Sylvie Chantecaille Beauty Secrets

In 1997, Sylvie Chantecaille launched her family cosmetics business – called simply ‘Chantecaille’ - with her husband and two daughters filling key roles. Today, Chantecaille is known worldwide as a visionary skincare and make-up brand, marrying the frontier of technology with the bounty of nature to make the most effective and luxurious products. Now 69, Sylvie is the epitome of style and joie de vivre – in a wonderfully casual, almost throwaway manner, which makes her wonderful company. She is passionate about promoting wellness, deeply connected to the whole natural world and also to everything concerned with creativity and art.

For this feature, we asked Sylvie Chantecaille to share  her thoughts about what makes a woman beautiful, her tips and favourite products.

• In our perfectionist world, being well groomed helps a lot but true beauty is in a woman’s soul, in your eyes, the way you reach out to other people and project your interest in them – and your sense of fun.

• Everyone has beauty but if you are closed in, no one will be able to see it. If people can see a wonderful personality, you will win their heart.

• The single thing I would say to everyone is: be generous - in every way.

• Looks-wise, people notice your skin and your hair. Choose your skincare according to your skin type but remember that the sun is the single most ageing factor.  In the winter, just going to work in town, you don't need to use a sun prep.  At all other times, I use our Ultra Sun Protection SPF 50 Anti-Glycation Primer, £76 for 50 ml. Find it here.

• Shiny bouncy hair looks young.  I need to have a treatment at least every month.  My favourite is Leonor Greyl: I go to her salon in Paris (Institut Leonor Greyl, and carry the products with me.  They make your hair really beautiful. (Find them at, and see Jo’s review of the salon here.)

• The most important make up item as you grow older is a really good, very moisturising foundation, so the skin looks fresh and dewy.  A bit of colour – a soft glow on cheeks, a little soft shine on lips - and not too much eye make up is a very good idea.

• We have Le Camouflage Stylo concealer, in seven shades, £42, which also acts as a treatment to brighten and lighten under the eyes and other dark areas. [This is wellknown for its fatigue correcting properties – so it’s brilliant for party time!] Find it here.

• Nails must not look like claws.  As you get older, you want to look approachable and pleasant – it’s not the time to experiment with black polish.  Opt for neat clean nails and a more natural polish.

• Necks that don't quite match your beautiful ‘young’ face are easy to fix by using a good neck cream daily.  Our Biodynamic Lifting Neck Cream, £150 for 50 ml contains glaucineto reduce fat round the jawline, which defines your features. Find it here.

• My must-have product from our range is Eau de Rose de Mai Pure Rosewater, £50 for 100 ml: I am miserable without it; I use it first thing in the morning and then all through the day particularly if I am on a plane. Find it here.

• Pigmentation is a huge concern.  As well as baking in the sun all my life, I have had to take long courses of antibiotics for Lyme disease, which also causes pigmentation.  In April 2015, we will launch a Retinol Intense+,which works on wrinkles and has the side effect of brightening the skin and reducing pigmentation.  You use it at night, and a sunscreen [see above] during the day.  You will see the difference in a week. [We’ll let you know when Retinol Intense+ hits the shelves.]