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Looking at the History of Ancient Chinese Makeup from "Mulan"

The Disney version of "Mulan" (花木兰) finally released the trailer, but the makeup of the heroine's white-faced red cheeks and yellow forehead made many netizens feel too strange.In fact, although this makeup is not in line with modern aesthetics, it is a real portrayal of women's makeup in the Wei and Jin Dynasties.So, how did ancient women make up? How does the makeup in the Mulan Trailer come about? Let's explore the mysterious world of ancient Chinese beauty!

Advocating the "natural beauty" of the pre-Qin period

The history of Chinese women's makeup can be traced back to the pre-Qin period. During this period, people were influenced by the thoughts of the philosophers who valued virtues and despise appearances, and pursued natural beauty. When women wear makeup, they usually only used powder to wipe their faces and black eyebrows. The "White-browed Black Eyebrow" in "The Songs of the Chu" is a description of the female makeup at this time.

"Red makeup" began in the Qin and Han Dynasties

During the Qin and Han Dynasties, the simplicity of the pre-Qin Dynasty was changed, and the "red makeup" became popular. This makeup refers to first applying some rice powder or lead powder from the powder box with silk or whitefly, and applying it evenly on the face. The accessories such as red powder and rouge are painted on the cheekbones, so that the person wearing the makeup can look rosy and charming. The famous makeup named "red powder makeup".

"Forehead Yellow Makeup" influenced by Buddhism

In terms of color application, the women's facial makeup in the Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties is bolder than before.The distinctive makeup is called "Yellow Makeup", which is the makeup that has been heated up in the movie "Mulan" that we mentioned earlier. Buddhism was popular in China at that time. People imitated Buddha statues and created "Forehead Yellow Makeup". There are two kinds of "Yellow Makeup", one is to dye the entire forehead with a yellow makeup powder, and the other is to cut the golden paper into various decorative patterns and dress it in the eyebrows.

Graceful Tang Dynasty makeup

Due to the strong national momentum and economic prosperity in the Tang Dynasty, women's makeup is more abundant, and the makeup steps are more complicated. Tang Dynasty women's makeup is divided into seven steps: cover powder (敷铅粉) - wipe rouge (抹胭脂) - draw eyebrows (画黛眉) - stickers flower bud (贴花钿) - trace outline (贴面靥) - draw blush (描斜红) - point lip balm (点唇脂). In general, the makeup of women in the Tang Dynasty can be divided into three types: Red makeup, Hu makeup, and Alternative makeup.

Elegant "Three white makeup" in the Song Dynasty

The development of aesthetic thoughts to the Song Dynasty has a different charm, Dignified and delicate has become the new aesthetic pursuit. This pursuit is also reflected in the makeup of women in the Song Dynasty.The women’s makeup in the Song Dynasty was against the glamour of the Tang Dynasty. At that time, the more popular makeup was "Three white makeup". Which refers to the whitening of the forehead, nose and chin, similar to the modern woman's highlights in makeup.

Fresh style Ming and Qing makeup

In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the aesthetics of the Song Dynasty were inherited. The woman's makeup was light and simple, with thin powder and eyebrows. Compared with the complex makeup accessories such as the frontal yellow and the flower bud, women in the Ming and Qing Dynasties used more pearls and hairpins to show women's gentleness and femininity.

Common cosmetic name

Foundation : 粉底

eyebrow pencil : 眉笔

Eyeliner : 眼线

Eye shadow : 眼影

Lipstick : 口红

Highlight : 高光

Shadow : 阴影

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