Chanel's skincare expert, Melanie Grant talks about the luxury of simplicity in beauty routines

Here's how heritage brands and hero products are redefining the luxury of an everyday ritual.


While the face of luxury is diverse and ever-changing, one constant remains: the preciousness of time and how we spend it. Finite and fleeting, it’s the ultimate extravagance in a world driven by being busy. Now, luxurious experiences integrated into daily life feel increasingly important. From bespoke skincare rituals to the use of proven, premium products, small moments of indulgence are signalling the return of a more simplified yet no less sophisticated approach to beauty.

As Chanel skincare expert, Melanie Grant explains, “For me, the definition of luxury in 2023 is having the time to care for your skin each day, even if it’s three minutes morning and evening. (That) isn't always easy, especially when we’re navigating work, family, and social lives.” Carving out a moment for self-care takes on new relevance when life is ever more hectic. It’s why she advocates for the “less but better” approach to skin: following fewer steps while relying on multifunctional formulas “so you don’t have to do as much, without compromising on results”. Investing thoughtfully in a high-quality, stripped-back routine and applying it mindfully is beauty’s response to fashion’s quiet-luxury movement. And it isn’t necessarily driven by price. It’s a more considered and responsible concept that prioritises the experience and emotion of looking after your complexion while taking a valuable moment to return to yourself. 

Driven by detail

Provenance, performance, and purpose are the touchstones of this pared-down approach, one that optimises time while maximising on pleasure. In an industry that thrives on constant newness, beauty’s prestige brands are turning back to their time-honoured heritage to offer established alternatives with modern innovation. Take Chanel’s ultraluxe Sublimage anthology, headlined by Sublimage La Creme, as a case in point. First launched in 2006, a new, research-driven reformulation—along with more sustainable new packaging—ensures this beauty icon feels relevant.

Known for its exacting approach to fine fragrance, Chanel set about applying the same rigours to creating skincare with a focus on unique raw materials, deep research and global expertise. The hero ingredient of the Sublimage line is Vanilla planifolia. More than 20 years of ongoing onsite study have unlocked the age-defying secrets of this unassuming botanical. “Vanilla planifolia is rich in concentrated polyphenols that have the potential to counteract signs of cellular degeneration like pigment, laxity, and collagen loss,” Melanie says. “(It) also offers potent antioxidant protection and a high content of essential fatty acids to prevent trans epidermal water loss and promote a strong and resilient skin barrier.”

Modern rituals mindfully applied

Science and innovation are significant, of course, but a results focus needn’t come at the expense of the experience. “Enjoying the look, feel, and aroma of your products can contribute to their benefit immeasurably,” Melanie explains. “The sensory benefits of masks, oils, and creams can really work to calm the nervous system and enhance the self-care component of your practices.” Here, she cites Sublimage’s sensorial credentials. “These are formulas that are rich in sensorial delight, really working to replenish a dry, dull, and devitalised complexion while also acting as beautiful objects d’art on your vanity.”

“Creating a real change in the skin comes down to consistency,” Melanie offers. It’s why a focus on routine is key. “Being strategic with your home care products and the way they’re applied can enhance the absorption of actives and in turn, improve potential results,” she says. It’s no surprise that the skin expert is an advocate for “a good, old-fashioned facial massage”, noting it as a key component to her personal skincare routine. “Facial massage is one of the best ways to flood the tissues with nutrients from within, oxygenate the skin, boost blood flow, flush stagnant lymph, and lift and sculpt the complexion—and it’s completely free.” In fact, making thoughtful skin investments and taking the time to apply them mindfully and regularly delivers myriad short- and long-term advantages. “Bookending your day with skincare can present an opportunity to check in with yourself, decompress, and de-stress,” Melanie says. “We look most beautiful when we feel comfortable in our own skin, so prioritising (your regimen) can have amazing benefits for self-confidence.”

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