"This is by no means what's going to be your best blush, or what's your favorite mascara."
There are many high-paying, travel filled careers in the world that most of us could only dream of landing—photographer for the National Park Service, sommelier for Qatar airways, chief perfumer for Dior, to name a few. Rachel Hunter’s latest gig certainly falls under the “dream job" classification. The veteran model is gearing up for the premiere of Rachel's Tour of Beauty, which debuts January 17th on Ovation TV. The series follows the stunning Kiwi around the globe in search of the most unique (and often times, bizarre) beauty traditions from various countries and cultures. We caught up with Hunter and talked about drinking bullforog tea in South Korea, getting a $7,000 facial in Dubai, and visiting the burning bodies of Varanasi in India.
“To me, India is all about inner beauty. As much poverty as there is and all the difficulties over there, everywhere you go there’s this spiritual element that exists. We went to Varanasi and people go 'how can they burn bodies?' I had the opportunity of seeing it, and it was very beautiful and very respectfully done. You see this unity of life and death happen on the Ganges, and I had this moment thinking, 'this all makes sense.' It was really eye opening. I interviewed Sadhguru, who runs the Isha Foundation—he a profound effect on me. We met this incredible woman who has a website called Wild Turmeric and she has ancient recipes on there. These people, you just love them. They’re so passionate about health, longevity, and wellness.
“There’s such longevity there with the peaceful family atmosphere, the farm-to-table food, the communities caring about each other. It was a big, warm, family moment of how important that sense of belonging and community is—and I definitely think that needs to be pushed back to our lives. Loving what you do, and cooking—they have such low heart disease there, thanks to the properties of goat’s milk. I met somebody well over 100 years old that could read without glasses on.”
“In Australia, we started out by learning about my skin’s DNA. It was very interesting to discover the different categories that I excelled in, and the ones that needed some work. And sugar: how is it helping us, and how isn’t it helping us? It was interesting to see how it affected me and how differently I look at eating fruit, given that I'm a massive fruit eater. Finger limes are a new fruit that I fell in love with—and they have health benefits of every kind. They call it the caviar of fruits and it makes your mouth taste like perfume. We also took a look at Lucas’s Papaw—everybody has Papaw in their bag. We got to visit the factory and investigate what we find in a lot of people’s bags and their purposes—what’s going on there, the understanding of what that does, and how it’s made.”
“I tried camel’s milk and found it pretty light and fluffy—it was very easy to drink. I also did a $7,000 gold facial: pure 24-karat leaves of gold on your face. It was amazing. We met a honey maker—who knew honey could taste so different? To actually taste the fineness and the delicateness of the herbs that are put into this honey was really cool. We also investigated how women feel in the Burqa. Dubai is very rich in ancient beliefs and ways, but there’s also a modern aspect to the tradition.”
“Remember when they started selling Nonijuice everywhere in the world? A lot of people are all drinking coconut water, but what kind of coconut water is actually good for you? The coconut is the fruit of life—you can live off it for quite some time: the water, the flesh, the oil…we look at all the benefits of that, and which water is good for you, what the old water does, what the young water does, and what the young vs. old flesh does.”
"To try pure argan oil was pretty amazing. You smell pretty nutty, but I brought two bottles home and I put it on my face and my hair and it just glows. And you can cook with it, too.”
“In China, there are markets with scorpions, tarantulas for health benefits. Each animal has specific properties good for longevity and anti-aging. They have this unbelievable community that goes to parks in the morning for warm-ups where they slap themselves, they clap, they do tai chi, they sing. And the people there are much older than you’d think. They have warm porridge, and tea—all these lukewarm foods in the morning. I got into learning more about the structure and balance—the yin and the yang—which I kind of bark at because I want my iced coffee in the morning. I don’t want porridge. I sat with someone who was 108 years old and there was another man over 100 who was racing me on the bicycle. He goes down to the market every day and gets his produce."