Hopefully you have been enjoying your summer to the full. I have been on a number of adventures, which I am dying to tell you all about (more in my next post very soon), but without putting a dampener on what is left of the summer I wanted to let you know that my Seasonal Facial Oil for Autumn is now available. Yes, I know, I know, autumn is still a few weeks away but I keep being asked for the oils in advance of the season, so here we go!
I hope some of you can resist starting to use it too early (22nd Sept is the official date to start indulging!) but if you are buying it as a gift then at least this way you can be prepared and the recipient has the chance to use it for the full season.
To say I’m pleased as punch as I see ‘Autumn’ lined up and ready to go on my work tops is an understatement, and each season I have to convince myself how lucky I am to have such a devoted following to my oils. Thank you to all my amazing customers.
For my American friends, I am very excited to announce that this year de Mamiel were sponsors of the very classy Telluride Film Festival in Colorado that took place over the Labour Day Weekend. We supported the exciting world of film with our Altitude Oil; I think a few deep breaths of that hopefully prepared them for all the festivities.
I need to sign off for now and keep on bottling but will be back soon with more news over the recent weeks. Lots has been going on! Also, watch this space as I am in the process of looking for a great location so that I can start up my treatments again after my break. If anyone has any good ideas, please let me know.
“I create things that work on a physical, chemical and emotional level, because that’s everything of what we are"
An interesting article about Annee's journey and the creation of de Mamiel, with thanks to www.real-leaders.com
- Diagnosed with cancer, Annee De Mamiel develops a range of oils and balms to offset the effects of her treatment.
- Multiple qualifications in Chinese traditional medicine, combined with a desire to treat her illness as naturally as possible, result in a beauty product with the highest levels of purity she can find.
- Intent, meaning and ritual have become part of the supply chain.
- Luxury hotels use her oils and high-end online stores, such as Net-a-Porter, sell the beauty range to discerning buyers.
- Overcoming her illness has made her realize that you can’t separate mental wellbeing from physical wellbeing.
When Annee de Mamiel was diagnosed with cancer in 1998 she began an uncertain journey with an uncertain outcome. She had been a top triathlete in her twenties while growing up in Australia and already had built-in respect for her body, with a matching strength of mind. She wanted to fight off her disease in a way that was both holistic and natural. She also knew that chemotherapy was inevitable if she was to survive. While enduring the nausea, hair-loss and physical trauma that goes with this type of treatment she decided to create a product to help her cope, something that was the exact opposite of the artificial, toxic chemicals doctors were using to fight her cancer. de Mamiel became an aromatherapist and developed a range of oils and balms from the purest sources she could find.
“I create things that work on a physical, chemical and emotional level, because that’s everything of what we are,” says de Mamiel. Her cancer has been in remission for 10 years now so she must be doing something right. Many cancer patients endure the horrors of treatment and then quietly thank God when it’s all over. De Mamiel decided to look further, at the underlying causes of her illness and came to the conclusion that we cannot separate our mental wellbeing from our physical wellbeing.
It’s nothing new; ancient Chinese medicine acknowledged this centuries ago. de Mamiel holds a degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, a degree in Anatomy and Physiology and a diploma in Aromatherapy, all of which have helped her create a range of beauty products that she believes contribute to healing and wellbeing.
Richard Bransons’ exclusive island resort, Necker Island, in the British Virgin Islands, believe this too. Staff give de Mamiel’s jet lag oil to departing guests to aid recovery in their long flight ahead. Rubbed onto hands and inhaled, the ingredients have an uplifting and energizing effect.
“Many people deny that our emotions affect our wellness,” she says. “My brand is not just about how to apply the products to your skin, but how to reduce stress in your life. We’ve cut ourselves off from what mother nature is doing,” says de Mamiel. “All the people I treat live in an artificial environment – artificial heat, cold and light. Many people are stressed from this and there’s no sense of belonging to natural environments. I create small rituals to help us through that process.”
de Mamiel is often asked where she fits within her industry: wellness or beauty? She seems to fall somewhere between an alchemist, perfumer and therapist. “I’m more about creating change and making a difference in someone’s life than putting a cream on your face,” she says. “I fall into a category that doesn’t see wellness and beauty as being mutually exclusive.”
Her secret is in the source. The lavender is from a high altitude area of New Zealand, where the soil is rich in nutrients and the air is extremely clean. The lavender found here is potent because it grows at its maximum potential, a quality de Mamiel wants to infuse into her customers. Ritual and meaning has also become a key ingredient – every bottle is dispatched with an invisible element that couldn’t be further from a mass-produced product – intent.
The manufacturing process involves giving thanks to the supply chain that has brought the ingredients to the factory. The oil sits in a jar with three words of intent written on its label for two months, like a fine wine developing a unique character. Music is played in the storeroom to enhance the vitality of the product. As esoteric as this may sound, de Mamiel believes that vibrations from music make a difference. “If you don’t believe it, there’s no harm done,” she says “If you do, it can only add to your experience when using the product.”
