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Althea Korea Haul + Unboxing!

The other week I was contacted by Althea Korea asking if I wanted to try out some items from their store. And of course I said yes because I love K-beauty ๐Ÿ˜Ž

While they've been in business since June of 2015, they only recently launched their US site. I've browsed the site before and remember being impressed at their selection and pricing. They have a crap ton of brands and products and seem to offer regular sales. I'm signed up for their promotional emails and it seems like every week there's a new deal going on! One of the things I picked up in my haul was the Son & Park Beauty Water. When I placed my order they were offering 30% off select items-- including the Son & Park Beauty Water. The price ultimately came down to $18.20 whereas in comparison it retails for $30 at Sephora!

Currently they're offering a $20 "welcome gift" promotions for first time customers on purchases over $50, an extra 30% off all Forencos items, and an extra 20% off select "super cheap items" (their words not mine.)

To be completely transparent, they credited my account on their site with some store credit in return for my sharing my unboxing here on le blog. I ended up spending a teensy bit more so this haul is really 95% gifted and 5% paid for by yours truly. Since I had the opportunity to order from their site the traditional way (as opposed to being sent a PR package) I thought I would share a review on my experience-- similar to what I did in my Cult Beauty haul post.

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Shipping Fee
Shipping is determined by the country you're shipping to and the weight of your package. From the Althea US site, they ship to 235 different countries! Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand each have individual sites whereas the rest of us can shop from the US site.

If your order is over $50, it's shipped for free with tracking! Even internationally! As my order was over $50, it shipped for free via Rincos and then was transferred to Fedex when it arrived in the US.

I'm a little obsessive when it comes to shipping info-- I like knowing where my package is every step of the way. It left Korea on the 31st and arrived in the US on the 5th. Basically it was satisfying to know where it was at all times. I've ordered items from Korea before and many times the tracking info isn't provided or flat out doesn't work.

Shipping Time
I placed my order on the 28th, received tracking information on the 30th, and ultimately had my package delivered on Saturday the 8th. One and a half weeks isn't bad at all considering it made a voyage of almost 7,000 miles!

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Customs
I wish I took more photos of the outer packaging cause I honestly don't remember what it said on the customs form. All I know is that I didn't have any issues with customs and didn't have to pay anything.

Payment Option
When I was checking out, I was offered the option of using using a Mastercard, Visa, or American Express credit card or Paypal. As I usually use Paypal when placing online orders that's what I used this time around too.

Because the site offers prices in USD, I didn't have to worry about any exchange fees.

Packaging
After my lackluster Cult Beauty packaging debacle, I was so happy to see how securely Althea wrapped my packages. There were multiple layers of bubble wrap and tissue paper. The box itself was wrapped in a layer of bubble wrap and then another layer of hot pink plastic wrap. Once I opened up the box, the more fragile products were also wrapped in bubble wrap. The rest of the box was stuffed with tissue paper so there wasn't much room for them to move around.

If you know me then you won't be shocked to hear that I really liked all the light pink packaging ๐Ÿ’–

Return Policy
They offer returns within 30 days of the date on your receipt. While you do have to pay for the return shipping upfront, they will reimburse you up to $10 of the fee. They do have a few restrictions such as items bought during special promotions cannot be returned. You can read more on their return policy and find their customer service info here.


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Haul Time!
Like I said up above, most of the things I bought were with store credit provided to me by Althea Korea. It was hard for me to narrow down exactly what I wanted because they had a really extensive collection. Their selection includes more luxury brands like Hera and Sulwhasoo as well as more affordable brands like Innisfree and Etude House. Also because their US site is newly launched, they're still working on adding more brands!

If you browse the "brands" tab on their site, you may notice that some brands like Cosrx and Sum:37 don't have any products available when you click on them. When I contacted Althea Korea about it, they let me know that they're in the process of expanding their collection, including those brands!

Another thing you may notice is missing is the ingredients lists for some of the items. I contacted Althea and they assured me they are in the process of updating the site and adding in the ingredients lists. For some of the items the ingredients list is available in the product's description. For others they're still in the works of translating the ingredients to English.

The first four things I picked up were all skincare items, because ya know me, I love skincare. First up is the Belif the true tincture of chamomile essence. I've been eyeing this guy ever since I saw it pop up on Sephora's site. I've had good results from using sheet masks with high levels of chamomile, my skin always seem to be calmer and more hydrated afterwards. In addition to the chamomile, there's also centella asiatica extract-- which is supposed to be good at healing skin (and acne!) and is featured in other products that I enjoy like La Roche-Posay's cicaplast balm and Dr. Jart's cicapair moisturizer. The price on the Althea Korea site is the same as Sephora's but with Althea's promotions you can potentially snag it for cheaper!

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The next two skincare bits I picked out were the Son & Park beauty water and the Make P:rem in-shower mask. Like I mentioned in my intro, the Son & Park beauty water was a great price! I've heard so many great things about this toner/ makeup remover/ all in one skincare superhero. Ever since ready Fanserviced-b's review on it last winter it's been on my mind and wish list. The one thing holding me back for so long is that it has denatured alcohol pretty high up on the list. Lately I've started introducing products with alcohol and have found some that work for me. It also has witch hazel in it which always sometimes dries me out... but I'm throwing caution to the wind. Summer's coming, my skin will be more normal than dehydrated as fuck, and damn it I want to cave into the hype and try it out!

Unfortunately the Make P:rem in-shower mask isn't currently listed on the site, I'm guessing because it sold out. I hope they relist their Make P:rem products because their prices were great and I would love to try out more from the brand! The in-shower mask is supposed to help moisturize your face while you're in the shower. I have dehydrated skin and love taking hot, steamy showers so it would be nonsensical for me to not get this.

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The last skincare item I picked is the Dr. Jart ceramidin sheet mask. I love the ceramidin cream and liquid, and have made it my skincare task of 2017 to try out the entire line. And yes I totally came up with that task while writing this post did but so what ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Moving onto body skincare the first thing I immediately had to have was the Tonymoly shiny foot peeling liquid. I've tried the ones from Ulta that come in a different packaging, and I'm curious to see how they compare. With sandal season right around the corner I need to make sure my feet aren't completely repulsive to look at. If you've never used a foot peel before, they literally eat away and peel the outer layer of skin on your feet. It's so gross but also so satisfying.

I also finally got to try out the Laneige lip sleeping mask so sayonara chapped lips! I've already started using it so look forward to a mini review on Instagram at some point ๐Ÿ˜‰

Last but not least in the haircare category I picked up the Milky Dress dry water powder. This is my first foray into Asian hair care so hopefully it's a good one. If you follow me on Instagram than you may know that lately I've stepped back from using dry shampoos since I've found that they exacerbate my whole dandruff issue. I'm not sure it's because they're in an aerosol can or because they're loaded with propane, butane, and alcohol but something about them irritates my scalp. This dry shampoo isn't in an aerosol can but it does have alcohol. It was also really cheap at $6 (it's $10+ everywhere else on the interwebs.)

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As you could probably tell, I overall had a really positive experience! The only negative thing about my experience shopping on the site was the lag time. Sometimes it took 4 freakin ever for the pages to load, especially the brand pages. But that's something I can easily deal with since they've got a large selection of products, competitive prices, and a solid return policy.

Have you ever shopped from Althea before? What's on your wish list?


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