Necessity is the Mother of Invention

I have never once put hemmoroid cream anywhere even remotely close to my eyeballs. For the record, and all.

I hear it makes the poofiness under one’s eyes disappear faster than Rod Blagojevich’s career goals but there are things in life I am willing to do, and things in life I am not willing to do, and that’s just the way things are. There are precious few items in the “won’t be doing this lifetime” column, but I can without hesitation also add “rubbing monostat all over my face” to it, no matter how gorgeous Renee looks and no matter how much she blames girly-bit* cream for it.

Maybe she’s born with it; maybe it’s Monostat. I’ll take the former, and my $35/gram Makeup 4 Ever primer in green, thank you very much.

I do have a penchant for using one thing to do one other thing it’s fully not intended for. Like, I clean my walls with hairspray. I mop my floors with powered Tide and bleach, my super secret acne spot treater is Close Up toothpaste and a bandaid. If that doesn’t work, I bust out the big guns: Aspirin ground up in a spoon all heroin-style made into a paste. And a bandaid. Bandaids can do anything.

I use chalk to keep ants out, I brush my teeth with straight baking soda and gargle with straight peroxide. I wash my blacks in vinegar and use Mr Clean to get out set stains in my clothes. I have put steeped tea bags on both nipples and, well, you know where else. In public. Childbirth robs you of nothing at all except any sense of dignity. I once used a toothbrush to (redacted). I used a pair of panties I was too lazy to take off as a barrier method of birth control, with amazing results.

We're On a Boat, Mother Fucker.

See: Childbirth. Also, tea bags.

I am fully of the opinion that if you can’t find at least two uses for any one thing, it’s not worth your time or money. Because I’m a cheap bitch, that’s why. I typically use the vitamin E oil I keep lying around for burns and scars on my face for wrinkle control, and it totally works and cost $5,000 less that the actual “wrinkle cream” they try get Penelope Cruz to sell you on tv, and lasts 18 times longer, but it doesn’t do jack shit for the poofiness. Which I have. Partly because I have a Sagittarius rising and partly because ohmygod I haven’t been untired in 11 years, 4 months and 1 day.

That one I blame on a diaphragm and a complete and utter lack of understanding about the female anatomy. Which I blame on Judeao-Christian cults. Another story, another day.

Origins GinZing Eye CreamOrigins sent me this new eye de-poofier and de-duller stuff called GinZing** to try out, so I did, and you know what? I actually think it just might work. It feels all tingly when I put it on, and I don’t seem to be so poofy, and I only look like a got a good heat-butt to the nose instead of my normal baseball bat to the eye look I usually sport. But what do I know? I use duct tape to make my kids sit still and shut up so I can paint all the furniture lavender in one afternoon.

Oh, wait. That was my mother. Worse than ‘Nam, those flashbacks.

Anyway, I’ve got 15 samples to send out so you can tell me if you think it works. Want one? (You know you do. The stuff doesn’t even come out for another month.) Tell me something you use in place of something else, something you probably shouldn’t. And for the record, if you tell me you use alpaca spit as a sexual lubricant, I’m going to ask you to produce a prescription for antibiotics. Also, a handmade scarf. It’s cold in Canada.

*I will never, ever be able to think, say or hear “girly bits” again for the rest of my life and not go here with it. Bugones.

**The official press release goes a little something like this: GinZing™ Refreshing eye cream to brighten and depuff offers a natural wake-up call for visibly tired eyes.  An ideal product for use in times of increased mental and physical stress, when the eye area is prone to appear puffy and tired, it also addresses everyday fatigue symptoms with ingredients that increase cellular energy, fortify skin and even skin tone so that eyes appear vibrant and glowing with health.  It can be applied first thing in the morning or throughout the day when you’re in need of a quick pick-me-up.

