Although I have (half) lived in Melbourne for three and a half years, I did not have a “beauty salon” until a couple of weeks back. Oh sure, I would have the occasional facial here and there, at spas like Isika and Aurora and the like, and look, they’re lovely places, but you need to have an ongoing relationship with your facialist, I think. And your waxer. Something a bit more… personal.
Ysee, these women become part of your Personal Beauty Army, they’re their for you when your skin starts being bitchy and needs a good talking to, they guide you towards magnificent skin when you have a big event coming up, and they don’t judge you when you finally step in for a bikini wax after months of “playing ’70s.”
Obviously I have a complete and shimmering Personal Beauty Army in my hometown of Sydney, but now that I am kind of based in Melbourne (“Taking winter seriously since 1788!”) I wanted to find one here. And you’d be forgiven for thinking a beauty writer might have a myriad of choices, but really it comes down to word of mouth, this stuff, doesn’t it? A personal recommendation.
And so it is that I discovered MADE. Beauty Space in Hawthorn. I had driven (yes, that’s right, even despite all those frightening trams and terrifying hook turns) past it and noticed it a couple of times, which I have since decided was a sign. So when a friend recommended it to me, it took me about 0.02 hours to book an appointment.
Now, get ready, because this is one of those paragraphs that is better suited to, I don’t know, a terrible furniture catalogue or a first time salon reviewer or something.
As soon as I walked into the beauty space, as it were, I felt calm. It was simple, chic, cosy. Soft exposed bricks and polished concrete floors balanced out vivid flowers and wild, colourful art. It was small, too, but there’s nothing wrong with small. In fact, my two most beloved facialists in the world each operate in a One Room Salon, and it delights me. Something about it feels so private, and secretive and like you’ve entered someone’s (a very stylish, feminine nurturing someone’s) personal sanctuary, and they’re about to dedicate it entirely to making you look and feel wonderful. I like it.
All done, thanks for hanging in there.
So Stacey Burt, one of the owners alongside Richie Angelo (I must say, I do very much like the name Richie on a dame) warmly greeted me in the wait area/reception bit, and I began gushing about the decor and the art, and the water jugs, just being a really understated cool guy, then she showed me through to my treatment room, one of only two rooms in the joint, both as stylishly set up as each other with fun little colourful rugs, and old industrial style trolleys for the towels and so on, and lovely cosy warm brown/latte and white blankets.
I felt a bit like I was in The Design Files version of a beauty salon, basically.
What followed was maybe the most non-hurty and thorough wax I’ve ever had, (small sections is the key) and absolutely zero judging when I quietly asked for my ladystache to also please quickly be tended to. Oh COME ON! We all have them. Better off than on.
Then, the facial. A magnificent, first-class, energetic and nourishing Sodashi Thermal Infusion facial (you all know my thoughts on Australian chemical free skincare brand Sodashi by now) and this particular facial is fantastic when your skin is looking a bit meh, or you have something on in the next couple of days, and you’d like a face that is lovingly plumped up, and saturated with moisture and glow. I could tell Stacey was a pro not because, she literally is a professional, which is where the term “pro” is derived, but also because I fell deeply, gloriously asleep during the wonderful extended massagey bit. I always reckon this is where you can tell if your facialist is good, for the record. Consultation time is also important, but the way they massage, the energy and skill they apply, that’s what separates them from the rest.
All shitfaced with relaxation, I had a bit of a chat to the two girls (who met while training back in their native NZ over a decade ago) before leaving, and proceeded to fall for them and MADE. just that little bit harder. They care deeply about their clients, but also about the skincare they use on them, they’ve been in the biz long enough to know what Not To Do with a salon, or treatments, and that’s almost more important than knowing What To Do, in my opinion.
They have a genuinely grounded, holistic, intelligent perspective on skin, which is why they painstakingly chose the organic actives (Sodashi, Sans Ceuticals) they use, and strong/effective (O Cosmedics) line they did. I accidentally spent 20 minutes chatting to Stacey during my treatment about skin care, which ones I love, which ones she loves, why she chose the brands she did, but then, when it came to the massage, she just gently, politely stopped answering and talking, which is the most elegant way to tell a client to shut up and relax possible. Bravo.
They’ve only been open a few months, but are tremendously busy, which on the surprise level, was around the “not at all” level for me. Seems like these girls really have got it MADE!!!!
As if I was going to finish there. Give me some Godamn credit.
I haven’t even mentioned the fact there is THREE hour parking on the street (a small but big thing, it’s not that fun thinking about parking tickets when you’re mid-treatment, and yes Mum, I really did just write that sentence), or that there was zero chance of Enya being played, because they just stream cool shit from Spotify through to their wireless Sonos speakers (I only know what all of those words mean because we recently bought Sonos speakers for our home and they are BRILLIANT), and so I was treated to The Lumineers, and Sia and Bonobo and Cinematic Orchestra, and that made me real happy, because my brain always pays way too much attention to what music is playing during facials or massages, and if it sucks, well, I notice.
Things shouldn’t suddenly become naff, and pink and frilly, or sterile and clinical or daggy and ’80s just because you have decided to look after your skin and body. And amazingly, this exact thing happens all the time. I have no idea why so many beauty salons insist on subscribing to this horrible and outdated idea of making you feel like you’re, well, in a beauty salon. MADE. Beauty Space feels and looks like a beautiful, stylish little home, and I reckon any of you will be bloody thrilled should you visit.
Thank you thank you thank you!!!
I’m booking in for an express facial ASAP.
Btw Zoe- any chance you or any of your blog followers can recommend a long wear foundation that comes in some seriously light shades? My go to has been discontinued (heartbreaking!) and I’m struggling on my hunt for something new. I’m too pale for smashbox long wear to give you an idea of my colouring!
