Review: A’Bloom (Althea)

Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review

This product was sent to me for review purposes. I was not paid and affiliate links are not used in this post.

Althea Korea is absolutely killing it with their new releases. Aside from the great curation that they have on their website, I have also been really enjoying the products from their exclusive (i.e. in-house) brands – from super creamy and pigmented lip tints, to a lightweight and velvet-soft sunscreen, it seems like they are taking all of the right steps! Although I haven’t loved everything (their Milk Peel Cream Mask was not a favourite of mine, although many others enjoy it), I am generally really excited when ever they have new product launches.

In the past, all of their exclusive releases have been under their main Althea Collection (which includes their Bare Essentials and Petal Velvet line) but this one is a little bit different in that they just launched a new brand!

This is called A’Bloom and is like the more cute, fun and youthful little sister to the core brand. At the moment, the range consists of four fruit based sheet masks (Watermelon, Peach, Avocado and Lemon Lime), the BHA Blackhead Blaster and two Meringue Puffs (in either the Baby size or the Giant). Prices are ridiculously affordable with sheet masks starting at 10 for USD$3.50 (or 50 cents if bought individually) and the most expensive item is the BHA Blackhead Blaster which is still a steal at USD$4. This range is definitely great if you’re on a budget or just want to try out something new that won’t break the bank.

So, I was lucky enough to have been sent the entire range to test out so let’s get into this review. I want to go into every single item here for you! Let’s go!


Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review

I’m going to be starting off with maybe my favourite A’Bloom release – the Fruit Mask Sheets! These have some of the cutest designs that I have come across (look at these puns and illustrations) and come in four different variants to suit different skin concerns:

  • Watermelon: Hydration
  • Avocado: Anti-aging
  • Lemon Lime: Brightening and evening skin tone
  • Peach: Anti-blemish and calming redness

These masks claim to contain an entire bottle of essence in a mask (25g, which is more like half a bottle but is still a lot), and also to be safe for sensitive skin. They use a 100% nature eucalyptus sheet, which has amazing adherence, is comfortable and contains no optical brightener, formaldehyde or heavy metals. It also claims to help rebalance the pH level of skin to reinforce the skin barrier.

In addition, these mask sheets are incredibly affordable and so would be perfect for people who want quality but budget-friendly sheet masks. This would also be very suitable for people who like to mask daily because you can get a set of 10 masks for just USD$3.50 – which is the most affordable I have ever seen a sheet mask for.

Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review

Moisturizing Watermelon Mask Sheet | USD$3.50 for 10 for 50 cents each

The Moisturizing Watermelon Mask Sheet was created to help you “keep calm and stay hydrated.” It is a mask that claims to pack a punch of hydration for waterful chok-chok skin, with benefits that last. Aside from Watermelon extract, this mask also contains Lavender extract – which I feel is mostly for the scent. It is advertised as being suitable for all skin types, but especially for combination skin.

These are my observations:

  • Has a light and fresh watermelon scent that dissipates on application
  • Intense hydration on the skin with a cooling sensation
  • Immediate overall brightening of skin
  • Leaves you with a glowing and hydrated complexion
  • The mask leaves a rather strong stickiness afterwards – this is best used at night
Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review

Brightening Lemon Lime Mask Sheet | USD$3.50 for 10 for 50 cents each

And then there is the Brightening Lemon Lime Mask Sheet which I knew from the beginning would be my favourite – after all, I have a personal weakness for anything citrus-y. This one is a brightening mask that clarifies and brightens dull skin for a natural glow. It contains a double dose of Vitamin C from both Lemon and Lime extract to help with dark spots, as well as Green Tea to help both brighten and calm skin. It also contains Niacinamide as a key ingredient!

Similarly, it is also advertised for all skin types but in particular combination skin.

