I Tried Out Those Useless Reader Tips From “Real Life” Magazines

I Tried Out Those Useless Magazine Top Tips

Trashy “real life” magazines are something usually indulged in reading while sick, or while sitting in a waiting room as someone persistently coughs in the background. The same magazines that bring you salacious reader submitted stories (eg. My Dad Died And I’m Now Pregnant With His Ghost) are equally as renowned for bringing you some of the most ridiculous reader submitted top tips ever conceived by the human mind.

These magazines will usually shell out somewhere in the region of £25 per tip – or £50 if you include a photo – but I often wonder if the editors are in on the joke. Do they know these pages have become more ‘laughing stock’ than ‘bounty of wisdom’, and actively encourage the readers to share their bizarre brainwaves just to keep those trashy magazine copies circulating? Who knows. Either way, considering I did once use a sock to take off my makeup because I ran out of cotton wool, I think it’s not fair to judge these tips until I have actually tried them.

I Tried Out Those Useless Magazine Top Tips
(Soak toe of sock in micellar water. Highly recommend ladies.)

First up, the classic ‘after dinner toothpaste mint’:

‘Simply freeze a tube of toothpaste, then cut it open and slice the contents into wafer thin pieces to produce your very own treats’ – Okay, seems pretty straight forward, right? WRONG. I fell at the first toothpaste mint hurdle, erronously squeezing out the toothpaste, slicing it onto a plate and then putting that in the freezer.

I Tried Those Useless Reader Tips From "Real Life" Magazines

READ THE INSTRUCTIONS AISLING. I was supposed to just put the whole tube in the freezer and THEN slice it open once it’s frozen – that way I get that nice flat toothpaste mint shape. Okay, nevermind, in it goes!

As I wait for my after dinner treats to freeze, I begin to notice some gaping holes of logic in this top tip by Gemma from Lancashire. First of all, a quick look on the Tesco website tells me that a tube of Aquafresh is 80p:

Other actually-meant-for-human-consumption minty things that fall under that price range include:

And finally, for the sheer extravagance of an extra 9p, you could get an actual bag of mints:

I’m beginning to think this isn’t a tip for cash strapped dinner party hosts after all – rather just a ruse to get your guests to eat toothpaste. Christ Gemma, I know you want to play God with people’s lives but just take it out on a game of The Sims or something like everyone else.

We’re having Steve’s Parents over for dinner later in the week, so that’s the perfect opportunity to premiere the after dinner toothpaste mints. Until then I move on to the next top tip/most depressing paragraph I’ll read this year:

I Tried Those Useless Reader Tips From "Real Life" Magazines

Whoever failed to buy Cathy from Leeds the fluffy slippers she hoped for for Christmas – leading her to fashion her own pair from heavy absorbancy sanitary pads instead – I hate you. You’re a crap person.

There was still the fleeting hope that these sanitary slippers could be surprisingly comfortable though, so I decided I would have to find out. I purchased a supermarket brand of sanitary pads and got to work on my own “festive” Christmas slippers:

No, nope. It’s worse than I thought.

Not only do the slippers stick to the floor – self destructing with every step accompanied by an unsettling squelching sound – they also offer minimal comfort, practicality or festive feeling.

This leads me to believe that Cathy from Leeds was infact, fibbing. She wasn’t happy with her home made consolation xmas slippers at all – it was all just a cunning guise to use the £50 submission money to buy herself an actual pair of slippers. Case closed. NEXT!

I guess I could use somewhere to store my water bottles, caps and cuddly toys.. and I do have a pair of old shorts with paint stains on them just catching dust in my drawers.

Let’s give it a go:

….Right-O. Moving swiftly on.

Maybe this tip for jazzing up a clock will make our wall look more sophisticated?

I Tried Out Those Useless Reader Tips From Women's Magazines

‘I was looking for a new eye-catching kitchen clock so I made one that will literally gouge out your eyes should it fall on top of you!’
I dunno Russ from Bristol, ‘unusual’ isn’t necessarily a positive way of looking at a feature – I feel like the compliments your friends are dishing out (GET IT?? DISHING OUT?! LOLOLOLOL) to your new dinner clock are probably very insincere ones. But hey, I better stop jumping to conclusions and just try it out.

The only clock we have is a pastel purple wooden one in the shape of a cloud, so I’m thinking the cutlery will look best stuck across the top of it. (…There’s a sentence I thought I’d never have to type)

As we are not reckless with cutlery ownership and don’t just have spare cutlery to hand for jazzing up clocks, we’ll have to use the main eating cutlery for this. We tape the cutlery to the back of the clock with electrical tape (and being a foot taller than me) Steve  is tasked with hanging it on the wall.

