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64105 free content articles
by Sandra Prior
Life presents a lot of little problems, from stubborn splinters to lipstick stains. Here are 20 – and ways to fix them fast.
1. Freshen your breath when you’re out and don’t have gum or mints.
Find a basin and gargle with water. Then use a paper towel or an upside-down spoon to scrape your tongue as far back as you can reach, which will remove odor-causing bacteria.
2. Remove red-wine stains from your teeth.
Take a wedge of lemon, remove all the pulp and rub the inside of the skin over your teeth.
3. Fix a broken nail.
If the nail is only slightly torn, use Nailene Fix a Nail ($3.99) to patch it up. If it's broken off completely, either trim all your nails to the same length or have the nail bed of the broken nail sculpted to the length of the others in a salon.
4. Limit the damage when you rip a hole in your tights while you’re out.
A dab of (clear) nail polish on each end of the tear will stop it running. If the tear is at the front, put the tights on backwards (and forget they have a hole). And if you can find a marker in a matching color, draw on your exposed skin to make the hole less obvious.
5. Adjust your outfit when it turns out you’re dressed the same way as somebody else at an event.
If your doppelganger's hair is down, tie yours up, or vice versa. If the outfit includes a skirt, roll yours up at the waistband to emphasize your legs. Or, if you're a guest in someone's home, feign a chill and borrow a wrap from the hostess.
6. Remove a blood stain from your clothes when you’ve cut yourself while cooking.
Stick a clean finger in your mouth and moisten it with your saliva, then put it on the stain. It should vanish. But if that doesn't work, rinse the stained fabric in cold water for a minute.
7. Remove deodorant marks from your top.
Rub the white marks with the inside of the top or a cotton (not paper) towel - one that's no darker in color than the top.
8. Remove a lipstick stain from something you’ve just put on.
Apply a little petroleum jelly, clear lip balm or clear gloss to the stain, then carefully wipe it off with a towel or baby wipe.
9. Remove a scorch mark from a shirt you’ve just ironed.
Rub a little distilled white vinegar on the mark, then wipe it with a clean cloth. If the mark is light, it should disappear.
10. Loosen a stuck zip.
Run a bar of soap or pencil lead over the spot where it won't budge. This should free up the teeth.
11. Salvage a cell phone that’s been dropped in water.
Open the back and remove the battery immediately. Take the SIM card out and open up any rubber covers that protect charging slots. Then use towels (or, ideally, a wet-dry vacuum - but not a hairdryer) to remove moisture from every crevice of the phone. Don't charge the battery until it's fully dried, internally and externally.
12. Quit blushing when you’re embarrassed.
Slow blood flow to your face and neck with breath control. Inhale over a count of six to eight, hold for a moment, then exhale over a count of 10 to 12. Repeat until you feel the hotness dissipate.
13. Bail out of a terrible first date… nicely.
Glance at your phone and say, 'Oh dear, seems I have a few missed calls. Excuse me, I should check this out.' Then go to an ATM or the bathroom and get out enough cash to pay for your portion of the bill. When you get back to your date, say, 'I'm sorry to do this, but there's been an emergency and I have to go. It was nice meeting you.' Then put the money on the table, smile and walk out.
14. Stop your stomach feeling gassy.
Have a cup of tea with peppermint oil. The menthol has an antispasmodic effect on the digestive tract, letting trapped air out smoothly.
15. Politely refuse food you don’t want to eat.
Avoid annoying or upsetting others with statements such as, 'I don't eat anything that used to be cuddly.' Rather just say, 'It looks good, but I've found out the hard way that it doesn't agree with my body.' Food allergies are so common today it's unlikely your host will press you.
16. Get chewing gum out of your hair.
Oily substances will help loosen the gum's grip, so slather on olive or canola oil, or even peanut butter. After a few minutes, gently tug out the wad.
17. Extract a stubborn splinter.
If you can't get a grip on it with tweezers, cover the spot in hand cream or petroleum jelly before going to bed. By morning, the splinter should be closer to the surface.
18. Retrieve info when you delete an important email.
Ask the IT department whether there's a backup folder where messages are stored before they're purged from the system - or get the sender to resend the e-mail.
19. Stop the bleeding from a spot on your face you’ve picked at.
Squirt eye drops on the wound. The solution contains antihistamines, which constrict blood vessels. This will slow the flow.
20. Recover fast from a hangover when you have an early meeting.
Skip coffee (it's dehydrating). Rather have lots of water and some orange juice - it contains potassium, which will help settle the shakes. Eat a breakfast with protein and carbs, such as eggs and toast. After showering, use eye drops so you look brighter, and rub on a fragrant body lotion so you won't smell of alcohol as your body sweats it out.
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