If you’re the type of person who subscribes to Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s brand of luxurious wellness, you’re probably in tune with nontoxic deodorant and collagen smoothies. The lifestyle website is beloved (and mocked) for its fascination with both $800 sweaters and alternative medicine, with an aspirational sheen over it all. Here’s an itinerary of activities in Washington that pick up on that Goopy vibe.
Reset your medicine cabinet at Ivy Wild: Charcoal cleansing bars and vitamin C sheet masks never looked as chic as they do lining the shelves of Ivy Wild, a makeup and skincare shop near U Street specializing in beauty products that eschew the so-called “dirty dozen” of cosmetic ingredients. Ivy Wild’s neat selection includes brands featured in Goop’s online shop, such as Kosas hydrating lipsticks and Vapour cream concealers.
Sweat it out at District Cryo: Goop guru Alejandro Junger recommends sweating in an infrared sauna for 15 minutes every day, but for us plebes without one of those in our homes, there’s District Cryo. The Shaw “rejuvenation and recovery lab” has two infrared saunas upstairs, past the cryotherapy chamber. These high-tech, virtually silent machines use light to generate heat.
Pay $40 for 40 minutes, and you’ll head into a little cubicle, strip down and hop into a glass-enclosed sauna where the temperature setting hovers around 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Red panels glow, and buckets of sweat ensue. This might not be entirely mindful, but you can watch Netflix from a TV positioned near the sauna instead of just counting down the minutes (the “previously watched” section of this Netflix account is truly fascinating). To really earn this sweat session, book a class beforehand at District Pilates next door.
Get a “five-free” manicure at Varnish Lane: Friendship Heights’ Pinterest-perfect waterless nail salon offering environmentally friendly manis and pedis opened a shop in October in the West End. Ponder the wall of Deborah Lippmann, Zoya and other “five-free” polish brands formulated without such ingredients as formaldehyde and toluene. Then settle in at Varnish Lane’s marble- and brass-accented space, which would look right at home in the Goop x CB2 collection catalogue.
Shop for hip, ethical clothes in Georgetown: It’s easy to imagine Paltrow shopping for Co blouses, $370 Re/Done jeans and other designer goods at local boutique Hu’s Wear, but two new, more affordable shops she might check out just landed on M Street in October. L.A.-based sustainable brand Reformation, which calls its shoppers “Ref Babes,” sells minidresses made of deadstock fabric (leftover unused fabric from suppliers) and easier-on-the-planet jeans. The minimalist, high-tech store lets you shop via touchscreen and even adjust your dressing room lighting to settings like “golden cool” or “sexy time.”
Further down M Street is a new D.C. outpost for Outdoor Voices, an activewear brand known for its colorblocking and cozy technical fabrics. Paltrow was an early investor in OV, and the two-story Georgetown shop even includes its own Rec Room outfitted with rollerblades and tennis rackets.
Get a detox tea at Kintsugi: Lord knows that Paltrow and the team at Goop loves a good detox (there’s an annual guide each January). Read through them all over a mug of “purity” tea at Kintsugi, the very zen cafe in the lobby of the just-opened, socially-conscious Eaton House hotel on K Street. The tea blend is made of lemongrass, nettle and dandelion leaf by the brand Neakita, which also sells “freedom” and “strength” teas.
Besides vegan oat molasses muffins, alkaline water and cricket protein bars, Kintsugi also sells housewares that would fit in with Goop’s infamous gift guide. Example: strangely compelling $3 artisanal binder clips and $129 matte black tea kettles. Whatever you get, the sunny, succulent-filled space with its leather sling chairs and Oriental rugs feels like a respite from downtown.
Take a crystal-infused sound bath: Schedule dedicated zone-out time by booking a session with Human Activation, a group of sound-bath leaders from the nonprofit Crystal Ashram. They bring their Tibetan singing bowls and crystals to venues in the Washington area such as Petworth’s Yoga Heights, with events and retreat packages planned at the Park Hyatt Washington this winter. The goal here is an “empty mind” and communal stillness as you relax on a yoga mat, and the tonal frequencies from the bowls wash over the room.