Melbourne is the ideal place for an indulgent girls’ weekend away. From the perfect blow-dry to relaxing spa treatments, editor Trudi Brewer reveals her guide to the city’s best beauty destinations.
There’s nothing quite like the perfect blow-dry to set you up for a fun weekend of shopping and rooftop bar hopping in Melbourne. When you know your hair is on point, you don’t have to worry about how you look. For the best blow-dry in town, head to Dry & Tea in Hampton Street. Offering the same services as its sister salons in Auckland and Christchurch, you can arrive at 8am for a breakfast blow wave that will have you looking your best before your girls’ weekend begins.
My visit to the Hampton salon was a first on many levels: the first time I had visited Dry & Tea in Melbourne and the first time I experienced a custom-made curl. Stylist Blair McKenzie is famous for his smooth, last-all-week blow-dry, finished with a hot iron and a flick of the wrist to create what is fondly known by his clients as ‘the Blurl’ (the Blair curl). There’s just enough movement to look like you have effortlessly styled your own hair but it lasts for days.
With such great service, it’s no surprise to learn that Dry & Tea is in expansion mode and will soon have three salons dotted across Melbourne. A massive new space filled with natural light opens on Collins Street in April to be followed by a third space in the Capitol Grand – the tallest and most spectacular building in Melbourne. Located in swanky South Yarra on the corner of Chapel Street and Toorak Road, once your hair is polished to perfection you could happily spend the rest of the day wandering around this area sampling delicious food and browsing in the most glorious boutiques.
Expect to pay $49 for a blow-dry and $35 for a dry style. Dry & Tea at 425B Hampton Street, Hampton, 3188 VIC.
Mecca Cosmetica was founded in Melbourne 17 years ago and a visit to the flagship store on Toorak Road is a beauty experience not to be missed. Located just a few metres from the original store, this charming character building in South Yarra is heaving with the very best beauty brands. From a dedicated NARS boutique to a bespoke scent offering (including Frederic Malle, Byredo and Francis Kurkdjian), there is so much to explore here that beauty junkies will completely lose track of time.
Seek out the fragrance concierge, who will help you find your signature scent and reveal the art of scent layering, before having your makeup expertly applied in the most flattering natural light. Ask your burning beauty questions and get out of that makeup rut by learning how to place your highlighter where it's guaranteed to give your skin a youthful-looking glow in any light.
Then, just when you think you’ve seen it all, there’s Mecca Trove – a carefully curated selection of cult beauty buys sourced from across the globe and a chance to buy an exclusive memento of your visit that will give you a rush each and every time you use it.
Try the Mecca Cosmetica 45-minute Classic makeup application, $90, or 1-hour Pro application (my choice), $120 – the cost of both services is redeemable on any products purchased on the day. Visit Mecca Cosmetica 79 Toorak Road, South Yarra VIC.
Any day I wake up with the promise of a spa visit is a good day for me and my second trip Aurora Spa, located inside the Prince of Wales Hotel in the beachside suburb of St Kilda, was one of those ‘aha!’ moments. Once you step through the doors of this retreat, the soothing fragrance of lemongrass and sweet orange, teamed with the sound of trickling water, make it impossible not to relax.
I had booked in for Aurora’s award-winning signature steam massage, known as Kitya Karnu. The Aboriginal for ‘salty stones’, this treatment has the reputation of being total body bliss and takes place in a private steam room where the temperature is set to a hot but bearable 38C. My therapist (who is wearing her swimsuit) drenches my body with a bespoke blend of lavender and patchouli oils before sprinkling my skin from head to toe with sea salt crystals. A brisk exfoliation is followed by a refreshing massage with freezing river stones over my tummy, legs, back, and arms. Designed to clear and revive the energy centres of the body, the treatment finishes with a luxurious facial, hydrating hair mask and dreamy scalp massage. Chilled fruity water is waiting when I head back to the relaxation room, where there is nothing more to do than stare out at the sea. Total bliss indeed.
Aurora Spa Signature Kitya Karnu steam massage, $225, allow 90 minutes. Aurora Spa at Prince Of Wales Hotel, 2 Acland Street, St Kilda VIC 3182.