“When I think of glam, I don’t really think of an English person. [Laughs] I think of a Hollywood person, I don’t know why. I guess being where I’m from, I’m quite simply, very me. I’m just Jena from the farm, you know. I’m from Cornwall, the most Southern point in England. There’s nothing there, it’s takes like 6 hours to drive there from London. There’s one pub in the fishing town a half a mile down the hill from my town. It’s really cute, and local folk singers go perform there—my granddad used to sing there. I used to go with my dad when I was five, I would just sit on his knee and he would give me a bit of his pint.
My family first started in Malta, moved to Italy, and then to England, so I’ve got the German eyes, Italian skin, and my grandmother’s Maltese hair. My hair is naturally curly and can get quite dry, so I rub Oribe Goldlust Nourishing Hair Oil through the ends and let it air-dry. I love Oribe—it’s expensive though. Luckily, my friend owns a salon in Beverly Hills called Bomane and it’s the only place I get my hair cut. I do sometimes use the Kevin Murphy Hair Resort Spray on jobs in Australia—a lot of times they don’t have a hair stylist on set, it’s just the photographer and me. I’ll try to use a Kerastase treatment once a week called Nutritive Masquintense, and it’s like going to a hair salon without the cost. I haven’t touched my hair in years—I don’t even own a flat iron or blow dryer. I used to blow-dry it every morning before school and I just made it so dead. I used to dye it myself with peroxide blonde highlights in chunks. [Laughs] I don’t know, I was a 90’s kid. I just loved that stuff.
I would say I’m more of a combination skin gal, quite oily actually. This Australian foaming cleanser—Ultraceuticals—strips all my excess oils. It looks like shaving foam—my boyfriend walked in on me and he was like ‘Why are you shaving?’ [Laughs] I’ll rub it in for awhile, let it eat everything, and then take it off. I also use the Aesop Fabulous Face cleanser, which is great. If I am coming home after work, I’ll use the Bioderma Micellar Water, the blue one, with these cotton pads I bought from Muji—they are amazing. There’s this scrub I actually found in the airport in Singapore, the Microdelivery Resurfacing Peel from Philosophy. It comes with a scrub and cleanser, but I just use it as an exfoliator to scrub off all the crap off my skin at the end of the day. My skin feels so soft after I use that. I’ll use this water-based moisturizer called Biotherm Aquasource—it smells like a guy but I really like it. A night before an event, I’ll put on this Shiseido Benefiance Night Cream...it’s quite thick and absorbs really well. I was a bit cautious about it at first—I usually don’t like smells on my face—but I know the stuff really works for me.
Flying twice a week really affects your skin so much. I use the SK-II masks on the plane like a weirdo and I’m like ‘Hi, I look like a murderer now.’ I get so dried out, and when you’re flying straight to work, you want to really look good. It really brightens my face. If my eyes are really dry, which they have been recently, I’ll use the SK-II RNA Power Eye Cream, which is quite thick and really nice. I always have dry lips too, so I swear by Papaw. I’m so addicted to it and I try to stock up on it Australia because it’s like $2 there. I also use these Skyn Iceland Eye Gels, have you heard of them? They instantly firm my bags up, which is great. If it’s a few days in advance before I go out, I’ll probably try and get a cryo facial. Extra cold air blows in to your face, freezing your pores with extra oxygen. You just sit there like a burrito on the massage table with your headphones on watching Netflix. There’s so much pollution here, so you feel really clean and rejuvenated when you walk out.
I only started using the Tom Ford Foundation a few months ago because someone used it on me and it was a perfect. I love it in Sable because it’s not too shiny, it just gives you a nice healthy glow. I’ll mix that with another one from The Body Shop called Sahara to get the right color if I am not dark enough yet. I used to use the Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet in 40 Beige, but its matte and silky, which is nice, but you have to put something else underneath to make it dewy, or else it’s like you already powdered. I also use the YSL Touche Eclat under my eyes or if I have blemishes. To apply, I use a classic Beautyblender, which I wash every night because they get so dirty. Obviously you have to use it wet, so I’ll put some Vitamin E Serum-in-Oil from The Body Shop, which helps blemishes and scarring. Once my foundation is done, I’ll do a spritz of rosewater—my face just loves anything rose. Sometimes I’ll use rosehip oil on my face from Live Live in the East Village, but it’s a bright orange and you can’t really go anywhere because it looks like you’ve done a chemical peel.
When I go out, I’ll do my favorite red lip—it literally costs $5 from Duane Reade. It’s from Kate Moss’ collaboration with Rimmel in Kiss of Life and looks quite nice with my blue eyes. I’ll just put it on straight from the tube—I don’t have the patience to use a lip liner, but it doesn’t run because it’s so matte. I’ve had the longest nights with it. It also doesn’t get on your teeth, which is great. With that, I’ll just do lashes—I like Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara, cheap and it works. If I’m not doing a red lip, I’ll use this Kajal from Maybelline. I’ve got quite feline eyes. Oh my God, I was in this bar the other day and this woman came up to me and she goes, ‘you look like a cat’ and I’m like 'OK, Is that a compliment or is that a statement?' [Laughs] I’ll do it really thin as a liner on the top and with tiny little wingey out. I won’t really put any on the bottom, because I find that it swamps my eyes too much. And then if I’m going out I cannot really control what happens, and my eyeliner will fall down my face.
I had really bad, thin brows the ‘90s—my sisters were doing it, Kate Moss was doing it and it was awful. I’m so lucky they grew back, Thank you hairy Italian grandma. I also take collagen—it helps so much with nails, hair, lashes, brows… It’s incredible. Nowadays, I’ll I use this Anastasia Brow Definer in Ebony to fill in my brows and then I’ll use the Glossier Boy Brow. I actually lost it on the plane here, so I have to get a new one. I worked with Hung Vanngo the other day and he plucked the ends a little. He told me they are actually better for my face shape if they are not longer than the eyeliner wing. From there, I will do some highlighter from RMS. I also put it in the edges of my eyelids to give me a nice sheen, too. I’m not a blush and bronzer type of gal—I don’t think I’ve owned either in years. I used to go really HAM on it, but now I don’t think it suits me very much.
When I am getting ready, I will usually have Friends on as like background noise, or I’ll put Sonos on and just jam out to something. My favorite Spotify playlist is called Sultry...its got Motown and Jazz. It just makes you feel good to get ready to—trap music gives me anxiety. I used to really love clubs when I was under 21, but as soon as I hit it, I was like, the fun’s gone now. I used to give in my subway card as my ID at 1 Oak, because there are always cops watching. But now I prefer more chill places—Rose Bar, The Blonde, Blues Bars, hotels that play jazz. I’m very English so my drink has always been gin. A simple gin, soda water, and cucumber go a long way.”
—as told to ITG
Jena Goldsack photographed by Tom Newton in New York on April 11, 2018.