Make your own Oshiroi or Geisha/Maiko white Shiro-nuri/make up

Well, I have the real thing but don’t like using it because of the cost and as an evil chemist I thought I would make my own, fragrance and talc free version for clubbing and other events!

The tools:

Ingredients for the white kabuki foundation:

1. Titanium Dioxide (Zinc Oxide and Magnesium stearate could be suitable replacements if you have an allergy etc)

2. Sericite Mica (Provides the ‘silkiness’ and there are many versions to choose from but all should be OK)

3. Glyerol (Or Glycerine, check the ‘coughs and colds’ section of your local pharmacy or cake section of your supermarket – mine is 100% w/w)

4. Water

5. Rice powder (I get mine for a few quid off rakuten, however, Aloe vera powder or ‘mineral make up’ setting powder will also do the trick)


So the method for 1 face:

1. Mix 3.5g of Titanium dioxide with 1.5g of Sericite in one pot

2. Mix 1g Glycerol with 4g of water in another

3. Add the two mixes together

This is basically it for the kabuki make up. Then you can either use this this for a REALLY thick coverage (I find hard to use) or thin it out with a bit more water (like about 2g) and layer. You need to use the same techniques with a foundation brush and sponge to achieve the effect.

Once your face is complete and dry you need to dust with the rice powder to set the foundation.

I tested this on my arm to compare it to the real thing:


and in daylight:

This is close to the real thing but not 100% accurate, the reason is I have not used any talc or funny ingredients including the perfume that is added which to be honest, smells like your grandma.

I use rice powder or white mineral setting powder to dust – the one I make myself has white mica and aloe vera powder, but you can just re-dust with Sericite to make this solution even cheaper.

On the cost side of things:

1. Titanium dioxide 250g = £5

2. Sericite 25g = £6

3. Glycerol 100ml = £1.20

4. Water – Free out of the tap if someone else is paying…

5. Rice Powder – £8 for a box with 3 packets

That’s a lot of faces for the money.

The real stuff costs $72 for the kabuki make up and wax then the powder is $46.

The arm pictures are WITHOUT the wax base. The wax base is required for a more authentic look, it makes it long lasting and smoother. It is also a bugger to get off without real soap. You can try making the wax with beeswax,oil and petroleum jelly but I don’t have a method for that 🙂 It’s like a stiff, dry lip balm you smooth over your face.




Japanorama in Nottingham – Geisha Tea Party

On Saturday we joined in Japanorama which was a ‘teahouse party fundraiser’ experience in Nottingham.

It was a light affair, with tea, snacks, Japanese games like Tora Tora and dancing.

I took my wedding kakeshita hikizuri for one of the ‘Geisha’ and there were 2 ‘Maiko’, 1 ‘Geiko’ and an okiya mother.

The geisha had contructed their own dance based on the distinctive but easier moves assosciated with traditional dances performed by Geisha, as they knew with two months till the show they would not be able to master a full dance. Plus they were very aware of their own limitations and this was for fun.

April took a video so hopefully I will be able to add it to this post at a later date!

We strapped the girls into their kimono so they could provide a decent experience for the guests.

Here are a few photos from the day:






The dance was good. I think it resonated a lot better as they were not directly immitating a traditional dance, which we have seen that this is hard to master and can fail when preformed by dancers not traditionally trained.

On another note, there were MAIKO in London recently and it doesn’t matter how much we troll websites for events such as this, they never bother to publicise them or intentionality keep stuff like this secret. SUPER mad.

I will see Geisha dance…oh yes I WILL.


Kimono Challenge 5 – Favourite co-ordination so far…

The challenge questions are:

1. How did you discover and get into kimono?
2. Your dearest kimono item(s).
3. Your most used kimono item(s) (not counting jubans, datejimes etc.).
4. Your least used kimono item(s).
5. Your favourite coordination(s) so far.
6. What do you like and don’t like about kimono.
7. Kimono confessions. Did you know that…
8. Your dream kitsuke items (or at least items you really really want but can’t get for whatever reason).
9. Your biggest kimono fears.
10. Your biggest kimono inspiration.
11. Your kimono collection.
12. The evolution of your kitsuke.
13. Your special kimono memory.


I have old faithfuls in everything, kimono is no exection. However my favourite ‘posh’ co-ordination in my purple furisode. I have used this many times for myself and shows:

Baka Hime Furisode (2)

and for ‘shopping and kimono de jack’ my failthful black and red co-ordinations..again overused at shows and photoshoots by me!

Bit messy, but experimenting for KDJ

Red and Black Kitsuke

Geishaface does have a Geisha Susohiki kimono!

Geisha susohikiI do, as a kimono lover a real geisha kimono is a must! However, you can never wear them to their full potential outside or on floors other than someone trusted cream carpet in a house where not allowed to wear shoes. I wear my kimono, so this is the only kimono I have brought for pure lust.

Its not overly fancy, and cost around $200 and you can see the wonderful hiki-ness and the wide collar needed for that geisha scoop.

