Low Maintenance… High Cost

As an avid collector of all things beauty, I am constantly looking at other websites – beauty retailers, beauty bloggers, and beauty brands alike. I recently came across a website I generally like a lot (whose name I shall now withhold because I intend to poke a little fun at it) and one of the items struck me immediately. It was in a category of “starter kits.” The title of the particular kit that struck me was “Low Maintenance Starter Kit.” As someone whose beauty regimen could never be considered low maintenance, I was intrigued. What items would they narrow down to the essentials for such a kit? I often struggle with how to advise my “low maintenance” clients (the ones who want to spend less than three minutes) on their skincare regimens. So, of course, I clicked on it.  What came up nearly had me spit my coffee out across the room.


 Photo Credit: Skincare.com


The first thing I noticed was the price tag… just over $1,600. Yeah, I typed that correctly. No, I did not accidentally add a zero. If that’s the price for the low maintenance gal, what does the high maintenance gal have to shell out? Turns out just under $5,500… and these are the starter kits. What happens when she graduates? At any rate, back to the low maintenance kit. The low maintenance kit wasn’t just pricey, it was also eighteen products deep. Granted, I’m sure part of those items were for morning and some for nighttime, but even then… that particular low maintenance gal would have a very hard time accomplishing that routine in fifteen minutes, forget about three. It was also twelve steps long. I am not entirely sure what those steps consist of though because you only get to know that information when you have purchased the kit.

What struck me aside from the above-mentioned items was that this kit was sold out… sold out!!! Whaaat??? Skincare is not one-size-fits-all. The holy grail to me, may not suit your skin at all. People have often asked me why I don’t assemble kits. The reason is that, in twenty years of selling skincare, I have almost never sold the same regimen to two people in the same day. One has oily skin, another dry, one is sensitive, the other has rosacea, one is allergic to vitamin e, the other has vitamin c sensitivity – you see where I’m going here. One-size-fits-all kits don’t actually fit at all. Don’t sacrifice your specific needs for the ease of a ready-made kit.

I do think I would like to come up with some kits and I have some ideas in mind, so stay tuned. What they won’t be is two things: they won’t be one-size-fits-all skincare kits, and they won’t cost you a whopping $1,600.


  • 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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