The Chinese Lunar New Year festivities are upon us once again, with the Rooster cock-a-doodle-dooing its way in this year. It’s quite early this time around, coming hot on the heels of a brand new year and the year end festivities that ensued. I’m not even sure most of us (and our wallets) have recovered yet!
It is during the Chinese New Year that, as kids, we stood to make a little money LOL It’s tradition to give out lucky red packets (or what we call ‘ang pow’ or in Mandarin ‘hong bao’) with cash it in, for good luck. Chinese, luck, prosperity and money always go hand in hand LOL!
While most of us will be on the giving end, as opposed to the receiving end by now, I nevertheless thought I’d share with you 8 things you could spend your ang pow money on. Not all on once, naturally, but if you’re looking for a little treat to kick off the year, or to welcome in the Year of the Fire Rooster (or what I’d call Roast Chicken Year LOL! 😀 ) here are some personal favourites.
Some are new and coming soon, I got them as a preview, and some I’ve had a while, but are now available here. So, just quickly (because I don’t want to take you away from family time – or perhaps you relish this little time away eh? 😉 ) here are the 8 items I picked. Chinese like the number 8 ok – it’s lucky LOL! 😀
Chanel Plissé Lumière de Chanel Illuminating Powder – March 2017 (Price To be advised)
This is that highlighter powder you see in the top and it’s part of Chanel’s Le Blanc Makeup collection dropping in late February or early March 2017. I will publish more information on the collection closer to launch date, because it doesn’t make a lot of sense right now eh? Despite being from the Le Blanc (whitening) collection, the powder is a champagne gold that swatches quite strongly, but without a powdery feel.
If you’re into highlighters, this is one to pad your piggy bank up for, because it’s (a) pretty – I like the simple geometric design and (b) it’s likely to be pricey. I don’t have the price just yet, but expect it to retail at about RM230 or thereabouts, as it usually does. There will also be other tweed blushes (Pretty but I find them a bit too shimmery to merit mention here) and eyeshadow palettes that are beautiful neutrals. Watch out for this one – I think it’ll be a winner!
IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream – RM170 | US$38
I purchased this one through a friend who was visiting the USA before it was available here in Malaysia. You can now purchase it at Sephora. I will have a proper review on this to come, but this CC Cream is one of my favourite face bases. It offers sufficient coverage (not full coverage) with a very natural look, and I like to use a thinner layer, and then a bit of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder over it. It gives me a nice, natural, no-makeup base. Skintone is evened out, there is medium coverage that you can layer and it feels very comfortable on skin. The problem might be shade selection. I wear this in Fair, the lightest shade available and I fear that might be a touch deep for those who are very pale.
Shiseido Ibuki Smart Filtering Smoother – RM140 | US$23 for 20ml
This one’s actually kind of a weird product. I attended their launch and it’s one of those things that aren’t necessary, but that helps you look that extra bit better. I was truly sceptical (am I anything else?!) This is one of those products that straddle the makeup-skincare divide, as it claims to blur imperfections but contains some skincare benefits.
What you do is to dab it on AFTER you have applied all your makeup only on the areas where there is shine or visible pores. It gives that “filtered effect” so sought after in selfies 😛 While I’ll tell you it did nothing about pores for me, it does control shine and that’s what made me pause. I’d tested some on my nose and cheek area on my face during the event in the morning. That evening, when I was removing my makeup, I noticed how “refined” the skin looked on my nose and cheek area. It works, but it’s purely cosmetic LOL! For that vain little girl in you who doesn’t want her face to shine like an oily pan in the sun 😀
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Year of the Rooster Red Limited Edition bottle – RM400 | US$95 for 50ml
In 2016, Estee Lauder celebrated the Year of the Monkey with a limited edition golden bottle of their bestselling Advanced Night Repair serum. For 2017, in the Year of the Rooster, they’ve released the famed ANR in a metallic red bottle. They’re beautiful, really and if you’re a user of the serum, it’s a collector piece.
But that price has floored me. Seriously, I am floored! If you’re wondering, I do still use this serum. I usually buy at duty free if I travel, where they sell 100ml bottles or twin-packs. It hurts the wallet but I get better value for money 😉
Clarins Energy Booster Serum – RM190 | US$39 for 15ml
I’ve been using this Clarins Booster Serum off and on since I returned from Paris last July, and I’ve enjoyed it very much. It’s only been made available here in Malaysia in January 2017 and there are 3 Booster Serums – Energy (Orange), Detox (Green) and Repair (Purple). I have the Detox one as well but I’m not sold on that one because I don’t seem to see any results.
