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KC Concepcion Is Comfortable in Her Own Skin and Doesn't Care What You Think

She is back at last, and she didn't come to play.

by Nicole M. Arcano | Oct 1, 2019

"I mind my own business and make sure I continue to improve myself by acknowledging what else I can do to be better at something. I do what makes my soul come alive, what makes my spirit happy."

In the race to relevance that is show business, KC Concepcion walks. She has crafted a unique pace that lets her bloom, running the course of her life without being short of breath. Indeed, it has been a while since we saw her everywhere. For Preview, it's been six years since her last cover that was shot in zero-degree Paris weather. But taking a step back from the limelight was the much-needed detour she needed to put things in perspective and teach her how to gracefully and swiftly move forward. “It's so important to know when to recharge and redesign your career and life,” she says. “Taking a step back can also be taking steps forward—you pull back an arrow to launch it forward. That’s how I see the hiatus I took.”

That said, KC has been thriving silently despite this pause. Her jewelry brand Avec Moi by Kristina had its debut collection last year, and all pieces were sold out the night of the launch. Now, she’s working on getting her graduate gemologist diploma from the Gemological Institute of America to grow the label further. “The world of gems, diamonds, and jewelry design is super fascinating. It's like being in a candy store walking into colored stone suppliers' shops and reading up on everything—I find myself wanting to know more and more,” she shares. Exploring this newfound passion has kept her occupied, and while one would expect that pursuing it would extend her hiatus, the reality is quite the opposite.


KC Concepcion for October 2019

Despite not consistently being on television, KC never actually disappeared. She’s always been active on social media, where she continued to connect with her followers and friends in the industry by being—as her 2010 morning talk show eloquently put it—Simply KC. She is, in a way, the tastemaker she has always been but on a brand new platform. Her travel recommendations and good vibe posts on Instagram garner such good feedback that she took it as a sign that she still had an audience to come back to. “I saw how engaged my followers have been on my social despite choosing a different path, [and it] made me realize that people are really watching,” says KC. “That encouraged me to share more, and be more open online again.”

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While getting ready for the shoot, she went live on Instagram and candidly interacted with those who tuned in. Watching it from a short distance (and a split second appearance when she turned the camera to the team) made me realize that it doesn’t take a fan to see that she was totally in her element. Once she arrived on set, the twinkle of excitement in her eyes and voice was infectious. As she settled on her seat and surveyed the curtains and mirrors surrounding her, she gushed at how much she missed shooting like this. Our art director then gave the cue to start, and as KC struck her first pose, her skin gleaming under the lights and her gaze burning through the lens, I think we all felt it—KC Concepcion is back at last—and she didn't come to play, but to thrive. Seconds later, she angles her jaw just right, and we get the shot.


Diamond hoop earrings, price unavailable, MILADAY, Glorietta 3. Ribbon maxi dress, price unavailable, CHRIS NICK


Her Major Comeback

Although she has yet to break her hiatus from the big screen, she’s now dipping her toes back into the spotlight—albeit a bit differently than expected. “I'm coming back to what I love and know, the show biz world, on my own terms and not in the formulaic expected way. The digital world is where I started and this is where I'd like to be right now because there are so many stories to share,” she declares. And it’s this strength in digital storytelling that gave her what is perhaps her biggest break in years.


What started as a failed late-night hunt for her favorite eyelash curler documented on Instagram stories snowballed into a beauty contract. To summarize what happened, KC was getting ready for a night out when she realized she didn't have her lash curler on hand. She rushed to a nearby Shiseido counter only to find out that it was closed. The episode caught the brand’s attention, and a box of products (the evasive eyelash curler included) arrived at the actress’ doorstep the next day as consolation. A month later, KC was announced to have bagged the job no other Filipina has managed to do thus far—she is now the face of Shiseido Philippines.

"Filipinos come in all shapes and sizes, and colors, too. Whether mestiza, morena, or chinita—it doesn't matter! One is not more Filipino than the other."

“Three months ago, if you had told me this would happen, I would not have believed you,” she admits, but the way she resonates with the brand puts everything in its place. “Shiseido is timeless. Generations upon generations have included Shiseido in their rituals and routines for like 150 years. It's pure and straight to the point, minimalist but bold, smart but soulful as a brand.” This new role also motivates her to represent the Filipina well on a global scale. “I love changing my looks as an art and to look presentable every day. I'd like to be able to represent the global Filipina, whose thoughts, ideas, and mindset are broad, not limited,” she says, showing that the first Shiseido product launched with her as ambassador, the Synchro-Skin Self-Refreshing foundation, is a perfect fit into her daily routine. “As I posted before [on Instagram], Filipinos come in all shapes and sizes, and colors, too. Whether mestiza, morena, or chinita—it doesn't matter! One is not more Filipino than the other.”


