1. Can you remember the first time you wore make-up?
I bought a clear mascara from Constance Carroll and wore it to school when I was thirteen.
2. Which beauty icon inspires you in your look and why?
As a teenager, I remember thinking Julia Roberts was the most beautiful woman in the world; her massive white smile and a laugh that reached her eyes. I know it sounds trite but I really do believe that the happier a person is, the more beautiful they become. You'll never see me wearing a 'fashion stole my smile' t-shirt! I'm currently having orthodontic work done on my own smile with YourSmileDirect.com and it's giving me the confidence to smile more in photographs, I also use Spotlight teeth whitening strips once or twice a month.
3. Whose make up would you most like to do, and why?
I'd like to do Hillary Clinton's makeup but only so I could speak to her. I'd like to know if she's going to run for election again. I'd like to know what strategies she thinks women should put into action for better equality in politics, the workplace and in our communities. I'd ask her if she believes women are being brave enough? Are we trying our best in a male-dominated society or are we still predominantly afraid of speaking up and making a fuss?
4. What’s been your biggest beauty mistake? I over-tweezed my eyebrows as a teenager and it's taken me almost a decade to re-grow them somewhat.
6. How do you keep your skin in tip-top shape?
I have IPL done once every six months in the Derma Laser Clinic in Blackrock. This treatment gets rid of any sun damage and boosts collagen to keep skin plump. I have a simple enough daily routine at the moment: Declaré Cream Cleanser followed by Neostrata Enlighten Serum, Pestle & Mortar Hyaluronic Serum and Elave Sensitive Daily Skin Defence SPF 45.
7. What three items are always in your make up bag?
Flormar loose powder to keep shine at bay, Becca Flowerchild mineral blush which is gorgeous everywhere–lips, eyes and cheeks and Benefit Brow Zings for my eyebrows.
8. What's your absolute hero product?
I'm biased of course, but not a week goes by that I don't use Cocoa Brown 1 Hour Tan. I never regret applying a light layer of the mousse–it makes every outfit look better and I feel like I look fresher, healthier and more radiant with a touch of tan on my face too. Some weeks, if I'm feeling lazy, I'll just tan from my elbows to my fingertips and from my décolletage to my forehead: the skin that will be seen that week! I've even been known to apply tan socks–tan from the ankles to toes.
9. Are you a budget buy girl or a splurge, splurge, splurge? I tend to splurge on my foundations–Chanel, Shiseido and Giorgio Armani are firm favourites. When it comes to all other makeup though I use everything from Isadora to Rimmel, Sleek to Inglot. When I travel to the U.S I'll always spend a few quid on beauty brands that aren't widely available in Ireland like Anastasia, Tarte and Colour Pop.
10. Where do you get the inspiration for the tan you create?
Before creating the first motor car Henry Forde famously said that if he'd asked people what they wanted they would have said faster horses. I listen to feedback from customers for inspiration for new Cocoa Brown product development but I also try to anticipate my customers' needs and give them solutions they didn't think were possible. Billionaire businessman Mark Cuban said once that in order to succeed in business you need to ask yourself daily–What's new? What's next? And how do I get there first? It's important to me that Cocoa Brown is not only the best selling fake tan but also the most innovative.
11. What look would you like to see disappear forever?
Heavy, drawn on 'Instagram brows'. I don't like harsh eyebrows that are too dark or too fake looking.
12. What inspired you to become a businesswoman?
I've been self-employed since I was 21 when I set up my own beauty salon. I was driven by my passion for beauty and by the need to be independent and self-sufficient. I was young and fearless with nothing to lose when I opened Carter Beauty. I had saved €2,000 and got a bank loan for €2,000 and used the laundry room of a house I was renting with other young professionals as my first beauty treatment room.
13. Do you have a secret make-up tip?
I mix two parts foundation with one part loose powder in the palm of my hand and apply the mixture with a flat head stippling foundation brush. This tip turns any foundation into a high coverage HD foundation that will not budge all day long.
14. What are the most common beauty mistakes you see people make? The most common mistake I see is contouring that's too heavy and the shading is done from the bottom of the ear to the corner of the mouth in a straight line instead of from the top of the ear and in a soft C shape to just under the apple of the cheek.
15. Are there any products you think you can economise on?
One good set of makeup brushes is plenty. I'm always surprised by the amount of makeup brushes my friends own and I bet they use the same 5 brushes every day.
16. If you could give one piece of beauty advice what would it be?
I can't just give one! I need to share my sugar, sunshine and sleep skin secrets! Sugar ages your skin by breaking down collagen and elastin–the skin fibres that keep your skin plump and line free. Sunshine is good for the soul but be safe–use a high SPF. UV rays not only cause cancer but they wreck your skin and are responsible for blotchy pigmentation, visible pores, sagging and wrinkles. Finally, a good night's sleep is crucial for good skin. It's not called beauty sleep for nothing - our skin renews itself while we sleep.
17. Would you ever go to bed in full makeup?
Never. Ever. I can't sleep unless my skin is clean and my teeth are brushed.
18. What are you working on right now?
I'm getting ready to launch Cocoa Brown in 250 stores in Norway later this month and am putting the finishing touches on the new products that will launch in Ireland in February 2018.