shane cooper

Shane Cooper: Meet London’s most sought-after celebrity facialist

28 Mar 2024 | |By Annie Lewis

How do A-listers get that glorious red carpet glow? We get the inside scoop on the £600 facial that celebrities can’t get enough of…

There are plenty of facialists in London that can lay claim to a celebrity clientele, but none are more sought-after than Shane Cooper. With a roster of A-list, royal and high-profile clients, ranging from Sienna Miller to Maya Jama (you only need follow her on Instagram to spot she’s one of Cooper’s regulars), he’s become famous in starry circles for delivering that signature glow and making skin ‘red carpet ready’ – but what’s his secret? And what keeps celebrities coming back for more? 

Tucked away in a corner of Kendrick Mews in South Kensington, I’m not entirely sure I’m in the right place until I spot a sign outside a white townhouse that states ‘by appointment only’. Inside, the clinic has been meticulously designed by Cooper – simple but elegant in pale green hues with statement lighting and minimalist furnishings – and he’s quick to tell me that if he wasn’t an aesthetician, he would love to be an interior designer. The location, he explains, is purposefully unassuming: “We do have some clients coming here with bodyguards, so we needed to find somewhere with exclusive access.” Job done. 

I’m in for one of Cooper’s bespoke facials: a 90-minute treatment that tends to your skin’s unique needs and targets specific concerns, whether that’s tightening via microcurrents or brightening via LED therapy. “None of my clients will have the same facial, it’s all completely tailored to them,” says Cooper. I’m his last client of the day – meaning he finishes at 8pm – while his first client knocked on the door at 8am. “Poppy [Delevingne] asked me if I had time to squeeze her in as she’s only in the city for a limited amount of time. I’m always happy to start earlier for my clients, but it has been particularly busy during the past couple of months due to awards season.” 

Bridgerton stars Phoebe Dyvenor and Nicola Coughlan, Saltburn actor Barry Keoghan and presenter Amelia Dimoldenberg have all plumped for the bespoke facial pre-red carpet, which can fetch up to £600. What justifies the price tag? Cooper is strictly non-invasive, and therefore doesn’t work with fillers or botox, instead using up to 20 different gadgets and gizmos that promise to reverse signs of ageing, and brighten and hydrate skin for that coveted radiance. 

As I settle down on the heated bed, Cooper is funny, chatty, friendly but impressively efficient, talking me through his plan for my facial, which starts with a deep cleanse before he glides a series of microcurrent wands across my face. They’re painless, and are one of the signature devices Cooper first trained with years ago, utilised to promote muscle lifting and contouring with added radiofrequency for boosting collagen. 

Next up is LED light therapy – intense bouts of infrared followed by blue LED light which is great for targeting acne and breakouts – before a more uncomfortable but speedy session with a loud cryotherapy gun which shoots pressurised carbon dioxide combined with hyaluronic acid (Cooper’s favourite skincare ingredient, more on that later) for a final plumping effect. When I lift my head off the pillow, my skin is red and shiny – “don’t worry about it darling, it will settle by this evening” – but my cheekbones are noticeably more prominent and my pores visibly smaller. 

The next morning, it’s safe to say my skin is glowing (interestingly, I get the most compliments that day from those unaware I’ve had a facial), all redness has disappeared and my make-up glides on like a dream. Ready to meet the nicest man in the business? Read on for our exclusive interview with Shane Cooper. 

How did you get started in aesthetics?

When I left school, I entered a job where I worked with adolescents with substance abuse issues and mental health concerns. I eventually found my way into the beauty industry, largely due to my mother’s concerns about ageing as she was in her early 40s. She was apprehensive about getting injectables and so she began getting microcurrent facials – which are anti-ageing but non-invasive. Seeing the results, she really wanted a home device, which led me to train in skincare so I could use the machines for her and other family members. This really sparked my love for tailoring treatments for each client.

My business started to grow from posting before-and-after pictures, which in turn, attracted a PR company’s interest in using my images as they loved the results I was showing. Since then, my business has just snowballed, growing through word of mouth, and I eventually decided to dive fully into this industry. For me, it’s always been about making people feel good in their own skin.