Just wondering if they do blackhead extraction with their facials also? I’ve been converted to these since you last spoke of them.
Sure do! If requested.
Thrilled you have experienced MADE Beauty Space Zoe and you enjoyed your thermal facial. Thank you for sharing, great review! xx
I’m pretty sure that MADE is right next door to The Woodsfolk in Hawthorn…if so you should totally stop in there for some retail therapy after your beauty therapy…it’s so beautiful…we stopped in on the way to the footy last weekend…for pics & details http://petitpixeldesign.com/blog/20137/the-woodsfolk
It is and you should!
yay been waiting for you to recommend a salon in melb…thanks
Great review Zoe. A friend recommended this salon to me the other week and I booked in straight away. It was heaven! Also happy with the switch to Sodashi products after it too. Hi-5’s all round!
Hi Zoe! Thanks for the recommendation. Made sounds, and looks, amazing! Just a question: when is the best time for a facial? If I’m heading out that night is it best to go a couple of days before or is that same day ok? Thanks. Love your blog x
Night before is best if possible. Never day of.
Zoe, can you or any of your lovely readers recommend an equally good facialist in Canberra? It’s uber annoying having to pop back to Syd or Mel every time I need a good treatment!
Thanks so much for this review!! I’ve driven past it and have even checked out the website numerous times! Your post has definitely convinced me to book a session!
Zoe I booked in this arvo after having a shit of a morning and then reading your post at lunchtime. Richie was incredible and despite my student budget happily bought some sodashi products afterwards because my skin felt so good. Thank you for the heads up! Please now traipse around Melbourne finding other such gems for us (hairdresser, manicurist, mechanic etc would be great) Ta x
Amelia your too lovely!!
Zoe the ladies of Melbourne have gone Cray Cray over this marvellous review – Many thanks xx
I was treated to a tailor made facial and essential mani this week and it was total bliss.
Walked out feeling completely rejuventated and my skin felt amazing.
Well done ladies, your success is well deserved! X
“All shitfaced with relaxation..” You are precious Zoe.
Great decor, very stylish!
Hi Zoe, unfortunately I live a looong way from Melbourne and will not get to experience Made for myself! I am currently looking for a new salon in my area and like the look of one that uses Sothy products. I was wondering if you (or another reader) had any experience or opinion on Sothy’s?
I’m in! This Friday. I too have been looking for a long term committed salon relationship. My last salon love was sold and all the lovely people who knew me upped and left. So sad. So bereft. Fingers crossed this is a match MADE in heaven! Thanks for the recommendation Zoe!
SONOS is only my favourite thing on Planet Earth. And I say that as a seriously obsessive skincare professional who has many Favourite Things! But SONOS tops the list.
Seriously, people out there…why are you living without it? Begone CDs! Begone iTunes! Begone dodgy downloads!
Sonos. Spotify. Pandora. Get your shit sorted out people!
Love you Zoe. Made looks amazing.
Oh man! Sounds heavenly. I’ve been searching high and low for years to find my Personal Beauty Army here in Brisbane. I’ve yet to find my fit – I’ve come close a few times but they always seem to move on just after I discover them or there’s a niggle where something’s not quite right either with the service or their personality. Doesn’t help that my budget seriously limits my options! Loved reading this review regardless, and I have to say I’m tempted to treat myself to a facial next time a visit Melbourne…
[…] writing up a delightful beauty space earlier this week, one which I have decided has become part of my Melbourne Personal Beauty Army (a […]
Love the set up! I’ve just booked an express facial in!
I’ll give made a go- I love Christine Calais (the French facialist) in prahran. She really knows skin and is incredible. For everything else I go to Miss Fox in the city…. Amazing!!!
After reading your review I looked MADE up and booked in immediately. Can not wait for my facial tonight! You, Zoe are a gift!!
I love the appreciation you have for a great beauty therapist! As a beauty therapist myself, I work hard & love my job, and too often have to politely bite my tongue at clients who look down their noses at me and don’t appreciate how hard I work to give them the best treatment possible (while it’s my job to do this, many do come in treating you like dirt). Also great to hear they take the time to wax ‘that sensitive area’ in small sections. As someone who specialises in waxing, I hear all too often about clients who have had horrible waxing experiences leaving a mere ten minutes late with broken hair & raw skin. Little sections, more time spent and a quality hot wax (sometimes called hard wax) is so important!!
Thank you for being a client to these therapist, they Im sure they look forward to seeing & helping with their skin! It really is the great clients that make our job so amazingly rewarding!
Sarah, I couldn’t agree more. I’m a beauty therapist too and totally passionate about my career (and it IS a career to me. I deliberately chose it, I didn’t fall into it….I’d dreamt of being a beauty therapist my whole life and I finally did it!) and it’s so disheartening when clients don’t realise what goes into our jobs, and don’t appreciate it. I do have plenty of lovely appreciative clients, but there are some that either treat us like dirt, assume we are dumb, or treat what we do as an annoyance or an inconvenience (beauty is fun! Enjoy it! Even if it’s just a wax!).
I totally agree with you about the Brazilian waxing too. I consider myself a fast efficient waxer but I’m not throwing people in and out of the room every ten minutes. I allow half an hour for Brazilians, and this ensures safety, comfort, and accuracy. Some of the horror stories out there are….horrifying.
I stumbled across this post when googling for good facials in Melb – and thank you so much!! Had one of the most lovely facial experiences at MADE and my skin looks fabulous for it (in conjunction with my regular Go-To maintenance of course).
Based on this post I decided to give MADE a try unfortunately it looks as though they have closed down. I decided to try the new place Little Company in cremorne, boy oh boy that place is incredible (and closer to home), loved my facial and LED treatment today, best Ive had.