Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Of all Lauren Conrad's California girl assets—glowy skin, effortless style, beachy waves—her sunny hair color might be the most envied. And for that, LC owes celebrity colorist Kristin Ess, who has been creating her perfect blonde shades for the past five years. Recently, Ess teamed up with Lauren on a beauty tutorial website called thebeautydepartment.com, where you can find hairstyling how-to videos, beauty trends, and skin-care tips (as well as pics of Lauren makeup-free—of course, still looking totally gorg). And now Ess tells us she's leaving her post at the Chris McMillan salon to open her own place in West Hollywood—and that she's enlisted Lauren's help. "I just got off the phone with Lauren—she's helping me brainstorm names for the salon.... It never made sense to me when salons closed at 6 PM. My clients are working women and need their hair done after work, so I'm opening a space that caters to those women, with hours from noon to 9 PM," she says.
The salon—which Ess describes as very intimate, with just three chairs and a vintage look with a modern flair—will open in late June , and you can look forward to seeing plenty of beautiful people there (Ess also works with Whitney Port and Nikki Reed). I of course couldn't let her off the phone without prodding for some of the secrets she uses on LC's amazing hair: "She's busy—she's writing three more books; she has two clothing lines—she doesn't have time to be in the salon a lot," Ess says. "So no matter how light or dark we go, I never stray too far from her natural color along two to three inches of her hairline, so she never has roots. So whether it's six days or six weeks after I color her, it looks good." Her technique of choice: "I never limit myself to one. I use balayage, foils, painting, and a bunch of other things that I customize." And her summer color advice: "Brighten up. Everyone wants to be a little lighter in the summer, but instead of the ombré look, which was fun in 2010, try using a surfer girl look as your inspiration—it's a little softer."