Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Introducing Althea's A'Bloom collection!

It's no secret that I love shopping at Althea Korea! And my, have they truly grown as they have expanded their own in-house brand with new makeup and skincare offerings. Althea's A'Bloom is their latest addition with products that are cute, quirky, and fun!


Being an Althea Angel, I was sent the new A'Bloom products to try and review. 😍


Let's start with the mask sheets! You wouldn't believe how affordable they are at only PHP 20 a pop! They certainly don't look cheap. The packaging is super cute and witty, too! I have tried all 4 variants and I'll share with you what I think about each one. For your reference, I have oily, dehydrated skin with flaky cheeks on bad days. I left the masks on for a little over 20 minutes each.

Althea A'Bloom Moisturizing Watermelon Mask Sheet (PHP 20)

DRENCH & QUENCH CARE
A moisturizing mask containing watermelon extract to keep the skin hydrated and supple for a long period of time. Watermelon extract is brilliant at retaining moisture, effectively quenching and soothing dry, chapped skin.

I was most excited for this variant because of its packaging design. Heh. However, I didn't like it so much. It had an artificial fragrance like car freshener (nowhere near delicious watermelon scent), but thankfully it doesn't linger. Three hours after removing the mask, my face still feels sticky from the essence. What this mask did well though was hydration. My skin did have a dewy finish afterwards, and it took longer for my skin to get oily during the day.
 
Althea A'Bloom Brightening Lemon Lime Mask Sheet (PHP 20)

SHINING RADIANCE
A brightening mask that gives the skin the vitamin component of lemon and lime brightening and makes the skin clear and transparent.

THE BEST. This variant had a very mild lemon scent that's almost unnoticeable. It was less sticky than the watermelon variant. This mask made my skin instantly even and brightened up. The dry and tight feeling on my cheeks disappeared, the flakes were gone. My skin became really smooth and makeup application was a breeze for around 2 days after using this mask. Not bad for a PHP 20 skincare product!
 
Althea A'Bloom Anti-Blemish Peach Mask Sheet (PHP 20)

PURIFYING SKIN & SOOTHING CARE
The peach extract that contains vitamin A regulates the oil and moisture balance of the skin which soothes sensitive skin as well as providing purification for smooth skin.

This is actually the first time I'm seeing a peach skincare product that claims to target acne. The scent of this one is also mild. I used this mask on a bad skin day where I had a pimple with pus on my chin. I used this mask before sleeping, and the next day the pimple seemed to die a natural death without me having to pop it. I like this one too, but my favorite is still the lemon variant. 
 
Althea A'Bloom Nourishing Avocado Mask Sheet (PHP 20)

NOURISHING & WRINKLE CARE
Rich in antioxidants, this nourishing mask is infused with avocado extracts to protect the skin from harmful environmental factors. Avocado extract is packed with vitamin E to improve skin elasticity and add a radiant dew to the skin.

The avocado mask has the cutest cartoon on the packaging. 💚 I think this variant has the most unnoticeable scent among all 4, but it seems to work the same as watermelon which which provides hydration while being slightly sticky on the skin. I'll be reaching for this mask when my cheeks feel extra dry and tight as it provides relief for my skin. 
 
Althea A'Bloom Giant Meringue Puff (PHP 100)
& Baby Meringue Puff (PHP 140)

How cute are these makeup sponges?! 😍 They actually look like dessert! These puffs are made from high density non-toxic latex-free foam and can expand up to 1.5x in size when wet. Interesting! Also, these puffs are 100% safe for sensitive skin.
 
Actual size

When I took these meringue puffs out of the boxes, I wasn't particularly blown away by it's softness. It wasn't that soft to me. But when soaked with water, they transform to big, fluffy marshmallows.

Expansion when wet (Amazing!!!)

Althea's website says these puffs can be used wet or dry, but for me of course it's better to use them wet. This way, the sponges won't absorb the products you use.

For me, the Giant Meringue Puff is a must have and is more useful than the Baby Meringue Puff. The Giant Meringue Puff expands so nicely, feels plush on the skin, and magically does not absorb the BB cream as much so there's less product wastage. When I wash it with Althea's Pore Purifying Serum Cleanser, the BB cream just slides off. It's very easy to clean. The narrow part is functional enough for your eye area and the sides of your nose, and even with that seemingly sharp tip, it won't poke you at all. It's just really soft. As for the Baby Meringue Puff, it's cute and tiny but it's less firm than the giant size. You can use this with cream blush, but not really for cheek tints because it will stain the puff.  
 
