• Welcome to <i>Love the Look</i>

    Welcome to Love the Look

    Hi, I'm Mikkel Hyldebrandt. Welcome to my blog Love the Look - a beauty blog for him and her about products, favorites, trends, background and much more.

  • Photo: Ralph Lauren, L'Oréal Luxury PR

  • Photo: YSL, L'Oréal Luxury PR

LOVE THE LOOK

By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Lupita And Maison Lancôme

Just days ago it was revealed that the next spokesperson for French luxury cosmetics company Lancôme will be actress and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o. Personally, I am thrilled about the choice first and foremost, because Lupita has won over the hearts of millions not only because of her stunning performance in 12 Years A Slave, but also because she is already considered a major style icon and the epitome of beauty. She has simply taken the world by storm.

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And it is such a strong statement for Lancôme to choose a spokesperson with Kenyan roots and Mexican heritage even though Lancôme was among the other major cosmetics companies to introduce 'global skincare', which was created from the unifying notion that women all over the world - no matter ethnicity - share the same skin concerns. This also meant that Lancôme (along with Estee Lauder) was among the first to introduce marketing material featuring models of different ethnic backgrounds in the same ads.

"I am truly honored to join the Maison Lancôme, a brand with such a prestigious history and that I have always loved. I am particularly proud to represent its unique vision for women and the idea that beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman's freedom to be herself,” Lupita said in the official press release.

Lupita Nyong'o will join Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Penélope Cruz and the recently appointed young actress Lily Collins in the Lancôme line-up of beautiful women, and her campaign for the cosmetics and fragrance giant will be out in late summer.

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Something To Be Thrilled About!

Recently, I was asked by Berlin-based gallery MM Kunst to participate in their new lifestyle publication for international distribution. Of course, it is always flattering when your work is recognized - especially internationally - and when I received the finished magazine just days ago, I was even more thrilled to see how my words about bathing rituals had been transformed into a beautiful feature. So, thank you Federico, Daniele and MM Kunst for this opportunity! You can see the result below and under the photo I have included parts of the article, which guides you to taking the time to make your bath more of a ritual rather than a routine. Enjoy!

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Prep
Before even immersing into the wet element, prepare your skin so that it is both freed of the very outer layer of dead skin cells and invigorated to soak up the warmth of the water. The shortcut is to use a body scrub to gently enliven the skin, but if you want to really treat your skin, go for a dry brush. Smoothly brush from the feet up towards the heart to align with your body’s natural lymphatic flow - your skin will feel as if it is breathing, and it will be glowing from the stimulation of the blood flow in the skin’s surface. Purify the pores of your face with a facial mask, which will draw out impurities and also eliminate toxins in the skin surface.

Immerse
If you have access to a bathtub, fill it up with hot water and dissolve a handful of bath salt in the water. Bath salt, as opposed to a foamy bath gel, will not strip your skin of natural skin oils, but rather prevent the skin from soaking up too much water. Also, a bath salt will soften the skin aiding natural exfoliation of dead skin cells. If you take a shower, go for a mild shower gel, which will not strip your skin of natural oils. Scent is imperative for a truly immersive experience so choose a product with a scent that will please your senses and not throw you off balance (if it is too feminine for example). Let the warm water relax you for about 15-20 minutes and then finish the bathing part of the ritual by washing and conditioning your hair.

Soothe
Stepping out of the bath (you may need to rinse off the salted bath water in the shower), pat the skin dry with a soft towel - don’t rub it dry as the friction could irritate the warm and supple skin. If you have never tried a Turkish cotton towel, it is highly recommended. It doesn’t have the thickness of a plush towel, but it is extremely absorbent and very soft to the touch. Immediately following the toweling off massage a body oil into the skin, while it’s still moistened from the warm water. A so-called dry body oil is preferable because its chemical structure is so finely laced that it won’t leave an oily residue on the skin’s surface. And as for any oil: a little goes a long way so be careful not to overdose.

The final steps of your bathing ritual is to equip you to re-enter the world outside of your ritualized bubble: A few strokes of deodorant will have you smelling good, a couple of sprays of fragrance to your torso will make you smell even greater, and a nice face cream will get your face ready to meet the world, which by now is less plagued by dreary routine.

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Madonna’s Good Genes

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Photo: PR

Around this time last year Madonna launched her first signature scent 'Truth or Dare', and now she upping her beauty game even more with a new skincare regimen named MDNA Skin. The three products - a chrome clay mask, a skin rejuvinator and a serum - are a state-of-the-art treatment system created by Madonna in collaboration with Japanese top skincare manufacturer MTG.

