Nannette de Gaspé Beaubien wears many hats.

Aside from her eponymous skincare line, which she founded in 2016, the entrepreneur is also widely known on the glitzy social circuit in Quebec province alongside her husband, Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien III.

He is the current president and CEO of the illustrious, philanthropic Montreal family’s foundation – a non-profit charitable organisation established in Canada to help business families in Canada and abroad.

As a dynamite couple, the de Gaspé Beaubiens have been busy investing in biotech companies.

In 2015 Nannette – a marketing and finance executive – became executive chairwoman of one of these businesses, Biomod Concepts, with cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications.

These biotech’s technological breakthroughs have helped to make her global luxury beauty products cutting-edge and led international beauty gurus to tout them as the next “must-have” items.

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When Nannette visited Hong Kong to launch her brand in Lane Crawford, we caught up with the one-time private equity banker – to talk about empowerment, beauty and technology.

OK. Firstly congratulations on being named Woman of the Year for the Americas by Cosmetics Design. So what are your thoughts on how quickly your brand has escalated in popularity?

When we brought out our first product, – a dry Techstile treatment – we really disrupted the industry because it was a new approach to skincare.

People call it a dry mask, we hate to call it a dry mask because it’s really a reparative and restorative treatment and it has a lot of technology behind it.

So when we launched, we launched in London’s Selfridges. I stayed on the floor. And WWD [Women’s Wear Daily, the fashion industry journal] wrote an article calling us a disrupter in the industry right away, and then Vogue.

Everyone was fascinated by the technology. The great part about it is that it really works. What happens often is a lot of companies claim they have the technology and advanced delivery system and they don’t give[those] kind of results, but we are scientifically proven to provide significant results in a short time. We did clinical studies in labs in France and we were at measured clinicals, so we were able to demonstrate on an average age of 58 – which is a tough skin to see results – in one use when measured even after three hours, simply because the results last.

Can you tell us about the dry Techstile treatment for the face?

Sure. When it first launched I stayed on the floor selling myself because I was the only one who could explain what it was. And once people understood what it was, people loved it and, you know, it did very well.

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The Techstile [mask] is actually the formulation. So basically, there are two technologies involved. With the temperature and pH of your skin, a light massage can [easily] activate the infusion.

The biomimetic micro vector is a lipidic molecule that actually encapsulates active ingredients to take them as far as the bloodstream. So there's pharmaceutical applications to this ingredient.

For skincare we directed [it] to multiple layers of the epidermis. So basically what this micro vector mimics is very similar to the biology of the skin.

Massage to activate. #NannettedeGaspe #YouthRevealedMouth by @stylesprinter ️

A post shared by NANNETTE de GASPÉ (@nannettedegaspe) on Jun 11, 2018 at 7:26am PDT

So as soon as the mask touches, the skin recognises [it] and draws it in because it mimics the biology of it. The lipidic molecules or fatty molecules, go through the lipidic area of the skin that keeps all of the hydration and moisture in it. Not only do the active ingredients help the skin, the micro vector has all the treatment qualities that actually strengthen and repair the lipidic barrier of the skin.

And then it starts to melt, and as it melts it goes down through the multiple layers of the epidermis.

You get a reservoir of active ingredients under the skin, which continues to feed and nourish the skin for 16 hours after you’ve applied the dry Techstile treatment. This is 95 per cent natural.

I would say this mask has three to five uses.

{For] some people – it depends on your skin – [who have] a skin that needs more help you’ll probably get three uses out of it. A skin that is in better shape? You'll get five uses from the skin.

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The other thing that we’ve found is since we’ve had it on the market is that it really helps all skin types.

People with rosacea [a common skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels] have called in to say that it helped reduce the redness.

I called my scientists and one woman was so happy she said “I don’t think I’m going to have to do a US$2,000 laser treatment any more to get rid of my red spots.”

So I called the scientist and they said it’s because using our technology the delivery of the ingredients into the skin is instant, and it does not stay on the surface to irritate the skin – we feed and nourish the skin from the inside out.

Regular skincare dissipates because the water makes you look plump, and then it evaporates.

This is waterless, so it’s got 87 per cent of active ingredients and emollients.

So you’ll see even when you take this [mask] off you'll have a beautiful finish – you’ll see it from my cream, too.

