My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

Today’s beauty uniform is: My mom! We spoke to her about everything from perfume to aging. (I discovered things about her that I hadn’t learned in 37 years!) Here are her beauty secrets, including what it was like to move abroad while pregnant with twins and a hair-experiment-gone-wrong…

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

Your own mom died when we were very young babies. What was she like?
I always adored her and thought she was lovely in every way. When I look back at pictures of her now, especially when she was dying of cancer, I think, oh, she was so strained and suffering. But at the time, I didn’t see it. She was wearing a wig and had a puffy face from chemo, but she never, ever looked like that to me. I just thought she was always so beautiful.

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

Growing up, did you and your mom talk about sex and periods and all those things?
She was really chatty — like Daphne from Frasier — but she never talked to me about bras or makeup. She never told me about periods. One afternoon, she left a box of sanitary napkins and a belt on my pillow, and I thought, “Oh, she’s leaving this for me.” She never said anything else. I remember walking to my bus stop in England in sixth grade and thinking, “When I’m 21, I can buy a bra whether she likes it or not!”

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

What was it like moving to the U.S. as a young teenager?
My family moved from England to Alabama when I was starting ninth grade. I wore braids and white knee socks, but in Alabama, everyone was much more sophisticated. The girls styled their hair and wore makeup. No one was wearing knee socks! I was completely a fish out of water. During recess, I would hide and try not to cry because it would make my eyes look red. In tenth grade, it got better, I found my place. But that ninth grade year was tough.

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

You got married during your college senior year. Did you do anything special for your wedding?
I just wore lip gloss and mascara! I was so tan that I didn’t need much makeup. I was a lifeguard and got tons of sun. At the time, who knew? Now, one of my best pieces of advice is don’t get any sun.

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

Have you ever had any beauty experiments gone wrong?
When I was in college, I put Sun-In in my hair while working as a lifeguard, and it turned crazy blonde. It was not a success. And I got a perm in my thirties. I actually thought it looked cute, but when I got home, my kids were like, “Mommy, you look like a lion!”

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

After college, you guys moved from Virginia to Paris. Did you like the French style?
Totally! Every woman in France seemed perfectly put together every time they stepped out of the house. When the woman across the street would come to the mailbox at 8:30 in the morning, she was totally turned out, with a beautiful skirt and her hair perfectly coiffed. Meanwhile, I was wearing a T-shirt with a ponytail and was bleary eyed with newborn twins. I did start getting into that French look, though. Mostly I wore jeans and a flannel shirt — I was, and am still, an American girl — but I would wear dresses more often to dinner and I had a long wool coat with a scarf and brown boots that I liked to wear. Also, I still wear Chanel No. 5 in small, wispy doses.

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

Nowadays, what’s your daily skincare routine?
I use Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover to take off mascara. (When I travel, I use Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes to cleanse my face. They’re so convenient.) My beauty routine got a huge upgrade last year when I started using True Nature Botanicals and fell in love with their products. The two I can’t do without are the Night Serum With Retinol and the Topical Vitamin C Treatment. You mix them together and apply at night to plump up fine lines and tighten skin. It’s magic! I do this only two or three times a week to make my supply last longer.

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

Do you wear makeup every day?
Yes, I always wear Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. I love it because it doesn’t sit on the surface of my face; it looks very natural and neutralizes the pink tones in my skin. After that, I use a makeup brush to dust my face with Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation Powder. I recently started using Mac Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set in Quiet Brunette. It’s like mascara for eyebrows! My eyebrows are starting to sprout a little gray, and this covers that beautifully. I wear Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Eyeliner — I bought the trio and mostly use the black one. Most days I also wear Laura Mercier lip liner in Natural Lips and lip color in Brown Sugar.

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

How do you change it up for special events?
For special occasions, I love love love Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick Eye Color in Cocoa. I put it on under my top lashes by sort of moving the pencil back and forth across my lashes from underneath. I was shown how to do this at a department store beauty counter. It makes my eyes look naturally dark and smoky. And I always wear Revlon Super Lustrous Shine Lipstick in Plum Velour. It’s a lovely color — not too red but definitely more dramatic than what I usually wear!

