This post is brought to you in part by Nespresso Malaysia. All views and opinions are my own.
Just when we thought that the year-end festivities are over, done and dusted, the dragons of Asia swing their heavy heads around and let out a little cough of laughter. Over? It’s only just beginning!
With Spring just around the corner, we are all looking forward to celebrating the Lunar New Year aka Chinese New Year (on 5 February 2019 this year); the symbolic start to the year for many of Chinese descent.
As everyone celebrating will be aware, the Lunar New Year is a time for family, feasting, festivities and frazzled nerves LOL! 😀 Here in Malaysia, it is a time when we open our doors to family and friends to visit and late nights are inevitable.
In fact, on the eve of Chinese New Year (which is the most important day of all) when we have the Reunion Dinner to reunite family members from near and far, we are all encouraged to stay up late to ring in the new year. Yes, even the little ones. Especially the little ones, because it is believed that it will bring longevity to their parents – Chinese are very symbolic, but really, I think it’s just because parents can’t be bothered to tuck their excited little ones in bed 😛
So, with all this going on, you can expect to look a little wan and tired during the coming Chinese New Year festivities – 15 days! – but here’s some tips for you on how to survive this, and look your best while doing so!
Do note that these tips are useful to bear in mind for ALL festivities, not only for Chinese New Year! 😀
Do a face mask every night
When you go home for Chinese New Year this year, remember to pack a selection of sheet masks – 1 for each night. While I prefer using a wash-off mask at the best of times, a sheet mask is most useful for this purpose.
Be sure to bring a mask that you’ve used before – you don’t want a last minute allergic reaction – and pick something that is hydrating. For added comfort, keep it in the fridge for a few minutes before using.
Each night, seek out half an hour of some alone-time, slap on a mask, and tune out the noise. Not only will your stressed, tired skin thank you for it, your frazzled nerves will as well! Be the envy of your relatives, as you smile at them the next day, and put forward plumped, hydrated, glowing skin 😉
Wear a bright lipstick
Red, being a prosperous colour, will be all around so why not wear it on your lips too! Or, if red lipstick isn’t quite your thing, pick a bright colour.
Skip the pale nudes and pale pinks that wash you out and make you look wan and tired. You already are, you don’t have to look it! So, pick out a bright lipstick that brightens your complexion.
If a bright lipstick isn’t something you’d normally wear, consider a bright lip gloss over your usual lipstick. This adds shine and a hint of brilliant colour, to perk up your complexion.
Many Chinese New Year activities happen in the day time, like visiting friends and relatives, so save your smokey eye makeup, go with something light, fresh and neutral, to dazzle with your bright lip. It goes very well with a cheongsam too! 😉 But see tip #5 below LOL!
Wear light longwearing base makeup
It is a known fact that Chinese New Year weather here in Malaysia is very very hot and very very dry. The temptation therefore is to put on thick or drying longwearing foundation, concealer and powder, in the hopes that it will last you through the day.
Here’s a tip for you : Skip all that.
Instead, go with a sheer, lightweight base that is longwearing. If you want something full coverage, go with a full coverage foundation that is light in texture (good options are the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation and the Bobbi Brown Skin Long-wear Weightless Foundation), but apply a thin layer.
The trick to having your foundation last is not troweling on a thick base of drying long-lasting or longwearing foundation and then hoping for the best. It is in applying thin layers, where you need it.
Remember that concealer is your friend, so use concealer where you need it more, such as the undereye area or on blemishes. Blend it out with a brush for a more diffused effect.
Apply a light dusting of powder, to help set your base. Keep every layer thin and light. Then, set your makeup with a mist. Not only does it freshen your skin, it helps the powders and creams meld together and look more natural.
Not only will thin layers of makeup feel more comfortable, it will look less cakey and powdery, which in turn makes you look better. Under bright, harsh sunlight, this is not the time to cake on your makeup in the style preferred by your favourite YouTube guru ok? Be practical 😛
Fuel up with Nespresso coffee
Late nights, early mornings and busy days will have you wilting faster than a picked flower. You can fake it and look fresh as a daisy on the outside, but you could be a mess inside.
So, there’s nothing for it – caffeine to the rescue! 😀
You could trouble Mom to boil up water and make some traditional kopi-O or you could save her the hassle (and avoid trouble for messing up her kitchen and giving her more work to do) by popping in a Nespresso capsule into that sleek brand new Nespresso Essenza Mini machine you just brought home 😉
It’s so slim, it barely takes up any space at all, so Mom won’t scream at you for cluttering up her kitchen (and you can even pop it in the living room if you like!).
