A CC cream that’s been trending on Instagram for ages, multitasking make-up made for everybody and an anti-frizz hair styling product that beats the rain: these 9 brands are new in Belgium and worth knowing about.
Recently eight international cosmetics brands were launched in our country. Admittedly, you could already find them online and have them shipped to Belgium but we think it is easier, handier and better for our own economy to be able to buy them in a Belgian (web)shop. Some of them we were able to test, the other ones are still on our to test list.
Pestle & Mortar
What? This British natural skincare brand combines actives like retinol, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C with nourishing natural extracts like squalane and avocado oil. The range is small, simple and uncomplicated.
Co-founder Sonia Deasy noticed, while working as a portrait photographer, that the dehydrated dull skin of quite a lot of people could use some help. Which led to the idea of creating an uncomplicated skincare range with simple but efficient products. She was inspired by Indian natural healing in which her family has been specialized for six generations. (Her uncle still works as a Medicine Man.) She combined that knowledge of healing herbs with active ingredients that have a scientifically proven effectiveness.
We recommend. The Box of Stars (80 €) consists of four bestsellers of the brand: the hyaluronic acid serum, the nourishing eye cream, the glycolic acid exfoliant and the hydrating cream. Good to know: the products are free from added fragrance but the moisturizer does contain essential oils of citrus and lavender. (Which is why I would not use it as I am allergic to linalool, even though linalool is nog mentioned on the INCI.)
Where? At Bella Mi Beauty in Ghent and on its webshop.
Danessa Myricks Beauty
What? The make-up range of Danessa Myricks. Myricks is an American self-taught make-up artist who uses make-up in unconventional ways. She teaches other MUAs and has worked as a product developer for Benefit Cosmetics. Her own make-up range consists of multitasking products you can use in different ways (as she likes doing with make-up) and are suited for anyone, regardless of age, race or gender. (Myricks is black.)
We recommend. High on my wishlist is the ColorFix Metallic Cream (18 €). You can use it on eyes, lips and face. On its own, as a primer of mixed with other products. The highly pigmented, creamy texture dries quickly and forms a layer of colour that stays put all day long. Ballerina and Romance are perfect passe-partout eye shadow and highlighter shades. You are not into a metallic effect? ColorFix also comes in Matte, Foil, Nude and Glaze, depending on the finish, colour and look you are going for.
Where? On The Blend Box, the webshop of make-up artist Peggy Timmermans. You can rely on her professional expertise: she only sells products she loves using (on herself and on the job).
What? A range of brow products – care, tools and make-up – founded by British MUA Nilam Holmes aka the Eyebrowqueen. Holmes works as a consultant in the beauty industry, founded HD Brows in the UK, which is known for its brow treatments, salons and products, and is specialized in permanent make-up. She also owns the British esthetic spa Dermaspa. After she quit HD Brows in 2016, she started working on a new range of brow products that became Eyebrowqueen. It launched last year and consists of products everyone can use.
We recommend. One drop of the waterproof Brow Fix (34 €) fixes brow hairs all day long and makes eyebrow make-up smudge proof. Handy if you like using brow pencil or powder.
Where? Also on The Blend Box, Peggy Timmermans’s webshop.
Pat McGrath Labs
What? The make-up range of the famous British make-up artist Pat McGrath. The “most influential make-up artist in the world”, according to Vogue, creates the make-up looks of more than 60 fashion shows every season and knows (and sets) all the trends in the beauty world. In 2015 she (finally) launched her own range of products with an eye for comfortable textures, beautiful colours and pretty packaging.
We recommend. The MatteTrance Lipstick (38 €) is a highly pigmented lipstick with a matte finish. I tested the colour Elson, a lovely deep red with blue undertone. (It does not contain fragrance, nor aroma.) And I was impressed: one single layer offers complete coverage, the formula feels comfortable on the lips, which cannot be said of every matte lipstick, and survived two cups of tea, a latte and lunch before I thought it could do with a touch-up. (I simply added some lip balm to create a more subtle, rosy hue on my lips.) It did dry out my lips a bit but every single lipstick I wear has that effect on them.
If you do not like a full-on coloured lip, you could also dab some of the colour on your lips for a stained effect. It isn’t the cheapest lipstick out there but neither the most expensive one and the colours are beautiful. In my opinion, colours often make the difference between an expensive and a cheaper lipstick. More expensive lipsticks in general have more refined, multidimensional colours that light up your face. And then there’s that packaging. Who wouldn’t want to show that off?
