A 5'3 Perspective


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Manicure Monday: Galaxy Nails

Inspired by outer space, these dark but shimmery nails have been making quite a splash in the blog world. After watching a couple tutorials, like these (one and two), I couldn’t wait another day to try them out myself. I’m a huge fan of manicures that look complicated and unique but are easy to achieve – this is one of them.Galaxy Nails galaxy nailsFor this manicure you’ll need quite a few different polishes: a black for the base, then you’ll apply a dark blue, followed by purple, followed by white – using a sponge to dab the colours on. Once those layers have dried, you’ll need a translucent and sparkly polish to layer on each nail, followed by a polish with large silver glitter pieces. I highly recommend watching one the tutorials above to see how this manicure is achieved before ruling it out for its complexity.

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

xo Lauren


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Manicure Monday: A Guest Post From The Calgary Stampede

Today is your lucky day! While I am busy exploring the east coast, one of my best gals is taking over to share a more western inspired manicure. If you’ve been following A Five Foot Three Perspective for a while, you have definitely met this beauty maven before, if not, you’re in for a treat. 

Take it away Sarah!

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Lace crops, tied up flannel, leather fringe, and obviously, cutoff denim – these are of course the staple items spotted throughout the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. Even if you didn’t make it to Calgary this summer, musical festival season is still underway, and if you pack light (bless, I don’t know how you do it), you certainly won’t want to bring your entire polish arsenal. How do you choose a mani colour with some staying power? Just as your little denim jacket pairs with just about any summer tees or sundresses, meet the ultimate luxury in manucures d’été:

The Chanel Denim Collection

This great set of three look beautiful as single solids, and also complements each other when mixed and matched into nail art designs. Use a simple dotting tool for a slight flair,or create more dramatic shapes with curved or diagonal lines.

Chanel Nail Polish

For me, it’s always the case that in the cold months of winter, I can’t wait to sport neons and brights, and in summer, I miss the sophistication of opaque and ultra dark polishes. These gorgeous denim inspired shades are a nice happy medium, and can take you through a full getaway’s worth of outfits.  All in good fun, to quote Dolly Parton, a personal favourite country queen:

“You’d be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap!”

Enjoy putting together your summer festival looks, and never neglect the nails! The Chanel Denim collection had a limited release, so check ebay if you are head over heels.

 xoxo

@sarahfisherxo


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Fabulous Finds Friday: KOKU – Ottawa’s First Nail Art Bar

First of all – happy Friday my friends, we made it!

Last night I had the absolute pleasure of attending the media/blogger launch party for Ottawa’s first and most fabulous nail art bar, KOKU. Located just minutes from downtown, this modern nail bar kiosk is taking the city by storm! Modeled around the tagline “life is too short for boring nails” KOKU Nail Art Bar was painting up a storm last night. Besides free nail art manis [this is not a dream!!], the event featured a DIY manicure contest, blogger showcases [myself included!!!] and live music!

KOKU Nail Art Bar - located in St. Laurent Shopping Centre.

KOKU Nail Art Bar – located in St. Laurent Shopping Centre.

I wish I had taken more pictures during the party but I found myself too busy meeting new people, putting Twitter handles to faces, painting nails and of course, talking polish – but here are a few of my own snaps, along with a few borrowed ones from my fabulous [and absolutely stunning] blogger friends!

A few of the girls! From left to right, Maxine, Erin, Me, Darcy and Lauren

A few of the girls! From left to right, Maxine, Erin, Me, Darcy and Lauren

A fabulous turn out - definitely gives me a reason to frequent St Laurent mall more often!

A fabulous turn out – definitely gives me a reason to frequent St Laurent mall more often! And how cute does Ms. ML look on stage!

DIY Mani supplies! I could have played with these all night!

DIY Mani supplies! I could have played with these all night!

Erin getting her "blogger" manicure from me!

Erin getting her “blogger” manicure from your gal – ellepottsie!

My lovely and patient model Erin!

My lovely and patient model Erin!

Emily rocking some great nail art!

Emily of Tinfoil Tiaras rocking some great nail art!

