Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fun Morning with the Chantecaille Team - and Chantecaille Contest Winner

Yesterday, Neiman Marcus at Tysons Galleria had a hopping Chantecaille event! I went over early and had an opportunity to talk to Ernesto Aluarado, talented makeup artist and member of Chantecaille's New York team, before Alex Chantecaille arrived. I had a blast! I didn't leave for four hours, and the time zoomed.

I told Ernesto (shown working at left) how much I appreciated Chantecaille's dedication to environmental causes, and he told me that the term "cause-medics" had been coined to describe how Chantecaille uses cosmetics sales to support their environmental philanthropy and promote conservation. I believe Chantecaille's continued passion and commitment to the oceans and endangered species is unparalleled in the beauty industry. This sense of balance and reciprocity also helps define the Chantecaille aesthetic, with its deep respect for the extraordinary beauty and richness of nature. Chantecaille exemplifies my passions for the environment, the animals with whom we share our globe, and the beauty industry.

Chantecaille had assembled a team of beauty experts yesterday to do makeovers and help customers with skin care and fragrance. It's a testament to the popularity of Chantecaille that the store was buzzing. In addition to Ernesto and Alex, Alicia Cortes, Neiman Marcus Product Specialist, was assisted by makeup artists Celeste Aman, Chae Edwards, and Sharon Macarol (hope I got all those names right). Kathy Shoreman, super sales associate, was also assisting customers.

You'll remember that we had a contest. Before I tell you about Alex, I want you to know that our winner of Les Mararons Face Palette is Meghan T! Congratulations, Meghan! You are a lucky lady - and almost a neighbor. I will e-mail you and arrange to deliver your prize - you live near me.

Years ago, I had met Sylvie and Olivia Chantecaille. I think it was when the line launched at Neiman Marcus. I was excited to complete my introductions to the ladies of the family and have an opportunity to talk with Alex. She's every bit as gorgeous and knowledgeable as I had expected - even more so! She's an ingredient expert, so I could have picked her brain for hours, if it hadn't been for all those other customers. Still, I have a lot to tell you.

Where to start? How about what's coming - Chantecaille's upcoming introductions? Then I'll tell you a bit about Alex and finish up with the answer to a question Clarisse left with me for Alex.

The next blockbuster face palette will feature the endangered sea turtle. The palette will be introduced in February to support WIDECAST, an expert network of biologists, managers, community leaders, and educators in more than 40 nations and territories that's committed to an integrated, regional capacity to ensure the recovery and sustainable management of depleted sea turtle populations. The shades in the palette sound like a gorgeous harmony of pink and green - green for the turtles, of course. There will be a pale beige eye shadow, to be accented with a golden brown, and an emerald green to be used as a liner (much like the navy in Tiger in the Wild makes a perfect eyeliner). The blush will be pink. Sea Turtles will be molded on the makeup. I can't wait to get my hands on it - love the cause, love the colors!

Chantecaille specializes in skin care that employs botanical ingredients that treat and nourish your skin without any harsh side effects. Their next treatment, to be launched in late December or January, will be Biodynamic Lifting Neck Cream. It sounds like a must-have (and that's coming from a woman who uses face cream on her neck). Here are some of the ingredients and features of the neck cream.
  • Raspberry stem cells for anti-inflammatory properties and DNA repair, using special technology to make sure all the extract is absorbed into the skin.
  • Glosin from yellow poppies, which has a unique ability to covert fat cells into collagen by stimulating its production in fibroblasts
  • Marsh samphire, a succulent salt-tolerant herbaceous plant that grows in salt marshes and on beaches - the plant grows in a harsh environment and provides its unique self-protective capabilities to the skin
  • A hexapeptide for anti-aging properties, one that encourages deep muscle relaxation for a lineless look
  • Oligopeptide to lift crepey skin (peptides have been shown to be effective anti-aging ingredients as peptides have become a hot property in skin care)
I'm there, seriously there - I'll be one of the new cream's first customers. When I was in graduate school, I was fascinated with ethnobotany - and continue to be. I love the way Chantecaille has aligned science, technology, and an anthropological curiosity to develop their botanical-laden products. As you would expect from a company with a cause, they do not test their products on animals, and they do not use animal derivatives, lanolin, mineral derivatives, synthetic colors and fragrances, sulfate detergents, phthalates, or petrochemicals in the formulations.

There's also a Biodynamic Lifting Serum coming. With many of the same ingredients as the neck cream, it has been designed to protect the skin from the effects of aging before we actually start to look "older." I can't wait! Chantecaille's products are pure - they all feel good, smell good, and work efficiently without any harsh effects - they are luxury defined. I can't explain how good I feel when a Chantecaille box arrives at my house - or when I stop by a Chantecaille counter to purchase or play.