For the morning, when you need to stay awake, make a strong cup of espresso and in the afternoon, when you want something more mellow, use the Aeroccinoto froth some milk to make your own latte and cappuccino 😀 I had fun playing, I can tell you.
For the Lunar New Year Nespresso has some auspicious offers for their machines and bundles:
- Inissia: MYR 88 off and get MYR 88 Coffee Credit
- Essenza Mini: MYR 88 off and get MYR 88 Coffee Credit
- Inissia Bundle (With Aeroccino): MYR188 off and get MYR88 Coffee Credit
- Essenza Mini bundle (With Aeroccino): MYR188 off and get MYR88 Coffee Credit
- Lattissima One: MYR 288 off and get MYR88 Coffee Credit
- For every purchase: Receive an ang pau pack
RM88 Coffee Credit nets you approximately 4 sleeves of capsules, depending on the flavour you pick. Or you could opt for the Lunar New Year 8 Sleeve Assortment. Go to the Nespresso Chinese New Year Special to shop these deals and more!
Mom might even appreciate a cuppa as well, to fuel her up in the middle of cooking the reunion feast 🙂
If you don’t intend to bring this home, but want to enjoy a cuppa after returning to the relative calm of your own home, then be secure in the knowledge that you’d have a fancy machine and coffee waiting for you when you get back, to calm your post-nosy relatives nerves and to fuel you up through the post-CNY working week! 😀 If you need more reasons why I love my Nespresso machine, you can read this post! 😉
Dress for comfort
This one’s a bit thorny I know LOL! 😛
For some reason, Chinese New Year is the one festival in the year when we see Chinoiserie pop up in the most gaudy of ways. High mandarin collars and frog buttons are incorporated into all sorts of fashion, red and floral prints are in abundance, and let’s not forget the most unforgiving of traditional dress – the cheongsam!
I’m not built to wear the cheongsam, so I never have. I still haven’t found my new clothes for Chinese New Year (it’s one tradition I maintain that gives me an excuse to buy something new, red and bright LOL! 😀 ) but I have one important tip for you to look good this Chinese New Year.
Dress for comfort.
If you have to shoehorn yourself into the cheongsam or qipao, skip it. If that high mandarin collar digs into your neck, skip it. If your outfit clings to the most unfortunate of places (and believe me, old Aunties will always notice) skip it.
We already have to battle weather, frayed nerves, noise and “family-friendly” criticism – the last thing you need is to feel uncomfortable in your outfit!
So this year, I’m going to go with something loose, preferably in cotton, and with a comfortable neckline. Comfort over fashion I say! It just has to be bright, and red to remain auspicious 😀
How do you plan to look your best for the coming Chinese New Year festivities, or how do you cope during festive seasons?
Do share your tips. We can always learn a new trick or two!
20 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Gong hei fat choy my friend! You look incredible in that red lipstick! And I’d like to say your rec for doing a sheet mask every night is spot on. People make fun of me for this but I swear it helps ease dullness and keep my complexion looking bright and fresh! Excellent tips in this post 🙂
Paris B says
Thank you Iz! I don’t really know what the fuss is about putting on a mask – I swear it’s the easiest skincare step of all – leave it on and forget about it till it’s time to remove! And it does so much not only for our skin but for our mental well-being too. It’s hard to stay stressed when your skin is going “Ahh… I’m all plumped and relaxed and cool… ahh….” 😀 Happy to know that you do it too! We can be both weird together 😀
I’m one of those who are too lazy to put on mask. Maybe I’ll share my perspective. 🙂
I can’t eat, drink, talk or smile when I’m masking. And I don’t like dripping and cold stuff generally. I know I’m supposed to relax, but I cannot commit myself to 20 minutes of relaxation. Sad life. Ha ha.
Ah well, it’s my latest ‘mission’ to empty some of my older masks. They are expiring. I’ll heed your advice and finish them up by CNY. LOL!
Paris B says
Oh I perfectly understand! Usually when I have a mask on, that’s my TV time 😀 It’s easy to just lie back and chill and watch some mindless TV so it’s also a good time to relax 🙂
I should watch more TV. 🙂
haha! Weird is a good thing though right? 😉 and being skincare weird is even better!
Paris B says
Amen to that!
