In the Studio with Captain Blankenship

In the Studio with Captain Blankenship
We all have our beauty rituals and mine tend to lean towards the indulgent. Enter: face masks! When your schedule (or wallet, or both) doesn't allow for facials, masking is undeniably the next best thing. And it falls under indulgent behavior because it's a reason to sit perfectly still and quiet, beverage in hand, and maybe a hot towel in hair. 

My new mask is from Catbird's longtime friend Jana Blankenship. You've heard about her from us before, under her magic-brewing alias Captain Blankenship. Through her namesake apothecary line, created in the Hudson Valley region, Jana makes organic products with lush, natural scents and luxurious ingredients. 

Jana recently released the Mermaid Detox Face Mask. Open the jar and you're in a kelp and seaweed soaked world, but one that's mixed with the scent of floral essential oils. "I really wanted to introduce masks to the line and had been planning for a long time on a seaweed and french green clay based mask, but kept refining it until it became the powerful Mermaid Detox Mask, " explains Jana of her early experiments. "I was really excited to add in the organic Matcha tea, which helps fight inflammation and rejuvenates skin cells." 

So what's in this little glass jar exactly? The mix of bladderwrack, kelp and spirulina is the mineral blend that draws out your skins impurities. Add in powdered nettles and you have an antioxidant astringent to smooth and tone your skin's surface. And french green clay to firm and inject a glow. At home, I pour two table spoons into a small dish, sprinkle in water and paint on a generous layer with my fingertips. 
When Jana isn't working alongside her 3-person crew in a studio overlooking the mountains, she's exploring her upstate backdrop. She made a list of her favorite places, for a kitten's weekend escape from NYC! 

p.s. Pack your Mermaid Mask


HOTEL The Graham & Co is a really cool hotel in beautiful Phoenicia. It is right near the Esopus River where you can go tubing and cool off, plus they have a nice pool. Phoenicia is very cute and has great food, including the cult Phoenicia Diner. They also put on an incredible event called the Phoenicia Flea several times a year that Captain Blankenship has participated in. 

RESTAURANT: The Corner at the Hotel Tivoli. It is my favorite. It is in a beautiful inn with decor that is 80s amazing, so bright and celebratory. The farm to table food and cocktails are on par with the best in NYC. 

CAFE Karma Road in New Paltz. Great vegan cafe with delicious prepared foods, juices and smoothies. The vegan pizza is a favorite. Perfect on your way to/from hiking! 

FARMER'S MARKET The Westwind Orchard in Accord is the place to go for organic apples and the best pizza in the Hudson River Valley. Laura and Fabio who run the orchard are the sweetest and everything about their property is magical. They are starting to screen movies outside on Saturday nights. 

HIKING TRAIL I have so many favorites! This summer, since I am very pregnant, I have been wanting a short hike and a swim. I have been making almost daily pilgrimages to Minnewaska State Park and the Peter's Kill Trail, which ends in a beautiful little waterfall that my daughter calls the "swimming pool."