• 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

When It Gets Cold Here’s The Scent of Summer

My vacation this year was spent on the Virgin Islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix. Both incredibly beautiful tropical paradises! You easily adjust to the island lifestyle with its slower pace and tastes and smells of seawater, rum punch, seafood, and fresh air.

In fact, I often dream myself back to the gorgeous Megan's Beach on St. Thomas or the amazing Buck Island coral reef of St. Croix. And to my surprise there is a unisex fragrance that pretty accurately captures the essence of my vacation - and it's even called Virgin Island Water from the master perfume house of Creed! The scent explores the tropical splendor of the Caribbean with ample citrus notes from lime and mandarin and an underlying base of coconut.

Photo: PR

Photo: PR


You may think, that I'm making this up entirely but truth is that after I got back, a co-worker wore this fragrance and my immediate thought was that it smelled like the tropics I just returned from. So when he told my that it was called Virgin Island Water, I knew it was meant to be.

As with all Creed fragrances it is a pricey affair, but keep in mind that Creed fragrances have a very concentration of perfume ingredients which puts it way above cologne, eau de toilette and even perfume - so you get a lot of scent for your money. And that also means that it should be used sparingly as to not overpower your surroundings.


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And then I came under fire

Recently I came under fire. I was asked to 'blog-sit' for a very good friend and wrote a blog post about Jane Fonda and her fashion cover and spread in the June/July issue of W Magazine. My point was that the fashion spread was a great example of a positive movement in our society that I dubbed anti-ageism. And I received backlash for it!

Comments to the blog post stated that this photo spread in W Magazine states the opposite, because Jane Fonda is in a photo-shopped fashion series where she poses and dresses as a much younger woman - so in a sense the ideal is still youth and not age. And then there was the push-back saying that of course she looks great, because she's had cosmetic surgeries to make her look younger, so considering that on its own made Jane Fonda anything but an exponent for an anti-ageism current in our society.

I knew this subject was going to be provocative, and I did anticipate that some would misunderstand the post as me celebrating plastic surgery and that 'as long as you look young everything is fine'. But that was far from point with introducing a subject like anti-ageism.

Photo: W Magazine/Steven Meisel

Photo: W Magazine/Steven Meisel

So just to reiterate: Jane Fonda is in a fashion photo shoot, which by definition is an idealization of the subject (model or clothing). It's a perfect world where everything is corrected (trust me, EVERYTHING is corrected).

What I  (still!) find interesting with this fashion series is that Jane Fonda could have been made to look like a 20-year-old, but she's doesn't - she looks like an idealized version of her age. If you were on the cover of W Magazine wouldn't you like the help of makeup, hair, wardrobe, good lighting, and post production aka Photoshop to look you absolute very best (be honest now!)?

My overall point was that a photo shoot like this - along many more examples of female actresses in their mid-seventies getting parts in films and TV shows - is creating a positive impact in our culture by putting a renewed focus on this group of women that is otherwise easily overlooked and discounted in our society.

Yes, we have a long way to go because our culture is still heavily youth-obsessed, but in the grander scheme of things I do think that this cover is a step on the way to a world where age plays a much smaller role.


Could It Be The Best Ever?

My all time favorite hair product used to be this one, but now there's a new contender that could possibly claim the styling throne - at least on my product shelf!

I discovered it while getting a haircut at a fave Atlanta barbershop, where the styling left my hair looking shiny, but not bruleed, and not like it was glued to my scalp. And then it smelled really well too!

Photo: MH

Photo: MH

Reuzel is originally from the Holland's Rotterdam where its creators Leen & Bertus wanted to create modern hair styling rooted in traditional barbershop culture. Add to that influences of rock'n'roll and subculture and you have Reuzel hair products - even the name Reuzel, which means lard in Dutch, is a throwback to old-school barber where that was what you would brush into the hair to make it shiny.

The product in the red can (which is the one I use) is a water-based high-shine pomade that will lock in your locks all day, but will rinse out easily using only water. You need to have a little moisture in your hair to get that perfect lacquer shine, but you can definitely use it as a regular wax as well for a less shiny look. Another point on the plus side is that your hair seems to get overall healthier and stronger after use like it was a leave-in conditioner.

If you want to get your executive cut into this product (and a bunch of other cool stuff too), you can so right here.




This Is Solid

I love fragrance, no question about it. And I love to change it up, so I use something different for day and for night, but also for changing seasons. When it comes to summer and sunshine it actually makes a lot of sense to be mindful of what you spritz on the skin. Not just because lighter fragrances fare better with fun and sun, but also because the alcohol and scent notes in colognes can actually cause damage to the skin. The alcohol can cause a pretty bad sunburn and more long-term skin damage include hyper-pigmentation (dark spots) and thickening of the skin (leather skin).

So what do you do when you're out and about in the sun and won't forske your fragrance? You either go for an alcohol-free variant of your favorite scent, but so-called summer splashes are becoming less and less frequent on the market. OR you go for a solid perfume, which is exactly what the name says - a solid perfume.


I've opted for Diptyque's Philosykos, because it's an all-time favorite scent of mine. It contains no alcohol and it's easy to rub the soft balm on to all those places, you would normally wear your fragrance. I was expecting a larger container, but even so the solid perfume certainly does the job and glides on the skin without a trace (except for that of scent).

The scent stays on the skin for quite some time, but will dissipate quicker than a normal perfume - but because it's so small, it's easy to bring with you anywhere so you can discreetly dab a little more behind your ears...

Do you have any other good alternatives for alcohol-free summer fragrances?


On My shelf

Granted, I have been neglecting this blog a little lately - but certainly not intentionally! So, now that I'm back, it's the perfect time to share what's on my bathroom shelf - and more importantly on my skin - right now.



