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My Beauty Uniform: Gemma Burgess

My Beauty Uniform: Gemma Burgess | A Cup of Jo

My friend Gemma Burgess is a screenwriter and author of romantic comedies and books for young adults. She lives in downtown Manhattan with her husband and two sons. She is also a total genius when it comes to makeup. (When she takes a selfie with her baby, their skin looks THE SAME!) Here are her beauty secrets, including the incredible product that makes you glow…

My Beauty Uniform: Gemma Burgess | A Cup of Jo

What’s your beauty philosophy?

I wouldn’t call it a philosophy so much as an unquestioning adoration of all things beauty-related. Especially makeup. You know that line in Good Will Hunting, when Matt Damon says, “When it came to stuff like that, I could always just play?” That’s me and makeup. I could always just play. I was the girl, at university, who had nine other girls lined up to do their makeup before parties. In my 20s, my friends would pre-game at my place with my makeup bag and a couple of bottles of pinot grigio. That’s me. I am 100% GIRL.

But. All I want right now is to look as good as I can without devoting very much time to it. I have a one-year-old, a three-year-old, and I work from home. Sometimes I realize I have gone an hour without actually breathing properly. So everything “beauty” has to deliver the goods, fast. I still want to look good – I mean, hello, I’m not an animal – but the days of doing a five-minute lip are over.

My Beauty Uniform: Gemma Burgess | A Cup of Jo

What’s your bedtime skincare routine?

To remove my makeup, I use Bioderma Crealine on my face and Lancôme Bi-Facil eye makeup remover if I’ve been wearing mascara. The Lancôme is the only eye makeup remover that truly works. I tried, during a couple of broke periods in my early 20s, to use a cheaper option… never as good. On a normal day, I just use a gentle drugstore cleanser – sometimes Cetaphil, right now CeraVe. I also use a Clarisonic about twice a week. It makes your skin feel like silk.

Then I spritz on SK-II Treatment Essence. I started using the SK-II one spring, and a month later started getting lots of compliments on my skin, so now I am sure that if I stop using it, my entire face will fall off. I decant it into a little spray bottle (because if you swab it on with a cotton round, you waste gallons of it, and the stuff is more expensive than blood diamonds). It makes my skin feel tingly and fresh.

Last, I moisturize with Yu-Be. It took me a long time to find Yu-Be. I used to invest in all these expensive moisturizers, and none of them really worked for more than a few hours. Yu-Be is cheap, and it’s the only moisturizer I’ve ever used where I wake up the next day and my face isn’t crying out to be moisturized immediately.

My Beauty Uniform: Gemma Burgess | A Cup of Jo

Do you splurge on any treatments, like facials or manicures?

I don’t get facials, never have. I got regular mani-pedis for years and then last year I thought, “This is SO BORING and a waste of an hour of my week” so I pretty much stopped getting manicures. I cut my fingernails super-short – like as short as they can go — and if I have a meeting, I put on the Dior Glow polish.

I used to get spray tans, but last summer I decided that wasn’t worth the trouble or time, either, so I’m embracing pale. (Plus, did you notice how everyone at the Golden Globes and Oscars who fake-tanned looked ridiculous? Seriously.) I may change my mind when I see myself in a bikini this summer. After two babies, my bellybutton looks like a knifed balloon. A tan might help.

My Beauty Uniform: Gemma Burgess | A Cup of Jo

Bath or shower?

Both. I usually put almond oil all over myself before turning the shower on, then slather it off using exfoliating gloves. Then I use Cetaphil bar soap because it just feels so clean. Ned is the kind of baby who gets needy when I’m in the shower – he just stands there holding onto the edge and bellows at me to get out – so the entire shower takes like two minutes flat. If I remember to shave my armpits, bonus.

I’ll take baths at night around once a week. First, I spend a really annoying few minutes taking out all the damn bath toys and foam alphabet letters and the baby bath seat. Then I throw in a cup of Epsom salts and a tiny drizzle of Estée Lauder Youth-Dew Bath Oil. I KNOW, it sounds so grandma-ish, but trust me. One bottle will last you a year, and you only need a teeny bit and the entire bathroom – nay, the entire apartment — will smell SO GOOD. (That’s how good it smells: all-caps good.) Then I put on my face mask and settle in with something to read. The best thing about being pregnant is having a nice big tummy on which to rest your book or magazine when you’re in the bath. The worst thing about being pregnant is having to then call your husband to help hoist you out of the bath.

How do you style and care for your hair?

