Geisha Make-Up Made Easy

Geisha, by tradition, are female entertainers in Japan.  Often linked to mysterious houses of ill-repute, it’s more proper to link these talented women with courtesans, but even that doesn’t seem to do them justice.  How women happened to fall into the trade of Geisha, or the apprentice role of Maiko, seems to be as sketchy as any hard-luck tale but you wouldn’t know it due to all the beauty and grace for which these lovely women are most famously known.


Modern Geisha

  • Traditionally Geisha start with a base of white paint, but for a more modern spin try using a foundation three shades lighter than your natural tone.  Be sure to blend well and apply concealer where needed. Don’t forget the neck.
  • Pat on loose powder with a powder puff, then buff with a powder brush for a matte finish.
  • Define brows with a crème shadow topped with a rusty-brown shadow.  The thicker your brows, the younger you’ll look.
  • Cover your whole eyelid with a matte vanilla color, then dot a hot pink shadow at the outer corner of the lid.  Geisha traditionally use red at the outer corner, but any bright color will do.  Blend this towards the upper and lower lash line.
  • A small dab of yellow eyeshadow at the center of the lid will warm up your face a bit and really make the hot pink pop.
  • Line the top lashes with liquid liner, staying as close to the lash line as possible  then extending out past the outer corner of the eye a bit, Connect the tip of this line with a line along your lower lash, winging the line up and out just a little.  This takes practice, so start small and add a little as needed until you feel confident.
  • Apply mascara and fake lashes for a more dramatic look.
  • Red lips are the traditional method for Geisha and Maiko, but any shade of bright pink, purple or fuschia will do. Use a lip pencil and brush to create the perfect shape and fill with color.
  • Finish your look with a wig and some fake flowers in your hair.

The basic formula is a white, or ultra-pale face, bold red or pink at the outer corner of the eyes and within the brows, and a well-defined lip in shades of red.  Whether you decide to include a pink cheek is entirely up to you, as is the method of application for your shadows, liner, even lips and brow shapes.  Have fun and play around with what you think look best on you.

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