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1.21.2019

Spotlight | Innisfree Orchid Line.

I usually tweak my skincare routine depending on my skin condition and the current season. For the cold months, I switch to products with thicker and richer formulas as my skin tends to get dry and patchy during this time of the year. And now that the days are blustery and the temperature dips low, my skin gets the extra boost of hydration from Innisfree's Orchid line.
Innisfree Orchid Enriched skincare line.
I discovered this skincare range two year ago, during my second winter trip in Seoul. I was on the hunt for winter-appropriate skincare products back then and chanced upon this limited edition 'Orchid Lucky Box' being sold at 32000 Korean won (around Php 1500 or $28). With every 'Orchid Lucky Box', you get a full-sized jar of the Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream (50 mL) plus a few other 'mystery items'. You won't know what's inside the box until you open it. Not bad, I thought, considering that the cream already costs 25000 Korean won (around Php 1100 or $22).
The Innisfree 2017 Lucky Box includes the Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream,
the Innisfree Orchid Enriched Essence, the Innisfree Orchid Lotion, and the Innisfree Orchid Skin.
I think I really got lucky with the box that I bought, because mine contained a full-sized bottle of the Innisfree Orchid Enriched Essence (50 mL), which usually retails for 28000 Korean won (around Php 1300 or $25). I got more than what I have paid for from this product alone. I also got travel-sized bottles (30 mL) of the Innisfree Orchid Lotion and the Innisfree Orchid Skin, 2 packs of Innisfree Premium Cotton Pads which I've already used up, and a 2017 desk calendar which I've thrown away.

Now here's a closer look at Innisfree's Orchid skincare products.
Innisfree Orchid Skin and Innisfree Orchid Lotion.
The Innisfree Orchid Skin is a refreshing toner with fine gel texture that adheres densely to the skin to retain moisture and enhance resilience. Despite its slightly thicker, fluid-like consistency, it does not feel sticky when applied and is easily absorbed by the skin. With just a few drops of this toner, your skin gets instant hydration and quick relief for those dry, flaky patches.
Innisfree Orchid Skin.
On the other hand, the Innisfree Orchid Lotion is a lightweight emulsion formulated with the so-called Orchid Elixir2.0. It's a substance acquired from the Jeju orchid which makes dry skin radiant and strengthens the skin’s defense system. Although its consistency is a wee bit thicker than other lotions/emulsions that I have tried, the Innisfree Orchid Lotion blends easily on the skin thanks to its 'melt-in texture' from coconut oil.
Innisfree Orchid Lotion.
Likewise, the Innisfree Orchid Enriched Essence has a thick, syrupy consistency which kinda took me aback at first. Having been used to essences with light, watery textures, I found this essence a bit too thick and sticky for my liking when I first tried it.
Innisfree Orchid Enriched Essence.
However, when blended properly and once fully absorbed by the skin, the essence no longer feels sticky nor tacky. In the course of time, I have gotten used to its syrupy texture and have learned to appreciate its rich formula. 
Innisfree Orchid Enriched Essence.
The Innisfree Orchid Enriched Essence promises an 'instant firming effect while preventing the breakdown of collagen'. It contains natural lifting ingredients extracted from oatmeal and orchid elixir to make the skin firm and keep it supple with a radiant glow. 
Thick and syrupy.
Although I didn't achieve the aforementioned results in an instant, I appreciate the fact that my skin has become smoother and more supple with continued use of this essence. I also love its mild, floral scent which is quite soothing and relaxing, especially when used before bedtime Aromatherapy, anyone?
Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream.
Finally, we have the Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream, a rich and moist essence-like cream with Jeju Orchid Extract, Jeju Green Complex, and green pea extract that provides full nourishment for the skin. Basically, it's an anti-aging cream that tightens skin, reduces wrinkles, and brightens your over-all skin tone.
Product description at the back of the box.
Like the other products from the Orchid line, the Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream has the same lovely scent, and a rich and thick formula - not surprising since creams are supposed to be like that. It doesn't absorb easily on the skin like gel moisturizers, but it does not feel sticky nor does it have a greasy after-feel. I use this as the last step in my nighttime skincare routine, and I love how this cream seals in moisture and keeps my skin hydrated throughout the night. And we all know how wonderful it is to wake up to clear, glowing skin, right?
Halfway through the tub! :)
I usually get dry, red patches on the nose whenever the cold months kick in, and I love how the Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream kept the dryness and flaking at bay. By layering all four Innisfree Orchid products on my skin, the unsightly red patches were gone in as little as two days - a feat not achieved by other skincare products that I've tried.
Swatches of the Innisfree Orchid Lotion, Innisfree Orchid Enriched Essence,
and Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream.
The Innisfree Orchid line is best for dry skin, but can also be used by those with combination skin. If you have winter skin issues like mine, this skincare range will be your best friend and your ally against icy air and chilly temperatures.

