Who would have guessed it, but green juice is the ultimate muse. From nail polish to skin care, our collective adoration for putting kale and its sibling-veggies in our mouths has quickly translated to a love for putting it on our bodies too. Greens are everywhere, but IMO no one does it quite like Jillian Wright, who set up a mini-mask-making apothecary right inside her facial spa on the Upper East Side. Imagine a trendy bar-cart of superfoods in chic glass cannisters. It feels like you’ve stumbled into a best-kept secret on a cobblestoned street in Provence.
I went to Jillian’s spa for what felt like a 15-minute vacation–really all the time it takes for Wright to mix up a custom mask of high-caliber ingredients. She made me a superfood-smoothie of a mask.
Jillian uses aloe as the base for the masks and the health-packed powders each provide their own skin-boosting benefits. “Aloe contains excellent hydrating, softening, and soothing properties. It also has been shown to have strong antibacterial and antifungal properties,” Wright explains.
The rest of my mask is a concoction of rosehip, which is extracted from wild roses and rich in vitamin C. “It’s a moisturizing antioxidant and can help protect from capillary damage,” Wright says, and also helps to “firm and tone the skin.” The Moroccan lava clay is “great for sensitive and mature skin types. It comes from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. It’s highly absorbent and is rich in minerals such as silica, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium and sodium. It improves clarity and removes dead layers of skin. It smooths and improves elasticity.”
My mask contains honey which is known as a natural humectant and has the ability to attract and retain moisture. And last, but not least, obviously a healthy dose of kale was added to my mask. Says Wright, of everyone’s favorite superfood, “It is a very good source of copper, tryptophan, vitamin B6, and potassium; and a good source of magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin B2, protein, vitamin B1, folate, phosphorous, and vitamin B3. Also worth noting in kale’s nutritional profile is its vitamin K content. Kale contains nearly twice the amount of vitamin K as most of its fellow cruciferous vegetables.” (Case closed, kale skeptics). Wright suggests the masks be refrigerated since they are truly natural products. They are totally naturally preserved with Japanese honeysuckle, so they last a bit longer than they might otherwise.
Wright allows you to custom-scent your mask, adding further to the luxe experience she creates in mere minutes. I picked rose, which Wright notes “brings balance and harmony and has stimulating and uplifting properties that create a sense of well-being and self-confidence.”
The mask itself is pretty incredible. Seeing it made, I wasn’t sure what could come of something that looked so, well, simple. But when I put the mask on a few things happened.
First of all, unlike some other masks that quickly become uncomfortable, or you feel itchy and start a staring contest with your phone timer, I ignored the timer’s bell and left the mask on a few extra minutes. Second, the mask truly tightened my face in that way that makes you think, ”ooh, this is working its magic right now!” And it did. $40 for a totally natural, and totally customized face mask from one of NYC’s leading aestheticians is a treat I will take any day.