Beauty

Godfrey’s Guide

Chic in the Jar, Magic on Skin

Jean Godfrey-June

Jean Godfrey-June is our beauty director, but her enthusiasms are many.

I was once the recipient of a particularly spectacular orchid. I watered it carefully, and its pale, delicate flowers lasted a whole month. Then a second month. I kept watering, gingerly, over the course of six months, and not a single bloom dropped. It’s a miracle, I thought. Then I chanced into another beauty editor’s office: There it was, the same orchid. “You got the same one!” I exclaimed. “Can you believe it? Mine is still flowering, too.”

“Jean,” she said, clearly perplexed and trying to stifle outright laughter. “It’s not an orchid.” I looked at her. “It’s pretend. It’s made of fabric.”

In an eerily similar recent incident, I mistook this fluffy, balm-gel-cream cleanser for a fancy moisturizer, so exquisite was its thick glass jar, faint rose scent, and light whipped texture. I dutifully applied it, just as if it were face cream, mornings and evenings, for several weeks. The pure corporeal delight of dipping into the jar and smoothing it over my face outweighed the sneaking feeling that it perhaps wasn’t sinking in the way I imagined it would. (Skin care should be, above all, super effective and right for your skin. But elements like even just a drop-dead gorgeous jar can completely overwhelm a person.)

I loved the way the heavy, cut-glass jar looked, and the chic typeface on its emerald label. One day, ignoring its not-exactly-face-cream feel and exalting once again in the design, I read the (large) letters on the label that I’d somehow missed. “Face Bath,” it proclaimed.

Face Bath? Face Bath. I took it into the shower and fluffed it over my face, massaged it in, and rinsed it away. Heaven. The scent bloomed up in the warm water, the gel-cream caressed my face like a rose petal, and the mild fruit extracts left my face soft and smooth. Never has there been a face wash that indulges the senses more completely and cleanses more brilliantly and thoroughly.

I of course had to try the actual face cream. Had founder Fatma Shaheen (one of the world’s top facialists, based in London) just happened to land on the most amazing cleanser formula, or was she a that-level genius in other arenas?

At last the Alpine Rose Glow arrived, in a smaller but still satisfyingly chunky glass bottle. It is also a whipped, delicate emulsion involving alpine rose, plant-cell extracts, mild acids, and powerful antioxidants—but this time a rich, plumping, dewifying moisturizer that sinks into skin like dream.

The combined results—I use both in the evening, sometimes working in the cleanser with a Clarisonic—are smooth, soft skin that stays moisturized seemingly indefinitely. In conjunction with my once-a-week peel pad obsession, the glow, the softness, the plumped-with-hydration-ness, and the all-around good feeling are pretty incredible. (On Sunday nights, I use the cleanser, then swipe on a pad and go to sleep. The glow lasts through the week, but Monday mornings are always the best.) My skin looks amazing, and my bathroom sink is undeniably more glamorous, too.

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