The Uncommon Life

Gift Lab: Creating the Spa Experience at Home and On the Road

July 10, 2015

Gift Lab | Spa Experience Tin

Product: Spa Experience Tin


Remember that bit from My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the patriarch of the family insists that Windex is the cure-all for everything, from pimples to mysterious rashes? All you ever have to do, he says, is “put some Windex on it!” I’m kind of like that with tea tree oil. I never travel without it.

I am fascinated by natural beauty regimes. I love experimenting with DIY body scrubs and lotions, and learning about alternative beauty trends like the “no-poo method.” Unfortunately, I don’t always have the time to make my own products, and truly natural beauty products can be outrageously expensive. So when I first noticed the well-priced Spa Experience Tin in our assortment, I knew I had to check it out. I jumped at the chance to relay my spa experience for the blog.

Before trying out any new products, I’ve become much more conscious about looking up the ingredients first. (Especially because I’ll probably always be worried about the effects of my Lip Smackers chapstick addiction during my youth.) I’ve definitely fallen victim to “greenwashing” in the past, purchasing “all-natural” products only to discover that their ingredients looks like a chemistry experiment, with one or two organic ingredients mixed in for good measure. I was pleased to see that this handmade collection is assembled by 1818 Farms, an idyllic farm in Mooresville, Alabama. But I still wasn’t convinced that these handmade products would meet my standards until I saw this short list of recognizable ingredients for each product:

Lavender Goat’s Milk Bath Tea

Ingredients: powdered goats milk, pink Himalayan bath salts, cocoa butter.

Bath Truffle

Ingredients: cocoa butter, kaolin clay, fragrance.

Wedding Cake whipped Shea Creme 

Ingredients: shea butter, coconut oil, fragrance.

Hint of Mint Lip Balm

Ingredients: beeswax, coconut oil, grape seed oil, shea butter, Vitamin E oil, spearmint essential oil, and rosemary essential oil.

This had me wondering – What is in my latest “all natural” lotion?

Gift Lab | Spa Experience Tin

Try saying all of that five times fast!


After reading the farm-fresh ingredient list, I had high expectations for these products. I did wonder, though, if I would notice the lack of preservatives in these products, like I’ve noticed with “natural” sunscreens that don’t apply as smoothly as the sunscreen with chemicals. Either way, I was excited to find out.


Before I dive in, let’s take a moment to talk about this beautiful presentation! Research say that there is an art to anticipation, suggesting that we experience just as much happiness in anticipating an experience as we do in the actual moment of an experience. I think this is why I was so delighted by the Spa Experience Tin before I even opened it. This clean, rustic presentation made me anticipate deep relaxation. I felt like I was holding a special treat, and I couldn’t wait to open it. This experience was already off to a great start.

Gift Lab | Spa Experience Tin IMG_4691_resized

Upon opening the tin, I could immediately smell a medley of lavender, vanilla, mint and coconut. Yum! I reached for the Hint of Mint Lip Balm first.

Gift Lab | Spa Experience TinGift Lab | Spa Experience Tin

The lip balm did not disappoint. True to its name, it feels minty, with a clear, smooth application. I love that it’s made with a combination of essential oils and beeswax, rather than petroleum jelly, which is often a main ingredient in chapstick.

Gift Lab | Spa Experience Tin

Next, I tried the Wedding Cake Shea Crème. I couldn’t help but smile when I opened it – it smells exactly like vanilla cake with buttercream frosting! The light consistency reminded me of whipped cream, and left my skin feeling smooth and non-greasy. This lotion is like dessert for the body. I can easily see this as a perfect treat for a bride-to-be.

Gift Lab | Spa Experience TinGift Lab | Spa Experience Tin

Given that I share my bathtub with roommates in a New York City apartment, I don’t have many opportunities to take long, luxurious baths. Luckily, I was in the midst of pre-vacation anticipation period when I received this product. Instead of trying it at home, I decided to pack the Lavendar Goat Milk Bath Tea and the Bath Truffle in my suitcase for my trip to the west coast. I knew that it was going to be a fun but hectic journey, and that I would crave some R&R (especially since I was traveling to see one of the last Grateful Dead concerts in Santa Clara). I was happy that I had the tin to securely pack these products in my suitcase.

As I expected, I was exhausted the morning after the concert. I woke up feeling very grateful that I packed the bath products. From the purple lavender buds to the fresh scent, I felt like the muslin bag had just been assembled minutes before I took it out of my suitcase.

Gift Lab | Spa Experience Tin

I had never used bath tea before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Luckily, it was an effortless process. I tossed the bag in the warm bath and squeezed it occasionally as the tub filled. To take even more advantage of my rare bath time, I also used the Bath Truffle, made with cocoa butter and kaolin clay, which dissolved in the water right before my eyes. Though I don’t think it’s necessary to use both of these products in the same bath, I’m happy I did. The bath smelled incredible, and I felt instantly refreshed and recharged when I submerged in the water. After I got out of the bath, my skin felt butter-smooth and I felt amazing.

Gift Lab | Spa Experience Tin

Anticipation is rising!

Gift Lab | Spa Experience Tin

I could see the freshly-packed ingredients in the tea bag after it soaked for a few minutes.


This was a wonderful experience at a great price. I felt much more at ease about using these products compared to other popular bath products made with strange preservatives. Plus, these products made for a more luxurious experience than those from bigger brands. I would highly recommend the Spa Experience Tin if you’re looking to emulate a budget-friendly, relaxing experience at home or while traveling. This would also make a sweet gift for any occasion, especially for a bride-to-be.

Spa Experience Tin | UncommonGoods


  • Reply Andrea July 16, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful blog about the products we work hard to make by hand at the highest quality possible! I am so jealous that you got to the Fare Thee Well shows! Did you go first, second or both? You really described the emotions and feelings I have and hope others have when they experience 1818 Farms’ products! Thank you!

    • Reply Jen C. August 17, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      Hi Andrea! I am so sorry I missed this comment, but I am so happy to hear that my love for your product came across in this blog post! All of the care and love you put into these beauty products is so evident.

      I went to the first Fare Thee Well show, but I really wish I could have gone to all three! I am so happy that I had your products on hand after the show – it was an amazing start to the day.

      All best,
      Jen, UncommonGoods Marketing

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