The warm weather is here, and in these parts that also means lots of sun and high humidity, which for me means a more unbalanced skin. That translates in to moist and often a little oily skin for me.

Kiehl's Rare Earth Pore Minimizing Lotion is an oil-free moisturizer, which contains clay micro pigments that take care of excess oil on the skin - it really works extremely well and keeps me matte all day. Now that the sun is out, but I don't want to overexpose my skin to harmful rays, I've discovered a near-prefect gem by Clarins - the Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster, which is a fluid bronzer that can be added to any moisturizer for a little extra glow. A couple of drops is really enough and will safely give you a touch of the sun. For extra care I currently go for Ole henriksen's Truth is in the Eyes Concentrate, which provides the sensitive under-eye area with a little boost. It's. So. Good. I also have a dozen or so Eos Lip Balms strategically placed wherever I go, because, hey, there's no excuse for parched lips just because sun is out, right? Oh, and my summer fragrance will (again) mainly be Escentric Molecules Molecule 01, because it still rocks and suits even hot summer days and breezy summer nights.

Stay tuned for some new trends, another summer favorite fragrance that doesn't even come in bottle, and perhaps the best hair product ever!


All around the world: men’s beauty standards

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 10.04.04 PM

Screenshot from Buzzfeed video

It may be a clip full of beautiful men set to a pretty cool song (perfect for starting the weekend), but the video created by Buzzfeed does raise some valid points and questions concerning male beauty ideals from around the world. Like are tattoos considered attractive? Is facial hair? Is cosmetic surgery becoming more normalized for men? Is the male beauty ideal predominantly white across the globe? Is it macho or metro? And what does the future of male beauty ideals look like (hint: could it be displayed here) ?

Take a look at the video below, enjoy the soundtrack, feel free to comment below on what your beauty ideals are or feel should be - and have a great weekend!

Source: Buzzfeed/YouTube


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More Than a Shave

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 10.04.14 AM

Screen shot from Dove Men+Care Expert Shave commercial

Because I started out shaving all wrong, which for years gave me overly sensitized and irritated skin on my neck, I've later become a bit of an expert in shaving. But I also think that the vast majority of men are actually experts when it comes to shaving, because ask any given man and he will be able to tell you exactly what works best for him and his skin. The shave is in our nature and is one of the most essential and masculine rituals men have marking the transition from boy to man. So a shave is not just a shave - it really means something.

Skincare brand Dove have long been making waves with their positive commercials about enforcing a positive body image in women and seeing beauty in one self, which largely goes against the traditional commercial trope of the impossibly beautiful woman. And now Dove is directing it's gaze towards men.

With its latest ad campaign (and promotion of their new Dove Men+ Expert Shave regimen*), the brand zooms in on the ritual of shaving using the three basic steps pre-shave, shave and post-shave: prepare the skin, shave gently, and treat the skin after. The ads utilize large life topics like fatherhood or getting married to underline the importance of the shave. They effectively show us how to shave correctly so the skin won't get too distraught, but also underline the importance of the ritual of shaving as an act of transition or preparation for what life has to offer. I think, it's absolutely beautiful and speaks directly to what I believe about shaving: It's more than just a shave.

Take a look for yourself in the ads below, and for even more valuable shaving tips, go to Dove's home page.


*No products were provided for this post and is strictly my personal view.

Serum Superstar

I'm a huge fan of facial serums, because a serum will deliver targeted care and ingredients to your skin without extra 'fillers' that make up a moisturizer or face cream. Needless to say, you do need to use a moisturizer with your serum, as it will rarely be enough for the skin, but leave it to the serum to actually improve the condition of your skin.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 4.53.47 PM

I have long dedicated my skin to Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate, because it visibly does something to your skin to make it look and feel better. And over time I'm convinced that it has improved the texture, look and feel of my skin. But now there's a new Kiehl's serum superstar in town*. The Precision Lifting & Pore Tightening Concentrate from the Dermatologist Solutions series addresses the issue of enlarged pores, which is not only a result of dirt and oils, but also a clear sign of aging: Skin looses elasticity over time and starts to sag causing pores to become bigger and skin to appear uneven and less smooth.

Micro-Filtered Yeast Extract and Geranium Essential Oil in this serum will improve the look of facial skin’s overall “bounce-back” quality and like the aforementioned serum, this one also visibly does something to your skin so that pores appear smaller. As an added bonus this serum works on all skin types. It doesn't have quite the same unique skin feel as the Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate and the Geranium scent is certainly there, but this is a wonderful serum, which will definitely gain a spot in my skin care regimen. A new serum superstar is born!


* A product was provided by Kiehl's for testing for the purpose of  writing this review. Any views expressed in this blog post does not reflect those of Kiehl's.

Barbershop Gem



I've discovered a true gem in the growing landscape of barbershops in Atlanta. The Shave Barbershop on N. Highland is both old school and spot on trend - there is no denying the classic barbershop DNA (which, for instance, means they only do walk-ins), but the place is infused with contemporary coolness not just reserved for the innate hipster crowd, but for everyone who wants a quick and quality haircut.

Shave 2My head was in the competent hands of Jennifer who is a big fan of Dutch barber Schorem (check out the uber cool video of one of his faded pompadour cuts here), and I loved how she understood my direction and provided me with a solid executive cut that faded into my beard.

The place was bustling on this Saturday morning, the mood was great and I walked out of there feeling as fresh as a new-minted coin! I will be paying The Shave Barbershop another visit tomorrow, because it's to update my fade and give my beard a light trim.

Shave 3Check out services and directions to the Shave Barbershop right here.


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?