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The Secret to Perfect Fringe from Vidal Sassoon’s Jeremy Davies-Barbala

We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun.

The former Mrs. Tom Cruise on the cover of Elle's August issue. (Photo: Pier 59 Studios)

When I first saw Katie Holmes sporting fabulous fringe by celebrity stylist Andy LeCompte on Elle’s August cover, I wanted to know everything about it. Although I’ve been rocking fringe for the majority of my life (here’s a recent snap) and know a thing or two about how to maintain it, I still get fringe envy from time to time. Holmes triggered this sensation and forced me to beeline it to my go-to hair guru, Jeremy Davies-Barbala—the senior creative director at Sassoon Salon.

If you’re wondering why I keep saying “fringe” and not “bangs,” blame it on Jeremy. The exceptionally stylish British expat shutters at the b-word, insisting that “fringe” is a more suitable description of the style. I think he’s right. Here are his easy dos and don’ts on nailing the look:

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A Beauty Chat with My Mom, Rose

We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I sat down with my beauty idol to learn more about her best secrets, the discontinued products that she wishes would be reissued, and the one tried-and-true product that she’s been using since high school. (Try this Q&A with your mom on Sunday—you’ll learn so much!)

What was your earliest beauty memory?
“I used to really love flipping through Cosmopolitan magazine—that’s where I first discovered vanity. My favorite model was Cristina Ferrare. I also loved Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren. I even used to fake Marilyn’s beauty mark with a pencil!”

So funny! Who taught you how to put on makeup?
“I think I taught myself really, but I also got some tips from your Auntie Esther [her sister-in-law]. I first started experimenting with mascara because I was so amazed by how long it made my eyelashes look.”

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In Loving Memory of Vidal Sassoon

Photo: flauntmagazine.com

Sad news on the beauty front today: seminal hairstylist Vidal Sassoon has passed away of natural causes at 84.

Sassoon, who rose to prominence in the 1960s, was a pioneer in the hair industry and was known for giving cuts that required little to no styling. His most famous looks were his geometric styles, like the modernized bob and his Five-Point cut, both of which were wash-and-wear styles that only needed to be set with a hair-dryer.

His creativity and ingenuity will be missed. 

—Candice

For a more lengthy obituary about Sassoon, read the New York Times article here.

Guest Blogger: Beauty Bets Tames The Wave


We’ve had a major girl crush on Elizabeth Dehn, founder of Beauty Bets, since we first stumbled across her elegant site. The Minneapolis-based blogger and beauty writer adheres to the quality over quantity rule of thumb, which means that her posts are always thoughtful, info-packed, and useful. You might find handy her round-up of the seven best eye creams or enjoy her honest account of the HCG diet she did (brave soul). Whatever the topic, she is always witty and honest — a woman after our own hearts. Plus, she loves face oils just as much as we do. We’re excited to have her on board for a series of posts about how she tamed her body wave-ed hair. Read on for tip #1!

I used to have long, lustrous, manageable hair. It’s still long, but I made the mistake of one day going to a hair salon to get The Body Wave—and what I ended up with instead was dry, dull, and definitely NOT hot mess hair. The stylist had promised me Blake Lively waves, but what I got was a crash-course in caring for chemically treated tresses. As a beauty writer, I had the unfair advantage of trying literally dozens of tactics to restore my hair to its original health. Here’s what actually worked:

Sulfate-free shampoo. The lathering agent that yields that squeaky-clean feeling is actually incredibly adept at stripping hair of moisture. If you can part with the suds, you’ll be rewarded with a more hydrated, manageable mane. Sojourn, the new collection from Vidal Sassoon’s son, Elan, is the best I’ve tried and has something for every hair type. 

Check back tomorrow for hair taming trick #2, plus more hair product picks!

Browse our selection of sulfate-free shampoo in the Birchbox Shop.