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Geisha makeup 2004/7/14 11:16
What is the white face makeup that Geisha's wear made of?
by mishad  

same as modern cosmetics? 2004/7/15 20:13
Interested in your question and checked on the net - seems it is made of common materials used for modern cosmetics.

In old time the white color were either from lead (toxic!), mercury (toxic!), sticky rice or millet. Since 1877 zinc has been used, then titanium oxide has been imported since 1923.
Using lead has been banned since 1934.

The white powder (=Oshiroi) for Geisha is called Neri-Oshiroi (kneaded white powder - photo in following website :
http://www.rakuten.co.jp/gintengai/413677/434537/434538/ )

Main ingredients are:
60% of white color (as above, but zinc and titanium dioxide are mostly used), 10% glycerin, 30% pure water, and some colors/fragrances.

Makeup is normally done by professional make-up stylist (Kewaishi). This website shows how tourists are get dressed up as geisha.

Before starting make up they spread some oils on face, that's interesting... and more interesting thing is, old geishas used dried nightingale's poop powders to take the Oshiroi off!
by Shinnosuke rate this post as useful

Oshiroi (o.0) 2004/10/13 11:28
I look and I look, but I can not find...any English pages with oshiroi in it! *cry* I want some oshiroi. But I cant read the Kanji to order it. Does anybody know of a sight I can order this off of?
Thank you very much ^^.
by Nakita rate this post as useful

go to a costume store... 2004/10/16 09:31
Hey there,
I use something called "cake makeup". It's what clowns use. It dries nicely without cracking, and isn't sticky. Stein's makes a good one.
by Serafina rate this post as useful

oshiroi 2004/10/19 06:44
well i looked on ebay but there is none there. i don't want cake makeup. though it's a good idea =3! i will keep it in mind. i just really want some oshiroi. i am currently asking my friend Kyoko about it. maybe she can dig some up for me!
by Nakita rate this post as useful

modern day solution 2004/10/27 04:58
I purchased Kryolon Aqua Color Make-up used for body painting at Alcone in NYC. Add water and apply. Their reds are great for the eyeshadow.
by Lorraine Altamura rate this post as useful

go to... 2004/10/31 05:47
Go to www.crescent-shop.com . It is a service that will shop for you in Japan and will buy just about anything you need. I work for the General Consulate of Japan in my state, and I contacted the man who runs that site (his name is Masamichi) and he was able to help me find some for the kimono shows I do. Make an account and email him telling him you're looking for oshiroi makeup. I recommend the brand Mitsuyoshi... it's about $15 for a jar, but goes a long way. If you do, make sure you tell him that you want the Kabuki Oshiroi http://www.mitsuyoshi-make.com/s4/kabukios.jpg , that's the same makeup the Geisha use. The only other kind there is, is the kind used for brides which is more transparent. Just remember that if you get it, you need to have the other items that go with it to be worn properly. There is a wax that goes on your eyebrows (taihaku)http://www.mitsuyoshi-make.com/s8/taihaku.jpg , and an oil that goes on your face (abura) http://www.mitsuyoshi-make.com/s8/kabukia.jpg . The Taihaku runs about $8 and the Abura is about $10.

Those two are the basics for what you would need to make it look right. You can buy regular white talc powder from a costume shop to set it, and use your own red lipstick and black eyeliner... it achieves the exact same look. It's supposed to be applied with a special kind of brush called hake, but these range from $8 to $35 each... if you use regular makeup sponges, it looks exactly the same. Good luck to you :) I hope I was able to help!!

by Sophie rate this post as useful

thank you very much 2005/1/7 10:59
just wanted the say thank you to Sophie, i have been looking for traditional oshiro makeup for years came up empty. now thanks to you mine is in the mail as I type thank you so much tawny
by tawny rate this post as useful

how to use the abura????????? 2005/1/16 23:29
I just receive d an orderf rom Japan with everything i need for geisha makeup including the ABURA. but the ABURA comes in a solid wax like stick form. How do i use it ??????? and do i thin out the white make up befor applying it to the face?
please help
thank you
by john rate this post as useful

None 2005/1/22 20:09
just to say thanks for all the tips. i am now searching for the white base here in cape town, south africa. will look for the kryolan.
by Allison rate this post as useful

need some help 2005/2/7 19:45
hi, i'm a student and i'm looking for a cheap but affective way to create a geisha for a digi/music vid that i am doing but i don't kow where to get anything. even need the kimono, hope i spelt it right. i tried some stuff from the costume shop last semester but it cracked and so i had to make the picture out of focus for it to look good. please help
by justin rate this post as useful

Re: need some help 2005/2/26 07:40
Kimono's are quite expensive so go for the yukata, a cotton summer kimono, they cost about $50 AUD and can be found on ebay.com or you can try searching for one at a number of sites:


would be the best one. They are quite reasonably prices and has pretty much all you need to wear a kimono.

If you aren't quite sure how geisha's or maiko's wear their make-up, I suggest visiting.


It pretty much explains to you how to apply and was alternative make-up you can use to achieve, to a certain extent, the geisha look.

You probably won't be able to get the whole geisha look if your looking for inexpensive way to do it, but people wil get the idea.

