Friday, May 26, 2017

Althea: My New Favorite Place to Shop for K-Beauty!

(Althea provided this haul complimentary so that I could share it with you all!)

It's been awhile since you guys have heard from me here on the blog, but I am making a special exception for this particular company, and you'll soon see why. As you all know, I've been taking a hiatus from blogging while I'm working on my Psychology degree. I've been keeping in touch mostly through instagram, so if you still want to see what I'm up to and what I've been trying out in terms of products, make sure to follow me over there!

While I've been busy this past year with moving to a new city, working tirelessly on school work and trying to be a good house wife (I'm not...but I try!) I've received quite a few invites from companies to review their products, all of which I've turned down. Some of have been nice enough companies, others have been sort of shady ones that I would have turned down regardless, but I just didn't want to commit to a full blog post and review when I just didn't have the time. But then, Althea contacted me.

Right off the bat, what I loved about their invitation to work together was that they didn't force particular products on me. They wanted me to essentially browse their website, see what they had to offer in terms of stock, prices, and overall ease of use in terms of the site itself, shipping etc. They allowed me to choose products I was interested in, and made the entire process very easy. I'll admit, I did consider almost turning them down as well due to how busy I am, but I really and truly wanted to share this website and this company with you because I think they're the real deal. Why?

1. Affordable Prices
2. Free Shipping INTERNATIONALLY on orders over $50
3. $10 coupon code when you sign up, plus $10 in credit once you make your first order
4. Guaranteed Authentic Products
5. 30-Day Return Policy

The last time I made an order directly from Korea, it was from a different site that is is known for their very inexpensive prices. They also recently adjusted their shipping options, so there aren't very many cheap options for large orders. I spent about $100 (same as the value of what I got in my Althea haul that you'll see below) and the shipping cost was over $50. I couldn't believe that the cost of shipping was HALF of the cost of my entire order. It made me wonder how much I was actually saving by buying through this particular website, and I was kind of bummed to find my only other options were US-based companies who were overcharging heavily for products and STILL charging shipping, however less expensive.

When I make a k-beauty order, it's usually upwards of $100. I don't spend anywhere near as much money on beauty products as I used to, but I try to limit myself to two different types of orders. The first being when I need to stock up on already well-loved products that I'm running low on, and the second being when I'm getting a little bored and want to try a bunch of new and exciting products. The latter type of purchase comes less often nowadays, however it's mainly due to the insane shipping costs on my favorite sites. I'm super happy to see Althea offering free shipping on orders over $50 because that completely eliminates my issues!

So before I ramble any further, let's do a little unboxing! It would take me quite awhile to try all of these products, so I'm not really calling this a review in terms of the products themselves. I'll tell you why I picked it out, how much it costs on the Althea site etc. If anything does happen to blow me away, I will always post about it on instagram!

While I used this opportunity to grab some needed items (think nail polish and makeup remover) I also snagged a few items I've never tried before as well as a couple standbys! Also, you gotta check out the prices (listed below) for some of these products! Really fantastic especially when you consider the free shipping as well!

The Goods!

Old Favorites

First things first, I had to grab a few things that I love and I'm starting to run out of. Its kind of funny because years ago back during the first big k-beauty boom, I had dozens of the TonyMoly Tony Tints. I rarely used them and ended up giving lots of the away. However, I discovered an amazing use for them! Whenever I wear a berry or red shade of lipstick, I always apply the red Tony Tint to my lips first. I let it dry completely, then apply my lipstick. This allows my lipstick to last ALL day with very little need to reapply. And even if the lipstick starts to wear off a bit, the stain is still there on your lips so it's hardly noticeable! 

I purchased a few of The Saem Healing Tea Garden cleansing waters sometime last year as I was testing whether or not I could be lazy and not use a regular cleanser. I tested out wiping off my makeup with a cleansing wipe, then actually cleansing with a cleansing water, and it seemed to work very well! Since this line of cleansing waters go a long way and do not irritate my skin, they've become an instant favorite of mine Plus, they're super affordable!

I've been using the Holika Holika 3 Second Starter in 'Vita Complex' for close to 2 years now. I was using a more expensive booster, but this one was not only more affordable, but did an amazing job immediately moisturizing my skin. As soon as I step out of the shower, I can feel the skin on my face tightening. If I don't apply something to it immediately, I start to get dry patches around my nose and on each side of my mouth. I apply a few pumps of this booster to my face right out of the shower, and it keeps my skin moisturized until I dry off and begin my morning skincare routine. Love this. Gotta have this at all times.

Finally, I grabbed the Skinfood Salmon Brightening Eye Cream. This is a newer favorite of mine, as I had piles, and I mean piles, of eye creams that I accrued over the years of blogging. I started giving them away or tossing ones that didn't work well for me and finally got to this one. I'm not a fan of the concealer from this same line, so I wasn't expecting much, but man...this stuff really does brighten my dark circles! I've paid much more money for a high end brightening eye cream that doesn't work nearly as well as this little guy- so now he's become a regular repurchase for me!

