From what Ive seen, it does seem to be chemically altered in some way (but I'm no expert), but I still think that she's beautiful.
Yes, I hate her character too. However, I do not want them to kill her off because she is the only person of color on the show (you cant really count fellow curly Nicole Fiscella
aka Blair's silent minority sidekick). Ive heard that in the books Vanessa character was much more interesting. I wish that they would develop her character more.
By the way, I prefer pretty boy Chace Crawford over Ed Westwick.