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160 Putnam Ave, #2
Brooklyn, NY 11216


Jessa Blades is a makeup artist, natural beauty/wellness expert and herbalist based in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. 



Sensitive Skin... some thought and foundations for Refinery29

Jessa Blades

Got to chat with Refinery29 about some of my favorite foundations for sensitive skin.

As a makeup artist and natural beauty expert with a holistic skin healing practice, one of my favorite subjects to discuss is how to help, heal, and work with ✨sensitive skin✨ For those of you out there who identify with skin that is more sensitive, I invite you to open up the way you are thinking about it. Instead of thinking there is something wrong with you or you are TOO sensitive, consider maybe that the product is filled with ingredients that aren’t healthy for your skin (possibly filled with irritants or heavy metals) or that you are having a reaction to something else, perhaps a food allergy or a reaction to your shampoo or face lotion. The new way we need to think about sensitive skin is that your skin is communicating and asking you to listen, to make a change and use this as an opportunity to find something new that works better. We need to become detectives for our skin and realize that since our skin is our largest organ, we need to find the healthiest products as well as realize that some of the reactions might just not be as topical as we think they are.


These Are The Products A Natural Beauty Expert Uses To Make Her Clients Camera-Ready

Jessa Blades

My coverage of basckstage at Revitalize is live on @mindbodygreen... read it here!

Love natural beauty?

Do I have a giveaway for you! 
Win my top product picks from @credobeauty + $100 to spend online + an online private consult with me to talk about healing your skin and how to best spend your gift card. 
Just follow @mindbodygreen@jessablades, and @credobeauty on Instagram and comment on our most recent photo, answering the question "when do you feel the most beautiful?"


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Why You Should Be Massaging Your Breasts On The Reg

Jessa Blades

I got to share my breast massage tips with Well and Good, see below and start massaging those breasts!

Breasts aren’t usually invited to the self-care party—despite the fact that there’s a restorative practice for pretty much every other part of the body (hair included). But there’s an argument to be made for crowning the girls guests of honor during your next big night in—as it turns out, massaging your melons has some major health benefits.

“Massage is a wonderful, stress-relieving, detoxifying practice for the whole body,” says natural beauty expert Jessa Blades.

And no, you don’t need to be pregnant or nursing to reap the rewards, a fact the holistic wellness world’s been clued in to for ages. “In Ayurveda, if you get a full-body massage, your breasts are massaged too,” Blades notes. “It’s odd that we don’t massage the breasts [in the West].”

While mammary manipulation might not be mainstream at the moment, that’s starting to change as word gets out on the physical and emotional benefits the practice produces. And fortunately for those too shy for a full-frontal rubdown from a stranger, it’s easy to do at home... read the rest of the article here.

Self-Care in the Age of Anxiety: 8 Ways to Keep Calm and Carry On

Jessa Blades

I got to chat with Vogue and Eviana Hartman all about Self Care in these tumultuous times. Hoping this can help ground all of you :)

The first two weeks of the Trump administration have been nerve-rattling, to say the least—not just for people working in politics, but also for those simply trying to keep up. Factor in cold weather, and many informed citizens are—in body, mind, and spirit—on the verge of a breakdown. “Winter is already a moment when we’re not as strong as we normally are,” says Jessa Blades, a natural beauty expert and makeup artist in Brooklyn who has spent her career advocating for the suddenly buzzy concept of self-care. The recent avalanche of shocking political developments, she says, “is happening in our brains and our inboxes and our Facebook feeds, and it’s way too much to take on. People aren’t feeling rested; they’re waking up in the middle of the night with anxiety. We need to take a moment to check in with ourselves.”

That’s easier said than done at a moment when following the news—and figuring out how to most effectively respond to it—feels increasingly like a full-time job. But as Blades argues, it isn’t that we don’t have time to tend to our well-being; we don’t have time not to. “If you’re not taking care of yourself and feeling run down and miserable,” Blades says, “it’s harder to have all that energy to resist and to organize.”

In other words, setting aside a few moments each day for self-care—whatever that means to you—is a form of activism. Here, Blades discusses eight simple ways to keep calm and carry on.

First things first—get your data stream under control.
“Turn off your alerts—across the board, people should do that. At least make it so that you have to go visit a website or open an app to get news. Make sure your phone is not constantly disrupting a train of thought or a conversation you’re having. Airplane mode is a wonderful tool. Consider setting aside some time to be unreachable every day. And to not look at the news sometimes—even if it’s just a two-hour break, or a news curfew at night. Whatever works for your schedule.”

Get back to nature.
“I wonder how many people who went to the Women’s March have spent anytime in nature since then,” Blades says. “Just go sit in a park for a few minutes with your phone off, or drive to the beach, or go for a walk or hike in the woods if you have access to that. It’s scientifically proven that you’ll feel a lot better.”

Don’t forget to breathe.
This advice isn’t new, but it is particularly relevant right now. Blades has lately taken to prescribing a basic breathing exercise, which takes just minutes, for busy clients: With the tip of the tongue resting on the tissue ridge behind your front teeth, inhale through the nose for a count of four. Then hold for a count of seven, and exhale through the mouth for a count of eight. Repeat for a total of four cycles. “They say it helps you fall asleep in one minute,” she says of the practice. “You can do it before you go to bed, or just for oxygenating the body. It’s so simple, and it rewires you.”