Buy From Althea:



Creams Galore!


Another product I had a plethora of during my blogging glory days was jars of cream. Endless jars. But I soon realized that many of them were not fit for my skin type, were breaking me out, or simply did not do a good job moisturizing. It's shocking to say it, but I have ZERO creams left in my stash. This is why I went ahead and got 3 creams I had never tried before in this haul. First was from a brand I had never tried before, Jill2. This is the 7am Energizing Morning Cream, and something about that name really appealed to me as someone who cannot get out of bed after 4 alarms. It soothes and moisturizes skin and controls sebum with cinnamon extract. It's a gel-type cream which I really love to use during the day as they are less thick but still just as moisturizing! This is part of a line of products that includes a toner and an essence as well, so if I'm digging this, I might just check out the other products!

Another new to me product/brand is the Perfect Moisture Cream from ONSAEMEEIN. This cream contains trehalose which is apparently a desert plant that helps wrinkle improvement, and draws water in similar to Hyaluronic Acid. This is one of those gel creams that gives you those little water droplets as you rub it in, similar to my old time favorite sleeping pack from Lioele. 

Finally, a favorite brand of mine, Mizon. I have yet to try this Water Volume Ex Cream, so I thought this would be as good a time as any! This is another gel cream (can you tell I kind of love them?) that has a lightweight texture and quickly absorbs into skin without leaving behind a residue. I am always looking for residue-free moisturizers because some of the products I apply after my moisturizer can sometimes pill up and look nasty if the moisturizer I'm using left a residue. 

Buy From Althea:


Hair Products


Something I'd never thought I'd get into is hair products. Sure they're great, but I can always remember feeling a little bit of a let down when I'd see them in subscription boxes rather than more skincare goodies. Things have changed! Now that my hair is back to it's natural honey-blonde color, it's more difficult to keep it looking moisturized and not frizzy. I also suffer from my hair being super fine and thin. So...frizzy, oily, thin, fine hair. It's a mess, y'all. Innisfree always tends to have some quality hair products, so I decided to give the Green Tea and Mint Fresh Shampoo a try. It's clarifying and control oil but also provides the scalp the moisture it needs so that it doesn't get flaky. 

The Moisturizing Hair Mist is infused with jeju green tea, hyaluronic acide and xylitol, which apparently together hydrate your hair and remove frizz. 

Buy From Althea:


Makeup/Cosmetic


 I've been cutting back on how much makeup I buy, and solely on a mission to simply find my favorites and continue to buy them. However, I needed me some makeup remover. I usually buy one from Missha, however this Skinfood Milk Shake Point Makeup Remover has always been something I've wanted to try. I love the packaging! It claims to remove makeup (including waterproof) without irritation while hydrating the skin. it's a two part formula with a water-type liquid and an emulsion that you shake up prior to use.

I also noticed that Petitfee had a lip mask! I loooove Petitfee brand eye gels (they are amazing) and this looked a lot like a less expensive version of the popular Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, so I had to try. It contains vitamin E and Shea butter, doesn't have much of a scent at all (which I like) and is to be worn overnight and removed in the morning. I'm interested to see how it compares to it's more expensive counterpart!

Finally, something from Missha that for some reason I had never knew existed and still don't know what to expect with. The BB Boomer. What a name, right? But what the heck does it do? I'm a BB Cream obsessor. I love it. I love it more than foundation or any other goop you could put on your face. So I was super excited to see something called a BB Boomer! This product is essentially a cream that helps the adherence of ones BB cream. It contains a bit of a shimmer to brighten the skin and contains antioxidants and moisturizing ingredients to help benefit your skin as well. It's essentially an amped up primer for BB creams. I'm down. 


 Buy From Althea:




Nail and Etc 


Here's the stragglers. The last of the bunch. Stuff I needed, but also stuff I wanted to test out. Althea included 4 packets of the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam as a bonus, so I wanted to include those in the photos even though it's not something I chose myself. 

I noticed a brand called Calmia offering some cotton pads. I don't normally stray from my Skinfood ones, but hey- why not give these a shot? Not much to say about them. They're...well, cotton pads. They don't shed or pill at all which I already love, so I can't complain!
 
Next up are some nail products from With Shyan. I tried this brand of polish many moons ago through Memebox, and I really loved the quality. I'm going to a wedding this weekend and I was hoping to find a really pretty dusty pink shade to wear and this one really grabbed my attention. I already knew I loved the formula so this was a no-brainer. 

