Product Review: Stark Skincare (Get Excited Canada… And Everyone)

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.

3. The simplicity: I love oils and balms and misting toners. I also like clays to spot treat my breakouts at night. As of now these are the four products Stark has, and I like all of. I’ve been using them religiously since I got them and I can tell I will use them until they are done.

4. The price: We often have expensive taste, and we do worry sometimes that the products we most adore and recommend can be a little too pricey for some (that was part of what spawned the Friday Deal idea). I was thrilled to see how affordable these products are. If my spidey business senses tell me right, it means that Stark is using high quality ingredients but because they’re small and new and selling online, they’re not inflating their markup.

Last but not least: It’s from Canada! And we know our wonderful Canadian readers sometimes get the short end of the stick. Stark offers free shipping in Canada with any orders over $60 and free shipping on international with any shipping over $75. Very cool. Who knows, maybe one day they’ll do a Friday Deal. We’ll have to intro ourselves first. :)

Have you heard of or tried this brand? If not, what brand hits all of these marks for you? Sharing is caring y’all, and don’t forget: it’s Friday!

Image via their site

20 Responses to “Product Review: Stark Skincare (Get Excited Canada… And Everyone)”
  1. Hello,

    Nice ! Yes, I have heard of this brand but havent tried it yet. I am based in UK, so let’s see if i can order a couple of products soon :-).

    Have a nice day ! x

  2. nancy says:

    This is the first I hear about the brand. But trusting your opinions and comments, whenever a Friday Day comes along, I’ll be tempted to try it.
    All other brands that I tried and use(Kahina/Tata/Tammy) have hit 3 out of 4 of the marks, with price being always the culprit..although I’d like to add effectiveness as the first mark where them all hit it high.
    Great weekend everyone

  3. Naomi says:

    This brand sounds awesome and looks like a really good intro deal when you buy the four products together – may have to git me some!

  4. a says:

    For me, the best have been Dr. Alkaitis, Suti (UK-based), and Annmarie Gianni Skincare. All were actually effective at healing blemishes, fading acne scars, and making my skin glow. I have noticed the most dramatic results with Dr. Alkaitis, but I love love love the other two as well and I rotate between them based on how my skin is feeling and the weather/season.

    I like the way this brand looks and sounds (like a real person who cares is behind it!) On their website right now everything is 20% off – I want to try the oil and the mask… :)

  5. sam says:

    I was born in Montreal. But now we live near Toronto. I miss my home too :)
    I have never tried this brand but will soon :)

  6. E says:

    I noticed the cleanse/hydrate balm has coconut oil in it… I know coconut doesn’t get along with my skin very well, but it’s one of many ingredients. Has anyone else tried it? (Alexandra, it seems like it works for you..)

  7. Dylan says:

    This. Is. Awesome. I was just thinking about buying the One Love waterless balm, but kept putting it off because it’s so so expensive. The Stark grapefruit balm looks along the same lines but is half the price! And Canadian! THE BEST!

  8. Rebecca says:

    I love finding all natural products from Canada! YAY!

  9. Katie says:

    I’ve tried their product & I’m incredibly pleased with the results!!!

    @E: I was apprehensive of the coconut oil too, but haven’t had any issues at all.
    My skin feels refreshed, hydrated & healthy

  10. E says:

    Awesome! I kind of wish I didn’t just re-up on a line of Kahina…

    jk, love you KGB.

    (in soviet russia, hydrating/cleansing balm wears you, etc etc)

  11. Guilly says:

    The brand I use everything is Vered Organic Botanicals. I absolutely love this line.
    It smells heavenly and my skin is so soft. Check this out.

  12. Dawn says:

    This post just made me so excited! I have some samples on the way, and I have a feeling I will be similarly impressed.

  13. Deb says:

    Have you tried the skin care products from Apothederm? They’re wonderful!!

  14. Lucia says:

    ..they sound great!…can not decide between Stark or Suti face wash…. They both have quite similar ingredients,both are based on a shea butter….
    .. ‘a says ‘ — do you or did you used Suti face wash?
    …I have been using Dr.ALKAITIS face wash, helped me with my hormonal outbreaks,now mixing this wash with jojoba oil and a unprocessed shea butter,very soothing ,keeps my skin clean but well hydrated…

  15. A Wright says:

    Yes! Stark is awesome in every way and part of the first Goodebox. I’ve been using the Grapefruit Cleanse & Hydrate Balm for just about everything – cleanse at night, lip balm, stray tamer for curls around the face. It’s so true that many brands whose ingredients list reads like a muffin recipe, they’re not so fun to use – texture or smell. The GF balm consistency is perfect, the smell good enough to eat and leaves my skin super soft. Love it!

  16. a says:

    @Lucia: I did use the Suti balm as part of oil cleansing at night – I put the balm on my face, used my Clarisonic, put a hot, wet washcloth over my face for 10-15 seconds (this feels absolutely heavenly) and then wiped the oil off of my face. I loved it, but it’s too much for everyday for me in the summer. (Also, for me, the Stark cleanser is not an option because I am allergic to soy, whereas the Suti balm is soy-free.)

    This blog post has a wonderful (and entertaining) explanation of the oil cleansing method:

  17. Jean says:

    Oooh.. this company sounds right up my alley. Loving what I see so far, and all the ingredients are either ones I’ve tried or are dying TO try. So getting the entire set when I have a chance!

  18. Lisa says:

    I would love to send you some samples of our Whistler Naturals Skin Care ( products! Beyond just simple oil/water emulsions, they are packed with amazing natural and organic extracts and botanicals that actually work beneath the surface to give your skin a healthy, glowing complexion ~ spa products at prices everyone can afford. They are unisex (one of our owners is a man), vegan & eco-frienly, with fun names like “Avocado Basil Moisture Whip” or “Triple Berry CoQ10 Creme Moisturizer”. Our bath and body line uses a very unique probiotic based preservative that actually LOVES your skin!

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