Growing up as the youngest daughter of inspirational beauty entrepreneur Sylvie Chantecaille, Alex Chantecaille developed a deep-rooted passion for beauty and makeup from a young age. Now, as a successful businesswoman in her own right, Alex is Vice President of Sales in the family business. We caught up with Alex to discover how she juggles her busy career with Sunday downtime, how she manages to fit in a thoughtful skincare regime and why she begins each day taking time to appreciate nature with a good cup of coffee…
The Wind Down
Most weekends I’ll go out to the Hamptons and will spend a few days relaxing on the beach. It’s very grounding and mellowing, the perfect antidote to the hectic go-go-go energy of New York City. So, by the time Sunday night comes around, I tend to feel pretty refreshed. I don’t usually start my routine until around 9pm. Sundays are the perfect chance to spend more time on my routine and relax. Whether it’s reading the paper by the fire or taking a leisurely bath, the process is usually therapeutic. A combination of music and candles are what helps me to get into the chill zone. I love music, especially Bach, Bossa Nova and Beethoven’s concertos. I light candles throughout the apartment and I might even light a blazing fire depending on the weather. Diptyque’s Oranger candle and the Diptyque Rose Diffuser are two of my favourite scents that I have around the house. If I’ve had a busy week I’ll take a bath laced with Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath and Shower Oil, put my hair up in an Aquis Hair Turban and then settle down with a glass of wine and a good book. I never look at work emails on a Sunday and try to stay away from Instagram. I think it’s important to do what you have to on Sundays to preserve your energy, so I try to keep it unscheduled.
My skincare routine is thoughtful but simple. I’ll start by washing my face with Chantecaille’s Rice & Geranium Foaming Cleanser, then use a layer of Chantecaille Blue Light Protection Hyaluronic Serum – especially if I’ll be spending a day in the office in front of the computer. Then I’ll layer on Rose de Mai Face Cream and finally the Anti-Pollution Finishing Essence particularly if I’m going to be travelling by plane or running around to our counters across the city. One of my colleagues gave me Odacite’s Rose Quartz Gua Sha recently, which I love, so as an added extra I’ll use that or a jade roller on a Sunday to massage my skin. A tip I picked up from my friend’s beautiful mother is to only wash your face with bracingly cold water, she taught me that it helps to keep your skin taught.
I’ve always preferred a bath to a shower. Sadly, I don’t have a bathtub in my current NYC apartment though, so I always make sure to take one when I’m visiting my parents and I’ve been designing the bathtub of my dreams for my new beach house in East Hampton. I love all of the oils from Aromatherapy Associates, the little bento box of mini vials is so delicious and allows you to try all the different scents. In the shower I love Ren’s Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Wash which is super refreshing, and then to moisturise my body I use either a body oil like our Rose de Mai Body Oil or Dr Barbara Sturm’s Anti-Aging Body Cream. I only wash my hair once or twice a week, usually post-workout or if it’s feeling oily. Most of the time I’ll just brush it and walk out of the door, nothing fussy. If I want volume later, I’ll pop it up in a damp bun and if I have the time (and patience) I’ll blow dry it out for a smoother and fuller finish.
I love bringing the Sunday papers into bed – there’s so much to learn and look forward to, especially in the Arts & Culture section. I’ll tuck into a bedtime chamomile tea and will use a spoon of honey brought home from wherever I’ve been travelling recently to add sweetness. Recently I’ve had some pure Manuka honey from New Zealand and my friend kindly brought me some he collected by hand from Kenya too. I’m part of a book club with a group of friends, so after the papers I’ll try to catch up on some reading in bed, until the book gets too heavy to hold, which is usually around midnight. When it’s time to sleep I need complete darkness, so I’ll wear a Slip Silk Sleep Mask.
I wake up at 6.30am because I have to be uptown by 8.30am for therapy. As soon as I wake up I pet my dog, check my phone for messages from my boyfriend – we’re long distance and he can be anywhere from six to sixteen hours ahead of me with time difference. Then I’ll open the windows to see the weather and take in the sights of the sky and signs of wind in the trees. Then it’s time for coffee. A bad cup starts the morning off terribly, but with a good one I feel like Glinda the Good Witch, benevolent and ready to make everyone’s wishes come true!