The Goods

The hosts of The Goods offer up their best tips for all your holiday woes

Find out how to get great lips, soft skin, a clean tablecloth, and a sticky toffee pudding that will satisfy gluten-free guests.
(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

During an already stressful and rather hectic time of year, any extra tips and tricks for solving those pop-up problems are more than welcome. Thankfully for us, the hosts of The Goods have plenty of advice to help us keep our holidays running smoothly. You wrote in about your toughest holiday conundrums and luckily for us, they answered. From candle wax woes to gluten-intolerant in-laws, here's some advice that we promise will come in handy this winter.

A quick fix for a waxy mess

Candle wax recently dripped on my favourite linen tablecloth that was given to me by great grandmother. I've tried scraping away the wax with a dull knife, but there's still wax residue left in the fabric. Is there anything I can do to salvage it?

Steven says dripped wax doesn't have to ruin your nice dining room tablecloth. All you need are a few items from around the house.

What you'll need:

  • Stained tablecloth
  • Brown paper bag
  • Paper towel
  • Iron
  • Dull knife

Directions:

1. Put the tablecloth in the freezer until it's cool.

2. Gently scrape off the excess wax with a dull knife.

3. Place a sheet of paper towel on top of stain.

4. Using low heat, iron until wax is drawn into the paper.

5. Keep moving the paper around and repeat the steps until all the wax is gone!

A crowd pleasing gluten-free sticky toffee pudding

My Christmas cake has always been a hit, but unfortunately my new sister-in-law is wheat intolerant and can't have any. I need a gluten-free recipe that actually tastes good. Help!

Shahir thinks it's nice not to single someone out with a food restriction by serving them their own dessert, and this is one is so delicious even the gluten tolerant people will enjoy it too. Last year Shahir made a non-gluten free version of this pudding, but this year's recipe is just as good and can be enjoyed by all!

Ingredients

Pudding:

  • ¾ cup strongly brewed Earl Grey Tea, hot
  • ½ pound Medjool dates (about 12 dates), pitted and diced
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup oat flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Caramel sauce:

  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp white corn syrup
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp spiced rum
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Preparation

Pudding:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spray a medium bundt pan (6 cup volume) with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the tea and dates in a large bowl and set aside.

Combine the flours, baking powder and salt, set aside.

In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together using a wooden spoon, and then incorporate the eggs one at a time.

Using a potato masher, mash the soaked dates into a fine paste, mix in the vanilla extract, and fold into the butter and egg mixture.

Fold in the flour mix until just combined.

Pour batter into bundt pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out with a few fudgy crumbs sticking to it, rotating pan halfway through.

Caramel sauce:

Place sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan and pour water around the edges of the sugar.

Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 8-10 minutes, brushing the sides of the pan with water until caramel is dark golden brown.

Remove the pot from heat and add the cream, taking extra care as the caramel will steam.

Whisk until smooth, and whisk in spiced rum and salt.

Cool and store in the fridge until serving.

Tips for banishing dry skin​

I really suffer from dry itchy skin this time of the year. I lotion my face and skin often but my skin still gets cracked. Do you have any tips and tricks to keep my skin hydrated?

Andrea says she also suffers from dry skin in the winter, so here are her go-to's.

Turn down your shower

Cool down your showers. At this time of year, it's easy to take a hot steamy shower, but the hot water can actually accelerate skin dehydration. Go for warm, not too hot.

Lather it on thick

Put your moisturizer on right after you get out of the shower. Andrea likes to use products that are shea butter-based to avoid that too-greasy feeling. She also puts a dime sized amount of serum underneath her moisturizer. Serums can be chock-full of moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides that help skin retain moisture. Using both helps lock the moisture in.

Mist your air

Invest in a humidifier. They add moisture to the air that might be lacking in old or dry buildings. And they come in stylish arrangements that are a lot less clunky than what you could find in the past.

See a dermatologist

These are things that work for Andrea, but it never hurts to go see a professional. If the issue persists, you may also be suffering from eczema or psoriasis which are autoimmune disorders that might require treatment. Talk to your doctor to find out for sure.

The perfect red lips that will last all night

I love wearing a bold red lipstick during the holidays, but it never seems to last all night. I'm planning on getting a Yew Year's kiss this year, so do you have any tips on how to make my lipstick last for the big moment?

Jessi says to start by exfoliating with a lip scrub. A gentle exfoliator will smooth over the flakes that come with winter's chapped lips. You can get lip exfoliators in beauty stores, or just make your own at home by mixing sugar and petroleum jelly together. Rubbing a toothbrush across your lips will also do the trick!

What you'll need:

  • Lipstick liner that matches the lipstick colour
  • Lipstick
  • Tissue
  • Setting powder
  • Makeup brush

Directions:

1. After exfoliating, grab a lip liner that matches the lipstick. Colour in your entire lip with the pencil, instead of just the line.

2. Apply your lipstick on top.

3. Separate a tissue into its two layers. Take one layer and smooth it over your lips.

4. Apply a setting powder through the tissue to blot your lips.

5. Done! Now you have perfectly kissable lips that won't leave a stain under the mistletoe.