Reviewed by Jessica Wortsman
About a month ago, I got a text from a close friend that read, “Go see Julie Clark. She’s the real deal.” Obviously, my interest was piqued.
Julie Clark, I soon discovered, is the creator/owner of Province Apothecary, a line of handcrafted aromatherapy skincare featuring custom blends of locally sourced herbs and oils and raw, natural ingredients.
After struggling for years with skin sensitivity, allergies, and eczema, Julie began experimenting with making her own products. This hobby quickly matured into a full-time obsession that ultimately, redirected Julie’s career path.
Now a certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Aromatherapist and Reflexologist, Julie has amassed a devoted following of word-of-mouth clients that seek out her oils, balms and serums as well as her customized facials. Though she’s got a soft spot for those with sensitive mugs, like her own, Julie’s clients are wide-ranging.
I met up with Julie at Province Apothecary’s studio in downtown Toronto’s Little Portugal for her popular “The Custom” facial ($90). Her entire approach centers on the individual for whom she creates custom formulations suited to their particular skin needs. Along with the standard doings, my facial involved the following custom features:
- A skin analysis to determine my particular set of dermal woes. We concluded that I’ve got a not-so-lovely combination of dry and dull skin with some reactive redness thrown in for good measure.
- A custom blended mask made of oatmeal (to reduce redness and dryness), Rhassoul clay (to soothe sensitivity and dryness), organic seaweed (to detoxify and fight inflammation), Kaolin clay (to remove impurities), organic raw honey (to unclog pores, soften and brighten) and finally yogurt (to exfoliate, smooth and calm the skin).
- A custom blended facial serum (to take home) featuring Lavender, German Chamomile, Frankincense, Rose and Myrrh.
I’ll cut to the chase. I went to Julie with dull, dry skin and left positively glowing. I also left with a little bag of goodies, a head full of information, and DIY homework. In the weeks since my facial, my cheeks have become less flaky and tight, the pores on my nose seem less congested, and the overall clarity and brightness of my complexion has improved so much that I’ve eschewed all make-up, save for mascara. My skin’s just looking too pretty to cover up.
In all fairness though, I’ve been an A+ student. Between my exfoliating, serums and masks, I’ve been giving my face some long-needed attention. My husband jokes that it takes me forty minutes to wash my face now. He’s not far off but I don’t mind the added work because the payoff is seriously pleasing.
Province Apothecary is a real find. The products are made with real passion for natural ingredients and regard for the environment by someone with a real desire to share her knowledge. So, it seems that my friend was right; Julie Clark is the real deal.