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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
Hello. Beauty. Again. Yaaasss.
When I started getting into makeup and before I went to Korea with my foot-long shopping list, I hit all the beauty channels to find out more about the items I wanted to buy, especially the vlogs. Watching beauty vlogs was a great way to see products in action, their size, sometimes the actual prices, any updates about the product or the brand, and reviews. And it’s just sometimes more entertaining than reading ten blog posts that say the same thing. Ahehe.
After spending countless hours on YouTube, I’ve come to really like a few vloggers because they put a lot of work into making their videos look great, their reviews very clear and honest, and their tutorials really helpful. I can watch these people all day. And I have. Some weekends I just literally lie on my bed like a sack of potatoes and watch beauty hauls and tutorials. If you can imagine a sack of potatoes trying to put makeup on in bed, that’ll be me.
1. Michelle Phan
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.
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!
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.
There are many joys—and burdens—in getting into beauty in my mid-20s. For one thing, I think I would have been less cautious had I discovered makeup at a younger age; I probably would’ve bought ridiculous glitter eyeshadow, lots of black eyeliner (I blame Avril Lavigne), or overpriced mascara I’d leave to dry after using it for a few weeks. Now that I’m more mature, I stick to neutral colors, really wearable shades, multi-functional items, and products that will really help my skin look good and healthier.
I’m not at that point where I know what really, really works for me yet. I’m new to the game, so I still want to try everything. K-palette eyeliner? That’s a classic. I must have it! That Etude House eyeshadow palette shaped like a chocolate bar? I already have a lot of eyeshadows. But it’s so cute. I must have it! Makeup primer? I don’t have anything like that yet. I must have it! That’s pretty much how my brain works near beauty sections.
Since I buy skin care products and makeup with my own money, I research the hell out of a product that catches my eye before actually buying it because beauty is pain…fully expensive. If I’m going to spend P700 upwards on one product, I make sure I’ll get my money’s worth.
After amassing a small hill of makeup and skin care stuff since 2015 rolled around, I’ve come to love a few things more than others. Hoping this turns out to be a sustainable series on this blog, I’ll stick to featuring around five items that I’m loving and can absolutely recommend to anyone.
I’m not even done with my Japan entries, but here I am, writing a haul post because I just came back from Seoul a couple of days ago, and I want to tell the world how
depleted my wallet is I was able to find fantastic things during my brief trip to the Land of the Morning Calm.
After eight days in Seoul (and Gapyeong), I can say securely say that Japan is still #1 in my heart, but South Korea is a beautiful country, special in its own way and definitely worth visiting many, many times.
Here’s a shot of all the stuff I lugged back home with me. Not a lot. Nope.
I’ll divide my haul into two posts. This one will focus on cosmetics, and the other one will show non-cosmetic items.