Baume Noir ™ Face and Roller Noir ™ looking perfectly in place. @chantal_li

A post shared by NANNETTE de GASPÉ (@nannettedegaspe) on May 6, 2018 at 8:19am PDT

I think in terms of beauty, empowerment means making choices that you think are right for your skin. There are no rules.
Nannette de Gaspé Beaubien

Do you think the Roller Noir is a good alternative to non-invasive surgery?

I do. For me just to step back a little bit – the vision behind my brand when I launched it was to empower people with revolutionary cosmetic solutions that they can use on their terms – non-intrusive, light to the touch, and this technology gave me the opportunity to do that.

Leaving behind the world of finance to pursue your passion in beauty, do you think your business acumen has helped with incorporating the finest ingredients and technology into your products?

I know people said to me when I started: “You know the beauty industry is so competitive. You're going to blow your brains out.” Or they tell me this is how it has to be done in the beauty industry. And I'd say I’m not from the beauty industry. This is how I do it. And you know, I have a different mindset. When you wear a different hat you see things differently. Not in a traditional way.

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I looked at this industry and I looked at how the industry was evolving to become very democratic. Little brands like mine would have never been able to launch and have the exposure that I’ve had in two years and won the awards. We won WWD Beauty Inc Product of the Year in New York in December – it was a huge award! And we wouldn't have had that opportunity. And the indie brands, because of the internet and social media, we have a voice and people could find us and find what we offer.

Prepping for the weekend like... @kirbiejohnson . #NNTT #NannetteDeGaspe #Friyay

A post shared by NANNETTE de GASPÉ (@nannettedegaspe) on Jul 21, 2017 at 2:29pm PDT

So I would look at it this way. It’s the Wild West out there. There are no rules. So I would use my intuition based on what I understood and do things in that way but I’m not dumb. It’s like, you don’t know what you don’t know. I don't have an ego. I knew that I wasn’t a person that had an operating background in beauty. When I realised that my brand had legs, and when I first launched at Selfridges in London and Colette in Paris because that was the coolest most interesting store in the world, I realised when I came back from there that this was going make it. So I said, I need help; I cannot do this on my own. I hired someone, my president Adele, who has her full history in beauty, so that was great. She has been with great brands, Estée Lauder, Clarins, Dior, Sephora. She’s been on all sides so she understands that business. The two of us really balance each other out because we look at each other’s approach and are very open. I think that makes a great combination.

Back in stock ️ #NannettedeGaspe #ArtofNoir #RollerNoir #LuxurySkincare

A post shared by NANNETTE de GASPÉ (@nannettedegaspe) on Jul 27, 2018 at 8:35am PDT

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Beauty and empowerment – what do these words mean to you?

What’s interesting for me is I’m someone that was someone who always lived on everybody else’s terms. I lived on my parents’ terms, my husband’s, my in-laws’, my friends’. I was that type of person. And when I finally found my voice in my 40s, it was such a liberating thing. For me empowerment means to be able to do things on your terms, live on your terms.

When I finally found my voice in my 40s, it was such a liberating thing.
Nannette de Gaspé Beaubien

To me it is giving people the tools to be able to do things on their terms, unlike the way things were done by traditional beauty companies, where they dictated to you what you needed and how you needed to approach beauty.

I don't believe in that and I love the fact that social media and the internet have made beauty so democratic so people could approach it the way they want. You may love somebody’s vitamin C; you may love my polish you know. So it I think in terms of beauty, empowerment means making choices that you think are right for your skin. There are no rules.

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What are your thoughts on how social media could spread a kinder and bigger message to women with regards to self-image and beauty?


I have a second brand that is called Miss de Gaspé. While Nannette de Gaspé is my couture brand, Miss de Gaspé is my ready-to-wear. So I decided with Miss de Gaspé, we wanted to give a message about “living on my terms”. So the tagline is ‘Beauty #onmyterms’. And we give 1 per cent of the proceeds to charities or projects that give people the tools to empower them to live on their terms. An example is our first project that we've taken on something called SheEO, and SheEo is a project that funds female entrepreneurs because it's very hard for women to get funding.

The whole concept behind it is that if you have success in your business then you have to pay it forward to other female entrepreneurs. If the money you’ve been given helps you. So that is the answer.

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Finally: What's in your bag right now?

I always have the same thing – I always have a shawl and my lip balm. Those are an absolute must. I also always have hand sanitiser. When I’m on a plane I always have a mask that is in my bag. I also always have a little container with some of my cream and I always put it on my hands.

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