In Blindspotting, the Starz series spun off from the 2018 film of the same name, Jaylen Barron steals every scene in which she appears as Trish, the hot-headed younger sister of Rafael Casal’s Miles. She butts heads with everyone—her mom, Rainey (played by Helen Hunt); her soon-to-be sister-in-law Ashley (Jasmine Cephas Jones), and anyone else who stands in the way of making her dream (turning her cam girl co-op into a legitimate small business) come true.
The actress, who called W this summer, says she and Trish could not be more different—except for when it comes to their determination and will. “I’m looking forward to showing people a different side of acting that I feel like I’m bringing,” she said.
Growing up in Southern California’s Inland Empire, Barron got her start as a dancer, competing with her performance art school’s dance crew to travel to different states for competitive cheer, hip-hop, lyrical, and jazz. After doing some plays at her local theater, she realized she wanted to act, and began to appear on Disney Channel series like Shake It Up and Good Luck Charlie, before acting on dramas like Shameless and lending her voice to the animated series Twelve Forever. “I’m incorporating a lot of hip-hop culture, and a lot of Black culture and Mexican culture in what I’m doing right now,” Barron, who is of mixed Black and Mexican descent, told W. “I’m bringing a new piece of cake to the cookout.”
What drew you to Blindspotting?
I would say the representation of what it is like for low-income Black and Brown families in the justice system. That definitely spoke to me because I’ve dealt with that personally. It’s important for people in our community to see themselves on TV, especially to feel like Hollywood is noticing them and Hollywood understands their story.
Can you relate to your character?
Even though we’re completely different, I have her in me, so that’s probably how I’m able to bring her out. She’s very quick to fight—I’m not quick to fight at all, but if I need to, I’ll tell you something cute. We don’t need to throw hands like that. But what I love most about Trish and myself is how driven we are to access our goals. Regardless of whatever she does, she’s not letting anybody stop her. There are people telling her she’s not good enough, and she is not listening. A lot of women can relate to that, especially in the workplace, in a male-dominated area. Trish has helped me be more confident and assertive in the things that I want. She’s a big dog.
Your character is trying to get a small business off the ground. You have a small business of your own, correct?
Yes, I do. I have a lash business. She’s under some repairs right now. I want to relaunch her. I want to add something else to her as well.
When did you start doing that?
A couple of years ago. Before the pandemic, I started it because I was auditioning and I was in between bookings; I needed something to keep me busy. That’s how BouJaye Lashes was born. And I came up with the name because my whole life, everybody would always call me “bougie.” And everyone calls my Jaye, nobody really calls me Jaylen. So I was like, let me combine the two and be whoever everybody believes I am—BouJaye.
Do you have any favorite go-to beauty products?
I use all of Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty products and skincare. But if I run out of anything, my go-to is Cetaphil. It’s a classic. The ingredients are simple and it keeps your face clean. I’ll take it with me on vacation, just in case. And I always have some shea butter hand lotion that smells nice. Especially because of the pandemic, I found my hands were getting dry, so now I’m moisturized all the time.
What are your favorite Fenty products?
I just started using it maybe a week ago, but I love her body butter, the Butta Drop Whipped Oil Body Cream. I don’t recommend using that before you go to bed because it’s so creamy and gives you such a nice glow that you feel a bit sticky if you lay on your sheets. But it’s bomb and it smells good. Another Fenty product I like is the Gloss Bomb lip gloss. I love lip gloss. There’s not really a look that I have without lip gloss. I think I probably will be one of those women that wears lip gloss forever, even if it is out of style because I just couldn’t see myself without some gloss. I don’t know if I’m a lipstick kind of girl—I’ve tried it, but my lips just get so chapped with lipsticks.
What’s your favorite shade of lip gloss?
I do what I call a “Bratz lip” and that’s always my go-to lip combo. First of all, I moisturize my lips before I do anything. I get a nice brown, true brown—no undertones of purple because I hate purple lips on me—lip pencil, and I outline my lips, shade the corners up and blend that in, and I take a very light pink lipstick to the middle and blend it into the brown, and on top of that, I put on a nude gloss.
Who is your beauty icon?
The Bratz dolls! Ever since I was little, I had nothing but Bratz dolls. And of course Barbies, but the Bratz dolls, I used to think those girls were so beautiful. When you’re a little girl you look at Barbies or Bratz dolls like they’re real. When I started acting, I was able to do a Bratz doll commercial so that manifested everything I wanted. For the role of Trish, I sent in reference photos of Bratz dolls for my character’s look.
What’s the biggest beauty lesson you’ve learned?
As I’ve gotten older, I feel like I need to get dressed for me, not for other people. Sometimes I forget that I’m a hottie, I’m not going to lie. But then I’m quickly reminded.
What’s the best beauty tip you’ve picked up on set?
Somebody will tell me a beauty routine and I’ll try it once and be like, this isn’t for me. But because of the pandemic, we’re all still wearing masks? If you have makeup on, line the inside of your mask with blotting papers. That way, instead of your makeup wiping off, it’s just blotting oil.
In a fully post-Covid world, what would your ideal spa day look like?
Alright, here we go, my ideal spa day: I wake up in the morning and have my appointment at Burke Williams spa at a perfect time—which is 11:35 A.M. I go there and do my hot stone massage, deep tissue massage. I get my white robe on and after that, I go to the showers and take a nice eucalyptus shower. I come out of there and go into their jacuzzi and the sauna. I’m drinking a whole bunch of cucumber lemon water. A whole bunch. And I always have an apple because, you know, you get a little hungry from relaxing! After that, I go into their air-conditioned quiet room, and I cool off. I go back to the jacuzzi, slide in for about 15 to 20 minutes. I go take another cool shower because it’s not my water bill, so why not? After I take that cool eucalyptus shower and wash my hair with cool water, I get out, drink some more cucumber water, put on my clothes, and go eat something “disgusting,” by which I mean very unhealthy. And my version of unhealthy is fried shrimp, rice, and beans, because I don’t want to make my stomach hurt too much.
Do you like to go to spas with people or alone?
Glen Ivy Hot Springs is another place I like to go with my boo. I recommend it, it’s in Corona and there are five or six different types of pools. They have mud pools, massages. You can even stay there. They have a restaurant and everybody’s just walking around in robes.
What treatment are you afraid to try?
I’m afraid to try a vampire mask or facial. That scares me, I don’t know if that one’s for me. I’m also pretty nervous about tanning, and I mean spray tans. I’m terrified of it wiping off on my clothes or sweating off at the gym.
What’s your nightly beauty routine?
I’ll give you a Sunday night routine. Those are my “me” days. After a long day of running errands with my boo or hanging out with my homegirls, I come home and turn on my television. I go to YouTube and I type in my manifestation station—it’s a whole bunch of different earth chimes and positive vibration energy waves that you listen to, to calm your mind down. I light my meditation sage and lavender sage inside a clean room; I’m really big on keeping my room clean, because it’s a sanctuary for me. I go into the bathroom, I get my bath ready with warm water, tea tree oil, eucalyptus, and lavender—no bubbles, I’m not a big bubble person. I soak in the bath for about 20 minutes, then break out my journal and I start journaling about my week and things that I’m grateful for, and things that I hope to accomplish in the next week. I look in the mirror, tell myself that I love me, go downstairs to get a dessert, and put on a serial killer documentary. Then I watch other women doing their skincare routines on TikTok because they’re so inspiring to me. And picture me doing all of that with a face mask on.