The Expert

Melanie Grant

The aesthetician, who opens the doors to a London studio later this year, has defined a refreshing formula that champions "less is more", and it's not going unnoticed


Melanie Grant's LA studio

@melaniegrantskin // Instagram

Your journey into aesthetics.

Inspired by my first facial in my early teens, I trained straight out of school and it's the only job I’ve had. The great thing about this industry is you're always learning and evolving as technology and formulations change.

The milestones to date.

I love traditional spa practices but when I started working with lasers and devices, and seeing immediate results, that was an exciting moment and I knew I wanted to work with skin and be part of a client’s journey whether that’s with pigmentation, or acne scarring. I set up my own space in 2012, incorporating traditional spa techniques with devices as you can’t have one without the other. There is ample time for the skin to cool after an abrasive laser treatment, and for clients to collect themselves before walking back out into the real world. 

What beauty means to you.

Beautiful is healthy and I think that's a very Australian approach. When I swim in the ocean, or go for a walk at the end of the day, and have really salty hair and clean skin, that’s when I feel beautiful. In Australia, there’s more of a focus on health and lifestyle rather than just treatments and products and that is becoming more of a global ideal. For so many women now, it’s not about botox, fillers, or makeup: we want to be able to walk out the door with a dewy healthy glow and feel confident. The best thing to come out of lockdown is that shift towards self care - there is so much you can do from home, from LED to microcurrent. Even five or six years ago in LA, everyone had botox and fillers, and when I opened my studio there, it was the first time I’d heard of a 30-year-old having a face or neck lift. Then Paris is different again, favouring an effortless, undone look. So many of my clients there smoke and don’t mind a bit of pigmentation. There’s something very sexy and cool about not chasing flawless. 

Melanie Grant - The Modern Guide to Skin Health

@melaniegrantskin // Instagram


Bathtime at Melanie Grant's

@melaniegrantskin // Instagram

How that shapes your practice.

Our signature is clear, fresh, healthy skin whether that’s a result of a series of laser facials or just maintenance with LED treatments, facials and incorporating a Vitamin C serum in the morning and a retinol at night. What's going to work for you is very different from the next person and our approach is always less is more: you don’t need 15 products for a great result.

Let’s talk about collaborations.

My partnership with Chanel is coming up to eight years and such thought and consideration and effort is put into all activations. Working with Victoria Beckham has also been rewarding as she's so savvy when it comes to beauty and very involved in the formulations - she is skincare obsessed. To witness Augustinus Bader grow from a small cult-like brand, with just two creams, to where it is now, has been amazing. I took on the role as a global adviser a year ago. The team is so much fun to work with.  

Victoria Beckham at Melanie Grant

@melaniegrantskin // Instagram

Melanie Grant

@melaniegrantskin // Instagram

Wellness experts that you turn to.

I watch Tracy Anderson but don't actually do it! She looks incredible. I also visit a herbal naturopath in Byron Bay, Erin Lovell Verinder, every couple of months. She creates bespoke tinctures (I get mine for sleep and PMS) and has authored insightful books on herbs. Exercise-wise, I do a pilates class wherever I am and take my dogs for a walk. I don’t overthink but concentrate on super clean eating. 

The best advice ever given to you.

The sunscreen mantra passed down from my mum at a young age - I so appreciate it now, being in my 40s and seeing peers with damage starting to appear. 

Melanie Grant champions a DIY facial

@melaniegrantskin // Instagram

Your beauty icon.

Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy - so cool, in that effortless, 90s, hair-scraped-back way. Anyone that looks like they’ve just thrown their hair back into a ponytail, and chucked on jeans and a blazer - I love that look. And Kate Moss always: I admire natural beauties. 

How to edit amongst a slew of product launches.

First comes the ingredient list: I'm alert to clean, beauty marketing jargon and instead look to brands that have clinical efficacy. I insist on trying everything, even if it’s not for my skin type.

Three staple products on your shelf.

Sunscreen - Elta MD or a brand called Doctor Babor. Then one active product - either a Vitamin C serum like old-faithful Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, a retinol at night, or an antioxidant serum like the Victoria Beckham Power Serum. An antioxidant is just as important as SPF in urban environments. The third would be an exfoliant - I’ve used Lotion P50 for 15 years - it is the easiest pick-me-up.

A recent item that wowed you.

Chanel’s new Le Lift Pro Concentre Contours serum: it's a very clean formula, with no fragrance. In makeup: Victoria Beckham’s The Illuminator which adds shimmer free radiance. 

Bathroom essentials featuring Melanie Grant

@skincareedit // Instagram

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50W

@biologique_recherche // Instagram

buy now

Day-to-day lifestyle rituals.

Getting at least six or seven hours of straight sleep is the best thing you can do over anything. With diet, it’s not about counting calories, but about eating nutrient-dense foods - dark, leafy green vegetables and healthy fats in avocado, oily fish, nuts and seeds. 

Fail-safe event prep.

Don’t do anything you haven’t done before! Exfoliation plus a big hit of hydration either via hydrating boosters in the salon, or a good scrub at home, followed by a hydrating serum and nourishing, plumping cream. When the skin is hydrated, the surface cells are plumper and reflect light better, so you get that radiance.

Where you go to escape.

I head anywhere where there’s no one else. St Tropez is my worst nightmare! I love Australia - Noosa or far north Queensland - and rent a beach house in a remote location near the ocean taking very little: just my Kindle, sunscreen, swimmers and lots of hair treatments and masks. 

On your wishlist.

Since moving to London, a Peloton. Back in Sydney, I lived in Bondi and I’d do the coastal walk every morning, with lots of steps and inclines, but London is quite flat. 

Melanie Grant

@melaniegrantskin // Instagram

Melanie Grant LA

@melaniegrantskin // Instagram

You have studios in Sydney, Melbourne and LA, and a residency in Paris. How will your new London studio compare?

Each studio is suited to the city and London will be a more grown-up Melanie Grant. The goal for me is creating a sanctuary and that comes from the bones of a building. 

Congratulations on your book launch!

There is so much information out there to filter and my book is just a digestible guide, that you can pick up at any age to reference skin types or at-home facials for example. When Covid hit, I had more time on my hands: I’d make notes in the bath, while having a wine, and loved the process of pulling it all together. Now it’s all in one place, I don’t think I'd do it again though! 


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