It’s all about icons today on TNP with beauty guru Jean Godfrey-June, Lucky’s Executive Beauty Director and a publishing legend no doubt. One of the top editors in the beauty world, Godfrey-June’s recommendations for skincare are every woman’s survival guide. And, if they’re not, they should be, because we can tell you wholeheartedly that her skin glows like we’ve never seen — really. We all know so much of skincare happens from the inside out, so we got all of Godfrey-June’s health and diet tips, beauty product recommendations and musings on publishing…
The New Potato: What would be your ideal food day?
Jean Godfrey-June: "I have a friend who makes poached eggs and a wicked kale-plus-all-things juice/smoothie, so I’d have that on my porch (it would be summer) with some Peet’s Coffee for breakfast. For lunch I’d sit outside (again, summer!) at Da Silvano and eat shaved artichokes and parmesan. I’d bring noodles (and the insane cucumber salad) from Xi’an Famous Foods to my kids for dinner. We’d eat on the porch again, with apricot & blackberry pie for dessert. Because it’s an ideal — not reality-based — day, I’d have an appetite for a second dinner. So, I’d go to Blooming Hill Farm in Monroe, NY, where Jean Georges would be cooking their all-organic vegetables into one of their all-night farm dinners."
Who were some of your mentors throughout your years in publishing?
"My first editorial job was at a sort of slacker luxury real estate magazine, but our editor, Roger Yee, made us write stories as if we were reporting for The New York Times or Newsweek. His incredibly high standards taught me how to do things right — and made everything that came after seem easy! Then, Amy Gross was my editor at ELLE and she taught me to trust my voice, which was the most valuable lesson of all."
How has the publishing industry changed since you started?
"It started running scared in 2008–2009 and turned itself over to marketing consultants. It left all the zany creativity to the web, forgetting why people read things in the first place. Only in the last year are the zany creatives back on top!"
How has the beauty industry changed, and why do you think it has?
"There are just six billion more products than there used to be. And, the message silently (or not so silently) emanating from the majority of them is more 'have fun!' and 'enjoy being pretty!' than 'cover your embarrassing flaws!' I think it is a hugely positive development, and the reason that people are willing to buy the six billion more products."
Where do you draw inspiration from? How does that translate to what you do at Lucky?
"Weirdly, sitting down and writing is what inspires me. If I say something aloud, it’s probably pretty ordinary, but if I sit and write about the same subject, it comes out much better. Reading is of course very inspiring. Howard Stern’s incredible honesty is inspiring — his interviews are like no other form of entertainment. The job of being a beauty editor dumps you into all sorts of weird situations and places you wouldn’t normally choose or have access to. Mario Batali taught me how to make pasta one night; I sat in a Sicilian opera house on another and heard the first song sung there in sixty years; I watched men being tattooed with pigs’ teeth and a hammer on an island off of Samoa — and that is deeply inspiring."
If you could make a prediction about where beauty is headed, what would it be?
"If I could accurately make such a prediction, I would be about to be very rich."
What is good content?
"The truth, delivered as entertainingly as humanely possible."
What do you read besides Lucky?
"World of Interiors, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, New York Magazine (I hate that it’s not every week), Vogue, Cherry Bombe, Bon Appetit, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed, Jezebel, and books."
A typical power lunch spot…
"The Lamb’s Club! Delicious, and everyone you want to see is right there. You feel like you’re a flapper in the twenties with glamour all around you, a fire crackles in the fireplace all winter long, and best of all, they make it quick! Who has time for the endlessly dragging lunch anymore?"
"If washing my hair — which I do every other day — it’s either Color Wow shampoo and conditioner, or Philip B. Forever Shine with Mega-Bounce shampoo and conditioner. I alternate. Lather Coconut Body Wash – doesn’t smell like a vacation, just soft and comforting, so creamy, and all-natural. Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish, so I don’t need body moisturizer after my shower, and the Clarisonic with a little cleansing oil from Nude, which smells like jasmine and does not foam. I hate foaming anything! I only want oils and creams!
"If I’m not washing my hair, I’m also not washing my face. I put on SkinCeuticals C, E Ferulic Gel — it time-releases skin-brightening antioxidants all day and the C in it gives you mild sun protection — brush my teeth with Tom’s of Maine or Jason Sea Fresh, and smooth on the greatest oil there is, Intelligent Nutrients Anti-Aging Serum, which is not a serum but instead, the best oil there is.
