Welcome to Beauty Boss, a reoccurring series in which we spotlight the power players driving the beauty world forward. Consider this your chance to steal their get-ahead secrets, and grow from the real-life lessons they’ve learned on the job.
Danish-born Ole Henriksen has become a household name in the beauty industry, and there’s a finite reason for that. The man behind the brand launched his business with one concept in mind: beauty starts from within, which then led him to become the first to introduce the wellness model into skincare. Now, women and men around the globe rely on his products (and his Ole-isms, they’re one-of-a-kind!) to transform their skin, and their lives. Below, we drill this ultimate Beauty Boss on how this incredible line came to be.
What is your background?
I was born and raised in Nibe, Denmark, an idyllic village that dates back to the 1400’s. I loved my upbringing, both my mother and father were fun-loving and very active in all aspects of their lives. No doubt my passion of living a healthy lifestyle with an emphasis on physical fitness, nutrition and taking the best care of one’s skin was inspired by them.
How did you fall into the beauty space?
The catalyst for landing in my profession was my own struggle with acne during my youth. My skin went from clean and perfect to severely erupt during my years of living in Indonesia, where I made my living as a show dancer and male model. I fell under the magic spell of a brilliant esthetician named Lagita. She treated my skin with botanicals native to Indonesia and for the first time in my life, I experienced the transformational powers of skin when you treat it correctly. After this, I devoted myself to skincare health and overall wellness and became a student at the Christian Shaw School of Beauty in London where I studied cosmetic chemistry, face and body treatments and theatrical and fashion make-up.
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How did you come up with the concept for your business?
I was very much inspired by my Scandinavian heritage. Scandinavian women and men have always put an emphasis on taking the very best care of their skin, keeping it simple and always being consistent. To add to that, they have the ability to celebrate life to its fullest, every single day. That’s why my most favorite “Ole-ism” is “A happy face is a beautiful face.”
What makes it unique/different?
When you work one-on-one with a client as I did for many decades at my Ole Henriksen Face/Body SPA, you learn to read skin like a map and pin point the specific needs of skin. That allowed me to customize my clients’ treatments, something they loved. Additionally, I always focused on making every client I came in contact with their own best skincare expert. But what really set me apart in the business early on was that every treatment that I gave was focused on healthy continued exfoliation, using both chemical and physical exfoliants. Clients were in awe of how this exposed younger, smoother and more refined looking skin very quickly.
How have you changed the landscape when it comes to your business?
I won great applause for being the first to introduce the wellness model into skincare. Looking and feeling your best is a connected circle based on eating nutritious healthy foods, staying physically active with exercise, being consistent with transformational skincare products like mine and very importantly, loving and embracing the person you are. With the recent relaunch of my brand, I have made it incredibly easy for clients to determine the products best suited for their skin concerns. I have created four distinct franchises – Truth, Transform, Balance and Nurture.
What’s the best compliment you have ever received?
I feel very honored and deeply touched when clients and fans around the world tell me that I have helped them feel more beautiful and positive about themselves and life in general.
What was your “aha moment” when you realized OleHenriksen had really become a success?
Without a doubt, it was when Oprah gave me 30 minutes on her show to present my first American book, Ole Henriksen’s 7 Day Skincare Program – the Scandinavian method for a radiant complexion. Oprah was instrumental in catapulting my skincare brand into the world of Sephora!
You look amazing, how do you stay feeling young and alive?
I embrace everyday like a new beginning. I am extremely grateful for the gift that life is and all the opportunities it offers me every day. I love adventure, I love my fellow human beings, I love to exercise and I love to be wild and crazy. To top it off, I’ve been blessed with a great relationship for 34 years.
What’s one mistake most women make when it comes to skincare or makeup that they could easily fix?
Unfortunately, many women don’t remain consistent with their morning and night skincare routines and consequently don’t see the results they deserve.
Who do you think has the most beautiful skin in Hollywood?
From Diana Ross, Cher, Prince, Charlize Theron, Katy Perry, Mark Wahlberg and Naomi Campbell. They all have great skin and look amazing! I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the world’s most beautiful stars. Recently we had the honor of prepping Justin Timberlake for the Golden Globes and Adele for the Grammys with Ole Henriksen products.