But when I use the Energy Booster Serum, I do notice that my skin seems brighter and less tired. You drop just 3 drops into your moisturiser or mask and apply to skin as normal. Clarins doesn’t advise using it on its own. Yes, a proper review will come (I’m backlogged la so this is my way of getting things out for those who want the TL;DR version 😛 ) but I’m very happy with the Energy Booster Serum. I want to try the Repair Booster Serum (Old skin needs repair! LOL!) so I’d likely pick up a bottle myself. I like this one, and because you just add it to your moisturiser, you don’t even need an extra step – for you lazy ones 😉
Bowerhaus Necklaces – prices vary
I don’t accessorize much, but I’m making an effort to jazz my outfits up a bit more these days because I wear a lot of plain colours or black. Pearls are something I go for, and I’ve been padding my jewellery collection with items from Bowerhaus. The brand is actually Malaysian and based in Malaysia (Kuching, Sarawak), but their designs are fun, lively and I’d have to say, tasteful. They suit my tastes and while some items can be pricey, you can also find some more affordable items. But if you’re anything like me, you’d shop them when they go on sale 😉
If you enjoy fun, tasteful jewellery made around freshwater pearls, they are a good place to start (ships internationally) and absolutely worth spending your ang pow money on. They do have a store in Publika and a kiosk at The Gardens, MidValley Megamall for those who’d rather see and touch products before buying, but I can vouch for their online customer service. A purchase of mine recently arrived damaged and when I wrote in with a picture, they immediately sent out a new item, with a little token for the trouble, and a discount code for my next order! Damn, that means I have to go place another order, don’t I?! 😛
Diptyque Rosa Mundi x A Paris chez Antoinette Poisson scented candle – RM295 | US$68 for 190g
For Valentine’s Day (yes, we’re going there 😛 ) Diptyque collaborated with Antoinette Poisson, a creator of domino paper. The candle jar is wrapped with floral printed paper exclusively designed and limited edition. The scent is that of roses – Damascena (Damask Rose) and Centifolia (May Rose) and is a beautifully fresh yet heady scent. As a room scent, it’s beautiful and romantic and feminine.
Rosa Mundi is a scent that embodies everything pink and rosy and love-filled about Valentine’s Day. Even if you don’t burn the candle, the scent wafts through the room, so you catch nuances of it as you walk past. In a small room, it even acts as a room scent – yes it’s quite strong!
Diorblush Colour Gradation 001 Pink Shift – RM210 (To be confirmed) | US$45.50
I may have been a little harsh on Dior in recent times, but this Diorblush Colour Gradation blush has stabilized them a little in my eyes 🙂 The problem is that this particular blush is a limited edition piece, and part of the Dior Makeup Spring 2017 collection.
If you love pink blushes, or want to own a pink blush, or can’t seem to find a pink blush that’s right, I urge you to take a look at Pink Shift. The reason I say so is because the blush has a light-medium-deep pink gradation, as the name implies, that allows you to brush on colour just how you like it. I do want to show it to you better, which I will, complete with swatches etc, but I only just got this and wanted to get it out here so you don’t miss out. It’s very pretty, both to look at, and to use. I’m a blush fiend, I know these things LOL! 😉
Are you eyeing anything from this list? Did I just help you spend your ang pow money? LOL
More detailed reviews will come soon, with swatches and ingredient lists etc. But it’ll be interesting to know if these sort of posts are useful? Perhaps for you to get an idea of what’s out there? I only picked the interesting/pretty/good stuff – those I didn’t mention, well, they are either not interesting/not pretty/not good or already bblogged about before this LOL 😀 To everyone celebrating, I wish you a wonderful celebration with lots of good food, fun and laughter and to everyone else, enjoy the festive holidays. I’ll be back in a week! 🙂
18 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
I’m trying to get a pink blush but am overwhelmed by what’s available in the market. I look forward to review on the Dior blush. Also if you have a recommendation for me that would be great too.
Paris B says
Hi Lyla, I did review the blush here, I hope you caught it! I also featured some other pink blushes here although some may no longer be available. Every brand has a pink blush usually. It depends a lot on your budget and the type of texture you prefer. I personally like blushes from Dior, Shiseido, Lunasol and Bobbi Brown. If you like, you can also look to Chanel Joues Contraste blushes, where there are some pretty pink shades available too. There’s a lot out there, I realise, so just go with a brand you have an affinity for and whittle it down from there 🙂
I was surprised with the new ANR price too! I didn’t know until I was writing about the red bottle. I usually pick mine up from their sale event and this year’s sale event was held one/two weeks ago and I didn’t know about it LOL, until one guy PM-ed me on Instagram.
I’m still trying to see if Energy Booster did anything for my skin.
Paris B says
The ANR price totally shocked me! I still remember when it was about RM180 and I complained. I’d never complain again! LOL! With Energy Booster I find that you really have to have tired skin to see results. If my skin is fine, it doesn’t really show anything. But during stressful times, I at least look alive LOL!
Enjoyed this post a lot! I do look forward to reading your full reviews! I am most tempted by the Shiseido Ibuki product as I’ve never come across good oil control and I’m too lazy for powder/blotting. The Clarins product sounds nice too, but I am going through a big sample phase so I’ll wait till I’m done with that first.
