They say nothing is permanent except change and some changes are a bit harder to live with as we age. It can be genetics or lifestyle choices but one thing we all know is that stretch marks become harder to avoid as we grow older and fluctuate in weight. While it’s possible to accept and live with these changes, there are people who prefer to bring their skin back to its glory days. For that, there’s Bianca Festejo
“I believe people should have these options especially if it’s something that can help them feel more confident,” Festejo said. “It’s not about changing who you are but turning back time just a little bit and enhancing features you already have.”
After training under three of Brazil’s top camouflage treatment experts and mastering the craft in Paris, Festejo decided to bring the technique to the Philippines and Asia. She has since been recognised as one of the pioneers for camouflage treatment in Asia and has crafted her own technique, resulting in quite a long roster of happy clients.
“It’s now my mission to bring this treatment worldwide and help people who want to get rid not just of their stretch marks but of other scars as well,” she said. The treatment is also great for light surgical and childhood scars – things that could be physical reminders of trauma that Festejo wishes to help her clients erase and move on from.
Festejo explains that camouflage treatments are very similar to getting a tattoo. First, she needs to match the client’s skin tone to ink which is a feat in itself. “Skin colours are some of the most challenging pigments,” Festejo admitted. It takes a level of expertise to find the right hue. This is why Festejo prefers to work only with pigments that are of high quality and stability. “There are just a few colours to choose from in the market despite skin having many different shades. This lead me to creating my own shades that are more inclusive.”
Festejo has partnered with a laboratory in Europe specialising in top-quality tattoo pigments. They are now coming up with a whole range of colours to easily match her clients’ skin tone.
Something painless can actually last long
“The treatment is not as frightening as one might think. The ink is safe for the skin, penetrating just up to the dermis,” Festejo assured. She added that it’s not painful at all and 90 percent of her clients do not require anaesthetic creams. “But of course, for people with a lower tolerance for pain, we have anaesthetic creams on hand.”
Despite being quite a painless endeavour, Festejo’s treatments can actually last for a minimum of five to 10 years. Avoiding tanning and being more careful in taking extra care of your skin after treatment will even extend the longevity of the camouflage treatment, prolonging the need for a touch-up.
“At the end of the day, it really comes down to how the clients will take care of their skin after the treatment,” Festejo said. “Anything that isn’t taken care of is not bound to last.” But at the minimum of five years without having to worry about stretch marks, the treatment does seem to be an attractive option.
Her own beauty empire
The camouflage treatment is not the only thing Festejo has been working on. Before she acquired the skills in making scar tissue practically invisible, she was already well-known for being one of the Philippines’ experts in microblading. A permanent makeup treatment giving people the chance to have lush and symmetrical brows that perfectly frame their face.
Beauty was not Bianca’s first foray into business. She was working in the corporate world before venturing into aquaculture and now, finally, into beauty. She has started a salon business offering head-to-toe pampering that has grown into six locations in just five years. To adapt to the worldwide pandemic this year, Festejo created her own beauty on-demand app where beauty goers can book their favorite beauty treatments, and Bianca’s team of highly trained stylists and therapists will go to the client’s home. This app is called Bianca Home.
She credits her success to social media and being a keen student of beauty and its latest trends as well as marketing. “I also take client feedback seriously,” Festejo added. The success of what she does also boils down to her passion.
Spreading the knowledge
Festejo is now about to launch an online course for those who wish to learn her techniques on camouflage tattooing. Saving her students the time and travel expenses of having to go to Brazil and France to learn the things she did, Festejo will be passing on the knowledge through a 100% online e-course. This consists of pre-recorded videos that students can access any time and anywhere as long as they have an internet connection. “The quality would still be similar to that of trainings that are done in person,” Festejo assured.
For Festejo who admits to love beauty treatments herself, her business doesn’t feel like work on most days. She gets to share her knowledge to the public and help people achieve a level of confidence they aspire for. “For a lot of people, beauty is not just vanity but something that helps them harness their confidence. It can also be a means of relaxation. As long as we get to help our clients feel great, then it will remain a fulfilling business for me,” Festejo said.
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.