Let’s Talk About Himekaji vs Liz Lisa Girl

It’s 2010; I am scrolling through livejournal, saving every picture I could find of Yui Kanno and Liz Lisa shop staff girls and dreaming of the day that I would look like that kind of gyaru. Himekaji. Casual princess. I fell in love with the pink blusher, the big curls, and the cute floral dresses. Those were the days that I went to my nearby Miss Selfridge to buy similar clothing (as I didn’t have the means to buy it online back then) so that I could feel like an everyday princess.

Fast forward to now and I happily have an array of himekaji items in my wardrobe from a mixture of gyaru brands and Western brands. I even worked with my favourite himekaji store Kawaii Gyaru Shop, but I feel sadder than I was back in 2010.

And that reason was because there aren’t any himekaji anymore.

Himekaji gyaru Lizzie Bee wearing Liz Lisa
Winter himekaji outfit by hellolizziebee

hoodie: offbrand (I say that because I have no idea) / dress: liz lisa via kawaii gyaru shop (coupon code LIZBEE) / boots: dorothy perkins / accessories: new look & tesco / bag: floozie by frost french

Christmas at Blenheim Palace by hellolizziebee
Liz Lisa winter outfit details

Okay, I’m being dramatic – there are himekaji out there, but only a handful of himekaji gyaru. I never thought I’d have to place himekaji and gyaru side-by-side as himekaji is a gyaru brand, but the gyaru side of it has drifted off into the larme-kei/kawaii realm. The dramatic gyaru makeup has been replaced with little to no makeup. It’s been so long since any gyaru were wearing himekaji that it’s like a forgotten era.

If there was a toned-gyaru-timeline then I would say that himekaji was the first style to go. There was a large audience for the cutesy appearance that became attractive to people of all Japanese fashions, not just gyaru, and so brands like Liz Lisa and Ank Rouge toned down for that audience. Then the ‘Liz Lisa Girl’ was born, but people often mixed that up with himekaji until himekaji did mean someone who wore Liz Lisa. Not a gyaru wearing Liz Lisa, just any person. I have gotten used to the fact that when I search the himekaji hashtag on instagram that I wouldn’t get many – if at all – actual gyaru on there, and it’s such a shame. I’ve always believed that you can’t label something gyaru if there’s a lack of gyaru makeup, because that’s pretty much what sets you apart from someone wearing Liz Lisa (the Liz Lisa Girl) to a gyaru wearing Liz Lisa (himekaji)*.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned to believe that himekaji is still gyaru. Maybe I should get over it. But how can I get over it when himekaji was the first style I fell in love with? When it gets so much grief from other people who no longer believe that it’s a gyaru style? Sometimes I want to hold up a sign at the instagram-airport saying, “SEARCHING FOR HIMEKAJI WITH GYARU MAKEUP” or “SEARCHING FOR ACTUAL HIMEKAJI” but then I don’t want to sound like a dick by bashing those who do what they believe is himekaji. Most of them probably don’t know about how himekaji began, and with gal toning down overall it’s no wonder that people don’t wear much makeup anymore.

But I don’t care; I love himekaji, and I’m going to keep on doing and be my own gyaru inspiration. Himekaji gyaru. Or just plain ol’ himekaji, like it’s supposed to be.

A rainy day at Blenheim Palace by hellolizziebee

What do you think? Have you heard of himekaji before?

Lizzie xx

*I used Liz Lisa as an example in this post, because that’s one of the most popular himekaji brands

What do you think?

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  • Elodie Joriot
    December 22, 2018

    I stopped himekaji and sold all my items from Liz Lisa, Ankh rouge and axes because liz lisa turned Larme style since few years and not gyaru anymore in my opinion and I don’t recognize myself in this style I used to love and wear for years anymore…. I still wear old tralala and Liz Lisa döll colthes that look more gal I think… it’s a real subject ! I saw lot of gal posted about it on social networks telling Liz Lisa is « not gyaru » but it was! All my old Ageha magazines had Liz Lisa outfits inside… I hope to see a revival of the old school Liz Lisa style one day!! ❤️❤️❤️

