This Thursday, April 5th, we’re celebrating Chantecaille’s 20th anniversary with Linda Fargo and Sylvie Chantecaille herself on our beauty level from 4PM-6PM. Ahead of the event, we sat down with the mastermind behind the beauty empire to pick her brain about the industry, what she’s learned as a leader, and her daily routine.
Bergdorf Goodman: Chantecaille is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. What have the last two decades taught you about beauty and the relationship women have with it?
Sylvie Chantecaille: The relationship between women and beauty has not changed – but the landscape surrounding it has. It’s an intense and private alliance— a woman wants to be beautiful, and needs beauty products for security, comfort, strength, and a sense of self. How a woman expresses, discovers and obtains beauty is different today, there are new portals – the internet and social media – that help them find products and gain knowledge and express their beauty and beauty ideals.
But women still come to stores – they visit for human warmth, guidance, and contact. They return for recognition, for help, and more now than ever, for experience. The experience is something a store can give that the internet can not. The future of retail depends on giving customers the experience.
What I love about Bergdorf Goodman is that they have always provided their clientele with makeup, facials, touch ups, personalizations, and, most of all, support.
BG: What would you say have been the most rewarding and difficult aspects of running your own business?
SC: The most rewarding things about running your own business is the joy you experience when you see an idea come to life and bring happiness to others, and working with people who are great in so many ways – when you run a business you choose who you surround yourself with, and that is a wonderful, inspiring prerogative to have.
The most difficult aspect is the lack of sleep. I do not sleep!
BG: If you were only able to use 3 products for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?
SC: Pure Rosewater – our 100% Pure Rose de Mai from Grasse, France. Why use water when you can use Pure Rosewater? What makes the Rose de Mai so special is how rare it is—it is only harvested one month a year in May, at dawn during the first bloom. The scent is spectacular and the effects are healing and powerful not only to the skin but to the soul and psyche. It soothes and calms, is loaded with antioxidants, tones the skin, sets makeup, and refreshes skin. For the mind, it soothes or calms you during a bad day or if you’ve had poor sleep. I do not go anywhere without my bottle of Pure Rosewater.
Bio Lifting Serum – This serum is so effective treating existing wrinkles and in preventing future fine lines. It is a needle-free botox! It also soothes and plumps the skin, calms redness, and hydrates deep down, leaving the skin looking so fresh and youthful. This fall, we are going to launch a game-changing Bio Lifting Serum+ that uses radical new peptide technology to smooth both vertical and horizontal lines, which is so difficult to accomplish. It is also our first age-delay serum with botanicals that protect the skin from the damage that blue-light emissions from your phone and computer cause—I think this type of protection is imperative.
Gold Energizing Eye Recovery Masks – I have long believed in the healing power of gold, and these eye masks use pure 24K gold and silk to treat trauma and stress around the eyes, much like gold and silk have been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years. Gold is a fantastic antioxidant, is anti-inflammatory, and increases circulation. These seaweed-based eye masks are infused with concentrated forms of line-smoothing and de-puffing stem cells that repair and restore the eyes. In 20 minutes you look younger, radiant, and rested. They’re individually packaged, so I am always throwing them in my purse as I run out the door, or reaching for them on my nightstand when I wake up.
BG: What are your hopes for Chantecaille in the next decade? Is there something the company hasn’t done yet that you’d love to see come to fruition?
SC: I am always in awe of how the world is constantly changing. I hope in 20 years, Chantecaille will still be making amazing products and forging important philanthropic partnerships. We have implemented a legacy of conservation and caring for our planet, which I know will continue for generations.
BG: Walk us through your daily skincare and beauty routine.
SC: I rotate between a lot of our products as they are incredibly efficient at different times for different purposes. In the morning I use our Rose de Mai Eye Lift. It has tiny droplets of Rose Oil, which is loaded with vitamin C for long-term effects, but the ceramic tip cools and depuffs instantly. I always cleanse my skin with our Flower Infused Milk Cleanser, followed by liberal mists of our Pure Rose Water.
Right now I alternate the Bio Lifting Serum and the Blanc Gardenia Brightening Essence. These are powerhouse products when it comes to diminishing wrinkles and lessening the appearance of pigmentation and dark spots.
Depending on the day, I love the Bio Lifting Cream or the Rose de Mai Cream. I always love to pat on a little bit of the Nano Gold Energizing Face Cream after a lighter moisturizer. At night I apply our Jasmine and Lily Healing Mask before going out, because I tend to have a little redness from the stress of the day.
Before going to bed I always layer the Bio Lift Mask over a serum. I think the wisest thing you can do is sleep in a mask – this will just really let your skin soak up the benefits from the mask while it regenerates naturally overnight. This is my biggest beauty secret: sleep in a mask!