These are my observations:

  • Beautiful lemon-y scent
  • Overall brightening effect that lasts until the next day
  • Skin looked more even and refreshed
  • Minor stickiness on skin afterwards, best to give the product time to absorb after use
Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review

Anti-Blemish Peach Mask Sheet | USD$3.50 for 10 for 50 cents each

The Anti-Blemish Peach Mask Sheet, on the other hand, is an anti-blemish mask that helps to purify and soothe irritated and sensitive skin. It contains Peach extract and Tea Tree Oil to help regular oil production, to balance moisture and also purify “for soft, smooth skin.” It is advertised for all skin types but is especially recommended for oily skin types.

These are my observations:

  • Smells really pleasant of peaches
  • No obvious anti-acne benefits but does soothe and hydrate skin
  • Leaves a slight stickiness to the skin after, so it best used at night
  • Hydration and soothing effect last easily through the night. Skin feels softer the next day.
Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review

Nourishing Avocado Mask Sheet | USD$3.50 for 10 for 50 cents each

And lastly, there is the Nourishing Avocado Mask Sheet which, once again, is recommended for all skin types but especially for dry skin. This is their anti-aging mask and is described as being “rich in antioxidants to nourish and protect skin from harmful environmental factors and prevent wrinkles.” It contains Avocado extract along with Hibiscus for “soft supple skin that glows”. It also contains Adenosine, a natural skin-restoring agent (source) as a key ingredient.

These are my observations:

  • Smells surprisingly citrusy
  • Left skin feeling very plump and hydrated
  • Effects lasted throughout the next day
  • No stickiness or tackiness afterwards

Overall, I was really happy with these masks and I felt like they lived up to most of their claims, par for anti-aging and dark spot reduction which I can’t test in a single use. Although they also advertised it as a ‘non-sticky finish’ product, I found that this varied between the mask type and some (like the peach mask) had a little more residue than others. However, as long as they are used as part of your evening skincare routine or followed up with a toner, then it isn’t an issue.

All of the masks are super saturated but with minimal excess left in the packet. All of the essence was held by the mask sheet which adhered almost like second skin (albeit a bit too big for me). All of this meant that the masks also lasted well over the recommended 10-20 minutes for me and I had it on for over half an hour before it even started to dry.

So here’s my verdict!

SO WHAT IS IT?

A variety of fruit extract sheet masks for different skin types

RATINGS

  • PRICE POINT | 5/5
  • PACKAGING | 5/5
  • ADHERENCE | 5/5
  • FIT | 3/5
  • INDIVIDUAL BENEFITS | 4/5
  • LASTING EFFECTS | 5/5

OVERALL RATING? 9/10

WOULD I RECOMMEND? I am loving these sheet masks and the price point definitely makes me want to recommend these to everyone. They’re a brilliant choice for people who like to do daily masking (or just frequent masking) and I also love that there is a different mask type for every skin type.

These are very affordable individually but I would personally recommend buying the ten pack since the price point is great anyway. I would also recommend testing a bunch of these out to see what works best for you because, personally, I am loving all of them – even those that aren’t especially recommended for my skin type.


Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review

BHA Blackhead Blaster | USD$4

This BHA Blackhead Blaster claims to give “Blackhead out without the ouch” – okay, that’s kind of cute! This is especially a BHA stick to help with the removal of blackheads and whiteheads. It uses White Willow Bark Extract (a natural BHA) and claims to have a gentle, non-irritating formula to both treat and prevent new clogged pores from forming. The product also contains charcoal, apricot seed powder and tea tree oil. This is recommended for people with oily or combination skin but, really, you could use this as long as it suits your skin concern.

This is a product that can be used quickly. It claims to have a melting formula that can help to exfoliate and deep cleanse dead skin cells and excess sebum. It can unclog pores without any skin irritation, such as from pore strips.

Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review
Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review
Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review

Packaging

The packaging for the BHA Blackhead Blaster is cute, though it does seem a bit lacking next to the sheet masks. It has an illustration of the pores on the box and a simple tube design. That being said, I feel like the cutesy design and the basic plastic packaging can make this product feel a little bit cheap but, considering the style of the A’Bloom brand and the affordable price tag, I can overlook this.