My hair sucks. It’s very thin and straight. Half of it fell out after I had my sons. Recently, I went from elbow-length to collarbone-length, and started using this shampoo and WEN Conditioner, and it looks better now. Not great. Never great. But better.

gemma-burgess-17

What’s your daily makeup routine?

I think the best makeup makes you look like you-but-better. I put on La Roche-Posay SPF 50 (every day, always, ever since I was a child, even on days when I don’t leave the house, even when it’s snowing), clean my teeth while the sunscreen soaks in, then, using my fingers, apply a tiny bit of Clé de Peau concealer on my blotchy parts — eyelids, under my eyes, around my nose and on my chin. (It is insanely expensive but lasts forever and is truly worth it.) You just patpatpat it until it disappears into your pores. Really, it DISAPPEARS. Then a dab of Benefit Cha Cha Tint smooshed into my cheeks, then Anastasia Ash Blond eyebrow pencil (my eyebrows are the worst, damn you, Caroline-with-the-amazing-eyebrows). And that’s it. It takes about four minutes and lasts all day.

If I have a work thing, I try to look a bit more “done.” I take a pea-sized glob of Burberry Fresh Glow, this magical liquid illuminator, and pat it mostly on my cheeks and forehead and lips and chin, very very very lightly. Not on my nose because that thing doesn’t need to get any more attention. It’s incredibly subtle — just a very low-level glow.

And proper lipstick, always, for a work thing. I figure if you look confident, then you feel confident, then you act confident, and then people will give you whatever you want. I like Bite Beauty in Bramble for a dark black-red, or Givenchy Le Rouge in Carmin Escarpin for a Hollywood red, or if I’m feeling 90s, a rose brown from Revlon called Mink.

My Beauty Uniform: Gemma Burgess | A Cup of Jo

What if you’re going out at night?

I have a two-minute foolproof nighttime smoky-eye technique. I scrawl Rimmel Scandaleyes shadow stick in Trespassing Taupe all over the eyelid, the messier the better, then blend it lightly with a stubby brush like MAC 217. Tap any brown or grey eyeshadow on top – truly, it doesn’t matter which one, or if it’s metallic or not, they all work. Then just swipe the brush underneath your eyes — the leftover shadow will leave just enough color. Curl your eyelashes and put on mascara. LITERALLY THAT IS IT. No eyeliner, nothing time-consuming. It’s smoky and sexy, but not hard the way dark eye makeup can be. I promise.

Lastly, Dior Lip Polish, because I don’t like wearing lipstick to dinner and then eating it all. I never liked lip gloss, but this one feels sort of balmy and smooth, not sticky and gross.

The entire evening routine takes about ten minutes, just enough time between the babies going down and the babysitter arriving.

Your face glows. It’s like you’re literally lit from within. Why is this?

You know when you do your makeup for a night out and you’re like, something is just NOT working here? Whenever that happens I know I need an extra smidge of a glowy (not glittery!) luminizer. (By the way, illuminator, luminizer and highlighter all seem to be different words for more or less the same thing, and they can be liquid, balm, cream or powder. I know, ridiculous.) There are a million of them to choose from — just make sure it’s fairly thick and balm-like. I particularly love RMS Living Luminizer. Just smudge it on your fingertips and tap your fingers lightly above your eyebrow arch, on your temple down to the very top of your cheekbones, and on your cupids bow. Job done. That’s all it takes. It’s like a real-life Instagram filter.

My Beauty Uniform: Gemma Burgess | A Cup of Jo

What’s the weirdest treatment you’ve tried?

I did that Baby Foot Peel thing a few times until my husband made an earnest plea for me to stop, because I was shedding foot skin everywhere. So now my feet are kind of cracked and gross most of the time. I am at peace with this.

Did you adopt any beauty tips from your mother?

Actually, I was the one who dragged my mother out of blue eyeshadow, when I was about 11 (I told you I always spoke makeup). But she also started my sister and I both wearing SPF 50 when we were very little, I think after she’d had a couple of little melanoma scares because she’d tanned so much in her teens. If I have anything valuable to tell you, it’s wear SPF 50 every day. But everyone knows that, right? (Right?)

My Beauty Uniform: Gemma Burgess | A Cup of Jo

Do you have any beauty guilty pleasures?

I love beauty blogs. I love Allure magazine a ridiculous amount. I love a good how-to video from Lisa Eldridge. Before I try a new beauty product, I check out the reviews on MakeupAlley. Man, I love that site. A million lovely gossipy girly reviews, for every beauty product in the world.