    • hellolizziebee
      December 22, 2018

      I hope there will be a revival one day too, but I think the problem is that people don’t do “himekaji” properly anymore in the sense that they don’t wear gyaru makeup. I still love the new Liz Lisa clothes but I wish more shop staff wore gyaru makeup! <3

      • Elodie
        December 22, 2018

        Exactly!! It’s exactly my feeling!! In fact, I was bored to see « himekaji » pictures tagged as himekaji in social networks ! It’s, as you wrote it, Liz lisa girls but absolutely not himekaji ! Not sure the staff will do it again as Liz Lisa really turned Larme kei and Larme kei is currently really fashionable … ??

        • hellolizziebee
          December 22, 2018

          That is true! But I guess we just have to do our best and do himekaji the gyaru way 😀

  • Mary Lee
    December 22, 2018

    I know how you feel Lizzie ; – ; ! I miss the real himekaji. Larme, as fashionable and trendy it is now, I can’t seem to fall in love with it. It’s too “toned down” in both fashion and make up that it just appears so dull for me. Like I get that it’s supposed to be a soft kind of aesthetic but authentic himekaji fashion and make up were the perfect match made in heaven. I love the bold and wild make up that went with the softer and natural clothing with flowers/ ribbons / frills. They made the perfect contrast. One has was holding the other up. With Larme, it just all seems so monotoned that it doesn’t really inspire me to dive in to it. I’m glad people enjoy it though, but it is sad that it’s been mixed up with himekaji.

    I love how people like you, keep himekaji alive tho :3

    • hellolizziebee
      December 23, 2018

      Yes I agree! I do like larme in terms of their clothes and their hairstyles, but I’m not really into their makeup… I have eczema so putting on makeup is really bad for me, which is why I go all out when I put makeup on, so gyaru is perfect for me.

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I’m going to try harder next year to do more OTT himekaji, like the old days! <3

  • Annie
    December 23, 2018

    I hadn’t heard of the term “himekaji” before reading your post so I definitely learnt something new from reading this! I can completely understand why you feel so passionately about this. It was the first style you fell in love with. That makes it extra special and personal to you. I love the white coat! It looks so soft and fluffy!

    • hellolizziebee
      December 23, 2018

      Thank you so much! And I’m glad that you understand, especially because it must sound so confusing as someone unfamiliar with the terms! <3

    • agepoyo gal :3
      December 17, 2021

      Honestly as a gal whos only been into gal for a year or so, i can only imagine what it feels like to see gyaru get so watered down in front of your eyes … It makes me sad just to think about it and the neogyaru style when you compare it to old school gal, thats just sad

  • Megan Elizabeth
    December 23, 2018

    This is the first time I’ve come across your blog and I love it. You’ve found such a good niche and I love your style!

    Megan | https://meganelizabethlifestyle.com/

  • Bexa
    December 23, 2018

    I’ve never heard of himekaji before but I can understand why it is special to you. I really love your outfit here, it is so pretty and the dress is adorable! The white hoodie looks so cosy and comfy, I need one of those in my life, I’d wear it all the time, he he! Thanks for sharing Lizzie, you have such a cute style! <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellbexa.com

    • hellolizziebee
      December 23, 2018

      Thank you so much Bexa, that means a lot! It’s such a beautiful style and I’m head-over-heels in love with it. And I wish I knew what brand this hoodie was but I bought it off one of my bestie’s… But I’m sure you can get one similar over here! 😀 xx

  • Miss Blogs-A-Bit
    December 23, 2018

    Have to admit that I’ve never heard of himekaji before, I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal ? But I do love the outfit you’ve put together for the photos. It’s so cute and I wish I could pull something like that off!


    • hellolizziebee
      December 24, 2018

      Ah that’s okay, I appreciate you reading all the same! <3 Thank you so much, and I'm sure you can!

  • Loren
    December 23, 2018

    I’ve never heard of himekaji before and so now I’m interested in learning more about it.I love your outfit, its so cute and warm!