Self-indulgence is a form of activism . . .
“Sometimes self-care means that you bought this beautiful new body lotion, and it’s the process of opening the box and opening the jar and applying it, taking in the scent and the texture, and finding the beauty in that,” Blades says, noting that the right products feel good in more ways than one: “Make sure you know who made it, and support brands that are socially and environmentally conscious—most of those companies are women-owned. That is also an act of resistance. If you want to change things, shop differently.”

. . . and so is DIY.
“It’s not always about the consuming. There’s plenty to work with in your pantry cabinet or fridge—treating yourself can be as simple as getting some sugar and some olive oil and mixing them up to make a body scrub, or mixing some raw organic honey with organic whole milk yogurt and making a mask for your face. Or heat up organic olive, sesame, or coconut oil—double-boil it so it doesn’t get too hot—and do a self-massage. It’s one of the most relaxing things you can do for your nervous system.”

Aromatherapy is therapy.
“This is a nice moment for adding essential oils to your life. They are a really potent, easy-to-travel-with self-care tool. They change your mood, relieve pain, wake you up. They’re antifungal and antiviral as well, if you’re going to clean with them or spray them in the air. Choose one, or a few, that make you feel relaxed—lavender, clary sage, and petitgrain are some nice ones—get a little spray bottle, fill it with distilled water, add a few drops, and you have a sleep or stress or travel spray.”

When it comes to your wellness plan, add, don’t subtract.
“All this talk about New Year’s resolutions and detox and cleansing—that rhetoric right now is too much for our hearts and minds to handle. I’m not saying binge only on fondue and brownies, but think about what is delicious, what is sensual—look at adding that in, rather than being like, ‘I’m so freaked out that I need to work out for an extra hour.’ Can you cook with friends for an hour instead? Or go see some art? Rather than depriving yourself, what amazing delicious roasted veggie soup can you make that is really nourishing and grounding? Look at adding things that make you feel good, rather than focusing on feeling like you're toxic or bad.”

Let go of guilt—and embrace fun.
“Something that’s really coming up with my clients recently is guilt around feeling good. It’s like, ‘oh my God, I went to a friend’s birthday party and ate cake and drank a glass of wine, and I’m sorry to the world.’ It’s feeling selfish for letting your mind not be totally focused on what’s going on. But the power of fun and the healing of fun, whatever that means for you, is so needed right now. Go see some friends and laugh together.”

The Dr. Taz Show Podcast with Jessa Blades

Jessa Blades

From Dr. Taz...

Listen to the podcast here.

Anything you put on your skin can have a direct impact on your internal health. Your skin is your biggest organ, and oftentimes no less important than your heart or brain. Anything you put on your skin can impact your internal health as well. And, your skin responds to emotional stress, which can manifest in physical ailments (hives, dermatitis). Jessa Blades is a Holistic Skin Coach who takes a very natural approach to skin care and make-up. Some of her clients are completely open to do anything and everything to heal their skin, such as change diet, totally detox personal care products, and try herbal remedies.  Others aren't quite ready for that overhaul, so Jessa slowly introduces healthier options. 

Jessa's advice to begin your own transition to natural products is to look at the products you use every single day. Those are the ones you should start to replace to a more natural version in order to reduce the cumulative toxic load.

Makeup Top 3

  • Mascara
  • Lipstick or Lip Gloss (can also double as a cheek stain)
  • Foundation/Concealer

Skin Care Top 3

  • Face Cleanser
  • Face Oil
  • Deodorant.

The shelf life is shorter for these kinds of products, but the benefits are worth it. Why is it so important for you to take things into your own hands? The main reason is that regulations in the beauty industry are very lax in the U.S. The European Union, on the other hand, bans hundreds of ingredients which they consider as toxins or even carcinogens.

The Environmental Working Group ( is a wonderful resource for avoiding dangerous products. Jessa also has an online store that features natural products which she has intensely vetted. Listen in as Jessa joins Dr. Taz to share how she became involved in holistic beauty, as well as which product categories she recommends to start replacing as soon as possible.

Soak, Steam, Spritz: It’s All Self-Care // NY Times

Jessa Blades

I got to talk about my favorite topic: SELF-CARE in the NY TIMES. Check out the full story here.

In the days after the presidential election, Jessa Blades, an herbalist and makeup artist in Brooklyn who supported Hillary Clinton, was devastated. “All I could think to do was blend a tea to control my stress,” she said.

Ms. Blades, 37, mixed three pounds of lemon balm, nettle, chamomile, rose and oats together “for soothing the nervous system, calming, giving the right amount of boundaries and opening the heart” and put it in brown paper bags with “love for you and the world” written on the front. She gave them out to friends with instructions to use the combination for self-care.

The term self-care has, over the past few years, become part of the vernacular. But what does it mean? “I always say it’s a daily practice,” she said. “It can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be: making sure you get enough sleep and drink enough water, monthly facials, fermented foods, a meditation app for your phone or packing healthy snacks for the plane.”

