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Netflix's New Drama "The Double" Sparks a Song Dynasty Pearl Makeup Trend

The new Netflix drama "The Double" has recently sparked widespread discussion, with the actresses' pearl makeup becoming a hot topic. This show has not only captivated viewers with its storyline but also ignited a trend on the internet with its unique visual style. Social media is flooded with imitation photos and videos, and beauty bloggers are posting tutorials on how to recreate this look. But where does this pearl makeup actually come from? Let's explore the origins and development of Song Dynasty pearl makeup from multiple angles.


Historical Background

The era of the Song Dynasty provided the perfect conditions for the rise of pearl makeup. Song culture was characterized by its inclusive spirit, absorbing the legacies of the Tang and Five Dynasties, and promoting the use of facial ornaments like huadian (decorative floral patches). With the opening of the Silk Road, women in the Song Dynasty began to use pearls and other precious materials to create unique makeup styles. This cultural backdrop made Song Dynasty women's makeup styles more diverse and innovative.

Social Background

The social background of the Song Dynasty also influenced the popularity of pearl makeup. In the Song court, huadian was an essential ornament for royal consorts, and its styles were strictly regulated. This court culture influence made pearl makeup very popular among women in the Song Dynasty. Not only in the palace, but even women in the general populace began to emulate this ornate makeup style, reflecting changes in social fashion.


Neo-Confucian Background

The Neo-Confucian thoughts of the Song Dynasty, such as Zhu Xi's "Preserving Heavenly Principle and Extinguishing Human Desires," also impacted the popularity of pearl makeup. This philosophy emphasized inner beauty and a modest external appearance. Pearl makeup, with its soft and lustrous characteristics, perfectly matched this aesthetic ideal. As a result, pearl makeup gained wide acceptance and admiration in society at the time.

Literary Background

Song Dynasty literary works, such as Jiang Jie’s "Waves Scouring the Sand," also reflected the popularity of pearl makeup. These literary works depicted the appearance of delicate and exquisite pearl ornaments, making pearl makeup even more popular among women in the Song Dynasty. Additionally, poets from the Five Dynasties period like Ouyang Jiong, in his poem "Nuguanzi," described the makeup steps and styles of Song women: "Light makeup on peach-like faces, adorned with floral ornaments all over." These literary works provide vivid evidence of the popularity of pearl makeup during the Song Dynasty.


Representative Figures and Trends

Representative figures of Song Dynasty pearl makeup include Empress Cao, Princess Shouyang, and several Song Dynasty empresses. Empress Cao, as depicted in "Qing Ping Le," showcased the typical styles of Song Dynasty pearl makeup. Princess Shouyang, daughter of Emperor Wu of the Southern Dynasties, was said to have had plum blossoms fall on her forehead while admiring flowers in the palace, creating what later became known as the "plum blossom makeup." Additionally, portraits of at least eight Song Dynasty empresses featured pearl makeup, reflecting the trends of this makeup style.。


In summary, the historical background of Song Dynasty pearl makeup is a complex interplay of cultural, social, Neo-Confucian, and literary influences, making it a very popular makeup style among women in the Song Dynasty. Pearls, the primary material for Song Dynasty pearl makeup, were typically used to adorn the forehead, temples, and cheeks. This makeup style not only gained popularity in China but also on international fashion runways. With the broadcast of "The Double," Song Dynasty pearl makeup has once again drawn attention, allowing us to revisit this ancient and elegant beauty art. Hopefully, you can draw inspiration from this history and create your own unique makeup style. What are your thoughts on this pearl makeup? Feel free to share your opinions and experiences in the comments below!

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