• 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


By Mikkel Hyldebrandt

Surrender to the Grey

Not long until the movie adaptation of the best-selling book 'Fifty Shades of Grey' hits the silver screen. But you can actually get your hands on some grey already now. It's only a few of the fifty shades. but you will LITERALLY get your hands on them. Or rather, your nails.


I'm of course talking about OPI's Fifty Shades of Grey nail polishes that celebrate the release of the long awaited movie with a collection of six hues that each on their own explore the movie's seductive universe. With names like My Silk Tie, Cement The Deal, Shine For Me, Dark Side of the Mood, Embrace the Gray and Romantically Involved (the only not-grey polish) this little collection teases and tantalizes just like the movie is expected to do.



So, now the question is what shade of grey will be on your fingertips? Or, to keep in line with the movie's seductive story line, which one turns you on?


The Kind of Red You Will Be Seeing in 2015

Marsala pantone

If you think you've been seeing more red lately on everything from cars to fashion and interior, well, you're absolutely right! To prove it the experts at Pantone have named the color of 2015 to be Marsala - a rich red with hints of terracotta, brown and wine. Pantone, being the global authority on all things color, surveys the global landscape of fashion, media, art and travel to deduce what colors are the most prevalent in our world right now, and which will be projected to become a trend color during the year.

And looking at the sophisticated and yet sensual shade of Marsala red, it inevitably looks like a shade of lipstick, blush or nail polish. Not convinced? Take a look at some of the beauty products below that are perfectly Marsala matched. The advantage with Marsala is that it actually looks great against most skin tones (in stark contrast to last year's violet and beauty-challenging Radiant Orchid color), and because it also has browner earth tones, the color could be used to create a smokey eye look. Even though my first instinct would be to put it on lips, cheeks and nails.


So will you be seeing red in 2015? Personally, I'm thinking that my next car could be a red one...


The Nouveau Masc In Fragrance

Ok, so the phrase 'Nouveau Masc' is totally coined by yours truly, but I do believe there is some accuracy to the term. 'Nouveau', because men's fragrance is indeed turning a new corner, and 'Masc' (derived from masculine), because new men's fragrances circle around a new-found masculinity that celebrate the fact that men are returning to a more archetypical, but not less refined category of man - something the French twist on the term would represent.

Translated into men's grooming that means reaping all of the advantages of taking good care of your skin and hair while embracing your masculinity at the same time. Maybe you saw the video about a classic men's barbershop haircut here on the blog or read my blog post on purewellness.dk about bearded men and shaving (in Danish). Both speak to the fact that men are seeking a new form of masculinity (Nouveau Masc!) while staying on the good side of scruffy.

Transferred to men's fragrance it is clear that they have come a long way from the clean-cut, aquatic freshness of the early 2000s and have settled nicely in a masculine realm of scents within the last few years. But there is more. Because another trend is leaning strongly towards a classic streak of fragrances that laud the ultra masculine.

Tom Ford

Think of the wonderful Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, which has remarkable similarities to the very(!) classic 4711 cologne, which was launched in 1792 (yes, you read right). Wonderfully clean and modern, but with scent notes that take you waaaaay back in men's fragrance history.


Then there is the amazing Sunday Cologne by Byredo, which was renamed from its former moniker Fantastic Man (which to me is the perfect name for a fragrance, because who wouldn't want to receive or give a fragrance called Fantastic Man?) It's crisp, woody and aromatic scent notes virtually scream old barber shop, which is probably why it now goes by a more timeless Sunday Cologne.


Still not convinced? Well, how about a new fragrance from Maison Martin Margiela's wonderful Replica collection simply called At The Barber's? The scent is created to exactly emulate the scent impressions of a classic barber shop complete with soapsuds, the straight razor against leather and the warm towel against your face.

Personally, I'm a huge fan of three fragrances. Not only because they are each on their own absolutely amazing and worth investing in, but also because they are incredibly masculine without losing their refinement. What was it again? Oh yeah - Nouveau Masc!


Oh My My My Burberry!

When I saw the ad for the new fragrance My Burberry, I was immediately drawn to it. I've always had a strong fascination with Kate Moss, because she's always been there either as the fresh, new face of modern fashion photography in the 90s, as one of the interstellar super models and as a fashion and beauty icon who still has the charisma to draw consumers' gaze. The pairing with the gorgeous Cara Delevingne is nothing but ingenious, because not only does it place two of the most coveted faces in fashion right now in one frame, but it also effectively bridges two very different generations under one umbrella.

