Q&A with Jessica Godfrey, Beauty Director at ELLE

by Rayna van Aalst January 15, 2016

Q&A with Jessica Godfrey, Beauty Director at ELLE

Jessica Godrey Elle

Q) What is your must-have in the field of decorative cosmetics?

Nail polish. My favourite shade is dark red for winter and coral pink for summer.

Q) Lately more people are aware of the impact of conventional makeup on health. Do you notice a big difference in demand and supply in comparison with previous years? Do you personally find it important to use natural products?

There is definitely a difference in comparison to a couple of years ago. Thanks to web shops as Reina Organics, Pure Beauty Boutique and C. Cosmetics & Care the supply has increased and information has become more accessible. I’m very much aware of what I put on my skin just like I feel the urge to know what it is that I am eating.

Q) I moved to the Netherlands a little over a year ago and at times I still struggle with the (very) limited choices here. How do you reconcile working in the beauty industry with the general lack of interest here? Do you see this changing in the future? What do you do when you cannot get a product from here (for example, Sunday Riley)?

In my opinion there certainly is an interest for beauty products. This may not seem so because the average Dutch woman wears little makeup and jumps on her bike with wet hair but there are also many women who spend lots of time, effort and money on their appearance. The popularity of treatments such as gel manicure and blow-dry is growing and many beauty products are sold each day, for example at the newly opened Beauty World in the Bijenkorf Amsterdam. If something is not for sale in the Netherlands I search for an international web shop that ships it (such as Net-a-Porter or Cult Beauty in the case of Sunday Riley).

Q) How has magazine journalism changed since the beginning of your career? What advice would you give to aspiring magazine journalists today?

Compared to a decade ago, fixed teams have become smaller and nowadays the focus is on multimedia not only print publications. My advice: find a great internship, be curious and work hard.

Q) What is your favourite ‘green’ beauty product?

Deep Hydrating Serum by Josh Rosebrook Skin and Hair Care. It’s an amazing oil that I use in combination with the Hydrating Accelerator spray. For my work I get to test all kinds of great products but this one remains my favourite.

Q) What do you consider the best way to avoid your stressful life for a night?

A walk on the beach at Zandvoort or Bergen aan Zee followed by dinner at Tijn Akersloot or SB Noord.

Q) Do you follow beauty trends?

Definitely. It’s an important part of my work. That doesn’t mean I personally follow trends. For example, I would not bleach my eyebrows or wear bright blue eyeshadow.

Q) What's on your holiday wish list?

Cape Town is at the top of my bucket list.

Q) What song makes sure you wanna dance?

Billie Jean by Michael Jackson.

Q) What’s your greatest indulgence?

Travelling: plane tickets and hotels.

Q) What was your dream job as a child and how did you discover that you wanted to be a beauty director?

As a child I flipped through my parents’ magazines and dreamed of a job at one. During my internship at ELLE and ELLEgirl I became fascinated by the beauty editors and all the products they got sent.

Q) If you were not a beauty editor, what would you like to be?

Travel editor.

Q) What is your favourite destination?

Ideally I like to discover as many new places as possible but Mallorca and Ibiza are two favourites that I go to every year.

Q) Name one thing that every woman should have in her beauty closet?

A good tweezer from Tweezerman.

Q) What is the biggest beauty mistake women make? And what is your biggest beauty mistake?

Every makeup artist I interview will answer: foundation in the wrong hue. It really is difficult to find a match therefore I always ask for help in a shop. My personal mistake is that I want my skin to look as flawless as that of a (Photoshopped) model. I know it’s an illusion but I still long for it.

Q) Who do you ask for advice?

For hair advice my hairdresser Bert at Meraki, for skin advice my beautician Joelle and for all other guidance: my loved ones.

Q) How important is your appearance?

Inner and outer beauty are equally important to me. No matter what, if I am not happy I look terrible.

Q) What is the favourite part of your job? And what the most difficult part?

What I like most is the variety: writing, interviewing, coming up with creative ideas, travelling and meeting new people. The hardest part is dealing with deadlines.

Q) Where are you looking forward to most in 2016?

The beginning: spending New Year’s Eve in Barcelona with my boyfriend.

The winner of our Q&A giveaway with Jessica is Alex (email: ai***@***.edu). Please send us an message from the email with which you entered the giveaway so we can send you your Reina Organics gift card. The three winners of an February issue of ELLE are: carlynadriana (Instagram), Lindy de Jong and Sandra de Vos. Please send us an message from the email with which you entered the giveaway letting us know to which address we should ship your ELLE. For Instagram winning entries, please send us a DM from your Instagram account.

xo Rayna

Photo credit: Anne Timmer

Rayna van Aalst
Rayna van Aalst


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