Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Introducing Althea Korea's A'Bloom Range + Review

Hello loves!

Another exciting batch of goodies were just released by our favorite K-Beauty online shop, Althea Korea! I'm so thrilled to share my reviews of the products because all these are things that I use frequently when I do skincare and makeup.

I received this package a few weeks ago and it contained these cutely packaged goodies. One of the reasons why Korean beauty products are so popular is their cutesy designs and I know why they keep doing it—the joy and kilig of owning such a cute thing feels wonderful! I am always drawn to beautifully designed things so I keep on buying them. Just look at those masks! Each design has its own personality (check out that lemon with the smug face!). And don't you just want to squish those meringue-shaped makeup sponges!?

My first reaction when I saw the A'Bloom products was "so cute!", but what really made me excited is that as someone who has been dealing with blackheads and other skin concerns, the BHA Blackhead Blaster and the sheet masks made me so curious to see how they'll work on my skin. I've been focusing on my skin more lately now that I'm nearing my 30s. I try to find a good routine that will help keep my skin clear and moisturized. The meringue puffs, on the other hand, also got me interested because 1. I love meringue as dessert (lol) and 2. I like using beauty sponges when I apply makeup.

Anyway, let's proceed with my review:

A’bloom Refreshing Skin Masks

First in this range are the colorful A'bloom Skin Masks! Each mask has a special property that help your skin look and feel its best. Here's what it claims to do (info from press release):

A’bloom refreshing skin masks pack have strong antioxidant with harmony of fruits and natural ingredients of plants that provides custom care solution for each skin type. The PH balancing helps strengthens skin barrier as well as re-charge the skin with fresh energy. 

● The fruit masks pack are made with strong antioxidant power of fruits and soothing energy of natural plants to care for each skin concern such as hydration, nutrition, whitening and blemishes. 

● The sheet masks are made out of 100% natural eco-friendly fabric to effectively deliver the efficacy of the rich fruits essence and the essences are formulated with reduced viscosity that are available in creams. 

Has cooling effect and excellent absorption to deliver efficacy of ingredients deeply into the skin and keeps skin moisturized until the next day. 

● Gives a gentle citrus scent with a refreshing touch. 
● Transfers validity of natural wood extraction deeply into the skin with excellent penetration and close adhesion. 
● The brightening line of the lemon lime whitening mask will provide an instant whitening effect after usage. 

Direction 1. Gently clean your skin with toner after washing the face. 
2. Open the pouch and remove the film, then apply the sheet mask on face properly and leave it for 10-20 minutes. 
3. Take off the mask and gently pat the residue essence until fully absorb.

These masks are PhP 20.00 each and you can buy a set of 10 for only PhP 180.00. A couple of weeks ago, I received my package of 80 sheet masks because there was a 10+10 introductory promo. I was able to do a daily sheet mask routine using these babies and now I'll share my review about them.

I've been using it almost daily for the past two and a half weeks. This feels so good because it does feel cool when you wear the masks. I stay in an air-conditioned room though so I am not sure how cool it is in the usual Philippine climate. But it does feel good after a long day in the office. It's a little treat for me to destress after hours at work.

Let me introduce the different variants along with the product information from the press release (in a different font color) and photos of the labels on the packaging:

● The watermelon fruit has 92% of water which is excellent for moisturizing and soothing for the skin during the hot weather. 
● It contains natural aminoic acid called Citrulin and Betain that forms a natural moisturizing membrane on the skin, leaving it moisturized as well as a smoother skin that does not dry out. 
● The mask also contains lavender extract which helps soothe sensitive skin and provides liveliness.

I think this is the best daily mask for me because it does help provide enough moisture to your skin. Although I do think that everything else does that, this feels like it retains moisture longer as my skin feels plump and soft even when I wake up. I'm not an expert on ingredients but I do see familiar ones such as sodium hyaluronate which does exactly what I said of retaining moisture content on skin. 

