September 28, 2016

Looking after blonde hair

I'm a bit of a creature of habit. For the last 16 years, I've been a blonde of sorts - not a real, light-up-the-room Scandi blonde, but I've been getting foils and highlights on the regular for almost all my adult life. Right up until October last year, when my regrowth looked so much like bad ombre balayage that I wanted to see what GOOD ombre balayage would look like on me. And I liked the results and I loved the lack of upkeep.

Freshly balayaged in October 2015 for Styling You's #everydaystyle birthday party

I loved the hair salon which gave me that look, and I was really pleased with the condition of my hair afterwards - it's like taking a big break from all-over blonde gave my hair a rest and recuperation holiday. 

My biggest issue with my balayage was that it 'threw warm'. This is my totally untechnical term for the way my mouse-brown hair always has more brassy notes when it's lightened than cooler, creamier notes. This has the undesired effect of making my hair look dirty (even though I wash it every. damn. day.) and kinda trashy.

The way I dealt with this for the last year was to blonde tone the heck outta it, and hope that I just never had that silver rinse look that Bea and the Golden Girls rocked so well. It wasn't until July that I finally found a blonde toning range of products that actually worked for my super-porous locks, and now I'm in love with the Marc Daniels Blue Cypress Blonde collection.

After two weeks of regular use of the Marc Daniels Blue Cypress Blonde shampoo, conditioner and toner, my blonde hair was so much creamier. 

My thoughts on the Blue Cypress range? Well, firstly it really worked. I didn't get that dreaded Violet Beauregarde shade at all, and the condition of my over-processed blonde ends definitely improved after regular use of the leave-in toner. All three of the products smell delicious (think a light Body Shop Dewberry scent, circa 1994 YUM!) and I really only needed to use them sparingly - no palm-sized dollops required just to lather up!

I also had the chance to hit up Marc Daniels Ambassador, Eugene Sokolovs from Gold Coast salon Ette Studio, to find out his top tips for keeping blonde fresh, especially as we head into Summer and all the coastal girls load on the fake tan and lighten our hair!

Eugene recommends using a quality toner on towel dried clean hair, such as Marc Daniels Blue Cypress Blonde leave-in toner to keep blonde in peak condition throughout the warmer months.
The best feature of this time-saving product is that it's a leave-in treatment!

His biggest do's and dont's for blondes?
Regular visits to the hairdresser for colour refresh and cut, wash and condition hair regularly and use a treatment product such as Marc Daniels Blue Cypress Blonde at least once a week.

Blonde ombre and balayage hairstyles are still everywhere, what's the latest spin on them for this Summer?
Balayage and ombré are still highly in fashion. For SS16, 'Nude' hair is popular, where there's an even amount of warm and cool tones applied which cancel each other out to create a neutral colour.

The leave-in toner is now a hair essential for me - I won't leave home without it!

The Marc Daniels Blue Cypress Blonde range is available at Woolworths and Chemist Warehouse, and priced super-reasonably at around $13-$14 for each product.

Please, if you have blonde hair care tips, let me know! What do you use to fight the brassiness?

*I was gifted the Marc Daniels Blue Cypress Blonde range, and under no obligation to write about it. I've tried it now for 8 weeks, and have been super-impressed. Thanks Marc Daniels!

September 26, 2016

5 of the Best Blowdries on the Sunshine Coast

Today is the first is a little series of posts I'm sharing about Spring hair and beauty. Let's all agree that I'm no beauty blogger - I don't know how to contour, Kylie Jenner's lip kits are well beyond my lippie-application skills, and I may have the world's most boring hair. But I'm interested in it all. I have friends with fabulously bouffy hair, and I really appreciate a good brow. So here's hoping I learn a little sumthin' sumthin' when I write these posts!

My locks are limp. Always have been, and probably always will be. I send texts on the regular to my bouncy-haired best mates, saying 'Nah, not coming tonight, I've hurt my neck blowdrying my hair upside down', and 'My hair doesn't want to come out and play with your hair tonight, it's feeling insecure'.

If you're too lazy to lift a brush, or like me, just don't have the skills to create Victoria's Secret-worthy bounce in your limp locks, the solution is a salon blowdry. Once the sole domain of the rich and famous with private stylists on call 24/7, the professional blowdry is fast becoming the quickest way to freshen up limp locks - especially if you've got a BIG weekend coming up. Best part is, the professionals can really make a blow dry last, sometimes up to four or five days with the right products!

