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A New Perspective On Beauty With Fenn

A New Perspective On Beauty With Fenn
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Fenn is the creme de la creme of skincare clinics, an oasis of calm and stillness in an ever-spinning world. Co-founded in 2021 by friends Clare McColl and Nicole Manning, Fenn offers the best of both natural beauty and clinical treatments. We recently visited their Akin Atelier-designed space in Paddington to discuss go-to products, skin health advice, and their holistic approach to beauty, wellness and design.

In the words of founders Clare McColl and Nicole Manning, the idea for Fenn was inspired by the philosophy that ‘beautiful spaces lift the soul and make the heart race’. Located in the heart of Paddington, Fenn is so much more than a skincare clinic or beauty store thanks to Clare and Nicole’s unique, yet harmonious career paths. “Our different backgrounds and experience lay the foundation for Fenn’s philosophy,” they explain. “We were both working in the industry with slightly different approaches. Nicole’s business was a leader in natural beauty with a strong background in traditional European facial technique. Clare has more of a clinical background focused on contemporary techniques and technologies.” Despite these differences, they say their shared values evolved into a vision to create a space where they could provide a full spectrum of treatments. “We believe that traditional and contemporary facial techniques, paired with naturopathy and beautiful at-home skincare routines provide a holistic approach that works for our clients.”

Nicole wears the Ella Long Sleeve Dress in Sand and Clare wears the Lena Cashmere Sweater and Pant in Antique White.

The curation of brands and products stocked at Fenn is a natural extension of their philosophy and values. “Our product range is comprised of brands that strive for results and efficacy, while delivering an elevated and luxurious experience,” Clare and Nicole explain. Because every product is tested by the Fenn team, Clare and Nicole have inevitably found their own personal favourites. Says Nicole: “I have a toddler and another baby on the way, so my skin is constantly thirsty! At the moment I’m reaching for Josh Rosebrook’s Advanced Hydration Mask.” As for what products she can’t live without right now, Clare says: “My skin is incredibly sensitive, so the Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Intense Serum is my current favourite. And the Sans Ceuticals Barrier Restore Body & Hand Butter to lather on dry skin.”

While finding the right products is an important step, for Clare and Nicole, an effective skin regime starts with the basics: prioritising good nutrition, sleep, daily movement and time spent in nature. “Healthy skin needs to be addressed and maintained from all angles,” they say. “A simple place to start is adequate hydration!” The wisdom they live by? Aim for two litres of water daily, plus additional water if you’re exercising or consuming caffeine. 

“We believe that traditional and contemporary facial techniques, paired with naturopathy and beautiful at-home skincare routines provide a holistic approach that works.”

Surrounded by like-minded businesses, Fenn is a natural fit for the leafy suburb of Paddington. As Clare and Nicole put it, “it’s the most interesting little pocket of the city, known for leading Australian brands, particularly in the fashion and beauty space.” The opportunity to open Fenn in Paddington also aligned with their intention to build not just treatment rooms, but a concept store with a strong retail presence, and they engaged Sydney-based practice Akin Atelier to create a physical space that reflected Fenn’s values. Today, Clare and Nicole describe the store as considered, intentional, beautiful and “curated to support the optimal experience for our clients”. At Fenn, timelessness isn’t about resisting the ageing process, it’s about creating a foundation that will age confidently and therefore, beautifully. This is true of every single design detail, from the materials to the simple, precise architectural forms. Stainless steel shelves and desks will gently patina over time, cork adds soft tactility, and they worked with Italian paint specialists to create warm textural surfaces using a mixture of paint and sand applied with a thick brush.

Reflecting on the design process, Nicole and Clare say it was a perfect balance of new, avant-garde thinking and practical application, just like Fenn’s philosophy. “Visiting our store should be an opportunity to learn, browse and indulge, whether visiting for a treatment or simply sitting in our courtyard.”