“And bonus… it’s clean.” That is my mantra. I spend a lot of time hunting down new products for the store. It has become increasingly important to my customers that I find products that are organic or at least as “clean” as possible. Once upon a time, those products couldn’t be found in abundance. Even now, with a dearth of “clean” beauty products on the market, a lot of them don’t perform the same way their more chemical competitors do. So, for me, a product has to perform first and foremost. I want everyone to want it. Those that care about it being clean and those that just want it because it works. When I buy, I have the latter customer in mind. The “and bonus… it’s clean” customer.
Of course, it’s the former customer that’s on my mind when I spend the countless hours searching for clean products in the first place. If I think the product works well and both of the above customers would like it, I’ve passed hurdle number one. Hurdle number two is a bit harder to pass. Hurdle number two is me.
The result of all the searching is that I look at a lot of products. So many it’s mind numbing some times. In the end, I want a product that calls to me to be used, day in and day out. Yes, packaging matters. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I like pretty things. I have ten products at a time waiting to be tried. If I keep picking a product up or use it until it’s empty, that’s when I place the order.
Searching for clean and luxe lipsticks has been like searching for a needle in a haystack. I want to use clean lipsticks; I just don’t want to feel like I’m sacrificing to do so. So, when I came upon Y et Beauté I couldn’t believe my luck.
According to the founder, Esther Widjaja, Y et Beauté was conceived with a simple principle in mind: lipstick is powerful. Because it is transformative; able, with a single swipe, of sparking a total visual metamorphosis. Because it is emboldening, a confidence boost in bullet form. And because it is, most importantly, democratic; both accessible and inclusive.
For Esther, lipstick also marks the culmination of a distinctly personal journey. After resigning from her corporate beauty job some years ago, she set off to Mysore, India to spend months practicing ashtanga yoga. “I needed a time-out and a chance to gain some perspective,” she says. “Devoting myself to a strict daily yoga practice gave my life clarity and direction.” It also granted her peace and, by virtue of that, strengthened her bond with nature. “In a beautiful sunset or an ocean wave I saw something greater than myself,” she adds.
Through yoga you create and radiate beauty and when Widjaja returned to New York after her mind and body reset she was determined to find a way to give that sensibility a glamorous spin. The result is Y et Beauté, the Y a subtle nod to the practice that spurred on her own personal transformation. “I wanted to bridge the gap between the luxury department store beauty lines and the organic beauty brands you might find in mass markets,” she says. And her premiere collection of ten lipsticks (all of them non-nano and paraben-, cruelty-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free) has a best-of-both-worlds appeal: meticulously sourced organic ingredients, a tightly curated array of stylish shades with significant color pay-off, and posh packaging, all of it made in Italy. “I wanted each lipstick to feel like a little jewel,” she says.
And they do. I am so excited to be able to offer this luxurious, beautiful line of creamy, pigmented lipsticks with staying power. Oh! And bonus…they’re clean.
Located in historic Old Town Alexandria, for more than 17 years Bellacara has been Northern Virginia's preeminent boutique for high end cosmetic, skincare and haircare products. At Bellacara you will find premiere beauty products that have been carefully edited by the store’s owner, Angela Sitilides, who personally tests all the products sold in store. The boutique carries only the best product lines – Kiehl’s, Jouer, Dr. Dennis Gross, Christophe Robin, Moroccan Oil, Bumble & Bumble, Fresh, Molton Brown, Skinceuticals, Smashbox, Stila, Mario Badescu, Clarins, Dermalogica, Kevyn Aucoin, Kai, Child, St. Tropez, Smith and Cult, and many more.
1000 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314