Punch Hutton, Editor


"I started my career in the mailroom at United Talent Agency in LA. Actually, I bounced around to quite a few different jobs—I worked for a television producer, and then I worked in publicity, and I realized that wasn't the course I wanted to take. But I liked certain things about each job. I was dating someone who wanted to move to New York for school, and that's when I thought about magazines, which seemed like the perfect amalgamation of all of my experience thus far. So I moved to New York and got a job working at Vanity Fair as Graydon Carter's assistant. I'll never forget my first week—I was answering Graydon’s phone and a studio chief called, and Graydon said 'Take a message.' And then someone from the White House called... 'Take a message.' I was like, 'What!' [Laughs] I had a lot to learn.

Five years later there was an opening for a Fanfair section editor and I took it, eventually becoming its sole editor. I grew it from four pages to 15 at its best, which was a huge achievement. I also edited Fairground—I think we did party pages better than anyone. But after 17 years, I decided to leave. Vanity Fair gave me a solid journalism foundation, but I wanted to explore new creative challenges. Right now I’m working on a new curated site and marketplace, and I’m also working with Jeff Klein [of the Sunset Tower Hotel] on his new project in LA that I’m obsessed with. Right now I’m really looking forward to challenging myself, meeting new people, and building beautiful things.

I grew up in Los Angeles, by the beach, and I had fair skin and dark hair. I never wore sunscreen because I wanted to be as tan and as blonde as all of my friends. [Laughs] When I moved to New York, that's when I really understood for the first time that being a brunette and not being tan and having a different look was acceptable and beautiful. I think it’s part of the evolution of what happens to us as women—we can’t change certain things, but you can find the beauty in them. So I started really trying to accept what I had.

Two years ago, however, the sun caught up with me and I had a melanoma. I found this little freckle on my chest and it just bothered me, the way it looked. I got it burned off and it came back, and I know that's not supposed to happen. You have to trust your gut with stuff like that. If something doesn’t look good or if you have a question, just go get it checked out. My doctor took care of it, and now I go for regular skin checks. And I wear sunscreen every day—Kerstin Florian Day Crème SPF 30. It’s really light, it’s not greasy, and I like the fact that there are vitamins in it. I feel like I’m doing something extra enriching for my skin. Other than that, it's always Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer with SPF 30. I can't do lotion and then sunscreen, it has to be both in one. I wash my face with Cetaphil because I have very sensitive skin, and at night, I like NeoStrata's Bio-Hydrating Cream to exfoliate, and then Chanel Sublimage. It's really great under makeup.

Makeup, for me, is an everyday thing. I use La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer Foundation Sunscreen SPF 15. I love the texture so much, I use the same foundation in a lighter shade as an undereye concealer. I’m torn though because I’m also in love with Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in shade 4.5, it’s the best. Right now I use both. Then I use Bobbi Brown Warm Natural Pressed Powder, mostly on my T-zone. Then Bobbi Brown Bronzer in Natural all over, but sometimes I do too much and then I take some off. I have a new Bobbi Brown Cream Blush that Vanity Fair's Beauty Editor gave to me, it’s great. I had never used a cream blush before and I kind of love it.

All of a sudden I've embraced a red lip—I adore Lipstick Queen Brat Pack. And I love Poppy King so much, I'm happy to buy something of hers. Normally I just like a more dramatic eye. I swear by this Bobbi Brown Black Ink Long-wear Gel Eyeliner, it makes me feel so glamorous. On my brows I use Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Dark Brunette. I do brush them up, sometimes just with my hairbrush.

When I was younger and living in Malibu, I would just spray Sun In in my hair—I don't recommend this and now I do a lot more. I wash it every day. I know it’s not good for you! I have that issue where I don’t feel totally clean if don’t get my hair wet, so sometimes I'll wet it and just put conditioner on the ends. I use Living Proof Conditioner because it smells so delicious, but I love Oribe, too. As far as styling, I basically don’t know how to do my own hair. I usually pin it back a little bit if I want to look sleek, but I'll get a blowdry at Frederic Fekkai or Drybar regularly—I really like Drybar's Volumizer and Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray. I feel like you have to be an octopus to give yourself a good blowdry! I always think, if I could have two luxuries, they would be an in-home blowdry every day and a driver. [Laughs]

My color is a single process by Jax at Fekkai. They have an incredible Color Radiance Oil Treatment. I love it. It smells good, it makes everything softer, it takes away any flyaways. Coconut oil is also good in my hair. I put that in and my hair is limp for three days, but what the heck.

I totally believe in light LED therapy. Cassandra [Grey of Violet Grey] was saying that everyone is selling these handheld light therapy things. I haven't bought into the handheld yet, but at Tracie Martyn I do the Ruby Ray light treatment. It looks like a tanning bed, you do it for 15 minutes, and it targets dark spots. It's also supposed to lift your mood. I love to do it. I'll also do intense pulsed light therapy, which is great for your complexion. I prefer treatments to anti-aging products.

Facials, too, I love. I've actually gotten really into dermaplaning, or blading. You go in for a facial and they take a fine blade and it gets rid of your top layers. It’s like exfoliating times three. Your skin is so fresh, not raw, and then you get a soothing facial. I'm open to anything. I’m not even opposed to going under the knife. We grow and we change and our looks change. A year ago my skin started to get very bad—I was somebody who never had bad skin—and it really affected my confidence. Now, I have great compassion for that."

—as told to ITG

Punch Hutton photographed by Tom Newton at her home in New York on December 9, 2015.

Explore the beauty routines of Town & Country's Jay Fielden, Vogue's Sally Singer, the New York Times' Vanessa Friedman, and plenty of other editors in The Top Shelf.