Home | Buying our first house

As we now are celebrating being in our home two years (where did that time go!) it got me thinking about the whole buying process. It all seemed so stressful at the time but now that I look back here is the advice I would give my younger self. 

Be prepared to sacrifice 

If you’re starting to save for your first home, like we did, I took a long hard look at my monthly income and outgoings, and this was the daunting start to our process. This allowed me to calculate my bills and my disposal income, shockingly I had more disposable income than I thought, by no means a millionaire, but multiple trips to the shops and online orders seemed to take a large proportion of my salary. That’s the first thing I cut back on, not completely but sacrifices had to be made. 

Save, save and save some more

Although I’ve just said I didn’t completely cut back I was very concise of what I bought, I became more aware of disposable fashion and make up and things had only to be bought for a purpose. There is much more than a deposit, there is solicitors fees, furniture and installation charges. It really racks up so be realistic with the money you can save keep that in mind for your mortgage payments. I went to a mortgage advisor to workout our budget and what were affordable monthly payments. One thing I will say was that with our salaries they were willing to give us more than we originally thought, we could have gone for a higher mortgage with higher monthly payments and probably a bigger house but really we wanted to make it manageable. Only do want you can afford, it’s important to be able to live and enjoy your new home. 

Compromise is key

Whether you’re buying on your own, with your partner or with a friend. Once you have an idea of budget, make a list of things that are ideal. Now go through this list and look through the things that you would compromise on. For us location, south facing garden and car parking were essential. It would have been ideal to have a semi detached, separate dining room, downstairs toilet but unfortunately this was not possible so we had to compromise and what’s important is, for us this is our first home, it’s unlikely we or you will stay there forever and the next house, once you get some time under your belt and maybe a little more saving, you will be able to incorporate these desirable into your essential list. 

Don’t let looks get the better of you

If you walked into a shop that is beautifully decorated and tidy you’re more likely to buy right…it’s the same with houses. The difference is there is only 1 house and lots of buyers. If an estate agent thinks a house has potential they will do an open day. That’s what happened with the first house we bid on. If a house is well decorated, you can see yourself living there. That’s exactly what we thought and although we set a budget there were multiple bidders and we seen ourselves go £12,000 above our budget and £16,000 over the asking price. What were we thinking, we got carried away and I just hope that the other buyers could afford. No matter what, when the furniture is removed and the rooms are bare, it looks completely different and then you will want to reprint walls and change things around. Interiors are not worth blowing your budget, you can and will make improvements as you go along. 

Try not to get emotionally invested 

My dream home is a old house which we can renovate. We viewed multiple houses and fell in love with this one which looking back now was completely impractical, particularly for our first home. We were sale agreed but knew it needed a lot of work and a couple weeks later we got a complete building survey, our dreams were shattered. The house was in such bad disrepair beyond our naive eyes. It need completely rewired, the chimney was about to fall in, repointing on the outside, wood root, a second damp course and to top it all off asbestos. Our surveyor (who was lovely) and we met him at the house while he was doing the survey gave us some pretty good advice. Without £40,000 before we moved in, it would be impossible for us to make the house liveable, all before we even lifted a paintbrush for the internal. This was a tough blow, we were devastated, because we were emotional involved in the house. We were annoyed that we paid £800 for a survey that proved this wasn’t our dream home, really we should have been happy, we identified the problem and saved ourselves a painful and stressful journey but at the time it was difficult not to think that we had wasted that money for a survey. That’s the trick the survey was vital for us to know that was not a sensible investment. 

Don’t be afraid of professional advice

We took advice from anyone who would help and not my mum or dad but professional advice. We went to a mortgage advisor, who proved to give us a better rate on our mortgage than going directly to the banks. We also took advice from our building surveyor on that and the house we eventually bought. Our solicitor who helped us along the way, I called a lot and I’m sure he screened some of our calls but he knows this process inside and out. Other than signing a few documents and giving them a read (I’m probably doing them no justice) but he gave us so much help. Your solicitor works for you and in this case represents you so use their knowledge and expertise. Remember the estate works for the seller of the property so if you have any problems, get advice and help from your solicitor, they are the best person to represent you. 

Be patient

This process takes time. Finding the right house takes time then conveyancing takes even more time. It’s so easy to say this once it’s complete but it’s so important to be patient, you can rush people along, and be sure to keep them on there toes chasing but there will be a lot of back and forth so don’t let that get you down. Once you get the keys and unlock the door of your new home for the first time that feeling is amazing and no one can take that achievement away from you then. 

