’t had the time or resources to do much more to baby’s room than purchase a cot. A few finishing touches will go a long way to making the nursery feel like a sanctuary and promote feelings of well-being when things get tough.

Keep costs down with framed paper prints, cushions, bunting and cute cubbies for storing baby’s essentials. If you’d like to splurge, a soft, comfortable chair for nursing bub is something any new parent will adore. Take note of their existing home furnishings if you can, and choose decor that complements their style.

Shop KIDS on Brands Exclusive

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3 Ways to Get Rid of Dark Circles Under Your Eyes by BrandsExclusive

Let’s face it, unless you’re going for that heroin chic look, dark circles under the eyes are just a PSA on your face letting the world know that you need sleep. Don’t fret; there is light at the end of the circle, just try these natural remedies!

Cold Tea Bags

Tea bags are an affordable and effective way to reduce dark under eye circles and puffiness without any pesky side effects. Full of caffeine and antioxidants, these natural wonders work their magic by shrinking blood vessels and reducing the fluid retention in the delicate tissue surrounding the eyes.

Method: Simply gather two tea bags (black or green work best) and place them in a glass of hot water for a few minutes. Gently squeeze them to remove any liquid and place them in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. Lay back, place the tea bags on your eyes and leave them for 15-20 minutes. For best results, repeat this method 2-3 times a day.

Sliced Potato

When it comes to dark circles, potatoes are your best friend. They contain natural bleaching agents that help lighten the skin when used frequently, and also catecholase, which aids in reducing puffiness. Bursting with nutrients and anti-oxidants, potatoes can also help keep the skin firm, smooth and bright.

Method: Using a chilled potato, cut two thick slices off and simply place them over your eyes. Sit back, relax and leave for 20-25 minutes. Gently rinse your face with cold water and pat dry. For best results, repeat this method 3-4 times a week.


Full of nourishing antioxidants such as cucurbitacins, vitexin, orientin and isoscoparin, along with vitamins C and K, cucumbers are a tired and true beauty weapon for reducing the inflammation around your eyes that causes puffiness and dark circles. Remember, the colder the cucumber, the better the results!

Method: Slice up a cucumber and place the slices in the freezer for a few minutes before applying them to your eyes. When they’re chilled, lay back and place one piece of cucumber over each closed eyelid and leave them for 10 minutes.


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