DEAR HÉLOISE: Can you tell me how to shrink a sweater? My brother gave me a beautiful Norwegian sweater from one of his trips to the Navy. It was washed without my knowledge, and now I feel like I’m wearing a kid’s sweater.
Of course, my heart is broken! There may be a cure.
– Miriam S., Reading, Pennsylvania.
DEAR READER: Try the following:
1. Fill a sink with lukewarm water and a capful of your conditioner.
2. Add the sweater and let it soak for 15-20 minutes.
3. Leave the sweater in the sink but drain the water. Carefully squeeze the remaining water out of the sweater. Do NOT rinse the sweater in clean water or wring it out. This is a very important part, so be careful.
4. Place the sweater on a clean towel and, as gently as possible, start stretching the sweater to its original size while it is still wet. This may take some time. Keep it flat until the sweater is completely dry.
DEAR HELOISE: My husband works in an auto repair shop, and there is a certain amount of oil in the air. He developed blackheads that seem almost impossible to remove without squeezing, causing my husband a lot of discomfort. Any tips to remove them?
– Grace P., Nutley, New Jersey
DEAR READER: Here’s a clue that works loosely. Mix 1 1/2 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin with 2 tablespoons of whole milk and heat over medium heat. Once this mixture has cooled but is still slightly warm to the touch, apply to the skin with a brush, making sure the blackheads are well covered. Allow to dry, which may take 30 to 50 minutes. Peel off, and when you do, you should peel off the blackheads.
DEAR HELOISE: I pay a handsome sum to have my toenails done once a month, but my pedicures never seem to last very long. The varnish comes off too easily. What can I do to protect my pedicures?
– Emma T., Goose Creek, South Carolina
DEAR READER: You might want to try metallic nail polish. Their formula contains minerals that help them stay on the nail a little longer. Make sure to use a base coat, followed by two thin coats of polish. Make sure your nail polish is dry before you apply the top coat. You may also want to wear closed-toe shoes where possible rather than open-toed shoes. Keep open-toed shoes or strappy sandals for the evening and the beach.
DEAR HELOISE: I have liver spots on the backs of my hands, and it’s really aging my overall appearance. What can I do to make these spots less visible?
– Julie L., Cheboygan, Michigan.
DEAR READER: Rub half a lemon on the spots first to help lighten their appearance. Then use a vitamin C cream to soften your skin. You may want to use creams designed to reduce liver spots. If you do, apply before bedtime and wear cotton gloves to bed. If you are still bothered by your liver spots, you can always use makeup to cover them up.
Send a hint to save time or money to Heloise, PO Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email