What do you call meeting two Miss Universe queens (one of them twice in a row), a timeless heartthrob and a lovely and refreshing young celebrity all within a week of traipsing the metro? Why, a beautiful, beautiful roundup in this edition of the T-Zone, of course.
In a matter of days, we braved the very unpleasant bumper to bumper traffic to BGC one day, Quezon City another, Greenhills in San Juan the next, and back to Quezon City again to attend the biggest Lifestyle launches of the month, which all dazzled with star power. Each one definitely deserves a spot on any kind of look book, more so this one for all our The Manila Times readers to enjoy.
Let’s get on with it, shall we?
Sleep and beauty queens
Exactly a week ago this morning, The T-Zone had an unusually early start on a weekend and headed over to BGC to attend a special showroom opening. The event was for LuxeHome — an exclusive purveyor of premiere European mattress and bedroom fixture brands in the country — which curiously lands in today’s issue of The Manila Times Look Book because of the pair of personalities who graced the ribbon cutting ceremony. They were none other than iconic beauty queens Gloria Diaz and Pia Wurtzbach, two of the country’s most beloved and admired Miss Universe winners.
Ms. Gloria, of course, forever holds the rep of being the first Philippine Miss Universe — celebrating the 50th anniversary of her win this year, in fact — while Pia will always be remembered for maintaining grace and composure after her first runner-up was mistakenly declared Miss Universe in 2015.
Rarely seen together, it was a coup for the owners of LuxeHome to bring them together that sunny Saturday morning because they were definitely a sight to behold. Ms. Gloria was a picture of elegance in a classic red shift dress, while Pia simply bloomed, literally and figuratively, in a floral bishop dress as they took turns trying out loungers, beds and pillows from such brands as Italy’s Derucci, Germany’s Domicil and the Netherland’s custom pillows, Pillowise.
“I’ve got a Derucci at home and, I tell you, it does wonders for a good night’s sleep,” the ever-candid Gloria Diaz shared with guests. To that, Pia — aka Queen P — agreed with the rejoinder, “Everyone always asks us for beauty tips and if there’s one thing that quickly comes to mind to answer that question, it has to be getting enough sleep. You can never look your best if you deprive yourself from sleep — no amount of creams or makeup can ever hide that. So, a good mattress is a must.”
LuxeHome is located at 32nd St. corner Justicia Drive, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
And don’t forget to smile
Fast forwarding to event No. 4 (because it makes sense to do so, and here’s why), The T-Zone met Queen P anew a few days later, who was ready for yet another beauty tip for The Manila Times Look Book as well as a special edition of yours truly’s online show, “CSI: Celebrity, Style, Inspiration.” (We’re polishing and editing the taped one-on-one interview as you read this for posting under our “Spotlight” segment).
We sat down just before she led another ribbon cutting ceremony at Center for Advanced Dentistry or CAD’s grand opening at O Square in Greenhills, San Juan. It’s actually the second branch of what was once a secret destination for the elite and the stars to achieve the perfect smile.
Put up by meticulous dentists, Drs. Nelda Eufemio, Mia Angeles and Lito Librando, all three share an outstanding list of credentials in cosmetic dentistry that has lured the likes of this Miss Universe among so many other beautiful peole like Charo Santos, Heart and Chiz Escudero, Georgina Wilson, Isabelle Daza, Iza Calzado and so on and so forth to their original BGC branch.
“Yes, I agree with orphan Annie!” Queen P happily replied to The T-Zone’s question if it’s true that “you’re never fully dressed without a smile.”
Ever the down-to-earth Miss Universe that she is — never failing to talk about the three tries she took in Binibining Pilipinas just so she can pursue her dream of snagging the most prestigious beauty pageant title in the world — Pia very openly talked about working on her smile from one competition to the next until she was confident she had the winning one.
“Like I always said, I worked very hard with my trainer (queen maker Jonas Gaffud, of course) for my walk, how I carried myself, how I answered questions. And part of that was also figuring out how to give that winning smile, which I eventually realized needed the help of expert dentists,” she told The T-Zone.
She went to CAD for veneers and to this day is so grateful she did.
