Natural Beauty Expert & Herbalist
Jessa Blades is a celebrity makeup artist, natural beauty authority, wellness expert, and herbalist based in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. She is deeply passionate about sharing simple and gentle ways to heal and nurture the body and skin while still looking fabulous.
Inspired by the idea of true healing and wellness, Jessa made the switch to natural, nontoxic beauty products in 2008 and founded her company, Blades Natural Beauty, the same year. Her goal then and now is to provide sustainable beauty routines, pure products, and expert advice for anyone looking to detox their medicine cabinet and heal—instead of hide—their imbalances.
When she’s not on set, Jessa uses her 15 years of experience to lead private lessons and group workshops on beautifying from the inside out. She teaches women how to apply makeup, choose natural and healing products, and incorporate herbs and food-based medicine into their lives to heal their skin. As a teacher and a makeup artist, Jessa's mission is to bring the message of self-care and empowerment into the conversation around beauty and healing.
Many of Jessa’s favorite natural beauty and wellness products, including her signature line of skin care and her hand-blended herbal teas, are available in her online Self-Care Supply Store and Apothecary.
Jessa has studied with a group of wise and powerful teachers, including Rosemary Gladstar, Peeka Trenkle, Phyllis Light, Hilary Garivaltis, and Nancy Phillips. She has steeped at renowned institutions from The Open Center and Kripalu to Sage Mountain.
Jessa has been featured as one of Glamour magazine’s "70 Amazing Eco-Heroes" and chosen as TreeHugger's Best Green Makeup Artist. She has contributed to Vogue, the New York Times, mindbodygreen, Into the Gloss, Style.com, Well Good, Natural Health, Organic Spa, and appeared on the Today show.
connect with Jessa Blades
What is your wellness philosophy?
My philosophy is to embrace in the holistic conversation about how everything is connected when it comes to true natural beauty, while finding ways to make the beauty and wellness industry more beautiful. Working with women on their journeys to feel and look their most beautiful (which is so beautifully different for every woman) starts from the inside out as they connect to deepest and most innate creative essence. It is through this understanding that we can find the connection back to the adornment and the ritual and the pleasure of self care. Honoring and listening to what the body has to say and how it responds to stress, we can use diet, beauty products, lifestyle, and the mind to work toward living our most vibrant and nourished lives. I am passionate about helping women heal and balance their skin, choose the best and healthiest products, and help empower them to feel the absolute best in their bodies, and support the earth at the same time. I love being able to combine all of my expertise, to work with a woman to find the best non-toxic mascara, heal their dry skin, and get them a new and improved self-care strategy through our sessions together.
What brought you into wellness?
I came to wellness after a background in studio art, psychology, and 15 years as a celebrity makeup artist in the fashion industry. I look at my work as a calling, really, a karmic path that started with my grandfathers. One was a CEO of a major pharmaceutical company and the other was an activist for worker’s rights in a union in Philadelphia, who started using food as medicine to heal his brother's colitis in the 1940s. I see my work as a perfect blend of what these two stood for, and their work has really shaped my journey toward the study of Ayurveda, western herbalism, food as medicine, and psychology, as I’ve developed my holistic skin coaching practice and philosophy. My work is to help undo the work of one grandfather and to further the work of the other grandfather. Everyday, people are better understanding the interwoven connections between the food, wellness, and beauty industries. It is my honor and privilege to have been a pioneer in the natural beauty world to help people on their journey, affecting real change on the individual level, in commerce, and for the earth.
What does You. We. All. mean to you?
You. We. All. Is a reminder for me to pay attention and honor the connections and community that makes our lives on this planet possible and amazing. So much of my work relies on the plants, how they can support us physically, mentally, and spiritually. And a huge part of how I like to work with plants is constantly asking myself—how do I give back to them? Supporting the soil, energetically thanking the plants, buying my food from farmers and stores with intention, collecting my veggie scraps in my apartment and taking it to the farmers market to compost. It is so important to be involved on all levels of consumption, education, and inspiration in order to really live a holistic life. My daily practice is to see how I can remove ego and attachment—to see that it isn't always about me and to turn the focus outward toward service to the ALL. To honor those who came before us, our elders and teachers, and to the earth that holds us and nourishes us, and connect on an energetic level with all beings all around me and if I can, and leave them better off than I found them.
What empowers you?
I'm empowered by the brilliance and resilience in people and that humans can continue to find inspiration and momentum, day in and day out. My goal in working with clients is to find was to bring momentum back into the self-care process, to inspire a profound relationship between our bodies and the earth and our power. And it can all start small, with whatever part of this equation your are ready for; to start with making friends with your skin and taking care of yourself, trying molasses to build your iron and strength, or drinking lemon balm heart opening tea. We get to find these practices, and start over and fail at them daily, and then start again, and as Audre Lorde said: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” This call to action could not be more true during these wild and exciting, change-making times on this planet.
What's your favorite ritual?
Making myself a beautiful breakfast. Taking time to sit and eat and nourish myself before the day begins and create something that is over the top delightful to look at, pleasing my to my eyes, my sense of smell and taste are all very medicinal for my day. A new favorite creation is rose sea salt that I sprinkle on my toast, it is hot pink and I love it spread on top of some ghee and raw honey (and when they are in season, with peaches) on toasted sourdough.