Just Jordana

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Just Jordana featured image
Photography by John Russo
This article first appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of New Beauty. Click here to subscribe

There is the utterly calm, always professional Jordana Brewster, who just breezed back from a 36-hour whirlwind trip to Miami to promote her latest movie before returning to Los Angeles looking rested and glowing for a full day of photo-shooting. 

And then there is the self-proclaimed “neurotic mom” Jordana Brewster, who recently got into a small tiff with her nanny about her work-travel schedule. 

“Two days ago, she said something like, ‘Oh, that’s a long time to be away from the kids. You’ve had to do a movie for six weeks,’” Brewster recalls. “That stuck with me for 48 hours. I had to ask her, ‘What did you mean by that? I need to work. My husband needs to work. And you don’t say that to my husband.’ We kind of had to process it and have a mini-therapy session. I internalized it, and I felt really bad. This whole work-family thing is a process.” 

But yet, she persists. This May*, the actress-model stars in F9, the aptly named ninth installment of the Fast & Furious saga, and her “boss comedy,” Hooking Up, is available online and on-demand now. In between a very Hollywood-centric life (her husband is producer Andrew Form of Friday the 13th, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, A Quiet Place, and The Purge fame) Brewster still makes time for sharing her love of all things beauty—with her mom, her sister, on Instagram, and with us. 

NewBeauty: You’re about to turn 40. Is it something you think about?
Jordana Brewster: I’ll turn 40 in April. The way I feel about age is…well, I look up to women like Sandra Bullock; I look up to Gwyneth Paltrow. There are all these women who are older than me who are absolutely killing it in this industry. In the past, it might have felt like, ‘Oh no, my career is going to suffer,’ but I don’t feel that way now. It’s better than the alternative. I would rather celebrate the fact that I’m going to be 40, instead of worrying about it. I’m actually really excited.

I would rather celebrate the fact that I’m going to be 40, instead of worrying about it. I’m actually really excited.

NB: You’ve spoken a lot about your mom and her beauty advice to you over the years. Did you get your outlook on aging from her?
JB: She’s aged far more gracefully than I ever will because she has not gone under the knife. She’s just so elegant in her beauty. I’m 1,000-percent going to go under the knife at one point or another because HD is the worst invention known to man! She watches what she eats and how much sleep she gets, and she’s very diligent about her routine. She owns it, and she looks stunning. She hasn’t resorted to craziness.

NB: Do you do anything “crazy”?
JB: No. I’ve dabbled with Botox. I find it can be tricky for actors because I need to be able to raise my eyebrows and grimace. I also find that, unfortunately, because I run a lot, I seem to go through it faster. That’s why I only go to very, very skilled, subtle injectors. There’s sort of an aesthetic where you can’t tell the difference between someone who’s 18 and someone who’s 45; I find that disturbing. I’m definitely super cautious. I remember the first couple of times I did Botox, I brought my mom and I had her oversee it because I was so nervous about the whole thing. So I’m careful, but I love that there’s so much available to us.

NB: There really is. You’ve also been vocal about your minor “skin-care obsession”…you even share post-facial shots on Instagram.
JB: I consider myself a beauty junkie. When you have a pimple or your skin doesn’t look like you want it to, it ruins your day! I like taking care of my skin and I want to preserve it for as long as possible. I love, love, love Dr. Barbara Sturm. I love her products and I go to her for microneedling, where afterward, she applies this serum that makes you look instantly younger. I also see this wonderful woman, Flavia Lanini, who does these lymphatic drainage treatments—they make a huge difference. I’m also big on taking care of myself from the inside out. I know I can’t overdo it on the salt; I know I have to drink plenty of water. As I get older, those things show up a lot faster. I meditate once a day for 20 minutes. I find that, when I don’t, I see a difference. I find podcasts very relaxing, so I listen to them when I’m running. All of that stuff helps. What else do I do? I like a good jade roller right out of the fridge. This morning I was doing it, and my son was like, ‘Mommy, what are you doing?’ I’m also not afraid of a good mask. I’ll put on masks in the car and just wear them under glasses. I don’t really care who sees it.

