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3/20/14

Happy Spring!

I am beyond thrilled that Winter is over and today is the day that we have been waiting for, the first day of SPRING! To get you in the mood- here is a video that my friend Daeja and I made for the awesome site TINY ATLAS, featuring hot pink lipstick, cherry blossoms and an herbal cocktail.



And just in case you feel like celebrating Spring with the cocktail from the video- 
here is the recipe- enjoy!



3/15/14

EVENT: Fertility Awareness Workshop- what your Doctor never told you about birth control

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to take an intro class on the Fertility Awareness Method with the wonderful teacher, Katinka Locascio, and now I am thrilled to be hosting her for a second time and to share this knowledge with all of you.

Please join us for this very special event:
Fertility Awareness Workshop and Discussion with Katinka Locascio
March 26th in Ft. Greene Brooklyn.

This class is encouraged for any one, whether you are looking to welcome a child into your life, 'waking up from the pill," looking for a more natural form of birth control, and/or wanting to better understand your gynecological health.

This evening will be a fun flash back to high school biology class and a conversation about an increasingly talked about (check out this documentary that's in the works... Miscon(tra)ception) and very safe form of birth control that perhaps your Doctor or your Mother never told you about!
For thousands of years the moon has been a symbol of fertility and the menstrual cycle.
photo via 

DETAILS:
Fertility Awareness Workshop, 7-9:30pm, Wednesday, MARCH 26th
Ft. Greene, Brooklyn (we will send you the address once you buy your ticket)
7-7:30pm- Cocktails, Herbal Tea, Conversation and Shopping (great natural beauty products + wellness goodies with 10% off discount)
7:30-9:30pm- Lecture begins at 7:30pm; Q&A and discussion to follow

$35 per person BUY YOUR TICKET HERE
For questions or more information, contact: jessa@jessablades.com or call (646) 580-2851.
_____________________

About Fertility Awareness Method:
Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) is a practice of empowering women to naturally (and effectively) achieve pregnancy, avoid pregnancy and better understand their bodies. This method teaches women how her body works and provides a system by which she can observe and chart her body’s signals in order to know when she is ovulating. Not to be mistaken with the ineffective rhythm method, FAM is based on science and a stronger understanding of one's own body. This class will not teach the method itself, but will provide a thorough introduction to those both ready to begin integrating FAM into their lives, to those who wish to understand their bodies better AND to those that are simply curious! We will provide information and resources, as well as an opportunity to ask questions and discuss.  Check out this great article: Your Grandmother's Birth Control Might Actually Work by Nona Willis Aronowitz. As well as this phone app which both educates as well as helps women to manage their charting efforts: Kindara.


About Katinka Locascio:
Katinka is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Herbalist, Bodyworker and Labor Doula. She founded Earth & Sky Healing Arts ten years ago with a vision to help people live to their fullest potential while staying rooted in the wisdom of the body. Inspired by her background in science, she has pursued numerous trainings in the healing arts. Her practice focuses on women’s health, pregnancy, and fertility, as well as integrative structural bodywork. She lives and works in Long Island City, Queens, and has really enjoyed becoming a part of the community.


3/10/14

EVENT: Natural Beauty Workshop in Philadelphia with Art in the Age

So excited to be doing an event back in my hometown, about two blocks from where I grew up. Art in the Age (a fantastic store, check it out ASAP) is hosting the event and providing us with herbal cocktails while we talk about natural beauty.
Hope you can join us! More info below-

You’re invited to an evening of wellness discussion and demos with natural beauty expert and makeup artist Jessa Blades of Blades Natural Beauty on Thursday, March 27th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at our flagship store in Old City. Homemade teas and Art in the Age spritzers will be provided while Jessa answers questions about natural beauty products and shares helpful tips on healing your skin and applying makeup for day and night looks. Feel free to bring a guest and please RSVP to daniel@artintheage.com.

WHERE:
Art In The Age Store
116 N 3rd St, Philadelphia PA 19106
WHEN:
Thursday, March 27th, 2014
6:30pm to 8:30pm

1/4/14

Why I do what I do

11/19/13

BLADES BEAUTY COURSE, HOLIDAY SPARKLE EDITION with LDBA

So excited to announce my upcoming class with my favorite art school in Brooklyn, L’Ecole Des Beaux Arts. Join us on December 8th for the ultimate class to keep you looking good and feeling calm during this busy and festive season.

