Get the Look: Chinese New Year Glam

Today marks my 3rd Chinese New Year celebrated in China or rather.. celebrated at all!

In the Chinese zodiac, I’m a Monkey, so believe me when I say I was pumped for 2016, especially when New Year’s Day also fell on my birthday. But 2016.. didn’t really turn out exactly how I’d hoped. Actually, looking back, it was a year of awesome personal and professional progress, but I suppose I expected more on my own zodiac’s year.

This year is the year of the Fire Rooster.


Introduction to the Chinese (Lunar) New Year

The Chinese New Year–or Lunar New Year–marks the passing of a new year according to the lunar months; that is, the calendar is guided by the moon. During the New Year, everybody ages by 1 year — which finally explains to me why the first time I asked my boyfriend his age he gave me an “either/or” answer. The New Year is the end-all-be-all marking of the pass of time; in fact “guo nian” 过年–or new year–means the passing of a year (I talked more in-depth about this in last Chinese New Year’s post).

Chinese New Year is THE most important holiday in China–like Thanksgiving and Christmas all in one–and is celebrated for a solid 2-3 weeks (meaning no work for either 2 or 3 weeks, depending on how gracious your boss is). I’ve certainly enjoyed the time off; the atmosphere is much lighter and more festive.

Older people give out hongbao 红包–literally “red bag” also called “lucky money”–to children in the streets. Money and gifts flow between family and friends. Gold and red signs reading 福 “good fortune” are placed upside down on family’s doors, to signal the good fortune to come.


What to Expect in the Year of the Fire Rooster

There are 12 years marked by 12 different representative animals in the Chinese zodiac, as well as 5 elements–fire, water, wood, earth and metal. Each year has an animal and each 12 years has an assigned element; they cycle in and out throughout the course of 60 years. For example: Babies born this year as well as those born in 1957 are both fire roosters. Babies born last year (and those born in 1956) were fire monkeys. Born in 1992 (24 years ago) I am a monkey, but I was born during the water element period.

So what to expect in the year of the Fire Rooster?

In the year of the rooster, you will find the most success when you follow the best parts of the Rooster personality. Roosters are also a little cocky (pun intended) and love to be the center of attention, BUT Roosters are also loyal, hard-working and dedicated to their friends and family.

Keep your head down this year and keep working: the fruits of your labors might not pay off immediately; you’ll win some and you’ll lose some. But set your goals clearly, protect yourself and your family, and stay clear-headed in your intentions to prosper this year.

My boyfriend’s advice: Go to the fortune teller for specific Rooster year advice.

My advice: Just do you in 2017.


The Look: Chinese New Year Glam

Those of you who follow me on Instagram have already seen sneak peeks of my look, but all the details on products and techniques are below.

Red and gold are the colors to live by during Chinese New Year as they represent fortune and prosperity. In keeping with hongbao, fu and other decorations, I highlighted red and gold in my look. Here it is:

makeup looks - chinese new year

Products as used, in order:

For previous in-depth reviews on the products used, see:

Some notes about application and techniques:

  • The YSL blur primer is very viscous, but better than Murad’s Blur Primer or any others in the market; it wore perfectly all day. The flecks of gold inside are a nice touch.
  • Glossier Stretch Concealer is best applied with a small oval brush
  • Diorskin Forever is best applied using the included sponge. However, if concealer is used first, a stippling brush is a better way to apply the foundation (it’s medium coverage semi-dry compacted powder).
  • The Glow Kit shades can be used as either highlighter or shimmer eyeshadow. If using as eyeshadow, use an eyeshadow brush to apply and blend; if applying as highlighter, use a fan brush.
  • Curl lashes first, then apply 1 coat of XL Cils. Wait 1 minute. Apply a second layer. Wait 1 minute. Apply Better Than Sex.
  • Apply the lip liner to the outer edges of the lip first. Once the lines are set, proceed to color the entire lip in using the pencil. Apply 1 layer of the lipstick on top of the pencil. Lining and filling in the lips with the gel crayon first will help the color stay all day.

Finally, here is my look as the sun was setting, with my clutch and hongbao ready to give out!


I gushed on Facebook on Instagram, but I’ll say it again:  I’m very grateful for another year of trial and error, adventure and misadventure, and most of all–a heck of a lot of business, cultural and linguistic education–in China. ??? Onto to the year of the Fire Rooster! 新年快乐 everyone!


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Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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