Melanie Grant answers the phone from her hotel room in Paris. The final week of fashion month is currently underway. The adrenaline is starting to wear off and everyone is exhausted. By day, the facialist will tend to her globetrotting clients – models, social-media darlings, fashion editors. By night, she will work on a top-secret project with Chanel as its first and only Australian skin expert.
Grant was fascinated with skincare from an early age. She devoured the beauty sections of magazines, trialled homemade concoctions using ingredients from her mother’s pantry and spooned them onto the faces of willing volunteers – neighbours, relatives, family friends. By the time she had reached adolescence, her career path was set in stone.
“The bossy nine-year-old in me would have told you in no certain terms that this is what I would be doing when I grew up,” she says. Upon graduating, she trained at a string of clinical practices. Her husband Jason has always been her greatest champion and mentor, and in 2012, after much encouragement, Grant opened her first clinic in Double Bay. She launched her second in Melbourne’s Armadale late last year.
Word of her quality treatment spread from Potts Point to Prahran, and lead to her partnership with Chanel. “Especially in the beginning, Chanel was a slow, considered and organic relationship,” she says. “As I got to know the people that made up the brand, I appreciated the similarities in our philosophies and about how we approach business. This is my first and only brand relationship.” All projects Grant undertakes with Chanel are strictly classified until official release, but she can confirm the launch of an exclusive Chanel facial in July. Between projects, she carries out market research on clients to understand how Chanel skincare fits into the lives of Australian women.
Grant has developed a signature approach that she calls “clinical beauty”, using a blend of therapeutic techniques and modern skin technologies. “The intersection between results-driven clinical treatments delivered within an almost creative approach to beauty,” she explains. Grant draws on a trusted network of practitioners, from dieticians and naturopaths to endocrinologists, to deliver a tailored treatment plan that works for very busy women.
With a six-day workweek split between Melbourne and Sydney, she understands that busy lifestyle better than most. Her philosophy of self-love and streamlining has resonated with many women.
“My clientele is the topic I feel most passionately about,” says Grant. “It is always rewarding and often humbling to spend the time I do with my clients. I get to know some amazing women from all walks of life. The high-profile clients are easy for people to relate to, but there are many, many more that I’m truly inspired by and so fortunate to know.”