“I'm detail-oriented and I love doing things with my hands, so jewelry felt natural to me. They're essentially tiny sculptures. I started making my own bracelets with string and lanyard in summer camp and then in high School Making My mother bought me a book on wire-wrapped jewelry at the craft store, and jewelry was still a hobby at the time.
I attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo College for Graphic Communication which is just an ambiguous way of saying Print and Digital Media Studies. I couldn't afford the jewelry I longed for, and I began to wonder how I could make such things myself. I was actually in Catbird at the time. I went to jewelry stores and asked how I could learn how to do what sounds so funny in retrospect. I was so naive! But in the end I was referred to this woman who was teaching metalworking in her garage and I started taking lessons from her. When I was older, I ended up putting a bench in my bedroom and watching stone-setting videos on YouTube to practice on myself. I opened a window while I was working, but I don't think my roommates were too pleased with the ubiquitous metal dust from my room.
After graduation, I applied to a number of random editorial jobs that I was very unqualified for – obviously unemployed. Striving for graphic design felt like an obligation because of my graduation, but all I really wanted to do with my time was make jewelry. It was a good thing that I couldn't get a "real job" – I started an apprenticeship with a jewelry maker instead, and that's where I got my first taste of what a career in jewelry would be like. I was just reading something yesterday about artist Donald Judd and his concept of "quick thinking" which is essentially thinking so quickly that you don't have time to analyze. Obviously, there is a chance that you will fail, but you could also fall into what you are supposed to do. I wouldn't say there was an aha moment when I realized I wanted to make jewelry to make a living, but when I stopped telling myself it didn't have to be just a hobby, it fit alltogether.
I did this training for a little less than a year, and during that time I also made pieces and sold them to friends. I had the tools to create a logo and website myself – I learned that in school. Then I made a little jewelry collection that, in hindsight, was ugly. When I started my skills were very limited. I learned handcraft which was great because I now understand the construction and can think in millimeters, but there were a lot of things I couldn't do. I took terrible pictures of what I had and just brought it into the world. In 2016 I gave J. Hannah my full attention as a brand and introduced nail polish a year later. I mainly thought of nail polish because I'm a former nail biter, and a coat of varnish really helps me contain that impulse. From a brand's perspective, however, it was important to recognize that fine jewelry is inaccessible to most people. I wanted to do something that could engage a wider audience, especially because we had built a good following on social media at the time. Nail polish also felt holistically connected to jewelry because you are still adorning your hand. We call them "handscapes". We just launched a mini polish kit inspired by the MET Costume Institute exhibit, available at MET or online. This kind of interdisciplinary partnership really fueled my desire to explore other categories. I am sure we will reveal them in due course.
When I stopped telling myself it didn't have to be just a hobby, it all came together.
I've been thinking a lot about electoral feminism lately. It's basically the idea that anything a woman or female identifying person chooses for herself can be empowering. I tend to agree with this on a more personal level because sometimes the more traditionally feminist path is not necessarily the one that makes me feel best – for example, getting an eyelash lift and the occasional injecting makes me feel best personally. However, I don't think this way of thinking is scalable enough to help progress. I find it mentally stimulating to question and understand beauty standards, and at the same time, the fact that I can criticize them doesn't absolve me of my personal guilt. I think what I'm trying to say is that we can all have a more dialectical approach to these things. Does not feeling good just because you are aware of the unfortunate systems and influences that have shaped these ideals help your own mental health? I don't know the answer, but I know it's complicated. Things are rarely black and white, and admittedly, I do a lot of things to appear low-maintenance.
I'm 29 and only recently started breaking out. I realized that I actually had no idea how to take care of my skin. I also have a skin removal problem which I have recently understood to be a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I used to be embarrassed to talk about it, but the more I did, the more I realized that there are a lot of friends doing these things too. What has worked best for me is identifying the moment when I need to do something with my nervous energy and finding healthy replacement behavior. I make sure I have something to reach for – for example, I am currently using an acupressure finger massager. They are affordable and I keep them in every pocket, pocket, and desk drawer. It also kind of helps me focus better which is an added bonus. Our pivot rings that we recently launched were my attempt at designing a taller version of a fidget toy. The middle ring rotates freely and is aesthetically very subtle and chic. As for my skin, I just assume that some picking is inevitable. I took a deep dive and found that vitamin C, niacinamide, and retinoids are best for acne scars. I also love the Zitsticka hyperfade patches – I think these work really well.
I used to feel embarrassed to talk about it, but the more I did, the more I realized that there are many friends involved in these things too.
My current routine was mostly informed by YouTube skin care gurus, but my botox injector Vanessa Lee from The Things We Do also gave me some great advice. She said to drop the expensive products and go for simpler, more affordable things. Now I wash my face with Youth To The People & # 39; s Superfood Cleanser and follow that with The Ordinary's niacinamide and zinc serum. The gurus say this is good for breakouts and it seems to work. During the day I use Riley's UFO oil instead of a moisturizer on Sundays and A313 cream, a retinoid, at night. Sometimes I also use Youth To The People's Superberry Overnight Mask, which contains Vitamin C, to help alleviate my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I will say that not all masks are designed for overnight use. If a mask says it should only be used for five minutes, then by all means, do so. I caught a first degree burn a few weeks ago because I thought an active mask would work better if I slept in it. Lesson learned. The Clean Greens from Golde and the Bioactive Masque from Lesse are both pretty gentle and the fact that they are green and blue respectively makes them very conducive to selfies.
