Beauty Shopping In The Netherlands: Branded Stores

Updated 18 May 2011

In this third instalment of the Beauty Shopping in the Netherlands series, we will explore the branded stores. The first two names are home-grown brands, what I would proudly categorise under Much About Dutch. Again, I do not claim this to be a comprehensive list as there may be other stores that I am not aware of.

1. Rituals
Rituals is a lifestyle brand. The first brand in the world to combine Home & Body cosmetics. Founded by Raymond Cloosterman around a decade ago, Rituals is a Dutch retail chain that offers pampering products for both the home and for personal care. Rituals coined the word “masstige” which refers to products of quality on par with prestigious brands but offered at accessible prices. In other words, chic and luxurious products available at around, say, The Body Shop prices.

Basically, Rituals’ product offering encompasses body care, facial care, gemstone makeup, home perfumes, kitchen care, tea and even bath towels.

The underlining philosophy of this brand is to turn everyday routines into special pampering rituals. It advocates self-awareness and savouring the moment. Such rituals can be practised in the comfort of your own home using Rituals’ products. However, Rituals has expanded its business model with the opening of several City Spas in the last couple of years, two of which are in the Netherlands and one in Belgium. In these City Spas, facials, massages, manicures and pedicures are offered for both men and women. I had a look at their City Spa brochure the other day and I must admit that the treatments all sound fabulously pampering.

Rituals has expanded rapidly in the last few years and has a store in just about every city in this country. The products are also available in some parfumerie stores and departmental stores. Rituals also has a retail presence in Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Kroatia, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain and the UK.

To have an idea of what its products are like, you might like to read my overview and extensive review of the Rituals Hammam line of body care products.

2. KOH
You would already know about the KOH Experience Shop, better known as the nail polish heaven. If you still don't, I suggest that you check my previous articles on the KOH brand that was founded by Margreet van Roemburg, and the shop.

I’ve been informed that the KOH Experience Shop has recently moved to a different location, just a short distance from the previous spot. It is still on the Second Floor of de Bijenkorf in Amsterdam. I haven’t seen the new shop yet, but I bet it’s got yet another facelift. It’s getting quite hard to keep up!

3. MAC
As far as I know, there is only one dedicated MAC store here and it is in Amsterdam. I’m warning you. It’s one tiny, narrow shop. Fortunately, MAC is also available elsewhere: at de Bijenkorf departmental store in several cities and in some of the bigger Douglas parfumerie stores.

4. The Body Shop
The legacy of the late Dame Anita Roddick needs no introduction here, I’m sure. Its shops are ubiquitous! In the Netherlands, they can be found in just about every city.

Ahh, Lush. Surely you would have heard of the UK-headquartered Lush before. Did you know that long before the Lush identity was born, the founder Mark Constantine, together with a partner, were already making bath and beauty products using natural ingredients for other companies, the most noteworthy being The Body Shop?

Lush has retail presence in more than forty countries around the world. In the Netherlands, there are six stores, two of which are in Amsterdam.

6. L’Occitane
L’Occitane en Provence is another lovely brand with cosy-looking stores that always smell so so divine. L’Occitane was founded in Provence by Olivier Baussan at around the same time when The Body Shop was launched. I doubt I need to say much here as L’Occitane is present in around 85 countries. L’Occitane is available in six cities in the Netherlands.

7. Yves Rocher
This is a name that I don’t see that often in beauty blog world. It is a brand that has been in existence for a little over fifty years and with sales points all over the world. It has its roots in Brittany, France, started by the late Yves Rocher who was very passionate about producing beauty products using plants as its main ingredients. This is a company steeped in history, strong ethical values and botanical expertise and with its own botanical garden and laboratoria to boot.

Yves Rocher offers products in the area of skincare, haircare, perfume and makeup, among other things, all available at very budget-friendly prices. In many ways except for the prices, this brand and its ethos remind me of L’Occitane.

It was also a pioneer in beauty mail order shopping. Moving with the times, it is now active with its online shops serving many countries around the world. In the Netherlands, there are now also Yves Rocher stores in several major cities. I've come across only one such store and I thought the ambience in the store rather reminded me of The Body Shop.

8. Sabon
This is another brand offering bath and body products in very elegant, cosy stores quite like L’Occitane’s but with a different colour scheme. Sabon had its humble beginnings in 1974 in Israel when a couple started making soaps using a blend of local herbs, flowers and fragrant oils. Well, they’ve come a long way since then and its glorious range of products currently also includes shower gels, bath salts, body oils and lotions, foot creams, scented candles and perfume. There are currently stores dotted all around the world and in the Netherlands, I believe there are seventeen dedicated stores.

Updated: 21 December 2010

9. Make Up Store
A new addition! Make Up Store is a Swedish brand begun by Mika Liias. His first store opened in Stockholm in 1996 and today Make Up Store has 160 stores in 22 countries. We, in the Netherlands, are a bit late but the brand finally opened its maiden store here in mid-2010. This one store is located in the heart of Amsterdam’s main shopping area, funnily enough, just two doors away from the MAC store. Address: Heiligeweg 9.

