Makeup in Japan

Makeup in Japan. Let's go back in to the old days in Japan. One of the things it is most famous for is the beautiful geisha with unique outfits and exceptional makeup.

So what is geisha?

Geisha are Japanese entertainers. They play musical instruments and dance for their clients. Proper geisha do not engage in sexual activities for money. Geisha are mostly recognized by their exceptional makeup.

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Geisha, geisha makeup, geisha girl, geisha look, geisha in Japan

Geisha look and kabuki look are the traditional Japanese makeup looks. Here's how the makeup was applied for geisha. First, the face was cleansed. Than certain oily substance was applied, after which the Taihaku wax was applied mainly on to the eyebrows. Finally, after the wax the white color was applied to the skin. Rice powder was used to color the face white. The color itself is called Oshiroi. It is applied around the neck, on to the ears, and to the face right below the hairline. When done correctly, there should be a sharply outlined letter "W" on the back of a woman's neck. After the application of the white color is finished, the rest of the makeup is applied, which depends on experience of the woman and her age.

Crushed safflower petals were used for the lips, eyebrows and eyes.

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geisha makeup, geisha girl, geisha look, geisha history, makeup in Japan Now what about average women? Yes, the practice of makeup in Japan was popular among average people as well, not just geishas. Around the 8th century women, especially those of higher standing, started to paint their faces white with oshiroi powder.They also started practicing the hikimayu and ohaguro.Those later became the two most common trends.

Hikimayu was the trend for women to shave off their eyebrows completely. Then they would use black ink to draw rounded arc shaped, smudged eyebrows a bit higher on the forehead. Now that's an interesting way to do an instant brow lift. In translation hikimayu means "pull eyebrows".

Ohaguro literally means "iron drink".It was a unique trend to dye one's teeth black. It was practiced by some men, but mostly was common among married women. A certain powder called fushiko was mixed with acetic acid and iron to create the black dye. It was believed that this practice helped to protect the teeth from cavities and decaying.

This trend was popular up until the Meiji era. It was practiced not only in Japan but also in some parts of southeastern Asia.

What about fragrance?

At around 500 AD incense were introduced to Japan. They have gained their popularity pretty quick. It soon turned into the the kind of art called kodo. The translation of kodo is "the way of fragrance". It is now known as the ancient Japanese art of refinement. In some places they still teach this unique art of fragrance, to keep the traditions alive.

Thanks for reading makeup in Japan


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