BRITISH VOGUE · The Power Facialist Behind The Luminous Skin At Victoria Beckham’s AW20 Show
If there is one beauty look that Victoria Beckham fully subscribes to for her fashion shows, it’s beautiful, fresh skin and barely-there make-up. It was no different for her autumn/winter 2020 show on Sunday, where the models’ skin was, as the designer put it “healthy and hydrated with a really beautiful, natural glow. Nothing overly complicated, just beautiful skin.”
Proving that prep and excellent products have more to do with a luminous glow than make-up itself does, Beckham invited her favourite facialist, Melanie Grant, backstage to treat the models to some restorative pampering amid the chaos of fashion month. “For me, skincare is the foundation of everything,” said Beckham. “[She] is the most incredible facialist – [we first] met over a year ago in Australia. [She] gave all of the [models] a facial before they had their make-up done, using the VB serum and Rejuvenating Priming Moisturizer on top.”
Backstage at the show, the designer herself was the embodiment of the fuss-free approach that’s leading the direction of her eponymous beauty brand, despite minimal sleep the night before the show. “… It’s always about keeping it as natural as possible after not having a lot of sleep, which is normal,” she said. “I didn’t go to bed until about 3.30am and woke up just before 5am. [I] jumped in the shower and didn’t have time to wash my hair.”
With the show wrapped for this season, Beckham will likely be looking forward to a well-earned rest… but not just yet. She told Vogue after the presentation: “I’m going to go for lunch after I’ve finished work and I’m going to drink a lot of wine.”
One of the first designers to start providing mini-facials backstage for her models, glowing, radiant skin is a signature look for Beckham, as much a part of her collection as the sleek, minimalist lines of her clothes. She flew Grant, who looks after Beckham’s own skin, in from Los Angeles to prep the models walking in her show at Banqueting House.
Melanie Grant is the beauty industry’s secret weapon
As well as delivering great skin to great models, Grant jets between clinics in Sydney, Melbourne, Paris and Los Angeles, tending to the complexions of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Jennifer Aniston, Hailey Bieber, Joan Smalls, Kim Kardashian, Karolína Kurková, Rose Byrne and Georgia Fowler, to name a few.
But A-listers aside, she’s something of an industry power-house. As well as connecting Victoria Beckham with Augustinus Bader (the pair went on to create a skincare line together), on a recent visit to the facialist I was sandwiched (metaphorically, not literally) between Cassandra Grey of Violet Grey and the legendary make-up artist Patti Dubroff, who had just finished a back-to-back weekend of Oscars make-up appointments and was looking forward to a little self-care in Grant’s expert hands. One can only imagine the conversations that take place in the privacy of her discreet, white studio.
Her facials deliver
Grant’s magic formula is not massively different from any other brilliant facial, but it’s the formula that really works the best. She combines lots of old-school massage with some high-performance products, using her experience and skills at diagnosing skin issues to create a bespoke experience. The Custom Skin Health Facial at her Melrose Place Clinic (a favourite of Beckham’s) incorporates a double cleanse, some microdermabrasion, a gentle peel, an ultrasound infusion of vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, light therapy, a collagen mask and plenty of massage. Sometimes, she’ll throw in some radio frequency and micro current as well.
For the sake of efficiency, and in line with many US dermatologists, she’ll have your skin prepped initially by one of her team, then enter to do the main part of the facial herself. While the light therapy mask is working, she leaves another member of her team to give you a hand, arm and shoulder massage. You leave with glowing skin, which looks even better a day or so later.