Ring in the Year of the Ox with these skincare, makeup and fragrance bestsellers, reinvented for the Lunar New Year

Additional reporting by Andrea Saadan.

Beauty launches that take place around Chinese New Year are especially popular because brands will normally refresh the look of their most popular products in limited quantities—almost as if their babies are getting a new wardrobe for the Lunar New Year, just like its celebrants do. It’s also the best period to remind ourselves that as the new year begins, it’s important to take time out for self-care, be it exploring new fragrances and makeup as well as re-calibrating our skincare routine (say goodbye to maskne!).

Here are some of the best Chinese New Year 2021 special releases to look out for by your favourite beauty brands.

(Related: Gucci Teams Up With Doraemon For Chinese New Year 2021

1. Gucci Beauty

Don red for luck and prosperity with this limited-edition trio of red lipsticks in a Chinese New Year-exclusive packaging by Gucci Beauty: the familiar gold Rouge à Lèvres Satin tube with Art Dec etches has rightfully been given a red makeover. The set includes two current Rouge à Lèvres Satin red hues (25 Goldie Red and 505 Janet Rust), and a brand new shade 513 Emmy Red, created specifically for the festive season.

Available at Gucci Beauty counters at Takashimaya and online, BHG Bugis Junction and online, Tangs at Tang Plaza and online, Sephora Ion and online

2. Fenty Beauty

Get ready to glow with two of Fenty Beauty’s best-selling cult favourites, which have been paired up in a CNY coffret: diamond-dusted body and face highlighter, Diamond Bomb All-Over Diamond Veil in Royal Icing and lip gloss Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer in Cheeky, a bright red orange hue in a high shine.  

Available at Sephora

3. Sulwhasoo

Sulwhasoo’s geometric heart design for the First Care Activating Serum 2021 limited-edition packaging is inspired by the traditional Korean patchwork quilt, signifying good luck, health and happiness after a challenging 2020. Fans of this best-seller will want to get their hands on this special edition: inside, the bottle of this anti-aging booster serum has transformed from a white and gold packaging to one that is of an ombre red. We hear it’s been so popular that these crimson bottles are selling fast—so act quick.

Available at Sulwhasoo counters and boutiques.

4. Clarins

The Clarins classic gets super-sized in a 75ml bottle, which will also be a permanent addition to the range. First launched in 1985, the Clarins Double Serum is now in its eighth edition and most potent formula. Fans of this serum (myself included) love how comforting its scent is and the way it feels on the skin. This jumbo size is the perfect way to start the Ox year, and remind ourselves to take some time out for self-care. 

Available at Clarins counters, boutiques and online

5. Kiehl’s

For the Year of the Ox, Kiehl’s has collaborated with Weitong Mai, a Chinese-Canadian freelance illustrator, based in the United Kingdom. Mai’s penchant for whimsical characters is seen in the story that unfolds on the limited-edition Lunar New Year packaging of the brand's Ultra Facial Cream, Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner and Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution Super Jumbo. In the illustrations, the main character Moxie the Ox is seen getting gifts from the Kiehl’s store in New York City and then rushing off to spend time with his friends and family—how adorable.

Available at Kiehl’s boutiques and online

6. Estée Lauder

Isn’t this packaging gorgeous? Estée Lauder’s limited-edition capsule shines the spotlight on peonies, a bloom that represents prosperity, good luck and honour. Find its pretty petals on the iconic Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex, Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in 540 Immortal and Double Wear Soft Glow Matte Cushion Compact in 1N1 Bone, which will come with themed gifts like Ox-printed pouches and peony crossbody bags.

Available at Estée Lauder boutiques, counters and via its Whatsapp concierge service (9641 3792). 

7. SK-II

This Lunar New Year, SK-II’s Pitera Essence XOXO limited-edition bottle has been inspired by something that was restricted in 2020—hugs and kisses. With playful gold brushstrokes that say “XOXO” on the red bottle, SK-II’s signature product, the Facial Treatment Essence is a reminder of how celebrations and reuniting with family and friends are now more precious than ever, especially over the Lunar New Year period.

Available at all SK-II counters.

8. Christian Louboutin Beauty

Celebrate the new year with Louboutin-red nails and lips with the luxury beauty brand’s bestsellers, which include the Rouge Louboutin Matte Fluid Lip Colour and Rouge Louboutin Matte Nail Colour. Its iconic lipsticks will come in a beautiful Chinese New Year packaging, available in limited quantities, and all purchases will also come with a Christian Louboutin Beauty red packet set.

