A non-toxic beauty blog focusing on botanical ingredients, honest reviews, affordable options, lifestyle musings, and more than a touch of humor.
"I now look back fondly at those being the most constructive years for preparing me for life in the real world...You have to have pretty thick skin and you have to have big shoulders." - Tom Curley

Monday, February 24, 2014

Product Review: Stark Skincare Cypress Purity + Defense Oil + thoughts on the brand

 FreshFaced samples. Are you excited? I'm excited. Well, a bit melancholy as well, to see all of these little bits of loveliness go away. It does make room for more samples in the future, though. Anyway, on to the review!
All right guys, we're in the home stretch on my

Stark Skincare's Cypress Purity + Defense Oil is a product I've had my eye on for some time, and I have to say that it did not disappoint! This facial oil is light as a feather but supremely nourishing, containing rice bran oil, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, camellia seed oil, and argan oil, plus some extra oomph with the addition of vitamin E, cypress oil, bergamot oil, and some super-secret essential oils (they're not listed, but I trust Stark to keep me safe from nasties).

This oil is deceptively light in your hand, which led me to use a little too much my first couple of uses. By the way, a big thanks to FreshFaced for making this sample a little more substantial! The scent is quite subtle, disappearing almost as soon as it's on your skin, but if you take a careful whiff, it's quite crisp and fresh. This product is geared towards oilier skin like mine, but that doesn't mean that it's not moisturizing! This little beauty packs quite a wallop when it comes to moisture. In fact, I think it's one of the most moisturizing products I've ever used. Despite this richness, it didn't clog my pores or leave my skin feeling weighed down.

What impressed me most about this facial oil was the effect it had on my blemishes. I had a few healing spots on my face when I started using it and they cleared right up. As I've mentioned before, I don't get a lot of large blemishes, but I have been getting more breakouts recently, especially during my menstrual cycle. (Whatever, I'm not afraid to talk about my period on the internet.) Despite the rage of feminine hormones this month, my face remained blessedly blemish free! Definitely a big deal for me. 

For me, this is the perfect nighttime oil. It feels wonderful to put on right before bed and breathe in that light, fresh scent. In my experience, it's a little too moisturizing for daytime, since it leaves your skin with that "dewy" look that I'm not a huge fan of. However, for someone with less oily skin or who enjoys a little bit of luminous dewiness (is that a word?) for their daytime face, I think that this would be a great daytime moisturizer.

You can probably tell that I'm super-picky about my products. Safety, effectiveness, and price are the big factors for me and this facial oil hits all three out of the park. I will definitely plan to purchase a full-size bottle!

All in all, Stark Skincare has really impressed me. There is something about their products that really hits the mark between simplicity and intricacy. Honestly, I stay away from a lot of products that have super-short ingredient lists because I feel like it's not worth it for something I could easily create on my own. But there's also a sense of uncertainty that comes from a miles-long ingredient list. You always wonder what potentially questionable things could be lurking in there, or whether or not all of the ingredients have been proven to safely interact with one another. Stark somehow hits a perfect balance between those two extremes, and that makes them pretty amazing in my book.

Their concept of making skin care a ritual really hits home for me, as well. I've had a mixed bag when it comes to my relationship with skin care and beauty, but these days I make a conscious effort to create small moments of self-love whenever I cleanse my face, try out a new mask, or brush on some pretty eyeshadow. People seem to think that makeup and skin care is all about fixing or covering up something, and that doesn't sit well with me. Beauty is about taking care of yourself, not repairing something that's broken. I feel like this is a philosophy that Stark and I share, and that means something to me.

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