Meet Mary

Mary O Donnell Beauty  aims

1. to inform you of new developments, products and treatments in the Beauty world

2. to give you my professional opinion, as a qualified therapist with over 30 years experience, on the products and treatments I test myself

3. to offer you the chance to test products and treatments in return for your honest review

4. to help you to make informed purchasing decisions by offering you information and feedback on a variety of product and treatment choices – High Street, Pharmacy & Luxury Brands

It is true that I receive a lot of products so I try to introduce each of them as I get them by way of a photo post.  However that does not mean to say that I’m actually using them at that moment.  The skin renews itself every 28 days so this is the cycle that I follow. I use one specific product range at a time on my face … hence why you will not see  my review sometimes for weeks or months after I post the initial details. This gives me time to see whether a) I have any adverse reaction and b) to give the product time to produce results.

As, like every individual, I have a specific skin type and specific skin concerns myself I have encouraged people of all ages to join my panel of testers so that I can offer the products to be tested and reviewed by people with different skin types and concerns, again within a specified time period.

Body products such as certain moisturisers, creams, tans, shimmers, hair products, accessories, cosmetics, and one off salon and spa treatments do not require as much time to test and so reviews can be posted faster.

About Mary

Mary O Donnell is a native of Knockmoyle, Tralee, Co Kerry.  She is 45, married to Food Producer John Clifford, who is a fourth generation farmer from Ballinprior, Ardfert, Co Kerry. The 50 acre farm where they grow potatoes and a range of vegetables which they have been selling at three markets in Limerick for the past 30 years. This is a way of life that has been passed down to John through the generations. They have four children Molly (14), Dara (12), Roddy (7) and Ellie (5).

Following her Leaving Certificate in 1986 Mary moved to Dublin to study Beauty at the Bronwyn Conroy Beauty Academy on Grafton Street. During her studies Mary worked with the Morgan Brand Model Agency as a make up artist.  It was through this work that she met Bob Corkery, then a producer with RTE, and learned the art of TV Make Up.

Having completed her CIDESCO training Mary returned to Kerry for family reasons and took up a position in CH, The Mall, Tralee as a cosmetics consultant.  However, keen to put her training as a beauty therapist to good use she traveled 20 kilometres each evening to Listowel to work at the salon of Susan Roberts. In addition to this Mary made the trip to Thomond College of Education in Limerick each weekend to study for her NCEFI qualification to enable her to teach a variety of fitness classes and techniques.

In 1989, at the tender age of 20, Mary O Donnell, armed with both beauty and fitness qualifications and a wealth of experience for one so young, opened Beauty and Fitness Matters at Barrack Lane, Tralee.  She worked from 10am to 10pm daily six days a week to offer a full complement of beauty treatments as well as a selection of fitness classes.  She maintained this commitment to her business for 17 years eventually employing 8 full time staff.

Over those 17 years Mary worked as a consultant to Dunnes Stores in Kerry training their staff on the importance of personal hygiene, appearance and presentation.    Additionally she was contracted by the Kerry VEC to offer beauty advice and fitness classes to various groups across County Kerry.  And in her capacity as a Beautician Mary also attended a selection of Wedding Fairs as well as offering her services as a make-up artist to bridal parties, even on St Stephen’s Day annually!

With two young children and a third one on the way in 2007 Mary took a break from the long hours and leased Beauty and Fitness Matters to another beautician, along with her client base and goodwill, to concentrate on raising her family.  She replaced the hours with miles and took up marathon running!

After contracting pneumonia in 2010 Mary spent three weeks in hospital where a steady stream of patients and visitors introduced her to daytime TV shows such as Xpose.  Having seen the other women’s reactions, and loyalty, to these shows Mary decided that there was a new opening in Beauty for her to explore, this time in radio! Having been a regular contributor to Radio Kerry, her local radio station, over the years, she approached General Manager Fiona Stack about the possibility of including a Beauty Feature on the schedule.  And so The Beauty Spot was born, a 30 minute feature broadcast once a month covering one or more topics per month.  The features are available as podcasts on the Radio Kerry web site

In 2013 Mary began writing a beauty feature for The Kerryman newspaper, part of the Independent newspaper group.  Beauty Spot started as a quarter page feature and quickly progressed to a weekly half page piece.  On her first invitation to her readers to apply to be on her Panel to test Spas in the Kerry region Mary received over 1000 applications in one week. PDFs of all of her features to date are available on her Linked In Profile and on this site

As well as an experienced broadcast and newspaper contributor Mary is now a much sought after host of beauty events in the county as well as being invited to speak to a selection of groups such as Probus, ICA and Youth Groups and so on.

Borne out of Mary’s experience in the various Beauty and Media spheres Mary O Donnell Beauty has emerged.  At the core of the business model is Real Beauty Reviews – both Mary herself and a Panel of Testers, ranging in age from 13 upwards, both men and women who will test beauty products and treatments and offer unbiased, uncensored and truthful reviews, which will be published in her newspaper articles, on this site, on the Mary O Donnell YouTube Channel and on her monthly radio feature.

Linked In profile features details about my background in the industry, newspaper articles and a selection of the Beauty Spot radio show audios. This is the link to my profile

Panel of Testers – I have a panel of over 1000 people located all over the world but primarily in Ireland and England of all ages, female and male,  willing to try out beauty products, salon and spa treatment and offer their honest reviews and opinions of their experiences. my site features reviews on beauty products, salon and spa treatments from both the panel and myself as well as advice, tips, events, Weekly Topic Q&As, new product launches and guest blogs.

YouTube Channel – The Mary O Donnell Beauty channel features Beauty Tips, Information on new products, treatments and trends and Reviews from Testers willing to be filmed

Facebook –

Twitter @maryodonnelbc 

Print – weekly Beauty feature for The Kerryman and Corkman newspapers during 2013.

Radio – I’m the Beauty Researcher and Contributor to The Beauty Spot on the Talkabout show on Radio Kerry which is broadcast on the last Tuesday of every month. In October 2013 I contributed to Something for the Weekend with Suzanne Kane on Classic Hits 4FM

On Line – Contributor to The Beauty Business Owner’s Magazine (March 2014)

               Guest contributor to Boots UK & Ireland (May 2014)

               Weekly Beauty Contributor to

Mary O Donnell

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