Beauty brands are always looking for something worth celebrating, so it's no surprise we've seen an abundance of Lunar New Year skincare sets being released by top brands like Sunday Riley and Chantecaille. However, it's possible that many of these big brands' customers aren't entirely familiar with the holiday and its great significance, so I'm on a mission to deliver a lesson in both fantastic skincare and Lunar New Year 101. After all, what's better than ringing in the new year with great skin and a well-stocked skincare cabinet, right?
To really get the gist of what the holiday is all about, I turned to YouMe Lin, a creative consultant in New York City who is both my friend and one of my favorite fashionistas to stalk on Instagram. "Chinese New Year is hands down one of the most exciting and highly anticipated holidays of the year, especially for the Chinese community," Lin explains. " It celebrates the beginning of a new year in the lunar calendar. There are tons of fun traditions that would occur during the celebration, such as having a big feast with family and friends, watching dragon dances and lanterns, eating mouth-watering traditional dishes, and of course, we can’t forget about the gifting of red packets, which symbolizes good luck and fights off any bad spirits." Lin notes that the first day of a new lunar year occurs on the day of a new moon, which will usually fall between January 21 and February 20; this year, the date is set for February 5 2019.
"I personally love celebrating it because it’s a great opportunity to cherish my heritage and to spend quality time with my family over food and laughter," says Lin. "And of course, who could turn down a red packet, am I right?" It's no surprise that brands have taken the idea of a Lunar New Year red packet and worked it into product packaging, and according to Lin, it's a sign that more and more people will become familiar with the special day's significance. "It’s so exciting to see brands being super fun and creative for this special holiday! It’s great to see an increasing number of brands celebrating multiculturalism and celebrating a tradition that is so meaningful to the Chinese is well appreciated among the Chinese community," Lin raves. "I think the celebration of Chinese New Year is becoming more mainstream, and brands have begun to receive a lot of hype from launching exclusive products for Chinese New Year."
With all this in mind, the first brand with a fabulous Lunar New Year line is Sunday Riley's 4-Piece Lunar New Year Set ($50, sundayriley.com), which includes minis of some of the brand's most popular products and promises to deliver radiant, clear skin for the year ahead. This kit comes packaged in a festive red box with a cute gilded pig, and it contains the Ceramic Slip Cleanser, the Luna Retinol Sleeping Night Oil, the Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment, and the C.E.O. Vitamin C Rapid Flash Brightening Serum. Considering a full-size version of the Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment will run you $105, getting smaller sizes of all these pricy products for just $52 is an incredibly good deal. If you fall in love with any of them, you can treat yourself to the full-size versions without feeling any guilt, because you'll already know how great the benefits are.
A slightly pricier option is the Erno Laszlo Lunar New Year Skin Care Set ($153, nordstrom.com), which is hailed as a $218 value and contains all full-size products. Packaged in a red and pink box with floral designs, this kit promises a replenished, youthful complexion, and contains their Multitask Eye Serum Mask, the Hydra-Therapy Skin Vitality Treatment, and the Hydra-Therapy Memory Sleep Mask. The eye masks are hydrogel patches that aim to eliminate puffiness, darkness, and fine lines, while the Hydra-Therapy Skin Vitality Treatment is a mix-it-yourself, cooling peel-off mask that helps to plump skin up. Last but not least, the Hydra-Therapy Memory Sleep Mask is meant to be left on overnight to reveal softer, soothed skin by morning.
If you're really looking to splurge, look no further than the Chantecaille Golden Lunar New Year Gift Set ($645, bloomingdales.com), a $745 value packaged in a gorgeous red Chantecaille makeup bag. This set is all about luxury, utilizing 24K gold and botanical ingredients, and it contains the Nano Gold Energizing Eye Cream to de-puff and eliminate fine lines, the Gold Recovery Mask to hydrate and tone, the Nano Gold Energizing Eye Serum, which contains anti-aging plant stem cell, and the Brightening Eye Tool. The tool is exclusive to the set, and can be used in a variety of ways to contour the face and gently push product into the skin. Sweep it under the eyes lifting out towards the temples, above and along the browbones to add some lift, or in between the brows working up towards the forehead. Honestly, I can't think of a more sophisticated way to start the new year than by applying my luxe 24K products and working them in with this little gold tool.
Last but not least, the mask masters at Glamglow didn't release a kit per se, but their Glamglow 2019 Lunar New Year Limited Edition GRAVITYMUD Firming Treatment ($59, glamglow.com) is definitely worth mentioning. The original silver version of the GRAVITYMUD was an instant cult favorite for its toning and firming abilities thanks to witch hazel, licorice, and marshmallow leaf, and it's since been recreated in various colors and several glitter versions, too. This latest edition is a gorgeous gold, and it comes in a festive red and gold gilded box commemorating the Year of the Pig.
If you're looking to ring in the Year of the Pig with great skin, any of the above are gorgeous options, either to splurge on for yourself or to gift to any loved ones in lieu of a traditional red packet. Happy Lunar New Year!