Naruto, Ramen and Play Station are some of my fond experiences of Nihon (Japan). This week I want to go across boundaries to look at makeup worn in different cultures and the transformation it has undergone over time. I’m super excited to kick off with a visit to Japan, the land of the rising sun.
From Geisha to Ganguro.
The Geisha girl with ebony black hair, pale white face and bright red lips has been a part of Japaneese culture earlier than the 18th century. They played the role of female entertainers for the high society.
Geishas are one of the most fascinating women in history. To deserve the Geisha status the girls had to work really hard starting off as apprentices known as Maiko (“dancing child” or “dancing girl”). They have to undergo a lengthy training to master the arts – music, dancing, playing traditional instruments and singing. Given their falling number, it seems that Geisha represents the culture of yesterday’s Japan.
In the early 90s Japan fashion style saw the appearance of Ganguro. A look that is popular among young women. Unlike the pale faced Geisha, Ganguro makeup is characterized by a deep tan combined with bright hair dyed in shades of orange to blonde, or a silver grey known as “high bleached” making this new generation girls darker but brighter. The eyes lined in Black ink, white concealer for lipstick and eyeshadow, false eyelashes, sparkling powder, face stickers and brightly coloured contact lens ensures that the face stands out.
The Geisha is an elegant and very sophisticated woman while the Ganguro is playful, bold, adventurous and out to express her self with a burst of child like energy.
Adapt their style:
Learning all this and backed-up with my once upon a time addiction with anime as well as manga, I came up with Ganguzzle 🙂 (Ganguro+dazzled). I wanted a playful yet elegant look that didn’t go to either extreme. For the featured look I used blue which is a secondary national colour of Japan on the eyes; red blush (inspired by the flag), manga like eyeliner and pink lips to give the model an anime-manga doll like feel. We expressed the tan associated with Ganguro through her outfit and completed with simple bright accessories.
To get started you’ll need:
- Black liner (liquid/gel prefered but pencil will do) and white eyeliner
- Bright eyeshadow of your choice(blue with shimmer in this model) as well as a white one.
- White eyeshadow base
- Bronzer or fake tan for lighter skin and highlighting powder for darker skin
- Foundation and blush (red in the model)
- Fake eye lashes (you can use lengthening mascara instead)
- Coloured contacts (optional)
Mina-san, ganbatte kudasai!