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. Hilary says...

    What a delightful human!

  2. Melissa says...

    Really loved this interview, and all of your interviews – more, please! Thank you Lulu for the inspiration.

  3. Julia Kirmaier says...

    Beautiful quote, totally match with this portrait of Lulu!!
    Thankx from a reader in Germany, who reads and is inspired by this blog since 7 years :-*

  4. Lacey says...

    Lulu!! I wanna be her when I grow up.

  5. Tshego B says...

    Not enough people use blush in the winter! It looks so adorable <3

  6. Julie says...

    I want to go and live with Lulu and Milly in this little village in Cornwall.

  7. Kat says...

    Just totally delightful. I loved reading this. Her beauty uniform is her warm and happy approach to life – just delicious.

  8. Sophie says...

    Long time lurker, first time poster.

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

    As a 25-year old woman, I always enjoy looking up to ladies who I can learn from and admire.

    Your Aunt exudes a warm and loveliness through photos I cant describe.

    I also am an avid Earl Grey drinker!

  9. KylieO says...

    Just adding to the love here by saying this is my favourite beauty uniform ever. I want to be Aunt Lulu! What a marvellous woman.

  10. Anna says...

    Wow, she is beyond lovely. I feel more relaxed and happy just reading her thoughts on life and beauty and people. Like a big exhale. And a sense of kinship over Yoga With Adriene! The way she described Adriene is exactly why I love Adriene, too.

    I also teared up at your line, Jo, on how you crinkled your eyes as a kid to have laugh lines just like her. So, so beautiful.

  11. Julia says...

    Your aunt just looks gorgeous! Is there any chance you know the brand of her rain coat?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! barbour! it was a sixtieth birthday present :)

    • Julia says...

      Thank you so much, Joanna!

  12. Elena says...

    Lulu for President

    • Michelle says...

      Hahaha! Agreed!!

  13. Jane says...

    Like all the other commenters I am head over heels for Lulu and want more of her in my life. A memoir! Or a regular column somewhere!

    Joanna, I also think your writing, pacing, and styling of this interview is exquisite. I always love your writing and have been reading CoJ for many years, but I think this is some of your best work!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much, jane!

  14. Jill says...

    Absolutely love her positive outlook on life. What a beautiful way to live!

  15. Alex says...

    So good. Soooooo good.

  16. Jay says...

    Joanna, in that photo of the six siblings – which one is your mother (or father? – not sure which side your aunt is from).
    This was such a beautiful post!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      My dad is the oldest on the left! He still has the same smile :)

  17. Baila Sherbin says...

    Hi everyone :) I’m a 25-year-old read who has been reading this lovely blog ever since I stumbled upon it when I was 16! It’s been consistent in my life as I graduated high school in California, went to college in New York, dropped out and moved to another country to start a business etc! To think back on everything this blog has accompanied me through, holy cow! I want to express my gratitude!! Oh, how I love this blog!!
    I’ve never commented before, but I wanted to pipe in and say that the Beauty Uniform pieces are my absolute favorites and I LOVED hearing the wisdom and perspective from a more experienced life traveler :). I would love to read more interviews done of “older” women who no doubt contain great bits of wisdom + advice. Thank you, team Cup Of Jo! You are all incredible!!

    • Miruska says...

      My favourite blog on the web, hands down! I tell everybody about it. Love the community of women Joanna has been able to attract. So much support among total strangers.

  18. Patricia says...

    Wow , what a great life philosophy – I am going to strive to be more like Auntie Lulu ! I agree 100%. – we need to hear more inspiration from Auntie Lulu every month !

  19. Jackie says...

    Lulu seems to be an absolute delight. That last paragraph… oh my heart.

  20. Shayna says...

    Aunts! Unbelievable forces, shaping our whole lives. I’ve soaked in the generous loving of mine for 32 years. Thank you for sharing yours. Aunt Lulu reminds me of my Aunt Theresa, who was a flower in full bloom.

  21. Rachel says...

    Hands down my favourite beauty uniform.

  22. Leslie says...

    Thoughts on Vlogs? I would love to see little videos on each of these beauty uniforms! Would love to hear your aunts voice and see her making some tea, serving a slice of cake. These interviews are always so interesting and think a little vlog to go with them would be thrilling!

    • MG says...

