Original Skin: Sarah Chapman
The skin specialist throws a lens on London and the faces and places that shape her worldRead more
Lauded facial expert Sarah Chapman has discovered that London’s influence is all about a feeling, told through the aspirational stories of the people who inhabit it.
“I moved to London straight after school to study makeup artistry,” Sarah Chapman tells us. “Apart from a short stint in Australia to study special effects makeup, I have stayed in London ever since.“ And, as home to her sought-after Skinesis clinic, the celebrated facialist has found her greatest motivation is right on her own doorstep: “London has such a great energy – the city is always humming with activity and ambition.”
Basing herself and her business in West London, it’s the strong sense of community that surrounds her which has kept her rooted in the capital. “I’ve always loved this area and have lived in and around Fulham and Chelsea for years,” she explains. “Draycott Avenue has a real community feeling about it, with its little independent boutiques and excellent bars, cafés and restaurants – one of my favourites is Jak’s for fresh juices and cocktails.”
My clients are often travellers; they experience the world and share their insights, which no doubt adds to my creative thinking
For Chapman, her familiarity with the area has granted her with constant inspiration and a thriving client roster – influences she channels directly into her skin innovations. “I know how hectic my clients’ schedules tend to be,” she shares. “This has always inspired my formulas. My clients are often travellers; they experience the world and share their insights, which no doubt adds to my creative thinking.” Fortunately, this is something that comes naturally to her, allowing her to tap into an ever-expanding pool of creativity: “I have always loved networking and have had the opportunity to meet amazing people through both my work and friends. London has a level of diversity that we do not see elsewhere – it’s a great hub for fashion and the arts.”
In her day-to-day, the art world is never far and having easy access to these spaces provides Chapman with creative respite on cue: “One of the great things about London is the public art – you can always find interesting pop-ups and exhibitions. I’ll often stroll over to the Saatchi Gallery when I need inspiration – there’s always something fascinating on display there.” Yet sometimes, the source of her skin care offers its own sense of escapism. “I adore fresh flowers,” she explains. “It’s why you’ll find them across all the products in my Skinesis range, so for me New Covent Garden Flower Market is heaven! We were lucky to launch my Skinesis Clinic in Chelsea Flower Show week – the area was filled with blooms and activity.”
London has a level of diversity that we do not see elsewhere – it’s a great hub for fashion and the arts
Outside the fast pace of daily business, Chapman restores normality through moments of tranquillity. “In my time off, you’ll often find me walking around Kensington Gardens, enjoying the fresh air and beautiful surroundings,” she says. “Taking a walk in the park with my Italian greyhound Sidney has been a daily mood booster.” Still, London in its truest and boldest sense is what drives her and it’s the unexpected twists that keep her world turning and her mind firmly fixed on her surroundings: “I leave Chelsea and go to different areas of London to stimulate my senses. There’s so much variety across London; you can stroll along the river in the suburbs, get caught up in the bustle of the West End. Different sights, sounds and smells – I find this really inspiring.”
A LONDON SECRET...
When my body needs some TLC, I head to The Margaret Dabbs at Liberty for pretty, pampered feet. Colbert on Sloane Square is my go-to for breakfast meetings or a quick coffee catchup. Closer to home, The Ivy Chelsea Garden is (brilliantly) my ‘local’ – such a gorgeous summer retreat. Estiatorio Milos in St James’s serves wonderful Mediterranean dishes and fresh seafood; and Lurra in Marylebone is fantastic for traditional Basque cuisine.