Free Gift with Purchase: My Improbable Career in Magazines & Makeup

Jean Godfrey-June, Author . Harmony $21 (271p) ISBN 978-0-307-23748-4

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." (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/06/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 148 pages - 978-0-307-34606-3
Paperback - 271 pages - 978-0-307-23749-1
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