The amazing and talented Lisa Holden's nail art!

The amazing and talented Lisa Holden’s nail art! If you need manicure inspiration you should definitely follow this lovely lady on instagram, or just visit her at KOKU!

Of course this post would't be complete without an outfit shot!

Of course this post would’t be complete without an outfit shot!

Always ahead of the curve and equipped with the latest technology and highly trained staff, KOKU provides clients with the fastest service in town with the very popular – Express Mani and Pedi – you can be in and out with fabulous fingers nails in 11 minutes flat [and only $11 dollars]! That is definitely a concept I can get behind!

KOKU’s manicures and pedicures are extremely affordable and appointments aren’t required [yet], although I can already picture lineups forming all around the mall once the general public learns about this incredible nail experience.  Their service offerings include:

Express Manicure – $11
Full Manicure – $15
Men’s Manicure – $12
Girl’s Manicure – $11
Gel Nail Full Manicure (shellac) – $30
Express Pedicure – $18
Full Pedicure – $25
Men’s Pedicure – $18
Girl’s Pedicure – $15
Gel Nail Full Pedicure – $40
Hand Exfoliation – $5
Hand Message – $5
Feet Message – $7

Next time you need a manicure [or pedicure] and are in the Ottawa area, I highly recommend visiting the wonderful staff at KOKU Nail Art Bar. You will not regret it, just be prepared for everyone around you to be struck with a serious case of nail envy!

Thanks again to @20YS and @THANNSkinCare for hosting and inviting me to be a part of such a wonderful event – may you experience nothing but great success with KOKU Nail Art Bar!

xo Lauren


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Manicure Monday: Revlon Moon Candy Nail Art Polish

Is there anything better than coming home to a package waiting for you at your door? A month ago I might have answered this question with a firm no. I love the anticipation of online shopping – tracking, waiting, tracking, waiting. Did I mention tracking? I am obsessed. I get such a thrill knowing something is on it’s way to me! But – there is something better. Surprise packages. Filled with nail polish – from the amazing team at Revlon Canada. Revlon GoodiesThis is exactly what I came home to at the end of last week. A nail junkies dream – four beautiful summery polishes: Coast is Clear, Cabana Queen, Lagoon Afternoon and Belize, Please, which are part of the limited edition Haute Tropics collection [available in stores now for the next four weeks only!], and five nail art lacquers.

The only problem with this envelope full of goodies was that I had too many options – I had such a hard time deciding which polish to try out first. After much deliberation [and a vote from Neil] I chose Orbit, a deep, rich purple base paired with an iridescent flake glitter.Orbit Moon CandyFirst of all – the purple base is incredible! The formula and the brush make for an extremely easy application. With just one coat it was completely opaque and beautiful. I would definitely wear this shade alone, but I knew the glitter layer would up the ante so I added one more base coat [because I can’t seem to stop at one] and waited patiently for it to dry. The purple tinted, iridescent, shimmery second layer applied just as flawlessly as the base colour. My only qualm here is that the glitter pieces were a little sparse for my liking – but not to worry, a second layer of the shimmery polish fixed that problem without any hassle.

I did find that the top layer took quite a while to dry completely, even with two layers of rapid dry top coat – and the texture of my nail was jagged because of the glitter pieces. This isn’t something that I find bothersome but I know it can be an issue for others. Despite the slow drying process and rough finish, the end result is undeniably unique and beautiful.Revlon Moon Candy Orbit - Moon CandyCapturing the true look of this polish is difficult to do in photos – it just doesn’t do the colour justice. Depending on the lighting the lacquer can look completely different, sometimes purple heavy, other times it is a deep rich blue. I have received many compliments on this manicure because the shimmery flakes are so eye-catching.