Althea A'Bloom BHA Blackhead Blaster (PHP 200)

I've used nose packs before and they were slightly painful (even with my high pain tolerance). This one is the first natural BHA stick that promises to remove blackheads and whiteheads painlessly in just 1 minute. While I currently don't have blackhead issues (*knocks on wood*), I'll keep you posted on FB/IG when I finally get to this product. Oh, this product can also be used as a quick scrub on your elbows and heels, too!
 
Althea A'Bloom gift 💖
 

When Althea A'Bloom launched last April 23, they had a wild promo of buy 10 take 10 on the mask sheets. Of course, I had to buy!!!


The buy 10 take 10 mask sheets was just PHP 180 - so it came down to just PHP 9 per mask. I'm crying; this is skincare heaven! I also bought a Giant Meringue Puff for the BFF. It came with a free mobile phone grip. Also, I was able to add to cart a free single mask sheet with any purchase. Soooo this haul was just PHP 460 - for 40+1 mask sheets and a makeup sponge! Althea Korea, you make me so happy.

I'm looking forward to more new releases from Althea. For now, I'm enjoying my masking moments. I can use one everyday and not feel guilty for my wallet. 😁

Shop Althea A'Bloom products HERE! 💋 I'm giving you 20% off on your first Althea Korea purchase HERE. 😉

Love,
Helen

PS. Get the Althea A'Bloom Brightening Lemon Lime Mask Sheet - you won't regret!!!

Facebook: Lucky Citrine
Instagram: @luckycitrine

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Review: Avon Fashions Body Illusion

Time to talk about foundation!

Not makeup, but the foundation for any nice outfit you can have. It always starts with great undies! With regards to my relationship with underwear, last year was such a revelation. I've always thought that I needed padding + underwire in order to survive because I have small boobs. Well, I have gained weight (boobs are still small), but the back straps of my lacy underwire bras have been digging on my skin and exposing back fat (NO!), so I ditched them for comfier options. Now, my underwear of choice are all non-wire.


Avon sent me their newest Body Illusion underwear to try and review. (Not sponsored!) 😁 I used to be an Avon lady way back in college! And while I always enjoyed browsing through their brochures, I've always longed for them to sell more neutral-colored undies that feel like second skin. It took some time, but my wish was definitely granted.

Presenting, Avon Fashions Body Illusion innerwear - powered by Avon's own Invisilite technology. This means no visible bra and panty lines even under skin-tight white clothing! This is such an innovation, and I think this is what all underwear should be or aspire to be.

Sonia Non-Wire Seamless Pull-On Bra (P899)

This bra offers amazing support without the wires! It has a soft fabric that will stretch up to twice its original size. It's a pull-on bra - my first one, so I'm not sure if I did it right, but I wore it from the bottom (waist) and just pulled it up. Super comfy because of the fabric, and the moulded cups give a flattering shape under clothing. The back and sides are seamless. Sometimes when I would wear a new bra, it would feel tight and leave red marks on my skin at the end of the day. With Sonia Non-Wire Seamless Pull-On Bra, zero redness and discomfort. You can just wear it and forget about it the entire day, and focus on the things that really matter. (Come to think of it, undies can affect your productivity!)

Features:

Silky fabric that feels like butter on the skin

Soft, brushed shoulder straps for easy, adjustable comfort

Lightweight and comfortable cups

Sonia comes in a pretty pale blush color that's fade-resistant, so your undies will stay pretty for a long time. 👙

Sonia Seamless Hipster Panty (P299)


Don't forget the matching Sonia seamless panty! While I still have panties with seams inside my drawer, I wear the Sonia panty under tight skirts and dresses so I don't have to worry about visible panty lines. The fabric feels less stretchy than the bra, but it serves its purpose because it just feels like second skin. It has a nice fit; it doesn't move around much so no chance of wedgies. LOL


Avon Fashions Body Illusion is available through Zalora, Avon Representatives, or via Avonshop.ph. Follow Avon Philippines on Facebook and Instagram to learn more.

