In ancient China, especially in the Tang Dynasty, there were seven steps in cosmetic makeup(化妆品huàzhuāngpǐn) for the belles: powder(粉末fěnmò) base, applying color to the face, eye-brow darkening, applying "forehead gold" or "floral twinkle/gold", painting the dimples(酒窝jiǔwō), decorating the cheeks(面颊miànjiá) and applying lip(唇chún) color. 

在中国古代,尤其是在唐代,美女们有七个步骤用于美容化妆:柔粉眼影、脸部扑粉、画眉、敷额黄或花钿/金、画酒窝、美化脸颊与涂口红。


If eyes are the window to the soul(灵魂línghún), lips are the mirrors of one's character and temperament(气质qìzhì). Being an important part of face decoration(装饰zhuāngshì) as shown above, lip makeup enjoys a long history and has various patterns in different periods. 

如果说眼睛是心灵的窗户,那么嘴唇就是一个人性格与气质的镜子。作为脸部装饰的一个重要部分,嘴部化妆以有很长时间的历史,且在不同时期有不同的模式。

It is believed that lip makeup was originally practiced to please the gods in religious occasions. As time passed by, people realized that it could liven up one's spirit(精神jīngshén) and sometimes even could reveal one's social status. As a consequence, different materials for lip beauty products were constantly tested and used to make the lips red and bright, creating the Chinese art of lip makeup. 

我们认为,嘴唇化妆最早起源于宗教场合中对神祗的取悦。随着时间的推移,人们意识到嘴唇化妆可以使一个人的精神更有生气,有时候甚至能显示一个人的社会地位。因此,不同材质的唇部美容产品经常被用于使唇部变得红润明亮,这创造了中国的唇部美容艺术。

The lip beauty products in ancient China were normally called "lip balm" or "mouth balm", as recorded by the Chinese dictionary Shiming (or: Explanation of Names) written by Liu Xi in the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD25—AD220). 

在古代中国,美唇产品经常被称为“润唇膏”或“口唇膏”,其被记载在东汉时期(公元25年—公元220年)刘歆的著作《山海经》当中。

It should be pointed out that, in its early stage, as with most other types of makeup, lip balm was typically, but not exclusively, worn by women. This paste-like and sticky mixture was applied to relieve chapped or dry lips caused by dry air, cold temperatures(温度wēndù) or wind. The primary purpose(目的mùdì) of lip balm is to provide a layer on the lip surface(表面biǎomiàn) to seal moisture(水分shuǐfèn) in, protecting them from external exposure. 

应该指出的是,在早期,同其他美容类型相比,唇膏是具有代表性,但并非女性独一无二的产品。这种膏状且粘稠的混合物被用于减轻因干燥空气、低温或风引起的唇部龟裂或干燥。最初使用唇膏的目的是为了给唇部表面添加一层能保持水分、防止外部辐射的保护膜。

During historic times, the raw material was vermilion(朱砂zhūshā), whose chemical composition is mercuric sulfide (HgS). It was produced in Hunan, Guizhou and Sichuan Province and bears the perfect color for ideal lips. However, lacking strong adhesion(粘附zhānfù), vermilion is easily dissolved on warm lips so its shiny red could not last long. Therefore, later on, the ancient people added mineral wax and animal fat, making vermilion water-proof with strong adhesive force. 

在信史时期,唇膏的材质是朱砂,其化学成分为硫化汞。其产自湖南、贵州和四川,能为理想的嘴唇提供完美颜色。然而,由于缺乏牢固的附着力,朱砂在温润的嘴唇上很容易溶解,所以其亮红色的效果不能持久。因此,后来古人又添加了矿蜡与动物油脂,使防水朱砂有了牢固的附着力。

The early lip balm was not like the lipstick we see today, but was a paste held in a particular container(容器róngqì). After Sui (AD 589 — AD 618) and Tang Dynasties, some lip balm was processed into solid substance, tubular in shape. Being handy, this new type soon gained popularity. The production of lip balm has not undergone great renovation(革新géxīn) only until modern times. 

早期的唇膏并不像我们今天所看到的口红这样,它是置于特殊容器中的膏状物。隋代(公元589年—公元618年)与唐代以后,一些唇膏开始呈管状固体结构。因为使用便利,这一新款很快得以普及。直到现代社会之前,唇膏产品就未经历过重大的革新。

The lip balm in ancient China also bore fantastic fragrance(芬芳fēnfāng). In the North Dynasty (AD 386—AD 581) raw materials included ageratum(藿香huòxiāng) and clove(丁香dīngxiāng). In the Tang Dynasty, artificial flavors were added to the lip balm. 

古代中国的唇膏还能产生不可思议的芬芳。在北朝时期(公元386年—公元581年),其材质还包括藿香与丁香。在唐代,人造香味剂被添加到唇膏中去。