For your information: I also tested the Mothership Eye Shadow Palette (again: lovely, rich colours but it is véry expensive), the Lust: Gloss Lipgloss (it feels as comfy as lipbalm) and the Dark Star Mascara (a nice mascara but there are cheaper options that have a similar effect). The matte lipstick really is my favourite product.
Where? On the webshop of Ici Paris XL and from June onwards in a selected number of Ici Paris XL shops like the one on Toison d’Or Brussels.
What? An American haircare brand that specializes in styling and haircare products for coloured locks. It steers away of 60 ingredients it claims can influence the colour and quality of colored hair. Fun fact: Chris Appleton aka J-Lo’s hairdresser is the brand’s ambassador and is known for his Glass Hair, created with these products.
We recommend. The Color Wow Dream Coat (29,90 €) is activated by the heat of your styling tool and creates a protective, water repelling layer around each hair that makes and keeps it frizz-free, even when it’s pouring. The frizz-free effect is supposed to last two to three shampoos. There is also a version for curly hair.
I was planning on buying this product as it is fragrance-free until I discovered its formula contains DMDM Hydantoin, which causes a chemical reaction I react to. (I simply cannot seem to find a good styling product I am not allergic to.)
Where? At Ici Paris XL.
What? Skincare meets make-up with this American cosmetics brand that develops its products with the help of dermatologists and esthetic surgeons. News anchor Jamie Kern Lima was looking for a solution for her sensitive skin and redness, for a product that could care for skin while covering. That search resulted in IT Cosmetics that now offers a complete range of make-up, make-up brushes and some moisturizers.
We recommend. The Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream (39 €) with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, peptides and antioxidants hydrates, cares, covers imperfections and makes skin look all glowy and healthy. Its mineral filters offer an SPF50+. (IF you use half a tea spoon of product on your face, that is.) The CC Cream comes in 12 colours. I tried the colour Medium but it is slightly too dark for my skin tone. I should not use it as it contains linalool but I was too curious to find out what all the fuss was about. This is indeed a very nice CC cream that offers a lot of coverage without feeling or looking like a mask and it made my skin look very glowy.
Where? At Ici Paris XL.
What? Lee Stafford is a British celebrity hairdresser with several hair salons and his own hairstyling school. He was named British Men Hairdresser of the Year and became known to the wide public by participating in several television shows. He is loved by the British beauty press and created a large haircare range in girly pink packaging.
We recommend. Bleach Blonde and Hair Growth Activation products are often mentioned in beauty favourites lists but as they do not cater for my hair, I stick to the dry shampoo. It contains pink clay that absorbs sebum so hair stays fresh and promises to be invisible. Its fresh scent is popular with a lot of people but I personally prefer the one by Oui.
Where? At Ici Paris XL.
What? The skincare range of Mario Badescu, a Romanian chemic who emigrated to the USA in the 60’s. There he opened a beauty salon in New York. The Mario Badescu spa still exists and is known for his ‘European style facials’. (No idea what they mean by that.) As the salon became a big hit, Badesco started developing his own skincare products. His philosophy: skincare needs to be gentle, simple and efficient.
We recommend. The Drying Lotion is a personal favourite. It dries out whiteheads quickly thanks to a mix of BHA, sulphur and zinc. But does not dry out skin.
Where? At Ici Paris XL.
What? Aurelien Guichard stepped into his father’s footsteps. Jean Guichard created bestsellers like Cacharel’s Loulou, the original L’Interdit by Givenchy and Calvin Klein’s Obsession. As a perfumer for Tagasako Aurelien works for several brands like Kenzo, Issey Miyake and Gucci. His most well known fragrances are Narciso, Zadig & Voltaire’s This Is Him and Gucci Guilty. In 2019 he launched his own line with 6 fragrances. Last year he added Radical Rose. For each fragrance he focuses on one natural ingredient of the best quality that plays the lead in a refined composition.
We recommend. Parisian Musc is the bestseller of the brand. My favourite is Encens Suave, a soft incense fragrance that is a good alternative for L’Ether by Iunx that no longer exists.
Where? At Verso, Lange Gasthuisstraat 9, 2000 Antwerpen. www.verso.com.
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