Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • We Tried It: The Pink Beauty Sponge that You See Everywhere

    Is this egg-shaped tool worth the price?Is this egg-shaped tool worth the price?

    You could buy the most expensive makeup in the world, but if you're not applying it well, it's never going to look right. If you've been looking for a way to put on makeup faster and more flawlessly, you might want to try the Beauty Blender ($20, sephora.com), a makeup sponge that has become a cult favorite. BirchBox, beauty lovers' favorite monthly subscription service, even named it one of their favorite Fashion Week products last year. You can use this egg-shaped tool to apply all kinds of makeup -- even powders -- though the most common use is for foundation and concealer.

    Related: These Genius Beauty Fixes Take Just 2 Minutes

    Here's what we thought of the beauty blender when we tried it out:

    Pros: Because it's a reusable sponge, it should last you a few months, as long as you keep it clean and take care of it. No more amassing a million dirty, used sponges in your makeup bag (tell me I'm not the only one!).

    Cons: The tool isn't cheap. While it should last you awhile,

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  • Your 6-Step Guide to Finding the Perfect Sports Bra

    Finding the right sports bra is more important than you think.Finding the right sports bra is more important than you think.

    With so many brands, styles, and features to choose from, finding the right sports bra can seem like a tricky task. But wearing the correct sports bra should be a vital part of your exercise routine.

    Here at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, we tested 39 medium and high impact sports brasfor women of all different sizes. We put them through the wringer in our lab to see how well each managed sweat, held up during the wash, and maintained its color through perspiration, crocking, and laundering. We then had real testers -- women ranging from A through H cup sizes -- try them out. After more than 23,400 minutes of exercise and 3,900 consumer evaluations, we came up with these best bets. And compiled these tips for finding your right pick:

    Related: See Which Sports Bras Performed the Best in Our Tests

    1. How to Find the Right Size
    Each bra is sized differently, so follow the size recommendations for the individual styles -- and don't be alarmed if your sports bra

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  • Your Scrub Could Be Hurting You (and the Environment)

    Fix your damaging beauty routine, fast.Fix your damaging beauty routine, fast.

    There's been a lot of negative buzz about microbeads in the news lately -- New York state is even thinking about outlawing them. You've seen them: They're tiny plastic spheres that are added to some exfoliating beauty products, like facial scrubs. In some products, like toothpaste, they're a bit less obvious.

    Related: Beauty Myth Buster: Should You Keep Makeup in Your Fridge?

    The problem with microbeads is that they can be harmful for the environment. Because they're so small, waste treatment plants aren't always able to remove them from the water, so they accumulate in lakes and oceans -- scientists estimate there are tens of millions in the Great Lakes. And when fish and other marine life eat the microbeads, there is concern that the chemicals in them may someday make it all the way back up the food chain to our tables.

    If you're like me and can't live without a good exfoliator -- but don't want to contribute to microbead pollution -- here are some suggestions to help you

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  • This Just In: Saturated Fat May Not Be as Bad as You Thought

    Don't reach for the fries just yet.

    Do you feel like your head starts spinning when you hear more news about what you should or shouldn't eat? Well, we've got one more update for you. On Monday, new research published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine cites evidence that potentially debunks the link between saturated fat and heart attacks and heart-related diseases.

    Related: These 5 Fat-Free Foods Are Actually Worse For You

    Researchers pooled data from dozens of previously conducted studies involving more than a half million people, as well as some randomized controlled trials, to come up with the "best evidence to date." In the analysis, people who ate higher levels of saturated fat did not have higher levels of heart disease, nor did those who ate more polyunsaturated fats (a type of unsaturated fat that comes from soybean oil or canola oil) have lower levels of heart disease. The study also found that diets high in carbohydrates or sugars led to increased artery clogging, which often leads to heart

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  • 16 Ways to Fake a Clean Home — Fast

    Get your house looking picture-perfect before the doorbell rings.Get your house looking picture-perfect before the doorbell rings.

    Need to clean up in a hurry? Whether you're expecting guests, the guests just left, or you want to at least pretend that yours is a life of clean and ordered bliss, pick a task, any task, for quick tips to fix your place up fast.

    1. Brighten the Bathroom
    First, flush. Next, grab some bleach. Pour a cup into the bowl; brush around the sides and under the rim. Next, fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and white vinegar. Spritz onto paper towels or a microfiber cloth, and hone in on those telltale soap drips and toothpaste spatters on faucets, mirrors, countertops, and in the sink -- a definite dirty-bathroom giveaway. Next, shake out your rug or bath mat to fluff it up so it looks recently vacuumed. Now, flush the bleach that's been sitting in the bowl.

    2. Put the Living Room in Order
    Run a microfiber cloth over the coffee table and other dusty surfaces, like the TV screen. Pile magazines or books into neat stacks on the end tables; gather all of the stray remotes in one place.

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  • Why One Mother Gave Back Her Adopted Son

    A difficult decision was the right choice for Stacey Conner's family.A difficult decision was the right choice for Stacey Conner's family.

