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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!


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.


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.


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


Pucker Up! | Missha Wish Stone Tint Velvet.

New year, lippie!
Well, not-so-new, actually. I bought these lippies while I was in Korea last spring but never had the chance to use them, let alone open the sealed boxes. I only remembered that I had them in my stash when I saw these lippies listed on the Althea website, lol.
Missha Wish Stone Tint Velvet.
Mostly Hangul text at the back of the box.
Meet the Missha Wish Stone Tint Velvet - by far, one of the prettiest lip products that I brought home from Korea. I mean, just look at the packaging. And you all know I'm a sucker for products with cute and quirky packaging.
Lovely, crystalline-shaped packaging.
Its crystalline shape and sparkly appearance resembles that of a sunstone, one of the lesser-known yet relatively affordable gemstones in the world of jewelry.
They're glittery, too!
Its applicator is quite unique, too. The wand is long and the applicator itself is shaped like a pentagon.
Shade #15736 aka Chic Red.
Shade # 15738 aka Pretty Brown Pink.
There are five different shades in the Missha Wish Stone Tint Velvet line, and the ones that I have are shades #15736 Chic Red and #15738 Pretty Brown Pink. The former is a bold, classic red while the latter is a dusty rose with brown undertones. Both shades are nicely pigmented and can be worn full-lip or gradient-style.
Swatched - Pretty Brown Pink on the left, Chic Red on the right.
Aside from the packaging and pigmentation, I also love the velvety, meringue texture of these tints. They glide smoothly on the lips and leave your kisser with a soft, matte finish. And because the Missha Wish Stone Tint Velvet is formulated with nourishing ingredients such as plum seed oil, calendula, and avocado extracts, your lips won't feel dry even after hours of wear. 
Swatched - Pretty Brown Pink on the left, Chic Red on the right.
Speaking of wear time, these tints stay solid for six hours at the most. The color will last through a coffee break, but you'll need to do a touch-up after a complete meal.
Swatches, about three hours later.
Personally, I'm okay with the retouching part. That way, I get to take these beauties out of my purse and take a whiff of their yummy, cotton candy scent. If you're not a fan of scented lip products, this might be a bit of a turn-off for you. 
After doing the dishes and taking a bath, there's still a hint of color from the swatches.
But overall, these lippies are definitely worth-trying - all the more because they're pretty affordable. They're priced at 6500 won each (around Php 300 or US$6), but I was able to buy both tints for the price of one, thanks to Missha's 1+1 Sale Event during that time. Althea currently sells them at Php 260 each - still a budget-friendly price.
Chic Red on my lips, gradient style.
Pretty Brown Pink, worn full-lip.
Shopping at Althea? Don't forget to use my referral code to get 20% off your first order! 
Offer is valid for new customers, with a maximum discount of Php 200.