“I feel that I have an obligation and opportunity to leave the industry a better one.” — Amy Liu MBA ’04
After struggling all of her life with eczema, AMY LIU knew there was a market for skincare and makeup products for sensitive skin across complexion lines. But it wasn’t until she got her MBA at USC Marshall, with concentrations in marketing and entrepreneurship, that she realized she could create these products herself.
After graduating, Liu worked as a marketing executive for popular beauty brands Smashbox and Kate Somerville. There Liu learned the particulars of the beauty business that would later help her launch her own clean makeup line. In 2019, she did just that. TOWER 28 is a beauty brand designed for sensitive skin.
In the past few years, clean beauty, which refers to cosmetic products created without synthetic chemicals and ingredients, has boomed, but Liu explains how this shift has impacted her company.
“The concept of clean beauty has shifted as the consumer perspective has changed. Now it’s less about how natural and more about the do-no-harm concept. There are synthetic beauty items that are good, and some that are bad. For me, our product promise is that intersection between clean but also safe for sensitive skin.”
Her first investor was a Marshall classmate. “Don’t underestimate the power of manifestation,” she said. “Share what you want for yourself with other people, because you never know who will remember you and later invest in you.”
Since its launch, the brand has exploded in popularity, distributed at leading makeup vendors, including Sephora, Kohl’s, Revolve, and Credo Beauty. It recently celebrated a milestone of a four-shelf end cap display at Sephora, which operates approximately 1,900 stores in 29 countries worldwide, with an expanding base of over 200 stores across the Asia Pacific region, including Australia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and India.