      That is an interesting idea. On the one hand, there is something so wonderful about how this blog hasn’t changed too much in format over the many years. However, I think there are several freelance videographer storytellers out there there thirsty for this kind of creative work. They could make a straightforward, yet artistic piece that really reflects the pace of this blog.

  23. Oh my goodness, I’ve never had aunt envy before, but there it is: aunt envy. Wonderfully down-to-earth, and how nice to be reminded of this aspect of beauty, as in beauty = connection + generosity of spirit + fully inhabiting our bodies. I love it when people dish their skincare and style as well, but this is just what I needed today. Thank you SO much for this Beauty Uniform.

  24. Lily says...

    Lulu has precisely the philosophies I strive to embrace – here’s hoping I end up half as graceful!

    I’m in love with that blue anorak, too. Where is it from?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it’s a barbour anorak, which was a gift from her uncle for her 60th birthday!

  25. Di says...

    This beauty uniform was soothing and nourishing and hope-giving and I am so grateful. Thank you! At 39, I’m so glad to have good adult role models.

  26. Connie says...

    Even though Lulu and I are probably close to the same age, I hope I will eventually grow up to be just like her. So inspiring!! Thank you, Cup of Jo, for sharing!

  27. Laur says...

    So, we agree – we all love Lulu!! Beautiful sentiments and a lovely way to live a full life. Thank you for sharing!

    I’m expecting a baby girl and want to name her Milly! But what is your grandmother’s given name? I’ve tossed around Margeaux, Margot, Madeline… would love other ideas. :)

    • Meredith says...

      My mother in law is Millie, and her name is Amelia :)

    • Alice says...

      In the UK, typically Milly/ Millie is short for either Millicent or (slightly more unusually) Camilla :) Congratulations!

    • Nathalie says...

      I am the maman of a little Margot! And also a native French speaker, so if I can give you a little advice, and if you choose that name, spell it Margot/Margo/Margaux, but not Margeaux, as that would be pronounced “Marjo” in French ;-)

    • Fernanda Abreu says...

      Congratulations! Camille ou Camila? I´m Brazilian and we call girls named Milena as Milly.

    • Sarah says...

      I have a friend with a baby Milly, and her given name is Amelia, which I think is so sweet. Congratulations on your little one!

    • KylieO says...

      My friend’s little girl is called Emilia, and they call her Millie. So pretty!

  28. Elise says...

    Oh my. Just echoing all the love for Lulu. What an amazing woman.

  29. Nina says...

    I’ve been going through a rough time and these thoughts and beautiful pictures really gave me a lift. Thank you for that, and for the upcoming article about the house.
    I would also be interested in reading more about Lulu’s take on
    – Day-to-day life in a (such a beautiful) rural setting, both the upsides and downsides. I’m considering moving to the country at some point.
    – (Further) reflections on aging

    • Nina says...

      PS. As a white woman of European descent, it’s easy for me to find comfort in an article and setting like this one. Maybe there could be additional articles about wise older women from various cultures and places who have words of wisdom and comfort on getting older, and how they relate to the place around them.

  30. SB says...

    Thank you for sharing your aunt’s wisdom! I’m lucky enough to have a million aunts – well, closer to 15 (too many to bother sitting down to count!) I should borrow COJ questions to ask them, I’m sure I’d learn a lot.

  31. angela says...

    I think Miss Lulu is giving CoJ the final hint, it’s time to interview Yoga with Adriene for a beauty uniform……

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!!! we were thinking the same thing! caroline is reaching out to her :)

    • Fernanda Abreu says...

      Yes, please!!!!

  32. Kristyn says...

    She is a true gem! Her outlook is so warm and so very inspiring. You are really lucky to have her!

  33. Laura says...

    Lulu reminds me of Jane Goodall! Perfection!

  34. Divya says...

    Same here =)

  35. Jennifer says...

    Does Aunt Lulu have an instagram account? Please say yes!

    I would love to follow her! :)

    And I echo all the other commenters to please feature her more -especially her daily life in England. Swoon!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she doesn’t have an instagram account, but i’d love to post more about her:)

    • Jennifer says...

      Darn on instagram – maybe she wants to start one! LOL

      Hopefully she is reading all these wonderful comments – people LOVE her!

      Maybe she needs her own monthly (weekly?? LOL) column!

    • A says...

