Everything you need to know about the 'Mulan make-up challenge'

The ‘Mulan Make-Up Challenge’ takes Weibo by storm bringing back some classic Chinese beauty trends

Photo: Walt Disney Studios
After the release of the teaser trailer for Mulan, Disney’s latest live-action remake, the reaction has been mixed. From the inaccuracies over geography to the lack of Mushu the dragon, people all over the world have had a lot to say about the film which isn’t due in cinemas for another six months.

Walt Disney Studios
Photo: Walt Disney Studios

The birth of a cultural phenomenon
It’s not all bad news. Chinese netizens have hooked onto something very specific, the make-up from that match-making scene, and created the ‘Mulan make-up challenge’.

Walt Disney Studios
Photo: Walt Disney Studios

While netizens suggest the look is ugly (as well as criticising the casting of Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei), there are those that argue the make-up is accurate to the period and are praising the production team for their attention to detail as well as enjoying that the floral decoration looks like a certain Chinese electronic brand’s logo. Internet users can’t hate the make-up that much as the hastags #MulanMakeupImitation (#花木兰仿妆#) and #MulanMakeupImitationContest (#花木兰仿妆大赛#) have gathered over 300 million views on Weibo.

It’s not just for the girls either, the guys getting involved too and there’s been some serious cosplay from those who like to go all out:

Weibo @大大大星Ann
Photo: Weibo/@大大大星Ann

We don’t like to judge here at Time Out, so if you’re brave enough to try your hand at this particular challenge we have a few tips for you…

How to get the look
Way back in the day the infamous match-making look was created by covering the face with rice flour to make a ‘blank canvas’ and highlight the roundness of the face. Strong colour using crushed flowers was then applied to the cheeks and a floral decoration added to the forehead after the yellow ‘aura’ or ‘Buddha’s make-up’ was painted on, which was popularised by the Buddhist faith at the time.

These days, a base of powder, a bit of blusher, some lipstick and a dusting of yellow eye shadow will probably suffice. Oh, and don’t forget to draw the Huawei logo between your eyebrows.

Going the extra mile
If you want to take it further and really live the trend, clothing designer and Weibo user Aoluojia (@京渝堂汉家铺子) has created a line of Tang dynasty inspired clothing, giving you an edge over all the other Mulan wannabes.

Still lost? Here’s some inspiration from Weibo’s best and brightest, but with that kind of talent out there, you may want to leave it to the professionals.

See more

  • 4 out of 5 stars
submit