I had quit circle lens for a while because of the ugly truth of living in Japan and having circle lens. Gal is sometimes a nasty, disgusting thing. With 12.790 million people living in Tokyo (and more that commute in from Chiba and Yokohama), and most taking public transportation you touch what they touch so contagious problems always fester. I came down with pink eye 3 times in Tokyo last summer/winter. :twisted: I had not worn circle lens before that and had 0 issues with pink eye. So I think circle lens can speed up the problems. :twisted: When you see people with eyepatches, it’s not cosplay  :twisted:

Just letting you know when you get a bad case of pink eye and get so bad you feel blind and get a fever. Taking a bus half blind to a to a hospital and then doctor you don’t know in a second language is a shitty and frightening experience. :^_^;;:

But onto circle lens and the joy of them :idea: . Circle lens are a pain in the booty to shop for with light eyes. Most circle lens make everyone look like a clone/robot, but with light eyes and dark rims the creepy part intensfies.

3 circle lens with NO MAKE on. First two are with eyelash extensions.


Natural eye, no make (a bit red from allergies, sorry :^_^;;: )


Geo Angel BLUE

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I admit I get ranty here, but this is a big pet peeve for me, I wrote this last month but my observation still holds true.

There is this perception that gal=blonde only. God if I hear this spewed one more time in English I think my head will explode. As an experiment I spent today counting all the gals I could find that were blonde. I was in 109, spent a while walking around centaagai, I was at Hachiko twice, and I was talking to my lovely shopstaff. I found 2, 2!!! That were blonde.

Get your facts straight!

So if they’re not blonde, why are Western gyaru saying blonde = Gal? Just w-t-f! :?:

Not only that, we have this preconception of giant hair = gal. Sure that was once the case and Agejo (for work) and Hime still prescribe to the giant hair equation. That’s two groups. Lip Service which has identified itself as Agejo, its shopstaff all have straight flat hair in long bob styles or soft wavy hair that is not big. None are blonde.


Staff and regular girls from Glittter’s 109 English guide. Tons of variety. :wink:

Please pay attention to street-snaps

Yes I realize blonde and big hair is a possible easy way into gal, it also is often not the most current one. Nuts has one blonde as does Jelly. The majority of gals have brown or red hair. I am not saying this to hate on blondes, I couldn’t since my hair is naturally red blonde and I was once quite blonde living in Tokyo.

I think these two concepts are rooting people to the past gyaru, which is making Western gyaru hang onto dated looks.

There’s been a hair evolution in gyaru. Short or medium non-exte hair is fine. Some even going black and none of their hair is big. Kanako’s hair is short and dark now, Romihi’s is black and flat, Nanako’s is blonde and purple and short, Rumi’s is red and yes big, Hoshiaya is often flat and her natural color, Sayako is brown and flat… the list goes on.

Yes I’ve said it several times, changing your fashion stance to Gyaru does not happen without a serious hair consideration and a possible change. I will say this again. Gals have a set color range of hair. Yes Kaoru used to have pink hair, but that was Kaoru a) she was a well established model at the time b) her look matched her style. But a giant teased blonde mess is not the fad. The bob fad from last summer is still in. Many of my staff-chans have their natural hair (not color, but no extensions). Many have straight perms, which does make your hair incredibly flat.

I admit I do like big Agejo styles once in a while, and I enjoy seeing all the Agejo girls heading to work with hair set… but it’s not all gal and they’re doing it for work. Don’t get me wrong big hair exists, but it is the not the usual. Howeverm to think typical gal hair = Agejo is just not true.

Above is a Gilfy staff-chan from their Camoflage Gilfy Osaka store in OPA.

While she is working in the most popular store in the biggest gal mall in Osaka, I know some may see her and think she’s not gal. She has very short simple hair, and while she’s tan she’s not bacon-colored and while she does have nails they’re rather short. This is really what style many of the Gilfy staff-chan are moving to and she is a big part of how different new gal hair can look. One of the 109 staff-chans has the exact same color and style of hair, too.

