Althea Korea is my go-to shop for all my K-beauty needs. They offer the best beauty products fresh from South Korea at very affordable prices. The thing I love most about Althea Korea is the comfort factor. From the moment you browse their website up to the time your order reaches your doorstep, shopping from Althea has always been fuss-free.

This year, Althea celebrated their third birthday. They usually celebrate their birthday by having cute concept boxes along with freebies and a fun contest. For their 3rd birthday, their theme is the Birthday Book which includes miniature birthday books that you can assemble yourself. Props to their marketing team, this is quite a unique concept. Of course, I couldn't help but go on a mini shopping spree to get them! See what I bought below:

  • COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser 



PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: 

Formulated with 0.5% salicylic acid, this cleanser keeps breakouts at bay while removing dead skin cells. Tea tree oil also helps fight blemishes while willow bark water and saccharomyces ferment hydrate skin, revealing softer and more even skin. Effective yet gentle, this multi-purpose cleanser will be your new go-to for clear, pillow-soft skin. This product has a pH level of 8.9.

PRICE: 

P375.00 

I can't wait to try this cleanser! I've heard great reviews and so much love for this product. Yey for my first ever COSRX product too!

  • The Faceshop Herb Day 365 Cleansing Foam in Aloe


PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: 

Ensuring your skin stays clean and healthy is a 365-day a year job! Pick a great candidate like The Face Shop's Herb Day 365 Cleanser to take on the task by providing the skin with fundamentally great cleansing. This version with aloe vera hydrates the skin as it cleans, keeping it bouncy and soft. It also helps soothe and repair the skin, ensuring it stays healthy and supple.

PRICE: 

P150.00 

This was the very first K-beauty product I have tried, ever. I just thought I needed a foaming cleanser that would balance out the drying effect of the COSRX cleanser. Plus, it's waaaay cheaper to buy one from Althea than get one from their physical stores.

  • Nature Republic Soothing and Moisture Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: 

Made from 92% Aloe Vera gel, Nature Republic Aloe Vera Soothing Gel is enriched with vitamins and can be used for just about anything, from soothing sunburns to hydrating the skin and hair in the form of a mask, to an everyday moisturizer for supple skin. The aloe vera used to make this product comes from certified organic farmers in California (CCOF) and is kind to even the most sensitive of skins, making this suitable for all skin types. No wonder this is one of the best selling products around and has sold over 1.5 million units!

PRICE: 

P180.00 

Repurchasing again for obvious reasons. I have nothing but love and respect for this product. 

  • Althea Velvet Powder (Translucent and Warm Beige)

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: 

Althea's very own product range is here, and we're starting off strong with the Petal Velvet Powder! This debuting beauty is a translucent powder that sets makeup and leaves behind a silky finish to the touch. Infused with oil from Althea seeds, this powder works to keep sebum production at bay without drying out the skin for a radiant, fresh look, all while giving out a gentle scent. Keep your makeup looking great all day or dust some on to stay shine-free! Now available in #0 Translucent and #23 Warm Beige colors.

PRICE: 

P210.00 ; the other one was free (Althea Buy 1 Take 1 promo)

I've been dying to try this ever since its debut. This might be a great alternative for my Shiseido Medicated Baby Pressed Powder (see review here), which have become a daily staple for me. Althea's Petal Velvet Powder comes in two shades, I bought one of each.

  • Various Sheet Masks

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: 

  • Boom De Ah Dah Everyday Mask Lemon Lime - Contains Vitamic C that helps naturally lighten and even out skin tone.
  • Boom De Ah Dah Everyday Mask Rice - Brightens the skin and helps fight blemishes.
  • Boom De Ah Dah Everyday Mask Berry - Made with blueberry, strawberry and raspberry extracts to tighten the skin.
  • Y.E.T. Don't Worry Infant Mask - Contains collagen to control moist and elasticity by covering rough skin surface. Snail slime substance relieves wrinkles like baby skin.

