Estetika’s Rachel Villanueva: Woman of beauty and substance

At first glance, Rachel is the perfect ambassador for the Estetika Wellness and Beauty Clinic that she founded.

After joining the Viva Hot Babes in 2005 and keeping her contract for only one-and-a-half years, she shifted to selling of cars. While her career move turned 180 degrees from the spotlight, she has not exactly abandoned her connection to the world of showbiz where she first became famous.

To this day, she socializes with former Hot Babes and drinks with them in their favorite watering hole, “although I take only mango juice,” she says.

Rachel, while being a dedicated businesswoman, gives equal time to her duties as a wife and mother. It helps that hers and her husband’s business (car dealership) are located on the same building and in Filinvest, Alabang.

EYELASH extensions.

When Daily Tribune visited Rachel in her spanking office and salon, she was fashionably dressed and glamorously shod, but beyond her attractive looks that one notices on a first meeting, she projects a cool, relaxed and confident bearing. One is tempted to say that if she joined a beauty and brains contest, she would not only be the title holder, she would also be voted by her fellow delegates as Miss Amity.

The journey that she took from a high school student, who dropped out to pursue a brief career on television as one of a group of visually stimulating girls of voluptuous proportions and finally move on to being a top sales executive in a car dealership and finally plunging into the world of entrepreneurship by founding the Estetika Health and Beauty Salon, is a story of a determined millennial who realized that it was not enough to be beautiful, charming and sexy. One had to be brainy and smart. Luckily for her own sake, Rachel achieved success just by being herself and practicing the values that she acquired from her parents from her childhood.

“I was my mom’s favorite,” she says of her stepmother who, she declares, “is a beauty in her own right.  She was my confidante and kakampi (accomplice). It was she who allowed me to pursue a career in show business. She really acted as a stage mother.”

Her engineer father, on the other hand, was very strict. “When he saw the FHM magazine where I was on the cover in my sexy clothes, he threw the copy at my face.” And yet he spoiled her as well, when it came to her fashion choices, “whether it was a new dress or a trinket or a nice pair of shoes.” What she learned from her dad was pragmatism because he is a businessman.

Of her father’s life story, she relates: “He came from a poor family in Nueva Ecija. He would hide from his classmates when he ate his lunch of a piece of bread.  He would shine shoes to be able to earn some money to buy his school needs. He was very intelligent. From grade two, he jumped to grade four; from grade four to grade six.”

It was from her father that she learned “how to focus when I want to learn something. I am also a good listener, another trait that I got from him. He was a natural-born leader. He also expressed himself well, including when he wrote letters. If you wanted to express well like him, you had to be good in school, so I always ended up in either at the top or second in academic rank. That was why he gave me everything I wanted.


Rachel began ramp modeling for children’s fashion brands when she was nine years old. Among these brands were BNY Jeans and Mossimo.

By the time she was in second year high school at Santa Isabel College, she opted to drop out and focus on her budding showbiz career.

It was a move that she would regret years later. What she had kept was her devout Catholic upbringing, both of her parents being religious.

To make up for her lost years in the academe, she went back to school, this time in the Ateneo Graduate School of Business where she enrolled in a six-month crash course “that would prepare me for an entrepreneur’s career that I was aiming for.”

“I wasn’t getting any younger,” she explains, while admitting she found accounting difficult. “So I ended up hiring a bookkeeper for my business. I aimed for a stable profession, one that was not dependent on the whims of fame and fortune.”

Rachel first put up AutoFlair, a company that sells a pre-owned luxury vehicles of such brands as BMW, Mercedes Benz, Porsche and Audi. Her introduction to the world of car retail came by way of a sales job with BMW Alabang. When she had gained experience, she moved to Mercedes Benz Alabang. Fortuitously, it was here that she met the love of her life, Dexter, who, she affirms, “has been my inspiration and big moral support.”  Dexter, through the years, has held the dealership of such prestigious car brands like Chrysler, Mazda, MG, Chevrolet, Nissan and Foton.