I asked Alex (shown in my photo at right talking with a customer) what it was like to grow up in a beauty dynasty. Can you even imagine how much fun that would be? As you might imagine, the house was always filled with beauty products. As a girl, she would play dress-up, wearing Mom's couture gowns and doing a full face of makeup. She said she became a "makeup snob," a total hoot! As a very young girl, Alex accomplished her first science project (in 7th grade), proving the hydrating effects of moisturizer on dry skin cells. Alex said she's always been a science geek, a history that is serving her well as she explains how the company's skin care works - and why.

I have to tell you about a short encounter we had with one lovely customer. She walked up to me (Alex was nearby) and asked if I was the Chantecaille lady. I was so charmed to have someone mistake me for Alex (who towers over me, I might add - she's stunning). I introduced her to Alex, and then she said, "Then, you must be her mother." Gosh, I liked that woman - she had mistaken me for a Chantecaille family member twice! I explained that while I was old enough to be Alex's mother, I wasn't. I was so flattered to have someone think I "looked like" one of the Chantecailles, I glowed for hours at the thought.

Clarisse, I asked why it's so hard for you to find and purchase Chantecaille in France, given that it's only available in Paris at Bon Marché, where I'm told the young, hip, and cosmopolitan shop. You'll be happy to learn that Chantecaille is working to develop relationships with local apothecaries and pharmacies, where many French woman shop for beauty products. They will roll out the fragrances first and gradually add skin care and cosmetics. As soon as they can establish the infrastructure, you'll also be able to order your Chantecaille products online in France. The family knows they have French fans and is making plans to assist you.

My thanks to Alex and her team for a fun and informative morning - and to Neiman Marcus and Chantecaille for the beautiful prize for our lucky Best Things in Beauty reader, Meghan. I purchased the Nano Gold Energizing Trio and Protection Naturelle SPF 46 PA +++, just in case you're wondering what my must-haves were yesterday. I've used Nano Gold - even used up a jar of the cream, which is a wonder, given the number of products I test on my face. I'm new to the purse-ready sun-protecting Protection Naturelle powder. I was floored by the "un-powder" and its transparant quality. I can apply the micro-fine powder over my foundation and blush before a bright afternoon walk (limp?) to a restaurant and ensure that my lunch foray won't result in unanticipated sun exposure. There's a similar blush coming for spring - how exciting! There's a reason Olivia, Sylvie, and Alex look so good - they use their products!

Photos by Chantecaille and BTiB


Clarisse said...

Hi Charlestongirl!
Thank you for asking! I am thrilled with the answer, I hope it will be soon!
It's funny they seem to roll on the fragrances first since their make up and skin products are more famous here (actually before reading your posts, I didn't know they had fragrances) but why not? They must know their job, mustn'they; and I am looking forward to discovering Chantecaille products in pharmacies or even ordering them on line! Thank you so much:-))))

Clarisse said...

By the way, the upcoming skincare products and make-up palette sound wonderful too! No wonder you didn't see the time fly in such a company of beauty experts:-)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Clarisse!

Yes, they couldn't give me a time frame, but I think you will eventually be able to order online. Alex said that many French women have a very local way of shopping at their pharmacies...true for you?

It was the fastest four hours I've spent lately. When I looked at my watch, I knew I had to go home - even though I didn't want to leave. I was having so much fun watching those who were getting makeovers.

Clarisse said...

re: pharmacies, Yes that's where we find LRP, Avène, Liérac,Caudalie, Vichy, Sanoflore, Weleda, Nuxe,Embryolisse, our bio products etc..etc..our beauty, skin, hair tablets, our sun products too

Liliana said...

Hi! Pharmacies are mostly for skin care; one can find some make up there too, but usually you go for make up in "parfumeries" which have a vast array of skin care, make up and perfumes, Sephora or department stores or in so called "instituts de beaute" many of those have niche skin care and make up lines.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Liliana!

You gals are giving me an education about beauty buying in France. Love it!

If I ever get to visit, I'm going to check out those local shops. They sound divine.

Miss Brahms said...

It was such a fantastic morning, it was evening before the excitement waned! I've never seen such positive energy at a personal appearance - both Alex and Ernesto gave 150% of themselves to each and every client lucky enough to have been at the event! Both are cosmetic mavens and posess superlative knowledge not just about Chantecaille, but detailed expertise regarding product ingredients, skin care, health and wellness, the environment - everything! And most importantly, they CARED to hear input from the customers - extremely personable and approachable.
The energy was positive all day long, and I've gained a renewed enthusiasm for the entire Chantecaille line - especially the skin care, which employs cruelty-free botanical extracts and essences to truly harmonize with our bodies' needs, while nourishing, repairing, and fending off signs of aging, all at the same time. I feel so lucky and fortunate to have experienced a Chantecaille day! Should you wish to experience any of the lovely Chantecaille skin care, please stop by your NM counter and ask for some samples. You'll be smitten!

switch said...

Can't wait to see what Chantecaille has in store for spring. Thanks for the info Charlestongirl! I wonder if there are pics floating around somewhere, hope we get to see some soon.