Chinese New Year is just around the corner and I’m getting pretty excited about it! Thinking about getting together with relatives, mahjong, snacks, red packets, chocolate coins and everyone just being happy and in the festive mood is bringing smiles to my face. Here’s how you can look picture perfect on the lion dance-filled day.
1) Wear Something Light
By “light,” I mean something that is airy and doesn’t trap heat. Now that the Monsoon season is over, the sun is taking over its throne again. You’d want to enjoy the time having fun and nothing’s going to be a better mood spoiler than being all sweaty (pit stain alert) and gross. You might even end up stinking and then nobody will want to play Dai Di (a local card game) with you. Jeans are out and so is anything that covers you from head to toe. Long sleeved tops? You’re in for trouble. Even turtle necks should be avoided! Mini skirts are great, especially the flowy kinds. Skater dresses would be perfect. But since it will look weird with everyone skating door to door, I also recommend cheongsams that end above the knee, bodycon dresses and actually basically anything that is a short dress.
2) Wear Something Bright
Chinese New Year is all about new beginnings and fresh starts. Leave the baggage of dreary pasts behind and walk into the sunlight. Bright, cheery colours should be in the spotlight this season every year. There is a reason the older folks detest black on this day (and actually every other day too but even more so during festive occasions) but you don’t have to grab everything red that you see on clothes hangers in stores. If you’re wearing a cheongsam, something with light colours and hand-sewn silk floral patterns would make everyone very happy. For guys, if you’ve got that Kenzo shirt you’ve been meaning to wear, this is the time to put it on. If you do get something red, rejoice for you can wear it again on National Day.
3) Keep the Face Clean
Imagine Fan Bingbing pulling off a Nicki Minaj in the ensemble above. Nah.
If you’re going to be visiting several relatives, it’s going to take up the entire day. Therefore, refrain as much as possible from putting on too much makeup because it’s going to get grimy by the time you get home. You’d want to look picture perfect every time you visit someone else. Go for a facial a couple of days before the first day of visiting for deep cleansing. Keep makeup simple and bright. I don’t mean using red eyeshadow with gold sparkles. Try a neutral shimmer eyeshadow to brighten up the eye area. Highlight cheekbones and under the browbones. Skip the contouring altogether. Look fresh like tulip blooms, not made up. Avoid dark and stern lip colours and try glosses for the added shine instead. If you’re a lipstick kind of girl, I suggest L’Oreal’s Color Riche Made for Me Intense Lipstick in #379 Sensual Rose.
4) Ditch the Clutch.
Unless it’s a big one. If you’re unmarried and haven’t any kids, chances are, you’re going to get quite a bit of red packets and you’ll want to have something at hand to store them in. Betting tables are going to be put up and you might even win big. It’s pointless to lug around a huge bag too because it’s highly unlikely that mandarin oranges are going in there. Totter about with a handbag instead. Just something big enough for red packets, extra coins, some candy and your personal valuables; and something small enough that will not be cumbersome and heavy.
5) Sport a Chignon.
If you pair your cheongsam with a classic low chignon, bam! You’ve got it spot on. Nothing says it better that you’re really into this whole Chinese New Year celebration. Engage the use of hair bun rollers to help achieve this look effortlessly. They’re really easy to use and won’t take long. Use hair spray over it to hold the chignon in place. And, back to the terribly hot weather, it’s going to help you stay cool for longer.
Image credits: Online China Tours