Yes, she is beautiful. Yes, her skin is a beacon of light constantly aglow. But more than a surface of resplendence, Erich Gonzales lets us in on many things: her beauty routine, her points of passion, and yes, the woman she is beyond all of that.
Whether it is a guilty pleasure or a matter of fact, many relent to being sucked into a blackhole of video content online, most specifically on YouTube. As it has stood to become the digital equivalent to reading the paper, the points of interest will vary. Some will prefer comedic viral videos, online cooking shows, and less-than-five-minute life hack tips, while others prefer to nerd out on gear-grinding how-tos, sit-down op-eds or threshing out of alien conspiracy theories. Meanwhile, for some people, their suggested videos will detail a list of beauty channels that they will consume from an intended shut-eye to well into the wee hours of the early morning. True story.
“We need to start taking care of our skin. If not now, when?” begins actress Erich Gonzales on her YouTube video detailing her morning and nighttime skincare routines separately. (Yes, there is a difference.) While this offshoot of a Get Ready With Me concept is nothing new on the world wide web, it does hold a certain gravitas when watching the illuminating personality go about her deceptively simple routine for her viewers. While skeptics would furrow their brow and throw spite, deciding that she gets good skin because she’s accorded the luxuries of fame, Erich is quick to debunk this myth as the minutes of the video tick on by. A mix of the different stratas of beauty, her routine is in fact, very attainable, well-informed, and lashed with a good measure of humor, too. “Itong SNAILWHITE Moisture Facial Cream, yes, it keeps your skin hydrated, but also at the same time, it also stimulates collagen production para ang skin natin will look firmer and brighter. True enough, ‘pag ginamit niyo ‘to, yung skin ninyo, banat na banat talaga,” she says as she slathers the cream on her face in the morning.
When Erich Gonzales speaks, we listen in full attention, especially when it comes to skincare because look at her, she is, for lack of a better term, luminous. This becomes more apparent when you click the suggested video on the righthand side of the screen, which takes you immediately to her night routine. Surprisingly no fuss, the Davao-born lass switches between her vernacular and a lilted Tagalog, explaining an added step to her nightly must-do. “[The] SNAILWHITE Icy Mask [is] an overnight mask with intense restoration for tighter pores, firmer, and glowing skin,” she says, taking some product and dabbing it on her face and neck (something you shouldn’t forget, she warns) with the product that is until now, Thailand’s best kept secret. “Maglagay lang ako, just enough and I’ll wash this off tomorrow na. So, if gusto mo magising mo na glowing ka...eto yung ginagamit ko.”
While there is often a doubt laced with our aimless thoughts when it comes to celebrities of the once supreme overlord of television parlaying into the persistent and not to mention, revolutionary juggernaut that is the internet and all its subsequent spawns. But after diving head first into the digital space of Erich Gonzales, it becomes as clear as her skin that this is a necessary extension of her, as we get to see her unhinged, unfiltered, and yes, delightfully unapologetic.
Equilibrium of Expression
“On my YouTube channel, I can express myself freely. I’m hoping that through this, they’d get to know the real me, who I am outside work—the normal stuff, my daily activities. I shoot and I also edit my videos,” she says beaming proudly as she cups her chin to her clavicle area. “Basically it’s just that. I find it really fun and I enjoy it.”
That’s just it, Erich seems like she’s having the time of her life. This isn’t to say that she was a square in the years that passed. She was just focused on her career, which is expected of any young’un hoping to make a dent and eventually carve out a thriving niche in a gleaming, but frightfully tempestuous industry. “When I was just starting out, I just wanted to help my family. So, I didn’t really think of anything other than that, work.. It’s like que sera sera, whatever will be, will be,” she says, reciting the time-worn phrase that has served as a compass for many a lost soul in the history of the world. “I’m just very grateful that after all the hardships, struggles, after 15 years, I’m still here. The journey was worth it.”
