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Can I Be Gyaru If…?

black diamond, gyaru unit, manba

Recently I’ve noticed that those new to the wonderful world of gyaru are forever asking questions like, “Can I still be gyaru if I can’t wear circle lens?” or “Can I be gyaru with [x] colour hair?” Because of this, I have decided to create a big post on the most popular questions asked in our community.

updated: 21.11.2022

I don’t wear circle lens?

Yes, yes yes! Although circle lens really help complete the look, it is possible to work without. I’ve been doing it for goodness knows how long and there are a few other gaijin gyaru such as Pin who really rock it without them. It just takes a hell of a lot more work, and I know from experience that it does take a while to get used to wearing dramatic makeup to make-up for the lack of lens but it’s all about working with your eye shape to make your eyes look bigger. Here’s my makeup tutorial on how to do gyaru makeup without circle lens.

Gaijin gyaru Pin looking flawless without circle lens!

… I am plus size?

Definitely! Gyaru isn’t about being a certain size, it’s about accepting yourself and “get wild and be sexy!” The main thing is to be happy with the way you are. This applies to all fashions, not just gyaru! If wearing something makes you feel down about yourself then chuck it straight in the bin and wear the things you love. I spoke to one of my circle sisters (and fellow co-leader) Danielle about her experiences being plus-sized in gyaru.

This chick is badass! image source

… I wear glasses?

I actually don’t know many people who do gyaru with glasses but it’s definitely possible. It’ll be a good idea to look at makeup tutorials online on what kind of makeup to wear with glasses according to their lens (i.e. if they make your eyes look bigger or smaller) and then apply that knowledge to when you’re doing your gyaru makeup.

Here’s a photo of a Ageha mag scan (I believe)

… I have [insert colour] hair?

Gyaru is one of the most versatile styles I’ve seen when it comes to hair (thank goodness) and although black isn’t the most popular colour it’s still do-able, and anything other than black is completely fine! All I would say though is that dark-hair doesn’t exactly come to mind when you think about gyaru, so you might have to do things like go for more dramatic makeup and hairstyles. I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but gyaru is the overall aesthetic; it isn’t just limited to one thing.

Other than that, vibrant hair colours are very popular in gyaru! Just take a look at Black Diamond.

… I’m over 20?

HELL YES! I’m going to be a gyaru granny, haha. There are plenty of gyaru who still do it even when they’re 30 years old! There’s even one gyaru on Instagram who’s 50! Age has no limit, and I actually talked about my insecurities about being “too old” for gyaru in the past.

Sakurina is one of the most well-known gyaru and is over 20!

… I have children?

Gal mamas are the best! There was even a whole magazine dedicated to them called “gal mama” (surprise surprise). I have heard that some gyaru who do become mothers do tone down their look a little bit but I guess it all depends on how you feel about it! Here’s an article where someone interviewed a gal mama.

… I have tattoos and piercings?

Definitely! I see quite a lot of gyarus sporting tattoos, and those are mainly from oraora/tsuyome gals. I’m pretty sure there are more who aren’t into that substyle, but those are where I normally catch a peek of a tattoo.

That goes the same with piercings; it’s totally doable, and looks great for the more “darker” styles like oraora, tsuyome, rokku and gothic gyaru. Mayuyun is a perfect example of having tattoos and piercings!

That’s not to say that people outside of those substyles don’t have tattoos/piercings, it’s just my observation.

… I have short hair?

Much like the “can I be gyaru if I have [x] coloured hair”, I’ve seen gals rocking both long, medium and short hair! It doesn’t matter what length it is, as long as it’s styled and looks fabulous then it’s all good. Kanako Kawabata always comes to mind whenever I think of a gal rocking short hair! There’s also other people like Okarie, Sakurina (although in her old photos), and Chie & Chika often wear short-haired wigs. I’ve done a whole guide on how to do gyaru with short hair right over here.

… I’m not Asian?

Hell yeah! I’ve seen a lot of Western gyaru looking absolutely flawless in this style. It’s all about adjusting the gyaru makeup & clothes to suit your features. Just take a look at the gaijin gyaru community; there are tons of great inspiration for you there! Here are some amazing gyaru makeup tutorials for Western features you’re stuck.

… I am [certain race]?

Yes! You can be gyaru regardless of where you’re from.

… I don’t do gyaru everyday?

I am constantly in two minds about this topic, and although at first I was very set on saying a straight forward “no”, things aren’t quite so simple as that.

Because the truth is, sometimes it’s not possible to look the part every day. Some days you just don’t want to wear makeup, or don’t want to style your hair, and that’s okay! Hell, I don’t even do that. I have eczema on my eyelids and around my eyes so it’s not possible for me to wear makeup everyday which is essential in gyaru, and I’ve long made peace with that. What I do instead is incorporate gyaru into my life in other ways; whether it’s through having a leopard print bag, getting my nails done, putting more effort into making my clothes look fancy, and ensuring my phone case is always super over-the-top. At least that way when someone looks at me, they might not think I am 100% gyaru, but they can definitely tell there are some gyaru elements there.

In short – the important thing is to put in the effort in your overall look!

(There are lots of ways that you can incorporate gyaru into your daily life – e.g. through accessories, stationery, clothes – and you’ve just got to find a way to make it work.)

image source

… I wear [certain type] of clothes?

Luckily here are so many styles to choose from that your clothes are bound to fall into one of the gyaru substyles. If you’re already into, say, punk, then rokku gyaru would be perfect for you and if you’re into wearing tracksuits, then oraora. I used to say “oh it doesn’t matter what you wear as long as your hair and makeup is perfect” but to be honest… There are certain rules within gyaru. For example, the clothes are a lil’ bit sexier. There’s just a certain “aura” that gyaru has.

Take Emika Kanda for example; she frequently mixes gyaru together with fairy kei (the gal on the left in the pic below) she still looks super gyaru. Because even when she’s wearing pastels, there’s that wild and sexy vibe to it rather than being childlike and cutesy. Oh and, of course, her makeup and hair is SO GYARU.

You’ve just got to ask yourself: “does this have a wild and sexy vibe?” If the answer is yes, then you’re safe. Again, it’ll be easier to spot gyaru-able items once you do your research and use your favourite substyle as a base.

… If I don’t wear lashes?

I used to think it was impossible to do gyaru without lashes, but scratch that – it is totally possible HOWEVER you can only do this if:

If you’re a lil’ bit stuck, I would recommend looking at 90s gyaru and anything that’s maybe pre-2007.

… If I do multiple sub-styles?

Yes! There are soooo many gyaru substyles out there, and you definitely don’t have to stick to one.

… If I don’t wear makeup?

No – you can’t label yourself as gyaru if you don’t wear makeup.

Because, throughout all eras of gyaru, the one thing they have in common is the makeup. Whether it’s the dark tan and contour, or large false lashes, all gyaru wear at least some sort of makeup.

Here is a screenshot from an interview with Harutamu, who was one of the key people in Black Diamond GAL Unit:

And that’s all for today! I know that there are probably loads of more questions to cover but I thought that these were the commonly asked ones in our community. All I can say is – if you’re missing one aspect of gyaru, you’ve got to emphasise in other areas. Take me for example; I am quite pale and I have dark hair, so I make sure that my hair is always styled and my eye makeup is dramatic af.

If you have any more questions, please ask, and I’ll do my best to answer! 😀

Until later, cuties!

Lizzie xx

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