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Picture-perfect Lipstick Made from Dunhuang Murals

Are you attracted to the lip color of the ancient Guanyin, or goddess of mercy, when you visit the Mogao Caves of Dunhuang? Though the artwork has lasted thousands of years, the color still seems bright.

Based on the colors of the images of ancient Guanyin in the Mogao Grottoes, the cultural creative research center of Dunhuang Research Academy in Gansu province designed a series of lipsticks.

"For example, this lipstick is made according to the lip color of the Goddess of Mercy in Cave 45," said Chen Haitao, a research center representative. "The lipstick is painted with the well-known painting of Caisson Ceiling with Three Rabbits and Apsaras on the top, and the bottom is engraved with four Chinese characters, meaning 'miss Dunhuang.'"

Chen said many traditional Chinese colors have unique features, such as red lotus gray and rouge red, and these colors can all be found in Dunhuang murals. They use these traditional colors to form Chinese-color lipsticks, and don't add any preservatives, ensuring high quality. In addition, tourists can create their favorite colors by themselves.

The cultural creative research center where Chen is based was established in 2016, and is dedicated to interpreting and sharing Dunhuang art and culture in a more vivid, novel way. Besides the lipstick, the center has also started activities like making personalized painting albums. Postcards and a cartoon are also produced based on Dunhuang murals. In the future, Dunhuang cultural experience pavilions will be set up in other big cities in China such as Beijing and Shanghai, according to Chen.