The Glowdown: Amy Virginia Buchanan
The Glowdown: Amy Virginia Buchanan
Amy Virginia Buchanan
Artistic Director and Entrepreneur, Co-founder at Spring Street Social Society
New York City
If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be? Relentless, gracious, and brave.
When were you first introduced to Erno Laszlo and how? When my friend Chelsea started working with the brand. She has exquisite taste and raved about the brand, so obviously I had to see what she was talking about.
What does Erno Laszlo mean to you? Quality and luxury.
Favorite Erno Laszlo product? Multi-Task Eye Serum Mask.
What does a typical day look like for you at work? No two days are alike, which is the best part of my job. It has its 9 to 5 moments, you know, conference calls, weekly meetings, yadda yadda yadda, but a typical day will also include 7am trips to the flower market, rehearsals with musicians or clowns, tastings with a chef, or making a playlist for an upcoming event. It’s important for me to infuse my work week with dynamic behavior to keep my creativity on point.
What is one piece of advice you would give others trying to get where you are today? Don’t expect to have anything handed to you, but always ask for what you want anyway.
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about your job? I consistently find that no one is exactly able to pinpoint everything that I do, and so even my closest friends will find themselves surprised by everything that my job entails.
How would you describe your experience as a woman entrepreneur? Honestly? It is so hard. I have to fight to be seen for all that I contribute. My business partner, Patrick Janelle, is a man and has half a million followers on instagram, so he is effortlessly seen by the world at large. It would be easier if I was a woman alone, as I would have the platform of being a woman to stand on and rally support around, whereas being the partner of a man means people also assume I work for him, which is not true. Fortunately, though, I love my creative relationship with Patrick and I love the things we make, so I guess the rest of the world can just catch up eventually.
What’s your favorite thing about your job? Least favorite? My favorite thing about my job is that everything I do is in support of a vision that I believe in, because ultimately it is mine and Patrick’s. My least favorite thing about my job is that it’s almost impossible to take an actual vacation.
Tell us about your relationship with skincare. Where did it start? How has it evolved? Honestly, for the longest time my relationship with skincare was determined almost entirely by when Clinique was having their “bonus sale” and what you received in the gift. My mom would mail me her “gift” and et voila! Ha! But everything changed when I read Michelle Tea’s book “How to Grow Up.” She practically dedicates a whole chapter to skincare and the importance of moisturizing, from the perspective of a poor punk artist. She talks about how it’s easy to tell yourself you can’t afford to take care of your skin, but in reality you can, you just have to agree that it’s important. It is a responsibility you have to your future self.
Best beauty advice your Mom/Grandma/Aunt, etc. shared with you? At a time when I genuinely didn’t believe myself to be beautiful, my mother consistently told me that I was. She was relentless, even when I pushed back or seemed to not be listening. It wasn’t exactly advice, but it was something she said that stuck and still affects me today.
What is your skincare/beauty guilty pleasure/confession? (We won't judge!) I’m a zit popper.
Walk us through your typical morning and evening skincare routine. How and why does it differ on a daily basis? It’s pretty basic. Face wash with a vibrating skin scrubber, toner, and moisturizer. Depending on the time of day and day of the week, the product changes, but that’s what happens every night and morning.
Do you have a skincare/beauty hack to share? I carry Ursa Major individually wrapped face wipes with me everywhere I go.
You’re stranded on a deserted island and can only bring 5 skincare/beauty products. What are they?
Sunscreen (SPF 50)
Who is your #1 beauty icon? Julie Andrews.
You snoozed your alarm and only have time to brush your teeth and do one step in your skincare/beauty routine. What is it? Aesop Parsley Seed Toner rubbed on my face with the exfoliation side of a cotton round.
The beauty (and fashion!) space is constantly evolving. What are your thoughts on its current status and how that impacts you as a woman? What do you wish this space would continue to improve on? I love fashion but the “world of fashion” exhausts me. Everyone and everything feels so “cool”. I’d love for it to be a space that feels fun, instead. A little less serious and a little more open and inclusive. After all, looking good typically means also feeling good. Let’s celebrate that!
Last Book You Read
Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Last Selfie You Took
It was actually a boomerang to put up on an Instagram Story because I was really happy that my boyfriend had surprised me by folding all of my laundry and making my bed for me. :)
Last Text You Sent
“Thank god. Ethel has terrible taste and should never pick a place.”
Last TV Show/Movie You Watched
The new Netflix Queer Eye
Last Thing You Ate
Spicy tuna sushi and miso soup.