Have you tried this line of products before? What's your favorite winter skincare product?

1.16.2019

My Althea Birthday / Year-End Haul!

I have come to that point in my life when I treat my birthday just like any ordinary day. I no longer make a big deal out of it the way I did when I was in my early 20's (a party was imperative back then), and I couldn't care less if friends (or relatives) don't remember or send me birthday greetings.

However, Althea Korea made me look forward to my birthday last December because of the Birthday Treat. One of the perks of being an Althea Angel is receiving shopping credits as a birthday gift. And when it comes to the tune of $100, how can you not be excited about that?! Althea Angels who join in special activities also get extra credits, and because I did my part in Althea's Christmas activity, I got another $50 as a reward.

By the third week of December, I had a whopping 8080 Reward Points to splurge on, and that's exactly what I did. My birthday/year-end haul was so massive that Althea had to ship it in two boxes, haha.
Althea's 2018 Christmas Box.
And they sent me two, haha!
Here's a sneak peek of what I got:
My Althea birthday/year-end haul!
And a brief rundown of what these are:
What an awesome way to celebrate my birthday and the holidays!
Laneige White Dew Emulsion (Php 1480).
While shopping for skincare products in Korea last spring (summer), I did not realize that I only have one bottle of emulsion left at home. I bought toners and creams and essences, but not one bottle of emulsion. Good thing Althea now has the Laneige White Dew line on their website. This lightweight moisturizer brightens the skin and evens out your skin tone, and lightens dark spots to boot.
Laneige White Dew Emulsion, Php 1480.
Laneige Dream and Glow Lip Care Set (Php 1430).
A limited edition release, the Laneige Dream and Glow Lip Care Set includes two Lip Glowy Balms and two Lip Sleeping Masks. We just can't enough of lip balms and lip masks, especially during this time of the year when Yue's lips get chapped if not properly exfoliated and moisturized.
Laneige Dream and Glow Lip Care Set.
Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Lotion (Php 640).
I bought this lotion in anticipation of the hot summer months when I have to tweak my skincare routine and shift from heavy creams to lightweight moisturizers. You all know I'm fond of Innisfree's line of green tea products, not only for the scent but also because my skin reacts positively to it. 
Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Lotion, Php 640.
Missha The First Treatment Essence Intensive Moist (Php 1520).
A reformulated version of the cult-classic and my all-time favorite Missha First Treatment Essence, the Intensive Moist version now contains more fermented yeast. To be honest, I was a bit apprehensive about buying this because most of the FTE fans were not too keen about the reformulation. But I bought it anyway for old times' sake, with hopes that this Intensive Moist version will not disappoint - or at least, not too much.
Missha The First Treatment Essence Intensive Moist, Php 1520.
Missha Glow Skin Balm (Php 800).
When I said (in one of my previous posts) that I wanted to get my hands on this product, I really meant it. And now here we are, the Missha Glow Skin Balm finally in my possession. Thirty hours of moisture maintenance? Bring it on!
Missha Glow Skin Balm, Php 800.
Missha x Line Friends Glow Tension (Php 900).
I promised myself I will not buy another cushion until I have used up all - or at least half - of the cushions that I currently own. Unfortunately, I have really low EQ when it comes to collaboration collections and adorable packaging, lol. Just look - how can you resist this cuteness?
Missha x Line Friends Glow Tension, Php 900.
Missha Cotton Blush in Vintage Robe (Php 230).
So I bought another blush as if my life depended on cheek color. Lol. The blush was a bit small than what I had in mind, but I guess that explains the Php 230 tag price.
Missha Cotton Blush, Php 230.
The Saem Cover Perfection Tip Concealer (Php 200).
Bought this concealer for two reasons - its positive reviews and high rating on Althea (4.8 out of 5) and its budget-friendly price. Also, I hate my current concealer. It sucks.
The Saem Cover Perfection Tip Concealer, Php 200.
Mamonde Creamy Tint Color Balm Intense (Php 390).
It's ironic how I've seen, swatched, and tried this lip crayon on while I was shopping in Myeongdong but did not pay much attention to it. I checked it out of curiosity, and that's about it. All that indifference changed when I saw Park Shin Hye wearing these lippies on Memories of Alhambra. The next thing I know, I had not one, but two Mamonde Creamy Tint Color Balms on my Althea shopping cart!
Mamonde Creamy Tint Color Balm Intense, as seen on Memories of the Alhambra.
CosRx Acne Pimple Master Patch (Php 190).
With 100+ reward points left in my account, I decided to throw in a pack of the CosRx Acne Pimple Master Patch because I couldn't think of anything else to add to my cart. Haha.
CosRX Acne Pimple Master Patch.
What beauty products have you bought lately? Let me know in the comments!
Shop at Althea using my referral code and get a 20% discount on your first order!


