These days, more and more women around the world, who are not Japanese, fall in love with Japan’s culture and learn how to dress like a geisha. Of course, real geishas traditionally are Japanese females only, but the Western ladies also can appreciate the looks of this interesting Japanese character. So, we’ve decided to show you how to easily apply the geisha makeup, using tools you can easily get your hands on. Actually, nothing too complicated, but you need a bit of experience to make everything right.
Always wearing beautiful Japanese kimono, elaborate hairdos or intricate wigs, trademarked by their impeccable makeup – geisha is truly a living work of art.
What we’re going to show you today is an easy and inexpensive method of the traditional geisha makeup, using tools you can easily get your hands on. So, let's start.
Hydrate your skin with a light moisturizer before applying any makeup. Traditionally, geishas used a grease consisting of wax and chamomile oil.
Using a light-green concealer, channel out any red discoloration on your face. Good preparation is crucial for the makeup to sit neatly.
Dip a makeup sponge in warm water, followed by a generous amount of white concealer. Start lining neatly along your hairline and then continue by covering all parts of your face down to your jawline, including your eyebrows. Apply enough layers to make your face appear somewhat featureless, just like a mask.
To set the concealer, apply high-pigmented white powder on all the concealed parts. This process is called “shironuri”. As the traditional shironuri makeup (consisting of grease and white paste) is so thick that the pores only get a little opportunity to breathe, many geishas experience skin alterations.
Blush is usually applied around the eyes up to the brow bone. Only on geisha apprentices, a hint of pink blush is used. This lady uses copper blush and presses a large powder brush following the shape of her eye sockets.
A geisha’s eyebrows are straight and in line with the corners of the eye. You can use a simple face razor to get your eyebrows in shape.
Using an eyebrow pencil in a dark but natural shade, carefully fill in your eyebrows. Now, tint your eyebrows with a red eye shadow.
Use a kohl liner to line along your lash line. Start at the very inner corner of your eye and stop with a small wing.
Using red lipstick, outline a petal around the black eyeliner from the corner of your eye and covering 1/4 of your lower eyelid. Carefully fill in the shape to create more expressive eyes. These red accents are necessary to both fire up the expression and add a sophisticated touch. And we can agree that, without these, a geisha would look quite spooky.
Apply lengthening mascara on the outer part of your eyelashes to match the petal shape.
To paint the lips, put some lipstick on a small brush since you’re only going to outline your lips inside the natural lip line. This aesthetic of small powder lips is called “ochobo guchi” and traces back to the old days of Japan.
Look for a shading powder that is as close as possible to your natural hair color. Gently cover up some of the white makeup using small amounts of shading powder. Rather than taking a large amount of shading powder at once, try to layer up until the white spot is hidden.