A 5'3 Perspective

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Manicure Monday: Halloween Nails

The Halloween countdown is on, only 10 days to go! I’ll admit that I have given no thought to my costume for this year – but my nails are definitely feeling the spooky spirit! This manicure is simple and fun. I’ll include a tutorial and a list of products used so you can give it a try! Halloween ManicureUsing essie blanc as a base coat, paint each nail entirely white. Once this base is dry, use a dotting tool (I use this Quo brush and dotting tool set, which can be found at Shoppers Drugmart) to create two black dots for eyes near your cuticle. Next use the smaller end of the tool to create the nose by painting two dots attached to each other. Finally, use the brush to paint five thin lines from just after the middle of your nail all the way to the tip. Allow the black to dry completely before adding a top coat to avoid colour bleeding.

If you’re rocking a fabulous manicure today, send some pictures my way. Tag me in your mani pics on Instagram or Twitter.

xo Lauren

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What’s In My Bag

I don’t know why I love reading about what people carry around with them everyday, but I do. I always find it so interesting to see what is deemed important enough to stash in your bag. I figure if I am intrigued by these kinds of posts, maybe some of you guys are too – which leads me to “What’s In Ellepottsie’s Bag” version 1.0.Whatsinmypurse1. My beautiful Chloé Marcie Satchel Bag, a gift from my Aunt for my 25th birthday.

2. A bottle of essie polish. The colour changes depending on my manicure – you never know when you’ll need a quick touch up.

3. A mini tube of hand cream – that sometimes doubles as face cream. I love this L’Occitane moisturizer, it is a bit of a splurge but a little goes a long way.

4. Nail file – I don’t think this needs any explanation.

5. Band-aids. I only recently started stocking these in my purse – thank goodness I did. When nasty blisters appear these bad boys have been saving my life. Am I being dramatic?

6. A wallet- this is where the magic happens. By magic, what I really mean is a disappearing act, one day it is full of money, the next – there is nothing. This Marc by Marc Jacobs wallet has been my go to for over 3 years now – it is the perfect size, unfortunately they don’t make them like this anymore.

7. Daily planner and a pen. For some reason writing things down is much more satisfying then scheduling appointments in my phone. Call me old school, but it is the only way I can keep track of things.

8. Ray-ban Clubmaster Shades – thanks Dad for the best belated birthday present. Perfect for sunny days, buggy bike rides, hungover brunches and looking fly.

9. I always carry at least one tube of lip chap – usually Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. It is natural, fresh scented and very moisturizing – can’t go wrong with that.

10. A hair tie. Better safe than sorry, who knows when hair disaster might strike and you don’t want to be stuck without anything to tame your mane.

11. A massive set of keys. I wish someone would come up with a universal FOB system to get rid of these bulky pieces of metal, although there are probably a lot of issues with that idea.

12. Brush-on cuticle oil. As a nail junkie, this is an essential item that goes everywhere with me – sometimes hand cream isn’t enough to soothe hang nails or cuticle snags. Sure, call me high maintenance – but it works.

Only one item is missing from this photo – my trusty [and busted] iPhone. It is a bit tough to take a picture of it while using it to take the picture – I’m sure you get the idea.

What are some of your everyday purse essentials?

xo Lauren

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Manicure Monday: A Manicure Party and Polish You Pretty Nail Art Book Review

Polish You Pretty

About a month ago I was surprised with a lovely package in my mailbox courtesy of Ryland, Peters & Small publishers. As I tore into the padded envelope my excitement rose – my Polish You Pretty step-by-step nail art book had arrived! This book and accompanying blog polishyoupretty.com, are written by Jenny and Danielle, two nail polish addicts who have a flair for nail art and a passion for fabulous fingers. I think it goes without saying that yours truly has the same affinity for flawless and fun manicures.

The Polish You Pretty book walks you through the step-by-step process to help you achieve looks that could easily be mistaken for nail stickers. There are twenty-four designs in total ranging from extremely basic to quite advanced [I must admit, there was one design, the tiger bright, that I could not master – and I am a pretty avid nail junkie]. There is something for everyone, from a subtle half moon mani [a favourite of mine even before receiving the book] to off the wall strawberry and pineapple designs.

Having over twenty nail art designs to choose from became overwhelming quite quickly, especially since I was eager to provide a review – my solution? Throw a manicure party.

