Grooming

Back Again with a Beach Body (Well Almost…)

Yes, it's true - this blog has been awfully quiet for the past many months. Life simply got in the way for a second there - but now I'm back. And today with a recommendation of the highest kind.

When summer and hot, humid weather hits the skin on my body tends to become a little more oily and will clog up and create bumps and impurities. Not cool when next thing you're going to the beach or a pool party. Well, here's the remedy:

One Body Refiner by Intelligent Nutrients. Photo: MH

Many body scrubs are way too harsh on your skin, and many tend to scrub too hard making the product abrasive and potentially damaging to your skin. Intelligent Nutrients has completely remedied this with a body refiner that uses fruit bio-actives and plant cellulose beads (no micro-plastic!) to gently lift dull skin from the surface and even condition the skin. It is recommended to use a moisturizer after, but because it is packed with nutrients, I have skipped that step once in a while.

The body refiner is from the recently launched One Body Collection which uses only the best and most respectful ingredients. Check out the rest of the collection here.

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Getting Hands-On!

Ok, my last post was pretty long, so I'll try to make this one short and sweet. Which shouldn't be difficult as this product sells it self. Literally. Because every three seconds one of these is sold somewhere in the world. The reason? It's a really, really good hand cream! Perhaps one of the best - in the world that is.

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Want proof? Well, if a product alone can make someone like me who notoriously neglects hand care start using a hand cream on a regular basis because of it's scent (it's a whiff of pure Provence!), effectiveness (20% Shea butter!), and ability NOT to leave greasy film on everything you touch, it really does do the job. 

As an added bonus, French beauty giant L'Occitane offers many wonderful products for him and her as well as a portfolio of beautiful fragrances - you cannot walk into their store without trying their Citrus Verbena (unisex) or the classic L'Occitan (for men). 

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A Very Happy Flashback and Reunion!

So I didn't really participate in all the Black Friday sales and Holiday shopping frenzy - except for one thing. Two actually. I saw these two fragrances on a website and simply couldn't resist. Let me tell you why. One is a kind flashback, while the other is a reunion of sorts.

Let's start with Calvin Klein's Obsession which launched in 1986 in a slew of provocative ads that sky-rocketed Kate Moss' career into supermodel stardom. Back then I was still a teenager, but, nonetheless, Obsession was my first designer fragrance believe it or not. Imagine a young teenager simply doused in this woody oriental fragrance - yeah, not pretty, I know, but I really, really loved it. Now it's back on my skin - and the love is still there without any flashbacks to being an unadjusted teenager. Plus I've probably gotten better at dosage this time around so my surroundings won't slip into a scent-induced coma... I appreciate different aspects of the fragrance today that I couldn't have back then - the sensuality, the depth, and the sheer genius of this fragrance which really doesn't have a contemporary today.

And speaking of genius - let's talk Guerlain Habit Rouge, a fragrance I was introduced to by one of Denmark's most renowned and knowledgeable fragrance experts, Peter Wegersleff. I was a new employee of the men's fragrance counter in a major Copenhagen department store for the biggest beauty distributor in Denmark, and he was to take me through the considerable portfolio of the company. And when we got to Guerlain, an air of reverence settled over us - if you understand Danish I suggest you read his personal review and account on Habit Rouge.

The oriental-woody fragrance dates back to 1965, but has lost none of it's potency or sheer artistry in it's 50-year life span. It's closest contemporary is Tom Ford's Noir, but Habit Rouge still trumps Noir in depth and layers.

First impression is a bold burst of citrus and vanilla, which gives off an almost floral impression that immediately has me thinking that this fragrance is red (like it's name). It's initial explosion is overpowering for many without the patience to wait for this beautiful fragrance to fully develop on your skin and become a warm, sensual, and above all masculine masterpiece.

As Peter writes, Habit Rouge is not for everyone and needs a certain type of man to wear it. Back in my early twenties when I was starting out in the beauty industry selling men's fragrances, I probably wasn't quite ripe to wear a bold composition like Guerlain habit Rouge. But maybe today - with a little more experience and confidence - I hope that's the case. I'm certainly going to give it a try!

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Three Easy Ways To Give Your Skin a Boost

We all need a little nudge or push once in a while - and that goes twice for our skin that often shows the first signs of being tired, stressed or under the weather. Of course, splashing ice-cold water in your face always helps, but luckily there are other - and less brutal - ways to give your skin a boost. Here are three of them:

Photo: MH

Photo: MH

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask - The name almost says it all. It goes on as light gel and expands into a prickling foam on your skin, which feels really great and, yes, reviving. As a quick-fix it really does give your skin a shot of freshness that you can see afterwards.

Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate - You're probably familiar with the wonderful Night Repair from Kiehl's (if not, check it out!), and this new concentrate is the daytime equivalent of it. It's less oily than the night concentrate, and it will disappear completely from the skin's surface and leave it looking bright and fresh. And it works really well as beard oil too, so this is rapidly becoming a personal favorite of mine.

The Body Shop Nutriganics Drops of Youth - I've used this product for years now and I'm still surprised at how well it works. It functions as a pre-serum, which will pre-condition the skin for other products. I know, it sounds a little gimmicky and like just another layer to a never-ending skin care regimen, but it really does work. The principle is like comparing the skin to a sponge: when it's dry a product will stay on the surface, but when it's moisturized a product will penetrate deeper. And because it contains aloe vera and glycerin, it works great as an after shave treatment too!

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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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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.

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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.

Diptyque

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?

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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.

Onmyshelf

 

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!

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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.