She's considered one of New Zealand's most famous beauties, but being beautiful wasn't always the way Rachel Hunter felt about herself.
In an interview with Newstalk ZB's Kerre McIvor, Hunter has revealed - amid conversation about her new book, Rachel Hunter's Tour of Beauty - that she once saw herself as a "buck-toothed, frizzy haired" teen.
"I was a big introvert," she says of herself aged 12 to 16. "[I was] very shy and did not feel like I fit in. I was buck-toothed, frizzy haired and felt like I just wanted to stay in. I was lanky, I just wanted to squish down. It was uncomfortable ... I escaped to nature."
Clearly that view of Hunter wasn't held by many others and the North Shore teen quickly shot to fame as the face of TipTop and "next thing I knew I was on the cover of magazines."
As McIvor points out: "You had four years of suckiness and you've had a lifetime of gorgeousness. I would easily trade that."
Now, as Hunter enters her 50th year, she's accumulated a knowledge of beauty from her own early experiences and, more latterly, numerous cultures and countries, making her something of an expert.
She shares with McIvor that well before writing her book, and before she embarked on her TV series of the same name, "I sat down with my little red book and thought, what is beauty? Even just that simple question becomes like this onion that you start peeling back."
Her series saw her travel to 13 different countries in a bid to find an answer.
" ... we're so fixated with looking younger," she reflects. "What can we put on our skin? What can we do? What can we drink? When kale comes in, everyone's eating loads of kale. People get obsessed about one particular thing. They're drinking so much turmeric ... because it's the new thing."
From DNA testing in Australia to understand her skin to Korea's modern methods and the Greek focus on longevity, Hunter's search went well beyond the ways people apply lipstick and mascara.
McIvor asks: "Having been defined by beauty for most of your life, is it limiting?"
But Hunter's experiences have shown her there is a sea change in many approaches:
"Being defined by your looks all the time, going 'what is your beauty routine?' It's become a lot more - what else do you actually do?
"We're a lot more broader now. We're seeing this inner beauty, meditation, something that's so ancient. This is not new age weird stuff that's coming out of nowhere."
She shares that when she asked a spritely 106-year-old man she met in Greece what his secret was, he told her, "Look around you. This is it. And off we trotted down the road together looking at the fig trees."
- Rachel Hunter's Tour of Beauty is in stores from October 5.