Since being crowned Miss Universe Australia in 2009, Rachael Finch’s star has continued to shine ever so brightly. The former Beauty Queen has traded the tiara for many a professional hat; including being the face of makeup brand Colour Theory, an ambassador to Myer and a Channel 7 TV host. She has also tangoed her way around Dancing with the Stars (where she met husband, professional dancer, Michael Miziner) and cooked up a storm on Celebrity Masterchef. With countless stints on radio and television, people naturally warm to the self-effacing girl from Townsville. Rachael is a joy to shoot and chat with, undoubtedly a natural in front of the camera and, not to mention, utterly gorgeous.
Welcoming and generous with her time, the new mum recently invited us up to the sleek apartment she shares with her husband and daughter Violet (2 and a half), in Sydney’s east. She revealed her journey from athletic teenager to high-flying TV host as well as giving us a peek into her bursting beauty cupboards and sensibly-stocked pantry.
“I always had pimples as a teenager.
“I was self-conscious about my skin. It wasn’t until I was about 18 that it started to clear and I learnt to eat better food to help my skin to glow. When I was younger I didn’t understand what was good and bad for skin and how important SPF is. I remember straightening my hair with a clothes iron!
Mum always taught me the importance of making myself look respectable before leaving the house.
She always made sure my hair was brushed and that I was neat and tidy. I saw the way she looked when she got ready for work and I always admired her beauty and self-respect. I remember little things like her pulling the car over to reapply lipstick and checking her teeth after every meal. I loved the smell of her perfume, which filled the house and I’ll always remember watching her spray her hair each morning to keep her curls strong.
When I was younger my dream was to compete at the Olympics for Australia.
I competed in athletics for eight years and spent most days training. But, when I was 15 Mum and I saw an advertisement for a local modelling competition and I decided to enter. I was lucky enough to win and have been working as a model ever since. I took a television presenting course in Sydney when I was 18 and after coming home from the Miss Universe pageant in the Bahamas I signed a deal with Channel 7. Health and wellness have always been a huge part of my life, even more so now that I am older. When I was pregnant with Violet I decided to study Health Coaching.
I aim to be physically active every day.
Whether that means going to the gym or walking Violet in the pram, I love being outdoors. I try and base most of my workouts in the park or on the beach when it’s warm. I’m a big believer in changing up the type of training I do to remain focused and motivated. I skip, run, swim, design circuit classes, practice yoga and dance. I try to do a bit of everything.
I have always liked the saying, ‘If it grows, eat it. If it doesn’t grow, don’t eat it’.
I believe everything in moderation is key, although 80 per cent of the time we should be nourishing our bodies with vegetables, fruit and good quality sources of protein and grains. Just like my view on exercise, I love listening to my body and giving it what it needs. I rarely eat processed foods or heavy sauces with additives.
The must-have foods in my fridge and pantry are…
...avocado, fresh salmon, chicken, spinach, eggs, mineral water, broccoli, brown rice cakes, olives, Himalayan sea salt, fresh herbs, olive oil, fresh chilli. My favourite recipe is oven-baked salmon with sweet potato mash and steamed greens and I love Impressed Juices and cold pressed Ginga Ninja juices - made with carrots, apples, ginger and tumeric. I also take magnesium daily. This helps relax my muscles and improve my sleep.
Aging is the most natural thing we will experience and we should embrace it.
I have always thought that if I am living in the present with gratitude I will never be afraid or ashamed to age. That said, there is always a nice sensation that comes with healthy and happy skin. When I’m tired I notice red eyes straight away and I don’t think it's very attractive. I try to aim for seven to eight hours of sleep every night if I can.
Once a month I visit the Clear Skin Clinic in Double Bay to get a ‘steam & squeeze’.
It’s their signature treatment that involves steaming the face to soften the pores and manually extracting the impurities from beneath the skin. I also like to have one or two Omnilux light sessions per month to help collagen production and keep my skin feeling fresh. [In my home town], Skinworx in Townsville is the best. They do extractions and have some great therapists.
I always exfoliate in the shower to let the steam help penetrate deep into the pores.
I use Skin Prep Scrub from Dermalogica or Skin Theory’s exfoliating polish. In the morning, I cleanse and moisturise with Dermalogica and Boots Serum 7. I place dots all over my face with the moisturiser and rub it in by giving myself a mini massage to stimulate cells under the skin. After work I take off my makeup immediately with makeup wipes first, then cleanse and moisturise.
I love the way that wearing makeup can make me feel confident and beautiful.
Day to day my beauty look is minimal, fresh and glowing. I like using concealer and a pressed powder for coverage. I curl my lashes and apply the ‘Define’ mascara by Colour Theory – they’re made in Italy and have a great consistency. I like the YSL concealer in 2.5 and can also just use a bronzer from Colour Theory without any foundation. When I go out, a bold lip adds a lot to an outfit with minimal effort. Colour Theory has a red shade called ‘Catwalk’, which I love at the moment. I also brush my brows with a toothbrush as I find this gives the best shape.
I try not to wash my hair too often but when I do…
I use good quality products and always brush my hair with a wide toothed comb when it’s wet. I like the Christophe Robin products, especially the Regenerating Shampoo with Prickly Pear Seed Oil and the Lemon Cleansing Mask. I have been seeing Monique at Que Colour in Darlinghurst for five years now and she always looks after my hair with good treatments.
I love wearing relaxed, flowing outfits that feel good on my skin.
I think when a garment is made well it’s much easier to wear and love. There are nights and events I go to where I love pushing boundaries and stepping outside the box. I love the work that brands like Aje from Myer are doing at the moment. Their pieces have a modern take on the 1970s’ romantic era. Other classics I love are Alex Perry and Toni Maticevski.”
Story by Chrisanthi Kaliviotis; Photography by Daniel Gurton; Makeup and Hair by Sarina Zoe