How I Created My Own Beauty Line

This has been a very exciting month for me.

After three years of research, trial, testing and production, my clean beauty skincare line MARA finally launched.

A post shared by Mara Beauty (@themarabeauty) on

My first product is the Algae + Moringa Universal Face Oil, which is packed with algae and plankton extracts and four superfood plant oils for super healthy, glowing skin. My skincare mantra has always been the shinier and glowier the better, and this oil is sure to give you your most bouncy, beautiful skin.

MARA Algae + Moringa Universal Face Oil Algae Oil Clean Beauty

So how did I develop my line and actually see it come to fruition? To make a long story short, it came down to a laser-focused idea and a lot of hard work.

I grew up with my dad working in the beauty industry, and I've always been mega-obsessed with skincare. However, as a pale redhead, I have sensitive skin, and many of the oils on the market weren't providing the deep hydration that they promised. Also, many liquids tend to be super oily and sit on the surface of the skin. After years of using unsatisfactory products and pinpointing my favorite ingredients, I decided to set out and create my own line.

MARA Algae Moringa Universal Face oil

But wanting to make a line and finding the hook or the idea for your brand are two very separate things. I knew I wanted to make something, but what? I was on a family vacation  back in the summer of 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey. My dad, sister and I were all floating on the Sea of Marmara and it dawned on me that MARA, the last four letters of our last name McNamara would be the perfect name for my line. It also means "sea" in Gaelic, the native tongue of Ireland, and we are all Irish citizens.

Everything else sort of fell into place. I crafted our ingredient list from the most potent algae extracts in the world, and worked with a team of cosmetic scientists to create the formula. I selected a beautiful blue glass bottle and the green algae + moringa formula moves inside the bottle like ocean waves. It was almost too perfect to be true!

MARA Algae + Moringa Universal Face Oil

But after creating the formula and picking out the packaging, the real work began. Because I'm a writer, I wrote the entire website, along with all of the promotional text and packaging. I also had to quickly learn to flex my coordinating skills between raw material suppliers, labs, box companies and glass distributors. Believe me, it was a lot.

I also did this basically on my own, with daily life advice from my dad. I definitely made a few mistakes along the way and had my fair share of setbacks (like when I tried to hot stamp print on my glass bottle and the blue bottle coloring melted off, leaving me to find a label manufacturer and go that route instead). But regardless, this has by far been the most rewarding moment in my career and I can't wait to see what's next for MARA.

I have a few more products in the pipeline and want to push into makeup soon, so stay tuned! In the meantime, you can follow us @themarabeauty and shop our MARA Algae + Moringa Universal Face Oil HERE.


While I'm on the topic of skincare, HERE are some vegan and cruelty-free brands you should definitely know about.