Stars and their beauty issues

IMAGE Noel Orsal

Just like ordinary girls, Jennylyn Mercado, Grace Lee, and Phoemela Baranda have their share of beauty issues. Find out how they addressed their skin and body concerns.


Sure, they all look almost perfect on TV, but this doesn’t mean that stars are exempt from beauty and body problems.

Aside from frequent exposure to UVA and UVB during shoots, sleep deprivation is also common among celebrities.

To be on camera regularly requires a high-maintenance routine. It’s no wonder some spend as much as P150,000 a month on beauty products and services alone.

Dr. Vicki Belo, beauty doctor to the stars, says, “Hindi kasi dapat tinitipid ang sarili. But I also believe that you should get value for your money. If you pay this extra, there’s really a big difference.”

Dra. Vicki—which is how she is known in the entertainment industry—said this last September 10, at the Belo Medical Group’s first press conference for this year.

Her daughter Cristalle Henares, who runs a major part of her mom's beauty business, added, “Our looks affect our outlook. And when you are confident, nothing can stop you from achieving what you want.”

Joining the famous mother-and-daughter tandem at the event were three stars—all of whom go to Dra. Vicki for their beauty woes—who made some beauty revelations.


“HINDI MAPUTI.” One of them was Jennylyn Mercado, who admitted she once felt insecure about her skin color.

The actress stated, “Ipinanganak ako talaga na hindi maputi…”

To solve what she believes is a dilemma, she now gets her dose of Glutathione IV (Intravenous) injections twice a week.

The desired result, according to Dra. Vicki, is that “The skin is fairer… It looks good and even.”

Aside from skin whitening, glutathione is also known to be a health booster.

Dra. Vicki even refuted claims about the product being unsafe: “Americans take it because they wanna be healthy… It is a master anti-oxidant.”



“MY ARMS WERE BIG.” In her teenage years, Grace Lee’s top insecurity had been about her weight.

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She says, her waist line used to measure 30 inches.

But she considered “my arms” to be her major problem.

The host also confessed, “And even when I lost all that weight, I was 108 [lbs] at one point. Chubby pa rin siya.

“Nag-yoga ako nang yoga, nag-gym ako, hindi nawala… It just became muscular, but not smaller.”

These days, she no longer has qualms about wearing sleeveless tops, thanks to Smart Lipo.

Proud about her work, Dra. Vicki threw in, “I really do arms well. All it takes is thirty minutes, instead of one hour and thirty [minutes].”

Obviously proud of her clinic, Dra. Vicki said it’s one of the few in the world that has BodyTite, which—according to the machine’s website—is “a breakthrough body remodeling procedure designed to eliminate stubborn fat, smoothen cellulite, while simultaneously re-contouring and firming your body… It uses an advanced technology called RFAL™ (Radio-Frequency Assisted LipoTightening)…”

Back to Grace’s beauty problem, she also had her share of “cystic pimples.”

The Korean TV personality exclaimed, “Ang laki at ang lalim!”

To prevent them from appearing, regular cleaning, usage of ZO (Dr. Zein Obagi) products, and body scrub have now become part of her beauty regimen.


“I LOOK SO FLAT ON TV.” Phoemela Baranda’s problem after making a crossover from modeling to hosting was her thinness.

It was Dra. Vicki herself who suggested that Phoem should consider a breast augmentation.

And after heeding the former’s advice, the Kapamilya talent said she’s been very happy.

“My issue before was I was super flat. Now I’m flattering,” Phoem quipped.

Those words were like music to the beauty doctor’s ears.

Dra.Vicki related the process, “We put it under the muscle, not the nipple or areola… Skin is very weak.

"By 18, by 25, it’s down to here," she said while demonstrating that the breasts would sag down to the stomach part as time goes by.

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“Muscle is much stronger. You can be 80 years old and your implants are standing still.

“Most in the States have implants na parang bola-bola na nagsusumigaw na, 'Nagpa-breast implant ako!'

“It takes a lot of experience to do it right.”

Moving on to Phoem’s beauty issue, another reason why she frequents the clinic of Dra. Vicki is because she gets botox treatments regularly.

But it’s not solely for aesthetic purposes.

“I have a TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint disorder) problem, and [botox] relieves me of pain,” she pointed out.

In a nutshell, while genes play a part in the way we look, there are so many factors that can affect our skin.

As Grace put it, “Genetic, yes… But Korean women are so vain that’s why they have beautiful skin. They put a lot of time and spend money to take care of it.

“Would you believe in Seoul, there’s this place where there are 40 skin clinics in just one block?”

Indeed, to stay beautiful— especially for the stars— requires more than just the cliché soap and water.


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