The three products have yet to debut outside of Japan where they were launched at an exclusive pop-up store in February. When they will come to the U.S. or Europe has yet to be determined, but the launch of the products is moving forward with a newly released advertisement video for MDNA Skin.

Granted, the clip is somewhat corny playing on all (dated) beauty cliches about the miracles of these products (and whispered teasers like 'creation', 'infinity' and 'immortal'), but it seems that Japanese beauty ads are still widely prone to that kind of exaggeration. Add to that an undeniable 'Justify My Love' vibe along with a few glimpses of the three products (that look amazing btw...), and you're left wanting more. Because no matter how you look at it, at 55, and even though the queen of pop has obviously had help beyond skincare to look youthful, Madonna still has great-looking skin. Take a look at the clip, and tell me what you think.

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Spring Blossoms By Dior

Yes, spring is definitely in the air. And if the weather doesn't exactly scream 'spring', you only need to take a look at the beauty counter in department stores to see that spring is in full bloom.

One of the prettiest spring makeup collections comes from Dior and is called Trianon, which alludes to Marie-Antoinette's private palace Le Petit Trianon which was surrounded by magnificent gardens.

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The pretty blush and the eye shadow palette are cute as can be and calls for a spring painted in innocent and lighter hues, which is usually the main trend for any makeup spring preview.

The nail polishes tell us a similar story and are at the same time exponents for the biggest trend for nails this season; they should be painted in less popping and more innocent nuances than previous seasons. At this year's Oscars it was clear that the overall trend was nude with soft, glowing skin, less eye shadow, only hints of blush and nails that only showed subdued colors. So, in that sense Dior's polishes Blossom, Pampille, Porcellaine and Perle are a perfect fit for your fingertips.

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Whatever Kaiser Karl Does Must Smell Right

Back in the 80's and 90's fragrances by Karl Lagerfeld were considered the best of the best. The Original Lagerfeld (1978), the KL line for men and women (1983/1986), Lagerfeld Photo (1990), Sun Moon Stars (1994) and Jako (1998) were all international fragrance hits. Lagerfeld Men (2003) and Kapsule Kollektion (2008) not so much. The latter were also launched at a time where Lagerfeld's own image and brand with the high-collared dress shirt, the tight and white ponytail and sunglasses was waning - people just seemed to be somewhat over the dictates from 'Kaiser' (emperor) Karl.

He didn't change a thing, though, and has kept his image the exact same for about 40 years give or take 40 pounds. And now it seems he's coming back full force - and that at age 80. He's still the creative mind behind Chanel, which just showcased another stunning collection in Paris, he is succesfully re-launching and re-vamping his own Karl Lagefeld clothing brand, and now the designer is re-entering the world of fragrance with two new scents: Karl Lagerfeld For Him and Her both bearing not only his name, but his memorable profile.

Karl Lagerfeld for Her is a fresh citrus, fruit and flowers on a woody-musky base. It opens with accords of lemon and peach, with a floral heart of magnolia, rose and frangipani. All of this is soothed by the base of amber wood and musk.

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Karl Lagerfeld for Him is an aromatic-fougere fragrance that begins with fresh mandarin and lavender oil. Its heart of green apple and violet is laid on the base of amber and sandalwood.KARL for Him

Both will be launching end of March, and it'll be exciting to see whether or not Karl Lagerfeld will be able to reclaim the throne of fine perfumery yet again. But based on the look of the fragrances along with the (albeit not very accurate) sniffs of various magazine inserts, I am very optimistic about these two incarnations of the world of Karl...

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Effortless Oscars Hairstyles

Now that the stardust has settled some after last week's Oscars, it's time to look at some of the trends. You can take a look here, where I have compiled some of the best Oscar looks when it comes to the male leads of the awards ceremony. But today it's going to be about hair on the leading ladies of the Oscars.

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As usual the stars came dressed to a tee, but looking at hair and makeup one trend seems to be prevailing: the makeup is natural (almost not a hot red lip in sight!), and the hairstyles were effortlessly glamorous. Not that the hairstyles looked unkempt or messy - far from it - but generally speaking they were less perfect and a little more laissez-faire than usual - like a really neat hairstyle has gotten a good gush of wind. Which of course looks stunning. I'm not saying that any of the stars depicted here have used the new Toni & Guy Glamour 3D Volumizer, but if you wanted to achieve that full-bodied and sexy look, this product will get you there! Used in dry hair, but before the actual styling, it will give the hair a voluminous boost while adding plenty of shine. 

Oh, and notice how the side-swept hair is another big trend as seen on Sandra Bullock, Emma Watson, Kate Hudson and somewhat Julia Roberts.

