Rebecca on her career, beauty regime and wellness hacks.
ps : some serious beauty shelf envy coming your way!
The latest wellness trends can be complicated and confusing, which is why we spoke to Lifestyle guru and beauty PR Rebecca Wadey about the diet and exercise options that really work. Rebecca may lead a glamorous life with a successful career in PR and journalism but she also faced cancer in her twenties, which helped her appreciate that feeling healthy in your own body is the ultimate achievement.
Rebecca’s beauty routine includes luxury items such as La Mer face oil, but also affordable, everyday ingredients like tahini and coconut oil.
Tell us how you started your career?
I worked in the Kate Sylvester store while I was at university, back in the nineties when it was called Sister and located in High St. After I graduated I moved to Melbourne where I did post-grad and eventually got a job running the Melbourne pages of a nationwide online magazine in the middle of the dot com boom. I had some amazing experiences and interviewed some incredible people, like Lisa Gorman on her debut collection. We eventually burned through all the money, and after we were shuttered Kate rang me to invite me to return to NZ to manage her sales and PR which I did for many years before having children and deciding the flexibility of journalism was far better suited to me. I was incredibly lucky to work for the most amazing titles, as the fashion editor of Metro and the well-being editor of Viva. Now my kids are 7 and 9 I’ve gone back to PR. After so many years freelancing for myself I am loving being in an actual office, surrounded by creative and smart people all day. As opposed to working in my yoga pants out of the spare room!
How did you develop interest in holistic wellness?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 26. I had a mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment. But the worst part was the constant fear and anxiety around recurrence. After I had kids I realised I could take my health into my own hands and started researching diet and exercise around immunity and wellbeing. I was so impressed with the difference this knowledge made upon my health and wellbeing that eventually I opened a yoga studio above Little Bird, so that I may help others realise the same powerful knowledge but these days it is strictly a hobby.
Your relationship to beauty and self-care
To me self-care is the centre of everything. I eat the way I do and move the way I do, live the way I do in order that I may feel amazing. I worry that there are so many people out there who eat and move the way they do because they want to LOOK amazing, and that makes me so sad. They are chasing the wrong dreams. To me beauty is a strong, healthy body free of disease and a clear, focused and calm mind.
DIY skincare hacks that you swear by?
It’s not really a skincare hack but coconut oil makes the best nit treatment for your children J.
Let's talk about your beauty routine, what is your morning skincare routine like
I get up at 5.15am and wash my face with La Mer The Cleansing Oil, followed by Estee Lauder Micro-Essence and a few dabs of Advanced Night Repair. Then I pop on a few drops of La Mer The Renewal Face Oil and head off to yoga. I shower at work after class and then use a moisturiser; at the moment it’s Clinique Dramatically Different.
I wash my face pretty soon after coming in from work using Clinique 'Take the Day Off' Cleansing Balm. It’s like a symbolic act of finishing my working day and reverting to being a mum again. Then I do the Micro-Essence and Advanced Night Repair and Renewal oil routine again. And before bed I’ll use a night cream.
My dirty secret is that I barely wash my hair! Once every couple of months I’ll get my greys seen to, and once every couple of months I’ll have a blow wave at Dry and Tea. But other than that I don’t touch it. I am excited that Jo Malone London has recently released a hair mist – I can spritz it whenever I worry it’s getting too stinky!
Favourite beauty indulgence
I’m not sure it classes as an indulgence but I love Off Wax Bar, they have been carefully grooming back my post-chemo brows for the past 14 years and I’d never let anyone else touch them.
Favourite places to dine at
Pasture for a special occasion (or just because), Tiger Burger when we want the yummiest take-out in town, Little Bird as often as I can, Cocos Cantina, Orphans Kitchen, Amano and Azabu for any excuse I can find.
Your go-to wellness items in your pantry
I’m so lucky to consider Megan from Little Bird as a dear friend, she is so giving with her knowledge and empathy and I truly believe she’s a world leader in the field of eating for health. I’m basically a magpie who has picked her brain for years. I can’t live without my Vitamix and I drink numerous smoothies a day with all sorts of crazy ingredients. Some of my current must-haves are:
Cacao powder and cacao nib
Best-kept secret in Auckland city
You can rent paddle-boards for $20/hour at the end of my street. On a clear still day Meola reef feels like Fiji – you can sight fish and rays sunbathing as you glide over them.
I love Fon at Sanctuary Spa in Birkenhead. She does the most incredible Thai massage and having done some work with her in the past I can attest she’s the loveliest person whose hands could ever touch your body. And she only charges $70.
Rebecca Wadey wears Kate Sylvester throughout.
Zeenat Wilkinson is the Founder and Editorial Director of Sauce.
Her work as a fashion producer, writer, and freelance stylist can be seen in the likes of Vogue, Grazia, Nylon and Black Magazine, internationally, and locally in Fashion Quarterly, Viva/NZ Herald and more. 100% dog person.