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Beauty Session: Emily Giffin

With five bestselling books, and a sixth, Where We Belong, available July 24 on Amazon.com, author Emily Giffin is a modern Jane Austen. Beyond her uncanny ability to turn a fictional heroine into your best friend, the profilic writer also happens to be beauty-obsessed. We were lucky enough to chat with the author about her daily makeup routine, bad haircuts and beauty icons.

Do you consider yourself a beauty freak? How far back does your fascination with beauty products go?

Yes—and I’d say that began as soon as I graduated from law school, got my first job, and was able to afford more than drugstore basics. It is hard to be a true junkie when you’re making five dollar withdrawals at the ATM!

What three skin products do you swear by, and why?

Almay oil-free eye makeup remover pads. I’ve tried many and they are my favorite—effective but gentle.

Sensai hydrachange mask. I actually use the whole Sensai line which is great for sensitive skin like mine.

Clarins UV Plus Protective Day Screen SPF 40. It offers great protection but has a light feel and even acts as a makeup primer.

Any memorable beauty mishaps or phases (for instance, did you ever dye your hair blue, go though a phase where you wore goth eyeliner?)

Yes! A very layered, uneven, disaster of a haircut (from a hungover stylist) while I was living in London. When I realized he smelled like alcohol and had no idea what he was doing, I started to cry in the chair. Other than that, only the usual 80s pitfalls—bad perms, Sun-In that turned my hair orange, and neon blue eye shadow.

Nail art is having a moment. Have you indulged in any crazy designs? Do you want to try it? What is your go-to polish?

When it comes to my fingernails, I never follow trends. It’s been at least a decade since I had colored polish on my fingers. My shape is always round and short. And I usually go with clear polish—or sometimes one coat of Ballet Slippers or Sugar Daddy by Essie. I know—sort of boring. I do follow trends when it comes to toenail polish though. I’m contemplating a peach shade for my book tour to match Where We Belong.

What one beauty product is always, always in your bag?

La Mer lip balm. If I can’t find it in my purse, I panic.

Do you wear makeup everyday? Only for meetings? Even when you're slaving over your keyboard?

It totally runs the gamut. For appearances or book tours or photo shoots, I try to get it professionally done. When I go out at night, I do it myself but pretty much do the works—minus false eyelashes. If I leave the house during the day, I stick to under eye concealer, lip gloss, mascara, and sometimes bronzer. Around the house, I am bare-faced—but not very pretty!

Of your many, many books, what character would you say probably had the highest maintenance beauty plan, and which the lowest?

Darcy (from Something Borrowed and Something Blue) is by far the most high maintenance. Ellen from Love the One You're With is probably the most natural, although most of my characters fall more into the Ellen category.

Your hair color is so pretty. Do you highlight? Do you swear by a certain stylist/colorist?

Thank you! I have been going to Louis Licari since I was a lawyer in New York over 17 years ago. Dana Fiore cuts my hair and gives the best blowouts. I love her.

Who are your beauty icons?

Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, and Jennifer Aniston.

Click through the slideshow to see where you can pick up some of Emily's favorite beauty buys. And order Where We Belong here.

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