"Sometimes I put on Josie Maran SPF 40 (all natural; chemical sunscreens disappear after two hours and are highly irritating). Sometimes I skip it if it’s pouring rain. "I go for a walk and then reapply the Intelligent Nutrients Oil, then Lancôme Flash Bronzer for legs, which goes on my face. It does not make you break out and is the best self-tanner ever — best color, tinted, glowy, and perfect. I dab on Bobbi Brown Tinted Moisturizing Balm and Bobbi Brown Eye Cream. I stop and put a little Urban Decay 24/7 Black Eyeliner (the fat one) just at my lashes, only on the top outer half. This enables me to wear less mascara; I love the new Butterfly Mascara from L’Oreal and do a few coats of that. Post-liner and mascara, I dab Laura Mercier Secret Concealer under my eyes with a brush from Fresh, and then pat — never rub, or you move the concealer from the spot you wanted to conceal to a different part of your face — to blend. Then, a little YSL Sheer Candy Balm in hot pink, and I’m done."
What’s always in your bag?
"YSL Sheer Candy Balm in hot pink — it instantly brightens up my face without looking makeup-y. Laura Mercier Secret Concealer, because you never know what’s going to go suddenly awry. A little perfume, either the super-pretty Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis, or Tata Harper Aromatic Irritability Treatment, which comes in an adorable rollerball and smells like a thousand oils – is key."
What won’t you travel without?
"Burt’s Bees Hand Sanitizer, which has no triclosan or other antibiotics and smells like cinnamon, yet manages to obliterate all germs. I spray it about fifty times an hour on my hands when I’m on a plane. Weleda Skin Food, the most moisturizing, organic-oil-packed cream in the universe, which I use for face, hands, body — all. And, where ever you go, you end up needing sunscreen. A tube of all-natural, fresh-smelling Yes to Cucumbers SPF 30 cannot be done without. And, John Freida Secret Weapon hair cream fixes any hair problem in seconds."
What would your last meal be? Who would it be with?
"Shaved artichoke salad, and artichoke soup from Duarte’s Tavern in Pescadero, CA. Poached eggs with some homemade pasta, a nice Sancerre, and apricots, plus several machiattos. I’d eat with my children, who’d probably want something else to eat."
Are there any foods or drinks that are ideal for skin? What are they?
"I think fish oil makes a big difference if you’ve got dry skin. Sugary things and alcohol, not so good."
A go to recipe on a night in…
"I make a coconut milk chowder with bay scallops and garlic croutons that is as insanely easy as it is insanely delicious."
"I wish I were enough of a traveler to have favorite cities for food. But, what sticks in my memory is O Lar in Piermont, New York, which is approximately three minutes from my house and the coziest place on earth.
"The strip malls of Albuquerque are rife with excellent pozole, tacos and tamales. The driving around looking between the laundromats and the 7-11s builds the appetite and makes it that much more tasty."
In the same vein as “what is the new black,” what would you say “the new potato” of beauty is?
"People forget that the reason a person buys a beauty product, in the end, is they want to look and feel prettier, so it’s less trendy than food or fashion. People have always wanted, and still want, for their skin to look naturally perfect and their hair to look shiny and full of volume. They want to look young and fresh and they wish they could find a mascara that wasn’t waterproof but never smudged. These things have all been partially solved, but…they remain unsolved. So we all keep looking.
"The most fun place to look right now is Shen Beauty, in Brooklyn."
What are five things you are loving right now?
"1. I want every category of clothing to be made in black satin right now — skirts, pants, and dresses. Black satin is just my favorite thing all of the sudden.
"2. Because it is freezing, I am especially devoted to a hot, hot bath every night, into which I pour This Works Bath Oil, which is more powerful than any sleeping pill and completely knocks me out. So much so that if I need to stay awake at all, I can’t use it. In which case, I pour in the incredible-smelling, ultra-moisturizing Revitalizing Body Oil from Tata Harper.
"3. I just can’t get over avocados right now. I want them with everything.
"4. My friend Hilton Als’ new book, White Girls, is the most brilliant thing ever written.
"5. The contraband Downton Abbey season 4 episodes my friend bit-torrented for me. I wish more than anything he could do the same thing with the future Game of Thrones."
Do you have a beauty style icon? Who and why?
"Lee Radziwill, Joan Didion, and Anjelica Huston. You look at pictures of those women at any age and you realize beauty is about living an interesting life."
If you could have a dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there?
"Howard Stern, Joan Didion, Lena Dunham, Tennessee Williams and John Snow."
On a quest for the next big thing in the food industry, sisters Danielle and Laura Kosann have begun the journey with The New Potato. Profiling chefs, restauranteurs, and celebrities alike with cuisine questionnaires, the world of dining has reached a whole new level of delish.