woman made:


How the Australian-based esthetician made a name for herself across multiple continents.

Written By JAYME CYK

VIOLET GREY profiles female beauty entrepreneurs who are considered industry game changers because of their individual approach to business. Each one entered the conversation in her own manner and maintained a steady, if not unparalleled, trajectory with her indomitable spirit. 

For Aussie esthetician, Melanie Grant, beauty was always at the forefront for her career-wise. “I always knew I’d work in beauty, even as a little girl,” she says. “I’d read the beauty pages in glossy magazines next to pictures of the It nineties supermodels. I studied skin therapy straight out of school, earned my international qualifications, and went on to study postgraduate courses in clinical skin therapies. It’s the only job I’ve ever had.”

The skin expert splits her time between Australia (she has two studios, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne), Los Angeles (she just opened her space on Melrose Place in February), and Paris (where she has residency with Chanel). Clients (think Victoria Beckham, Cate Blanchett, our very own Cassandra Grey, Phoebe Tonkin, and Lara Worthington, among others) flock to Grant for the fresh, healthy glow she imparts. “This is my rendition of Australian Beauty and it’s a look a lot of my clients love back home,” she adds. “And because everyone’s natural look is different and individual, you have to have a very custom or bespoke approach to your work. I guess I’m known for a signature look rather than a signature ‘treatment’.”

Grant has no plans to slow down. She hopes to open her next studio in New York City and something permanent in Paris. And she’s planning to launch her first sunscreen later this year. “It’s important that my boys see me work hard and always strive to be better,” says Grant. “I’m grateful for any success within my business and never take anything for granted. I feel incredibly lucky for the trust and support of my wonderful clients.” Here, Grant reveals her skin care staples, what Dirty Dancing has to do with her hidden talent, and her signature smoothie recipe for glowing skin.

First thing you do when you wake up?

If I’m at home, I always go and check on my boys and sneak a cuddle before they wake up. Next, I have hot water in bed while replying to emails.

Hours of sleep on the regular?

It’s so crazy. I used to sleep for eight to 10 hours every night. However, the last couple of years, I'm grateful for six.

Time spent on beauty in the a.m.?

Not long at all. I always get stuck on the phone or email before realizing I have to leave the house in 20 minutes. I never wear foundation or tints, so at most, it’s a smudge of crayon eye shadow and always mascara with a little brow pencil and lip balm. On the weekends, I wear no makeup at all. I only wash my hair twice a week and always at night, so I blow-dry in the evening. This way, I just brush it out in the morning and tie it back.

Typical skincare regimen?

I cleanse in the shower, apply an antioxidant serum, and then my SPF moisturizer. Evenings are pretty simple, too. I always wash my face with an oil or milk as my first cleanse. My second cleanse, I use an exfoliating cleanser. I love to apply micellar water to my skin after cleansing to ensure it’s perfectly clean. Then, I spritz a mist and apply a retinol serum followed by my eye cream and oil or a moisturizer. I'm constantly changing out my products and trying different things, although I do have a few staples like Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water, IS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum, Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream, Biologique Recherche P50 PIGM 400 Lotion and Creme Masque Vernix, Chanel La Solution 10 and Hydra Beauty Lip Balm, and Sisle-Paris Supremÿa Baume.

Hair situation in the a.m.?

I never have time in the morning to do anything crazy. I generally brush it out, apply dry shampoo (Klorane is the best), and tie it back for work. I sometimes wear a beautiful CHANEL clip or a black velvet ribbon to jazz it up.

Your signature beauty look?

Natural, simple, and effortless. I’m not into too much makeup or injectables or anything like that. I love clean skin with either a smudged eye and lip balm or a nude eye with a bold lip. And I don’t like my hair to look too done, as in too blow-dried, curled, styled, or bleached. I prefer a more undone look with a super fresh, beautiful cut, which is annoying as my hair grows so fast!

Favorite workout?

In all honesty, I hate exercise. But as I get older, I know I need to step it up before everything drops! I don’t mind pilates and I love the feeling of strength that comes after a few classes.

Go-to breakfast and a.m. beverage?

Warm water with a squeeze of lemon, followed by two to three coffees with a dash of almond milk (I love coffee!). For breakfast, I usually have a smoothie with baby spinach, zucchini, blueberries, beef bone broth cubes, water, ice, Thorne Medi Clear Pea Protein, Sun Potion Yin Power, a sachet of Proghurt, and a collagen powder.

Foolproof self-care move?

A hot bath full of magnesium and essential oils (I love rose or lavender) with a gin and tonic if some stress relief is in order.

Signature scent?

Armani Privé Rose D’Arabie.

An expensive-but-worth-it product or treatment?

Augustinus Bader The Cream.

A cheap-but-chic product or treatment?

Bioderma Micellar Water. It’s one of my all time favorite products and a staple on my vanity for years!

Bedside beauty essentials?

Cuticle oil, lip balm, alkaline water, and a silk sleep mask.

Last thing you do before bed?
Kiss my boys.
Beauty icons?
Vanessa Paradis, Brigitte Bardot, and Kate Moss.
Best job?

The one I have.

Worst job?
None. There's value in every experience—even the bad ones.

How the idea for your current company came to you?

It crept up on me over the years while working in clinical skin environments under doctors. I increasingly thought there was more to skin treatments than just the approaches given to us by traditional medicine. I looked at the world of beauty as a platform for treating the skin more holistically.

Best career advice you've ever received?

We make a living by what we get, and we make a life by what we give.

Highest point as an entrepreneur?

Opening my very first studio in Sydney, Australia.

Lowest point as an entrepreneur?

My only regrets are decisions I've made to not do something because I've doubted myself.

Scariest thing you've ever done?
Opening my first studio in Sydney.
Best hidden talent?
My Jennifer Grey Dirty Dancing Swan Dive.
Backup career?
Interior designer. I’d love to do that!