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Meet Allison McNamara of MARA in Hollywood Hills

Today we’d like to introduce you to Allison McNamara.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Allison. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I started out my career as a TV host, writer, and producer for POPSUGAR where I wrote, hosted and produced the digital media giant’s fashion and entertainment content for six years. From co-hosting the Oscars for ABC and appearing on the Today show to co-anchoring POPSUGAR Now, a daily entertainment cable news show and hosting my own show Midnight Style on the FYI Network–I then took my experience to Refinery29 and ET Online where I created, hosted and produced beauty videos. I drummed up the idea for my own skincare line MARA on a trip to Istanbul, Turkey right around the time I parted ways with POPSUGAR and began developing the brand which launched this past February 2018. With one hero product — MARA Algae + Moringa Universal Face Oil. MARA has quickly developed a cult beauty following in just several short months and recently launched nationwide in-stores and online with Credo Beauty and internationally with Cult Beauty. It has always been a dream of mine to create my own line, and I’m so proud of the brand and all that we’ve accomplished so far. We launch our second product, MARA Evening Primrose + Green Tea Algae Retinol Oil in December.

Has it been a smooth road?
Nothing worth having is ever easy or smooth! My path as a TV host started out effortlessly in a way as I lucked out snagging hosting jobs at Who What Wear and after that POPSUGAR, but anyone in entertainment can tell you that it’s a brutal industry filled with comparisons, rejections and loads of self-doubt. Working as an on-camera reporter and producer honed my writing skills and gave me priceless on-camera time that prepared me now for my role as founder of MARA. With my skincare line, I do absolutely everything–from developing the products to the operational logistics to the PR outreach and social media, I literally do it all. My past experience was crucial as it taught me how to wear many hats and prepared me with many of the skills I need to be at the helm of a business. It also set me up with amazing contacts at various media agencies who were both coworkers and colleagues, giving me direct access to beauty editors and influencers that were integral to the development and launch of MARA Universal Face Oil. The biggest challenges for me so far are logistical–following up with our suppliers and components and making sure we don’t run out of product, figuring out when to reorder, and getting everything in-house to manufacture our second product have all posed a serious of obstacles. BUT I’m excited product two is ready!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with MARA – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are extremely specialized–I am very serious about clean beauty, and my brand is filled with gorgeous ingredients that are ethically sourced globally and manufactured in Los Angeles. I launched my brand with just one SKU, my MARA Algae + Moringa Universal Face Oil packed with vitamins A, B, C, D, E & F, minerals, amino acids, and phytonutrients to plump up the skin and lock in moisture for youthful, bouncy, glowing skin. I’m so proud of my first product, it took me two years to develop and manufacture with my lab and seeing the difference it’s making in my customer’s skin is the best feeling ever. What sets MARA apart is our unique play with ingredients, and our proprietary algae blend that we will use throughout the line as we launch and develop more products.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I absolutely LOVE LA. I’m an LA girl– I was raised in Palos Verdes and have always called the ocean my backyard, so developing an algae-centric line that harnesses the amazing healing powers of the sea was a natural fit. I love that California has so many different terrains to offer. You can literally have whatever you want–ocean, desert, forests, snow–we literally have it all! I love our perfect weather and how healthy people are here. I feel so out of place when I can’t snag a smoothie at Earth Bar or Beverly Hills Juice, and I love our Sweet Greens and Kreations. I definitely don’t love the traffic and of course, all of the terrible fires we’ve suffered as of late, but as a whole, there isn’t really anything I dislike about LA.


  • Algae + Moringa Universal Face Oil retails for $72

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