History & concept
In 2000, Skins Cosmetics caused a revolution in the Dutch cosmetics retail, because it was the first store in the Netherlands that exclusively sold niche brands that hadn't been available in the Netherlands before. The founders of Skins Cosmetics had a clear vision: to only sell perfume, make-up and skin care products that weren't very well-known in the Netherlands, but that had (and have) an iconic status abroad. Not only the brands, but also the stores' interior design and the service distinguish Skins from other cosmetics' stores. The people who work at Skins have a passion for their profession and are proud of the wonderful brands and love to share this with their customers. Sampling has always been an inextricable part of this. Customers are always invited and stimulated to take samples home with them in order to experience the difference to other products, or to see which products are best for them. There is absolutely no pressure to buy the products on the spot. It's the long term that counts at Skins, building a connection and showing customers what else there is to find in the world of perfume and cosmetics. We want people to be happy with their purchases and with the personal, independent advice that we give them. This has already resulted in various awards since opening day, like the prestigious annual retail award for service and innovation and the award 'Amsterdam Entrepreneur of the Year'.
Niche brands are characterised by a certain small-scaliness. Mostly, there are big multinationals involved in this and often, the inventor is also the owner and is therefore free to sail his or her own course. The result is a product that is made with passion. Not only the bottom line results are taken into consideration, but mainly the result in the stores: the product itself. These small-scaled brands that remain true to their phylosofy will obviously grow as well. Some brands have their own complete stores abroad (like Aēsop, Diptyque and Creed) and counters in the best, most exclusive department stores (for example Laura Mercier in Bergdorff Goodman and Liberty) and are mentioned in the leading international media. Always free publicity, never purchased advertisements, because this is the most important part of the philosophy of these niche brands; all attention and margin go to the product - the quality of the base materials, innovative production methods, innovative designs. Each brand has its own story, always real and not made up by clever marketeers, but the life's work of people with a passion. Ancient history, handed over from generation to generation, or newly-discovered natural talents. In the Netherlands, most of these brands are still only available at Skins Cosmetics and some brands, like Le Labo, only in 20 other places in the world!
The fact that the philosophy of Skins works, is not only evident in the number of loyal ambassadors, but also in the increase of the number of stores. In 2013, the 10th store was opened. The Spa of Skins Cosmetics- Skins Institute (of the year 2009) has opened a second establishment; a brand-new spa in 5-star hotel De L’Europe in Amsterdam. The 12 Skins stores are a mix of franchise and privately-owned stores.
The greatest drive of everything that has to do with Skins is always passion. From the brands themselves to the daily business management in the stores. The company culture of Skins can best be compared to that of a family-owned company. Short lines, in which long-term vision is most important. Skins is still independent and is not part of a larger or stock market listed conglomerate.
Spending money on advertising or quality? Niche brands strongly respect their philosophy, the starting point always is: the quality of the product comes first. Costs are not spared on ingredients in order to be able to promote products. This way, rare (natural) ingredients can be applied that sometimes even cost more per kilo than gold. Due to the fact that no money is spent on expensive models, advertisements or broadcast time, no costs are recharged to the customers. Per balance, the final shopping prices are also not that different: a mainly synthetic perfume of the well-known brands from your "every-day perfumery", or a high-quality niche perfume from the Skins collection. Prices start from € 60,- for perfumes and you can purchase natural skin care products from €25,-. Sustainable make-up costs a minimum of €20,-. Of course, the Skins collection contains more valuable products as well, dependent on the ingredients and production volume. Our personal advice, tips from professionals and customized samples (to prevent bad bargains, and always when a perfume is presented as a gift) are always free of charge in our stores. The same goes for the unique and small-scaled events in the stores, for example a meet & greet with a world-famous brand owner, make-up tips from international make-up artists, workshops etc.
In this ever changing world, we are always looking for revolutionary concepts or brands that can further enhance Skins' product line. Currently, Nose Diagnose is such a brand. More than 2000 commercial and niche perfumes, analyzed one by one on fragrance notes and olfactive family and put into a brilliant algorithm in order to find a new personal perfume favourite within the Skins collection with the help of your profile of perfumes that you used in the past and present. This Nose diagnostic can be carried out on an iPad in the Amsterdam stores or on-site during an event or company party. New brands also contribute to the innovation of the Skins concept, big or small, or a classic that has been given new life, as long as it's authentic and special and led by someone with passion for his or her professions. Do you have suggestions for interesting contributions to the Skins collection? Email your tip to firstname.lastname@example.org
Online experience & Brands
In 2000, when Skins Cosmetics was founded, only around 40 interesting niche brands existed worldwide. By now, this number has almost multiplied by ten. Most of them are Skins-worthy brands, that unfortunately do not all fit in the physical stores. As market leader and ‘’first in’’ niche, we as Skins strive to have as many quality brands available as possible. That is why the range of brands in the online Skins store is even larger than in all the stores in the country. However, every brand can be ordered on the spot in the Skins stores and is delivered the following working day, without extra charges. Through the free Sample Service, which is available online but also through the stores, you can also try out perfumes that are only available online. This way, Skins can offer the largest and most exclusive range of niche brands in Europe, online and offline, with (free) worldwide shipping!
‘’We are looking forward to welcoming you in one of the Skins stores, where you can experience the difference yourself. You will find me there as well every now and then’’.
Co-founder Skins Cosmetics