I have said that I do not want to be that blogger who pushes gift guides in your face. But I suppose I do, once a year, come the Lunar (Chinese) New Year.
However, it’s not conventionally a gift guide per se, as we don’t usually practice gifting of this nature at this time of year. So, it’s not a guide on what you can buy for others. Instead, it’s a gift guide for yourself – an idea on what beauty related items you could save your “ang pow” (lucky red packet) money to treat yourself :D
That’s really the best part about the Chinese New Year isn’t it? Sure, it can feel like a hassle sometimes, and we are always pressed to look our best during the festivities, but “ang pow” makes everything a wee bit better. Those of us receiving it anyway! LOL! :D I know many people who read this are now at the giving end, rather than the receiving end, but there are always little windfalls that come by now and again – so consider this your “gift guide” to yourself ;)
So here are 8 items I think are absolutely worth saving your “ang pow” money for, and why I say so :)
Ikea RÅSKOG trolley – RM149 | US$29.99
The Ikea Raskog trolley is the stuff of legends. It’s one of those items from Ikea that are now timeless, and the ubiquitous mint green trolley is now found in many homes across the world. I held out for a while, because it started out a little pricey, and I wasn’t into the bright mint green.
Then a couple of years back, they dropped the price, and expanded the colour selection, and goodness me, I’ve never looked back! :P
There are many uses for it – a cart for your craft work, for your kids’ toys or books, for your beauty products, to hold your snacks, to act as extra storage space in the kitchen… or to create a mobile landing strip for your home! The possibilities are endless!
Best of all, Ikea Malaysia has put the Raskog trolley on an attractive sale price of RM119 until mid-March 2019, so don’t say I didn’t tell you about this deal! Guess who has already bought yet another? :P
WHERE TO BUY: Ikea stores or online
Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer – RM353 | US$95
The Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer is a little secret I’ve been keeping to myself for a few years :P Hey, I can’t share EVERYTHING right? Right?! :P
You may have come across this geometrically designed powder, which operates rather like a highlighter/finishing powder. It pains me to say this, but the pressed powder formula surpasses that of the Guerlain Meteorites compact powder (pressed powder). I have one of that, and I must say I’m quite disappointed with it. If you’re thinking of buying the famed Meteorites, stick to the loose pearls (and read my Meteorites guide!)
While it is easiest to think of this powder as a highlighter, I find that the shimmer is so fine that it does not show up on your skin. As counter-intuitive as that sounds, you do not want shimmer to show on your skin. You just want your skin to look like it’s gently glowing from within in the most natural way.
And that’s what the Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer does. It is more noticeable on skin as compared to the Meteorites, but with a very large fluffy brush, I’ve managed to dust it all over without looking like a sparkly disco ball. It seriously gives the Guerlain Meteorites a run for its money, and that is something I do not say lightly!
I’ll endeavour to bring you a more complete review in time to come. It comes in a few shades, and there’s a new addition, No. 18 that you see in the picture. No. 18 is described as orange-pink, and softly brightens the complexion. The shimmer on top is overspray. Brush it off (highly recommended!) and the powder underneath is far more wearable.
Diptyque Damascena Rose Candle – RM329 | US$72
This is the only limited edition product I’m featuring here, and with good reason. I suggest that you read all about the limited edition Diptyque Roses collection here.
The Diptyque Damascena rose candle is not only beautiful to look at and festival appropriate with the cheery pink and orange colour, it also smells beautiful. The scent is strong and heady, and when burnt fills the room beautifully.
I have mine on my sideboard, in its box, unburnt, and even then, as I walk past, I catch a whiff of the powdery, sweet rose scent. It makes me smile, and trust me, it’ll last longer, and you’ll appreciate it better than a bunch of roses :P
I’m still deciding if I should get the Centifolia rose candle…. thoughts? :P
Sulwhasoo Concentrated Renewing Ginseng Cream EX – RM750 | US$240 for 60ml
I can just hear the wails of protest from here :P OK, this one’s reserved for when you meet a generous aunt or uncle, who gives you a nice fat “ang pow”. Squirrel it away, and put it towards a jar of this Sulwhasoo ginseng cream :P
You can read all about why I love this cream so much, but I will also be the first to admit that this isn’t the most affordable cream, nor the most sustainable in the long-run.
But I’ll be damned if I don’t recommend it at some point, because I’d hate for anyone to miss out on trying it. Don’t go into debt for it – it’s just skincare. But if the opportunity arises, try it and let me know how you love it ;)
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick – RM208 | US$46
I bought this Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick a while ago, and it’s one of those products that I keep meaning to tell you about, but keep putting on the side.