We will begin class by sipping herbal tea and discussing easy herbal recipes to keep yourself calm and healthy during Holiday madness. Next, I will demonstrate some easy and effective makeup techniques to get you ready for all of those festive holiday parties:
Techniques include: Smokey eye demo (obviously), fake eyelash application, how to wear a perfect and long lasting red lip, and how to turn your daytime makeup into party ready, sexy night-time makeup in just 3 easy steps.
We will also cover simple beauty tricks & I'll share my expert advice teaching you how to make the most of your beauty products.
Students will finish this course with a sparkling herbal cocktail as we celebrate your skills and confidence to look and feel your best this Holiday Season!

  
Class description:

Jessa Blades, a natural-beauty expert, herbalist, and make-up artist, teaches this exclusive LDBA Beauty Course just in time for the Holidays! Sign up and schedule a night to celebrate and pamper YOU.
Date: Sunday, December 8th, 5- 7:30 pm
Location: LDBA Classroom, Williamsburg
338 Wythe Avenue · Brooklyn, NY 11211
To sign-up:    
Purchase here

11/12/13

Learning from Ina May

post by Odile Schalit, friend, social worker, and doula-


I had no idea the world that would be revealed to me when my Doula Mentor handed me "Spiritual Midwifery" some 5 or so years ago. Ina May Gaskin's name was but one I'd overheard in the circles I was, at the time, trying to "infiltrate." I imagined her as some sort of mystical birthing goddess. As it turned out, I wasn't too far off.


Spiritual Midwifery, her first book, which came out in 1977, speaks to Ina May's beginnings and work as a self-made Midwife on route to and eventually on the commune, called The Farm, that she and her husband founded. Since then, Ina May has established a renowned Midwifery Clinic on the Farm, written four books on topics related to birthing/breast feeding, written several articles, lectured around the world and appeared in documentaries - most recently,  Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives (trailer below).


Among many things, Ina May is clearly a pioneer for the natural birth movement but it is a subtler point that weaves its way through her work and her speaking that feels to me not only the most poetic but the most profound. Ina May speaks passionately about the reconnection of a woman with her body in its most natural and animalistic sense. The idea being that to start listening to our bodies again, to trust our bodies and their wisdom and fears, will provide for a more empowered experience in life and in birth. This sentiment and her expression of this (for example, through her quirky but brilliant "sphincter law" description which is accompanied on occasion by videos of monkeys) has been universally helpful for me as a Social Worker and Doula and can be to any woman regardless of the type of birth experience she seeks.

11/10/13

Natural Beauty Event at Wythe Hotel

I recently led a natural beauty event at the Caron Callahan shop at Wythe Hotel. It was an evening of education, discussion and shopping. Part workshop, part Q&A, this event was a real community experience. I made all of the ladies sit in a circle, pass around samples of tea and tinctures. My goal was to provide a space for women to come together and share, and realize that they all have the same questions. Whether it is about dry flaky skin, how to do a smokey eye, fertility awareness or what herbs to take when you think you are on the verge of getting sick... we all think about the same things. It is time that as women we come together and feel empowered and inspired by each other and I was honored to provide that space and experience.
AND we got to sip on Mountain Woman Tea and lavender rose spritzers, shop, and had a really fun night!

Mountain Woman Tea brewing

Fabulous products from Earth tu Face, Kahina Giving Beauty, Good Fight Herb Co.
Kitchen Medicine Poster


Tasting elderberry syrup
Jessa, Anna and Caron

11/6/13

Catfish Man of the Woods

Have you ever heard of Catfish? I certainly hadn't until recently. The herbalist Phyllis Light mentioned his name during a class I was in this past summer at The International Herb Symposium. The class was all about Appalachian herbalism and Phyllis shared her stories about her teachers and the philosophy of herbalism and healing in Appalachia. She mentioned Catfish and I immediately feel in love with this man and have since been looking for as much information as I can find about him. 


Catfish Grey was born in 1917 and was a fifth generation "herb doctor." Catfish collected all of the herbs he used, mostly in the woods near his home and was regarded by many as a master of plant lore. He got his start with herbs after a work place accident in the early 1950s that left him unable to perform physical labor. Gray gathered and sold wildflowers for money, turning to the great knowledge of woodland plants he had acquired from his family. Soon he was gathering herbs as well, and dispensing advice on using them to cure or prevent diseases. Gray gathered dozens of herbs, sorted, combined, and packaged them in a one-room building at his home near Glenwood, West Virginia, and mailed bags of his herbs and blends—usually for less than a dollar—to customers around the world. Gray dispensed his herbal cures along with advice about diet, religion, lifestyle, and the astrological aspects of illness. Gray also sold his herbs at craft fairs and other public gatherings, where his cheerful and sincere manner added to his reputation.   
I hope you enjoy learning about Catfish as much as I do. And if you find any other information or resources, be sure to send them my way. 