1.15.2019

Budget-friendly Home Improvement Ideas.

If you are looking to better the looks of your house, you can do it inexpensively when you hire an expert to get the work or jobs completed for you. Although you are not spending a fortune, you can have the house of your dreams.
DIY painting.
Paint it.
The simplest thing to do that as an affordable home improvement idea is to paint. By putting a new coat of paint, you are making your rooms appear more clean and vibrant. You can pick a crisp and perfect white or a color that is stylish at this time and goes perfect with your decoration and furniture.
New kitchen cabinets can make a difference.
Upgrade your kitchen.
Another one of the affordable home improvement ideas to update your kitchen by having latest fixtures on your kitchen cabinets. This is a lot affordable than installing fully new kitchen cabinets. You can replace the look of your full kitchen by changing the fixtures of your kitchen cabinets. If you want to replace the color of your wood cabinets, you can do a weekend job to paint them. Put new handles on your kitchen cabinets for a fully different look.
See the big picture.
Add picture window.
In the living room, you may plan to add a picture window. The big window will provide you a view of the amazing outdoors. This is especially vital if you have a wonderful view. Perhaps you live in the countryside and you have rolling trees and hills to look at. Think of how clam just looking at this picturesque view. Place a recliner where you can look at this incredible view every time you relax in your favorite chair. If you live in the city have a perfect view, why not hire an expert to put a big window in your living room so you can look over all of the bright lights at night?
Level up with new bathroom fixtures.
Level up your bathroom.
In your bathroom, one of the affordable home improvement ideas is to also replace the fixtures of your bathroom. You can make them look country, contemporary, Victorian, etc. You can level up to laminate flooring, add a new mirror, switch to stand alone tub or upgrade to a walk in shower. Ask the expert that you hire what are your top affordable options.


1.14.2019

Foodie Goodie | Kumori Signature Hanjuku Cheese.

Japanese bakery Kumori has been making waves in the Philippines for almost four years now, but it wasn't until this weekend when I finally got to try their pastries and realize why people rave about them. Blame it on my geographical location (I live in the province), and the fact that I hardly go to Metro Manila these days because I hate traffic.

