For more than a decade now, Bryan Yambao, better known as Bryanboy, has been making waves in the global sphere. Since the launch of his blog in 2004, he went from being an internet sensation to traveling all over the world to work with top luxury brands and to sit front row at the best fashion shows. The style star may now be based in Sweden, but he never forgets his Filipino roots. Now, he is back in Manila with Tina Leung for their regular facial treatments with the Belo Medical Group. Now wiser than ever, we learn that while his style and career is ever-evolving, so is his character. Bryanboy sits down with MEGA to talk about the cost of all things beauty–true beauty, that is.
MEGA: You travel a lot for work so I’m sure you have some skincare secrets by now. Could you describe to us your daily routine?
Bryanboy: I really keep it very simple these days. For decades, I would use 20-30 products every day and now, I just want to keep it minimal. I use Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Cleanser and Face Cream because she has a really great line. Another cream I use is Dior Prestige La Crème, which I rotate with the cream I previously mentioned. Around once a month, I also get facials from Dr. Belo, who I have trusted for around 17 years. Of course, the older I get, the more I want to hang on to my youth. There’s no shame in wanting to look good. I think looking good on the outside will make you feel more confident. I interact with so much people every day, and if I know I look good, I feel good inside. In effect, other people will feel good too, so it’s like you’re simply spreading the positivity.
M: If you want to feel powerful, what is a beauty item that you reach for?
B: Definitely my Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick–it’s everything! If I feel tired or if I want to hide last night’s sins, I go for that.
On Tina: Graphic dress by VERSUS by VERSACE at DISTINQT
M: When it comes to your skincare treatments, we’ve heard that one of your new favorites is the Belo Kinetic Facelift using Enerjet. Can you tell us what you like about this?
B: I first tried this last February and I loved it! I’m turning 37 this March and when you’re in your 30s, gravity is your enemy. So you really need a regular maintenance program. What I liked about this Kinetic Facelift using Enerjet is that you can immediately see a nice, natural lift. The biggest change for me is that it opened up my eyes, since they used to look a bit droopy. It’s perfect for someone who lives a busy life since there is no recovery period. After doing the treatment, I could still interact with people I work with and be photographed. When I posted about it, my friends asked if it hurt because it looked like they were using a gun on me. But there was no needles, no pain. When Tina [Leung] saw my video, she told me she wanted to do it as well, so here we are!
M: In relation to that, you’ve always seemed to be open about your cosmetic surgery procedures and treatments on social media. I find that refreshing, especially in a country like the Philippines where some still feel that stigma surrounding it. Were you first nervous about making these posts?
B: Never! My initial reason behind this was that I post pictures all the time, so people would notice even the slightest difference and might talk about it. It’s better to be truthful. At the same time, I like the idea of inspiring people to make bold choices. I suffered from so much insecurities when I was younger and after a while, I thought, why not do something about it? I watched all these videos that inspired me so I want to do the same with my audience. The surprising thing is, even some of my own friends have reached out to me after I posted videos of me swollen, post-procedure. They were wishing me well, telling me they went through the same thing and I had no idea. I think there shouldn’t be any shame associated with being beautiful. Most of the people who have a problem with how other people happily live their lives aren’t beautiful in the first place. They’re just being toxic.
M: So is there anything you wouldn’t try?
B: If I had all the time and money in the world, I would love to try everything. But since I travel for work a lot, I can’t afford to spend two weeks lying in a bed, recovering.
M: Moving on to hair–why did you choose to maintain the look you have now?
B: I actually started to get grey hair when I was in my early 30s and I used to color my hair black twice a month. And if you’re living in New York or Sweden, salons aren’t cheap. The turning point was last year, when I was in Paris for New Year’s and since the Europeans love taking their long vacations, nothing was open. So I decided to go blonde and it worked. It’s a lot easier for me since I only go to the salon around once a month.
M: Can you tell us more about your style and how you like to match it with your hair or beauty look?
B: My style is very eclectic, but like I said earlier, I have become more minimal as the years go by. But of course, I like playing with clothes so I don’t have a uniform. The moment I dyed my hair blonde though, my wardrobe changed. It was harder to wear prints so now, the best looks for me are navy, camel, beige and white. It’s interesting, because these were colors I used to find boring.
M: When it comes to taking care of your body, what do you do?
B: I’m allergic to exercise and diets! I mean, I love food and it also bonds me and my friends. But over the years, I have learned to avoid certain things like junk food. I prefer freshly-made meals, but I’ll still never be one of those people who orders a kale salad and avocado toast.
M: Lastly, what is next for you?
B: Recently, I started directing short films for brands. I did a short film with Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence and I’m directing another project for them soon. Its interesting because I’ve been the face of my brand for so long, around 15 years. While I still find it exciting, I want a different creative challenge at times. What can I do with a brand that can amplify their message in a different format other than just taking a picture? And for now, that is shooting videos and short films.
Photography Erwin Canlas
Makeup Amanda Padilla
Hair Cats Del Rosario
Styling RJ Roque
Sittings Editors Marella Ricketts & Trina Epilepsia Boutain
Shot on location at Flame Restaurant in Discovery Primea