The Insider: Jessa Blades
Even if you’re a total green-smoothie convert, delving into the world of natural beauty can feel daunting. But not when you’ve got Jessa Blades by your side—the makeup artist and herbalist is a whiz at sourcing the best in good-for-you products (just check out her site!), and she makes the transition feel cool, not crunchy. That’s probably ‘cause she’s an all-around rad girl—as you’re about to discover below.
Q: What’s on your reading list?
A: The Maytrees. It is a love story that takes place on Cape Cod in Provincetown. I grew up going there, and I love reading about anything that takes place in those sand dunes. I’m also reading The Gifts of Healing Herbs by a wonderful New Jersey-based herbalist Robin Rose Bennett that’s filled with medicinal healing recipes using plants and foods. I’m especially excited to start making some of her herbal vinegars and syrups once things start blooming.
Q: Got any big summer plans?
A: This summer I’m heading to San Francisco to host a natural beauty workshop, to Cape Cod for some relaxation with my family, and to The Berkshires to teach an herbal dream pillow class to kids at the L’Ecole Des Beaux Arts Farm Camp. And I’m surfing as much as possible in the Rockaways and Montauk.
Q: You’ve probably gotten the chance to work with some seriously cool people. Who was especially amazing?
A: Ooh, good question. The best part of my job is working with amazing people. One of my favorite people to work with is Frances Beinecke. She is the head of the Natural Resources Defense Council and is a total rock star when it comes to protecting our environment. Francis is an inspiring and powerful force, and I always learn so much from her when we are together.
Q: What’s the one beauty product you’ve been using the longest?
A: I am constantly trying new products, but I’d say the longest-running product is the Honey & Jasmine Mask by The Organic Pharmacy. It is technically a face mask that you are supposed to wipe off, but I apply it to my face and leave it on. Crazy, I know. It hydrates my face in a deep way. I’m totally obsessed with it.
Q: Let’s talk about spa stuff.
A: I love every treatment at Pratima in Soho and appreciate their gentle and holistic approach to wellness. My other favorits are massages and facials at Earth and Sky Healing Arts, facials at Brooklyn Herborium, manicures at Soho’s Ten Over Ten—especially with Melvin’s Juice Box right downstairs.
Q: Where’s your favorite place to hang out with friends?
A: Roman’s in Ft. Greene. I’ve been going there since it opened and love nothing more than sitting at the bar with a glass of wine and some delicious food and talking to friends.
Q: Who is your style icon?
A: Probably a tie between Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin. The hair alone on those ladies is enough inspiration to last a lifetime. And I adore wearing stripes, especially in or around the south of France. Whenever I get my hair cut, I say that the look I’m going for is Brigitte Bardot as a mermaid.