Blog Posts by Real Simple Magazine

  • When Baby Comes Before Happily Ever After

    Emily ElkinsThere's no daddy in this picture. But that doesn't mean that Laurie Sandell and her son are going it alone. How one woman survived extreme fatigue and existential midnight ruminations, thanks to her dedicated-and touchingly robust-support system.

    By Laurie Sandell

    Forty-one years old and fresh out of a relationship, I found myself facing a tough decision: whether or not to have a child on my own. I hated the term "single mother by choice," knowing that if I went through with a solo pregnancy, I would really be more of a single mother by default. After all, I wanted to get married; I just hadn't met the right man. But with no time to waste, what was I going to do? Go on a few dates with someone and tell him I needed to be pregnant within a few months? So I chose a sperm donor, injected myself with fertility drugs, and got inseminated (via intrauterine insemination), thinking it would never work.

    To my shock, it took just the first try. Giddy with success, I called everyone I

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  • Basic First Aid for 9 Common Injuries

    Levi Brown

    What do you get when you combine the great outdoors, sunny skies, and free time? Fun, for sure. But also cuts, scrapes, sprains, or worse. Here, your ultimate guide to managing the most common medical mishaps that come along with summer.

    By Kimberly Goad

    More on How to Feel Better Everyday

    Ouch! I just tripped and rolled over my ankle

    If you're still able to walk, albeit a bit uncomfortably, then relax: It's not a fracture but simply a sprain. That means a ligament has been stretched or, in more severe cases, torn. About 65 to 75 percent of ankle injuries fall into this category, says David A. Porter, M.D., Ph.D., an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon at Methodist Sports Medicine, in Indianapolis. Reduce any swelling as soon as possible with RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation (recline on a chair and raise your ankle to above hip level). Ice in 10- to 20-minute intervals, with 10-minute breaks in between, for a few hours. Continue RICE intermittently (or

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  • 16 Great Gifts for Newlyweds

    Beautiful, practical gifts the happy couple will actually use. No Registry?

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  • How to Make Your Hair and Makeup Last All Day

    A thing of beauty should be a joy forever-or at least until five o'clock. Here's how to stretch the life of your makeup, hair, manicure, perfume-and more.

    By Didi Gluck

    Greg Delves


    "Oil-free formulas stay put best, since they don't contain the emollient ingredients that can make makeup slide off your face," says Landy Dean, a makeup artist at the Marie Robinson Salon, in New York City. But if your skin is on the dry side, you'll need to use a hydrating formula. To keep it in place, first let your moisturizer sink in completely (for five minutes or more) before spreading on the foundation. Then lock it in with translucent powder, which will help soak up oils that can accelerate fading, says Liliana Grajales, the spa director and a makeup artist at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, in Miami. Try Shiseido Translucent Pressed Powder ($32, and Nars Ita Kabuki Brush ($39, for info).

    Eye Shadow

    There are a couple of ways to go here. For an enduring daytime look,

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  • 8 Beauty Mistakes You're Probably Making (and How to Fix Them)

    By Stephanie Abramson

    Look and feel your best with these easy ways to head off everyday beauty blunders.

    Hallie BurtonCommon Mistake: Using Conditioner All Over Your Hair

    Most people apply conditioner as they do shampoo: starting at the top of the head and working it all through the hair. But the hair closest to the roots is healthy new growth; it's the ends that are older and more likely to be damaged. Apart from wasting product, conditioning the roots can weigh your hair down and make it look greasy, says Gina Lees, a stylist with the Adolf Biecker Spa, in Philadelphia.

    A better way: Starting at your ears, apply conditioner all the way to the ends. You will gain volume and won't have to wash your hair as often.

    Common Mistake: Applying Foundation Without Giving Moisturizer Time to Dry

    The creaminess of a moisturizer can cause makeup to thin out if the moisturizer hasn't had enough time to soak into the skin. "This can result in blotchiness and ultimately limit the amount of coverage your

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  • 6 Flattering Nude Lip Color Options for Spring

    By Jenny Jin Go nude without feeling naked with shades that are subtle but undeniably chic.

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    The Best Foundation

    10 Easy Insider Beauty Tricks

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  • 6 Comfortable Work Shoes

    By Rebecca Daly Step it up at the office with a little help from these polished staples. More from
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  • New Beauty Uses for Pantry Items

    Look no further than your kitchen for all-natural, DIY beauty aids.

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    New Uses for Things in the Bathroom

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  • 8 Smart Cleaning Techniques

    Frances JanischFrances JanischIf you want to do the big jobs less often, it's time to go small-and smart. 6 Clever Items to Simplify Your Life

    By Stephanie Sisco

    When it comes to cleaning, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of scrubbing. Real Simple grilled industry pros Margaret Dasso, a co-owner of the Clean Sweep Housekeeping Agency; Laura Dellutri, the author of Speed Cleaning 101; Charles Gerba, ph.D., a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, in Tucson; and Cheryl Sousan, the founder of the lifestyle blog, for eight home-maintenance tweaks that will save you time and energy.

    The Toaster Oven

    More of this: Protecting the base with a nonstick liner.

    Less of that: Dismantling the unit every time you clean it or going through wads and wads of tinfoil.

    A nonstick liner made for a full-size oven can be trimmed to accommodate its little cousin. Remove the drip tray to use as a size guide, cut down a liner with scissors, and place on the bottom of the

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  • How to Meditate

    Follow these five-minute mediation techniques for a clear, calm mind.

    By Sharon Liao woman on chair meditating

    The Routine

    We know, we know. You're too wound up to meditate. You don't have time. It's not your thing. But before you roll your eyes and get on with addressing those 500 holiday cards, consider this: A study published this past June in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience reported that the practice can reduce anxiety levels by up to 22 percent. Research has also suggested that meditating can actually form new and permanent neural connections in the brain.

    "Meditation trains your mind to focus on the moment instead of worrying about what occurred in the past or what could happen in the future," says Janet Nima Taylor, an American Buddhist nun in Kansas City, Missouri, and the author of Meditation for Non-meditators. The amazing thing? All you need is five minutes a day. "Anyone can do it, and the more consistent you are, the easier it will become," says Taylor, who devised the routine

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