Expired Makeup Do a quick check of any woman's bathroom, and chances are you'll find jars of rarely used face cream, the dregs of a favorite powder blush, and at least one tube of lip gloss squeezed within an inch of its life. Whether unused, or consumed to the last drop, squeeze, or swipe, these cosmetics are taking up shelf (and makeup-bag) space because we want to get every penny out of the precious dollars we spent on them. But this hoarding habit has a catch: Beauty products do go bad. At best, they stop performing as well as they used to; at worst, they can cause irritations or infections.
"Unopened, well-formulated cosmetics can remain stable for a couple of years at room temperature," says Ni'Kita Wilson, a cosmetic chemist at Cosmetech Laboratories in Fairfield, NJ. "But the clock starts once you bring a product home and open it. When air hits the formula, certain ingredients start to oxidize and degrade." What's more, every time you touch your makeup or skin-care lotions and potions, you
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Expired Makeup Do a quick check of any woman's bathroom, and chances are you'll find jars of rarely used face cream, the dregs of a favorite powder blush, and at least one tube of lip gloss squeezed within an inch of its life. Whether unused, or consumed to the last drop, squeeze, or swipe, these cosmetics are taking up shelf (and makeup-bag) space because we want to get every penny out of the precious dollars we spent on them. But this hoarding habit has a catch: Beauty products do go bad. At best, they stop performing as well as they used to; at worst, they can cause irritations or infections.Read More »from Have Your Beauty Products Gone Bad?
Picnic TipsPacking a picnic is a summer tradition I look forward to every year. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when taking your meal outside to keep it safe and scrumptious:
- Freeze fruit ahead of time in quart-sized baggies. When you pile them up in your cooler, they'll double as ice packs. Plus, they're delicious whether they stay frozen or thaw out. Try: grapes, diced pineapple, watermelon, or mango
- Cover plastic containers of food (particularly saucy ones) with a layer or two of plastic wrap before putting the lid on. For even more protection against leaks, use a wide rubber band to secure the lid to the container. Try: GHRI fave, Rubbermaid Lock-Its
Related: Food Coolers Fit for a Picnic
- MuffulettaBring foods and snacks that get better after sitting around, like grain salads, hearty sandwiches, antipasti, and dips. Try: A barley salad, muffuletta, a turkey wrap, olives, hummus, or salsa
- Pack drinks in a separate cooler than the one your main foods are in. The more a cooler
multi generational family Author Rachel L. Swarns's new book, American Tapestry, about the multi-racial ancestry of First Lady Michelle Obama includes a major revelation: the identity of Mrs. Obama's white great-great-great grandfather, a man who remained hidden for more than a century in the First Lady's family tree. While the book's focus is on the ancestry of Mrs. Obama, Swarns says it's also a reminder to start researching your own roots. "You should do it for yourself, your children, your parents," she says. "It gives you a sense of your place and your family's place in America's history. You never know what you'll find." Here, Swarns shares her tips for the best place to start uncovering the details of your own family tree.
1. Get started by interviewing your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles - all of your oldest relatives. With their help, you can start to put together what is known about your family tree. Important details to ask about? Names (including maiden names of female relatives), datesRead More »from 9 Tips for Tracing Your Family Tree
Flings Pop-Up Recycling BinsSure, the fun part of having a cookout is choosing the menu and decorating the yard, but with a little planning, post-party cleanup doesn't have to be such a chore. If you're hosting an outdoor get-together, here's what to do before, during, and after your barbecue to speed clean with ease:
- Use several large trays to make it faster and easier to transport leftover food and serving dishes back into the house when the meal is over.
- Stock up on pre-moistened wipes to quickly clean messy hands and faces, sticky surfaces, and zap fresh stains from clothing.
- Stick 'em Magnetic Kitchen TowelKeep paper towels or absorbent cloths handy to sop up spills and dry hands. We like Full Circle's Stick 'em Magnetic Kitchen Towel ($9; right). Hang it from your grill and it's always within reach.
- Set up several trashcans, or better yet, get Flings Pop-Up Recycling and Trash Bins ($16/4; above). Just station these colorful, freestanding containers around
If seeing the stacks of papers and folders on your desk every morning provides you with enough of a jolt that you no longer need a cup of coffee to wake up, it's probably time to clean and organize your office. Even if you don't want to completely revamp your workspace, there are a few easy things you can do to make it a more pleasant place to work and easier to file and find things.
Set the mood. Make your computer screen easier on your eyes by adjusting the display so your resolution is maximized and the screen is about the same brightness as your environment. Be sure you don't sit too close to the screen and take a break from the computer every half hour or so.
