Tag: New Zealand

Are you buying your first home? Have you considered these?

Part 1 | General Tips for the process

Based on our experience there are certain things that we recommend you do before even starting to look for your dream home – finding out the mortgage payment you can afford, Getting the services of a mortgage adviser, a buyer’s agent, and finding your lawyer are just some of it. The services of a mortgage adviser and the buyer’s agent are not mandatory but are highly recommended to ease the pain of doing the work yourselves.  

First you need to understand that buying house is not always the best option. For some people renting is much more cost effective and helpful in the long run. Owning a house means, you not only are paying higher rent as the mortgage, but there are added expenses such as rates payments, maintenance costs, and sometimes the need to make adjustments. Having said that, I must also say, having your own house means owning an enormous asset; that is never a bad investment. However, the discussion around the decision to buy or not to buy is for another post maybe. For now, I assume you are here because you already made the decision to buy.

1 Our first tip is to find out how much you could comfortably pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly as the mortgage payment. This is only to get an idea about how much you can afford as your mortgage payment.

You can use mortgage calculators given on any bank’s web page to do the calculation (this one is easier to use). The values you need for the calculation are:

  • The general interest rate that is currently used (I recommend using the floating interest rate),
  • The deposit amount you have, and
  • The potential loan value

Different calculators ask for either the cost of the house or the loan value. Cost of the house is how much a house will be sold for. The loan value is cost of the house minus the deposit value. This is the actual amount you will be borrowing from the bank.

E.g.: If the cost of the house is $550,000, and you can afford to have a deposit of $50,000, then your loan value is $500,000.

At this point in the process you may not have a clear idea about any of the actual values for house cost, loan amount or the deposit. Nevertheless, play around with estimates.

A general rule for your deposit is that it should sit somewhere between 10-20% of the house value. So it pays to know exactly how much you can put forward as the deposit before starting this process. There are multiple ways to accumulate a deposit. One is to save rigorously; Secondly, you can turn to parents or close relatives for a donation/gift (this cannot be a loan); or you can explore the grants available through KiwiSaver (or equivalents in your country) for first home buyers (sometimes available for second homes too). In reality, your deposit may have to be a combination of savings and either one or both of the other options.

We recommend doing the above mortgage calculation to figure out if you can afford to pay a mortgage at all, and if so within which range. Feel free to play around to find a number or a range, that you are comfortable with. At the end of the day, once you pay off all your bills, other mandatory expenses, and mortgage, you still need to have a comfortable amount left from your salary for emergencies and unexpected expenses.

This information is relevant to the New Zealand context. but you can apply the fundamental idea in any context.

Tell us in the comments below how the process goes in your country. Would love to hear more.

Stay tuned for the next tip in the series – Should you use a Mortgage adviser?

Cheers,

Sithru

Photo credit: http://www.interest.co.nz

THE ORDINARY| Foundations review

I just had the opportunity to finally get my hands on The Ordinary Foundations – The coverage foundation and the serum foundation.

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I know one of them was around for a while and the other is quite new. However, they both go out of stock pretty fast and therefore, I know many of you have not had the chance of trying them out.

I bought mine via Beautylish. It’s US$ 6.90 (~ NZ$ 10.35). When you buy via Beautylish, all orders over US$35 are shipped free and takes only about 10-14 days to arrive. *Not Sponsored!

Commonalities 

Both the foundations come with a pump and carry 30ml. They both should have a semi-matte finish. Both are oil-free, cruelty-free (as is the product line) and has a light-weight formula.

IMG_20171205_125747.jpgThe foundations come in 21 shades. So you, quite easily, can find a close match for your skin shade (No foundation will be able to carry shades that match all the skin colours in the world). Here Wayne Goss has a list that matches The Ordinary shade based on your MAC foundation shade. I bought 3.0Y in both foundations (which is the shade match for MAC NC44).

In the picture to the right, the top swatch represents the coverage foundation and the lower, the Serum foundation.

The Serum foundation

The serum foundation has a watery consistency and has a light coverage buildable to a medium. I used The Ordinary high spreadability fluid primer underneath and used a brush on one half of the face and the LA Girl beauty sponge on the other half to apply the foundation. The application was indifferent on both sides.

The foundation does have a semi-matte finish as it claims. it went on smooth.  I did not notice any of it clinging to the smile-lines after the first application. The foundation is tacky to the touch so it needs to be set with a light powder. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture soon after the application.

The picture below is after about 3 hours of wear. 

IMG_20171205_173117.jpgAt this point, the foundation starts to break apart. It got cakey around my mouth and settled into the smile-lines despite what it claims.  I always get oily no matter what foundation I wear, so the oiliness you see is not specifically because of this foundation.  The foundation gave me a white cast which was visible to the naked eye.

So naturally, my first impression was a BIG NO!

 

BUT, 

I decided to try it once more, with a colour corrector underneath and skipped the primer this time. Oh My God! … the result was b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. The white cast disappeared with the colour corrector and skipping the primer.

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The picture to the right is an untouched (no filters, not edited) photo taken from my phone. The foundation looked absolutely amazing. It lasted quite long this time – about 6 hours,  without breaking apart (on a 33 degrees Celcius day too).

Final verdict: The foundation is definitely not long wearing but can be extended with a good setting spray (I recommend the UD all nighter).  The foundation gave a smooth finish and looks gorgeous in the pictures. but I did notice tiny bumps on my face after wearing this for a prolonged time. So, if you have sensitive skin, be aware!

