Brand Overview: Althea Korea A’bloom

Althea Korea just dropped a new brand to expand its growing variety of products with A’bloom. With the packaging, this is a cuter and more colorful sister of Althea Collection.

A’Bloom currently has 4 kinds of sheetmasks (Php 20 per piece) using plant and fruit ingredients to tackle skin concerns like hydration, nutrition, brightening, and blemishes.

The Brightening Lemon Lime Mask contains vitamin c and green tea extract. It feels refreshing on the skin and leaves my face bright and smooth all over.

Containing, peaches and tea tree extract, The Anti Blemish Peach Mask is very hydrating. I like how it leaves my face soft, supple, and clear after use.

The Nourishing Avocado Mask uses avocado and hibiscus flower extract. It hydrates and moisturizes dull and tired skin. This is ideal for those with dehydrated skin needing a quick fix.

With watermelon fruit, citrulin, betain, and lavender extract, the Moisturizing Watermelon Mask feels moisturizing on the skin and leaves it soft and supple.

They also have the BHA Blackhead Blaster (Php 200), which contains natural BHA, apricot seed, charcoal, and tea tree to exfoliate and soothe the skin while absorbing dirt and removing excess oil. This is a good quick fix for those looking for an affordable and painless way to somehow get rid of blackheads. It also left the area super smooth but kinda has a mild numb feeling on the skin too. However, I would still prefer to chemically exfoliate to cleanse my pores.

They also have makeup tools – the Giant (Php 100 per piece) and Baby Meringue (Php 140 for 3pcs) Puffs. These makeup puffs are made of non-latex sponge with hydrophilic properties. These face puffs allow for easy makeup application. I’ve been using creamy cheek tints and I love how these puffs allow for even application, whether it be for blush. The baby puffs I also use for applying concealer and the giant one for foundation. I like how smooth these puffs are, leaving my face streak-free. However, I prefer a much softer makeup sponge when applying makeup.

A’bloom products are a good and inexpensive way to elevate you skincare and makeup routine. Their sheetmasks, for me, are the standouts in the collection. They’re cute to look at too.

Althea Korea A’bloom were provided by @altheakorea. Available at althea.kr

#AltheaKorea #AltheaAngels #AltheaAbloom

Makeup Review: Orcé Come Closer (Foundation for Asian Skin)

Even before launching, I have read about Orcé promising a foundation suited for Asian skin. Their site featured Asian women from all ethnicities, representing both the light and dark shades of Asian skin, a rare sight in the makeup landscape. There were no further details, just a promise, and a few photos, but it’s enough to make this Filipina with oily skin interested and excited.

Will I finally be able to have a foundation that will look and feel like second skin for the whole day without making me look too matte or too oily? Will it suit both my oily skin and the tropical climate I am in?

The Leaping Bunny Certified foundation contains hyaluronic acid to boost moisture, tahitian pearls to nourish, and evodia rutaecarpa for its antioxidants to address concerns like oiliness, water-loss, hyperpigmentation, and vulnerability to environmental pollutants. It also promises to improve the appearance of the skin, boost radiance, smooth imperfections, and even skin tone.

When I finally got my hands on the Orcé Come Closer Foundation in shade Novae, which is for medium or sun-kissed skin with a warmer undertone, I saw the color of the foundation up close and it made me smile. I have never seen such a balance of my shade in a warm undertone. I immediately knew it would provide coverage on both the darker and redder areas of my face.

I was right.

This cruelty-free, fragrance-free, oil-free, and paraben-free foundation has a dewy and radiant finish with medium but buildable coverage. It’s a look that I don’t usually go for but I also want to look dewy and radiant from time to time. What I like about this foundation is that upon application, you can feel their claim of combining skincare and makeup. It feels moisturizing on the skin but not heavy. It applies smooth and light, almost like a creamy serum. Like I actually feel confident just applying a hydrating toner and serum beforehand. It also provides a radiant finish and it was able to even the color of my skin. I only had to apply concealer on the one fresh pigmentation on my chin and under my eyes.

However, I didn’t feel like this addressed oiliness or at least my level of oiliness unlike the long-wearing and mattifying foundations I usually go for. When the weather is warm, this doesn’t last that long and it can make my skin look really oily. On a warm day, it also tends to transfer on my blotting paper and sometimes on my clothes. I tried using this over a variety of skincare and SPF products but I got the same results. If I don’t blot after 3 hours and forget to powder, I will see errant foundation buildup on my forehead in the afternoon.

One thing to note though, my friend complimented me one afternoon while wearing this and told me I was glowing. Not shiny, which is what he always says, but glowing. I forgot to blot and retouch that day. However, it was raining.

So, yes, I felt like this suited my Asian skin better than most of my foundation and it made me glow. For a few hours. So, I would want to try a semi-matte version of this to suit how my oily skin reacts to a warm day.

The Orcé Come Closer in Novae was provided by @orce and @mbapartners. Available for $89 at orcecosmetics.com

Cult Favorite: Retrouve Luminous Cleansing Elixir

I have been used to cleansing balms, cleansing oil, cleansing bubbles then this watery hybrid of oil and balm from Retrouve comes in to introduce me to another texture.

