Plum makeup 梅花妆or落梅妆

You may have seen in Chinese films set in imperial eras, the ladies often decorate their forehead with painting, gems, pearls, scale and even flowers.

This forehead decorating is called as Hua Dian (花鈿).

The story

It was said that the first person to decorate her forehead was Princess Shou Yang (寿陽公主), the favorite daughter of Emperor Wu of Liu-Song Dynasty (宋武帝).

Princess Shou Yang was sleeping under a plum tree when she was suddenly woken up by her chambermaid telling her that she had been summoned by her father.

The princess rushed herself out of the imperial garden while her maid tried to pick up the petals of plum blossom from her head and body.

As the beautiful princess entered the throne room, everybody was looking at her, amazed at her new “make-up”. Apparently, there was a small petal stuck on her forehead.

The Emperor praised the princess for being so creative, telling her that she looked so much more beautiful than usual.

This so-called plum blossom make up (梅花粧) soon became the trend among the ladies of the court and the spread out the the whole country.

In ancient times, you needed to fulfill these 7 steps to finish your makeup routine:


The only piece of relic discovered by archeologists today that has direct relation with the famous, one and only Empress Wu (武則天)of Wuzhou (武周). This piece of Gold is used as a giving to the God to reflect on the wrongdoings of the Empress as the Emperor. Her name 武瞾 is clearly shown in the middle of the piece.

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15 roles currently casting in China

Mulan – 18 to 25 years old to play 18, soft and light, fit and agile, is stronger than she looks.

Chen Honghui – In his 20s, tall and burly, confident and handsome, wants to become the best soldier in history.

General Tong Yong – In his 50s, army commander, has the majesty of a lion, awe-inspiring.

Khan Xie Li – Leader of Turkic tribes, has the strength of a fine horse.

Xian Lang – In her 40s, a female shaman, has ruthless and cunning eyes.

Taizong Emperor – The current Chinese emperor.

Wu Wei – Mulan’s mother, in her 30s at the start of the film and in her 40s by the end.

Hua Zhou – Mulan’s father, very frail, in his 30s at the start of the film and in his 40s by the end.

Instructor Jiang – In his 40s, Mulan’s army instructor, sturdy and tough, strong voice.

Huang Xi Shuai – In his 20s, a new recruit, fat and clumsy.

Ah Bu – In his 20s, soldier, reliable and strong, has a large head, people are intimidated when they see him.

Ah Lin – In his 20s, soldier, a romantic.

Xiu – Mulan’s sister, in her late teens at the beginning, very traditional.

Young Xiu –10 years old, long black hair, very traditional.

Young Mulan – 8 years old, playful and adventurous, has grand dreams of winning glory for her family.


New posters of Fan Bingbing in ‘The Empress of China’

The Empress of China is an upcoming Chinese television drama based on events in 7th and 8th-century Tang dynasty, starring producer Fan Bingbing as the titular character Wu Zetian—the only woman in Chinese history to rule as an emperor.

The 'Empress of China’ begins on Hunan TV December 21, 2014

Source: Sina/Wikipedia

yao with- who else? the only woman to rule as emperor- wu ze tian. she was originally a concubine of emperor taizhong, but later married his son, emperor gaozhong. she rose to power- and eventually the throne- via her political savvy and ruthlessness in eliminating her rivals. some people even think she might’ve killed her own child to eliminate the previous empress by accusing her of the murder! (though this is not proven) her reign saw the expansion of the tang dynasty empire far into central asia, and many other significant political and developments developments.

(here she’s supposed to still be a concubine, but i totally have this idea that the aph characters do kind of have this…sixth sense when they meet people who are gonna be very, very significant to their history…)

Prince Huan of Changsha - The title posthumously bestowed by Sun Quan to his late older brother when he declared himself emperor of Wu. 

I just refined a sketch I did earlier today :P


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Today I was at an exhibition about the ancient Chinese city Luoyang, at it’s most prosperous time, before and during the Tang dynasty. Luoyang was at that time a blooming trading centre and a mulicultural melting pot of a society that was fairly tolerant of other religions and customs, and that offered relatively high freedom for the higher born court ladies. Apparently this was due to influence from the surrounding nomadic cultures that offered higher freedom for women to act in the public sphere compared to chinese tradition at the time, and who often married into the noble families in the city. During that time, the only woman to ever claim the title Emperor of China ruled, Wu Zetian (it’s her portrait above). There’s a lot more to say about the city and time period, but I am probably not the right person, since I know very little about it (at this point). It was really fascinating and I really want to dig up more about this period now!