Gwyneth Paltrow on natural beauty, nontoxic lube and beauty tips from her mom

We sat down with the Queen of Goop.

Photo, George Pimentel.

Photo, George Pimentel.


We first got to know Gwyneth Paltrow when she charmed us in films like Shakespeare in Love and The Royal Tenenbaums. Then she launched a lifestyle newsletter called Goop, which later turned into the curated website and online store it is today. She’s hosted a food and travel show with Mario Batali and released three cookbooks (the latest, It’s All Easy, came out this past spring). Her latest gig? Creative Director of Makeup for California-based organic skincare and cosmetics brand Juice Beauty. The first cosmetics line for Juice Beauty, Phyto-Pigments Color (available exclusively at Holt Renfrew), features 68 products ranging from an illuminating primer to a volumizing mascara to four different types of lip products, all of which derive colour from plant pigments rather than artificial dyes. We sat down with Gwyneth to talk about her involvement with the new line (“everything from the feel, to the pigments, to the packaging and logo”) and why it’s so important that we know what we’re putting on our skin.

Why Juice Beauty? You’re clearly a fan, selling some products in the Clean Beauty Shop on, and this year you launched the six-product Goop skincare line with them. Now you’re the Creative Director of Makeup. What is it about the brand?

We were introduced to Juice Beauty’s founder Karen Behnke by a mutual investor —an early investor of Goop and also of Juice — because we were talking about moving into skincare [at Goop]. Karen has been in the space for 11 years and has cracked a lot of the difficult problems in terms of the research and development, and how do you stabilize these all-natural, organic formulas, so it was an amazing opportunity for us at Goop to get to work with a company that was so far down the line. And I saw a huge opportunity in being the creative director for the makeup at Juice because, as someone who is very engaged in the all-natural, nontoxic movement, I could never really find makeup that had the efficacy of the big brands. I thought that together we could create a really beautiful, luxurious brand with great efficacy — so that’s what we set out to do.

You’ve said that you have become more of a makeup lover as of late — why do you think this is?

I’ve always worn tons of makeup for work, but I think as you get older you just need a little more help. I definitely wear more makeup now, just in my daily life or going to the office, than I did 10 years ago. Once you turn 40 you’re like, maybe I need a little mascara, or a little concealer.

Your daughter Apple loves makeup — did that play a part in your developing good-for-you cosmetics?

Yes, of course. It was really at her birth that I started to think about [these things], like what is in this Bonpoint baby perfume? She brought this consciousness with her, about ingredients and what we’re putting on our babies and our skin and ourselves. There’s such a lack of regulation. But since there doesn’t seem to be much movement towards governments protecting us, we can start by creating a product that we know is safe, that we feel good about and we can start to change consumer behaviour in that way.

You’ve named the eight Liquid Lip shades after cherished women in your life — your daughter, Apple, your mom, Blythe, your friends Chelsea [Handler] and Drew [Barrymore] — why this product in particular?

The Liquid Lips are really vibrant, really easy to wear and great for every age — a Liquid Lip is as good for a little girl messing around and playing with lip gloss as it is for my mom. It’s just a really universal product, very feminine, and it was really fun to name them after these women that I adore.

In Goop’s sex issue you talked about how an episode of Grace and Frankie prompted your team to look into the ingredients in lube and to stock your Clean Beauty Shop with a natural version. What other products out there, like lube, are lacking more natural versions?

That was actually really interesting because this is a product that a lot of women use and it’s full of parabens. We try to highlight those on Goop and find the best ones, if they exist. We did a story on nontoxic deodorant and we weeded out and found the best ones — we all tried one under this arm, one under that arm.

What kind of beauty treatments do you splurge on?

I love a good facial, and a massage. I went to this amazing facial place in London and they take organic vitamins and they prick your skin with an acupuncture needle. One of the best things about working at is that I get to be the guinea pig for everything.

How do you think a woman’s approach to makeup should change as she ages?

It’s so personal and so individual, but by pattern recognition, women seem to, myself included, really embrace colour [as they age]. My mom always said, “After 40 you need to wear bright lipstick!” It’s a good tip.

This interview has been condensed and edited.


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