29 Aug 2015

Authentic or Not? Haul Review: Althea Korea and Laneige Water Sleeping Mask


This review should come earlier (so do my other reviews), but I have been quite busy recently, and my internet is down so my deep apologies for the delay. I have been shopping a lot lately and have accumulated many new empties. Apparently I finish using my cosmetics faster than my speed of blogging, so many headaches seeing the list of the "to-be-reviewed" products getting longer.

Anyhow, back to the topic. I have done quite a lot of reviews on products, but have not done any on hauls, although I enjoy reading haul reviews of others. Sharing is caring; so now I be the Santa Claus.

Reasonably Priced

I started to shop from Althea Korea approximately 1-2 months ago, when I jumped into their 1+1 promotion on Facebook. If you browse through their website, you can see that most of their products are selling at lower prices but still within a reasonable range compared to many beauty stores out there. I have loads of experiences shopping online, so I know overly-low prices might be a blow-off because it is too good to be true. Come on, this is business, not some charity organization, right? Althea, however, is considered "reasonably priced" because it is not too low but still lower than most retail outlets.


Unique Package


Another thing that really catches my attention is their "beauty box" concept. I was once so obsessed with the Korean makeup queen Pony. She can work magic on your face with seemingly simple makeup items from readily accessible brands like Bobbi Brown, M.A.C, and NARS. Although these are good brands and are considered affordable for most people working in the Western countries, it is definitely not the case for a normal working class Malaysian like myself. So I have to turn to something else to find eyeshadow similar to the one Pony uses on her makeup tutorials. Later, I learn that Pony has released eye shadow palettes at a much more affordable price through Korean online retailer Memebox. So I was so heart-broken to learn that Memebox does not ship to Malaysia (they do ship to Singapore though?!!) Anyhow, I never get to buy anything from Memebox but their concept of selling cosmetics in a "box" appeals to me a lot. So you can imagine how excited I am to shop from Althea Korea with these lovely boxes, not to mention that the prices are much cheaper than Memebox.

Newly Launched


Althea is very new to Malaysia, founded in June 2015 and expanded to Singapore in August 2015. They have a HQ in Malaysia, but their products are all shipped from Korea. The website said it takes 10-14 days for shipping to Malaysia but I often receive them in less than 1 week (even faster than my Gmarket EMS shipping).

Sending myself a Gift


Althea is very unique in the way that it makes your haul looks more like a gift than a haul. Your items are wrapped in bubble plastics sitting inside loads of soft pinkish gift papers. Your invoice or receipt are sealed like a wish card. Everything is protected in a hard pink box. They only carry two box sizes. If your orders are too much to be fitted in one box, they would send you two separate boxes with two tracking numbers. Sounds too good to be true? Yea, it is THAT good. Also, you can use this to trick people especially your male friends. Imagine the expression of him or people around him when you send this hot pink gift to your male friends. It would be so fun. 

Wide Range of Products


Althea carries a wide range of products, from the mid-ranges Innisfree, It's Skin, Etude House, Skinfood, Missha, Nature Republic, The Face Shop, Tony Moly etc. to the higher end ones like IOPE, Primera, Laneige, Banila Co. and Sulwhasoo. However, they only categorize their products according to product types like skincare, makeup, cleanser, pack & mask instead of brands. This is a bit inconvenient for me because I prefer to navigate based on brands.

Fast delivery 

To give you a basic concept of how fast Althea delivers, this is my first haul from Althea during Raya peak hours:

Place order: 10 July 2015
Parcel arrives in Malaysia: 16 July 2015
Parcel arrives at my hand: 23 July 2015

My second haul is much faster than that:

Place order: 31 July 2015
Parcel arrives in Malaysia: 3 August 2015
Parcel arrives at my hand: 6 August 2015

Authenticity


If you ask me, what makes me shop from an online retailer; I would answer you, it is my confidence regarding the authenticity of its products. However, not many of us are experts on that, and nowadays counterfeit stuffs are advancing as well. So it is quite hard to tell even from the price whether or not something is authentic. This is the question that comes to my head when I first bought the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask from Althea (at a very cheap price). Luckily, I have the very same unopened sleeping pack bought from Laneige Malaysia Parkson two months ago. Bingo! Now I get to compare.


The front package including the spatula looks identical


The description at the back of the Laneige Sleeping Mask I bought from Althea Korea is printed further from the container compared to the one I bought from Malaysia. This disparity is not unique to Laneige Malaysia vs. Laneige Korea editions. I read from a Taiwanese forum that the counterfeit Laneige Sleeping Pack she bought online also has the back description printed further from the container compared to the authentic product she bought at the counter. I couldn't attach the photo due copyright concern. But both products are in Korean, so it should not be the language issue. Hence, I contact Althea to explain about the issue.



Are you convinced with their reply? Honestly, I am not 100% convinced. So I opened both products and tried them for a few days.



They look identical inside, the smell and the colour. The counterfeit Laneige Sleeping Mask (I have read online) should be less opaque than this. Pheww...deep relief.


After spreading out evenly, they feel the same on my skin, equally cooling and moisturizing. I test them on my face for several nights (each on one side) and it doesn't break me out of make my skin worst. Please call me brave on that! LOL.

Finally, I am convinced that this is authentic

A few other things that I bought

Too Cool For School Egg Mousse Pack: I want this after the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask fails me. Nothing can remove dirt hidden behind my "closed-pores". I am hoping that this could do something about it. For full review, please click.

Innisfree Jeju Sparkling Mineral Cleansing Mousse: I decide to get this after troubles squeezing cleansing paste from my Nature Republic Real Nature Shea-butter Foam Cleanser. I want something in bubble or mousse forms after frustrated with foam cleaner. Also, I love Innisfree Jeju Sparkling Mineral lineFor full review, please click.

Tony Moly Aquaporin Sherbet Cleanser: I want to see what are the differences between this and the more expensive and famous Banila Co. Clean it Zero. For full review, please click.

Laneige Water Sleeping Pack: I must say, this is the BEST moisturizing sleeping pack I have ever used. I have tried so many, and I always return to this. For full review, please click.

Banila Co. It Radiant CC Cream SPF30 PA++: I have tried the 10g one from the Banila Co. Best Collection and fall in love ever since. It makes my skin naturally brighter and dewy. 

Innisfree Capsule Recipe Packs: they are cute, functional and easy to use. Cheap too. 


You can get this from: Althea Korea
[Disclaimer] This is NOT a sponsored review. Products are purchased with my own money. All copy right of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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