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Ask Agoo: On Double Chins, Beauty Writing, and More

By Agoo Azcuna-Bengzon for Belo Medical Group on May 6, 2021

We’re now reaching the halfway point of the year, and staying slim, healthy and motivated are still some of the top concerns most of us have at this point in our lives. Here, I’ll be sharing with you some tips and tricks on how you can reach your personal goals as the summer comes to a close.

I’ve lost weight, but my double chin still hasn’t gone away. What can I do? 

The dreaded double chin is a problem a lot of us Filipinos have to deal with, myself included. Blame it on the Asian genes which, unlike Caucasian genes, tend to show off rounder, fuller faces which can have its advantages and disadvantages. One pro is that rounder cheeks can lend a youthful look to one’s face. The downside? A less contoured face—and yes, a double chin. 

Even during my younger (and thinner) years, that extra flap of skin right under my chin was something that would always bother me, and it made me feel self-conscious during my teen years all the way up to my recent adult years. Thankfully, I discovered treatments such as Thermage and Ultherapy which helped to firm up the loose skin, and made my double chin a lot less visible. Another treatment that is extremely effective, and is a perennial fave at Belo clinics is V-Contour Face, an injectable solution of plant-based extracts which can be used on different areas of  the face such as the jaw, cheeks and double chin. V-Contour can be done on the body as well to treat areas like arms, armpits, tummy, thighs, and even calves! V-Contour has really revolutionized the way facial and body areas can be re-shaped minus surgery or lasers. V-Contour works by liquifying fat which is then discarded by the lymphatic system. What I love the most about V-Contour? There’s absolutely zero downtime, making it the ideal procedure for those of you who prefer to be discreet about your procedures or who are always on the go and can’t miss out on face-to-face commitments. 

I want to stay motivated to work out, but it’s hard because I know I’m just going to be stuck at home all summer, so what’s the point? Any tips?

The best way to say committed to anything, fitness included, is to be realistic about your goals. When it comes to working out for example, start with an easy 20-minute exercise routine, then build from there. As soon as you feel ready to tweak the length of time you workout or even the degree of difficulty of your exercises, go ahead and do it. Listen to your body, and don’t succumb to the pressures of social media, and seeing how others seem to be faring better than you. Stay healthy for YOU. Another thing I’d like to add is that your diet is just as important as your fitness regimen. Remember that at the end of the day, no matter how much or hard you exercise, what you put into your body matters too. Avoid processed food, and prioritize eating healthy greens and complex carbohydrates. Avoid junk food as much as possible, but allow yourself to indulge once in a while. In the end, it all boils down to sensible eating and moderate exercise.

What are three of the biggest lessons you’ve learned in your years of experience as a beauty editor and writer?

I began my career as a beauty editor way back in 2000, so it has been two whole decades since I started writing about everything from “how to apply blush the right way” to “decoding your fragrance.” I’ve learned many lessons these past years, but the ones that have stood out the most are:

  1. Never stop or tire of learning.

There might come a point where you feel like you know everything—especially if you’ve been in the industry for so long. But it’s important to keep in mind that we are constantly evolving, and should therefore keep our minds open to new opinions and discoveries. There is something new to be learned every day, and that’s what’s wonderful about this life… there’s always something to look forward to after each day ends.

  1. Know your heroes.

After meeting so many experts and icons in the industry, I feel that it’s integral to recognize who are the ones who speak to your soul. These heroes who you admire should ideally uphold the same values you do so that they can continue to inspire you in your chosen field, and in life in general. Mr. Shu Uemura was an icon whom I was fortunate enough to meet before he passed away in 2007. He was an artist who I admired because of his many philosophies which were profound to the core, and still hold true today. One of his most famous quotes, “Beautiful makeup starts with beautiful skin” is a philosophy I have always adhered to. Taking care of your skin is so important because in reality, no matter how much makeup you wear, if the canvas isn’t smooth or ideal to begin with, the truth will still show.

  1. Keep it real and personal.

I find that when I share personal experiences or speak from the heart, and the point of view of a woman, a daughter, a wife or a mother, people are able to relate to me better. The fact that they are able to place themselves in my shoes helps them visualize and better understand what it is that I am talking about. “Real” talk also comes across as genuine so the less-filtered you are with your statements or say, posts in social media, the better. 

Follow Agoo Azcuna-Bengzon on Instagram.

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