March 10, 2014

International Beauty: Belgium

Welcome to another instalment of International Beauty, where I ask a blogger to tell us 3 cult beauty products from their country. Today we're visiting Belgium with Isabelle, who blogs over at Nails & Cupcakes. Over to you Isabelle!

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Belgium is a teeny tiny country right in between France, The Netherlands & Germany, and just across the canal from the United Kingdom. A lot of amazing international brands aren’t even stocked here (think NARS, Urban Decay, Hourglass, Physician’s Formula, ..), so choices are always a lot more limited. Having said that, we do profit from good pharmacy bargains as we are so close to France, stocking most of the French brands. And sometimes, when we’re very lucky, we get a little extended seasonal beauty collection from the couture houses. It was a tough one deciding whether I should really include only Belgian brands, or if I should talk about three products you probably wouldn’t find in a lot of other countries, not necessarily being by a Belgian brand. I chose the latter as there simple aren’t that many purely Belgian beauty brands out there, and even though there are more than three.. I haven’t tried all of them and felt strongly about recommending products I really actually swear by. 


First up is the All Matt Plus Shine Control foundation by Catrice. Catrice is a German brand, but is also sold in a few other European countries and… in Belgium! Hooray! It’s a very budget friendly brand and is sold in drugstores here, being in my opinion the best value brand you’ll find here. The All Matt Plus Shine Control foundation is a medium coverage fluid foundation that is supposed to have a matte finish, but actually has a slightly luminous finish which I prefer. There are four shades available, of which the lightest one is light enough for my very fair skin (not always easy to find a drugstore brand that will match a NC15 skin) & it’s only €6.59! 

Next is the Absolute Nude Eyeshadow Palette which is also by Catrice.. I just couldn’t help including it. For anyone who just can’t spend a lot of money on one of the Urban Decay Naked palettes.. This one is a great alternative. The color pay-off is quite nice, the texture of the eyeshadows is very smooth and soft and they apply gorgeously to the lid. You won’t be able to go super dark with these, but for a daily nude look (as the palette names implies), this is perfect! And you’ll pay merely €4.99.

Lastly I did include a truly Belgian brand, and one to be very proud of! ProNails is a Belgian nail care brand that bring out a few special collections a year, are on par with the big international salon brands with a huge basic range of polishes and also have an extensive collection of nail care products. Cuti Treat is an amazing Papaya cuticle treatment with little scrubby lychee bits to remove cuticles and remove dirt from your nails. It prepares your nails to soak up as much goodness as possible from your favourite nail treatment. Treatments by ProNails I really like are the Cuticle Food serum and the Tonic. The Tonic is a conditioner with vitamins and lemon oil designed to strengthen cuticles, while disinfecting the area as well. Cuticle Food is a moisturising cuticle serum which stimulates cell production, which makes your cuticles become softer and smoother in the long run. These all retail for about €15.00 in ProNails salons. 

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Thank you so much Isabelle! I have been longing to try the brand Catrice, and your recommendations just make me want to try the brand even more! If only they were available in Australia.

Isabelle writes over at Nails & Cupcakes about the two biggest loves of her life (food & beauty). She's a Belgian girl, who lived in London for a short while and fell in love with make-up there. When she moved back to Belgium she couldn't quite shake the habit of buying pretty makeup products, and after some time she really wanted to start a blog to share her findings and recipes with the world. You can find Isabelle on TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and on PINTEREST.

4 comments :

  1. This is really interesting....I am going to look at the other guys well...I'm really nosy...so I love reading about other countries...;)

    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. I was wondering when I saw this post in my feed as I lived in Belgium for a few months and asked my Belgian colleagues about Belgian brands and they couldn't say any! Though there are some brands that are manufactured in Belgium... From the top of my head I don't remember a lot except the Estée Lauder concealer I had. I'll def check for ProNails next time I visit! Thanks Isabelle!

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  3. Desperate to try Catrice (and Essence)! Interesting posts :)

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  4. I was soo surprised seeing Isabelle's name here, as I live in Belgium as well. She is right, we aren't a very 'rich' country when it comes to beauty brands. I do absolutely love Catrice. It's the best budget brand around. Such a shame we don't have a Sephora here in Belgium.

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