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Joey Choy make-up shoot
Make-up Joey Choy, hair Yoko SetoyamaPhotography Terry Broadbent

This beauty shoot puts a modern spin on traditional Geisha make-up

Make-up artist Joey Choy teams up with photographer Terry Broadbent and hairstylist Yoko Setoyama for a Geisha-inspired story that distorts and unmasks

It was the chaos of the world right now, the urgent need to express ourselves, and classical Geisha beauty that inspired the make-up Joey Choy created for her latest photo story. “Traditional Geishas painted their faces white to enhance their features under candlelight and to disguise their true emotions,” says Choy, who teamed up with photographer Terry Broadbent and hairstylist Yoko Setoyama for the project. “The inspiration behind the shoot was to distort traditions, rebel against the norm, mask and unmask.”

Taking Geisha hair, make-up and lighting as their reference and, as Choy says, their “anti-reference”, the team kept some elements classic while at the same time flipping other aspects to be the opposite of what they should be. “It was all about putting it together and then scrambling part of it.” 

Keeping the powdery white base consistent throughout the images, Choy then abandoned the traditional shades of red and black for bright yellows and greens, purples and blues. She then layered metallics and gloss on top to contrast the traditional soft matte texture and bring light into the looks. 

When it came to the hair, Choy says Setoyama deconstructed the Geisha hairstyles into various sculptural shapes. “Hair was focused on creating simple but strong details on the face line, framing the face with some graphic sculpted shape to add extra impact to the make-up.”

Photography Terry Broadbent, make-up Joey Choy, hair Yoko Setoyama, model Mimi Dey @ Anti Agency, make-up assistant Megan Farmer