Using Lip Balm to Fix a Sticky Socket, and Other Acts of Makeup MacGyver-ism

Published in: Beauty Tips

Makeup MacGyver

Like a beauty Beowulf, today I vanquished a household Grendel with my trusty lip balm sword!


That is to say I used a spare tube of Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm to grease the threads of an old light socket. Thanks to Apartment Therapy for this one:

“To remedy old and sticking sockets simply use a small bit of lip balm on the inside of the threads and the light bulb won’t have any problem screwing in! You can also apply it to the bulb instead of the sockets — it’s a great preventative measure, especially with new lamps. Just be weary of the very bottom of the bulb or socket being coated. If you’re worried things will get messy, just use a cotton swab to apply.”

We have some bare light sockets around the outside of the condo that I’ve been meaning to fill with bulbs. A few of them are rather beaten up after living life exposed to the elements for 30 years, and the sockets are sticky. A while back I was trying to screw a lightbulb into one of them (I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere) when the bulb cracked in my hand!


This time, with a swipe of lip balm applied to the threads on a new bulb, it screwed right in. 🙂

Got any other beauty-based home care tricks to share? Let me know in the comments.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Oh, and TGIF! Do you have plans tonight? El Hub wants us to re-watch Avatar on DVD… I thought it was a great movie, but I’m kinda not in the mood, le sigh!


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So far, 15 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Lisa S. says:

    Ok Karen, you need to check out this video on youtube, It will make you happy!

  2. mill says:

    this is so funny because this is my FAVOURITE balm of all time! ill keep it in mind next time i change a lightbulb 😉

  3. hahah that’s an awesome trick I never knew about. I thought Avatar was great on the big screen because of the special effects, but the plot itself was not so good. my plans for tonight consist of a good book+some Dreyers fruit popsicles
    .-= makeup morsels’s last blog post… Love Thy Sunscreen =-.

  4. Jackie says:

    What a great idea!!!
    .-= Jackie’s last blog post… Birthday FOTD and Oufit of the Day/Night =-.

  5. Trisha says:

    Hmm, I bet Petroleum jelly would have worked too. I never even thought about that. Speaking of McGuyver, I’m totally excited for the spoof movie, MacGruber. It’s a spoof movie by SNL. Looks hilarious.
    .-= Trisha’s last blog post… 10 Days to Ultimate Beauty Post Roundup =-.

    • Karen says:

      I’ve seen the previews for that flick! That guy’s hair is too much. 🙂

      Did you see the sketches on last week’s SNL with Betty White? Hilarious!

  6. Christy says:

    Doing my vacation ritual. Watching a late movie on opening weekend. Robin Hood was pretty good. Now crossing DC back to the hotel. I love this city!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Christy,

      I’ve never been there but would love to go someday. I read an article in last month’s Cooking Light magazine about the restaurant scene there; it sounds really lively!

      Hope you’re having fun!

  7. Kate & Zena says:

    1. I use rubber bands to twist off stubborn nail polish caps (opi, I’m looking at you).
    2. I use clear nail varnish over the names and numbers of my makeup brushes so they don’t wipe off.
    3. I use petroleum jelly to silence squeaky doors when I have no WD40 (for some weird reason, it works).
    4. Extra hold Hairspray + bugs = Weapon of Mass Insect Destruction. Don’t use the traditional pump spray kind of hairspray (lest you want very tired fingers) but the nozzle kind. The only problem is you do have to vacuum up the carnage which is icky.

    Not really doing much tonight. I’m trying not to do anything “dangerous” considering I managed to get two first degree burns (healed, thankfully) and two second degree burns (blisters, yep, the one on my pinkie popped in the shower to my dismay) on my right hand, two bruises on my legs and pulled a muscle in my left shoulder in five days. I think that’s a record in the Burns Category for me.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kate & Zena,

      Good call with the rubber bands on the nail caps! I will have to do that with my Essie polishes.

      • Kate & Zena says:

        The rubber band trick works on stubborn pickle jars, medicine caps, stubborn Nutella caps (sad, but it’s happened)….I have a stash of rubber bands just for opening stubborn lids and caps. I normally don’t have problems with Essie polishes; it’s the OPI caps! Stubborn little buggers.

  8. Nina says:

    Oh yeah ive done the hairspray vs bugs thing too! It works! We were on vacay last year and the bugs wanted to do a buffet on my legs. I sprayed some Elnett on my legs and they went away.

    Ive been meaning to do a layer of clear nailpolish on my brushes but … I dont have any clear nailpolish lol. I should get some.

    We had dinner at a healthy grill last night … then watched tv. And slept. Awesome evening, I loved it!

    • Kate & Zena says:

      A clear topcoat or base coat works too. I use a cheap Sally Hansen one!

      The hairspray I use is Suave Extrahold hairspray (which I never use). One three-second spray and bye-bye spiders (shudder shudder shudder) and other bugs. Zena takes care of June Bugs. She likes to snap them out of the air and eat them. Gross but to each her own.

  9. thats actually a dangerous thing to do, that petroleum/lube can melt into the socket and cause a shortage! graphite works best as a dry lube – pencils, yo! dont mess with electricity.

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