Photo credit and Catfish information via:

10/1/13

We opened a SHOP in BROOKLYN!



It has been a whirlwind of excitement and new beginnings as we opened our shop this past month. Caron Callahan is the name of the awesome new store, located in the lobby of the fabulous Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The shop is filled with women's and men's clothing and accessories, gifts, the cutest little baby clothes, jewelry, books, travel essentials, all curated by my dear friend, clothing designer Caron Callahan. I've been lucky enough to curate the beauty and apothecary items and stocked the shop with my favorite natural beauty brands for both men and woman including products from: Ursa Major, SW Basics, Soapwalla, H. Gillerman Organics, Province Apothecary, Smith and Chang, Earth tu Face, Kahina Giving Beauty, and my own products from Blades Natural Beauty.... with more products being added weekly.




We are open everyday through December 28th, 10-8pm in the lobby of the hotel at 80 Wythe Ave. N. 11th Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11249.  I hope you can come in and visit us soon. I'll be in the shop each week sharing my tips and tricks for natural beauty. So come on in and check my Instagram to stay in the loop about what is going on at the shop and when I'm going to be there to help you find some great solutions to any of your beauty needs.

Check us out! We were featured in T Magazine!

7/29/13

Summer Goddess Sun Tea with Chamomile Syrup

We recently shared our favorite summer tea recipe with the lovely Erin Boyle of Gardenista.com. Check out the recipe below and make some for yourself ASAP!

from Gardenista.com
Making sun tea is kind of like cheating. In the best way. It sounds fancy and tastes delicious, but requires less effort than you'd think. Our Summer Goddess Sun Tea recipe is from this week's resident natural beauty expert, Jessa Blades. It's a bright, floral variation on the iced tea you're probably already drinking. Sweetened with a brown sugar and chamomile syrup and packed with vitamin C-rich hibiscus and rose petals, this version is as tasty as it is nutritional. It's also showstoppingly pretty.

Above: Jessa blends equal parts dried rose and hibiscus flowers to make her Summer Goddess tea.

Above: Leave your tea in a sunny window or a fire escape for an hour or two to steep.




Above: Dried chamomile flowers are used for making a floral-scented simple syrup that sweetens the tea with organic brown sugar.


Above: Strain syrup into a clean container and keep refrigerated.



Summer Goddess Sun Tea
  • Equal parts dried rose and hibiscus flowers, blended
  • 1-3 teaspoons of flowers per 8 oz of water
Brew sun tea by leaving a jar of water and flower petals in a sunny window for an hour or two. The hibiscus imparts its flavor quickly, so the tea doesn't take long to brew. A caveat: there's some risk of bacteria growth when making sun tea. If you think you'll leave your tea out for more than a couple of hours, consider brewing it overnight in the refrigerator instead, or making it the old-fashioned way with boiling water. If you use boiling water, pour it over dried flowers, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes before straining.
If you'd rather not blend your own tea, Jessa sells the pre-blended Summer Goddess Tea through her website.
Brown Sugar Chamomile Syrup
  • 1 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1/2 cup dried chamomile flowers
In a medium saucepan combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and add chamomile flowers and cover with a lid. Jessa likes to add one cup of flowers for a strong chamomile flavor. If you prefer a more subtle flavor, add just a half cup of flowers. Allow to cool and then strain into a clean container and enjoy. Syrup can be refrigerated for up to one month. Sweeten your sun tea to taste and enjoy (preferably from your spot in a Nap-Worthy Hammock).

photos & interview by Erin Boyle

5/16/13

How do you see yourself? As beautiful?

I gotta hand it to Dove- this video provides and interesting window into how we see ourselves and has sparked a lively conversation over the internet. It is a really interesting social experiment exploring the way women see themselves vs. the way others see us. Check it out and let me know what you think.



p.s. I think you are all beautiful :)

12/12/12

Winter Wellness Workshop


A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to get  Carly Harrison, of Vermana Herbals, to come down from Vermont and teach us how to keep ourselves strong and healthy all winter long. Herbal cocktails, learning, snacks, sharing and then some beauty product shopping. What a perfect night!

