A Blast from My Past: Japanese Gyaru Fashion & Life in Japan

A few weeks ago I went back to my parent’s house for a few days. Whilst I was there I decided to raid the attic, and see if I could find my old textbooks. I found myself knee-deep in university papers and old cuddly toys from my childhood. Amongst these were a few boxes of items from my time living (and studying) in Tokyo, Japan. Suddenly my objective was out the window and all I wanted to do was reminisce.
Japanese fashion has been a part of my life for over 10 years now. One fashion sub-culture in particular took up a decent amount of that time – gyaru. With hair high enough to reach the gods, and enough make-up to make an MUA weep, gyaru was an enigma wrapped in a mini skirt and fuzzy leg warmers. I was automatically drawn in, and spent most of my time reading magazines and blogs dedicated to the style. Gyaru is the reason behind me starting this blog in the first place! So you can imagine that finding these magazines and books was something quite special. Memories flooded back: Buying the Ranzuki Hair & Make-up Book in a small conbini in Kyoto. Adding points to my WC loyalty card as I bought everything and anything from the brand. Getting a ‘hair set’ (that has since created perpetual hair envy) with a friend for our joint birthday party. 
I met some amazing people because of gyaru, people who I can now call good friends.  So naturally it will always be a big part of my life and although I’m sure there were bad times, I can only remember the good. Recently I’ve missed my time living in Tokyo, but I do wonder if going back might tarnish those memories. It’s safe to say that things wouldn’t be the same now, but maybe that’s a good thing? Gyaru has faded from it’s origins and seems to be evolving into something all together different. So for now, I’m happy to keep my memories as just that. 
Interested in reading more about Japanese fashion and how my blog started?
Check out my Style Evolution post or browse my Japanese Fashion tag.

Japanese Nail Art | Nail Week

Japanese Nail ArtA selection of Japanese nail art

‘Nail Week’ has just begun and we’re diving into the deep end. Today’s post is all about nail art, of the Japanese variety. Why? Well nail art was one of the first things I fell in love with in the Japanese beauty industry, and with nail art becoming more popular in British fashion and beauty (Company magazine can’t get enough right now) I thought it was quite fitting for me to honour the reigning country of nail art. Fashion magazines in Japan constantly feature nail art in their beauty pages, whilst whole magazines are dedicated to it, such as: Nail Up, Nail Venus and Nail Max. Young girls and Women alike are obsessed with expressing themselves through their nails, and in Japan there are no limits to what you can do with your nails.

Some are simple, feminine and short:
Japanese Nail Art

Whilst others can be intricately decorated, edgy and insanely long:
Japanese Nail Art

Japanese nail art is well known worldwide for its creation of mini 3D artworks, use of various adornments and delicate designs. Nail salons have popped up all over the world trying to re-create the popularity and stylish nails seen on the streets of Japan – London-based Sohotrightnail can offer you some more detailed and embellished designs, whilst WAH NAILS can easily feed your simpler design needs. Of course the originals don’t come cheap. Prices usually start at around 10,000円 for a basic set, that’s about £80! It may seem expensive but when you see the work that goes into them, and the time that it takes, you can forgive them for charging so much. Getting your nails done in Japan is definitely an experience, and the end result is worth the money spent – but if you don’t have the money to spare then you can always make a stop at Donki for some of their press-on nails (photo here), which are just as amazing, for around £15.

Mitsu is a good friend of mine who not only dresses fabulously but styles her nails to match.
You can check out the various Japanese nail art she has had done here.

Source; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

My Favourite Asian Beauty Products

After being asked over the weekend about my favourite Japanese beauty products,

I thought it might make a change to post about some of my favourite Asian beauty products.
I know I have done it in the past, but I hope this will help my new readers and those who don’t know much about them.
I’ve decided to make it simple and pick my favourite make-up brands, for certain products.
I have chosen items that I use everyday. I don’t use items such as bronzer etc. so they won’t be included. 
It’s also worth mentioning that even though I have used a lot of Asian beauty products I haven’t tried out every single brand, and I do prefer Western brands for certain products so where there are gaps, this is why.
Also, I have not only chosen Asian brands, but brands that are also popular in the Asian beauty market.
A lot of the ‘Western’ beauty brands that are popular often carry lines that are only available in Asia.

I have linked each product to where you can purchase it online.