This weekend invited a few of my closest gal pals over to spend some time catching up while breathing in the sweet smell [hahaha] of nail lacquer – and a few glasses of wine.

Polish Collection

Thanks for a fabulous afternoon girls!

Thanks for a fabulous afternoon girls!

Each of us chose a design to test and we began filing, priming and painting. The instructions were comprehensive, however, it was the pictures that were most helpful – we passed the book around the table more times than you can imagine to make sure we didn’t miss a beat.

Lanna, on the left, Lisa, front right, and I, all chose designs from the “prints” section of the book, leapin’ leopard, tribal [after a struggled attempt at tiger bright – I don’t recommend trying this design, it is extremely challenging to perfect] and ikat, respectively. Laura, back right, stuck to the simple category as she is new to nail art and chose the stained glass pattern.

Lanna:LannaLeapin' Leopard

Lisa:LisaTribalPolish You Pretty

Laura:Laura LauraStained Glass

Me (I also tried out Magic Mixing, which I wrote about here):ellepottsieikatManicure Monday

Polish You Pretty served as great inspiration for our manicures and provided us with lots of recommendations and visuals to help us achieve beautiful manicured nails, however, we all agreed upon a few shortcomings. Firstly, very few images included a photo of the full hand. It would have been nice to see thumbs as the nail is larger and it gives you a better perspective of the full look. The second issue we had was that the finished design wasn’t shown until after the steps had been given [for many tutorials] so you had to flip back and forth between pages at the beginning to see if you were on the right track. It would be great to see a close up of the final product on each page [even small and in the corner] just to remind the artist of what they are working towards.

All in all, Polish You Pretty step-by-step nail art book is a must buy for anyone who is willing to spend some time on their manicures and needs some inspiration. I loved thumbing through the pages and choosing my next manicure. By the end of the year I am sure I will have tried each design at least once.

For more information on Polish You Pretty and nail art, visit polishyoupretty.com and follow Jenny and Danielle (@polishyoupretty) on twitter – they are always sharing new manicure ideas and nail lacquer reviews!

Polish You Pretty by Jenny Stencel and Danielle Black is published by Ryland, Peters & Small and is available at http://www.rylandpeters.com/ or at your local Chapters/Indigo Bookstore.

Thanks again girls for joining me for a Saturday afternoon full of nail polish and to everyone else for reading this review, I hope you enjoyed it!

xo Lauren


Manicure Monday – Snow White-Out Meets Two Tone

A few months ago I wrote a post about my favourite Spring 2013 nail looks. Two of the trends I had been waiting to try were the Snow White-Out and the neutral two tone mani. Since spring is finally here I figured it would be an ideal time to rock these looks – but which one should I do first? Obviously I could’t make up my mind and choose just one, so I decided to combine the two! I think it looks pretty awesome – keep reading and you can let me know if you agree.

OPI Steady As She Rose and essie Marshmellow

 Following my usual routine, I used two coats of nail envy as a base and then painted my nails with three coats of essie Marshmallow. I found this colour to be quite sheer and streaky, however, it did build well and after the third layer it was completely opaque. Next I free handed the outer half of my nail with OPI Steady As She Rose. Since I was layering over white it was very easy to get full coverage. I did apply two coats just to ensure that the base didn’t peek through. If you don’t want to free hand your design, you can use scotch tape to cover the inner half of your nail. I find it quicker to skip that step though – I get frustrated with the tape. My advice for attacking a free hand manicure – use the brush to your advantage, try to move it smoothly up your nail without lifting it and don’t even think about dabbing the polish, that is when you end up with jagged, uneven lines. It does take patience and practice but if I can do it – anyone can! To finish your manicure, wait about five minutes for the colours to set and then apply two coats of essie good to go [or whichever top coat you favour].

So here it is – Snow White-Out meets Two Tone:

Manicure MondaySnow White Meets Two Tone

Hope you like it – until next Monday my friends!

xo Lauren


Manicure Monday: Waterless Watercolour/Marble Nail Art Tutorial

Last week I came across this amazing manicure on Polish and Pearls and I knew I had to give it a try. I love the watercolour, marble look but I hate dealing with water to achieve it. This waterless version is much easier to do and a lot less messy.

You can choose any variety of colours you like to achieve this look. I used OPI French Quarter For Your Thoughts as a base and then added essie Eternal Optimist, Where’s My Chauffeur and OPI You’re Such A Butapest for the marbling.

