A 5'3 Perspective


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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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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


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Ask A Beauty Blogger

Ask A Beauty BloggerThis question could not have been anymore timely considering I was in the process of mending my broken nail when it arrived. I’m sure many of you can relate to this one.

Mending a Broken Nail

There are a few ways to tackle this issue. First and foremost, prevent it – use a nail hardener with every manicure and don’t soak your hands for too long in warm water. I wish this was a no fail fix, however, it is inevitable that we will all experience annoying tears in our finger nails. As long as you can catch the problem early enough it is easily remedied.

How to Repair a Broken Nail

There are two quick fixes that I use and one more comprehensive method [which is better and lasts longer].

1) If you are out and about when the breakage occurs, find some clear scotch tape and place it over the crack to prevent it from worsening. This is not a long term solution.

2) If you have nail polish handy and need something to tide you over, paint a few coats over the tear to seal it. Also not a long lasting option.

In my opinion, the most effective and cost friendly method is to use a tea bag and a base coat to create a patch.

You’ll need:

Repairing a Broken NailFirst cut a small corner off of the tea bag to fashion a patch for the broken nail. You want to make this as small as necessary to cover the tear [but don’t skimp]. Next, paint your nail with a base coat and while wet place the patch on top using tweezers [you can use your fingers if you prefer but it is usually easier and more accurate to use a tool].

Reparing a Broken NailRepairing a Broken NailOnce you have place the patch on the tear, press it down with your fingers. You want to aim for the patch to be flush with your nail. Allow the base coat to dry completely and then layer two more base coats on top of the patch allowing each layer to dry entirely.

The finish product should look something like this:

Repaired Broken NailThis is problem the only picture you will ever see of me with bare nails!

Now you are free to paint your nails as usual. The broken nail may need an extra coat to be completely hidden but once you have the colour on you won’t even see or feel the patch.

This process does add a little time to your manicure, however, it will help the nail to grow out to a point where you can get rid of it.

Hopefully this tutorial was helpful but if you do have any questions, or use another technique to repair your broken nails I’d love to hear from you!

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

xo Lauren


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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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Mani Monday: Multi-Chrome Swatches (Chanel, Sephora and OPI)

During the dark and cold winter months, I am finding myself enamored by multi-chrome nail lacquers. The hint of sparkle and the unexpected colour change keeps me feeling warm and fuzzy while everything around me is deary and chilled.

The duo/multi-chrome trend began when Chanel released Peridot in Fall 2011. Since then the [nail manufacturer] masses have gone to extremes in order to keep up – to a point where you can find almost exact copies of Peridot (OPI Just Spotted the Lizard, Jessica Iridescent Eye, Ozotic 507 and Morpheus 205) for a fraction of the price. Personally, I am a proud supporter of the original but if you can’t imagine dolling out over $28 for a bottle of polish the replicas are shockingly good.

This winter I decided to branch out and add two new multi-chrome polishes to my collection; Sephora by OPI Here’s Lilac-ing At You, Kid and OPI Skyfall The World Is Not Enough. Below are swatches of these new lacquers along with a few snaps of Peridot.

[WARNING: this is about to get very picture heavy]

Chanel Peridot

A bright gold with hints of green-blue shimmer.

Chanel Peridot in Artificial daytime light.

Chanel Peridot in Artificial daytime light.

A hint of green among the gold.

A hint of green among the gold.

Peridot in the evening light.

Peridot in the evening light.

Green shimmer.

Green shimmer.

In this light the polish has warm undertones.

In this light the polish has warm undertones.

Natural sunlight brings out the cool greens and silvers.

Natural sunlight brings out the cool greens and silvers.

Sephora by OPI Here’s Lilac-ing At You, Kid

An opaque chrome blue-violet with two tone effect.

Artificial daytime light.

Artificial daytime light.

Natural daytime light - bring out a brighter purple tone.

Natural daytime light – bring out a brighter purple tone.

Vibrant violet hue.

Vibrant violet hue.

Evening artificial light.

Evening artificial light.

Natural daytime light

Natural daytime light

Sephora by OPI Here's Lilac-ing At You, Kid

Sephora by OPI Here’s Lilac-ing At You, Kid

OPI Skyfall The World Is Not Enough

A pink-taupe-silver base with a heavy pink and gold shimmer.

A darker deeper rose hue

A darker deeper rose-taupe hue.

Artifical daytime light brings out a silver-rose shimmer.

Artificial daytime light brings out a silver-rose shimmer.

OPI Skyfall The World Is Not Enough

OPI Skyfall The World Is Not Enough

What are you wearing on your nails today?

xo Lauren


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Rainy Day Half-Moon Nail Tutorial

Something about the start of fall makes me crave rich and regal nail colours. Although you could follow this nail tutorial with any polish your heart desires, I chose a deep red [Sephora by OPI – Mr. Right Now] and my favourite gold [Quo by Orly – Filthy Rich] which you’ve seen before in my Easter nail tutorial.

Here is what you will need:

OPI Nail Envy Matte, Quo by Orly Filthy Rich, 3 ring binder reinforcements, Sephora by OPI Mr. Right Now, and essie good to go rapid dry top coat.

First you should prime your nails with a base coat. I use OPI Nail Envy [you can read my review here] because it helps strengthen my nails – and when you paint them as much as I do, they start to become weak.

Next paint your entire nail in the colour you want your half-moons to be – I chose gold.

Quo by Orly Filthy Rich

Make sure you allow this coat to dry completely. I use essie good to go [my favourite quick drying top coat – check out the review here, it is a life changer] to speed up the process – because I have absolutely NO patience.

Once you are sure the polish is dry, use binder reinforcements to cover the bottom part of your nail. It should look like this.

It is best to stick the reinforcements to your hand first so they lose a bit of their adhesion. This way you reduce the risk of ruining your base colour.

Now it’s time to move quickly. Paint one nail at a time with the deep red. Once you have painted the entire top part of your nail, remove the sticker immediately. This is so important – do not wait until it dries or it will not come off easily and your lines will not be clean. Make sure to tackle ONE nail at a time, don’t paint your entire hand and then try to remove the stickers.

Make sure to paint a thick enough coat of red to cover the gold as you will not be using two coats of polish.

Complete all of your nails in the same fashion and seal with a top coat – obviously my top coat of choice is essie good to go, but use whatever works best for you!

You should end up with something that looks like this:

Sephora by OPI Mr. Right Now and Quo by Orly Filthy Rich half-moons.

If you aren’t sold on the colour – here are two more options to consider.

OPI Schnapps Out of It with Quo by Orly Filthy Rich

Sephora by OPI Leotard Optional with Sephora by OPI and Betsey Johnson It’s My Pink

 

The possibilities are endless though – my next half-moon mani will probably be a dark green [think essie Stylenomics – which I am still trying to find in Ottawa] with a lighter green half-moon.

Try it out and send me the pictures. I’d love to see the colour combinations you choose!

Stay dry and have a great day!