Indie Lee Has Landed at Bellacara

Indie Lee is the woman behind the brand, but her name wasn’t always Indie Lee. Lisa Swengros was a busy mom of two and just 37 years old when she was diagnosed with brain cancer. The doctor told her to get her affairs in order and spend as much time as possible with loved ones. She was stunned. She ate healthy and took care of herself, or so she thought.

She began a blog to share her experiences while undergoing treatment for her brain tumor. Not wanting people to know who she really was, she used the pen name Indie Lee (short for Independent Lisa). After her surgery to remove the tumor in her brain, she was told that her brain tumor wasn’t cancerous, but “environmentally derived.” She had also developed rheumatoid arthritis and was undergoing chemotherapy for that, as well.

At that moment, she set out to educate herself anew and to create products that were safe and chemical free. She began making products to soothe her skin, which was sensitive and incredibly dry as a result of the chemotherapy treatments. Once free of the tumor and on to her new life creating skincare products, she felt more connected to her new name than her former and had it legally changed. It became the name for her skincare line, as well.

Her products smell amazing, perform beautifully, and are reasonably priced for the high quality. I, myself, have been completely hooked by the Brightening Cleanser and the Co-Q10 Toner, top sellers in her line. The squalene facial oil, which is 100 percent derived from olives, is another big seller. Review after review gives five stars on her products and I can see why.

I’ve mentioned before that my test before bringing a line into the store is that it has to be something I reach for over and over. It’s true that I am looking for more “clean beauty” options, but I will only bring it in if it is amazing and as a “bonus” is also clean. There are plenty of green, natural, organic, and clean products on the market. I know because I’ve tested a bunch. But if they don’t make me want to finish the jar or bottle…they don’t make the cut. This one passed the empty bottle test. Don’t take my word for it, come get a sample and try it for yourself.


  • The latest from Angela
I have been a beauty junkie for what seems like forever, but before I did anything about it, I went to law school. (Yes, my life is a little like the reverse of Legally Blonde.) Then, I worked as a prosecutor in Sonoma County after which I moved to the DC area with my husband in ’97. I served as Majority Counsel to the Senate Banking Committee followed by a year-long stint at a lobbying firm. You get the picture. It was then that I decided to act on my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Finding my favorite beauty products proved to be impossible without stepping foot in a mall–the horror. So, I decided to bring my favorites to Alexandria. A few trips to New York and a flight to France and Bellacara was born in March 2000.

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


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