PRICE: 

Boom De Ah Dah Everyday Mask - P20.00 each
Y.E.T. Don't Worry Infant Mask - P24.00

If there's one thing about me you should know, it's that I love sheet masks. I find it convenient and relaxing to apply one. I may not do it every night, but I make it a point to do so at least once a week. See some of my other sheet mask reviews here.  


FREE SHIPPING FOR ORDERS P999.00 ABOVE!

I planned my order so well (yes, I'm a cheapskate) that it just exactly reached Althea's free shipping threshold. My total order is worth P999.00 and Althea offers free shipping for orders P999.00 and above! Pat on the back for that one.

The order arrived within 15 days after ordering, as Althea had promised.

Have you tried ordering from Althea Korea before? How was the experience? Have you tried some of the products that I ordered? Let me know below!


Note: This post is not sponsored in any way. All product descriptions were taken from the Althea Korea website. 



The Cuartel, Oslob, Cebu

A good friend of mine came to visit Cebu to take an examination. Since he was here for awhile, we still had time to go on a mini road trip down south. Cebu has a lot of places to offer, so it was hard to decide where we'd actually go. Finally, we all agreed to visit Oslob to try out whale shark watching, the main tourist attraction in the town. Afterwards, visit Sumilon Island, another site in the area frequented by tourists.

After a day of frolicking under the sun, we were on our way back. We had a bit of time to waste so we made a little side trip to the Cuartel, a lesser known attraction in Oslob. 

The Cuartel, Oslob, Cebu

When we arrived, we were alone. We honestly can't believe that this place was not flocked by tourists. I mean, it's so photogenic, but sadly it is overshadowed by other more famous destinations nearby. But hey, yey for us!

The Cuartel, Oslob, Cebu

The Cuartel, Oslob, Cebu

The word "Cuartel" is the spanish term for "barracks", which is what this structure was intended for. Oslob's Cuartel was built to serve as a barracks for the Spanish armies through the efforts of El Gran Maestro Don Marcos Sabandal to defend the town from Moro invaders. However, it never came into completion. Construction was halted after the arrival of the Americans in 1899. For those who did not know, the Philippines was under Spanish rule for 333 years before the Americans arrived.

The Cuartel, Oslob, Cebu

The Cuartel is made of coral stones which were remnants of the collapsed floor of the church bell tower of the Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepcion. This beautiful church is just a ball's throw away from the structure. 


The Cuartel, Oslob, Cebu

The Cuartel, Oslob, Cebu

The Oslob Museum,  located just behind the Cuartel, showcases antiques contributed by the people of Oslob. The museum itself is small but the items displayed inside are really interesting. If you ever get a chance to come here, do take a peak inside the museum. The entrance is free, however, photography is not allowed.

The Cuartel, Oslob, Cebu

The Cuartel is part of Oslob's Heritage Park, continue walking to appreciate the rest of the park and enjoy a lovely view of Oslob's treasured waters. 


How to Get There?

From Cebu City: 

Go to Cebu South Bus Terminal (N. Bacalso Avenue, near Elizabeth Mall). Ride a bus going to Bato via Sibonga. One way fare is P160 for an air-conditioned bus, prices vary between P100-200 depending  on the bus company. Non-airconditioned buses are also available at a cheaper price.

The travel time from Cebu City to Oslob is 3-4 hours, depending on speed and traffic. Tell the driver or conductor to drop you off at Oslob Public Market.

The Cuartel, as well as Oslob's heritage park, is just walking distance from the market. You may ask around, the locals will be more than helpful to guide you.





So, recently I’ve been living quite an intense life, having lots to do and moving around a lot. In the last post I mentioned the amount of workload and time pressure. It’s made me physically (and mentally) tired which obviously had an impact on my skin. It started to look really dull and unhealthy. So I decided to take care of myself more, especially of my skin. So I ordered a few goodies from a Korean online store (RoseRoseShop), a goodal Green Tea Infused Water Mild Sheet Mask being among them. I put it on yesterday and I absolutely loved it. More in the review below.