“Dental health is important for everyone, of course — good teeth, healthy gums — but these days, there’s so much you can do to boost your confidence with easy and painless procedures. And it’s not just for beauty queens but anyone who wants to feel less conscious about themselves when they laugh or smile. Believe it or not, I was very conscious that before because I was so bungisngis,” Pia chuckled. “But thanks to CAD, I can be as happy as I want to be.”
Among the clinic’s advanced cosmetic dentistry procedures use the Snowy White whitening machine (the only one in the Philippines, that whitens teeth and rejuvenates gums using Radio Frequency technology that strengthens both gums and teeth in the process), CAD veneers guarantee natural-looking smiles, and of course the latest panoramic/cephalometric/periapical X-ray machines that guide the trio of doctors in giving patients their trademark “Beauty Queen Smile.”
CAD’s branches are located at The Infinty Towers, 26th St., BGC, Taguig and 3rd Floor O Square 1, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan.
‘Men can glow too!’
Forever young and handsome leading man Gabby Concepcion proved just that at his grand launch as the latest addition to Rhea Anicoche-Tan’s ever growing roster of brand ambassadors for Beautéderm Corporation.
Now among the elite circle of A-listers who swear by the efficacy of the wide-ranging FDA-approved beauty and wellness products of Beautéderm, the likes of Marian Rivera, Sylvia Sanchez and Lorna Tolentino, to name a few, happily welcome Gabby to their fold of “Ageless Beauties.”
But no one was more excited that day than the deserving success story that is Rhea Tan, who humbly said,
“Hindi makukumpleto ang Beautéderm without Gabby Concepcion who is hailed as one of the most handsome actors to ever grace Philippine show business.
“We welcome him with open arms and we’re so thrilled to have him onboard especially as we develop a line specifically for men on our 10th year. I have nothing but gratefulness and gratitude in my heart,” said the well-loved entrepreneur who’s goal from the get go has been to “beautéfy the country one person at a time.”
Clearly flattered by Rhea’s kind words, Gabby nonetheless credited his new skincare routine from Beautéderm for making him glow. Apparently, he had been following it for some time already to prepare for his launch.
“I feel young and I feel great,” the timeless heartthrob declared. “Salamat sa skin set ng Beautéderm, I look fresh and revitalized all the time these days. I especially like using their papaya-infused products, pati this soothing oil they have called Au Revoir that immediately relaxes me whenever I feel tired. Alam n’yo naman, since 30-plus na tayo madali na rin tayong mapagod,” he quipped to an audience that ruptured in laughter.
Not that anyone can tell Gabby is in his 50s now, but part of the reason why he’s very eager to endorse the beauty and wellness company is because he’d like to get the message out to men of his generation that they can’t escape the aging process either.
Whether man or woman, the actor emphasized the need to eat right, exercise regularly and take care of one’s skin.
“Believe it or not, Beautéderm is now an irreplaceable part of my daily regimen,” Gabby added.
Moreover, he is a huge fan of Beautéderm Corporation’s president and CEO herself, who besides making sure her products zero in on specific wellness concerns of Filipinos, also “beautéfies” the lives of many.
Currently, Beautéderm has over a thousand resellers and distributors both locally and internationally, as well franchisees of physical stores throughout the country and one in Singapore. All these hardworking Filipinos — their families included — now have flourishing lives themselves as Rhea’s business model had always intended to do.
“As we celebrate our 10th year in November, we will also expand the work that our foundation Contribéaut does and send more and more underprivileged but deserving scholars to schools all over the country,” the kind-hearted and beautiful spitfire further announced at the launch. “My philosophy in life has always been to share what I have kaya masayang-masaya ako to have the likes of Gabby Concepcion and ang iba pa nating celebrity brand ambassadors to help us spread the word about the work of Beautéderm for their well-being and for their lives.”
‘Tis all beautiful indeed.
Follow @beautédermcorporation on Instagram and Facebook for updates.
The grand finale to The T-Zone’s beautiful, beautiful roundup is the very on point move of SkinCell Advanced Aesthetic Clinics — led no less St. Luke’s Global’s head of Dermatology Dr. Issa Cellona — of choosing TV and movie actress Jessy Mendiola as their very first brand ambassador.