Tea brewing on the stove

Carly's Winter Blend tincture
Smelling the herbs
Our immune boosting cocktail featuring elderberry syrup, lemon, cava and rosie day tincture.
These were the stars of the night!
Odile chopping the Echinacea root
Herbal students
notes notes notes

Yummy immune boosting snacks: rosemary and garlic honey on goat cheese & lemon and lavender sugar cookies
Carly making garlic lemonade
Jessa showing makeup techniques
The magical eyeliner for smokey eyes
The Echinacea tincture we made
Amazing gift bags care of Earth tu Face, Whole Living Magazine and Thumbs Cookies
And a big thanks to Daeja Fallas for the photos!

11/26/12

CYBER MONDAY

Hope your bellies are full and that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
I want the rest of your holiday season to be stress-free and fun... so...

NOW is the time to get started on your holiday shopping or to simply treat yourself.

25% OFF EVERYTHING in the STORE
and FREE SHIPPING for orders over $75

use the coupon code  ------    happyshopping    ------
http://goodsie.com/store/BladesNaturalBeauty/promo/happyshopping
Enjoy!
xo,
Jessa and The Blades Natural Beauty Elves

10/31/12

Art School in Brooklyn? Yes, please!

My friend Sara has asked me to be a part of her project... L'Ecole Des Beaux Arts

She wants to start a school where adults and children can take classes taught by professional artists, musicians, and innovators.
Here is her Kickstarter video-


This is such a good idea and so needed in Brooklyn. I'm honored to be teaching a class as a reward for folks who donate.
Class description: A Blades Beauty Course...
Jessa Blades is a natural-beauty expert, herbalist, and make-up artist. In this 2.5 hour class you and 4 others will learn how to heal, nurture and care for your skin using the best products available. Also, your make-up questions will be answered, including how to master red lips, create smokey eyes and the 'natural' glow, as well as how to apply makeup anywhere in 5 minutes. You will also learn what combination of products and colors are best for you. Class will include 10-minute make-up tutorials and application for each recipient, and a Blades skin-care-kit to take home. We will finish with a special toast to beauty with hand-crafted herbal cocktails. 

The rewards are AMAZING. You will want to take EVERY class. The teachers are total ROCKSTARS. Let's help to support Sara and her idea to support the arts in a fun and very classy way. PLEDGE NOW!

10/20/12

Winter Wellness Workshop- Join us!

Learn how to keep yourself strong and healthy during this Winter season
 Hosted by Jessa Blades with Carly Harrison of Vermana Herbals
  
We are so excited to announce and invite you to this wonderful evening of conversation, lecture and shopping (and gift bags! who doesn't love a gift bag).

The evening will include:

-Tips and ideas about how to prepare your winter pantry
-A demonstration of how to make your own immunity boosting recipes like: culinary herbs, teas, tinctures, syrups, flower essences, and essential oils.
-Herbal cocktails and immunity boosting teas!

-Blades Natural Beauty curated gift bags featuring goodies from Whole Living Magazine, Earth tu Face Skincare and Thumbs Cookies.

DETAILS:
Winter Wellness Workshop
7-9pm November 28th, Ft. Greene, Brooklyn- in the home of Jessa Blades
7-7:30pm: Join us for conversation & shopping & cocktail hour
7:30-8:45pm: Lecture and Q & A
$35 Workshop fee

Buy your ticket HERE  or  email jessa@bladesnaturalbeauty.com for more information/questions.

*please feel free to forward this along to anyone else that might be interested in attending.

About Carly:
Carly Harrison is a Vermont-based herbalist and founder of Vermana Herbals. She has studied herbs for over 10 years and has a deep passion for utilizing the earth to strengthen our souls and bodies. We are so fortunate that she will be visiting our concrete city, sharing with us her wisdom and knowledge.