Thankfully, my sister now goes to Manila every so often, and she remembered me while passing by the Cafe Kumori at Festival Mall. She got me a box their Signature Hanjuku Cheese, one of Kumori's best-selling and well-loved products.
Kumori Signature Hanjuku Cheese - best with coffee. :)
Palm-sized and individually-wrapped, the Signature Hanjuku Cheese is a half-baked Japanese-style cheesecake with a rich and moist cream cheese center. It has a mousse-like texture with just the right sweetness.
Also comes in chocolate flavor.
No wonder Kumori's tagline is 'Bite Into Clouds' - you'll really feel like biting into one with this soft and fluffy cheesecake and its melt-in-your mouth goodness.
Melt-in-your mouth cheesecake.
I did my best not to finish the entire box in one sitting, haha. Each box contains six pieces and sells for Php 294. My sister got me the assorted box, which contains three chocolate flavored cheesecakes and three original Hanjuku cheesecakes. You can also buy them individually for Php 49 each.
Kumori Signature Hanjuku Cheese box, Php 294.
Cafe Kumori is located at the following malls: Festival Mall, Robinson's Galleria, Robinson's Manila, UP Town Center, Gateway Mall, Ayala Malls Makati, and SM Mall of Asia. Kumori kiosks can be found at Landmark Makati, SM Makati, and SM North Edsa.


1.11.2019

Spotlight | Althea Pore Purifying Serum Cleanser + Althea Stay Fresh Body Sparkling Mist.

2018 was a year of rapid growth for Althea's in-house brand, having launched new products almost on a monthly basis. I'd say it was a successful year too, as these products have all been met with rave reviews from skincare junkies, beauty bloggers, even K-pop idols. And before 2018 came to an end, we saw another 'expansion' of the Althea line with the addition of these two products - the Pore Purifying Serum Cleanser and the Stay Fresh Body Sparkling Mist.
New Althea exclusives - Stay Fresh Body Sparkling Mist and
Pore Purifying Serum Cleanser.
The latter is actually another milestone for the brand, as it's their first-ever celebrity collaboration product. Althea worked closely with top Indonesian singer and actress Titi Kamal to create this lightweight body fragrance with a mix of floral and fruity notes.
Althea's first fragrance and firs celebrity collaboration product!
Very girly packaging. :)
The Althea Stay Fresh Body Sparkling Mist is a zesty combination of orange, peach, and rose - Titi Kamal's favorite scents. The fragrance is mild yet long-lasting, flirty and feminine without being too overwhelming. It has a non-sticky formula that feels light and does not irritate the skin. This has been my go-to perfume for the past few weeks, and I love how its scent reminds me of Burberry Weekend, one of my favorite fragrances of all time. 
Titi Kamal x Althea.
The Althea Pore Purifying Serum Cleanser, on the other hand, is a hydrating cleanser that purifies pores, moisturizes the skin, and maintains its pH level for a healthier complexion.
Althea Pore Purifying Serum Cleanser.
Formulated with the Dual Moisture Cell System, the Althea Pore Purifying Serum Cleanser is a combination of water and oil in overlapping layers to gently yet effectively remove makeup, dirt, and residue. It has the same texture and non-greasy feel as the Clio Microfessional Lip and Eye Remover, but with a slightly thicker consistency.
Formulated with the Dual Cell Moisture System.
This serum cleanser also contains tea tree leaf extract to purify the skin, mint leaf extract to soothe irritations, and jojoba seed oil that deeply moisturizes any dryness without feeling heavy on the skin.
Typical flip- top cap.
Currently, I'm using the Althea Pore Purifying Serum Cleanser as the first step of my double cleansing routine. I pour an ample amount of product on the palm of my hand (about 3 or 4 drops will do), massage it on my face until all the makeup I'm wearing is dissolved, then rinse it off with water.
Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink and Clio Kill Black Waterproof Liner on the back of my hand.
I love how this product easily melts makeup - even the long-wearing, waterproof ones like the Clio Kill Black Waterproof Liner and the Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick.
A few drops of the Althea Pore Purifying Serum Cleanser...
I also love how it cools the skin as it cleanses, and how my skin feels soft and silky after every use. Plus points for its mild scent, hypoallergenic formulation, and cruelty-free production!
All clean!
The Althea Pore Purifying Serum Cleanser retails for Php 430, while the Althea Stay Fresh Body Sparkling Mist retails for Php 450. Both products are exclusively available on the Althea website.

I have a strong feeling that it's gonna be another exciting year for Althea. They'll be launching their own makeup line very soon, and right now they're having a pre-launch event where you can get a 50% discount on the new products! Check out the Althea Color Makeup pre-launch event here