Memoirs of a Geisha and her 3-hour makeup routine

I don’t know about you but I have a fascination with Geishas. For the longest time, I’ve been yearning to watch a Geisha performance and was glad to have that opportunity with Kaden from Miyagawa-chou in Kyoto, a renowned Geisha group who was invited by Biore to perform at the Luxe Art Museum and at the same time, show how the Biore range of makeup removers help keep their skin flawless and supple.

Makeup is elaborate and time consuming
The Geishas are really beautiful in person. And as you can see, their makeup is so elaborate and time consuming. I understand that it takes around three hours to be made up and most of the time is spent laying the foundation, so to speak. What caught my attention is that they leave a line of bare skin around their hairline and so this gives the illusion of wearing a mask, and on the nape of the neck they leave two “V” shape lines unpainted, apparently for sensuality. Have you also noticed that some of their lips look so small? Well, that’s because a new Geisha only color her top lip.

Traditional Japanese dance and music
Although the main sponsor of the event really wanted us to check out their range of makeup removers, but we got to experience traditional dance and music performed by the three Geishas. Of course we couldn’t understand what they were singing but we were all captivated by their exquisite poise, graceful movements and lavish kimonos. They’re such a delight to watch in person!

Porcelain clear complexion
The performance ended with a demonstration on how Biore’s makeup remover helped removed their heavy makeup. And despite the heavy coat of foundation, they still maintain porcelain clear complexions! I can give the Biore makeup removers a go and I would have no doubt that the products can remove my normal makeup and keep my skin clean and pristine…but I know I can never enjoy the same flawless complexions as the Geishas no matter what they say.


  1. Soos says:

    And that’s because their appearance is a large part of their job.

  2. sesame says:

    True true…the makeup is an art too. I think the base they use to protect their skin must be quite good too…read from some source it’s camelia oil.

  3. Audris says:

    Must say, that’s a pretty nouveau & effective way of advertising a makeup remover ?

    Except erh most of us aren’t that thickly made up (at least I don’t think so). So queries that pop into my head along that line are things like “Wouldn’t the makeup remover be too strong for my needs?” & “Does it overstrip the oils on my face?”

  4. SMl says:

    Can you post on your article why geisha has very white faces?

  5. BlovetBeauty says:

    i always see biore eye makeup remover.. maybe its time to give it a try!

  6. sesame says:

    Well, I was told it’s very gentle but you know Biore isn’t in the natural category. But I tried the cleanser and it’s really not so sticky compared to other oil cleansers. Good value for money.

  7. sesame says:

    It’s their makeup and I understand they started out because in the early days, they performed in the night and they needed to stand out. Over the years, they’ve made this a tradition since the white makeup is so distinct.

  8. sesame says:

    Quite good…we tested on waterproof makeup and it could remove.

  9. Swathy says:

    a question out of the line….so the way geisha’s dress and do their make up is all same as described in Memoirs of Geisha…it does take a hell lot of time and effort…they supposedly used white paints earlier which had lead in it which used to cause a lot of skin disorders…though now obviously skin friendly products must have been launched specially for Geisha’s….I was fascinated by the novel….

  10. sesame says:

    I read a book on Geishas but it was so long I’ve forgotten much of the story. But yes, I learnt that they used to paint their face! Another thing I noticed is that Geishas with rounder face look better. There was another lady who was tall and thin but she did not look as good as these three.

  11. Kim says:

    Interesting. Do you know what kind of ‘foundation’ they use to get their skins so white?

    Heh, not expecting them to be slathering on MAC or anything, but i’m curious what’s it’s made of now-a-days.

  12. sesame says:

    I don’t know…in fact I was trying to find out. I understand it is modern makeup but I wonder if it’s specially formulated with beneficial ingredients as their skin is really good even with this daily painting.

  13. Lemon Tart says:

    3 hours to do makeup? wow! That seriously sounds like layers upon layers of foundation. What caught my attention from the picture above was the sky rocket thongs.. =))

  14. sesame says:

    Yes, most of the time is spent layering the foundation – they need to paint and then blend well.

  15. zache says:

    I Heard from a frd, the white ” foundation” is rice powder.

  16. sesame says:

    Oh…then that probably explains their good complexion.

  17. Sharon C Bishop says:

    Thanks for the Tutorials! uunique ones.
    need to know how to make the mineral base for the white part of the face part on the Geisha. colors no problem. Like to create the white part.and what ingredients to use for the under base for the preparation for the mineral foundation to make the geisha look.

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