Asian J Beauty Cosmetol. 2013; 11(4): 769-779.
A Study of the Make-up Tone Style and its Trend in the Late Joseon Dynasty
Yang-soon Kim, and Hyun-ju Cho
This study examined the faces in the portraits of beautiful women and those of gisaengs (entertaining attendants) in genre pictures painted in the late Joseon dynasty, and made a comparative analysis of the make-up tones which prevailed in the period. Thirty faces of beauties and gisaengs were represented using Chinese ink and applying hues and tones which are on the Munsell scale of 10 hues and 12 tones and which were most similar to those found in the portraits of beautiful women and the genre pictures. The make-up tones prevalent in the late Joseon Dynasty largely corresponded to those described in the literature and historical materials concerned, and the results are as follows. The pictures showed egg-shaped faces with chubby cheeks, white yellowish and clear toned skin (5Y/Vp), and various shapes of thin, round and soft eyebrows including a crescent form. The eyes showing clear upper lines seemed to be painted in Chinese ink, and the make-up tone on the eyelids was the same as the tone of the complexion (5Y/Vp). The eyebrows were painted in such various colors as black, dark gray or dark brown (N1~8, 5YR/Dk). Cherry-like lips were small and painted in bright and vivid colors such as scarlet and red (5YR. 5R/B.V). The only powdered cheeks (5Y/Vp) looked natural with little make-up. The representation of the faces in the pictures and a comparative analysis of the make-up tones of the faces in the original paintings based on the Munsell scale led to the fact that women of the Joseon Dynasty had a sophisticated make-up technique and a balanced color sense ahead of their time and used a one point make-up as shown by their feminine, clear and white-yellowish skin tone and reddish lips in the pictures.
Keywords : Make-up tones, The late Joseon Dynasty gisaeng, Balanced sense of color