“Through beauty, find well being.”
From the moment I saw this, I was dying with curiosity to meet Annee. On The Moment’s IG we use the hashtag #wellnessisbeauty, so I knew we would be kindred spirits. When I got the call to get one of her cult status facials I jumped at the chance (literally, I had to be there in an hour). Annee, an acupuncturist who is also a facialist who is also de Mamiel’s founder, believes that our faces are roadmaps of energy. She believes that our faces speak volumes about our health, emotions and experiences.
Which is why when I went in for my treatment, we talked about my lifestyle, how I’m feeling, not really about my skin. She spent close to as much time working on accupuncture placement as she did applying products to my skin. Afterwards I felt so rejuvenated, and cared for. Which was so special since post partum I’ve had so little time to care for myself.
After my facial, she sent me my “prescription” which included how and when to wash my face to what foods to eat (lots of greens, never raw) and how to relax (every time I sit down at my computer, relax my jaw and massage in some of the Altitude Oil, and sprinkle a couple drops in the floor of the shower).
Annee’s the kind of person you can speak with for hours and hours. She’s so knowledgable and warm, and really seeks to get to know you on a deeper level to get to the root of the skin concern. She shares so many more genius goodies in our convo below too. Relax your jaw, take a deep breathe, and enjoy! We can’t wait for you to fall in love with de Mamiel too.
Laney: Tell us more about you!
Annee: I am an acupuncturist and aromatherapist but I’m very much a scientist. I studied human anatomy and physiology at university and the way the body works just fascinates me. I can’t get enough. I love it.
Laney: Isn’t it such a miracle when you think about it?
Annee: Everyday! The body just knows to breathe and how to make the heartbeat. It just does it.
Laney: I was thinking about this last night- I was on Instagram and there was some woman and she was posting pictures of herself after she had a baby and she was so skinny and it made me feel bad honestly. I decided to do some gratitude work and I sat there and I went through all the things in my body that I’m grateful for- my muscles that know how to get triggered so I can walk and my stomach knows how to digest its food. I just went on this long list and it’s so amazing.
Annee: When we’re out of balance, it’s funny how we feel we need science to validate a lot of things. Sometimes we need help to be in balance but generally, it knows how to repair itself and it’s fascinating. Quite often there’s no need [further measures]. Acceptance is a really interesting thing. Some people have used practices for thousands and thousand of years but we need to validate that through science. Science is almost catching up with lots of things. It’s to give people the proof that they need but we’ve lost this trust as people which is really interesting.
Laney: What made you want to start a brand?
Annee: I didn’t! It did it on its own. One of the interesting things about how de Mamiel has evolved is it’s been very reactionary in that it’s evolved because of want and people coming to us which I feel incredibly privileged and lucky to have happened. We began by making bespoke oils and teas for my patients who then wanted to begin to buy things and that’s when the seasonal oils came about and we started evolving the seasonal oils. It was about reconnecting people with nature. But I used to use the balms in my treatments and people wanted to take them home. I would give it to them, have an empty pot, and then go home and make more. My husband said, “We can’t keep doing this! It’s silly.” We decided to put a label on them and put them on the website to see how they went. That was just over 4 years ago now. Two weeks after that, Net-A-Porter called in the products.
Laney: That’s wild! Where were you making everything at this point?
Annee: At home. We still make the balms at home. Everything else gets made at the farm. We have this big Aga and the pots just fit better on the Aga so we make that at home. It was amazing. It was mid December when the products were called in, by the end of January we met with them and they wanted them the next month. I told them they couldn’t have them! We weren’t ready.
It’s been a process of just growing organically. When I’m creating and making new things, it very much comes from what my patients need. And trying to find out what that root cause is. Products come from there. It’s just evolved that this is where I am.
Laney: What’s your favorite products out of your line?
Annee: It depends which day you ask me. Today I’m very much at the Intense Nurture Antioxidant Elixir. I love the lightness and the texture and the instant burst that gives your skin clarity and hydration. Tomorrow will probably be something else.
Laney: What do you find is the most challenging part of having a business like this?
Annee: Because we do nearly everything, I make the product and formulate everything, I think the biggest challenge is finding time for yourself. And finding the right people to work with. We’re still very small but we have an incredibly good team and they are my anchor. It’s being able to just say, ‘Ok, we need time for ourselves.’
Laney: Because your husband is part of the business now too?
Annee: Yes, he came on for 6 months to move us out of the house to get us on to the farm and he’s still there 3 years later! We work really well together. He’s come from the banking world and can add that dimension of the financials and deal with things that I am not good at.
