A 5'3 Perspective


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Aveda Madder Root Colour Conditioner Product Review

Becoming a redhead was one of the best choices I’ve made. I get to standout from the crowd, while still sporting a natural hair colour. The number of compliments I receive in regards to my red hue is incredible! I love everything about my hair colour, except one small annoyance – red hair dye fades faster than you can imagine. Within days of a salon visit, my colour rids itself of almost all vibrancy which leaves me longing for another appointment to give it a boost. Sure regular touch ups are necessary when maintaining a colour that isn’t natural, however, monthly visits are just not an option for me – or my credit card. So I turned to the only option I could find – a colour depositing conditioner.

Fading that occurs between salon visits. First picture is pre-salon, second is after a fresh colour.

Fading that occurs between salon visits. First picture is pre-salon, second is after a fresh colour.

After a bit of research I settled upon the Aveda Madder Root Colour Conditioner. A shampoo to complement is available too, however, I prefer to use a thickening product instead. At first glance, this conditioner looks terrifying. It is bright red – which is exactly what I wanted, but it looked like it would make a huge mess of my shower. On the bright side, it smells amazing, a subtle mint aroma.madder rootThe first time I used the colour depositing conditioner I assumed it wouldn’t make much of an impact. I started with a large palm full and ran it through the top of my scalp, slowing moving towards the ends of my hair. I left it in for about five minutes to really allow it to work. After a thorough rinse, I was able to wash out all of the product. When my hair eventually dried,  you could see the places I had focuses on. I had streaks of bright red popping through my brassy orange. It didn’t look bad, but it wasn’t really what i was going for.

The second application was much better, I used slightly less product and started from the ends of my hair and worked upwards, combing through my locks with a wide tooth comb during the application. I felt like I had applied the conditioner much more evenly than my first attempt. After a good rinse I eagerly awaited the drying process to see the results.

I have noticed with repeated use I have a much more vibrant red colour than ever before. I do still see a few spots that I have missed, however, they don’t look odd or out of place – more like natural highlights. I think the more I use the conditioner the more even the results will be. For me, the colour depositing formula keeps my hue fresh enough to save me at least one salon visit. The conditioner itself leaves my hair smelling great and looking healthy. I just have to remind myself that a little goes a long way.

If you’re a brunette, the madder root colour conditioner would likely give you a nice auburn shine. if you’re  blonde – STAY AWAY – your hair will turn pink. For my fellow redheads – if bright is the colour your aiming for, I highly recommend the Aveda Madder Root Colour Conditioner. I plan to try it on dry hair soon, saturating each strand thoroughly and leaving it on for a while (as though I was dying my hair) to see if it will deposit even more colour. I’ll keep you posted on how that turns out!

If you’re considering going red (or any other unnatural colour) here are a few lessons I’ve learned that I’m happy to share. First, don’t wash your hair within forty-eight hours of a salon visit. You want the colour to really set in your hair before getting it wet. Secondly, use cooler water in the shower. For me, the cooler the temperature, the less fading I experience. Yes it is terrible to take cold showers, so I tend to wash and condition my hair in the cooler water and then turn up the heat for the rest of the cleansing. Finally, don’t over wash your hair. The more shampoo and conditioner you use, the faster the colour will disappear. If you can get away with bi-weekly hair washes, you’re set. I typically will wash my hair three times a week because I frequent the gym a lot. Don’t be confused – this doesn’t mean you only have to shower a few times a week, I am just saying skip the hair washing every day. Not only will you notice less fading, you’ll also experience healthier and shiner locks.

Aveda also offers colour depositing/enhancing products for blondes, brunette and black hues.

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Energy Bites – A No Fail Recipe

These little healthy balls have been popping up all over the internet, but the recipe to create them is so elusive. I’ve searched high and low and haven’t found anything easy enough to try myself, so I decided to come up with my own concoction.  To say these are delicious is an understatement. I have made them three times since coming up with the recipe and each time they are devoured in the blink of an eye. These little mounds of energy are so great that even Neil asked me to name them after him… so without further ado – I present you with:

Neil’s Balls
[yes that was his choice of name]Healthy energy bitesIngredients

1 cup of oats
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup unsweetened carob chips
1/4 cup of goji berries
2tbsp honey
1 dropper full of liquid stevia
a bit of water to mix (if you need)

Directions

Using a fork, mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Place the “dough” in the fridge to chill for 15-30 minutes. Roll into balls. Using this recipe I made 15 balls.