Sometimes, when I’m really stuck in my head on something I’m writing, I leave the house and stroll around Sephora, trying different things on the back of my hand. I like to think that pondering makeup employs the part of my brain that doesn’t think about work or my children, so those parts can kick back and recharge while the beauty brain wonders, in her silly shallow little way, “But am I feeling an orange lip?” (See? It’s practically meditative!)

My Beauty Uniform: Gemma Burgess | A Cup of Jo

What perfumes do you like?

Usually I wear Miller Harris L’air de Rien. Sometimes I just wear Estée Lauder Youth-Dew Body Cream because it’s very gentle.

If I’m going out at night I wear Fracas, but I’m starting to think it’s a bad influence on me. I wear Fracas and I immediately want to drink three martinis and smoke cigarettes and flirt with everything with a pulse, and I just can’t do that right now. A four-hour night out is a four-day hangover. Urgh.

My Beauty Uniform: Gemma Burgess | A Cup of Jo

Any surprising recommendations?

Yes. Eyelash perming. It sounds horrifically high-maintenance. But if I don’t curl my eyelashes, they point straight down. And when I curl them, they wait two minutes and then droop again.

So I started to get my eyelashes permed.

I KNOW. It sounds crazy. Don’t judge me. Or do judge me. I don’t mind. These days, I wake up and my eyelashes are like BOING awake. I recommend it so highly. It takes about one hour, once every two months. I like to think of it as being high-maintenance in order to be low-maintenance.

My Beauty Uniform: Gemma Burgess | A Cup of Jo

What is your number-one piece of advice for feeling your best?

Eat fat and sweat a lot. I go to a crazy but amazing interval training class called Tone House three times a week. It’s one of those classes where half the class are ex-athletes and/or fitness models, and the other half of the class is just unbelievably determined to finish without throwing up. (I’m in the latter group.) Exercise helps circulation, stress levels, energy levels, sleep — everything that makes you look and feel better. It’s also three hours a week where I’m not thinking about writing or babies or anything else except finishing the class — kind of like meditation, if meditation gave you guns. I also eat oodles of fat in things like avocados, nuts, salmon, almond butter and full-fat plain Greek yogurt, and take fish oil and flaxseed oil supplements. Eating good fat will make your skin more supple and glowy than any moisturizer or makeup ever could.

My Beauty Uniform: Gemma Burgess | A Cup of Jo

My Beauty Uniform: Gemma Burgess | A Cup of Jo

Can you tell us about these adorable photos?

We got married at City Hall in New York early one morning in spring 2010. So as soon as we got outside, certificate in hand, we just jumped up there for a quick photo. It was totally on a whim — Foxy’s brother was one of our witnesses and had a camera. It ended up my favorite photo of the whole day. It was just us, and it was perfect.

Two years later, with baby Errol, and decided to do it again for our anniversary. And then it sort of became a thing that we do, every April. We’re not the kind of people who do this sort of thing (I tried to do a day-by-day pregnancy progression photo series and stuck to it for about six seconds) but for some reason this tradition is easy. We live just around the corner from City Hall, so we stroll over, jump up and ask a passerby to take the photo. It makes me so happy to look at those photos — really truly happy, with my whole entire soul.

gemma-burgess-15

What advice would you give your younger self?

Oh gosh. So much to tell her. Firstly, everything is going to be okay. Second, stop going to the gym every day if you’re just going to read magazines going slo-mo on the elliptical trainer. Third, don’t bother trying to tell DJs what to play because they don’t like it (and they never even have Marvin Gaye’s Got To Give It Up). Fourth, rewrite and rewrite and rewrite — writing is rewriting. It’s through re-writing that you find your voice, and once you find your voice, good things will happen. Fifth, everything is going to be okay.

Thank you so much, Gemma! We love you.

P.S. More women share their beauty secrets, and a trick for feeling pretty.

  1. Courtenay says...

    I had to write, as I REALLY loved this post. It was so great that although I started it at work (during my lunch break of course!), I quickly realized it needed more of my attention, and I’m just finishing it at home (8pm) with a cup of tea in hand. It was hilarious, and truly genuine. Thanks Gemma!

  2. Eve says...

    I really loved this! Everything.

  3. loved her advice for her younger self–especially about going to the gym! made me laugh :) and i’m totally going to try that luminizer!

  4. Chelsa Williams says...

    Couldn’t agree with Jemma more re the RMS luminizer!! My go to, too! Loved this post!!!

  5. Love so much about this post – Gemmas skin, her lovely sons, the photos and Gemmas ability to be herself amongst the babyness!

  6. Jennie says...

    This is one of my faves! I totally want to hang out with her, preferably at Sephora.

