Are the lips of tang dynasty makeup suppose to resemble flower petals?
Hi, thanks for the question! (Photos via 当小时)
Tang dynasty makeup, like the rest of Tang culture, was vibrant and glamorous.
Florid styles of lip makeup were popular – the color of red for lips included red, light red, red with golden powder, pink, etc. Women first put powder onto the lips, and then drew any pattern they liked. During the Tang, many patterns for lip makeup were invented. According to one record, there were 17 patterns in the last 30 years of the dynasty. Below – depictions of Tang lip patterns by 睿汐_Sai:
Out of all the lip patterns, the most popular were the “cherry” lips and “flower petal” lips. Cherry lips refer to lips with the shape and color of a cherry. According to traditional Chinese beauty ideals, a beautiful woman should have a “cherry mouth” that resembles a cherry by being small, cherry-shaped, ruddy, and lustrous. Below – recreations by Chen Yen-hui:
Another famous pattern took the shape of a little flower – “flower petal” lips. To make it, women first made an obvious depression in the middle of the upper lip. Then the upper lip contour took the shape of two petals, and the lower lip another petal.
There were many more Tang lip patterns, but the above two were the most popular.
Bonus – Here are some lip patterns from other Chinese dynasties (X). From left to right, top to bottom – Han, Wei, Song, Ming, Qing, Qing:
For more references on traditional Chinese lip makeup, please see my makeup tag.
Hope this helps! (Source)