Marie Claire Meets Gwyneth Paltrow

We caught up with the Hollywood actress to talk female empowerment, beauty secrets and signature style

A tad weary after the exertions of awards season and fashion week, our day was perked up a treat with a dose of Hollywood glamour this morning when we headed to London’s Corinthia Hotel for an intimate press breakfast with Gwyneth Paltrow.

The Oscar-winning star hosted a meet-and-greet as part of her ongoing role as the face and ambassador of Hugo Boss’ (in her words) ‘mysterious’ and ‘sexy’ Boss Nuit Pour Femme fragrance.

With a room full of women listening on intently and Mother’s Day looming, (‘Oh gosh, it’s Mother’s Day this weekend?’ she gasped. ‘I have no idea [what I’m doing for it]. Maybe there’s a surprise planned!) talk turned to female empowerment and what it means to her.

The confident star mused: ‘I think knowing yourself, but truly. As opposed to the self your parents gave you or your partner or the school bully or whatever. I think so many people give us ideas of what we are. I think as women, especially, because we’re sensitive by nature, we’re more vulnerable, we absorb other people’s ideas about what we’re supposed to think or who we’re supposed to be and how we’re supposed to act.’

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She added: ‘I think the most clear, direct way to empowerment is to really know yourself and to really use your voice and to not be afraid of other people’s reactions. And to be really, really true to yourself. That to me has been key to me in understanding how I want to live the second half of my life. It’s only recently that I’ve really fully understood that.’

Looking as groomed and as glossy as you’d expect from one of Hollywood’s elite, and looking chic but relaxed in skinny leather trousers, a black sleeveless top and Nicholas Kirkwood heels, Gwynnie revealed her surprisingly fuss-free beauty regime, which (in a nutshell) amounts to a ‘thick cream moisturiser’, ‘oil’ and staying ‘healthy’.

‘Exercise is definitely key to my beauty regime and keeping me healthy,’ she said. ‘It really starts with exercise and sleep and not eating really processed foods, I try to eat well. My actual beauty regime is pretty simple. I try to have a facial every once in a while. I’m not a huge product girl and I have so much going on with kids and work that I don’t sort of do a whole thing. I put moisturiser on basically. I’m not good with doing my own make-up as well, so I tend to look like a wreck most of the time!’

We beg to differ. The actress, who turned 40 in September, looks better than ever, and was warm, open and funny during our meeting, and was happy to discuss a whole host of topics including her family – mini-me daughter Apple and son Moses – whom she’s often fiercely private about.

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‘Gosh, I could take up the whole time talking about this so I’ll be specific,’ she says when questioned about what the best thing about being a mother is. ‘I think my favourite thing is understanding the responsibility of raising two human beings and putting them into the world and giving them the tools to understand the tenants that make life easier to navigate – compassion, intelligence, more than one language, empathy, manners. I really enjoy the process of doing that while being so fascinated by who they are and letting them emerge as human beings.’

Not only a beauty and health role model, Gwyneth is a style icon too. The self-confessed blazer and blue jeans girl (‘I couldn’t live without them!’) believes ‘knowing what works for you’ and being ‘comfortable’ are the key factors when it comes to looking good.

‘I think my days of trying out outrageous things are over,’ she says. ‘I’m not looking for trends, I just sort of want to be the best version of myself. I’m a creature of habit, and in that way I’ve tended to go towards what works for me and what’s comfortable. I grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and wore a uniform to school everyday, so like preppy is in my DNA. I think I’ve always had a sort of preppy/classic thing with an edge underneath it, and I think that’s how I would define my look.’

And is daughter Apple following in her mum’s footsteps when it comes to style? ‘I don’t know, my daughter definitely has her own style. The other day she was wearing really skinny jeans, a blazer and this punk headband on, and I was like ‘perfect!’ But I tend to stay out of it, she loves buying her own stuff and picking it all out. Last night we went to the Justin Bieber concert, she was very concerned with her outfit!’

As they say, the apple never falls far from the tree.

Gwyneth Paltrow is the face of Hugo Boss’ Boss Nuit Pour Femme fragrance, which is available from boots.com with prices starting at £34 for 30ml

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