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2019 BTS Summer Package Vol. 5 (Korea Version)

1.29.2019

Spotlight | 16Brand BrickIt Shadow Hit 10 Choco.

I haven't bought new eyeshadow palettes in awhile, because I hardly wear eyeshadow these days. Mornings are usually a whirlwind at home which leaves me very little time to do my makeup, let alone worry about cut-creasing my eyelids.

Yesterday, however, I found myself unearthing my eye makeup brushes and trying on new eyeshadow colors. My beloved Althea family sent me this charming eyeshadow palette as a gift, and what am I supposed to do with it other than to play with the colors and try them on?

Makeup or chocolate? :)
This is the 16Brand BrickIt Shadow Hit 10 Choco eyeshadow palette, a product of popular Korean beauty brand Chosungah 22. 16Brand is known for its line of 'fun makeup', with its off-the-wall product concepts, quirky packaging, and vibrant colors, and this eyeshadow palette is a perfect example of what a 'fun makeup' is.
16Brand BrickIt Shadow Hit 10 Choco.
As its name suggests, the 16Brand BrickIt Shadow Hit 10 Choco comes in a chocolate bar-inspired packaging. This neutral eyeshadow palette has a mix of pink and brown shades in matte, satin, and shimmery finishes which allow you to create a range of sweet, feminine looks. They're great for everyday wear, and you can work with the darker shades to create soft smokey looks suited for evening wear.
From L- R: Eggnog, Cotton Sugar, Sweet Latte, Milk Coco, Rose Macaron,
Hazelnut Syrup, Cinnamon Powder, Deep Brownie, Melting Ganache, Cacao 100.
Shade names and product info on the back of the carton.
The shadows are nicely pigmented, and each of them have a soft, buttery texture. They go on smoothly and last for hours without creasing, even without an eye primer on. You might be overwhelmed by the fallout (because I was), so make sure to tap off the excess eyeshadow before application. 
From top to bottom - Eggnog, Cotton Sugar, Sweet Latte, Milk Coco, Rose Macaron,
Hazelnut Syrup, Cinnamon Powder, Deep Brownie, Melting Ganache, Cacao 100.
The shadows are quite versatile, and can be used as a highlighter (Rose Macaron and Cotton Sugar), an eyeliner (Melting Ganache and Cacao 100), and even as a blusher (Milk Coco).
From top to bottom - Eggnog, Cotton Sugar, Sweet Latte, Milk Coco, Rose Macaron, Hazelnut Syrup.
From top to bottom - Rose Macaron, Hazelnut Syrup, Cinnamon Powder, Deep Brownie, Melting Ganache, Cacao 100.
My eyeshadow game has become rusty from all those months of not wearing full makeup, but I managed to come up with a pretty decent look. 
Played with three shades - Sweet Latte, Rose Macaron, Deep Brownie.
Nothing too complicated, just three shades for a simple, everyday 'I'm-going-to-pick-up-my-kid-from-school' look.
My 'I'm going to pick up my kid from school' look. :)
The 16Brand BrickIt Shadow Hit 10 Choco was released in Althea in 2017, as part of the limited edition Party All Night Beauty Box. The palette is still in stock at the 16Brand website and retails for 31000 Korean won (around Php 1500 or $27).


1.25.2019

Pucker Up! | Human Heart Nature Made to Bloom Lipstick.

Human Heart Nature has just launched a bunch of new products, and I'm super stoked because they've also released a new line of lip colors! I wasn't able to attend the launch party at Human Heart Nature Laguna last Saturday, but I did drop by the store the other day so I could check out the new lippies.
Human Heart Nature Made to Bloom Lipstick.
Introducing the Human Heart Nature Made to Bloom collection - the brand's first-ever line of matte lipsticks.
Human Heart Nature's first line of matte lippies.
Formulated with the goodness of cocoa butter and passionfruit oil, these Made to Bloom lipsticks give your lips a gorgeous wash of color without the drying feel. They go on creamy and stay on feeling soft and comfortable on your lips.
All five shades of the Human Heart Nature Made to Bloom collection.
The collection features five flattering nude shades, each designed to suit any skin tone. These beautifully-pigmented MLBB (that's 'My Lips But Better' in case you haven't heard of this trend yet) colors can be worn sheer for a more natural effect, but you can add a few more coats for more intensity.
Lovely shade names - Grace, Wisdom, Strength, Warmth, and Joy.
With its non-drying, nourishing formula, the Made to Bloom lipsticks do not cling to dry patches or accentuate the fine lines on your lips. However, the color does fade after a few hours and you need to touch-up after a meal or a cup of coffee.


Product info and ingredients list on the box.
Adhering with the brand's sustainability campaign, the lipstick tubes are made with paper and less plastic, each designed with dainty floral illustrations. The lipsticks are made with natural ingredients (but of course, it's Human Heart Nature after all), and are not tested on animals.

Here's how the shades look like when swatched.
From L-R: Grace, Wisdom, Strength, Warmth, Joy.
Grace is a pink-based nude; Wisdom is a soft, peachy tan; Strength is a rich shade of chestnut brown; Warmth is a muted shade of brick red (more like terracotta to me); and Joy is a rosy peach nude.
From L-R: Grace, Wisdom, Strength, Warmth, Joy.
According to my friends at Human Heart Nature Laguna, their best-selling shade by far is Strength. The color is gorgeous when swatched, but it kinda washes out my face when worn. I look even more pale with Wisdom - like I'm down with the flu or something.
Strength, when worn.
The three remaining shades are the ones more suitable for my skin tone.
Grace, when worn.
Grace looks very natural on me, while Warmth adds depth to my natural lip tone. 
Warmth, when worn.
Joy, as my namesake suggests, is such a joy to wear as it enhances the color of my lips and brightens up my face. Among the five shades, this one is my favorite.
Joy, when worn.
If you're still on the hunt for that perfect MLBB lipstick, I suggest you check out these Made to Bloom lipsticks from Human Heart Nature. They're now available online and at Human Heart Nature branches nationwide, and they retail for Php 495 a pop. You can even get them at a discounted price if you're a registered Human Heart Nature member. :)


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!
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