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Back to school beauty guide: Klutz-proof liner, wine hues and more

I know, preparing for the fall is mildly depressing (summer, we barely knew thee), but you can make the inevitable transition a bit more exciting by gathering some essentials — and fun additions — for your beauty cabinet. From luxe palettes to bold nail polish colors, we rounded up our new favorites hitting shelves this month:

Sephora Pro Brushes
$12-$48,

Remember when we used to stock up on pencils and erasers? Fall is the perfect time to brush up on fundamentals, and that includes trusted beauty tools. Sephora’s “Stroke of Genius” 40-piece brush collection features the whole kit and kabuki, from concealer brushes for precision to soft, fluffy allover powder brushes that guarantee even blending. Our favorites include the Pro Flawless Powder Brush ($36) for smooth coverage, Pro Smudge Brush ($18) to perfect a smokey eye, and Pro Brow Comb ($14) for a groomed, sleek brow. Quite the deal if you’re looking to get serious about upgrading your toolbox.

Benefit Cosmetics How to Look the Best at Everything
$30, Benefitcosmetics.com and Sephora.com

You can always count on Benefit for the best in clever packaging. Hit the books this season with the beauty brand’s latest set, a novel-themed box featuring four bite-size samples of its fan favorites, including the Pore-fessional pore-reducing primer, Hello Flawless! SPF 25 foundation, Boi-ing concealer, and powder. Available in three shades (light, medium, deep), this collection is perfect for travel — and indulging your inner book worm.

Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer
$29,

Looking to fake a fresh-faced, 8-hour sleep look? Smashbox’s primer-meets-concealer helps rescue tired, up-all-night-studying eyes. Boasting a silky, brightening formula, this primer goes on smooth to reduce the appearance of dark circles and fine lines.

Deborah Lippman Forsaken, inspired by ‘True Blood’
$25,

Even if you don’t watch HBO’s “True Blood”, you’ll want to sink your fangs into this fun, bold trio by Deborah Lippman. With adorably-named hues like “New Flesh” and “Bad Blood,” it’ll get you in the mood to anticipate Halloween. (What, too soon?)

Too Faced 3-Way Lash Lining Tool$22, Toofaced.com

Still never quite figured out how to master eyeliner? Now’s the perfect time to learn, thanks to a clever and handy new tool from Too Faced. This triple-tip lash-emphasizer is quite the multi-tasker: it adds oomph to your lash line, helps you easily line your eyes, and makes tight-lining a breeze for even the most shaky of hands. If you need some after-school help in applying eyeliner, this is the tutor for you.

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick
$28, spacenk.com and

A long-wearing lipstick that won't dry out your lips is a rare find, but Hourglass — the genius brand behind the incredibly popular Veil Mineral Primer — just released a richly-pigmented liquid lipstick, packed with antioxidant fruit extracts, Goi berry and Vitamins A, C and E. It delivers a slick, matte finish without any of the flakiness generally associated with such a product. We love the bold color selection, from a fiery orange-red to a perfect ballet pink.

Boscia Bright White Mask
$38,

Is your face feeling dull without the summer sun? Packed with Vitamin C, sea fern algae (to reduce hyper-pigmentation) and peptides, this new peel-off mask helps brighten, and hydrate and even out your skin tone. Consider it a savior for all the sun damage you may have accrued last season.

Per-fekt Lip Perfection Gel
$24,

Yes, lip glosses are favored in the summer, but who says you have to give them up come fall? Per-fekt’s lip primer-meets-lip-gloss-meets-lip-plumper manages to make your pout look full, soft and ready to kiss behind the bleachers. Added bonus? Sleek tube helps the gel glide on easily, without it erupting all over your purse. Comes in pink, bright red, berry and more shades.

(If you feel like treating yourself, we recommend the Per-fekt Lip for Henri Bendel set ($60), which offers three fun colors.)

Rio de Keratin Release Yourself Keratin Kit
$34.99, riodekeratin.com

Silky, frizz-free locks worthy of a hair commercial are only one at-home kit away. Rio de Keratin's formaldehyde-free formula contains no harsh ingredients and each kit contains two applications, which each last around two months.

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Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact SPF 20
$45,   

Everyone and their mother is obsessed with Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer, and now the hit product is available in a convenient compact you can just throw in your backpack or purse (without the worries generally associated with leaking liquid foundation). Like its predecessor, this lightweight, SPF moisturizer — available in a wide range of shades — leaves you with a mildly dewy, not-too-heavy finish.

Illamasqua’s Generation Q &  Too Faced La Crème in Wine
$42.50, illamasqua.com; $21,

Drink up: Wine is everywhere this season, and where better to showcase the bold, deep hue than in your makeup? Illamasqua’s new Generation Q Complement Palette contains deep pigments in soft champagne, cool brown, shimmery plum and a rich matte wine. If lips are where you like the action at, opt for Too Face’s rich and ultra-moisturizing La Crème lip color collection, which conditions lips in hues ranging from sophisticated nudes to deep wines and berries.

Hello Kitty Head of the Class Palette
$19,

Know a tween or teenager already obsessed with makeup? (Answer: likely). Then they'll love how the feline icon graces this mirrored compact, complete with autumn-colored eyeshadow shades and a pinky blush. And of course, it’s topped with a (velvet) bow. Get it before Suri Cruise does.

Kai Shampoo and Conditioner
$34 each,

Get a-head of the class with intoxicating haircare products that will have help you smelling like the exotic summer vacation you wish you were still on. Kai’s cult-favorite fragrance, infused with the island smell of gardenias, is now available for your lucky locks. The new shampoo and conditioner come packed with coconut and argan oils and are free of sulfates (hooray for keratin-users!) and parabens.

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