The benefit of this packaging is definitely in the compactness. The stick is lightweight with a cap that stays firmly on, as well as an additional semi-clear cap inside to keep the product relatively hygienic. It is a mess free stick formula too, so is free from any liquids, making it highly suitable for travel.

All in all, this isn’t something that is impressive looking enough for me to gift but – if I were purchasing for myself – I think that packaging is sufficient and practical.

Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review
Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review
Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review
Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review

Application & Use

The instructions for this BHA Blackhead Blaster is pretty simple. According to the website:

  • After cleansing, apply onto the targeted areas with excessive sebum
  • Gentle massage in a circular motion to release trapped oil and dirt
  • Rinse off with lukewarm water

For optimum results, it’s also recommended to put a warm towel over your face before using this product to ‘open up the pores’.

The overall application is very quick and mess free. As you are working in the product, there is a slight cooling sensation and you can also feel some tiny, sparse particles that help to manually exfoliate your skin too. The formula is still very gentle and won’t cause any redness or irritation. After it is rinsed off, my skin feels soft and well hydrated. There is no tugging or residue left, which is really great! I would then generally follow up with my skincare routine.

I do find it a bit confusing that the instructions don’t state whether you should be using this on wet or dry skin but, after some testing and asking around, the general consensus is that this BHA Blackhead Blaster stick is best used on damp skin.

Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review

After using this product, I can definitely see improvement in my blackheads and pores. I actually have an issue with enlarged pores (they are genetically quite big already) and combination skin, so I am forever trying to find an easy method of keeping my skin clear. I like how easy and quick it is to use this product, as well as how it doesn’t strip my skin at all. It doesn’t give dramatic pore cleansing results though and can take a few uses before you really see the benefits.

I think that this is a nice product to have on hand, especially for travel, but it isn’t world changing.

SO WHAT IS IT?

A blackhead cleansing stick that uses natural BHA, charcoal, tea tree oil and apricot seed powder

RATINGS

  • PRICE POINT | 5/5
  • PACKAGING | 3/5
  • APPLICATION | 5/5
  • BLACKHEAD REMOVAL | 3/5
  • FINISH | 4/5

OVERALL RATING? 8/10

THOUGHTS? I am admittedly a bit lenient with my rating of this product because of the price point – it’s so affordable that it’s worth buying just to try it out for yourself. That being said, I am seeing some results from it even if they aren’t dramatic. The formula is gentle though and I think it would be good for most skin types so I can forgive a slow working product if it is non-irritating.


Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review

Aside from the above two skincare products, the A’Bloom brand also launched two different beauty puffs in a really cute meringue shape! Although the design of it really suits the brand style, I do feel like it’s a bit random to release this in a collection that doesn’t have cosmetics… maybe a future development?

These puffs come in two different sizes, the Giant Meringue Puff which is for overall face application and then a set of three Baby Meringue Puffs which help to target smaller areas (under the eyes, nose etc). I am personally a bit picky about the type of puffs that I use, since I have found some that I love so I do hold these to a fairly high standard and unfortunately, my opinion on these are mixed.

Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review

Giant Meringue Puff | USD$2

This Giant Meringue Puff is sold individually and is described as a “versatile puff to use dry or wet.” It is made from a high density latex free foam, which is great for people who have a latex allergy. It claims to help blend make up flawlessly, and the puff can expand to 1.5x its original size to give even application to wider areas of the face.

According to its claims, wetting the sponge can give you a more glossy finish while using it dry can give a more matte finish – this is generally true for most sponges but I personally dislike using any sponge dry as I find it makes foundation too thick and patchy.

The meringue shape is intended to give a more versatile application too, with the base used for the coverall face and the top used for detailed crevices. However, I don’t find this very effective.

