Jean Godfrey-June, Free Gift With Purchase
Various high end beauty products find their way into the hands of Lucky magazine beauty editor Jean Godfrey-June. She has the best of all cosmetics, hair and skin care right at her perfectly manicured fingertips. Lucky girl!
She wrote a book, Free Gift With Purchase, to inform us how she landed such a coveted position and talks about what goes on in the glamorous world of magazine publishing,
fashion and beauty.
Jean offers little hints and tips and writes about things like acne, bad hair days, cellulite, her love of self tanner and getting her hair cut by the world famous Sally Hirschberger. This is a completely enjoyable and fun book that you will zip through quickly and revel in your insider information brought to you by Jean.
What are the most and least glamorous aspects of working for Lucky magazine? Is there a downside to what you do?
For me, having more than a million people read what I write every month is definitely the most glamorous part of my job. The least glamorous aspect—let’s see—there was the time I appeared half naked in front of a full house at Lincoln Center . . . there’s also the “acne breakfasts” and “cellulite lunches” --product launches that are as lurid as they sound.
You have experience working for both Lucky and Elle, my favorite magazines. Is there a magazine you must read each time it hits the news stands? Are you a Star addict or Us weekly fan?
The two magazines I really wait for are Domino and World of Interiors. Design magazines are like Prozac for me. Domino I obsessively read and re-read, and am constantly convinced I’ve lost an issue. And yes, if there’s an US Weekly sitting in front of me, I will immediately read it from cover to cover. I suppose that’s more like crack.
As a beauty editor, you get free products all the time. So what products are so great that you actually purchase them to stock your cabinets at home?
The only product I’ve bought in the last year is Antihelios sunscreen from Europe —it’s in every dermatologist’s office.
What do you do to de-stress after a long day of sampling makeup and skincare and breathing in the heavenly scents of perfumes and lotions?
Play with my children or take a class at Jivamukti Yoga.
Why did you decide to write Free Gift With Purchase?
People are always incredibly intrigued to hear about my job & what it’s really like -- and I’ve always loved writing my column, and my book is sort of an unexpurgated (there’s only so much space on a magazine page) version of the column.
Where do you like to go on vacation? Do you tend to overpack? Is there ever a time when you don't want to be around cosmetics/candles/skincare/haircare?
My favorite place to go on vacation is my house. I hate packing, I super-hate unpacking (is just wrinkled? wrinkled and dirty? ruined?), and I loathe airplanes above all else.
Sitting by my pool with my kids, giving ourselves pedicures, attempting to harvest whatever vegetables escaped the voracious groundhog, and generally doing nothing is my idea of relaxation.
I don’t really wish to escape cosmetics/candles/skincare/haircare. I definitely tire easily of having people TELL me about them, but live without my favorite shampoo? Not unless absolutely necessary.
Being in the industry that you are in, is there pressure to look good all the time? I imagine everyone to be fit and glam and dressed in pretty clothes with smooth hair and clear skin at Lucky magazine.(more details about all of this in the book!)
There are definitely beauty execs (male ones) who will admonish beauty editors for “not wearing makeup” -- when of course, we’ve got plenty of it on, it’s just applied right, so it doesn’t look like we are!
As far as clothes and glamour — everyone in the Conde Nast building looks pretty good, it’s true. But pressure—I can’t say I get any more stressed out than anybody else does getting ready. At the end of the day, you want to look good, whether you’re a lawyer or a beauty editor or a construction worker, no?
You must see all kind of great shoes and clothes and accessories all the time, how do you not want everything you see? Can you borrow clothes? What is the best part of your job?
I have a funny part about this in the book —where I borrow enormous billowing teal shorts and a Pepto-Bismol-pink t-shirt at the last minute to go to yoga & end up right next to my idol & crush Russell Simmons. I do want everything I see, but my life is such (job, kids, husband that travels a lot) that I have no time to shop. So I want everything I see, but I can’t have it. I do borrow clothes on rare occasions.
Did you see or read The Devil Wears Prada? Is Kim France anything like Anna Wintour? I mean, Miranda Priestly? Does she ever talk about her days working at Sassy?
Kim France is nothing nothing nothing like Miranda Priestly — as I explain in my book—see chapter on Lucky—she’s the anti-fashionista, which is one of the reasons Lucky is so successful. It’s for real fashion for real people.
Yes, she definitely talks about her days at Sassy, but you’d have to ask her about it.
You address this in the book but tell us how you choose the real people (not models) that get to be in the magazine?
We’re always on the hunt for cute real people. And we meet them—like everybody else does—out and about.
Jean's favorite products...
Lancome Flash Bronzer for Legs. I know it says “for legs”, but I use this all over my body & face — it has the best color by far, and it’s tinted so you see any mistakes you’ve made. Self-tanner conceals a multitude of sins, from undereye bags to cellulite, and this is truly the ultimate one— I’ve tried them all.
Mac Tinted Lip Conditioner Stick SPF 15 in Fuchsia Fix. This looks wild and daring in the tube, and your-lips-but-better in reality—my favorite combination. Plus it smells and feels amazing.
Cover Girl Lash Exact mascara. I tried this while on my book tour—I would wake up in a new city, looking exhausted & scheduled to go on the local morning show at 6am —this genuinely wakes up my entire face. There’s not a single clump and your eyes look huge.
Laura Mercier Secret Concealer. Without this under my eyes, I look 60,000 years older & as if I’ve been drinking, smoking and staying up all night. It is definitely the most transformative item I own. My friend calls it “That stuff that makes you look awake.” You dab it on with a brush (I use the concealer brush from Fresh) and then pat—don’t rub—with your finger until the concealer and your circles disappear.
MAC blot film. Powder gets cakey on me. These weird sheets of high-tech blue plastic-like stuff are amazing.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20. Incredible coverage, natural look.
Tazorac (prescription retin-A cream for acne) This erases both acne and wrinkles & I could not live without it.
Phytojojoba Shampoo from Phyto. A guaranteed good hair day, every time. I always try new shampoos, and nothing every measures up.
Fresh Meadowfoam Cream Conditioner. I love the smell and the resulting shine, texture, etc.
Burt’s Bees shower gel & Crabtree & Evelyn’s Naturals shower mousse — they smell fantastic & have no parabens, SLS, etc.
PLUS: Anything by Douglas Little, particularly his Salem candle that smells like the charred remains of a bonfire. He is truly the most imaginative, interesting person in beauty at the moment.