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

Are there any foods or drinks that help you feel your best?
A glass (or two) of Sauvignon Blanc every night! I used to drink Chardonnay, but Joanna converted me! I love to cook. Mostly I make old-school dishes like bouillabaisse, chicken cacciatore or just classic roast chicken and potatoes. My husband cooks, too, so we are always shopping and planning menus.

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

When’s a time in your life when you felt really beautiful?
I felt beautiful at both my daughters’ weddings. They were such happy events. I loved planning with them and sharing their excitement. It was great fun, and I felt beautiful as the mother of the bride.

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

What about times you’ve felt insecure?
In the photo above, I’m in England with Dad’s family, when we were dating, and I thought his four sisters were so much more beautiful. They were English and vivacious. I didn’t feel pretty. Now, when I look back, I think, “Oh my gosh, I was so pretty in that picture, what was I thinking?” I think a lot of people feel like that in retrospect. Women compare themselves to these Hollywood stars, but really, everyone is so beautiful. Everyone has something wonderful about them. It’s a shame not to realize that. Later, when you’re 64, you look back and think, “Wow, I was such a dynamic person and so kind, and that was so attractive.” Love yourself now, not just later.

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

It’s true, you’re never as hard on other people as you are on yourself.
When you hang out with loved ones, you never analyze how they look. You don’t expect them to look a certain way. We really overanalyze ourselves. I have this thing under my chin, where one half kind of sags down. I don’t like it. But I don’t think anyone else notices at all.

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

I have never noticed that. Do you have any non-beauty rituals?
I play tennis and golf and even pickleball. I never played sports growing up, but am an addict now! In the evening, I love to watch TV — especially House of Cards, Fixer Upper and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. After watching a show, I’ll read my Kindle. I love it because I can read in bed without disturbing my husband. Right now I’m reading All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister.

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

Last but certainly not least: do you have an overall beauty philosophy?
Embrace who you really are. Be kind to others and to yourself. I also try to accept my age. I think lines and wrinkles just add character and interest. I can’t look 20, so I try to be happy as I am and grateful for being healthy enough to play the sports I like and babysit my grandchildren.

My Beauty Uniform: Jean Goddard

Jean Goddard

Thank you so much, Mama! I love you!

P.S. My mom’s tomboy style, and having babies in Paris.

  1. Cat says...

    Jumped here from today’s “Mother’s Before” post. Your mom is gorgeous! I did a double take at the “How do you change it up for special events?” wedding photo — that has to be Rocky Neck State Park pavilion in East Lyme CT. My hometown!

  2. Ashley says...

    if Toby doesn’t look like his grandpa in these photos….! xo

  3. Kasia from Hamburg says...

    I`m starting believe in “good gens”
    Your Mom looks like your older sister.
    Best regards from Germany

  4. I’ve been reading through the Beauty Uniform posts for product inspiration – I have to say that your mom is stunning!

  5. Joanna, I wish I hadn’t missed this post when it was first published! I have enjoyed reading all of the uniforms in this series but reading about a woman who has aged so naturally and with such humility is, not only incredibly refreshing, but is such an aspiration for younger women. I have two young daughters (one and four) and I can only hope to set the kind of example of aging gracefully for them as your mother has so obviously done for you and Lucy. How lucky you two are!

  6. Jen Morton says...

    Just loved reading about your mama Jo. She is such a beauty, just like you.

  7. Anitra says...

    Loved this! Wasn’t your mom going to do an advice type column on your blog? I just loved that idea! I would love for a more mature woman’s perspective on things. She sounds wonderful!

  8. Carol says...

    OK, beyond all the obviously deserved kudos: This woman is oddly vibrant and unwrinkled for a 62?-year-old (just estimating her age at 25 at your birth). Obviously great looks run in your family, but: We need to learn more about her rituals. Does she work on her hormones, do yoga, etc.? I’m considering an investment in the True Botanicals potion based on this.

