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Blue Eyebrows

In the early seventh century, (600 AD TO 701 AD) an Emperor of China is reported to have requisitioned twenty-seven quarts of eyebrow pigment each day from palace officials for his harem’s use. Painted eyebrows became particularly popular in China around this time. The brow was shaved or plucked away and then redrawn in a variety of colors.

As early as the 2nd and 3rd Century AD, the royal consorts of Chinese Emperor Wu were made to draw their eyebrows on using blue pigments.

This color, known as Quingdai, was made up of an indigo plant base, or

possibly involving lapis lazuli imported from Persia. Wherever it came from, Quingdai was prohibitively expensive, which was why Wu wanted his ladies to use it. It provided a visual display of his wealth.

In an age where there were no fashion magazines or style icons, the definition of beauty was largely decided by what the emperor preferred. If the makeup of a particular imperial concubine was appreciated by the ruler, her style would become a trend that was followed by both the nobles and commoners.

Either way, Emperor Wu’s court set a fashion trend. Historically, Chinese women have been known to have used red, yellow, blue, green, and purple pigments on their eyebrows.


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