eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Voices in Natural Beauty Interview Series: Rebecca Buttignol of Wave Healing Arts

My contact with the lovely Rebecca Buttignol of Wave Healing Arts in Portsmouth, New Hampshire began in the most casual of fashions. She happens to be the sole US distributor for my most recent organic skin care brand obsession-- Raw Gaia (brand is UK-based). What started as a request for a timeline on when certain products would be restocked turned into an awfully pleasant ongoing volley of emails. We share a love of natural ingredients-- the Earth's generous gifts-- and I became curious about the work that she does with them at her holistic wellness and beauty studio/spa.

Rebecca is a trained expert in all things Raw Gaia, and so much more. She utilizes massage, many types of facials and skin treatments, energy work like Reiki, vibrational healing, customized flower essence blending and even leads a journaling workshop. All of her diverse efforts are focused towards helping to usher others into a whole and happy state of being. She's passionate, insanely knowledgeable, intuitive and kind. In other words, she's an adept healer whom you ought to know. She has also provided the inspiration I needed to start this brand new interview series about the interesting people you'll meet along the path of natural beauty and fragrance. I'm so pleased that she's helping me kick it off by allowing us a little peek into her world and also sharing a beauty secret or two!

How did you get into skin care? Can you describe why you decided to become not just an esthetician, but one that uses strictly organic products?

In 1987 I was living at Kripalu Yoga Center in Lenox, MA and I received my first massage and holistic facial. I knew at that moment that I wanted to learn these services. Holistic is where I started and have always been inclined to a holistic lifestyle and have tried to stay true to that as best as I can. 

I think it’s safe to say that your approach to skin care and beauty is holistic in every way. How does that mindset translate into all the different modalities you utilize at Wave?

My additional education was in Counseling Psychology. I was in a graduate program to complete my Bachelors Degree and contemplated continuing with the Masters Degree; I decided not to but instead to put more focus in creating my work as a Holistic Bodywork Practitioner. I wanted to work in the healing arts but not have to be in the role of a counselor. I have studied thousands of hours of continuing education in holistic healing modalities which completely influence my approach to my work as an esthetician. 

What is your goal with your work at Wave Healing Arts? How can your clients expect to feel when they walk out the door, and what will they see in the mirror?

My goal as a holistic practitioner is to integrate body, mind, emotions and Spirit. When I offer facials I use the highest quality Organic Skin Food and I make sure that I am very present while I am doing my work. I incorporate energy work into my massage and facials which take my clients to a very relaxed and meditative place in themselves. The products naturally support the health of the skin and contribute to a glowing complexion. People consistently thank me for giving them an experience that was beyond their expectations. 

What are your top 3 skin care tips or important ingredients/products you’d recommend for everyone at home?

Real food and fresh water. 

“Real food doesn’t have ingredients, Real food IS ingredients.” ~Jamie Oliver 

Beauty really comes from the inside out with health as it’s foundation. Organic & Natural Skin, Body, Hair, Home Care products that make you feel really good. Enough sleep & some kind of stress release technique of which there are so many to choose from. Many paths to the same place of Inner Peace. 

Which Raw Gaia products did you initially fall the hardest for? What was it about the brand that spoke to you and made you become their sole US distributor and use their products in your wellness center?

The first products I tried were the MSM line. They are still my favourites. Though I totally love the Hemp Glow Spray as well! I have worked with many of the highest quality natural and organic skin care products from around the world. Raw Gaia is absolutely in that category. They are a small, personable company with a high standard of ethics. Those qualities really appealed to me and I loved the products and wanted to help share them in the USA. 

Do you have a favorite juice or food recipe that you prize for its beauty-boosting qualities? (If so, would you mind sharing?)

I’m on a turmeric kick lately! Turmeric contains curcumin, the polyphenol identified as its primary active component and which exhibits over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, which include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. 

