When you own a beauty boutique—especially a top-notch one like Alexandria’s Bellacara, which carries only the best of the best—choosing a must-have product must seem like trying to pick your favorite child. We put owner Angela Sitilides, who personally tests all of the products sold in her store, up to the challenge. Here are the five products she simply can’t do without:
1) SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Serum
Angela says: “This is the best anti-aging product on the market. It has tons of antioxidants, accelerates cell turnover, and stimulates collagen production. It’s pricey, but one bottle lasts four months. I’ll absolutely pay $38 a month to keep wrinkles at bay!” $152 at SkinCeuticals.
2) Bumble and Bumble Texture Cream
Angela says: “My hair is fine with a tendency to be limp. A little bit of this cream adds tons of texture and volume to my hair without weighing it down.” $28 for 5 ounces at Sephora.
The problem with getting a blowout in Washington is that if you work downtown, there’s some travel involved—unlike our Virginia, MoCo, and Georgetown neighbors, we don’t have the convenience of a standalone blow-dry salon in our ’hood. That is, until this weekend.
Look out for Blowout Bar, a chic blow-dry concept opening Saturday near Foggy Bottom (just blocks from our office!). In addition to five blowout styles—including Lola (meaning straight with body) and Stella (Hollywood waves)—at a flat rate of $35, the salon will offer updos, conditioning treatments, and house calls.
The girly, blowout-only concept is hardly new to the area. In January, we told you about Reston’s FLOW, and a few months earlier Drybar made its Washington debut—but as far as we know, Blowout Bar is the first of its kind to open downtown.
And it’s already gotten tons of excitement: In its two weeks on Twitter, the salon has already earned 22,000 followers, so our guess is the appointments will fill up super quickly. Luckily, as of today, you can book one online.
Additional opening info has been pretty hush-hush so far, but stay tuned—we’re on top of it.
Blowout Bar. 2134 L St., NW; 202-290-2109. Opens Saturday, March 30.
Go ahead and cancel your spring appointments with your brow-shaping guru. This year, heavy, defined brows ruled the runways, replacing thin, delicate arches with thick framing and dark tints. Yes, some of these ’60s-mod looks are perhaps too bold for everyday wear—but toned down a touch and paired with a clean, natural face, they’re an easy, minimal-fuss update.
So what’s a thin-browed gal to do? We’ve rounded up three of our fave eyebrow kits, at the ready to artfully take yours from dainty to daring.
Just in time for this weekend’s Gilt City Warehouse Sale, we caught up with Marissa Schneider, the gal behind Gilt City DC, to get the scoop on her beauty favorites. As a curator for the localized deals site, Marissa spends her days scouting the city's best new products, venues and businesses, and she knows a thing or 20 about the best beauty regimens on the market. Read on for her must-haves.
1) Trina Sandra Essential Travel Valet
+ Pencil Case
Marissa says: “Trina makeup cases keep everything organized, as I’m true cosmetics collector! I bought several of these cases at last year’s Gilt City Warehouse Sale, and am planning to buy a few more as gifts when the sale comes back to DC this week.” $24.95 at Amazon.
It was a natural progression. First, classic reds and girly pinks made way for brilliant hues repping the entire rainbow. Then came nail art, adorning fingertips with dizzying patterns and complicated designs.
Texture was the final frontier. This year’s nail trends take creative textured effects head on, offering up finishes that range from relatively subdued speckling to over-the-top beading.
As the founder of Drybar, the chic blowout-only concept that opened locations in Georgetown and Bethesda last year, Alli Webb spends her busy days overseeing the chain’s 26 (and counting) outposts and developing new goods for the salon’s product line.
Read on for the longtime hair stylist’s favorite beauty picks—plus the secret products behind her always-perfect waves.
1) Caudalie Premier Cru the Cream
Alli says: “This face cream keeps my skin moisturized and radiant throughout my busy schedule. It’s a serum and moisturizer in one, so it lightens my load when I’m traveling.”
$155 at Sephora.
Forget medicine cabinets—we’re WAY more interested in sneaking a peek into other people’s beauty bags. Especially those people whose beauty routines are bound to be so carefully curated as to include only the best of the best. So to indulge our nosier instincts, we asked local beauty blogger Lara Ramos of the Glossarie to divulge her top five desert-island beauty products. Read on to see what made it onto Lara’s must-have list—and why.