Concealer: Candydoll / Sana
BB Cream: Skin79 Hot Pink / Skin79 Diamond Collection
Contouring: Diamond Beauty / Canmake
Loose Powder: Diamond Beauty

Blush: Canmake
Highlight: Canmake


Primer: Canmake
Eyeshadow: Dollywink / Canmake
Eyeliner: KATE / Dollywink
Eyelashes: Diamond Lash / Eyemazing
Mascara: Dollywink

Lip Care: Paul & Joe
Lip Gloss: Candydoll / B & C
Lip Balm: Happy Bath Day

Nude Lipsticks: Candydoll / Canmake
Other Lipsticks: Anna Sui
I hope this has helped a few people who want to venture into the Asian beauty market.
I don’t know everything about Asian beauty products but my time living in Japan, and importing products from Asian companies has helped me a lot. My favourite place to shop online is Sasa, the prices are reasonable (not marked up as high as other stores), they offer a very large selection and are reliable. Alpha Beauty Store on eBay also offer a wide variety of Asian Beauty products, including most of those listed above.

Source; 1

New Dollywink products

As there are several images I have put them under a cut.
As always, please click on the images to enlarge them.
Click ‘read more’ for the full post.

3x upper lash sets – 1260円 each

3x lower lash sets – 1260円 each

2x eyelash glue; clear & black 945円 each
3x eyebrow mascaras; milk tea, mocha & cocoa – 1050円 each

1x eyelash case – 420円
3x eyebrow pencil; honey brown, chocolate brown & dark chocolate – 735円 each
3x eyebrow powder; honey brown, chocolate brown & dark chocolate – 1260円 each
The new line of Dollywink products by Koji & Tsubasa Masuwaka

When producing this new line Tsubasa said she did it with a cute, but not fake or artificial look in mind. She wanted to create something for an ‘Otona’ (adult) look, that would still allow girls to be stylish.

I know the new eyelashes have not been greeted well, but I personally like them. I think they’re simple, adult and will add that little something extra to a girls make-up, without looking too OTT – which I believe is what Tsubasa had in mind. I don’t really use eyebrow products so those aren’t of interest to me. The only thing I’m a little upset about is the design on the eye lash case, I feel it’s lacking slightly.

Source; 1

Candydoll brush sets

Candydoll have now added brushes to their collection:
Bases brushes; for use with powder & liquid foundation
Cheek brushes; a loose & tight brush set for colouring

The cheek brushes are around £11 ($18) & the base brushes £17 ($27).

Review: Princess Mimi Series – Grey Circle Lenses

Princess Mimi colour contact lenses*

Power/Prescription: 0.00 (plano) ~ -8.00
Lens Usage: Up to 12 months (depending on care)
Base Curve Radius: 8.6mm
Diameter: 15mm
Click ‘read more’ for the full post.

I have blue-grey eyes, so the effect may differ on those with darker eyes.
The Princess Mimi (also known as Bambi) Series is pretty popular right now, mainly due to Tsubasa Masuwaka who is the spokesmodel for the lenses. They offer an enlarging effect for dolly-like eyes in blend-able and bright colours.
Shoppingholics were very kind and packaged the lenses in cute and safe packaging. They also included a couple of free gifts and a kind note – so sweet!

Now onto the lenses…
These pictures were all taken mid-afternoon in Autumn, with lighting aid…

Make-up: Lashes & eyeliner on top, eyeshadow on bottom
I already have the green pair of lenses from this series and I love them, so I wasn’t expecting anything less from these. I thought the enlarging effect was great and the colour blended well with my own but they just didn’t ‘pop’ as much as the green. 
These were extremely comfortable!! I wore them on a night out and didn’t have to put drops in once.
If it is your first time wearing lenses, take it slowly and wear them for only a few hours each day so your eyes will get used to them. I wouldn’t suggest wearing your lenses for too long unless you know it will be ok, and if they get dry just pop some contact lens-friendly eye solution in – never use water!

I like the effect and look of these lenses, the feel is also an added bonus. I would certainly think of wearing these on a regular day as they’re not too in-your-face and would work well with most styles.
Want to order a pair for yourself? –
Their dispatch/shipping time is very fast and they ship worldwide!
Feel free to leave comments or ask me any questions you might have.


Popsister has gone into ‘suspension’ with the November issue being the last
Will it return?
‘Suspension’ is usually a nice way of saying ‘finished’, but lets hope it will be revived next year!! It was personally one of my favourite magazines so I’m sad to see it go.
Should have seen it coming with the loss of Tsubasa

Thanks for all the good times~