By Claudia Joseph
As a former cigarette smoker and sun worshipper, the Duchess of Cornwall may not be the first person who springs to mind for beauty tips.
But in fact, Camilla has been advising the newest member of the Royal Family, the Duchess of Cambridge, on her complexion.
Camilla has long been a fan of beauty therapist Deborah Mitchell, who treats her regularly with her £165 bee sting facial, hailed as a ‘non-surgical facelift’ – the organic alternative to Botox.
The former beauty queen, who has won awards for her Heaven skincare range, has been visiting Buckingham Palace and Highgrove to look after Kate’s skin – and even offered her tips for the Royal Wedding.
‘Deborah has been treating Camilla for six years now,’ a source said. ‘Like any customer who finds something good, Camilla has told her friends and in-laws, including Kate. Now she visits the Royal Family wherever they are in residence. They are lovely to her.’
Kate does have treatments rather than simply buying the products, said the source, but does not visit the salons, instead having discreet home visits.
Deborah, who was voted Miss Shropshire in 1986 and was runner-up in Miss Great Britain the following year, began developing the Heaven range of beauty products when she was a student in Telford.
But it is her bee venom mask, costing £65 a pot, which has put her on the map. Containing about one per cent bee venom, it tricks the skin’s surface into thinking it has been stung, increasing its blood flow, collagen and elasticity.
Assistance: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, pictured here with Prince Charles, has been offering beauty tips to the Duchess of Cambridge
Mixed with manuka honey, shea butter, rose and lavender essential oils and a ‘secret ingredient’, it has become the must-have product for celebrities. Fans such as Victoria Beckham, Kylie and Dannii Minogue, Emilia Fox and Michelle Pfeiffer, flock to her salons in London’s Hale Clinic and Shifnal, Shropshire, or order one of the 150 products she sells online.
Deborah, 46, said: ‘They were discovering the more they did Botox, the more their faces did not match their body language and viewers found them difficult to trust.
'This pushes out those wrinkles and gives a smooth, supple look and feel to the skin – as opposed to the frozen-face look associated with Botox.’
Satisfied: Beauty therapist Deborah Mitchell, left, who often treats Dannii Minogue, right
She has become a British success story and this year was a finalist in the National Business Awards after securing a £100 million contract to sell her treatments and products in 2,500 stores and salons in China.
She is now training dozens of British therapists to travel to the Far East to run them.
But that contract paled in significance when she landed Britain’s new Royal bride as a customer. ‘I’m afraid I cannot talk about that,’ she said.
The Mail on Sunday yesterday explained the claims about the Duchess of Cambridge’s beauty regime and a Clarence House spokesman said: ‘I wouldn’t comment on such a matter.’
Sunday, November 27, 2011
By Claudia Joseph