Donegal Woman talks to Cocoa Brown CEO Marissa Carter, who tells us how we can make our own opportunities and miracles in life.

Marissa Carter is an inspiring #GirlBoss who has broken into the business world with a fearless splash of pink. It’s hard to believe that Cocoa Brown was launched just four years ago, while its success has since propelled Marissa to become the leader of a global empire. She has launched 15 tanning and beauty products for Cocoa Brown so far, which is sold at an amazing rate of four products per minute.

As an entrepreneur, an influencer and a mother, so many young women are looking up to the 33-year-old CEO right now. Last month, Marissa won the IMAGE Young Businesswoman of the Year Award – another achievement she can add to her long, long list of triumphs. We wanted to know how she does it all.

Marissa took time to speak with Donegal Woman this week about business, life and tanning. She also provided us with some special tips to help local women glow.

What does it mean to be a #GirlBoss, and do you have any advice for women who want to bring out their inner Girl Power and succeed in business?

A #GirlBoss to me stands for a strong woman in business, I really believe in supporting other women in business and that’s why I feel it’s important to remain humble and appreciate whether you are a young or in an experienced business, we have all been in the same position at one stage or another.

My advice for women in business would be directed towards their branding, it should be an extension of your own personal branding because I think personal branding can be a very powerful marketing tool. I was always very conscious from the very early days that everything that was being done would be authentic to the Cocoa Brown brand.


You’re also a mum of two, how do you balance work life and family life?

I’m sure this is something every working mum goes through, we never feel as though we have got the balance completely right but I make sure my evenings and weekends (when I’m not attending an event or hosting Marissa’s Masterclass around the country) are devoted to my kids.

My husband and I will always find the time to switch off our phones and have some family time.

You inspire so many women in business across Ireland and afar, who inspires you?

Since I started in the industry 12 years ago I have come across so many women in business that inspire me, Paula Fitzsimons in Going For Growth, for empowering women across Ireland to follow your dreams and ambitions, online presence would have to be Huda Beauty she is an online blogger turned businesswoman the content on her website and social media are so engaging it’s no wonder she has nearly 16 million followers and lastly Miriam O’Callaghan a working mum like myself, she works so hard and looks so amazing all of the time! A true inspiration!

Golden Goddess Oils are all about getting our glow on, what do you think is the best way we can glow, inside and out?

I would have a very positive attitude towards life, a strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles and open more doors in life.

For my face and body, I always use a fake-tan that is oil-free on your face as it’s non-comedogenic so it won’t clog your pores. All of the Cocoa Brown Tanning products are oil-free! So glowing couldn’t be easier on the outside!


You met some Donegal women at your Marissa’s Masterclass event during the summer, have you any special beauty advice for us ladies up north?

I know most of us have the heating on constantly in Winter so If you have dry skin as a result I recommend using a gradual tan like Gentle Bronze on your face for an all over even glow.

I use a technique called ‘Tontouring’ where you use fake tan to contour your facial features by using a mixture of lighter and darker shades of tan to certain areas on your face.


Tanning disasters happen to the best of us, have you got any top tips on how we can avoid them?

  • A coat of nail polish to your nails on hands and feet. This prevents tan from staining the nail plate.
  • An oil-free moisturiser such as Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter Chocolate Whip Oil-Free Body Moisturiser to areas such as feet, ankles, knees, elbows and hands. The skin is usually drier in these areas so this will ensure the colour of tan is even all over.
  • A small amount of petroleum jelly through eyebrows. This prevents the tan from discolouring your eyebrows.
  • If you have dark circles around your eyes, a little bit of petroleum jelly will stop the tan from further darkening the area.
  • Wear loose, dark clothing while tan is developing and avoid water.
  • If you like your tan to be light, wait 1 hour before showering, for a medium colour wait 2 hours and for a darker shade wait 3 hours.

And finally, what can we expect from Cocoa Brown in 2017?

We are looking forward to a very exciting 2017 here in Cocoa Brown, we are opening our New York office in the end of January so we can’t wait for that and we have a few brand new products going to be launched in early 2017 as well so keep your eyes peeled!