Off Topic: Candles

Are you even a beauty blogger if you don’t talk about candles? /s

Anyway, I can’t resist. Not because of the oddly pervasive stereotype that I just poked fun at, but because I really freaking like a few so I’m going to share. I can deviate from time-to-time, damn it. Call it beauty-for-the-home, if you will.

Yankee Candles

I tend to buy a lot of Yankee Candles when they’re on sale. They carry a lot of fragrances that:

  • I enjoy
  • My husband enjoys (or at least tolerates)
  • Do not give either of us headaches


Mother Ocean from the Margaritaville collection is … everything. It’s fresh without being overpowering. I think the ozone component is responsible for my obsession with this fragrance. It’s incredible, and if money were no object I’d clear the shelves at my local Yankee store every time I saw it in stock. This is my absolute favorite candle, period. I will grieve when they end the line.


Macintosh is a fantastic apple fragrance that is appropriate year-round. It is not a spiced apple or apple cider – just straight up apple. I haven’t found a human who is offended by Macintosh. It’s in the permanent line.

Target Candles

Yankee isn’t the only place, though. The Signature Soy line at Target is an excellent contender. I don’t find that the candles themselves last quite as long as Yankee Candles do when burned, but I do enjoy them, hence repurchasing a zillion times over the years. I noticed that the wax is softer, and I assume something about that property of the wax causes it to be consumed faster.


From this line, Sweet Spun Sugar is my favorite. With a name like that, you’d almost expect a sickening, cloyingly sweet fragrance – but it isn’t. It is nicely balanced between sweet and fresh. They come in three sizes; the two larger ones are dual-wick.


  • Before lighting candles, keep the wick(s) trimmed to about 1/4 of an inch. You don’t need a fancy, $10+ wick-trimmer to do this, despite what a candle salesperson may tell you.
  • I love candle warmer/melters (I use this one). For $5-10, they’re a safer alternative to an open flame (though you do lose out on that nice flicker). On top of that, they’re a great way to get extra mileage from your candles. My favorite ways to use a warmer are:
    • With small candles – like Yankee’s small tumblers or jars, or the smaller ones from Target’s signature soy line. I can quadruple (at least!) the lifespan of a candle by melting it to enjoy its fragrance vs. burning it.
    • With larger candles whose wicks have burnt up but who still have a fair amount of wax. Melting a full, large candle takes a while!
    • Also, if I have several candles with the same fragrance whose wicks are spent, I’ll combine them into one jar.
      Note: If you melt a candle with a good wick, the wick is likely to fall into the wax. Keep that in mind when deciding which to melt vs. burn. Be sure you don’t want to burn it any longer when you decide to melt it!
  • Never pay full price for Yankee candles. They always have coupons to the tune of Buy One, Get One Free, $20 off $45, and so forth. My local store allows me to stack them, too – I’ve had candle hauls to the tune of $275 retail only having paid $50 out of pocket. It’s like the department store game – items are ludicrously marked up to allow for regular, deep discounts.
  • Candles make good, consumable, non-clutter gifts. Need to get a gift for someone who, “has everything,” and don’t care for the gift-card route? Consider some nice candles.