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A makeup career that is more than just cosmetic

Updated: 2021-07-22 08:15 ( China Daily )
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Chen Yinli from Luyi county, Central China's Henan province, is grateful that she can indulge her passion for makeup and beauty, and at the same time earn a living.

Chen works in the business of turning raw wool into makeup brushes for renowned cosmetics brands. The county where she lives and works produces more than 80 percent of China's total cosmetics brushes for clients from over 20 countries and regions.

However, back in the 1970s, most of the households in the county made a living by raising sheep, and much of the raw wool from the slaughtered sheep were discarded as villagers considered it useless.

Local officials and farmers were encouraged to open workshops to process and sell the castoff after learning from those who worked outside their hometown in foreign trade businesses that processed wool could fetch a price as high as that of sheep.

Following the reform and opening-up policy in the late 1970s, investment from Japan and the Republic of Korea poured into China's coastal areas, which drove several farmers in Luyi to seek opportunities there with the profits they earned from opening workshops.

They set up contract companies in coastal cities producing cosmetics brushes for dozens of international brands. However, due to the rising land and labor prices, some labor-intensive industries gradually relocated from coastal areas to inland provinces and cities.

Since 2015, the makeup brush production lines that scattered across the eastern provinces began to move to Luyi.

"We moved our production base to Luyi, but we still keep an office in Shenzhen of Guangdong province to handle international orders and receive customers from all over the world," says Liang Qingzhi, one of the earliest business owners from the county who returned to their hometown to continue operation.

The local county government also launched a program and rolled out favorable policies to attract entrepreneurs to return.

The business of makeup brushes is making its own contribution to the country's rural vitalization endeavors, says Li Gang, Party chief of Luyi.

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