Then, I noticed they also had a nail polish remover. It's Raspberry scented, It's one of those awesome removers in a jar with a sponge, and claims to take 1 second to remove polish. The last part isn't true, but it definitely removed it noticeably more quickly than my current remover to the point where I tossed my old bottle out.

 Buy From Althea:



Overall Thoughts

Everything in this haul cost a total of $110.70. Since Althea offers a $10 off coupon code (WELCOME20) for your first purchase, the total came to $100.70 with free shipping. I got WAY more product than I would from many sites for that cost, and that's because of the affordable pricing and the great free shipping offers. As I mentioned above, the constant issue I find is that prices are bottom dollar on many Korean sites, but the cost of shipping ends up shooting the overall cost of my hauls up. If I browse US-based websites, they are way more expensive than sites like Althea, and while their shipping is less expensive, you end up paying even more in the end. I love that Althea is the best of both worlds. Free shipping and affordable prices. Plus really great offers for new customers with the $10 coupon and $10 credit. I came out of my hiatus specifically to work with this company because I really believe in what they're doing. I appreciate their affordability and free shipping, especially internationally!

What I would love to see in the future is Althea expanding their line of available products. Right now it's a little small in terms of what they offer. If you're on a mission to purchase specific items, there's a chance they might not be available. Althea as it is now is a great place to browse and fill your cart with some new products or some old favorites and save some money! I also noticed during the time I was browsing their site that some products did not appear in certain searches, but did in others. For example, I would see a cream when I clicked a brand name, however that cream would not show up if I clicked the "creams" menu. If those small issues can get worked on, this is going to be a place where I make regular purchases. I'm super excited to tell you guys all about this site and I hope you check them out! 

Browse Althea's Website HERE.
Create an account HERE (it's free and easy) and get $10 off your first purchase with the coupon code WELCOME20, then get $10 credit to use on your next purchase!


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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post does not contain affiliate or referral links.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Hello? Is Anyone Still Out There?

Okay guys...confession time: I stopped blogging. 
I know, it's not a shocker. I just realized I didn't make a post about it and I suppose now I feel like I should. Before I begin, I do want to say that if any of you are so loyal as to wait around for me, I plan on making a full comeback by the end of this year. Keep reading to find out why and what's been going on with me!

I'm not entirely sure what I divulged here in the past and what I haven't, so let's do a quick run down. In January, I ended my close to 7 year relationship. Since I was only working part time and my ex was working full time, we decided it would make more sense for him to stay at the apartment we were sharing with our roommate and that I would move out. Everything ended amicably, we're still pals, but it was rough. Ending a relationship after that many years takes it's toll on you. Plus, I had to move back home with my parents and that is sort of a walk-of-shame in itself being a 30 year old.

Having said that, I also met the love of my life. And I mean, THE love of my life. The one you meet and the stars collide and the world crashes around you and you're just overwhelmed with all kinds of feelings you can't understand. The person everyone describes when they say you'll "just know." Yup, I met him. I live in Massachusetts and he (at the time) lived in New Hampshire. We spent 6 months traveling to see each other until we decided to move in together closer to his work in the Boston area. We spend way too much money for the tiniest apartment you've ever seen, but holy hell are we happy. We just celebrated our 1 Year Anniversary and got Thai massages and ate lots of delicious food, and it was probably the best day of my life. Highly recommend a Thai massage, guys!

Here we are in our finest pajamas after a long day of doing nothing this past weekend!

My boyfriend Jong was born and raised in Korea, so while he doesn't entirely understand my obsession with Korean Beauty, he supports it and even tries to get involved and interested! I've kind of been waiting my entire life for a guy that likes kpop as much as I do! 

The Bottom Line:
On top of all the moving, new relationships and crazy business, I've also been in school full time in what they call an "accelerated program." It's set up to allow people to get their bachelors degrees in 3 years rather than 4. I've been tirelessly working to the point where I haven't even been able to hold down a part time job because of how demanding the course work is. College and working on my degree is the one and only reason why I had to take a break from blogging. I was finding it an added stress that was overwhelming me along with my school work and I never want blogging to feel that way. I think what makes my blog such a great place is that I have always, always used it as a way to connect with others, as a way to share my thoughts and feelings in an honest way, and sort of unwind at the end of the day. There's just no way to do that with the kind of school schedule I have right now.

There IS good news, however! I will be finishing my degree around December of this year (I know it seems far, ugh...) and my ultimate goal is to take a break before graduate school and dive right back into blogging. I'm not entirely sure if I'll have any audience left at that point, but I'm going to do it all the same. Hopefully some of you will still be around. I hope you will be. I've got SO much to say and so many products to talk about, so many subscription boxes I want to try! I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the hell out of this and out of everyone that read and participated in my blog. Thank you all so much for everything. I hope to get back here soon and start sharing my all-too loud opinions again!

Love, love, love <3

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.