In terms of wear and tear – I’ve got to hand it to the team at Revlon. Though I only applied this polish on Friday evening, it is still looking fabulous. I know a few days doesn’t sound like such feat for a manicure to hold up, but this wasn’t just an average weekend for me. I spent all day Saturday biking and canoeing [and canoe flipping – into the Rideau Canal – but that is another story], and on Sunday I participated in the Spartan Obstacle race, which means that this polish made it up and down a ski hill three times in the mud and rain, through barbed wire crawls, rope climbs, a fire pit and about ten other insane tasks. I was shocked I still had finger nails after I finished the race – let alone an almost perfect manicure.
Post Spartan Race ManicureThis is pretty much the extent of the damage. Impressive Revlon, really – this is amazing. However, if the polish was this durable through crazy tasks, I am a bit nervous about the removal process. I assume that I will need to use my tried and true tin foil glitter dissolving process, which you can find here, but I will definitely keep you posted on what happens.

So the verdict is in – I love the look of this polish and I can easily get past a rougher texture on my nails so I would definitely buy this again and I would highly recommend it! I can’t wait to test out the rest of the lacquers and share my thoughts in the next week or two.

Thanks again to the Revlon Canada team for sending me these polishes try! If you’d like to learn more about Revlon products and hear about upcoming launches head over to Twitter or Facebook and join the fun.

xo Lauren

A sample of this product was sent to me for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.


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Ask A Beauty Blogger

Ask A Beauty Blogger

beauty on a budgetIn my opinion there are two options for you. The first is quality and timeless – fewer items but ones you’ll wear everyday. The second is quantity and trendy.

I’ll show you what I would recommend if I were the one with $85 stashed my beauty bank!

Quality and Timeless

$50 + $25 + $35 = $110

Okay so that is just a bit over budget… However, you are investing in high quality products that you won’t be able to live without. If you already have great skin – skip the BB Cream and just get the illuminator and mascara – and throw in a bottle of white polish while you’re at it, since you have a few dollars to spare.

As you know [from my review] I am very happy with Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream – it lives up to it’s claims while being long lasting and providing sufficient coverage. And don’t forget that this product has SPF35 so you don’t have to worry about lathering your face with sunscreen!

High beam has been my go to illuminator since I began using one. It has just the right amount of simmer and can be used anywhere. I even like to use it as eyeshadow sometimes! Who doesn’t love a versatile product.

Givenchy Noir Couture has a volumizing effect that no other mascara can match. If you’re lashes are a bit sparse this is the product for you. I also reviewed it a few months ago.

These are definitely my go to beauty product when it comes to quality – I use these on a daily basis, I don’t know what I’d do without them. However, if you are looking for a bigger haul of trendy pieces, check out the second option.

Quantity and trendy$5 + $10 + $18 + $10 + $3 + $7 + $10 + $12 = $75 (use the extra to cover the taxes… or treat yourself to some chocolate)

Clearly, this option gives you a lot more bang for your buck. These drugstore products are some of my favourites, many of which are basically high end beauty dupes.

The elf eyeshadow palette combines this seasons blue and green trends, along with a neutral grey and black and a summery pink – not to mention it comes with a brush. Maybelline Falsies is always rated among the top drugstore mascara brands by beauty bloggers and celebrities. This lash enhancer helps to separate and lengthen your lashes – and it is waterproof. When it comes to nail polish essie is one of my go to brands. I find spending a bit more on lacquer is worth it because it last longer without chipping. This fun set includes most of essie’s newest spring collection [resort 2013]. Coral lip stain doesn’t seem to be going anywhere for spring and summer so instead of spending $30 on the Yves Saint Laurent tube, buy this L’Oreal dupe that will save a tonne – the formula is almost identical! While you’re at it, pick up a bold red, it will make you feel sexy for those summer date nights – I recommend Maybelline Colour Sensational Vivids in On Fire Red. One of my favourite spring/summer 2013 beauty trends is bold brows. This elf eyebrow Eyebrow Treat & Tame wand will ensure a great shape without looking like you’ve filled them in too much. Oh and it is only $3 – how can you resist tossing it into your shopping cart! Adding a shimmery bronzer to your collection will enhance your natural summer sun-kissed glow, and at $7 it is worth the investment, even if you don’t use it every day. Finally line your eyes with Maybelline’s Waterproof Line Works Eyeliner [a product I have just started to use thanks to one of my BFFs recommendations]. This liner will stay put through anything, even a day at the pool. It is easy to use – almost fool proof – just give it a shot, you won’t regret it!

