Makeup artist brings confidence and hope to rural women

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It was the first time that Jiang Dong'e had ever worn makeup. The 48-year-old rural woman was very curious when looking at all the various cosmetics spread out in front of her on the table.

Jiang lives in Hexie Village in the city of Yongzhou, central China's Hunan Province. Over the years, she had fallen into the routine life of planting rice during the busy farming season and doing odd jobs during the slack times.

One day, makeup artist Zhou Wenjuan came to Jiang and did her makeup, something Jiang did not even have done on her wedding day.

Zhou was born in 1988 in Chaoyang Village in Yongzhou City. As a girl who loves to dress up, she decided to learn how to do makeup in Beijing in 2007. In 2012, Zhou returned to Yongzhou City where she became a professional makeup artist.

"I started to think about doing makeup for these women who have never tried it before," Zhou said.

Each time she went back to her hometown, Zhou found that the rural women in her village became more curious about her cosmetics.

During the Spring Festival of 2020, Zhou got a chance to realize her dream as the COVID-19 epidemic left villagers stranded at home.

Zhou did their makeup for free, and meanwhile, she showcased the before and after photos via video clips. But Zhou did not expect that her videos would go viral online after she posted them.

Since then, Zhou started to visit more neighboring villages to bring the experience to more rural women.

In addition to makeup, Zhou also gave Jiang some advice on her hairstyles and how to dress. Jiang was also amazed by her new look.

So far, Zhou has given more than 50 rural women makeovers. Some of them have developed an interest in learning makeup since they found that makeup can not only make them feel better about how they look but also help them earn money.

"Many rural women are very dedicated to working all their lives. I hope that in the process of introducing them to makeup, they can discover their own beauty," Zhou said.

China's rural revitalization strategy is helping revamp the countryside. The strategy which was first put forward in 2017 aims to achieve basic modernization of agriculture and rural areas by 2035, and the grand goal of a strong agricultural industry, beautiful countryside and well-off farmers by 2050. 

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