“I grew up in Miami. I knew I didn’t want to go to college—I didn’t like school, but I loved working. My parents always made me work for what I had, and I remember working and buying a cell phone because my parents didn’t let me get a cell phone. I was like 15—it was at that time when cell phones were super new. I had a flip phone, it was pretty legit. Anyway, I would always buy phones and keep them in secret, because if my mom found it she would take it away from me, so I had to buy another one. And my dad is a handyman, so I mowed lawns with him, air conditioning jobs, the most odd jobs growing up with him. He really taught me how to be self-sufficient and very handy, so if I want something done I can kind of take it apart in my brain and figure out how it goes back together. If I see somebody do it, I can pretty much do it.
I was always very money-motivated. When I was just about to leave high school, I had started shooting porn. I had a bunch of girlfriends who were in college, and one of the girls was like, ‘I got approached to make extra money.’ I was like, ‘OK, let me know how it goes.’ And she came back and was like, ‘I made $500 for showing my boobs.’ So as soon as I turned 18 I called the guy. Everybody in high school found out that I was shooting porn, and they told all the teachers and the principal. I had already moved out [of my mom’s house] because I didn’t want to be told what to do—I moved out when I was 17. The school called her, and they were like, ‘We’re withdrawing her from school,’ but they didn’t tell her why. They were just like, ‘She’s missed too many days,’ because they couldn’t be like, ‘We’re withdrawing her from school because she’s doing porn.’ She called me and told me and I was like, ‘Well, that’s fine. I didn’t want to go to school.’
I moved from Miami to LA, started shooting porn, won a bunch of awards for best actress, and then around 2011, 2012 I was just kind of bored. It was like, ‘I’ve done as much as I want to do in this industry, what’s next?’ So I started DJ-ing, and I started making jewelry in 2012—Bagatiba. My agent was always like, ‘You know, one day you’re not going to be able to do porn anymore, you have to save your money now and think about the future.’ That was always embedded in my mind—I needed to have backup plans. Like, what happens if I break my arm while DJ-ing? OK, I can lean back on jewelry. What if jewelry import from overseas is banned? Then I have my swimwear line, Basic Swim. I’m a crazy person—I stock and restock everything, in case I run out. I have two social security cards, I have two driver’s licenses. I’m very prepared. Going into each different category of business, I think it’s really interesting, because I love learning new things about business. And I love photography, I love web, I love problem-solving, I love tasks that go from start to finish. I don’t really watch movies, I don’t read books, I don’t understand astrology or anything spiritual. I use that part of my brain to do admin things, and when I have time to relax I just sleep. [Laughs]
A good night out always depends on being with the right people. I’ll pick a good group of girlfriends—I don’t care about being with guys, I just want to have fun with my friends and troll around. We just don’t give a fuck, we just dance. I’ve been wearing slip dresses a lot lately. They’re not extremely tight, but they show your body shape. You know the girl looks good, but you don’t see the full figure, so it’s very sexy. I wear a really nice sandal with it—By Far is a really great brand. I love a low heel because I’m already 5’9’’. If I wear something super tall, it looks crazy on me.
It takes me literally five minutes to get ready at night. I have a dermatologist soap—it’s just an antibacterial soap. I go to Beverly Hills Dermatology, to a doctor called Dr. Bussell. I never really had acne, but I had a bad breakout once and I went to them, and they were like, ‘You can avoid any other breakouts if you do a regimen every day.’ I didn’t really have one before. The soap is cheap, and it helps keep my skin chilled out. I wash my face twice a day, and then I use a toner from my dermatologist, and I put a Cipro pill into that and I shake it, so it becomes a topical antibiotic. I love Cetaphil moisturizer for during the day. At night I use Embryolisse before bed, because it’s thicker. At night, before I moisturize, I put Good Genes from Sunday Riley on, or the C.E.O. Now, since I’ve been doing that regimen, I do less, I do fewer masks—the less I do, the better I feel, and the better my skin feels. I have rosacea on my cheeks, so I try to keep moisturized and put on a lot of sunscreen so I don’t inflame it. Over the past two years that I’ve been using it, my skin tone has become very even. When I look at old pictures of myself I look so blotchy—but it’s sun damage, and rosacea. You don’t know how beautiful you can feel until you strip it all down. You are who you are.
I get eyelash extensions because I’m lazy. I get them done in Koreatown—I have the lady’s number, and her address, but I don’t even know what the place is called. I take that time to myself to think or sleep. For me, I want to not have to put makeup on every day. I want my skin to be clear, I want to already have lashes. But I love the way my face looks with makeup on, so that’s why I get that. I like a matte look—I don’t like a really dewy, glossy look. I use Clinique Stay Matte Oil-Free Makeup, and I apply that with a little blender ball. Or I just put it on my hand. Next, I use a contour from Marc Jacobs because I love a little shape to my face. I use a little eyebrow pencil, this one from Troy Surratt. I like them darker—I dye my eyebrows, too. I extend them a little bit, and then I use Anastasia Brow Gel. That’s my jam. I don’t need mascara unless I don’t have lash extensions on. Sometimes I use Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer as a little highlight, if we’re feeling crazy. I just use it along my cheekbones and on my nose. I like the way it looks, but sometimes highlighter is a little much for me. I use this Nars Dolce Vita lip pencil because it looks as if your lips were chapped, and that’s my favorite kind of lip color. But not my favorite kind of feeling. Right? I actually read this interview of Candice Swanepoel and she said she loved it, so I was like, I’m going to try it out. I’ve been using it for like five years. Concealer is this little guy from Tarte. No blush for me. I’ve just recently gotten back into blotting papers, and I’m obsessed. I love these from Clean and Clear. I blot on the outsides of my nose and anywhere where I think I might have oil.
I just grew my hair out. I used to have bangs, but now I just have really, really long layers. I either push it to the side, or I part it down the middle—which is a little bit of a sleeker look—and just tuck it behind my ears. I’ve been going to this lady Claudia who works at Knives Out Salon since I moved here—she used to work at a little place down the street. I had the worst hair! It was super long, and half of it was orange-brown and the rest was like bleached blonde. Eventually over the years I let her chop it, and my hair is totally natural now. I don’t really brush my hair. I have a little Mason Pearson comb, for when I do. I just try to do the least. When I’m going out, I’ll just put some water and pat it down a little bit. I love Playa. The smell is just amazing—it’s like a magnolia and southern California sea salt. Or like vanilla. Magnolia vanilla something? I also have Oribe hair stuff, and Le Labo. I have Dr. Bronner’s body soap—that’s my jam. I use Aesop deodorant and Le Labo body lotion. I don’t use fragrance actually.
As long as I go out with my friends, I don’t really care where we are. It needs to be a semi-dark environment, good drinks, good music—otherwise, I don’t care. I’ll go to 1Oak, I’ll go to Delilah, I’ll go to a strange bar, I’ll go to a strip club. Wherever, as long as my friends are with me and we want to have a good time. I’m very social, but I’m introverted. I know I need to stay at home and work a lot, so I’ll spend some weeks at home, and then I’ll spend some weeks going out. I dip in and out, but I have to stay organized. When I get home, I always wash my whole face, brush my teeth—I cannot get into bed if I have makeup, or if I’m dirty. I always shower before bed, because I feel like your bed is where you sleep, and it should be a clean place.”
—as told to ITG
Jessie Andrews photographed by Tom Newton in Los Angeles on August 20, 2018.