This is the perfect summer treat since you don’t even need to turn on the oven! I promise they will be hit and no one will even know they are healthy!

xo Lauren


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Manicure Monday: Neon Candy Skull Nails

Now that summer is in full force, my neon nail polish is making a come back – in a big way. This week I was having a hard time settling on a manicure idea, so I ended up doing a little bit of everything – and a LOT of neon. Candy Skull ManiFor this manicure I used essie marshmallow, Urban Outfitters bandeau and westside, Illamasqua devotee, and RImmel London black satin. You could really use any three neon colours though, the white and black are the only two essentials. ellepottsie manicure mondayI plan to try candy skulls again when I have a bit more time to add detail, I started this manicure too late last night to get really crazy with it.

As always, if you’re wearing a fabulous manicure – send some pictures my way. I’m planning to do a reader manicure feature in the near future. Tag me in your mani pics on Instagram or Twitter.

xo Lauren


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High Five For Friday

Another week has flown by – now it’s time to reflect on all of the awesome things that happened over the past seven days! High Five For Friday

1. This is me. I do silly things because it makes me happy. The amount of times I have created outfits out of garbage bags to stay dry is quite impressive. This one might be my best look yet!
2. I created crack… It may look like oat balls, but I assure you, they are the most addictive treats. Don’t worry I’ll share the recipe next week.
3. After years of abstaining for yoga, I decided to give it another try. It was love at first sun salutation. I’m back my yogi friends, and I’ve got a 30 day unlimited pass to prove it!
4. Nerd Alert – I got new glasses… they might be a bit over the top.
5. My workouts this week have been phenomenal. I finally feel like I have the energy to push myself and give it all. I hope this continues… maybe it is a side effect of adding yoga to my weekly exercise routine.

That’s all for today, thanks again to the lovely Lauren Elizabeth for hosting High Five For Friday!

xo Lauren


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A Simple Outfit For An Elaborate Evening

I love surprises, but I had being surprised – I just can’t help wanting to be in the know. Months ago Neil told me to keep July 24th free for a special evening. The anticipation nearly killed me [even though I guessed the surprise long before yesterday] and no matter how much I would beg him to tell me if my guess was right, he wouldn’t. Without knowing where I’d be taken, I chose a simple yet fun outfit for the evening.outfit post ellepottsie a 5'3 perspective laurenDress: Wilfred / Pumps: Steve Madden [similar] / Sunglasses: Ray-BanphotoTOTEMLast night we went to TOTEM, the Cirque du Soleil show in Ottawa – it was absolutely fantastic! If you’re in the area I highly recommend picking up some last minute tickets, you will not be disappointed. I think Living Social Ottawa is even selling a few seats at a discounted price.

Here’s a sneak peak of what awaits you should you decide to go: TOTEM Cirque Du Soleil

xo Lauren


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Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Product Review

It has been quite a while since I’ve done a product review. When life gets crazy, the first thing to fall by the wayside is new product purchases. But sometimes a beauty item pops up that I just can’t resist testing out – Too Faced: Better Than False Lashes was one of those must trys for me.

It is no surprise to anyone that I love mascara. When asked what my best physical feature is my response will always be my eyelashes. If I am given the chance to enhance them, you better believe I’ll say yes. So off I went to Sephora to get my hands on this nylon lash system. Too Faced Bettter Than False LashesThis product is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, it is a three step procedure that includes priming the lashes, adding the nylon fibers and then sealing them in. Fiberwig mascara is the most similar product I can think of since it adds “fibers” to the end of your lashes. In my opinion, the results are not even comparable – you can see my product review for those paint of false lashes here. Better Than False Lashes comes with two wands of mascara. The first is your seemingly typical black mascara, which applies nicely and doesn’t clump. You need to use this both to prime and to seal.

Left side has one coat of "step 1" mascara.

Left side has one coat of “step 1” mascara.