Additional benefits: 

• Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antiseptic, analgesic. 
• Boosts immunity. 
• Anti-carcinogenic. 
• Helps maintain cholesterol levels.
• Promotes digestive health. 
• Liver detoxifier. 
• Regulates metabolism and weight management. 
• High blood pressure. 
• Memory and brain function. 
• Various skin conditions.
• Neurological disorders
• Lowers Triglycerides. 
• Mood Elevator. 

Adding black pepper to turmeric or turmeric-spiced food enhances curcumin’s bioavailability by 1,000 times, due to black pepper’s hot property called piperine. By mixing turmeric and black pepper together, you increase your body’s absorption of the turmeric by 2000%! 

I mix a heaping teaspoon of turmeric with some fresh ground black pepper, a tablespoon of raw, organic honey and half a lemon in warm water and mix it all up with a spoon and drink that a couple of times a day. There are many turmeric drinks variations out there. That is the one I’m drinking these days! It is very tasty and beautiful looking! 

Also, there is organic turmeric in the Raw Gaia Chocolate Face Pack: 

“Turmeric has been used for centuries to bring a healthy glow to the skin and to make it soft and smooth. It also helps to promote an even skin complexion. In India for example, it is traditionally used for pigmentation spots and blotches. Turmeric can also benefit skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.” 

Can you recommend a fairly simple skin care spa ritual my readers and I can perform on ourselves at home using Raw Gaia products— things that are similar to what you might do at Wave Healing Arts?

The daily suggested routine is 3 steps: cleanse, tone & moisturize. On a weekly basis it is nice to give yourself a home facial which add an exfoliation and a face pack (mask). These are the steps I “perform” in every facial and when I treat myself at home. 

I begin with a warm compress to wrap my face; a warm hand towel to cover the whole face; then I pour a small amount of the MSM Cleansing Lotion in my hands and rub them together then massage into the whole face and neck and remove with warm compress. 

Then an exfoliation with the MSM Beauty Scrub, pressing it into the skin and rinsing and then following with a Face Pack for 5-10 minutes. After removing that with my warm compress I spray some MSM toner in my hands and press into the skin; face and neck and then “lock” all that hydration in with the MSM Beauty Spray and/or MSM Beauty Cream. 

One can choose their own favorite products but those are always the same steps. Of course in a facial treatment the real treat is to have the benefit of facial massage/energy work and relaxation. In lieu of that, it is nice to lay in the bath tub while giving yourself a facial and lay back and relax while the face pack is on!


If you're not familiar with Raw Gaia and live the US, head over to the Wave Healing Arts website and treat yourself to a few trial sizes (my fave lines are Hemp Heaven and MSM Beauty). Raw Gaia makes wondrous, simple yet thoughtfully crafted products of superb quality that have really helped my skin turn a corner from weird, scary and unpredictable to calm and happy. The UK website is HERE, and they do ship to the US as well. If you have any questions about Raw Gaia products, Wave Healing Arts services or would like recommendations, you can email Rebecca, who is truly happy to help: rebecca@wavehealingarts.com


  1. Time to start using more turmeric. I have it in my spice collection and rarely, if ever, use it!

    1. I'm embarrassed because I hardly have any spices at all (that's because I don't cook with them that often). But, after interviewing Rebecca, I've decided to stock up on a bunch of organic spices just to do these little concoctions. I LOVE to play mad scientist!

  2. Yes, I do (sometimes - not nearly enough) make that "turmeric tea" as I call it. A friend of mine recently told me how the doctor said the reason for her inability to have a baby, was caused by two massive uterine / ovarian growths. She started taking turmeric and cayenne pepper tablets and also added a lot of the spices to her food and making an infusion with it. Two months later, the growths were GONE. The doctor was astounded. I don't know if she's pregnant yet, but the result is miraculous indeed. Turmeric is an incredibly potent medicine. Does eating lots of curry count? LOL!

  3. Yes Lizette-EATING lots of curry does count! That's one major reason how turmeric became noticed for its benefits is via the health benefits of eating curry!