• 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

All around the world: men’s beauty standards

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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

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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.


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*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.

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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!

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* 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

 

Shave1

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.

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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.

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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.

FiftyShadesOPI1

 

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?

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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.

Marsala

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

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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.

Byredo

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.

MMM

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!

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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.

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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!

NailTrio

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.

winter_2014

Photo: FNUG PR

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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!

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