Hollywood gives starring role at the Oscars to Marissa Carter's fake tans

By Helen Loveless


Beauty queen: Marissa Carter has seen sales of her product rocket

Beauty queen: Marissa Carter has seen sales of her product rocket

Hollywood stars could soon be showing off the fake tans that have seen Marissa Carter turn a bright idea into a multi-million pound company in just ten months.

Marissa, 30, has been invited to exhibit her products in the ‘gifting suite’ at the 2014 Oscars, where celebrities are allowed to choose whatever products they want for free.

Marissa set up a beauty salon in her home town of Glenageary, County Dublin, in 2006.

But when the recession struck in 2008 she saw a marked decline in customers booking facials and other treatments.

However, Marissa also noticed that sales of spray tan were increasing in popularity, accounting for about 60 per cent of sales.

Having tried ‘every fake tan on the market’ Marissa, who two years earlier had completed a cosmetic chemistry course by correspondence, decided to develop her own range of products.

The range uses vegetable dye, which she says means that the products ‘smell far less’ than traditional tanning lotions.

Despite having no advertising budget to promote it her Cocoa Brown fake tanning products quickly took off.

Marissa said: ‘We relied heavily on social media to get the message out.

We sent products to beauty bloggers and set up Facebook and Pinterest pages. It has really paid off.’


The company now sells three bottles of its One Hour Tan every minute in Ireland and this month 186 Superdrug stores across the UK will start selling it.

Turnover for the year is expected to exceed £4 million and Marissa is currently working on deals to expand into the US, Germany and The Netherlands.


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