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Tower28’s Amy Liu Shares Her Secret for Pitching Sephora Successfully | Interview

So I started working with a chemist and I told them, “I don’t know why it doesn’t do anything for my face?” He was like, “Let’s work on the pH level…Let’s work on the concentration.” We got it to a point where it started working on my face and then we bought 100 little [bottles], and I sent it to the girls on my team. 

People who had nothing wrong with their skin or nothing going on, they were like, “It’s fine. It’s like a hydrating spray.” But people who had any type of inflammation—whether it was attached to a piercing, sunburn, acne—were raving about it. One of my interns got a boob job. After she got her boob job and she was spraying it on her sutures. She said that the doctor was like, “Wait a minute, what’s going on here? I’ve never seen anybody heal so fast.”

ALLURE: If somebody is starting a clean brand, are there certain ingredients or certain certifications you think they should be aiming towards? There are no FDA regulations around “clean” or “natural” beauty and sometimes there are natural ingredients that can be toxic.

AL: There are natural ingredients that can be terrible for you, right? Poison ivy is natural.

What you’re saying is absolutely true and one of the things that drives me crazy is greenwashing. I say our products are clean because they are “non-toxic” because we’re the only brand that uses both a combination of the Credo Beauty no-no list for toxicity and we also use the National Eczema Association no-no list for irritation. 

They’re actually really different lists. We combine those two and then we include all the claims we want. For instance, we’re vegan, gluten-free, and hypoallergenic. We use formulators that are well known in the industry for making amazing products, not necessarily “clean” ones. Then, we have a third-party chemist that we work with that is a “clean” chemist. And when they say to us, “We can’t do this without adding silicones,” then my formulator is like, “Tell them to try this.”

ALLURE: It’s crazy that when we met, you’d only been around for like a couple of months. Tower28 felt just like such an established—I think the week I met you, you were launching at Sephora.

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