Allison McNamara is a TV host, digital influencer and founder of the clean algae skincare line, MARA Beauty. She drummed up the idea for MARA on a trip to Istanbul, Turkey and began developing the brand which launched February 2018 with one hero product – MARA Algae + Moringa Universal Face Oil. MARA quickly developed a cult beauty following with the brand now sold worldwide through the likes of Credo Beauty, Blue Mercury and Cult Beauty. With three gorgeous products now available, including the just launched Chia + Moringa Algae Enzyme Cleansing Oil, Allison – and MARA – are ones to know.
I’ve been using the Universal Face Oil and Algae Retinol Face Oil for a few months now, and can honestly say they are simply the best oils I’ve ever used on my skin, period. Not only is my skin the softest and supplest it has ever been, it’s simply so hydrated and I cannot remember the last time I had dry or scaly patches anywhere on my face or neck. These oils play nicely with makeup too, I haven’t noticed any slipperiness or pilling from my makeup and I haven’t used a primer in months. The glow is real, people.
Allison was lovely enough to recently answer a few questions via email recently, and I can vouch that she is just as gorgeous inside and she is out. And that skin, I mean …. scroll down for all the deets!
- Where did your love of beauty and skincare come from, has it always been there? I grew up with my dad working in beauty and was always surrounded by products for as long as I can remember. My love of beauty definitely stems from spending hours on commercial sets as an early teen and having access to so many skincare products at such a young age. I was always the kid bringing face masks to the slumber party even before I was 10 🙂 I knew early on I wanted to do something in the field I just wasn’t sure what. After years of writing and talking about fashion and beauty, I decided to go out on my own and create MARA.
- What are your favourite skincare ingredients, and why? Retinol! Not only is it the most studied skincare ingredient, it’s truly incredible for overall skin health, texture, radiance and clarity. I have been using retinol for almost two decades and swear by it to maintain the overall look and texture of my skin. SPF is also a big one. Runner up would be Vitamin C, I love it in the AM for brightening the complexion.
- What are your favourite beauty treatments? I love facials, especially with LED light therapy, micro currents and even facial cupping. I also love micro needling although I have only done it twice.
- In regards to skin therapists and dermatologists, whose opinion or knowledge do you trust and believe in? For dermatologists, I have been seeing Dr Fincher for years in Beverly Hills. His partner Dr Moy is also incredibly knowledgeable as is Dr. Nancy Samolitis who co-owns Facile. For therapists, Sonya Dakar is incredible. I also see Emma Goodman at Skin Worship, Cynthia Marie Franco and Jacy B Skincare.
- What’s your thoughts on botox and fillers etc? I love it! I do it very moderately and have been getting treatments since my early 20s. I never like to look frozen–I do it to soften the forehead lines I developed in my late teens. I see PA Sari Hoban at Westside Aesthetics. I have never done fillers but am totally for them if they make you feel more confident.
- What would you like to try next; product, service or treatment? Oh that’s a tough one! I’m always open to trying the latest and greatest laser.
- What products can we expect to see from MARA Beauty going forward? We just launched our Algae Enzyme Cleansing Oil which I am so excited about! We will continue to launch a few more products this year, I can’t share what we’re working on just yet!
- What is your favourite beauty magazine; and/or who are you listening/watching to in podcasts, Instagram or Youtube? I love Byrdie Beauty, Vogue, and Allure for beauty content. I also read everything Jessica Yarbrough writes, she is so knowledgeable about clean beauty and I always learn something new from her content. For podcasts, I listen to Goop religiously. I also listen to Gloss Angeles and Hello Beauty podcasts and so many more.