After some careful thought, I would probably go for the quantity and trendy option. I love new products and these drugstore items are some of the best. $85 can buy a girl a lot of make up so have fun with it and send me some of your new looks!

Hopefully these tips are 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.

xo Lauren

 


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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].

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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


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Fabulous Finds Friday

Whether your bundled up and braving Nemo, or laying in bed trying to avoid the blizzard, these Friday finds are to die for – at least in my opinion!

Fabulous Finds Friday

1. Nike Dunk Sky High Top – These comfortable and stylish sneaks are on the top of my to buy list. They aren’t easy to find in stores but with a bit of internet scouring, they will be mine! If your feet are large than a size 6, Artizia has a few pairs in stock.

2. Proenza Schouler Double Bag – Versatile and spacious, yet oh so beautiful. This bag really isn’t in my price range – but a girl can dream right?

3. Euro Central Collection by OPI – After hitting the shelves only a few days ago, I have already picked up You’re Such a BudaPest, a light lavender blue, and I Saw… U Saw… We Saw… Warsaw, a deep navy shade. I love the combination of pastels and shimmers in this collection – there is a hue to suit everyone.

4. Rings [image courtesy of La Modella Mafia] – Step aside arm parties, it’s time to give your digits some attention. Layered rings have been creeping their way into my wardrobe over the past month. I am especially fond of mixing delicate pieces with chunky costume jewelry. I can guarantee my ring collection will be growing quickly this year.

What items are you coveting this week?

Have a great weekend!

xo Lauren


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OPI – Mariah Carey Liquid Sand Nail Polish Review

What better way to wrap up 2012 than with one last manicure Monday post! I am thrilled to share this new polish with you, not only because I just bought it, but because it is so different from any other polish I’ve ever tried.

On Boxing Day, Trade Secrets released the Mariah Carey by OPI collection. Amongst the requisite rich and shimmery swatches [in true Mariah character] I found four “liquid sand” lacquers. OPI claims that the liquid sand polish offers a never seen before matte, textured, shimmery finish. Obviously I was immediately sold.

The four liquid sand colours include: Can’t Let Go (a grape purple glitter), Get Your Number (a blue with various sizes of glitter), Stay The Night (a nearly black base with pink glitter) and The Impossible (a reddish pink base with hex and star glitter).

I think I chose the most subtle of the four – Stay The Night, but I’ll probably be back to try out a few more shades in the new year.

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I really like the way the polish paints on my nails, it is thick but not tacky. I chose to use 3 coats [because I’m obsessive] but you could definitely get away with just two. As the polish warns, using a top coat will completely change the finish. I decided to follow the directions and skip it this time around. I will try again another time with a top coat just to see the difference – I know it will ruin the matte sandy finish but it might end up being interesting.

To be honest, when I first painted my nails with Stay The Night I wasn’t sold – the texture was too grainy for me and I wasn’t sure I liked the finish. After a few hours the texture softened a bit and the colour mellowed out a bit – now I’m in love! I guess good things come to those who have patience.

The entire OPI Mariah Carey collection is available at Trade Secrets. I’d love to hear your thoughts this collection!

Happy New Year friends – thanks for all your support in growing this blog to where it is today. See you in 2013, I can already tell it is going to be another great year!


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Fabulous [Festive] Finds Friday

Happy [stimulate the economy] Black Friday! The holidays are quickly approaching and the party invites are being sent – so what better to feature today than some holiday party items that will make you shine brighter than the Christmas lights!

1. Sephora by OPI – Good Tidings We Bling!

With a name like that, this polish is way too cute to pass up! I can’t wait to layer it over a fresh coat of black to add a little playfulness. Expect a few pictures soon 🙂 Although this lacquer isn’t on sale, Sephora does a have few good buys today, you’ll just have to search their site – they don’t make it easy for you to find the deals.