  7. i could probably care less about beauty but i love this series. it inspires me that maybe someday i will care about it and spend more than zero seconds in my day thinking about makeup. this one was especially awesome. and i LOVE the city hall photos at the end. so awesome!!

    • Me too! :) Also, Gemma is sooooooooo pretty!! I could just look at her skin all day, haha.

  8. Heather says...

    Just had to pop in to say that you are killin’ it Joanna!! I feel like someone needs to pinch me that all this awesome content is free. Thanks so much!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my goodness, heather, thank you so much!! your comment made my day. props to lexi and caroline too :) thank you!! xoxoxo

  9. Um Gemma, hi! Can I be your friend?

    Such a great post!

  10. Emmanuella says...

    Favorite!! I love all those city hall photos! And she looks to be blessed with naturally amazing skin. Thank you for this post :)

  11. Glenda says...

    Love the yearly photo! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Oh gosh. I want to be her friend. I like her!!!

  13. Taylor says...

    Oh. My. God. Best guest post ever ever ever. Not to be like a creepy internet creepo, but I just wish Gemma was my best friend. This post had me laughing out loud the whole way through! She is hilarious.

    I love this type of beauty advice too. I don’t mind splurging (no thank you drugstore makeup), but I like to do it on things that are absolutely world-changing, knock-your-socks-off amazing. Like my favorite Chanel eyeshadow; I feel guilty when I have to swipe my card, but it lasts me over a year and I feel like a supermodel every time I go out. Worth it! Anyway, LOVE all her recommendations!

    So…just let me know where I need to send my Gemma fan club dues. Cool.

  14. I think your hair looks great!!! Love the photos at City Hall, what a fun thing to look back on!

  15. jen says...

    Lovely woman, I read her blog. I wonder if the 50 SPF is not the most important part of her routine.

    • Juliette says...

      I was thinking the same. It’s probably all these years wearing a strong SPF that gave her this amazing skin. I am so lazy on that respect, it encourages me to try a bit harder.

  16. Nicole Brant says...

    Gemma added more of this on her own blog. This makes me probably too happy.

  17. Having glowy skin is not in my future. I drink about 40 oz of water and take fish oil every morning with breakfast. Curse you, 19 year old hormonal skin.

  18. Ananda says...

    Boy this is going to cost me a lot of money because I feel like Gemma described all of my beauty considerations to a tee and how I want to go buy all those products! This has been my favorite Beauty Uniform to date. Thank you so much for sharing this wealth of information… she’s such an amazingly pretty and down to earth seeming person.

  19. Kari says...

    Joanna-
    This is probably a long shot but I have a friend I would LOVE to nominate for a beauty uniform. She is a nurse. A gorgeous human being. Has the best sense of style and truly knows what it means to be a good person. I don’t know if you take nominations but I think it would be phenomenal if she could be spotlighted one day:) love your blog. Read it almost daily.

    Thanks for sharing a cup with us.

  20. Liz says...

    This has got to be my favorite beauty uniform post yet. I love how Gemma has such simple beauty routines using high quality products that work. I can’t live without my SK-II as well! Thanks for posting this Joanna!

  21. Kara says...

    Loved this one! I think Gemma might be my spirit animal.

  22. Such a lovely read! Thank you! :)

  23. This one was my favourite yet! Gemma writes like she’s speaking. And it’s great. I can almost hear her deliver when reading her writing.

    And my goodness, how I wish I could be glowy from the inside out. No matter how much water I drink, veggies I eat, exercise I do or sleep I get, I’m still red and blotchy. Bah.

  24. yael steren says...

    Super insightful and fun to read!!! I personally love Tracie Martyn serum. Have you ever tried it? I will say that no matter what the number one way to keep your skin looking great is to wash off your makeup at night no matter how tired you may be!!!! I just turned 36 last week, and I’m so happy my mom instilled the importance of skin care in me when I was younger! lol! xoxo yael

    http://www.yaelsteren.com/blog/

  25. sarah says...

    SO helpful! i have the exact same problem with my eyelashes and never figured out what i should do except get lash extensions. but perming is such a better idea! thanks so much, gemma!

    (also if you know of a good place…..)

  26. Erin says...

    I just love this lady. My favorite beauty uniform ever, and I love them all.

  27. Short nails and Dior Glow forever.

    Gemma, Yu-Be is intriguing. Do you think it’d work well for one with oily skin, living in humid Florida?

  28. hah! that piece of advice about just reading magazines going slo-mo on the elliptical is hilarious and so me in college, too.

