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Free Gift with Purchase: My Improbable Career in Magazines and Makeupby Jean Godfrey June
Synopses & Reviews
Everybody loves beauty products. Even if you think you know nothing about them, or even if you think you hate them, you actually know plenty about them and, in fact, have several of them that you love. You have major opinions that lie barely beneath the surface. Women whomodestly/moralistically claim to “never use all that beauty stuff” are big Clinique ladies, usually with a healthy helping of Neutrogena. —Free Gift with Purchase
From the beloved beauty editor of Lucky magazine comes a dishy, charming, and insightful memoir of an unlikely career. Combining the personal stories of a quirky tomboy who found herself in the inner circle of the beauty world with priceless makeup tips (Is there really a perfect red lipstick out there for everyone? Which miracle skin potion actually works?), Jean Godfrey-June takes us behind the scenes to a world of glamour, fashion, and celebrity.
Godfrey-June’s funny, smart, outsider perspective on beauty has set her apart since she first started writing her popular “Godfrey’s Guide” column for Elle magazine. In Free Gift with Purchase, she invites us into the absurd excess of the offices, closets, and medicine cabinets of beauty editors. From shelves upon shelves of face lotion, conditioner, lipstick, eye cream, wrinkle reducers, and perfume to thoroughly disturbing “acne breakfasts” and “cellulite lunches”; from the lows (a makeover from hell, getting pedicure tips from porn stars) to the highs (the glamour of the fashion shows in Paris, lounging in bed with Tom Ford, a flight on Donald Trump’s private jet, and landing her dream job at Lucky magazine), we see it all.
Like a friend sharing the details of her incredibly cool job, Jean lets us in on the lessons she’s learned along the way, about the eternal search for the right haircut and the perfect lip gloss, of course—but more important, about what her job has meant to her and why she loves what she does, blemishes and all.
"The beauty editor of Lucky magazine, Godfrey-June endears herself to readers with her admission that even she — a woman who receives 'between fifty and two hundred products a day' — has the occasional bad hair day, the kind that 'takes over and infects your entire being, moving quickly from your hair to your skin to your expression to your entire demeanor.' Her memoir is fun, instructive and dishy (she used to work at Elle and recounts all manner of office brouhahas involving such personalities as the French creative director she calls 'The Playboy,' and the American editor-in-chief, dubbed 'Above the Fray'). Certain readers will be enthralled by a clued-in woman demystifying what is for many an impervious world: this is what really works, and this is what's bunkum. But other snippets — Godfrey-June's thoughts on Chanel (buy one piece at full price and that's it, forever) and the Victoria's Secret fashion show (akin to a Siegfried and Roy performance), for instance — are less compelling. What saves the memoir from devolving into a series of pointless anecdotes is her constant awareness that her job is 'impossible to take seriously.' Some people devote their lives to finding a cure for cancer, but 'Me, I ponder lipstick.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The beauty editor of "Lucky" magazine tells the quirky and unexpected story of how she got where she is while offering personal stories, dishy magazine gossip, and top-secret beauty advice. Line drawings.
About the Author
Jean Godfrey-June is the beauty editor of the runaway-success shopping magazine Lucky and former beauty and fitness editor of Elle. She lives with her husband and two children in Upper Grandview, New York.
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