We all freaked out over Sephora and rightly so, but I hope you guys are keeping an eye out for the launch of Althea Korea here in the Philippines on February 15. Its beginnings are actually a lot like Luxola before it got acquired by LVMH/Sephora; it's a company that just recently received funding from a Silicon Valley venture capital firm called 500 Startups. The amount was undisclosed, but it is enough to give Althea confidence to push outwards Korea to the Southeast Asian Market. Currently they are in territories like Singapore and Malaysia; the Philippines is their third stop.
If Luxola then focused on hard-to-find beauty products from the West, Althea is mining South Korea's treasure trove of makeup and skincare. They have trendy things from popular brands like Innisfree, Laneige, 3CE, Etude House, and Banila Co (to name a few) and items from little-known brands like Piolang, B&Soap, and W-Lab. Althea promises that the prices are as low as possible, but there are more attractive features that will make you want to shop your heart out at this new e-commerce player.
For one thing, they offer free shipping direct from Korea for orders over P1,500. When I received my box right on my doorstep, I didn't have to pay any tariffs and it only took four business days from the receipt of my order (that took one business day). So five days in total, not bad! Althea also has a 30-day refund and unconditional returns. This means that you can ask for a refund and return the product if you didn't like it - no questions asked. The return address I believe is a Philippine one.
I received my package in good condition. The box itself is covered by a tough plastic sleeve, and the products are individually wrapped in bubble plastic.
I got the following from Althea's Philippine portal ph.althea.kr (not to be mistaken with my.althea.kr which for some reason automatically comes up):
Innisfree Creammellow Lipstick (P520), Saemmul Browcara (P360), VDL Expert Color Eye Book 6.4 No.4 (P2,380), 3D Face Stick (P600), Skinfood Eyebrow Powder Cake (P180), 3CE Pink Rumour Dangerous Matte Lip Color (P850), Teatree Care Solution Essential Mask (P90).
I love everything I got, especially the VDL Pantone palette! The colors are lovely and rich! It's a bit pricey but the plastic case with the dramatic red cover is so fancy. The Skinfood Eyebrow duo is so sulit at only P180. The Innisfree Lipstick is a winner! I might get more shades of that the next time I order from Althea.
And the contour stick!!! It makes my life easier. I don't know what I've been doing without cream contour, honestly.
I'll review some of the items in the very near future so stay tuned for that! For now, come check out Althea's grand opening promotions on February 15. They're having a big giveaway! They are giving free 300 credits to shop on ph.althea.kr for every new sign up. Free shipping will be given for every P1,000 spent during the launching month. Besides the low prices, there will be Daebak Deals 1+1 and Zero Peso Deals too! You can find more info on their Facebook page.
So there you go. ^_^ I would love to know what's in your Althea wishlist!