  9. Sanaa Murray says...

    good mothers are one of life’s greatest blessings. reading this made me give mine a call to tell her how i love her. thank you!

  10. Felicia says...

    Long time lurker, first time poster because I had to mention this: Your mother reminds me of somebody on those old photos and it took me forever to realize who it was… Liv Ullmann! It’s uncanny! In my book, she is the most graceful and inspirational actress of all times so I am surprised it took me so long to figure it out.

  11. Bethaney says...

    Oh the loveliness! And the wisdom! Your mum is a treasure.

  12. Your mom is beautiful!

  13. Anna says...

    What a beauty! Thx

  14. This is so sweet! Your mother is just beautiful, inside and out. <3

  15. Małgorzata says...

    So lovely and touching post :) thank you, Joanna an your Mom :)

  16. Your mom is a serious babe! I loved reading her story…she has such a rich life of experiences.

  17. Katherine H. says...

    This is beautiful! Thank you for a wonderful post. It felt like an honour to mothers everywhere. Got a little teary-eyed myself. Gotta go call my mom now!

  18. What a beautiful post! I got teary-eyed at the part about ‘everyone being so beautiful’ and ‘loving yourself now!’ I like your mom! Thanks for sharing her with us!

  19. Dottie Louise says...

    YAY! I love posts about your mom! She is such a lovely person. I oftentimes try to be mindful about what she said about taking children’s feeling seriously and apply it to everyone (adults) as well. Such great advise! That and how one should be gentle with oneself. Thank you so much for a wonderful post and series! Such great and inspiring ladies!

  20. f says...

    so beautiful! love that you did this with your mother. toby looks a lot like her!

  21. Beverly says...

    What a beautiful woman your mom is. I see where you got it from!

  22. congee says...

    What an amazingly inspirational post! Your mom is so wise and beautiful! She is the original effortlessly chic prototype of cupofjo! And I find it wonderful that you are always honoring her (and the rest of your family) on this blog. Well done, daughter! xo

  23. Sandy says...

    “Mommy, you look like a lion!” – totally made me lol

    Beautiful post! She’s a gem. Thanks for sharing!

  24. Araxy says...

    What a beautiful and graceful lady! Loved the pictures.Loved the post.

  25. Carrie says...

    Your mother is so beautiful inside and out. I always enjoy her stories. She’s a timeless beauty.

  26. “really, everyone is so beautiful.”

    I love that.

  27. Gretchen says...

    Gosh, this is such a beautiful post. I am thirty-three, and I am so taken with women who are older than me and have lived and aged gracefully. I crave the wisdom they have to share. I’m super emotional about this post, it’s silly, but it makes me miss my mom, a lot! Thank you so much for sharing your mother with us.

  28. Vicki says...

    This is lovely and your mom is so beautiful, then and now! I love her relaxed approach… effortlessly cool…
    you also look just like her – is it weird to get to see what you will look like when you get older? and also know that you will still look awesome!

  29. Erica H. says...

    Just lovely!

  30. Ava Clements says...

    What a great article about an amazing woman. One of the best compliments I have ever received was a few months ago when someone asked if Jean and I were sisters. I wish that I would have lived closer to her when we were younger. She is truly a beautiful, gracious lady. Harvey isn’t too bad either!

  31. Angela says...

    Oh I love, love, love seeing and hearing from beautiful women who are older than me (38). It makes me excited to grow older and makes me feel at home in myself. So refreshing and inspiring. Thanks!

  32. Your mom is a wonderful lady. I loved reading this post. It’s interesting in itself, but it’s also nice to get to know your family a little. I used to read your blog daily, but now I don’t have as much time (I have two little ones at home), so i just read it once in a while, but I read everything I missed, it’s like meeting with an old friend … All the best, Zulejka

  33. you mommy is wonderful!!! and she’s stunning. I loved reading about her.. She’s even more wonderful because she had twins!

