Skincare guru OLIVIA CHANTECAILLE reveals what makes her happy
For the stunning New Yorker, spending time with her daughter is what makes her happy
The elegant and beautiful creative director of Chantecaille – the skincare and cosmetics line she founded with her mother in 1997 – grew up surrounded by French antiques and influenced by her grandmother’s Parisian apartment. So whether in East Hampton, Paris, or New York City, Olivia blends classical pieces with an unerring modern sensitivity that is the epitome of ‘refined cool’. She welcomed us into her charming New York City apartment, one of the many places she calls home, to chat about ideas, people, and things that motivate and inspire her.
What makes you the happiest?
Spending time with my daughter Delphina and my husband. There’s a farm near our home in East Hampton that I love to take her to visit. Last spring, we were there just as all the spring chickens were hatching. It was so magical to experience that together.
Share one memorable moment with us.
My husband Ren asked me to marry him on a surprise winter escape to Anguilla. He actually proposed at Cap Juluca, this stunning halfmoon bay beach, and surprised me with a ring in the clear blue ocean, with fish swimming around us. It was very beautiful!
What’s on your bucket list?
I would love to visit the Amazon jungle with my daughter and see for myself these incredible trees that house one thousand plants on their branches, and the colourful parrots, funny monkeys and elegant jaguars. Whose closet would you like to borrow from?
My mother’s. She always has an incredible taste in clothes, and her wardrobe is filled with irresistible colours and textures. I’ve been wearing her clothes since I was a child playing dress-up in her closets. As I grew up, I was fortunate to borrow a few of her beautiful pieces by Yves Saint Laurent, Mugler, Armani and Valentino.
If you had to wear a daily uniform, which designer would you choose?
Brunello Cucinelli in the wintertime for the most exquisite and chic cashmeres, and Erdem in the summertime for his beautiful botanical prints and elegant colours.
What music do you listen to when you’re about to get ready?
I love upbeat dance music from Sia, Bruno Mars, Imagine Dragons, Kelly Clarkson and Ed Sheeran. Even Moana, thanks to my daughter.
Do you prefer paintings or jewellery? Jewellery! I love jewellery so much that I recently collaborated with the fine jewellery house Walters Faith. East Hampton, New York, and Paris. Which one do you call home? I am lucky enough to call all of them home.
I have family and feel at home in each place,
and I speak French and
English fluently. Each location feels like a part
of me and my
Let’s talk beauty trends?
I love the all-beauty-is-beautiful trend, this sense of whatever your natural ‘look’ is, enhancing it, not hiding it, is beautiful. It’s also a wonderful example for my young daughter.
Chantecaille has stayed a family business from its start. What are the pros and cons of working with family?
Working with my family means there is instantly a sense of trust and connection. It is really a great thing to work with them in the office every day. Otherwise we’d never see each other.
“My mother has an incredible taste in clothes, and her wardrobe is filled with irresistible colours and textures”
Do you see Delphina getting involved in the cosmetics world?
She has literally grown up surrounded by beauty products and has assisted on many photo shoots. She is already a skilled makeup artist and has an impeccable eye for colour. She is capable of so much and I can’t wait to see what she is inspired to do as she grows up.
When it comes to planning a fun day with Delphina, what’s definitely not to miss on the list?
A trip to the Museum of Ice Cream!
You are very involved in helping endangered wildlife and supporting clean oceans.
It’s at the core of our business to use our products and our voice to spread the word about all the needs of our planet and the countless animals, plants and ecosystems that desperately need our help to continue to thrive. And the philanthropic aspect of our limited-edition palettes also helps directly support all the amazing conservationists who are out there doing the good work. We love to help.
How would your best friend describe you? I think she’d say that I’m creative, calm, intuitive, caring and optimistic.
Do you have a guilty pleasure? Chocolate is a delicious antioxidant and a wonderful mood booster. And I don’t feel guilty!
Olivia and Delphina (above) love animals. “There is a farm near our house in East Hampton that I love taking her to visit.” Olivia and her mother (below) Sylvie share many things, especially their impeccable taste
Little Delphina (right with her mother) has literally grown up surrounded by beauty products and has helped in many photo shoots for the family business. Above, Olivia and husband Ren, entering the church on their wedding day