"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.