15 Days of Chinese New Year: Beauty Edition

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chinese New Year is almost upon us! All 15 days of Chinese New Year (plus an extra day if you count the Reunion Dinner) carry their own meaning and tradition, and I have compiled a list of products and tips to get you through these 15 days in style :)

Here's a little calendar that I put together myself, and listed below it are product descriptions and my reasons why I chose that particular product.

Reunion Dinner - Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream - Intense Hydration
This facial cream is absolute magic. It is intensely hydrating, and yet it manages to be so lightweight that I can barely feel it on my fingers when I scoop it out of the jar. This is one of Kiehl's latest launches (though the Ultra Facial Cream has been around for some time now, the Intense Hydration version is new), and I can see this fast becoming a favourite amongst Malaysians with oily and dry skins. This fluffy cream is perfect for the Malaysian humid weather, because it hydrates without weighing down or greasing up the skin. This was love at first touch for me, and I highly recommend using it to prep your skin before makeup as well as to add hydration throughout the CNY period and beyond.

Day 2 - Senka Perfect Cleansing Oil
Senka is quite well known for their foaming facial cleansers, but it is this cleansing oil that I really like from their range of products. The CNY period will be chock-full of (pore-clogging) long days, smoke (from all those darned firecrackers), and greasy food. Make sure none of that stays on your skin before you hit the hay by maintaining a double-cleansing routine - using an oil cleanser to remove dirt and makeup before following with a cream cleanser to finish the job. This particular oil cleanser is very effective, and washes away makeup much more quickly than some other oil cleansers I've tried. What's more - it is actually possible to use this in the shower when you have wet hands (with most cleansing oils, it is imperative that your hands and skin are dry when you apply them, otherwise they won't work). It leaves the skin soft and clean after.

Day 3 - Aupres Aqua Active Sleeping Mask EX
Traditionally, Day 3 of Chinese New Year is a day for staying home. The Chinese believe that receiving visitors on Day 3 is bad luck, and so this is the best time for you to pamper yourself and catch up on some beauty sleep. Slap on some Aupres Sleeping Mask to increase cell turnover and replenish your skin's moisture levels, which you most likely lost through common Chinese New Year activities. This increases the radiance and luminosity in your skin. This mask is hydrating and has a lovely relaxing baby-powder scent (it is marketed as lavender but doesn't really smell like lavender to me) so it helps you sleep. Perfect for days like this.

Day 5 - Hydrate your body!
You should always remember to drink plenty of water no matter what it is that you're doing, particularly since most of what makes Chinese New Year what it is, is the cookie-alcohol-gambling combination. Drink enough water to care for both your body and your skin's health.

Day 6 - China Glaze Ruby Pumps
Happy Chinese birthday, everyone! A South East Asian Chinese tradition is to 'lou sang' - which basically is everyone gathered round a table, tossing a 'Chinese salad' of sorts with their chopsticks. Make your hands stand out with my favourite red nail polish - China Glaze's Ruby Pumps. This is a gorgeous true red with tonnes of red glitter. It looks so beautiful on the nails, and the colour is perfect for ringing in the lunar new year!

Day 8 - Benefit Porefessional: Agent Zero Shine
Day 8 is when most people offer prayers late into the night, so keep your makeup looking fresh and matte with the Benefit Porefessional Powder, which reduces the appearance of your pores and keeps oiliness and shine at bay. Unlike other powders, this one absorbs oil beautifully, so when you re-apply it throughout the day, it still feels as if you just applied your makeup. The best thing about it is that it has a brush built in and can be used over makeup, so it's the perfect thing to toss into your purse for touch-ups throughout the day.

Day 9 - Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream
Give your skin a little rest from heavy coverage foundations with this hydrating BB cream from Shiseido. Why I like it? It gives great coverage (I would classify this as a medium coverage foundation), and goes easy on the skin with its oil-free texture, antioxidant ingredients, and UV protection. This reduces the appearance of pores, helps cover acne scars, evens out the skin tone, and gives the skin a lovely luminosity. Any extra imperfections on the skin can be covered with a little concealer and powder.

Day 11 - Shiseido Lacquer Rouge in Drama
These are the most fantabulous lipsticks in the world. Somewhere between a MAC cremesheen and the YSL Glossy Stain, this lipstick was inspired by Japanese laquerware, and provides a creamy, glossy, pigmented finish. Though creamy and glossy, this lipstick lasts forever on the lips, and barely needs touching up throughout the day. The colour 'Drama' is the perfect red for the Chinese New Year season, and the tiny wand applicator makes touching up on the go so easy and quick.

Day 13 - Simplicité Exfoliating Face Treatment
Day 13 is known as the day of cleanse, when the Chinese take a break from all the rich foods and drink herbal soup to cleanse their system. Take this opportunity to draw impurities from your face as well, using the Simplicité Exfoliating Face Treatment, which draws dirt and impurities towards the surface of your skin so that you can treat them. Follow with something like the Simplicité Waratah and Beetroot Plant Mask for a full-on treat for your skin.

Day 14 - Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage
The combination of food and lack of sleep is bound to cause a couple of break outs (unless you are blessed with perfect skin, of course), so I highly recommend the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer to hide them until they go away. The peachy-toned colour is perfect for under-eye circles, and by mixing the two colours together, you can custom-create a colour that is perfect for your skin tone, depending on which area of the face you need to cover. The texture of this is also perfect, because it is thick and pigmented enough that it will cover almost anything and won't budge once you apply a bit of powder to set it, yet light enough that it is easy to blend and won't cake on your skin.

Day 15 - TheBalm Mary Lou-Manizer
You all know I adore this highlighter, because it is so natural that it resembles a cream highlighter, but its powder form makes it so much easier and quicker to apply to your skin. The finish of this luminizer is one of the prettiest I have ever seen in a highlighting product, and even though I've gone through my fair share of highlighters, this has managed to stay at the top spot until now (this was one of my first ever highlighter purchases). Day 15 is a day of lanterns and fireworks, so use this highlighter to illuminate your best features - you will look gorgeous in that candlelight!

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