Curious about gyaru makeup but not sure what it’s really about? Whether or not you’re a fan of Japanese sub-cultures (and beauty culture), you may have already seen this look. Want to learn more about it and even perhaps try it for yourself? Here’s everything you need to know about the look and how best to sport it.
Gyaru Makeup origin
Gyaru makeup is closely tied to the Gyaru fashion subculture in Japan. The term gyaru quite literally means ‘gal’. The term, a transliteration of the English word, was introduced in Japan by the denim brand Lee.
At its core, gyaru is all about rebelling from the norm. The look is the opposite of what women in Japan are asked and expected to be — housewives who are submissive and wear their style following the Asian standard of pale skin and dark hair.
So in turn, members of this subculture have big blonde hair, tan (sometimes orange-y) skin, and clothes that evoke the partying vibe of the late ’90s and early aughts.
The makeup is an integral part of this, of course. The look typically consists of tan skin — think three shades darker than your usual — black eyeliner, bright or bold eyeshadow, false eyelashes, and bright cheeks. Many also opt to wear parts of the aegyosal makeup look.
I would say it’s a bit similar to the Jersey Shore look but elevated. The goal is to still do away with the fairness standard but there have been some changes to the look that make it more similar to modern trends.
Gyaru Makeup tutorial
If you want to wear the look, there are two things to put a premium on: the color of the skin and the eyes.
Get bronzed, babe!
The gyaru makeup look is pretty easy to do and you can always put your own spin to it. Just make sure that you have tan skin — which is the most important part of the look. It’s the biggest sign of rebellion that started the movement.
Perhaps just try to avoid doing it and give yourself more of a bronzed look instead of going many shades darker than your actual skin tone. (This helps keep you from getting into inappropriate a.k.a. blackface territory.) Here’s a list of bronzers for every budget to help you get started.
All eyes on you
For the eye look, the bigger the better. Huge false lashes? Go for ’em! Big contact lenses? Why not! Monster liner? Uh-huh.
And you don’t even have to choose just one tool or makeup product to help you achieve the look. You can definitely put on contact lenses, wear big false lashes, put on a big eyeliner that can make your eyes bigger, put white eyeliner under your eyes for that big-eye illusion at the same time.
For the cheeks, keep it cute with a peach or pink blush. The same goes for the lips. It’s really the eyes that are meant to be highlighted for this look.
Et voila! You have the gyaru makeup look down pat.
Jorj is an editor by profession, a b/vlogger on weekends, and a wife to Yop and mom to Cadence always. She's powered by curiosity and is in the process of becoming her best self.