1. Maiko Makeup Tutorial – Do It By Yourself!

Maiko Makeup Tutorial – Do It By Yourself!

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Kanae Nakahama

Lived in the States for ten years. Now living near a famous sightseeing area; Arashiyama, for more than 15 years. Watching people and feeling the culture in two countries made another point of view for me.

Latest posts by Kanae Nakahama (see all)

Maiko Makeup Tutorial – Do It By Yourself!


Have you imagine doing Maiko makeup? If it isn’t a special day, Maiko apply their makeup by themselves. However, these days there are places to experience Maiko makeup. It costs more than 10,000 yen including taking photographs at the studio, renting kimono and bags, and taking a walk around the city. But isn’t it silly to spend that much money for the options that you don’t need? Why not try Maiko makeup by yourself. This is a tutorial for Maiko makeup applying by yourself.





■ Hidari-Uma


Before I talk about the Maiko makeup, I would like to introduce a shop I bought my Maiko cosmetics. In Kyoto, there is a famous shop named “Hidari-Uma”. This shop is famous because Maikos come to buy cosmetic that they us for their job. Not just only Maiko, this shop is famous for selling various stage makeups. Hidari-uma sells normal cosmetics, but well up in stage cosmetics. It has cosmetics for Kabuki makeup, Takarazuka makeup, ballet makeup, face painting and absolutely for Maiko makeup. Today I would like to introduce the makeup by using professional cosmetics that are sold at Hidari-Uma and blending cosmetics that are sold at normal drugstores.


■ What I Bought At Hidari-uma

□ Binzuke oil

□ White foundation

□ Oshiroi (face powder)

□ Rouge

□ Cleansing cream





■ Comparing The Coast With The Professtional Maiko Makeup Studio “Shiki”

This is a photo of the white foundation.


First of all, Shiseido has created a cheep but a very useful cosmetics for Maiko makeup. I will explain about the cosmetics at the next section. You only need 3,500 yen (without tax) to apply Maiko makeup by yourself. Not just only that, it contains more than ten times to do full Maiko makeup. You can also use the white foundation to do other face paintings. The money is seven times different and it’s much cheaper.


As I said in the beginning, at a professional Maiko makeup studio the average of the set cost more than 10,000 yen, having options with it. Even at the famous high quality Maiko makeup studio “Shiki” cost 26,000 yen if it’s not doing a campaign (during the campaign the cost drops to 11,900 yen). Including other options, such as professional photographs taken by professionals.


Which suits you more?





“Best Maiko Makeover Studio Part I: SHIKI”, photos by Nanaka Shirasawa.


If you are interested in Maiko makeup that are done by professionals, access here; “Best Maiko Makeover Studio Part I: SHIKI”, written by Nanaka Shirasawa. There are more specific details about the professional Maiko makeup studio.

People who are interested doing Maiko makeup by themselves, welcome! Please let me continue the subject.





■ What You Need For Maiko Makeup


Maiko mainly use only four cosmetics to apply their makeup. At Hidariuma, I bought five cosmetics (binzuke oil, white foundation, oshiroi, rouge, and the cleansing cream). The first four cosmetics cost only 500 yen for each that is made from Shiseido (photo). The cleansing cream cost 1,500 yen that are used by professionals. In total, I spent 3,500 yen without tax. Today I would like to use the cosmetics that are in the photo. But before that, I would like to introduce what the four cosmetics are, by showing the popular cosmetics that Maiko are using for their makeup.





■ Binzuke Oil


Have you heard of binzuke oil? This is close to pomard. This hair wax is famous in Japan because sumo wrestler uses it to make their hairstyle. It might not be common but Maiko uses this oil for a foundation primer.





■ White Foundation



This is the cosmetic to make the face white. Using it by pouring in the water and blending with a brush to make the thinness. Many people think Dohran is the name for the white foundation. However, Dohran is a brand name and not the name to indicate white foundation.