Love,
Helen

Facebook: Lucky Citrine
Instagram: @luckycitrine

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Capsule Review + Tutorial: Althea Makeup Collection

Photo heavy post ahead! 😉

Today's post is a very exciting one! As an Althea Angel, I'll be sharing with you a detailed capsule review (swatches, prices, pros, and cons) of Althea Korea's latest makeup products under their own brand.

My sister Cindy helped me craft this Althea makeup look! 👍

🌟 Althea Makeup Box 🌟
(also loving the Lunar New Year box design!)



Before doing your makeup, you have to have the perfect base. For imperfections like pimples you want to cover up but don't want to aggravate by piling on the makeup, try Althea Skin Relief Spot Film Gel! Put in on top of your pimple and it dries to a matte, skin-like finish that's literally invisible. This healing gel contains tea tree oil to heal acne, and Centella and pine leaf extracts to soothe redness and calm the skin down.

Before | During | After

Pros:
  • Functional and hygienic packaging
  • Expiry date is printed on the box and indicated on the crimp of the tube for easy reference
  • Contains tea tree oil, Centella asiatica extract, and pine leaf extract
  • Cooling and soothing feel
  • Mild scent
  • Effective in drying up acne
  • Can be used day (under makeup) and night (as spot treatment)
  • Invisible finish

Cons:
  • Learning curve, mine peeled off when I applied makeup the first few times I used it

Just make sure to not touch your skin after you've finished applying your makeup, or parts of the gel might come off and make your skin look "flaky". But for me, this is best used at night as spot treatment so you won't have to worry about the flakes.


Swatches:

#01 Vanilla, #02 Ginger, #03 Honey, #04 Mocha

Shade guide:
#01 Vanilla - A brightening pink beige #21 shade
#02 Ginger - A warm ivory #21 shade for natural coverage
#03 Honey - A warm peach shade to suit skin tones between #23-#25
#04 Mocha - A deeper yellow-based shade best suited for over #30


My first impression on the Althea Flawless Creamy Concealer - it's very creamy indeed! I've tried a lot of drugstore concealers in the past, but none has been as creamy and easy to blend as this one! I did my arm swatches (unblended) and it took me some time to get the best photo, so when I rubbed each shade on my arm, it still glided like butter. (How did you do that, Althea?)

This pigmented and long-wearing concealer has buildable formula that's made with Aquaxyl to moisturize and improve the overall health of the skin. All of my face shots below (up to the end of this post) are raw, unedited photos. You can see how this concealer made my dark circles disappear.

Pros:
  • Expiry date is printed on the sticker on the base of the tube
  • Very affordable (probably the most affordable good quality concealer out there!)
  • Pigmented
  • Long-wearing
  • Doesn't easily oil up, crease, or fade
  • Comes in 4 shades
  • Contains 6g of product
  • Won't cause breakouts

Cons:
  • Very minor: the rim of the product gets quite messy with daily use so I need to wipe it regularly
 
Bare face

BB cream + Althea Flawless Creamy Concealer

My makeup artist sister taught me how to use this concealer correctly. Extend a bit to the cheeks and don't just put dots on the dark circles. I first used #02 Ginger all over my dark circles, and topped #01 Vanilla to brighten it up and subtly highlight my nose bridge.


Because we're living in the Philippines and it can get really humid here, I topped off my base with Althea Petal Velvet Powder in Pink Lavender (limited edition shade that's already sold out). I love it because it smells very calming. This powder instantly mattifies my face while feeling so lightweight. Even with the lavender scent, it doesn't cause any allergies so we're good. Don't forget to fill in your brows and get ready for the next step: EYES!



Shades are just named as numbers from top left to bottom right:
#1 - A shimmery nude with pink undertones
#2 - A matte light brown to create definition
#3 - A metallic rose gold with pink undertones
#4 - A metallic gold
#5 - A rich brown with golden shimmer
#6 - A deep wine shade
#7* - A pearly pink shadow with purple undertone
#8 - A cool purple with a subtle shimmer

*#7 contains carmine AKA red pigment from crushed bugs. Not cruelty-free, but props to Althea for their honesty.

Swatches:

🌠 A mix of shimmers, mattes, and glitters 🌠
🌠 Perfect for day and night 🌠


For this look, we used shade #2 as base on the lids and even to contour the nose. (It works!)


