August 23 2014

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4 posts tagged "Clark’s Botanicals"

Get Carried Away


Hand in hand with the holidays come those alluring GWPs (gifts with purchase). Normally, I’d say those plastic pouches that masquerade as pochettes and totes that nobody in their right mind would actually buy are a total waste of cash and closet space. This season, however, I’ve noticed that many a beauty brand is stepping up its game. Perhaps the trend started with Jason Wu’s sophisticated take on the freebie for Lancôme, but Clark’s Botanicals Radiant Skin Collection, complete with a black clutch designed by Thakoon, is definitely keeping pace. The exterior is covered with a shimmery onyx material that can only be described as tinsel meets Astroturf, but inside is where the real magic lies: Included is a gold-flecked balm, facial mist laced with Swiss apple stem cells, and deluxe samples of the brand’s Smoothing Marine Cream and Deep Moisture Mask.
NARS’ coveted Guy Bourdin collection also contains several cosmetic bags, my favorite being the Promiscuous set that features four Mini Velvet Matte Lip Pencils and one Velvet Gloss Crayon. Stamped with a patent cobalt kiss, the soft, zippered coffret is vaguely reminiscent of a Nylon Prada pouch (minus the price tag). But no matter which option you choose, getting more bang for your buck this year is definitely in the bag.

Thakoon for Clark’s Botanicals Travel Kit, $65,; NARS Guys Bourdin Limited Edition Promiscous Lip Pencil Coffret, $45,

For more gift-giving ideas, see our Holiday Shopping Guide.

Beauty Nostalgia: Reminiscing With…Francesco Clark


Beauty Nostalgia is a weekly column on Beauty Counter in which we ask influencers,tastemakers, and some of our favorite industry experts to wax poetic on thesticks, salves, and sprays that helped shape who they are today.

The Pro: Francesco Clark, founder of Clark’s Botanicals and author of Walking Papers.

The Product: “I grew up in Italy, near Bologna, and most of my winters and summers were spent in the Alps. My family and I would go hiking and rock climbing, and being in that environment all the time, it was very much about using products that worked and were also natural. So I loved Labello lip balm. It smelled like coconut—but not exactly coconut—and vanilla. You wanted to eat it. As a kid, I really liked that. I always carried it in my pocket, like most Italians do. In fact, you didn’t even refer to it as lip balm, just ‘Can I borrow your Labello?’ The formula in Italy is different than the one here—it’s very soothing and quick to absorb. It was really good for skiing, and I would even put it on my cheeks to prevent windburn!

“The way I grew up is very much in the DNA of Clark’s Botanicals. It’s about having the best of nature and science, so your skin can be its healthiest. When I set out to develop a lip balm, I wanted to use ingredients that would solve the problem of chapped skin, not just on the surface. So we used calendula to promote healing along with algae microspheres that attract moisture from the air and plump your lips while also providing moisture in a time-release formula. For the scent, I used jasmine absolute combined with vanilla, which creates a very subtle scent. [Our Ultra Rich Lip Balm] is what I carry in my pocket now…it’s my version of Labello!”

Beauty Throwdown: Battle Apple Stem Cells


A new miracle skincare ingredient always manages to set the beauty world aflutter, and a few years back the buzz words on everyone’s lips were apple stem cells. But not your regular Golden Delicious variety; this special brand of skin-revitalizer came by way of a particularly exotic Swiss breed of the fruit known as the Uttwiler Spatlauber, an apple packed with proteins and phytonutrients that enable particularly long-living cells. Said longevity was ultimately harvested into complexion enhancers with many a youth-restoring promise, and a crop of apple stem cell-bearing serums, lotions, and the like have popped up on shelves ever since. Yet another new release recently crossed our desk, which prompted us to embark on our latest beauty throwdown installment. Without further ado, let the battle begin.

The Original: The first well-known beauty brand to pick some apple stem cells for its product range was Clark’s Botanicals back in early 2009. The brand’s now cult-favorite Cellular Lifting Serum relied on the Uttwiler Spatlauber’s extract to give skin an instant shot of hydration, and dramatically increase elasticity and firmness. It does all of the above beautifully, not to mention imparts a noticeable glow within a few days of regular use. Bonus: Its featherweight consistency makes it undetectable beneath other skincare or makeup.

The Newcomer: There have been a number of other brands that have harvested apple stem cells over the years, including Lancôme, Goldfaden, and Lather, but the market’s latest contender is Face Place. Its Line Denial Eye Cream utilizes the same Uttwiler Spatlauber cells along with a cocktail of peptides, aloe, and olive leaf extract to address fine lines and wrinkles. After continued use, our crow’s feet have yet to fly away. But the salve has definitely proved to be a worthy hydrator.

The Verdict: As the old saying goes, an application of apple stem cells a day does in fact keep the wrinkles at bay. While Clark’s special extraction of the fruit doesn’t come cheap ($355 a bottle), devotees will swear that it—and it alone—is the best investment you can make in the category. However, should you want to ease your way into apple stem cell use, Face Place’s $50 formula will burn much less of a hole in your wallet.

Photo: Courtesy of

Clark’s Looks on the Bright Side


Radiance can be a rather elusive concept. It’s certainly a word that gets thrown around a lot, with a vast number of skincare brands promising to breathe new (and radiant!) life into the most sallow of visages. If few truly match up to the marketing speak, Clark’s Botanicals is one standout exception. Its light-enhancing Intense Radiance Mask does just what it says it will: revitalize, smooth, and illuminate even the weariest complexions using a blend of white clay, algae extract, white Genepi (a rare organic alpine plant with antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties), and a proprietary peptide complex that boosts collagen for an overall firmer, tighter appearance. Its other major selling point is that unlike many clay-based masks, this one banishes impurities yet somehow doesn’t suck out all the moisture from your face—which is great news for those of us who suffer from breakouts and dry skin, one of the dermatology world’s more unfortunate double-threat afflictions.

Photo: Courtesy of Clark’s Botanicals