Rock-style is really going strong with short hair. Almost all Gilfy staff in all their stores have short hair. Glad News is about 75% short haired. A little longer than shoulder length and without exte is more common.

Nailists usually have long, but their own hair. Possibly because it’s easier to keep back while dealing with sticky substances than short hair can be.

It seems more of a trend for high school gals to take the blonde/long/curl route because it represents a total change into gal. Also since most highschools don’t allow hair dying or even curling this is a way to show off to other schoolgirls. However, as you can see from the more mature 18+ crowd in magazines and on the street that blonde/exte is not a typical route.

Concerning long hair on post-kogal girls, I’m mainly seeing the top left style in the collage with no bangs and the hair pulled all the way back

Hair is an important change into gal style, but it can be achieved several ways. Especially now there are tons of short hair icons to follow: Maya Mori from Jelly has been really owning her shorter hair style.

Her chemically straightened, beautifully highlighted bob along with another model’s no-bang bob.

Curled and teased with volume (love those contacts) :love:

Sure long hair helps to hide a boring top or a sloping shoulder, but short hair can still be great. As a pair article to this one, I recommend bloomzy‘s new blog and her first post about hair color. :idea:

And if I got too ranty in that you are free to imagine me as this cute raging dinosaur :o

Bra Hunt

malignita posted that Peach John carried F sizes and so I decided to head out and see if D = F in Japan. I went to Peach John in 109 which is on the 3rd floor. Their store looked a little underwhelming which merchandise packed in and not many pretty displays or ornaments. When walking into a lingere store I want to feel like I’m in the inside of a jewelry box finding new treasures. Also, it was not very well lit. However, they had used their heater privledges and turned up the heat a few notches which I am sure everyone using a dressing room appreciated.

I asked the staff and together we found 3 bras available in F.
I ended up with this one for 2700 yen (really cheap) consider my normal bra choice from Victorias Secret is around 5000 yen.
Judging by the two other bras, this F was a fluke. The other two were definitely too small cup-size. I can say 34D is more a 34G in Japanese Peach John. This bra I do like and think it does the same lift and support as my old ones, but I feel it concentrates too much weight bearing on the body hooks and not enough on the straps. I also think the lace trim at the bottom was a bad idea since movement can make it feel scratchy. However, for 2700 yen it wasn’t so bad.
Their holiday bag is cute. Also, their care instructions and fresh-smelling free sachet was a nice touch.
edit: For those with D to DD American bra sizes tutuanna offers G and H cup sizes in really cute bras (located both on Shibuya Centaagai and Harajuku Takeshita dori). The straps look too small on this one, but it’s adorable.  More cute styles hopefully they work on the straps ^_^v
New hair
I went to yuhouse to get a dye + cut and as usual they did a great job. I do question their extension quality, but their dying is some of the best in Tokyo from personal experience.  Then I headed to Rhythm which I mentioned earlier was running a sale for 9800 for 50. It’s the same price at yuhouse, but Rhythm’s amount of hair they put in each extension is a bit more. I went for 60 which ended up being $110.
The store just was an apartment with 2 women working, but they were nice and had tons of mags to look through while I was getting my hair done. Their hair quality seems good, but I will reserve my judgement fully on them for another 3 weeks when extensions start to die.
You can see where my real hair ends here.
My real hair was round brushed at Yuhouse and that doesn’t hide the exte as well.
Better cleaning up the next day. Also I have a blonde chunk on the left side.
Happy me!
Nails
My last Carry appointment. sigh >_< I love their skill!
The obligatory nailists own nails shot. Very simple and sparkly.
My fun snow leopard nails done in monotone french tip.
More detail on french + bow + snowleopard
Their bag was cute with a nice holiday touch
The snowleopards do look a bit silly with noses, but I wanted them to meld together with the pink + white + black theme. The snowleopards were done painting colored acrylic directly onto my nails this time. Hopefully the acrylic to acrylic bond this time makes them stay longer.
2 more full days in Japan >_< But man is here and we’re heading to Tokyo Disney soon to enjoy the Christmas love <3

Someone asked for a getting into GAL guide and here’s my take on one.