In recent weeks, though, self-care has often been invoked as a way of dealing with open-ended anxiety....

Hail To The V Podcast : Chat and Tea with Jessa Blades

Jessa Blades

The most amazing ladies Emily and Kelsey asked me to be a part of their podcast, Hail to the V. I said yes! I love these gals and they inspire me to do the work I do, every single day. They describe their podcast as a: "Radical collaboration platform offering medicinal stories to make our bodies a safe place to live."

How good does that sound? 

I'm honored to be a part of their community and please be sure to check out what they are up to with their Fifth Vital Sign Project...

Our mission is to use education as preventative care, encouraging individuals to make informed choices about their health.  We strive to spread unbiased, free, reproductive health information so that we all feel more secure, safe, and alive in our bodies.

See? Told you they were awesome!

Listen here


Jessa Blades

I got to share my tips on how to handle a big pimple with Well and Good! Check it out-

No matter how old you are, or how clear your skin normally is, just about everyone has had the humbling experience of waking up to a huge surprise pimple on your face. Of course, it’s always on the day you’ve got a big date or run into someone you haven’t seen in years.

But there’s plenty of reason to remain calm, no matter how much you feel the urge to sweat your spots. For one thing, that bump is probably way more prominent in your own (sometimes overly critical) mind than in anyone else’s. For another, stressing isn’t helping your cause at all. “Freaking out contributes to the inflammation,” warns natural beauty guru and makeup artist Jessa Blades.

The good news: A bit of strategic makeup can totally hide your flare-up. So keep calm—and get your natural makeup on.

Read on for Blades’ no-fail, 5-step big pimple action plan.

Step 1: Calm it down

It’s hard to hide a blemish that’s really angry and inflamed, so you want yours to chill—literally. “A great way to [curb inflammation] is to ice it down,” says Blades. Another kitchen staple that can work wonders? Garlic, Blades says, although you should test it on another part of your skin first to see if you react. “Slice a clove of garlic and let the alliin [the sulfuric and antioxidant-rich chemical it produces] activate, which takes about 10 minutes,” she says. “Then put it on the pimple, or make a paste to put on. It’s very anti-inflammatory.” Oh, and raw, organic honey works, too. It’s antibacterial and super soothing, notes Blades.

Step 2: Moisturize—the right way

Once you’ve spent a few minutes bringing the swelling down, you want to make sure your skin is just the right amount of moisturized to prep it for cover up. Prepare for a Goldilocks moment: “The surface should be lightly hydrated, but not too much, or else the makeup will slip off,” Blades says. “You don’t want your skin to be too slick, but you also don’t want it to be too dry, or the powder will be flakey.”

Because everyone’s skin is so different, it might take a bit of trial and error to find, say, the perfect skin-clearing natural oil for you. In general, Blades advises opting for a less creamy moisturizer, then letting it soak for at least five minutes before you even think about putting on makeup.

Step 3: Conceal like a pro

Blades recommends working with either a creamy foundation or a concealer and using tools (not fingers) for precision. “Use a very clean, small brush—I prefer a lip or eyeliner brush—and dab it directly on the spot,” she says. “Apply in tiny, quick, dabbing strokes, and then let that sink in for about one minute.”

For some rockstar clean options, Blades likes W3ll People’s Narcissist Foundation StickVapour Organic Beauty’s Illusionist Concealer, and Beautycounter’s Touchup Skin Concealer Pen(which you can dab on directly, no brush required).

Step 4: Pat, pat, patty pat

It’s such a simple move to boost your makeup’s longevity, but one people often skip. Once your first coat of cover-up is on, “take your clean ring finger and gently press where you just applied concealer, just barely touching it,” says Blades. This helps set the makeup.

Step 5: Get your powder on

Grab a fluffy brush and either a translucent or foundation powder (Blades likes Jane Iredale’s PurePressed Broad Spectrum Powder, which has SPF 20, and Juice Beauty’s Flawless Finishing Powder). “I like to use an eye shadow blending brush, which is much smaller than a regular powder blending brush,” she says. “This helps you do really detailed work when you’re trying to cover up a specific spot.” If you find that your pimple is not covered enough once you’ve put powder on it, don’t panic: Blades recommends repeating the last three steps once more for an added layer of concealment.

Also, don’t forget the power of distraction. “A makeup artist trick is pulling focus away from what you don’t want people to focus on,” she says. “When you’re dealing with a big pimple, figure maybe today’s the day you do a smokey eye or play with bright lipstick hues.” In other words: Work what you’ve got!

Selena Gomez’s Hiatus and the Importance of Self-Care: 5 Easy Ways to Take Time for Yourself

Jessa Blades

As we get into fall and temperatures and immunity start to change, I couldn't be more thrilled to share my self-care tips with Vogue. Happy to be in the company of Selena Gomez & Taryn Toomey as we talk about the most important practice there is- daily/gentle taking care of self. Spoiler alert: fermented foods, herbs, nature and breath :)


At the tail end of a banner summer, Selena Gomez announced she was taking time off for herself, causing a social media stir. “I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness,” she explained in a statement. Today, it came out that the singer is taking her promise quite seriously—reportedly checking into a Tennessee rehab facility and making mental wellness her top priority. Gomez’s vocal support for self-care marks a poignant shift in dialogue, honing in on the collective need to take time for ourselves—something that should be an utter no-brainer, but is often lost in the work-life whirlwind. Here, two wellness experts reveal five simple ways to bring self-care into your routine and breathe a little easier each day.

