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Naturally Beautiful_ Ancient Korean Makeup _ the Korea Blog

Naturally Beautiful_ Ancient Korean Makeup _ the Korea Blog

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Published by Mitzie Correa
Blog entry on ancient Korean beauty techniques. Published on The Korea Blog of the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS).
Blog entry on ancient Korean beauty techniques. Published on The Korea Blog of the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS).

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Published by: Mitzie Correa on Apr 14, 2012
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3/10/12Naturally Beautiful: Ancient Korean Makeup The Korea Blog1/4blog.korea.net/?p=6762
The Korea BlogThe Korea Blog
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Naturally Beautiful: Ancient Korean Makeup
Published ByWKBOn January 12th 2012. Under  All,Worldwide Korea BloggersTags:beauty,Culture,Korea,South Korea,THE KOREA BLOG  Share
* This post is written by Michelle Correa, one of the Korea Blogs Worldwide Korea Bloggers.
If you like watching Korean historical dramas, youve probably seen scenes where women color their faces with various concoctions laid out neatly in tiny ceramic containers. In Hwang Jin-Yi, for example, theres this scene were the courtesans were being taught and trained in applyingmakeup, using charcoal to define their eyebrows.
K-drama Hwang Jin Yi
This scene (among many others) got me curious about how Korean women from the olden timesprettified themselves. Charcoal? For the eyebrows? Really? But why?
Makeup according to class
 A quick Google search got me some preliminary answers. Based from articles I read from theinternet, I learned that makeup of upper class women and common people differed, so you can
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 You Are Here :The Korea Blog»All,Worldwide Korea Bloggers» Naturally Beautiful: Ancient Korean Makeup
3/10/12Naturally Beautiful: Ancient Korean Makeup The Korea Blog2/4blog.korea.net/?p=6762
usually tell which class a woman belonged to based not only on the way they dressed but on theway they colored their faces as well.
 An 18th century Korean beauty. Attributed to Kim Hong-Do(A.D. 1745- ?) © Seoul National University Museum
Simple and light makeup was especially preferred by the upper class women and was seen bythem as the ideal look of beauty, according to the Record of the Chinese Embassy to the KoryoCourt, Xuanhe fengshi Gaoli tujing (1123) . Applying too much makeup was a no-no, so the onlycosmetic they colored their faces with were powder without rouge. They also liked drawingeyebrows in the shape of a willow leaf.During the Chosun period, aristocratic women began using a mixture of flower ashes, indigo plantsand gold powder for the eyebrows. Makeup made of saffron flowers and cinnabar, meanwhile, wereused for the cheeks and lips. A pale skin color was preferred, in accordance to the Confucian idealof dignified and simple demeanor. They avoided white powder for the face, since this wasassociated with the lowly kisaeng, or women entertainers who were trained in the art of music,dance and poetry. Instead, aristocratic women of the time used light-peach-colored makeup. Tomake their hair shiny, upper class women applied peony flower oil.The common people of Chosun were not to be left out. They also enhanced their features withcolor, but with less expensive cosmetics. To highlight their eyebrows, they used a piece of charcoal (which explains the charcoal-for-the-eyebrows scene in K-drama Hwang Jin-Yi). For thelips, they used dried red pepper.Natural makeup, which didnt contain preservatives, was made in small batches according to whatwomen needed per makeup application. Makeup items were kept in small containers with narrowopenings to prevent contamination and spoilage.
Kyuhapchongso: Aristocratic womens guidebook
More can be learned about how Korean women beautified themselves through the bookKyuhapchongso (1809), which contains a comprehensive guide for Chosun periods upper classwomen on how to make cosmetic products and fragrances, perfumes, and oils for the hair. Thebook even has descriptions of shapes of eyebrows.
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3/10/12Naturally Beautiful: Ancient Korean Makeup The Korea Blog3/4blog.korea.net/?p=6762
Gyuhap chongseo. Fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyuhap_chongseo
 Aside from beauty, majority of the books contents details other useful advice for women, such ascooking, cloth-making, gardening, and family life, among other things. It was written by LadyBingheogak Yi.I tried searching for more information on Google (in English) but didnt find much. A trip to my locallibrary didnt yield many results either. I wish I can get a hold of this guidebook to learn more aboutwomens lives in ancient Korea, preferably a version thats been translated to English. =) Sigh. Isuppose that will be one of my projects for the year. So if anyone of my readers can point me tothe right direction and resources, please do. Someone here really wants to try making her ownnatural and organic concoctions and potions the Korean way! =)References:http://www.asianartnewspaper.com/article/the-cosmetic-culture-of-ancient-koreahttp://www.mimifroufrou.com/scentedsalamander/2008/04/beauty_perfume_in_traditional.htmlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyuhap_chongseoComments

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