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A Matter of Face

By Caitlyn Wright

If you are looking for a makeup store that carries certified organics and paraben-free products, A Matter of Face is the store for you. Fairly new to Boston’s North End, this store has been open now for five years; A Matter of Face first opened its doors in the spring of 2007. A Matter of Face is the only cosmetic and skincare boutique for both men and women in the North End.

Owner Paula Tierney had previously shared a makeup business with her sister-in-law in Newburyport; soon after she began this collaboration, however, she decided to take her business to Boston’s North End. Tierney chose the North End not only for the demographics but also because of its welcoming neighborhood environment; the location provides a nice blend of tourists and locals. A Matter of Face is conveniently located near the famous Mike’s Pastry.

Tierney’s tag line is “selling healthy products that are good for you.” Tierney explained that “at first it was a hard thing to do because companies were selling organic products, but the quality in them was not there.” Tierney’s idea for a makeup store was the result of a “fluke.” She wanted to be selfemployed, and after negotiating with her partner, they chose to begin a makeup business. Clearly the idea found fertile ground in Boston’s North End: A Matter of Face won Boston’s Best 2008 and Best of Boston 2010.

When entering the retail store, customers are greeted by an upscale charm and a welcoming atmosphere. Unlike department stores, A Matter of Face has no sales employees hovering over customers. Tierney encourages customers to play around and get a feel for the different brands and products the store offers. The products sold at A Matter of Face are trendy and unique: Not only are these products better for you, but all the lines are paraben and chemical free and are sold at an affordable price.

The business carries over seventeen lines, each different from the other. Some of the vendors are Bliss, Darphine Skincare, The Holy Mud Company, and Julie Hewitt Los Angeles. Each of these four lines provides benefits for the skin while being good to the environment.

Julie Hewitt is a well-known makeup artist who is active in Hollywood. Hewitt was in town doing the makeup for a movie and came across A Matter of Face by chance. She stepped into the store and asked Tierney if she wouldn’t mind carrying her line. Since then, Hewitt has visited the boutique and has even done a makeup event onsite. First inspired by a search for the classic red lipstick, Hewitt now includes products for lips, eyes, and face; she even offers a customized palette, and A Matter of Face carries the full line. Hewitt provides the highest quality products, while using natural ingredients that are chemical and paraben free.

The store also carries the Darphine skincare line. This line revolutionized skincare and aesthetics by becoming Paris’s first body, hair, and skincare solution. Darphin was founded in 1958 and continues to be very successful; Darphin products can have a high price tag, but the benefits are visible. These products are paraben free and are made with the richest plant extract, providing the skin with healthy antioxidants. The line caters to every skin type and to individual needs.

In addition, A Matter of Face carries Coola, a well-known sunblockbased product line that was created after a study revealed the effects of sun damage on the skin. Coola’s founders wanted to create a product that would not only protect the skin from the sun’s powerful rays but would also would be environmentally friendly. While creating a line with the highest level of SPF, Coola helps to save our planet from pollution. Coola uses the richest and most natural ingredients, which most sunscreens do not utilize. The product contains natural phytoprotectors, certified organic extracts, age-defying antioxidants, and vitamins that help the skin’s natural immune system. The block not only protects the skin from the sun but also keeps it smooth and fresh without clogging pores. In addition, Coola carries unisex lip balms and day moisturizer to be used underneath makeup, available in both scented and unscented versions.

The Holy Mud is a brand known for the four face masks that address every skincare need without utilizing parabans. The four different masks firm, hydrate, repair, and exfoliate.

Bliss is another favorite product that the boutique sells. Bliss uses plant-based ingredients but no harmful chemicals; the line includes skincare, bath, body, and beauty items.

When choosing merchandise, A Matter of Face considers each item’s ingredients in order to provide customers with products that not only give the best results but also improve the skin’s look and feel. The store is perfect for customers of all ages and especially for those with sensitive skin who are looking for safe and green products. Stop by A Matter of Face, located at 425 Hanover Street in Boston.

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