An Interview With ... Influencer, Silke van der Laan

Model, beauty guru, owner of Indigo Cosmetics and Canal House Ambassador, Silke van der Laan, gives us an inside look at her Amsterdam ...

Silke, tell us a bit about you and what you do for a living?

My main business is being a distributor for a cult skin care brand emerginC and their organic line Scientific Organics. They have recently released a new line called Rawceutical and I absolutely love it.

Firstly it’s a brand with consience, that really did wonders for my skin; but also it cares and nurtures for the environment. I am proud to say that they replanted 430,000 trees in Madagascar, which now has wild life and flora returning to a formerly barren piece of land; also creating jobs!

It’s the brand you would create if you wanted to start a skincare line; make sure it works, but produce conscientiously, source naturally…and give back.

What places would you suggest for the best beauty buys in Amsterdam?

We are slowly getting more and more to great places, like Skins and Cosmania, but I like Babassu (cornelis Schuyt straat)the most myself. They seem to always find the special things from all over the world that I notice too while traveling. That not-to-be-found-elsewhere Italian parfume, that great make up brand, and perfect gifts.

What is the best spa for treatments in Amsterdam?

We don't really have a spa culture in the Netherlands. So I find that either the locations are great, or the treatments, but I find it hard to find both. I don’t like aggressive facials, I left my face on the floor of a treatment room one too many times. So the Conservatorium spa Akasha is great because of their holistic approach. The W hotel spa is a must see, very glam and exciting, in the vault of an old bank building. But better go for a massage, not a facial.

If you have any skin issues, rather book an appointment with the straight forward miracle worker Gwen van Lammeren. A must-go according to top blogster Karin barnhoorn from Chapter 50. Or Stefanie Winter at Hoogte Kadijk 38, both near enough to Canal House, and Hoogte kadijk has a fab coffee place in a nice and upcoming chic area. Stefanie is a great therapist and is fluent in German.Gwen is located in the Body Tuning Clinic (jan luijkenstraat) just a street down from big shopping street PC Hooft straat.

You know Amsterdam inside and out, any out-of-the-way fashion haunts that are worth a visit?

Really the one place not to miss, the place which instantly transforms you in to yourself, in a way you never imagined….And fall in love OR want to make out with that gorgeous creature in the mirror, well, that place is Menage a Trois in Hotel Droog, staalstraat 7 a . The two female owners are on the floor themselves. They have the best eye for fashion, but more importantly, for people. They have an eclectic range of brands, but even if you go outside your comfort zone, you’ll notice you’ll wear the hell out of whatever you buy there, their taste and advice is so spot-on.. You will thank me for this one.

What beauty and fashion spots make you excited?

I love the new Haartheater store on Beethoven straat. A fab space that makes you feel in 1920’s New York. It’s a great hair salon, but also the only place i know that offers organic pedicures that are AWESOME. Best place to go for those.

If you want to get glammed up and head out for the night, where do you go?

I have my places.. Love haar Theater for that mani/pedi and hair color, (try and get Ferry, although exclusive & elusive). Shampoo Planet for cuts and blow dries (ask for Chris. Love that guy, he did my hair for this shoot. The day before. Thats how good he is. ) There is also a great place on ceintuurbaan 23, the Blow Dry Brow Bar, where you can do blow dries, facials, eyebrows and nails. Very low key, not fancy but great results and will always manage to fit you in some how.

When you need a bit of down time, where do you go to escape in the city?
I book a room in the Canal House. Really. Even though I practically live here or I chill at most days in the garden of the Hotel. My other place I love to go to is home, but realize sometimes its not enough.

If you had 24 hours in Amsterdam, what would make your must-do list?
I would start with breakfast at Vinnies, I love the Shakshuka; they have a great middle eastern touch.It offers a nice variety of healthy food, not that grey blubber that causes instant unhappiness that you get in so many healthy cafes. ( Try their free range chicken curry marsala sandwich with pickled cucumber, pickled red onion and lime&koriander for lunch) . Then a museum stop at Stedelijk or Rijks, such riches to chose from here..or pick a small one like van Loon that really gives you an inside in what it was like to live in Amsterdam during the Golden Age.

But walking through the city you might also pass the old orphanage. Haesje Claes, a wealthy lady, donated one of her houses to be used as an orphanage when the plague wiped out so many people, leaving a lot of children parentless. It shows a fascinating inside view of the era without you having to go indoors or buy tickets. You can literally walk through. Then have a drink at the Lobby on Nes plein. The atmosphere is great, staff is friendly (a big wow in amsterdam) and offering the best flamm kuchen. Or try hidden delight Captain Zeppos, but promise not to tell any one. And don't make me sorry i told you.

Keep walking from there, over the bookmarkt, and guess what? You are almost on the Staalstraat. And… I think.. yes, it is starting to rain..! So now you are forced to go into Hotel Droog and meet the ladies from Menage a Trois… and consequently learn what you were supposed to look like.

Of course after that you can either go to dinner at the gebroeders Hartering, my all time favorite place here, or leave dinner and head straight to MISC on kloveniersburgwal 20 for the most romantically beautiful little cocktail bar bordering the red light district. Here the owner will whip you up North sea crab, gyoza's, dim sums and other not-your-average finger food. I had a fresh cucumber juice bloody mary there last night (no tomatoes to be seen). Still blind in one eye, but man, was it worth it.! Archibald the embalmed bat sits on the bar for you to talk to if you happen to travel alone. Under glass. A great place actually, for also the lonesome traveller.

If you can still walk, go to the NL lounge where a great DJ will be playing. Dance the night away, roll back to the Canal house and beg them to extend your stay for another 24 hours, so you can sleep this day off. What fun we had! And how great we looked doing it!