Buswell was born in 1983 in Orange Park, Florida. After two years of studying nursing, she was discovered in 2002 while staying at a hotel where a modeling convention was taking place. Buswell played the flute in the band at her junior high and was involved in track during junior high and high school.
On a trip to Disney World,[when?] she entered and won a new models contest being held there. Two months later she traveled to New York City and signed with Marilyn Agency.
Buswell has appeared several times in the American and Italian editions of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, ID, and Numero. Her covers include Elle, Flair, Marie Claire. She has been featured in campaigns for Versace, Tommy Hilfiger, Alessandro Dell'Acqua, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Gianfranco Ferrè, Jean Paul Gaultier, L'Oreal, Benetton, Chanel, Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, Escada, Fay, John Richmond, Victoria's Secret and many mores. She has also walked in fashion shows between New York, London, Milan and Paris for the biggest fashion names like Anna Sui, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, John Galliano, Roberto Cavalli, Hermès, Balenciaga, Gucci, Valentino, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Kenzo, Viktor & Rolf, Dries Van Noten, Stella McCartney, Zac Posen to name a small number.
Buswell was featured in the 2005 edition of the Pirelli Calendar.
She's also famous as the face of the "Classique" fragrance campaign by Jean Paul Gaultier.