10 Minutes with Sylvie Chantecaille
Beauty Writer, Sarah Rose Edwards caught up with Chantecaille founder, Sylvie Chantecaille, to talk all things beauty.
When did you first become interested in make-up?
I really got interested in make-up when I was about 13, and my mother took me to her facialist to have my first facial, and then she asked my mother if she could put a bit of make-up on me afterwards and my mother said, ‘yes, why not?’. I can remember lying down for the facial, I got up and looked in the mirror and thought ‘this thing works! I like it!’
How did Chantecaille begin?
I’d worked all my life after the age of 27 in the cosmetic industry. I had created a company before called Prescriptives, in the Estée Lauder corporation, and when I turned 50 I decided that I wanted to do something for myself. I wanted a company that was mine, doing the things I wanted and I was very interested in alternative medicine at the time. I was doing a lot of research on homeopathy, herbs and Chinese medicine, so I thought I could create products that were very pure, free of anything that could damage the immune system; I was worried about the sorts of things in products already. I thought I was good at it, and could create products that feel great, and are entirely made of flowers and plants. No one else was really thinking that way at the time.
How did you go about creating the products?
I met up with a couple of doctors and researchers, and they had previously only done stem cell research on animals, but I didn’t want any of that; I wanted products that feel great but are made entirely of flowers and plants. At this time, working with flowers was not heard of in the cosmetic industry, but I knew how rich they were in so many vitamins. We started by taking the stem cell from an apple, and now have seven different stem cells that we use; they’re so easy for us to absorb and really get our systems going.
What are your bestselling products?
I think people try our products, and once they try, they buy. Our products are really high quality and I think people are surprised at how good they are. We are very famous for our Faux Cils mascara, and also Magnolia, Jasmine and Lily Healing Emulsion, because it restores your skin very quickly - perfect if you’re on a plane, or for a red and sunburnt face.
Chantecaille is known for its support of environmental concerns, which have included coral reefs, sharks, wild horses and most recently the bees - how do you pick which charity to support each season?
It’s almost like someone is tapping me on the shoulder and saying ‘it’s time to do this’ - it just comes to me. I’ve always had a passion for the environment, and have found that the women who buy our make-up have listened, and help to get the message out there to change people’s mentalities.
What is your definition of beauty?
Each person has their own beauty; you just need to find it. It’s usually hidden by stress, tiredness, bad disposition and insecurity. I think you just need confidence, health and a positive attitude, and not take what everyone else sees as the ideal.
Talk us through your daily skincare regime.
First, I splash my face with lots of water, then I use my Aromacologie Pure Rosewater and pat it in which makes me start to feel better. Next, I use two drops of Bio Lifting Serum, and then moisturiser, which I choose according to season; if it’s winter, I use Nano Gold Energising Face Cream, if it’s very windy and cold I’ll use Aromacologie Biodynamic Lifting Cream because it’s very rich. If it’s summer, I’ll just use a bit of Magnolia, Jasmine & Lily Healing Emulsion. Then I use a high protection SPF50, and get out of the door!
What is your top beauty tip?
Sleep! If you don’t sleep, you don’t repair your skin - it’s so important.