I suggest going to ebay.com first, you'll find that people sell cheaper kimono stuff on there rather than sites, so be sure to know how much everything is valued or you might get ripped.

by Jen rate this post as useful

rice flour 2005/3/6 01:02
I know rice flour is, or was used in oshiroi. Is it possible to use rice flour to create your own oshiroi? Does it have to be a special kind or can it say, come from a food store like an oriental foods store? thank you.
by Tim T rate this post as useful

Oshiroi Alternative 2005/5/13 08:46

It is much easier to obtain white grease paint in the US. I suggest Ben Nye's Theatrical Cosmetics. I use a sponge to gather some of the white grease paint and press it against my skin. I let my body heat warm the paint until it is soft. Then I rapidly pat it evenly over the area it will cover. I have a helped do my neck. Once the paint is evenly applied, I take white face power from the Morbid Company (can be found at Hot Topic). I have a powder puff with a strap on the back, I rub the puff into the white powder really good then apply three to four layers over the grease paint. This finishing power gives a matte look and I find it doesn't look like I'm wearing a lot of layers of make-up. With the powder over the paint it is also sealed. I can touch my face and the make-up will not come off and it will not ruin the costume. Next I take a red lipstick liner and draw the menhari lines on my eyes and then paint in the red sakura lips. I use translucent powder from Ben Nye to seal in the red. I have dark hair, so I don't put mascara on, although regular black mascara will do the trick. For the eyebrows, I have black eye shadow, which you can pretty much get anywhere. I take the applicator and rub it in the eye shadow and then press it into the eye brow itself at the point closest to my nose. Then, with an eyebrow brush, I gently comb the brows from tip to tip. I repeat until the color is that which I desire. I hope this helps.

~Sat-Isis/Suten Net
by Sat-Isis/Suten Net rate this post as useful

Sukeroku make-up 2005/8/14 20:33

I am very desperately looking for detailed information for Kabuki make-up in general and also the make-up used in the play SUKEROKU!
I need details such as where the make-up was bought, what it was made of, the exact colour mixes etc.

I would be really greatful if someone could help me with this because its quite difficult to do research on it!

by Katie rate this post as useful

Kabuki list 2005/8/16 15:02
by Jen rate this post as useful

KABUKI 2005/8/27 23:16
Hi Jen

thanks, the first website I hadn't come across yet.
Do you, or does anyone,have specific info on what Kabuki make-up is made of and where it comes from originally??

by Katie rate this post as useful

ME 2005/10/3 12:36
IM Going to be a japanese Giesha for holloween isnt that cool i no i have the cutest outfit im really bored right now
by lauren stanforth!! rate this post as useful

kabuki makeup 2005/10/13 13:49
Hi Katie. Maybe you've already found the answer to your question on kabuki makeup. If not, I will try to help. My sensei (kabuki dance) trained with professional kabuki performers in Tokyo and uses the same makeup which she has taught her students to use. Start with the Taihaku to cover your eyebrows. Abura can be added if you expect to be sweating heavily. Kabuki makeup is surprisingly durable and I have performed in very hot weather with my face dripping and the makeup remained unmoved. Abura will prevent the sweat from getting through the base, so it is up to your discretion. I use Mitsuyoshi oshiroi liquid makeup for the base. It only takes a puddle the size of a US half dollar to cover the whole face. Add a couple drops of water to thin or it will apply so thickly, it will crackle. Apply using a soft brush (similar to a hair tinting brush) in main areas (across the forehead, chin, down the nose, over the cheeks, over the lips), then use a big rubbery makeup sponge and pat yourself in the face. This actually smooths the oshiroi out evenly and avoids streaking. Now apply red powder (Mitsuyoshi Cheek Color) to both eyelids (from lash to brow) and bring it over to the hair by your ear then down in a crescent to create a defined cheekbone. Unlike Geisha makeup, Kabuki makeup should go right to the hairline with no bare skin showing. Be sure to cover the ears, neck, and shoulders (a little further than the kimono will be showing). Also, in kabuki, all bare flesh is white, so you will need to do your arms and hands. If you are doing a male part, the legs and feet will need to be white, as well. I recommend doing the hands last when everything else is already applied. Powder (Mitsuyoshi Professional Face Powder SW) should be appled generously with a powder puff your entire face, neck, shoulders, etc. This sets the base. Apply lip color (Mistuyoshi Lining Color #4C) with a moderately stiff and fine tipped lip brush. The bottom lip should be slightly narrower than the natural lipline on the sides, and slightly fuller on the bottom. The top lip should be about half-size and well defined. Be very careful with the liner because it's incredibly difficult to remove (even when you want to take it all off). If it is smudged, you may have to start completely over. Now you can use black liner or the red lip liner for the embellishments on the eyes and brows.

I hope this was a little helpful. I may have left out something so please feel free to ask.

by Fuyu rate this post as useful

Kabuki paste 2005/11/2 02:19
I checked the website http://www.mitsuyoshi-make.com/ for the Kabuki face paste but can't seem to find their email. Is it possible to purchase the paste from them without having to buy in bulk?
by Lenz rate this post as useful

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