I found another white foundation. This is used by Kabuki actors. This is called “bento-bako (bento-box) ” from them.






These are the brushes Maiko use for their faces.





■ Oshiroi (face powder)



After putting on the white foundation, it is wetty and sparse. Face powder is important to make the whiteness of the face equal. There are lots of colors and types for the face powder. Professionals use this product because they dance and move a lot. However, you can use baby powder instead of using this product. Today I will be using this clear powder that is used for stage makeups.





■ Rouge



This is the color of the rouge they are using. They use a brush to apply.





■ Cleansing Cream


This cleansing cream is really excellent for taking off stage makeups. It is loved from every person who does artistry work on their face.





■ What To Prepare


Now you understand the basic of Maiko makeup, I would like to introduce cosmetics that can be substituted. Not just using professional cosmetics, it can be replaced by other cosmetics that are sold at any drugstores. Also, I would like to introduce what I prepared for Maiko makeup.


■ Binzuke oil

■ White foundation

■ Oshiroi

■ Rouge

■ Cleansing cream

■ Brush (for white foundation)


These are the things I bought at Hidariuma. However, as I said before, you can replace the oshiroi to baby powder and the brush to any brush you would like to use.





■ Red lipliner

■ Pink cheek powder

■ Brown eyeshadow

■ Eyebrow pencil

■ Liquid and pencil eyeliner

■ Brush × 4

■ Puff × 2

■ Cotton Swab

■ Tissue

■ Wet Tissue

■ Bowl

■ A pair of scissors

■ Water (for the white foundation and the rouge)

■ Face lotion (for aftercare)

■ Face Cream (for aftercare)


These are the other products I used during applying Maiko makeup.





■ Time For GEISHA Makeup!


Now it‘s time to make up. First of all, Maiko makeup is for looking cute, adorable and innocent. Therefore, makeup for Oiran is different. Oiran is for more sexy looking makeup. This is a picture after Maiko makeup. I add the red eyeline more to look sexy.





■ 1st Step: Binzuke Oil





The first step is to take a little amount of oil (about your pinky size of a nail) and warm it with your hands until it disappears. If there is too much oil, it is hard to put on the white foundation. However, if the oil is less you might have a hard time to apply white foundation. If you think you need more, you can add it later, but it might be good to start it with little amount of oil.







After warming the oil, apply it on your face very carefully. Then apply around your neck, clavicular, and the back of the body. You need to apply only at the places you are going to apply white foundation.





■ 2nd Step: White Foundation






While waiting for the oil to smooth into the body, that is the timing to make to white foundation. This is the hard part to adjust. First you put one teaspoon and add the water to blend. By adding the white foundation little by little, you can adjust the thickness of the white foundation. It depends at the color of skin, but Maiko makes the white foundation about the thickness close to milk. At places you can go do experience Maiko makeup, they make the white foundation a little more thick and sexy.






This is the thickness of the white foundation I made. I made it a little thin to made it able to add the layers to it.






It is easier to put it in a plate that has edges. That is because, by having the edges it is easier to wipe off the white foundation that is unnecessary. I removed the white foundation from the plate to a plastic plate that used to contain something.







This is the first reaction she made. It is quite cold, so please be careful when you apply. It isn’t concerned where you paint from. I started from applying from the neck.






Looks like she got used to the coldness. Once you apply the white foundation, it is race against time. The quicker is better.






As you can see, the white foundation is liquide. Therefore the white foundation might drip like this photograph.






After you apply the white foundation, it’s necessary to puff the liquid quickly. Be careful not to wide the liquid with the puff. You need to PUFF the liquid.






After puffing the liquid, it’s time to use the face powder. This progress makes the skin look smooth. Be careful not to puff the powder too much. It might make a lump of powder. Use the edge of the case to cut off the extra powder.







I was afraid to mess up, so I decided to repeat this operations until I reach to the ideal, by making layers of the white foundation. It is better by applying and puffing only once to make it look smooth, but the real thing it does not change if you apply the white foundations in layers is what I thought. It’s just recommend to work very quickly, but extremely carefully.