CLAIMS

The packaging itself says: ‘The gentle 100% environmentally friendly bamboo sheet mask moisturizes and softens skin without irritation’. It further emphasizes key aspects of the sheet mask:
Moisture charge: Fresh Camellia Sinensis Leaf extract (Green Tea) obtained by the fresh lock processing charges skin with moisture.
Gentle mask sheet: 100% environmentally friendly pure bamboo mask sheet adheres comfortably to the skin.
Pure water: The ”Pure water” obtained after a 7-step purification process is safe to use on sensitive skin by removing harmful impurities from water’.
So basically what’s so appealing about the sheet mask is that it’s gentle even (and especially) to sensitive skin and moisturizing but at the same time environmentally-friendly.

PACKAGING

As I was in a really bad mood the day I tried it, the only thing I wanted to do was rip off the mask’s packaging and put it on my face. Hence the picture of the ripped packaging (so sorry!).
The packaging itself is nothing extraordinary. Just that of a regular sheet mask and easy to open. However, I loved the texture of it. Felt so soft and so smooth to my fingers. *.*

INGREDIENTS AND TEXTURE

IMG-0194
I absolutely looove the ingredients list. As almost all of goodal products, it’s really impressive as it’s so skin-friendly. It  has lots of beneficial plant extracts (such as Green Tea Extract- third on the list so there’s loads of it in the essence!) and there’s also Hyaluronic Acid in two forms -Sodium Hyaluronate and Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid- which gives the mask 10/10 rating from me as Hyaluronic Acid provides moisturization in general but having it in two forms moisturizes the skin even  better as it ensures deeper penetration! It’s a real win-win.
When it comes to texture, oh my god… I can’t even express how much I loved it! It was the first bamboo sheet mask I tried but I can already say it’s one of my favourites. It is extremely soft (but also fragile and can slip out of hand quite easily) and adheres to the skin incredibly well. Usually when I put on a sheet mask I have to put in a lot of effort to get rid of the air bubbles that form beneath the mask or the creases that appear when I’m trying to cover as much of my face as possible. But goodal’s sheet mask was so easy to apply and I didn’t have to do much to make it adhere to my skin thoroughly. I’m telling you, this sheet mask is my star.

PERFORMANCE & FINAL THOUGHTS

goodal Green Tea Infused Water Mild Sheet Mask is truly moisturizing. After taking it off, my skin was highly moisturized but not sticky as most sheet masks leave my skin. The goodal sheet mask made my skin deeply moisturized, soft and I could clearly see and feel the difference in my skin’s condition. It looked healthier straight afterwards, but I could see results the following day as well.
The end result of using this mask was certainly due to its amazing ingredients. It contains active and effective elements and none of them are harmful which makes it perfect for the sensitive skin. Here’s the proof (the CosDna lists all the ingredients as green). Its effectiveness is further enhanced by its extreme adherence to the skin so that all the ingredients can penetrate the face skin evenly. All in all, I loved this sheet mask. And I’d definitely purchase it again.


This post, along with it's photos, originally appeared in this blog here: The World of Blue. It was written by guest blogger Blue from K-beautyreviews.com, a blog which aims to become the biggest K-beauty review database on the web. She publishes a collection of K-beauty reviews authored by different bloggers. If you’d like to have your review of a k-beauty product/store featured on the website as well, just send her an email on email.kbeauty.reviews@gmail.com. She'll be more than happy to publish it on her blog.  You can also follow her on her Instagram page here: https://www.instagram.com/kbeautyblue/



The Philippines is simply beautiful. There are so many wonderful sights to see, so many interesting places to visit, so many delicious food to eat and so many generous people to meet. With its 7,641 islands, there is always something that awaits all who come to visit. 

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines is the island of Bohol. It has it all: alluring white sand beaches, wildlife encounters, crazy adventure parks, historical sites and captivating landscape views. That's basically everything your dream destination should have. 

