Why not go Christmas shopping at local independent stores this year instead of buying your gifts from international (online) retail giants? Sofie Albrecht and I made a list of our favourite independent beauty stores in Flanders, Brussels and online. Support small businesses! Part 2: Brussels.
Founder Ioana Kroonen moved her niche beauty shop to a bigger place this summer, even closer to the Sablon in Brussels. A bigger place equals more space for the impressive range of niche beauty and more space for beauty treatments. (You can book a Hydrafacial for instance.)
Fragrance forms the main ingredient of Beauty by Kroonen’s success recipe but the shop also has a large offer of skin and haircare, (hair) accessories and make-up with brands like Kosas, Augustinus Bader, David Mallett, Belgian brand Deutarium, Orveda, Absolution, Jane Iredale, Bastille Parfums, Experimental Perfume Club and Naomi Goodsir.
Our Christmas gift tip. Japanese haircare brand Uka’s Hair Oil Rainy Day (40 €) promises to prevent frizzy hair (on rainy days) and to nourish hair and smells of eucalyptus, mint and lemon.
Lebeaustraat 67, Brussels and online.
Cosmeticary was one of the first niche beauty shops in our capital and is especially known for the skincare it offers. Over the years the shop has specialized itself in accessible skincare. Owner Jean Rausin time and again manages to offer the most interesting new brands like The Ordinary, the British brand Q+A and K beauty brands like Ondo Beauty 36,5 and Son & Park.
Our Christmas gift tip. Ondo Beauty 36,5’s entire sheet mask range makes for a perfect set of Christmas stocking gifts at 3,95 € a mask.
Auguste Ortsstraat 11B, Brussels and online.
Brussels hair dresser Roger Delbôve and his wife Marion launched their Crème Sorcière in 1967 and skincare brand Delbôve was born. The brand originated from their belief in homeostasis, the theory that skin as a living organism can adapt itself to all circumstances and renew itself when it is in balance. Marion, who worked for Helena Rubinstein, strongly believed in the healing powers of plants and started developing natural skincare.
In 2011, Gina d’Ansembourg, a big fan, buys the skincare brand and successfully saves it from oblivion. She opens a boutique with chic retro vibes in Ixelles where you can discover the entire range (during a workshop).
Our Christmas gift tip. The Delbôve gift boxes are a great (and economical) way to get to know the brand. There is – of course – the Complete Magical Rituel Gift Set Rituel Sorcière with the iconic Eau and Crème Sorcière (89 €). The Magic Cleanser Duo gently cleanses skin, strengthens the skin barrier and is the first step in your Delbôve skincare routine. (Depending on your skin, it can even be the only step.) Another great gift is the Duo Hand and Foot Gift Set (79 €). It is pricey but a little goes a long way and the hand and foot cream really help with dry feet/hands.
Abdijstraat 67, Brussels and online.
Labelchic focuses on natural skincare brand from all around the world that tend to be made by hand. The range expanded with selfcare products: supplements, CBD products, intimate ‘wellness toys’… But keep it classy and stylish.
Labelchic is also known for its gua sha facials that combine the ancient facial massage technique with a high-tech LED light mask and the products of Tata Harper. (And you get to enter the pretty in pink Treatment Room!)
Our Christmas gift tip. Check The Christmas shop on the webshop: the perfect gift guide for the holiday season. You can always surprise us with a Coreterno candle.
Antoine Dansaertstraat 95, Brussels and online.
The origins of this Brussels artisan soap brand date back to 1922, when Emile Collin and perfumer Alexis Huylenbroeck founded the Karak Soap and Perfumery Works. In 2020, young entrepreneurs Maxime de Villenfagne and Maxime Pecsteen took over the business. Savonneries Bruxelloises produces deliciously scented quality soaps for skin and hair. 100% made in Brussels.
Until the end of December you can visit the (tiny) pop-up store in the Galeries Royale Saint-Hubert in Brussels. There you can discover the entire range of soaps and even cut and stamp your own bar of soap.
Our Christmas gift tip. The Porto Red Wine soap (from 12,50 €) is a lovely gift for any wine lover out there.
Koningsgalerij 4, Brussels and online.
Senteurs d’Ailleurs is probably the best known niche fragrance store in Belgium. It offers an impressive range of fragrance houses and has an equally impressive range of skincare brands in the store next-door that also has a Spa. Its clients are very
The clientele is very international, so it will be easier to be helped in French or English than in Dutch. But that should not stop you from visiting, the selection is worth it.
Our Christmas gift tip. Mizensir is the beautiful fragrance brand of famous perfumer Alberto Morillas and can only be found here in our country, as far as we know.
Stefaniaplaats 1A, Brussels and online.
Smell Stories only sells fragrance brands that have a story to tell. The shop has a nice selection of small independent fragrance labels you will not easily find elsewhere. The owners regularly add new brands to the range so there is always something new to discover. Good to know: the range is deliberately kept affordable.
Our Christmas gift tip. The latest addition to the shop are the fragrances of Patricia de Nicolaï, Jean-Paul Guerlain’s niece who creates scents that are just as beautiful as the ones Guerlain created.
Verversstraat 15, Brussels and online