Hey there guys! Since so many of you have enjoyed reading my gyaru guide, I wanted to add a guide for gaijiin gyaru.
I wanted to start out by telling you all how I attained my knowledge on gyaru. I have been to Korea but not to Japan, so I don’t have first hand information about gyaru. However, I’ve studied Japanese and Japanese culture since I was about 13 years old. I’ve done numerous research projects on gyaru and I have a great deal of knowledge about gyaru. It can be really hard to find information on gyaru in the States and it can be even harder to be involved, so I wanted to write this post especially for non-Japanese gyaru. I hope you find this helpful!
What is a gaijiin gyaru?
Gaijiin means foreigner while gyaru is a transliteration of the word gal. (For more information on gyaru, check the gyaru guide here.) Gaijiin gyaru are non-Japanese women who follow the gyaru style despite not being Japanese. There are many gaijiin gyaru who have YouTube channels and blogs. (Check the bottom of this post for links!)
So how do I become a gaijiin gyaru?
You can learn more about gyaru style in part one of my gyaru guide and by using the lovely Google Images for inspiration. Gaijiin gyaru just follow gyaru trends and are gaijiin simply because they are non-Japanese.
Okay, so how do I get the look?
When it comes to makeup, you’ll want to aim for the same look as Japanese gyaru. However, this can be a bit hard because the world is such a diverse place. It can be difficult for other ethnicities to get this look because Japanese products cater to Japanese skintones and facial features. For the purpose of this post I’ll add the same makeup guidelines as the gyaru guide, but I’ll put in some suggested brands and products for different skintones!
Eyes: Gyaru love to make their eyes look HUGE. This is something pretty much all gyaru have in common. Many wear;
- Circle lenses (these are colored contact lenses that can make your eyes look larger in size)
- Mascara (tons and tons to make the lashes and eyes look giant!) Some great products in the States include Covergirl Clump Crusher, Maybelline Great Lash and the Palladio 4D Mascara.
- Eyeliner (Use your eyeliner to extend your natural eye shape and create a slight wing.)
- Eyeshadow (highlight the inner corner of the eyes, but don’t use too make dark colors on the rest of the lid or crease because it may make your eyes look smaller!)
Circle lenses are definitely optional, but I highly recommend wearing the rest of these products if you want the full on gyaru look. I personally do not wear mascara because I have long, curly eyelashes and hate scrubbing it off at night, but if you don’t have these pet peeves I think wearing mascara would be a wise choice.
Some women also use eyelid glue to change the shape of their eyelid crease. This is something optional that you could try. (My favorite is here.) Asian women choose to wear it if they have monolids or smaller eyes they want to open up, but depending on your features you might not feel the need for this.
Lips: Lips are supposed to be soft and doll like. Many try to make their lips small as part of the look, but the most important part is to keep them looking cute and innocent. Wear a good lip balm each day and night to keep your lips healthy and apply a nude gloss or lipstick during the day. A great lip gloss to check out is the Butter Lip Gloss. You can also try tinted lip balms from the Baby Lips line.
Face: The gyaru look is very youthful and pretty. I’m guessing a bit with the sunscreen and primer, but as a general rule gyaru usually don’t wear more than;
- BB/CC Cream or Foundation
For blush I would recommend an innocent looking pink. A subtle glow looks very cute! Don’t go for bright colors because the look should be natural and have a lit from within glow. A personal favorite of mine are the ELF blushes, which are cheap and easily accessible outside of Japan. When it comes to your base makeup, BB creams and CC creams not only blur imperfections but improve your skin. I would suggest using a cream for these reasons but if you have a favorite foundation that’s perfectly fine too! Foundation is more popular among gyaru. A great foundation you can get outside of Japan is the NYX Stay Matte but Not Flat, and some good BB creams are from Garnier, Maybelline and Rimmel. The NYX foundation has a pretty good selection of shades for all ethnicities but you could also try their more expensive HD Foundation if you need more shades or want to be fancy shmancy. Black Opal has many foundations and products made especially for dark skin. MAC is also quite popular in Japan as well as the US, so if you’re looking for a luxury foundation with hella shades you could always try that on for size!
A general rule I’d like to say about BB creams is that they generally have fewer shades. Make sure you test these in store in different lighting before buying just to make they work for you.
Sunscreen should have a lightweight formula so it will not get too greasy or oily on the skin. Sun protection is important, so make sure to always have sunscreen with you! I like Missha’s sunscreen for the face, but this is Korean and may be hard for some of you to get your hands on. Honestly, any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen! Know your skin and what works for you. If you’re like me and can slather on layers of baby sunscreen on your face sans consequence, go for it. (Check your BB creams and foundations to see what their SPF content is!)
Primers really help with the longevity of your makeup and all make a barrier so foundation is not sinking into your skin as much. NYX has plenty of good primers on the cheap and so does ELF! The Baby Skin primer is also very similar to some of the ELF primers I’ve tried. If you want to treat yourself, try Benefit’s Porefessional.
Nails: Not makeup, no, but still important! Try brands like Kiss that are quality but still easily bought at most drugstores and fun to customize. Many gyaru have;
- Long, fake nails- these usually resist chipping better and are easier to do artwork with
- Ornate nail designs
- Lots of glitter and cute charms and decals
- Very feminine colors
Of course, if you are rokku gyaru or mode your nail look may be a bit toned down in terms of girly-things, but this is just a general idea.
Don’t feel limited to labels or subtypes. You can express yourself any way you like. Explore and have fun!
Here are some really great resources for gaijiin gyaru:
- http://universal-doll.com/ is written by a foreigner in Japan documenting gyaru style.
- http://forever-gyaru.forumotion.com/ this is an amazing resource where you can get to know other gyaru in your area, get feedback on your look or just get inspired.
- http://harajuju.net/index.php a community devoted to Japanese fashion where you can also buy and sell items.
- http://saihariigyaru.tumblr.com/ is home to an African-American gyaru! She is most well known for her YouTube channel, but I thought I’d give y’all her Tumblr so you can reach all of her platforms.
- http://gaijingyaru.blogspot.com/ this has been inactive for several years, but if you explore there are still some useful posts for finding gyaru circles. (Some may now be inactive.)
- https://www.youtube.com/user/Astralysgyaru a Caucasian gaijiin gyaru who uploads tutorials.
- https://www.youtube.com/user/ShunTara7/featured a Black gyaru-o (male gyaru) who also has some older videos for female gyaru. (SHUN is transgender.) A good video he made a few years back is his rokku gyaru tutorial.
- https://www.youtube.com/user/TokyoInformationNet has awesome videos of Japanese women doing their makeup.
- https://www.youtube.com/user/Pyonghwaa/videos this American girl does mostly Korean trends, but I’d take a look at some of her innocent and doll-like looks for inspo!
- https://www.youtube.com/user/MakeupPiggy she has two lovely gyaru videos that are exceptionally detailed.
I hope that these resources help you on your journey as you play with gyaru!
The Fashion Mentor