beauty

"Kristin Ess Hair is finally in Australia. These are the 3 products I'm obsessed with."

The highly anticipated hair care range from celebrity hairstylist Kristin Ess is finally in Australia just in time for some Christmas hair miracles.

After Priceline announced they would be stocking products from the LA-based genius behind the hair of celebrities like Lauren Conrad, Jenna Dewan and Lucy Hale, we’ve been waiting and figuratively holding our breath (sorry Kristin, girl’s gotta breathe).

Kristin first launched her premium yet affordable products in Target stores in the US in 2017. In under two weeks, every single Kristin Ess product on shelves across 1,800 US Target stores was sold out. In 2018, the brand will be approaching $50 million USD in retail sales.

Yeah, she’s a big deal.

I had the opportunity to meet Kristin when she was in Australia with Priceline in September, and to try out some of the products in her range to report back to you guys.

When I asked her why she decided to market her premium products, both in formula and packaging, at an affordable price, she said it’s because when her followers asked her for dupes of the high-end products she was recommending, she couldn’t because they didn’t exist yet.

“I’ve been in hair for so long, I’ve tried super cheap products and I’ve tried super expensive products and there are these cult products everyone loves that are super expensive. I always gravitated towards that, I used to spend all my rent money on products,” she told Mamamia.

“But then I got to the point where I would recommend them to my followers and they’d say, I would love to use that but I can’t afford it. They would always ask, what’s the affordable alternative? And there kind of wasn’t a great middle ground. You either had super cheap that might not be as good or might have funky ingredients, or you had the premium.

“There was no middle sweet spot, so I decided to make it my mission to go after that and provide that for people that want amazing hair but can’t spend a million dollars on products. I want someone to be able to go in and get what they need, and at that price point, you don’t always expect you’ll like to look at [the product], and that it would work too.”

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Okay, let’s go Australia. ???? @pricelineau

A post shared by KRISTIN ESS HAIR • FOUNDER (@kristin_ess) on

The basics you need to know about all Kristin Ess products are:

  • They’re available in-store and online exclusively at Priceline.
  • All range between $18.99 and $24.99.
  • Every single bottle contains Kristin’s first-of-its-kind Zip-Up complex, which combines Kerabead microcapsules and conditioning ingredients like chia seeds, pea protein and marine algae to help strengthen hair and protect it from damage.
  • The products come in four different but incredibly chic colours, which indicate where they belong in your routine:
    • Peachy pink bottles belong in the shower and should be used on wet hair.
    • White products are to be used only on wet hair before drying.
    • Grey bottles are for towel-dried hair.
    • Black bottles can be used on dry hair.
  • Every bottle has instructions on the back, written by Kristin herself, that tell you exactly how and when to use them.

Out of the Kristin Ess products I tried, I’m now in a loving relationship with three (technically four) of the products in the range.

Here are my mini reviews of the Kristin Ess The One Signature Shampoo and Conditioner, Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Leave-In Conditioner and Kristin Ess Style Assist Blow Dry Mist.

Kristin Ess The One Signature Shampoo and Conditioner 296ml, $18.99 each.

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Here's the shampoo. Image: Supplied.
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And the conditioner. Image: Supplied.

It's really hard to find a sulphate-free shampoo and conditioner combo that does everything. This one cleanses your scalp and forms a nice foamy lather on your second shampoo, and leaves your hair feeling moisturised and looking shiny.

Not too weighed down with hydration, not too squeaky clean and not too hectic with the volume. The One Signature Shampoo and Conditioner are the Goldilocks of hair care.

The bottles are smaller than your average supermarket/chemist shampoos and conditioners, but if you're using the recommended amount - Kristin says a 'dime to quarter-sized amount', which translates to a 10 to 20 cent piece - the bottles will last you two-and-a-half to three months.

Side note - Leigh Campbell recommended The Kristin Ess The One range on Mamamia's You Beauty podcast, you can listen below. Post continues after audio.

I've been using the products three times a week since the end of September and am just about to run out now. If you double shampoo, you'll also conveniently run out of both products at roughly the same time, meaning you can stock up at once.

All Kristin Ess products have the same signature fragrance - fresh and slightly fruit, but not citrusy or sweet. It smells like your hair after you've been to the salon, but in the comfort of your own shower. It's also worth noting picking up these beautiful, chic peachy pink bottles in the shower is an experience in itself. I really look forward to washing my hair because these products make the ritual feel luxe, rather than a chore.

