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A new Montreal-based natural beauty line to get excited about

Stark skincare

By Alexandra Spunt for

Natural skincare can be deceptively simple. Once you separate the wheat from the chaff and realize that the best ingredients are usually of the high-quality-pure-from-nature variety, one could get a little smug about the whole thing.

You might think: Hey, I too could throw some oils in a bottle and sell them at the farmers’ market or online.

And yet, it’s just not that easy, even when dealing with pure products that feature few ingredients. How can we be so sure? Well, ’cause we get a lot of products sent our way—and we don’t fall in love with most of them. Which is why I’m so giddy to tell you guys about Stark.

Stark Skincare hails from Montreal, a town very close to our hearts. A town we both still sometimes call home. As far as I know, we don’t have any nepotistic ties to Stark Skincare founder Jessica Lafleur, but you never really know with Montreal. It’s the kind of place where everybody knows everybody.

But here are the non-Montreal reasons I’m already a big fan of this line:

1. The branding and packaging: A little Esty-arts-and-craft-cool, but still elevated, and in dark glass bottles. Brands that use dark glass send one message: We care a lot about the ingredients inside, because glass is pricier, doesn’t leach anything sketchy into the product, and the dark variety protects the ingredients from UV damage. When I went to the site I also loved the simplicity of the design: clean, modern, and welcoming. Ding.

2. The smell and feel: Branding only goes so far. It gets me to open the bottle but my senses have become so finicky about texture and smells, that I won’t use something more than once if it doesn’t instantly feel right. These products felt right. It’s a tough thing to put your finger on, but the smells are natural, yes, without being crunchy. They’ll palatable, without smelling like food. In short: They’re a pleasure to apply.

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