Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Chinese New Year 2015 Beauty Buys

A new moon on Thursday February 19th marks the beginning of Chinese New Year. Although celebrations will probably take place over this weekend. Each year is named after one of the animals in the Chinese Zodiac calender and this year it is the Year Of the Goat (also known as Ram/Sheep). Those people born in the years 1955 (between 24th Jan 1955-11th Feb 1956) 1967 (9th Feb 1967- 29th Jan 1968) 1979 (28th Jan 1979-15th Feb 1980)  1991 (15th Feb 1991-3rd Feb 1992) are born under the sign of the goat, and are in good company with Nicole Kidman, Claire Danes and Julia Roberts born in these years. Characteristics held by those born in the year of the goat are that they're polite, calm, artistic and creative, dreamy, romantic, charming and can be worriers and sometimes vain! To discover what 'animal' you are see here.

Being half Chinese I often celebrate Chinese New Year, as a child I celebrated with my family and now I'm older with friends (who aren't Chinese but are happy to celebrate with me.)  Living
in London I often go to China town Soho to see the streets decorated, get deafened by the firecrackers (yes the Chinese invented gunpowder) and watch the Lion dance procession. This is a dance where two people (from martial art schools/Chinese guilds) are inside a costume of lion (think of a long flexible pantomime horse) the lion has to pluck the greens/lettuce hung on a pole outside one of the shops. The greens are tied together with a red envelope containing money and sometimes oranges.The "lion" will dance and approach the "greens" and "red envelope" like a curious cat, "eat the green" then "spit" it out and keep the "red envelope" which is the reward for the lion troupe. The lion dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune to the shop. Afterwards I'd have a meal with friends and family. This year I will probably just stay in with my mum and get a Chinese takeaway. Red envelopes containing money are often given to unmarried members of the family as a good luck present.

London- Soho-Chinatown UK

Chinese New Year is also an opportunity for all you make up fans out there to pick up pretty limited edition products. Although this year it seems luxury brands haven't embraced the Goat/ Ram as much as previous years of the horse and dragon, perhaps the Goat/Ram/Sheep seems less exciting in comparison.. Estee Lauder has launched a new blue, gold and white 'Year of the Goat' powder compact although it's priced at a rather expensive £125, however they have also brought back their Aries Zodiac compact which is a more affordable alternative at £38 (both exclusive to Harrods.) These compacts are stunning and if I had the money and space I could easily become a compact hoarder/obsessive!  Yves Saint Laurent have reissued their best selling couture eye shadow palette in No. 3 Afrique, a neutral palette of long wearing shadows. YSL have been savvy with their new design, with the red coloured enamel being considered lucky for Chinese New Year and romantic with hearts for Valentines day, potentially doubling sales. Swatches of this palette are available over at Jane Cunningham's British Beauty Blogger's post hereClarisonic have brought out a beautifully decorated Mia 3 Sonic Skin Cleansing System, a rotating brush to be used behind a face cloth to deep clean the skin. The Mia 3 comes with an extra brush head and gel cleanser. Unfortunately Clarisonic Mia 3 doesn't seem to be available in the UK yet- If I'm wrong please let me know in the comments.You can buy this online in the US (though I'm not sure if they will ship to the UK-its always worth a try) and Asia at various retailers. Online retailer Zazzle have some really pretty nail wraps, mainly by brand 'Minx' which was a nice surprise as I didn't realise they sold cosmetics!

Onto ingredients, goats milk is brilliant for sensitive skins due to the lactic acid maintaining a gentle pH balance preventing irritations. It's especially good for dry skin because the milk has a short strand protein structure that enables it to be easily absorbed into the skin. Goats milk is anti-inflammatory so removes redness and heals when applied to the skin. Yana Grammer, a marketing and product development consultant to the beauty industry says "It's refreshing to see modern brands now incorporating ancient beauty secrets into their products. Many brands are launching goat milk derived formulas that offer consumers countless anti ageing and skin softening benefits." Cult brand 
Kate Somerville Goat Milk cream also contains coconut and sweet almond to soothe and hydrate skin. Beauty Blogger Caroline Hirons who specialises in skincare recommends this for acne as wel,l see her post here. Chuckling Goats is a brand I'd never heard of before this post but it sounds amazing, experts in skin allergies such as as eczema, psoriasis, Rosacia and acne their Sensitive Skin Magic Lotion for Face, Body and Hands is for healing skin. It contains raw goats milk and probiotic kefir, hazelnut oil, rice bran oil and olive oil. It is free from any parabens, chemicals, dyes or perfumes and suitable for face and/or body. Since I have eczema I will be checking this out. The cute sheep shaped soap is unscented and made with goats milk from goats living in Aberdeenshire Scotland. All proceeds of the soap go to the Children's Adventure Farm Trust. The goats milk in the London Brush Company brush shampoo will cleanse and condition brushes (suitable for all brush hair types) while the tea tree is anti bacterial with a nice scent of lavender. 

Another ingredient Lanolin is a substance found in freshly shorn sheep wool and is naturally moisturising. Lanolips uses ultra pure medical grade lanolin to give lips moisture and a glossy look without stickiness. Lanolips lip ointment with colour contains SFP15 as well as giving colour to lips. It is animal cruelty free, dermatologically tested, vegetarian and baby friendly and fragrance free. It has won many awards including Marie Claire and Red Best of Beauty award 2010 and the Bazaar Beauty Hot 100 2013.

There you go- Kung Hei Fat Choi to you all! (translates as Happy Chinese New Year to you all!)

From Top
Estee Lauder Year Of the Goat Compact Harrods £120
Yves Saint Laurent Compact (closed and below open) Selfridges £48
Clarisonic Mia 3 Year of the Goat Sonic Skin Cleansing System Limited Edition Nordstrom £137
Estee Lauder Aries Zodiac Powder Compact Harrods £38
Nail art from L-R
Chinese Lanterns Minx Nail Art Zazzle £18.95
Year of The Sheep Ram Minx Nail Art Zazzle £18.85
2015 Chinese New Year Goat and Tree Nails Stickers Zazzle £18.95
Chang'e Flying to the Moon Minx Nail Wraps Zazzle £18.95
Lanolips Lip Ointment with Colour in Rose and Rubarb Waitrose £8.16
London Brush Company Lavender and Goats Milk Brush Shampoo Liberty £16
Sheep Soap The Gamrie Goat £6
Kate Somerville Goats Milk Cream Kate Somerville online $65
Sensitive Skin Magic Lotion for Face, Body and Hands Chuckling Goat £6.95

TOP photo credit :changes credit: <a href="">Lantern corpses</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)</a>

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