Unboxing and Review: My First Order from Althea Philippines

All the products here are actually from two Althea boxes way back in February, so #latepost, but I just really wanted to share my thoughts on some of the items I bought and my experience with Althea Philippines.

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Althea is an e-commerce brand that sells Korean makeup, skincare, and beauty tools, very much like Beauty MNL or Sephora Philippines (formerly Luxola). They’ve recently expanded here in the Philippines after they proved to be successful in Singapore and Malaysia. Althea Philippines is fairly new since they only launched last February, but they’ve been featured a lot in the local beauty scene.

The prices of the products they carry are very competitive, definitely cheaper than the Korean products sold in physical stores here. It’s almost like you’re buying with Korea prices since almost all their products are discounted all the time. And they often have full-size freebies you can just add to your cart when you checkout. It’s really hard not to buy anything from Althea whenever I check their website. LOL.

Since I first ordered from them in February, the list of brands that they carry have grown longer and longer. They have products from the more popular brands like Innisfree, The SAEM, IOPE, Mamonde, 3 Concept Eyes, CLIO, HERA,  Dr. Jart+, and Sulwhasoo to name a few. And also some of the lesser-known brands that have been gaining popularity like SkinMiso; DEAR, KLAIRS; Elizavecca; and Aromatica, among others.

Here are the items from my first two orders:

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Japan 2016: Beauty Haul (and Mini Reviews, Too)

I went back to Japan for the second time a few weeks ago with my mom, my brother, my aunts, and my cousin. We spent a phenomenal week in Hokkaido and a couple of days in Tokyo. I’m definitely going to write about it soon and maybe cut a video, but while I organise and edit all the photos and clips we took, here’s a beauty haul post for yer enjoyment.

The first time I went to Japan, I didn’t really buy anything except for KitKat and other snacks. I wasn’t interested in beauty then, and I was just so ecstatic to be in Japan because I had wanted to go there for the longest time. But during the two years I spent away from the motherland, nagdalaga ako (lol). Now, I’m back home, and I’m broke because I bought quite a bit of beauty stuff back.

Like, I’m really, really broke…but hey, at least I can be beautiful. LOL.

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Look at my stupid face pretending to look in the opposite direction of the drugstore aka one of the happiest places on earth, aka the black hole that sucks time and resources.

Let’s jump in.

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Beauty Empties 1

Here’s a list of products I used up last year. Some of them I liked, some of them not so much. All of them are affordable and accessible since I rarely buy high-end products. I am also too lazy to do individual reviews, so I hope you don’t mind this bunch o’ lunch.

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Let’s start with… *nuninuninu*

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Products I Regret Buying: 2015

Ever since I got into makeup and skincare a year ago, I’ve bought, tested, liked, and loved a ton of stuff. I’ve found a few gems and possible holy grail products along the way, but I’ve also bought items that I wish I hadn’t. Here’s a list.

1. e.l.f. Poreless Face Primer

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It was a toss-up between the e.l.f. Powerless Face Primer and the Ellana Mineral Primer when I was looking for my first makeup primer (I said primers a lot there…primerprimerprimerprimerprimer). I didn’t want to commit to a high-end primer in case I didn’t like the product, so I set out to buy something cheap yet reliable. How did I end up with the e.l.f. one, you ask? I just saw it first in the department store.

Why I don’t like it: The repellent smell. Like radioactive lemons left out in the sun for too long!

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BDJ Box: June 2015

Finally, the last Belle du Jour Box I signed up for arrived a couple of weeks ago. I’m only blogging about this now because I was distracted by other things (comics, new project, cat) and I got a new laptop. It’s taking me forever to transition to Yosemite after two decades of Windows-hardened behaviour. What I also realized is you have to be prepared for a certain kind of lifestyle when you switch to Apple products. You’re not just buying a gadget; you’re going to end up buying the ecosystem. The charger, the projection accessories, the external drives, the cords, the adapters, the software. I bought a laptop case and a keyboard protector from Power Mac and nearly blew half my take-home pay on those two things. Of course, you don’t have to buy Apple-specific accessories, but I think people end up going that route anyway since the products look great together, each gadget is too large an investment to risk with non-compatible stuff, it’s easy to get blinded by gorgeous design, etc. Just something to think about if you’re thinking of going Apple. It’s great and all, but I don’t think it’s for everyone.

Anyway, beauty. You’re here for beauty. So, seeing as this was my last BDJ Box, I was hoping for something grand. And by grand, I mean no goat milk products. My expectations were pretty low. When my brother handed me this tiny box, I thought, ‘Oh, I got mail. I wonder who sent this. I wonder when my BDJ Box will arrive…’ Only to find out the tiny box was my BDJ Box. One word immediately blew up in my head: samples.

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2015: Second Quarter Favorites

Wow, this year is just flying by. Next thing you know it’ll be Christmas already. But before we panic over our Christmas shopping budget or how to slim down to make room for all the imminent holiday ham, here are my second quarter favorites this year.

1. Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Powder

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BDJ Box: May 2015

Another month, another BDJ Box. I think I may have deleted the email that said they were shipping this box out already, so I was pleasantly surprise when the Xend delivery guy texted “Mam nadeliver n po.” I’ve been trying very hard to curb my spending on beauty items because I have so many unopened bottles, jars, tubes, and palettes already. Recently I had to dump all the stuff in one drawer into another to make room for all my purchases. It’s getting a little cray up in here.

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Too Cool For School: Dinoplatz

I love dinosaurs. I love dinosaurs like other people love Star Wars or Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica. Dinosaurs are my thing. When I found out Korean brand Too Cool For School, maker of incredibly cute skin care products and cosmetics, had a dinosaur-themed makeup line, I made getting all those products my life’s mission. Thankfully TCFS came to the Philippines in 2013, saving us the trouble of online shopping and hauling our butts to Korea.

A collaboration with artist Hatori Sando, whose works are influenced by “architecture and details of everyday objects,” Too Cool for School’s Dinoplatz line is just THE CUTEST. Dinosaurs roaming around the city, severed T-rex heads dancing around in a circle, a stegosaurus walking outside a building—this makeup packaging is all I’ve ever wanted!

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BDJ Box: April 2015

What, this is the third time I’m writing about skin care and makeup? Am I some sort of beauty blogger now? From books to blushes. This is so out of character, yo. But I’m new to all this, so just let me have this moment to talk about beauty!

I’m sure most of you have heard of the Belle de Jour Power Planner. Maybe you’ve seen it during one of your trips to National Bookstore. Hey, maybe you’re using now. Specifically made for the girl who “achieves her goals, makes a difference in the community, and does everything in great style,” the BDJ Power Planner is a colorful, motivational life organizer full of positive quotes, tips to achieve a purposeful life, and tools to get things done, basically.

Planners like this aren’t really my cup of tea, but I recently received one at work. And in it, I discovered the Belle de Jour Box. Subscription boxes seem so fun to get in the mail, so I’ve been looking around to see which ones I can subscribe to (like Quarterly Co., minus the shipping rates that don’t cost a week’s worth of wages). I signed up for 3 boxes (P1,700 / P566 per box) last February, and my first box arrived a couple of weeks ago.

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