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Verdict? Four good hair days, but three-and-a-half if you've got speciality hair or scalp needs (sub in either of the products where you can in your regular routine).

P.S. The brand also carries a shampoo and conditioner for blondes, The One Purple Shampoo and Conditioner ($21.99 each).

Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Leave-In Conditioner, $18.99 (this one should be available online and in-store soonish).

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Here she is, the leave-in conditioner. Image: Supplied.
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Kristin's captions are the best! Image: Supplied.
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When I spoke to Kristin, this was the product she was most excited about.

She describes it as "her life" because it "creates completely weightless shine and detangles better than any other leave-in I've used."

Like toners in the skin care world, leave-in conditioners can feel a bit dated, but in my opinion, this one is worth adding into your routine, especially if your hair is on the dry/frizzy side.

Again, the product has the same Kristin Ess scent and looks chic in your bathroom cabinet.

The key is not to apply on partially air dried or dry hair. When your hair is still wet straight out of the shower, go ham and apply a good five to 10 spritzes all over your hair. Even around the roots, because the formula is completely weightless so no need to worry about getting greasy roots.

The spray couldn't be easier to use if you tried and takes zero effort to add into your routine. I like to combine it with the blowdry mist (which we'll chat about in a sec) because I blowdry my hair, and any extra hydration I can pack in there is appreciated.

I've also air dried with the product, and regardless of how you like to dry your hair, the end result it shiny, silky hair you can't stop touching. I've had multiple compliments on my hair since I've started using this because the shine is that noticeable.

Verdict? Four-and-a-half silky ponytails. The only reason it's not a five is because it doesn't do the washing up for you. Ugh.

Kristin Ess Style Assist Blow Dry Mist 150ml, $21.99.

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The blowdry mist is the bomb. Image: Supplied.

This stuff is a legitimate game changer. And I can prove it.

The Kristin Ess Style Assist Blow Dry Mist is pre-blowdry spray that smooths and adds shine, and most importantly, shaves minutes of your blowdrying time.

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I blowdry my hair at least four times a week, usually in the morning before work, so I was keen to see if this product could deliver on the promises on the back of the bottle.

Kristin's instructions for use state: "Go easy on this. Three to four pumps should be enough for fine or short hair types and five to seven sprays for thick, dry or long hair types."

Don't go thinking you know how to use Kristin's product better than Kristin. I did and went way overboard with the spray before blowdrying, and my hair lacked shine and felt a bit staticy/strawy. In this case, more blowdry spray does not equal a quicker blowdry.

I like to use it after applying the leave-in conditioner - I get out of the shower, wrap my hair in a towel, put on my face serum, apply the leave-in conditioner and wrap my hair up again, apply moisturiser/brush teeth, then spritz the blow dry mist and dry immediately. The product has the same Kristin Ess scent, and because you only need a couple of sprays, it'll last you AGES (I've used a tenth of the bottle since September).

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These two + hairdryer = good hair day. Image: Supplied.
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Legit how long it took to blowdry my long hair. Image: Supplied.
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The end result (sans makeup or any other styling). Image: Supplied.

My usual blowdry takes at least five to 10 minutes. With the mist, it took just under four minutes.

The finished look is shiny and considerably less frizzy, and the product doesn't build up, it kind of just melts away as if it was never there.

Verdict? Five mornings of catching the train on time thanks to this little beauty!

Some other stand out Kristin Ess products...

Kristin Ess Rose Gold Temporary Tint, $21.99.

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A wash out rose gold tint that can be applied to wet or dry hair, and will add a rose gold/pinky hue to blondes or brunettes with any lighter/dry bits. Image: Priceline.
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Kristin Ess Sea Salt Air Dry Spray, $18.99.

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A non-crunchy sea salt spray that brushes out. Image: Priceline.

Kristin Ess Instant Lift Thickening Spray, $23.99.

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If you have fine hair that just can't keep it up, you'll love this. Image: Priceline.

Kristin Ess Soft Shine Beach Wave Spray, $24.99.

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A texture spray for beach waves that brushes out and holds without feeling crunchy/producty. Image: Priceline.
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You can find the Kristin Ess Hair range at Priceline in-store and online as of December 3. You might want to run, because it will sell out.

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