  29. This is my favorite one yet because Gemma is the #1 best, the #1 funniest, The #1 prettiest and I don’t even understand wtf she’s talking about make-up wise and will now ask her to do mine.

  30. Abbey says...

    Love this!! Gemma really looks like this every sinle time I see her! Stunning stunning stunning!!

  31. Michelle says...

    Love these so much! This one is one of my faves!

  32. Karen T. says...

    So, this is brilliant. And then I clicked over to Gemma’s blog and spent hours reading her posts (while laughing out loud along the way.) Now I’m convinced I must read her books and at least attempt some of her beauty products because, why not? Thanks for this post, Jo and Team!

  33. Kelly says...

    This is my favorite beauty post yet! Love her writing!

  34. I look forward to reading this series every time I see it pop up! I especially enjoyed the emphasis on food + exercise + sleep in this post. It would also be great to hear from women who make an effort to use cruelty-free products in their beauty routines.

  35. Alyssa Leister says...

    I think your beauty uniform series is my favorite that you do. I’m someone who enjoys makeup, but doesn’t really know what they are doing. I never have had a real makeup routine, have really wacky skin (acne flair ups, dry one day then oily the next, super sensitive), and typically little time to care about throwing on makeup. But reading this always gives me a push to do a little better, be a little better, try a little harder and embrace what I like and ditch what I don’t.

    Loved this one a LOT! Also wanting to read her books now!

  36. Kristen says...

    this is easily my favorite one of these that you’ve done. I want to be friends with her. Great tips!

  37. Jessica says...

    I’m also one of those who never comments, but I love the Beauty Uniform series so much and this one was such a delight. Gemma is so funny, and I loved seeing a fellow proper beauty lover featured for this series!

  38.  Maria says...

    It’s my make up soulmate here! :) I LOVED IT! So many good advices and tips.

  39. Hanna says...

    Hi Joanna.

    I am the kind of reader that never leaves a footprint on the blogs that I follow. I have been reading your blog for many years now and it has inspired me so much. I am a mother of twins (3 years old) and your post about motherhood and the beauty uniform are my absolute favorite. This participle beauty uniform post made me want to leave you a little note.

    Keep up the good work :)

    Hanna from Denmark

  40. Isabela says...

    Love this!

  41. Karli says...

    I LOVED this My Beauty Routine. LOVED. Gemma is so funny and honest. To the point of social media stalking Gemma. With no luck. If she wants she is welcome to stalk me at @kforkarli so then we can be besties

  42. Susan says...

    Genuinely funny and loaded with great beauty tips without taking everything super seriously (and equating beauty advice with the meaning of life!) I want to read more of Gemma’s writing!

  43. Dee says...

    I actually didnt want the interview to end LOL. Enjoyed this beauty uniform immensely! Lots of tips and realness :)

  44. Jane says...

    Hahaha, I have the same thing with Fracas going on. I love the scent, but it definitely brings out the impulsive, straight forward me that can be quite irritating for others. And a lot of the time, for me too.

  45. Kato says...

    I lovelovelove the anniversary photo series! They just sort of spark with happiness. And agree completely on the good fats; I went through this phase when I just tried to cut out most fats of my diet and my skin and hair just became ‘unhappy’. Now I eat tons of nuts, avocado, yoghurt and fatty fishes and I really notice a change. Oh and I actually lost weight and feel healthier

  46. any woman who writes like this, I love. and she got married in converse. that is a plus in my book, too.

  47. I luuuuurved this post, my favorite of the beauty uniform series so far. (They will last forever, right?! Please?? :D) Now I need to, have to get Clarisonic but Nordstrom doesn’t ship to Turkey! Damn, Joanna you should tell them to ship to Turkey cause I can’t buy anything from your links. And I even got that star projector you posted about a few years ago. That’s how powerful your blog is girl.

  48. Kayla says...

    Wow, how lovely is she? Do you or she have any suggestions for combating air pollution? I live in Beijing and I used to have near-perfect skin. Now it’s a red blotchy mess until I attack it with Sephora face powder.

  49. Emmy says...

    Love the inclusion of a photo of her flexing her bicep in a beauty post! Woohoo, muscles! Totally beautiful and healthy.

  50. Rachel says...

    Oh.my.word. Gemma is such a gifted and relatable writer. And lovely as well. I’m thinking she needs to frequent your blog more often!

  51. Rebecca says...

    finally! It started to feel like these were contests of who can wear the least makeup. Glad to hear from someone who loves it!

  52. Stephie Lou says...

    I would love to know Gemma’s favorite mascaras.

    Great post! Loved this behind-the-scenes peek at the little efforts of a woman who appears effortlessly beautiful.

