Upstate Dreamworld with Jana Blankenship

Photographed byJulianna Blizzard

Founder of Captain Blankenship, a pure and beautifully crafted line of clean beauty products, and author of Wild Beauty, a captivating and informative book on the magic of simple, botanical ingredients, Jana Blankenship is a force of good in the space of beauty, expanding the conversation around self-care, and running her business with a level of integrity and passion that we deeply admire. We are long time lovers of her thoughtful products, which we first discovered at General Store in Venice, and were so thrilled to be introduced to her by our dear friend April Lee (see her journal feature here!). April describes Jana as “full of the most wonderful sweetness imaginable, a lover of all things connection, exchange, sharing, and celebrating, and the most playful mama” – qualities that very much come through in these photos of her at home in upstate New York with her two sweet babes and her gorgeous pup! See below for sweet photos of Jana’s Autumn dreamworld, and for a few words from Jana on one of her favorite natural beauty ingredients, Witch Hazel!


"Bright clusters of yellow crooked fingered flowers burst off branches of Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) emitting a golden citrus scent into the woods by my home in the Hudson Valley and throughout the Eastern part of the United States in October and November. At a time in the season where we have said goodbye to flowers, these magical beauties are a welcome sight in the forest, as they have been for centuries. Native Americans revered Witch Hazel (a shrub or small tree but mighty in her power) for her medicinal properties and would also use her branches as divining rods to find sources of water. The leaves and bark of the tree are distilled into an extract that is naturally cooling and astringent and can be used topically to treat numerous ailments. This skin soother is used to help heal acne, eczema, psoriasis, inflammation, wounds, dandruff, poison ivy, bug bites, diaper rash, hemorrhoids, post partum perineal swelling and pain, and minor bleeding. It is also a natural wonder for haircare helping with scalp irritation, reducing greasiness, preventing hair loss and adding shine to hair. Witch Hazel is a common ingredient in toners as it helps clarify skin and tighten pores, without stripping skin of moisture. I love it combined with three of my other favorites, Aloe Vera, Rose Hydrosol and Rose Essential Oil to create a clarifying, hydrating and sublime smelling toner that can also be used as a refreshing body and hair mist. This is a must have for me when I travel, I love to mist it all over myself for an instant refresh."

"SMELL THE ROSES" FACE TONER AND BODY MISTYIELD: 8 OZRecipe excerpted from Jana Blankenship’s Wild Beauty (2019)

¾ cup Witch Hazel Extract
¼ cup Rose Hydrosol2 tbsp Aloe Vera Gel or Juice
Optional: 8-10 drops of Rose Essential Oil
8 oz glass bottle, or two 4 oz glass bottles with fine-mist sprayer(s)

*I like to purchase these ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs and Eden Botanicals
Combine all ingredients in large spouted measuring cup and stir well with spoon. Pour into bottle and attach sprayer. Use morning and night on skin before moisturizer or during the day for a refreshing pick-me-up. Will keep at room temperature for up to 3 months, store in fridge for up to 1 year.

Jana wearing the O'Keeffe Top in Blue Prancing Fawn Floral and Mila wearing the Little Isla Dress in Blue Prancing Fawn Floral

Jana wearing the Persimmon Sweater in Cinnamon

Jana wearing the Cove Skirt in Ink Maple Garden

Jana wearing the Chateau Nightgown in Medallion Blue and Mila wearing the Clea Dress in White

Jana wearing the Persimmon Sweater in Cinnamon