The second is this white, fluffy, cotton like substance. In all honesty I was a little reluctant to put this near my eyes – but I went ahead with it anyways, I mean what’s there to lose [other than my vision..]. All you need to do is apply it generously to your primed lashes – you will start to see the pieces of white fluff sticking to the ends.

Capturing the white fluff on camera is a challenge. If you look closely you can see a few pieces.

Capturing the white fluff on camera is a challenge. If you look closely you can see a few pieces.

The final step is to seal in the nylon fluff fibers using the black mascara [which is used to prime in step 1]. Although the directions don’t tell you how long you should wait for the nylon fluff to bond and stick, I usually wait about 30 seconds before applying the final sealing coat of mascara. I think that some of the fluff is picked up by the mascara wand when applying the top coat, but the majority of it does seem to stick to your lashes. You want to be generous with the product in this step but remember to take your time. If you rush you will end up with clumpy spider lashes.

Too Faced Better Than False Lashes (left) vs. natural (right)

Too Faced Better Than False Lashes (left) vs. natural (right)

One word of advice – do not use this system on your lower lashes – you will end up with a huge mess all over your face [yes, I tried]. Otherwise, this mascara is pretty fantastic. You will need to spend some extra time carefully applying each layer, but in the end the effort is worth the results – in my opinion. This system lasts all day for me [and depending how I sleep, I can sometimes get away with wearing it two days in row – BAD LAUREN]. I don’t notice any flaking during the day and the nylon fiber doesn’t irritate my eyes at all.

A rushed application job, but great results none the less.

A rushed application job, but great results none the less.

When it comes time to wash your face at night, any kind of eye make-up removal will do the trick to take this mascara off – a few swipes and your lashes will be bare.

I would highly recommend this product to anyone who wants extra length and doesn’t have the time to apply false lashes. If extra volume is what you crave, you will see a bit of enhancement with Too Faced Better Than False Lashes, but you’re probably better of using a regular mascara and lots of coats.

Hope this review helps!

xo Lauren


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A Recipe For Nanaimo Bars That Won’t Feel Guilty!

During our east coast road trip we spent a bit of time talking about other places we had driven. While I am not a fan of long car rides, a few of the passengers I traveled with had racked up some significant miles on their wheels. As we discussed our drives east and west, one place kept popping back into my head – Nanaimo, British Columbia. While I’ve never been there and have no plans to visit anytime soon, I could not stop thinking about Nanaimo Bars and how much I used to enjoy them! I knew when I got home it would be the first recipe I would test. Lucky for me [and you – since I can share it] they turned out fabulously. Perhaps not truly a Nanaimo bar, the result is delicious, smooth and just sweet enough to keep you satisfied!

Healthy and Raw Nanaimo Bars

Inspired by: Damn My Health Healthy Nanaimo BarsIngredients

Crust:
1 Cup Walnuts
1/2 Cup Soaked Dates
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
Dash of Salt

Filling:
1/4 Cup Softened Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Soaked Cashews
1 Full Dropper of Stevia
1/4 Cup Coconut Cream*
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Topping:
1/2 Cup Soaked Cashews
1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Honey

*To make coconut cream: refridgerate one can of coconut milk – once a layer has risen to the top, scoop it off and blend with 1 tsp of vanilla

Directions

Blend all of the crust ingredients in a food processor or blender until dough-like. Place in the bottom of 12 silicon muffin liners. I used two silicon muffins tins with 6 holes in each. If you don’t have silicon pans you will want to line each muffin hole with Saran Wrap, otherwise it will be near impossible to remove the finished product. Make sure you pat the crust down firmly.

Next add all of the filling ingredients and blend well until a uniform texture is achieved. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times. Once the filling is well blended, spoon over the crust in the muffin tins.

Finally, blend [using your food processor or blender] all ingredients for the topping. It is okay if this layer is a bit crumbly. Spread evenly over the crust and filling mixtures.

Freeze for 3-4 hours and serve. These taste best when they have been thawed for about 5 minutes prior to eating. Store any leftovers in the freezer.

Thanks Nanaimo, BC,  for inspiring me to make such a delicious treat!

xo Lauren