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Focus - Beauty
The Bulletin opens up its summer beauty black book to help you get beach-ready
It’s summer (no, really it is, don’t let that ominous grey sky fool you) and the spectre of having to wear a bathing suit is hovering on the horizon, like a jellyfish in the shallows at Knokke. Thankfully, help is at hand: The Bulletin has asked around and come up with a list of Brussels’ best summer spruce-up beauty treatments.
The Wax Zone chain has four branches in Brussels (Ixelles, Etterbeek, Bascule and Stockel) and one in Waterloo, and offers no-frills, no-appointment-necessary waxing services, as well as manicures, facials and body treatments. Very regular users might want to consider the membership option (a full leg wax, for instance, is €10.90 for members instead of €23.90) which costs €10 a month.
The ultimate indulgent body treatment
A foot reflexology treatment, followed by a body scrub and massage and a generous application of La Mer’s wickedly effective body cream in one of Senteurs d’Ailleurs’ luxurious new treatment rooms leaves you floppy with relaxation and your skin soft as a newborn.
60-minute treatment € 115
Giant, intimidatingly hip concept store Smets has an Opi nail bar in its ground-floor beauty corner (an offshoot of the Cosmeticary boutique, near Bourse) and they’re now offering the Opi Gel Manicure: a fabulously tough, long-lasting high-gloss nail treatment in a good range of colours. It takes a little longer than a conventional manicure – you need to UV-dry the nails between each coat – but you won’t chip or smudge it trying to find your keys on the way home.
Opi Gel Manicure €45
The best blow-dry
Laurent Semeraro worked at John Frieda in London for years before setting up Trendy, his tiny, friendly salon near Place Stéphanie, so his English is perfect and he’s a genius with the dryer. He’s a marvel: quiet and precise, says one fan. Prices are really competitive too.
Blow-dry from €19
Down on Dansaert where grooming – even of the artfully ungroomed variety – is essential, Monsieur K offers a full range of salon services for gentlemen: mani-pedis, waxing, micro-dermabrasion and even a hot chocolate massage.
Long-lasting lash extensions
Lash extensions are time-consuming and fiddly to fix (the initial session where the therapist will affix anything from 100 to 150 individual lashes to each eye takes about 90 minutes), but the results are exceptional: and you can say goodbye to mascara for weeks. Graphic Beauté uses the Misencil system and recommends a touch-up after around three weeks.
€150 for the first session, €50 for touch-ups
The super-effective anti-cellulite massage
Martine de Richeville, the Parisian queen of anti-cellulite treatments, now has a salon in Brussels. Her trademark massage (and it’s literally trademarked: that’s how seriously Parisiennes take their beauty) isn’t cheap or exactly relaxing – some have even described the tough lymphatic drainage techniques as painful – but it is incredibly effective: clients generally report inch-loss as well as greatly improved skin tone.
€130 for a single session, €110 each if you book the recommended series of 10
The precision facial
Anglophones swear by Karen Sammon and the brilliant Dermalogica custom facials in her salon near Schuman. The salon also offers a full range of waxing, threading and Fake Bake fake tan treatments, as well as a Beauty INC nail bar.
Dermalogica facial from €50 for 45 minutes
The indulgent tanning treatment
One of Brussels’ best-known beauty destinations, Nadine Salembier, offers a full self-tanning treatment including hydromassage bath, exfoliation with a marine mud scrub, hydrating massage and a free touch-up service. At €130 it’s expensive, but luxurious.
The quick spray tan
If you’re in a hurry or on a tighter budget, the spray tan service at Studio Tan takes 10 minutes and costs €26 for a full-body treatment.
A medical pedicure isn’t generally much fun, but Laurent Divry has perked his service up by offering a softening, conditioning fish pedicure from the famous, dead-skin-loving Garra Rufa fish before he gets the pointy tools out. Laurent is utterly scrupulous about hygiene and fish welfare, so you can get your toes nibbled with peace of mind.
€50 for fish plus medi-pedi, €30 for a half-hour session of fish alone.
Benefit uses waxing rather than threading at its in-store Brow Bars, which isn’t to everyone’s taste, but the therapists are meticulous, painstaking and super-skilled at shaping a flattering brow line. They also offer a make-up touch-up after the treatment to ensure you won’t scare small children when you leave. An appointment isn’t always needed, but it’s recommended at busier times.
€21 for a brow wax and shape
The organic mineral facial
Organic beauty boutique La Feuille has recently opened a pretty, garden-view treatment room offering massages and facials with super-effective and skin-kind Breton beauty brand Iroisie. The therapist, Muriel, comes every Thursday specially from the Ritz in Paris, no less, and her facial massage is so popular that sessions fill up weeks in advance. Book early.
Iroisie facial from €70
Superb cut and colour
For a top-quality sympathetic cut and colour, try the lovely Christophe Lambenne at Dessange on Avenue Louise. Christophe – who speaks excellent English and is happy styling both men and women – combines his role at the salon with editorial work for top women’s magazines and gives great, thoughtful advice. Prices vary from €48 for a simple men’s cut, to anything around €160 to €200 for long hair with a full head of highlights.
More in the June issue of The Bulletin, now available on iPad for free!