Popteen New Gyaru Era Seiso na Onna no Ko or Polished Girl style breakdown and reasons

popteen magazine

Popteen Magazine has a different take on a recent debate. There’s been a lot of talk on tumblr and in the comments on this blog and via twitter that streetstyle has really taken over and is diluting gyaru. My response to that is yes and no (more on this next week).

But it ignores one of the biggest pieces of gyaru style and one of the most popular: Sweet Gyaru or….

what Popteen Magazine is calling 清楚な女のコ Seiso na Onna no Ko or Polished Girl 

It directly translates as “Neat and Clean Girl” but I think Polished Girl is a better translation because they say: Everyone aims to not look too Gal, and to not be plain but to have a Neat and Clean aura.

To me this translates best as polished, but up to you. I’ll be sticking probably with Seiso Gyaru to keep it in tune with Japanese magazines….



Popteen is going the Sweet Casual  Gyaru way because it’s what their readers want. The last 4 months of surveys have been sweet or simple coordinates that have won best coordinate from their readers.

So when you complain why a magazine is going in a certain direction, Popteen says it’s what the people want. They say readers want to look more polished in make-up and fashion.

In order to focus more on this style Popteen is bringing in 4 brands that it usual doesn’t have in their magazine.

Four new brands to Popteen for the age of Polished Girl


Lowry’s Farm (site) which soon you’ll see a lot of shop staff snaps on the Doll from because I was buying from them in May.


Their stying of Nice Claup (site) reminds me of a more adult Ank Rouge or Tralala.


Earth, Music & Ecology (site) is a very big popular casual adult brand. I love the top cowboys boots coordinate. It reminds me on Ungrid or Liz Lisa from 3 years ago.


And finally E-Hyphen World Gallery (site) previously I talked about E-Hyphen Bon Bon is a great addition to sweet girly coordinates and showcased shop staff snaps for this season.

Back in January 2011  I talked about the Retro Girly trend in Sweet Gyaru and the statements I made about Retro Girly back then seem oddly like the ones I could make about this Sweet Gyaru grown-up shift. I know a lot of sweet gyaru lovers have been turning to Cutie and Vivi for years without a true magazine. Which to me is crazy since Ank Rouge and Liz Lisa are both adding new stores each year. Now Secret Honey, MiiA and Kumicky produced new store MicoAmeri (more info comes around I’ll talk about it). Many other gyaru brands have been losing stores (MA*RS, DIA), but most sweet gyaru brands are growing.

New Brands vs Gyaru Brands Price Point

 Lowry’s Farm, Nice Claup, E-Hyphen and Earth Music Ecology are all usually cheaper than their gyaru competitors. To illustrate this I picked skirts at random from 5 brands: 3 gyaru vs 2 new Popteen introduced brands.


Now of course if you love Liz Lisa for the pink and frills you’re not going to buy the velour skirt from Lowry’s Farm instead. But it may make you buy the simple blouse from Lowry’s so you can afford the expensive skirt from Liz Lisa. Gyaru brands aren’t the cheapest option and I think they will start to face more competition especially with the Japanese economy and job opportunities not looking stellar. Gyaru grew because of more income by the teenager’s parents and more freedom. This shrinking in a lot of gyaru aspects feels in tandem with the slumping Japanese economy.

New Brands vs Gyaru Brands in number of stores

I’ve talked a lot about how gyaru is filtering out from the big hubs of Tokyo and Osaka and making an impact in small towns. But gyaru brands still aren’t really heading into the country, they’re just growing in medium-sized towns like Hiroshima and Kyoto. Ank Rouge has 14 stores and it’s one of the fastest growing gyaru brands as of late.  However, 8 of those stores are located in the Tokyo and Osaka areas. Nice Claup has 44 stores. It’s in places from Yamagata to Nara. Liz Lisa is expanding but it has no stores in either location.

With those 44 stores they do have a higher advertising budget and I can see that as another reason Popteen Magazine put in these big brands. :catno:


New Era Hair and Make-up

Now this is where I’m calling shenanigans on Popteen. They’ve decided to trot out what they say is how the era should be done. But I’m going to show you their magazine from 2012 of September First. There’s not a whole lot of change.

Popteen September 2012 Make-up

sep2012-popteen sep2012-popteen2


Popteen October 2013 New Gyaru Make-up


Biggest changes: Feathered lighter eyelashes and less dramatic circle lens. But they’re still using a lot. To paraphase GuriGura from the NHK World’s Kawaii TV on new Gyaru is “we’re still using the same amount of make-up our goal is just to look more natural” and it’s true. Still top and bottom lashes. The skin, eyes and lips give a glossy look that gives the cute effect.

