For a long time I didn't pay attention to any Kristin Ess products because, as a stylist myself, it goes against everything I believe in to buy hair care at a grocery store, drugstore, or superstore for that matter. I basically preach the use of salon quality products behind the chair. When someone picks up a product in the salon and asks "What can I get at Target that will do the same thing?" (yes, people really ask that), I promptly and honestly reply, "nothing." And I mean it.
Well, it must have been the Insta story that broke the camels back. Yesterday yet another blogger I follow had posted a picture of a Kristin Ess display, and coincidentally, I happened to be fresh out of my regular shampoo and conditioner - so you can bet I was on my way to Target that afternoon. Fairly certain I was about to be let down, the hype still had me wanting to see for myself. After all, I had just poked around her Instagram and there was no doubt this woman is great at what she does - textured, effortless, cool - she's on it. So I bought what I use the most of: shampoo, conditioner, and pomade.
The whole drive home I thought, what a waste of time. I'm probably going to return all of this. Earlier, in the store I sampled some working spray, not even thinking about the fact that this was not a tester (I'm the reason you should always take from the back). The fragrance was so intense it was starting to give me a headache. Undeterred, that night I used my new shampoo and conditioner, and though the fragrance was still a bit strong, Lo and behold! it was my only (slight) gripe. You guys! It's so good! What am I going to tell my clients? My boss? St. Peter at the gates?! My hair was so soft this morning, and the pomade left a super cool, flexible texture in my hair all day long. I've been convinced. I'm not suggesting Target for all of your cosmetic endeavors (c'mon), but the Karen Ess line is an awesome option for cool looking, fancy feeling hair care.
Which Kristin Ess product should I try next? Leave me a comment - I love to talk shop!
I thought I had it all figured out - for a little over a year I was really happy with my skin. My routine was simple and effective. I washed my face twice a day, toned with Estee Lauder, slathered myself in Truth Serum, and resurfaced regularly with a few night gels. I was perfecting my routine one step at a time, and my next step was to rid my shelf of all cruel and toxic products. Funny enough - that's when shit hit the fan, and my skin decided to turn on me. What once glowed like a marvelous globe of Sephora synthetics, was now a giant sad dry patch.
Now, to be fair, it's possible that some other factors were affecting my skin. It could have been stress. Or maybe it had something to do with the fact that I had traveled between three climates in one month. Did I black out and pet a street dog named Mateo? Was it a gluten thing? Should I have not done the Ess-a-Bagel eating contest on First Avenue? Who knows! My dermatologist told me I had a dirty cellphone. She sent me home with a prescription for a (very pricey) topical antibiotic that after a week was delivering lack luster results. I did some research on my doctor's recommendation, and wouldn't ya know it? After all this work trying to clean up my act, this stuff was the most toxic of them all! So I tossed it to the back of the cabinet and decided have a shot at this myself.
Once again, I broke down my entire routine and came to a few conclusions: I cleanse too much, exfoliate too much, and moisturize too little. Now in the morning, rather than washing my face with water, I wake sleepy skin with a Rose Infused Witch Hazel. A few pumps of Glossier's Soothing Face Mist softens the skin and preps it for moisturizer - and by the way, it's true what they say about lotion and damp skin: it really does help to lock the moisture in. So seal it up with Priming Moisturizer and you're on your fucking way!
Now the day is done, your lunch was cold, your boss was a bitch, and it's time to take your makeup off. Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser, a holy grail product for many, is perfect for dissolving makeup and general filth. Baptize yourself with a rich evening serum like Kiehls Midnight Recovery and massage a generous amount of Priming Moisturizer Rich all over your mug. You'll thank me in the morning.
Texturizing products are the short cut to effortless looking hair. There pretty much isn't a single type of texturizing product I don't want to get my hands on, but you may have a preference as far as what works best for you. To keep things simple, I picked three different kinds of texturizing products and made a quick video demonstrating how to apply and what they do. Written explanations are below!
Here they are in order of lightest to heaviest finish:
SALT SPRAY - "Sea, salt, wind." The R+Co. Salt Spray (Rockaway) is the best salt spray I've ever used. It mists onto your hair as light as water, but it's formulated with nourishing ingredients and even Indonesian sea weed to swell the cuticle and give it a soft grit. You can use this on damp hair before air drying if you like. I prefer to mist it throughout dry hair and tousle it a bit.
SPRAY WAX - If you find spray wax intimidating you need to face this fear. These types of products spray in a very fine mist and pack a ton of flexible hold into a style. If you want your hair looking really wild, or need to bring some life into day two hair, or even hair that is just feeling too soft and slippery, mist a little bit of spray wax in there and shake it out. It's also really great for holding bangs and framing pieces off of your face.
STYLING PASTE - You'll probably notice in my "3 products" video that I actually showed four different things, but two of them are styling pastes. I used Evo's Crop Strutters Construction Cream this time around, but had to give R+Co's Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste a cameo. These two are incredible. Here is the main difference you will find between the two: Evo's is a thick, somewhat tacky cream. R+Co's has a smoother feel when broken down between your hands and has a very fine, gritty finish (it's also a dry shampoo!). To use a styling paste, take a small amount (between a pea and a dime) in your hands, rub them together to distribute onto your palms evenly and scrunch, twist, and separate your hair where you want to create texture. This is a great product you can use when you want to keep the perimeter of your cut looking blunt and "piece-y."
