Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Free Gift with Purchase: My Improbable Career in Magazines and Makeup Paperback – May 22, 2007

3.7 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$9.00 $0.01

Popular & highly-rated in Biographies & Memoirs
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The beauty editor of Lucky magazine, Godfrey-June endears herself to readers with her admission that even she—a woman who receives "between fifty and two hundred products a day"—has the occasional bad hair day, the kind that "takes over and infects your entire being, moving quickly from your hair to your skin to your expression to your entire demeanor." Her memoir is fun, instructive and dishy (she used to work at Elle and recounts all manner of office brouhahas involving such personalities as the French creative director she calls "The Playboy," and the American editor-in-chief, dubbed "Above the Fray"). Certain readers will be enthralled by a clued-in woman demystifying what is for many an impervious world: this is what really works, and this is what's bunkum. But other snippets—Godfrey-June's thoughts on Chanel (buy one piece at full price and that's it, forever) and the Victoria's Secret fashion show (akin to a Siegfried and Roy performance), for instance—are less compelling. What saves the memoir from devolving into a series of pointless anecdotes is her constant awareness that her job is "impossible to take seriously." Some people devote their lives to finding a cure for cancer, but "Me, I ponder lipstick." (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The book is full of insider jokes (which Godfrey-June shares) and multiple mentions of fashion celebrities such as Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford. It is also loaded with almost--every-page sidebars that reveal the truth about big-night makeup, positive spa outcomes, and best haircuts, among a passel of beauty tips and hints. Through it all, our faithful guide, beauty editor of Lucky^Bmagazine, dispenses humorous information about her career, the fashion business, pregnancy, magazines' fashion closets, and the always-present battle against encroaching age. Much of her captivating prose is laugh-out-loud funny (the Fifi Awards story, for one) as well as eminently practical (think about bestowing a basket of beauty products on health-care caregivers). Who could argue against the statement that perfume is "the beauty equivalent of mystery meat"? Or that models are simply genetic freaks? A feel-good, tell-the-truth, behind-the-scenes look at the fashion business. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (May 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307237494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307237491
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,486,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Meg C. Halverson on April 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Jean Godfrey-June offers beauty advice that real women (even, gasp, working moms) can benefit from. Her monthly column in Lucky magazine is something I flip to first, with much anticipation, and she manages to cut through the hoo-ha of beauty marketing with both grace and humor. Equally admirable in my book, she makes trenchant observations about the crossover products -- those products one buys for your children or other members of your family that can be re-used for yourself. In this way, her guidance marries the best of the women's magazine ilk (do it cheaper or more efficiently) with the heady fashion forward tone of Lucky. I love going to Target with her column in hand, and buying 60% of what appears in any given month. And when she does reccomend a pricier item, I have full confidence that it will not disappoint. I think it's entirely possible that she is beauty's fairy godmother for every woman (and baby, teen, and man, to boot).
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
If you liked "The Devil Wears Prada," the book or the movie, you will love this book. It's like a non-fiction version of the same story -- nice girl works at huge, fancy magazine with stuck-up, crazy people. NOTE, the author is mostly writing about her time at Elle Magazine. I was truly pleased with the level of dish. It almost made me want to dig around the internet for the real identities of these wacky magazine people. I also like how the author, Jean, gave us in the inside story on being a beauty editor -- lots of fancy, but boring, lunches with lots of free products, a whole closet of beauty products at her disposal. But, and she is the first to admit, most of these are hyped-up, useless, French-scientist-touted jars of goop. It's refreshing to have Jean tell the truth but admit to being taken in by the glamour. The other thing I liked is that it sounds like her new employer, Lucky Magazine, is a swell place to work -- which is great since I personally love the magazine and am glad to know that the people behind it are as good as the product. If you are interested in makeup, magazine publishing, then you should read this book. I will just warn you that it starts slowly -- Jean spends a few chapters discussing her youth, and this may not be your cup of tea or resound with you. It'll sound much better in the novel I hope Jean writes!
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Free Gift with Purchase. Athough it might be hard to tell from looking at my wardrobe or make-up, I am a big fan of beauty and fashion magazines, and read almost all of them each month, plus some from Europe. Godfrey-June provides an inside perspective of working for two famous beauty magazines, and of the products and companies that they feature. As you would expect from a established writer, the book is very well written, and although there is some insider gossip, none of it is uber-mean.

Godfrey-Jean intersperses some personal anecdotes along with her work stories, including a hilarious story about how June's mother made June and her sister get pixie cuts when they were young. I thought my mom was the only one!

Free Gift with Purchase is an engaging afternoon read, both for the subject matter and the adept handling by the author.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I love this book which marries the accessibility of a well-written magazine article with the bounce and surprise of a favorite novel. I read it for the story, and also came away with useful beauty tips. I felt a genuine, unanticipated boost in my own self-esteem. Boost? Yes, inspired by Godfrey-June's honest accounts of her own coming-of-age into the world of fashion and media. Who doesn't want to experience the inside of a very popular, fun and chic clique (without having to experience any of the downside of fitting in)? Her hilarious stories allow me to keep my fantasy that no one feels like they fit in or have the perfect body even if it looks so from the outside (ok maybe a couple ego maniacs like the "Playboy" or "Model-Wife").

What did I do after reading? Ran out and bought a bunch of make-up and beauty products, of course.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I fell in love with this book! I rarely get through an entire book but this one was the true exception. Why? Jean Godfrey-June's writing style prevails, foremost, but I found it personally interesting because I have been trying to understand my buyers' habits on eBay. Why would anyone pass up a chance to own a big name brand for a cheap price? Jean knows why. What really works or what really doesn't work is highlighted right throughout this fabulous book. I often found myself reading pages out loud to people because I was so entertain or just shocked. I love her beauty tips and I love her sense of self-contridiction (where and how she lives). I read this before the movie "The Devil Wears Prada" ever came out. If you are interested in fashion journalism or understanding people from a marketing/psychology point of view, I definitely recommend this one to you. This is such a good read for the 30+ gals who are considering using expensive beauty products.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I wanted to read this book in order to both confirm my suspicions that beauty editors - a. really know nothing about skincare and b. to find what working at a magazine is really like (and yes, of course I have read The Devil Wears Prada). I did get lots of inside information about magazines and plenty of gossip as well (if you are a fan of Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New York City" you will want to read the parts about Kelly Bensimon). I do wonder why Godfrey-June felt the need to devote an entire chapter to describing the suburb she lives in and how she is different, yet the same, as everyone there. And if I hear one more time that nursing makes you super skinny after pregnancy I will scream (page 196).

This book to me was a quick and easy and enjoyable read, but it was also chockfull of what I consider inane and unhelpful "advice". For example please turn to page 53 to learn that you need to take all formal wedding photos the day BEFORE your actual wedding. Pray tell - how are you logistically supposed to pull that tip off? And what kind of tip is that anyway? Or see page 163 in the book to learn that you should only use Creme de la Mar (an extraordinarily expensive face cream) on your radiation burns while undergoing cancer treatments. Or to buy nail polishes, lipsticks, lotions, and perfumes to hand out to hospital and nursing home staff in order to bribe them into giving you (or your loved one) better care - see page 35 for that tip.
Read more ›
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews