Living in the Red (and I Don’t Mean Lipstick)

Alexandria Stylebook is a labor of love. I love that you, the Stylebook reader, take time out of your busy day to read what we have to say. It really is humbling. It always makes me happy when someone comments that they really enjoy reading it. However, as a result of being on the floor at the store and working on the renovation, I am frequently behind on my deadlines.

Our beloved Stylebook editor, Madelyn Smith Orfitelli, puts out a beautifully detailed calendar with all the deadlines on it. When a deadline has past, that contributor’s name is highlighted in red. Sadly, my name is always in red. This is in stark contrast to my good friend Elizabeth Todd, whose articles for The Hive and The Shoe Hive are always on time. Not just on time, mind you, early.

The other night we were having a glass of wine after a long day. I made the comment that I had an article to write and that I was likely in the dog house with Madelyn for being in the red. Again. Elizabeth then asked, “What do you mean you’re in the red?” I said, “You know, on the deadline calendar?” She in fact had no idea what that meant as she has never been in the red, a  fact that she now likes to brag about to me all the time.

I was never a writer. So, many days when I have the time to write, I still struggle. I sit and I ponder what to write about. Sure there are times when it’s easy. If a product comes in that I am particularly passionate about, I have a bunch to say. But in times like now, when I am holding off on bringing in new lines until the renovation is complete, the ideas don’t present themselves so easily.

And then it hit me: I should ask you. The reader. What would you like to know more about? Beauty industry-wise, of course. I’m hopeless when it comes to fashion trends, so I can’t help there (although, stay tuned: Elizabeth is going to help me with that in a fun activity we’ve planned coming up).

I am crossing my fingers that you all have some ideas and wouldn’t mind forwarding them to me. I will take all suggestions eagerly. Hopefully I can help you by addressing some of your beauty questions, and you can help me find my way out of red print and back into black. I can’t wait to hear from you!


  • 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



  1. Avatar Jerri says:

    Dearest Angela,

    Please just tell us ALL about your lines! I know a little about what you carry, however, there are so many details you might share. What is in your store? Pick one line and tell us all about it. I can’t wait to hear!

    BJG, Old Town

  2. Avatar Becky Sullivan says:

    How to adapt your make up as you age to still look relevant? (i.e. cream instead of blush, less eyeshadow vs. more, half eyeliner on bottom vs whole, etc.)

  3. Avatar Karen says:

    Favorite beauty bloggers or YouTubers for different ages and styles? How to pack a minimal makeup bag for long trips? Nail trends and the reasons to use 5-free and 7-free nail polishes?

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