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It is that time of the year again, where we hit the salons and get our hair, manicures and facials done as part of our beauty prep for Chinese New Year. It doesn’t matter if we only meet our relatives once a year, we will gladly pay the premium charged during the festive season as long as we can present the best versions of ourselves at our annual gatherings.

When it comes to makeup, red and gold seem to be the obvious choice for a festive look. However, for those who are not into bold colours, here are some tips for a simple glow-up that will ensure you look your best while not overdoing it.

1. Swap your black cat-flick for a coloured liner

Fun Chinese New Year Looks 1

Photo by Sharyn, Photography by Guang Shun

Photo by Sharyn, Photographer: Guang Shun

A coloured eyeliner is a fast hack to create a statement look. You can either use a liquid or pencil liner. Choose a bright color such as hot pink if you wish to stand out more, otherwise style your eyes subtly with a forest green or navy blue liner.

2. Have some fun with a little sparkle

Fun Chinese New Year Looks 2

Photo by Sharyn

Smoky eyes or the cut crease might not always work well for Asian features. However, dabbing a metallic or shimmering eyeshadow all over your eyelids is easy to do and instantly elevates your look. Rose gold or champagne is the go-to colour for a dreamy dazzle.

3. Do an inner eye shimmer

If you’re wearing a matte eyeshadow, highlighting the inner corners of your eyes is a tried-and-tested trick that will instantly brighten your eyes. There are a few ways to do this. You could use a bright shimmery eyeshadow such as pink or peach to give it a fun pop of colour. Alternatively, creating more definition with a metallic gold liner, tracing the inner corner with a V will give you an outstanding look. Otherwise, simply add pale silver eyeshadow to create a soft, sheer look.

4. Pair your new outfit with a matching lipstick

Fun Chinese New Year Looks 3

Photo by Michael Dam on Unsplash

Make your lips the centre of attention by applying a shade that matches your outfit. Do not have or can’t find the right colour? Don’t fret, a simple trick is to create your own lipstick shade. Blend a dark red lipstick with nude colors to lighten it, or add a peach colour to get a warmer tone. Just have some fun experimenting with makeup!

5. Embrace the “glass lips”

Fun Chinese New Year Looks 4

Photo by Gabb Tapic from Pexels

No doubt, it’s going to be hard to keep the lipstick on with all the CNY snacking. And this is why everyone is choosing to go matte on their lips – which means it’s the perfect time for you to stand out by going glossy! Generously add a layer of lip gloss over your lipstick to achieve a glass-like effect. It won’t take too much of an effort to reapply as needed so go for it!

6. Create a natural glow using a strobe cream

Fun Chinese New Year Looks 5

Photo by Sharyn, Photography by Guang Shun

You’ve probably heard of the term “strobing” at some point. In case you’re wondering, it simply means highlighting! Makeup pro tip: use a cream-based highlighter over a powdered one as it creates a more dewy look. MAC’s strobe cream which contains iridescent particles is a must-have in any makeup kit and gives your skin a luminous glow.

7. Catch the light on a holographic highlighter


If you think that the holographic trend is a passing fad, think again. Applying a holographic highlighter on your cheekbones is a surefire way of standing out at CNY gatherings. When it catches the light, it creates a beautiful other-worldly look that is sure to prompt compliments from those around you.

Additional beauty tip: be kind to your skin, especially if your day is packed with house visits. Don’t forget the sun block, periodically blot your face with an oil blotter to remove the sheen, and ensure you wash off your makeup fully at the end of the day.