● Avocado is known as the butter of the forest with rich protein that prevents aging and provides strong antioxidant with vitamin E tocopherol. 
● The excellent absorption of skin-friendly unsaturated fatty acid provides shininess and elasticity to the skin. 
● It is mix with hibiscus flower extract that contains Antocyanin, an antioxidant to prevent the skin from aging.

I'm a fan of avocados, well, when eating them. Haha! But my mom, who's a doctor, often mentions that avocados are pampaganda or "beauty" fruits or it helps make you more beautiful. I didn't know why when I was a kid, but that probably was the reason I learned to enjoy them. It is even one of my favorites now.

I have seen a few skincare products that uses avocado extracts like in soaps. It claims to be rich in Vitamin E and I've used products with Vit E and I've noticed that my skin looks better when I add it in my skincare. 

● Lemon and lime contains high vitamin C ingredient to help repair and protect the skin from UV damage. 
● The vitamin C’s function of inhibiting melanin production provides a clear and transparent skin. 
● This mask contains green tea extract which is also rich in vitamin C ingredient to assist in controlling melanin production and skin care.

Vitamin C is my skin's best friend. My skincare game got a lot of boost when I added Vitamin C. This mask also carries some of my favorite ingredients such as sodium hyaluronate and niacinamide. These being said, this mask easily became my favorite.

● Peaches are rich in moisture and vitamin A retinol components which helps control the oil and water balance of the skin. 
● It helps normalize the skin turnover cycle with retinol by preventing troubles and taking care of dead skin cells and provide smooth, hydrated skin. 
● The mask contains tea tree extract to help sterilization and takes care of trouble spots and pores. 

Retinol in a PhP 20.00 sheet mask? It sounds too good to be true. Vitamin A is one of the best ingredients to look for when you have troubled skin like I do. I honestly haven't seen any difference yet. I guess this is not as potent as when you use skin medications (for obvious reasons) but of course, a little more would be helpful. 

And those are the four variants! The sheets are thick enough to hold enough of the rich essence of the mask and thin enough that it feels comfortable to use. The wholes for the eyes, nose, and lips fit my face well although I do have a large face so the jaw area was not completely covered. The sheet mask is strong too so you don't have to be afraid of breaking it when setting it up.

The masks do feel cool and they have a mild, fruity scent which I appreciate. I like scented stuff as long as I like the smell. It adds to the overall pampering skincare experience.

Though I alternately use the sheets everyday, I do notice that my skin feels softer and looks brighter. My skin appreciates all the pampering it gets from the masks. I do realize that sheet masks daily can be hard on the budget so I have to enjoy it while it last... or hope that Althea has a promo on them again! Haha!

A’bloom Perfect Skin Expression With Meringue Puffs 

The Meringue Puffs come in two sizes:
Giant Meringue Puff costs PhP 100.00
Baby Meringue Puff is PhP 140.00

Lovely and Cute Pastel Color and Cookie-shaped Meringue Puffs 

 1 piece
 Apply makeup quickly and easily with the giant meringue puff with 1.5 times bigger in size than an ordinary puff. 

 3 pieces
 Apply makeup with detailed edges of mini-sized sponge puff to achieve fine and flawless skin makeup.

The first beauty tool from A’bloom by Althea is the first meringue sponge puff designed which was inspired by baking meringue cookies. Achieve the perfect skin makeup with the lovely, cute pastel pink colour and cookie-shaped meringue puff. 

● The giant meringue puff will provide quick and smooth makeup application on wide surface of the skin while the baby meringue puff will provide fine and detailed makeup application on small surface of the skin with its pointed tips. 

● Obtain 2-way perfect skin expressions: 

1. Moist and glossy skin makeup when the puff is soaked with water 2. Matte and Flawless skin makeup when the puff is not soaked with water 

Material and benefit 
● The meringue puffs are made out of non-latex sponge with hydrophilic properties which will grow 1.5 times bigger than normal size when soaked with water allowing makeup to be applied perfectly on the skin.

