The Hair and Makeup in Mulan | Interview
The Hidden Meaning Behind Mulan's Biggest Hair and Makeup Moments Might Surprise You
Out of everything, symbolism played the biggest part in Kum's decisions. "A lot of Chinese culture uses symbolism when it comes to color and that was the main thing that informed the makeup for me," she said. "Every color we used had a reason and a meaning within the Chinese culture, as well as how it worked aesthetically."
The primary colors [are] also redolent in animation and early Disney, made very Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck colors. I quite like that cross-cultural reference.
That's why you'll see a lot of red in the film — red symbolizes good luck and is an important color for the Chinese culture. "They're also primary colors. There's the white face powder, and then there are the slightly bluish eyebrows. There's the yellow forehead and the red lips and cheeks and markings on the forehead, which is a decorative element."
There's also a nod to early Disney animations in Kum's color choices: "The primary colors also being very redolent in animation and early Disney, made very Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck colors. I quite like that cross-cultural reference between something being very essentialist and also something being very modern and very retro at the same time."