      I honestly believe part of the reason Lulu, or maybe just women of Lulu’s generation, are able to be so relaxed and body positive and non-anxious in outlook is BECAUSE they don’t have Instagram and other types of social media. That’s the first thing I thought when I read this lovely soothing interview – that someone of my generation (30s), even someone with their shit together, would be too beauty obsessed and wound too tight to project the same vibe. I really don’t want her to get Instagram! That feeling it gives you, that you’re being watched, that you have to curate your special moments… it would ruin everything.

  36. Josefine Mabel Garcia says...

    Oh my goodness, this may be my favorite beauty uniform. Your Aunt Lulu just radiates peace, warmth, and so much love. How lovely to have someone like this in your family.

  37. Lauren E. says...

    There is so much joy in this interview, it made me happy just to read it. Thank you for this window into Lulu’s world!

  38. ElisaR says...

    I love this follow up on Lulu, thanks for sharing! (and I just put Dior nail show in my cart….)

  39. Julie says...

    I love this so much! What a lovely human! I want to be just like Lulu when I grow up :)

  40. Namie says...

    This should be on a t-shirt: “You work with whatever is out there and try to enjoy it.”

    Thank you Lulu!

  41. Jill says...

    How can we get more Aunt Lulu? Any other premise for another interview, please? She is so wise.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we have a house tour in the works! xoxo

    • Joanna says...

      YES! We need more Lulu and also more Milly!! I always get thrilled when you talk of your Cornwall trips. More more more! This was my favorite in this series yet. #luluisanicon

  42. What a beautiful spirit she has. I’m so glad to have read this today, as I was feeling so anxious about a chronic health condition, mostly minor, that, try as I might, I can’t seem to fix for my daughter. Her reminder to trust and believe that things are good are a balm for my heart. Thank you so much for sharing her with us!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      sending love to you and your daughter, debora!

  43. Megan says...

    Lulu, I love you.

  44. Jess says...

    Well, I want to be friends with Lulu!! She’s such a delight!

    • Erica says...

      same!!

  45. Gayle says...

    What a beautiful way to live life to the fullest. For those of us who have made many trips around the sun, her wisdom is wisdom that has come from living a full life – not a perfect life a full life. Thank you for including women like your beautiful aunt and mom in the beauty uniforms.

  46. Anne EB says...

    That tea mug is so wonderful! Would Lulu share who made it?!

  47. Ginny says...

    This was so delightful. I felt absolutely refreshed and so inspired by her life, thanks for sharing!

  48. Amy H says...

    OK here come the lunch hour COJ tears…! Your Beauty Uniforms are so awesome and important. There are so many different types of beautiful that have nothing to do with contouring or lash extensions. I’m so glad this column exists and I hope young women are following along!

  49. Kate Schwass says...

    Ok, well, I love her!!!!

  50. I’m a Londoner, living in NYC and haven’t heard the phase ‘bless your cotton socks’ in so long! Put a huge smile on my face!

    • SB says...

      I’m so curious about this cute idiom – is it because wool socks are better?

  51. Colette says...

    Thank you for cultivating a community of kindness and acceptance, Joanna. I believe it runs in the family! How powerful that Lulu’s ‘beauty uniform’ isn’t something that can be bought or taken off at the end of the day. She reminds me of my grandmother. And what a beautiful thing to share in a collective exhale with your readership. As many have already commented, I needed this yesterday, today and I imagine in the days and months to come. Thank you!

  52. Loved this! She’s so charming and ebullient and wise! This particularly I loved: “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.”

  53. Olivia says...

    The best beauty uniform yet!

  54. Anne says...

    I needed this today. I’ve been blue for no particular reason, and this really lifted me up. Lulu is a treasure, and I hope to be as sunny as she is. She seems to have a lovely relationship with Milly as well (the carrot soup cracked me up) and how nice it is to be able to spend that time together.

    I absolutely adored that in all of Lulu’s pictures, she has bangs/fringe. MY HEART.

    Lulu is goals.

    • Adley says...

      ditto

  55. Stephanie says...

    What a special woman, absolutely loved this one!

  56. Mj says...

    This is just so so good!! She is lovely! And I’d love to know more about her ginger cake :)

  57. lisa says...

    LOVE LOVE LOVE her philosophy and inner beauty, I cannot love this enough!

