Dear Heloise:

Do you have any tips on how to reattach a brand-new lipstick to its base after it has (somehow) broken off inside the tube?

Sara, via e-mail

I just hate when this happens! It seems to go kaput when you turn up the lipstick too far and press too hard when applying. A leading manufacturer suggested the following: Using a lit match, carefully heat the bottom of the broken piece, then lightly push the two pieces back together. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before rolling the color back down into the tube. Be sure that you angle the stick the right way when you place it back on the base (we learned that the hard way here at Heloise Central). Then put the lipstick in your freezer for at least 10 minutes. Keep in mind that this gets a little messy, so be prepared.

You should also call the manufacturer of your lipstick, because company officials do want to know about problems with their products.

P.S. I'm having the same difficulty with a new tube of lipstick, and you can be sure I'm calling the manufacturer today.

Dear Heloise:

Recently, I bought a purse. I know that when you buy a purse, the cashier empties the purse to make sure there is nothing else in it besides the filler paper. I have never thought to check the inside of a purse myself. Boy, did I feel awful when the cashier pulled out two cards that earrings come attached to, but no earrings. It just ruined my whole day to think that someone would wonder if I would steal. I am just thankful that the girl believed me, but I couldn't have blamed her if she hadn't.

From now on, I will check the inside of the purse before I get to the register.

Jeanette Wey

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Dear Heloise:

I wanted to share with your readers in my delicious recipe for smoothies using overripe fruit. Banana smoothies are my favorite.

To make them: Peel brown bananas, break them into small pieces and add to blender. Add 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 8 to 10 ounces milk. Blend with some ice cubes for 15 seconds. Delicious!

Bridget Kelly-Brown

Elkton, Md.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. Please include your city and state when faxing or using e-mail. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

(c)2004, King Features Syndicate