Our favourite life hacks for urban women

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Stylist Team
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The world has been going mad for life hacks - tips and tricks to get rid of the tiny everyday annoyances in life. They may be everywhere at the moment, but they aren't half helpful. Scouring the internet provides hundreds of tips on how to make everything from drinking wine to riding a bike seem that little bit more logical.

Life hacks range from smart online ones, like searching 'unsubscribe' in your emails to find marketing emails to delete, to simple tricks like finding out if batteries have any juice left inside by bouncing them. We've picked out the best ones for city dwelling women, guaranteed to make your life easier. Promise.

1. When riding a bike in a skirt, use a penny and a hair tie to weigh it down

Just twist a penny in a fold of your skirt and secure it with a hair tie to create a temporary pair of culottes, meaning you can cycle carefree.

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2. Use beeswax to make shoes waterproof

Rubbing beeswax - usually used as a polish - on your canvas shoes will help them repel water and keep your feet dry.

3. Check battery life by bouncing them

A quick and easy way to see if a battery is worth using: drop it from a low height - about 10cm - and if it bounces back, it hasn't run out of energy.

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4. Put a phone light under a drink for an impromptu lantern

Power cut? Need a light for a festival? Put your phone underneath a bottle of water. The light will reflect through the liquid in all directions, creating an ultra-modern lamp.

5. Iron clothes with hair straighteners

No time to get the ironing board out? A pair of straigheners will brush out creases instantly.

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6. Wrap a paper towel around drinks to make them freeze quickly

If you've just refilled the ice tray, or want to pop something in the freezer to cool it down, wrap it with a wet piece of kitchen paper - it will freeze within 15 minutes.

7. Clear your internet history to find cheaper flights

While looking around for the best holiday deal, your browser will store the sites you visited and if you return, it's likely the price will have increased because the site will be trying to make you spend more. Clear the internet cache to make it search 'afresh', aka with the cheapest prices.

8. Draw an 'x' on your Cupid's Bow to get your lip line right

Forever smudging your lipstick? Draw an x around your Cupid's bow at the top of your lips to show where the line lies, and hey presto, perfect lippy.

9. Lost? Ask a takeaway for directions

It's a lot more likely the local pizza delivery place will know the way to your friend's road than a random bypasser.

10. Put your phone in a glass to increase the volume

If you only have a phone speaker to play music out of, place it in a glass to make the sound reverberate - it will be louder and clearer.

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11. Protect your charging wire with a pen spring

If you're constantly tugging at your chargers and the wires are starting to come loose, pull a spring out of an old click pen and wrap it around the wire to stop the casing breaking.

12. Pressing 0 or # forces automated phone systems to put you through to a human being

Many automated systems are aborted by repeated pushing of the # or 0 key on your phone.

13. Use a piece of spaghetti to light nearly burnt out candles

Spaghetti burns just like a match, but as it's a lot longer, it won't burn your fingers as you reach into a candle.

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14. Search 'unsubscribe' in your email inbox to easily find marketing emails

An easy way to clear a lot of space, all promotions have an option to unsubscribe, meaning you can mass delete quickly. Goodbye, updates from the site you ordered mum's birthday present on three years ago.

15. Paint the inside of rings with clear nail polish to avoid green marks

That horrible green colour that rubs off on your fingers can be contained with a simple flick of a nail polish brush.

16. Change a URL of a website to avoid signing up for WiFi

If you add "?.jpg" to the end of the web address you're writing in, you can access the internet without filling in your details on endless servers to get on the WiFi.

17. Freeze grapes to keep your white wine chilled

Adding ice to wine will water it down, but putting frozen grapes in the glass will keep it cool without compromising the flavour.

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18. Use leftover sauces, stock and scraps to make your own stock cubes

Keep an ice cube tray spare, and fill it with little bits of leftovers to instantly add flavour next time you're cooking the same dish.

19. Break in new shoes easily with just some socks and a hairdryer

If your new flats are a little tight, put them on while wearing thick socks, blast the shoes with a hairdryer and let it cool while still wearing the shoes and socks - they will have adapted to your feet.

20. Pass your necklace chains through straws to avoid tangling

If your jewellery always ends up in a tangled mess when you go away, keep the chains separate by using straws.


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Stylist Team