Nadine Lustre

Nadine Lustre on being morena: ‘It’s the best thing that I have’

Vixey Lema

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Nadine Lustre on being morena: ‘It’s the best thing that I have’

Nadine meets with her fans at a SnailWhite event on May 25, 2024.

Vixey Lema/Rappler

Nadine opens up about her best practices when it comes to taking care of her skin, keeping her peace, and embracing being a morena, despite the societal beauty standards promoted on social media

MANILA, Philippines — Nadine Lustre got candid about her journey being a morena, opening up how she embraced her skin color despite the societal beauty standards promoted on social media.

At an event for skincare brand SnailWhite on Saturday, May 25, in Makati City, the actress opened up about her best practices when it comes to taking care of her skin and keeping her peace.

She was joined by lifestyle and beauty content creators Rei Germar and Marj Maroket. 

Nadine Lustre, along with content creators Rei Germar and Marj Maroket, answers questions about self-care and beauty. Photo by Vixey Lema/Rappler

“I was such an insecure girl. There were so many things I wanted to change with my body, with myself. As I grew older, that’s when I started accepting all of the things that I don’t like about myself, that people don’t like about me. I just embraced it because that’s who I am, and that’s what makes me unique,” she said.

She also recalled her experiences of being discriminated against because of her skin color. 

“I used to not like my skin growing up just because there were so many people [who] would tell me, ‘morena mukhang madumi (dark skin looks dirty). And then, when I would go to castings lagi akong pinapauwi kasi ako lang ‘yung morena (I would always be asked to go home because I was the only one with dark skin) and everyone else is mestiza (fair-skinned). I used to hate my skin color, but now it’s the best thing that I have.”

Now, Nadine has become a symbol of representation. Women look up to her for confidence because of how she proudly flaunts her skin color. “It’s really just about acceptance,” she said about being called “morena queen.”

During the event, Nadine mentioned that she had recently returned from Siargao. She revealed in 2021 that she has been living between Manila and Siargao

If you’re like Nadine who loves being under the sun, moisturizer and sunscreen with a good sun protection factor are must-haves. Nadine prioritizes such products as frequent exposure to the sun can cause the skin to become dry and dull.

She also gave emphasis on the importance of caring for oneself. “When you say self-care, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go to a salon, you have to get a manicure. It can be as simple as eating your favorite food or…just spending time with yourself.”

“Self-care not only boosts confidence but also improves mental health,” she added.

Besides being an award-winning actress and singer, Nadine serves as a role model for self-love to her fans. She has been a vocal advocate of mental health awareness and has bravely talked about how her own mental health was challenged by the passing of her late brother.

The actress-singer also expressed how much she values working with brands that share the same advocacy. She added that brands that accept her for who she is are “the best ones to work with.”

However, like any public personality, Nadine felt the pressure of keeping up with her online presence. “At some point it became taxing to me…. For someone who loves sharing but is also very particular with content, it’s something that I really struggle with.” She said that social media has now become “so hateful.” 

“Social media is so harmful to everyone…. At this point, it’s really hard to determine if it’s constructive criticism or if this person is just being mean. Now I just don’t deal with it. I know myself, I know what I’m doing. I make mistakes, but as long as those mistakes are not something that hurt other people then I’m totally fine with that.”

She found her way out of the social media rabbit hole after realizing that real life is not found online. “You really have to live in the real world. Because when you’re always on social media, you tend to [think that the real world is] whatever happens on social media,” Nadine said. 

Nadine responded to comments about her Instagram post curation. It has become a running joke among her followers to point out her deliberate effort to keep her photos minimalistic, making them look “estetik(aesthetic).

When asked about her tattoos, Nadine expressed that stereotypes about people who have tattoos should stop. “I hate it when I see comments like, ‘Ay marami siyang tattoo, kriminal ‘yan (A person with a lot of tattoos is considered a criminal).’ People who are full of tattoos get so much hate…. To me, tattoos are beautiful. It’s a way to express yourself…. A lot of my tattoos have meanings.” 

Nadine then offered advice to women dealing with pressure to conform to societal beauty ideals.

She said, “You can’t really get rid of the pressure…. Feel it. And you’ll realize, ‘I don’t want to feel this pressure anymore….’ Parang surfing lang (It’s like you’re surfing). You’ll ride that wave of pressure, but the thing is you have to know how to ride that wave.”  –

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Vixey Lema

Vixey Marie Lema is a digital communications specialist.