Splurge vs Steal: Can an At-Home Treatment Replace In-Office Services?

We’re all busy. It seems a fact of life that there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done. It’s even more difficult to find time to take care of ourselves. It’s true for men and women alike, but we women tend to have even more time-sucking personal maintenance issues. The gym, the hairdresser, the nail salon, the estheticians and dermatologists all require hours of our time. This doesn’t even take into account the serious maintenance of doctor and dental visits.

But there is some good news. The advancements in technology have come a long way toward allowing us to schedule some of these things when it’s convenient for us…namely, at home on our sofas. The following popular treatments now have at-home options that yield similar results.



Splurge: Lash Extensions

This is where individual mink or synthetic lashes are attached to each individual natural lash with glue. An initial set will cost you roughly $350-$400 dollars and take roughly two to three hours to put on. Because your natural lashes shed and grow longer, maintenance fills are essential. They run anywhere from $90-$200 every two to three weeks and take about an hour to an hour and a half. If you’ve got the time, this is a great way to feel beautiful the minute you wake up.


Steal: Lash Growth Conditioner

Unlike lash extensions, there isn’t instant gratification here, but with nightly application your natural lashes will reach incredible lengths in just two months. After three months, you’ll be amazed. A tube of Revitalash Eyelash Conditioner is just $98 and lasts approximately four months. The best part, it takes just a minute every night.


LED Light Therapy

Splurge: Spa or the Derm’s Office

The science is well settled that LED light therapy can reduce the appearance of fine lines and keep skin looking plump. Dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman concurs, “If [the light is] red, your skin responds by building, strengthening, and maximizing cellular structure. Red light is also believed to target oil glands to reduce cytokines, which cause inflammation and play a role in chronic acne. In the case of blue light, specific wavelengths stimulate production of oxygen radicals that kill bacteria, all without damaging skin.”

Dermatologists and estheticians frequently use these lights as an add-on to their procedures or services. At roughly, $50-$300 for one treatment, it isn’t cheap. The benefits come with consistent use, with results being seen after a minimum of four visits.


Steal: At-Home LED Mask

You’ll see results in skin texture and tone after just two weeks of daily at-home use. In just three minutes a day, you can reap even greater benefits than occasional doctor’s office visits. Consistent use of a lower wavelength shows greater benefits than occasional use of a higher wavelength. According to Dr. Dennis Gross, “The same way ingredients work…LED light stimulates skin receptors. There are four wavelengths of light at work, each penetrating a different depth of the skin to repair and protect.”

  • Amber: Repairs sun damage
  • Red: Increases collagen production (new collagen fibers)
  • Deep Red: Reduces collagen-degrading enzymes, protecting collagen
  • Infrared: Stimulates circulation so topical products absorb better

At just $435, this rechargeable at-home device is looking pretty darn cheap.


Teeth Whitening

Splurge: Teeth Whitening at the Dentist’s Office

This procedure will run you roughly $500-$800 in office. This includes the initial in-office treatment and the trays to keep up the results. It doesn’t include the solution syringes that you’ll need monthly to keep those pearly white teeth. That will set you back approximately $50 a month and you’ll have to wear the trays for a minimum of an hour at a time.

Steal: Supersmile 6 Minutes to a Whiter Smile Kit

You have to brush your teeth anyway, so why not swap out your Colgate for this whitening kit? The kit comes with everything you need to get your teeth whiter in no time. At a price tag of just $54, it’s a time-saving no brainer.


  • 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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