Sylvie Chantecaille Chantecaille

An industry innovator with more than 30 years of brand-building experience, Sylvie Chantecaille helped pioneer the trend in botanically-based beauty. Her interest in high-quality skincare, natural ingredients, Chinese medicine and aromatherapy have all contributed to the passionate following the brand enjoys today.

What drove you to start your own brand? When I launched Chantecaille in 1998, I wanted to be the first beauty company purely based on both science and flowers. Creating a healthy product incorporating luxury, scientifically-forward technology, and botanical ingredients. I wanted to offer women a very healthy product. Our philosophy is to make products that not only give clients confidence, great skin, and beauty, but also keep them healthy by using natural ingredients. We make sure each product is crafted to bring maximum results using natural ingredients and smart science. My philosophy hasn't changed, but wonderful things have happened along the way; we have discovered we can use our company as a platform and a voice for the wild spaces and animals that inhabit it. It may not be obvious for a cosmetics company to talk about over-fishing or the killing of pangolins and the illegal trafficking of animals in wet markets, but it is deeply important to us. We are grateful to our customers for their interest in and passion for the causes we choose to support. Tell us about the “aha moment” that led you to take the plunge and launch? After starting Chantecaille as a small fragrance house, I took a trip to Japan to see my old colleagues and friends and saw products that were mind-blowing to me, including the most advanced foundations yet. I had always loved creating makeup, especially foundation. I thought “I could do this. There is nothing like this on the market, and I can do it even better.” Have you always been an entrepreneur? Always. I started my first company at 21 when I was still living in France and haven’t stopped. I’m highly creative—I think of an idea, and I do it.
"I started my first company at 21 when I was still living in France and haven’t stopped. I’m highly creative—I think of an idea, and I do it."

What’s your favorite product in the line? Well, the first thing I do when I wake up and the last thing I do at night, without fail, is the same: Spray Pure Rosewater. My daughter, Olivia, and I were driving around the South of France and found the most intoxicating, stunning Rose de Mai field, completely by accident. We stopped, walked through the field and met the farmer. We discovered more about the benefits of this highly nourishing rose, and about its particular harvesting process—it only blooms once a year, in May. Creating this perfect product is all about harvesting the Rose de Mai petals first thing in the morning and distilling them the same day. There is nothing but the petal distillation in the bottle—just the purest extract of the Rose de Mai rose. There are 4000 petals in each bottle. I can’t live without Pure Rosewater. It wakes me up and invigorates my skin like a metaphorical iron! I spritz this on my hair before I dry it for control and smoothness. In the middle of meetings and Zooms, I spray it to relax. I need it by my side all the time. At night, I use it to allow me to exhale deeply and go to sleep. Then at 2 am, when I wake up with a racing mind, I spray Pure Rosewater around my head, breathe deeply, and fall back to sleep. It refreshes your skin, mind, and spirit. This is a highly unusual product—it’s different from what you'd expect. It soothes and calms, is loaded with antioxidants, tones the skin, sets makeup and awakens the skin.

What’s your morning and evening routine? After a spritz of Pure Rosewater and a layer of Bio Lifting Serum+, I layer more Pure Rosewater under my Gold Cream, then apply Stress Repair Concentrate+ under my eyes. At bedtime, I cleanse with Flower Infused Cleansing Milk or use Bamboo and Hibiscus Exfoliating Cream once every 2 to 3 days. I use the Gold Recovery Intense Concentrate P.M religiously because it has completely changed my skin in the past 4 months. Then I always sleep in a mask—either the Gold Recovery Mask, or I mix a bit of Rose de Mai Face Oil and the Bio Lifting Mask. And I repair my undereye area while I sleep with Nano Gold Energizing Eye Cream. What would people be surprised to learn about you? I use acupuncture and QiGong to prevent getting sick. I have no time to get sick! What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business? Pick something you love and be willing and ready to work a lot—all the time, really. There is a lot more to creating a company than one can even fathom when starting out. Enjoy it...but be prepared. Sylvie Chantecaille and family
The Founders Series
Learn how some of the beauty industry’s most dynamic entrepreneurs find inspiration and develop must-have products as they share their advice for aspiring business moguls and much more