  • Sophie Wentworth
    December 23, 2018

    A lot of this went over my head a little bit as I’ve never heard of himekaji but I can totally understand how it feels to when it seems like your favourite era has been left behind! I hope there’s a revival for you! And I love this outfit, it’s super cute x


    • hellolizziebee
      December 24, 2018

      Awh thank you so much for reading this! I really hope there will be, but if not then I’ll just keep doing my thing 😀 Thank you so much! x

  • Cakepoppi
    December 24, 2018

    Now I actually feel pretty bad about myself, I always thought I was a himekaji gyaru since I started wearing it, and it’s so nice to kinda belong somewhere. But now I just feel like a fake idk I love liz lisa clothing and I also wear makeup and do my hair everyday I just don’t put on such “heavy” (I don’t know how to describe it) makeup, only on special occasions. Lately liz lisa releases had a lot of black and larme kind of vibe and that kinda scares me because I feel like the liz lisa I began to love when I was 15 is drifting away. 2 years ago I would never have thought liz lisa would release black dresses every collection. I’m kinda rambling on here, this post just hit me right in the heart haha

    • hellolizziebee
      December 24, 2018

      Oh no, don’t feel bad! As long as you got the gyaru makeup down and style your hair then you’re fine! I know how you feel but himekaji isn’t exclusive to Liz Lisa, you can wear non-branded items and still be himekaji! Look at old pics for inspo or try to find items that look similar. You can do it! <3 Thank you so much for commenting!

  • Val
    December 24, 2018

    I hate to be “that girl” but I would say, kpop and hallyu killed himekaji (and frankly many other popular Japan styles but that is a talk for another day). Anyway, Liz Lisa is looking now to appeal to the K-drama heroine/cute idol motif. Korean style has the influence of less is more. So less hair, dewy face, less make-up (though no not really it’s actually piles of make-up made to look like “no make-up” which to me seems a bit pointless, but I digress), looking young and super sweet looks. It’s very sad really, less “princess everyday” and more “little girl school daze”.

    • hellolizziebee
      December 24, 2018

      Yes I agree with you! I think that’s where the tearbag/aegyo sal trend came in from, too (although I find that trend super cute so I’m not complaining haha). It is sad but I guess we just gotta’ keep on going!

  • Honey
    December 24, 2018

    Himekaji unfortunately suffered due to brand obsession. Gal overall suffered from it and it has left little personal style and a lot of clones. The definition of it began to be what label you wore when that’s only one part of it and honestly shouldn’t be the biggest part of any gal style (except Onee. I’d argue that the luxury aspect is a central part of the aesthetic). So what’s the point of make and hair if you can throw on a certain brand and boom Himekaji tag. It deserves more effort than that. Especially for us Gaijin once we got easier access to burando so much of our focus was in that. I’m hoping the new boom will turn some things around because I miss the Himekaji princesses.

    • hellolizziebee
      December 24, 2018

      Gosh yes I think that himekaji is the worst with brand obsession – even more so than agejo (although I must admit that agejo is pretty hard to do without MA*RS). I really hope it’ll pick up one day too! <3 I wanna be a himekaji princess next year ^////^ <3

  • Yume
    December 25, 2018

    It is so sad how many styles e.g. himekaji are dieing. Only larme kei ans kpop fashion is recognised as ‘gyaru’ (wtf?!). Is is so boring to me.
    I know your feeling of admiring gyaru style during 2010 (‘I wanna be like her!’♡). Now we were getting older and earning money but the style is already dead ;-;.

    I’ve started wearing liz lisa, Emiria Wiz and axes femme last year summer but this summer I’ve started to wear ‘real’ gyaru fashion and wear brands like MA*RS, sugar gloss and DreamV (diable baiser) and I’m happy that I’ve found my style which completes me (I’ve never thought that I would enjoy agejo like this).

    But I think that I still kinda look like ‘real’ himekaji in Liz lisa dresses bc I wear a lot of make up, false lashes, circle lenses, extensions and nails :0

    • hellolizziebee
      December 26, 2018

      Gosh I feel you. I was a poor school student when I first discovered gyaru so I couldn’t get their clothes, but now that I’m older and can afford it my favourite brands have changed… it’s such a shame!