My Burberry

Photo: PR

Or rather one raincoat, because the inspiration for the fragrance is the iconic Burberry trench coat, which was originally designed to keep soldiers dry in the trenches (hence the name!), but it has since gained it's own momentum as one of the most recognizable fashion items of all times. The direct link on the fragrance is the little bow around the bottle neck, which is a nod to the belt on the coat.

The fragrance itself is a bold floral like most of Burberry's women's fragrances, and it said to emulate the scent of a London garden after rain. Truth be told, I haven't had the chance to experience this fragrance yet, but judging by previous Burberry scents like the sensuous Body, the sparkling Brit and the wonderful The Beat, I predict that we have a winner on our hands.

And, of course,  judging by the massive marketing effort pairing Kate and Cara in the spot for the fragrance, I see no reason not to claim My Burberry as your own anytime soon.


Have You Checked The Lipstick Index Lately?

The Lipstick Index. No, it's not an inventory of how many you've kissed, but actually a term coined by Leonard Lauder, who noticed an increase in lipstick sales throughout his portfolio of Estee Lauder brands during the recession in the early 2000s. The idea was that when women had less money to spend on expensive luxury items like handbags, shoes and clothing, they substituted those high-end items with lipstick - in comparison an affordable luxury item. Although, the term has never been credited as an actual economic indicator, there is a logic to the concept. I mean, who hasn't felt the rush of purchasing a little beauty luxury item, that may not dress you in designer robes, but at least give you the look or scent of luxury?

Lipstick sales have been continuously down for years maybe because every woman already has multitudes of reds. And maybe because the color variation for lipstick are somewhat limited - I mean, how many shades of red does a girl need? So in today's beauty landscape lipstick has been long been surpassed by nail polish when it comes to defining trends and, who knows, maybe even economic growth. In fact, there has even been talk of a nail polish index to replace the lipstick index, but again it's difficult to actually use it as an indicator.

Nail polish sales have soared for the past decade and have virtually transformed your fingertips to a creative playground and a strong indicator of 'it' colors derived directly from the fashion world. Just look at the gif beneath that displays some of Chanel's most coveted (and copied) nail colors of the past ten years - in fact, Rouge Noir was created in 1995 and is still heralded as one of the best nail colors of all time! The rest of the flickering colors - Beige, Pirate, Particuliere and Black Satin - all resulted in waiting lists and frantic (and overpriced) purchases on eBay, because they were in fact that popular!


Photo: The Zoe Report

Nail polish has made a remarkable switch from beauty to fashion and has become a very wearable fashion accessory that will not only underline your style, but give you that unique edge if you paint your fingertips right. Sure, lipstick has tapped into the fashion world, but no way near in the way nail polish has become a trend factor in today's style and fashion landscape. Just look at red carpet coverage of Hollywood events where you have a separate 'mani catwalk'!

Below is a favorite brand of mine - FNUG - both because it's Danish, but also because founder Charlotte Munksgaard has a talent for recognizing and setting nail trends. The four polishes in the photo are from her Metallic winter 2014 collection.


Photo: FNUG PR


Razor-Sharp Barbershop!

Yes, I know I've been heralding the undercut as the haircut that could rule them all. But there's change in the (h)air! Maybe it's the cooler fall temps, or maybe it's because the undercut has become more or less the staple of a trendy haircut to such an extent that it has lost it's cutting edge entirely! It seems everyone is rocking the undercut, which is still a very flattering haircut, but if you're wearing it to be spot on trend, well, you've kinda missed the target. Sorry to break it to ya like that ...

BUT! There's a new style in town, and the good news is that it is the perfect continuation of said undercut. In tune with the trend of guys wanting more of a barbershop feel instead of a hair salon primping, the more classic hairstyles and cuts are regaining territory - with a contemporary twist, naturally. Just take a look at the video below where Dutch hairdresser and barber Schorem shows you how a classic Razor Faded Pompadour is done. The video is over 8 minutes long (so bring coffee!), but the cool thing is that the cut is broken down in stages, so that it starts with a regular fade and ends with a bald fade. The end result is nothing but stunning!

Of course, the classic pompadour is not for everyone, because you really do need a full head of hair, but even with lesser hair growth some of the principles of this haircut can be applied to your haircut. For my hair appointment on friday I'll be considering the bald fade, because it looks so d*** cool!


Like soft fluffy whipped cream for your face!

I pride myself of being a little bit of an expert on shaving. Not only because I have been shaving for 20+ years, but also because I actually started shaving in a wrong way (against the grain and with no skin prep), which for many years caused my skin to be overly sensitive and have lots of breakouts. Today, through years of trial and error, I have my shaving routine down and I know exactly what works for me - and for all other guys prone to skin irritation and razor bumps! It's all about preparing the skin and stubble for the shave, using good products, shaving carefully with short, soft strokes and treating the skin afterwards.