Okay I know this is going to have many arguable points, and some may dismiss this post. Feel free to, I hope you enjoy the rest of the Doll if so. My intent is not ruffle feathers, but direct this at those who are new to gal looks and need a push.

My vision of gal follows five simple points

1. Gal is a fashion movement. End of story. Yes there are many activities that are gal related, but it is first and foremost a fashion movement.

2. Gal is constantly evolving. The look you followed last year might look terribly dated on the Tokyo streets. Yes some trends continue on, but a big trend tends to date itself. Mamba are dead, hold a funeral, move onto the now.

3. Gal must be constantly improved. Your look is an kinetic being, meaning you must be constantly changing to strive to find the best look within the fashion.

4. Gal is broad. BROAD! Even if you exclude the two extremes of b-kei gal (hiphop gal) and hime gal (princess gal) you are dealing with a broad spectrum of style preferences.

5. Gal is NOT cosplay. It’s not a costume, it’s a way of fashion life for many women. Women who work extremely hard to get the effect they want. Women who have often made life-changing choices to work in retail instead of college, or be nailist, do hair etc… Unlike the US where it is easy to go back to college, it is just not the case in Japan. These women have chosen a lifetime of possibly minimum wage jobs because they changed their fashion. To play it as a costume is just downright rude.

Second of all, ANYONE can enjoy gal fashion and pull off a gal look.

It is my hobby and obsession to people watch. As a self-confessed shopaholic, I am constantly shopping off of people’s looks this especially stands true to gals. Break down the barriers you have about only Asians can “do gal” or blond is the only gal, or larger sized women can’t do gal. BULLSHIT!

Sorry for the language, but this is just absolutely untrue. I have seen some of the bigger sized girls in Tokyo pull off spectacular looks and in my experience these also do amazing hair. I have seen tiny girls fail like they tumbled out of their closet. I have seen many foreign gals do great looks. And no I am not the be-all-end-all of taste, but neither are you.

Yes the gals in the magazines are tiny, the average BMI of a Japanese model is 16. 2 pips below a healthy weight, which means one big flu and their body organs could give out. Not to mention the heart problems later on in life. Yes many gals have blonde or light hair, but the damage is obscene to your hair and many pull off black better.

How to get into Gal

Step one: buy or find online a ton of current gal magazines

Or find the ways via the glorious internet to read them. It’s best to pick a small selection of magazines you like. These will become your bible. Without proper access to 109 and shops putting website items often later than in stores, these are the most current pieces you have without stepping into a store.

Nuts, Egg, Blenda, Jelly, S Cawaii, Popteen, Ranzuki, Ageha and others all provide their style direction in different looks.

Personally I currently enjoy: Ageha, Nuts and Jelly as my main reads. Since Ageha lends itself to Agejo, Nuts to more of a Celeb-rock look and Jelly to a casual Adult style each can combine to form a look.

Devour the looks in these magazines, judge for yourself what is editorial (aka something made to look cool for the magazine) and something designed for everyday. An example of this would be ex-Popteen model Tsubasa Matsuwaka’s bow from last year.

An example from the Tokyo Girls Collection
Yet thankfully no one took the giant bow look to the streets. Instead smaller bows were used to provide the doll effect.

Seperate types of gal

Yes there are more types of gal, but…

Oneegyaru – Brand – Cecil McBee, Egoist, Duras, Rienda, Lip Service
Rock-kei – Brand – Glad News, Gilfy, TutuHA, Heaven and Earth
Oraora-kei – Brand – Heaven and Earth, Natural Nine, Slangy
Doll or Sweet-kei – Brand  – Honey Bunch, Liz Lisa, Miel Chrisnaut, One*Spo, Rojita
Hime – Brand – Jesus Diamante
B-gyaru – Brand – LB-03, Baby Shoop, Dance by LB-03, Cheer
Agejo – Brand – Mar*s, Lip Service, Golds Infinity
Pop – Brand – Cocolulu, Shake Shake, w♥c, JSG, Galaxxxy

These are the main ones I see day-to-day. If it’s not on the list it’s possibly dying. (yes there are kogals but they are schoolgirls in Japan, I am doubting who is reading this is either.)

