It’s easy to hate on Gwyneth Paltrow’s philosophy of wellness—in large part because she makes it very, very easy. Some of GP’s more memorable greatest hits include claiming to have popularized yoga, boasting about her two backyard pizza ovens (“a luxury, I know”) and, most notably, her annual Goop Gift Guide—past inclusions have run the gamut from a US$1100 Aquaovo Ruby Water Filter to 18K gold dumbbells (a cool US$125,000) to a single white truffle.
I had these (and other) reservations while visiting the just-opened Goop MRKT this week in Toronto, one of seven incredible-smelling brick-and-mortar outposts across North America dedicated to showcasing a curated selection of the brand’s approved luxury beauty products, luxury decor touches, luxury kitchenware and, of course, Birkenstocks. I still had these reservations when I left, but somewhere in the middle, I tripped the light Goop-tastic on a flurry of endive crudités, effortlessly tasteful mauve drapery, and shelf after shelf of beauty and home products.
But between the ceremonial-grade matcha and $245 plain-white G-Label bodysuits, it was pleasantly shocking to discover that most of the pop-up (open until September 22 in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood) contained fairly accessible merchandise—veering nowhere near jade-egg territory—which is undoubtedly in line with the wellness empire’s recent efforts at mainstreaming. (However, it’s worth noting a CBC report that Health Canada also visited the store on its opening day, and asked Goop to pull two Beautycounter sunscreens that weren’t approved for sale in Canada; in a statement, Goop said that products were “compliant with Canadian regulations” but that the sunscreens were “inadvertently sent to Canada” with U.S. packaging.) Below, a selection of Goop gear worth getting—and what’s worth leaving behind.
Products worth treating yourself to
Necessaire Body Lotion and Body Wash, $35
This well-reviewed unisex clean-skincare line spares hard-to-pronounce ingredients and packs a punch with vitamin and plant-based oils. Bonus: The lotion is fragrance free.
Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask, $86
Permit me a Goopier price point here, but this is hands-down the best mask I have ever tried. Granted, I gleaned this from a free sampler from Sephora, but I would easily go whole hog on the whole thing. Yes, yes, the fruit acids, etc., but this stuff just plain works.
It’s All Good cookbook, $45
Of the 185 recipes designed to “make you look good and feel great,” many of them are very, very delicious—including huevos rancheros, salmon burgers with pickled ginger and “power brownies!”
Goop “The Martini” Emotional Detox Bath Soak, $49
It’s got Himalayan pink salt and chia seed oil, but you should snap up a bag for the name alone.
Eva II Vibrator for Couples, $169
Because good sex is wellness.
Mosser Glass Cake Stand, $116
This is just very pretty and puts cakes front-and-centre—whether yours is gluten-free or not.
Things you will want to buy—but probably can’t justify the $$$
G. Label Agustina Flight Romper in Army, $735
Slipping into this khaki jumpsuit makes it increasingly easy to envision yourself sipping spiked hibiscus tea at a Hamptons clambake. (If only in dreams!)
Vintner’s Daughter Active Treatment Essence, $313
The sister to the line’s wicked-popular Active Botanical Serum, this essence offers micro-exfoliation, hydration, plus firming properties to give you that trademark Gwyneth glow.
Things you should skip
goop by Juice Beauty Exfoliating Instant Facial, $89
According to internet reviews, this is a paradoxically intense yet gentle (and good!) exfoliant. The label recommends you use it a maximum of three times a week, but Gwyneth apparently uses it every single day. Something about this fact is scary, so pass.
A “solid toner” that’s supposed to be “instantly cooling and awakening.” Oh, GP.