For my birthday Forest had arranged for us to get geisha makeovers! That is definitely not something you get to do every day at home, or ever!!! We were excited and headed out to find the studio which proved to be much harder than we had anticipated. Even with the exact address written down locals in the area could not figure out where this place was. We asked a waitress at a coffee shop (which would turn out to be just 2 blocks from the studio!), delivery men- who you would think knew the city, and even called the studio for additional directions. In Kyoto we saw a lot of people dial the phone number into their phones which would then give them the address and the area of town that the location was in. This was also true of cab companies which just asked for the land line and then showed up on time.
Once we did find the studio they had us change into plain white dressing robes. I'll just say that Japanese women are much more slight in build than American stock ;) Forest and I were bound and strapped tight into these little robes!
Then the makeup was applied- creamy white base, bright red lips, heavy black eye liner. Was this a geisha makeover or had we stumbled into the mime makeover studio? Of course Forest and I found this all very funny and started giggling uncontrollably which led to me having tears of laughter which smeared my eye makeup which got us a firm lecture from the makeup lady! We are trouble.
After the makeup was applied we picked out a kimono from a rack we were led to. The women wrapped us in layers and layers of garment. There were more lightweight robes to be put on over our dressing gown, then the heavier kimono. Then various sashes, ties, belts, etc. were pulled incredibly tight and tied. Finally a large headpiece of hair and hair ornaments all set in a metal cap of sorts was set and tied upon our heads. Oh lord, if we hadn't already been giggling...
We were lead to the photo studio (and walking in these things is crazy hard!) where each of us were given our own photographer. Mine posed me and had me hold things that were very geisha like I assume. She spoke no English but would hold her hand where I was to gaze. My make up woman had already told me that I was to smile very small for this look. There were umbrellas, Japanese balls, high heeled wooden shoes, etc. Each time she took a photo she would get excited and exclaim "OK! Very Good!" if she liked it or "Oops, Sorry!" if she didn't.
The photo shoot was actually a blast! It was much more fun that getting our make up done as we expected. They even shot a few of Forest and I together, they let us do a "free style" as they called it and we flashed peace signs. They loved that!!
The studio mailed us our professional photos just last month, they are actually pretty good- much better than these here. I'm happy to show them to you next time you are over, I'll entertain you with drinking games and witty banter as well, for that is the way of the geisha! :)