In the Chinese zodiac calendar, 2013 is the Year of the Snake--and more specifically, the year of the water snake. This Sunday is the first day of the Chinese new year, and cosmetics companies are celebrating with some new makeup collections.
There's a lot of lore and astrology linked to the celebration of the Chinese new year, so we asked fashion's go-to astrologer, Susan Miller, to help us figure out what it all means, and how beauty products exactly fit into the equation. (Stay with us here. There's actually a connection!)
So there are 12 creatures that make up the Chinese zodiac, and five elements--wood, fire, earth, metal, and water--so if you do the math, a zodiac sign only repeats every 60 years. (So the last time we had a year of the water snake was 1953.) According to Miller, the snake is an introverted sign, unlike the dragon, which reigned over 2012.
The snake, despite its ability to creep people out and kill them with one swift bite (OK, I don't like snakes), is actually a symbol of healing going way back to antiquity. But the snake has another characteristic that we should try to incorporate into our beauty routines this year. "[A snake's] skin becomes too tight and it bursts off. What’s left underneath is beautiful skin," Miller told us. "Renewing your skin and exfoliating will be important this year."
Miller also told us that people born in the year of the water snake have "memorable, almost hypnotic" eyes. "This is a year the eye can be played up more," Miller said. Which brings us to makeup.
Napoleon Perdis is releasing a prismatic eye shadow quad inspired by the year of the water snake, which you can snag now for $35. He told us that he wanted the palette--which is an icy white, cool turquoise, and sharp navy and black--to really reflect watery elements. Miller approves of the colors, telling us that they're calming.
MAC also has a Year of the Snake collection, and it includes pigments, eye shadow, an eye pencil, lipsticks and a face powder. The palette here is less "watery," featuring fuchsia and deep purple. But Miller pointed out that magenta is a blue pink, and that the blue theme runs through the collection. James Gager, MAC's creative director, said, "The snake sign is about re-inventing yourself, so that you remain vibrant in the ever-changing world."
As if we needed an excuse to slither up to a beauty counter for more makeup.