20150813_175616

Maybe you caught the teaser about Stark Skincare’s latest product launch in last week’s Fall Beauty Picks post. Naturally, you’ve been biting your nails ever since wanting to know more, right? You can relax now because this is it: the scoop on why Everlasting Calm + Smooth Infusion is a hit.

I bought “EV” at A Night for Green Beauty in August, and I’ve been intrigued by the unique formula ever since. Let’s just say that if rms beauty ever made a serum like this, it would be called the “un-serum” for sure.

Stark Skincare "EV" 2

There seems to be an emergence of featherweight formulas lately, as the texture and zero-color remind me of both Previse Nutrify Tonic and Flight Skincare Floating Hydration Serum. That’s where the similarities begin and end as they’re all unique formulas with different functions on the skin (thus, I excuse owning and using all of them).

EV’s impressive roster of ingredients blows me away. Think of it as a sheer wash of nutrients that’s water-like in its consistency, yet full of potency from a garden variety of plants, flowers, and herbs including the serum’s namesake Helichrysum, a.k.a. everlasting, a.k.a. immortelle.

Why so many names for one herbaceous plant? It was dubbed “everlasting” because the plant is covered in bright yellow, daisy-like flowers that retain their color and shape. To confuse matters (or just to keep things interesting), its botanical name is Helichrysum italicum, which comes from the Greek word helios (sun) and chyrsos (gold), as the yellow blooms look like tiny golden suns. When used in skincare, it’s a powerful inflammation tamer that also helps heal acne, burns, and reduces scars.

Not to be overlooked, the first ingredient on EV’s list is healing marvel aloe vera, a refreshing departure from the more typical “aqua” (yep, plain ole water) that often gets first mention in a product because it comprises most of the contents. It’s hard to miss the similarities between the gel-like substance from the aloe vera plant and EV which is highly indicative of how much is actually in there.

You won’t find ordinary water or glycerine in this clear, almost-liquid healer. But you will find hefty doses of floral waters and vegetable glycerine infused with beneficial extracts. The formula not only tames inflammation like few others, it also boosts the nutrient profile when added to serums.

And did I mention that in keeping with Stark’s other products, “EV” smells absolutely fantastic? I’m not sure how she did it, but this potion confirms that Jess has mastered the art of fragrance. The scent is cheerful, soft, and not nearly as “everlasting” as the other serums, yet that mildly citrus/floral aroma makes me want to use more of it than necessary. (Only one to two drops is the suggested amount per use.) It’s a delicate, pretty, can’t-get-enough-of-it scent.

Here’s the full list of ingredients:

Aloe Barbadensis leaf juice, Helichrysum italicum floral water, Rose damascena floral water, Anthemis nobilis floral water, Lactobacillus/Kelp ferment filtrate, vegetable glycerine infused with extracts of: Helichrysum italicum, Phyllostachys glauca (bamboo leaf),  Anthemis nobilis (roman chamomile), Populus adenopoda (aspen bark), Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice root), Silybum marianum (milk thistle), Rosa Canina (Rosehips), Olea europaea (olive leaf), Centella asiatica (gotu kola), Camellia sinensis (green tea), Leontopodium apinum extract (edelweiss), Cocos nucifera (coconut endosperm) fruit juice, Cyamopsis tetragonoloba (guar) gum, Xanthan gum, Helichrysum italicum oil, Radish root ferment filtrate, Grapefruit seed extract and blend of pure essential oils.

Please do yourself a favor and check out Stark’s descriptions of each ingredient. The third column says “why we <3 it,” as in the ingredient, but this page may as well be dubbed “why we <3 Stark Skincare/Jess.”  I adore this kind of attention to detail that’s poured into every drop.

How, when, & why you’d use it

Here’s the tricky part and the question that I asked myself when I bought it: where in my already full skincare regimen does this little wonder fit in?

Here’s the answer: I’ve been using “EV” in any number of ways when my skin needs extra calming, extra hydrating, or just that something…extra. I tried it the other day mixed in with foundation to give it a dewier look and less of a matte, a.k.a. dry, finish. It worked really well at enhancing my complexion and thinning the formula. It mixes well with serums and gives them a turbocharge of nutrients that sinks deep down into the skin.

This isn’t barrier protection like a balm would be, nor is it an oil-based serum that moisturizes but doesn’t hydrate. This is the welcome drink your skin is looking for to quench its thirst. Layer it under serums to add a daily shot of vitamins prior to starting your day and ending it. “EV” gives skin nutrition new meaning.

