Geisha Makeup Tutorial

Traditional makeup is one of the most recognizable characteristics of a geisha or maiko. The maiko (geisha apprentice) wears the full makeup daily until she has been in service as a geisha for three years, while an older and more established geisha will wear more subdued makeup except for special occasions. Here are step-by-step instructions on how you can recreate this look on your own. Have fun!

Geisha Before you Start:
Gather your Supplies

We used:
-Mehron StarBlend™ Cake makeup in Butterfly/Geisha
-Mehron foam sponge
-Mehron powder puff
-Mehron colorset powder
-Mehron Blushtone in Bronze
-Mehron Lip Rouge in Medium
-Bright pink lipstick
-Blusher brush
-Assorted detail makeup brushes
-Cup of water (optional - but we find that the StarBlend™ Cake makeup provides even better coverage if applied with a wet sponge!)
Geisha Step 1:
Be sure to start with clean skin. Using the foam sponge dipped in a bit of water, paint a coat of the Butterfly/Geisha cake makeup over the entire face. Use the blusher brush to help wipe away any excess. Don't worry yet about making it perfectly even and opaque!
Step 2:
Extend the coat of Butterfly/Geisha down to the neck. If you would like, leave a "W"-shaped un-painted area at the nape of the neck, just under the hairline. For special occasions, such as when a maiko becomes a geisha, three lines are left unpainted.

Now you can go back and add more coats to make the white base makeup more opaque. Don't worry yet about the any flaws or uneven spots - we'll go back and fix it up in the next step.

Notice that the area under the eyes is still uncovered, as well as around the lips - we'll get to that soon!
Bald Step 3:
Use a makeup brush to paint the Butterfly/Geisha on around the eyes, as well as around the mouth.

Now you can use the colorset powder and powder puff to soak up the excess moisture from the water and blend the entire foundation so it is as even as possible.
Geisha Step 4:
Use a small brush with the Blushtone Bronze to paint over the eyebrows. If you have dark, thick eyebrows, you may want to use Eyebrow Wax to flatten and smooth them down.

Use a thin brush and the pink lipstick to add small accents around the outside corners of the eyes.

Use a brush or your fingers to paint the Lip Rouge over the lips.

Now, if you are going for a Junior or Senior maiko makeup, you will want to add a cherry-pink blush to your cheeks and eye area (for a Junior maiko, make the pink more pronounced, and for a Senior maiko, go for a more subtle pink.)
Step 5:
Go back and make any adjustments needed, and add your finishing touches.

We added some false eyelashes, and went back to re-touch the white foundation base.

You may also want to dust on some setting powder once you're all finished.

Now add a kimono and wig (we did some extra styling to the wig, and added kanzashi, fake flowers, and a feather butterfly for decoration) and you're ready to go!
Geisha Geisha

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