One very important step is the shaving emollient. After testing out literally hundreds of foams, gels and creams, I've come to the conclusion that I like foam the best. Gels are usually to watery and don't generate enough of a foam and creams generally put the blade too close to my skin. So foam it is. But not just any kind of foam, because it should be rich and full - kinda like the texture of whipped cream. Sure, you might be thinking, rich, luxurious shave foam is going to cost me fortune, but that's far from the case. I've newly discovered one of the best foams I've ever tried and it's from  Nivea Men (see photo). At less than $3 a can this one will far from break the bank and give you a safe, soft shave at the same time - with plenty of luxurious whipped cream foam for your face!


Mail from home – Rudolph Care Sun

Just in time for my summer vacation to Hilton Head,  I received a very pleasant package from my home country, Denmark. The sender was Rudolph Care, founded by the beautiful Andrea Elisabeth Rudolph, who after a toxin test, discovered that she had very high toxin levels - and that they came in part from skincare products! So, she decided to create her own clean skincare and on her journey she discovered the acai berry, which is exceptionally rich in antioxidants. The same berry is the basis for all of her products, which besides it's antioxidant properties also has a pleasant scent - both a trademark for her wonderful products.

Rudolph care

I've tried, tested and loved just about all the products in her lineup except for the sun products, and boy, they did not disappoint either. The Rudolph Sun Organic Sun Face Cream SPF 30 was rich and absorbed easily without leaving a trace on your skin. But the real star is as far as I'm concerned, the Rudolph Care Organic Sun Body Oil SPF 30. It's amazing how an oil as rich and nourishing as this one can actually protect your skin without burning it - and without lying an oily filter on top of your skin. Simply amazing.

Both products are long gone, so now there only hoping that I will either go back to Denmark before next summer - or that Rudolph Care will launch in the U.S. Here's hoping.



It’s Been a Week And I Feel a Difference

I can tell a difference after using them just a week. And I wasn't even using neither cheap nor bad stuff before. But there is a difference in both how my hair looks and feels. The same goes for my scalp by the way, and I no longer have the urge to itch and scratch while lathering up with my previous shampoo.

The products bearing the name that really does not roll off your tongue are the brainchild of Horst Rechelbacher who passed away earlier this year. You may've never heard of him, but more than likely you have heard of the brand Aveda, which he started and then sold to Estee Lauder Companies. Then he wanted to make skin and hair products that were really clean and only used the best and purest ingredients in the best and Intelligent Nutrients was born. Because that is exactly what it is: nutrients for skin and hair that work intelligently and leave the smallest possible imprint on the environment.

intelligent nutrients

Horst Rechelbacher was extremely holistic in his approach and never shied away from profound Ayurvedic principles.  Maybe that's exactly what I feel on my hair and scalp, because for a lack of a better word, it feels more in harmony. Just like the bottle says! I've known this brand for years, but I've never gotten them for myself, because I thought too natural, too much, too 'saved'. But now that my hair (and, yes, scalp) have had close contact with these two, I'm convinced that they are indeed honest, straightforward products. And it's made me wonder if my face and body can feel just as great just after a week? I guess more testing will ensue ...


Zegna Essenze Collection

I love when I stumble upon news when it comes to fragrance - which happened to me the other day when browsing through Bloomingdale's and discovered the Ermenegildo Zegna Essenze Collection. Well, to be fair, it's not exactly new as the first bottles inspired by Zegna's couture collection came out in 2012, but apparently, this wonderful assemblage of cologne has completely flown by my radar.

What is interesting about these six fragrances is that they share one ingredient - Calabrian Bergamot - but they are still very different in their compositions. Italian Bergamot, Sicilian Mandarin, Javanese Patchouli, Indonesian Oud, Florentine Iris, and the latest Haitian Vetiver may be united by bergamot, but stand out individually, because combined with the individual scent notes the bergamot will change character.


Especially the newest Haitian Vetiver and Javanese Patchouli stood out to me as exponents of a less woodsy and oud-inspired fragrance trend. They where far from polished and still had deeper layers, but they had a cleaner edge than most woodsy fragrances have. Honestly, I would wear each and every one of them. Oh, and of course, they look really amazing too. The Zegna Essenze Collection sells for $125 a bottle - it seems like a lot, but really do get high-quality perfumery for your money - and that's worth every penny in my book.