  58. Reading this felt like basking in a patch of sunlight. Thank you.

  59. THIS is exactly how I want to be!!! I love her nature and encouragement to make joy out of whatever is in front of you. Also, that house! so cozy. Thank you for sharing!!

  60. Winter Blue says...

    This is my favourite beauty uniform! Lulu you are beautiful inside and out. So inspiring. Thanks Joanna.

  61. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! goals goals goals. I’m 49 and menopause is kicking my ass, along with bladder prolapse. when I read about how active she is, I thought GOALZ FOR REAL.

  62. Maria says...

    What a lovely post. I just wanted to note that because of this post, I JUST realized that Cornish Hens are from this region of the world. *lightbulb moment*

  63. Kel says...

    How blessed are you to have women like Lulu in your family? She’s wonderful.

  64. Elizabeth says...

    Hands down my favorite beaut-iform to date. Thank you, Lulu!

  65. Rebecca Biscocho says...

    I love her.

  66. Isn’t she the most precious ever?? I want to be her when I grow up. Scratch that – I want to be her now :)

  67. Janey says...

    This was an utter joy to read. The world needs a lot more Lulus! Her outlook on life is so refreshing. Also I really really hope I have someone like her in my life to care for me when I am Milly’s age. She is so very lucky.

  68. Emily says...

    Those Goddards have strong genes. Your eldest uncle looks so much like Toby. I look at your faces every day, Joanna, so I am bound to see these things. ;)

  69. What a wonderful post! I loved the shout out to Yoga with Adriene. I’m 40 and have been going grey for ages and just last year decided to stop using henna….let’s see how long it lasts.

  70. Caitlyn says...

    Wow that last sentiment really got me. Thank you Lulu!

  71. Brittni says...

    What a special lady. This was such a treat to read.

  72. Karen says...

    This was so lovely. I want to be like your aunt.

  73. Liz says...

    This was SO lovely. Is there a carrot soup recipe someone is willing to share? I am now craving some!

  74. Liz says...

    “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.”

    Amazing. I want this hung up in my house.

  75. janine says...

    Wow!! Beautiful inside and out. I love the ring she’s wearing in the closeup of her drinking tea. I wonder where it’s from… it looks similar to some of the Catbird rings I’ve seen, but perhaps it’s vintage…

  76. Heather says...

    Whenever you post Cornwall photos, my heart actually hurts. I really feel that I need to go there some day!

  77. Aunt Lulu is my new role model.

  78. Bean's Mom says...

    Where are her boots from in the second to last picture? They look so stylish!

  79. Oh my, Lulu is a marvel! Thank you for sharing her personality.
    I loved all of the photos of her and her sweet mother.
    And I was thrilled to see the photo of her with the darling handmade mug! As a potter, I know the joy of using the handmade daily.
    I will try to emulate Lulu’s sunny view on life. she is an inspiration.

  80. Laura C says...

    I like to keep a google doc of quotes I find throughout the day & this absolutely made the list:
    “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.”

    Such a lovely reminder to be content with exactly where I am. Thanks Lulu!

  81. we need more aunt lulu’s wisdom! i feel wonderful from having read this. thank you for sharing her with us.

  82. Mara says...

    I absolutely loved this! It’s a reminder too of something I’ve been wanting to comment on and suggest for quite some time — interview/Q&A-format pieces with women who pick up from the U.S. and move abroad. I think so many of us could identify with these, whether we’re making the move, have wanderlust, and/or are curious about other cultures and the beautiful things that can happen when we immerse ourselves in new experiences!

    • Joanna says...

      You definitely need to read the full Motherhood around the World series. Search the backlog. It’s one of my favorite parts of this blog and I’m longing for more editions of it this summer

  83. Rachel Adrianna says...

    I love that everyone seems to call your grandmother by her (sweet, decidedly) British name! Is that a tradition in your family or a special thing with Milly?

  84. celeste says...

    This is inspiring me to have a better attitude. Thanks.

  85. Christine A Severs says...

    she’s absolutely beautiful!! thanks for sharing.

  86. Malory says...

    Absolutely in love with her!

  87. Jenna says...

    I can see why you love this place so much. It looks like absolute heaven! I always wonder what it must be like to live in a town like that, and just get to be surrounded by all the beauty and history every day. Obviously if the women are like Aunt Lulu and Milly, it must be a very magical existence indeed! Buying a one-way ticket, asap! haha.

