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Cosmetics in Ancient China Illustration

Cosmetics

Ancient China for Kids

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Fashion in any culture changes with time. The history of ancient China covers 11,000 years! Eyebrows, for example, have always been part of ancient Chinese fashion. In 2c BCE, eyebrows had sharp, pointed tops. In 2c A.D., eyebrows were gently curved.

In some time periods, noble ancient Chinese women and men used a rice flower on their face to make it white. They darkened their eyebrows. This black and white contrast was pleasing to the ancient Chinese, rather like a drawing.

During Han times, women started using a rouge, which was something like lipstick. This rouge was used on their lips to form different shapes including circles, hearts, and flowers.

During Tang times, people carried little makeup boxes that held a mirror, rouge, and a lipstick. Men had topknots. They shaved their heads except for the hair right in the center of the top of their head, which they let grow long. Then they wrapped it up in a knot. This was called a topknot! They used gold and decorated hair pins to keep them in place. On their heads, women balanced jeweled crowns with little jingling bells dangling from the edges. Women used little make-up boxes that held a mirror, rouge, and lipstick. Eyebrows were carefully designed. In T'ang times, eyebrows were shaped like little mountains, like this ^.

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Makeup in Ancient China

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Interactive Quiz for Ancient China (with answers)