Whether you're after a glam retro beehive, Gigi-style blowout (always my goal!) or a casually undone lob á la Jennifer Lawrence, check out my favourite lock-lifting blowdries on the Sunshine Coast, and swish your way through the day in style.

Heads in the Cloud, Buderim
This smart salon doesn't just boast an adorable name; it's practically a description of how high they can get your hair with the magic of their driers! With brushskills that are recognised around the world, head stylist Sam Rizzo can really make you feel like a Texan beauty queen, and he's recently been crowned 2016 Creative Artistic Ambassador for Keune Haircosmetics. The locally owned salon is also often searching for hair models for training, competitions and photo shoots - who knows, you might end up on the cover of one of the world's big hair glossies!

Evalyn Parsons, Moffat Beach

For the coastal Southerners who like to channel a big-haired Southern Belle, the team at Evalyn Parsons know how to transform - and you won't be left waitin' around either, darlin'! Their Glam & Go services will pack a punch, transforming you from drab to fab in under 20 mins for just $30, or if you need a little more work, upsize to the 30-40 min Style package for only $50.

House of George, Maroochydore
The goal: thicker, fuller hair with volume that lasts. The action: book a blowdry at House of George. New salon manager Samantha joins the George team with a wealth of knowledge from her UK-trained background, and official ghd educator. Anyone who can wield a straightening tongs with that much experience definitely knows how to add shine, body and ontrend style to every 'do! PS it's part of the cutest old Queenslander, and their barista serves fab coffee too, so every moment at House of George is totally Instagram-worthy!

Image credit: House of George

Never fear, hinterland readers – you have follicle friends in your part of the world too! Rhonda and the team at Uptown Hair will give you a big city blowdry, with classic regional Queensland service with a smile. Uptown has won Sunshine Coast Business Awards Excellence in Business awards for so long now, that they were inducted to the Hall of Fame - really speaks of a loyal customer base, doesn't it! What really sets Uptown apart is their attention to detail: complimentary beverages served with tasty cookies, stylists who don't treat you like the next part on the assembly line, and plenty of advice on styling your hair at home. Pricing is super reasonable too, so there's no excuse not to pop in and freshen up before you hit the rapidly growing nightlife in the sugar town. 

Universal Hair, Maroochydore
Another Maroochydore salon makes the cut, with Universal Hair consistently nabbing places on 'best salon' lists. With experts in upstyles, braiding and curling, you'll be ready for your big night out in now time. Or if it's a seamlessly smooth blowdry you're after, the soft results from their iron-free blast dries will have you craving such straight hair, you'll be back to book in for their Perfection or Keratin Fusion permanent straightening treatments!

Got a great blowdry salon I missed? Let me know in the comments?

Are you a fan of the salon blow dry?

September 21, 2016

A favourite Spring outfit

After a Winter of cool weather (ok, 10 degrees is mighty cold for a Queenslander), aren’t we all daydreaming about those balmy days at the end of Spring? This feminine-yet-tomboyish outfit would be perfect to wear on bike rides, to brunches and on picnics…

Fate Lilibeth chambray dress from Birdsnest, Amity necklace from Indera Beads, Longoria Fedora from Blue Bungalow, Philly Putty crossbody Louenhide bag, Chill Leopard sandals from Freya and Sabine.

I wear similar spins on this outfit pretty regularly, adding or subtracting a stripe sweater tied around my waist, a kimono, or mixing up the sleeveless shirtdress to one with a print. Simples.

 Do you have a go-to outfit this season?

Don't forget to sign up to get Katy Potaty via email to go into my September subscriber draw to win a luxe Glasshouse candle!

The winner of my August email subscriber giveaway was Louise Mc. I've emailed you, Louise - so holler me back with a postal address! Congratulations!

September 08, 2016

Instagram ate my photos

Instagram is my favourite social media channel, for two solid reasons.

It's just too easy, I can just take a picture, add a mildly-amusing caption, and boom. Done. No sitting down at a computer, logging into Blogger, editing (apart from a quick caption scan for typos) or typing with both hands required. It's just so user-friendly. 

