Monday, January 23, 2012

We wish you a prosperous Year of the Dragon!

In lieu of the usual polish review on Mondays, we decided to showcase my Chinese New Year mani instead. It is, after all, the start of a new lunar year, the year of the dragon!

Apparently, the year of the dragon is big news as having a baby in this year is believed to guarantee the family good luck in the years to come. Not to mention that the dragon baby, especially if it's a boy, is believed to be destined for much success and prosperity throughout his/her life. I've even heard of stories where babies born in the year of the dragon are invited over to neighbors homes so that they can play in the house and hopefully rub off some of their innate luck. Needless to say, I wanted to incorporate a dragon into the design but my freehand skills aren't quite up to par yet so I ended up with something that looked distinctly Asian (to me, at least) instead.

新 年 快 乐! 恭 喜 发 财!
Xin Nian Kuai Le/Happy New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai/May you become prosperous!

What I Used:
Red: CND Scarlet
Gold: Color Club Gingerbread Man
Stamping plates: Bundlemonster plates 215 (for the fan design on the ring finger), 204 (for the fan on the thumb) and 221 (for the Chinese character that stands for luck)

How I Did It:

I have to be honest, creating the how-to graphic was harder than doing the actual mani! I didn't want anything too over the top so I went with this simple design with two accent nails. The fan design using gold and red had an Asian/Chinese feel to it that I thought looked appropriate. Maybe a layer of holographic glitter would make this even more festive! Also something interesting to note is that the Chinese character for luck or good fortune can be used right side up or upside down. Luckily, the meaning doesn't really change much. Right side up means "luck" or "good fortune" but upside down (as shown in the graphic above), it means "a shower of good fortune/blessings".

CND Scarlet is the absolute perfect classic red.

Posing with an inscribed bamboo plate we have at home. 
(I'm honestly not sure what it says but it's supposed to be something good.)

With hóngbāo (in Mandarin) or lai see (in Cantonese) with Hello Kitty design!

 I found the character "Fu" on the lai see!

 The lighting wasn't very good but you can clearly see both accent nails. 
It's nowhere near as dark red as it looks here.

In other news, I was lucky enough to be part of a group of women who tested and reviewed two Kiehl's products: Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate and Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye Cream last December. This was hosted by the lovely Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed in Canada and Kiehl's to provide honest reviews from real women who've used the products. I was (and still am!) very impressed with my experience with both. Click here to read my review (mine is the second!) and others' thoughts on the products. I really liked how each reviewer had different skin types and ages; pretty much most of the bases were covered!

Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Monday! Do you participate in the Chinese New Year festivities (we gave out our red envelopes last night)? What's your Chinese Zodiac? Have you tried anything from Kiehl's?


  1. Beauty ReductionistaJanuary 23, 2012 at 8:41 a.m.

    This is awesome! I like the accent on both thumb and ring finger. Koreans do celebrate lunar new year but my family doesn't. (Years ago we instituted celebrating just one set of holidays... but now I think it was a mistake.) Happy new year, Carmela!

  2. this is quite lovely! I love that scarlet base. the graphic you created is great, you did an excellent job!

  3. Oh Carmela! This is so regal and classy! I love it!!!! How did you spot that same "fu" /luck character!!!? AWESOME!!!!
    I love learning about different cultures and customs (and I regret that I don't have more time in the day/more friends who could teach me) :D I loved your intro and have now scribbled it into my thought/memory bank :D

  4. Thanks, Liz! I was thinking of stamping on all of the fingers but I didn't want anything that might be construed as over the top. Especially since we're celebrating with my hubby's side of the family. :)

    Oh, that sucks.. I hope your family takes to celebrating it again. It really is a lot of fun to get another excuse to have the family together! Plus getting lai see aka free money is always a good thing. ;)

  5. Thanks so much, Marta! That's huge coming from you! :D I just randomly spotted it while I was snapping photos. I had to ask the hubby to verify that it was the same though. See, the characters might look the same but the slightest difference can mean a whole different thing! And there are the traditional way to write a certain character (which is more complicated) and the simplified version that's more commonly used.

    That's awesome! I'm glad you got useful something out of it. :)

  6. Thanks, Suzánne! The red is really such a pretty classic shade; the exact shade of red that I've been looking for as it's not too bright and is a lot more deeper than a medium toned red. I really glad you liked it! :) Do you celebrate Chinese new year?

  7. Awesome manicure! It definitely looks Chinese - great job!

    Hehe, my brother's Chinese zodiac sign is the dragon, and him and my sister-in-law are going to be having a baby this year. I don't believe in astrology, but it's still fun to think about it.

  8. Thanks, Marisa! Glad you liked it! :)

  9. Thanks, Mary! That;s huge coming form you! :D

    Wow, really? That's amazing!! I have to ask, is he really successful in his line of work? Dragon people are supposedly some of the most amazing people you'll ever meet! What's your zodiac sign? :)

  10. (Just so we're clear: yes it's me. Y'know, your most awesome bestie. Haha!)

    Dude, my dad's born under the dragon sign. He's doing well, all things considered. As for my sister Raissa, well, I'm not sure. LOL.

    All this nail polish talk of yours makes me want to grow my nails long for painting. I won't foray into that field yet so I'll leave it to the experts. Haha.

    Miss you dearie!

  11. Yassie! Took you long enough to leave a comment. Have you been lurking all this time?? :P

    Whoa, how cool is that? I never even knew. Hahaha, how is Raissa doing these days? Maybe she just needs to grow into the luck? Gosh, I honestly don't know.

    DO IT! It's such an awesome way to get creative. It doesn't even really have to be super long. In fact, sweet and short nails also have a place in nail polish heaven. ;) Miss you, too, bestie!!

  12. Yup. I mostly lurk when I go online. Coz, y'know, I can't really give any useful feedback when it comes to nail polish. Hahahahaha.


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