So it’s pretty hard to get your hands on some Korean skincare or make-up here in India apart from Innisfree and The Face Shop and I really wanted to try two items from Laneige. Browsing the internet and talking to people did bring to my notice that there are Indian resellers of Korean products but the inventory is quite limited. There are websites of course. But a lot of them are pricey, even if they’re promising you freebies and samples. It’s almost like you’re paying for the samples. Then there’s the delivery. Most websites take four weeks or so to just get your items to your doorstep (*groan*).
What this post contains:
1. The best place to order Korean skincare and make-up products (in my opinion).
2. Benefits of my go-to website for ordering products.
3. Minor technicalities and tips
4. Tracking the number of days it took for my package to reach.
5. Delivery and packaging assessment.
6. Quality/Authenticity assessment of the products.
But amongst all these websites that I came across, a particular one just fit my requirements perfectly. Althea International (https://us.althea.kr) is an amazing website which stocks up on the most popular, newest, and the trendiest Korean skincare and make-up that you can possibly get your hands on. Not to mention the super reasonable rates at which every product is priced. Even newly launched products have a 30% off and there are periodic free giveaways. The products come directly from South Korea and YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY CUSTOMS TAXES. Althea is awesome. It ships your order with “Gifts and Commercial Samples” labels. The only tiny downside is that you don’t get any samples or freebies. But that’s still absolutely fine with me because a Filipino friend of mine told me the Korean retail stores in the malls have products with prices that are hard to shoulder! I’ve compared about 3-4 websites that stock up on a wide selection of KBeauty and I can totally vouch for Althea for the Indian market.
So on April 4th night (close to 10 p.m.), I ended up placing an order worth 70 USD. My short list of wants comprised:
~Nature Republic Chamomile Oil Cleanser
~Witch’s Pouch Selfie Cushion Glow Tint Bar (1.5g)
~Milky Dress’ Platinum skin-finisher
~CFC Lab‘s Argan Glow Hair Oil
and finally what I had originally obsessed about ordering–
~Laneige‘s Water Sleeping Mask
~ Laneige‘s Lip Sleeping Mask
I registered myself as a new user and availed a 20 USD discount that is reserved for new users placing their order for the first time.
So here’s the little technicality:
The 20 USD is broken up into two halves. You get a 10 USD discount and another 10 automatically gets deducted from the shipping charges. This is kind of like cheating because they mentioned on the website that all orders above 50 USD will have free shipping. You can’t avail the free shipping if your order amounts to 50-60 USD. The website will keep suggesting to add more products to reach 70 to avail the 20 USD discount + rebate.
I paid through credit card (61.75 USD which is roughly 4000 INR) and I saw that I earned 10 points (equivalent to 10 USD). The points cannot exactly be converted to money but you can definitely avail these points as a discount for your next order. Interestingly, once you order reaches 50 USD, you can avail free shipping for future orders (provided that your order sums up to 50 USD after using your discount points).
The courier was registered under the standard registered airmail (I didn’t want to pay extra for tracking and all). India, unfortunately, doesn’t fall under one of those world zones where you can avail express mail delivery.
Here’s the photo of the order:
Evidently, my order was sent for processing and I had no email intimating me about its acceptance and shipment till April 6th. There was a short FAQ along with the mail that stated that the order will be delivered between 15-35 days from the time the order was placed, amongst other little queries that I don’t find relevant to this post.
After that, I got no more emails, and I was not able to track my package (because this is the standard registered airmail.
To my pleasant surprise, I received the courier in TEN days. If you count from April 5th, I received my courier on April 15th (New Year for my folks ^_^ ) a little after 12 noon. I had no idea that just because geographically India is closer to South Korea than most other countries of the world the delivery would be so quick!
The package came wrapped in a hot pink plastic wrapping with the Althea sticker on it. It was sealed so I knew that the Indian Customs had not tampered with it (phew!). The Althea box in lilac sat on my lap once I took off the plastic wrapping. On gently lifting the lid of the box, I was quite pleased to see that all my items were bubble wrapped and very well organized. There were lots of pastel pink kite paper squares scrunched up for extra padding and shock-proofing.
My products were not at all damaged and on opening them I was sure that none of them are fakes. Althea lived up to its promise and I have absolutely no complaints at all!