Vancouver: Chantecaille helps cure our French envy

French women seem to have it all: elegance, effortless style, the ability to eat pan au chocolat, brie and crème fraiche and never gain a pound.  Sigh.

Here to solve some of our envy is luxury cosmetics and skin care brand Chantecaille, which just debuted at Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew (737 Dunsmuir St., 604-681-3121, They may be New York based, but their soul–and founder, Sylvie Chantecaille–is French.

Highly concentrated with natural botanicals, this vegan-friendly line makes serious skincare based on biotechnology, Chinese medicine, aromatherapy and European flower pharmacology.  Our pick is their Rice and Geranium Foaming Cleanser ($62), which uses antioxidants from soybeans, olives and green tea leaves to help restore damaged skin.

The company also puts their money where their eco mouth is: Proceeds from their specially created La Baleine and Bengali collections, which include highlighters, eye shadows and bronzers, support preservation efforts.

By Alexandra Leier