Beauty blogger and hair expert Kristin Ess from TheBeautyDepartment shares her beauty secrets, future aspirations, and one of the craziest skincare products she's ever tried.

Restorsea: What are your current 5 must-have items rights now? (Fashion/beauty, health/fitness, food/dining, arts/culture, etc.)

Kristin Ess:
1.  A vintage vanity tray (to hold my Restorsea, obviously!) from one of the chic LA flea markets. I've always been a collector of fancy bathroom beauty pieces.

2. The new Oribe mousse, obsessed. First of all, I love all of his stuff but second, I've been  WAITING for a mousse! Also, have you tried the Apres Beach? Heaven. 

3.  Another 13 perfume. It was a collaboration between Le Labo and Another Magazine. I got the very last bottle from Barney's-- they only made 500! I became insanely OBSESSED and used it sparingly for over a year. Then the heavens opened up when they brought it back. They only sell it at Collette in Paris so you better believe I stocked up during our recent trip! Truly my #1 favorite fragrance and people will chase you down to ask what it is.

4. The new NARS foundation. It comes in a compact, which is great for a girl on the go or anyone who needs a quick touch up after work. Love!

5. The Wella conditioning mask, for post pool summer hair repair! My hair always feels so "crunchy" when I get out of the pool. Problem solved!

R: What is the craziest beauty remedy, product or service that you have tried?

K: I'm all about trying new things, but one facialist gave me a cream to put on my face that was (I'm mortified to say) made from baby foreskin. Let's just end this conversation here. Not only did I throw the sample away, I never went back to her. 

R: What was the inspiration for The Beauty Department?

K: TBD came about because we felt like the instructional how-to's that were out there were not thorough enough for a young girl seeking a beauty education. You could learn some tips and tricks, but there really weren't tutorials of people doing professional-looking hair and makeup tutorials. We wanted to reach the girl in the middle of nowhere who may not have had a big sister or mother to show her how.

R: What is your favorite local spot?

K: You can always find me at SugarFish. Always.

R: Who are your personal style and/or beauty icons?

K: Isabella Blow, Diana Vreeland and Dorothy Draper. If you don't know who they are, I encourage you to look them up and open your eyes to some of the most glamorous ladies of all time. True visionaries and my 3 greatest inspirations.

R: What would you be doing if you weren’t creating content for your site?

K: I would still be doing hair (as I do already), but in addition I would most likely go into furniture design. I have plans.

R: What are your favorite magazines or other online publications?

K: Lula Magazine, Allure, and the international issues of Elle, Vogue and Marie Claire.

R: What would your readers be surprised to find out about you?

K: I'm going to Iceland next month to creative direct a music video for one of my clients who is an incredibly gifted singer, I didn't know how to braid for the first 9 years of my career so I faked it or had an assistant do it. I have 9 brothers and sisters, and I will eventually retire outside of Portland in my dream home-- which will be built from scratch.

R: What are you most looking forward to?

K: I am most looking forward to the reorganization and optimized navigation launch of TBD. Our readers wanted to be able to locate articles quicker and easier so that's our main priority right now.

Photo Courtesy Rue Daily

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