  88. Heather says...

    I loved this post so much. The whole thing set off a tidal wave of nostalgia for my rural New York State childhood in the late 80s/early 90s, when my aesthetic was molded by Martha Stewart Living magazine, British TV shows like All Creatures Great and Small, and whatever I saw in the newspaper. I would pore over Clinique ads (free gift with purchase!) in the JCPenney mailer and imagine someday being a glamorous woman who bought fancy makeup at a department store counter. I saved up my allowance to buy Crabtree & Evelyn Summer Hill products at a little gift shop in Maine where we went on vacation each summer. And I watched many Jane Austen adaptations where they’d have tea and cake in the afternoon. I still find that idea very appealing.

    • Danielle says...

      Replace upstate NY with Ohio and this was so me! In addition to everything else my dad was born in England so the references all held extra meaning. Sometimes I received packages from my auntie in England filled with tea and lavender soap and Cadbury flakes.

      Nothing can compare to the original but I’m excited to see the new All Creatures!

    • Heather says...

      There’s going to be a new All Creatures?! This is amazing news! I named my son Calum after Calum Buchanan from the original series.
      P.S. Those packages from your aunt sound like heaven.

  89. tina says...

    I just finished reading “The Shell Seekers” by Rosemonde Pilcher again for about the 100th time and Aunt Lulu made me feel like I was right back in the book! Your Aunt Lulu is a beautiful gem. Thanks for sharing her and her beauty uniform with us.

    • Danielle says...

      This made me think of Rosemunde Pilcher too! Shell Seekers was one of my grandmother’s favorite books and I read it with her one summer. Years ago Real Simple magazine profiled Rosemunde Pilcher’s daughter Pippa Imrie. Beauty Uniform reminds me so much of their old format. I loved her profile and read it over and over (Holy smokes it was published 19 years ago!). In looking for the old article to link here I discovered that Pilcher and my grandmother passed away on the same day this year. I should probably re-read Shell Seekers this summer.

    • Lisa says...

      One of my favorite books and favorite authors! There is nothing so comforting as reading or rereading a Rosamunde Pilcher novel :)

  90. Christina says...

    Lulu is darling, and what a special legacy you just provided for your family. To have these beautiful professional photos of her and Milly’s day-to-day life together, and to have these words from her captured for always…. you should be endlessly proud, Joanna!

  91. Erica says...

    This is the sweetest interview! Thanks for the smile :)

  92. Rusty says...

    I have nevervhad an aunt. To have one such as Lulu….sooo lucky!
    The way she’s looking at Milly in that one photo; her love for her mother is right there in that look. Oh! :)

  93. Elizabeth R. says...

    She must not have had too many laugh lines 40 years ago as she barely has any now. She looks so young and beautiful. Hope her feelings weren’t hurt by that comment. She seems more than just ‘cute’, she seems wise and even magical. Also, “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.” is one of the loveliest, truest things I have ever read. It is now my personal mantra. I want everybody to know it. And the pictures and her lifestyle warm my heart and soul. This is for sure my favorite beauty uniform; but it is probably my favorite post on this site, full stop.

  94. Kate says...

    I <3 Lulu! She said some wise words that we can all live by. I tend to get caught up in the smallest issues and what she said rang true: the sun coming up and going down, take the changes as they come. Thank you for sharing.

  95. Sarah says...

    Joanna, I can’t help but think how lucky you are to interview your Aunt Lulu (and your mom, earlier!) for this. I remember a post from years ago about asking your parents questions, almost interviewing them, as we get stuck in sharing the day-to-day but never really hear them articulate their philosophies on this or that– and there’s so much wisdom to be had. This has inspired me to ask my mom some of these beauty uniform questions! I think I might go through some old posts and compile a list :)

  96. Emily says...

    The sweet photo of Lulu holding her mother’s face so lovingly brought tears to my eyes. Family is so precious — thanks for letting us in to your family for a moment. : )

  97. Jen Collins says...

    Just beautiful, her and her whole vibe. Lovely.

  98. Alexa says...

    ‘This too shall pass’!
    When my mom was a little girl she saw that on a cornerstone of a building and it stuck with her for life. When I was a kid dealing with the most recent childhood issue, she’d always reassure me with ‘This too shall pass’. Now that I’m an adult I look at it as not only will the bad moments in life pass; you’ll get through it. But that the good times will pass too; be in the moment and enjoy life.