The years have been kind to the couple, as they share in each other’s joys and challenges, each serving as a partner, support and ally to the other, “although we do not meddle in each other’s decisions,” Rachel says. “Because it is not enough to love someone. You also have to respect him at the same time that you lift him up.”

On his part, he has chosen not only to love her but her children by a previous relationship. Today, they are one big family, a long way from when she supported her children all by herself, with their son Drexel as the foremost joy of their lives. As she tries to be a hands-on mother, she worries that “I may have less time for my son and very often, he is already asleep when I arrive from work, and so we make up by taking him to the park on weekends, an outing that he always looks forward to.”

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF IG/RACHEL ANN VILLANUEVA | Rachel Ann Villanueva: former Viva Hot Babes turned Estetika Wellness and Beauty Clinic founder.

Her life story is one that Rachel shares with all candidness. “I do not want to be a fake,” she says candidly.

It is Rachel’s sincerity that has made Estetika a success. As she herself epitomizes, the beauty and wellness that she espouses through the salon’s various services, she is its number one promoter. Not only does she practice the beauty regimen that she offers to their customers, she herself is its best walking advertisement, a proof that Estetika’s products and services bring good results.

Interestingly, she and Dexter are poles apart in many ways. “We are total opposites,” she says. “He is very patient and I am not. He could easily believe someone who comes to him with a sad story, while I make sure I am being told the true story. He is so generous he easily gives in to a request. I verify a sob story. When I am boiling mad, it is he who appeases me.”

Rachel takes pride in her sense of basic respect for others. “I never look down on people,” she says. She takes lunch with the staff and converses with them.

Her office, bright and stylishly furnished, reflects the neatness and charm of Rachel. She proudly relates that she had converted a suite of showrooms of a condominium development company, each room showcasing a part of the home. “We converted them into areas for specific services, one for nails, another for hair, this part for the skin and that for the face, and so on.”


What Estetika offers is first-class brand of service and time-tested and proven products, alongside with innovations in the field of aesthetics.

Rachel reveals it took her 24 hours to design the whole salon and put it together into the beautiful space that it became. “I did not rest until I was satisfied with the result.”

The salon has since achieved fame as a go-to place for celebrities who want to enhance their physical assets. They look to Rachel to give them the best advice since she’s known the ways of celebrities, their lifestyles and the requirements for them to maintain their physical, social and emotional assets. Among those who have availed of Estetika’s expertise and caring service are Claudine Barretto, Alma Moreno, Katya Santos, Jay Manalo, Kiko Estrada, Cheska Diaz and Lani Misalucha.

Rachel declares, “I feel at home at Estetika because I am contributing to making our clients live wonderful, happy and beautiful lives. When you are given a face and a body by God, why not take good care of it? It is his gift to you so, enjoy His gift.”

HAIR styling.

These are words spoken by someone who is devoted to the Mother of Perpetual Help, whom she visits regularly in her Baclaran shrine even when the pandemic was at its height. It was to her that she ran and prayed incessantly as she asked her to save Dexter who she almost lost to Covid.

“The Lord and our Mother of Perpetual Help made sure Dexter would survive and gain his health back again, saw us through as a family during those difficult times and kept our businesses going thus allowing us to take care of the many families who depend on us for survival. The Lord and the Virgin Mary were with us all the way during those challenging times and Jesus and His Mother remain to be our steadfast friends and source of inspiration and strength through these times as we are gradually recovering and picking up.”

Rachel speaks candidly and from the bottom of her heart. She would not be where she is today if not for her innate sincerity. It is one big asset that has endeared her to Estetika’s clients.

“They keep coming back because we deal with them sincerely. Credibility is what keeps any beauty and wellness endeavor going. It is this honesty that has made our company prosper. When we say you are beautiful, we mean it with all our heart,” Rachel concludes.