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Your New York Bucket List: Museum Hack

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was a defining book of my childhood. In it, the otherwise well-behaved main character Claudia Kincaid rebels against the dull monotony of her life and escapes to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, enlisting her middle brother Jamie in the process. A thoroughly grand adventure follows, and the two wind up living undetected in the museum for a full week. Can you even imagine?

After reading the book, I was left with THE most obvious fantasies - I mean, who wouldn't want to have an iconic institution like The Met entirely to themselves? The closest I've ever come was courtesy Museum Hack, an unconventional org that leads "renegade tours" of the Met, as well as The Museum of Natural History. Museum Hack tour guides lead intimate groups and really do specialize in storytelling - they share unexpected and unconventional context around often lesser known pieces within the museum's collection. While it's not necessarily "serious" enough for those who take art... well, very seriously, it's a uniquely New York experience and beyond fun for groups.

Day hacks are available, but we chose a night tour deliberately - it closes with a drink at The Petrie Court at closing time, which means that the museum is officially closed - quiet and empty - as you exit. While I have many great memories from the night, coming upon the sculpture courts with no other museum guests present was truly a magical moment.

Learn more and book tickets (they start at $39/pp) online at Museum Hack

Sun Sense: JUNE by Netatmo

L-R: Liberty United x Giles & Brother Skinny Gunmetal Cuff, JUNE by Netatmo, Vita Fede Matte Black Mini Titan in Rose Gold

The summer unoffically comes to a close this weekend, as much as it pains me to admit it. And while we've enjoyed unseasonably temperate weather for much of August, today, TODAY is the kind of day that reminds you how awful summers in New York can be - it's hazy, it's hot and it's unspeakably humid.

This summer above all others, I've been HYPER diligent about sun protection, and I have one product to thank for that - not a sunscreen, not a straw hat, but instead JUNE, the world's first piece of wearable technology desiged to measure UV exposure and make customized sun protection recommendations. 

Embedded UVA and UVB sensors housed within the JUNE measure sun exposure in real time, communicating via app and push alert to notify the wearer that it's time for sun protection, or in the case of extreme UV index, when it's best to stay inside.

Results are customized based on a 6 question quiz that determines the wearer's skin type - for example, I'm closest to a Type 2 on the Fitzpatrick Scale for Skin Type, meaning that my skin always burns, and sometimes (occasionally, really) tans. The app calculates your total sun exposure throughout the day, and also allows you to see when the UV rays' impact on skin was most intense - the results can often surprise you, particularly on hazy days!

Unlike most wearable technology to date (although that seems to finally be changing), the JUNE doubles beautifully as an actual accessory - the sleek, jewel-like device was designed by French jewelry designer Camille Toupet, and invokes a shimmering, faceted diamond. Available in three finishes, platinum, gold or gunmetal (that's the platinum seen above), the JUNE fits effortlessly and stylishly into your daily stack whether you wear it with the accompanying leather or silicon wrap.

Consider this your friendly reminder that sun protection doesn't end at the close of summer - it's a year round commitment. JUNE is available for $99 here, while the accompanying iPhone app can be downloaded here.

While all opinions expressed are my own, this post was created in partnership with NETATMO.

Nail How To: The Louboutin Rouge 500mg Manicure

Christian Louboutin Nail Colour is perhaps the most anticipated and most thrilling beauty launch of the fall. I picked up Rouge Louboutin, a flawless red inspired by the the brand's signature red soles, at the Madison Avenue boutique the weekend of launch, and it quickly took the position of "favorite red" in my collection. Opaque and glossy in one coat, and luxuriously packaged, it will undoubtedly be the gateway to many a collection. 

To celebrate the launch, Christian Louboutin partnered with editorial manicurist Madeline Poole to design manicures inspired by the collection. My favorite, the 500mg (above), is at once thoroughly modern and whimsical, taking its inspiration from the Christian Louboutin's "500mg" clutch, created for his 20 year anniversary capsule collection in 2012.

To get a similiar look at home, paint nails with a clear base coat and let set, then apply an easy-to-remove Scotch tape across the center of your nail bed. Apply a coat of Rouge Louboutin, let dry and remove the tape prior to applying a final top coat. 

Rouge Louboutin is sold out at Sephora at the moment, but available at Christian Louboutin for $50. The full collection - 30 more colors, inspired by iconic Louboutin designs - is now available for pre-order at Saks.

Fall Refresh with Sassoon Salons

If there's one thing that I've learned about myself in the past few years, it's that I'm ill-suited to dramatic hair changes. Ombre? A bob? Bronde (that's brown-blonde) highlights? All left me feeling, not to be dramatic, but nothing short of despair. So, when my friends at Style Coalition invited me to visit Sassoon Salon last week, I knew that the hair gods had intervened. Sassoon comes with a reputation, you see - and one of the very best kind. Founded by the legendary Vidal Sassoon, hair master credited with the invention of, oh you know, the bob, the legacy lives on with a meticulously trained staff - in fact, Sassoon has such a cult following in the industry that hairdressers from around the world take courses to learn Sassoon techniques in their own salon. 

Now, as I think any regular readers know, I'm not a "salon loyalist" by any measure, though I am not above playing favorites. This being my third experience at Sassoon, it's worth noting that each has been somehow better than the last, in large part thanks to the throughtful and thorough personalization. Sassoon stylists are trained to study a client's bone structure, head shape and hair texture to develop the MOST flattering look possible and it makes all the difference in the world. Regional Director Antonio Pagano graced me with this simple, yet masterful reshaping of my somewhat dismal layers:

If you're considering a fall refresh (and to be clear, everyone should consider a fall refresh), Sassoon has two NYC salons, one located at 7 West 56th Street (212.535.9200), and the other at 32 West 18th Street (212.229.2200). Haircuts start at $98, while color begins at $90. For an appointment, visit sassoon-salon.com!

While all opinions expressed are my own, this post was produced in partnership with Sassoon Salons and Style Coalition.

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

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