I will still do a more indepth review about it one day, but it has been out for a while and I’m quite sure you can find any number of reviews about it already. So, I thought I’d mention it here so at least you know I love it LOL! :D
I do realize that a liquid version is now out, and because foundation is my crack, I am curious to try it. But I’m told the shades can be tricky, so I will have to get myself colour-matched in store first.
Why I like this foundation stick is because of the creamy texture, the coverage (you only need very little), and how it sits on the skin. I find that it works very well for my drier skin type, and looks very natural on.
While it isn’t as stunning as the By Terry Nude Expert Duo Foundation Stick (which I should have included here, on hindsight) it is less glowy. The potential to overdo the glow with the By Terry is high. With this, you don’t have that problem, but you do have to watch out as well, because coverage is high.
Instead of swiping a stripe on my face, as I usually do with stick foundations, with this Hourglass Vanish stick, I just dab it on. A few dabs on my face, and then I blend it out with a brush or with fingers. But a brush is quicker.
It also comes in quite a wide shade selection, so I anticipate that most of us will be able to find our shade. I wear Porcelain which, much to my surprise, isn’t the lightest shade as I usually wear, so that tells you that the shade selection is quite impressive. But that also means that you can’t just eye-ball it. You do have to test it in person for the best match.
I like the finish, the coverage (which I can adjust) and if you really want an all-in-one product, you can even use this as concealer. So you can keep this in your makeup pouch, and use it for touch-ups quite easily. I enjoy using it very much indeed! :)
Bowerhaus Lucky Earrings Forest Green – RM142
I’ve mentioned Bowerhaus a few times before. They’re a brand of costume jewellery with designs that fit my style, as many of their designs incorporate pearls, which I enjoy wearing. They are based in Kuching, Sarawak so are a proudly Malaysian brand, and ship worldwide.
The Bowerhaus Lucky Earrings come in different design combinations (a selection from the range is here). I picked up the Forest Green one, with the mother-of-pearl clove charm, and green agate, because I loved the vibrant green. Turns out, it looks a bit like jade! Just much cheaper LOL! :D
I’ve been told their pieces are a little pricey, and some are, I’d agree. So I usually wait till they run a sale, then pick up a couple of choice pieces. Shop smart y’all! ;)
WHERE TO BUY: Bowerhaus online or at the Playground Borneo store at Publika and The Gardens
Gabrielle Chanel Shower Gel – RM179 | US$55
Late last year, a year after the launch of Chanel’s first new fragrance in 15 years, Gabrielle, Chanel released a range of Gabrielle Chanel scented toiletries.
I’d told you before how much I enjoy using perfume scented shower gels or body washes, because it allows you to enjoy a little bit of luxury for less :)
If you feel splurging on a bottle of perfume might be too much, then a slightly more affordable alternative is its complementary shower gel. If you want the scent of your perfume to linger longer, use the shower gel, then top up with the matching body lotion before spritzing on the perfume. I personally find it a little strong, but many people enjoy this layering experience.
I enjoy using the Gabrielle Chanel Shower Gel, because I happen to enjoy the Gabrielle scent. In a shower gel, I find the floral scent easier on the nose, and almost a little more mellow and it lingers a little, so I sport a little waft of scent, even without spraying any on!
If you are thinking of spending your “ang pow” money on something a little fun, a little frivolous, and something that will spark joy (yes, I managed to work in that phrase of the year! :D ) then you should absolutely consider this one.
WHERE TO BUY: Chanel beauty boutique and counters
Three Daringly Distinct Lipstick – RM165
I’m not so easily blown away, but when I tried the Three Daringly Distinct lipsticks, I was. I’ve talked about them in great detail, together with the Daringly Demure range, and also featured swatches of all 18 colours here.
I picked the Three Daringly Distinct lipstick over the Daringly Demure lipstick, because of the vivid, bold colour, the soft matte texture that does not dry my lips, and the longevity. I am most blown away by the pigment and colour vibrancy, because it’s been a while since I came across a lipstick like this, that doesn’t turn my lips into that of an old crone :P
I also picked these, because of the beautiful reds they have in their range. Out of 9 shades they have, I’m quite quite sure there’ll be one you can comfortably wear! :D
They are a little pricey, when benchmarked against other brands, which is why I say these are a treat and something you should consider saving “ang pow” money for ;)
Have you already got your eye on anything featured here? Anything else you think deserves a mention?
And with this, I take my annual Chinese New Year break to welcome in the Year of the Boar (or Pig – cos Pig sounds cuter :P ) If you celebrate the festival, I wish you and your family luck, prosperity and joy and may your piggy bank always be full :D
If you don’t celebrate, but are enjoying the long break here in Malaysia, then enjoy the break, travel safe and may your piggy bank also always be full! ;)
Gong Xi Fa Cai!