Try an Unorthodox Stretch
According to cult fitness instructor and wellness guru Taryn Toomey, softening and rolling your shoulders, followed by heel-tapping, foot-hopping, and head-shaking movements is a quick way to diffuse nervous energy. To decompress, swing your legs against a wall with a pillow under your rear to relax. “After five minutes, shake the legs rapidly for 30 seconds, then fall softly into a fetal position on your side,” she says.
Fermented Foods Work From the Inside
“My favorite tip is to eat two fermented foods each day,” says natural beauty and self-care expert Jessa Blades—sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, and so on. “They help build up your gut health, which in turn helps improve your mood, skin, digestion, and immunity.”

Take Five Minutes to Find Nature
It might sound easier said than done, but five minutes of mindful breathing on a bit of park grass can make a world of difference. “Don’t worry that you don’t have 20 minutes a day to practice meditation,” Blades adds. “Just getting some fresh air, experiencing nature, and breathing are essential for bringing peace of mind.”
Write It All Down
“Take some time to write with an actual pen and paper—just brain dump, no editing,” Toomey says, of the cathartic power of journaling to provide an emotional outlet in times of need. “By doing so, you will feel calmer and more able to stay in the now.”

Why Not Get Herbal?
Though it plays into type, there’s something intrinsically healing about old-fashioned herbs and oils. Blades relies on nettle and lemon balm teas, paired with a calming essential oil in the bath like lavender. “Add a couple drops to a cup of Epsom salts, mix, and then pour into your bath to help calm you,” she says. The restful results speak for themselves.

Serenity Now! 5 New Age Healers on How to Avoid a Fashion Week Freak-Out

Jessa Blades

For VOGUE, written by the uber talented Evianna Hartman...

Even holdouts who refuse to “Om” will acknowledge that New York Fashion Week—and the fortnight-plus marathon of European shows that follow—tends to sap the body, mind, and spirit. (Civilians, too, are presently experiencing what might be described as back-to-school syndrome—that post–Labor Day freak-out, amplified with each new iPhone release, in which work and school and social commitments roar back alongside their twin shadow, anxiety.)

What’s to be done? Don’t call it a trend yet, but a plurality of fashion types in recent years have not only discovered their spiritual side, but had it certified, too. Whether foraging for herbs among the redwoods of Marin County to brew tinctures for private clients (as does onetime Marc Jacobs designer Kelsey Barrett of Heavy Nettle) or ducking out after Soho showroom appointments to conduct energy-healing sessions like Nouveau PR founder Corinna Springer, a growing number of women are either balancing both careers or tending to tortured souls full-time.

Who better, then, to ask for quick tips for getting centered during the most manic time of the year—shaking off those who-are-you-wearing death stares with the clasp of a crystal or two, restoring nutrients lost to late-night after-parties, turning an Uber ride into a chance to re-engage the parasympathetic nervous system? Here, five professional healers with fashion-industry résumés share their advice—which applies to anyone feeling overextended this fall—for getting serenity now!


1. “You can do this while sitting in a car, waiting for a show to start, or in the morning before you leave the house. Sit with your back straight, feet touching the ground. Eyes are semi-closed or closed; use sunglasses if you want no one to notice, if you’re at a show. Then visualize a tube of white or golden light going through you from way above through the top of your head and your spine and then further down in the center of the earth. Breathe in normally, with every breath seeing the tube of light getting stronger, and forming a sphere at your heart chakra. With every breath the sphere at the heart becomes bigger and brighter, filling you with peace and a sense of purpose.

“Then put your hand on your heart and use an affirmation. Very appropriate for Fashion Week is: I’m always at the right place at the right time. Or in general, you might use: I am peaceful. I am grateful. I am enjoying life. What happens in this exercise is that you are grounding yourself through your breath, centering yourself in the heart, and amplifying your affirmation, giving it more power than just mentally reciting it.”

—Corinna Springer, energy healer and director at Nouveau PR


2. “Smelling salts aren’t only for reviving Victorian women from fainting couches. They can unlock the benefits of aromatherapy during an elevator ride up to a big party, or while stressed-out waiting for a show to start. Add five drops of essential oil to one tablespoon of mineral sea salt (coarse sea salt is best) inside a small jar or vial, and tuck it away in your tote or jacket pocket. I like to use juniper essential oil for banishing ill health and shielding from the evil eye. Think of it as the European white sage. Take a smell every time you need to return to yourself as whole, healthy, and happy—amid the witches’ brew of Fashion Week, or otherwise.”

