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Sylvie Chantecaille

beauty secrets from the woman who gave us prescriptives and her own successful niche brand

Beauty had a big night at the Golden Globe Awards last January, but we aren't talking about the bounty of event-ready hair and makeup on the red carpet. About an hour into the show, the cameras panned to an Atelier Versace-clad Angelina Jolie who, at that very moment, dipped into her clutch, pulled out a tube of lip gloss and slicked it on as the tape rolled. The Twitterverse erupted with commentary. What was Angie reapplying in public, for the entire international viewing audience to see? The answer: Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss in Love.

It was an important moment for the brand Sylvie Chantecaille built, but a mere blip in her success story. Chantecaille cut her teeth on a very well received primping project with Diane von Furstenberg in the late seventies before pioneering the concept of custom-blended makeup as an Estée Lauder creative director. In what was a first for the industry, Prescriptives offered women of all colors a myriad of complexion-perfecting options. Chantecaille branched out on her own in 1997, leading the charge in the rise of cosmetics that combine the best of science and nature—with a hearty bit of altruism thrown in for good measure. After a fall "cause-metic" campaign to save endangered African elephants in Kenya, the maquillage master has just debuted a blooming good holiday collection in homage to the rose—which, it should be noted, would not smell as sweet by any other name.

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—S.S. Fair

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