And you thank thank/bitchslap for naming these 15 bloggers the recipients of some lovely eye cream:

Overflowing Brain
Tadpole Drain
MN (really, dude, you SO need a blog. I think you’ve put it off long enough.)
Midlife Mama
Alison of a Gun
Erica Mueller (who is also without blog)
Jenn (and NEITHER does Jenn, and there are 18 million Jenn’s but she’s the first baby wipes comment.)
Kim Prince




Filed under Reviews

50 responses to “Necessity is the Mother of Invention

  1. I use dryer lint to start fires. GIMME SOME OF THAT CREAM. Thanks.

  2. Mr Lady

    DO TELL, Kim. I like fires. Alot.

  3. I use vinegar as fabric softener. The poptart uses my old cel phone as a teether – does that count?

    And since I have a 4 month old you know I need that stuff.

  4. When I was 9, I found myself in the bathroom with an empty toilet paper roll. I thought “(redacted)” and then McGyvered a nice (redacted) and (redacted, redacted, redacted). But come on, I was 9.

    I also superglue all open wounds. This statement has nothing to do with the above.

  5. Mr Lady

    Nicole, you certainly do. And I don’t even have to mail it.

    Jim, um…err…well, okay then. Way to set the bar pretty fucking high, yo.

  6. Erica Mueller

    I don’t enter for much, but this post was so hilarious, and I do have puffy eyes, so why not?

    Do you think the cream would work on a bloated tummy?

    Anyway… I recommended Scrubbing Bubbles to my hubs when he couldn’t get some greasy truck parts clean. Worked like a charm!

  7. Jenn

    I use baby wipes to dust the house (when I actually dust), which probably isn’t too original, but hey I’m not that creative!

  8. Mr Lady

    Erica, I use coca-cola to clean the grease off my driveway. I feel you, dawg.

    You know what works on a bloated tummy? Cake. Lots and lots of cake.

    Jenn, HOW EXPENSIVE IS THAT??? (But I bet it works, huh?)

  9. I use teatree oil on everything. Cuts, zits, dandruff. The shit is amazing.
    I’m also able to clean my whole house top to bottom with just vinegar and baking soda, but why in the hell would I want to do that?

  10. Jenn

    Works like a charm. As for expense, it is just added to the multitude of wipes we go through with a toddler (especially since said toddler is fascinated with pulling wipes out of the container). Once she is out of diapers I’ll either have to change my methods or live in a really dusty house!

  11. jen

    I’m not sure if this will count, but I re-used two pairs of boxers that my DH didn’t like to make a slouch purse…. and no, they didn’t have skid marks in them….

  12. pam

    I use toothpaste for the zit thing too. Also I use toothpaste to plug nail holes in the wall before I paint.

    And Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap for everything! Mouthwash, floor cleaner, shampoo, antiseptic. It’s like a miracle product.

  13. I’m trying really hard to think of something I use in place of something else….

    Meanwhile does it count if the bags under my eyes are so bad that I was actually just this week considering getting some hemerroid cream to try to get rid of them?

    Seriously, people are asking me “What the hell is wrong with your eyes?” I’ve got to do something about this, and if you don’t send me some of this cream, I’m gonna have to resort to hemerroid cream.

    OH! I got one. I use coffee filters instead of paper towels to clean the windows and mirrors. No Lint!!

    OMG, I have two, a paste made out of baking soda and a band aid for bee stings.

    Ok, I’m on a roll now, here’s number three, use white wine to remove a red wine stain from carpet or clothing.

    Alright, that’s all I’ve got. Send me my cream. Please.

  14. You are too funny! Hmmm, I have been known to use those freebie address labels charities always send me in place of scotch tape since my rolls of tape always disappear in this house. Makes for an interesting gift wrap job, but at least the recipient is sure who it came from.

  15. I use the haircut buzzer things to de-fringe my cats where the cats claw it. Sigh. Oh, and I use my ponytail holders as book bindings on the books my son got hold of when he was a hellspawn baby. (If HTML doesn’t work here, rest assured that “hellspawn” was totally meant to be crossed out.) I use boob tape as flypaper because I live in a desert in an apartment with no window screens. And sometimes I use my husband’s work socks as a weapon of mass destruction.

    In sum, I’m pretty white-trash-creative, and I could totally use some eye-depuffer, because did I mention that I use night as cleaning/writing/freaking out time? Sleep is for the less resourceful.