—Kelsey Barrett, herbalist, Heavy Nettle


3. “Try a crystal survival kit for Fashion Week—a modern girl’s medicine bag. Black obsidian, onyx, or black tourmaline helps keep you grounded and protected. Rose quartz is for self-love and love of others. (The combination also helps ward off catty vibes at shows.) Amazonite has a soothing and calming effect for the wearer. Aventurine brings about opportunity and attracts prosperity. Citrine is good for mental focus, promotes optimism, and is known as the merchant’s stone, as it attracts monetary abundance and maintains that flow of income. Smoky quartz is good for endurance, and amethyst protects the wearer from negative energy.

“Another suggestion: At the beginning of each week, write down everything that you would like to achieve, on a piece of paper—whether it’s landing a capsule collection at Barneys, making it to the shows on time, or trying to get eight hours of sleep every night. Fold the piece of paper and put iron pyrite on top of the paper and let it marinate. At the end of each day, take a moment to gut-check and see how you’re doing. At the end of the week, burn the paper.”

—Colleen McCann, shaman and stylist, Style Rituals


4. “The number one plant that helps me through crazy times like Fashion Week is rose. In my makeup kit and purse, you will always find a rose face toner spray and perfume essential oil. The spray calms my skin and refreshes my makeup, and it works great to create a spa moment at your desk or in a cab. I mist it around my face and take in some really deep breaths. Rose helps to keep your heart open and creative and loving, while having appropriate emotional boundaries—and who doesn’t need that?

“Plus, having rose tea (or iced tea in this heat!) is perfect for all of the running around and partying. It is high in vitamin C, which is a great boost for your immune system, and it helps with stress and digestion.”

—Jessa Blades, makeup artist, herbalist, and owner, Blades Natural Beauty


5. “Sandalwood has been used since ancient times and is said to have highly protective and grounding qualities and to calm the nervous system. Try a drop of the oil on each of the temples and the back of the neck. It feels lovely and smells woody and sweet. You could also burn a beautiful sandalwood candle before bedtime. Or if you can spare 90 minutes, immerse yourself in a flow tank. Lift Floats is a good one in Brooklyn, with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt. This is one of my favorite things to do. A float is the equivalent of eight hours of sleep and three days of detox. The saltwater is purifying and the whole experience is incredibly grounding!”

Morgan Yakus, hypnotherapist and past-life regression specialist


Ready? Set. Glow!

Jessa Blades

I shared my skin tips with Origins about selfcare and how to build up your "glow" from the inside out. Rough & Uneven Skin, Acne, Suncare- I talk about it! Check it out.

While most 20- or 30-something’s have their lives pretty much together (most of the time), they might need to step up their skincare game. The struggle is never more real than when it comes quarter-life skin issues, aka the annoying changes like enlarged pores, uneven skin tone & rough texture that are suddenly showing up.  Don’t stress though! There are tons of quarter-life specific secrets that will calm all your concerns.

While your quarter-life skin struggles may momentarily cramp your style we spoke with Jessa Blades, the natural beauty expert, herbalist & creator of Beauty by Jessa and millennial, to share a how she glows through them & more:

Lack Of Radiance

 “We all aspire to effortlessly healthy, glowing skin,” says Blades. “But because of the lives we lead—never shutting down, lack of vacation & sleep and constant FOMO—we’re missing out on a lot of self-care, which takes away a natural glow.” If you don’t perpetually look like you’ve just come back from vacation (read: sun-kissed, healthy & rested), Blades recommends building beauty from the inside with fermented foods. “Eating things like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut & kimchi helps all our body systems function better, so the effects of stress & fatigue are less apt to show on your face,” Blades advises. For a quick fix dab on a cream blush that mimics the shade you turn after pinching your cheeks, highlighter on the cheekbones & inner eye, as well as a coat of mascara. 

Rough, Uneven Skin

This is another case where an inside-out approach is key to success. Blades recommends consuming good-quality organic olive oil & oily fish, like salmon.  Also avoid dehydrating drinks, like coffee & alcohol. All this helps you stay hydrated which keeps skin looking smoother & healthier.


Acne is probably not a major source of angst anymore, but it can still be a problem that requires some extra TLC from time to time.  The solution? Listen to your body. “If something you’ve been using on your skin hasn’t been working, give it a rest,” says Blades. Avoiding inflammatory foods, like processed dairy, sugar, coffee & wheat can also help keep breakouts at bay. At first, go cold turkey; then reintroduce them to your diet slowly, one at a time, to see if the impact is visible on your skin. Your cycle could also be to blame, so keep track of it with apps like Daysy or Kindara.


 To keep glow going for the long game, sunscreen is a must. Blades believes the sooner you make applying sunscreen a habit, the better. Choose one with SPF 15 or higher and—if you’ve got reactive skin—try a lotion with mineral blockers like Zinc & Titanium Dioxide.  


What's your Dosha?

Jessa Blades

I've been studying Ayurveda for the past 3 years and I know that I will be studying it for the rest of my life.

From Banyan Botanicals:

Ayurveda is the traditional healing modality of the Vedic culture from India. It is said to be 2000 to 5000 years old, meaning it has stood the test of time. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that literally translates as “the wisdom of life” or “the knowledge of longevity”. In accordance with this definition, Ayurvedic medicine views health as much more than the absence of disease. The wise seers and sages of the time, intuitively understanding the physiology and workings of the mind-body-spirit long before the advents of modern medicine, explained the basic principles of Ayurveda.