2. Sketched Flora One-Shoulder Dress

In an ideal world this would be my go to Christmas Party Dress! It is absolutely glamorous. I’m sharing it with you because I’m too nervous to order it online in case it doesn’t fit. Anthropologie doesn’t accept in store returns from online purchases if you are an international customer – returning an item by mail is one of the most frustrating tasks ever. I will probably forever regret not buying this dress. In case you wanted to do some online Anthro shopping today, use discount code : LUCKYDAY at the checkout to receive 20% off your purchase. You’re welcome ;).

3. meow.

There are no words to describe this. I laughed so hard when I saw – and I’m not even a cat person. I don’t know where the image came from, a friend sent it to me in a chain email, it was to good to pass up. To whoever took this photo – you made my day!

In case you needed some music inspiration – I’ve been playing this non stop in my office today [the Alvin Risk Remix version is even better]. I’m having a dance party of one, it’s awesome!

 

Have a great weekend!


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Manicure Monday

Today’s nail tutorial is a little different from the rest of my manicure posts. Instead of teaching you how to create your own nail art, I’m going to give you my thoughts on Sephora’s Nail Art Patches.

I have been eying the Nail Art Patches are Sephora for quite some time, but I can’t justify spending $14 on something I will likely take off after a few days. Luckily I was able to get a bit of a discount and I decided to go for it. I chose the Golden Circles pattern.

Sephora Nail Art Patch – Golden Circles

I know the design looks a bit overwhelming but remember your nails are not as big as those strips so it won’t be as intense. The patches comes in a vacuum sealed package – because they are actual strips on nail polish and once they come in contact with the air they will begin to dry. I didn’t have any problems getting them on before they dried though – don’t stress, you can take your time.

I found the instructions on the back of the package [and inside] to be quite vague. I was expecting a lot more detail. Basically you remove the top clear plastic layer and then you choose a strip that fits each of your nails. Each package comes with two sets of 8 different sizes. I was able to find sizes that fit my fingers and didn’t need to cut them at all, many people will cut them to fit exactly. Just keep in mind that the strips are nail polish  so even if you have a bit of excess, it will come off – nail polish isn’t meant to stick to you skin [for long periods of time].

Once you have chosen a size for your nail you will peel it off holding just the silver portion of the strip. Next you will place the end of the strip [without the silver piece] against your cuticle and smooth it down against your nail using your fingers. The more you smooth it the more it sticks. Once you get to the end of the nail just fold the excess under, it will eventually break off once you smooth it enough. Many reviews I read suggested using a nail file to remove the excess. I found that the nail file creates more of a jagged edge so I stuck to using just my fingers. It might have taken me a bit longer but it definitely produced a smoother result.

Once you have applied the patches to all of your nails you should let it dry and harden for a bit. Here is where I made a major mistake. Once they were firmly in place and dried, I wanted to seal them in with a top coat. Instead of using a regular top cost I used essie good to go rapid dry [my favourite top coat] – which ended up shrinking the patches a bit and pulling them up off my cuticle a bit. If you use a regular top coat you shouldn’t have this problem at all!

I got loads of compliments on my nails. They did look great – I just wish I didn’t use a rapid dry top coat. Now I know for next time, and you won’t make the same mistake I did!

The final result! Grainy instagram quality photo, but the nail art looks awesome!

I was expecting the patch to last for at least a week [based on reviews I had read], unfortunately, mine began to chip within 4 days. This morning I decided to take them off. What a struggle – not only did I tinfoil my fingers with nail polish remover and soak my nails, but I also scrubbed at them for half an hour to remove the patch. Maybe it was the sparkles that stuck to my nails, but taking them off was an absolute pain. Almost enough to make me abandon the patches for good.

Next time I will probably try a set without sparkle to see if that makes the removal process any easier [and quicker] – I’ll keep you posted. So the big question of the day, should you buy Nail Art Patches? …It’s hard to say. If you have a lot of time to spend on your nails, I would recommend it. The application is quick and painless, I think it took me about 15 minutes total. Just be prepared for a much longer removal process. They are nice while they last and I do believe that a regular top coat would have made a difference in the length of time they lasted without chipping.

Has anyone else tried Nail Art Patches? Would you?