  53. Laura says...

    Suuuuuper bummed to see yet another skinny white woman being featured on your blog. I get that people share in the experiences of those similar to themselves, so it’s not surprising you feature these women who are like you. But it’s such a small portion of the population, of women, of moms, etc. I really look forward to the day you show some more diversity.

  54. Jennifer says...

    This is so great. Your line about having the same skin as her baby hooked me because every time I take selfie with mine I am like OMG who is that old lady?!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Omg same!!!!

  55. I think this one is really my favorite! I sound totally dorky, but she is so cool!

  56. Abbie says...

    I’ve liked all the Beauty Uniforms–but this was my hands down favorite. A mama who loves makeup, has a great voice, and such a sense of humor!

  57. The photos in the same spot over the years are so sweet. Love these beauty uniform series, keep it up!

  58. Ann says...

    This is my favorite “beauty uniform” yet! Gemma has the writer’s voice I wish I had.

  59. Shanna says...

    This was my favorite post ever. She oozes awesomeness.

  60. Caitlin Harrison says...

    The best part of this post is Gemma’s writing! It’s clear she has a special talent. Lucky you to have such a witty friend!

  61. Jill c. says...

    I love these posts! And what a great one this is… She is so funny – absolutely love it!

  62. I love these posts (and most of your posts!). So lovely to read, always great tips. I love the serenity and just all around loveliness that you inspire, Joanna!

    If I could make one suggestion, it would be if the beauty uniform posts could include the type of skin that the interviewee has. I can’t help but feel that their product recommendations may be almost useless if you don’t have the same type of skin/needs! So knowing that would greatly help evaluating whether it would be worth it to try the products. (And, in a similar vein, a variety of skin type interviewees would be wonderful as well!) Thanks so much for all the great inspiration!

  63. Joanna Goddard says...

    these comments are so sweet!!! you guys are the best:)

  64. Erin says...

    What a great read!!! So inspiring and so many great tips….thank you…..

  65. Judy says...

    Eye lash perm? Never heard of it. Joanna, you must do a post on it! Maybe sweet Caroline can be our guinea pig :-)

    • AnnAnn says...

      May I suggest you add an eyelash tinting post to it! I have blond eyelashes, so every 6 to 8 weeks I have them dyed black and can skip mascara. As Gemma said “high-maintenance to be low-maintenance” ; ) Just make sure to use a certified aesthetician – none of this at-home stuff!

  66. Candace says...

    How have I lived this long not become best friends with this woman?!

  67. Becky says...

    Finally! A beauty uniform with a makeup lover! Yay!!!!! She’s gorgeous! Loved this one!

  68. Oh Gemma I think you are my favourite!
    Love your tone – not to mention fresh real-ness (I can totally relate to the bonus-if-I-shave-my-armpits showers :)
    Thanks for the tips – any make up advice that says ‘scribble’ and ‘no eyeliner’ is RIGHT up my alley.

  69. Emily says...

    I want Gemma to be my friend.

  70. CDanidu says...

    This is the most laugh out loud, good advice beauty uniform yet!

  71. Katie says...

    as a new-ish mom with a dreadful beauty routine at the moment, this totally refreshed and inspired me AND was hilarious! thank you, Gemma!

  72. Eyelash perming! YES! I have these feathery long but resilient eyelashes that always point straight down no matter how hard/much I curl them–even with waterproof mascara. (When I look down, people think I’m dozing off on them.) I was thinking about getting an eyelash perm, but felt the odd one out because NOBODY around me was getting one. Thank you, Gemma!!

  73. What a great interview, so interesting and colorful. :) It really seems that well-cared for skin = the need for less makeup, I love it. I am a long time user of CeraVe and I think it’s great. Now I’m definitely going to check out that SPF moisturizer…

  74. Liv says...

    This girl is magically amazeballs. The end.

  75. Alex says...

    Love this one so much, and really love what she said about fats. So true– fats don’t make you fat!

  76. I love this! I’ve used some of these products, and like them, so I’m very tempted to try some more of these. I also like (and want to agree with) Gemma’s life advice: everything IS going to be okay!

  77. Elise says...

    I loved this Beauty Uniform!

    I’m dying to know though, where are your black eyeglasses (2nd and 10th photos) from Gemma??!?!
    -Elise

  78. Love this :)

  79. Steph B says...

    So funny about the perfume making her want to behave badly. I recently found my perfume from college (University of Nevada Las Vegas) and a million naughty memories came back. I immediately sprayed a letter with it and sent to my college and still best friend. When she received it she texted and said this smell makes me want to make very bad choices. Ha! Loved this post.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s such a great story!

