#IMAGEInspires: Doing Digital Beautifully: Marissa Carter

To be successful in the beauty industry today, you need to embrace the digital stratosphere, from e-tailing to social media. Ahead of our eleventh IMAGE Businesswoman Of The Year Awards, we introduce the women who are leading the way forward. First up, IMAGE Young Business Woman of the Year 2016, Marissa Carter.


WHO: Marissa Carter,

WHAT: founder of Cocoa Brown



PRODUCT: The number one selling tan in Ireland

While beautician Marissa Carter was riding high with her successful Dublin salon, Carter Beauty, originally based in the laundry room of the house she was renting, she was looking for the next big thing. By chance mishap, she turned her newborn son’s face partially orange following a night of cuddles coupled with a spray tan. Thus, she put her certificate in cosmetic chemistry and skin histology to good use and developed the world’s first one-hour tan that wouldn’t need to develop overnight. On the one year anniversary of Cocoa Brown hitting Irish shelves, Marissa won the IMAGE Magazine Irish Start Up of the Year 2013 at the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards. Today, Cocoa Brown sells a remarkable three bottles a minute.

Keen to minimise unnecessary marketing spending, Marissa was an early adaptor to social media, filling Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook with beauty tutorials, broad-focus beauty tips and commercial messages for Cocoa Brown. She’s harnessed her social prowess to boost the brand’s sales, working with stars such as Khloé Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Mario Dedivanovic, Joyce Bonelli and Millie Mackintosh, who have all posted Cocoa Brown products on their channels.

From selling out her popular masterclasses to keeping track of Cocoa Brown stock on retailers’ shelves and giving others a share of her limelight, Marissa is keeping her numbers (both in terms of business and social following – 110k Instagram followers on her own account and 102k on the Cocoa Brown Instagram) growing.

Marissa went on to win two more IMAGE awards: IMAGE Magazine Young Business Woman of the Year 2016 and IMAGE Magazine Best Beauty Influencer 2017.

The Cocoa Brown range is now sold in almost 15,000 stores around the world and available in 20 countries, reaching all corners of the globe from the UK to the US, Scandinavia, Russia, Australia and Canada.


Meet the ultimate winners at the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2017, sponsored by Samsung, Kuehne + Nagel, Grant Thornton, The Loop and No 7 and proudly supported by Newstalk, Independent.ie, Enterprise Ireland and Marks & Spencer. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner, on Monday, November 20, at the Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin 4.

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