Our long overdue Barkada travel goals finally came to fruition, as we decided to go to Bohol for a quick weekend getaway to celebrate our first year as young working adults. My friends came all the way from General Santos City. I met them in Cebu City and together, we traveled via Fast Craft to reach Tagbilaran City. How we managed to catch our boat? That is a story that includes shoving, walkie talkies, running, shouting, sweat, basically more like an action movie. Our boat left Cebu at 6pm and we arrived at Tagbilaran around 8pm. We explored the city to get a general feel of local life. We then crashed for the night at our very cheap accommodation as tomorrow will be quite a day.

7 AM - Pickup Time

We rented a van that offers the Bohol Countryside Tour Package. As much as we wanted to see the rest of Bohol, we didn't have enough time since there are still some more places we have to visit back in Cebu. The package already comes with a driver and costs 2500 pesos. It can accommodate up to 12 people, but there are only 5 of us. This is really cheap if you consider 12 people though. Entrance fees to the attractions are not included in the package. 

The driver picked us up at our inn and we were ready to go. We asked him to let us grab some breakfast first though. We wanted to save some time so Mcdonald's takeout it is!

The Chocolate Hills

The Chocolate Hills is not only Bohol's most identifiable landmark, it's also one of the Philippines signature landscapes. It's beauty is something we've only truly seen in post cards. The chocolate hills consist of no less than 1260 hills of almost equal size and uniform shape. The hills vary between 30-50 meter high. With this incredible natural sight to behold, it is truly unbelievable that this isn't a man-made attraction. The hills are green but during the dry season, they turn chocolate brown, hence its name.

Simply Butterflies Conservation Center


Simply Butterflies Conservation Center is the first butterfly livelihood breeding and conservation program in Bohol. It is said to house over 200 species of butterflies. Your entrance fee will already provide you an incredibly entertaining tour guide. Learning about butterflies was more fun than I initially thought. This was a fairly quick stop though. 

Loboc Tarsier Sanctuary


A Tarsier is basically Bohol's tourism mascot. They are cute tiny furry creatures with big googly eyes. They're also the world's smallest primates, however, they are now considered endangered animals. It's nice to see a tarsier, but please make sure that every tourist is responsible. They are suicidal creatures and are easily distressed. The sanctuary has signs and railing all over the place, warning people to strictly observe silence, respect the tarsiers, no touching, no flash photography. Still, while we were there, I've seen tourists cross over the lines just to get closer a closer look at these delicate creatures. Not cool.

Man-Made Forest


The man-made forest is a 2-kilometer stretch of mahogany trees that fill the terrain. Tourists visiting the Chocolate Hills will not miss this, as it situated where Bilar meets Loboc. The trees were planted as part of a reforestation project that started over 50 years ago to replace trees lost from the evils of kaingin (slash-and-burn farming). It was the perfect site. It was cold, silent and peaceful. You do have to be careful of speeding vehicles though.

Python Sanctuary


Bohol's Python Sanctuary is home to The Philippines' largest captive reticulated python (Python reticulatus) or baksan in the native language. Prony, the female python, measures 8 meters and weighs more than 300 kilograms according to a Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) estimate. Prony died in 2013 due to an unknown reason. The locals said that she died shortly after her owner died, which is popular Filipino pamahiin (supernatural belief). The sanctuary still continues to operate, showcasing Prony's offspring as well as Prony's remains. 

Baclayon Church


Bohol has a lot of beautiful old churchs, the most popular of which is probably Baclayon Church. It is just six kilometers away from Tagbilaran City, Bohol and is said to be the second oldest stone church in the Philippines. The church was constructed in 1595 by the Jesuit priests. It currently houses important relics of the Roman Catholic history in the country. Sadly, the church was severely damaged when a massive 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Bohol on October 15, 2013. It has been undergoing restoration immediately after. We only got to take a picture on this side of the church, construction was still ongoing when we visited. 

