It began with butterflies.
Nearly two decades ago, Sylvie Chantecaille, the founder of luxury botanical skincare and cosmetics brand Chantecaille, noticed that there were far fewer of the fluttering pollinators in her Long Island garden than there had ever been before. Learning about the dramatic decline of the migrating Monarch butterfly population, and how the loss of these beautiful insects impacts the entire ecosystem, she created the Les Papillons eyeshadow collection in 2006 to benefit the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary—and established Chantecaille’s very first philanthropic partnership to protect the natural world.
In the years since, Chantecaille has made philanthropy a cornerstone of its mission as a beauty company. Eyeshadows, cheek color, highlighters, and lipsticks have raised money for a spectrum of creatures and habitats so extensive that the list reads like several seasons of Planet Earth rolled into one: Covetable limited-edition collections have been devoted to elephants, wild horses, bees, coral reefs, wolves, dolphins, glaciers, sharks, lions, rainforests, turtles, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, leopards, black jaguars, cougars, wild meadows, wild mustangs, and more. To date, Chantecaille has created 109 conservation-inspired products supporting 34 conservation groups.
Although many other beauty brands have followed in Chantecaille’s trailblazing footsteps, the brand was the first to reflect its dedication to natural ingredients—and, increasingly, to hi-tech botanical science—with impactful give-back programs that were born from a true concern for wild species and spaces in peril. Now, Chantecaille is a paragon of philanthropic commerce: not only do the products raise money for conservation programs, they raise awareness about the plight of these animals and habitats and engender hope that they can be saved. Surely, anyone who brushes on a burnished brown, shimmering eyeshadow that supports the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, for instance, will feel that they have invested well. Where you put your money matters—and personal beauty can impact the beauty of the planet.
Chantecaille’s most recent limited-edition collection, Wild Mustangs, donated 5% of every purchase to the American Wild Horse Campaign and their Utah Conservation program. The selection, which was comprised of gorgeous equine-inspired eye shades, sold out almost instantly. The good news is that Chantecaille keeps permanent philanthropy products central to its offerings: the Luminescent Eye Shades support endangered species in Africa including the Grevy’s Zebra, of which there are only 3,000 left in the world; the sale of every Future Skin Cushion Foundation buys one bottle of milk formula to feed a baby elephant rescued by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya; the silky, baobab oil-rich Lip Veil Collection supports Space for Giants, which works to preserve the migration paths of elephants in Africa; the Philanthropy Cheek Shades each give back to a different cause; and the SeaScreen 30 Mineral Sunscreen is affiliated with WildAid Marine and their work to protect fragile coral reefs.
All things in nature are interconnected and need each other to thrive. Something that begins with one small gesture (or, in this case, a lipstick, an eyeshadow, a sunscreen) can ultimately change the world. Consider it Chantecaille’s very own butterfly effect.