"If you don't look good, we don't look good": Legendary hairstylist Vidal Sassoon died on Wednesday of natural causes. Famous for pioneering the "wash and wear" look of the London mod scene, Sassoon's style allowed women to look fashionable but not spend as much time on their hair as the hot-rollers-and-hairspray look of years past. By using his keen eye and industry clout to quietly emphasize that hair needn't detract from women's lives—and by developing a line of low-cost hair care products—Sassoon, in his way, played a role in helping women navigate shifting social roles of the '60s and '70s. (Also, the best haircut of my life was given to me by a student at the Vidal Sassoon school in London, so there's a personal debt here too.) In honoring him, Bim Adewunmi discusses the politics of hair—contextualized not only by Sassoon's death but by his life, which was explicitly political—at The Guardian.
Spring in your step: It's stinky shoe season!
...And Everything In Between:
Bioré?: Top 10 global beauty brands, ranked by "projected revenues, customer loyalty and willingness to pay a price premium, royalty rates and current market value." The biggest surprise for me: Bioré at #9?
Margaritaville*: Now Warren Buffet's getting in on Coty's bid to buy Avon.
Say goodbye to Cincinnati: The head of Procter & Gamble's beauty business is retiring, and the whole operation is packing up and hiking over to Singapore. I mean, they're not actually hiking! They will probably fly, or take a boat. In any case, they will be leaving Cincinnati.
"Lots of water": Zimbabwean beauty queen Vanessa Sibanda is denying reports that she uses skin lightening cream, claiming that foreign travel that took her out of the sun—and, of course, healthy eating and "lots of water"—have made her more pale. I have no idea what the truth is, but the debate reminds me of starlets who claim they don't diet; they just have a "really fast metabolism," which then becomes such an embedded truth of Hollywood that it's seen as subversive when a performer acknowledges that you're "hungry all the time."
Carnivale: An early version of Filipino beauty pageants: Carnival Queens.
Old Ironsides: Oliver Cromwell would give your Lush collection a run for the money, a recent chemical test of some of his belongings indicates. But today it's actually Scottish men who are making up the UK's biggest increase in men's salon services. In the name o' the wee man, what's going on up north?
Native couture: Beyond Buckskin gives a much-needed antidote to all that Urban Outfitters Navajo nonsense with her striking new boutique, which showcases the work of Native designers. (I wear next to no jewelry and own exactly two pairs of earrings, but I still couldn't resist this gorgeous pair.) There's some recognizably traditional stuff in there, but what's most exciting here is seeing the ways that Native designers are showing that Indians are living, breathing people with fashion-forward vision, not stuck in the past with a tear trailing down one cheek. (Speaking of successful blending of Native traditions with modenity, Adrienne at Native Appropriations points us toward this new Nelly video that features hoop dancing. For more on the background of hoop dancing, go here.)
Cutie pie: At 40-plus, Barbara Greenberg is damn well tired of being called "cute."
"What's your poison?": Imp Kerr's experimental style both intrigues and lingers, and this entry touching on the gaze, sex work, and feminine performance is a good place to start.
Double dog dare: Australian artist taking legal action against Madonna for using a logo on her Truth or Dare perfume that looks suspiciously like his trademarked signature emblem. (via MimiFroufrou)
Ruff!: Oh dear lord, I haven't heard of this whole young-women-turning-themselves-into-dolls-and-puppies thing, but once you have, you can't go back. Truly am feeling a little ambivalent about posting this link because it's so upsetting, but maybe someone will have a take on this that isn't just depressing? Maybe? As The Gloss put it, no matter how many times some woman tries to do this, it still freaks us out.
Tattoo you: Speaking of being freaked out, permanent makeup usually does that for me, but I hadn't considered its therapeutic benefits for people with a cleft palate.
Bikini babe: If you're a regular reader here, you're already probably pretty skeptical of the idea of "bikini season," but Caitlin lays out the problems with it so dead-on and succinctly that it's making me even madder. (I'm not a bikini wearer anymore, mostly because, yep, I don't like how I look in them. That said, I felt so bottoms-tuggy, breast-adjusty, and generally self-conscious when I did wear bikinis that the loss isn't great, and it also led me to discover the tankini, i.e. the best swimsuit.)