As the name suggests, the brand has a full range of makeup products, anything from foundations to nail polishes, one of which is shown here. Make Up Store also offers makeup lessons/courses – both private and in groups. If I’m not mistaken, the space upstairs above the store is where they conduct the lessons.

Updated: 18 May 2011

10. Inglot
The Netherlands finally has an Inglot Cosmetics store!

Inglot is a Polish brand that has been around for more than twenty years. It's an established brand in its home country but over the years it's been steadily gaining popularity overseas with the opening of more and more stores. There are currently more than 200 Inglot retail stores worldwide.

The founder, Wojtek Inglot, was a chemist by training. I read that, in the early days, Mr Inglot went to New York to attend a convention for cosmetic chemists, mainly for the purpose of networking. He learnt a lot from those he met there and from their laboratories. In fact, his first nail polish was made using an American formula.

The Inglot store in Amsterdam opened for business in early May 2011. It has pretty much the standard Inglot store interior - sleek, large and spacious with rows and rows of colours of nail polishes, eyeshadows, lipsticks, etc.

Its location is quite a distance from the main shopping area in Amsterdam (where say, MAC and Make Up Store are located). Instead, it is closer to the Rijksmuseum and PC Hooftstraat (Amsterdam's chic area filled with luxury brand stores). Address: van Baerlestraat 8.

The other instalments in this series can be found here.


Unknown said...

That's it I'm packing myself in a crate and shipping me to The Netherlands and then on to a few other countries.

Skulda said...

Agree with EvilAngel. I want to go. :(

Denysia Yu said...

Wow, I really need to go to Europe and try out some of the beauty brands over there! :D

Shop N' Chomp said...

What a great introduction! I like the concept behind Rituals. =D

Anonymous said...

I agree with Evil Angel too! Would LOVE to do that! So jealous of Mum and Dad - they'll be there in July on tour for a day or two. Let's hope they get free time. I'm sending Mum your posts as we speak!! Another fantastic post! Thank you xx

twinsouls888 said...

I always find your post about stores and shops in Netherlands really sophisticated and elegant , very pretty. It always makes me want to go there lol. Happy weekend girl ;)

DinaXYYan said...

Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to visit Netherlands one day :D
and thanks for the greetings too :)

lavender said...

Thanks for your detailed write-up, as always!I just came back from China, visit me to see some pics.

Witoxicity said...

@Evil Angel
Let me know which harbour your ship will be arriving at and I will arrange to have your crate picked up. ;)

I'm sure there will be opportunity for you to come visit Europe one day! :)

Come on over then! :)

@Shop N' Chomp
Thanks, my dear. I'm quite taken by Rituals' concept too. :)

@The Diva's Polish
As always, I'm very pleased that you enjoyed this post. Hmm, why don't you join Mum and Dad on the trip too? They can go visit the tourist attractions while you shop till you drop! :D

I hope you will come visit the Netherlands. Do have a great weekend too! :)

I'm sure you will have the opportunity to swing by Europe one day. :)

The pleasure's all mine, my dear. :)

The Beautifier said...

All these lovely pics of the beauty stores over Netherlands makes me wanna visit these beautiful places even more! It must be a fantastic experience beauty shopping in Netherlands hun xoxo

Anonymous said...

Omgosh I'm in LOVE with the architecture of the Ritual building on the first photo! It looks so exquisite!

Witoxicity said...

@The Beautifier
Well, you know what they say: The grass is always greener on the other side. I'm of the opinion that beauty shopping in the UK is even more fantastic AND I know that's true! :D

My thoughts exactly when I first saw the building! :)

Unknown said...

I love L'Occitane, they have great skin cremes, and I recently went to Lush and feel in love with their products, so nice!

Witoxicity said...

Hi, Jackie! Yes, L'Occitane has fantastic cremes. I especially love their shea butter hand cream and their solid perfumes too. :)

Cynthia Z said...

I love this post. Makes me want to go shopping! Or go to Italy or Paris or ya Netherlands :D
I've seen Yves Rocher here too, but haven't had a close look at the stuff. Will do that sometime. You know, 'Sabon' means soap in my mother tongue :)
Very nice pics!


Witoxicity said...

It's always good to know that you enjoy such a post. I believe there are very similar variations to the word 'sabon' in several languages for soap, anything from jabón to sabun. :)

Joopah said...

I moved to Den Haag last Feb (from the US). Thank you so much for this series !! I really enjoyed reading them, and had made lists of places to visit. I wish we have Skins in Den Haag tho. I badly want Ellis Faas .

Witoxicity said...

The pleasure's all mine, Zulfa! I'm very glad to know that you find this series useful. There are still more instalments to come, by the way.

As for Ellis Faas, you could try the Skins in Amsterdam or Rotterdam. These cities aren't that far away from Den Haag. Or you could order it online through the Ellis Faas webshop. :)

Anonymous said...

Again a great post. You must have done lots of research for this series. Thumbs up, Nicole.

Witoxicity said...

Thanks, Nicole! Yes, writing for this series has been very time-consuming but at the same time, it has been an enjoyable experience. :)