Lashings of Love, 

K xo

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Beauty | Charlotte Tilbury just take my money!

A few weeks ago I journeyed into town after a hard days work and thought I deserved a treat. I needed to pick up a few bits and while I was there I thought I may as well have a look in the sale. What harm could that have. 

I walked with stealth through House of Fraser, straight past Mulberry (well I’d seen all there sale items online, no point in looking there). I came to an abrupt stop, right at the Charlotte Tilbury counter. I remembered a friend of mine recommended the overnight bronze and glow mask. When I seen her with no make up on, she looked amazing, glowy and tanned skin, I had to have this miracle worker. But of course I didn’t stop there. I decided to buy the all in one palette as well. £87 later I walked out, happy with my new buys…I then splurged a little more in the sales. 

But I’m not here to talk about my other purchases for it is Charlotte Tilbury that has really impressed me. I’ve bought a few things from her, mostly lipsticks and I love how every time I hear her speak she addresses us a darlings! 

The packaging is devine, slap on a bit of foil printing and I’ll pay double, it’s simple. The packaging on the overnight glow mask did throw me a little. Clearly there was a rebrand at some stage before this product was launched. On the tube a white and gold foiled sticker was carefully applied, not noticeable to the disconcerting. It most certainly hasn’t put me off. 

The overnight mask states that a thin layer should be applied over the face and décolletage, washing hands afterwards. Having very dry skin, normally face tans leave dry patches around my face but this couldn’t have been more hydrating. I woke up in the morning with a natural glow, one which I would have been happy to run to the shops with no make up whatsoever. It took the grey look out of my skin. I applied for 3 nights and left for 5 days. No funny fake tan smell either which is a huge plus for me! It wears off naturally with no patchy marks. I do my normal skin care routine with cleanser, toner & moisturiser afterwards, it didn’t notice this having an impact on it, but the glow is so natural, I doubt it would. 

Moving on to the instant look in a palette. I’m no make up artist but I do love a new palette. It’s taken me years to allow myself other eye shadow palettes without feeling like I’m cheating on the Urban Decay Naked range. There’s no doubt I still love it, and it is a tough one to beat. In all honesty I just never felt like I needed another range of colours, I keep it fairly neutral. But this palette was different, it’s not just eyes it’s so much more. 

By combining eyes, blush, bronze and highlight, it’s the perfect palette for travelling and is perfect for when I spend a bit of time away from home every now and again. I brought very minimal make up with me last week as we only brought hand luggage with us (light packers) and it was perfect for the whole trip! Perfectly pigmented and this will be my new go to for the foreseeable. 

It’s started to make me think about anything else I’m missing from my Charlotte Tilbury collection, I’ve focused most of my time wondering about my next Sephora buys that I forgot all about the fabulous brands we have here at home. Plus the staff in House of Fraser were so friendly and helpful, if they had shown me anything else I would have added that to my basket as well. 

What other Charlotte Tilbury products would you recommend? I think it’s time for another visit! 

Lashings of Love, 

K xo

Happy 2nd Birthday 

So today I’m celebrating the Little Lash Room turning 2, yes 2! The first year was filled with twists and turns and I learnt so much along the way. I suppose this year I feel like I’ve got my sh*t together and let’s face it, things come better in twos.

Why lashing? 

This is without a shadow of doubt the most frequently asked question. When girls first uncover that lashing is not my full time job they are immediately inquisitive, and understandably so. A couple of years ago I wanted to do something just for myself, prove to myself that I can do just about anything I set my mind to. I had just finished my masters degree which I had been studying part time for 3 years so I had a lot more time on my hands so couldn’t just sit down. I had been getting eyelash extensions for a while and became obsessed with them, never having them off. I wasn’t happy in my last job and really that was the push to make me go for it, something new. I took the plunge. I went for the training and quickly became addicted to my new craft. Looking back now, I needed a lot of practice but I was content with my progress. It took a long time but I pushed myself. Fast forward 2 years and I’m fully booked every evening forweeks and months in advance and couldn’t be more delighted with what we have achieved.

Sometimes I think it’s just me doing it on my own, but really it isn’t. There are lots of people in the background. I can’t go without mentioning my friends and family who have supported me along the way, I don’t know where I would have got to with out you. The likes, shares and telling all who listen. Mummy the eternal guinea pig who will let me try out any new product on her, so I knew exactly what I was offering. Chris, the receptionist and chief tea maker, many of you will meet Chris when he answers the door to tell you that I’m running late, usually because I’ve nattered on for much longer than I should, but hey, that’s all part of the experience. I’m so grateful for each and every girl who has ever crossed my door and given me your time, you girls are my therapy and when I’m asked how I do it, my answer really is you!

