IN THE WORLD OF BEAUTY Melanie Grant is one of those go-to specialists whose signature facials and treatments achieve the kind of luminous results that go hand in hand with a good boost of inner confidence. She has a long list of famous clients to prove it. Her brand is on the rise too: she recently opened a second salon in Melbourne, and was this year named the first official Skin Expert for Chanel Australia. Here, Melanie shares her thoughts on the business of beauty, motherhood and achieving skin that's as smooth as double cream
Photographed by HUGH STEWART
Stylist VICTORIA COLLISON Makeup VICTORIA BARON for CHANEL
Hair JACLYN HNITKO Editor NATASHA INCHLEY
The Skin I'm In: Melanie Grant, photographed at home in Sydney with her sons, Bass and Adam. Melanie wears CHANEL ready-to-wear and CHANEL jewellery throughout. She says, "For me, life balance means family. We are a really close family, it is everything to me. Work can be consuming, so routine helps."
HOW DID YOU COME TO DECIDE THAT GOOD SKIN WOULD BE YOUR LIFE'S WORK? I've always loved skin. As a child I loved to do facials on myself at home. I would experiment with ingredients such as egg whites, honey and cucumbers, and put lemon juice in my hair. Later, I studied skin therapy, it’s all I’ve ever done.
Red Carpet Ready: top image, Melanie wears her favourite dress, a vintage CHANEL gown she bought in Paris; above, the skin specialist has a loyalist's approach to collecting purses.
FOR THOSE OF US NOT BLESSED WITH TINY PORES AND GOOD SKIN HEALTH, CAN YOU SHARE YOUR EXPERT GUIDE TO ACHIEVING ULTIMATE SKIN:
IN YOUR ROLE AS SKIN EXPERT FOR CHANEL AUSTRALIA, YOU HAVE TRAVELED GLOBALLY WITH THE BRAND IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND THE SCIENCE BEHIND ITS SKIN-CARE, WHAT HAS STOOD OUT? I’ve had many wonderful experiences. Meeting and spending time with Dr. Amy Wechsler in New York was amazing, along with meeting the incredibly passionate and knowledgeable skin-care team in Paris. I think a major highlight would be awkwardly running into Karl Lagerfeld whilst in Paris earlier this year, naturally he is charming.
I also incorporate Chanel products at my salon – La Solution 10 is definitely a favourite. I love that it’s so lightweight and breathable without alcohol or fragrance and can be used on even the most sensitive skin. I love the Hydra Beauty Micro Serum to rehydrate and plump up my skin and the UV Essential 50+ sunscreen is also amazing.
WE KNOW THAT EARLY MORNINGS, STRESS, POOR DIET AND SLEEP DEPRIVATION IMPACT GREATLY ON OUR SKIN – WHAT ARE YOUR OWN DAILY HABITS THAT HELP TO COMBAT THE DEMANDS OF MODERN LIFE? I always make sure there's a bit of down time – for instance, a long hot bath every day. I've focused a lot on my diet lately. It's getting easier, and is more acceptable to be discplined in what you eat. I try and get at least seven hours sleep every night and I try not to go out during the week, it really effects me the next day.
|Above and below, a selection of Melanie's favourite beauty products and fragrances, including CHANEL's La Solution 10 and No.5 L'eau.
MORNINGS: The first thing I do when I wake up is go to my boys’ bedrooms and snuggle with them for a few minutes before the crazy rush starts, it’s also the only time they really let me. I usually make them breakfast and [my husband] Jason makes breakfast for both of us, which for me is a poached egg on top of half an avocado almost every single morning. Between chasing the boys around to get them washed, fed and dressed, tying ties and squeezing in a coffee, there isn’t too much time left for me, which is fine because I don’t wear a lot of makeup and I don’t blow-dry my hair very often since discovering keratin treatments. My skin regime is a really quick cleanse in the shower. I apply an antioxidant serum underneath my moisturiser/sunscreen with a dab of eye serum and concealer, mascara, brow pencil and that’s it.
EVENINGS: When I get home, I change into a nightie then it’s homework with the boys and sometimes a glass of wine with Jase – the wine is always red, organic and preservative free. Dinner with my family around the table is really important to me and I insist on this pretty much every night, it’s my favourite part of the day. I have a bath every single night, this is also one of my favourite times of the day – I reply to emails, look at social media and read magazines in the tub. Then it’s reading with the boys before bed and a little Netflix if it isn’t too late.
DIET PLAYS A CRUCIAL ROLE IN SKIN HEALTH – CAN YOU SHARE WHAT'S IN YOUR REFRIGERATOR RIGHT NOW? I drink organic bone broth every day, along with chicken or wild Canadian salmon, never farmed. Also, activated nuts and seeds and dark chocolate for snacking, I probably eat too much of these. Then two litres of alkaline water per day, I like to infuse mine with cucumber, and I really try to avoid sugar, dairy, gluten and processed foods.
HOW DOES YOUR AESTHETIC CARRY OVER FROM YOUR WARDROBE AND YOUR HOME TO YOUR OWN SKINCARE BRAND AND CLINIC? I've always considered my professional values as an extension of my personal values. Especially as my business continues to mature, the two are completely entwined. I started out calling my first clinic in Sydney my 'second home'. There's an aspirational aspect to the look and feel of my brand - I believe that when you make an effort that is out of the ordinary, that makes you better. My new Melbourne clinic is an opportunity to expand on the ideas we started in Sydney; our client culture, the innovation, the obsession with getting results. I feel I have something meaningful to give to clients that value their skin and their health.