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NARS Audacious: Boldly Going Where No Lipstick Has Gone Before

(L-R: Michiyo, Carmen, Greta, Lana, Annabella)

I've been a bold lip girl for years now. Thoroughly incapable of applying an artful eye, or god forbid, doing something wild like SCULPTING, I rely on a lazy but bold swipe of color on my lips to carry me through the day. As you might expect accordingly, I've accrued QUITE the collection of lipsticks over the years - seemingly every imaginable red, shocking pink and overt orange. In fact, until the launch of the new Audacious Lipstick Collection from NARS, I thought I was all set - no more lipstick for me. Now, I know the error of my ways.

Created in honor of the brand's 20th Anniversary, the Audacious Lipstick Collection is a stunner. Boasting 40 shades, literally every imaginable shade of every imaginable color it seems, the unique, pigment-rich formula delivers intense, full-coverage color in a single easy swipe. The application is so creamy and so smooth, in fact, it almost feels like you're applying gloss or balm. The color lasts too - I've tested Michiyo, Greta, Lana and Annabella to date, and each had staying power in the range of 5+ hours, though you will see some transfer immediately after application.

The Audacious Lipsticks, at $32, are an upgrade from NARS lipsticks not only in formula, but in packaging. Housed in a modern, matte-black metallic case with a thoroughly satisfying magnetic closure, the specially designed sculpted bullet is embossed with the NARS logo.

Shop the collection now at narscosmetics.com

Thoroughly Modern Nail Art: Paintbox, Reviewed

Paintbox Geometry Class Manicure with Butter London Primrose Hill Picnic

I was a pretty early adopter to nail art, so it makes sense that I became fatigued by it very quickly - in fact, in recent months, I've been all about a super classic red, orange or pink lacquer for both fingers and toes. But last week, I had drinks with a friend who had the most modern nail art I've seen - a geometric, negative space mani in bold teal. My interest was piqued, and so I booked a subsequent appointment at Paintbox, a newly opened, manicure-only salon in SoHo.

Founded by a longtime beauty editor Eleanor Langston, the Paintbox experience is like no other, even in New York. Modern and well-designed, the salon feels comfortable but luxe. I was greeted with an offer of complimentary iced coffee or champagne, and invited to browse the seasonal Nail Book to choose my design - all created by Creative Director and celebrity manicurist Julie Kandelic. All of the designs felt fresh and unfussy, though selecting my polish color from swatches on a page felt inefficient at best. (Full disclosure: I made my manicurist bring out 5 different polishes so that I could see them in bottle.) 

At the end of the day, I loved the finished manicure and the Paintbox experience - it feels uniquely differentiated from any other salon in Manhattan. That said, I didn't find my manicure 'labor-intensive' enough to warrant the steep price tag of $55 (+ tip, of course).

Paintbox is located at 17 Crosby, near Grand. Manicures range from $35 (for a "Manicure Experience") - $65 (for a "Design Experience" in Gel). To book an appointment, visit paint-box.com.

How I'm Wired: Maxboost (+ a Giveaway!)

As the battery percentage on my iPhone dips throughout the day, my anxiety level rises - the two are directly correlated. So, I've come to rely on a stash of chargers tucked in every imaginable location - bedside, in my bag and at my desk. Realistically, though, a charger serves the intended purpose only when an outlet is nearby. I don't know about you, but I've been known to sit on airport floors and crawl under restaurant tables to power up - it's borderline embarrassing!

All that's a thing of the past now, though - at least since I've been toting one of Maxboost's new Ambrosia battery cases. Unlike other battery cases, which are bulky and add weight to your device even when they're not in use, the Ambrosia cases provide an extra boost of power only when you need it - the unique two-piece sliding design allows you to add or remove the battery casing while a slimcase protects your phone when the battery pack isn't needed. And while a matching slimcase comes with the Ambrosia, you can also choose from countless designs on site, all compatible with the Ambrosia- there's one to suit anyone's style.

When fully charged, the Ambrosia is nothing short of a gamechanger, adding a full 7 hours of talk, 10 hours of web browsing or 30 hours of music playback time - simply put, I don't leave the house without it.

Explore Maxboost's tech accessories here and for a chance to win an Ambrosia of your own, valued at $99.95, by Liking Maxboost on Facebook and leaving a comment below (pro tip: they also host daily giveaways, Monday-Friday on their Page!)

I'll choose a winner at Noon EST on Friday, August 22 - good luck!

While all opinions expressed are my own, this post was produced in partnership with Maxboost.

Summer MVP: Urban Decay NAKED Flushed

Everywhere I turn these days, it seems SOMEONE is being wildly alarmist and decrying the "end of summer." And while I understand that times change, and seasons turn, the last day of summer is officially September 21 - thereby, by my calculations, there's actually a full month and a half of summer left. 

Now admittedly, your beach time will likely wind down after Labor Day, but there are a few solid vestiges of summer that I plan to hold on to for as long as possible - most importantly, that sexy sunkissed glow. Mine comes c/o Urban Decay's NAKED Flush palettes, four trios of bronzer, highlighter and blush made with micronized, jet-milled pressed powders. They can be used individually or blended together to create the perfect flush.

My favorite is, surprisingly for a pale girl like me, the deepest of the bunch, Strip. I swipe a fluffy brush across both the highlighter and blush, adding just a touch of bronzer, for a fresh and radiant glow that (I'd like to think) screams "Italian Riviera."

Urban Decay's NAKED Flushed Palettes are available at Sephora stores or online for $30/each.

En Pointe: Diana Vishneva for Kérastase Paris

Ballet is clearly having a moment, and with good reason. Unlike most forms of athletism, dancers marry strength with glorious grace and discipline. All things considered, it makes perfect sense that Kérastase Paris has tapped ABT Principal Dancer Diana Vishneva as the face of their latest collection, Discipline.

Designed to deliver control and elegant movement to hair that's otherwise 'untamable' and 'unmanageable,' Discipline is an in-salon ritual and at-home regimen perfected by L'Oreal Advanced Research over the course of 8 - EIGHT -  tireless years. All that effort paid off with a pampering formula that leaves hair soft and sexy, with controlled volume.

My favorite product in the at-home regimen is the Spray Fluidissime, a lightweight styling spray perfect before heat-styling - or air drying, though admittedly, that's off-label use.

Diana's campaign (video here) and the Discipline Collection debut this month at Kérastase Paris salons nationwide.

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