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 4: beauty webshops.
Beauty industry veteran Helen Willems became fascinated with K-Beauty during a business trip to Seoul. She decided to start her own webshop, selling Korean beauty brands, and named it BE-OO-KAY. Be stands for Belgian, Oo for the surprising textures that K-Beauty is known for and Kay is a wink to K-Beauty. Helen picked out lesser known Korean brands with an authentic story.
Our Christmas gift pick. It’s hard to pick one gift: Maycoop offers amazing textures, Yadah’s Green Tea Pure Cleansing Balm (22,90 €) is a personal favourite of Sofie and its Anti-Trouble range is great for sensitive teenage skin that has to deal with pimples (aka Sofie’s teenagers).
MUA Kim Maes launched her webshop back in 2016 and opened its brick-and-mortar store in Hasselt three years later. She only sells ‘clean’ and natural (international and Belgian) beauty and wellness products she strongly believes in and uses herself. (Like Ilia, Susanne Kaufmann, Verso, Vintner’s Daughter, The Glow, Guud and Belgian newbie Moro.) You just need to take one look at her gorgeous, glowy skin and you know she knows what works and what doesn’t.
Our Christmas gift pick. One of the gorgeous Savons Gemme Stone Soaps (22 € a piece): they are cut by hand so every bar looks different and are suited for any skin type, even (more) sensitive skin. Why have a boring soap bar in your bathroom when you can have a jewel-like one? (We also like putting soap bars between our folded clothing to make it smell nice.)
Dokter Willemsstraat 16 Hasselt and online of course.
Kris Schoeters worked at a famous skin clinic for years before she launched her own webshop. Her goal: help every customer find his/her/x ideal skincare routine. You can ask for personal advice but Kris often goes live on Instagram, too, talking about skin, skin care and make-up. She is véry passionate about skin and caring for it and even graduated from a cosmetology course. And she started her own Symbiotic Skincare with pre and probiotics to help skin (and its microbiome) get back in balance.
Our Christmas gift pick. A great gift for anyone suffering from dehyrated, broken skin on their hands or anyone who likes taking good care of tham. Belgian Nannic’s The Walking Hand Spa (81,90 €) has everything you need to keep your hands in good shape or get them back to their healthy state. (There are some impressive before and after pictures of broken skin on hands that looked much better after 3 days use.) The Cleansing Foam gently but efficiently cleanses hands, the repairing hand serum repairs, nourishes and is packed with ingredients that help keep your hands look younger for longer. Apply the serum, then put on the special gloves so the formula can penetrate better.
Our beauty colleague Sanne De Lee, her partner and a befriended couple launched SQÓN last year. The webshop specializes in environment-friendly (zero waste) beauty. Everything has been tried and tested extensively and is made in Belgium or the Netherlands, thus keeping the products’ environmental footprint as small as possible. You can buy the products separately but Sanne also composed beauty ritual boxes that contain everything you need for shaving or washing your hair in a more ecological way.
Our Christmas gift pick. The beauty ritual boxes not only are a great gift to give/receive they are also a handy and clever buy if you want to be more environment-friendly in the bathroom but have no idea where to begin. The Relax ritual (75 €) is perfect if you are in need of some me time in your own bathroom. It contains a body scrub that smell like lemon pie from Dutch brand Flow Cosmetics, a purifying facial mask by Belgian Bobone, a ylang ylang scented candle by Gerhilde maakt and a scrub mitt.
MUA Peggy Timmermans aka the queen of glowy skin (well, that’s how I like to call her) launched her own webshop last year that offers a very nice selection of her favourite make-up products, tools and skincare. She sure knows her stuff after 14 years in the beauty business: if Peggy likes a specific highlighter, you can be sure it is a good one that will not make you look like a glitter disco ball. This year, she added Danessa Myricks and Nabla’s make-up to her webshop and the brow care of Eyebrowqueen.
Our Christmas gift pick. Nabla’s Cutie Palette in Nude (23,50 €). A lot of eye shadow palettes contain three or more eye shadow shades you will never ever use, which I think is a waste of product and money. The six (metallic) hues in this palette are versatile, wearable and very well priced.
After working in the beauty industry for many years, Ciska Dings decided to launch her own webshop, selling only products she herself loves and uses. The brands/products she offers are as natural, environment friendly and honest as possible. The range, including Verso, True Organic of Sweden, Ere Perez, Perricone MD, Linea Mammababy and her own sunscreen brand Skin by Dings, is no-nonsense and efficient, just like the lady selling it. You have no idea how to pick the right product(s)? Ciska loves giving advice and is very good at it. On Wednesday afternoons you can even pop in at the webshop’s ‘backstage’ for some advice and a good talk IRL.
Our Christmas gift pick. Manucurist’s nail polishes (14 € a piece) are easy to paint your nails with, stay chip-free for a (very) long time and come in pretty colours. They are a nice stocking filler or Secret Santa gift. Me personally, I would be extremely happy with a collagen boosting cure of Revitaltrax (100 € for 90 days). It does not come cheap but Ciska swears by it for glowy skin from within (and advises you to mix it with some raspberry or grapefruit juice as it does not taste that nice.)
Opening picture: Sqon (copyright: Tjorven Photography)