From your perspective, why is it important to look after your skin?

Skincare, for me, is a form of self-care. It’s always been a big deal in my life to take care of myself, no matter what that looks like. As I’ve gotten a bit older, I’ve started to think more about not just my skin, but also my mental health, how I live my life, what I eat, and the people I surround myself with. Skincare is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to taking good care of yourself. It’s all about feeling good and looking good, inside and out.

Do you think social media has a negative impact on people's skin confidence?

It is great for picking up tips and discovering new products or treatments, but it can also be a bit too much sometimes. The constant flood of pictures showing off ‘perfect’ skin on social media can definitely make people feel less confident about their own skin. These platforms have a habit of highlighting the best of the best, which isn’t always the reality. Let’s face it, everyone gets breakouts or skin flare-ups, celebrity or not. And the truth is, there’s no such thing as perfect skin.

In my work, I always aim to normalise skin concerns before any treatment, reinforcing that it’s okay not to have perfect skin. This approach extends to body treatments as well, with the goal of boosting clients’ confidence in their skin.

What makes your bespoke facial different to other treatments in London?

Our approach has always centred on offering bespoke, niche treatments tailored to the individual. I work with approximately 20 different devices, all featuring the latest and most effective technology available. My guiding principle is that I control the devices to serve the client’s best interests, ensuring that treatments are adapted to what the client needs at that moment. We don’t subscribe to a one-size-fits-all methodology; instead, we conduct thorough assessments of each client’s skin and lifestyle to develop a tailored treatment plan. Our growth has been largely driven by word-of-mouth, attracting clients from across the globe who seek our unique, personalised care.

How did your celebrity base grow? What's the key to making skin 'red carpet ready'?

Our celebrity roster includes Maya Jama, Sienna Miller, Poppy Delevingne, Cara Delevingne, Barry Keoghan, Nick Grimshaw, Hannah Waddingham, Dan Levy and many more. There are also several high-profile people whom we can’t mention due to privacy, even including international royalty. We’ve got a bunch of high-profile clients, and it’s really great when they share their experiences on social media. It helps spread the word about what we do and shows how much they trust us to keep their skin looking great.

Getting their skin ready for the spotlight is all about regular care. We start treatments well before any big events to get their skin in top shape. But, if we’re crunched for time, even a week or a day before an event can work wonders. We pull out all the stops with muscle tightening, light therapy, and oxygenation for that extra glow.

What is your favourite skincare machine?

I appreciate every device I have; they all serve a specific purpose. But I recently upgraded to the Geneo X which has quickly become my go-to. It’s a fantastic machine, offering a blend of oxygenation, exfoliation, radio frequency, and ultrasound. This versatility makes it an ideal part of my exclusive facial treatments, allowing me to combine it with three or four other devices to achieve the best possible results for my clients.

Tell me about your body treatment services.

I’ve been offering body treatment services for a long while now, doubling down on those machines to meet my clients’ demands. We tackle a lot of common concerns, like cellulite, which is pretty normal, as well as skin laxity and the natural changes that come with ageing. Weight loss is another big area, where the goal is to rejuvenate the skin and address things like scarring or stretch marks. Body treatments are a big part of what we do, more than you might think, but I’ve noticed people tend to be more private about these treatments. A lot of folks feel self-conscious, especially when summer rolls around or before big events. They just want to look and feel great, and it’s our job to help them achieve that.

What's one skincare ingredient you couldn't live without?

Hydration is key for me, and hyaluronic acid is the one ingredient I can’t do without. I have a hyaluronic mist [in my skincare range] that’s really popular for its skin-toning benefits. You can use it to set your makeup or just give your skin a hydration boost throughout the day. [Hylauronic acid is] naturally produced by our bodies and giving your skin that extra hydration can make such a difference. It’s a game-changer for keeping skin feeling and looking great.

What's one step in your skincare routine that you never miss?

Cleansing, without a doubt. It’s crucial for removing all the impurities your skin picks up, whether you wear makeup or not. I make it a point to cleanse every morning and night. Keeping your skin clean is foundational to any skincare routine because applying products on congested skin is a recipe for breakouts.


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