Its hard to achieve the collar scoop on a normal kimono, but for cosplay you can always fake it. On my face you will also see that I am wearing the traditional shiro nuri, something authentic and geisha that I can wear often being of the gothic alternative persuasion. No goth white make up has ANYTHING on the purity and finish of real shiro nuri.

However, it is expensive and I collected mine over about 6 months. I restricted myself to the wax base, the white cream (which you mix with water to apply), the fixing powder for that wonderful finish and a lipstick.

This is where I got it from: I have the Oshiroi & Kabuki Abura Makeup (wax and cream), Pro Kona Oshiroi (powder) and the Pro Red Kyomizuben​i (lipstick).

I decided to make my own mineral version of the bright pink blusher powder using Mica, Titanium Dioxide and Carmine. Real mineral powdered blush goes on well. I have not tried commercial blusher, but you need a crazy pink that’s NOT hot pink. I decided to use a commercial red eye-shadow from manic panic called ‘vampire red’ to do the eye detailing. Black eyeliner is black eyeliner, you don’t NEED to buy the authentic version.

I always do my version of the geisha makeup, as I wear mine often in the gothic scene and its part of a fashion and not tradition. I have also started to use ‘snazaroo iridescent powder’ on my cheeks and the stuff goes over the shiro nuri well.

Now, to get the perfect application you need to make sure you have brushes with natural fibres, one for the blusher, one for the face powder, a foundation brush for the cream/water mix which is the main white base and a lip brush. You also will do well to make sure you have a big face sponge to remove the excess water and give the perfect finish. I brought the real one for this, and it comes with a handy dish I use to mix the cream and water in 🙂

This is me in ‘Geisha-Hime’ – I think after seeing this I needed more black round the eyes, a kuro-tomesode is the best for geisha-hime but this at the time was what I had, a mourning kimono – super cheap! With the collar this was about as scoop-y as I was going to get without contorting the kimono and having the sleeves too far back.

Geisha hime

and ‘Maiko Hime’ – in which I had red around the eyes, but again might try black next time. This is maiko style because of the swinging sleeves of the furisode. A maiko kimono (very expensive and hard to get vintage) still has the tucks seen on children’s kimono on the sleeves and shoulders. I am an adult and I have not found a furisode with the leeway to put maiko folds in yet.

Goth Maiko for Halloween!

Finding cheap Nagajuban!

Well a friend of mind wants an inexpensive naga juban so I took a look at Rakuten for her and found these babies at £9!

This shop has loads of cut price goodies, lace tabi from £2.80, obi-jime at about the same price. But with Rakuten it is always about the shipping. EMS is expensive.

However, no so long ago they introduced air shipping for international trade and you can find the kimono related items with this link:

It is quite restricted currently, but a must if Rakuten wants to really trade abroad. UK customs take into account the shipping fee when collecting VAT and customs charges on the items. This makes it expensive. To be fair, if this was NOT the case I would be fine with EMS all the way 🙂

However, those Juban is Maiko red are very cheap even with EMS shipping at £11 🙂

Film Review: The Geisha House – goodbye money, goodbye love

First of all, I would like to say I like this film as a film but not as a representation of Geisha.  Am I being far to sensitive and protectorate about my impression of Geisha life and culture?

Blunt Synopsis:

The Geisha House (Omocha) is a 1999 film directed by Kinji Fukasaku, and it is set just as the anti-prostitution laws were coming into effect in Japan (1958) and demonstrated the changing attitudes towards Geisha at that time. Now, the story and the Geisha had very strong sexual plotlines.

The mother, had a sexual relationship with a patron for 10 years (scene with them drinking and a morning after scene suggesting sex) but his wife who was ‘the money’ wanted to put an end to it. So his son decided to use sexual manipulation to make this happen by seducing one of the house’s Geisha (they had sex). The father was furious and abandoned the mother. The son then wanted to see the Geisha again, raped her and then she sued. Serves him right….

Due to the lack of patronage, to fund the debut of a maiko for the house, the mother sold her body to a money lender. This was portrayed as an unpleasant sacrifice.

The other main Geisha of the story was first introduced playing sex games with a customer, going to ‘play golf’ (but then agreeing to sex, after swigging sake from the bottle) with another. The mothers friend (ex-Geisha) was also shown harbouring prostitutes at her bar to make money.

So that’s 4 of the women with very strong sexual story lines, but then we come to the maiko to be. This is the more endearing part of the story about her life as a maid, walking through the sexual lives of these women then (which was a curious point for me) – to become a maiko she has to loose her virginity (become a woman) at the time of her debut. The film ends with her re-signing herself to accept the highly sexual life she is about to live as money is very important to her.

So, if I didn’t know that there was a lot more art involved to Geisha. I would just think they were expensive and exclusive whores who like to party. But it is OK, they are all friends and happy.

The kimono and attention to detail in this film was perfect though, the settings, backdrops, atmosphere at the okiya…shame the Geisha were a bunch of tarts!

Disclaimer: My impressions of Geisha life and culture are mostly driven by Liza Dalby books, where Geisha are portrayed as discreet artists perfectly trained to entertain and engage men. Sex is sometimes involved, but at every engagement?