Truth be told, I thoroughly enjoyed Ang Larawan, the Best Picture winner of the 43rd Metro Manila Film Festival. But apart from the film’s poignant storyline, lovely period costumes, Gino Gonzales’ set design and the laudable performances of the all-star cast, my husband and I both remarked on how great Rachel Alejandro’s skin looked in her close-ups as we stepped out of the theater. Considering her character was meant to be a makeup-free, plain Jane, her complexion was even-toned, smooth and glowing even as the camera drew uncomfortably near. I simply had to ask her for her secret, and the actress was generous enough to share.
Your skin in the film “Ang Larawan” was glowing in your closeups. Could you share your skin regimen with us?
"The truth is I’ve not really been very careful with taking care of my skin. From a very young age, I fancied myself darker, and so I would tan whenever I had the chance. For my wedding, in fact, that was my biggest beauty prep: I tanned myself to a deep bronze color. Unfortunately, when I hit my late thirties, my skin started showing signs of sun damage, aka melasma. That’s when I realized my tanning days were over. Today, almost daily, I put on a tinted moisturizer with SPF 30 to hide the sunspots and for protection. Recently, I’ve also gone to SkinCell Advanced Aesthetic Clinic for treatments like Laser Genesis and Titan Laser. I’m always terribly busy so I don’t have time for any consistent skin regimen. I would stil attribute my youthful skin to eating healthy food from The Sexy Chef."
You’re known as much for the Sexy Chef as you are for your acting and musical prowess. Would you say a proper diet has a connection to keeping your skin healthy? If so, what is your personal diet like?
"Eating lots of nutrient-dense food, drinking water throughout the day, exercising regularly and getting at least eight hours of sleep every night are the keys to not just young-looking skin but also a strong body—being practically completely immune to sickness. I do not remember the last time I was sick. Seriously, I’ve started to feel like an alien. I never catch anything. The downside is that my blood must be so healthy, insects love to bite me! One thing about me is that I’m constantly eating. I eat mostly plant-based food but I also enjoy seafood and the occasional serving of red meat."
In the film, it looked as though you weren’t wearing any makeup. How did you achieve this no-makeup look?
"Joanna Ampil and I, because we had to look older and more plain as the characters we were playing (impoverished old maids), were initially not allowed by our director, Loy Arcenas to wear any makeup at all for the filming. I nearly fainted when I heard this. [Laughs.] Eventually, we snuck in wearing a very thin layer of Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Foundation just to mask any obvious blemishes and spots."
"Actually, in the seduction scene with Paulo Avelino, you can still spot my freckles because the set was so warm, I probably sweated off most of the makeup. Please don’t tell Loy Arcenas our secret!"