Red alert: The best beauty gifts to celebrate Lunar New Year

The must-have beauty gifts that mark Lunar and Chinese New Year 2021

Get ready to welcome in the imminent Year of the Ox! As the celebrations around the Lunar New Year commence, beauty brands have dressed some of their best sellers in striking red limited edition finery for the occasion. 

The Lunar New Year is a period where a number of countries and cultures including China, Korea, Vietnam and Singapore mark a new year based on the first new moon in the traditional lunar calendar. 

The first day of the Lunar New Year in 2021 is Friday February 12, which is the Year of the Ox, according to the Chinese Zodiac. 

The celebration of the new year is the perfect time to gift tokens of affection and good wishes in the form of beauty products adorned in red – a colour considered to bring good fortune and joy – and plenty of beauty brands have come to the party with reverent or playful packaging to mark the festivities. There are also nods to the Ox, said to represent strength, determination and honesty.

These are some of the most desirable options for Lunar New Year 2021:

MAC Cosmetics has gone the pop-art route for its Moon Masterpiece collection. The stunning collectible fish-adorned Extra Dimension Skinfinish, $75 is undoubtedly a highlight of the range which also features the 9-pan ‘Sea of Plenty’ eye palette, $88, and limited shades the brand’s popular soft matte Powder Kiss lipstick like Turn Up Your Luck, $38.

If you’re needing to stock up on iconic skincare serums and moisturisers that are staples in a well-rounded skincare routine, these options offer a bit of fun. Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion+ $59, even gains a golden ox head on the cap. Lancome’s Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate is available in a rarely seen bumper size 100ml, $295 and Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, $196 comes in chic chrome packaging. 

Upping the luxe factor is Guerlain’s Rouge G De Guerlain Chinese New Year collectors case created by jeweller Lorenz Bäumer, that comes adorned with crystals and contains the 214 Lip colour, $457. If you already have some of the interchangeable Rouge G lipstick shades, the limited red Blooming Bee case, $60, is a perfect seasonal upgrade.

NARS’ 3-piece Lunar New Year collection includes a limited edition Light Reflecting Setting Powder, $65, Eyeshadow Quad in Deep Sunrise, $92, with two matte and two shimmer shades, and a lipstick, $46, that comes in four different shades.

Mecca also plays host to a number of other celebratory editions including Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, $61, Dr. Dennis Gross Chinese New Year Limited Edition Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel, $155, and Origins Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Treatment Lotion, $61.

Put To The Test: Elizabeth Arden’s New Flawless Finish Skincaring Foundation Review

We tried Elizabeth Arden’s innovative new skin caring foundation for a month. Find out what we thought!

New year, new foundation! It’s about the time of year when we shuffle up our beauty routine and search out some new options. So when we began hearing word of a buzzed-about new makeup item that comes with some seriously appealing features, our interest was piqued.

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Skincaring Foundation, $69, has been gaining hype from those with early access (it goes on sale everywhere from Feb 1) for it’s all-rounder appeal and fresh, modern formulation. It has all the sought-after ingredients we usually look for in our skincare, but in a win for time-saving, it’s in the foundation instead.

While it’s a big ask to create a foundation that suits everyone, for every situation, Elizabeth Arden has given it a good go. It’s lightweight, but can be built up with a natural ‘real skin’ finish. It’s said to be able to withstand 24-hours of wear (but don’t sleep in your makeup!) and is loaded with heavy-hitting, complexion-loving ingredients like hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, brightening Vitamin C and Vitamin E to ward off the environmental challenges that tax our skin. 

Not to mention it comes in an impressive 40 shades with a range of warm, cool and neutral undertones, which makes it an accessible option.

Also new is the foundation’s BFF, Flawless Start Hydrating Serum Primer, $64, which like the name implies, is meant to care for your skin like a serum but also offers the ideal glowy and lush base for foundation. It’s hard to find seriously hydrating primers that sink in well and work for dry and oily skin, so this is a newsworthy find. It has new technology that means droplets of oil are suspended in a hydrating gel, but it only feels fresh, rather than slippery on skin. 

