Wash your face thoroughly with soap & water to remove any trace of oil, makeup or lotion. Wrap your hair in a Habutae as below or use a hairband.You should leave a small gap between your hairline and the makeup to gradate - it should not be an abrupt line...Next, soften a little TAIHAKU or ISHINERI (not Shown) between your fingers and apply it to your Eyebrows to flatten them out as you will want to draw 'new ones' later.Kabuki Abura may also be used.

Erase the color of your eyebrows with Cover Pencil #C-1 if you like.

Next, with both hands, melt some KABUKI ABURA by rubbing it rapidily between your hands and apply it to your face, neck and nape of neck, being careful not to miss any areas! This is an essential base for the white makeup paste and it will not go on correctly (or come off correctly) without.

Dissolve some KABUKI OSHIROI

in a dish with enough water to form a paint-like consistancy and apply it over the entire face with a #60 HAKE.Use the #24 HAKE for smaller areas. Remove excess water with a SPONGE PAD.Smooth it out, softening and gradating the edges before it dries.

Dissolve a small amount of TONOKO Rougein the remaining makeup and paint a 2nd coat over the area around the upper cheeks and around the eyes with a #24 Hake.

You may alternatively do just one coat of the white makeup and dust on the Tonoko in a powder form.

You should now have a smooth, white, somewhat featurless face with a slight pinkish hue between the eyebrows and upper cheeks.


After everything is dry, apply the KONA OSHIROI Face Powder over the entire face and neck.Use a PUFF PAD to apply a soft coat of pure white powder. For large areas and a Yachiyo Hakefor around the eyes, etc.

Makeup the eyes with Red & Black LINING COLOR(only the Red is shown here but you need black too). Use a small BENI HAKE.

Here is how to do the eyes:

This is how it should look closed:

Use the Black STAGE LINER

to line the eyes.

Do the eyebrow line with RED LINING COLOR and BLACK STAGE LINER as below:Black at the top, red at the bottom.

The Mayugebake Eyebrow Brush is perfect for 'srubbing' the color into the eyebrows.

For the Lips, use KYOMIZUBENI (not shown) for the most authentic Geiko look, or the RED LINING COLOR. The shape should be something like this:

You don't need to paint your entire, 'real' lip shape - the white makeup makes it disappear so you can redraw it as you like. Do the outline first and then fill it in.

Finally, the arms and hands can be done with a coat of the lighter, LIQUID MAKEUP which is used as is (does not need to be diluted). Note that this product is not for the face!


This is a lot of makeup and takes some effort to remove...You can do it with Cold Cream and soap & water but the easiest way is with the STAGE CLEANSER made especially for this purpose.

How To Apply Shiro-Nuri:

This is the way Kyoto's famous Geiko (Geisha & Maiko) do their makeup and these are the exact items they use. It takes them about 45 min. and is quite a process. However, anyone can learn to do it with prictice. There is no exact way to mix the white makeup paste - you will need to experiment to get a feel for it. Mix it a bit 'too thick' at first and dilute it till it can be easliy painted on yet still opaque. The trick is to blot, smooth and spread while it is still wet. It should not be heavy and chalky when complete but rather soft and slightly translucent. Don't forget to go right up to your eyelashes around the eyes and also cover the earlobes - only the lower part of the ear is painted. Have someone help you do the 'Eri-Ashi' or 'mountain shape' at the nape of the neck - some people cheat and use a stencil...

Follow the directions carefully and good luck!


This should give you an idea how to do the details around the eyes, the eyebrows and lips. Remember that most of these same items can be used to do the makeup for Kabuki actors, etc. Note that the way of painting the lips and eyes varies with one's age - Maiko often only paint one of their lips...

Watch the video below to see a real geiko applying her makeup:

Below are links to all of the items used:

They may be purchased individually and some are available as a set.


Taihaku or Ishneri (link is to similar Item)

Cover Pencil

Kabuki Aburab (sold as a set with Kabuki Oshiroi)

Kabuki Oshiroi (sold as a set with Kabuki Abura)

#60 Itahake

#24 Itahake & Dish

Sponge Pad & Dish

Tonoko Rouge

Kona Oshiroi Powder

Puff Pad

Yachiyo Hake

Red Lining Color

Black Lining Color

(red is shown, link is to black)


Black Stage Liner

Kyomizubeni Lip Color

Liquid Makeup

Stage Cleanser

Mayubake Eyebrow Brush