    I don’t have any tattoos, but if I ever get one, it will be this mantra.

  99. Kristin Longenecker says...

    Just another Lulu fan here! Let’s all visit Cornwall and Aunt Lulu can host us for a big sleepover!

    • Sydni Jackson says...

      YES!

  100. Alyssa says...

    First of all, I don’t normally comment on people’s looks but Lulu has to be one of the most beautiful women I’ve seen. Her kindness and joy really shine through!
    Second of all.. I wish I had a Lulu in my life (maybe I can be my own Lulu?!). I am going to bookmark this and come back to it often. Thank you for sharing your wonderful Auntie with us, Joanna.

  101. Kate says...

    “…but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

    Roald Dahl

  102. JB says...

    Knowing nothing really of how she came to have this refreshing perspective on life, Lulu needs to write a book stat. I would gobble it up!

  103. Kasia says...

    Oh, aunt Lulu is PHENOMENAL. I do not always write such things – but SHE IS. I love her attitude towards anything. With time, I want to be the same. I’ve already grown my hair grey ;) Now I’m going to start Yoga with Adriene, and practice the “it too shall pass” mantra. And grow carrots. All the best to your whole family, Joanna.

  104. Mary says...

    Beautiful! Thank you for this – what a wonderful role model for acceptance, love (for herself, her family and her neighbors) and peace. She resonates good vibes.

  105. talia says...

    This is undoubtedly my favorite My Beauty Uniform ever. What a charming, soulful, wise woman. LOVE!

  106. Ellie says...

    I feel like I just had a cup of tea with Aunt Lulu. I’d love to be like her when I’m her age!

  107. Sandra Seidel says...

    Simply beautiful in so many ways! My hair started turning grey when I was in my early 30s & I had so many comments like “Such a young face!” I never colored it & now my 31 year old son jokes that he knows the grey is coming. Grey is one of my favorite colors : )
    I especially loved the adding 20 minutes onto her errands… wouldn’t it be grand if we all were blessed with sweet conversations & stories!

  108. Nicole says...

    Long, long time reader here but today, for the first time, I felt the strong need to comment. I think everyone needs Lulu in their lives. I found myself nodding to everything she said. I am not like her at all, but it is what I aspire to be.

  109. Megan says...

    Your aunt is GOALS! And Yoga with Adriene is life. CHANGING! Do check her out.

  110. Ashley says...

    Can you please feature your Aunt more on the blog? Maybe a house tour as others have mentioned, lifestyle hacks, recipes, etc. Her soul radiates happiness, contentment and a sense of peace that we could all use more of everyday :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! we have their house tour coming up! :)

    • Yes!!!! I was so taken by the shot of their sitting room! Want to see more!!!

  111. EliseB says...

    Please, more Aunt LuLu. Maybe a word a day, That would set the tone for the day with kindness. Another thought: Plan the CoJ Cornwall Trip. Simple, quiet, walking, reflection. I will sign up right now!

    • Deb says...

      Or, an app with short videos of her saying lovely things for when you’re having a bad day. I would absolutely pay for it!

  112. Lillie says...

    OK – WOW!! First, the little guy all the way to the back of the 6 kids – you look just like him. Also, she grows sweet peas!! And that needlepoint!!! And that mantra!!! I love everything about this post.

  113. Olivia says...

    Thank you for including this perspective. I usually read beauty uniforms posts hoping to learn something that will help me (someone with not much beauty sense and a passel of kids/ work) to make the best of what I’ve got. I feel a sense of community in them, because other women’s perspective on beauty often includes the same anxieties I’ve had about my body, the search for magic potions, the long list of things to do to look and feel okay. But Lulu! It felt like she took my hand and said it’s also okay not to bother with all of that. Next time I want to feel beautiful I’ll try making tea and cake and calling someone “darling”!

    • Sam says...

      This brought tears to my eyes. I whole heartedly agree!

  114. Ainslie Campbell says...

    wish we could have a house tour of milly’s cornwall cottage!!!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, coming up! including her light purple bedroom!

  115. Scarlett says...

    Lulu! What a gem. She seems so sweet. I want to be like her when I grow up.

  116. Rosie says...

    I rarely comment on any post and can safely say I have never commented on a beauty post but reading this was just lovely. Thank you so much for sharing your aunt with us in this way.

