Tag Archives: makeup

Not-so-pro tips

While this isn’t specifically lolita-related, it is in response to a previous article, so I thought some people might be interested.
After my post about makeup and personal grooming a few people asked for ideas about what specifically they could do. I’m neither a beauty queen nor a makeup expert so I don’t know how qualified I am to reply to that, but I do have a couple basic tricks up my sleeve that I’d like to share! Please remember, though, that I live in Japan, so the products I use generally have a Japan-bias.

tsubakiOne thing I can’t recommend enough is Camellia oil, called Tsubaki in Japan. It has been a staple of Japanese grooming for hundreds of years– it’s what kept the elaborate hairstyles of the Geisha in place (and might still do so, if they haven’t moved on to more modern chemical compounds)– and it has a multitude of uses, including treating dry skin. Personally I just use it for my hair. A friend of mine, after listening to me whine about my coarse, unruly hair not being able to hold a curl for more than 2 seconds in the Nagoya humidity, suggested I try it– and now I am suggesting it to you! The variety I usually use is pictured to the left: “Oshima Tsubaki tsuyatsuya water” — and I’ll admit that I did choose this kind because it has “Camellia oil in water” printed directly on the label! I think that pretty much all “camellia oil in water” solutions should be about the same (or you can buy the oil concentrated and dilute it yourself). The oil not only helps create the perfect curl, it also gives your hair a really healthy shine and, best of all, it’s all-natural. I recommend using wax to hold the curl in place.
If you live in Japan, you can get this particular product for about 1000 yen. Camellia oil products are a bit more expensive overseas, as the Western market hasn’t really caught on to how great they are yet, but still quite affordable. You can buy the Oshima Tsubaki variety on Amazon for US$10.75!

pore puttyI also find that, especially in an extremely humid climate like the one in which I live, makeup base is just about the most important kind of makeup I put on. For the longest time I didn’t think it was necessary, and even after I finally broke down and tried a few kinds, I was put off by the sticky or greasy feel they left me with and less than impressed with their results. And then, the clouds parted and Pore Putty Clear appeared. As disgusting as the name sounds, I absolutely love this stuff. The finish is smooth and powdery to the touch, and it is seriously weapons grade– put it on in the morning and you’ll need to scrub with makeup remover twice to get it off. Which means, it doesn’t go anywhere, even if you sweat or get caught in the rain. Even better? In Japan it retails for about 1050yen including tax, and you can buy it online (for example at Sasa.com, where it is only US$9.70).

You can get it for slightly cheaper at discount cosmetics chains– if you’re around Nagoya I recommend Base Girl, which, while having a rather hilarious mistake of a name, has some great deals on not only cosmetics but also clothing, as well as boasting a huge collection of bargain-basement-priced perfumes.

Speaking of perfume, I LOVE the stuff, and I think it’s a lolita staple. If you’re going to be really really girly, you need to smell that way too, right? (Right!)
My current favourites are Juicy Couture and Aquolina Pink Sugar — the former I usually spritz on when I’m going for a cooler look, the latter is of course perfect when my goal is to look like a cupcake. Other great scents are the obvious Lolita by Lolita Lempicka (which managed to migrate to another part of my room before I snapped this photo), which has a deeper, headier scent that I think makes it lovely for more mature lolita looks or nighttime outings. Another one that I like is Geparlys Temptation, which is a fruitier scent than I usually choose and therefore I tend to use it when wearing colors or styles that are a little out of the norm.
Perfume is an extremely personal thing, so you should choose your scents carefully and make sure they suit not only your style but your own natural scent. Smell is the sense which is most strongly linked to memory– and who doesn’t want to be remembered beautifully?


Makeup? Or make down?

I believe that lolita fashion isn’t just about putting on a really cute dress– there’s an entire aesthetic that needs to be considered, and you can be wearing the rarest, cutest, most amazing Moitie-and-Angelic-Pretty-collaboration-radioactive-macarons-on-a-cross print ever, and you won’t look like a lolita if you don’t put effort into your all-around appearance.

In keeping with a theme I unintentionally developed of saying very non-PC things here in my blog, I’m going to say that, yes, I think all lolitas should do their hair and wear some kind of makeup, unless their hair and skin is naturally perfect (and even though I know a lot of beautiful people, I’ve yet to see anyone who fits that description). Yes, natural beauty is great. And yes, all people should feel proud to be who they are and to have their own unique personal attributes. However, I for one can’t see the point in going through all the effort of putting on really cute clothes if you’re not going to wash your hair.

Baby JaneI think a lot of lolitas, especially those just starting out, run into big problems when it comes to makeup. I think it’s important to consider that the makeup you wear in your everyday life might not be appropriate for the days when you dress like a cupcake (or, depending on your style, a vampire). Wearing extremely heavy makeup while wearing a bright, cute frock is going to make you look like Baby Jane, and you certainly don’t want that!

The kind of makeup you wear is largely dependent upon your personal style; that said, it is usually more appropriate to save your thick black eyeliner for your gothic looks and go for a more natural look with sweet and classic lolita. Mana-samaaaaaThe age-old adage “What Would Mana Do” doesn’t really apply to things that Mana wouldn’t be caught dead in. And anyway, just imagine what all that eyeliner and mascara would look like on a girl in a frilly yellow dress! Ghastly!
I think Gothic Lolita in its true form is extremely striking; it’s also more mature than it’s sweeter counterparts. Makeup that is too neutral will make the wearer’s face seem incongruous with the overall look. However, white makeup is almost NEVER a good idea unless you’re going to be in some kind of play, or you happen to BE Mana. Your foundation should never been too different a shade from your natural skintone, if for no other reason than you will invariably end up exposing your natural skin color at some point and everyone will find out anyway.

Angelic PrettyThat doesn’t mean it has to be boring, though. After all, sweet lolita is rather over-the-top to begin with so you might as well have some fun with your makeup. I think it’s especially fun to experiment with eyeshadows– colors are the way to go! Recently the trend I’ve seen on a lot of Japanese lolitas is to wear one shade of eyeshadow and a different color eyeliner and yet another hue of mascara. This gives the entire face a really playful, fairy-like look and adds to the fantasy of the outfit. Just make sure to not go overboard, and coordinate your makeup! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met people who insist that they should wear blue eye shadow with every single outfit.
Also, experts will tell you that you should choose between a strong eye and a strong lip when doing your makeup. With gothic you might be able to get away with having dark lipstick and deep eye makeup, but with sweet I think it’s safer to stick with a colorful eye and a natural, if very shiny, lip.

As with any kind of fashion, what you’re really looking for is makeup that compliments your overall look. If the makeup is too flashy it will overpower the outfit; too plain and your beautiful face will take a backseat to the clothes you’re wearing.

I recommend carrying oil-reducing sheets with you. Flash cameras tend to bring out the worst in people’s faces, so a little dab before the flash goes off might save you the trouble of photoshopping later. This is especially useful for people who cannot wear foundation due to allergies.
If you do have various skin conditions that prevents you from wearing the usual layers of concealer, foundation, blush, etc, adding a touch of lipgloss and some mascara will give you a more finished look. You might be surprised at how far just a little bit goes.

Remember, when you’re wearing lolita, the dress shouldn’t be the only pretty thing! Your bound to feel a lot more confident, as well, if you have the whole package.