I LOVE MERINGUE. I love eating it when I was a kid. I didn't like much candy and chocolate but I'm a sucker for meringue! Haha! So I can't get over how cute this concept is! What's awesome is if you use foundations or concealers, the puff looks like the part with the foundation is the part of a burnt meringue! Haha! It's just adorable!

Anyway, I also am a fan of makeup sponges because they make makeup applications faster and the finish also looks more natural. I have tried a few but many of them didn't meet my expectation. Since this is from a trusted brand, I had high expectations. I really wanted this to work well because Althea has not failed me yet!

First thing I look for my beauty sponges is how soft they are, and these meringue puffs do feel a bit packed. It honestly got me worried. But when I wet it, it became this bouncy cute puff! It absorbs enough water to make it expand and get bouncy. Look below to see the size comparison of the Baby Meringue Puffs when it's dry and when it's wet:

The puff did grew 1.5x when it got wet! It delivered its claim! 

I also did it with the Giant Meringue puff. See photo below:

See the size difference when it is next to the Baby Meringue Puff?

I usually use the giant one for foundation and the baby ones for concealers. Although when I'm on a rush, the giant one can do both for me. My face is just that big. Haha!

There's also a claim that it gives a different finish depending on how you use it. If you use it dry, there's a more pigmented finish, while when wet, you get a sheerer finish. So I tested it and here's how they looked:
Left: when used the puff dry
Right: when puff is wet

The claim is true! Amazing! 
Although I like my foundation with some coverage, I still go for the wet puff because I like the natural finish of it. Plus, it doesn't absorb too much of my liquid foundation. I just add some concealer for the areas that need more coverage and blend it out.

I'm happy to say that I'm very satisfied with the meringue puffs! It's now something I use whenever I use makeup, which is pretty much daily. Much recommended!

The last, but certainly not the least of the A'Bloom by Althea product is the:

● A’bloom BHA Blackhead Blaster is an easy and quick triple treatment for blackheads, whiteheads and dead skin for daily care. 

● It contains natural ingredients to help gently deep cleanse the pores and removing dead skin cells while preventing any irritations or redness on the skin. 

Dampened the skin, apply the stick directly on targeted areas and massage in circular motions for 30 seconds. After that, rinse off with water. 

Ingredients and benefits 
● Natural BHA ingredient helps to deep pore cleanse by exfoliating the dead skin cells. 
● Apricot seed powder helps to remove excessive sebum. 
● Charcoal will absorb the dirt in the pores. 
● Tea tree leaf oil helps to soothe as well as prevent any redness and irritations on the skin

I have seen a product similar to this but I wasn't interested enough to try it out. Honestly, I probably would pass this one out if I didn't get one for a review. I was just so satisfied with peel off masks that I didn't care enough to try something new. Boy, do I feel great that I was able to try this one out!

First of all, I like the packaging. It looks like it's gonna deal some serious business with the classy black tube, and at the same time, the quirky and cute fonts and design makes it look like the classy KBeauty packaging.

The A'Bloom BHA Blackhead Buster is PhP 200.00 per tube.

It's a twist up product which is rather new to me when it comes to products that help deal with blackheads. I usually see peel off masks or strips. The product itself is black too and it's barely scented.

Here's how it worked on my skin. I used my nose area since it's the part where I frequently get blackheads on:
Before use

with the product

after rinsing

The area looked cleaner in just one use. Though there are still some blackheads left that needs to get extracted. Maybe when I use it again and again (in different days of course), it can solve some of my skin troubles. So far, I'm really liking the ease of use and how effective it is. 

So what are my thoughts on the A'Bloom by Althea products?

I love them! Althea certainly has not let me down with their product releases and collaborations. I do recommend you to check each product from this range. I'm pretty sure you'll like some of them. 

Do check out the Althea website regularly or subscribe to their newsletter to see what's new and get alerts on exciting promos. Follow their Instagram and Facebook pages to be on the loop on different KBeauty finds and Althea exclusives!


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