I don’t have that much time for people who complain about things for which they are quite plainly not the demographic. Don’t like Radio 4? Don’t turn it on. Don’t like the Daily Mail? Don’t read it. Don’t like kimchee? Don’t eat it.
I have a billion prejudices, things and people and places and activities I cannot stand – and I avoid them. That’s enough, it’s not the case that I wish to evangelise until other people boycott those things, too.
So it is with goop. Whenever I mention Gwyneth Paltrow’s mega-million wellness enterprise I am mostly met with positivity; most people say: it’s intriguing, it’s fascinating, it’s a glimpse into another world.
But you also get the people who say “the advice is dangerous” or people so fixated on the uterus-steaming thing they cannot really see beyond to anything else (I swear that poor woman will have a reference to that in every single one of her obituaries when the time comes).
I’m one of the people who finds it only fascinating. I want to know what someone with Gwyneth Paltrow’s resources and preoccupations thinks, does, eats, wears. Not so I can copy her, (I can’t afford it for a start), I just want to know. I’m a journalist, I’m curious. And what other person in her position opens up her life like that, admits how hard she works, what it takes?
Tell me, Gwyneth! Tell me everything.
Perhaps some people who are negative about the whole thing maybe worry that people will take the advice, the warnings of the auto-immune diseases around every corner, literally and very much to heart. What can I say? Modern medicine has probably failed them to the degree they will try anything. I know that doctors at my local health practice sometimes reduces me to a flurry of hand-gestures at their door as I leave.
As for the slightly wacky turn of phrases, the “conscious uncoupling” and the talk of lighting your own path and opening up your chakra or whatever, well… *whispers* that’s just how some Americans talk.
Me? The two things I have taken from goop are that a grey crewneck sweater is suitable for almost every occasion, (entirely correct), and also a lamb tagine recipe, which is really good. That’s a strike rate of 100% for me and goop so far.
So when goop asked me to do some sponsored posts for them, based on it being the 10 year anniversary of the first newsletter and the pop-up store in London, (the first one outside the USA), I said hell. Yeah.
The store is at 188 Westbourne Grove, snuggled in with other incredibly glossy and incredibly expensive boutiques and shops that dominate that strip these days. It comes on, as you step through the door, like many high-end lifestyle set-ups, but with one difference in that this is goop. On the ground floor there are clothes, the new G Label and a collection of other high-end stuff, jewellery and shoes. Downstairs is home and cookware. Only Gwyneth could make chipboard look good.
But I went straight to beauty. Do you remember when Maybelline and Carmex were only purchasable from America? The ownership of such items was a status symbol unlike, really, anything else? It said “I have been to America” before people went to New York all the freaking time. That is what I was after. What can you get in this store that you can’t get easily anywhere else? It possibly goes without saying, but it worth repeating, that all of this is the legendary “clean” beauty; no parabens or other stuff that people get upset about.
For a start there is Olio E Osso. Anyone who remembers Ruby and Millie (RIP) may remember their clever lip and cheek tints in a rectangular wind-up stick – they are reborn here.
There is also a clear balm by the same brand, which I have been using, which is outstanding at softening any dry skin, inducing my desperate, picked-at cuticles.
In the same vein there is also Balmyard, which has facial oils and this cheek and lip tint.
Another name to remember is Tata Harper, who carries a number of fantastically expensive beauty treatments and also this slightly more affordable tinted balm (the word “balm” has ceased to make any sense to me). I have not tried this but my friend AC who has no time for anything sub-optimal loves this immensely.
Onto skincare, this is a cult goop product, basically one of those faintly acidic facial treatments that “exfoliates” your skin in the most pure chemical sense. I am very into this kind of thing, though I haven’t actually tried it so don’t sue me! (Sue goop) but the beauty director who showed me around said she used it twice a week and her skin… my god…. her skin was like poetry.
Another bestseller, May Lindstrom’s “the problem solver”, I loved for the sheer insanity of how it comes in a powder but then you mix it with water and spread the resultant mousse over your skin with a brush. Like Sand + Sky but goop. This is sold out online but available at the pop up.
I mean, it’s like they saw me coming with this. I can’t remember what this smelled like but it was pretty goddamned nice. Not too Jasmine-y.
I’m afraid I could only be beside myself when I saw in the store the very hair turban I have been recommending for years on The Spike. If you fancy my hair, get this. Brush your hair, wash it, jimmy it up in this turban, LEAVE IT FOR 20 MIN, unleash it, do not brush, blow dry the front part only, leave the rest to dry naturally and you will have my hair.
goop fragrances, ranged from edition 01 to edition 04, are crackers, truly like nothing you have ever smelled, all very masculine, challenging; the one I was given 02, I put on and just recoiled – what is this?! – but over about 30 minutes it mellowed out to something totally original and intoxicating. Alas, fragrance is such a strange thing in that you can’t buy online, you have to go and try on. But if you get one of these you will not smell like every other slimhips wearing Eccentric Molecules.
Okay just two more things and then I’ll let you go. These are both only in-store.
First, the jewellery. I loved, loved, loved Loquet – little glass lockets that you can fill with weeny trinkets. Like Anina Vogel but possibly even more expensive? And Foundrae; an It-Girl, faintly wacky, gothic, celestial brand that is nonetheless insanely covetable.
And that’s all the news printed to fit! Oh god I forgot to mention the sex toys. There are sex toys. I couldn’t believe my eyes and sniggered, it was very childish of me.
Come on, then, what do you think about goop? Please leave a comment in the handy box below.