Honey, salt and oil: this top hair stylist has a unique beauty routine

28 September 2017
By Fashion Quarterly

Bex Brent L'Oreal Ambassador

Rebecca Brent’s self-love philosophy drives not only her impressive creative projects, but her beauty routine as well.

She’s the director of Wellington’s hip salon Willis York – but it’s more than just a salon, and she’s more than just a hair stylist. From exhibition hall to event space and creative hub, out of Willis York, Brent also scouts artistic talent, orchestrates fashion shows and mentors young people across a number of creative fields. The L’Oreal Professionnel ambassador and unicorn hair specialist opens up her beauty cabinet to FQ…

FQ: What’s your morning skincare routine?

Rebecca: I used to have an insanely complicated routine until I met Wellington-based facialist Margaret Hema. Her philosophy of treating your skin like delicate fabric totally made sense to me, so now my morning routine is a splash of cool water followed by massaging Hema Millennium Oil over my face. The massage is key, I spend 2-5 minutes gently waking up my skin with upwards motions while planning my day in my head. I have to start the day in a calm way as I always have creative projects on the go and the salon is a bustling place. I have recently started using Dr Brandt Vitamin C Power Dose as well and have since noticed my skin looks more even and glowing. Once a week I use a Skyn Iceland mask; the acids give my skin a perk up.

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And at night?

I deal with so many people during the day, so at night I have a beautiful Epsom salt bath with lavender or rose oils to relax. While the bath is running I use Hema Cleansing Oil to remove my makeup and once again massage is important — you have to ‘work’ the oil into your skin. I use Japanese wash cloths and warm water to remove the oil, then apply either manuka honey (sticky but it’s an antibacterial and humectant) or Dr Hauschka Firming Mask, light a candle and soak for 20 minutes; it’s a meditative time for me. It’s sleep and exercise that makes your skin glow, so I use This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray to aid a good night’s sleep. I don’t use night creams as I like my skin to breathe.

The makeup of Rebecca Brent makeup L'Oreal ambassador Willis York salon Wellingon

What’s your philosophy on beauty?

Confidence! There’s nothing more beautiful than someone who is being themselves; they radiate positive energy. Learn to think for yourself, look at your face and body with kind eyes and enhance your best features tastefully — less is more. As women we’re so hard on ourselves, especially as we age. We really have to stop thinking that we have a use-by date with our looks. I never think of people as an ‘age’ — I look at their joie de vivre instead!

As you get older, how has your attitude to your appearance changed?

I have learned to love the skin I’m in. We are all insecure about the most ridiculously insignificant things; I used to hate my height and wished I had bigger breasts. Now I am like “wow you are lucky!”. I had to work really hard to change my inner dialogue, and learn to shun the pressure of what ‘perceived’ beauty is.

Winter is going to be so dreamy in the salon thanks to this @jade_weaver 💕 #willisyork #neonlights

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What have you learned about skin that you wish you had known when you were younger?

Stay out of the sun in the middle of the day — it will bite you later in life! I grew up riding horses in Central Otago and never wore sunblock, so now I’m noticing sun spots appearing all over my body.

The skincare of Rebecca Brent makeup L'Oreal ambassador Willis York salon Wellington

What’s the latest trick you’ve learned that’s changed up your beauty game?

The power of massage. I use Aesop Body Lotion, Hand Wash and Hand Crème and take time to enjoy the fragrance while massaging it all over.

What’s the product you tell everyone about?

Hema Oil Cleanser.

Lipgloss, lipstick or lip balm?


Foundation: blending with fingers, sponge or brush?

Brush and fingers!


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Nails: Standard polish or gel?

I just get my nails buffed with no polish.

What’s your guilty beauty splurge?

There’s never any guilt — why feel guilty about looking after yourself?

Your best ever supermarket find?

Epsom salts are $2.75! Stress is something that will age you and a bath relaxes me.

Follow Rebecca at @willisyork

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