Meet The Beauty Industry VP Who's Also A Thrift Queen

Photographed by Winnie Au.
Amy Focazio is manhandling a bouquet of dried lavender, cutting the stems down to size for a vase we've decided has to be in the next shot. "Is this the right height?" she asks, only too eager to help. This is after she's offered us espresso (though she abstains for the sake of a good night's sleep) and gamely swapped outfits four times.

The vice president of global communications for MAC is a decidedly down-to-earth boss, a woman as equally comfortable at the head of a boardroom as she is at a table set for brunch. And, after 20 years in Manhattan, Focazio has a few life lessons to impart, from shopping on a budget to inspiration beyond Pinterest — and we got the scoop.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
What advice would you give to your younger self about decorating?
"The number-one piece of advice I would give my younger self is to invest in a comfortable, well-made sofa! I learned the hard way, and have gone through more sofas that look chic but are ridiculously uncomfortable than I'd care to admit."
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
What do you like most about your neighborhood?
"I’ve been fortunate enough to live in many different parts of the city, and not every area has a neighborhood feel to it. I find that Tribeca definitely does. There are great restaurants and bars, farmers' markets on the weekends, and the Hudson River is within walking distance from my apartment. There’s no better way to decompress after a hectic work week than taking a long walk along the water or relaxing in the park."
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
"Tribeca has a very chill, almost Bohemian vibe. I work in Soho, which is always busy and super crowded on the weekends. When I’m home, I truly relax." Her living room features a discontinued model credenza from West Elm, complemented by books and some of Focazio's favorite vintage finds.
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Do you have any advice for shopping vintage or flea markets?
"Flea markets can be hit or miss, so I recommend going every weekend. It doesn’t have to be an all-day outing — [but] bring a tote bag! If you find something you absolutely love, but don’t have a place for it — get it anyway. You will always find room!"
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
You have so many great paintings. What's the most you've ever paid for art?
"Great art doesn’t have to be expensive — I once paid $700 for an abstract painting that I fell in love with while browsing in an antiques shop in the Hamptons. The least I’ve paid is $75. Keep in mind, framing can be very expensive."
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
What's the secret to mixing vintage items with newer pieces?
"You need a couple of key new pieces to anchor the room, and once you have those as building blocks you can layer in vintage pieces from different eras, if you choose to. That’s what gives your apartment personality."
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
How does your work influence your home style?
"I work in the beauty and fashion industry, which is all about colors and accessories. In my home, I have punches of color and art with unique shapes that I associate with makeup, like an intense lip shade or a colorful cuff or a stiletto with an interesting form. I also like to mix high and low and look for unexpected combinations."
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
How can our readers stay inspired if they don't work in such a stimulating, visceral industry?
"Pull photos from magazines, flip through home decor books from all over the world — [I love] India, Los Angeles, Gozo, Sayulita, Morocco — and browse both luxury and mass home stores. Pinterest is a great mood board, or if that’s not your thing, just toss [magazine clippings] into a box so you can reference them later."
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
"I travel quite often and am inspired by different countries, cities, and cultures. When I'm not traveling for work, I usually stay at small boutique hotels, because I often find that the decor is unique with personal touches that make it feel very special. [I recommend doing] research ahead of time to find a great flea market or antiques store to visit."
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Last, but not least, what's your best decorating advice to our readers?
"When you buy something, always write down who the artist or maker is, what era it’s from, and how much you paid for it. Sometimes, you need to sell pieces in order to make room for new ones! It’s important to be knowledgeable. Also, you never know when Refinery29 is going to come and shoot your apartment, and you need to know what's in it!"
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