These are my observations:

  • Definitely expands to it’s intended size
  • Works best dampened
  • The material is a bit stiff and feels a bit rubbery
  • The shape of the puff is too ‘flat’ so the top is difficult to use for detailed work
  • It applies make up evenly and quickly
  • Doesn’t absorb much product – which is great
Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review
Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review

SO WHAT IS IT?

A large latex-free meringue shaped make up puff

RATINGS

  • PRICE POINT | 4/5
  • PACKAGING | 5/5
  • SIZE | 5/5
  • SHAPE | 2/5
  • MATERIAL | 3/5
  • APPLICATION | 5/5

OVERALL RATING? 8/10

WOULD I RECOMMEND? The stand out traits for this sponge is definitely the size, the application (which is even and with minimal product absorption) and also the super cute themed packaging. The price point, at USD$2 each, is actually very cheap too but I had to take a point off it because my favourite sponge is somehow even cheaper. Still, the price point is good considering how much these tools usually cost.

I think that this is a good option if you want something affordable that hs a large surface area. However, I personally am not the biggest fan of the shape or the stiffness of the material so I wouldn’t be recommending it.


Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review

Baby Meringue Puff | USD$3 for 3

And finally these are the Baby Meringue Puff which are sold in little sets of three. These use the same material and shape as the Giant Meringue Puff but are significantly smaller in size. They are intended to be used for detailed application, such as under the eyes or in smaller crevices of the face. It also expands like the other puff but, since its a lot smaller, this expansion is very minor and it is almost a what-you-see-is-what-you-get sort of situation.

The pack of three comes in a clear plastic box that looks like a dessert display (super cute) and the set of three contains two dark pink and one light pink puff.

These are my observations:

  • Expansion when dampened is hardly noticeable
  • Good for under the eyes but doesn’t reach smaller crevices (e.g. nose) as effectively as I would hope
  • Blends out concealer without sheering it out
  • Can be hard to hold due to the meringue shape
  • Stiffness of the material is especially obvious
Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review
Althea Korea A'Bloom Kbeauty Review

SO WHAT IS IT?

A set of three mini latex-free meringue shaped make up puff

RATINGS

  • PRICE POINT | 4/5
  • PACKAGING | 5/5
  • SIZE | 3/5
  • SHAPE | 2/5
  • MATERIAL | 2/5
  • APPLICATION | 3/5

OVERALL RATING? 6.3/10

THOUGHTS? These Baby Meringue Puffs are – honestly – not for me. I love to use certain brushes and sponges to blend in my make up because I have the sort of face that has a lot of these curves and crevices. However, this puff just did not perform the way that I wanted it to.

The smaller size made the stiffness of the dense material even more evident and the meringue shape, which is more rounded with a subtle point, defeats the purpose of ‘reaching small details’. It’s good for under the eyes since it keeps your concealer relatively full coverage without sheering it out. However, I feel like I could achieve the same thing with the larger size or a dense brush.


And they’re the new releases from A’Bloom!

For me, the Fruit Mask Sheets are definitely the stand out; I loved using them and, especially with this price point (which honestly shocked me), I’m going to be looking to stocking up on them for daily masking. They have a simple formula but they’re very sufficiently effective. While I was testing them, I would skip my entire skincare routine to see how the masks held up alone and they really surprised me with how the effects lasted to the next day.

With BHA Blackhead Blaster was okay for me too as I definitely see improvements on my blackheads. However, these benefits are quite subtle. It’s an easy product to work into my morning and evening cleansing routine though so I think that I will continue to use it for longer to see if there are more long term effects.

And then there are the Giant Meringue Puffs, and the Baby version. These are a good option if you’re looking for an affordable puff that is large enough for quick and even make up application. However, it just isn’t my favourite type of shape or material and, as I mentioned, I use these sort of puffs daily so I do have high expectations for them.

Let me know down below if you’ve tried out or are wanting to try out anything from A’Bloom! All of these are now available on their website and, especially in the case of the sheet masks, selling out quick.

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