  117. Kylie says...

    I loved this Beauty Uniform just as much (and for the same reasons) as all of your other commentators. Your Aunty Lulu doesn’t need a beauty “uniform” she is beautiful without one.

  118. Rebecca says...

    Lulu is the epitome of beautiful and this is by far the best beauty uniform post to date. If beauty truly is found on the inside, then Lulu has achieved that a million times over. She exudes love, kindness, zest for life, and adventure. I know I will revisit this post over and over again.

  119. Kathy says...

    This was simply lovely to read. The picture of Milly and LuLu so beautiful and tender.

  120. Melissa says...

    I absolutely love this! I wish I were related to your Aunt Lulu- she is a beautiful soul- full of great wisdom and grace. I’m going to bookmark this page and read it over and over again.

  121. Paloma says...

    I also do “Yoga with Adriene” and I love it/her!! Cup of Jo could interview her sometime or do her Beauty Uniform, it would be super!!!

  122. Meg says...

    Lulu is so inspiring in so many ways. Thank you for sharing her with us!

  123. Lillie says...

    Definitely not the only one who wants to move in with them. Guess I’m the only one who wants the carrot soup recipe?

    • Lisa says...

      You’re not alone! I would love to have that recipe too. :)

  124. Jasna says...

    Oh my gosh, what a treat it was to wake up to this!! I loved it so much, literally felt refreshed after reading it! Joanna, I cannot thank you enough for the content you are creating, I’ve grown so much personally thanks to your blog (I’ve been reading it since Toby was little and I am same age as you). I cherish this space so much and you are a household name at my home :-). To think that I am able to read all this and that you are giving it to us for free – seriously, you are a saint! Cannot find the right words to say how much I am thankful. Kisses from Europe!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      what a lovely note, thank you so much, jasna!

    • Willow says...

      I completely agree. My husband always teases me about ‘my New York friend’ as I so frequently refer to something I’ve read on Cup of Jo! Thank you, Joanna!

  125. Jessica Melindy says...

    She reminds me of my Aunt Ruth and it almost brings tears to my eyes. You are so lucky to have her in your life! Also, I really love the story about Granny (Milly) and the carrot soup. So funny and dear.

  126. Andrea E says...

    Oh Lulu! This made my heart happy! Recipe for the carrot soup pretty please?

  127. Dee says...

    This is the most charming Beauty Uniform ever. Makes me want to take tea everyday and somehow (?!) speak with an English accent :) Love love love her approach to go with the natural flow of life graciously.

  128. Ali says...

    I LOVE that idea of loving your body the most when it is enabling you to do the things you want to do. YES! Also, I’m inspired to try swimming in in cold water now. Lulu is amazing!

  129. Em says...

    So wonderful and wise! What a lovely morning read.

  130. SS says...

    Just like we need to eat more ‘real’ food, we need to have more ‘real’ people in our lives. Your Aunt Lulu seems ‘real’ inside and out! You are lucky to have such a lovely aunt.

  131. Kay says...

    Lulu is amazing, her outlook on life and everything about her radiates happiness. I would love to have Lulu for a friend, or even to be looked after by her. It is so lovely to read a post that is just about goodness and kindness.

  132. isavoyage says...

    Thank you!
    I love that what makes your aunt Lulu feel beautiful is doing things, feeling alive, strong, capable, free.
    Suddenly, i feel so much better.
    It’s so easy (and exhausting!) to forget who we are and spend our lives trying to be someone else.
    Thanks to Lulu, i’m inching a little towards who i am today.

  133. emily c says...

    oh, joanna, i have been reading you forever, but this has to be one of my favorites. i am a bit older than your aunt, my hair is all all grey/white now, and i had to laugh when she said she just uses a clinique powder blush. me too. ladies, it’s a general thing. thank you for always expanding our ideas of what is beautiful. xoxo

  134. I loved reading this. It’s probably the first time I am reading a whole “beauty uniform”-post as I felt like you aunty “I like to look clean and presentable, but I don’t think about beauty too much.”
    And her mantra. I love it! It reminds me of the poem by Erich Fried “What it is”. I often have to remind myself “It is what it is, says love”.

    • Josephine Williams says...

      I looked up that poem after reading your comment. It’s beautiful. Thank you!