Onyx and diamond earrings, price unavailable, AUM JEWELS BY PAUL SYJUCO

On Staying Positive on Social Media

As with all celebrities, social media presence comes with the inevitable slew of negative (and largely unsolicited) comments. But while most stars have resorted to restricting their comments section to filter the noise, KC faces all messages head on. In fact, her responses to uncalled for remarks make headlines for how she takes them with a grain of salt. One instance that immediately comes to mind was her response to a backhanded compliment. “Mukha [ka nang] clown sa kapal ng makeup mo. Sorry for the comment, beautiful [ka pa] naman,” the commenter wrote. KC’s response? “Oh! Ang ziiiiweet (sweet) mo,” punctuated by a winking emoji.



Earrings, ring, and bracelet from the fine jewelry B Blossom collection, price unavailable, LOUIS VUITTON, Greenbelt 4. Onyx dress, price unavailable, THE FORE x EAIRTH, Angui oval mirror in Gold, AYTM, Curio Cavern, LRI Design Plaza Makati

The comments about her figure unfortunately come just as often, and it’s something she has dealt with long before Instagram was even a thing. “[I struggled with] the obsession with weight, and staying a certain shape, and really hearing every single day how much weight you need to lose,” she reveals. “I would like to keep fit and lean and I won't stop 'til I achieve a body that looks great in all the clothes I long to wear (I love dressing up!), but I don't want to have to hear about being thin every single day.”


Diamond chandelier earrings, price unavailable, MILADAY, Glorietta 3. White dress, P32,180, TIBI, Distinqt, Shangri-La at the Fort

She doesn’t think silencing the naysayers is the solution, though. Instead of forcing the public perspective to change, she manages to soldier on thanks to a zen outlook. “Honestly, I find women so sexy when they embrace their curves and learn to dress well. You are beautiful in your own body, find the best way to dress to accentuate your strengths,” she continues. “Stay healthy in mind and body and just keep active, move around, and feed your mind with productive, healthy knowledge, and all the good things.” That’s why whenever the negativity comes, she breezes through it and shows that she has mastered that impeccable art of not giving a damn.

“I do what makes my soul come alive, what makes my spirit happy. I do things that make me proud of myself and things that can make another person's life happier.”

“I mind my own business and make sure I continue to improve myself by acknowledging what else I can do to be better at something,” KC says. “I do what makes my soul come alive, what makes my spirit happy. I do things that make me proud of myself and things that can make another person's life happier.” Because no matter how sour things go, she feels a responsibility to both herself and her followers to maintain a safe space online. “I know how much one person’s encouragement and good vibes can change your mood, so I hope to be able to lift someone up whether [through] a positive post or by sharing something relatable to people [because] life isn’t always happy, right? Sometimes hearing about someone else's struggles or heartaches can make you feel better, too, so I try to stay human but avoid being negative for sure.”


Getting used to being the brunt of negativity online didn’t happen overnight for KC, who’s been at odds with her self-image since she was young. “Growing up, I never felt beautiful. I don't know why,” she confesses. She had to find a way to escape the prison of insecurity like the rest of us, and she shares how she did it. “We all have wounds growing up but we need to identify the causes, accept our circumstances, and outgrow negative feelings and mindsets. You need to fend for yourself, love yourself and those who support you, know what's in your heart, who you are and what you're worth.”



Earrings from the fine jewelry B Blossom collection, price unavailable, LOUIS VUITTON, Greenbelt 4. Sequin dress, P64,680, TIBI, Distinqt, Shangri-La at The Fort. Circum mirror in Rose, price unavailable, AYTM, Curio Cavern, LRI Design Plaza Makati

KC may have taken time off for herself and her personal growth, and now she’s in a position that beckons more steps forward then back. She’s proving that empowering yourself and being comfortable in your skin pays off as everything seems to be falling pleasantly into place.


Produced by Marj Ramos and Jamina Nitura

Photographed by Charisma Lico

Art Directed by Bacs Arcebal

Beauty Direction by Nicole Arcano

Fashion Direction and Styling by Steph Sison

Makeup by Jelly Eugenio

Hair by John Valle

Nails by Nailandia

Shoot Assistant: Chin Ann ObiedoEdnalyn Magnaye

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