Vanity Affairs: Here’s Exactly What Facialist Melanie Grant Puts On Her Skin
Warning: reading on may cause spending of excessive funds on really good beauty products.
Welcome to Vanity Affairs—a series where we document the beauty routines of notable people.
There are some people who have an I-can’t-put-my-finger-on-it kind of glow—a certain je ne sais quoi, if you will. You know the ones—their hair falls just right, their skin is dewy but never shiny, and they seem to exude confidence.
In the interest of public service, we’ve set about tracking down these actors, influencers, models, founders, entrepreneurs, musicians, spokespeople (and more!!) to find out their secrets. Have you got your pen and paper ready?
Today, we’re taking a peek inside the beauty bag of Sydney’s top facialist, Melanie Grant.
With clients including Victoria Beckham, Cate Blanchett, Phoebe Tonkin and Lara Worthington, Melanie Grant is one of the most trusted facialists in the world. With a clinic in Sydney’s Double Bay, as well as Melbourne, Los Angeles and an outpost in Paris, Grant travels the world making her clients glow.
She’s now reaching even more people as the author of The Modern Guide to Skin Health, a book which offers expert skin advice and tailored routines so that all women can achieve a glowing complexion.
So, don’t you want to know what a celebrity facialist puts on her skin? We know you do. We spill all her secrets below…
“I start my day with a coffee. I usually have a long black with a dash of almond milk.I get up at like 5 or 6 o’clock—I like to wake up before my children so I can have an hour of quiet. I cover off my emails, have a coffee and take a moment to myself. Exercise-wise, the most I would really do in the morning is a walk with my dogs.
I have a smoothie at 11.30, so I have quite a few hours before I feel hungry. I love a green smoothie every morning. I think it’s one of the easiest ways to get lots of nutrients in. I like to put in spinach or kale, avocado, wild blueberries, then bone broth cubes or marine collagen—one or the other. Then I put in plant protein. I like Teresa Cutter’s pea protein. I put in really good quality coconut milk because I really like to get lots of healthy fats, especially in the morning.”
“I’m a signature fragrance girl. I’ve been wearing Giorgio Armani Prive Rose D’Arabie for 10 years. I like it, it’s not too feminine and it’s not too floral. I think it’s nice to have a signature scent—I wear it nighttime, daytime, doesn’t matter.”
“I’m really boring with makeup—I feel like I’ve had the same everyday look for about 10 years. I don’t wear foundation. It never really wears well for me—so I always do a really dewy looking moisturiser with a sunscreen, so I have that luminosity. I do suffer from dark circles, so I might put a little bit of concealer on—I use CHANEL’s Le Correcteur De Chanel.
I use CHANEL Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream and CHANEL Baume Essentiel, the highlighter. I think the highlighters are amazing—they give the most amazing dewy, healthy glow and lustre without shimmer or sparkles.
For my eyeshadow, I like to use eye shadow crayons. I use Laura Mercier eye shadow stick in Au Naturel or Bobbi Brown’s in Sand Dune; they are the best nude, taupe colours. I really smudge it into the eye and make it look natural and effortless. Then lots of mascara—I use Victoria Beckham Future Lash, which is a tube mascara and it’s exceptional and it doesn’t come off because I use lots of moisturiser!—and a brow pencil. I use Amy Jean Brow Pencil in 02 or one by Kevin Aucoin.”
“My morning routine is surprisingly very simple. All of my skincare routine is really simple. I always cleanse, usually with a gentle cleanser and it depends if it’s winter or summer I’ll use a nourishing balm or a milk cleanser. So I alternate between the Augustinus Bader Cleansing Balm or Biologique Recherche Lait E.V. Milk Cleanser. Either of those. I only believe in doing one single cleanse in the morning—it’s sufficient. Then always an antioxidant serum, I’m a huge, huge believer in antioxidant serums—I think they’re just as important as sunscreen. At the moment I’m using the iS Clinical Pro Heal Serum.
So moisturiser, it really depends on whatever I feel like on the day. The Augustinus Bader Rich Cream or The Cream, or I might use Biologique Recherche Creme ADN Metamorphique. If I wake up feeling dull or a bit tired—or I’ve had a wine the night before—I use Biologique Recherche Creme PIGM 400, it’s got pigment and gives this nice little radiance. So it depends on how I’m feeling, but always a moisturiser, and then I use Noble Panacea The Brilliance Vibrant Eye Infusion and top it off with a sunscreen.
I double cleanse in the evening always, I’ll do a balm or an oil first. Again, I like the Augustinus Bader Cleansing Balm. I alternate that with Cosmedix Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser, I’ve been using that for 15 years now and I always go back to that, it’s a lactic-based cleanser. Sometimes I use a swipe of Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water after cleansing. If my skin is sensitised, I’ll use a milky lactic, which is Biologique Recherche Lait VIP, either one of those. I always use Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, which is an exfoliating lotion. I use the PIGM 400 version for brightening—and I think it’s the most gentle as well.
I then use a treatment serum. I might use a retinol; at the moment I’m using Auteur Definitive Retinol Serum, it’s the most incredible brand for retinols. It’s a beautiful encapsulated retinol that I find I can pretty much use every night. Then it really depends on my skin—I use a lot of the Augustinus Bader The Serum and I like to cocktail my serums. For my eye treatment, I’m using the Auteur Definitive Eye Cream at night, and for moisturiser, I go between an oil—I use Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum. I know it’s marked as a serum but I use it as an oil, it’s so good. It’s really sensorial, it’s beautiful before bedtime. I’ll either use that neat or I’ll or I’ll apply it underneath my Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream. I’ll either use The Rich Cream or Biologique Recherche Masque Vernix for when I’m feeling like I really need a bit more restoration.”
“Body care is my favourite thing in the world. It’s interesting, it’s not part of Australian beauty culture, really. I’m a huge believer in dry body brushing. I’m not as disciplined as I should be but when I do it every day, the results are incredible. Anything that’s going to stimulate circulation, is always a good thing. I’ve been using the Gilded Marble Body Brush and there’s also one by Mutha, which has been exceptional.
I’m always super dry and I use fake tan as well, so my skin really dries out. I like In Fiore Calendula Solution Botanique Pour Le Visage Et Le Corps, it’s actually quite amazing. I use the Augustinus Bader Body Oil and I use Biologique Recherche Emulsion Originelle Regenerante Corps. In love CHANEL body oils too, I use L’Huile Jasmin and L’Huile Rose. I apply them as soon as I get out of the shower, generally, while my skin is still damp and oftentimes I splash a little bit over my body before I get out of the shower, rub it in, and rinse it off and it leaves a little bit of a residue, just enough to feel nourished without leaving any film.
I rarely go in the sun. I’ve been using the same fake tan for a while—it’s the St Tropez Express Mousse, I find it works best for me. I leave it for half an hour and then I rinse it off and I always really buff it in. I get a mitt and really buff it in, I kind of go overboard with buffing, and it gives a golden yellow hue rather than orange. I would do it once a week.”
“I always get back to the same things. I love Olaplex because I bleach my hair, I love all their products. I love the leave-in conditioner. I use the Augustinus Bader haircare range, it’s super, super luxe. Their hair oil is insane, their leave-in treatment is like a really light milk, the shampoo and conditioner—the whole haircare range is amazing.
I also love Christophe Robin. I use IGK Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm too, it’s a cream that I always keep with me and put it into the ends. I always have some kind of balm in my ends because I don’t like that bouncy, blow-dried look, I like it a little bit textured and hydrated on the ends.”