Paris B says
That Ibuki product is so strange, yet strangely does work! It isn’t necessarily oil control, just kind of gives a blurring effect on skin, like a filter. It’s weird but I suppose useful for those who do turn oily now and then ha!
I wanted to restock on my ANR but I saw the price increase and my jaw dropped. I love it though so I know I’ll still buy it … But when Aeon has the voucher promo. They sometimes give RM20 for every RM100 purchase so that’s 20% saved!
Paris B says
I’m the same and yes, I find ways to “save” a little as well. Just have to shift funds away from other frivolities!
I don’t know PB…these products did not excite me at all! I did a huge purge of the house this past Christmas and love the result of having less and everything being more streamlined. I may be going through a transformation of sorts as I have been in Sephora so many times over the holidays but came out with nothing – not one thing. I feel sort of been there-done that and frankly last years’ Christmas offerings at Sephora were yawn-worthy. I had a thought about what I wanted this year to be for me and some of my thoughts were around, keeping physical things to a minimum, less frivolous purchases this year and use up whatever makeup I have – shopping in my own drawers to find stuff that I do not use often and start making use of them. We’ll see how it goes eh!
Paris B says
Think of it this way, JackieA, you’re in a happy place with what you have! 😀 I know how you feel about walking into sephora though. I often walk in there, but find nothing excites me. When you’ve been immersed long enough in the beauty world, few things will. But every now and again, I find myself interested in some different aspect of makeup or skincare and that keeps me interested again. Oh and shopping in your stash is often so rewarding! I’ve been doing the same recently, making an effort to use products I haven’t reached for in a while, and it’s so much fun rediscovering them!
The cc cream sounds nice! Speaking about the Hourglass Ambient Powder, I have that too and use the same Lunasol brush as you. The brush doesn’t seem to be picking up much powder? I don’t quite know how much is too much or little to use. ^^; Any advice?
Paris B says
Hey Rin, with the Ambient Lighting powder, it depends on the effect you’re going for. I don’t usually like picking up too much powder, because I feel it can look cakey. So I just dust whatever I can pick up on my skin, go over the parts I feel I need more of and be done with it. If you prefer a little more coverage, or pick up more product, swirl the brush a few times in the powder before applying. that way, it’ll pick up more product. Or if you like, use a brush that’s more dense. The Lunasol brush is very floppy I find. good for sheer application, not so if you want more product 🙂
My skin broke out on the eve of new year with 5 pimples at one go leaving my face with those brown pimple marks. Sigh. I think it was due to all those sugar and chocolate over Christmas. I recently re-visited my ANR which I had forgotten about it for sometime and using it over the last 2 weeks has somehow calm down my skin. So I am pretty interested to buy a new bottle since 1 bottle can last me at least 3/4 of the year as I alternate it with other skincare products at night. But I got a shock when I saw the price of a 50 ml bottle on Fiona’s blog – I remembered that it was RM350 just a shortwhile ago. Looks like I will have to either use departmental store vouchers or buy it during Sephora sales as I cannot imagine paying that much for a serum no matter how much I crave for it 🙁
For the Clarins Energy Booster Serum, do you use it at night or day time?
Gong Xi Fa Cai Paris 🙂
Paris B says
Ah the price of overindulgence! >.< But glad to know you still find that the ANR helps. I too wait for discounts (e.g. Sephora) or see if I can find it online for less (very hard these days with our weakening RM). As for the Clarins Energy Booster serum I use it both day and night. Initially, for a couple of weeks then I realised that it actually works best if I really need some perking up of my skin otherwise I don't notice much difference.
I’ve used the It CC for more than two years. It is my daily foundation, although I’ve recently begun to occasionally use the Laneige anti-aging cushion in C11, which is the cool version in the lightest shade.
Back to the It CC. I use fair, the lightest shade, and it’s a really good match for me, but it is pinkish rather than neutral or yellow. Do you find that the lightest pink is darker than the lightest yellow? That may be why it’s too dark for you, because I am porcelain pale.
Anyway, for me it’s full coverage, and the reason I wanted to find another SPF 50 was because I think it’s pretty heavy to wear daily. So my reaction is different than yours.
Paris B says
Hi Laurie, glad to know you like the CC Cream too. I use Fair, which suits my skintone. However, I did note that the next jump up is quite significant, so those who may not be able to see the shades in person may be met by a rude surprise. I only use a thin layer, as it functions as makeup for me. I always use a separate sunscreen 🙂
I heard the IT cosmetics is really great.
Unfortunately, it’s not available in Canada yet? Or only certain other websites have them. I’d want to test it out in person first.
It appeals to me that it’s thin and offers natural coverage, cause I don’t like makeup that’s obvious? I’m all for the natural look.
Paris B says
Oh? I didn’t realise IT Cosmetics wasn’t available in Canada! I had the impression it was already all the rage in N. America haha! But yes it’s absolutely worth checking out if you get the chance to – I love it!