9/7/12

The Tools Of Beauty


We collaborated with Ecover to answer questions about natural beauty...
Here is the post from August:

Over the past ten years I have worked with hundreds of women, teaching them about makeup, how to apply it, what colors to choose and how to care for and clean their tools. I’m always shocked that the majority of women, while they are brilliant in many other ways, are often lacking some basic information when it comes to dealing with beauty products.
Most women know to clean a kitchen knife after using it or that they shouldn’t keep milk or eggs for a year in the fridge… but the majority of women I meet have never washed their makeup brushes. I’ve been told by some women that they simply throw out their brushes when they start to look really dirty. Not to worry, Ladies, I know the only reason that you have been doing these things is because you didn’t know any better. I am here today to help you learn about what you need and how to best care for these very special tools.
First, I would recommend that you invest in some good brushes. If you care for them, you will have them for the rest of your life (a Green Closet concept carried over to your beauty regime). I’d also love for you to have a range of brushes at your disposal:
  • 2 big fluffy brushes (for powder, bronzer or blush)
  • one firm eye shadow brush
  • a fluffy eye shadow blending brush
  • angle brush for eyebrows
  • a pointy liner brush
  • an eyelash curler is always good to have (make sure that you keep an eye on that rubber piece that protects your lashes, when that gets worn down, you can replace it)
How to care for your brushes:
  • Store your brushes out in an open, cool, and dry place, if possible. I like to clean mine every 2-3 weeks, but it depends on how much you use them.
To clean your brushes:
  • Wet the brush and add a drop of gentle shampoo (or Ecover soap)
  • Gently swirl the bristles around in the soap (I like to do this all in the palm of my hand)
  • Rinse under the water until all the soap is gone
  • Dry the brush by squeezing out excess water with a towel and reshape brush
  • Then lay the brush on a clean towel and let the bristles hang over the counter to dry
Jessa Blades
Ecover’s Natural Beauty Expert
 Image via Emily Gilbert

7/31/12

How To Use Your Kitchen Cabinet As Your Beauty Cabinet

We collaborated with Ecover to answer questions about natural beauty...
Here is July's post:

As a Natural Beauty Expert and Makeup Artist I have spent years trying all sorts of products to heal, smooth and plump my hair, nails, and skin. After a great amount of research and trial and error with these “magical potions,” I have come to find that some of the simplest, time tested remedies work the best and are inexpensive. Don’t get me wrong, I love using a luxurious body oil or a specially formulated hair mask every once and awhile… but I’d also like to give you some other options, using ingredients that you already have in your kitchen cabinet, and that work really, really well.
Garlic- A true healer, this herb has been helping us feel better for centuries. I love to mash it up and use the paste to heal a pimple.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil- this anti-aging, antibacterial multitasker is a must have for the cabinet. There are countless uses for this ingredient; some of my favorites are to use it as an allover body moisturizer or as a deep conditioning hair treatment. Apply oil to your hair and then wrap it in plastic and sit in the sun for your required 15 minutes of Vitamin D exposure. I then like to go and clean my house and leave it on for as long as possible before I rinse it out with some…
Apple Cider Vinegar- This is a kitchen/beauty cabinet must-have with hundreds of uses. Some of my favorites include using it as a clarifying and moisturizing hair rinse. It is also great to tone the skin or help internally for digestion and heartburn (which will in turn help your skin).
Rolled Oats- Cook oats in water and put them in a cheesecloth bag, add to bath water to soothe itchy skin due to a rash or insect bites. Also great for facials, mix oats and honey for a gentle exfoliating face mask. Looking for more hydration? Mix oats and yogurt for a soothing treat for your face.
Local Raw Honey is a miracle ingredient, soothes coughs and sore throats internally and also works for first aid and beauty recipes. Honey makes a wonderful hydrating facemask that provides gentle exfoliation. I love the “honey pat” technique: Apply the honey to clean skin and begin to tap (like you are typing) all over your face. When the honey becomes too sticky to lift your fingers, rinse off. Also great to use on your skin to heal a cut or skin irritation, and makes a great lip balm (tastes good too!).
And finally, please keep in mind that it is always best to choose organic and try to buy in glass whenever possible.  Let me know how the tips work out!
Jessa Blades
Natural Beauty Expert & Ecover Reporter
Top image via Design Shimmer

5/10/12

HOW TO: Be a bronze goddess... my favorite tan in a bottle

To help prep for SUMMER (I cannot wait!!), Harpers Bazzar asked about my favorite sunless tanner- 
Chocolate Sun Cocoa Lite Sunless Enhancer
Why the pros love it: “It’s packed full of ultra nourishing, healing ingredients like aloe, coconut oil, shea butter and sweet almond oil to hydrate your skin and help it glow. The ‘tanned’ look that it provides is gradual, which is good because it allows for the inevitable careless application.” — Jessa Blades
Chocolate Sun Cocoa Lite Sunless Enhancer, $40, spiritbeautylounge.com.