In 2013 de Mamiel and her husband created a website and began selling online. Within a month, high-fashion online retailer Net-a-Porter came calling, and the business has grown ever since. The award-winning oils are now found in shops in the U.K., Spain, Sweden, Japan, the U.S. and the Netherlands.
“If we weren’t profitable, we wouldn’t still be in business,” says de Mamiel. “A myth exists that you can’t be ethical and sustainable while still being profitable, yet I’m proof that it’s possible,” she says. “Our company mission is to make a difference every day, and if I can’t do that, there’s no point in me doing what I’m doing.
One of her biggest inspirations happened during a yacht race in the middle of the Southern Ocean. “It was the purest, most magical place I’ve ever seen,” she says. “The sensation of being in a place no one else has been, knowing that if something happened we wouldn’t be rescued in time, was awe-inspiring. I experienced the power, rawness and beauty of mother nature. We are given incredible gifts on this planet that we need to care for. I reflect on that moment regularly. It’s a motivator for keeping my promise of purity to my customers and also how I run my business.”
Her vision for the future is a simple one: “I’d like to see households growing their own vegetables and getting in touch with the source of our nourishment,” she says. “Finding stillness within us creates ease and happiness. That might sound hippyish but I believe it’s real. I have friends who run big banks and hedge funds who are also trying to adopt this way of living.”
de Mamiel has explored the science behind her oils and built a successful commercial venture on some esoteric principles. She doesn’t expect everyone to understand why her products work, just that they do. “Look at people like Richard Branson. You either love him or hate him, but his drive in what he believes in is extraordinary. What he’s giving back to the environment, especially the oceans, is incredible. People who’ve overcome adversity are true leaders because they’ve shown others what can be overcome. I have overcome cancer, traveled the world and formulated a deep insight into people’s wellbeing. Now it’s my turn to make a difference.”
de Mamiel is a recent winner of an IE Award for Sustainability (Premium and Luxury Sectors) www.ie.edu/ie–luxury–awards
I am hoping that most of you will be having some quality rest time and have managed to book a holiday, or perhaps you’ve been there and done that already. Let’s hope none of you have been stuck in the Channel crossing traffic and mayhem.
I have yet to master how to pack for a holiday. I end up taking far too many clothes with me (a woman’s prerogative, right?) and my wash bag generally ends up adding up to two wash bags. It’s a hard thing to master as I want to take all my beauty products, but I have finally narrowed it down to a few must-haves and thought that this short list might be some help if you are staring at your bathroom shelf right now wondering how to downsize.
Firstly, invest in some mini plastic bottles and jars. What is the point of taking pint-sized products with you for a week’s holiday, and by decanting, it hopefully avoids anyone stealing your precious beauty products.
Unless you have real favourites, soap, bath products, shampoo and conditioner are all best bought at your holiday destination (they are heavy too) so, make more room for shoes, and leave them at home!
I do however, like to take my own favoured sunscreen brands, and no decanting here though as you know you need to keep applying it throughout the day. I prefer the ones with the natural, mineral bases like zinc and titanium oxide (rather than the slicker more attractive chemical-based cousins). Look for UVA and UVB protection, and if you have kids try the sticks and maybe avoid the aerosols. The latter are easier to use, I know, but each time you spray half hits the wall or wafts into the breeze, rather than onto your skin, and most of them contain alcohol which can cause skin irritation.
Bad hair days are part and parcel of holiday hair for me; beach, humidity and wasted time with the hairdryer still doesn’t give me sleek summer hair. So it is the perfect time to let hair air-dry and with a sweep of Percy & Reed’s No Oil Oil for either thick hair or fine hair, flyaway strands can be tamed. If you do need to blow dry your hair, avoid doing it directly after your shower or near your bathroom as the humidity will only make your hair frizzy. Head to a dry room instead.
When it comes to adding some colour to your skin and choosing your makeup, be brave and streamline everything. Just choose a nice tinted moisturizer as you will soon have your natural summer glow and double up your lip tints for blusher. Maybe treat yourself in the duty free to a wonderful compact with eyes, lips and cheeks all-in-one – after all, you are on holiday!
Try and go brushless when it comes to make up, and use cotton wool pads or Q-Tips instead. It’s amazing how much space those big brushes take up in your bag and they only pick up extra dirt travelling about.
Never leave home without tweezers! I find brows grow much faster with a diet of sunshine, cocktails and rest, and you never know when tweezers are needed for splinters, changing a plug (yes!) or repairing sunglasses.