What is all this talk of Dosha? You have probably heard the word Dosha in respect to your health or personal constitution and have no idea what anyone is talking about. I suggest you see an Ayurvedic practitioner for a real clinical intake and lay off of all the self-diagnosis. And better yet- head up to Kripalu for a retreat and go see Doctor Rosie up there. She is an amazing doctor and resource.

Banyan Botanicals:

Prakriti is your basic constitution. It is determined at the moment of conception and relates to your genetically inherited physical and emotional qualities. Prakriti specifically relates to those qualities, characteristics and tendencies that are stable. For instance, while you may experience temporary changes, like gaining or losing ten pounds, feeling nervous or irritable, developing a cold or flu, etc., in the natural course of life you will never gain or lose five inches on your height or experience a change of eye color.

Prakriti is enlivened and described by three main doshas or forces: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These are loosely translated as Air, Fire and Earth, respectively. Each of us has all three doshas in our constitution, in unique proportions

Take this quiz here to start your journey into insight about your body. 


Ayurvedic Facial Massage with Shiva Rose

Jessa Blades

I'm thrilled to be able to share my favorite way I like to turn my daily application of moisturizing face oil into a healing ritual, by introducing simple Ayurvedic principles (check out the whole post over on Shiva Rose's site The Local Rose).

I’ve worked with women for over 10 years helping them to heal their skin using natural and organic healing products, tonic foods and herbs. The most common root issue that my clients were coming to me with was some form of stress manifesting in the body like hives, insomnia, acne, or digestion issues. I really wanted to be able to help them on a deeper level and figure out a way to balance the stress. To help them bring their bodies back to a nurtured, stress free state of balance, because when they are in this state- their bodies are able to heal themselves.
The desire to bring the body back to balance brought me to The Kripalu center in Western Massachusetts. There I studied Ayurveda and learned the healing powers of this life science.
I am now able to offer to my clients a two hour Ayurvedic Beauty treatment and consultation, and this treatment uses warm, herbal infused oils to calm the most stressed out nervous system, cleanse and rejuvenate the face and also soothe the tension in the hands, head and feet. But- let’s be realistic- not everyone has time for this treatment!


Ayurvedic massage concentrates on the ‘marma points’ which are the bodies vital energy points. What is so fascinating to me that a marma massage can leave you feeling deeply relaxed or energized, it give the body what it needs, it meets you where you are and all you have to do is trust that your body is going to benefit from it and be open.

In ancient Vedic times, marma points were called bindu – a dot, secret dot or mystic point. Like a door or pathway, activating a marma point opens into the inner pharmacy of the body. The body is a silent, universal, biochemical laboratory—operating every moment to interpret and transform arising events. Touching a marma point changes the body’s biochemistry and can unfold radical, alchemical change in one’s makeup. Stimulation of these inner pharmacy pathways signals the body to produce exactly what it needs, including hormones and neurochemicals that heal the body, mind and consciousness. This deep dimension of marma therapy has the potential to unfold spiritual healing.

Marma points are an important element of Ayurveda’s healing power. Developed in India centuries ago, these energy points profoundly affect the body, mind and spirit and facilitate the deepest levels of healing. Prana is the current of energy that infuses every cell within the body. Stimulating marmani (energy points) directly taps into this reservoir of energy and promotes health.

I’ve come up with a simple way to work this rejuvenating practice into your daily life, first with a daily way to upgrade your face oil application (it’s like a natural and super calming face-lift for the face) + a healing and calming face mask.

Daily Ayurvedic natural face-lift ritual:
Turn your phone on airplane mode
light some incense
make sure your face is clean
create the space- deep breaths? repeat a mantra? set an intention?
Rub your hands back and forth and bring some Prana (energy) to your hands
Add a couple of drops of face oil to your hands (start with less- you can always add more) and swirl it around and start the massage.
Using your 2-3 tips of your fingers go around your face circling these spots in a clockwise motion- very, very gently. Circle 12 times at each spot ( or you can do it for longer, if you have more time).
Start using only your right hand and circle at your 3rd eye
Then with the fingertips of both hands:
move to the temples, circle
fine lines wrinkles around the eyes, circle
corners of the mouth, circle
sides of the nose by the nostrils, circile
and then circle any other areas on the face that feel strained, wrinkled or that need a little attention.

Keep in mind the circles should be very slow and deliberate. If you feel extra energy in your hands and it doesn’t feel good- shake out your hands before moving to the next point.
When you are done with the circles, massage the rest of the oil into your neck and chest area with upward sweeping motions.
Take a deep breath and you are done!



Here's how to hack your mascara to turn it into eyeliner

Jessa Blades

I love a beauty hack. And when it comes to beauty, simple is more as far as I'm concerned. This translates into simple routines and using fewer, but better quality and correctly applied products. I met with the beauties at Hello Giggles and shared with them one of my favorite solutions for what to do when you forget to pack your eyeliner (spoiler alert- reach for your mascara). Who doesn't love a multipurpose product :)

From Hello Giggles-

Like most normal people, you probably forget things. It’s okay. We forget things literally ALL THE TIME. Especially when it comes to packing or even just gathering the things you need for the day. Which is why we love makeup hacks — there’s nothing cooler than finder your inner MacGuyver and using a product multiple ways. This latest hack comes to us by way of Jessa Blades, a Los Angeles-based makeup artist who also owns the beauty company Blades Natural Beauty. Here’s how she taught us to turn mascara into smoky eyeliner when we’re in a pinch... see the whole tutorial here...


