Style

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

My aunt, Lulu, lives with my grandmother in Cornwall, England. She’s the sweetest person and regularly says things like “bless your cotton socks.” Growing up, I always wanted to have laugh lines like hers. (As a kid, I would crinkle my cheeks to try to get them.) By popular demand, here’s her beauty uniform…

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

What has it been like to live in a Cornish fishing village for the past two years?
When I moved here from Pennsylvania, to help take care of Milly, I was worried about feeling isolated. But I love the village life. You have to add 20 minutes to every errand because you run into so many people. You meet this little old lady, and that little old lady, and you hear their stories. You crack up the whole time. There’s a lot of nuttiness. We have a little grocery and a bakery and two pubs.

What skincare products do you like?
I like using body lotion after the shower. My favorite is Nantucket Briar, which smells wonderful, but it’s hard to get a hold of. So, mostly I use CeraVe. I take time to put on the lotion and massage myself and nurture myself. I don’t just slap it on. That awareness of myself is really nice.

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

Top pic: Lulu as a child. Bottom pic: Lulu is third from the right.

What was it like growing up in a family with six children?
Overall, it was fantastic! I was lucky to be in the middle. By the time I came along, my brother Jeremy and sister Jackie had broken all the rules and paved the way; I never seemed to be in the firing line, although I don’t think I was too much trouble. We were always giggling and laughing.

Any downsides?
Growing up, we all had to use the same bath water for six kids. It was pretty muddy by the time you got to it, when you were the fourth or fifth person.

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

Were you into makeup growing up?
My older sisters were really good at beauty. But I didn’t really use makeup. Nowadays I put balm on my lips, and I use blush in the winter.

What about your nails?
I keep my nails short, and you sent me Dior Nail Glow last year, which I still wear every day. I love the Dior! I feel clean and manicured when I do it — although my nails do get pretty wrecked from gardening. I grow all sorts of things — our carrots have been absolutely delicious — and zucchini, leeks, potatoes, sweet pea flowers, lavender.

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

How many glasses of tea do you drink every day? You seem to always have a cup.
Hmm, four to seven cups of Earl Grey during the day. Then after 4 p.m., I’ll switch to herbal tea. We’ll also have banana bread or ginger cake or lemon drizzle cake. We really love tea and cake.

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

What do you do for your haircut?
My friend Rodney has been doing my hair for me! He’s a brilliant dancer and professional hair stylist. He’s the boyfriend of my friend Chris, and when he comes to visit our village, he cuts it in my bathroom. I say, you can do whatever you want, just don’t shave it off. I kind of want it spiky and wild looking because I like it when I get out of the sea.

What are your thoughts on going grey?
My hair has been going grey for ages, but I can’t be bothered to do too much. It’s like the leaves falling off the trees in autumn — it is what it is and I go with what’s happening.

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

What makes you feel beautiful?
I always feel really happy when I’m doing something fun and adventurous. I used to be really worried about swimming the cold sea. I don’t like being cold, and it’s VERY cold in England. But then I thought, I can cope with this. And I swam for half an hour! It’s such a shock when you first jump in, AHHH!!! Now my sixty-something friends and I jump off the rocks and swim to the beach. We chatter all the way there and all the way back. It’s really invigorating. Apparently cold water makes you toughen up.

Do you see jellyfish? I remember seeing so many when I was little.
We look out for them! They seem prehistoric!

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

How would you describe your overall approach to beauty?
I like to look clean and presentable, but I don’t think about beauty too much. It’s just not in my mind.

That’s like body neutrality. That seems like an amazing goal.
As long as my body is working, I’m happy. I love being able to power up the cliff paths or ride a crazy horse or swim in the sea or manage a little boat. That’s when I love my body. And I feel really flexible after yoga. I do Yoga With Adriene. I’ve learned so much from her. She tells you little tips, and she doesn’t twist you into a pretzel. Afterward I feel like I’ve had a massage.

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

What has it been like caring for your mother?
Milly is very peaceful and cute and easy. She loves absolutely anything you do for her. One funny thing is that she always makes the same carrot soup every day. Every time, I’m like, Oh, yay, thank goodness we got to the bottom of the bowl… and there she is, whipping up another one! (laughs) I’m crazy about her.

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

I love how warm you are to everyone.
Well, I do call everyone darling. I probably shouldn’t call the shopkeeper darling! I think people think you really love them! I should be more Jane Austen-ish about it, but I’m not. But I do really love people. I think everybody, no matter what they seem like, are so kind underneath it all and have had interesting lives. The little old ladies in the village — some are grumbly but they’re just a different generation, they’re all really sweet underneath.

