With a high profile and well-heeled client list, Melanie Grant, owner of the Double Bay Clinic, is fast earning her moniker as skin-whisperer to the stars. Counting celebrities like Lara Bingle and Nicole Trunfio as regulars, Melanie is an expert in achieving the kind of glow we can only dream of.
The skincare specialist invited us into her immaculate Potts Point apartment that she shares with her husband, Jason, and her two sons Bass, 9, and Adam, 8, to reveal her own beauty regime and the secrets behind her impeccable style.
Growing up I was obsessed with beauty
In the nineties it was all about the supermodels. They had such a clean, healthy kind of beauty. I have an original photographic print of a group of my all-time favourites including Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell in the clinic. Gabrielle Chanel is my biggest beauty influence. Effortless and timeless - my two favourite things. She was also an innovator, and a fearless lady in both business and life generally. My beauty look today is fresh and minimal. I love a classic look. And I love to dress up each and every day. I'm not the sort of technician you will find wearing a lab coat.
My husband described my style as "voluptuous restraint"
I favour a monochromatic palette of black, charcoal and French Navy, juxtaposed by white and ivory. I tend to favour form fitting dresses - I have curves and I embrace rather than try to swamp them. And heels are de riguer- even though I admit they are not the most practical for a woman on her toes most of the day. I'm looking for style inspiration every day. I love the chic forms of Mainbocher and the classic period of French style in the fifties when Dior and Givenchy also came to the fore. Paris - no surprises there - is my most inspirational city. I cannot get back there quickly enough from the moment I leave.
When my two boys tell me I look beautiful
That’s when I feel most beautiful. Their opinion is uninhibited and natural. It doesn't happen every day but when it does it means the world to me. My most favourite way to unwind is a good gin and tonic on the rocks and a hot bath with rose geranium oil and magazines. I also love a manicure and pedicure at Miss Frou Frou at Valonz. I've always done my own skin treatments. I love a weekly Omnilux, Microdermabrasion and peels monthly, and a Laser Treatment here and there.
Prevention is key as far as skin care goes
My mum taught me of the importance of sunscreen and to always make the effort. This is my mantra, and I follow it every day. The complexion and quality of the skin is what I am most interested in, not camouflage. Time is of the essence in the morning. A cleanse in the shower, followed by an antioxidant serum. I combine my sunscreen and tinted moisturiser before applying a flick of eyeliner, mascara and some lip balm. Before bed I apply a Cosmedix Serum 16 retinol serum with my Skin Medica Dermal Repair moisturiser and Results Rx Eye Dr eye gel. In case of a skin emergency, I apply an enzyme mask that always gives a real radiance to my skin when I'm feeling dull and lacklustre. Also Cosmedix Rescue Balm for when I am flying or during winter when my skin is dry and dehydrated. It's great as a lip balm as well.
I like to keep makeup and hair somewhat natural
I always mix my Chantecaille Just Skin or Armani Luminous Silk Foundation into my Actinica SPF moisturiser for a dewier finish with a lighter coverage. I also like to use my lipstick as a cheek stain. I love the Tom Ford highlighter pen. For a night out, I love a flick of black eyeliner with a red lip and a strong brow. I love the Tom Ford double-ended eyeliner. For a great red lip, I favour Tom Ford's Wild Ginger and YSL's Rouge Pur Couture. I lget a blow dry twice a week, and use Bumble and Bumble shampoo and conditioner and Klorane dry shampoo. I alternate between that, Living Proof, Wella and Terax. Not only for cleansing, but for texture and prolonging the life of a blow-dry. And for cut and colour I go to Renya Xydis at Valonz. She's the best.
I see Saimaa at the Last Resort in Bondi for herbs and tonics
The lymphatic drainage massage is amazing! I try and eat really well. Any recipe from Teresa Cutter is great. I especially love her poached fish in tomato, green pea fritters, fish in a bag, and poached chicken salad. When I cook at home it's almost always one of Teresa's recipes... She's incredible! In the mornings I love organic steel cut oats with hot water and cinnamon or a smoothie with spinach, coconut water, banana and Teresa Cutter's organic pea protein with a dash of Udo's oil which helps to moisturise the skin from within. Almonds, dates and avocado are my favourite snack foods and I love a good quality organic dark chocolate. The Babushka kefir yoghurt is also a fabulous treat. Lunch is usually always tuna and salad or Vietnamese pho. I've always taken Metagenics Vitamin B for my nervous system, Nordic Naturals Fish oil for my skin, eyes, hair and heart, Bioceuticals probiotics for my digestion and immune system. My favourite protein supplement is the Healthy Chef Teresa Cutter pea protein or WPI. I swear by her natural immune support powder and organic superfood, both of which I have in coconut water at night. I love the Pukka range of teas - detox and cleanse being my two favourites.
Double Bay Clinic is quite a personal space for me
It owes everything to my trips to New York and Paris. My husband and I travel a lot and we love the 'metropolitan meets cosmopolitan' vibe you get in the great cities of New York and Paris. For us, Potts Point is the closest incarnation of that sensibility. We both love photographic art and have brought back several prints from our travels. The look and feel of natural materials in balance to the sharp and the crisp feels right. I love the warmth of wood, leather and natural fibres juxtaposed against the cool glint of marble, crystal and silver. The play of, say, a naïve and heavy wooden tribal art form set against delicate pieces of coral and cut glass. The prints have been acquired from travels over a long period of time. My favourite is Lichfield's Mick and Bianca Jagger on their wedding day in St Tropez. We also own several original 'Chanel’ prints by Lagerfeld.
I love everything about living in Potts Point
The buzz and the diversity of the locals, the great selection of food and dining, the quality purveyors, the Saturday markets in Fitzroy Gardens! I went to school in Potts Point and have always loved the area. The local family favourites are The Fish Shop, Fratelli Fresh and Apollo. Jason and I love a date night at Fratelli Paradiso, Cho Cho San or Monopole. We also have two of the best bespoke 'lifestyle' retailers in Becker Minty and Macleay on Manning...both meccas for beautiful home wares, object d'art, jewellery and accessories. My absolute favourite Potts Point store is Grandiflora; I am in there all the time. Saskia arranges all the flowers for my home and Double Bay Clinic… I am slightly obsessed.
I have always loved skin
It’s a fascinating subject, both the clinical side and the aesthetic side. I always wanted to be a skin care specialist - I couldn't imagine doing anything else. I wanted to establish a clinic that was solely dedicated to achieving beautiful, natural skin. With Double Bay Clinic I concentrate on results-oriented treatments and serious skin care in a beautiful environment. I want it to have a boutique and personal feel, which reflects the bespoke nature of our service. I personally treat and manage every one of my clients. Double Bay Clinic is a very intimate setting. We appreciate too the need for privacy...particularly with my high profile clients. We take a holistic approach to beauty and I utilise my network of naturopaths, doctors and nutritionists to ensure my clients get the best result possible. Skin quality is about hydration, diet, exercise and so on, and those who think otherwise are missing the point.
I meet incredible people every day
I've treated many women with severely problematic skin, and it's so rewarding when they are disciplined about improving it, and together we see the results. We live in a harsh climate and we need to take a very preventative approach to skin care and treatments. As far as clinical treatments go, we are often treating the effects of sun damage - pigmentation, break down of collagen, coarse skin texture and large pores; so this really says something about our environmental conditions and the need to protect in response.