Althea Black Sparkling Unboxing + Video
So everyone is capping off the year but I honestly don't have any year-ender ideas prepared, so it's just business as usual with unboxings. I'm going to continue with my Althea Holiday Edition boxes as planned :D Video up here, do check it out so you can witness the debut of my new camera AND listen to my magical singing voice.
There were three options this year (Gold, Black and Red) and initially, I was only supposed to buy the Gold Box. I'm not much of a hoarder (haha) and I already COD'd that box, when I saw the April Skin Magic Snow Cushion 2.0 in #23 (PHP 940, Althea) from the Black Sparkling Box (PHP 1460, from a value of 5290, 72% savings, Althea.) I've heard sooo many raves about this cushion from Koreans while I was in Korea. And the hype never really faded - even now I still see a lot of social media attention for this brand... So I knew I had to try it.
The selling point was its full coverage and skin-like finish, which is a rarity because BB cushions tend to lean on the sheer side and too-dewy side, while full-coverage liquid foundations sacrifice the natural look of the finish.
Here's what's inside in order of favorites (I discussed it by routine in the video):
My "big hit item" for this box, or the item that anchored my purchasing decision, is the April Skin Magic Snow Cushion 2.0 in #23 (PHP 940, Althea). The case is an all-matte black, with an all-black rubicell sponge. The formula is inside a super cute and fluffy mochi cushion, which is much softer and bouncier than a typical sponge cushion. It contains the foundation in a central pocket as opposed to having the foundation below and above the sponge.
I'm not sure how that affects the formula or overall life span of the product, but its CUTE AND FLUFFY. As for the formula, I was already expecting high coverage as advertised but I was still floored to see just how much coverage it had. Two layers is comparable to full-coverage liquid foundation. My dark circles are not completely covered, but I'm very happy with this level of coverage. You know something is up when I don't have to correct nor conceal my bags! I love how much coverage it has while still keeping that awesome chok-chok feels cushions are known for. In a world of sheer BB cushions, this cushion went above and beyond my expectations!
Missha The Style 4D Mascara (PHP 408, 1+1 deal in Althea) was such a pleasant surprise? I am so sure I've received this item in one of my subscription boxes, but I somehow can't find that post. As I recall, I hated this mascara because the formula was so liquidy that it clumped my weak, thin lashes into three sad pieces of shame. They must have reformulated? It's not vavavoom in terms of volume nor length, but definition is WHOA AMAZING. I was supposed to give it away, but I'm glad I decided to make a complete unboxing + look video to prove my assumptions wrong.
I was really looking forward to the Son & Park All That Smoky Kit interpretation of a Korean smokey eye. We all know about the famous Son & Park Beauty Water, but the brand was actually founded by two famous celebrity makeup artists, Son Dae Sik (손대식) and Park Tae Yun (박태윤). While I was impressed with the color selections and (again) the variety of textures in this palette, the mattes let me down. They felt buttery but applied patchily. I'm waiting to see if I just had an off day, and this review is certainly not definitive.
Rire Gel Eyeliner in 01 Kill Black (PHP 210, Althea) was something I originally wasn't excited about, but later anticipated after finding positive reviews in Project Vanity. It doesn't apply as creamily nor easily as I would want it to, but it ended up not budging anyway so I still like it. Bonus: it has a pretty intense color which I appreciate in a black gel liner!
The Althea Black Sparkling Box is still available online. I'm pretty sad it's not getting love, and I do feel like it's the black (literally) sheep and I'm the mom who wants to dote on my ostracized child. The Black Box (PHP 1460) is the most expensive box yet only has 4 items, and the Gold Box (PHP 1330) sold out with its less expensive 6 items.
I think this is the time to favor quality rather than quantity, as I feel way more strongly about the Black Box than the Gold Box - notice how I don't have any mehs nor duds in this post? Even with 2 less items, l still think the Black Box is a way better deal than the Gold Box because the big hit item and the peripheries are way better than the overall quality of the Gold Box items.
I also like how the box focused on the eyes. It's always nice to have a theme, and while I didn't notice that when I bought the box, I love it more now that I realize so.
If you're a first-time Althea-subscriber, please do register by my share link so we can both earn rebates :)
*The header photo includes a Tony Moly lip tint, which I mistakenly included with the Black Box set - it is actually included in the Red Box.