The tenacious founder of cult skincare brand, Allies of Skin, on honesty, success and Tom Ford

It has only been slightly over two years since Nicolas Travis launched his skincare brand Allies of Skin with just one product—the 1A All-Day Mask—and five years since he first started working on it. Since then, he has sealed deals with Net-a-Porter, Sephora, Lane Crawford, and recently, Harrods to stock his products in their stores. Allies of Skin's presence in major markets in Asean, the US and the UK, as well as smaller markets such as Poland and the Czech Republic, have opened the doors for discussions with distributors and retailers in the Middle East for the brand.

Behind the scenes, Nicolas, who studied biomedical science and pharmaceutical science, works tirelessly with two laboratories in the US to create and test his products to perfection. Earlier this year, he also began working with another lab in South Korea and for 2018 alone, he will be launching nine new formulas.

Despite the plethora of things that Nicolas has and wants to do, his enthusiasm for work and life never dries out, although a glass of tequila or vodka lime soda does keep him going. And his unwavering drive is infectious, just like his megawatt smile. He shares more about his dreams and what goes behind building Allies of Skin.

Brand philosophy

Allies of Skin is sophisticated, effective and honest because we’re pro-transparency. We talk about what’s in our formulas and the specific amounts of ingredients, which is important because these days, people are hyperaware of what they put on their skin.”

(Related: Meet Nicolas Travis, Founder of Singapore’s Latest Skincare Brand, Allies of Skin)

Support system

“My family has always known about my obsession with good skin and skincare. At age 19, I told them that I wanted to create my own skincare line. Now that I have, I find a lot of fulfilment in helping people with their skin and making them feel comfortable in it.”

Eat, sleep, prep, repeat

“When Allies of Skin grew really quickly, people said we were an overnight success. But to me, we weren’t, because I spent two-and-a-half years before that getting the brand, the products and myself ready. I don’t believe in overnight successes.


“When I grow up, I want to be like Tom Ford—always ahead of the curve, taking risks and doing things his way even when there are restrictions. And just as he pushes the envelope with his fashion and beauty brands, I want to see how far I can go with Allies of Skin.”

Travel essentials

"I travel for work at least once a month and three things I always have with me are my Allies of Skin Molecular Saviour Mist, silk eye shades and melatonin."