I had the opportunity to meet Jessa Blades, who brought her Brooklyn goodness out to Venice for a showcase of her knowledge of natural beauty and an introduction to some of her top products.
Jessa is a natural beauty expert, makeup artist and founder of Blades Natural Beauty, which is a curated collection of her top picks in natural beauty – spanning skincare, wellness and makeup.
Jessa Blades, left, of Blades Natural Beauty
What I like about her approach is the idea that health and beauty are inseparable. In other words, how great do you look, how much do you glow, when you feel terrible – are stressed, out of balance or are giving your body a beating with not-great lifestyle habits?
So it made sense that at the event, in addition to being introduced to a fantastic organic color that adds a soft veil of blush to the lips or cheeks (RMS’s Sacred), I was also given a sample of Mountain Woman Tea, “blended to help soothe and calm your delicate nervous system, this tea brings your shoulders down from up high around your ears, to their proper resting place, down below your chin.” These and some of her own formulations are found at her Blades Natural Beauty Shop.
Never forgetting the Practical part of the Glamour equation, I have to add that I like that her line of seriously pure skin products is very accessible in terms of price…a Peppermint Clay Skin Mask for $15 and Calendula Cleansing Grains for $20.
I was filing away my Blades Natural Beauty card in the Do Not Lose file when I spotted some of Jessa’s fine natural beauty tips printed across it.
Here are three that I should probably have tattooed somewhere:
–Wash your makeup brushes every one to two weeks.
–Go easy with the soap – it removes dirt and grease from the surface of your skin, but also strips away your body’s natural oils.
–Use a non-petroleum based lip balm with an SPF factor.
Find other great natural beauty tips at Jessa’s blog, as well.
For me, seeing a genuine bona fide cowboy or girl is along the lines of seeing a Martian. I was raised far from cowboy country and I don’t have a speck of cowgirl DNA in my being. Recently I had the distinct pleasure of being around several, and found that there is a unique and singular glamour about the cowgirl.
For one, they spend time outdoors. A lot of time. So much that every inch of their face, style and body reflects it, cowgirl or boy, whether it’s in the form of deeply tanned skin, dusty boots or strong build. A quick way to tell a real-deal cowgirl or boy from the urban variety is in their movements, strong and purposeful and unhurried all at once. That, and a glance at their hands. The hands of the real deal are muscular and constantly being used to tie something or grasp something or direct something. They are typically thick, strong and sinewy and lined. Like the face, there is a lot of authenticity in the hands of the cowgirl or boy.
The life of the cowboy or cowgirl is not an easy one, nonetheless there is a freshness and satisfaction that I see in their eyes and faces that I don’t see in a lot of other people. Here’s the thing: the cowgirl works her tail off but does not look worn; she looks refreshed and alert. The people I see who look the most worn or fatigued by life are those with deep circles and paunches and unhealthy skin who spend too much time indoors or in cars or staring at computer screens and eating too much sugar.
Cathy, pictured here, is a real cowgirl who is also one of the most beautiful women I’ve seen in a while. She ropes and calves and breaks horses and does many other things along these lines, starting from when the sun is not yet up until it sets, and in places like North Dakota in the snow.
When I asked her for a glamour secret or two that I could share, she blushed and said she doesn’t do anything special on the looks front. She did say that she let her natural hair color come in, a strong silver that goes beautifully with her deeply tanned skin and sparkling blue eyes.
I figured that ultimately it is her projection of strong, physical energy and joie de vivre that really wraps up her lovely figure and face. So, the beauty of the cowgirl essentially has to do with these nuggets:
Be authentic to who you are.
Spend a lot of time outdoors breathing fresh air and engaging in vigorous and purposeful activities.
It seems that, if you are a cowgirl or boy, it is because of a calling and one that rules out the option of doing other, non-cowboy things with your life like sitting in heels and a skirt at a desk, or knotting a tie around your neck in a condo somewhere each morning. A cowboy told me that once he tried to sell cable from an office in San Diego and lasted only a week. Four days, actually.
I’ll save a discussion on cowboy etiquette for another day. Suffice it to say, I’m convinced that all is not lost on the civility front as long as cowboys remain in our great nation.
Applying ice to your face is one of the most effective and easy things you can do to kill acne. I heard about this from an aesthetician and a friend who was a patient of Dr. James Fulton (the co-creator of Retin-A and developer of Benzoyl Peroxide) who is considered something of the grand master of acne slaying.
After cleansing your face in the morning and night, spread an ice cube lightly on your skin (or just the pimple-prone area) for approximately one minute.
Make sure you move the ice quickly around your skin lest you risk ‘burning’ your skin.
The ice takes down swelling, redness and inflammation and, for some, will shrink pores.
Do this consistently–morning and evening–day after day.
Let your face return to its natural temperature before resuming your normal beauty routine.