This season, as spring flowers come into their own and butterflies return on the East Coast, a new makeup collection from Chantecaille celebrates the fluttering insects. “When we moved to East Hampton, we were told to expect lots of butterflies—hundreds of them,” explains Chantecaille founder Sylvie Chantecaille. “Then, one summer around 15 years ago, I realized my garden had very few butterfly visitors—over time they had almost disappeared. I wanted to know why, so I started researching and discovered it was a combination of a few things.”
Several factors made the monarch population’s annual journey from Mexico to Alaska almost impossible. So the philanthropist and cosmetics entrepreneur took matters into her own hands, designing a line of eyeshadows whose packaging was emblazoned with butterflies. “We raised awareness and funds to give to the scientists helping purchase land in Mexico to secure the monarch’s winter habitats,” Chantecaille explains. “This was the beginning of a long journey to use my company to help causes I really cared about around the world.” The ensuing makeup palettes and products were not only beautiful but gave back to conservation efforts globally. Chantecaille took on oceans, coral reefs, whales, turtles, lions, elephants and more.
But this year, the brand returns to the butterflies after 32 philanthropy collections to help restore healthy populations of pollinators like butterflies and bees. “With the recent fires and pressure on the food system during the pandemic, restoring 40 acres of pollinator habitat in California’s Central Valley is an important project,” she says. “We are excited to be part of creating a healthy environment for pollinators to survive and thrive in.” The proceeds from sales of the brand’s new collection of Lip Chic shades and Eye Quartets support the Xerces Society and boast a butterfly on each pastel case. Chantecaille, for one, can’t wait for the return of the butterflies this summer. Until then, she’s enjoying time by the beach with her family. “I love the light. I love the air, and I love the wind—the mixture of the aroma of the ocean, the trees and my flowers is so unique,” she says. “I love the natural abundance of this place.”