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Salt and Pepper Steak Rub <br /> Photography by Ryan Brook Image by: Salt and Pepper Steak Rub <br /> Photography by Ryan Brook
We know that cleaning out your beauty kit can feel like a chore, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming thanks to our quick and dirty guide to de-cluttering.
When to toss old product
You have to let go of the old to make room for the new—and there are new products being released every day. Remember that beauty products do expire, especially the liquid ones like foundation, mascara, and skin-care. There should be a guideline on the packaging (it will look like a cream jar with a number on it—that number is the amount of months after opening that the product is good for), but if you can’t find it or don’t remember when you opened it, here are a couple of things to look out for.
Look for changes in consistency. Lumpy formulas or a separation of oil and pigment are red flags. If the smell resembles something rotting or the colour has darkened or oxidized in the bottle, it’s time to throw the product out.
If there’s a bad odour when you open the lid or the product is crumbling and breaking apart, you probably shouldn’t use it. Also, if you constantly have to scrape off a top layer of grime, throw it out.
If you detect a bad odour or if your lipstick is drying out or applying patchy, toss it. If your lip gloss is goopy and coming out in lumps, you don’t want to put that on your lips.
Quick tip: If you live in a warm climate, it's a good idea to keep your skin-care products in the fridge to preserve freshness.
There are times when you find yourself not using certain products because they’re stored in the backs of your cabinets or drawers. Out of sight is out of mind so get those products back in sight. Try pulling them out the night before and keep them on your vanity or dresser so you can remember to add the items to your rotation.
When to give away perfectly good product
If you’ve got products that are as good as new but you don’t find yourself using them, take a moment and ask yourself: Why did I buy this product? Why did I stop using it? Can I add this to my makeup routine or skin-care regimen?
Chances are if you haven’t used it yet, you probably won’t. Perhaps pass it along to a family member or a friend who might get better use out of it. Or even take a box full of your unused items to a women’s shelter. If you are going to donate, make sure your items are in clean and sanitary condition.
How to sanitize your beauty products:
For powder compacts, wipe the powder with a piece of Kleenex to remove the top layer. Then, take a new piece of Kleenex—fold it or cut it down to the right size—and place over the powder to avoid bacteria from getting into the fresh layer. If you threw out the box, seal with tape; no one but the new owner should be opening it. This works for face powders, blushes and eyeshadows.
For lipstick, lipgloss and other stick products, wipe them down with a piece of Kleenex sprayed with the cosmetic disinfectant. Once again, seal boxes or the products themselves with tape.
Always use a mini spatula for products that are in jars so you’re not dipping your fingers in there. Also, don’t throw away the plastic divider that covers the cream. When you want to give it away, all you have to do is seal the outside with tape.
Cosmetic sanitizers can be found at most beauty stores and makeup artistry stores. Always keep a sanitizer and a brush cleaner on hand.
Over 50 and fabulous? Our guide to aging gracefully helps you choose the skincare, hair and makeup products that are right for you.
Here at Canadian Living, we strongly believe in giving gifts that are edible, so we've collected our favourite recipes for homemade goodies that any person on your holiday list will eat right up.
Of course, you can race around shopping for the gifts you typically buy your crew—wine, clothing, ornaments, candles, etc.—or you can save yourself the trouble and make them an original treat they're bound to love. After all, as the old axiom goes, food is the way to any man's (or woman's) heart.
Go for classic holiday bark, but try new variations like Xmas Explosion Cookie, Pomegranate, Pistachio, and Apricot, or Chai Ginger. Instead of buying a box of chocolates, whip up some homemade gourmet ones like White Chocolate Coconut Bonbons or Cookie Dough Bonbons. And if you have a brittle fan in the mix, make some Nut and Sesame Brittle or just Sesame Brittle.
A surefire gift idea for kids (well, and grownups, too)? A DIY Hot Chocolate Mix and S'mores Marshmallows. For the friend with a serious sweet tooth, go with Eggnog Fudge or Sponge Toffee. And for the cocktail connoisseur, they'll love our Ruby Cranberry Liqueur, Chocolate Hazelnut Liqueur, or Pickled Cranberry Preserves.
Flip through the slideshow to check out all of the recipes to our favourite homemade gifts from the kitchen.
This hot chocolate kit makes a cosy, heart-warming wintertime gift.
Get the recipe: DIY Hot Chocolate Mix
Loaded with chocolate candies, white chocolate and festive sprinkles, these crispy bark-like cookies are bursting with holiday cheer.
Get the recipe: Xmas Explosion Cookie Bark
This treat tastes like a cross between traditional peanut brittle and sesame crisps.
Get the recipe: Nut and Sesame Brittle
Ruby-red pomegranate seeds add the perfect amount of tang to this sweet and salty dark chocolate bark.
Get the recipe: Pomegranate, Pistachio and Apricot Bark
Fragrant chai tea spices are mixed with creamy milk chocolate and swirled with rich dark chocolate in this ginger-studded treat.
Get the recipe: Chai Ginger Bark
This is the kind of treat that's ideal for displaying at holiday parties, as they're beautiful and bite-size—perfect for guests to grab.
Get the recipe: White Chocolate and Coconut Bonbons
It's tempting to sneak a taste of dough while making cookies—and while we don't encourage that, these bonbons are egg-free, making them A-OK to eat raw.
Get the recipe: Cookie Dough Bonbons
It takes just five simple ingredients to create this crunchy confection from our Holiday Celebrations 2009 special issue.
Get the recipe: Sponge Toffee
Fresh nutmeg and a splash of rum extract give this simple treat a seasonal twist. For the best flavour, use good-quality white chocolate.
Get the recipe: Eggnog Fudge
This homemade take on sesame snaps is crunchy, sweet and nutty.
Get the recipe: Sesame Brittle
The warmth of the marshmallows melts the chocolate chips into gooey perfection, giving them a campfire taste and texture.
Get the recipe: S'mores Marshmallows
Flavoured with sweet-tart cranberries and zesty orange, this festive ruby liqueur is the perfect gift for holiday hosts.
Get the recipe: Ruby Cranberry Liqueur
Ideal for coffee lovers, this sweet and nutty nectar is a welcome top-up for after-dinner espresso and lattes.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Liqueur
These tart, lightly spiced berries are a vibrant addition to cheese platters, and a spoonful can also be used as a stand-in for cranberry sauce.
Get the recipe: Pickled Cranberry Preserves