Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock
I have lived in the capital of juice cleanses and $45 spin classes — a.k.a. Los Angeles — for about three years now, but I've somehow been able to avoid the major lifestyle overhaul that so many L.A. transplants so often dish about on Instagram. Paltrow herself was once one of those people. During one of the many panels the Iron Man actress moderated over the course of the day, she shared that she aligned herself with healthier living following her father's cancer diagnosis. It inspired her to put down the Camel Reds (which she admitted more than once she'll pick up at the occasional party because, hey, who's perfect?) and pick up the gluten-free, dairy-free zucchini bread. (Her father told her it was like "biting into the New York Times.")
Photo: Marc Patrick
Much of the crowd that gathered at 3Labs, a super-chic warehouse space in Culver City, California, looked a lot like Paltrow herself: trendy blondes with either amazing genetics and/or a fantastic skincare regimen. The latter you could score yourself, if you've got a few hundred dollars to drop: The event contained the "Goop Hall," a place to purchase many of the products featured on the blog, as well as the company's own Goop line of clean beauty products. I was afraid to touch the $110 bottles of moisturizer.
Along the edges of the space were food vendors from a variety of Los Angeles restaurants, which quickly became my favorite part of the day. I started the day with a cup of iced matcha before moving on to some overnight oats and ginger shots. By lunch, I was ready to feast. Why, yes, I would like a second KyeRito. Raspberry vegan ice cream with cinnamon roll chunks? Don't mind if I do. A Sweetgreen salad to hold me over until the next panel? Hand me that Goop-branded wooden fork, because I'm digging in.
Photo: Emma Feil
As a member of the Lapis clan — the cheapest ticket one could buy, or, in this case, acquire a press pass for — I had the opportunity to enjoy a plethora of activities. Technically, I could take part in so-Goopy-it-could-be-a-joke activities like a vitamin I.V. drip — which involved spending 15 minutes with a needle in your arm — a crystal reading, and even aura photography. Sadly, Paltrow had created the Disneyland of wellness summits: While the activities were enticing, the lines were too long to really want to wait for any of them. I really did want to see if I felt more energized with some extra pumps of vitamin whatever coursing through my veins — but I knew I would feel a lot worse if I missed an entire panel while waiting on my drip.
Okay, really, I didn't want to miss the 10-minute facelift, a small surgical procedure that was performed in front of hundreds of eager Goop fanatics. The facelift — done on a Goop employee whose face was pre-numbed before hopping up on stage — involved a doctor sticking a needle and thread through a woman's cheek in order to pull the sugar-molecule thread through her skin. The result? A tighter appearance, and at least a few nauseous members of the audience. It was, apparently, Paltrow's idea.
The panel on sexuality included some authentic, hilarious commentary from panelists like Jenni Konner, executive producer of HBO's Girls. A second, about how our relationship with our mothers can affect us in our adult lives, was moving and not quite as lofty as the concept originally sounded. Eventually, I realized that I could get on board with panels that were more focused on mental and spiritual health than, say, ones about the physical body. I know for a fact that I am not going to remove the seeds from my tomatoes before eating them, or stop popping the occasional ibuprofen, as the doctors speaking at the "Gut Check" panel implored. But forgiving yourself for making mistakes, as the authors of The Tools suggested during their speech? That's advice I'll gladly take.
Photo: Marc Patrick
"And I thought I was batshit crazy," Paltrow mused following Kerr's admission.
Photo: Marc Patrick
The event concluded at around 6:30 p.m., in which Team Lapis was sent home with a goodie bag worth over $200. It was a damn good goodie bag: I scored two books from speakers of the evening, plus condoms, lubricant, a hair towel, towelettes, two bracelets, an oil-pulling kit, probiotics, natural deodorant, lip balm, and awesome moisturizer. One thing I'm not a fan of? The gigantic can of powdered collagen, designed to make my skin prettier upon mixing in water. (As a vegetarian, and also not as a vegetarian, hard pass.)
So, while I may not consider myself a card-carrying Goopie, spending the day in Paltrow's zone wasn't nearly as outrageous as I expected. At the end of the day, I left with a stomach full of veggies, a swag bag of useful stuff, and images of Miranda Kerr with a face covered leeches. No one made me eat clay either, so all in all, I'm considering the event a raging success.