THE NAT­U­RAL

Gwyneth Pal­trow makes ev­ery­thing look easy. Show­biz? Aced it. Cook­ing? Mas­tered. Now, the star adds or­ganic makeup en­tre­pre­neur to her stacked CV

The Kit - - FRONT PAGE - BY LAURA DECARUFEL

What­ever “it” is, Gwyneth Pal­trow has it. The star touched down in Toronto re­cently to talk about all things nat­u­ral beauty in her new role as cre­ative di­rec­tor of makeup for Cal­i­for­nia-based brand Juice Beauty. In an airy white room at Holt Ren­frew’s head­quar­ters, Pal­trow sat, typ­ing quickly on her iPhone, be­side Karen Behnke, the well­ness en­tre­pre­neur who founded Juice Beauty in 2005. A minute passed, then Behnke took up the task of de­scrib­ing the new makeup col­lec­tion, an im­pres­sive range of foun­da­tions, lip­sticks, mas­caras and more, all made from cer­ti­fied or­ganic in­gre­di­ents. Pal­trow con­tin­ued typ­ing, golden head catch­ing the af­ter­noon light. Then she put her phone down and smiled, and every­one in the room shiv­ered a lit­tle and fell in love. You need a par­tic­u­larly elec­tric charisma to pull that offffff.

Pal­trow first con­nected with Behnke through a mu­tual friend, and of­fi­cially joined the brand last year as a self-de­scribed very in­volved con­sul­tant. “I’m a per­fec­tion­ist,” ex­plains Pal­trow, im­mac­u­late in an all-pink out­fit— in­clud­ing blush croc Louboutins—with a tasteful jan­gle of gold on her left arm. “I said, ‘ If we’re go­ing to do this, we’re go­ing to do it right.’”

What sparked your in­ter­est in green beauty?

“I was raised by a mom who’s an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist, and when my dad was di­ag­nosed with can­cer when I was 25 or 26, I started to delve into how our en­vi­ron­men­tal tox­ins im­pact our lives, our health, what we eat. I made the leap to skin when I had my daugh­ter. It’s ac­tu­ally re­ally daunt­ing how much there is to con­sider. Like, women have fire re­tar­dant in their breast milk now be­cause it’s in the at­mos­phere! It’s ter­ri­fy­ing.”

What do you bring to your po­si­tion with Juice Beauty?

“I’m the health food con­sumer, and I’m also the high- end lux­ury fash­ion con­sumer. There was no syn­ergy of those two [in beauty]—there was noth­ing avail­able. I said that for us to suc­ceed, the look and feel had to match the con­ven­tional [ lux­ury] prod­ucts, be­cause that’s where the nat­u­ral prod­ucts in the past have fallen short. We also had to redo the pack­ag­ing—it doesn’t mat­ter how good the prod­uct is if it looks like it be­longs in a health food store. We worked for a year un­til we got it where we wanted it.”

Was there a prod­uct that was par­tic­u­larly tricky to get right?

“The con­cealer! Ev­ery woman needs a good con­cealer, right? I can live with­out any­thing, but don’t mess with my con­cealer! [ laughs] Since there is no petroleum or parabens in it, you had to work it to warm it up so you got that beau­ti­ful fin­ish. We’d gone back and forth so many times that I thought, ‘ Should I just ap­prove it and say it’s fine?’ Then I thought, ‘ No, be­cause I’ll go back to us­ing the Laura Mercier one, and I don’t want to. I want this to be bet­ter than that.’ So we went back to it, and now it’s as good as any con­cealer you’ve ever found. Ul­ti­mately, you’ve just got to work it un­til it’s right. That’s where my per­fec­tion­ism is help­ful— and ex­haust­ing.”

How im­por­tant is it for non-toxic beauty to be per­ceived as cool?

“The other day, this chef stopped me in the street and said, ‘ Thank you for mak­ing healthy food cool.’ And I said, ‘ Well, it’s not me, but I’m a piece of that.’ I hope­fully want to do the same for clean beauty, the way Stella McCart­ney has done for fash­ion. There are peo­ple who have a strong value sys­tem, and they’re cre­at­ing busi­nesses around that value sys­tem. I’d like to be part of that.”

How would you de­scribe your value sys­tem?

“I’m al­ways ask­ing, ‘ How can I be the best pos­si­ble ver­sion of my­self?’ If I want to know that, then so do my friends, my col­leagues, our daugh­ters. I think it’s an in­ter­est­ing time to be a woman right now. We’re all ac­cept­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity of mak­ing our lives the best that they can be. And there’s a weight with that re­spon­si­bil­ity as well. We know it takes ef­fort. And I’ve al­ways just been who I am; I’ve al­ways been one of the first ones cut­ting the path and get­ting scratches and mak­ing amaz­ing dis­cov­er­ies at the same time. I fully ac­cept that that’s my role in this life­time. If that res­onates with women, that means so much to me.”

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

Gwyneth Pal­trow is on a mis­sion to pop­u­lar­ize non- toxic beauty.

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