I Tried Out Those Useless Reader Tips From Women's Magazines
We hit the first snag when we realise the weight of the stainless steel cutlery causes the clock to tilt to one side. I guess I should have realised the circular cutlery halo around Russ from Bristol’s clock wasn’t just arranged like that for aesthetics – it was also for weight distribution purposes. Intelligent design. Vorsprung durch Technik.

It’s grand though, I’ll just take the last fork off the end bit and tilt a spoon to the left.

Great! Steve can admire our ‘unusual’ clock while he eats his cereal with a little spoon – because that’s all we have left to eat with now.

Worth it.

Here’s hoping this next nifty little tip will be equally as worth it:

Of course! Play-doh! The most unassuming and visually inconspicuous entity there is! Who’d have known it also had draft excluding properties? Not me!

Just as soon as we’ve finished inhaling the sweet smell emanating from the blue pot of imitation “dough” I’ve purchased, we get to work on a gap I’ve located beneath our bedroom window.

The gap I’ve found isn’t indicative of a draft problem per se, but I have noticed some pesky ants around there before. Maybe filling the gap with blue imitaton-doh will keep them out?

Well, yep that literally just looks like we’ve stuck play-doh onto our window frame. I’ve now also realised if anything the ants will probably be attracted to the sweet smell.

Time to scrape it back off now – leaving residual play-doh which cannot be removed – and have no small child to blame the deed on. Just two grown 26 and 27 year olds.

‘Is… is that… blue play-doh stuck in that crack beneath your window?’

‘Yes. Yes it is.’

Maybe I should try a personal tip instead. How about this one:

Great, this is economical because I still have lots of sanitary towels left over from my festive slippers. Maybe Rosy from East London is on to something here…

I Tried Those Useless Reader Tips From "Real Life" Magazines

I think it’s best to do a BEFORE:

aaaaand AFTER:


…I mean yeah it totally looks like I’m wearing an incontinence nappy under my leggings now. And if it so happened that you were under the illusion that I did have these curves and then you were to grab onto my new “hips”, you’d definitely say ‘Yeah this feels just like an incontinence nappy.’  In the words of Disco Stu – ‘Back away, not today. Disco lady.’

It’s Sunday night now, and time for our dinner party with Steve’s parents. Aside from the toothpaste mints, it’s also the perfect opportunity to showcase this tip:

I Tried Those Useless Reader Tips From "Real Life" Magazines
What a perfect centrepiece this will make! I don’t have any candle holders to hand, so stick my festive drawing pin candle into a mini plant pot instead and set it alight.

I Tried Out Those Useless Reader Tips From Women's Magazines

I Tried Those Useless Reader Tips From "Real Life" Magazines

Hasthtag aesthetics. Hashtag stunning. Hashtag inspo.

Once we’ve finished eating dinner/admiring my captivating centrepiece, it’s time for our très sophisticated Carte d’Or-and-can-of-spray-cream-dessert. Luckily for Rui and Sonia, they’ll also have the option of a refreshing slice of Aquafresh!

I head to the kitchen to prepare, retrieving the frozen tube of toothpaste from the freezer and cutting it into slices as per the instructions:

I Tried Out Those Useless Reader Tips From Women's Magazines

I become excited once I see the swirly toothpaste mint pattern – just like in the photo shown on the tip. Maybe this is going to turn out well after all!

I Tried Out Those Useless Reader Tips From Women's Magazines

…Nope, the toothpaste is thawing really quickly, and the quickening gooey texture makes it impossible to cut a single solid wafer-thin mint slice.

LUCKILY for me, the plate containing my previous toothpaste mint attempt is still in the freezer.

I Tried Out Those Useless Reader Tips From Women's Magazines
Whatever, here’s one I made earlier I guess!

I Tried Out Those Useless Reader Tips From Women's Magazines
And now it’s finally time to present my after dinner toothpaste mints to our guests! Here we go!

I Tried Out Those Useless Reader Tips From Women's Magazines

I Tried Out Those Useless Reader Tips From Women's Magazines

No takers. Not a one.

I Tried Out Those Useless Reader Tips From Women's Magazines
As I sit there, laughing to myself at my standards of hospitality while Steve’s dad reads the back of a can of spray cream, something occurs to me…

I spent a considerable amount of time attempting these shitty magazine tips when I could have spent a considerable amount of time devising my own equally as shitty tips, and potentially making money from them!

I Tried Out Those Useless Reader Tips From Women's Magazines
Instead I am left with a plate of toothpaste blobs, melting by festive drawing pin candlelight – and Steve’s parents will probably never want to attend a dinner party at our place ever again.

Maybe if I had ended the night with delicious cheese eggs things would have gone differently.

I tried those reader submitted magazine tips
Now I’ll never know.

– Aisling Abbey

Tip sources: Google images, The Poke, Hero Of Switzerland.

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