A 5'3 Perspective

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Ask A Beauty Blogger

Ask A Beauty BloggerBack again for round two of “Ask A Beauty Blogger”. Today’s question is near and dear to my heart.

Thanks again to those you have sent me questions! If you’d like my opinion or advice on beauty related products – click here and ask away!

UntitledChipped manicures are anything but a sight for sore eyes. I would rather see bare nails than partially polished ones – but keeping your manicures fresh and perfected isn’t an easy task. Over the years I’ve come across a few tricks to keep you chip free, at least for a couple days.

1. Always use a base coat. It will help the polish adhere to your nails. I recommend a hardener like OPI Nail Envy which provides strengthening power, along with a chip resistant base like OPI ChipSkip. Personally – I don’t use ChipSkip because I change my manicures at least once a week and I find that following the next steps is enough to keep my lacquer in tact.

2. Always use at least two coats of polish – if you have time to do three, even better – just make sure you are applying thin, even layers and allowing at least a couple minutes between each. Make sure you paint over the tip of your nail and are not just stopping at the end. Wrapping the polish around the end of your nail will help prevent chips.

3. Use a rapid dry top coat. Something like essie good to go or OPI RapiDry. This will help set the polish.

4. Once you nails are completely dry, use a regular top coat. My personal favourites are essie no chips ahead and Sally Hansen Diamond Top Coat.

5. Allow your nails to dry completely – at least 15 minutes, do not touch anything. This is so important.

Okay so now you have the perfect long lasting manicure right? Wrong. Flawless manicures take time and effort. To ensure that your nails stay chip free, you’ll want to reapply a top coat every two days. Just a quick application with a focus on the tips. If you do get a chip, try to fill it in with polish. If you catch it soon enough you can usually do a pretty good patchwork job.

Another option to try if you are serious about perfect nails is Shellac which “is the original and only Power Polish service, empowering you the real woman, with 14+ days of superior color, no matter what life brings you. Set it and forget it. Practical and fearless. Improve your nails with an armor coat that says, “see you in 2 weeks”” or Bio Sculpture Gel which “is a one component nail treatment that strengthens and promotes the growth of natural nails. Applied onto a prepared nail our product cures under a UVA light, leaving the nail strong but flexible with a natural glossy finish”. Both of these options require a return visit to the salon to remove (or a lot of effort at home) but will ensure up to two weeks of fabulous fingers. This option is more costly but will save you a lot of touch up time if you don’t mind wearing the same colour for a longer period of time.

Try out these 5 steps (plus reapplying a top coat every two days) and you should for sure see an improvement in the longevity of your manicures!

Hopefully these recommendations were helpful! I’d love to hear your feedback – and for sure let me know if you end up trying one of these products.

If you’d like your question answered next week, head over here to send me a request.

Have a lovely day!

xo Lauren

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HOW TO: Stop Cheap Rings From Turning Your Fingers Green

I am willing to bet that with the rising popularity of finger parties [rings on every finger – and then some], more and more of you are finding yourself with green rings around your fingers. And no, I’m not talking about green jewelry – I’m talking about the nasty green stain that appears when you wear cheap [cough, cough – Forever 21] rings. Luckily, there is an easy fix and I am thrilled to share it with you today!

How To - Avoid Green Ring Fingers

I can confidently say that this is the easiest DIY I have ever done. It will literally take you under 10 minutes – start to finish.

You’ll need:

How To Avoid Stains From Costume Jewelry

1. Costume jewelry rings that stain your fingers green.

2. Clear nail polish of any kind.

Okay – here is the hard part. Using the nail polish, pain the inside of the ring. I recommend painting it any place that touches your finger.

photo 3

Now let it dry completely.

Yes – that is all. Now you can wear your rings without having to worry about what your fingers will look like at the end of the day!

The finished project! This is my kind of DIY.

You can also use this trick for any earrings that cause irritation – just paint the post and backing and wear without worry!

Hope this little trick helps you out!

xo Lauren

PS – Tomorrow I’ll be answering your “Ask A Beauty Blogger” questions. If you haven’t submitted one yet, it isn’t too late – just click here!


Never Thought I’d Rock Ankle Boots

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always believed that ankle boots weren’t for me. I have short legs and the last thing I need is a shoe to break them up. Well, maybe I’ve changed my mind. I couldn’t take my eyes off these Hibou ankle boots when I walked into Little Burgundy last weekend. What do you think, was it a good call to go against my instinct and jump on the bootie bandwagon?


goofing around


Bear-ly Cold Out!

A 5'3 Perspective


up close and personal


Shorts: Vintage Levis / Tights: Aritzia / Blouse: Judith & Charles / Booties: Little Burgundy / Bag: Coach / Necklace: Anthropologie / Jacket: Canada Goose

Fun Fact: The location of these photos is where Neil and I had out first date [AWWW]! He’s the best.

