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Chantecaille’s creative director, Olivia Chantecaille, on affecting environmental change with the new Lip Veil collection

Chantecaille’s creative director, Olivia Chantecaille, on affecting environmental change with the new Lip Veil collection

Cause-metics crusaders

Text: Angelyn Kwek


Drop the name Chantecaille and beauty peeps in the know will wax on and on about the brand's cult icons such as the Future Skin Foundation, the Eau de Rose de Mai Pure Rosewater face mist, and the multi-tasking Ultra Sun Protection Sunscreen Primer. And let's not forget the legit celeb following equally loving Chantecaille's makeup and skincare; the list spans from Hollywood A-listers to the Crazy Rich Asians cast.

But beyond the gorgeous colours and textures created with groundbreaking, skin-friendly botanical formulas, Chantecaille has also been pushing the envelope beyond beauty — by committing to the higher purpose of environmental conservation. Going back 12 years, the brand has sought to raise awareness and give back to nature, supporting the efforts of organisations — such as the Reefs of Hope Project, the Humane Society of The United States, and Lion Guardians — with limited edition makeup collections aptly called 'cause-metics'.

Chantecaille Fall 2018 collection

An initiative set into motion by brand founder Sylvie Chantecaille, the philanthropic torch now ignites the second generation with daughters Olivia and Alex carrying on what has now become a brand (and family) tradition. Leveraging the brand's beauty know-how into a voice for the greater good, this fall sees Chantecaille launching the Lip Veil collection, a permanent addition to their lipstick lineup created exclusively to support a conservation project, Space For Giants. Every sale will go to the non-profit, which seeks to protect migratory paths of elephants whose wild spaces are threatened by human encroachment and poaching. As creative director of the cosmetics range and part of the team behind the Lip Veil collection, Olivia Chantecaille shares with us more about this 'do good' initiative, and why philanthropic beauty is in the Chantecaille DNA.

Olivia Chantecaille

Why is the Lip Veil collection considered so unique to Chantecaille?
This formula is exciting and innovative — you get this full body, super comfortable color without the thickness of a traditional formula. Lip Veil glides on effortlessly, delivering a veil of hydrating, pure color with one seamless swipe. I love that it has a weightless, airy feel but really gives lips a powerful pop of pigment while feeling so smooth, emollient, and silky. The most meaningful part of the product is the charity component. We partnered with Space for Giants to help save elephants in Africa. The sale of each lipstick gives back to this innovative cause.

Are there innovative technologies or ingredients in the Lip Veil formula that differ from Chantecaille's other lipstick offerings?
What elevates Lip Veil is the formula: We ethically and sustainably harvested Baobab Oil from Zimbabwe for the ultimate nourishing glaze. The intensely nourishing Baobab Oil is certified Fair Wild and organic to ensure the Baobab trees are protected and continue to thrive.

Can you share what spurred its creation, and the team's creative process behind the conceptualisation?
We immediately fell in love with the formula when we tested it — we had never felt anything like it before. Plus, bold, vibrant lip color is such a huge trend this season. We wanted to do a Lip collection that was on-trend, but the Chantecaille way — it had to feel great, look beautiful on, and treat your lips. We also wanted to create a product that would permanently support a charity we passionately care about, Space for Giants. This innovative non-profit conservation effort was created to save elephants in Africa and protect their ancient migratory paths throughout the continent. Then we realized we could incorporate sustainably harvested Baobab Oil from Baobab trees that grow on the same land inhabited by the elephants Space for Giants protects, it all came together.

Elephants in Africa

What's the Lip Veil shade you've been rocking lately?
I love the bold lip trend for fall; I am wearing Lip Veil in berry-red Azalea when I go out at night. It's an elegant, effortless way to wear red! I love Lip Veil in Oleander for a confident office look. It's a fun, feminine fuschia. And on the weekends, all I need to look and feel put together is a swipe of pink Moabi Lip Veil.

How integral is it for Chantecaille to give back, and how do you select the beneficiaries the brand will collaborate with? For that matter, why the Space For Giants organisation?
My mother and I created the company with the intention to give back to the environment. Nature and animals are a passion of ours and very much an integral part of the DNA of our company. We are always listening, reading articles and learning about various issues around the world. We have been fortunate to meet many fascinating game-changers in the world of conservation. We choose to work directly with the people who are innovating the way we save our planet and are on the ground doing the work themselves. We are inspired by them every day and are thrilled to share their amazing efforts with our customer.

Chantecaille Lip Veil collection

As one of the first few beauty brands to utilise makeup to affect change on a global scale, how is Chantecaille leading the conversation today when it comes to the relationship between beauty and environmental awareness, particularly in our social media age?
We believe that the most effective way to communicate about these causes is to present information in a positive way and show simple acts that can greatly help the issue. We don't believe in preaching or using scare tactics. We like to be aware of the facts and then focus on positive actions. People are so resourceful and creative, I am constantly amazed at what people are doing to help the world around them and we love getting to know them, learn from them and share with our community. We are a global company and we can reach our customers through social media our website and the many wonderful and talented artists and aestheticians that work with us in stores.

What are some of the conservation initiatives Chantecaille has undertaken that are the most memorable to you?
The causes are all near and dear to my heart and never go away, I like to stay connected and active with them.  I love sharing the issues, my personal stories and what we can do to help with my daughter, who is now 4. She is like me — she loves animals, plants and being in nature and she has a tremendous heart.

Olivia Chantecaille with her daughter

What's next on the agenda for Chantecaille in the brand's commitment to continue raising awareness for conservation?
Polar bears!

The Lip Veil collection is available at the Chantecaille counter at Takashimaya Shopping Centre, $80

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