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Sandra Bullock with big soft curls (not too perfect though) swept to the side
Photo: PR

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Kate Hudson with a soft side sweep and soft, locky waves - again not too perfect.
Photo: PR

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Julia Roberts wears a relaxed up-do with soft locks falling to the side.

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Jennifer Lawrence has her hair swept backwards, but it's not too tight-looking, neither too proper.

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Emma Watson's hair looks like she just pinned it up in a hurry - which of course is far from the case!

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Helping Spring Along

It may not be quite there yet, but Spring is definitely in the air! If you're like me, you take the opportunity to enjoy the warmth of the sun outdoors, which also results in a little bit of a tan. Which in turn looks both attractive and healthy given that you don't overdo it - and make sure that your skin is protected by wearing a sunscreen.

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But you can help that healthy glow along by using a self tanning product, which by far is the safest way to get that coveted glow. When applying a self-tanner, make sure you skin is clean and lightly moisturized so the skin doesn't absorb more self-tanner in some spots than others. Make sure you wash your hand thoroughly right after application, and to ensure that your face won't get streaked, wipe gently with a tissue where the lotion could accumulate: eyebrows, hairline, around the nose and if you have a beard at the beard's hairline. 

Here you can see some favorites for both men and women.

Photo: PR

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The Name Alone Does It

I love fragrances. And admittedly, I have a weakness for everything out of the ordinary, anything limited edition and all things specialized. And I love a good name, which often has been what has drawn me to a fragrance in the first place.

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Who can resist a fragrance called Mister Marvelous (The previous male fragrance from Swedish Byredo was called Fantastic Man) - It's like the perfect gift to yourself or to someone who needs that compliment.

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Or how about Resist Me from Liaison de Parfum - what lies behind that enticing title? Surely golden drops of perfume that are hard to resist!

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A scent called Bubble Gum Chic by Heeley must be interesting - and does it really smell like bubble gum? And where does the chic come in? I guess you'll have to smell it to experience that.

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Or how about letting the mystery prevail by simply calling the fragrance Untitled like Maison Martin Margiela did? Like a really good painting, you get to put in your own interpretation of the scent and you're not influenced by any name, which makes the scent perhaps even more interesting.

 

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Blurring the lines

Maybe it's a cause and effect situation after listening to Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines all summer long. Or maybe it's because the selfie with the hashtag #nofilter is becoming increasingly popular. The latter is especially a celebrity favorite where numerous stars have let their guard (and makeup) down to show followers how they look without makeup. Finally, one of the biggest makeup trends right now is 'nude' where it appears that you are wearing nothing but flawless, glowing skin on your face - which of course often is far from the case...

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Photo: PR

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Photo: PR

It's obvious that skincare and makeup companies are following suit, because right now the 'it' product is a bit of a blur. That is, these products are experts in evening out your skin, giving the illusion of flawlessness. The have less color but a little more texture than, say, a BB cream which also does a great job in smoothing out your visage. The difference lies in the content of micro prisms in the blurring products that - because they are round - both glide on to the skin, but also reflect the light better than ever before. The surface of the skin will look smooth, lines will appear less pronounced and the skin will have a matted finish with no highlight in sight - so these products are potentially also for guys. Used on their own or with a dab of moisturizer or foundation these 'erasers' are perfect for a fresh-faced look without the look of wearing makeup.

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Photo: PR

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Photo: PR

I've mentioned the amazing Nanoblur before and now other brands are stepping up their blurring game. Just look at the options here from GarnierL'Oréal, Maybelline and Peter Thomas Roth, which all in each their own way know how to blur the lines.

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All The More Reason

If you've never tried Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate you have to at least try a sample and experience what it does for your skin. The facial oil will nourish and strengthen your skin's lipid barrier, which protects you from infections and bacteria. Evening Primrose Oil, Lavender Essential Oil and the botanical lipid Squalane are the main power ingredients, which will calm your skin down while providing it with strengthening nutrients.

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Photo: Kiehl's PR

And right now there's even more reason to buy Midnight Recovery, because Kiehl's is collaborating with singer Alicia Keys who has co-founded the charity Keep A Child Alive - an organisation which brings treatment, care and support to children and families affected by HIV. All proceeds from every purchase of the limited edition Midnight Recovery Concentrate ($46) will go to the charity and help the 72% of children who need HIV treatment and who are not receiving it. And consider this: Buying one bottle of Midnight Recovery Concentrate helps Keep a Child Alive provide one month of HIV care, medicines, and love to a child living with HIV. Apart from being Kiehl's no. 1 selling product, that is a pretty good reason in it's own...

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