Don’t forget to check out “Ask A Beauty Blogger” to submit a question for this week – so far I only have one.

Have a lovely day!

xo Lauren


Manicure Monday: The Monika Chiang How To Edition

Remember when I posted my favourite Spring 2013 nail trends last week? Well I just couldn’t wait to try them out, so spring or not – here is my copy cat version of the nail art seen at Monika Chiang’s New York Fashion Week runway, plus a few pointers on how to get it right the first time [yes this took me two tries].

photo 3

I primed my nails with my favourite hardener, OPI Matte Nail Envy and then used “OPI On Collins Ave” and essie “No Place Like Chrome” and finished each nail off with a coat of OPI RapiDry.

ellepottsieessie and OPI ellepottsie

There are definitely a few ways to tackle this design, however, you’ll need to start by applying a base coat and at least two coats [I used three – because I’m obsessive] of OPI On Collins Ave. Seal with OPI RapiDry. Once your nails are completely dry, you can use scotch tape to make perfect lines, or you can free hand it – which is what did. If you are extremely particular, you can use a paint brush to get more control and thus straighter lines. I just used the polish brush.

In one smooth motion starting at the base of the nail, paint a straight line up to the end. The fewer the brush strokes, the more crisp and straight the line will be. Make sure you use the thin side of your nail brush instead of the thick. Also, make sure you don’t let the polish dry down from the applicator – you can see a drip forming in the picture on the right below.

Do not use the thick side as seen on the left. Turn the brush so it is thin as seen on the right.

Do not use the thick side as seen on the left. Turn the brush so it is thin as seen on the right.

This may seem silly but it makes a huge difference – here are pictures comparing attempt one, using the thicker side vs attempt two using the thin side.

Attempt Number One - using the thick edge of the brush.

Attempt Number One – using the thick edge of the brush.

Attempt Number Two - using the thinner edge of the brush.

Attempt Number Two – using the thinner edge of the brush.

You will only need to use one coat of essie “No Place Like Chrome” as it dries completely opaque. Once your nails have completely dried – finish with another top coat. I used essie No Chips Ahead.

Although this manicure was a bit time consuming [due entirely to the fact that I had to restart completely], I love the way it looks.

Do you have a great manicure today? Upload a pic and tag me (twitter or instagram) in it so I can see what you’re rocking on your nails!

xo Lauren


Fabulous Finds Friday – The Selfish Edition

Remember this post? It has been a month since I set out out to do things for myself – so now it is time to check in.

The goals I set for myself were:

1. Treat myself to real flowers.

2. Buy a bottle of wine instead of drinking only homemade.

3. Be more observant.

4. Pamper myself. 

5. Perform at least one random act of kindness.

Honestly, I thought it would be a breeze to change my lifestyle and adapt these practices. Boy was I wrong. Here is where I stand.

1. I have not bought myself new flowers per se, however, Neil bought me some for Valentine’s Day and we planted some new herbs [more to come on that soon]. Not bad – better luck this month.

2. This was actually quite a success. The $100 gift card I received definitely made this goal easier to follow through with. I think this is something I will continue in the future, it is so much more luxurious than drinking homemade.

3. Being observant is not my strong suit. It is something I used to do very well and then trained myself to stop. It has become easy to turn a blind eye. I am noticing that since setting this goal for myself I force myself to notice the small things. Like this Instagram shot for example.


Nothing special about it, but I liked the combination of items and the way the light was hitting them. That is something I wouldn’t have given a second glance in the past.

4. Done and done. This was easy… Despite treating myself to a hair trim and a fiery red new colour.


I also took time to give myself at home facials, manicures and relax in the hot tub. Oh and I just pressed “place order” on the Sephora website.

5. I am so proud to tell you that I did perform a random act of kindness. I’m not just talking about giving up my seat on the bus or picking up a lost mitten. No, I actually went out of my way to help someone. While I was waiting in line to pay for my groceries, I overheard the cashier telling the patron in front of me that she did not have enough money for her items. It seemed as though she hadn’t brought anything extra with her and was ready to leave empty handed. Had I not been cognizant of my kindness goal, I likely wouldn’t have said anything – this time, I offered to pick up the difference on my bill. The patron wasn’t very thankful, but I felt great about helping someone out.

All in all – I’d say my new take on Fabulous Friday was a success. I am not ready to add five more goals for myself since I can only confidently admit that I will stick to two tasks. So, I’m replacing number 2 and 4 and adding two more, which are:

1. Stop checking my phone before bed. This is a such a bad habit that I’ve picked up. I’ll spend at least ten minutes scrolling through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter before I fall asleep – not anymore. Neil – hold me accountable.