A very remarkable shade would be #8. It looks purple on the pan, but looks more reddish/burgundy on the skin. These shadows have a super creamy, velvety feel as well. They seem to blend and look gradient even when you just wear a single shade. For this look, we used #2 as base, #8 as the main color, #7 to blend both shades together, and #3 on the center of the lids.

When I did my makeup on another occasion, I find that #7 as base, #8 as contour, #4 on the center of the lids, and #1 to highlight the browbone also works beautifully.

Pros:
  • Beautiful floral box! I can't throw it away.
  • Sleek palette design with magnetic closure
  • Palette feels heavy/premium
  • Expiry date is printed on the box and base of palette
  • 8 pigmented and versatile shades
  • Perfect for day and night looks
  • Mix of shimmers, mattes, and glitters
  • Large pans
  • Contains 15g of product (will take ages to finish even with daily use)
  • Buttery formula
  • Easy to blend

Cons:
  • Premium pricing vs drugstore makeup
  • Minimal fallout on some shades
  • Shade #7 contains carmine (not cruelty-free)

This eye palette is a KEEPER in my makeup kit. Never letting go of it! 💖

 
Add eyeliner and falsies for maximum effect! Now for the last eye makeup step.


Swatches:

#02 Pink Light & #01 Gold Light

Althea Spotlight Eye Glitter doubles as eyeliner and eyeshadow! For budge-proof brightening of the inner corners of the eyes, you might want to try this.

#02 Pink Light when worn

I don't usually go for sparkles on a normal work day, but this one ups your makeup look during special occasions.

Pros:
  • Versatile - can be used as liner or shadow
  • Long lasting - sticks like glue once it sets
  • The expiry date is printed on the box and the tube itself

Cons:
  • Mild burning sensation when applied on the upper lids because of the thin skin + glue-like formula (no issues on the lower lids and inner corners of the eyes)
  • #02 Pink Light contains carmine

PS. The photo above is not edited. See how my dark circles are missing? Althea Flawless Creamy Concealer did it!


Time for a hybrid product because Korea does it best: the pigmentation of a lipstick, the long-wearing power of a stain, and the moisturizing formula of a gloss all in one tube! Sounds promising, right?

Swatches:

#01 Plum Cream, #02 Strawberry Cream, #03 Peach Cream, #04 Marron Cream

Bare lips

#01 Plum Cream
A rich, luxurious plum shade, perfect for a night out

#02 Strawberry Cream
A juicy red reminiscent of freshly bitten strawberries

#03 Peach Cream
A brightening, fresh coral with pink undertones to suit both warm and cool skin tone

#04 Marron Cream
An MLBB shade made from browns and pinks for a chic, everyday look

My lip swatches are blended out using my finger for a more subtle, natural look. I don't apply this one full-on because it's super glossy that way. I just want a healthy sheen. 💋


For this look, we used #01 Plum Cream on the cheeks (yes, as cheek tint) and on the lips with a gradient effect.

#01 Plum Cream on cheeks
+ shimmery nude #1 eyeshadow from the BCL x Althea Eye Palette as highlight (SO NICE!)

#01 Plum Cream on cheeks
+ metallic gold eyeshadow #4 from the BCL x ALTHEA Eye Palette for a frosted look

Pros:
  • Nice and sleek packaging
  • Expiry date is printed on the box and sticker on the tube's base
  • Delicious fruity/candy scent
  • Contains squalene and hyaluronic acid
  • Glossy finish makes my lips feel healthy
  • Not drying at all
  • Leaves a faint pink tint even as it wears off 
  • Doesn't darken my lips even with daily use
  • You can get it as a boxed set at 10% off (perfect for gift-giving!)

Cons:
  • Some shades look a bit similar when blended out
  • No nude and pink shades in this collection (Like it would be better if the 4 shades were red, pink, nude, and coral)
  • Not long lasting - it comes off even when I drink water 💦

Soft and glowing Althea makeup look by Cindy

Super happy with how the Korean makeup look turned out! 💖 Hope you learned from my Althea makeup tutorial, as we truly enjoyed making it for you. 😗

Get 20% off your first order at Althea HERE!

Love,
Helen

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