It’s same when you apply to the face too. First the white foundation, then puffing off the liquid, and puffing face powder at the end. I wanted the model to have a clear cut face, so I decided to apply the white foundation from the forehead and nose. 









White foundation changes by the skin color you have. If you think it’s thin, you can apply the white foundation more and blend it, or make layers like I did.








This is the final appearance of the white foundation.





■ 3rd Step: Shadowing The Outline Of The Forehead And Cheek



Now, outline the face gently with pink powder. This doesn’t have to be a cosmetic used for cheek. You can substitute with something that is pink powder.







This is done to erase the borderline of the skin and the white foundation. It’s also done to make it look cute.






I just wanted to the model to look more cute, so added the powder near the eyelid and cheek.







This is the final appearance of using pink powder.





■ 4th Step: Eyebrow Makeup


At here, I am using a red lip liner and some eyeshadows to blend to the color to look close to the Maiko eyebrow. You can use the rouge to make the eyebrows red too.






As you can see, the model has a strong eyebrow. If you don’t want them to show up, there are cosmetics to erase the eyebrows.






This looks like a crayon, but it’s like clay. You take a piece of this clay and attach it to the eyebrows.







This was one of the hard parts to do. The ideal of Maiko eyebrow is like half moon. First, I made the outline of the eyebrows.








Then adding the brown powder to blend to the color I wanted.






This is the final appearance of the eyebrows. After all of the makeup I added a little more red.





■ 5th Step: Eye Makeup



There are eyeliners that Maiko are using, but I used a normal liquid waterproof eyeliner. The pencil eyeliner is the eyeliner I am using normally. It’s for stage makeups, but it’s very useful at normal makeup too.






When you apply makeup after the white foundation, use the puff to protect from making a spot.








I applied the eyeliner pencil at the corner of the eye, and cleaned it up with the liquid eyeliner. Also add a little dot to the top of the eye and to the water line.










Then cut the rouge in pieces to blend it with a little amount of water.







Apply the red rouge to the corner of the eyes. If you do too much it would look sexy. To make it close to a Maiko, you have to be careful of the amount of red applying to the eyes.






As you can see, it depends on what kind of shape of eyes you have. When the model closes her eyes, it’s hard to see the red eyemakeup.







So I added a little more red on the top of the eyelid. Be careful to not apply too much.






I didn’t satisfy with the color, so I added a little more red using the red lipliner to the corner of the eyes.






This is the final appearance of the eyemakeup.





■ 6th Step: Lip


Apply with the same rouge you had made at the eyemakeup.







The lips were the most difficult part of Maiko makeup. The best size of lips are to draw until the wings of the nose. Maiko’s do not apply full rouge to the lips. Apply only two thirds for the upper lip like a little mountain, is another point to the upper lips.






I added a different color to make it more pinkish, because the model had a different style of lips from Japanese.





■ Other Options




Maiko’s add the shadow under the white foundation, but I applied after all of the makeup. This is just my opinion.






After applying all of the makeup, I added some red to the face that I thought needed more colors.





■ What I Learned About


As a result, quickly but politely was the most important thing for Maiko makeup. If you do the actions slow, the white foundation will collapse and the rogue will dry. As matter of fact, I learned that the makeup depends at the shape of the parts the person has. Becoming close to Maiko makeup has the rules I explained, but it might be better to find out what kind of Maiko makeup will suit you best.


■ In The End


Maiko do there makeup by themselves unless it’s a special day. Talking about a special day, maybe doing Maiko makeup for halloween might be a nice idea. Not only for applying by yourself, once you learn how to do it, you can become the hero at your town by applying Maiko makeup for people. As you can see, the cost is very cheap if you do it by yourself. As it is nice as a souvenir. Please try by yourself once, and experience the fun time applying Maiko makeup by yourself.









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