Celebrity News

Rachel Hunter’s big life change

The Kiwi supermodel reveals how the past two years have changed her physically and emotionally

As a supermodel-turned-yoga teacher who splits her time between Aotearoa, India and the US, Rachel Hunter has seen her fair share of beauty trends and fancy products. However, her latest discovery came from a surprising place – the cosmetics aisle of a supermarket!

By chance, the Auckland-born star found Kiwi brand essano stocked at the grocery store near her home in Los Angeles and it took her back to when she first laid eyes on the products almost a decade earlier, when she was filming New Zealand’s Got Talent.

“It was a sign!” she beams, chatting to Woman’s Day about her partnership with the brand from her lounge in California. “I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ And it all developed from there.”

When it comes to the world of beauty, “Our Rachel” has long been associated with the high-flying world of all things glamorous, but her tricks of the trade are mostly low-key, no matter where she is on

the planet.

“I always like simplicity, then you can add something a bit extravagant,” she tells us, adding that the idea of daily self-care has become so important over the past two years, with the pandemic causing her to spend large amounts of time in lockdown in various countries.

From next month, Rachel’s hosting yoga retreats in Bali and NZ.

“I’ve obviously continued with my meditation practice, but self-care can also be about our reactions or our social environments,” explains Rachel. “A big thing for me right now is really listening to people – not just preparing my answer because that means I’m not really listening!

“By taking the time to be present, it helps stabilise the nervous system and puts me in the moment.”

Rachel says she’s learned over the years that she’s definitely “the fiery type who gets excited very easily” and that tapping into her more quiet side has been helpful.

With her kids Liam and Renee

“Just being more nurturing and loving towards myself – things like baths or taking the time to rub a beautiful oil into my skin. Being kind to ourselves in this time is important.”

On the morning of our interview, Rachel’s sister Jacqui has just tested positive for COVID-19 and Rachel herself isn’t feeling great. The day after, she posts a photo of her positive rapid antigen test on Instagram.

The saying “health is wealth” has been a wellness slogan for a while now, but as Rachel says, the importance of this belief has only grown in the past few years.

Rachel with her sister Jacqui

“We’ve now started looking at a microscopic level at our health and our mental health, but also the environment and how we can be sustainable. That’s needed to happen for a while. As well as being such a heartbreaking time for many, many people, it’s also an incredible opportunity for us to look at things differently, A lot of what we’re dealing with now, people haven’t encountered for 100 years and it’s still evolving.”

“Evolution” has been Rachel’s way of life for many years now. Her popular 2015 TV series Tour Of Beauty cracked upon a whole new world for the star, who’s spent many years since training as a yoga and meditation teacher in India.

India opened up a whole new world of enlightenment for Rachel.

“We’re all still finding our way,” she muses. “We’re in evolution all the time. To be stuck in any one way isn’t the best for us.”

The evolving sense of what beauty means is also a wonderful and necessary process, says Rachel. “The range of beauty has changed so much. It’s not just the blue-eyed blonde any more – it’s so much more than that.”

Her daughter Renee Stewart just turned 30 and the family celebrated with a party in Beverly Hills. Rachel says she’s always inspired by her kids.

“These younger generations now – they’re so cool and so much more evolved,” laughs Rachel. “They really want to be who they are. They’re not scared or afraid to do that.”

Next month, Renee – who is also a trained yoga teacher – will be joining Rachel in Bali, where the mother-daughter duo will be running a week-long yoga retreat, before Rachel returns to New Zealand in September to run a series of retreats here as well.

Rachel credits yoga with not only keeping her body flexible, but also making her more grounded in her sense of self, which she believes is the secret to feeling more beautiful. “Self-esteem comes from a place of rest in your own skin,” she says. “When we talk about that, we can go, ‘Oh, I like my eyes,’ or, ‘I like my lips,’ but when you actually feel that energy in your skin or the power of the breath in your body, you look at yourself from a much bigger, wider perspective.”

One of the reasons Rachel felt like the essano partnership aligned with her values was because it’s both good-quality and affordable.

“I was really excited to see the rosehip oil in there, but also, most importantly, that it was available for everybody,” she smiles. “That accessibility is important.”

It’s something Rachel feels very strongly about and that idea of affordability is key for all things health-related, she says. “It’s like organic food – that’s become a wealthy person’s situation, but back in the day, you could buy a crate of plums on the side of the road for $5,” she says.

“But now, to have something organic, you have to pay so much more. It’s the same with beauty products – they should be accessible. Whether we go into a recession or not, things need to be made available for everyone.”

Rachel’s top beauty tips

“I always use hydrating rose toner spray and then rosehip oil every morning – not just on my face, but on my neck and legs as well because I get very dry skin. I’m also really into taking the time for bath salts at the moment. But makeup-wise, unless I’m doing a show, it’s usually just some foundation under my eyes and then mascara.”


We have five essano packs to give away, valued at $100 each. Included are essano hero products Hydrating Rosehip Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, Mist Toner and a Hydrating Rosehip. The Treat Your Skin Trial Pack is full of minis, perfect for a getaway, plus there’s an essano Wellbeing fragrance candle infused with aromatic oils of lavender and chamomile to soothe and calm the senses.

To be in to win, email [email protected] with the subject line “essano giveaway”, as well as your name and address, by Monday 11 July. One entry per person.

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