  16. I do not actually de-fringe my cats. I de-fringe my couch. Do you like how I used one word to mean another, there? I am clearly on a multi-purposing roll.

  17. heh- I worked in a walk-in clinic, so similar to BusyDad, I ALSO use superglue for deep wounds (that don’t require stitches) but mine is medical grade and purple and is MEANT to be used for wounds!!! 😛

    My fave for using multi-purpose: lemon juice. I use it to clean most of my kitchen- it makes my stainless sinks shiny and fresh-smelling. My second fave is baking soda- I use it to unclog sinks/toilets (mixed with vinegar or lemon juice it foams like crazy and works awesome!!), also deodorizing carpets, and a mild abrasive cleanser… I also use salt in my washing machine when I wash darks- it prevents the dye from running into other clothes.

    As far as cosmetics goes- I ❤ teabags (chamomile is wonderful!!) and I also do the toothpaste thing (never have tried bandaids- thanks for the idea) for spot-treatment. I don't do hemmoroid cream- but the tucks pads with tea tree or witchhazel or whatever it is in them is nice for puffiness- especially after being in the fridge. One of the best treats EVER- polident tabs for a foot soak!! they bubble and are minty and make your feet tingly and soft!!

    Good lord I'm cheap… It's almost embarrassing!!

  18. Elizabeth

    Hum, let’s see: toothpaste to clean the chrome fixtures in the bathroom, leaves ’em so shiny; shaving cream to clean the mirrors, clean and fog-resistant; hydrogen peroxide on fresh blood stains (you never know when that one will come in handy!); alka-seltzer to clean the toilet, and tennis balls in the dryer rather than those dryer ball thingies – much cheaper and they really do help!

  19. I, too, use toothpaste as wall spackle. And Listerine to clean out my bowl. I do not mean cereal bowl. Resin is sticky shit, y’all.

  20. The Bearded Iris

    I used a bag of frozen niblets to soothe my husband’s niblets after his vasectomy. The best part was that the corn was a gift from a neighbor after the birth of our last baby. Hot damn, it was so much fun to write THAT thank you note: “Dear Gwen, thank you for the thoughtful meal! The lasagna was delish and the frozen corn doubled as a very handy ice pack for all of our post-partum boo-boos. You’re a gem to think of us!”

    And yes, we ate the corn later. What about it?

  21. I use Desitin for just about everything. Zits, small burns, cuts, rashes.
    Seriously, it cures everything.

  22. Samantha

    Lets see…I use rice and odd socks to make heating pads, beer and a soda bottle as a slug trap, coffee grounds and egg shells as fertlizer in the garden, hairspray to preserve artwork and make it easier to thread a needle, soap to unstick a stuck zipper

  23. I use my husband’s conditioner to shave my legs because I am too cheap to buy shaving cream. It pisses him off to no end because he’s always running out.

    I also clean my rings at work with Grey Goose. I let them soak in it while I’m wiping down the taps.

    Origins is the bomb, I ask for it for birthdays and then hoard that shit.

  24. Sheila

    I now use this post and comments to clean my house. so many good ideas! I use fabric softner sheets to keep my luggage from smelling nasty…

  25. Deb

    I don’t want the Origins stuff but I wanted to contribute to this amazing resource. Tampons are almost as useful as Q-tips for cleaning around button on appliances. They hold together admirably. Empty toothpaste tubes can make slow burning pipes with a handy little lip as I recall. If you are in a motel room and need weapons, don’t forget you have lamp cords which can be unplugged, cut with your shaver and plugged back in for a decent little taser, springs from chairs or mattresses are handy, and a toilet tank lid is a shield, a heavy object to throw, or smashed it makes deadly shivs–or a big piece in a sock can be twirled for velocity. Basically, toilet tank lids are the baking soda of motel rooms.

  26. Amo

    Don’t ask me how I know this because I will lie. BUT, your own saliva will take your blood out of fabrics.

    Ex: Let’s say you cut yourself making dinner and get it all over your shirt. If you start spitting on it, the blood will dissolve.