My Beauty Uniform: Lulu Goddard

Do you have any mantras?
You know the old saying, ‘This too shall pass’? It’s really true. Maybe one of your children is happy, then it flips; the family dynamic is always changing. The goal is being patient with it all. I just believe and trust that things are good. The sun coming up and the sun going down, and nature, the whole thing, take the changes as they come. People can get so fussed about something like the weather, but there’s no point, it is what it is, and I love the idea that you make popsicles in humid weather and meringues in dry weather and fly kites in windy weather and go kayaking when it’s calm. You work with whatever is out there and try to enjoy it.

Thank you, Lulu! You are unbelievably cute.

P.S. More women share their beauty uniforms, including Netflix chef, a polar explorer and traveling writer.

(Photos by Belathée Photography for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Emily says...

    I just love: “as long as my body is working I’m happy”. Shouldn’t we all feel that appreciation? With all the body image BS we are inundated with, wouldn’t it be great to just be at peace with a body that can climb, run, stretch… I’m going to think of Lulu’s philosophy whenever I’m feeling down on my (working perfectly well, yet under-appreciated) body.

  2. Katie Rosenberg says...

    Oh, this was a delight to read! I tend to let weeks and weeks go by and then catch up on all the Cup of Jo content I’ve missed. Reading about Lulu’s perspective and the way she embraces life was so uplifting. I’m almost 35 and at times I’ve felt, I don’t know, almost less of a woman because I know nothing about makeup or how to “do hair.” It’s so refreshing to read this and encourages me to stick to what feels right for me. Bless Lulu’s cotton socks!

  3. Sanje says...

    Would love a post on caring for parents as they age, including how to organize finances and paperwork, the alternative options that exist, how to initiate conversation (with parents – as well as male siblings – since so often this issue falls to the females in the family to deal with), perhaps from several different perspectives, as you often present posts in that helpful way. Lulu is lovely and so generous.

  4. Rachel says...

    What a wonderful outlook on life! I wish she had an IG account for daily inspiration!

  5. Oh I just love this! Especially this sentence: “I love the idea that you make popsicles in humid weather and meringues in dry weather and fly kites in windy weather and go kayaking when it’s calm. “

  6. bibi says...

    oh wow!! such intelligence. at the question when do you feel beautiful she answer I’m most happy when …
    beauty is being happy, well this is something to think about. thank you Lulu.

  7. Whitney says...

    In the picture of Lulu and her siblings, that must be your father in the back – all I see is your great smile!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you’re so sweet! and you’re right, that’s my dad!

  8. Marissa Nufer says...

    Please post a recipe, if you can get it, for the carrot soup she mentioned!

  9. Abbe says...

    At what age can one start calling everyone “darling”?

  10. saemi chung says...

    thank you lulu for sharing! you are delightful!!

  11. Dee says...

    She is just adorable.

  12. K says...

    just absolutely perfect.

  13. rose says...

    Yikes she is so like-able! I was surprised by how eagerly I read about her life. It’s the realness I think. I am so exhausted by media’s constant need to “present”. Also, I don’t know if it’s buried in the comments but I’d love to try that carrot soup recipe!

  14. Chrissy says...

    Absolutely loved this! Want to go visit Cornwall now

  15. Ask Why Not says...

    Absolute favourite Beauty Uniform read! Now all I want to do is pack my bags, take the cats and move to Cornwall.

  16. Sigrid says...

    True beauty! I loved loved loved reading about Lulu and all of the comments. Hugs from Norway!

  17. Sara says...

    I never comment but this interview right here made me so happy.

  18. Hilty says...

    Lulu is now my hero. I’m going to read this every morning.

  19. DIANE WILLIAMS says...

    Lulu is way beyond cute…she’s figured it out!! (I haven’t read the other comments yet…I may be repeating…and I’m sure so many have said it so much better!) Ha!

    I love Cup of Jo!

  20. Lou says...

    Oh, I just love her!!

  21. Thank you so so much for this lovely interview with your aunt Lulu. I would like to be her when I grow up, I will start calling everyone darling immediately, and I am definitely going to have more tea and cake :)

    I really appreciate the different perspectives and voices in these beauty interviews and this one especially reminds me that beauty comes from warmth and the quality of aliveness a person has more than a holy grail serum. Although I would probably also get the serum ;)

  22. Andrea says...

    I love love love this! This is what I aspire to in my own life on a daily basis <3

    I'd love to know the brand/model of her blue coat too – so cute!

  23. Ellen says...

    I love this so much! What a great perspective on life.

