Susannah Taylor speaks to the queen of beauty chic, Olivia Chantecaille, about her beauty stash, her health and what makes her tick
GTG: How did Chantecaille begin?
OC: We wanted to create a new foundation 12/13 years ago because everything else then was really heavy and thick on the skin and not "real" looking. We wanted a make-up line that would give a fresh, healthy, natural look and hide imperfections. And so Real Skin Foundation, £47, was born, and it was really way ahead of its
My mother and I had studied natural healing and botanicals and we wanted to incorporate that into our make-up. I truly believe that inflammation is the main cause of ageing so we wanted to calm, heal and protect skin.
GTG: How do you put ideas such as these into practice?
OC: We started bringing our philosophy to different labs around the world. We focused on finding the best-quality ingredients and the latest technology and so we were flying ingredients in from the South of France such as pure rose water. By chance we discovered one last remaining field that grows Rose de Mai [the most luxurious, expensive, hard-to-get rose] when we were looking for jasmine.
We have always been fanatical about purity and quality so it was a very easy transition to skincare after that. We are passionate that good ingredients can make a difference and really change people's skin. We were one of the first companies to use plant stem cells.
GTG: Chantecaille seems very much a family-run business…
OC: It is. My mother and I started it and then my dad joined us, then my sister and my brother! It still feels very intimate: no matter what you do in the company, everyone knows what’s going on. It’s like a child you have to nuture.
GTG: What are your best-selling products?
OC: Our foundations are super popular, as is our Eau de Rose de Mai, £50, and our new mascara, Faux Cils
Longest Lash Mascara, £60, which has rose water in it. It helps to grow your lashes by 25 per cent in two weeks and there are the most amazing anti-ageing ingredients in the Nano Gold Energizing Eye Serum, £179. It's one of my favourite products.
GTG: How do you juggle work and life and stay sane?
OC: To stay calm I feel there needs to be balance. I do Pilates or yoga or I try and escape to the beach, play tennis or go for a long walk. I find even when I’m really stressed I can then come back refreshed.
GTG: What are your make-up bag essentials?
OC: Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation gives me the coverage I need and looks and feels totally natural. Jennifer Aniston says she uses it at the weekends and at work.
Depending on the season I like to use different coloured lipsticks as an accessory and I always have a Chantecaille Lip Chic lipstick, £30, with me. I am also a big fan of cheeks…. Our Cheek Crème (£29) formula is amazing to touch and looks totally natural. Then there are Brilliant Glosses, £26, which I have loads of in my handbags and thanks to Angelina Jolie applying it in public it has become a sell-out product!
Finally there’s Faux Cils mascara, £35, which I’m never without night or day.
GTG: Which skincare products can't you live without?
OC: I love our Vital Essence Serum, £82, loaded with hyaluronic acid, which is a wonderful antioxidant and a great nourishing boost. I use that with Biodynamic Lifting Oil Free Fluid, £205, which helps prevent wrinkles. At night I use our Retinol Intense night cream, £85, which won’t make your skin red as the retinol is capsulated and it goes into the deeper layers of skin. My husband loves it too. For hydration, I’m constantly spritzing with the Eau de Rose de Mai which is also great for using on flights.
GTG: What is your body care regime?
OC: I use a lovely body wash by Method, it’s safe for me and safe for the environment. I also love retinol body products which are amazing for getting rid of that bumpy chicken skin!
GTG: How do you de-stress?
OC: I confess that I don’t do loads of exercise but I like to get the oxygen moving through my body. I do a lot of deep breathing and I love gyrotonics and paddle boarding. I discovered paddle boarding last summer. You paddle around in the sea, and do some Pilates, yoga and meditation on the board, while listening to the birds and being among nature.
I also light candles. I have them all over the house with different scents, such as jasmine and lavender. I love Diptyque ones. Also I might have a nice bath with Ren's Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil, £30, uk.spacenk.com .
GTG: Which beauty experts can't you live without?
OC: Hairstylist Frédéric Fekkai [in Fifth Avenue, New York] is absolutely amazing, and the most positive person I have ever met: he’s like family. Then there’s a wonderful facialist I see called Aida Bicaj ( aidabicaj.com ) who is based on the upper east side of Manhattan. Her facials are seriously lifting and smoothing.
GTG: What is your haircare regime? Which products do you rely on?
OC: I love Phyto Citrus Colour Protect Radiance shampoo and they have great hair masks, www.feelunique.com . I also love Fekkai Advanced Essential Shea Butter Conditioner, www.selfridges.com
GTG: Do you have any healthy-living tips to pass on to our readers?
OC: I make a smoothie every morning with fresh organic berries (strawberries, bananas, peaches or whatever is in season.) I mix it with Greek yoghurt, whey protein and rice milk. I also like to drink coconut water as it has lots of minerals in it. Supplement-wise I take B vitamins, fish oils, vitamin C and calcium. I believe that prevention is the best medicine.
Interview by Susannah Taylor
Chantecaille products are available from uk.spacenk.com