Tips and Tricks: Eyeliner

When I was in high school, I avoided using the bathrooms that had a cloud of smoke come out when you opened the door. I never did figure out how those girls got away with smoking in the girls’ room, but those girls had a secret weapon I didn’t have: lighters. Lighters were not only useful for smoking, but also for applying smooth and thick eyeliner.

I don’t wear much eyeliner, but every once in a while I like to put a little around my eyes. Using a lighter, however, just isn’t practical. I don’t remember where I read this simple trick. It’s so easy I can’t believe I haven’t thought of it before!

Easy Eyeliner Trick

Use your hair dryer to soften your eyeliner! It works beautifully, and there’s no risk of getting a detention.

Are there any other easy make-up tricks I’m missing? Did you already know the hair dryer trick? Tell me in the comments below!

(By the way, a hair dryer also removes the fog from the mirror after a steamy shower–but I bet you knew that trick already.)


Baking With Coconut Oil {Tips and Tricks}

Coconut oil has been the latest buzz in the health food industry. Some claim that it is a healthy fat with many benefits, while others say that it is a saturated fat that has no benefits. While I am not a health expert, I try to limit my family’s fat consumption and am always looking for better recipes. Using coconut oil is a delicious alternative to traditional fats while baking. If it actually is healthier to use, then using coconut oil adds a nice bonus to your baking!

Baking with coconut oil

Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature. When substituting it for a solid fat, such as shortening or margarine, leave it as a solid. When substituting it for vegetable oil, you can melt coconut oil easily in the microwave.

When deciding how much coconut oil to use, I keep the measurements the same. I substituted a cup of coconut oil for a cup of vegetable oil in my cookie recipe. I’ve also made corn bread with coconut oil. The coconut flavor is very subtle; in fact, my family didn’t notice anything different. I thought the coconut oil made my corn bread moister, and the leftovers were still yummy the next day!

solid and liquid coconut oil

After baking two big batches of cookies and the corn bread, there was a small amount of coconut oil at the bottom of the jar. I melted it in a pot and popped popcorn with it! Yum!

These cookies are just about my favorite cookies in the whole world. They taste just like ones my Grandma used to make, and I rediscovered the recipe from Gretchen at Second Blooming. I substituted coconut oil for vegetable oil.

Chicago Crunchy Cookies

3 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup coconut oil (melted)
1 cup oatmeal (not instant)
1 cup Rice Krispies
1 pkg. (12 oz.) chocolate chips
1 cup nuts (optional)

Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Beat the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, egg, milk and vanilla until creamy. Stir in the flour, alternating with the oil until smooth. Stir in Rice Krispies, chocolate chips, oatmeal and nuts until thick. (I always opt to leave the nuts out!) Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.

NOTE: Keep in mind that these cookies are still cookies…meaning that they are not healthier because of the coconut oil!

I read these articles while researching health benefits of coconut oil:

Is Coconut Oil Better Than Butter?
Coconut Oil Uses & Your Health

Have you used coconut oil in your cooking or baking? Do you have any other baking tips? Let us know in the comments!