Start an “I love this board” or list

Through Polyvore or just a simple cork board at home, cut out your inspirational looks and study from them. Judge what could craft an outfit best. If you’re less the collage type, a list can help although not as visual. Also you can use booknote Post-its to refer back in your magazines of what you like.

This should be your time to narrow your style. Often the more you solidify the kei you enjoy and style direction you choose, you can be more effective inside of that genre.

Be a fashion editor to your closet

Which current items do you see in  your closet that can be used for gal? I am betting you will find some. A chunky winter scarf, some skinny jeans, a loose tee, some leggings. Scrounge together what you feel echos the current trends.

 

Gals identify each other through aesthetics

This may be a little too sociological, but it’s more do your nails, eyebrows, eyelashes, general make and hair echo a gal mentality.

Nails:

Magazines put out a nail guide and some are quite intricate, however if you stick to getting acrylic fakes with color and some stones you will find yourself doing it right. Or learn a skill and do them yourself.<

Hair:

Gals have a set color range. Yes it changes seasonally, but there’s a range of browns, blondes, reds (orenji as they call it) and such that are acceptable. Consider which of these colors looks good on your skintone (ask for beauty advice from pros) and go for it! I do not think moving into gal exists without a hair change.<

Tanning:

While for some its not popular such as Hime or Agejo, judging by the chocolate and caramel legs I am seeing this winter still tanning is very in. As an extremely pale person I’ve noticed that when I tan ungal Japanese often put my in the gal category even when my hair might be simple or such.

Make-up:

Please please go back and read Gal Mori and then we’ll talk. Eyelashes are such a boom lately. It’s hard not to see girls in 109 that do not have extensions (my shopstaff Kie does them) or fake ones (Mai, Yuuna and other shopstaff I know prefer this). MAC is beloved by gals and gals often work there. Head to MAC and get yourself some of their quality foundations and eyeliner.

Please please DO NOT follow the make-up guides step by step in Japanese magazines if you’re not-Asian. Why? Your face has different contour and depth. Japanese gal magazines proclaimed 2007 as the year of looking like a gaijin (I kid you not). 2009 is now apparently by SCawaii the year of the haafu (half-Japanese half-gaijin).  Those of us not Asian, we are already contoured in such ways. Overusing contour make-up can lead to horrid results. Yes white and black and hispanic and arabic and etc… benifit from shading and highlighting, but in different areas.

Get yourself style icons: Pic the model you love from your magazine and study her look. Pic a few and mix to your liking.

Accessorize: I have often seen many western girls fall flat because of their lack of accessories. No I do not mean to get all creepy decora on me. Although a necklace, a belt, a hair accessory can often be the maker to a bold look.

Spend time

Make YOU your BOOM. Gals do not just wake up with eye make put on and clothes perfectly arranged. It is work, WORK!!! Lazy isn’t a word you have in your vocab. I recently was talking to a very sweet DIA shopstaff girl with amazing hair. I asked her how long it took and she said around 5 hours. That was just on her hair. So she possibly woke up at 4:00 in the morning or earlier to start her routine.

Kaji (meaning casual) of any sort is NOT LAZY! It is often tons of time spent to LOOK casual. Do not associate kaji and yuru (loose styles) with laziness. This is simply not the case. Effective kaji is extremely thoughtful and you might find these girls took the same time on their look as high-maintence Agejos.

Also you cannot do gal halfway. Especially as a gaijin, from my experiences we have to try harder to get past perceptions that Japanese people have of foriegners and also show we can enjoy gal fashion just as well.  Even if you are living back in your home country. Go hard or go home, simple as that.

Be humble and improve yourself.

We ALL can improve within how we want to portray ourselves.  We also all started out from 0, so remember yourself at the beginning and then consider others. My mother always said if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. Sometimes this should be the code of gals. My experiences with Japanese gals, this is mostly the case. Instead highlight the positives of yourself and others.