28 Reasons Why With Tower 28 Founder Amy Liu

28 Reasons Why With Tower 28 Founder Amy Liu
Interview with Amy Liu, CEO/Founder of Tower 28 Beauty

1.  What's your dream?

This question is one of my favorite scenes in a movie - Pretty Woman - and one of the reasons I love LA so much.  People move to LA to chase their dreams. I love the energy and optimism that pulses through the city and the feeling I get driving up PCH, like anything is possible.  

Launching T28 has made my “California Dream” a reality.  I get to be my own boss, build something I’m passionate about and do it with people I like and respect.  My mission with T28 is to make the healthy option the easy one, bringing GOOD. CLEAN. FUN to all.

2.  The struggle is real:  Tell us about it. What's been the hardest part?

    Someone once told me “you can have it all, but you can’t have it all at once,” and I have come to believe it.  Work-life balance isn’t real when you do something you care about: it’s all encompassing. And for me, I care deeply about both work and my personal life.  I am loyal to my team, my investors and my partners, but I’m also crazy in love with my family and travel, plus I’m always down for a girls night. So, I let go.  My house (and car) can get crazy messy, I show up for book night on the wrong night (true story), wear dresses inside-out to work (again, true story) and I get parking tickets more often than I’d like.  There’s not enough time in the day or space in my brain. But, I wake up everyday and I keep trying - to be present, practice gratitude, and show up for the people in my life.

    3.  It's okay to be sensitive!  Tell us about your skin issues.

      OMG I have had sensitive, problematic skin my entire adult life.  It started after college and generally presents itself as eczema, although on both my high school graduation and my wedding day I had the same giant zit appear on the side of my nose, too.  For sure, this is how stress and inflammation show up in my body. There was a period of time I never wore shorts/skirts because my legs were scarred, which is problematic when you live near the beach in Santa Monica.

      Gratefully, I found SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray and it has changed the game for me.  I use it everyday AM/PM and even though my eczema still flares up so the underlying cause is not gone but with the help of SOS I can keep it under control and I never have to reach for the topical and oral steroids I used to use but felt so guilty about.  Topical steroids thin the skin over time. Oral steroids work great for me but the longterm side effects include serious issues like bone density.

      Working in the beauty industry, it’s been such a struggle for me to have skin I can’t count on, especially when I’m meeting with buyers to sell-in the latest and greatest skin perfecting potions.  But honestly, the best part of working in beauty is the ability to contribute in some small part to a person’s self-confidence. It changes the way you walk through the world.

      4.  Again, It’s okay to be sensitive!  What’s a sure fire tearjerker for you?

      For some reason, anything close to sentimental on an airplane.  Must be the altitude.

      5.  Fave Tower 28 products

      SOS, obvi.  But I just love that glassy skin look so I love me some SuperDew.

      6.  It’s a rainy Friday night and you’re snuggled on your couch with a fuzzy blanket: what movie/show are you watching?

      Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.  I love the feminist spirit, the witty dialogue, the humor.. And the fashion is pretty fabulous, too!  But I’m dying to watch The Inventor documentary.

      7.  Fave flavor of ice cream?

      I’m trying so hard not to eat dairy but I do really love the mint from SweetRose Creamery.  It’s fresh mint and I love that they source the ingredients locally and with as much integrity as possible.  Dreampops are pretty amazing, too - not to mention vegan!

      8.  One fashion trend you wish you could bring back.

      It’s back - overalls!  

      9.  Podcasts are a girl’s best friend! What’s your favorite?

      Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays, Second Life, How I Built This, Girlboss

      10.  We can keep a secret! What’s one quirky fact about you?

      I love psychics, tarot, natal chart readers… I grew up with my Dad who was an entrepreneur and he often frequented fortune tellers (I think it’s a cultural thing, too).  For me, it feels like really efficient therapy because basically I don’t have to talk and they know things about me! I usually go once a year around my birthday.

      11.  If you were a superhero, what would your power be?  

      I used to love this TV show called Out of this World and always wished I could stop time like she could.  Like Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

      12.  Most overused word/phrase

      Maybe I already said this but...

      13.  You and your BFF are on a plane going to your dream vacation hot spot for the next week: where are you landing?  

      We’re actually planning a trip now and thinking somewhere wellness retreat/resort where we can eat healthy yummy food, hike and chat until she falls asleep (which she does often bc she’s narcoleptic!).  I’m open to suggestions!

      14.  What song can you sing from start to finish?

      Ain’t No Fun - Snoop Dogg, and you can bet I’ll be dancing, too.

      15.  Serena or Blair?

      Serena, I covet her hair!

      16.  One book you could read a million times and never get sick of.  

      Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed is basically like one big advice column broken up into different vignettes.  I love her voice and find her advice both encouraging and validating, like a hug from a good friend.

      17.  Snail face cream, vampire facials, and bird poop products are only a few of the weirdest skincare crazes: what’s the wackiest thing you’ve tried in the name of beauty?

      Oh man, I have tried literally everything for my eczema.  Every product, every diet under the sun. One of the worst was that when I worked at Josie Maran Cosmetics I was convinced I was allergic to nuts and the hero ingredient in every product was Argan Oil!  It was terrible and turns out I am not allergic. I’m also Chinese and my dad lives in China so frankly I tried a lot of things (including herbal tonics that tasted like dirty feet) and I still don’t know what they were.

      18.  Being active is key to a healthy lifestyle, so how do you get your sweat on?

      I love BoxUnion in Santa Monica.  You punch out all your fears and aggressions in a dark room with loud music and leave sweaty and glowy.

      19.  Let’s get physical-- what’s one song that helps you push through even the hardest of workouts?

      Hit ‘em Up by Tupac

      20.  Share a few words of wisdom with the next generation: what’s one thing you want to tell girls aspiring to be like you some day?

      Chill out!  And create your own definition of success.  I spent too much time worrying about what other people thought and chasing some preconceived notion of what success looked like without thinking enough about what I wanted.  After college, I got a job in management consulting because i thought it was the prestigious thing to do. I showed up the first day with my hair in a bob, sensible pumps and a navy blue skirt suit.  I looked like a stewardess. But I didn’t enjoy the work (computer programming)or the big corporate life with a big keycard attached to me. It threw me into what I called my Quarter Life Crisis but it led me to my career in the beauty industry.  Truth is, if you love what you do you will be successful.

      21.  LA shines bright! What part of our city is your hidden gem?

      I am such a big fan of Sunday morning breakfasts at Back on the Beach.  It’s right on the beach off of PCH and you can sink your toes in the sand while you enjoy a hot cup of coffee.  Plus, it’s right next to all the fancy private beach clubs but open to the public - everyone gets to enjoy it.

      22.  What’s one recipe you’ve been itching to make?

      I love banana bread and have always wanted to perfect it.  Would love a good recipe!

      23.  Get that Vitamin Sea! What’s your favorite beach activity?

      I love the beach life but I hate going in the water unless it’s warm (so basically not LA).  I love catching hermit crabs with my kiddos and watching the sunset.

      24.  Inspirational quotes are words to live by-- is there one that speaks to your soul?  

      I’m not genius in isolation and I love working with a team, especially the Tower28 team! I  have always loved this Margaret Mead quote: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

      25.  Favorite insta to follow? Why?

      I have been loving Reese Witherspoon’s HelloSunshine.  Like the name implies, it’s a ray of sunshine in my feed - empowering, pro-girl, and fun.

      26.  Biggest beauty mistake?

      Overplucking my eyebrows when I was younger and bleaching highlights in my hair during college.

      27.  Current state of mind


      28.  Greatest Extravagance


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