We had some of the team and friends of MiNDFOOD try the foundation and primer for a month over the recent summer period to see how it withstood some active days and balmy nights! 

The skincare aficionado – Phoebe Watt

As I’ve moved on from my twenties and begun settling comfortably into my thirties, my once serious (and seriously expensive) obsession with makeup has evolved into an even more serious (and seriously, seriously expensive!) interest in skincare. Whether it’s that the investment has paid off, or what they say about confidence coming with age is true, I’m far less likely to reach for a full-coverage foundation today than I was 10 years ago, when a mask-like complexion was the goal. 

Of course, redness, hyperpigmentation and hormonal blemishes are still something I hate to see, which is why I’ve fallen hard for Elizabeth Arden’s new Flawless Finish Skincaring Foundation – an absolute weapon at evening out my skin tone this summer with its buildable formula that offers impressive coverage without feeling remotely heavy or drying. 

In fact, pumped full of everyone’s favourite hydrating skincare hero, hyaluronic acid, I’d credit the formula with keeping my skin feeling supple and the rest of my makeup firmly in place on days when less high-performing foundations wouldn’t have stood a chance. My advice, if skin is your thing? Pair with Elizabeth Arden’s Flawless Start Hydrating Serum Primer. The two new launches have been designed to work better together and I’ll be repeat purchasing both.

The low-fuss fan – Ruawai Te Rata

I prefer a natural no-fuss look that blends in well with my normal skin type. This foundation was perfect! It felt light to apply, especially after using the serum primer and it was easy to blend in using my fingers. I wore it to work where I wear no makeup half the time and I felt it gave me more confidence on those days where I woke up feeling a little tired. I liked the consistency a lot but felt it had a light coverage. If I was going out to a special occasion, I would feel I’d need another layer of powder or something else over top. 

The busy mum – Megan Bedford

As there are so many shade options I found it a little overwhelming to choose the right one online without the help of counter staff (as MiNDFOOD’s beauty editor I was lucky enough to try it before it went on sale!) so I used to match a shade closest to another product I already own, which was not too far off. What I liked most was it’s incredibly modern finish – what I would call a ‘natural satin’ finish that really matches the dimension and texture of real skin, It also stretched and moved with my face, rather than gathering in lines or creases or looking shiny and feeling comfortable even after hours. 

For work I wear a full face but on days at home with my family I wear very little, so it was useful the way I could get great coverage particularly where I have areas of redness, by slowly building up with a beauty blender. However it’s also fluid enough to quickly apply in a more sheer manner with my fingers on days I want to let my real skin-tone show, so I look fresh, rather than overdone. In the summer humidity it didn’t disappear either. 

The time-poor multi-tasker – Ashley Wallace 

My skin in its natural state is far from flawless, but I was struck by how well this foundation hid any imperfections without heavy coverage. I love anything that reduces the number of steps needed in my morning routine, which is another reason I’ve loved using the combination of the foundation and the primer. With the primer’s hydrating, conditioning ingredients, and the foundation’s vitamin C and E, my skin was nourished without the need for extra serums or moisturisers. I also loved the gel texture of the primer, it was perfect for hot summer days.

The full-coverage fan – Kathryn Chung

I’ve been searching for a full-coverage foundation that doesn’t feel too heavy on my skin for a while now and has ticked all the boxes! It was easy to apply with a makeup sponge and when paired with the serum, it offered great coverage while still looking and feeling soft and natural on my skin. The shade was perfect and matched really well with my skin tone. I wore it during some hot summer days and was impressed that it lasted all day without ever looking shiny.

The glow-getter – Lillian McHugh 

I am definitely less-is-more when it comes to make up and foundation, and strive for a dewy-glow, rather than caked on heavy coverage. The primer was an absolute godsend, saving my skin this summer. Leaving my skin feeling hydrated and plump, combating air conditioning and hot winds alike. The foundation sat perfectly on top of the primer, rather than disappearing into the gel, creating a smooth base with just enough coverage and hydration to last all day.

Try Now: Visit an Elizabeth Arden counter to find your perfect match of Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Skincaring Foundation or visit