Related: How to Clean Your Home Office Fast
Homedics Messaging Center ShredderClear up space. Have a shredder nearby so you can get rid of sensitive items like statements and receipts you no longer need, pronto. If you don't have mounds of paper to shred, the Homedics Black and Decker Paper Shredder and Messaging Center ($100, left) is aRead More »from How to Clean a Messy Office
With a warm breeze as their ultimate side dish, franks are a simple summer staple everyone can enjoy. Fire up the grill for these best-in-show dogs.Oscar Mayer Selects
Oscar Mayer Selects Beef Franks
Tasters' Pick: Taste and texture came together perfectly in Oscar Mayer's Selects Beef Franks ($5.69 for 16 oz.) with their "smoky," "meaty" flavor and "crisp" casing that couldn't be beat. This "hearty," "flavorful" hot dog "tastes like sausage" and boasts a lack of any added artificial preservatives, like nitrites or nitrates.
Ball Park Deli Style Franks
Ball Park Deli Style Beef Franks
Taste testers looking for more than just a salty hot dog ranked Ball Park Deli Style beef franks ($4.41 for 15 oz.) highly for its "classic" taste mixed with a "hint of sweetness." Described as "rich" and "beefy," this "satisfying" hot dog hit the spot and had tasters reaching for seconds.Boar's Head FranksBoar's Head Pork and Beef Frankfurters
Related: Our Summer Grilling Cookbook
Editors' Pick: "The crispy skin is terrific!" prettyRead More »from 5 Best Summer Hot Dogs
The Oreck Steam-It ($179, amazon.com) cleans continuously on one tank for 35-plus minutes, cutting through the smears and stains in its path. Not just for floors, this mop has attachments that clean windows, countertops, and toilets.
Related: Clean Your House in 10 Minutes a Day
Sienna Aqua ProStorage-Friendly
Speedy, thorough, and convenient, the Sienna Aqua Pro ($130, amazon.com) zaps sticky and oily residue from floors, and its handle folds down for easy storage. But in our tests, its water tank was tapped out after only 13 minutes.
Reliable's Steamboy T2Extra-Clean SweepRead More »from 4 Best Steam Mops
Moving tipsMy apartment lease just came up for renewal, and even though it meant a slight rent increase, it wasn't too hard for me to decide to stay put. I like my place, but more importantly, after moving six times in eight years, I'm well ahead of the lifetime average (about 12) for most Americans.
Still, every year 40 million Americans move, and nearly half do so between May and September. Every move is different, so there's no one-size-fits-all outline for orchestrating the process. But we've put together some general guidelines to keep in mind when planning a move. A few key issues to consider:
DIY or hire help?
Recruiting friends and family and renting a truck are certainly cheaper, but think very hard about whether or not you're all really up for the task. Assess your situation and budget carefully, and consider hiring out as many tasks as you can afford. You may find it's not worth the trouble (or your back) to do the heavy lifting yourself, but moving smaller or valuableRead More »from 3 Top Tips If You're Planning a Move
toothbrush and retainerJosie Richardson was surprised when her dentist suggested she get braces. Although she'd always been embarrassed by her overlapping teeth, at 46 she'd resigned herself to her imperfect smile. But when the dentist pointed out that it was more than just a cosmetic issue - it's harder to clean between crooked teeth - Richardson, a jewelry designer in Boca Raton, FL, signed on for the mouthful of hardware normally associated with teens. Indeed, soon after, she and her 14-year-old son became a matched pair. Now, four years later, Richardson says, "I look for reasons to smile."
There are a host of cosmetic and medical conditions, from crooked teeth to reading difficulties, that are normally corrected in childhood. But if you missed out, now is the time to reconsider. Thanks to treatment advances and the extra motivation that maturity brings, it might be an even better time. "Fixing an issue you've had for many years can give you a huge boost in self-esteem," says Lauren Ozbolt, M.D.,Read More »from 7 Childhood Conditions You Can Still Correct
Cold Serving DishesA whole category of merchandise, from mugs to lunch boxes, pledges to keep foods hot or cool, but past tests at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute have shown these items rarely deliver. When we noticed serving dishes and grocery bags with temperature claims (some promising to keep food chilled for two to eight hours, others saying they'd keep food "cold" or "fresh"), we had to see for ourselves.
HOW WE TESTED We set our climatology chamber to 70°F with 50 percent humidity, then 90°F with 90 percent humidity, to simulate warm and sweltering days. Each dish was filled with cold potato salad, and readings were taken every 15 seconds until temps hit 41°F (one degree above the recommended food-storage temperature). We also loaded insulated bags from the American Bag Company ($20 for five) with refrigerated staples like juice and frozen fare like ice cream, then ran the same test against grocery bags.
Related: 10 Rules for Summer Food Safety
WHAT WE FOUND Not one of theRead More »from Cold Serving Dishes Tested