Once upon a time, Deborah Mitchell was going door-to-door as a mobile beautician in her native England. Now, she is at the helm of Heaven Skincare, one of the beauty industry's fastest-growing companies.
It all began, Mitchell told me via email, in 2009 when she looked in the mirror while treating "a very famous" member of the royal family,
"I thought, 'I need Botox,'" she recalled.
Rather than get poked with a needle, Mitchell created Abeetoxin, a patented formula made up of bee venom, honey and a natural form of the toxin used in Botox.
Mitchell's client list includes A-List names like Victoria Beckham, Simon Cowell, Gwyneth Paltrow and that "very famous" aforementioned royal client, the Duchess of Cornwall.
In fact, it was the Duchess of Cornwall who introduced the Duchess of Cambridge to Mitchell's brand, and it's believed that Catherine enjoyed a bee venom facial prior to the royal wedding.
Mitchell is protective of her clients' privacy, so don't expect her to gossip about Gwynnie's skin type or Camilla's go-to treatment. This level of confidentiality separates Mitchell from the competition, but she's got a fan base that goes beyond the walls of Buckingham (and Beckingham) palace.
What's it like being one of the most sought-after skin expert in the business? We asked Mitchell herself.
Dailybreak: There are so many high-end anti-aging products out there. What puts Heaven Skincare at the top of its class?
Deborah Mitchell: I design all of the products myself and they all do exactly what I say: they work fast, making skin look younger brighter smoother and spot-free. Our concepts are unique, with Abeetoxin being one of our more well-known ingredients for containing bee venom, which is a bit like having mild Botox injections all over the skin (without being invasive).
The other is water, since it makes the skin youthful. Oxygen and willow bark are some of the other amazing combinations to make skin look more than ten years younger
DB: Can anyone use the bee venom product, even those who are allergic to bees?
DM: Yes, everyone can. The patent for the Abeetoxin means that everyone can use it - even people who have bee allergies.
DB: You have quite the cult following. Do you often have "pinch me" moments?
DM: I should say yes, and I do pinch myself sometimes, but not while I'm treating my royal clients or celebrities. I love looking after their skin and I enjoy making people look younger and feel happier.
Those "pinch me" moments do happen when I get stopped for photos, or when I get recognition on my travels. People come up to me to say "thank you for" curing their spots, rosacea or psoriasis
DB: What is the most important thing(s) you've learned from being a female entrepreneur?
DM: There are a few pearls of wisdom I picked up along the way: what goes up must come down. Remember that it's not about the destination, but the journey, and that it's more fun giving than getting.
DB: Which movie or television character has - in your opinion - the most enviable skin?
DM: I don't envy much of anything, but I will say that the Duchess of Cambridge has naturally beautiful skin.
DB: In addition to using Heaven skincare regularly, what should someone do to keep their skin looking clean, fresh and youthful?
DM: Remembering to stay relaxed plays an important part in keeping skin stress-free. Doing things on the regular that relax you - like a massage - is a must. Even if you don't believe you have the time, you must make it for yourself. Another important thing to do for your skin is to drink coconut water. It's high in hydration content, and low in sugar.
DB: You count HRH the Duchess of Cornwall as a client. Did you ever think you'd be a royally-appointed skincare expert?
DM: I did! How funny is that? I had a feeling years before, but then out of the blue I was asked to do a treatment. Now nearly, a decade later I'm still treating members of the British royal family. I'm very happy to know them so well because they are such lovely people.
DB: If someone is just being introduced to the Heaven skincare line, what product(s) do you suggest they start with?
DM: Take a look at your skin and focus first on what you don't like. If it's lines, then start with the bee venom mask. If it's blemishes and/or a jump-star on anti-aging, then Age Defiance. For pigment issues and sun damage, try my new bee peel.
DB: Do you have a personal favorite from your line?
DM: Age defiance. I literally could not live with out it!
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Have you ever tried a product containing bee venom?