Ruth Griffin: Red alert - the limited edition products celebrating Chinese New Year
Products that celebrate Chinese New Year
For many of us, the new year is already a month old, but for over a billion people across the globe New Year's celebrations are just about to begin!
Starting on February 5 and lasting two weeks, Chinese New Year (also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year) is a massive festivity with many associated traditions including fireworks, family reunions, decorating with red lanterns and gifting presents and money (known as red envelopes) in order to welcome good luck and fortune for the year ahead.
There are 12 signs in the Chinese zodiac and, as opposed to representing the month in which someone was born, each of them is the symbol of an entire year. So, 2019 is the Year of the Pig. Anyone born in the years 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007 and 2019 is said to carry the characteristics of this animal - namely enthusiasm, good energy, gentleness, calm and patience. Those born in the Year of the Pig are also believed to enjoy good luck throughout their lives.
To mark the arrival of Chinese New Year, some of the leading beauty companies have produced limited-edition products, many featuring shades of lucky - and always stylish - red. Here, I've gathered together some of my top picks that you can use to create a strong look as well as, hopefully, some good luck in 2019.
Three ways to rock red
Red may be the colour of luck in China, but it's also a colour used to make a powerful beauty statement across the world. For a touch of glam in a jiffy, slick on a crimson nail.
Try: Vegan brand Ella & Mila's 'Wild About You' polish, €14.95, from skinfullaffairs.ie
There's a shade of red for everyone, but if you'd prefer to keep your look more understated try a scent that smells as sensual as its red bottle looks.
Try: Gucci Rush EDT, €78.50/50ml from Boots, pharmacies and department stores nationwide.
Red doesn't always have to feel fierce. Cheat your way to looking like you've just returned from a healthy outdoor hike, and add a rosy red blush to the cheeks, with a dab of Benetint.
Try: Benefit Benetint Lip and Cheek Colour, €12.50, Benefit stores and department stores nationwide.
Treat vs Cheat
Red is used all over China to decorate homes at New Year - why not try a slick of vibrant red lipstick too? Try Estée Lauder Pure Colour Envy Sculpting Lipstick, €32, from department stores and pharmacies nationwide.
A brilliant true red that will hopefully bring you good luck! MAC Lucky in Love lipstick, €20, from Arnotts, Brown Thomas, BT2 and The Loop.
Lancôme's L'Absolu Rouge Matte lipstick, €30, is now available in limited-edition packaging specially created to honour the festival. This is a true matte red and goes on like a dream - look for shades Poeme and Rouge Vintage. From Arnotts, department stores and pharmacies nationwide.
To celebrate the arrival of the Chinese New Year, check out Benefit's Happily Ever Laughter Kit, €32.50. It features mini sizes of the brand's Porefessional Pearl Primer, Dandelion Blusher and Ka-Brow! Eyebrow Cream-Gel Colour (in Shade '04'), all packaged in the cutest pig-shaped tin. This should keep anyone looking fresh and fabulous for 2019! From Arnotts, Brown Thomas, Boots and department stores nationwide.
In 1977, Yves Saint Laurent designed a gorgeous clothing line called the China Collection. He remained intrigued by the country all his life, writing: "Beijing remains a dazzling memory." For 2019, the YSL Touche Éclat Le Cushion Chinese New Year Foundation Compact, €52, draws on the patterns of that seminal YSL collection. Available exclusively from Brown Thomas, Dublin and online at brownthomas.com (in shade B10).
If you're fed up with all of your brushes and products getting muddled in a sea of black in the bottom of your make-up bag (why do so many products look exactly the same?) check out the MAC Lucky Red Powder Brush, €35. It's guaranteed to stand out and will hopefully also bring you good luck for 2019! Available from Arnotts.
Giorgio Armani Beauty marks the Chinese New Year with a limited-edition version of its Highlighting Face Palette, €75. The fortune symbol tops the red lacquered case, making it a talisman of luck and prosperity. The case contains a weightless, pressed powder with ultra-fine, subtle bronze and satin nude pearlisers. Just sweep the ultra-light powder over the cheekbones and eyelids for an instantaneous lift and glow. From Brown Thomas nationwide and brownthomas.com.
Lancôme's Advanced Génifique Serum, €100, is the brand's bestselling serum - and for good reason! It's a great all-rounder as it's universally suitable for all ethnicities, ages and every skin type, including dry, combination/normal and oily. It's currently available in a limited-edition version in lucky red packaging. From department stores nationwide.