  34. Sanja says...

    I love your blog! I remember reading how your mom said she still feels like a girl when she looks at the mirror and that thought has stuck with me ever since. And in this one, I really like how she reminds us to love ourselves right now, and not just in retrospect. Thank you both! :))))

  35. Oh my goodness, your mom is just so lovely! I love love these conversations you have with her. Cheers!

  36. karen says...

    A + ladies. Loved it!

  37. Ruth says...

    Love this! And your mom is gorgeous and so lovely, inside and out!

  38. Maywyn says...

    Wow! Thank you.
    Anton looks like your Grandfather in the first photo, and Toby like all your eyes with an Alex smile.

  39. I just love it and am so glad you have done this beauty uniform for someone near my age. Your mother sounds like a lovely person.

  40. trish says...

    pure, utterly loveliness.

  41. Catie says...

    Anton looks SO much like your mother in that fourth photo. Wow.

  42. Lilly says...

    Love it! Your mom is beautiful, and some of those old photos are so great! You look a lot like your dad :)
    I am a bit confused, are your parents both British? Or is your mom American?

  43. One of my favorite Beauty Uniforms yet! I loved reading how your mother felt beautiful on both of her daughter’s wedding days – so special!

  44. Kindness makes people look their most beautiful…your mom is so right! There is a warmth and radiance that makeup cannot replace. :)

  45. In the photo of you and Lucy as toddlers in the little blue coats, you look just like Toby!! So cute! xxx

  46. Your mom is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing :)

  47. Your mom…she always seems like such a calm soul. I like her!

    I’d love to know what specific Sauvignon Blanc you all prefer? I’ve recently started dabbling in whites since realizing after reading one of your posts that Red wines make me a little cuckoo!

    Xo Lendy

  48. Nina van den Berg says...

    Thank you for this. Every day i really look forward to your posts; they’re all great. I especially like the variation of topics and all the people you interview.
    And now your mom! Fantastic!
    What a gorgeous mom; she looks so young and fresh!
    Tomorrow I’m going to call my mom and ask those same questions.
    Hugs from Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    xoxo Nina

  49. ML says...

    My favorite beauty post. Your mom is stunning. I actually think she looks like one of those people who is more beautiful as she ages- although she looks very pretty in the older pictures. Please do more with older women. I’m 33, but I love hearing this kind of advice from women in their 50s or older. I’d love to hear from a woman in her 70s or 80s! Also, that pic of you and your sister and mom is gorgeous. Your sister has an amazing smile.

  50. stunning, both beautiful and out. i loved this post a lot and i’m so happy that you’re still learning more and more about your mom through posts like these

  51. Amanda says...

    What a lovely and wise woman your mother is! I can see your older son’s face in the photo of his great-grandfather. That same expression you’ve captured in pictures on your blog. I love when I get those glimpses of generations past in my own children….so mysterious and wonderful.

  52. Everything about this is wonderful. Please, more from your mother and more Beauty Uniforms from women who have some years under their belt!

  53. J Hope says...

    I always look forward to posts about your wise and gorgeous mum!

  54. Asia says...

    “Women compare themselves to these Hollywood stars, but really, everyone is so beautiful. Everyone has something wonderful about them. It’s a shame not to realize that. Later, when you’re 64, you look back and think, “Wow, I was such a dynamic person and so kind, and that was so attractive.” Love yourself now, not just later.” Words to live by!

    Also– tell your mom I love Fixer Upper, too ;)

  55. Nina Olsen says...

    Wonderful post! Your mother is beautiful, both when she was younger and now, such grace and poise (like Elaine Benes), joke aside, she looks so gorgeous and seems like a really lovely, warm and wise person! Spot on advice! Don’t judge yourself to hard! And appriciate yourself today! Love it! Be kind to others and yourself :)

  56. jen says...

    your mom is absolutely beautiful!

  57. She is gorgeous I love everything she said. And needless to say, you look JUST like her!

    Perhaps I need to start wearing Chanel No. 5 more often. I have a bottle but I always thought I needed to be more mature to really pull it off. I’m not loyal to one perfume (I have a ‘fragrance wardrobe’ rather than a ‘signature scent’).

