Mornings In: The Netherlands

What does a typical Dutch beauty routine looks like? How do the ladies of the Netherlands get their hair so shiny?! And do they really put chocolate sprinkles on their breakfast toast? Click through to read about one Dutch woman's breakfast + beauty routine! >>
Those Dutch girls are gorgeous, aren’t they? All that blond hair and flawless skin – what’s their secret? Today Laura is telling us all about her Dutch beauty + breakfast routine, including what she sprinkles on top of her toast and the Dutch makeup line she swears by! (Don’t worry, us non-Dutch ladies can buy it online.)

: Laura Doorneweerd
Hometown: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Age: 32
Occupation: improv trainer and actress. I make stuff up for a living.
My alarm is set for 9:00 am

dutch breakfast

My Dutch breakfast

I recently became a fan of mug cake, a super easy banana, egg and oatmeal dish. Starting the day with tea and cake is great (and healthy!). If I am in a hurry I will get a latte and a croissant at the train station and take that with me in the train.

The green smoothie trend has reached the Netherlands now too. Lots of my friends are blending fruits and veggies together to have for breakfast. I like chewing in the morning, so I am not following this latest hype.

I was raised on the typical Dutch breakfast: whole wheat bread with cheese, peanut butter or chocolate sprinkles and a glass of milk. On special occasions I love indulging in that. And eggs! And pancakes! Ow, how I love having a big breakfast with my family on holidays.

The Dutch don’t have a tradition of eating out for breakfast. Most breakfast places in Amsterdam are aimed at tourists and are managed by Australians, Americans, Brazilians or Scandinavians.


dutch beauty routine

My Dutch beauty routine

My day starts with showering and washing my hair with simple, unbranded shampoo. If I use any hair product, it is the hairdresser’s brand Keune.

I often do my makeup while commuting: this can be in the train, but I also am quite skilled in doing it on the ferry now. It is a little windy but I finally manage to not get mascara in my hair.

I only use HEMA makeup, a very well known Dutch warehouse with lovely, down-to-earth products. It is a very popular brand for ladies in the Netherlands.

Though I mostly buy the simple brands, I do spend quite some money on the best brand for daily contact lenses: Optiview Saturnus. My eyes get infected easily and glasses are not handy when rolling over the stage.

My Dutch commute

I head to work by ferry and bike, or train, or plane. Wherever my work takes me. Every day I will take the ferry, because I live close to ‘t IJ, a river crossing Amsterdam. The ferry is free, it runs 24/7 and people take their bikes and scooters on there. For me, it is the perfect moment to look at the water and relax before starting the day.

I don’t own a car, just like most people living in Amsterdam. The Netherlands is a very small and very flat country, so perfect for cycling. That means a bike and a public transport card will take you anywhere.

Thanks so much for sharing, Laura! Do we have any other Dutch readers who can weigh in?

P.S. My 3-product makeup kit + The breakfast and beauty routines of women in Costa Rica, Greece, and Slovenia!

photo credits: delighted momma // joanna slodownik // javier m // tim gouw // cc

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  1. Xandra

    Chocolate sprinkles on toast?! Totally adding this to my breakfast rotation. LOVE.

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      Right?! And it doesn’t feel like ‘junk food’ because it’s ‘cultural’! “Oh, I know it looks like I’m eating too much sugar for breakfast BUT DUTCH PEOPLE DO IT AND WE ALL KNOW THEY’RE GORGEOUS AND HEALTHY.” 😉

      • Xandra

        Okay you’ve enabled me. 😛

        • Angelique

          Just piping in to let you know that chocolate sprinkles in the Netherlands are like tiny sprinkles of actual chocolate rather than the kind in America (which are sort of cocoa-y and plastic-y? not sure how to describe it). If you could track down Dutch chocolate sprinkles your breakfast experience would probably be even better 😉

  2. Ardith

    Love the Dutch, the Netherlands. My Dutch friend introduced me to her snack of De Ruijter chocolate sprinkles on white bread with butter years ago. So awesome. However, she could never convert me to Dutch black licorice. The first time she had me try a piece of this distinctly salty version I literally channeled Tom Hanks in the famous caviar scene of Big.

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      YES. I love black licorice but I draw the line at *salty* black licorice!

  3. Anouska

    As a fellow Dutchie I too was raised with chocolate sprinkles, but nowadays it’s mostly reserved for special occasions. I can’t handle having it in the house though. If I buy a box, it’ll be all gone within a week and I’ll make myself stick to something healthier for a few months after (until I NEED my chocolate sprinkles again! 😉 )

    Those living and/or working in the bigger cities are probably better off without a car, as traffic is horrible (at least for the few times I dared to go there with my car), but living in the city of Almere (which is near Amsterdam) and working in the small town of Huizen (about 25km away), I have to go by car (well, there is public transport, but that’d take me about twice as long usually). I think outside of the bigger cities most people do have a car.

  4. Melanie F.

    Hello, blast from my past! My Mom is Dutch and we had “chocolate hail” on white toast for breakfast often. There is also a version of the sprinkles that is not chocolate, but is basically pink, orange and yellow sugar. My adult self is fascinated/horrified that Mom thought this was a fine way to start the day, but I guess a lot of foods that people eat for breakfast aren’t any better. (Nutella, sugar cereal, pastries & whatnot)

    • Sarah Von Bargen

      Right? I’m sure most non-Americans are horrified by Trix and Cookie Crunch cereals!

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