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I'm a pageant girl and I tried non-invasive treatments for the first time. Here's what happened

By Yoniel Acebuche Published Apr 01, 2024 4:12 pm Updated Apr 01, 2024 4:28 pm

Getting beauty treatments is much more than just to look better, you’ll also feel better, too.

I've been competing in trans pageantry ever since I was 15. I was born without a golden spoon so, I was deprived of getting beauty treatments and pampering. 

While I have a group of handlers managing me, until now at 24, pampering and treatments weren't part of my experience. It was hard as a transwoman, I admit, but I was happy with what I had despite the lack of resources.

Thankfully, this job allowed me to experience these treatments, which I think would make me more "pageant-ready" and make me feel and look like a beauty queen even off the stage.

I went to Déesse, a boutique beauty and wellness space in Metro Manila that offers a wide array of self-care services like nail extensions such as IV drips, facials, laser treatments, and non-invasive treatments. I visited their two branches, which are located in Admiral Hotel Manila and Banawe, Quezon City.

Keratin Lash Lift

As a pageant girl who often does her own makeup, I knew a Keratin Lash Lift (P2,355) would be a game-changer. Curled lashes instantly add definition to my face, even without makeup.

The process was pretty relaxing. First, they gently cleansed my lashes. Then, they used an eye patch and a special rod to shape the curl and hold everything in place with a gentle lash glue. A perming solution followed to boost volume, and after 45 minutes, they cleaned everything off and finished with a nourishing oil.

Keeping my eyes closed for so long felt weird at first, but the results were totally worth it.

Eyebrow lamination

Eyebrow struggles are real, especially for pageant makeup! So, I decided to try Déesse eyebrow lamination (P2,355) to give my brows more shape and definition.

The aesthetician reshaped my brows by tweezing unwanted hairs. Then, she applied a special lotion to lift and set the brow hairs in a uniform, upward direction. Finally, a neutralizer locked everything in place, and a nourishing oil soothed my skin and brows to counteract any potential dryness from the perming solution.

The before and after look of my keratin lash lift and eyebrow lamination procedure

Arm and Tummy Lipo

Taking care of my appearance goes beyond just the face. To achieve that toned, pageant-ready physique, I also tried their Arm and Tummy Ultra Lipo procedure. This treatment promises to sculpt and tighten my skin all without surgery, needles, or downtime. It uses radio frequency energy to target unwanted fat and stimulate collagen growth, leaving me feeling confident in my own skin.

Although it uses heat frequency, the whole process was quite relaxing. You don't feel any pain, it just feels as if someone is scrubbing your unwanted fats all over your arms and tummy. 

9D Hifu

After doing such treatment, I also went to Déesse Banawe to try their 9D Hifu for face and arm treatment (P13,000 and P12,00, respectively) and the Emsculpt (P7,000).

In case you didn't know, Hifu is also a non-surgical treatment for face lifting by stimulating collagen, wrinkles improvement or removal, contouring and shaping, cellulite improvement, fat cells removal, improving skin elasticity and rejuvenating the skin, making it more radiant and smooth.

For this procedure, the nurse cleaned my face and arms before applying the gel, followed by the machine procedure.

During the treatment, small amounts of high-intensity ultrasonic waves are sent through my skin, which causes a moderate tingling that brings a slightly uncomfortable feeling yet is not painful. 

After the 15-minute procedure, I saw and felt an immediate improvement in the skin. Though my jawline felt sore for about a week, my face felt tighter, firmer, and smoother in just two days.

Side-view of my face before and after taking the 9D Hifu face procedure


The last procedure I did was the Emsculpt, which offers a diverse range of benefits such as fat reduction and muscle-toning into my tummy. More than that, it also induces deep muscle contractions that can enhance core strength, which is great for better posture, balance, and overall physical performance, which I need, especially when wearing 6-7-inch high heels while strutting the pageant runway.

This procedure is equivalent to 50 sit-ups, according to Déesse—imagine that!

The actual procedure is relatively painless.  They strapped the device onto my stomach, and it delivered pulses of energy every few seconds. It felt like a strong vibration that went deep into my muscles. Although I felt a little uncomfortable during my first treatment, the nurse assured me that the feeling gets easier with each session.

Emsculpt procedure

So, was it all worth it?

More than its physical benefits, the whole process was a learning curve on understanding my physical body as well as realizing how advanced the technology is when it comes to beauty.

Likewise, the aestheticians also made me feel at ease because they explained the treatment in detail—what it is and why I need it or how it will benefit me as a pageant girl. 

Stepping outside my comfort zone is all about building confidence, especially in the trans pageant world where unrealistic beauty standards can be tough to navigate. After gaining some weight, I started to hear comments like "papayat ka na para full package" or "papayat ka na, sayang."

The treatments I tried are a form of self-care for me. It's about reclaiming my confidence and feeling comfortable expressing myself through my body and face.