We had the honor of shooting beauty editor, writer, style guru, and all-around magical human, Hannah Baxter for our newest campaign. She graciously sat down with us and shared her jewelry rituals, summer beauty tips, the importance of wrist-watches, and her strategies to find moments of quiet in this often busy, loud, bustling, and demanding world.
When and where did you get your first piercing? How about your most recent? Do you have a favorite?
I was eight when I got my first ear piercing at a Claire's in the local mall. I was so excited but in the moment I absolutely freaked out and cried and snotted all over the comfort teddy bear the teenage piercer gave me. Needless to say, I'm much more calm when I receive a piercing now.
My most recent piercing is actually a redo of an old belly button hole I got when I was 18. My go-to piercer, Adrian Castillo, put in two teeny gold hoops back in 2020. Since that hole never really goes away (unless you visit a derm for filler or to cut it out) I thought "why not" — if Beyoncé still has a belly button ring, I can too.
I really love my conch piercing, which I got with J. Colby Smith when I profiled him at Coveteur. I think it's one of the most unique spots on the ear to wear a glittery piece of jewelry, and it was the area I was most intimidated to pierce, so once I did it I felt like a bad ass babe. I've also had my septum piercing for a decade now, and it feels so signature to me and my face that I don't even see it when I look in the mirror. You're never too old for piercings, facial or otherwise.
We know you “fucking love jewelry”, what is your daily jewelry ritual? Anything you never leave the house without or never take off?
I tend to take off any rings with gemstones when I sleep and leave the simple bands, but I'll always put these back on before I leave the house. I have five rings that I wear every single day and then many more pieces that I rotate out depending on where I'm going and how I'm feeling. I also always put on my vintage Rolex in the morning — I really love not having to look at my phone to tell the time and it's the piece I'm most proud to have invested in. I usually sleep in my Ashley Zhang belcher chain with an "H" diamond charm from The Last Line and then I'll maybe layer a colorful gemstone or bead necklace on top of that. My left wrist also sports four infinity gold chains, so I legitimately can never take those off. My earrings usually stay put — I have 15 between both ears — so unless I feel like swapping out a chunkier earring on one side (I love a mismatched ear look), I don't mess with them. I go through cycles with my earrings and tend to switch up my entire right ear with new jewelry, leave it for a few weeks, and then repeat the process again.
We had you model our alphabet and zodiac studs and are dying to know, what’s your sign? Do you feel like it connects with your sense of personal style?
I'm a Leo sun, Capricorn rising, and Pisces moon. My chart does feel pretty true to who I am publically, privately, and professionally. The Leo comes through with my more is more mentality with jewelry (and my addiction to yellow gold), the Capricorn speaks to my love for investment jewelry that I can wear all the time and not worry about them degrading, and the Pisces is definitely how emotionally attached I am to my jewelry collection. I have pieces from my mother that I treasure and in my family it's always customary to gift jewelry for big birthdays or life moments — so I come by it honestly. At this point in my 30s, I'm pretty immune to trends with my personal style, so however that relates to my chart it's a testament to feeling comfortable and confident in what I like and who I am.
It’s steaming hot in NYC right now, how does your beauty routine and accessorizing differ in the summer? Any tips?
Although it's Leo season (woop!) I will say that I hate how unbearably hot NYC gets in the dog days of summer. I make sure to double down on SPF, slathering it on my entire body and face and reapplying throughout the day (a crucial step to prevent dark spots and damage). I swap my heavier moisturizer for a lightweight option (the Tata Harper Superkind Fortifying Moisturizer gives you the most insane glow) and I make sure to use an antioxidant serum to protect against pollution and other free radical damage (the SkinBetter Alto Defense Serum and Protocol Vitamin C are two favorites). And since I usually tend to dress very simply in the summer (read: fewer layers, lighter colors, lot's of t-shirts and shorts) I really rely on my jewelry to punch up an outfit. I go all out with necklaces and bracelets, and since I usually wear my hair pulled off my face in the heat, I play around with different earring stacks or hoops.
What about travel? What jewelry and beauty essentials do you gravitate to when you’re hitting the road?
I'm always afraid of losing jewelry when I travel so I pare things back to simple bands and earrings that I know have a strong back and won't fall out. I swap my favorite gold necklace for a vintage option (because I have to be wearing something around my neck) and wear a demi-fine watch from Breda. I'll usually bring a pair of gold hoops with me to wear out to dinner and maybe one other beaded necklace for daytime along with a few beaded bracelets that are very hardy. My skincare lineup always comes with me (cleanser, essence, antioxidant serum, hydrating serum, moisturizer, eye cream, SPF), but I'll usually bring minimal makeup with one or two bright lipsticks for a night out, usually Chanel or Sunnie's Face. I also always bring a leave-in conditioner with me because I have wavy hair that gets super dry when I travel, so that's non-negotiable to keep my texture healthy. The Crown Affair one is a favorite.
You post a lot about the connections between mental health and physical self-care. What are some of your favorite calming rituals to break through the busy noisy stress of city life?
The pandemic really put some things into perspective in terms of how we spend our time, how we feel valued and fulfilled, and the importance of taking care of your mental health. It's still seen as a somewhat taboo topic, which I can understand on one hand, but on the other I always want to be forthcoming on my channels about the realities of how difficult life can feel (especially now). I think it can help others feel less alone when they're struggling, and it can help people create connections to ask questions about what things have worked to minimize that stress and anxiety. There's absolutely no shame in talking about mental health — even if many aspects of our culture would like you to think otherwise.
New York is on a level 12 at all times, so I really prioritize my "off" time so that I can see friends and family. It's easy to work 24/7 and I've definitely gone through points in my career where I felt like I had to give it 115% every second of the day, but now I know that my work does not define me. That's why I never feel bad about stepping back from the computer for a 20 minute sanity walk or taking a real lunch break away from emails. After hours, I like to decompress with a few different things: dinner with friends is always a top choice or for a more chill evening, I'll draw a bath, light a joint, and read or watch a movie in the tub with candles burning. I like to set the ambience in my apartment so candles are always lit somewhere. I'm also really trying to step away from endless social media scrolling because it's not doing anything beneficial for my mental health — instead reading, journaling, or going to a class (I'm taking piano at the moment) helps me unplug and minimize stress. Also, in an era of all communication happening over text, I really love having phone dates with friends, especially ones that don't live in New York. There's something so calming about talking to someone who knows and loves you for 45 minutes and really catching up — it's grounding in the absolute best way.