A Manchu lady after having her face painted

Beijing 1871 - 1872

archive photo of a girl and a lady attending to a Chinese woman in traditional costume

© The Wellcome Library, London

After the hair had been dressed, the face was painted. In Qing China, Manchu and Chinese women, in particular those from wealthy families, tended to cover both their face and neck with a thick white paste. When the paste was dry, it was smoothed and polished. Afterwards a blush of rose powder was applied to the cheeks and eyelids. The surplus rouge was left on the lady's palms, as rose-pink on the hand was greatly esteemed.

Chinese translation

A pdf of the information about this image in Chinese is also available to download:

Chinese translation|