Over the last few years, Erich Gonzales has steadily risen the ranks of a fresh-faced ingenue to easily being one of the more memorable actresses of her generation. But being one feisty female herself, she didn’t content herself on honing just that. Instead, she found other avenues to not only express, but to stretch herself as an artist constantly learning. “I just want to experience what it’s like to produce and to direct…How it’s like when you’re working behind the camera,” relates Erich. She is of course talking about her foray behind-the-scenes of the moviemaking business, starting with Richard Somes’ We Will Not Die Tonight as producer and for Marco Maurer’s music video as director. A natural progression that isn’t foreign to actors really committed to their craft beyond face value, Erich Gonzales completely threw herself and immersed herself into a facet she has yet to full discover and develop. “I did it for the experience, and I’ve learned so much.”
It is very easy to just stay within the confines of a comfort zone and keep at it for as long as one lives, but really, where’s the thrill in that? Acknowledging this and perhaps to fill a growing hole in her soul, she sought out other avenues to help her grow. There was a conscious effort on her part to widen the circumference of her life, adjust the radius where it is appropriate and eventually, she grew the courage to finally color beyond the lines. “My goal was just to work hard to have a better life for the people I love,” she says. “I felt that it is my purpose until today.”
There must be an immense sense of pressure heaved on her delicate shoulders, but she isn’t the least bit swayed by it. “I don’t really think of what other people say or think. I just do what I do,” she declares matter-of-factly. In an industry inundated by anything next and everything new, Erich has hit an equilibrium. Where it can be surmised that she has fallen prey to this very human nature, she has since transcended this and optimized her vision to focus on her and what’s in front of her. “I do believe that if something is meant for you, it’s meant for you. So, if there are new faces I welcome them. I don’t see them as a threat. The mindset is don’t compete with anybody, compete with yourself,” she explains. “In this industry, talent is not enough. You will meet different kinds of people, some will love you, and some will break you. A lot of times you will be tested, you will be questioned, you’ll be doubted, but you know who you are. You just have to keep going. You don’t have to prove or explain anything to anyone. Just work hard. In this age, self love is very important. Believe in yourself. Always remember that you are enough and that you are worth it. And don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s okay to commit mistakes, it’s okay to fail…What’s important is that you learn, get back up and try again. Never give up on your dreams.”
While she isn’t completely shut off from the world, it has been known that there is only a certain extent that she shares to the rest of the world, and with good measure. But listening to her elucidate her introspections, it makes you wish she just keeps on at it. She is quite the wizened one, if we may say so ourself.
It is perhaps encyclopedic at this point when we talk about Erich Gonzales and her beauty that is honestly, the stuff of legends. In no way cavalier about it, she isn’t consumed by it either. “If they like my appearance, or how I look, how I carry myself, if they appreciate me, thank you,” she says in deference to the adulation. It makes us wonder then how an Erich Gonzales gets to that almost god-level of beauty. “I always try to live healthy—eat and drink healthy. I workout and I don’t have any vices. It reflects kasi on your skin. Also, as much as possible, I don’t eat junk food. I also do regular visits to my dermatologist. And of course, it helps if you will use skin care products that are hiyang to your skin.” This is by no means a pivot, because if you look at her skin that needs little to no makeup. Her clean living and regular juicing aside, Erich swears by a fool-proof regimen that even you can have access to and actually do, which she counts SNAILWHITE as a necessary conduit to her enviable and covetable glow. “I’m very happy and thankful that they’ve chosen me to be the face of SNAILWHITE here in the Philippines. I love all their products,” she gushes. “My favorites are the Moisture Facial Cream, Whipp Soap, CC Sunscreen and Icy Mask. Works well for me and for many friends I’ve recommended it to.”
Despite a very sweet exterior, Erich Gonzales doesn’t like to sugarcoat. So, it is an immediate curiosity nagging on us wondering, how does a beautiful person describe the almost permanent appendage to her name. “As cliché as it may sound, for me I’d say it’s really the inside. What’s in your heart, it will reflect on the outside,” she affirms. Again, it sounds almost too good to be true. Of course, they would say that. They’re beautiful. But then it hits you like a wave and you recognize the ripples were there from the very beginning: from the way she would check on you, gently caressing your arm as she passes by, even cracking a shot at a joke in between conversations, but it really hits home when you remember everything she said. We won’t say we’ve never heard it before, because that would be dishonesty—and she isn’t a fan of that. What we will vouch for is an immense believability. Every word, every intention was well-meaning and genuine that you realize that this is how beauty unravels: unhinged, unfiltered, and again, delightfully unapologetic.