The Best Things I’ve Learned: Sylvie Chantecaille

October 25th 2016 / Ayesha Muttucumaru Google+ Ayesha Muttucumaru

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What are the biggest life lessons that the creator of Chantecaille has learned during her illustrious career? We found out

When it comes to the business of beauty, Sylvie Chantecaille has been the brains behind some of the industry’s most innovative innovations during her career.

With 25 years’ experience in the field, her unique ability to merge science with botanicals has seen her demonstrate the golden touch in the luxury skincare stakes. With an artistic eye running in the family (she was born into a family of art collectors), Sylvie moved to New York in the 70s after studying art history and started a small company of chic cosmetics with Diane von Furstenberg. Having caught the attention of Estée Lauder Companies, Sylvie then went on to launch Prescriptives, the highly celebrated forward thinking cosmetics line that was among the first to bring the idea of bespoke beauty and undertone-tailored foundations to the masses.

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Looking for a new challenge, Sylvie’s next venture saw her seek to create a brand that fused her interests in aromatherapy and beauty so in 1997, she launched Chantecaille as a small fragrance house with four signature scents based on natural essential oils. Since then, the brand has gone from strength to the strength, building a reputation for creating technically advanced skincare and beautifully natural looking makeup, (the brand’s annual charity palettes are always a feast for the eyes). With a career as varied and successful as hers, what are the most important life lessons that she’s learned along the way? We caught up with Sylvie to find out.

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The best things I’ve learned about...

Failure

You pick yourself up and you start again. Try not to do the same thing again!

Switching off

I am still looking for someone to teach me how to do it.

Ageing

What’s ageing? Who is ageing? You take one day at a time and make sure it’s the best day you are going to have.

Money

Very good stuff. Not indispensable but really good when it comes.

People

You need them. Be nice to them.

Branding

Do what you do and stick to it. You have to make sure every element is aligned – visually, verbally, physically.

Hiring staff

You must have people interview a candidate at the very least. At the end, you have to trust your inner feeling as the decision-maker.

A working wardrobe

Something comfortable, something you can pick out fast without trying 50 looks on in the morning, something that doesn’t wrinkle and something that makes you look good.

Organising myself

Five minutes of meditation in the morning helps a great deal. You need to have your ideas clear and in order.

The digital age

Love it! It’s amazing to be able to work with people on the other side of the globe at any time.

Office politics

I can’t stand them. They are a waste of time.

Follow Sylvie on Twitter and Instagram.


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