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
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
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.