I would give this an 8/10.

Coverage Foundation 

The coverage foundation has a creamy consistency and gives a medium coverage buildable to a full. Like the serum, this too has a semi-matte finish. the picture below is taken soon after it was applied before setting it with powder. I used the same technique of applying the foundation with a brush and the beauty sponge with the same primer underneath. No colour corrector.

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Picture 1

It applies light at the beginning but gets darker. However, the final shade is the shade you are buying (at least in my case).

Even though the foundation was full coverage it was not ‘full’ enough to cover the dark spots around my mouth and cheeks. It looks cakey in some places.

This too gave me the same white-casty look that did not look good in real life.

 

 

Picture 2 and 3 were taken at the 3-hour mark.

It shows how the foundation has started to break around my mouth just like the serum foundation did in my first attempt.

Unfortunately, I could not try this with the colour corrector yet. But I assume it would perform the same way as the serum foundation did since the result at the end of the first attempt at wearing them were pretty much the same except the coverage.

Final verdict: For the price point, I think this foundation did an okay job. I’m sure colour correcting before the application would rectify the white-cast problem too. However, the setting spray did not extend its wearability.

overall, I’d give this a 7/10.

Even though I would not say these are two of the best foundations in the market, they are pretty good for $10. I recommend the serum foundation a little bit more than the other only because I like its coverage and the amazing natural finish.

Let me know if you have tried these and what you think of them.

Until the next,

Cheers

Sithru

WET ‘N WILD| Treasures from the drug store

The day I heard that Wet ‘ n Wild (WNW) is coming to Farmers, New Zealand (it was available before via online retailers like La Femme Beauty, but Farmers has a full display and affordable prices), I had to check them out at my nearest Farmers store.

For the makeup lovers, WNW needs no introduction. It is one of the most affordable beauty brands in the world, yet has not compromised in quality products.

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While I apologise for not taking pictures before I use them (For some reason I am very impatient with new makeup :D; have to dig in as soon as possible), I actually found some treasures in the WNW line and one dud so far. I bought these from Farmers, Love My Makeup as well as from Beautyjoint.com.

Eye shadow palettes

These eye shadow palettes are at the top of my favourites. They feel buttery and go on like a dream. The shadows are so pigmented that you need to use a really light hand to apply them. The colour selection is amazing too. I know that I have chosen quite similar colours, but the Bare and Beautiful palette is a collection of mattes and shimmers while the Comfort Zone is a collection of shimmers. The packaging is quite flimsy and fragile, but I am not really concerned about. They are lightweight and great to travel with because of the size. These two palettes have everything you need to transform yourself from a daytime look to a wearable smokey or a shimmery night-out look. I will post some swatches in the Instagram, so keep an eye on it.

WNW Photofocus Foundation and Concealer

IMG_20170827_151235Hands down one of the best foundations ever! It stands true to what it claims – a truly photo-ready look.

It sinks right into the skin to give you that airbrushed look which looks amazing in photos.

Unfortunately, it does not last very long. The maximum wear time I had with this foundation is around the 4-hour mark. After that, it just starts to break apart and look really oily and shiny (Having an oily T-zone does not help!). I could extend it a little bit with the Urban Decay All nighter spray, but the maximum is about 5 hours.

Powdering and touch ups do not really help after the foundation starts to get oily and breakup. But I have to say, I’ve worn this for 8-9 hours some days (just because I was working), and even though it starts to break after 5 hours, you don’t look entirely unpresentable at 8 hours.

The concealer is pretty much similar in performance. The consistency in on the thicker side and it dries down quite fast. I recommend working in sections and blending out before moving to the next application to get the maximum out of this product (e.g. one eye at a time, or one spot at a time).

Lipsticks

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I bought three Megalast lipsticks and one Mega Lip colour SPF15.

The Mega-last range is matte and is truly long lasting. They are pigmented too. About 3 minutes after the initial application you won’t even feel it on your lips. I’ve worn it on my lips for about 8 hours without touching up, and it stayed on quite well. Some fading was visible towards the inside the lips, but in their defence, I had some oily noodle stir fry just before.

The Mega lip colour has SPF 15 for sun-protection and goes on sheer. So, the colour payoff is not as rich as the Megalast line, but very comfortable and moisturising on the lips. Even though they do not last long, reapplying does not cake up the lipstick.

Again, keep an eye on my Instagram for swatches 🙂

Megaliner eyeliner – Fail! 

The megaliner liquid eyeliner claims to dry fast, stay-put, long-lasting, smudge-proof.

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I will agree with ‘dry-fast’ but none of the rest! It is not long-lasting at all and smudged quite easily than some of my other non-waterproof liners.

On the plus side though, it does come with an easy-to-use brush applicator. This is a wonderful applicator for the eyeliner-amateurs like me to get a nice and controlled wing.

The formula is thick and highly pigmented too.

I loved applying it, but it was streaking down my face (embarrassing!!!) in the first instance my eye started watering. I don’t understand how my upper lid liner gets washed off with tears – never happened before with any liner.

The brow mascara was nothing phenomenal. It was an okay product. I always prefer a clear gel to set my brows, so this was a nice option.

That is the round up of my thoughts on the WNW products I tried so far. If I am to pick my top 3 from the brand, I would highly recommend the Photofocus foundation, Eye shadow palettes and the Megalast lipsticks.

Let me know if you tried any of these and what you thought about them…

Cheers,

Sithru