BY GRETCHEN KALWINSKI
After stints at Sephora and Gap, Amy Carr, ’04, cofounded PYT Beauty, a San Francisco–based clean-cosmetics brand. As the trend toward natural makeup and clean beauty grows in tandem with her company, we asked Carr what music, books, and food help keep her energized and inspired.
I’ve been really into clean beauty ever since I was at Sephora and started seeing the movement happen.There is a Credo store in my neighborhood, and they’re one of the clean-beauty leaders on the retail side. I’ve really relied on them and their knowledgeable sales associates. That’s why it was really exciting for PYT Beauty to launch with them.
I’m reading Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup (2018) by John Carreyrou, about the Theranos story and Elizabeth Holmes. It’s fascinating how this web of lies got told and retold. I also recently read Educated (2018) by Tara Westover, which I think every woman should read—it’s a great memoir that really reminds us of the power of education. And Michelle Obama’s Becoming (2018), which is an incredible and inspiring working mom story and a real look inside US politics.
Carr's PYT Beauty focuses on "beauty without the BS"—bad stuff, that is.
Let me say, I have not watched much TV since I had my twins more than 10 years ago. With that said, I do watch HBO’s Big Little Lies and was really excited for the new season to come out. That may be partially because it’s kind of local—it’s shot in Big Sur and set in Monterey.
Since I have three kids, I eat at places that have children’s menus. (Pacific Catch is a family fave). I’m always looking for a great salad, and there are a few quick-service restaurants with healthy, good-for-you products in San Francisco where I love to meet business associates for lunch. I love Jane on Fillmore, Blue Barn, and As Quoted.
I’m a big coffee, tea, and smoothie person. I drink a morning latte, which my husband, David Carr, ’03, makes if he’s in town. I have a smoothie protein shake at some point, made of everything green under the sun. Then I have decaf tea, because I try not to drink too much caffeine.
I tend to pick brands that have a nice reputation in the market. I have Rothy’s shoes, which are made from used materials such as water bottles, and I love Athleta: they’re a B Corp, which is super cool. Those brands are more casual, but I do have to look the beauty-brand part, so you will find me in high fashion at events.
I love Andy Grammer’s music and saw him at the Fillmore last year. In September I saw Elton John, which was exciting because I play his songs on the piano. We took our twin daughter and son to Taylor Swift—she’s an incredible performer. It reminded me of Madonna from my younger days.
I’m not extreme—I eat at restaurants that aren’t organic—but I mostly shop at Whole Foods and try to tip the scales toward things that are better for the environment and for me. My father’s a conservationist, so I grew up in the world of environmentalists and conservationists. It was part of my childhood ethos. My mom went to natural-food stores and bought carob chips instead of chocolate chips and cut jicama into slices and told me they were potato chips, so I definitely had a different upbringing! I spent my formative years living outside Washington, DC, as my dad took his conservation to a national level. Doing this work with clean beauty is a natural part of who I am, and eating locally grown, organic foods frankly seems mainstream to me.