One Of L.A.'s Top Hair Gurus Dishes On Her 28 Beauty Essentials

The last time we ran into Kristin Ess, she was fresh off a flight from LAX. And, unlike most folks, not a hair was out of place. Our messy top knot didn't hold a candle to Ess' perfect mermaid waves (seriously, even fellow redhead Ariel would probably bow down!). As you can imagine, this level of glamour is common practice for The Beauty Department blogger — showing up at meetings with styled strands, flawless makeup, and never a minute late (yeah, she's that friend!).
As Lauren Conrad's go-to hair guru (she's responsible for that peachy ombré and those braid-within-a-braid styles), Ess has a ton of tricks up her sleeve. Lucky for us, she revealed the 28 beauty products she commits to day in and day out to keep her pretty from morning to night. Just don't be shocked if you run into us at the beauty counter stocking up, too!
1 of 28
"This is a new obsession — every beach spray I've ever tried gives the hair that salty-slash-crusty feel. This is incredibly soft and shiny, and truly gives you that just-stepped-out-of-the-ocean hair. It's like no beach spray I've ever used."

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray, $35, available at Barneys.
2 of 28
"I put this eye roller in the refrigerator and roll it under my eyes while I watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians — such single-girl behavior."

Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage, $28, available at Nordstrom.
3 of 28
"I couldn't live without this, and wouldn't even want to try! I've been known to go buy a new one while traveling if I've left mine at home. I can't do my hair without this dryer."

Elchim 2001Professional Hair Dyer, $99, available at Folica.
4 of 28
"Honestly, these pads are the best thing in my nighttime regiment. They very gently eat their way through any dry skin and pollution on the surface. I genuinely feel like I just had a facial each time I use one."

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel, $78, available at Sephora.
5 of 28
"Smooths, protects, creates shine, detangles, restores Ph balance ... What else would you want!? Oh, and it smells like Japanese lychee gummies, NBD. When they stop making this I will retire."

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner, $16.95, available at Ulta.
6 of 28
"Hands down the best sparkly gold nail polish out there. The glitter specks compliment almost any shade of nail polish when used as a top coat. Takes plain polish from casual to fancy in under five minutes!"

Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish in Boom Boom Pow, $20, available at Deborah Lippmann.
7 of 28
"As close as I can get to the J.Lo glow — so subtle and so amazing!"

Kevyn Aucoin The Pure Powder Glow, $37, available at Barneys.
8 of 28
"I love this for when I decide to wear my hair naturally curly. It has the same ingredients as those curling mascaras, so it enhances your own natural curl. When you rinse it out, it feels like you've had conditioner in your hair all day!"

Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Defining Creme, $28, available at Sephora.
9 of 28
"This is a great way to prep your face for daytime makeup. It's super smooth and moisturizing, without feeling oily. "

Kanebo Sensai Silk Emulsion, $65, available at Neiman Marcus.
10 of 28
"This is the mattest, pinkest, chic-est lipstick of them all. My obsession with women like Elsa Schiaparelli and Isabella Blow runs insanely deep — they were two of the first women I learned about in fashion, before Coco Chanel. Original, unparalleled, creative talent. Oh right, I forgot, we're supposed to be talking about lipstick!"

Nars Semi Matte Lipstick in Schiap, $24, available at Nars.
11 of 28
"A dab of this creamy cleanser on an exfoliating pad gives me the smoothest foundation to apply makeup."

Jurlique Replenishing Foaming Cleanser, $34, available at Jurlique.
12 of 28
"Pronounced 'pretty potion,' this shimmer-slash-lotion gives a gorgeous glow. It's great for shoulders and arms when showing a little skin! I use the light shade because I'm glow-in-the-dark white, but there are deeper shades for every skin tone."

Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion, $36, available at
13 of 28
"Let's just say I order this by the case. My hair gets super oily in one day, so I use this to go a second day without washing. I like this more than others because it doesn't get white or flaky."

Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, $19.25, available at Soap.
14 of 28
"Obsessica Simpson! This makes my hair incredibly shiny and, unlike most Kérastase, this particular line doesn't weigh the hair down at all. Kérastase is usually focused on repair, and typically there's a heaviness to its conditioners, but not this one! It's all shine and volume, which is a very difficult combo to find."

Kérastase Lait Crystal, $40, available at Kérastase.
15 of 28
"It never goes on white, so it's perfect under makeup!"

Josie Maran Jumbo Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40+, $54, available at Sephora.
16 of 28
"I keep this by my bed and I brush my hair and scalp at night to help move the natural oils down further. "

Mason Pearson Pocket Mixture Brush, $88, available at Barneys.
17 of 28
"I'm obsessed with this subtle, progressive tanning foam. If you put a thin layer on each day, it never ever looks blotchy."

Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer, $8.99, available at Walgreens.
18 of 28
"Right before I go to bed I chug a huge bottle of Smart Water and let it do its thing while I snooze. I'm all about rest and repair!"

Glaceau Smart Water Pack of 12, $20.98, available at Amazon.
19 of 28
"This is my go-to for mermaid waves — the best heat and hold possible in a curling iron."

Hot Tools Professional Spring Curling Iron, $39, available at Soap.
20 of 28
"I stock up on coconut oil at Whole Foods and I put it on my hands, feet, knees, and elbows. It's incredibly moisturizing and smells like a vacation!"

Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, $24.69, available at Swanson.
21 of 28
"If this didn't exist I would probably just not brush my hair. It's the best brush in the world — the best scalp massage, best detangler, and best size. People's eyes roll back in their heads when I brush their hair with this thing."

Denman D83 Large Paddle Brush, $16.67, available at Denman.
22 of 28
"This actually works, and thank goodness. I find that concealers always 'travel,' but this one stays put and it's very moisturizing — love it!"

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer, $24, available at Sephora.
23 of 28
"I cover myself in this every single day. I hate the way lotion feels but this all-natch, heavenly scented stuff absorbs so fast and moisturizes so well! I get it at Whole Foods and Trader Joes."

Skin Trip Coconut Moisturizer, $6.72, available at Swanson.
24 of 28
"This is a deep-repair cream that I apply before bed. It's packed with the good stuff and hopefully will keep me from going total grandma ... No offense, grandma!"

Kate Somerville Deep Tissue Repair Cream, $150, available at Sephora.
25 of 28
"I'm so pale! I avoid the sun as much as possible, so I need some color. Tom Ford bronzer is translucent, golden-glowy goodness!"

Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Terra, $90, available at Neiman Marcus.
26 of 28
"This is essential for nighttime hair. There's no better hair spray for updos or big hair. It has a super-strong hold, but brushes right out if you mess up and want to change anything. I'm a big mistake-maker and mind-changer when I'm doing my own hair, so I need a hair spray that won't get rock-hard too fast."

Warren Tricomi Superhold Hair Spray, $20, available at Dermstore.
27 of 28
"I've used this forever, and each jar lasts me nearly a year. I have naturally curly hair, so when it's humid, I need a little help to tame the automatic frizz that pops up! The tiniest bit goes a long way."

Aveda Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade, $19, available at Aveda.
28 of 28
"This is Kérastase's answer to Argan oil. Certain oils have yellow dye in them, which makes the hair appear brassy. This spectacular-smelling serum doesn't do that, and is incredibly lightweight. I use it daily after I curl to keep it from looking like I just did my hair."

Kérastase Elixir Ultime, $38, available at Amazon.