NB: You’re incredibly close to your glam squad. What else do you leave to the pros?
JB: I don’t know how to do my hair! I get a blowout two to three times a week and leave it at that. It’s pathetic. I used to be able to do it—I grew up with a mom who was a model, and with my sister, we would have a whole routine three hours before a party where we would put rollers in our hair, do a mask and put on makeup. It was a ritual and it was really fun. It was our time to bond. But, yes, I’m really close to my makeup artist, Ermahn. He’s always teaching me tricks. I have yet to master putting falsies on and I really want to because they make a massive difference. I do know that sometimes I go overboard, and that’s the biggest beauty blunder of them all. I have a habit of shellacking bronzer, and my sister will ask, ‘Did you look at yourself in the mirror?’ I also rely on the pros for dermaplaning; I’m Brazilian, I have a lot of extra hair!

NB: You’ve talked a little bit about having your two children with the help of a surrogate. What’s your advice to women who might be experiencing something similar?
JB: If that’s the only way you can have a baby, go for it. When I found out I had to have my children [sons Julian, 6, and Rowan, 3] that way, I kind of powered through. As my kids get a little older, strangely enough, it’s actually become more challenging—in terms of explaining it to them and framing it in a way they can totally understand. I’m so lucky that it was an option and it was available to me because, otherwise, I wouldn’t have my two beautiful boys. I love them more than anything. 

I’m 1,000-percent going to go under the knife at one point or another because HD is the worst invention known to man!

But being a mom, in general, is not easy, obviously. I thought I would be a chill supermom, but I’m not—I’m pretty neurotic. Having kids really kicked up my anxiety and made things like meditation that much more important for me. And kids really are mirrors back to you! My son Julian is a lot like me. He’ll see the negative in something or he will always question things. He’s really smart, so he keeps me on my toes. There are certain things I have to do now, like going on set, that I wouldn’t have thought twice about back in the day. I’ll make my boys calendars and say, ‘This is when mommy is coming back. This is what your schedule is. This is what we’ll do then.’ That helps with all of our anxiety. I strive really hard to be a good mom and not take it too far where I’m being crazy-neurotic. What helps me the most is talking to my friends who have similar issues and are going through similar things. The only bummer is that I don’t have that many actor friends who are moms, and I need some more of that in my life because it’s just such a unique position to be in.

NB: And now you have Fast, and you were part of the original. What’s different for you in this one?
JB: I’m excited for the action because, in the past, I’ve always been relegated to the girlfriend, wife, mom, nurturer. We’re multifaceted beings as women—our pain threshold is much larger than men’s and our ability to multitask is unparalleled. The fact that I get to show Mia’s [Brewster’s character in the movie] kick-ass side is really fun. I kept texting Justin, our director, videos of me doing Taekwondo and training and lifting weights. I wanted to show him, ‘Hey, I can do this! Put me in the ring.’ He took me up on it, which was awesome. This is the first one I fight in. I had a little bit in Five where Paul [Walker] and I were jumping off of buildings, but this is the first one where there is an awesome girl-fight scene.

NB: How was the dynamic working with other kick-ass women in the film?
JB: First of all, I adore Michelle [Rodriguez]. She was doing what a lot of women are doing now—in terms of being outspoken, not taking shit, asking for what she wants—20 years ago. I’ve always respected her so much for that because I’m too fearful to speak my mind most of the time. That’s shifting and I’m becoming more comfortable asserting myself, but it’s a process. And then I’m in the same movie as Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron, so my kids are like, ‘What? That’s amazing!’ I feel so, so lucky. I’m proud of these movies and there’s a comfort level to working on them. It sounds so cliché, but I love Vin [Diesel]. I go to him for advice. I adore his wife; I adore his sister. His kids and my kids hang out. It’s the most comfortable, wonderful set to be on and it’s the most fun movie to promote because we all get to travel the world together. What could be better?

*This interview was conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic; the global release date for F9 has been moved to April 2021.

Makeup: Ermahn Ospina at a. spiegelman management; Hair: Creighton Bowman at TMG-LA; Styling: Katie Bofshever at The Wall Group

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