Hot tools are an investment. Unlike your mascara, concealer, or even your cleanser, your blow-dryers, curling wands, and flat irons are the few beauty products that will actually last closest to a lifetime — or at least several years. (And if you’ve been using your mascara for years, please, for the love of god, throw it away right now.)
However, most people who heat style their hair frequently will argue that you must — absolutely must — spend a lot to get high-quality results. In other words, when your friend asks you for a curling-iron recommendation, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a $300 wand… which when you think about it, is criminally insane. Yes, the hot tools out there that toggle triple digits are some of the best on the market, but that doesn’t mean that everyone should have to, or is in a position to, spend half their rent check on a flat iron.
That’s where celebrity stylist Kristin Ess comes in. The woman behind Lucy Hale’s ’90s bob and Lauren Conrad’s choppy layers is also the mastermind behind her eponymous hair-care line, Kristin Ess Hair, which sells prestige-quality styling products for cheap-as-hell prices at Target. Now, Ess is revolutionizing the field once again, launching a collection of high-end hot tools at a middle-of-the-road cost.
As a celebrity hairstylist who’s been the game for well over two decades, Ess tells Refinery29 that hot tools are basically an extension of her hands when working with clients, but she admits she’s always seen huge gaps in the market. “It’s been hard for me to not develop my own hot tools,” she tells us. “From the beginning, it’s been one thing I’ve always wanted to make, especially tools that are hard to find.”
So Ess went ahead and …read more