Tip #1 – I do bring sheet masks every time I go back during festive holidays but somehow those stuck in my luggage the whole period lol. But put them in fridge for more comfort? Doesn’t your face will feel uncomfortably cold? Oh nooooo!
Tip 2: Totally agree! Not just on dull skin day but when you are in rush to visit relatives and have just enough time to apply lipstick only LOL. Bright colour like the sexy red or cheerful pink are must-have!
Tip 3: I guess anything lightweight whether in foundation formula or BB Cream are preferrrrrable as damn, why the heck festive time feel hotter and sweatier!
Tip #4: Skip. Coffee makes me sleepy haha.
Tip 5: Wear something you feel comfortable and beautiful not because it’s latest trend :D. I’m lucky that I follow my own style and I like wearing what my mom sewn for me which are loose (not baggy) and pretty.
Paris B says
Haha Don’t put your masks in your luggage – put it in your skincare bag! It’s part of your skincare after all. And yes, putting in the fridge does shock the skin a little, but it feels amazing after that. It warms up quite quickly. Our bodies are like thermal springs LOL! Skin always looks amazing after! And I can’t believe coffee makes you sleepy! My goodness! I used to be like that… oh when I was A LOT YOUNGER! LOL! 😀 Back then, I could have a cup at night, and go straight to bed. Now, I just have one a day, first thing in the morning and that’s it!
CNY sounds like quite a lot of work, from spring cleaning to looking pretty and eating too much unhealthy snacks. The coffee bit sounds like the best reward. So addicted to good coffee! 🙂
Yeah, and talking about the hot hot weather…sigh. Reminded me of my childhood days when we had to visit like close to 10 households in a day and perspired like crazy.
Think I may be in your country this CNY. 🙂
Paris B says
Actually, it is quite a lot of work, especially the spring-cleaning! LOL! Especially for those who have to travel back to their hometowns (like me!) I think the real fun is in the smaller towns anyway, where many cultural traditions are still maintained. In the city, it’s all become rather impersonal and “just another holiday” so we lose a lot of the cultural aspects. These days, we don’t visit many (or any!) people so it’s a lot less stressful now. I can just loll about at home in my home-clothes, after the requisite new outfit in the morning, for the family photo haha! 😀 Be sure to come in early! I forsee traffic jams coming in!
I no longer do spring cleaning. I split them up and do multiple mini-clean up every couple of months. It makes life easier. 🙂 The older I get, the smarter (lazier) I become. 😛
Do you have any small towns to recommend? I’m game to explore, although I’ve already booked accommodation for this year. Can visit the small towns in time to come. We are getting so bored in the little red dot and I need travel/getaway inspiration. Ha Ha.
Yes, seems like nowadays, we don’t have to visit that many households. People in the past used to have many siblings. Now only one or two. 🙂
Hmm…can’t wait to see you in your home clothes…lol! Noted on the traffic. Thanks.
Paris B says
LOL good on you for splitting up the cleaning job. I do the same, except that one of the times I schedule it for is usually the end of the year, when things are quieter, and it inevitably spills over to just before the new year 😀 To be honest, for a tourist, most small towns won’t pose much of an interest as there won’t be much to see or do in most of them. I notice that you’ve explored Malacca quite extensively. Perhaps you can go a little further north to Ipoh, well known for its food and little quirky parts of town. It’s not a small town, but it’s a more traditional town with a very long history, and I think you might find it interesting. Otherwise, the East Coast has many lovely little towns too, and beaches.
Thank you for the travel inspiration. Will check out on Ipoh. 🙂
ML Chow says
#5 is the best tip of all!
It’s commonsense. Comfortable = Confidence.
Everything else is just fluff.
Paris B says
Amen!! I’ve gone through the wearing uncomfortable but pretty clothes phase, and it really is no joke! Thankfully, I’m now old and confident enough to say sod it! Back then, I was still too much of a sheep, following the herd haha!
And for general well being, drink lots of water! There’s gonna lots of can and box drinks which will be served at house visits. Also cny is hot hot hot + all the yummy snacks + mandarins are very yit hei so drink more water! Hehe
Paris B says
Oh yes! The temptation to drink all the fizzy, sugary drinks will be there, so this reminder is timely! We don’t buy any for our house, so in that sense, we’re safe. We usually boil up red date tea and serve that instead to guests (don’t get many thankfully! LOL! )
Where did you get the jade bangle? It’s very greennnnnnn!
Paris B says
It was left to me by my late grandmother 🙂 I’m not sure where she bought it.