Hairstylist and beauty entrepreneur, Kristin Ess, has wanted to make hair tools since she can remember. “This has been on my agenda even before I launched styling products,” Ess told me last week, just days before the tools hit shelves, creating mass hysteria at Target. “All I’ve ever wanted to do was tools and to be honest, I would have started with them if it didn’t take years to do. It took a really long time but I guess patience is a virtue. Or so I’ve heard.”
When Ess, who spent years doling out tips and tricks on her site The Beauty Department, first launched her own line, her goal was to create gorgeous-looking hair-care and styling products — pretty enough that you’d want to show them off in your shower or on your vanity — but that wouldn’t break the bank. “When it comes to tools, there’s inexpensive and then there’s super expensive, but there’s nothing really beautiful in the middle. And I mean, there are cool things that are available at that middle price point, and they work really well, but I was always shoving them under my counter to hide them.”
But Ess didn’t just have the average beauty consumer in mind when creating these tools. “Another big factor for me was that as a hairstylist if my equipment broke in the middle of the night, there was never anywhere I could go in a pinch to get real deal stuff. You’ve obviously heard so many times when a hairdresser is traveling and something breaks, its like what are you gonna do? You have to run to the drugstore, and there’s never anything widely exciting or professional. So we had to put something there. We had to.”
So Ess created a line of eight beautiful hot tools each with matte white shells and rose gold details that had the entire Allure staff oohing and ahhing the minute they arrived at the office. “We really spent a lot of time on the aesthetic and the feel, everything is soft-touch and we just really tried to take it to another level,” Ess explained.
And in pure Kristin Ess form, there is something in this collection for everyone. “These are the tools I take in every kit to every job because I feel you can get any hair look done with them. It was important to me that a person with any hair type can find a heat-styling tool in this collection that works for them.” Below, in her own words, Ess breaks down the collection, so all you have to get is get yourself in line at your nearest Target location.
“Most important for me was to have a lightweight, brushless motor. It extends the length of your blow-dryer ten times longer the average motor. Whenever I buy a drugstore blow-dryer, I expect to have to take a 15-minute break from my blow dry so it doesn’t overheat.
There are two attachments, the nozzle — I typically never blow-dry without a nozzle — and a diffuser for curls and waves. And we made it as silent as you possibly can. It’s definitely not silent because no blow-dryer is actually silent, but we put a silencer feature on the back so that it’s quieter. It also has a removable filter, so you can clean it easily.
There’s an ion switch, which illuminates to let you know if its on or off. Having the ionic setting feature was important to me even though a lot of people don’t know about it. They don’t know that when you have it switched one way or the other it can either give you a super shiny sleek look or mega volume. But I definitely want to educate people on that for sure. There have only been a couple [dryers] on the market that have the ion switch and they’re typically very expensive, so I was really excited about having that in there.