Jackie Aina cares for her candles like they’re plants. Every night before bed, she snuffs and trims the wicks of each of the nine candles she simultaneously burns around her home, so she can start fresh in the morning. Throughout the day, she pays close attention to their burn, taking note of any tunneling wax or rogue pieces of wick.
"The first thing I do when I wake up is light my candles," says Aina. "And then sometimes I like to clean out the inside of the vessels when they get a little sooty. Just to make it pretty, keep it cute." She considers candle maintenance non-negotiable. "One, it's a flammable object. So you want to make sure you're burning it and using it responsibly. But two, candles cost money. I don't want people to pay and not get the full enjoyment out of the product that they have."
She takes scent very seriously, which is why she launched FORVR Mood, a fragrance-focused self-care brand, in August 2020. After over a decade in the beauty industry as a YouTuber and an influencer, Aina was expected by many to launch a makeup brand. But for her, fragrance made more sense.
"My first dip into beauty was actually through fine fragrance and perfume as a child, because I have hyperhidrosis, so I sweat more than the average person," says Aina. She says fragrance helped her come out of her shell. "Oftentimes I was in these social scenarios at school and in public where I felt really embarrassed to be around people because I would sweat so much, and obviously sweats stinks and you don't want to offend people with your body odor. And so I found myself getting to know perfume and fragrance, in general, a bit more because of that."
After exploring perfumes with her mom, who also has hyperhidrosis ("I would use her perfume collection, and that was how we would bond"), Aina got into candles.
"When you're hyper-aware of smells because you have hyperhidrosis, you're also hyper-aware of the smell of your surroundings in general," says Aina. "I never wanted someone to walk into my house and smell me. So I had to make sure my house smelled perfect too." The deeper she got, she realized there was a dearth of affordable yet high-quality candles. "Everything is either really expensive and smells good...or you have candles that are very accessible, very affordable but don't always necessarily have a great throw," (candle-pro-talk for the distance that the aroma can travel) "and don't really smell that great. I definitely felt like there was a lack of home fragrance brands that were right in the middle."
FORVR Mood, which launched its holiday collection, Après Ski, last week, is Aina's answer to that gap. She offers candles, room sprays, and candle-care tools all for under $40. Learn Aina's tips for getting the most out of your candles below, because "candle care and maintenance actually does make a difference," she says.
Jackie Aina's candle care tips to follow this winter and beyond
1. Never blow out a candle
"You can't just go and blow these candles out," says Aina. "Have you ever burnt a candle, and then you get halfway through and you're like, 'I can't really smell it anymore?'" She says one of the main reasons that happens is because when you blow and that smoke drifts away, it's taking fragrance with it. Instead, use a wick dipper to dip the wick into the wax for a smoke-free extinguish, or, use a candle snuffer, taking a few seconds to hold the snuffer over the wick once the fire is out.
2. Make sure your candles always burn evenly
"Have you ever seen when a candle doesn't form a full burn pool and It starts to cave in the middle," says Aina. "You don't want that to happen because you don't really get to maximize your throw when it's not fully liquified." To fix it, "you can use foil hacks to create an artificial tunnel cave to get it to reset." Just take foil and put it on top of your candle, mirroring the areas where the wax isn't burning. So if you have a wide wring of dry wax around your candle, use foil to make a tent rim around the rim that's the same width as the ring. Then burn the candle until the excess wax burns down and the pool is even.
3. Keep the wax free of debris
"Whenever the wick starts to mushroom and peel off, and it falls into the wax, you don't want to keep it like that," she says. " Before, years ago when I didn't know any better, I would just not dig it out and just re-burn it. That's affecting the smoke in the air. That's going to affect the overall burn quality. So you always want to make sure the inside of the candle is clean. Using your wick dipper, you can clean out any debris."
Get everything you need to care for your candles the right way in this kit. “A lot of people don’t understand the candle-care kits and stuff,” says Aina. “They’re not a gimmick. You actually use them. And they’re there for a reason.” It includes a snuffer, a wick trimmer, and a wick dipper.
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