Colour code: Danish guru Ole Henriksen makes skincare a cinch
If you've ever walked into the beauty section of a department store or Sephora, taken one look at the dizzying array of shiny surfaces and pretty bottles and felt... an overwhelming desire to keep walking, don't worry, you're not alone. Based on the sheer number of new beauty launches and brands alone, we know that finding your Holy Grail products can be mystifying at best, disheartening at worst. From figuring out which make-up shades suit you, which skin type you are and then. what the hell you're supposed to be doing come winter and summer - beauty isn't always as fun as its packaging suggests.
But if there's one man who wants to take the confusion out of skin care shopping, it's Ole Henriksen. The Danish pocket rocket and founder of eponymous skin care line Ole (pronounced 'u-la') Henriksen has recently given his extensive product line a rainbow coloured makeover.
In line with the range's four core product lines: Balance (oil control and pore refining), Nurture (dry and sensitive), Transform (refinement) and Truth (brightening) each bottle comes in a pop-bright green, purple, blue and orange hue. The colour spectrum, while offering the customer practicality (and way to pretty up your bathroom shelf) also works as a subtle nod to the positive energy and outlook bursting from the brand's founder, who is quick to spruik the virtues of gratitude, mindfulness and that Danish word again: hygge.
A former dancer and model hailing from a small town in Denmark, it was an ongoing battle with cystic acne that drew Ole into the beauty realm. After studying at the Christine Shaw College of Beauty in London, Ole moved to Los Angeles and launched a skin clinic and spa in Beverley Hills, which quickly drew a roster of celebrity clientele as diverse as Barbara Streisand and Madonna. The spa still stands today, although it's now in West Hollywood and Ole has retired from operating as an aesthetician. Launching his namesake skin care collection in 1983, Ole developed a lifelong partnership with beauty behemoth Sephora and later sold the company to the LVMH-owned beauty company Kendo in 2011.
Spend just a few minutes chatting to Ole, and you can tell his spirit lives and breathes through the brand's punchy packaging and active, botanical-based ingredients. As someone who believes that "a happy face is a beautiful face," and can execute a perfectly timed high kick midway through a presentation, Ole's infectious optimism and dynamism (the result of a plant-based diet, I should add) is testament to his successful, decades-long career. No wonder the Angelinos adore him.
"You have great skin texture and bone structure," he says in our one-on-one, as he quickly proceeds to pinpoint my main skin concerns (oily, acne prone) in just 30 seconds. After prescribing the green Balance collection to me and distributing gems of wisdom (eg. "the Balance toner can be used to treat cystic pimples by drenching a cotton swab and placing it on like a Band-Aid for 5-10 minutes or overnight"), Ole is quick to explain the point of the rebrand.
"We wanted to make it easy for the consumer," he says, pointing to the four main lines. "Don't you just love the way the bottle colours are kind of translucent?" he adds. For Ole, whose skin care mantra is to "exfoliate, treat and soothe," the product lines were an easy way to take the guesswork out of buying skincare. Got blemish prone skin? Give Balance a go. Dull? Try citrus-tinged Truth Serum - "it's our number one SKU in Sephora" Ole says proudly, referencing the cult appeal of this Vitamin C-infused anti-ageing potion.
So are you able to mix and match the products? "Of course," says Ole. "You might find that in winter, you'll want to partner your Counter Balance Oil Control Hydrator with the Counter Balance Mattifying Moisture Crème and at night you should use the Invigorating Night Transformation Gel." And if you're still confused about which product line you really should be using, Ole will gently point toward the sets, which, no surprises, are a major hit at Sephora stores. As I leave our interview with an armful of product recommendations and renewed vigour to be more positive, I'm reminded why the entire brand is built around the concept of the Ole Glow.
The Ole Henriksen line is available at Sephora stores and sephora.com.au
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