  80. ginny branch says...

    has anyone tried eyelash perming? i’m so tempted after reading this but wanted to hear if anyone has any adverse side effects…

  81. Awesome, favorite uniform so far. Cheeky little monkey she is.

  82. Katelyn says...

    This was fantastic!! She writes with such humor and candor – made me instantly want to be her best friend. This was my favorite post in the series yet..definitely going to have to pick up her book this weekend.

  83. I truly cannot tell you how much I loved this post. I want to be Gemma’s friend!

  84. OMG I LOVE her! She’s like my prettier, smarter, funnier twin (and I literally aready have one of those). We both write YA, we both have two boys, and she just described my belly button perfectly. My favorite in this series so far. *Scurries off to buy all the things*

  85. Emma says...

    I am now oh-so-crazy about Gemma, this wonderful stranger who I feel like I know thanks to her hilarious, warm and inclusive voice. Her husband and kids are very lucky… she sounds like one in a million.

  86. ginny branch says...

    Yeah I love her and want to be her friend. Now I want to get my eyelashes permed! Seems less extreme (and expensive) than extensions!

  87. Lauren says...

    My favorite in this series so far! Love her approach to beauty and life…stealing some of those makeup tricks for sure

  88. SuSu says...

    This was fabulous! So enjoyed reading about this gorgeous beauty and her loving family.

  89. Meredith says...

    In some of these photos, the first one in particular, Gemma is a dead ringer for Taylor Schilling! I wonder if she ever gets that.

  90. Christen says...

    Phew, it’s been a long day. Reading Gemma’s beauty uniform makes ME feel like everything is going to be ok. Thanks Gemma! Beautiful and so uplifting. Think I’ll grab a glass of wine and cook something delicious for my family tonight.

  91. Thank you for finally featuring someone relateable! Who admits to wearing makeup! That they curl their eyelashes! And whose daily routine isn’t “oh, I woke up like this, and once a year I wear mascara”

    I know those women exist, but god, it was so refreshing to read this!

  92. Erica H. says...

    Haha. Love this. She’s hilarious AND beautiful. Boom!

  93. Laurel says...

    those city hall photos are the best! So sweet. I love that this series ends up being about so much more than just beauty but a glimpse into these women’s lives. For many (including myself), a beauty routine becomes one of the few ways to carve out a little solo time in the midst of raising a family. Lovely!

  94. Emily says...

    She is too hilarious. What a fab lady!

  95. Hoppy says...

    By FAR the best Beauty Uniform post on this site ! Very funny and very genuine . ❤️

  96. Jessi says...

    Love, love, love this beauty uniform!

  97. Amazing. I want to hang out with her!

  98. Wow this was one beauty uniform I could relate to and will TOTALLY FOLLOW. Also Gemma sounds amazing, love her photos, her look, and the fact that she got married at city hall. Will pick up one of her books now. Thanks for sharing!

  99. Liza H says...

    Gemma’s writing is so honest and hilarious, I LOVE her! And want to buy all of these products as a result! :)

  100. She’s so funny. :)

  101. Lana says...

    I think I have a crush on her! Thank you for this :)

  102. Court says...

    LOL—if you are ever at a party and my man is DJing, he will most certainly play Got to Give It Up for you (although in general, you are right, he does not do requests.) SUCH a good party song, I had already decided that I’ll be playing it on repeat this year on my bday. Great fun to read this post!

  103. Melina says...

    Yea, I’m kind of obsessed with her. She was hysterical! and SO.REAL.

  104. Loved this post. I totally get you, Gemma! I’m 100% girl too! :)

    Kristi | Be Loverly

  105. Johanna says...

    I really loved this one! I’m going to go back and take notes. Thanks Gemma!

  106. This was my favoritest beauty uniform post ever! She is so funny that I wasn’t even paying attention to what she recommended and now I will go back to read it again hehe. Thanks!

  107. Eva says...

    Brilliant! Love this girl’s approach to life, made my day!

  108. Stephanie says...

    Oh my gosh I want to be your friend Gemma – I loved reading this!!

  109. Jenni says...

    Absolutely love the beauty uniform posts! xx

  110. Amy Lauree says...

    I almost laughed out loud in my office at work when I read about the scent she wears on occasion and how it makes her want to immediately drinking martinis and smoke. Amazing! I loved her comment about telling her younger self not to bother going to the gym to only sit on the elliptical trainer reading a magazine. She has a super fun voice in her writing that was fun to read in this post!