Step 1: Prep your nail with a base coat – nail envy for me, as usual – and then paint two coats of OPI French Quarter For Your Thoughts [or whatever colour you choose to be the opaque bottom shade].

Step 2: One the base is entirely dry, add heavy dots of the colours you want to marble to one nail [ONLY]. Don’t worry about keeping things neat – you want to use quite a bit of polish. I recommend tracing around your nail with Vaseline before this step to make clean up easier. You should have dots that look like this:

watercolour maniStep 3: Moving quicky – one nail at a time, lay a sandwich bag or piece of saran wrap on top of the dotted polish. Using your other hand press down on your wet nail and smudge the dots around to ensure that the colours are starting to blend together and that your entire nail is covered. Removed the plastic bag and then repeat steps two and three on the rest of your nails, one at a time. It was tough to get a photo of this process but hopefully this one is clear enough to give you an idea of what to do – you can see the bag that has been removed from my nail.

sandwhich bag maniStep 4: Seal the watercolours in with a top coat. I used essie good to go. This step is essential because it helps to really combine all the colours. The finished product will look something like this:

mani mondayI love the way this manicure turned out and I am really excited to try it again with different colours. It is probably the easiest nail art mani I have ever done!

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! And don’t forget to submit your question for the weekly “Ask A Beauty Blogger” feature.

xo Lauren

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Ask A Beauty Blogger

Ask A Beauty BloggerUntitledI am glad someone asked this question so I can give credit to a few of my favourite nail bloggers!

When it comes to nail inspiration I have a few go to sources:

1) Fresh off the runway. I love the intricate nail looks that designers pair with their new collections, however, they can often be a little complicated for an at home manicurist. I always try to use similar colours and styles but simplify things a bit to ensure a clean application.

2) Fashion Magazines. Many are even offering tutorials on how to achieve the latest looks.

3) Nail Blogs. My favourite source of inspiration by far – these bloggers are always on the hunt for the newest most exciting nail looks. I recommend checking out these manicure mavens websites: Polish and Pearls, Spektor’s Nails, Polish You Pretty, Beauty High and Glitter She Wrote – just to name a few.

Sometimes it is fun to just spend some time playing around with the colours you have and see where it takes you – you never know, an original design could be the next new nail trend!

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

xo Lauren


Manicure Monday: A Bright and Crazy Manicure

Despite a mid April snowstorm, I am ready for summer – and so are my nails. At the end of last week I received Polish You Pretty, a nail art how to book, in the mail to review. After leafing through the pages a few times I knew I had to try some of the designs. I will provide a full review in the near future when I get a chance to tackle a few more tutorials.

nail suppliesI used nail envy as a base coat under OPI You’re Such A Budapest, Illamasqua Devotee and Sally Hansen Black 02 nail art pen [which I is a new buy for me]. The finishing touches were essie good to go.

I will show you the steps before I reveal the finished product, just to keep you guessing!

You're Such A BudapestAfter a few layers of nail envy to strengthen my [talons] nails, I painted three coats of OPI You’re Such a Budapest. I find this polish quite sheer but very easy to build solid coverage with thin coats.

Illamasqua DevoteeNext I carefully free-handed half my nail with two coats of Illamasqua Rubber Finish in Devotee. I absolutely love the colour of this polish and it was a nice complement to the more subtle base colour.

Sally HansenUsing my [new] Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen, which is not exactly what the book recommends, I drew a line down the center of my nail. Using this pen is quite easy, however, you need to have a scrap piece of paper nearby to be able to press the tip on. I found the formula of this polish to be a bit light, I had trace of the lines a few times to fill it in completely and even still I am noticing some cracking and lighter spots. Perhaps I should have done two coats of black instead of just one.

Summer NailsFinally, using the nail art pen, I drew polka dots on the pink side and diagonal stripes on the purple side. After allowing my nails to dry for a few minutes I finished with three coats of essie good to go. After spending half an hour on this nail art manicure, I wanted to be really sure that it was dry before going to bed.ellepottsie polish you pretty

What do you think of the design? I know it is a little crazy but it is a lot of fun and the instructions were easy to follow. This was one of the more simple manicures in the book which makes me a little nervous to try some of the more complicated ones – then again, I love a challenge so bring it on!

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! And don’t forget to submit your question for the weekly “Ask A Beauty Blogger” feature.

xo Lauren