Celebs turn into lifestyle gurus with new websites

  • Article by: JOSHUA DAVID STEIN , New York Times
  • Updated: December 10, 2013 - 5:58 PM

Want to live like Zooey Deschanel? She – and midlevel actresses like her – want to tell you how.


Gwyneth Paltrow

Photo: Matt Sayles, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

In 2008, Gwyneth Paltrow, the actress everyone loves to hate (or so it seems sometimes), decided she wanted to be more than just an actress. She started a “nourishing” website called Goop to pass along her wisdom of the good life.

“Whether you want a good place to eat in London, some advice on where to stay in Austin, the re­cipe I made up this week, or some thoughts from one of my sages, Goop is a little bit of everything that makes up my life,” she wrote.

The five-year-old site has been mocked for its oh-so-perfect guides to juice cleanses and gluten-free pasta, but it has grown into a mini-empire with its own design collaborations, cookbooks, city guide apps and million-plus subscribers.

It has also spawned a group of imitators: midlevel actresses and entertainers who want to grow their brand and become lifestyle gurus, just like Paltrow.

“Celebrities realize there’s a real market of people out there who want to know what they eat, what clothes they like, who their favorite bands are,” said Dana Randall, chief strategy officer for Form Mgmt, a branding agency in New York. “And, of course, they are wonderful business opportunities.”

Celebrities like Lauren Conrad, Olivia Palermo, Zooey Deschanel and even Lindsay Lohan have started websites to offer their versions of the good life, whether it’s organizing craft supplies into Ball jars or fitting into denim jeans.

The list grows. Blake Lively, 26, former star of “Gossip Girl,” recently told Vogue.co.uk that she was starting a lifestyle website.

“It’s about living a very one-of-a-kind, curated life and how to achieve that,” Lively said.

The world awaits. In the meantime, here are other celebrity sites to help you achieve perfection.


Elizabeth Banks

Blond, winsome and boldfaced, actress Elizabeth Banks, 39, seems to belong to the same genus as Paltrow. But her website is notably goofier and lowbrow.

“I’d love Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle, but I shop at Target and I buy in bulk,” she said. “I’m really just a country bumpkin.”

Divided into categories like geeky, yummy and pretty, her site includes breathless posts on Shark Week, pleas for body-image acceptance and DIY design tips.

Site: elizabethbanks.com.

Started: 2012.

Audience: Comedy nerds, the genre in which Banks got her start; and fans of the “Hunger Games,” where Banks got her break.

Topics: Pop culture (Banks was a “Breaking Bad” devotee), feminist musings (an appreciation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg), etiquette (“What is a polite way to say a girl has way too much makeup covering her face?”) and everything “Hunger Games” related (cupcakes, cocktails and posters).

  • related content

  • elizabeth banks: www.elizabethbanks. comGoofy and lowbrow

  • Zooey Deschanel: www. hellogiggles.comCrafty and cute

  • Lindsay Lohan: www. lindsaylohan.comSnappy observations

  • Olivia Palermo: www.oliviapalermo.comFashion and more fashion

  • Shay Mitchell: www.shaymitchell.comSomething for the tweens

  • U.S. actress Gwyneth Paltrow poses for photographers before unveiling a Christmas-themed shop window at Le Printemps department store in Paris, Thursday Nov. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

  • Lauren conrad: www.laurenconrad.comMartha Stewart lite

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


question of the day

Poll: Which is your favorite classic Italian sweet?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters