Did you know that there is a “right” way to burn a candle??? I burn them in my home all the time, but I never thought about there being a right or wrong way to do so.
Tonight, shortly after lighting the candles in my living room, (and not pouring myself a glass of wine because it’s dry January) I read this article on Vogue.com and figured maybe some of you would find it interesting too. That is, if you don’t already know the right way to burn a candle…
There’s a Right Way to Burn a Candle: Here’s Everything You Need to Know
’Tis the season for hibernation. No matter what’s driving you indoors—the recent snow flurries, dipping temperatures, early night falls, or merely disheartening headlines, few things will help you dodge the winter blues like the warm glow of a candle. But whether you crave the inviting fragrance of a fireplace, or the soft, sleep-inducing notes of fresh violets, there’s more to burning a candle than lighting a match. Expert candle burning requires etiquette—a precise art of what, when, and how. According to Alia Raza, cofounder of the conceptual fragrance house Régime des Fleurs (which recently debuted its first collection of candles), sloppy candle maintenance can lead to a lopsided wick that burns more glass than wax, while bad scent judgment could ruin a dinner party. From the importance of lids to picking the best fragrance for every room in your house, here, Raza shares the four simple precepts on how to burn a candle like a grown-up.
Before You Burn, Always Trim Wick length is a kind of goldilocks variable that can swiftly cut the life of your candle short. Especially with larger candles, which provide more surface area for drifting, a curt wick length will ensure a straighter burn. Trim it right before you burn it every time you burn it, says Raza. As far as length is concerned, “I’ve heard that wicks should be a quarter of an inch, but in my experience, that’s too short,” she says, describing how a diminutive wick can drown and extinguish in molten wax. “Eyeball it for a third of an inch. You can use a special wick trimmer, but I just use small scissors that I keep in a drawer.”
Consider the Setting The urge to light a beautiful candle is hard to ignore, but restraint is occasionally necessary. For example, scented candles should never be lit at the table. “Unless you’ve designed your entire meal to be enjoyed around that scent, it’s not appropriate during a meal,” says Raza. A candlelit dinner should only occur with the help of fragrance-free pillars or tea lights. Dens become more welcoming with masculine notes like wood, leather, and cashmere. “It’s more of a cozy, old-world smell,” says Raza, who developed her first collection of candles, Artefacts, with specific rooms in mind. Bathrooms and offices share olfactory requirements for cool, bright scents that smell clean and keep you alert. “A mint candle is not going to put you to sleep,” recommends Raza. Meanwhile, bedrooms call for softer notes like iris and iris root, while, “Violet is nice for a more feminine side.” And white florals will send an inviting message in entranceways, “but really, they’re beautiful anywhere.”
Keep It Lit “In general, when you burn a candle, and especially the first time you burn it, you want to burn it for about two hours or more, depending on the size of the candle,” says Raza. The idea here is that the entire top layer becomes molten before you extinguish it. “That means the whole surface will burn evenly so it won’t create those dips,” which can deepen, creating a cavernous hole for the wick that can, with run off from the surrounding walls of wax, become permanently lost.
Extinguish Gently Splashes of wax and tilts of wicks are often the result of blowing out a candle with too much force. Sniffers will cut this possibility out of the equation entirely, but Raza recommends gently blowing on the wick and immediately covering the extinguished candle with a lid. “All candles should come with a lid,” says Raza, explaining, “There’s nothing worse than blowing out your candle before you go to sleep to find that your entire room suddenly smells like smoke.” A lid will also keep dust and dirt from settling on your candle wax—just further insurance that you and your candle enjoy a long, beautiful life together.
I live in a pretty warm place, and don’t really have many occasions to wear cashmere. Basically it’s only cool enough to wear sweaters here in January and February, so any cashmere I do buy really only sees daylight (or soiree light) when I travel.
Cashmere is expensive, so it can be devastating when you pull out that signature piece to find it has been an all-you-can-eat buffet for moths, or that it has pilled where the arms meet the torso, or when your fluffy cashmere comes back from the cleaners looking like a lack-luster polyester blend.
This article came to my inbox via Vogue.com If you are a cashmere lover, you may find it helpful too!
Love Your Cashmere Sweaters? Here’s How to Care for Them, From Vogue.com’s Resident Expert
Because I am very, very old, I have owned far more sweaters than you have. In the ’90s they were vintage, in the aughts their labels gradually improved, and today a lot of them are what I would modestly describe as extremely nice.
After all these years of tending to knits; of watching age wither them; and witnessing their sad, often premature demises, I have learned a few things about their care and handling. In fact, you might say, I’m a bit of a jailhouse expert on the subject.
So, in the spirit of the season, I have decided to share a number of my hard-learned secrets, carefully culled from decades of disasters.
