If you've ever wondered who's behind Lauren Conrad's perfect textured bob, then we have the answer for you. It's Kristin Ess, a celebrity hairstylist who also works with the likes of Lucy Hale and Jenna Dewan. Her work is all over Pinterest and Instagram—from beachy waves to sleek scarf-accessorized updos. As the woman behind The Beauty Department, an educational website that shares tutorials, tips, and tricks, she's a bona fide beauty expert in all realms.
Even if you weren't aware of her online presence and beauty background, you might still recognize her name from perusing the aisles at Target since that's where she sells her namesake line of hair products (shout-out to the Kristin Ess Strand Strengthening Reconstructive Moisture Mask, $14, which single-handedly brought my hair back to life after a sun-filled, super-drying summer). Now she's expanding that namesake product line to include a collection of hot tools—blow-dryers, flat irons, curling wands, you name it.
They've just launched, and they're all under $100. Keep scrolling to learn more.
The collection features eight different hot tools, all encased in a combination of gorgeous white and rose gold. That means that they're affordable and worthy of showing off atop your bathroom vanity, unlike some of the other chunkier, not so aesthetically pleasing hot tools with the same price point. "These are the tools I take in every kit to every job because I feel you can get any hair look done with them," Ess said in a conversation with Allure. "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."
Let's start with the most expensive product, shall we? At only $100, it's much more affordable than other hair dryers on the market, yet has similar professional features. We all know how difficult it can be to master the perfect blow dry. There's an airflow system to keep hair hydrated and healthy in the face of heat, as well as ionic technology to smooth strands, and three heat settings to achieve different styles.
For half the price of the large hair dryer, you can snag this compact dryer, which is travel-friendly. Just like the large dryer, there are multiple heat settings and ionic technology. This one is simply smaller, more lightweight, and foldable. It's perfect for stashing away into your suitcase throughout all your upcoming holiday travel.
Next is this Root Control Iron, which you may have never seen before. As Ess explained to Allure, "a lot of people will have never seen a tool like this before. I've been using one for years, but it's from Europe and it wasn't available for the general public, just hairdressers. The fact it hasn't been on the market blows my mind. It's meant for if you have natural texture and let's say you have baby hairs along the hairline or you have frizz along the top layer of your hair. You just run this iron—which is basically a tiny rod surrounded by a comb—over the top and smooth those frizzies down.
I use this all the time on my friends who like a sleek look. It's better than using a mini flatiron.
"It's different from a pressing comb but it's a similar technology. It's not specifically to comb out the hair from root to end. It's more intended to be used along the roots. And that's what also makes it cool is you can use this iron to add volume at the crown without having to tease the hair or use a blow-dryer. You just slip the iron underneath a section of hair at the crown of your head, comb up and out, and it gives you a little raise."
This curling iron is one inch, so it's the perfect size to create that beachy, windswept texture everyone loves. (Maybe this is the exact tool we need to achieve Lauren Conrad–level results?) It's titanium as opposed to ceramic and has a digital display and a top heat setting of 425º. Pair it with the brand's Dry Finish Texture Spray ($14) for the ultimate California-girl hair.
The Soft Wave Curling Iron is 1 1/4 inches, so it creates bigger, softer curls (or waves, if you so please). Just like the one before it, it's titanium, with automatic shut-off, a digital display, and a no-fuss swivel cord.
This curling wand is unique in that it folds over to form a 90-degree angle with the handle. The purpose of this is to provide the user with a better curling angle since we all have that one side that's easy to curl and the opposite that's incredibly hard to curl. This keeps both sides equal, not to mention the end result will look polished and uniform.
This flat iron is a three-in-one. You can use it to straighten your hair as normal, or you can use it to create curls and waves. All you do is clamp a small section of hair and twist it as you pull down, instead of pulling it directly down as you normally would. It results in the prettiest loose waves. Trust us—we use this technique all the time.
Finally, we have a mini flat iron. Again, this is perfect for traveling. Stow it away in your suitcase and it will take up half the amount of room that your normal flat iron would. It's also great for touch-ups. Maybe your hair is already styled, but it just needs a little extra love (people with bangs know what I mean). That's where this mini iron comes in.
Now that you're up to date on the best new hot tools to shop, check out which unexpected hair color combination is trending on Pinterest.