  58. Your mom is gorgeous! Just like you and your sister…

  59. Awwww – your mom is so beautiful and wise! Loved this!

  60. Hope says...

    ugh, I want to print this and put it up in my office. “Love yourself now.” that’s some excellent Mom advice – you and your siblings are very lucky.

  61. Yvonne says...

    Your mum is so beautiful! She is absolutely radiant. And she reminds me so much of the late actress Jill Clayburgh!

  62. Mona says...

    Your mom is drop dead beautiful just like yourself…

  63. freya says...

    i loved this, and it reminded me that at some point you were going to start an advice column here with your mom’s responses. she seems so wise and wonderful, i hope you reconsider the idea!

    • Sam says...

      I was going to mention that! What happened to that column?

  64. Katie W says...

    That photo of your mother holding the baby on the bed reminds me so much of you! Even if I saw it on another site, I would think, “That’s such a Jo picture!” The composition, the look, the emotion… even the style of the room. PS- I love this post!

  65. Leslie says...

    That was so lovely! I want to ask my mom all the same questions. I love the bond that is shared between the lines and how, from reading your blog, I can see where your mother’s influence is very strong! I LOVE that. Cheers to moms!

  66. Emily says...

    Anton looks so much like your grandfather! Crazy.

  67. Anke says...

    This is one of my favorite posts! So personal and full of great, real advice! Awesome work Joanna and mom xx

  68. I ran out and bought Revlon Plum Velour lipstick after reading this and I absolutely love it. What a find, what a STEAL. I also went home and had two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc. Thank you, elegant Jean!

  69. b zeller says...

    “love yourself now. not just later.” a good reminder.

  70. Liz says...

    What a beautiful post! I really enjoyed this (although I enjoy your blog every single day!) Thank you for sharing!

  71. Lauren says...

    This is so wonderful. Joanna, I see your boys’ faces in so many of these photos in so many different people. That must be a trip! Your mom is really lovely and beautiful.

    Moms really have the best perspective about beauty and aging. If I ever say something negative about my appearance, my mom always tells me that she looks back on being my age (20s), she only wishes she could have been kinder to herself. It’s a good reminder to appreciate and embrace who we are at this moment.

  72. Toun says...

    A very inspiring post !
    I’ll ask the same questions to my mother !

    @Joanna : do you remember when you lived in France ? Did you come back to Paris and what did you felt.
    If you want to write a post about about it, i’ll be very glad !

  73. Anita says...

    So i immediately raced out and bought the plum velour lipstick. Because I wear the laura mercier brown sugar every day too! And also because your mum is inspirational and I kind of want to be her.

  74. I loved to see your mom’s life through pictures! She was (and certainly is) so beautiful. Lucky you, Joanna! Definitely moms are the best!

  75. Pip says...

    Just lovely – I’ve always liked the photo of your mum with you twins! And you know she’s absolutely right we don’t notice or critique the appearances of those we love – nor should we! Thank you Joanna x

  76. Danica says...

    absolute favorite beauty uniform so far! She is such a babe and seems like a fun person to be with.

  77. Liz says...

    Your mother is incredibly beautiful! My mum also said she looks back at photos of herself as a young mum in the 70s (when she was shy and very self-critical) and thinks she looks fantastic! Youth is wasted on the young, as they say! :-)

  78. Your mom is amazing! Such a beautiful (inside and out), inspiring woman! Thank you for sharing a bit of her with us.

  79. Thelma says...

    My favourite beauty uniform in the entire series! Even though our mothers are nothing alike really, this post brought back so many lovely memories of watching my mother get ready for work or a night out in awe. I want to take the first flight home now and ask her all these questions!

  80. Christina D. says...

    Such a beautiful post Joanna. What great photos to go along with your mom’s words. Your mom is stunning and has such interesting experiences and insights to share. Thank you for another excellent, heartwarming post:)

  81. Your mom is such a wise and beautiful woman. I especially love her overall advice at the end. Accepting oneself and one’s season in life, including the wrinkles. I always enjoy reading the Beauty Uniform posts, but this is my favourite one ever!