  24. Suzie says...

    What an amazing mantra she has! Love her style. I’d love to have a conversation over tea and cake. She seems so lovely and wise!

  25. Ann McCormick says...

    Someone send Lulu some lotion! Life is too short to NOT use your favorite. I loved this beauty uniform. I will remember to thank mine more often for climbing hills, swimming laps, and carrying babies (on the inside and outside).

  26. Shelley says...

    Just so wonderful to read! What a great philosophy of life! I love everything about it!

  27. Hannah Avery says...

    Love this so much!!!!

  28. Monica says...

    This was so lovely to read. I initially bypassed the article thinking there would be nothing I could connect with. I came back to it today and I’m so glad I did. I want to enjoy aging and not let it be something I should fear. This post reminded me of that.

  29. Maureen says...

    Beautiful woman and photos, wonderful that she is caring for her Mom too. Finding joy in the simple things is key…

  30. What a lovely post! I thoroughly enjoyed your “Motherhood Around the World” series; I also love these stories of different types of families. There is a part of (parent)hood where children may return home, or in some capacity care for a parent, and as parents, we may all someday receive that in return. It’s so beautiful to see this window into Lulu’s and your grandmother’s relationship. Thank you for sharing!

    And I’ll echo what others have also said: more Lulu please! And the brand of those boots if she’d be willing to share :)

    • Rachel says...

      I’d love a “Childhood Around the World” that’s actually about all the different types of relationships adult children have with their parents. Your Mother’s Day post touched on this and it’s such an under-explored area that so many people can relate to – literally everyone in one form or another–losing parents, caring for parents, being far/close to parents (literally or figuratively), having vastly different expectations from parents, etc. It’s an area of so much pain and comfort and growth that I’d love to hear more about (I work with my mom now after not having the strongest relationship in adolescence and it’s been transformational)!

  31. This was such a beautiful post! Loved getting to know about your aunt, thank you for sharing! And I also loved these photos, too.

  32. Sherry says...

    I pin up pictures of women over my desk. I started in my 40’s. They are accomplished women, usually creative–designers, artists, chefs–with gray hair, laugh lines, faces that have lived and minds, hands and bodies that are strong, spry and productive. They inspire me to embrace all that comes with experience–comfortable within themselves, wide open with love, always facing forward, excited about what’s next. I’m tacking Lulu up there right now.

    • Monica says...

      What a wonderful thing to do! I like the idea of looking forward to ageing, especially in a society where it is mostly feared or sadly, thought to be preventable. We’re all going to age. Period.

  33. It’s fun seeing all the beautiful women in this series, some with fancy products, complicated techniques and routines, etc. But really, Lulu is #goals!

  34. Meagan says...

    One of my favourite ones so far. What a woman! Her go with the flow approach to life is definitely something to strive for!

  35. Oh, that every woman may be so fully herself! What a beautiful read! :)

  36. Abbe says...

    LOVE THIS. Her attitude on going gray is so lovely.

  37. Alex says...

    Lulu’s relationship with her mother is so special and rare and beautiful to hear about. I too am teary-eyed reading this. Wishing to channel Lulu more often in my own life.

  38. Jan Dent says...

    What a special aunt ! I also love earl grey tea and yoga with Adrienne .thank you again Joanna for your special and much needed blog. I am a 61 year old woman from Northern NSW, Australia , a devoted and long time reader . I love the stories of lives across our world that celebrate life , diversity and also provide comfort to people going through traumatic or isolating times.

  39. Kat says...

    My heart grew 10 sizes reading this. Thank you for the loveliest of reads.

  40. Megan says...

    Omg her sweet mantras. I’m holding onto those words for sure. ❤️

  41. Joanna Goddard says...

    Lulu and I were emailing last night, and she said she had read the lovely comments and said, “they are all the loveliest darlingsie petal poppet honey bunch of positive people!!!” The Lulu-est response to your beautiful words :)

    • Jaime says...

      That is the cutest thing! What a lovely woman and sweet post to read.

    • Sarah says...

      Oh my heart <3 That is the sweetest.

    • Claire says...

      Lulu is a bit of poet, I think.
      all the more to appreciate!

  42. Lindsay says...

    This has been my favorite Beauty Uniform post yet! I finally bought the Dior Nail Glow even though its been recommended on here for forever.

    • Melissa says...

      Same!

  43. Michelle says...

    I love this — especially that last answer. It was a rough parenting morning and I’m feeling a bit at loose ends, so it was nice to hear “This too shall pass,” and remember that things are bigger than this morning’s problems.