Since I was so intrigued by the formula, I decided to ask the awesome founder Jessica LaFleur to describe “EV” in her own words.

Stark Skincare "EV"

What inspired her creation? (Not sure why she’s a she, but let’s go with it 😉

(She’s definitely a She!) My skin was crying out for something non-oily but also non-astringent for a while…so definitely not a toner, but something way more. Something light and hydrating, but something that just felt like silk and was packed with nutrients and really made a difference how my skin looks and feels. Which is maybe a lot to ask for in a product, but hey…I want what I want, right?

I guess for years and years I’ve been nourishing my skin with balms and oils, and I knew I just needed something different. Not just on an aesthetic, tactile sensory-pleasure kind of way, which is part of it, but that my skin wanted hydrophilic nourishment. Our skin isn’t nourished only by oils, after all! I wanted something that could be worn alone or with oils, and that’s just what EV is! A silken serum that’s oil-free.

What have users been loving about it?

Inflammation-reduction is #1….which is conveniently exactly the way I wanted it to work. 🙂 Also, that it enhances how facial oils work on their skin, which was my #2 intention behind the product. EV takes any facial oil and makes it instantly absorbed by skin. Yes, I used magic. Unicorns may have been involved but were not harmed in the making of this product.

How do you achieve that glorious, like-water feel?

By using nature’s greatest ingredient…water! Well…that’s not true, actually. It’s hydrosol-based. Helichrysum, aloe, rose and chamomile, to be precise.

Is the texture intentional so that you can layer it?

Yes. It’s meant to be slightly more viscous than water itself, so a drop or two, when placed on the back of your hand, will hold but isn’t a gooey gel. This means it can be combined with oils or balms and not break apart into a weird mess but silently slips into the oil and fortifies it. It can also be used under other products without building up a weird residue.  If you miss using creams, this is an even better experience. EV is any “anti-age” oil’s BFF and makes other products work at their peak performance.

Does it change the way it’s absorbed?

Yeah, the lightness means it’s absorbed instantly. Skin just sucks it right up…which means no wastage!

What ingredients HAD to go in to make it perform the way you wanted? (OK, all of them, but what are your favorites? Is that possible to answer?)


Ha! All of them! I usually edit as much as I add when making a product, but with this one I just wanted one ingredient to strengthen the last and well…it’s a complete dermal superfood!

EV is all about reducing inflammation, scavenging those pesky free radicals that city life, those occasional poor lifestyle choices and generally being a living human tend being bring about, so all the ingredients focus on that.

Helichrysum italicum is the star, of course, with it’s triple-dose (hydrosol, essential oil and extract), but special mentions go to Sea Kelp bioferment (which is a lovely but odd gel), milk thistle and edelweiss which are all ingredients I have a crush on. Helichrysum is a darling in the aromatherapy world as it’s one oil that’s been extensively studied to show that it has amazing regenerative and healing properties. Edelweiss is the Dorian Grey of extracts (minus creepy painting in attic), and milk thistle which is best known as a liver detoxifier, has similar effects to skin’s cells in that it inhibits oxidative stress and slows the aging process. There’s evidence that it could prevent skin cancer, as well. Sea kelp is very nourishing… I have a lot of reverence for sea veggies in general, as they are so nutritious for people, inside and out! They contain unique blends of phytonutrients that the human body is so receptive to.

Don’t you just love Jess?! She writes the Stark Skincare blog where most of the time you’ll be laughing because she’s really funny in an endearingly quirky kinda way (my kinda humor!). Laughter is great for the entire body, and I’m almost 100% convinced that most of the world’s problems would vanish if everyone would be laughing more and fighting less. Plus laughing means less stress, less stress means skin keeps looking fantastic for longer, and everyone is even happier. See? We’ve got it all figured out. Now who do we share that with?

But stepping away from world peace for a moment, seriously “EV” is a skin treat that I’ll be loving in everlasting ways for time immortelle (sorry, I had to). You can find it exclusively on the Stark Skincare website for $70.

Want to discover more about this awesome indie company? Well, you can! Head over here to read all about the way the products are developed and beta-tested on humans first and why you won’t find them sold anywhere else. (Can you tell they’re pretty darn awesome?)

 

Tagged with →