Makeup Shopping in the Netherlands: Skins Cosmetics

I’ve been in the Netherlands just over a month now, and now that we’ve settled in, I’ve started to explore some of the makeup and beauty retailers here, and I wanted to share some of them with you.

Skins Cosmetics Rotterdam

I discovered Skins Cosmetics in my quest for a good sulfate-free shampoo here in Rotterdam. My scalp has been reacting horribly to a number of drugstore and health food store shampoo brands and I was getting desperate for some relief. Skins Cosmetics stocks O&M, an Australian haircare brand I am familiar with, and I thought it was my best chance to find something to soothe my inflamed scalp.

Haircare at Skins Cosmetics

Stepping into the Skins Cosmetics concept store felt almost like stepping into an ultra-modern apothecary. The walls are lined with beautifully packaged lotions, potions, perfumes and candles with a very artisinal feel. Skins Cosmetics defines themselves as a high-end retailer of niche brands that have achieved cult status on an international level, and although they stock many brands I am unfamiliar with, I immediately recognised their large displays of Diptyque, Aesop, Laura Mercier and Ellis Faas.

Diptyque Display 1

Diptyque Display 3

Ellis Faas Display

Laura Mercier Display

I was greeted (in English, no less – she heard me talking to my daughter!) by a really lovely sales assistant. When I told her I was looking for a sulfate-free shampoo, and that I had a very sensitive scalp, she happily furnished me with a couple of samples, with no pressure at all to buy.

Sincare Display at Skins Cosmetics

When I returned to purchase the shampoo and conditioner I liked the best, I asked to try one of the foundations they stocked. I was correctly colour matched (that almost never happens for me – most retail makeup artists struggle to match me to an appropriate foundation shade) and given a generous pot of foundation – enough for a week or two. I was given some perfume and skincare samples as well, and treated like a friend throughout the whole experience.

Byredo Candle Display

Byredo Perfume Display

My positive experience was only reinforced by the fact that I had my children with me both times I visited the store, and not only was I treated well, they were both acknowledged by the staff, and also treated well – a rarity at makeup stores and counters.

Dr Vranges Display


There are 11 Skins Cosmetics stores in total, 10 in the Netherlands, and 1 in Ibiza. The store locations are listed here, and they also offer worldwide shipping.

*This is in no way a sponsored post. This article was written before Skins Cosmetics even knew I existed. I asked and received permission to photograph the store after all the experiences I mentioned in this article, so I was given absolutely no special treatment.

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