Available at Tangs

9. Clé De Peau Beauté

The Serum gets an auspicious makeover in a new red packaging, in celebration of the Lunar New Year. The formula includes Kelplex, an algae complex that activates our skin’s regenerative power, and after continued use, will result in supple skin. There are only 80 bottles available in Singapore, with a pre-launch of the first 30 bottles online.

Pre-launch on BHG online begins on January 22. Available at Clé De Peau Beauté stores and counters from February 1.

10. Dr Dennis Gross

Prep your skin for the celebrations (even if they’re virtual) with Dr Dennis Gross’ bestselling Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peels. In a limited-edition packaging in red and gold, this pack of 35 treatments contains the brand’s most potent dose of acids, antioxidants and vitamins to transform skin texture, absorb skincare more effectively, allowing your makeup to glide on more easily.

Available at Sephora stores, and online.

11. Jo Malone London

It’s hard to say no to this absolutely gorgeous bottle of limited-edition Jo Malone London English Pear and Freesia cologne: the floral motifs are delicate, feminine and reminiscent of springtime in London, and it would stand out on your shelfie. It is one of the brand’s most popular scents as well; so add this woody and floral fragrance as a final touch to your CNY wardrobe.

Available at Jo Malone London boutiques, selected Sephora stores and online

12. Shu Uemura

To celebrate the new year, three of Shu Uemura’s most iconic products—the Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil, Hard Formula Eyebrow Pencil (in the shades Seal or Acorn) and Petal 55 Foundation Brush—are dressed in red and drenched in melting gold for a coveted limited-edition collection. On top of that, the Japanese brand has also released the new Rouge Unlimited Iron Reds collection that includes 13 powerful iron red shades infused with a molten metal finish. The irresistible shades range from orange-tinted red hues to cool rusty browns, making it the perfect little tool to achieve a beautiful CNY red lip. 

Available at Shu Uemura beauty counters.

13. Dior Beauty

This Lunar New Year, Dior's elegant lipstick case has been painted a striking red. Featuring five shades and a refillable tube, the selection includes 999 Velvet, the new velvet finish of the iconic Dior red in 99. The other hues are 772 Classic, the rosewood with a bold, matte finish, 760 Favorite in a velvet finish, 840 Rayonnante in a velvet finish and 869 Sophisticated in a satin finish. Even with our masks on, the right lip colour brightens up your entire look, and these shades are designed for long wear.

Available at Dior Beauty boutiques.

14. Urban Decay

If you're a fan of Urban Decay's Stoned Collection, you may just want to add these special editions to your collection. The beauty brand has also released a special Chinese New Year collection that includes its iconic All-Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray, Stoned Vibes eyeshadow palette and Vice lipstick in Bad Blood—all dressed in red and gold packaging for the auspicious holiday. The best-selling Vice lipstick range has always been a fan favourite thanks to its huge variety of shades as well as different finishes such as Comfort Matte (which is truly comfortable to wear), Sheen Shimmer, Metallized, Cream Mega Matte and more.

Available at Urban Decay stores and Sephora.

15. Origins

The brand's best-seller, Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Treatment Lotion, now comes in a striking red and gold glass bottle to usher in good luck—and good skin—for CNY. Reishi and fermented Chaga mushrooms, which are known for their powerful skin-soothing properties are infused into this formula. Skin is protected, renewed and hydrated for the Year of the Ox! 

Available at Origins stores, its Whatsapp concierge service (9657 0854), Sephora and Lazada.  

16. Glow Recipe

This Lunar New Year set by Glow Recipe features not one but three products from the brand's best-selling Watermelon Glow range. If your skin needs a little more TLC during this period, this hydrating and exfoliating trio includes a watermelon mask (the product that catapulted the brand to international fame) that you can wear to sleep and wake up with radiant skin. The moisturising toner also hydrates the skin and minimises the appearance of pores while the watermelon lip pop (which is a multitasking balm, scrub and tint) aims to smoothen lips and provide a light pink tint that is buildable.

Available at Sephora.

17. Caudalie

We should all be aware by now that our collagen and hyaluronic acid production decreases dramatically as we age. The collagen usually used in skincare products is of animal origin, but French skincare brand Caudalie has chosen to use a vegan collagen booster to protect the environment and respect the skin.

Caudalie tested an innovative combination of Resveratrol, hyaluronic acid and vegan collagen booster and found that the results were extraordinary: five times more natural collagen production and two times more hyaluronic acid production. As such, the Caudalie Resveratrol Lift range now features these key ingredients in all the products—perfect for anyone who wants to achieve youthful-looking skin.

Available at Sephora.

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