Moths, the Enemy First off, let’s deal with the worst-case scenario: the hell wrought by the revolting, insidious moth. These vile creatures appear to be endemic in Manhattan—a friend swears she laid a wet sweater out one night to dry and woke up the next morning to find a tiny hole. To add insult to injury, they invariably feast on your more expensive items, preferring a nibble at a Chanel cashmere buffet to chowing down on a Big Lebowski thrift shop number. To stem this encroachment, it is useful to employ the birth control metaphor. Forget cedar chests and closets, the moth-repellent equivalent of the unreliable rhythm method. What you need is an ultra-strong condom in the form of an impenetrable zip-top plastic bag. Then, after you seal the sweater in the bag, put it in a drawer that closes tightly. (Yes, purchase a separate chest of drawers if you must! You will thank me when your sweaters are hole-free.)
In the event that the damage is already done, you can also call upon the re-weaver. These skilled craftspeople will work miracles—but the cost isn’t exactly cheap. Still, if it really is worth $100 to make your turtleneck whole again, so to speak, it’s nice to know these geniuses exist.
Pills and Fuzz Sometimes the problem isn’t holes but pills. These annoying bumps can show up after a single wearing of a new sweater. (Research reveals that more and more, cheap fibers are employed in sweater construction, unlike the better filaments used years ago, which is why your 1950s cardigan, now almost 70 years old, remains pill-free and that thing you bought last month is dying.) For this blight, you can try a battery-powered “fabric shaver,” which buzzes the fuzz off and is fairly helpful (your cardigan will look much better, but not like new). But remember not to use this contraption on lace or other delicate materials! (You don’t want to know how I know this.) You can also get one of those roller things with the sticky tape, which is better than nothing—though far more useful for picking up pet hair than for de-pilling. Also, the dry cleaner can sometimes de-pill, so be sure to specifically ask about this. Speaking of which—though most sweaters return happy from a trip to the cleaners, there are some knits that should never darken that door.
Washing Vs. Dry-Cleaning Once I had a gray crewneck Calvin Klein cashmere sweater that I loved more than life itself. So imagine my despair, my horror, when my beloved pullover came back from the dry-cleaner as stiff as shoe-box cardboard. Vowing that this sort of tragedy would never befall me again, I asked around, and it turns out that cashmere experts—yes, such people exist!—recommend washing over cleaning.
This is easy enough if you have your own washing machine—put that baby in a mesh bag, set the dial for the gentle cycle, and cross your fingers. But if you, like me and millions of other deprived New Yorkers, are without the luxury of a home machine, then just go ahead and soak your cashmere in the bathroom sink—cool water, not too many suds! Tenderly squeeze it in a towel to get the water out, lay it flat, gently coax it back into shape, and pray that no moths are in search of a midnight feast.
I’m absolutely obsessed with K-Beauty. I swear by Korean skin care. I can honestly say my skin has never ever looked better. It looks firm and smooth and it glows. In fact today a new order of skin care products arrived from Memebox. I order all my skin care products through them – they are so inexpensive especially when compared to Sephora’s pricing, and because they ship out of San Francisco they get here in about 3 days.
Anyway when I opened the Vogue.com email in my inbox today there was a story about K-Beauty, which of course got my attention.
I can’t say that I will actually try this technique. Apart from the fact that I’m sure it would go hilariously wrong for me, I’m into super glowy looking skin, rather than matte. But I can imagine it going crazy on Instagram :))
The Wonderfully Weird Makeup Trick That’s Sweeping Korea
by Monica Kim for Vogue.com
image via Vogue.com
“It’s the hot tip in K-beauty right now.” This, I’m told constantly, and always take with a fat grain of salt. But at dinner in Seoul last week with a particularly plugged-in friend, I heard that a rather unorthodox trick called jamsu makeup (roughly translated to “diving” or “submerging”) had swept the city this summer, producing a perfectly matte, melt-proof face with little more than a bottle of baby powder and a basin of water. Given the thick humidity enveloping both the U.S. and Korea of late, I was at least intrigued by the wholly whimsical proposition.
It was purportedly a Japanese beauty blogger who sparked the trend on YouTube, though it quickly became a Korean sensation. The novel technique bears some similarity to “baking”—setting your makeup with powder and body heat—but feels rather next-level. First, cleanse and moisturize, then swipe on primer, foundation, and concealer, per usual. Then, shake heavy handfuls of Johnson’s Baby Powder onto your palms (though any loose powder will do) and pat it on freely, releasing clouds of it into the air until a pale kabuki-style base appears. Filling a sink with cool water, plunge your powdered complexion into the bath and hold it there for no more than 30 seconds. Finally, pat your face dry, and finish the rest of your look with a lasting, pitch-perfect canvas.
“If you have dry skin, don’t push your face in the water too long,” my friend says, adding that one might take a facial mist and spray liberally, instead. A bit reluctantly, I dunk my Ringu-esque head in the sink for some 15 seconds, feeling (frankly) ridiculous. But, I quickly find, the results are beyond. Yes, my skin is intensely matte, but also incredibly smooth and even-toned. Better yet, when shading in my arches and applying liner, there is no oil-induced glide, allowing me to craft fine, pencil-thin strokes that are the best brow-work I’ve done in ages—all thanks to a $4 tin of drugstore powder. It lasts remarkably well with no under-eye smudging and, I’m frequently told, my face looks softer and even younger—appropriately enough, like the skin on a baby’s bottom.