Amy Sussman is one of those women who is as intelligent and witty as she is beautiful—always fashionably put together, with her finger on the pulse of what's cool and interesting right now.
But Amy's not just a pretty face. Since retiring from her successful Miami real estate career and relocating to Sarasota five years ago, she's become actively involved in our community. Among other commitments, she's served as the VP of the Cotillion Club of Sarasota for two years running. Her hubby Ken attends all of the dances, and the duo find joy in teaching the 250 children that attend each dance the finer points of manners (I just love this!). As Amy says, "It’s astounding to see children as young as eighth grade learn how to navigate dinner party conversation and excuse themselves from the table when appropriate. Everyone should know how to have lunch with their boss and clients by the time they graduate from high school."
And Amy's home is as stylish as she is. She has an innate talent for arranging every thing just right, and she's assisted more than a few friends with their spaces. So, recently, she launched a design company called Adorn Interiors Inc. "Adorn is where I can bring my expertise to private clients and either do a top-to-bottom, whole-house renovation, or just help someone create a more personal environment for themselves," she explains.
So now that you know Amy, here's what I learned from her beauty routine—including how not everything needs to come with a luxury price tag.
Describe your morning makeup routine.
My morning routine has always been fairly simple, but within the past year, it’s become almost pure Zen. First thing I do is pull my hair back and wash my face with Cetaphil cleanser. I follow up with a lot of Cetaphil Face Lotion. Then I head out to make myself a Nespresso and drink some water.
My makeup routine for morning is fairly simple as well. I add two squirts of sunscreen from either Dr. Morgan O’Donoghue’s office or Neutrogena. Right now, with summer in full bloom, I add Bobbi Brown pot rouge for lips and cheeks to my cheeks in Fresh Melon. This is the most fabulous color and looks good on almost everyone—I force my friends to try it all the time. On top of this I add two dots of Tom Ford Illuminating Primer, which gives my face a nice glow. I may or may not curl my lashes, and then it’s some ChapStick for a base on my mouth. By the time I’m in my car getting to my day I will add either a Tom Ford lip balm in L’Odissea or a Mac Patentpolish Lip Pencil Crayon in Revved Up (it's really fat), which is a collab with the singer Ellie Goulding.
For evening, I add a little Chanel Vita Lumiere Aqua Tent Parfait Ultra Light Skin Perfecting Sunscreen Makeup with SPF 15. Whoa, I’m exhausted from just saying that. I only put it where I need a little extra coverage. I also add Sisely Phtyo Eye Twist Pencil in black. It’s a big fat pencil that adds some drama to your eyes quickly. I finish off with YSL Shocking Mascara in Brown.
What did your mother/mother-figure teach you about beauty?
My mom was not in to makeup at all. She had a ton of it but she never used it. I asked her to help me out with learning about it, but she basically said "No way, don’t wear it." So I saved up $50 of baby-sitting money when I was in seventh grade and was dropped at the Jacobson's store at my local mall in the midwest. My bestie at that time was starting to wear Clinique, so I was familiar with the brand. I went to the makeup counter and found a very pretty, natural-looking woman and told her my story. She was totally amazing. Now that I think of it, it was probably just as gratifying for her to hook me up with my first makeup. She had me purchase a bar of soap, clarifying lotion and the toner, as well as an eye pencil from Estee Lauder in a neutral brown, and she told me to get an eyelash curler and mascara at the drugstore. Even in seventh grade, a lot of the girls were coming to school in full war paint, so I felt fortunate that the less-is-more aesthetic got to me first.
How do you nourish your beauty from the inside?
As you get through your early years and become more confident, you realize that caring for yourself in a genuine way—eating well, thinking positive thoughts and slapping a smile on your face—goes a long way toward making you feel terrific. To me, surrounding myself with intelligent friends with curious minds and a lack of silly drama is soul quenching. My girlfriends make my life so rich and fabulous.
Any treatments you outsource?
I have a great facialist named Pia Simonson at Center for Sight in Sarasota whom I adore. She makes sure my face is clean and ready for anything. I always fall asleep in her bed and wake up feeling and looking great, which doesn’t always happen after a facial. I make regular appointments for my husband and teenage son as well. Clean skin is always in style.
I also have a dermatologist in Miami named Manjula Jegosothy that I’ve known since we were in our late 20s and early 30s. She travels the world and looks at every innovation happening in skincare with regard to technology, products, etc. Dr. Jegosothy did a laser treatment on my face a few years ago that basically took my red Irish cheeks I inherited off my face and allows me to be foundation-free with my makeup routine during the day.
How about your nighttime skincare ritual?
Since I tossed out every single skincare and makeup item this year due to an allergy and started fresh, I only purchased items that were top-rated by Vogue editors and several other sites. I now remove my makeup every evening with Neutrogena face and makeup cleansing towelettes. Then I cleanse my face with Cetaphil and either add a very rich emollient cream (La Mer) if I am out West or in a cold dry climate. If I'm in the humid tropics, I don't add anything. Again, I am a fan of clean skin that can breathe.
I also recommend exfoliating your face and body at least three times per week. In the shower, I use a Clarisonic for my face with a little Cetaphil, and sometimes, breaking all the rules, I use LaMer The Body Refiner on my body and face. It has diamond dust in it and leaves a sparkle behind that is really pretty. Just be careful not to get the diamond dust in or around your eyes.
Do you have a signature scent and what do you love about it?
My signature is Eau des Merveilles from Hermes. It is a clean, pretty scent that has no flowers in it, but reads high energy—like me! It finishes soft and powdery.
More women should…
Be kind to themselves.