Traditional Chinese makeup culture has a long and rich history that has evolved over thousands of years. Chinese makeup has been used not only for beauty but also for cultural and social purposes such as performances, religious ceremonies, and weddings.
During the Han dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE), it was fashionable for women to paint their eyebrows black and to wear red lipstick made from natural ingredients such as fruit and insects. They also used white powder made from rice flour to brighten their complexions. During the Tang dynasty (618-907 CE), makeup became more elaborate, and women began to wear ornate hairstyles with flowers and jewelry. Rouge and blush became more popular, and women also used charcoal to darken their eyebrows and eyelashes.
The Song dynasty (960-1279 CE) saw the introduction of delicate, subtle makeup that emphasized natural beauty. Women began to use lighter makeup and focus on highlighting their eyes and lips. They also started to use perfume and scented oils, and a new style of makeup called “moon makeup” became popular, which involved painting the face white with a crescent moon shape around the forehead.
During the Ming dynasty (1368-1644 CE), makeup was used not only for beauty but also to indicate social status. Women of higher status wore more elaborate makeup with intricate designs, while women of lower status wore simpler makeup. The use of bright colors such as red and gold became more prevalent, and eyebrows were shaped into thin, curved lines.
In the Qing dynasty (1644-1912 CE), makeup became more restrained and focused on natural beauty. Women used light-colored powder and minimal blush, and eyebrows were shaped into straight lines. This period also saw the introduction of a new type of makeup called “bird’s nest makeup,” which involved using powdered swallow’s nest to create a translucent, glowing complexion.
During the early 20th century, Western influence began to impact Chinese makeup culture. Western-style makeup such as mascara, lipstick, and foundation became more popular, and traditional Chinese makeup was no longer seen as fashionable. However, during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 70s, makeup was discouraged and considered bourgeois.
In the 1980s, Chinese makeup culture began to experience a revival. Women began to experiment with both traditional and Western-style makeup, and new brands and products emerged. The focus was on enhancing natural beauty rather than hiding flaws, and makeup became a way for women to express their individuality.
Today, Chinese makeup culture continues to evolve and blend traditional and modern styles. The use of natural ingredients such as pearl powder, ginseng, and Chinese herbs has become more popular, and many Chinese brands now specialize in creating makeup that is both high-quality and culturally authentic.
In conclusion, traditional Chinese makeup culture has a long and fascinating history that has evolved over thousands of years. From blackened eyebrows and red lipstick in the Han dynasty to delicate “moon makeup” in the Song dynasty and the use of bird’s nest powder in the Qing dynasty, Chinese makeup has reflected changing cultural values and social status. Today, Chinese makeup culture is a blend of traditional and modern styles, and it continues to evolve and adapt to new trends and influences.