    True story.

    But I do second the Dr. Bronner’s post from another person. If you mix it w/ baking soda, it cleans anything!

  27. First of all, I shouldn’t be surprised, yet I am that nearly all of your double uses are the same as mine. BUT it’s preparation-H on the luggage and it totally works – but looks a little greasy. Let’s see what else I can think of…

    I learned the hard way that peroxide takes out blood stains. Two words: white duvet.

    Cigarettes and coffee are the best diet ever. Who needs speed, when you’re so overcaffeinated you can’t hold a spoon still and orally fixated on your next nic-fit-solution.

    And finally, yes, a paste of baking soda and water are great for cleaning nearly anything – including old tobacco stains from electronics – but when you add a toothbrush into the mix, not only do you get extreme cleanliness, you get OCD-based exorcizing of all of your childhood woes. Until someone calls the cops because you haven’t been out of your apartment in months and they assume you’re dead, since they don’t realize EXACTLY how many .5 X .5″ tiles you have in your bathroom.

  28. Britni

    Dude, is this contest over? Of course, right now I can’t think of any of the really clever cleaning things I do (and it’s not because my husband has been cleaning the kitchen for the past 6 months) but I do know that I have a bazillion empty glass jars (from pickles, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, peaches, whatever) in my cupboards because hello! free cups! and granola storage! and caterpillar houses! recycled mason jars = the win.

  29. I have another one for you. I use uncooked rice to clean the hard to reach places in sports bottles, baby bottles, etc. Anything that has an opening too small for your hand but that your children will put milk or juice in even though you’ve told them 100 times that they aren’t to put anything other than water in it and then leave under the couch or in the far back of your SUV to get funky. Just put about 1/4 cup of rice in with your soapy water and swish it around. It gets into all the little corners way better than one of those stupid baby bottle brush thingies.

  30. justshireen

    I use vinegar to clean my rings, windows and floors. Occasionally it ends up in food.

  31. I’ve heard that peanut butter will get bubble gum out of your kid’s hair, but, frankly, scissors work just as well, and are less messy. I’ve also heard that you can use a pipe-cleaner to clean the built-in straws or spouts on water bottles, if you’re actually concerned about such things. My favorite (and most used) two-fer is junk food for the real meal, because, come on, most of us are too tired (view exhibit A, saggy, baggy eyes) to actually prepare a real meal. What? Potato chips for lunch? Well, they are a vegetable . . . Birthday cake for breakfast? There are eggs in there . . .

  32. Baby wipes to clean stains on fabric. They are GENIUS. They get crayon and magic marker off of couches, random spots off my clothing, dog dirt off the couches. And they clean my kids’ butt too.

  33. I don’t even clean my house. Period. So I am looking at all of these oh-so-hilarious comments thinking Gawd, no WONDER these people need eye-bag cream; that sounds like a lot of (redacted) work.

  34. Okay, I use monistat for itching. I swear to God it works. And it’s cheap. I do use hemoriod cream on my eyes, too. I use vinegar and baking soda, together, to clean my drains. (bath tub drains)

    I filled a hummingbird feeder up with vinegar to keep the bees off my deck. It worked!

  35. NadinetheMinx

    Wow! What a resource! I don’t have any really funny double-uses, but do have a couple of good ones. If you get tired of seeing your spouse’s holey jock-type socks, they can be reused for cleaning– just put ’em on your hands (if you put lotion on first, you also get soft hands!). Jock socks are also great if you have to wear one of those inflatable ankle braces– keeps you from scratching the daylights out of the skin under the brace! I also stuff them with other old socks and catnip for a cool kitty toy. And, if you’re “not feeling the love” and your hubby is, you can just give him one of the extra socks and the prevously mentioned lotion(I won’t take any responsibility for relationship woes that come from following this suggestion!). Just one more, an old, stretched out athletic sock can make a great dog toy–just tie knots in it.

  36. mn

    you know, this is just hearsay, but i hear vaccum cleaners are great for cleaning carpet. i might just have to try that….one of these days….for science’s sake
    also, i am shameless, i do desperately need the cream, bc i have a birthday in a few months and want to be de-puffed.
    i hear tea bags work but i’d rather just toss them in the sink much to the chagrin of others.