Laney: Exactly, you need to be in the creative space. To go between left brain and right brain is so hard.
Annee: Yeah he’s brilliant at that sort of thing.
Laney: We did our treatment yesterday which was so amazing and I felt so blessed. You were talking about the integration of acupuncture into the facial and I think that’s so unique to your service.
Annee: Everything begins in the inside. From the finest bio chemistry of the cells and what’s going on at that cellular level, but then there’s the next layer on top of that which is the vital energy. Using the needles is about helping to bring your skin back into balance. It may be out of balance for a load of different reasons, but by using the body points, it helps to switch you off and get everything moving and flowing. It gives you that extra push to kickstart the body back into balance.
Laney: For people who don’t have access to you, What do you recommend to them in terms of adding acupuncture to their skincare routine and nutrition wise?
Annee: To me it’s about having an understanding of what you need. I love acupuncture in that it helps me to deal with stress. Acupuncture and yoga, so I’m able to just go through with more ease. To me that’s the basis of the products and being able to live with stress. We don’t want to get rid of stress all together, but we want to find an easier way through our day. When you’re looking at that, it brings about how energies are flowing through what we are eating. I think everything is fine in moderation, it just needs balance.
Talk to your friends, talk to people and ask which acupuncturist they see. Generally somebody knows somebody and they might not be a skin specialist but they don’t have to be necessarily. Same with nutrition. I can never learn enough, I’m always constantly researching and going to quality food sources- not sources which are fatty or the latest thing or what everyone is talking about. It always comes back to balance and to looking after ourselves and our gut and having an understanding of what upsets it. When we eat something we have to ask ourselves how we feel the next day and if our head is foggy. What are these things that are constantly giving us these symptoms and then we have to bring together a picture.
Keeping a diary is an amazing thing. I try to journal- it’s a sleep booklet to journal for sleep. Julia Cameron did this thing called the Morning Pages.
Laney: I have her book, I love that book.
Annee: It’s amazing isn’t it? I can see patterns in those morning pages. It brings back that picture of pulling it all together. It helps to workout where’s the starting point.
Laney: What does your daily routine look like?
Annee: In the morning, I’ll usually have a bowl of quinoa porridge or coconut banana that I made. I tend not to eat processed sugar. I’ll have that with greek yogurt or something.
Lunch, I’ll usually have dinner leftovers so whatever it is I had for dinner, whether that’s a slow-cooked stew or soup (I Love really hearty soup), steamed or grilled veggies and chicken or salmon. I really think everything is fine in moderation. I do eat red meat as long as it’s grass-fed and organic because it gives us iron and my body needs it.
Laney: My acupuncturist the other day, after I had done a 21 day cleanse and didn’t have any red meat. She asked- when’s the last time you had red meat? She could feel it in my pulse immediately. It depends on the person but that was my body.
Annee: Clients sometimes have real trouble getting enough iron or protein in people who are really strict vegan or vegetarian. It’s something we have to be conscious of for your body to function properly.
Laney: What other beauty products do you love? What’s your beauty routine?
Annee: I love Josh Rosebrook stuff, he’s Californian. I love him. His products sit on my trolly in the treatment room as well. I use some Odacite. Some of the serums are amazing. I love as a practitioner that I can use different things. I can’t create everything. Working with other people’s philosophies and the blend and mix is perfect for clients. It’s about making a difference and giving people something that works for them.
I use bits of all of those in my routine. I might use some Tata Harper masks and things like that. I would generally use my Cleansing Dew and then the Restorative Cleansing Balm to do the massage in the evening. Then I use our Dewy Facial Mist as a serum. I do three or four pumps and really press it in to my skin. Then I use the Elixir and a Seasonal Oil.
During the week, on a Sunday or something I like to do masks. I love Joshua’s Enzyme Mask and Vital Balm Mask. It’s really lovely. I take from those but generally love Californian brands. I love what’s coming out of there at the moment. It’s really innovative but it works. I’m loving that about naturals at the moment.
Laney: That was my next question, why is natural clean skincare important to you?
Annee: Because I found that’s what works. Now we have different extraction methods, we can get more potency and efficacy. And the body likes it better. We can now extract natural ingredients in a way that they’re more bioavailable to the skin and we are just getting great results. That’s what’s important at the end of the day.
Laney: Lastly, how do you stay in the moment?
Annee: Remembering to breathe. We don’t breathe properly, we breathe so shallowly. Opening my mouth and opening my jaw and just breathing… it brings me back to that place. Sometimes I need a smell to do that, but it’s remembering to breathe.
Special thanks to Annee de Mamiel!
Photo by Sally Griffiths