      I’ve always believed that it doesn’t matter what you wear, as long as you have the gyaru makeup & some hair styling down, then you’re gyaru! <3

      • Yume
        January 11, 2019

        Thank you for your reply and it is good to hear that I am gyaru with the correct make up and styling.

        Btw: reading all other comments here is so much fun ♡

        • hellolizziebee
          January 12, 2019

          The most important thing about gyaru and gyaru substyles is the makeup – it doesn’t matter what you wear, as long as the makeup and hair is styled, you’re okay! <3

          • Bunbun
            August 29, 2021

            Ahhh this post hurts me too. I absolutely LOVED old school agejo MA*RS designs back in high school, but didn’t have the means to purchase…now that I do, most secondhand market items are the more current kawaii girly larme inspired aesthetic items (which I do also enjoy very much, but cannot replace agejo era) is there a specific term I can search to only get agejo MA*RS items online?

            Very fun read btw 💗

  • Emma
    December 25, 2018

    I actually feel a little bit offended by this post.
    I started looking at japanese fashion, lolita/himekaji in particular when I was in maybe 6th grade or so and since then I have been obsessed with it. But until recent years I was never able to get the kind of clothes, now I can however but I just don’t want to wear make-up.
    I like make-up, it looks pretty, but It’s not something I want to deal with myself. Not because I don’t like it, but because I don’t want to and I don’t think you really need to.
    Same with hair, It looks super pretty, but it’s just not for me.
    The thing about himekaji that really captured my heart was because it was a toned down version of lolita. You got the same princess-y feel to it but it’s not as extreme. That’s himekaji to me, casual.

    • hellolizziebee
      December 26, 2018

      Thank you for your comment, it’s good to hear from a different perspective and to listen to your experiences. I too fell in love with Himekaji as it reminded me of the toned down version of Lolita, however, himekaji is a gyaru style and gyaru heavily focusses on makeup, so you can understand why I don’t regard those who don’t do makeup/hair styling as Himekaji. Perhaps a different name is better for those who wear it but without the makeup, like Kawaii fashion or Kawaii style…

  • Emily Harrison
    December 29, 2018

    I’ve never heard of this but you look amazing as per! Adore your style and this outfit is perfect <3

  • Isobel
    December 30, 2018

    I honestly love all your cute outfits Lizzie! You look so lovely!

    Isobel x

    New post: http://fashionistachic14.blogspot.com/2018/12/blogger-event-botanist-coventry.html?m=1
    Insta: https://www.instagram.com/isobelceline/
    New video: https://youtu.be/CBwpzHl_wF0

  • Nat
    January 1, 2019

    Awww you look gorgeous Lizzie! 😀

    I can kinda relate! When I was a little emo kid back in 2007 I was always scrolling through MySpace for inspiration, as well as LiveJournal!

    Then when I was 21 I was into my grunge fashion and those two previous websites were replaced by Tumblr! xD


  • Kieli
    January 3, 2019

    I try so hard not to start randomly ranting about this very subject. Or even anything labeled “Gyaru”. There are so many posts that are not even somewhat related. I hate all the new looks by the brands I used to love. I spend my shopping time on secondhand sites or Yumetenbo’s sister brand. And I only look at Liz Lisa for bunny things or maybe cute shoes when they’re on sale. I am with all the longtime gals and only live for the old days, remaking and revamping the original looks.

    • hellolizziebee
      January 4, 2019

      Gosh I totally agree with you! I’ve started using the ‘gyarugal’ hashtag instead because I’m so tired of seeing non-gyaru on the gyaru tag. But oh well! I do love shopping secondhand because the prints are generally nicer plus it helps the environment out a lil’ bit (well, that’s what I tell myself anyways!)

  • Autumn ^_^
    November 29, 2021

    I have realized this lately! Seeing people mistake Himekaji Gyaru and all of these different non-gal subcultures is really upsetting because I can never find modern-day Himekaji Gyaru inspiration.

    • hellolizziebee
      December 1, 2021

      Aaah yes unfortunately modern day himekaji gyaru doesn’t exist anymore, as the gyaru aspect of it had gone a very very long time ago I’m afraid…