The Uncommon Life

Uncommon Personalities: Meet Jackie Udden

March 22, 2013
Meet Jackie | UncommonGoods
Jackie Udden, UncommonGoods Associate Buyer-Jewelry & Accessories

My hometown is…
I was born in Montclair, NJ, but my heart is in NYC.My favorite product that I’ve brought into the assortment at UncommonGoods is…
Kaleidoscope Necklace. (Favorite thing I’ve bought…Himalayan Salt Tequila Shooters. Everyone seems to love receiving them, and I usually get to help break them in!)

I’m inspired by…
Selfless actions.

My guilty pleasure is…
I can’t say I have an ounce of guilt about any indulgence, but know that I am a savory person!

An uncommon fact about me…
I was “gluten-free” long before it became fashionable.

My favorite place to eat in New York City is…
With my husband: Next Door Nobu.
With my friends and family: Edwards.
By myself: Le Pain Quotidien takeout on park bench.

My style is…
Polished comfort.

Working at UncommonGoods, I’ve learned…
Something new every day.

Would you rather…have access to every book ever written (but never watch another film) OR have access to every movie ever made (but never read another book)?
Easy–books! (Watching movies on the beach, where I hope to spend the majority of the remainder of my life, would be weird… reading however, perfect.)

Gift Guides

Gift Lab: DIY Lip Balm Kit

October 15, 2012

I am a total lip balm addict, as is our entire family. I have two on my desk at work, a few stashed in my bag, and always one in the car. The thing about my lip balm is, frankly, I do not like to share, and therefore I can never have enough of fresh sticks or tins of fresh balm on hand!

I am thinking that since I am a creature of habit and typically buy the same flavors, making my own lip balm with the DIY Lip Balm Kit will give me an opportunity to experiment with a different range of scents; and since everything is provided for us it should be fool proof!

I knew my 12-year-old daughter Tea was super excited to experiment with me and could not wait to open the box and check out the contents. We decided to make a variety of flavors instead of 6 tins of the same flavor, so we raided our cabinets for essential oils and found a few interesting base scents. The kit comes with peppermint, so we opted for the peppermint, our tangerine oil, and added a chocolate oil to the peppermint (for the “never yet seen on any store shelf”) chocolate-peppermint lip balm.

Everything is well labeled in the kit and very organized and the instructions were very easy to follow. Basically all that was needed was a scale, a few mixing cups, a spoon, and a double boiler. It was very nice to see the cards had details on all the ingredients – informative and educational.

We wanted a “plain” balm first, so we threw all the ingredients to melt together–basically beeswax, cocoa butter, and sunflower oil–let that melt and filled the first tin with the unscented mix. There are really clear instructions on how to get the balm to be smooth on the top, and what to do if it coagulates.

Since we were doing a variety of flavors, we had to plan out the best way to achieve our assortment, and it seemed like the best way was to just mix the plain base with the oil right in the little tins.

We discovered that if you add too much essential oil, it becomes too strong and can burn your lips, so in this case less is more, as the natural oils are very concentrated.

Next came the peppermint, and since this was our last base flavor, we added peppermint right to the boiler, and mixed it well. After we filled the tins with peppermint, we added some chocolate to the nearly empty boiler, making our last mixture of chocolate peppermint.

The instructions recommended a curing/hardening period of a few hours. In the meantime Tea labeled the tins so we could be ready for action when the balms were set.

This was a super fun, easy activity that was basically fool proof. We over-scented one tin but found you could dilute the mix by added more wax/base… so all in all it was very fun, we achieved great results and had a lot of fun doing this together! I was very happy to have all the instructions ingredients provided for us, and know that if we want to continue another time, we just need to seek the ingredients. We still have the tins and the recipe, and the know-how; I am sure we’ll give it another try and even experiment with some more flavors next time!

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