"I don’t differentiate between beauty and wellness," says Jean Godfrey-June. Since taking over as beauty director at Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop in 2015, she has led the conversation about "clean" products, eschewing anything with potentially toxic ingredients, and has approached beauty as being about self-fulfillment rather than fixing flaws. Naturally, we asked for her guidance on setting up a sanctuary of self-care.
Tell us about your journey to becoming the beauty director at Goop.
Jean Godfrey-June: I've been a beauty editor forever. I was the beauty director of Elle for a long time, and then I was the beauty director of Lucky. Actually, when I first started my career I wrote about architecture and interior design mainly. Through that I found that beauty was a story that would get read by many, many people.
What is your bathroom at home like?
I moved to this house after I got divorced. It has an incredible view of the Hudson River. It’s a small, old colonial, but whoever owned it [before me] did the earliest renovation in the '80s. The bathroom was sadly done with a lot of white marble columns—it had a very "'80s drug kingpin" look—but there was a bathtub on a pillar that appealed to me.
I’m a huge bath person so I kept it, even though it’s the biggest waste of space. I replaced the sinks with ones from IKEA, switched out the old hardware for chrome, and painted almost everything white. The window frame I painted black to emphasize the view. I have a giant mirror in there, too, which I put moulding around and painted black.
As a director at a major beauty company, you must get a ton of samples and swag. What’s your solution for storing all those freebies?
My general philosophy about beauty products is that they’re a little bit like decor for your bathroom. I like to see the pretty stuff every day, but I do recommend hiding some things. Makeup, no matter what brand it is, always ends up looking a little eh, so that gets put away in a drawer. There is something about beauty products—if the object is pretty, you think it’s making you look better.
I really like to put wrapping paper or wallpaper on the inside of a drawer so that there’s a beautiful pattern whenever you open it. One of my drawers has a hippy, black and white, paisley paper in it, while the other drawer has another very involved floral. I’d describe them both as maximalist.
What about crafting the perfect relaxing bath time experience?
I take a bath almost every day. I have bath products around the tub and some candles, but I also have all of these plants around it. I was inspired by a hot springs resort in Colorado that I visited once that was surrounded by a million trees and plants. Everyone is getting rid of their bathtubs and putting in giant showers, and I like a good shower as much as the next guy, but I’m a believer in baths. It really makes a huge difference in your well-being. Water is so restorative. Heat is so restorative. Taking a bath is a time when you can connect with yourself. I take mine at night.
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Can we get a small taste of your morning and evening skincare routine?
I don’t wash my face in the morning. I figure, your skin isn’t really dirty when you wake up, so why disturb its natural situation? Instead, I use a vitamin C powder, mix it up with some water on my hand, and apply it first thing in the morning. I feel like every person should use vitamin C; when you have oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, it is the best. I’ll let that sink in while I’m getting dressed and then I’ll apply a face oil. Finally, I’ll apply a tinted moisturizer with SPF20. I wear very little makeup, just concealer, some mascara, and a natural-looking lipstick.
In the evening, I’ll wash my face with an oil cleanser, apply an oil serum as an ointment, and then finish up with a balm or moisturizer. About once a week I’ll do a glycolic acid peel, which exfoliates the skin overnight.
What would be your splurge item for a big-budget bathroom renovation?
An infrared sauna. They use infrared wavelengths, so the experience is not quite as obviously hot, meaning your body can withstand hotter than normal temperatures. They're not that hard to install. We [Jean and her boyfriend] are trying to figure out how to do that in our house now. I’d also love to have a steam shower. They feel so great, especially when you’re sick.
What are some bathroom design features that you despise?
Impractical, Victorian-style bathtubs. Super flourishy details and fixtures. Guest soap—I can only imagine how dusty they are. Space-saving things, like hanging shower caddies.
And finally, how can someone bring spa features home? Or, at the very least, make their bathroom have more of a spa-like quality?
I think a super obvious trick is to get some towels that you just love. I personally love those big, Turkish towels. They make me feel taken care of and like I'm in a luxurious, happy place. I also love a little scuffed up oriental rug in the bathroom. I feel like it creates contrast against an otherwise white and perfect bathroom. The other thing for the luxury bathroom is a sofa. A sofa in the bathroom is the most deluxe thing ever.