Last month, we talked to Karen Behnke about the importance of using organic skin care products. Today, she’s back to talk to us about her newly launched makeup line made with certified organic ingredients, an endeavor she embarked along with actress and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, who currently serves as the makeup line’s Creative Director. Read all about their story below—and keep scrolling to discover Gwyneth’s favorite products from the Juice Beauty makeup line.
Dermstore: How did the partnership with Gwyneth began?
Karen Behnke: Gwyneth started to become very interested in health and wellness about 10 or 15 years ago, and the general idea about how environmental toxins are contaminating what we were eating. As an actress she’s spent years getting lots of makeup put on her skin. And then of course as she had children and was pregnant and worried about toxins in hair color, makeup and food. Like me, she realized that there aren’t a lot of options available to women. And so she saw a huge opportunity to become involved with the whole clean beauty movement.
D: What was the first meeting with GP like?
KB: My first meeting with Gwyneth was actually in her home and she told me she was just really taken with my passion and authenticity, and the fact that I was building a company that was environmentally responsible, and one that would not cut corners to succeed. Like me, Gwyneth wants to do it the right way, even if it’s the hard way. We just hit it off right away. We talked about being working mothers and about all of our overlapping ideals around making a cleaner, non-toxic world.
D: What were the biggest challenges you encountered when you created Juice Beauty’s makeup line?
KB: Definitely an organic and natural line presents certain challenges, especially when most consumers are used to certain looks and textures. And then there were certain products that were really hard to achieve like the mascara because it doesn’t have animal glue and all kinds of terrible things in it like cold tar, artificial dyes and all the things that are in conventional mascara. We really just kept our noses to the grindstone until we came up with the most gorgeous, luxurious, super clean line of makeup that you can wear anywhere. It’s very high performing and that was really essential to Gwyneth and me because obviously, it’s an integral part of her work. She needs to be able to wear makeup that does the job, can last on set all day, and has great pigment, but also is completely safe, so I’m really, really proud of what we were able to do together.
D: What did Gwyneth like most about creating the Juice Beauty makeup?
KB: “The fact that the whole collection is clean, and when I say clean I mean formulated without parabens, without silicones, without heavy metals, without gluten—and it’s vegan. I just thought it was really important to be able to offer the consumer a line of makeup that was formulated without toxic chemicals, especially plastics which end up in breast milk for example and lots of other places where it should not be found. Gwyneth’s thrilled that we were able to make products that are so effective without any of those terrible ingredients in them.”
D: Lastly, what are phyto-pigments? And why are these good for me?
KB: “Phytopigments are basically pigments or colors derived from plants. It’s a much better alternative to synthetic or artificial colors or dyes. These are antioxidant-rich and vegan, designed to deliver vibrant color, illuminate skin and smooth fine lines for a flawless complexion. Our entire makeup line is made with certified organic ingredients.”
Ready to try Juice Beauty makeup? Check out Gwyneth’s top picks, the story behind each product, plus some tips and tricks on how to use them like a Hollywood A-lister!
Gwyneth Paltrow: “I have never used a primer. I didn’t even know what primer was, what are the best primers and how do they work. And then I sort of understood what the benefit of a primer was and I thought, ‘is it possible to get this glow, this iridescent glow, with completely natural ingredients?’ And there was a lot of back-and-forth but eventually it worked. This has become one of my favorite products in the line.”
“If I had to tell you the most difficult product to get right in the entire collection, it was the mascara. We had a lot of trouble with it because there’s no glue, no carbon black, it’s incredibly natural and conventional mascara have crazy things in them that we do not want to put near our eyes.
Because it’s an all-natural product I learned that there’s a unique way to apply it. You put it on and then you let it dry—that’s a beautiful natural look. But if you want to build it more, you let that dry then put on another layer, and then you have a mascara that’s just as thickening as a conventional mascara, only there’s nothing really nasty in it. My experience is when you just put on one coat it’s lengthening and then if you let it dry and keep going then it gets really thickening.”
“You know lipstick is on your mouth so you’re eating a lot of it all day without realizing it. But to get that amount of pigment, conventional products use a lot of heavy metals. When they came to me with these I was genuinely in shock: I thought there’s no way that this, the way that it looks in the package, is gonna be that color on my lips. But they made it happen. It’s just incredibly unique to have a formula that’s organic: all phytopigments, all from fruits and natural plants and to be able to achieve this color and it’s like this all day. It’s long-lasting, it doesn’t dry your lips, it’s incredibly supple, and it feels great.
These eight shades are very close to my heart. I named each one of these shades after California women that I love. This one I have on me is called Gwyneth!”