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Venomous beauty

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facial
Mini-review
The one-hour facial using more than a dozen products is really relaxing and afterwards my skin is glowing, and a considerable amount of my puffiness -- likely due to the ramen I ate the night before -- was gone. The bee venom has a really sharp but not unpleasant smell. When applied to the face, it stung a bit but it eventually went away. I used the products they gave me, including a BB cream with the bee venom but it didn’t work it made me break out. -- ZBC

A BRAND that has touched the faces of English royalty and countless celebrities has finally found its way to Manila as Heaven by Deborah Mitchell was launched at the ground floor of Shangri-La East Wing, Mandaluyong City.

“People come in [for treatment] and come out with a glow and then because there are immediate results, they are very happy,” Kristine Chung, the brand’s franchise owner in the Philippines, told BusinessWorld during the launch on Feb. 20.

Known for her signature bee venom facial, UK-born Deborah Mitchell counts Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Victoria Beckham, Michelle Obama, and even Simon Cowell as among her customers.

In an interview with The Sun in 2017, Ms. Mitchell credited her discovery of the beneficial effects of bee venom on skin to her sister who is a beekeeper. After some experimentation, she developed “a non-invasive, intense anti-aging treatment best described as a natural alternative to botox,” according to a company press release. The treatment uses bee venom, honey, and botulinum — a natural form of toxin used in Botox that can be harvested from a beehive.

Aside from the concoction — called Abeetoxin — what imparts the “immediate glow” to a customer are the facial strokes that remove puffiness from the skin and lifts it to make it look younger and healthier, said Ms. Chung.

The venom is sourced from New Zealand and Kenya and Ms. Chung assured that no bees are harmed during the harvest.

The treatment, which uses more than a dozen products, also includes a foot massage — this follows Ms. Mitchell’s philosophy of treating the whole body from head to toe in order to get maximum results, explained Ms. Chung.

Located on a floor peppered with other facial centers, Ms. Chung said that Heaven by Deborah Mitchell doesn’t necessarily count them as competitors as the brand is focused on holistic skin treatments.

“All of the other facial centers are all about medical, which we are not. We are all about all-natural treatments and going back to basics and all our treatments are non-machine assisted,” she said, adding that only the therapists’ hands will touch the customer.

A single session costs P3,800. This is the introductory price but Ms. Chung assured that the prices will be lower than those in other markets such as Hong Kong and Taiwan as she acknowledges that Filipinos are a bit more price sensitive.

Having opened in early January, she has noted that many of their customers are on the mature side — some of them long-time fans of the brand who used to source their products and treatments abroad — although there are those in their 20s who also undergo the treatment, as well as brides-to-be.

“They may be in their 20s but they love the beach so much so they’ve had a considerable amount of sun damage. They find that the treatment really helps their skin recover,” she said.

Ms. Chung said the treatment is safe to use several times a month and advises brides-to-be to get their treatments at least once a week in the run-up to the wedding to get optimum results.

Heaven by Deborah Mitchell is located at the ground floor of Shangri-La Plaza East Wing, Mandaluyong City. — Zsarlene B. Chua