Ancient Chinese Make-Up

Since ancient China to modern times, the Chinese have always favored kind, beautiful, and petite women with pale skin, bright eyes, and white teeth. The beauty standard has shifted greatly throughout different historical periods in China.

For example, during the Qin and Han Dynasties (206 B.C.-220 A.D.), a woman’s morals were much more cherished as opposed to her physical beauty. During this period, ancient Chinese women dressed in very basic clothes, similar to a man’s attire. However, the ancient Chinese began to relate a white complexion with power, giving a woman the ability to hide her faults behind a powdered face. Eventually, clothes became more eccentric and women powdered their faces with white make up, darkened their eyebrows, and kept their figures small, creating a strong feminine beauty during ancient China. A woman’s sexiest feature during the Han Dynasty was her lips. Women created circle shapes, heart shapes, and flower shapes on their lips with rouge, which is similar to lipstick.

The Beauty Standard of the Qin and Han Dynasties

The beauty standard was slightly different for women during the Sui and Tang Dynasties (618-907 A.D.). Women embraced a more “natural, graceful, portly and healthy” figure rather than covering their faces with make-up, as in the Han Dynasty. A woman who expressed good health was much more appealing than the Han Dynasty’s beauty standard of a wide forehead, round face, and petite figure. A prominent feature of the Tang Dynasty was a woman’s eyebrows. Woman shaped their eyebrows to be sharp, pointed, and dark, often called a “dot eyebrow.” During the Tang Dynasty, it was also very popular for women to wear their hair smoothed back in a high bun. Ancient women of the Tang Dynasty used black dye to paint their lips very dark because they believed it showed “tenderness.”

The Beauty Standard of the Sui and Tang Dynasties,r:7,s:93&biw=1280&bih=619

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