I like to joke about face tattoos because my brows are micro-laden. In all seriousness, I think it's important to go to someone who is really good because it's so permanent. I go to Christina in the Sugarin Studio and also get eyelash lifts from her. I like that I don't have to deal with the weird dandruff that occurs with eyelash extensions, nor do I have to attack my natural lashes with a curler every day. I recently discovered this mascara that I preach about it like it was the word of God. It's from a Japanese brand called Flowfushi – I found their brown eyeliner at Dover Street Market and I needed to know what else they were doing because I suspected it was going to be good. This mascara is not sold in America. It should be clear that if you look closely, it has a kind of gray tint and is filled with small fibers. I use it on my eyelashes and eyebrows and it makes them look defined and longer, but not like I'm wearing anything. I don't know if I'm describing it well because it's so strange, but it could seriously be magical. There is another brown gel eyeliner that I love from Thrive, and I use this one when I want to blur it. Then I just use Glossier Concealer because it looks like skin and when I feel like a bit, a Noto stain on my lips and cheeks. My favorite is that brick-hued orange color – I tend to stay away from anything that's too pink or sparkly.
I go to Spoke & Weal in LA and see Dell for paint and Lindsay for cuts. I brought a photo of my friend's one year old daughter as a reference for my highlights, and it's funny because the technique they are using is actually called baby lights. Personally, I like to refer to my hair color as fawn. I like color names. They use this technique called dry cutting and I think that's why I can achieve this swoopy thing with my front pieces. People ask me how I do it all the time, but I would attribute it to a good haircut. I use Kristin Ess & # 39; purple shampoo and conditioner to keep my highlights from turning brassy, and I also like her beach wave product. This line is great because it is very affordable and it lacks drugstore aesthetics for packaging. I also have a spray bottle that I mix water and salt into – I usually only use Himalayan salt from my kitchen, but recently I tried using Epsom salt and I was surprised how well it worked. When I need to freshen up my waves when I wake up, I spray everything over with this concoction.
BODY + SCENT
I use Dr. Bronner's body wash, but I'm not an evangelist or anything. I will use everything. I always use a razor and body oil to shave my legs. I actually feel like my legs are softer when I shave with oil or even conditioner instead of shaving cream. I use either Trader Joe's regular vitamin E oil or a friend of mine, F. Miller. When I get out of the shower, I use a lotion my mom makes. She uses marigolds that she grows in her garden and mixes them with shea butter and apricot oil. That really feels special.
When it comes to sport, the most important thing for me is that I do something that I enjoy. I have a very short attention span. So if it's not fun, I fear it and eventually stop. I can't do anything for over 45 minutes either. If it takes an hour, I'll be out. I like yoga, I like stretching … I've done a lot of reformer pilates and recently I've found a lot of places in LA that I do outdoor classes. I also walk my dog Ruby twice a day which is a great exercise. And i love to dance. I'm not very good at choreography, but I love connecting with my body and letting go. That feels good to my brain.
I always strived for a signature scent, but I never felt like anything was entirely me. I fell in love with the online description of La Curie's # 1 fragrance at Kindred Black and ordered it on the fly. I was pleasantly pleased to learn that it is all I had hoped for. It's the perfect balance between feminine and masculine and it doesn't smell overly sweet or floral. Kindred Black is a really cool place. They have an area they call the "slow pharmacy" that is filled with skin care, oils and fragrances in hand-blown glass bottles. Be careful as it is also very expensive and difficult to resist. I wanted a travel-size rollerball of the scent because I didn't want to take the large glass bottle with me. I emailed the perfumer directly and said, "Hi, I'm obsessed with you, let me tell you what this fragrance you made means to me" and she replied the next day.
I'm not very good at choreography, but I love connecting with my body and letting go. That feels good to my brain.
I never felt like the nail colors I saw in the market were as nuanced as I would have liked. That's why I wanted to do colors with J. Hannah for others who felt the same way. My personal favorite is Akoya. It's plain and even if I do it myself it's practically impossible to mess it up. It catches the light in this really nice way and it looks really special. With other nail products, I like things that have a good basic design, are simple in shape, and do what they're supposed to. I really like glass nail files – never cardboard arrows. And I have this cool black Japanese nail clipper that catches the nails so they don't fly all over the place. I'm a sucker for things that are beautifully designed and small, so I love this uka cuticle oil. I have the Nécessaire hand cream in my pocket, but I like to use oils instead at night. I love F. Miller, Klur, Esker, Noto … I have a lot of friends who make great oils. I will just put something over my hands at night before bed and always rub the excess on my legs. "
– as ITG said
Jess Hannah Révész photographed by Felisha Tolentino on October 15, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.