2. Drink more water. At least two water bottles a day to start.

Hope you are still pushing yourself to achieve your 2013 goals! I’d love to hear what you guys are working towards!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be keeping things low key, but I am extremely excited to try out my first class at iNSiDE Out STUDiO barre. If you are interested in giving barre class a try – your first class is free at iNSiDE Out STUDiO barre and I am fortunate to have been given a second free class as well thanks to lululemon [because of this issue].

xo Lauren


Ask A Beauty Blogger

Ask A Beauty BloggerFirst of all, thank you to everyone who sent me questions! I am excited that you guys are embracing this new feature with such positive feedback.

Today I will tackle the first two questions that arrived to my inbox. I’ll get to the rest next week. Please keep sending me your beauty questions so I can keep this featuring alive and thriving! If you would like to submit a question, click here.

Without further ado, here is the first installment of “Ask A Beauty Blogger”.

Tinted Moisturizer

Tinted moisturizer is a tough product to fall in love with. Because it is trying to do so many things, and thus, I’ve found that it doesn’t really excel at anything. If you’re dead set on using a tinted moisturizer, I would recommend the Laura Mercier Oil-Free with SPF 20. The formula is light but the coverage is less than I would have hoped. It will hydrate your skin and keep oil at bay, however, you’ll need to reapply at least once throughout the day and use a setting powder (bareMinerals – Mineral Veil) with each application.

If you are willing reconsider your product choice, I would highly recommend either a BB cream or a pressed powder. My top three pick for BB creams that will moisturize, provide light, natural and long lasting coverage, and keep oil under control are as follows:

L’Oréal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream

($10.95 www.lorealparis.ca)

Colourless when applied, this BB cream will adapt as you blend it into skin, causing its pigment beads to burst. If you have oily skin and can get past the grainy texture of the beads upon application, this primer-like balm gives you a smooth, matte finish at an extremely affordable price.

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream

($37.00 www.clinique.com)

 This BB cream is a bit heavier than the former providing a medium-full coverage while aiming to mask imperfections and shine. It is  long lasting and dries to a matte finish. Another perk that Clinique has built into this BB cream is an SPF 30 and contains antioxidants and Vitamin E to protect your skin against the environment, as well caffeine to calm and sooth irritated skin.

 Boscia BB Cream

($38.00 www.sephora.com)

This skin-perfecting cream is the ultimate treatment that not only hydrates but leaves skin lustrous and flawless. This miracle cream also helps diminish the appearance of pores, fine lines, providing long-wearing, natural coverage that conceals imperfections. This natural botanical cream shields your skin from future damage without causing irritation while providing protection from the sun with an SPF 27.

If  you’re not yet ready to jump on the BB Cream bandwagon, my absolute favourite face product is the CoverFX [Canadian company] Total Cover Cream Foundation, which can be purchased at most Sephora stores – or online. I know this might seem like the most unlikely recommendation based on your request, but I swear this product is lightweight, long lasting, and completely moisturizing. Every time I wear this cream foundation I get compliments on my skin, and you know my face is far from flawless on a consistent basis. CoverFX has created a powder that feels like a tinted moisturizer on your face but has the coverage and staying power of a foundation, while looking as though you’re makeup free.

Eye Cream

Ahh, the dreaded dark circles. For those of us that have pale skin, this issue is almost inevitable. There are an endless number of products on the market to combat under eye pigmentation, however, many of them don’t live up to their promises.

Personally, I find a healthy well balanced diet – including lots of water, has been key in my battle against the darkness. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough for many.

I will break this into two parts, covering and treating.


Estee Lauder Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator

($72.00 thebay.com)

The price isn’t for the faint of heart, but sometimes you get what you pay for. This Estee Lauder Illuminator is said to be the first with a contoured, cooling, ceramic tip applicator, which means that it instantly brightens your eye area. After a few weeks of use, you’ll notice that your dark circles will begin to lighten. The highly concentrated Dark Circle Correcting Complex targets the underlying causes of darkness and puffiness for dramatic brightening and de-puffing. Triple-Optic Technology instantly makes dark circles appear lighter.

Cover FX Cream Concealer

($27.00 www.sephora.com)

I use this concealer not only for under eye circles, but also for blemishes and discoloration. These isn’t anything special about this product other than it’s long lasting formula and ability to cover almost any imperfection. At under $30 a pop  it is a great deal and remember, a little goes a long way. I find it best to use your ring finger to blend under your eyes and build up coverage rather than using a large amount initially.

Yves Saint Laurent TOUCHE ECLAT

($40.00 www.sephora.com)

A luminizing pen that brings light and radiance to the skin, immediately erases any signs of fatigue, and brightens the complexion. The texture is amazing and provides great coverage but remember, it is a highlighter first – so you will need to finish with either foundation or concealer.


Vitamin K

Vitamin K, also called phytonadione, has been found to benefit the under-eye area when used topically. Try adding it to your facial moisturizer and use at least once a day.

Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-Puffing Eye Massage

($28.00 www.clinique.com)

A cooling serum that helps instantly massage away bags, refresh and hydrate puffy eyes on contact while plus brightening the eye area over time. The serum has caffeine, potent antioxidants and soothing botanicals, all of which significantly reduce puffiness. Unfortunately, this product does little for discoloration and doesn’t produce long lasting result. It is a great buy for a quick fix – but don’t count on it correcting under eye circles once you stop using it.

Olay Regenerist Anti-Aging Eye Roller

($28.00 www.olay.ca)

Featuring three precision micro-rollers that gently massage a concentrated, hydrating anti aging product to not only help reduce eye puffiness, but instantly diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles. If puffiness is your main concern, this may not be the best product for you. You should notice brightening with regular use after just a few weeks. The key to success with this product is consistency.

Hopefully these recommendations were helpful! I’d love to hear your feedback – and for sure let me know if you end up trying one of these products.

If you’d like your question answered next week, head over here to send me a request.

Have a lovely day!

xo Lauren


Spring 2013 Nail Trends

Now that New York Fashion Week has come and gone, reviews and trends are popping up all over the internet.  Despite some amazing new designer collections, I have been fawning over the nail polish trends that have emerged. Being able to afford a brand new piece from a runway collection is but a dream for most people, however, purchasing a few new polishes is completely within the average budget.

Here are my favourite emerging nail trends for Spring 2013.

Image courtesy of HFA

Image courtesy of HFA

1. The Shiny-Matte Mani -as seen at Angel Sanchez, this look is different enough from the classic french manicure but still subtle. You can use any colour you like just make sure the base is matte and the tip is shiny. I have spotted this trend floating around the internet a bit over the past year, however, I am sure it will gain popularity since being debuted at NYFW.

Image courtesy of Beauty Editor

Image courtesy of Beauty Editor

2. The Snow White Manicure – very fitting for those of us in the north that have seen dumps of snow fill our yards. This all white, milky manicure stomped down the runway at Karen Walkers show. The light hue is a big change from all the dark shades that have been popular lately – it is nice to see a big change in nail trends.

Image courtesy of Lipstick and Luxury

Image courtesy of Lipstick and Luxury

3. The Racing Stripe Mani – if you aren’t feeling bold enough to pull off an entirely metallic nail, a single centered stripe is a great option. This look was debuted at the Monika Chiang Runway.

Image courtesy of Style Bistro

Image courtesy of Style Bistro

4. The Two Tone Shadow Mani – I have been rocking the two tone trend quite frequently over the last few months, but I never once thought to use similar hues to create a shadow effect. This is definitely something I will be rocking within the next couple weeks. Thanks to Phillip Lim for the inspiration.

Image courtesy of Marie Claire

Image courtesy of Marie Claire

5. Nails Inc Leather Effect Mani – thanks to hipster gone commercial, Alexa Chung, the textured manicure has gained serious ground. After tweeting a picture of her British Fashion Week Nail look, the Nails Inc Leather Effect polish sold out immediately. Although this look debuted in December of 2012, I am confident that it will last at least until the end of Spring 2013.

Image courtesy of 44 Fashion Street

Image courtesy of 44 Fashion Street

6. Ciate Colourfoil Mani – the perfect mix of metallic and nail art married by a cult favourite nail brand. With three different colour palates, there is a polish kit for any mood. I am waiting for Sephora to release these kits – I am dying to try it.

Image courtesy of Fortune Taste

Image courtesy of Fortune Taste

7. Magnetic Nail Colour – although this polish trend hit the scene in 2012, it has been gaining popularity due to the increase in sophistication. Earlier magnetic polishes allowed only wave designs, now you can create a reptile like finish by simply holding the lid over a wet coat of lacquer. I have not been able to purchase any of the “repstyle” collection in Ottawa, however, thanks to a great friend in Toronto I have a bottle waiting for me to try.

Image courtesy of BeautyJunkiesUnite

Image courtesy of BeautyJunkiesUnite

8. Light and Icy Nail Colour -the new Zang Toi Spring Summer 2013 Collection for Zoya offers some great shades to ease your way into the lighter hues. My favourites include – Julie (cool lilac), Gei Gei (icy pink) and Piaf (shimmery yellow).

Image courtesy of Beauty Editor

Image courtesy of Beauty Editor

9. Green Hues – whether it is emerald (Pantone’s Colour of the Year) or mint, both colours will be extremely popular throughout the Spring months. My favourite green look is from the Nicole Miller Runway, a dark nail with an emerald accent (as seen in the photo above). I can’t wait to try this combination.

I hope at least one of these nine manicures will peak your interest and inspire you to get painting. What nail trends are you coveting for 2013?

xo Lauren