The Luminous Cleansing Elixir is a water-free cleanser that promises to hydrate the skin while removing dirt, debris, and residue from its surface using glycerin and safflower, avocado, jojoba, and sesame seed oils. This cleanser is also free from parabens, mineral oil and silicones.

I was a bit peeved by the huge packaging at first as it takes up too much room on my shelf. However, I have come to love it because of the pump. It’s easy to use and isn’t messy to handle. As for the actual product, it has a liquified balm texture. They still qualify it as a cleansing balm but this is on the more oily side of the balm spectrum. Don’t be fooled by the thick consistency, though, as it spreads thinly onto the skin. It feels luxurious and nourishing as you massage it onto the skin. It removes makeup and sunscreen easily but what I like about this best is how it emulsifies into a watery texture that’s easily removed with a few splashes. It also removes excess oil without drying my skin too much. It’s the most cleansing cleansing balm I’ve tried to be honest so, I like using this when my skin is exposed outdoors for a long period of time.

The Retrouve Luminous Cleansing Elixir was provided by @officialretrouve and @behrmanpr . Available for $75 at retrouve.com

Skincare Review: Henné Organics Lip Serum, Luxury Lip Balm V2, Luxury Lip Tint

I’ve been reviewing a lot of lip balms recently but these lip care products from Henne Organics take the cake.

Their Lip Serum ($45) contains arctic cloudberry seed oil, lingonberry seed oil, rosehip oil, camellia oil, argan oil for silky smooth lips. The cult favorite Luxury Lip Balm V2 ($19) is an everyday balm that promises to nourish the lips with coconut oil, beeswax, avocado oil, shea butter, cocoa seed butter, and jojoba oil. For extra oomph, the Luxury Lip Tint ($21) in Azalea and is vibrant pink in color. It contains coconut oil, castor seed oil, jojoba seed oil, beeswax, avocado oil, and candelilla wax to moisturize and nourish the lips.

They’re ingredients fit so well with what my lips need – balmy but not too balmy, thin but incredibly moisturizing, lightweight but hardworking. All housed in a sleek metal black tube, these cruelty free lip products are compact, travel-friendly, and they look so luxe you’d be proud to use it in public.

The Luxury Lip Balm V2 and the Luxury Lip Tint, which can be easily removed by eating or drinking, feels like it seeps into the skin so despite being removed, it leaves my lips moisturized and soft. I have mentioned before that a lot of the balms I’ve tried are all moisturizing but these products, including the Lip Serum, were the only ones who were able to leave my lips soft and smooth for a long period of time.

After just a few weeks of use, I have noticed that my lips don’t get as dry anymore and they don’t look like it either. I have noticed fewer lines and my lips just don’t look soft and smooth, they feel like it too. I use the lip balm before I sleep, the lip serum under lip colors as it dries matte but offers the same moisture as the balm, and the lip tint for every day. I really love Azalea and have since incorporated it with my everyday makeup. I like combining it with berry lip shades, for that bitten effect. They are all just amazing and I regret not having found them earlier.

The Henné Organics Lip Serum, Luxury Lip Balm V2, Luxury Lip Tint were provided by @henneorganics. Available at henneorganics.com

Skincare Review: The Plant Base Pore N Tightening Essence

Oily skin and large pores, for me, are things that go hand and hand. It’s something I live with, something I have chosen to accept because the more I take care of my skin, the more I look at it, there is really no way I can make it smaller than it is. Especially now that I’m in my 30s, where gravity, as glad as I am that I can walk on land, is slowly but surely making sure I look as old as I my age. Unless I pull out the skin of a baby and sew it on my face, there is just no way I can go back and have “baby skin.”

So imagine my hesitance when I received the Pore N Tightening Essence from The Plant Base. However, since this is a K-Beauty brand, I chose to ignore that and read on their site what the essence really claims to do.

The essence contains 45.34% tannin extract and EVERMAT, a patented ingredient, to control oil, minimize the appearance of pores and smooth skin texture. It also has adenosine, polyphenols, and a V7 Complex from vitamins a, b3, c, and e to moisturize, brighten, and offer anti-aging benefits to the skin.

First off, the light and smooth consistency of this essence are right up my alley. It has a smooth formula and I enjoyed how much softer my skin felt after first use. It also feels so silky on the skin, the modern packaging a total juxtaposition from the luxurious and elegant content. It feels hydrating and nourishing to the skin while still allowing me to use serums and creams at night. It forms a really thin silky veil on the skin and leaves it feeling so smooth and soft, not tacky and shiny. I can honestly attest as to how this product “perfects” the pores. After a few weeks of use, I noticed how this makes my pores flatter and, therefore, smoother contributing to the overall look of my skin.

Honestly, I prefer essences that are watery but this one is now included in my top essences because of how it makes my skin feel and look – soft, smooth, balanced, and hydrated.

The Plant Base Pore N Tightening Essence was provided by @theplantbase and @sokoglam. Available for $37 at sokoglam.com