  111. Loved all of this, but especially the “writing is rewriting”. That should be lesson #1 in every single writing class ever.

  112. I love how these are beauty profiles on the surface, but you come away with such interesting character studies of cool ladies. This is such a great series!

  113. I want to be her best friend! She is great! I love Yu-Be and swear by it (I got a tiny tube in my birchbox two years ago). It smells very medicinal and looks like it will be greasy but it’s not at all. I

  114. Natalie says...

    This has been my absolute favorite “Beauty Uniform” post yet!! What an honest, funny & fresh perspective. Her words came right off the webpage– so real! Reading to Gemma made me feel like I was chatting with an old GF. Thanks for the share.

  115. Maggie says...

    Gah she is just the best. I want to buy every thing she recommended. LOVE.

  116. Um, I kind of think I need to try that foot peely thing!

  117. sadhbh byrne says...

    I loved seeing the book Vanishing Ireland in the back of Gemma’s muscle photo! It’s amazing (as are her muscles!)

  118. barb says...

    Gemma, You’re awesome. I want to hang out at Sephora and test out orange lipstick with you. <3 barb

  119. Selina says...

    Yes to the healthy fats, they really do help your skin. Also, I love all of those lipstick colours, great choices if I may say so myself

  120. Brenna says...

    This was the best beauty uniform yet! I love her writing voice–so clear and pithy. FYI, I’m not sure if it’s just something wonky with my computer, but the link to Gemma’s website is broken. Is anyone else having that problem?

  121. Jenn says...

    Haha, I loved this so much! High-maintenance to be low-maintenance- I’m the same way, I get my hair done at a fancy place where the the layers grow out nicely, just so I can get away with only going like twice a year. I like all her product recommendations too, the splurge items are HG (holy grail) items for a lot of beauty bloggers as well, so they’re worth a try if you’re in the market! Her writing was so witty, it made me want to check out her books!

  122. lynn says...

    I still can’t afford the makeup she uses, but at least I can relate to her life and I love her sense of humor! She keeps it real.

  123. I love Gemma’s voice and her timeless advice! I may have started crushing on her by the end of the piece haha! Thank you for sharing, Johanna!

  124. Erin says...

    LOL to the elliptical comment, we’ve all been there.

  125. Oh my gosh, I have laughed out loud so many times reading this. She is hilarious! ” I like to think of it as being high-maintenance in order to be low-maintenance.”

    This series just keeps getting better and better!

  126. Misty says...

    Best one yet.

  127. I like Gemma!!! I can see why she is your friend.
    Also, thank you for all the great tips! I have to get a balm luminizer and eat more avocados!
    One last thing, loved her beauty guilty pleasures! That would perfectly describe mine too.

    Alina
    http://www.eclecticalu.blogspot.com

  128. Lori! says...

    RMS Living Luminizer for the win! Love RMS products!

  129. Leah PS says...

    Her beauty routine is perfectly lovely, but mostly I just want to be friends with Gemma. Love her attitude.

  130. Emily says...

    Good stuff, thanks!
    I recently upgraded from epsom salts to pink himalayan salt, noticeable difference in how good I feel, skin great…feet…such a difference (not to mention, it’s pink!) Highly recommend.

  131. Nicole Brant says...

    Best Beauty Uniform yet! I adore the photos at the end. What a sweet idea. Off to Amazon to check out Gemma’s books. Thanks for sharing, Gemma!

  132. Lindsey says...

    So good.

  133. Maria says...

    Gemma, you are adorable!

    Love from Brussels,

    Maria

  134. MeaganS says...

    Loved this. As a working mother of 2 toddlers, I could totally relate.

  135. Lauren E. says...

    If this is a window into what her books are like, then I will take all of them right now, please. This was fantastic.

  136. Lauren says...

    Best one of these yet. This woman is RELATABLE.

  137. Wow, love her! Gorgeous and hilarious and genuine. Thank you for sharing!

  138. Briana says...

    Her telling her younger self “everything is going to be ok” is the most beautiful thing. Even more so than her gorgeous skin!

  139. Kash says...

    This made my day! She’s SO EFFING CHARMING.

    Also i am going to go buy that RMS luminizer TONIGHT. Seriously. How does her skin look that good?!

  140. Ann Marie says...

    Such a beautiful soul — Thank you for allowing us a peek inside your life, Gemma!

  141. CATHERINE says...

    What a lovely woman, so feminine!! Love her

  142. Shawn B says...

    I don’t know this woman, yet I love her. She is awesome.

  143. Riley says...

    Gemma,

    Can I be your friend?

    xoxo
    Riley