Aging Hollywood belle Gwyneth Paltrow was shocked by the perils of prolonged use of synthetic makeup and has decided she has endured this long enough. Paltrow and entrepreneur Karen Behnke have set themselves a mission to address the growing concern in the beauty industry that the major organic ingredients and the desired effect have consistently been missing in organic makeup products.
The synthetic beauty industry, estimated to be worth more than $50 million by Forbes, is under scrutiny in light of recent discoveries that common beauty products, such as nail polish, can cause respiratory diseases.
Paltrow admits that she had been naïve to believe the cosmetics industry’s public claims to use organic ingredients in their products.
“I wear makeup heavily in my work. And now that I’m post-40, I’ve started to wear it more often in my day-to-day life. But once my lifestyle website, Goop, started investigating toxicity in these products… I was stunned. I genuinely thought makeup was safe, but that’s not the case.”
In a state of shock, she questioned, how, in 2016, it is still legal for American women to unknowingly slather tire lubricants, artificial dye, and carcinogens on their face.
Paltrow, after learning about the grave danger of synthetic makeup, immediately went on a quest to search for “organic — or at least natural — alternatives,” but she was left frustrated after she could not find anything high-performance enough to achieve the results she was used to.
After making the decision, however, there was a problem. An absolute rookie in the beauty world, she had no idea where to start. Thanks to her investor friend Amanda Eilian (Videolicious), she was introduced to Karen Behnke, a founding partner of the self-proclaimed “eco-chic” skincare line Juice Beauty.
“Juice Beauty had been in a place to hire what we call a ‘Triple A List’ celebrity partner for a long time,” Behnke explained. “But I couldn’t help feeling, ‘That’s not us.’ We wanted someone who could actually walk the walk of our brand… and Gwyneth embodied not only the entrepreneurial spirit and business savvy we were looking for, but also the true passion for clean, but fun, living.”
After nearly three months of intense discussion, the American beauty and the ace entrepreneur with more than 10 years of experience in the industry decided to form a partnership.
A year of frequent meetings soon followed. It was in these meetings the pair decided everything from marketing to package design.
In a press conference regarding the launch, Karen Behnke was all praises to Paltrow.
“Gwyneth was involved in product development from start to finish,” Behnke details. “She was there every step of the way, researching how we could use crushed rose petals instead of artificial dye in our lip colors… how plants and seaweeds are actually an effective, natural way to get pigment into your product.”
Some were skeptical that Paltrow sided with Juice Beauty. After all, the star of her stature could have easily created her own range of organic makeup products. Paltrow, though, had a sensible answer.
“I honestly fell in love with Karen,” Paltrow explained. “She’s a mom; she’s authentic. She has such incredible expertise in the space… You have to remember Goop is a startup. Our biggest problem is that we have too much opportunity, but we can’t do everything at once. When you’ve taken on investment and are trying to scale at a certain place, you don’t want to get diluted down by too many options.”
Paltrow seems satisfied that consumers are more aware than they used to be.
She said, “Everyone wants to know what they’re putting into their bodies… what they’re putting on their skin. Consumers are demanding transparency. And also, the consumer has a lot of information now that we didn’t have 10 or 20 years ago about what all of these various toxins are doing — whether that be GMOs [in our food], or plastics in our personal care products. Ultimately, the consumer is what will change the marketplace.”
“In the next few years, you’re going to see the prices of organic going down as the production quality goes up,” Paltrow continued. “Which is exactly what we want to see. We don’t want eating carcinogen free food, for example, to be a luxury. It’s insane, and it should be the same with beauty.”
Paltrow, seems to have developed enmity against synthetic products. “I even use Matcha Tea”, She joked. They are confident of their product and expect the organic makeup products to be a huge success in North America, but they have managed to attract the Asian Market as well.
“Our next step will be Asia”, a confident Behnke says.
The organic products, however, do not come so cheap. They cost anywhere from $20 to $48.
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]