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Conventional perfumes. They scare the bejesus out of me.

October 31, 2014 0 Comments

(pssst this is a re-post of a newsletter I sent out. HOW COOL ARE MY NEWSLETTERS? I know.)

Seriously. Kids should dress up as bottles of Calvin Klein Infinite Poison or whatever it’s called for Halloween.

In fact, maybe that’s what toddler Z should be dressing up as tonight (he’s not…we’re going to a 90’s Goth theme party tonight, and tomorrow he’s a scuba diver and I’m a lumberjack….actually, a coureur de bois because I’m really into Canadiana.)

ANYHOW.

Why am I so afraid of “conventional”, department store perfume? Ah, a refresher: Loads and loads of chemicals. Bad ones. Conventional perfume companies do not care about the welfare of animals, humans or the environment, so they use horrific animal testing practices, unsustainable manufacturing practices and have a total disregard of what should be considered not just acceptable but legal for daily exposure to humans (the laws are messed up, as I mentioned before).

Their products are loaded with chemicals known to damage brains, disrupt endocrine (hormone) systems, cause sinus damage, asthma and other respiratory problems, cause mental fatigue and vagueness and can cause horrific rashes and other skin problems. Yet, people still happily pay $200 a bottle for this. Blows. My. Mind. Also? They all smell so weirdly similar. (Well, almost all…I have to admit I have a soft spot for a scent by Maison Martin Margiela…but maybe I’ll just make a better, Stark version SO THERE.)

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Dry skin vs dehydrated skin…and what this means for acne.

October 20, 2014 0 Comments

Dry. Dehydrated. Synonyms, right? Wrong!

Dry skin and dehydrated skin are not the same thing. Although they are related, there is a difference, and knowing which you have will make soothing and nourishing your skin much easier. (And if you think dry and/or dehydrated skin is safe from breakouts… nope.)

Dry skin is a skin type, like oily or sensitive. It is hereditary, and will probably be present your whole life (or most of it) and the ageing process will exacerbate it. Those with normal skin could also end up having dry skin as they get older. Dry skin is due to under-active sebaceous glands, and like all body processes, the glands slow down further with age. Having less oil means that the skin is less able to protect itself from the environment and has less ability to retain moisture (which makes it dehydrated, but hold on we’ll get to that.) Having less oil means that there are less cells in the uppermost layer of skin, leading to more visible fine lines and making skin wrinkle easier than oilier skin. The good news is that pores on dry skin are smaller, which means less likely to get clogged and to breakout. But, this is only true for true, technically dry skin. Read on.

It is very, very important to protect dry skin with sufficient skincare products. Our Neroli Midnight Oil (which can be worn during the day as well!) and our Grapefruit Cleanse + Hydrate Balm are excellent for dry skin. See our recommended ritual for dry skin here.

Dehydrated skin is a condition, and a very common one at that. “Dehydration” is something that is done to the skin, and is not a feature of the skin itself (as “dry” is). Dehydrated skin might not necessarily lack oil, but it lacks moisture. It will feel and look dry, scaly and possibly flaky. To see if your skin is dehydrated, check your nose and forehead: does it look like an extra, super thin layer of skin is sitting on top of the rest of your skin? Dehydration.

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Getting the most out of facial oils

October 15, 2014 0 Comments

I can hardly believe it, but facial oils really have broken out into the mass market. Every single skincare company, large and small, natural and not, seem to have their own apothecary-style facial oil! (must be why my bottle supplier...

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How Green Beauty is like Parenting

July 19, 2014 0 Comments

There was a time in my life that I thought the most opinionated people were those in certain sociology and/or anthropology classes I took in university. It seemed not a. single. thing. could be discussed without much further discussion happening. Something...

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Canada Day sale!

June 28, 2014 0 Comments

By the way? This  post is actually  a newsletter. THIS IS THE FUN YOU MIGHT BE MISSING OUT ON IF YOU DON’T SIGN UP! Happy Canada Day! Neighbours! Buddies! Hot enough for ya? Happy Canada day, and go easy on...

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Love your Acid Mantle.

April 16, 2014 0 Comments

Most of us with oily skin are all too aware of this top layer of oil on our skin. It is, after all, the evil layer that we battled throughout teenage-hood. Stop the grease! Stop the grease! Right? This is...

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Travel Post 4: I pretty much lost my shit (or why self-care is vital).

February 13, 2014 0 Comments

This is about how I pretty much  lost my shit.

In just a few days, my little company turns two years old. So strange. I can’t remember what life was like BS (before Stark). Or before I had a baby. Or before I met my husband, for that matter. Even though all those things? Individually, doesn’t even add up to 8 years total! I really can’t get over the idea of time. You think you kind of get how long an hour, a day, a week, a year feels, and then things like hitting 30, being a mom and/or launching a business happens. Then you realize that you had no idea what time was before. Or if you did “get it” at some point? It’s different now. Just as I’m sure it will be and feel different in a few years time.

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Travel Post 3: I continue to torture my face, and the upside of said torture.

February 10, 2014 0 Comments

I think I may need some kind of intervention. I had created a nice little washing routine in Kuwait with my beloved honey and rosewater, and then when it was time to leave for Italy, what did I do? Intentionally NOT pack these items. I like to travel light, which is difficult with a baby, so of course, being a mother, this often means sacrificing my own creature comforts to make sure the baby Z has all the socks and array of cute hats his little heart could ever desire.

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Travel Post 2: Habbat al Barakah, face-saver.

January 05, 2014 0 Comments

I’ve been slumming it around Kuwait for the last month (I say slumming it, because the fam and I are total shoe-string travelers, not Dubai-style big spenders) and spent the first 2 weeks with a beauty routine that was a...

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I’m not making any resolutions.

December 31, 2013 0 Comments

2013. It’s over! So much happened for me so I can’t say it flew by, but it certainly rocked my socks completely off. I became a mom and a wife, Stark continued to grow, and I got to realize a...

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8 Skin Tips For Dry Climates

December 30, 2013 0 Comments

I’ve discovered that it doesn’t matter if dry air comes from a cold winter with radiator-scorched indoor air or from the desert; dry air is dry air. It searches out moisture and sucks it up regardless of where it comes from, including from your skin. For me, dry skin means not only a less youthful glow, but a sallower, overall less healthy look to my skin, PLUS I start breaking out, because the world is unjust. Dry skin is not just uncomfortable, but leads to wrinkles perhaps a little earlier than you’re comfortable with, so moisturizing, and keeping moisturized, is key.

Here’s how to battle dry skin.

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Seriously, don’t buy dry shampoo.

December 22, 2013 0 Comments

Because it’s SO easy to make! One ingredient. Cornstarch. Or arrowroot powder. Possibly tapioca could work, too. In powder form, or else you’ll have wet, lumpy hair which is probably the opposite effect that we’re going for here. I...

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