Jessa Blades

I got to chat with Lindsay of Well / Aware and join her community of super inspiring and talented folks in the wellness world. We got to talk about many of my favorite topics: natural birth control, my two beauty musts that have nothing to do with products, holistic healing, my current obsessions and skin as a communicator.

Listen to the Podcast

An excerpt from the Well / Aware post:

Jessa Blades is one of my heroes. Based on how easy it is to talk with and trust her, I have a feeling a lot of women feel the same way after meeting her. We first crossed paths while I reaching out to makeup artists for my wedding, and finally met at Uplift Project 001. Because of her holistic approach to beauty and her mastery in herbalism and safe makeup, I thought she’d be a shoe-in for making the big day 100% natural. Wrong!

But that’s also precisely why I love Jessa. She’s well versed in herbs, plants, makeup artistry and holistic living and healing, but she’s also not removed from the real world. Case in point: she maintains that wearing conventional makeup that will actually stay put for hours on is fine your wedding day, because it’s just one day out of the year and therefore insignificant in the larger picture. Rather, her specialty is knowing the good from the bad in everyday products: shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, makeup, deodorant, toothpaste, and others … and sharing it with the world. It’s the habits and rituals everyday that make a real impact on our health... Continue reading and LISTEN HERE...

Ingredients To Avoid

Jessa Blades

There are so many lists of what to avoid out there! The one I'm sharing below is from Beautycounter, a big thank you to them for putting this list together.

The EU has banned 1,400 chemicals used in personal care products. The US has banned 11. Until we get some safer legislation we need to educate ourselves and find new brands to trust. There are resources listed at the bottom of this post. Some great books and sites to help explain futher all of these hard to pronounce ingredients.


Benzalkonium chloride: a disinfectant used as a preservative and surfactant associated with severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation and allergies. Found in: sunscreens, moisturizers.
BHA and BHT: synthetic antioxidants used to extend shelf life. They are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors and may cause liver damage. Found in: lipsticks, moisturizers, diaper creams, and other cosmetics.
Coal tar hair dyes and other coal tar ingredients: a byproduct of coal processing that is a known carcinogen. It is used as a colorant and an anti-dandruff agent. Found in: hair dye, shampoo.
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA): a chelating (binding) agent added to cosmetics to improve stability. May be toxic to organs. Found in: hair color, moisturizers.
Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA): surfactants and pH adjuster linked to allergies, skin toxicity, hormone disruption, and inhibited fetal brain development. Found in: hair dyes, mascara, foundation, fragrances, sunscreens, dry cleaning solvents, paint, pharmaceuticals.
Formaldehyde: used as a preservative in cosmetics. A known carcinogen that is also linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity. Present where quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), and several other preservatives are listed. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath.
Hydroquinone: a skin-lightening chemical that inhibits the production of melanin and is linked to cancer, organ toxicity, and skin irritation. Found in: skin-lightening creams.
Methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone: chemical preservatives that are among the most common irritants, sensitizers, and causes of contact skin allergies. Found in: shampoo, conditioner, body wash.
Oxybenzone: sunscreen agent and ultraviolet light absorber linked to irritation, sensitization and allergies, and possible hormone disruption. Found in: sunscreen, moisturizer.
Parabens(methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl- and others): a class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Parabens are endocrine (or hormone) disruptors, which may alter important hormone mechanisms in our bodies. Found in: shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, body lotion, foundation.
Phthalates  (DBP, DEHP, DEP and others): a class of plasticizing chemicals used to make products more pliable or to make fragrances stick to skin. Phthalates disrupt the endocrine system and may cause birth defects. Found in: synthetic fragrance, nail polish, hairspray, and plastic materials.

Polyethylene glycol (PEG compounds): PEGs are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. Depending on manufacturing processes, PEGs may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both carcinogens. Found in: creams, sunscreen, shampoo.
Retinyl palmitate and Retinol (Vitamin A): a nutrient that may damage DNA and speed the growth of skin tumors when used topically. Found in: moisturizer, anti-aging skincare.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES): SLS and SLES are surfactants that can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies. SLES is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of a petrochemical process called ethoxylation, which is used to process other chemicals in order to make them less harsh. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath.
Synthetic flavor or fragrance: an engineered scent or flavoring agent that may contain any combination of 3,000-plus stock chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens. Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets and therefore can remain undisclosed. Found in: all types of cosmetics.
Toluene: a volatile petrochemical solvent that is toxic to the immune system and can cause birth defects. Found in: nail polish.
Triclosan and Triclocarban: antimicrobial pesticides toxic to the aquatic environment; may also impact human reproductive systems. Found in: liquid soap, soap bars, toothpaste.