I now feel like I could do just about anything. This time 2 years ago I was sitting with no likes, followers and an appointment book with a lot of empty spaces. Honestly I didn’t really know what I was doing. This is my baby and I’ve watched it grow into something way more than even my expectations.

But there is more…Guess what, there is more than lashes, I’m no longer just the Little Lash Room. Along my journey you will have seen me reach some of my mile stones, I’ve bought a house, got engaged, planning my wedding, got a puppy and now celebrate 2 years of the Little Lash Room. Where did time go hey! Did I miss anything, probably yes, I spend very little time reflecting and look forward to whats ahead. But equally every day isn’t about milestones, some days it’s just having a good old moan about life, a walk in the park or a ginsecco with friends. Milestones are just a reference point on the road to show us how far we have come, but there is a big open road ahead and who knows where that can take us!

Looking back I can reflect on where I started and what I was and how I have evolved. I’ve become a real life adult, adulting all day long. The amazing girls I have met over the last 2 years and the friendships that have flourished! I’ve found my voice. It’s not just lashes, I’m so much more. I found my passion in so many other things than lashing and it’s honestly given me the confidence to try just about anything!

Lashings of Love,

K xo

Beauty Edit | Sephora Splurge (again)

Upon landing in America, it never takes me long to sniff out a Sephora and as I find it I can almost hear the money falling out of my bank account.

My perception on beauty has changed since I have got older. Naturally enough. I’ve began to work out that no matter how much I conceal and powder over, nothing will help if your base isn’t in good condition. I’ve learnt a lot about skincare of the last year of so from countless YouTube videos and even more articles. Maybe my budget has changed as I’ve got older and I really won’t fall into the new products so easily and I’m more keen to spend a little more on a good cleanser and moisturiser than a foundation. First thing I purchased was the Clinique 3 step guide after I watched Leigh’s Instagram story on just how good it was…influencers alert…I’m easily persuaded. I started using it straight away and I can tell you Leigh knows exactly what she’s talking about it. I’ve since bought full sizes.

Keeping in the theme of skincare, I picked up a number of face masks to help with dehydrated skin when I got back. The Sephora face masks are super cheap but really good quality. I haven’t found a comparison in the UK yet so I’ll have to keep stocking up each time I go.

I also had to pick up another IT cosmetics your skin but better foundation. I bought a medium this time thinking that I’ll be a little more tanned throughout the summer. I find this foundation divine after I first purchased it back in January when I was in New York. I’m still not finished my first tube which I use every single day. With my increased use of retinol, each morning I use a factor 15 SPF and then add the CC cream which is of course a factor 50 SPF, perfect to help defy aging skin and reduce the number of freckles I start collecting throughout the summer. I’ve also just seen that we can now get IT cosmetics in the U.K. so I’m delighted that I don’t need to stock up when I’m in the US.

Although I absolutely love this foundation, I journeyed into the Make Up For Ever territory, Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation. One of which I’m not as familiar with but seem to see on just about every YouTuber who then he beautifully flawless skin and has a much fuller coverage and I believe has a longer staying power (18 hours I’m told by the Sephora assistant however I’m sceptical but I’ll put it to the test). Of course no liquid foundation would be perfect without a setting powder which of course I bought. I’ll be keeping this for nights out as it’s a bit heavy for me everyday but I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

I bought another Tarte eyeliner which is my favourite. I don’t usually wear eyeliner everyday but I do have a go at the weekend at a flick. I first bought this is January, with my IT cosmetics CC cream, and again it’s not yet finished but I love that it has both a kohl pencil, perfect for tight lining, as well as the perfect liquid liner which slides on so easily and allows an easy flick, even for an amateur like me. Most of my lovely lash ladies will ask me about eyeliner and I do have to say when my lashes are about 1 week before infills I do tight line most days just to fill in gaps rather than using mascara.

Finally I love the section in Sephora around the checkout where you can pick up sample sizes to try products that you maybe don’t want to invest in right away. I picked up the tarte blush and lip stain, I haven’t tried them out yet but I’ll be giving them a go this weekend. I also picked up a Caudalie set of moisturiser and serum to try out since I love their beauty elixir spray so much.