Something I do always make space for in my case is a body scrub. Being on holiday is when I actually have the time to give my skin a mini spa treatment and a good exfoliation is great prep for the beach and keeping your tan longer lasting. I am addicted to an Aussie brand called Frank Body made with coffee, which is a great natural exfoliator to buff away dry, dead skin cells and encourage skin rejuvenation. Coffee stimulates the blood-flow to skin which helps lessen the look of cellulite and stretch marks. This is a real treat for me and you can order direct from their website on frankbody.com
One final item I must share with you is a little find I discovered on Amazon and something which I recommend that you use before leaving for your holidays, if you have time. There is nothing worse, is there, than putting on your summer sandals and having patches of hard heel skin ruin the effect, so Baby Foot Deep Exfoliation is something to give you those neat feet. The product contains 17 different natural extracts including fruit acids to encourage exfoliation. The process requires an hour, so get yourself in front of the telly with a cup of tea or a glass of wine and relax. You place your clean feet in the bags provided and then seal them up with tape. Leave on for an hour while the exfoliating gel gets to work and then simply wash off. You then need to wait 5-7 days while the natural exfoliation gets to work and then suddenly (not wishing to gross you out..but...) it will start peeling off over the next few days, leaving your feet baby soft. I promise, your feet will love you for it!
Safe travels wherever you are heading off to and happy holidaying to all.
Love from Annee xxx
Summer has officially started with the schools broken up now, and mums everywhere will be dreaming up lots of activities to keep their ankle-biters occupied. There is nothing like a bit of boredom to kick-start a child’s imagination which can lead to wonderfully inventive games. If that precious moment happens to you, and you find yourself with some minutes to yourself, then here is my promised book list for the summer, in case anything takes your fancy.
The Rocks by Peter Nichols
This is a perfect summer read, transporting you to the Mediterranean isle of Mallorca, with sun, beach, wine and family shenanigans which twist and turn over the decades. From a Pulitzer prize-winning author, this offers characters you can identify with and that make you chuckle and gasp along the way.
The Neopolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante
Writing under a pseudomyn, this Italian novelist has an ever growing fan base gripped by her trilogy of books (My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay). Set in Naples and starting in the 1950’s, this is the tale of two friends growing up in a poor neighbourhood and how they strive to make their mark in life. Relying on each other for knowledge, education and love, their lives are intertwined despite drifting off in different directions, and finding that stark realisation that you can never shake off your past. Ferrante has created such a masterpiece in each of these novels that they are hard to put down. Rumour has it that the final book will be published this Autumn. I never want it to end!
All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher
I’m not a YouTuber; I only pick up on the odd clip of panda bears behaving badly or dogs talking, something generally that someone else has forwarded onto me for a little amusement. Fletcher is a 20-something star of many things; actress, singer and vlogger, the latter being one of the many faces seen regularly on YouTube. She dishes out advice on how to survive the teenage years. Whether you are a parent or not, it is interesting to note how times have changed and makes you understand, even if we’re just beyond those years, how so much has changed in this 100mph life.
My Paris Dream by Kate Betts
A hilarious take on a super keen young American journalist making her mark on Paris as she tries to climb the journalistic ladder during the 80’s and 90’s. This one time editor of Harpers Bazaar gives an intriguing insight into the world of fashion, French attitudes to Americans, in-fighting at Vogue and her love of Paris. Laugh out loud, gutsy, entertaining and a great read.
Happy reading all.
Love Annee xx
Our lovely new website is up now, as you can see. I am so proud of the beautiful photographs of our lovely new hand printed bottles and hand made boxes (although my favourite photos are those of some of the wonderful ingredients that our products contain). Please have a look around and tell me what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am also very excited to tell you that I have been awarded the IE Award for Sustainability in the Premium & Luxury Sectors (Cosmetics). This business award is very exciting to receive and recognises our efforts to choose our ingredients with extreme care, with a view to limiting our impact on planet earth. This is an award I am incredibly proud to have won as the recognition goes beyond beauty industry recognition alone.
Life at de Mamiel continues apace and I cannot quite believe how much has happened this year so far.
We had our incredible launch into Liberty, in London’s Regent Street in May. I am so honoured that we are a part of this iconic London store, where you can get lost for hours and the beauty area is an apothecary’s dream! We have also launched the Summer Facial Oil and the Altitude oil in Space NK Apothecary. This is a wonderful chance for us to be more widely available in a small way (we can be found in their 62 stores country-wide).
We have also been invited into some select stores elsewhere in the world too. For those of you in Scandinavia, we can now be found at Alice & White and if you are in the USA we now have an outlet in Credo Beauty who have just opened their first store in San Francisco.
Finally just to mention that de Mamiel bespoke facials are now more readily available. Many of you have been so patient in waiting for my treatment list to re-open, and we are now able to offer the de Mamiel ‘Rhythm of Nature’ facial from the beautiful treatments rooms at Liberty. This individually tailored holistic facial has been designed to not only feed and perfect the skin but also to soothe and balance the spirit.
The next dates will be 17-19 September and also 7-9 January 2016. My dear friend, and a wonderful facialist, Katie Light, will be undertaking the tratements and a one hour treatment will cost £85 (fully redeemable against de Mamiel products purchased from Liberty on the day). We will send out further booking information soon.