If Deborah Mitchell were a fabric, she would be deep pile velvet with cashmere the other side. She’s warm, comforting, deeply nurturing (insisting we go away with a doggy bag of canapés to eat on the train), with a taste for fine champagne – and also surprisingly low key for a self-professed ‘provincial facialist’, who founded and heads up a global skincare company. Heaven by Deborah Mitchell boasts a turnover of around £30 million and a list of clients that would make any PR weep with joy.
As well as the Beckhams, the Minogue sisters, Tess Daly, Gwynneth Paltrow, Emilia Fox, Kate Hudson plus Simon Cowell and Robert Downey Jr, it’s no secret that the Duchess of Cornwall has been a client for over a dozen years.
As one colleague said, ‘You can see just why Deborah and the Duchess get on so well: neither puts on any airs or graces and both love to have fun’. The Duchess’ 70th birthday party is rumoured to feature jiving to a sixties discos while Deborah loves nothing better than throwing a party to launch a new product, lubricated by champagne, her favourite tipples – famously it’s all she ever serves. Although she only sips a few drops herself ‘because alcohol is bad for your skin, particularly for the over-40s as it builds up fluid retention’.
For the Duchess of Cornwall’s 70th birthday (19th July), Mario Testino has taken some ‘fabulous’ photos, Deborah says, her voice swelling with pride as she recalls Camilla’s glowing skin – yes, she has lines but they’re mostly from her ever present smile and ready laugh. The radiance is due to regular facials from Deborah’s healing hands and using Heaven products, which are based on bee venom – a revelation that came to Deborah in a dream.
It was 2005 when Shropshire-born Deborah hit 40 and, as she told YOU magazine, looked in the mirror and saw her face sagging…. A beauty therapist since she was 17 with ‘terrible acne’, Deborah had tried Botox but says it made her look pinched and aggressive. ‘My sister is a beekeeper so I had a lot of information about bees and honey in my head. I woke up the next morning and knew what I had to do.’
The formulation, now patented as Abeetoxin, contains bee venom (extracted in a way that actually saves the bees’ lives), honey and a natural form of botulinum toxin that can be harvested from a beehive. As well as an ever-growing list of products, Deborah and her trained facialists worldwide offer a range of facials that will, as she says, ‘make you fall in love with your own face’.
She may seem as blonde as her mop of long hair but Deborah is obsessed with the science of skin and skincare. Her latest preoccupation is the effect of light and how you can reverse its action from skin ageing to rejuvenation. ‘The key is triazine,’ she keeps saying, although frankly we got lost somewhere in the stream of information that gushes from her constantly active brain. Deborah’s latest revelations are encapsulated in her new Prism Age Defiance range. When it comes into contact with any light source, including UVA/B, infrared or the blue light from mobiles, tablets and computers, Prism magically boosts your skin’s natural collagen by stimulating a polypeptide in the skin tissue. Deborah has even developed a special app that allows you to direct different coloured light on to your face (each colour has a different effect), while you listen to music she has chosen.
So when you see the fabulous photos of the Duchess of Cornwall at 70, remember that radiant skin is down to the buzzing of bees, the action of light turned on its head, and the healing hands of the awesome Deborah Mitchell, truly the queen bee of skincare.
Deborah’s top tips:
Still your mind to keep your face young. If you don’t meditate, go to the cinema to see a great film.
Eat little and often, ideally every three hours. The fluid in the food keeps you from dehydrating plus it helps your digestion and stabilises blood sugar levels.
Have as many massages and facials as possible to stimulate blood flow and nourish skin cells.
Spend quality time with good friends and family. Laughing and experiencing happiness and empathy should be part of every beauty routine.www