A non Sephora purchase (!) but it kind of falls into the beauty category was this canvas bag I got from Sugarboo & Co. they have the most gorgeous slogans and it was so difficult to pick just one. Just go and have a look and imagine decorating your house with all of their lovely items.

Until next time Sephora.

Lashings of love,

K xo

Hand Luggage Only  

The Little Lash Room - Hand Luggage Only

Holiday packing tips for girls heading away for a long weekend

Last weekend I headed away for my friends hen party to Portugal and it was great. Lots of the girls brought check in suitcases and couldn’t understand how I had packed so much in such a small case. With a check in bag I always over pack – I don’t wear all of the things I have packed but I still bring them, just in case. However when packing with hand luggage only the tactics change. More versatile outfits are required to make the most out of my limited space.

  1. Think Strategically

Write down every day that you are going to be there and an idea of what you will be doing.

For me I will either be by the pool, going for a walk or heading out for a night. Here’s how I do it:

Friday

Day – Pool – bikini, floral shorts, white cami

Night – Dinner & Drinks – White Lace Dress

Saturday

Day – Walk – Denim shorts, white tee, tan sandals

Night – Hen Party – Dress Up

 

  1. Only pack what’s on this list

Its tempting to want to bring more things with you, just in case, but just in case often never happens and for girls who are travelling on a budget, adding a few extra things can cost you a few extra pounds!

  1. Mix & Match

By packing shorts, skirts and tops this way you can co-ordinate these pieces to make the most of your space. Your white cami will go with denim shorts and your skirt, which means your outfits can go from day to night very easily.

  1. Only pack the essential toiletries

When I go away the only thing I really need is my make-up, moisturiser and perfume. Other than that I can buy everything else in the airport or when I get there. I highly recommend if you are heading away with friends why not all pool together and buy the necessary shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste and sun creams once you are through security. Travel size toiletries are a rip off, this way you will all be sharing them over the weekend and very little goes to waste because everyone is using them.

  1. Handbags & Hand Luggage

It has happened to me more often than not, especially on a particular orange airline that the air stewards refuse to let you on the plane if you have hand luggage and a handbag. For me I’m always tight on space and the bag just definitely isn’t going in. Following from my last point of buying something in the airport, be sure to get a plastic bag, this way you can pop your handbag in there when you’re boarding the plane, I know it’s a bit sneaking but even if it was in my case I would have to take it out when I got on the plane anyway so really it saves time for everyone!

 

Lashings of Love

Kerrie xo

Lashings of Love

The-Little-Lash-Room-Strip-Eyelure-Ardell-Eyelash-Collection

Today seems an appropriate day to write about my lash addiction. As many people in the UK are receiving their A-Level results, I too was in their shoes 7 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday; thankfully everything worked out and I began a voyage of discovery through university.

For many of the 18 year old girls getting their results today, they are already make-up artists in their own right. However at 18, I was not, reminisce to a time that Urban Decays colourful palettes ruled the beauty world and contouring/highlighting was unheard of. I was putting these trends to the test with different shades of purple, pinks and the odd blue with an extensive amount of glitter that were being packed on to my eyelids and a blending brush didn’t get a look in.

The reason I thought back this morning was because eyelashes were becoming a trend, they were the new thing and I was addicted. I spent more time trying to place strips onto my lash line than perhaps I did studying. YouTube was becoming so popular and never before seen make-up tutorials were becoming more prominent, recreating celebrity looks and offering their know-how on all things beauty. I would spend hours recreating these looks so much so that I was always the last one to get ready for a night out.

Whilst at university I began working for Benefit Cosmetics and I loved it, it was an amazing time to be part of the beauty industry that valued the thoughts and opinions of the people using the products through blogs and magazines. I was putting on eyelashes every day, it became as much of my routine as putting on mascara.

After university, I left Benefit and got what the university would class as a ‘real job’. As much as I have enjoyed my career to date, I still had a yearning to get back to the beauty industry. In June last year, before heading to a wedding in Portugal I got semi-permanent lashes on, I have been addicted ever since. I still have a large box of lashes which I always kept stocked up…just in case! Before getting the treatment I researched it as I was initially apprehensive which I appreciate everyone is. I became so interested in it that I did the course myself and now am carrying out the treatment for girls across Northern Ireland.

This blog will showcase my thoughts, tips & tricks with all things beauty. As well you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We girls all want to look good….feel good!

Lashings of Love

Kerrie xo