I would like to receive the following free email newsletters:

Newsletter Signup
  1. Bridal Party
  2. Dining Out
  3. Kliman Online
  4. Photo Ops
  5. Shop Around
  6. Where & When
  7. Well+Being
  8. Learn more
“Being Beautiful Is Not for Wimps”
Comments () | Published February 1, 2010

Being the best you can be means something different to everyone. After all, one woman’s Botoxed forehead is another’s Balenciaga handbag. “Why spend money on an expensive bag when the first thing people see is your face?” Rodgers says.

Along the spectrum of high, low, and no maintenance, there are degrees. “We have women with weekly standing appointments who don’t ever wash their hair at home,” says Emily Villalva, Gibson’s business director. Villalva says there’s a 15-person waiting list of women hoping to be snipped and fluffed by Gibson himself, whose official price is $950 for a cut and who is in town from New York for just 12 hours every six to eight weeks.

Then there are women like Rodgers’s good friend Ada Polla, who, despite being president of the Swiss antioxidant skin-care line Alchimie Forever, says her greatest beauty indulgence—besides her own products—is putting conditioner in her hair. She doesn’t own a hair dryer.

“Spending four hours in a salon is my nightmare,” says Polla. “I don’t know what’s more high maintenance than that.”

Yet Polla, who at age 32 possesses a complexion so dewy it looks airbrushed, has herself received a little maintenance along the way. Her father, a dermatologist in Switzerland, began injecting her with Botox when she was 24. “He told me I should get it, and I tend to do what he says,” she says.

Villalva says that more twenty- and thirtysomething women seem comfortable getting Botox and other treatments before a wrinkle ever appears: “They’re the generation that grew up watching their parents go to spas.”

Other than getting Botox and an occasional peel, Polla says, she doesn’t want anyone involved in her beauty routine. “High-maintenance women like to be catered to, and that involves other people. It involves an entourage.”

Approaching the field at George Washington University’s Mount Vernon Campus, Andrea Rodgers is decked out in full makeup—including spectacularly false eyelashes—and leading Scarlett on a hot-pink leash. Seeing Rodgers, a group of women stops dead in its tracks. “Oh, my God!” yells one. “It’s Legally Blonde!

Earlier that week, after receiving injections of filler and freezer, Rodgers’s face looked swollen and lumpy. “I hope I don’t see anyone I know,” she said, walking down M Street.

Today, her face is smooth and gleaming. Putting on her honorary number-56 game shirt, she rushes off to join her fellow blond supporters on the sidelines. A few hours later, despite putting on her best game face, her team loses for the fifth year in a row. With the Botox working its magic, it’s hard to tell if she’s disappointed.


Subscribe to Washingtonian
Posted at 04:00 PM/ET, 02/01/2010 RSS | Print | Permalink | Articles