Besides being a natural beauty, it wasn’t long ago that the Filipino-Lebanese celebrity was a victim of cruel body shaming on social media, so much so that she almost quit showbiz in 2018, until producer Joji Alonzo of Quantum Films singled her out for the movie, “The Girl in the Orange Dress.”
“She had no idea what I was going through back then and that she turned my life around when she called me for the part,” Jessy had told The Manila Times back then.
The realization that there were still those who believed in her talent just when she was about to throw away a decade and a half of her young life steeled Jessy’s resolve to stay put, block all the noise around her and embrace who and what she is.
Motivated to look her best for the movie — and boy, did she stun — Jessy lost 25 pounds in three months on her own terms and at her own pace. She also openly shared her story of almost being broken by social media, and the steps she took to regain her confidence.
It therefore goes without saying that to have Jessy Mendiola endorsing skin and body treatments, the whole concept and idea is perfectly relatable.
All the same, in a chat with The T-Zone, Dr. Cellona admitted she had no idea what Jessy had been through in the past and was just bent on having her as a SkinCell endorser because of her features.
“I simply find her naturally beautiful and here at SkinCell we say no to ‘alien-looking beauties’,” shared the accomplished dermatologist. “You know the type — features that are so defined they hardly move anymore and basically look unnatural.”
According to Dr. Cellona, their slogan at SkinCell is “Beauty in Progress,” because she and her team of board certified dermatologists do not believe in transforming patients into different versions of themselves but improving and enhancing their features to boost their confidence and their overall outlook in life.
“You know, in the clinics, it’s like we have to be psychologists too especially with the young people who come in with acne problems and other insecurities because they don’t like the way they look. They actually cry during treatment, not because any of it is painful, but because they’re hurting inside,” Dr. Cellona further shared.
“So here, we tell them they don’t need to look different and that they’re beautiful the way they are, and that all we need to do is to help them clear their skin or sculpt problem areas just a little and over time, they learn to accept themselves. And if Jessy also went through all that without us knowing, then she can help us even more with the core mission of SkinCell.”
There was no false modesty in the The T-Zone’s conversation with Dr. Cellona who said for the record they already have a successful practice and in truth didn’t really need to go by way of a celebrity endorser.
“Honestly, the reason why we’re doing this is first, as doctors and board certified dermatologists, we cannot stand for an escalating morbidity rate in the field because of the proliferation of skin and body clinics where those giving the laser treatments, injections and so on and so forth aren’t trained to do so.
“We get patients coming to our clinics with burned skin and serious infections just because they wanted to look good and didn’t know how to find the proper doctors to help them out.
“As part of the Philippine Dermatological Society, we are not allowed to personally advertise our practice because it goes against our Hippocratic Oath as doctors. But we need to get the word out there that skills are important in the use of these new technologies and that’s where Jessy can help us. And even better, with her backstory, she can also help us further another advocacy of ours to address mental health issues of a society that is under so much pressure from the standards of beauty that social media has so unrealistically established.”
Indeed, not only can Jessy beautifully show what non-invasive treatments for the skin and body can do (she already looks fabulous following a few sessions of SkinCell’s pore-tightening treatment Lasergen and sculpting program Liposonix) when carried out by trained experts, but she can also talk about the ways to overcome social media pressure on body shaming and image bashing from her very own experience.
“All the bashing affected me before as well as whatever other people used to say about me, but I learned to accept who I am — all my features whether good or bad included — and nowadays, I’m happy to take care of myself,” Jessy said next to The T-Zone.
“I try to eat healthy as much as I can, I exercise regularly — I’m even into pole dancing now — and I go to SkinCell to have non-invasive treatments to make my skin glow what with all the makeup I have to use and my late nights at work. I also feel my arms can do with a little more sculpting so I choose to have laser treatments. And whatever other people say, like, ‘Uy, may pinagawa siya or ano kaya yung pinagawa niya,’ none of it bothers me anymore because I know I’m satisfied with who I am and it’s my choice and my right to enhance and improve myself when I feel that I have to,” Jessy ended our topic perfectly.
SkinCell Advanced Aesthetic Clinics are located in Manila, Makati, BGC, McKinley, Ayala Feliz and SM City Clark.