  135. Claire says...

    I felt my shoulders drop reading this.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      <3

  136. Kristine says...

    Joanna, thank you for your stories about Cornwall. I grew up spending my summers in Europe with grandparents just as you did. Have you thought about talking up a summer residence in Cornwall yourself so that your boys can have extended time living (not just visiting) England?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we haven’t but after reading your comment, i am thinking that could be so wonderful!

  137. Tilly says...

    Reading this was the perfect start to my day! Thanks very much to your aunt for sharing; her answers really give pause for thought. I LOVE the old photos – the pints in the background, the guys looking on…, and the beautiful photo of all the siblings. But I am SO curious: how many of them ended up in the States? And does Lulu see herself eventually going back? It’s hard to imagine her anywhere but in that village! Definitely my favourite Beauty Uniform.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you for your note! two of the six came to the US: my dad, who came to the detroit suburbs because he worked in the automotive industry, and my aunt lulu because she got married to an american. they lived in brussels and then pennsylvania and had two sweet boys and a horse. when their boys were grown, they got divorced and my aunt lived with a female friend in pennsylvania after that. then a couple years ago she moved to help with my grandmother. lulu loved england (all her siblings do) and i’m pretty sure she’ll stay there. my other aunts also live in england, and my uncle, the youngest of the six, now lives in mallorca.

    • Tilly says...

      Ha, thank you for satisfying my curiosity, Joanna!! As someone from Ireland now settled and raising a family in another country, I’m always intrigued by the stories of other families in similar situations. The bond that you have with England and your family there warms my heart!

  138. What a vessel of wisdom your aunt is! I also love that your line of work gave you an excuse to interview a relative on their perspective on life. We should all take a page from your book and start finding out what makes our family members (especially older generations) tick. Very inspiring.

  139. Sequoia says...

    We need a monthly Aunt Lulu column. She can talk about what ever she’d like and we’ll all come and read it and be better for it!

    • Hilary says...

      I second this! “Letters from Lulu” needs to be a thing.

    • Sydni Jackson says...

      Yes yes yes

  140. MM says...

    I want to be just like her when I grow up!

  141. Sarah says...

    Loved this. She reminds me of my own mother, and I feel very lucky to say that.

    • Meghan says...

      Same! I actually shared this article with my mom, bc it felt so relatable to BOTH myself at 33 and to my mom at 70! Can’t wait to hear more from Lulu! Her wisdom is soothing.

  142. Kalli says...

    She’s wonderful!

  143. Jo says...

    The most beautiful inspiring beauty post ever. It moved me to tears, I think I will print it out and stick it to the bathroom mirror.
    This reminds me of a passage in a book I read (the author is afonso cruz, a brilliant portuguese contemporary written) in which there is a dialogue between characters and one says something like “imagine you have your clothes hanging outside to dry, if it starts raining you’re simply taking them inside, you’re not going to be mad at the weather, shouting and throwing punches in the air. But if the clothes get wet because a friend, passing by, throws water on them, you’ll be mad at your friend, you might punch them and shout at them. We should just live life as if all events are just rain that fell on your clothes.”
    The writting on the book is much more poetic and heartfelt, but this is the idea: just breathe and carry on, this too shall pass, be wise to know what you should fight for and what you should just accept.

  144. Jana Chrásková says...

    This is my most favorite interview of all. Thank you so much. And please say a big Hello and Thank you to your wonderful aunt.

  145. Jeannie says...

    I hope to be JUST like Lulu, fun and graceful, now and as I age! <3 This interview was moving to read, particularly about caring for her mom. Thank you so much for sharing her vibrant life spirit. I, too, love my body just for the fact that it can DO so many things for me.

  146. Ashley says...

    Ok she is amazing. I love her. I could sit and listen to her all day. I know who I want to be when I grow up.

  147. Christie says...

    Oh my gosh, her gorgeous silver hair!! #goals

    I love this – her approach to beauty and wanting her body to be strong is so inspiring.

  148. Anna says...

    All the women in your family seem so sweet and lovely! In such a complicated world, Aunt Lulu’s serene and simple outlook is so comforting. I tho. I’ll come back to this Beauty Uniform often.

  149. Steph Gilman says...

    “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.” What a delight your aunt is. This made my soul all warm

  150. Kerry says...

    Thank you for this! It was exactly what I needed!