And it's engaging. It's the fastest way for me to see what my besties are up to at any given moment, and I can comment on huge brands' fashion photos and they can respond almost immediately. 

I love the beautiful little community I have on Instagram.

But right now, I'm trying not to pick up my phone and check into Instagram, because it ate over 200 of my recent posts. Posts about fun times with my friends, posts about coffee, and posts that featured gifted product or were sponsored. All goneski.

I know it's not just me, that thousands of other people are dealing with this first world problem, but I'm praying that my Insty feed will be restored sooner rather than later.

I promise I'm trying to think positively about it (now, that is - yesterday I was ready to murder over it!), but in the meantime, there will be minimal Instagram cruising, and a lot of puppy-cuddling and coffee-sipping.

All without me taking photos of it!

Have you ever lost some of your social media and thought you'd just DIE?

August 28, 2016

Father's Day Gift Guide 2016

Dads can be tricky creatures to buy for and my ex-hippie, all-softie stepdad is the perfect example!

If you follow me on social media, you might know him from such comments as 'Things and possessions won't make you happy', and 'Facebook is for people who have no friends'. Whatever.

However, I think one of my fave exchanges with him might have been when I was staying with my folks for a few weeks one September while waiting for our house settlement to come through...

Me (walks into kitchen, ready for a day of work at Lorna Jane): Happy Father's Day *kiss*
Dad: Thank you! What is on your face?
Me: My face is on my face.
Dad: No, all the makeup...!
Me: Yup, that's my face. When I go out, I put on makeup.
Dad: But... but you work at a sport store.
Me: Yup.
Dad: Oh. It looks like you're going somewhere fancy. Too much, Katy. Too much.

What is it with Dads who think we're all naturally beautiful and that any makeup is too much? It's actually the sweetest thing ever when you think about it.

Anyway, with Father's Day just around the corner next Sunday 4 September, I thought it was just the right time to put together a gift guide, chock-full of ideas for all the fathers in our lives.

For the dad who loves to kick back, this pair of eco-friendly pyjama pants from Good Spender are made from 100% certified woven organic cotton and screen printed by hand.

For the adventurous dad, or maybe the dad with a passion for photography, a trip up in the clouds with Floating Images would be a dream come true. They're Brisbane's closest hot air balloon company, which makes that 5am start a little easier to handle!

For any dad, this print would be a sweet reminder of their importance in your life. Find this and other sweet Father's Day prints at Turquoise Designs.

For the hirsute dad, keep him tidy with a beard grooming kit from the folks at Milkman. They really know their stuff, and this gift pack has everything the beginner beardie or expert-level grooming guy needs for the best lumberjack look in town!

For the dad who scrubs up alright, or perhaps the java-junkie coffee-loving dad, check out Sal Remedia's range of yummy body scrubs - my vote goes to the Daily Grind, a caffeinated treat for your old man's skin!

A Son's first hero, a Daughter's first love. Nawww.
For the first-time dad celebrating a new bub at Father's Day, this Daddy print from Coco & Ella Designs will make his mushy heart melt. Cue happy tears.

For the buff dad (not mine, but I'll be honest, I prefer him more Santa and less Thor), this muscle tee from Through the Milky Way will give him a chance to show off those guns when he takes the kids out for an active day at the park. Plus, it can be personalised with the 'established' year, so you can pop in the year he became a dad. Adorable much?

For the dad who has four-legged kids... my husband would adore these socks from our puppy Stevie, and with so many fur-kids out there, we really can't forget those kinds of special fathers! You can find these and other fun personalised socks from Alphs at Hard to Find, an online store packed with more nifty gifts than you can imagine!

Now to the really mushy stuff. My step-father has been a constant in my life since I was 15, and I can honestly say (and I tell him all the time) that if I could choose a father from any man on the planet, I would choose him.

His patience and love for our family, his supreme cooking skills, his willingness to drop everything and help my brother, husband and I at a moment's notice, his hilarious chuckle which makes the rest of the family laugh uncontrollably, all these qualities are just the ones I can put into words.

Mainly, he's just always been here for me. And isn't that what a Dad is for?

Love you Dad. Love you every day of the year. 

Got Father's Day sorted yet?