I think this issue is a tester, but it’s obvious Popteen is trying to give the readers what they want. I also feel there’s some underlying reasons (access, ad budget, economy and price) that the brands are being brought into Popteen. At the same time I worry about blend diluting gyaru, but gyaru will always be changing.  :korila:


  1. Serah
    October 25, 2013 / 11:31 am

    I think this is very interesting, this whole softer and babyish pastel trend that’s been going on for a while, now taking over the more gyaru-type magazines. (Of course, it’s also a little unfortunate, because I’m not 100% fond of it, frankly;; )
    Something to consider, I think, in the case of Popteen (and perhaps also Ranzuki, since the target agegroup is the same), is that a lot of the kids who read Popteen are teenaged kids who also read magazines like Seventeen, so they’re looking for more “natural” cute-type stylings, with a somewhat less-steep pricing. So, like you mention, the magazines are going to shift to meet the demand of their readers.

  2. October 25, 2013 / 12:25 pm

    These polished girls do look realy attractive! An overall impression of clean-ness, neat-ness are quite important for girls, and gyaru are kind of symbol of it. For me personally :d Love to look at them and get inspired at times when i feel not well.

  3. Caro
    October 25, 2013 / 6:24 pm

    I hope gyaru brands like Ma*rs, d.ia etc. will become more cheaper because of this ^^
    And I’m fine with this changes, cause as you said – gyaru will always change. If it wouldn’t change it would be dead xD
    but I would be nice if they told us (gaijin gyarus) how to look gal with this new less-dramatic look. : D I’m just afraid that it will be hard to recognize a gyaru with this toned down make up… ^.^

  4. October 25, 2013 / 9:42 pm

    I usually lurk on your lovely blog but I HAD to comment on this one! I usually buy Popteen every now and then and I was debating between Ageha and Popteen for my birthday a bit back when I hit the Kinokuniya in San Francisco. I decided to pick Popteen because I think I only have my ‘birthday’ issues of Popteen and the DIFFERENCE OMFG. I was so disappointed honestly. I don’t think gyaru is gyaru without is being bold and outrageous whether you’re aiming to look sexy or sweet. The lashes and make-up have always been a very common factor no matter what sub-style a gal was pulling off. I feel like this ‘new style’ isn’t gyaru at all. I feel like it’s own thing and should be called exactly that! But this is coming from a girl who loves things as dark as edgey as Tutuha to cute and sweet like Liz Lisa and sexy and refined like ma*rs as well. I love unique clothes so seeing everything toned down is breaking my heart and making me question where my money goes.

    I’m used to Liz Lisa being crazy cute with lace edges and really pretty unique prints. Now I feel like I can replicate the new trends easily in the States with Forever21 or fast-fashion clothing brands. It’s even been difficult to find nice detailed, thick, pointy LASHES lately. D’: My poor heart. But what’s done it for me (back on the topic of Popteen) is PIKARIN.. Dear god Pikarin she used to SPARKLE but I know I feel like she looks like an AKB48 girl </3 and Tsubasa who was a glamorous queen and my idol now looks twelve. Both Popteen models of different eras, I admired SO MUCH and then seeing their new stuff I turn the other way.

    I'm glad that someone explained wth was going on. This kind of confirmed my fear of what is happening with the old style and wtf happened to Popteen. lol </3 -done ranting- LOL

  5. October 26, 2013 / 3:47 am

    For me, I really love how it turn these time, I am not fan of all of these fake enormous lashes, it’s too big for me, I prefer when it’s quiet, and this style reflects what I am, so I am inspiring this a lot for my makeup.
    I already see comments about this style and say ‘well wtf this is not Gyaru, I don’t like’ blablabla. Okay, we are all different, if you don’t like well rest in your style that’s all lol.
    This article is really interesting at all!

  6. October 26, 2013 / 5:37 am

    well, i’m not a reader of popteen, and i’m definitely not into sweet gyaru, but i just wanted to butt-in to say that i love Lowry’s Farm!!! they have some really nice things AAAAAAAAND, they have clothes in S, M and freakin L size!!! that is right, ladies and gentlemen, clothes in a size that fit my enormous gaijin body!!! needless to say, i have been depositing a lot of my monies there of late… ooops.

  7. October 26, 2013 / 1:17 pm

    Wow, this sums up perfectly my feelings towards gyaru these days! I have always felt drawn to the gyaru style and this new sweet trend was the perfect occasion to try it out. I started reading Popteen thanks to Maapipi’s cover too. I like the fact that this “polished” style looks sweet and and a bit cheeky too, with short skirts, heels and such… Just really what I wanted <3 I really hope that the seiso era is going to stay!

  8. October 29, 2013 / 1:57 pm

    I love Polished gyaru! Thats the gal style as a mama I have!

  9. Kat
    November 5, 2013 / 8:07 pm

    To be honest I’m really loving this seiso gyaru shift. I have more of a casual and sweet style myself so this works out well for me. I actually find it amusing because 3 years ago when I was in Japan and I knew nothing about gyaru I would constantly buy clothes from lowrys farm and earth, music, and ecology so I guess I was really made for this style.

  10. Joyce
    November 11, 2013 / 3:45 am

    Reminds me of Sweet magazine, or Non-no/Vivi. Not Gyaru anymore

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