  37. i use toothpaste on burns. not sun-burns but the kind you get trying to sneak your hand in the toaster oven cause you’re too lazy to pull out the tray.

    i also use visine eye drops on a red swollen pimple, gets the red out. true it works
    you know what else works? windex.

    ok so you KNOW i need this cream, i have a 4 month old!

  38. Will you ship outside of Canada? Cos if so, I’m all there.

    I use eucalyptus oil for washing clothes and floors, olive oil for lube and honey and a bandaid to promote healing (just not on the stitches after Amy, that seemed like WAY too much work). In a pinch deoderant will kill a spider and salt and bi-carb works for scrubbing hotplates and BBQ’s.

  39. I use dryer lint for fires, too, on purpose. Put it in an empty cardboard egg carton, melt some wax, pour the wax over the lint, let harden, cut the egg-holder cup things apart, and poof! a (camp)fire-starter.

    I use baking soda and vinegar for everything, including cleaning and conditioning my hair.

    Tea tree oil facewash that was too strong for my face to kill the yeast infection in my armpits. Also, yogurt.

    Hotel shampoos as a stain pre-treater (because I’m not using it for my hair).

    Used coffee grounds as an awesome, awesome exfoliant.

    Apple cider vinegar as a wart killer.

    Caffeine for sleep.

    I’ve also heard you can use a block of dry ice to keep mosquitoes away from you at a picnic or outdoor event — they’re attracted to CO2, which you exhale, which is also all that dry ice is. So if you put a big chunk a little way away from the people (make sure to keep the kids away! unless you believe that you should use ice burns as an educational tool…), the skeeters will go over there and leave you alone.

  40. MJ

    I use a combination of citronella oil, cider vinegar, Avon skin so soft and water as a fly & skeeter repellant…put in a spray bottle and spray on and around great…also use it on my horse and cats.

  41. Mindy

    I use fingernail polish on bug bites. Makes scratching them a little more exciting, ya know, the whole peeling effect.

  42. I use borax to keep out roaches, but that’s not very creative and it doesn’t really work.

    Which is because cockroaches can survive a nuclear holocaust with zero damage and frankly, I’m pretty sure I could sprinkle anthrax around the border of my (old) house and the cockroaches would still pop up in my bedroom with jazz-hands antennas.

    But I tried. That counts, right?

  43. Phatgirl

    I use scotch tape on blisters cause it works way better than bandaids… much less bulk to create resistance and encourage blister development. This is handy in Canada where we don’t get to wear flip flops whenever it’s necessary. Also, when you are at a client site and you have a blister from those new stilettos and you can barely walk another step, it’s way less embarrassing to ask the receptionist if she has any scotch tape vs. bandaids.

  44. oh god, am i too late for this?? i used strong strong brewed (and cooled) tea for diaper rash.

    i use neosporin for EVERYTHING. (you broke your arm? put a little neosporin on it.)

    come on, mr lady, feel my pain. i’m old and have VERY VERY tired eyes …

  45. Christina

    Sign me up!

  46. Sal's Girl

    By experience learned that Preperation H is great for really bad sunburns–trust me! Also, if baby has diaper rash heat some flour in an iron skillet until turns golden brown and use on baby’s butt. The baby will smell like a loaf of fresh bread, but it works!

  47. I’ve been doing the toothpaste to dry up a zit thing for years. It really works! I also keep pipe cleaners under my sink to use to clean out old chocolate milk from cups with built in straws, because my kids don’t understand the words “put your cup in the sink when you’re done”.

  48. Wow, you people are some cheap bastards.

    I don’t really have anything new to add!
    I do use fabric softener sheets in the bottom of every garbage can..but that’s boring compared to other stuff listed…
    I only eat english muffins to make mini-pizzas – does that count??

  49. Dude, how did I miss this? Have I still got a prize? Heh. Google alerts is seriously lacking in actual alertiness.


  50. Preparation H works like nobody’s business.

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