1) Mark Just Pinched Instant Blush Tint in Cheeky
Lara says: “I love cream blush to keep me dewy when my skin gets dry in winter. This formula gives a sheer, natural flush of color without any stickiness.”
$8 at Mark.
2) Deborah Lippmann Flat Top Matte Topcoat
Lara says: “All matte topcoats are not created equal. This one by Deborah Lippmann is the smoothest application I’ve found, and I love the way it instantly transforms all of the polishes in my collection by giving them a cool matte finish.”
$20 at Nordstrom.
3) MAC Plush Lash Mascara
Lara says: “This was a recent recommendation from a friend, and I absolutely love the way the super-size brush plumps up my lashes. It doesn’t clump, smudge, or flake, bringing it up to top mascara status in my book.”
$16 at MAC.
4) Sonia Kashuk Matte Blotting Papers
Lara says: “My oily skin tends to give me a shiny forehead and nose, even in February. These blotting papers are bigger than others, and the price point is tough to argue with.”
$6.69 at Target.
5) Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick
Lara says: “Lightweight and super-hydrating, this chubby pencil melts onto lips, leaving juicy shine. I’m dying for these to come in more colors!”
$16 at Sephora.
Whose beauty essentials are you dying to see? Talk to me! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get excited, blowout fanatics: There’s a new place for you in town.
Flow Blowout and Beauty Bar, the newest blowout-only salon in Washington, opened its doors last week in Reston. With a bargain rate of $35 and the bonus of makeup and threading services, Flow provides another great option besides our current favorite, Drybar, as our go-to blowout spot.
Owner and fashion designer Samira Atash, who worked in New York City for a decade, says she couldn’t find a good blowout close to home when she moved back to Virginia. “I’ve been blowing out my hair for so long, and when I came to Northern Virginia, I really couldn’t find a place to get it done,” she says. “So I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to open one.’”
Your calendar may be filling up with inaugural balls and parties, and while what you wear is important, figuring out what hair and makeup will complement your look is equally key. Here, we’ve enlisted the expertise of five go-to makeup and hair experts in the District to make sure you pull off a look that’s as memorable as the occasion.
The classic red lip has always been a go-to, and this season it’s hotter than ever. Kari Slansky, makeup and eyebrow esthetician at Violet Hair and Skin Care, suggests Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous in Palpitante. “It’s a universally flattering lipstick that looks cherry red in the tube but wears with a hint of fuchsia, which looks great on all skin tones,” she says.
In a city with an ever-evolving style scene, if there’s one expert who has seen it all, it’s makeup and hair guru Erwin Gomez, owner of Karma by Erwin Gomez. “As the style scene in Washington changes, so are the looks of what used to be a more conservative Washingtonian,” he says. Instead of a formal updo, go for loose curls. Gomez suggests using Unite “Boing,” a curl-enhancing cream that offers just the right amount of hold.
According to makeup artist and eyebrow specialist Adrian Avila of Nectar Skin Bar, the secret to standing out in the crowd is this: “Think the glow of Grace Kelly with the full, bold brows of Elizabeth Taylor—the real one, not Lindsay Lohan,” he says. Stash the Kevyn Aucoin “The Precision” pencil to add fullness and definition to brows.
We Washington ladies were ecstatic this summer when the California-born Drybar made its way to our city (which, according to founder Alli Webb, was her “most requested” location). We didn’t think it was possible for the 37-year-old stylist turned businesswoman to wow us any further, but she has, with—ready for this?—a Drybar product line.
Think brushes, curling irons, clips, and, of course, hairdryers, designed using Drybar’s signature yellow and gray palette. Also in the collection are shampoos, styling creams, and other treatments for your DIY blowout needs (though, even with the best products, we’re not sure our novice skills could produce a half-decent Cosmo, let alone offer us a cup of hot peppermint tea and a viewing of Bridesmaids).
As is the case with Drybar’s menu of hairstyles, each product is named after a drink: “half pint” is a round, one-inch ceramic brush; “full pint” is a two-incher. There’s also a post-blowout treatment oil, “100 Proof”—a little bit of the stuff goes a long way.
The chic yellow tools ($15 to $190) are available for purchase on Drybar’s website, and the remaining products are in preorder phase. The entire line will be on shelves at Sephora and in Drybar salons in March. Stay tuned for reviews.