    Stacey Conner, a 41-year-old mom and former attorney from Spokane, Wash., dreamed of having a large family with biological and adopted kids. "The world is a big place with a lot of children in it; we wanted to bring some of those into our family, to give our love to kids without it," she says. After she volunteered in an orphanage in poverty-torn Haiti in 2005, Conner and her husband, Matt, a pharmacist, decided to adopt two children. But the process was so slow that by October 2006, when they brought home their (unrelated) 5-year-old Haitian son and 1-year-old Haitian daughter, Conner had given birth to a son, who was 1. "Having an instant multicultural family was magical," Conner says, "for about two weeks."

    Her older son, whom she calls J here, "engaged every person he met -- he literally crawled into the laps of strangers," says Conner. "But if I said 'It's time to go' or anything that asserted I was in control, he'd rage, bang and scream for hours." Very quickly, Conner had a

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  • Spring Clean and Make Money Off Old Home Goods

    Finally, you can (sorta) get paid for cleaning up.Finally, you can (sorta) get paid for cleaning up.

    Are great-aunt Sophie's upholstered ottoman, two extra sets of wedding china, and heaven knows what else still sitting in the basement gathering dust? Sure, you could have a killer yard sale, but there are easier -- and more profitable -- ways to pocket some green.

    Related: 8 Spring Cleaners That Need to Be Dusted Off

    - Craigslist and eBay are great for big-ticket items (a major appliance sold on the latter site every 26 seconds in the third quarter of 2013 alone). Brand names in like-new condition usually bring in bigger bucks (Pottery Barn tables, Kitchen Aid mixers), but items from another era -- say, china pieces produced in a limited run - are also in demand. Even 1960s and 1970s kitsch may fetch a nice sum -- call it the Mad Men effect. One eBay seller offloaded a 1968 glass coffeepot for $23.

    Related: 16 Ways to Fake a Clean Home Before Guests Arrive

    - Classic Replacements buys china, crystal, and flatware from anywhere in the U.S. Once you receive a quote, ship it

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  • The Smart Way to Store Your Winter Clothes

    It's finally time to store those winter boots.It's finally time to store those winter boots.

    These easy steps keep cold-weather gear bug- and mildew-free -- because, yes, winter will be back again before you know it.

    First Steps
    Clean everything before you get started. Lingering oils (deodorants, perfumes) can discolor fabric over time -- and food stains will attract moths. 70°F (or below) is the target storage temp to avoid damaging fibers or setting stains, and low light and low humidity are ideal. Don't plan on storing in dry-cleaning bags (they can yellow fabrics and trap moisture), and don't iron with starch -- bugs love it!

    Related: 10 Tips to Your Fastest Laundry Day Ever

    Coats
    Do up buttons, zip up zippers, and empty out pockets; then hang structured or down coats on thick wooden hangers ($17 for two, honeycando.com) inside a breathable canvas garment bag ($15, casa.com). Polyfill-stuffed coats can go in vacuum-seal bags, compressed halfway for space.

    Accessories
    Place gloves and rolled-up scarves loosely together in a plastic bin. Stuff shaped hats with tissue

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  • 6 Ways to Make Money Off Stuff Your Kids No Longer Play With

    Don't throw it out -- make some money off of it.

    We bet there's at least $200 hidden in their sports gear and electronics - here's how to find it.

    Electronics:
    With new "gotta-have-it" upgrades coming out practically every year, technology depreciates fast, so if you're unloading old gadgets, try to do so quickly. One exception: The market for video games -- especially older ones like the original versions of Wii Sports and Pokémon -- is brisk.

    1. Apple's Reuse and Recycling Program gives you an Apple gift card for your iPad, iPhone, or Mac. RadioShack also offers a trade-in program (a 2012 Kindle Fire could fetch as much as $72 in credit).

    Related: Never Stress About Making Returns Again

    2. Gazelle, a site that buys used devices, pays cash or offers an Amazon gift card for computers, smartphones, and more. It honors a 30-day price lock (that is, you have 30 days to get a new phone before mailing in your old one).

    3. Glyde calculates the true resale value or market price of your electronics and suggests a price

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  • Study: Yes, Facebook is Affecting Your Moods

    Think twice before scrolling through your News Feed every morning.Think twice before scrolling through your News Feed every morning.

    Common wisdom says that Facebook makes you sad and lonely because it forces you to compare yourself with others -- people often cite a study that came out last year which claimed to prove this. But new research suggests that any emotions on Facebook spread quickly, just like viral videos or pictures of cute cats, and that positive feelings spread even more than negative ones.

    Related: 9 Things You Didn't Even Know Were Contagious

    The University of California San Diego study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, analyzed data from 100 million Facebook users, who posted nearly a billion updates between 2009 and 2012. For every positive emotion in a status update, there were one to two additional updates in the average user's network expressing similar emotions. Each "I love my life!"-type post also reduced the number of "I hate everything"-type posts by friends by nearly one-half, while negative updates lowered positive posts by 1.3 times.

    "Our study suggests that people are not

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