    PS The ‘beauty uniform’ features are my favorite. :))))

  44. Sara says...

    Alright, but now we need that carrot soup recipe!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha i’ll ask her!

  45. Chelsey says...

    I also got teary reading today this, so many beautiful tidbits of wisdom. She could be a guest writer for cup of Jo! I love her perspective.

    • Juliette says...

      Such a lovely person ❤❤❤ feel so calming to get this peaceful energy

  46. Susan Y. says...

    This warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes solely based on your aunt’s perspectives which are beautifully simplistic and for which I strive daily to attain.

  47. ES says...

    I loved this post for so many reasons. I grew up in an Indian city romanticizing the English countryside only because I was crazy about Enid Blyton’s books. All the midnight swimming and feasting had me begging my parents to send me away to boarding school. I know, I was nuts. And I am rather glad they didn’t. Haha. But this post, well, all your posts on Cornwall, take me back. Also, just the other day I was telling my mom that I would rather have smudged sunscreen and unkempt hair if it meant more time playing with my boys. Your Aunt’s beauty philosophy aligns with mine so much. Especially when she says “I always feel really happy when I’m doing something fun and adventurous.”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      love this comment, ES. <3

  48. Julie says...

    I love how Lulu is true to herself and just radiates beauty from within. Thank you for sharing her with us!

  49. Raquel says...

    One of my favorite beauty posts. Not about products or pressure to do (or not do things) but rather a new attitude and love of life and joy. Thanks for this gem.

  50. Marissa says...

    This just warmed my heart. Such a lovely interview and human being. We need more Auntie Lulu’s in the world.

  51. Elizabeth R says...

    Super American question, but would love a step by step from Aunt Lulu or any regular tea drinker about how to make the perfect pot of Earl Grey/herbal tea/etc.

    • Lauren says...

      Ooh the British are very tribal about this. But IME, the only thing we all agree on is that you must always pour your boiling (or just slightly cooled) water onto your teabag – never dunk a teabag in a cup of hot water. It puzzles me when they bring you a cup of hot water in a cafe with a teabag on the side!

      The rules might be different for loose leaf tea – we have such an excellent range of teabags over here that I hardly ever buy loose leaf. The only type I drank it was when pregnant, because the best decaf I could get was loose leaf.

      Most Brits will also tell you that you should never pour the milk in first or, (God forbid), the milk in whilst the teabag is still in there.

      Happy drinking!

    • Bec says...

      Different take in milk. My grandparents had tea at 4 every afternoon and always put milk in first, it stops the tea cups getting stained. They are/were very British. They also made their tea in a tea pot. I wouldn’t do it this way with a tea bag, yuck!
      In terms of making the tea, boil water, put tea bag in leave in until tea is strong enough for you. Or in a tea pot add a teaspoon of tea per person + one for the pot, add boiled water and let brew!

    • Swann says...

      What I heard is :
      Put the teabag in the teapot and put boiling water over it.
      Put the milk in your teacup and then the boiling tea. Always milk first because traditionally, when the cups where still porcelain, they would crack if you put the boiling water directly into it. So milk first always. And this way you can make tea for everyone in your teapot and let them put as much or as little milk as they wish before pouring the tea :)

      Enjoy your tea !

    • Paula says...

      After China, Turkey and the British, us Easter Europeans drink a whole lot of tea! But milk is optional and often you will find people who drink black tea put lemon and sugar in it. I drink 4 cups of Earl Gray just black, per day, and then also switch to herbal in the afternoons.

      I love this beauty uniform and I would love to hear your aunt’s perspective on other issues. Perhaps a monthly column? Just on life? Also, with an aging parent across the ocean for me, could she share how she made a decision to move? Is she married? Does she have children? I’m sorry, personal questions from a random stranger but I’m in that strange time of life, where the children are not so little, and the parents are slowly needing help. Help!

    • Danielle says...

      My English grandmother’s number one rule was always “Bring the pot to the kettle” so that the water is as close to boiling as possible.

  52. S says...

    Your aunt is beautiful and amazing! I would read a post about her regularly- love her attitude about just letting things unfold! More Aunt Lulu please!!

  53. Kimberly says...

    Absolute style icon. Human icon. Thank you for sharing yourself, Lulu!

  54. Amanda says...

    This was a great post. I love her attitude and honestly the lack of beauty per se (products, rituals for looks, etc.) was refreshing.

  55. Amber says...

    I loved this! My mum is very similar in her kindness and warmth and optimism in life. Whenever I feel unnecessarily grumpy or impatient, I look to my mum for inspiration. Such a beautiful snippet into english life. Thank you ✨