Bohol Blood Compact Site


The last place on our list, The Blood Compact Site serves as a historical memorabilia of The Sandugo. This commemorates the mixing of blood between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Rajah Sikatuna which symbolized a forged friendship between the Spaniards and the Filipinos. The monument was created by Philippine National Artist Napoleon Abueva, who is also a native of Bohol. The shrine is easily accessible to tourists and offers a fantastic view of the ocean.

After a tiring day, we headed back to the pier and boarded our boat that would take us back to Cebu. Although we only stayed in Bohol for less than a day, this trip will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

The benefits of Green tea is not particularly new information for us. It has a long list of health and beauty benefits that could put any other ingredient to shame. Not only does it calm your tummy, but it can calm down angry skin too. Due to the various properties of green tea, it has long been embraced by the beauty industry.

This brings me to the sheet mask that I'll be reviewing today: Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheet (Green Tea). Nature Republic is a K-beauty brand that's extremely popular worldwide.

Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheet Green Tea Review

Product Description:

REAL NATURE GREEN TEA MASK SHEET. Green tea extract deeply moisturizes and helps the skin stay moisturized.

How to Use:

1. After washing face, apply toner to prepare the skin for the next step of skin care.
2. Open the pouch, pull out the mask, and place on the face, using the eye area to align correctly.
3. Remove after 10-20 minutes and gently pat for better absorption.


Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheet Green Tea Review

Ingredients:

WATER, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, PEG/PPG-17/6 COPOLYMER, GLYCERIN, CITRUS PARADISI (GRAPEFRUIT) FRUIT EXTRACT, PEG-75, ALCOLHOL, PEG-60 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, CAMELLIA SINESIS SEED EXTRACT, XANTHAN GUM, SODIUM HYALURONATE, DISODIUM EDTA, PHENOXYETHANOL, FRAGRANCE

Price: 

1-2$, but I bought this in directly in Korea and it cost me 10,000 for a pack of 10 sheets. That's roughly 20 pesos each. Such a steal!

Experience:

I remember buying this mask, I wasn't really into K-beauty then, or beauty in general, so I asked the sales attendant from the Nature Republic store what she recommended for me. She took one look at my face and she said that I had troubled skin (I was having a serious breakout moment then so I don't blame her!). She told me to get the Chamomile version of this mask for skin calming purposes and then add the Green Tea version for extra moisture.

The packaging is alright, nothing special. The rest of the Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheets are incorporating the same design.

Opening the mask, you can recognize the smell easily. Classic green tea. Calming and soothing to the nose. Seriously, who doesn't love the smell of green tea?

The mask is thin and the cut outs are just right for my eye area. I once again, ripped the sheet while positioning it, so I didn't bother to position it perfectly. I might rip it more. I'm too strong for these delicate sheets, I guess. The mask is a bit big, so if you've got a smaller face, this might be a problem. It was alright for my big face though.

The sheet itself is drenched in essence, with the packet having more than enough. I like to use the remaining essence for my elbows and neck. Since the essence was hefty, it was dripping down my neck. You can clearly see this in the photo below.

Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheet Green Tea Review
This green tea mask from Nature Republic did not leave my face tacky after using it. It did, however, leave my face moisturized, which is its goal. The moisturization was better than the mask I previously reviewed. It also sort of helped in calming my skin down. Using this was very relaxing too, mainly because of the green tea smell. 

Thoughts:

I love the overall effect of this Nature Republic Real Nature Green Tea Mask Sheet. Nature Republic really did give green tea justice and they continue to prove why they're a popular brand with their top of the line products. 

There are also thing that I really really dislike about this mask. One is the fact that the mask essence is very drippy. I hate when the essence drips all the way to my neck because the feeling makes me uncomfortable. Two is that it contains alcohol. I am trying my best to only use products that do not contain alcohol. I hope Nature Republic could maybe reformulate this in the future.

I have not tried other green tea mask though, so I couldn't compare it with those from different brands. I'll try more green tea masks just because this worked out so well, preferably ones without alcohol content next time.
Note: This post is not sponsored in any way. 

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