I'm wearing all Glossier in this post! Cloud Paint in Haze | Generation G in Zip | Stretch Concealer in Medium | Boy Brow in Brown | shop with me on my Glossier Rep Page! Orders $30+ include free shipping. First time orders get 20% off! For the rest of you, a limited time promo code for 2 Cloud Paints for $30 can be entered at checkout: "2BLUSH" Enjoy your face!
Send your hair questions my way! ig: shannon_brigid e-mail: email@example.com
I wish I had a dollar, or a vodka soda, or a damn french fry for every time someone sat down and told me they wanted something "low-maintenance." While that is important information, I can assure you that low-maintenance is assumed until you tell me otherwise. I always tell my clients that no one comes in asking for a high-maintenance routine, and that it's something I can relate to because I prefer to keep things simple myself. My follow up question is usually "What is your current routine and how do you prefer to go about it?" Fifty percent of the time people tell me they just wash it and don't do anything at all. That is absolutely perfect if that is what you like to do, but don't expect your hair to look like anything else ever in that case. Not to sound like a grouch, but I hear it all too often: "I want this style but I don't want to do it." Unfortunately zero effort does not give us effortless hair (as much as I would love that too). There are so many ways to keep a low-maintenance yet styled hair routine. This one is my favorite this summer:
Wash you hair with good shampoo and conditioner. Find something made for your hair texture and issues that is salon quality. Two out of the three times a week I wash my hair I use R+Co.'s ANALOG Cleansing Conditioner (co-wash, as some call it). It's hydrating and weightless on the hair.
Towel dry, but don't be rough. Squeeze the water out of your hair with a soft towel or even a cotton t-shirt to prevent roughing the cuticle and causing frizz.
Comb through your foundation products. Use a moisturizing cream to smooth your cuticle. I use R+Co. HIGH DIVE every single time. It smells incredible, nourishes your hair, and has a heat protectant formulated into it, so you don't need to apply one separately.
Softly blow your hair dry about 30% and scrunch while you go to create a wave. Once you've gotten some of the water out, spray R+Co. SAIL throughout your entire head of hair and continue to scrunch. At this point I usually blow dry my hair to about 50-60% and continue to use SAIL as I scrunch and twist texture into my hair. If you prefer and if you have the time, just let it air dry.
Once your hair is dry you can define the texture by using a styling paste to create a piecey look. I like to add a few defined curls in with my 1" curling iron. You can do as much or as little as you prefer at this point. (For soft, creamy paste try UNITE's Second Day, but for something with a little more grit and for some root lift, head for R+Co. BADLANDS Dry Shampoo Paste.)
That's all there is to it. Not including your shower products it only takes 3 things to keep your hair healthy and styled. DM me on instagram if you have questions and if you try it and love it send me or tag me in a selfie or something. This works with everyone a little differently, but always looks effortless and cool so I'd love to see what you're doing.
-I'm wearing Generation G in Zip in this post! Shop Glossier with me: glossier.com/reps/shannonlauritsen 20% your first Glossier order!-
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The July 2017 issue of NYLON Magazine has this really cool spread called "Girls On Film," (it starts on page 84). Initially it was the hair in the spread that caught my eye, but as I flipped through I was reminded of this really cool photo series of Madonna shot by photographer Richard Corman in 1983. I first saw these photographs last year when I was online looking for old pictures of the East Village (you know, just a little self-inflicted torture). You can see all of the photographs on Richard Corman's website, including the contact sheets of the black and white series. They're so fucking cool.
The styling in the NYLON spread is no doubt outrageous and a lot less street than dear Madge in those portraits - but I love it. The suits, the embellishments, the insanely deep side part - so good. Now this is something I was sure would never come back. These are the (much more stylized) portrayals of the outfits our moms were wearing in the pictures of Christmas Eve at Aunt Tammy's house in 1985. Teen me looked at those photographs stored away in shoe boxes and was like "lol mom wtf."
So I'm sitting there with my coffee and my magazine thinking about how it has all come back. There are always going to be trends and always the risk of missing the mark, but so many trends run parallel with each other these days. Case in point, the same NYLON issue has a spread featuring designers like Dior, Osman, and Karen Walker who have tapped into different genres like folk, disco, and country for inspiration - and it's all awesome. Think about that dangerous garbage pit of time known as your Instagram explore page. There are so many looks flying around, and I like to appreciate them all no matter what degree of intention is behind them.
Then I got to thinking of a conversation I had with a friend a while back about whether or not periods of time could be defined by their look anymore. We couldn't think of how to uniquely describe the trends at this very moment - or how it will be looked back on 40 years from now. I pretty much blame everything on the internet, but between that and the side effects of fast fashion these days, everything is sort of a mashup of everything that came before it. For the longest time I thought that was such a shame - until today. It dawned on me flipping through this insanely eclectic (as they always are) issue of NYLON and started thinking... it's not bad that so many trends are recycled, that nothing feels 100% new anymore, because maybe... maybe we've entered the Renaissance of Personal Style. Now how fucking cool is that? I was excited at the thought and so inspired by the magazine in my lap. It was this realization that was a breath of fresh air. No better time than now for self-expression and a personal renaissance, so best not to waste it, I think -whatever that means for you.
Check out Richard Corman's book of Madonna portraits. Madonna NYC 83
Glossier Phase 2 // Boy Brow - Generation G (Zip) - Stretch Concealer
Cloud Paint Duo // Beam - Dusk Mask Duo // Moon Mask - Mega Greens
The Supers // Pure - Glow - Bounce Phase 1 // Milky Jelly Cleanser - Balm Dotcom - Priming Moisturizer
Use these sets to balance and care for your skin. Shop through my link for 20% off your first order and free shipping over $30. Enjoy your happy face!