Annee de Mamiel
“”It’s about doing anything to increase the energy of the products. [....] We are emotional, physical, and chemical beings—it’s about having the oils be the most vital they can be. People sense and appreciate it, whether they know why or not.
|—de Mamiel, demonstrating textbook energy woo|
Annee de Mamiel runs her skincare product company de Mamiel and injects it with copious amounts of woo and exorbitant prices. Her products supposedly are more effective — they gain more "vitality" — because she puts them near crystals, and chants to them, and plays music to them. There's no evidence for this, but it sure does market well.
de Mamiel originally worked in finance, until the death of her boss. In 1998, she was diagnosed with cancer. To reduce the effects of chemotherapy on her skin, and because she felt that chemotherapy was "unnatural", she began creating her own natural skin products.
She later studied Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, aromatherapy, and chiropractic — all of which are considered alternative medicine. She appears to actively practice acupuncture and TCM in London.
In 2016, de Mamiel's products were given a spotlight on Goop, a website run by Gwyneth Paltrow (a fashion guru and alternative medicine proponent); it's currently unclear if this boosted their popularity.
“”Maybe *this* is why my cosmetics company failed. See, when I blended the ingredients I'd say things like "Fuck you, oil! You're worthless!", or "Your mother was a hamster, flower essence!"
de Mamiel describes her production process as follows:
- "We put crystals around the oils."
- "As we macerate the herbs, we play music."
- (Sound healing x1)
- "As we add the base oils, we use more music, crystals, and meditation."
- "Then when we add the flower essences, they sit out with music, too."
- (Sound healing x3)
- "In the blending room we say blessings of love and grace and gratitude; I add the oils in a certain order, and I chant as I blend them. [....] Each product has its own chant."
- "I like to burn frankincense as I do it, to clear the room—it’s sacred, energizing, and such a pure smell."
- (Aromatherapy x1)
- "We have added flower essences to each of the oils to work upon the body’s acupuncture meridians too."
- (Acupuncture x1)
- Once the blend is ready I meditate. Usually three words of intention come up for me in that meditation, and I like to put those on the label."
- (Faith healing x3)
- Then it macerates for two months."
- (Something that's actually reasonable x1)
de Mamiel estimates the process takes six to eight weeks, presumably to give the skin cleansing product time to reflect on its existence and become more positive-minded.
Other product problems
“”Because, as we all know, applying lotion to your body is pointless unless it has been treated with meditation and chants.
The woo doesn't stop there.
de Mamiel promotes her oils as "holistic" or "syngetistic". For example:
Seasonal Facial Oils offer a new take on ageing by treating skin holistically because what is happening inside and around us will reflect on our faces. I personally select each plant extract in these precious oils and hand blend them so they work synergistically with mind and skin, putting back what nature and our lifestyles take away.
It is unclear how de Mamiel's mass-marketed skin lotion can be any more "holistic" (specific to a patient, and inclusive of the entirety of what ails them) than any other mass-marketed skin lotion.
de Mamiel offers numerous "cleanse" products. Given that most "cleanse" products claim to remove a "toxin" from the body, yet de Mamiel's products remain on the body (and would eventually move into it), it's unclear what it's cleansing, or how.
She constantly appeals to the human "spirit" (yet she simultaneously fails to prove that one exists, or that her cleanses actually impact the soul):
My lifeline for a tired body and a spent spirit, I use this rich, glimmering serum in the evenings to bring a sense of calmness, to nourish and deeply moisturise my skin and soul. I added a subtle shimmer to Revitalising Body Serum for a sense of glamour - it is my ultimate mind and body treatment.
Above all else, she glorifies anything "natural", as if it was somehow better:
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. 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.
The ingredients in our products are naturally sourced and blended in small quantities which may result in some slight variations in colour and aroma from time to time. This is one of mother nature’s subtleties which we wholeheartedly embrace.
She does at least warn that nature isn't all-good:
One can have a reaction to a natural product as easily as a synthetic one. In fact, essential oils can cause some of the most common allergic reactions, which is why, when working with them, you really need to know what you’re doing, not just mix them up and hope for the best!
“”0.34 oz. of de Mamiel’s “altitude oil” is a mere $44. But take heart: the snake oil is free, and it’s glorious.
- Spring Facial Oil, 0.7oz: $114 ($162.86/oz)
- Altitude Oil, 0.34oz: $44 ($129.41/oz)
- Restorative Cleansing Balm, 3.38oz: $64 ($18.93/oz)
- Brightening Cleanse and Exfoliate, 2.47oz: $64 ($26.32/oz)
- Restoration Body Serum, 3.4oz: $87 ($25.59/oz)
Traditional Chinese Medicine
de Mamiel fallaciously, appeals to ancient traditions — specifically those of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which has no scientific basis:
“”Spring is the season of the wood element in Chinese medicine, representing new life and growth. It’s the perfect time to cleanse and de-congest skin.
“”I also love anything that is green – in Chinese medicine, green is the colour of energy for the liver. Green food smooths out our body’s flow of energy ensuring that we are able to cope with things and not get bogged down and stagnant – so we are feeding our minds as well as our bodies
She doesn't like GMOs, prefers gluten-free pancakes. She also thinks detoxing can "give our digestive systems a rest", but that diets should be "balanced". She at least tries to reduce the carbon cost of her products.