History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style

The Tang dynasty makeup style can almost be said to be the most versatile in the entire ancient history of China, because both in terms of national power and politics, the Tang dynasty almost reached the pinnacle of history, and because of this prosperity, the makeup of the women's makeup in the people's peace of environment constantly changing refinement.

With the transformation of the early Tang Dynasty, the flourishing Tang Dynasty, and the middle and late Tang Dynasty, the makeup was also making different changes, and for this reason, some special makeups were created, as we can see from the many ancient wall paintings and drawings.

History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style



Early Tang Dynasty makeup style: the beauty of simplicity

In the early Tang Dynasty, influenced by the short-lived Sui Dynasty (581-617), the royal family did not pursue luxury and advocated simplicity. Therefore, the overall makeup of the women's more subtle and graceful, to lightly coated with lead white makeup and lightly coated with rouge red makeup mainly.

 | White Makeup |

Since ancient times, people have advocated the beauty of white, so women have the custom of powder, only to the Tang Dynasty, women's powder and style more diverse and prevalent. During the Zhenguan period, white makeup was popular among women, probably the same as modern girls wearing BB creams and foundations.

History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style

One type of powder is made from rice that is soaked by women, rinsed and ground repeatedly, and spices added. The other is a powder made from chemical substances such as lead powder, which has a strong bonding effect, and is called "Hufen (胡粉, Hu powder) " or "Qianfen (铅粉, lead powder)".

History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style

| Red Makeup |

In order to highlight the contours of the face and make the face look redder, women would choose one or a few places to dye rouge on the forehead, eyelids, cheeks, and chin during the Zhenguan to Wuzhou period.

As a result, red makeup such as Huadian(花钿), Xiehong(斜红), Mianye(面靥), and other red makeup and accessories have gradually diversified.

History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style



Flourishing Tang Dynasty makeup style: the beauty of openness

After the Wuzhou period, the Tang Dynasty was at its peak, and there was closer communication between different ethnic groups, so women's makeup also developed a new style. It was common for women to wear men's clothing, without Weimao(帷帽) and put on a pretty make-up. However, the women's pursuit of beauty in the Tang Dynasty did not stop there, their facial makeup also changed a lot. Women's red makeup redder, face rouge, Huadian also more and more.

For example, the Jiuyun makeup (酒晕妆, jiǔ yùn zhuāng), like a woman after drinking wine, is the most intense of the red makeup; the next is the Feixia makeup (飞霞妆, fēi xiá zhuāng), which has a white touched with red feel; the lightest is the more girly Peach-blossom makeup, light and bright as a peach blossom.

| Jiuyun makeup |

History of Tang Dynasty Makeup StyleHistory of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style

| Peach-blossom makeup |

History of Tang Dynasty Makeup StyleHistory of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style

In addition, there are some alternative makeups, such as tear makeups(泪妆) and Ti makeups(啼妆, tí zhuāng), which are even more like spreading rouge all over the face.

| Tear Makeup |

Tear makeup is a type of white make-up, with plain powder applied to the cheeks to show the effect of tear stains. It is said that this makeup style was invented by Madam Guoguo (虢国夫人), the sister of Yang Guifei.

The Madam Guoguo once went to the palace, discarded the color of rouge is too strong, so put the plain powder on the cheeks, without rouge, it looked like tears running down cheeks. Since then, tear makeup has also become popular in the Tang Palace.

History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style

| Ti Makeup |

Ti Makeup first originated in the Eastern Han Dynasty and became popular again at the height of the Tang Dynasty. In Ti Makeup, a woman would apply rouge under her eyes, and then draw eyebrows in the shape of the Chinese character "eight (八)", and then blend the Xiehong with her face. This shows the shallow marginal line between the red powder on the side of the face, such as tears dyed out of the traces of the general, have a pitiful, soft beauty.

History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style


title-019Middle & Late Tang Dynasty makeup style: the beauty of exaggeration

After the An Shi Rebellion (安史之乱), women's makeup went through a peaceful transition period for decades, during which there were not many new styles and it became lighter.

History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style

In the mid to late Tang Dynasty, due to the impact of national and social unrest, women's lives were no longer as unrestrained as they were during the peak of the Tang Dynasty, so their makeup also gradually changed.

However, the red makeup was still the mainstay, but women who liked to be different were more daring in the field of fashion and innovative makeup, but also absorbed more exotic elements, making a lot of makeup full of fantastic imagination, and even unbelievable.

| Shishi Makeup |

The most prominent of the late Tang dynasty women's distinctive make-up was the Yuanhe period's Shishi makeup (时世妆, shí shì zhuāng).

It is further exaggerated on the basis of the Ti makeup, the two cheeks painted redder, lips painted black, eyebrows painted as the end of the forked "Fen Shao eyebrows (分梢眉)", or shaped like a spring silkworm out of a cocoon "Chu Jian eyebrows (出茧眉)", the overall image is black eyebrows, face ochre, black lips.

History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style

| Xieyun Makeup |

By the Changqing period, Shishi makeup was out of fashion. The woman's black lips are no longer visible, but then another eye-opening makeup, Xie Yun makeup (血晕妆,xiě yùn zhuāng), began to prevail.

A simple way to describe the Xieyun Makeup is that the woman shaves off all of her eyebrows and then draws three or four red or purple lines above and below her eyes to imitate the effect of being scratched, giving the impression of a bloodied wound.

History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style History of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style



Tang Dynasty Makeup - a reflection of the culture of the times

Tang dynasty social and economic, political and cultural prosperity, open atmosphere, giving women unprecedented tolerance, women's makeup with the historical timeline, from subtle grace to graceful and elegant, so that we can see the creativity of women and artistic charm. This article only lists some of the classic Tang Dynasty makeup creations, not all of them.

History of Tang Dynasty Makeup StyleHistory of Tang Dynasty Makeup Style

Although the makeup of women in ancient times was aesthetically different compared to modern times, but behind every makeup, is the performance of Chinese cultural connotation, just with the flow of history, Tang Dynasty makeup has not been continued in life.

Overall, the boldness and innovation of Tang women in the pursuit of beauty and fashion have added an indelible chapter to the history of makeup and the Chinese culture.

Image Source & Model: Niki-镜子 & Vanessa_娜萨酱


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4 comment A文章作者 M管理员
  1. LiangYuZuan

    I had no idea there are so many forms of makeup. Did they have makeup artists back then? Beauty schools? Technique manuals? How did girls and women learn to do makeup at home?

    • April

      I think it's more about imitating and learning from each other among friends, and the cosmetic merchants of the time will also play a role.

  2. inconsequentia

    this is really cool! you mentioned that women would sometimes wear men's clothing. did men ever wear any sort of make up?

    • April

      Ancient men also wore makeup, and I will write an article on this topic late.😁

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