-Heathy Sunscreen Guide from The EWG

-The Story of Cosmetics Video by The Story of Stuff

-The Organic Pharmacy: The Complete Guide To Natural Health & Beauty by Marronne

-Not Just a Pretty Face- The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry by Stacy Malkan

-No More Dirty Looks by O’Conner and Spundt

-Toxin Toxout by Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith

-Natural Beauty at Home and Natural Beauty from the Garden by Janice Cox

-Toxic Beauty: How Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Endanger Your Health . . . And What You Can Do about It by Samuel Epstein MD

100 years of Incredible Women

Jessa Blades

This video spotlights women from the past 100 years who have overcome great odds to find their voice. These 7 YouTube creators have come together from around the world to celebrate their stories. So honored to have worked on this project and done the makeup for all of these incredible women.

This video spotlights women from the past 100 years who have overcome great odds to find their voice. These 7 YouTube creators have come together from around the world to celebrate their stories. So honored to have worked on this project and done the makeup for all of these incredible women.


Jessa Blades

Always a treat to connect with my friend Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves. In preparation for her trip to LA (plus events we are teaming up for... stay tuned) we talked glowing winter skin from the inside out.

From Reading My Tea Leaves:

It’s the time of year for looking in the mirror and hoping my salty tears might provide enough moisture to put a little glow back into my dry cheeks. (Sad February-ers, unite. It’s almost March!) To help combat dry winter skin in a slightly more proactive way, I asked my friend and natural beauty expert, Jessa Blades, to share her best tips for keeping winter skin looking as bright and glow-y as a California morning.

Here goes: 

Ferment Your Food. You know that old adage? Two pickles a day keeps the doctor away? Never heard of it? Just ask Jessa. She recommends incorporating two fermented or lacto-fermented foods into your daily diet. She explains that “the good bacteria helps your digestion and boosts immunity, which helps balance and support the body and improve your skin from the inside out.” Recommended? Kefir, kombucha, beet kvass, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and those good probiotic pickles at the Jewish deli around the corner. Want to learn more about fermented foods? Right this way. (PS. It’s not just Jessa pushing the ‘kraut. Science!)

Embrace Oil – Phew! Jessa’s on board with using oils to restore the natural oils your skin needs. In fact, to folks who are afraid oils, she says, “Do you know how you make lotion or face cream? You take oil and whip it together with water. Don’t be afraid to use oil. You’ve always been putting it on your face.” What to use? Well-sourced, organic argan, olive, jojoba, coconut, almond oils. To avoid? Mineral oil. Oily skin already your problem? Jessa says even oily skin loves oil, just but be sure to use a lighter oil, like argan, if you have oily skin. 

Believe in Beeswax – For folks who need a little extra oompf in the moisture department, try adding a beeswax-based balm after you apply the oil. Balms or salves that include beeswax help to lock in the moisture and protect your skin from the wind. Jessa says, “double up on oil and balm and get ready to glow in the best way.”

Eat Your Guacamole – In addition to adding fermented foods into your diet, Jessa recommends incorporating organic oils like coconut, olive and flax as a way of improving your complexion from the inside out. And don’t forget your avocados. She says: “Make guacamole, eat your avocado on toast, drink it in smoothies; however you like. Oh, and mash it up and put in on your face! It makes an amazing face mask.”

Ease Up on Exfoliating – Contrary to popular belief, too much sloughing off of dry skin isn’t helping. Jessa suggests, “No more scrubbing or burning or exfoliating every day. That’s making your skin drier, more sensitive and it just isn’t necessary. And we all know to avoid plastic microbeads, right?” Instead? Jessa says the fruit peels are the way to go. Gentle peels involving fruit acids like pumpkin, apple, and papaya, help break down dead skin cells for soft glow-y and refreshed skin.

Photo by Tory Williams

A great start to 2016

Jessa Blades

I love a new start and January 1st is a wonderful reminder to start over, begin again, focus and ground down. I had a wonderful New Year's celebration upstate in Germantown, NY at our friends Sarah and Nick's restaurant. If you find yourself in and around Germantown you must go to Gaskins Restaurant, it is pure magic.

And for the second year in a row I'm spending the winter in LA (keep track of my sunshiny adventures here). Staying warm, picking lemons in the morning and teaching in both LA and SF. If you know anyone out here interested in natural and healing beauty be sure to have them get in touch. We are planning a lot of special events; but, saved time to meet privately with clients. 

February has swiftly arrived and I always love this month as it serves as a reminder to love ourselves and others as much as possible. Self-love is the basis for Self-care and I'm obsessed with how to make caring for myself as much fun and as gentle as possible. This past week our words and products were featured in Vogue in a story about flower essences. These elixirs are a wonderful tool to help in your Self-care practice. By ingesting the water that has been infused with the energy of the flowers, under either the moon or sun, we are able to enjoy the vibration of the plants, helping to heal us on a more energetic level. I'm so thrilled that Vogue wrote the piece- it truly speaks to the ever-evolving definition of real beauty and healing.


And last but certainly not least!

Be sure to read our contributions to two of my favorite sites: Mind Body Green and Parachute (have you tried their sheets yet??? They are amazing!).