Monday, 29 September 2014

Gyaru Phones

There's one thing that a gyaru can't live without. Or, any girl really. We have our nice hair, our nice clothes, our perfect make-up but it's easy to say that without our mobile phones we would all be lost. Personally, whenever my phone is out of battery I feel like I'm missing an arm or some other body part!

For years the Japanese gyaru have been accessorising their phones to the very limits of customisation. With gyaru brands such as Cocolulu and Liz Lisa releasing phones in collaboration with Docomo the Japanese girls have been absolutely spoilt for choice. Western shores are starting to catch up on the trends making phone customisation easier than it has ever been. Custom phone cases are more popular than ever and dustplug charms are starting to make their way into stores as an alternative to the ridiculously popular phone charms that used to be everywhere just a few years ago.

★ W A L L P A P E R ★

Customising the software and inside of a phone has never been easier. For years custom wallpapers have been gracing phones (I remember having my first phone at 8 years of age and having a rather crude custom wallpaper!) and there's no reason why you shouldn't have a personalised wallpaper. To get your own custom wallpaper it's easy as snapping a cute picture with your camera or even googling. Gyaru brands have even been releasing their own official wallpapers, no to mention there's countless of fan made ones making the rounds on the Internet.

Universal Doll
Kawaii Sheepie
Japanese Gyaru

I've even seen girls use purikura as their wallpapers. They're so easy and so customisable that there's no excuse not to have one.

★ I C O N S ★

There are so many apps nowadays that you can do almost anything with your phone. There's apps that allow you to change your ringtone easily, there's apps that allows you to add custom emoticons, so it's not strange that there would be an app which allows you to change the icon of your apps. For reference, here is my phone's home screen.

Using the app CocoPPa it's easy to change your icons to something that matches your phone wallpaper. It creates a shortcut to the app so it's important not to delete the original app. Personally, I have mine in a folder on it's own page in the phone so I can access the originals if I need to. If you delete them the app will be deleted from your phone and your shortcut won't take you anywhere at all. Nope. Nada. There are thousands of icons on the app that can be used.

The app isn't able to create a shortcut for every app out there but for those it can, it makes your phone icons into something really cute. I use an iPhone that isn't jailbroken for this.

I'll be posting some of my favourite apps soon. Stay sweet! ♥

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Monday, 22 September 2014

Upsides to Being Alone

You've seen them everywhere; gyaru on the front of magazines, gyaru on various blogs on the big old Internet, gyaru in the streets-- or maybe not. Living in the North East of England, I find that finding other people who share similar fashion interests to be non-existent. Nil. Nope. Nada. Not gonna happen. I've heard of the lolita meets with their frilly petticoats, I've heard of V-kei meets with their overly impressive hair but I've never heard of a gyaru meet-up this far up North.

It feels like all of the gyaru in the UK live further South. (In fact, when I met one of them I sort of drunkenly screeched, "I LOVE YOUR OUTFIT!" oops)

As a North Eastern, Newcastle born and bred gyaru, I often find myself running around on my own with my somewhat eccentric clothes and make-up which often leads to negative comments, even from a city that prides itself on big hair and make-up. I'm sure there are other girls out there who have to settle for being alone whilst being gyaru.

There's plenty of things to do whilst being by yourself.

1. Being confident.

I cannot stress this enough. If you're going to act shy then perhaps it's not a good idea to wear a fashion and make-up style that is absolutely going to garner attention because it'll make you vulnerable and an easy target for people who want to make rude comments. Gyaru fashion is different from the norm and whenever something is different people will look. Being by yourself makes you an even bigger target to people. Confidence is key.

2. Experiment with new things.

You know those times when you want to try something new and it just goes completely wrong? Without having other gyaru peers who can pick up on your make-up, fashion, hair, etc. mistakes, being by yourself means that you can laugh it off to people who ask. That extra line on your eyeliner? Totally intentional. Just because you know it isn't doesn't mean others need to.

3. Shopping becomes easier.

As a girl, there's nothing better than shopping. I could spend hours in a store just looking at what's there. One of the fortunate things about being a lone gyaru is that I can spend as long as I want in a store without feeling like I'm holding the other girls up, or I can leave when I'm ready without waiting for anyone. It's nice to go browsing by yourself once in awhile.

4. There's less pressure.

Maybe I've got this all wrong but there's less pressure on being a 'perfect' gyaru when you're by yourself. Sure, there's standards to upkeep but there's no urge to be constantly dressed up to the 9s. If I want to dress gyaru and maybe wear a pair of flat shoes, it's comforting knowing there's not going to be anyone turning their nose up at my shoes when I could've worn a cuter pair of heels.

5. Be who you want.

I think this one goes without saying. I've heard of some girls sucking up to others to score brownie points with them which I think is just wrong. If you're by yourself there's no one to suck up to and you can be yourself, or the person you want to be. There's no need to tell someone who's outfit completely sucks that they look great, there's no pressure on feeling like you're underdressed compared to your friends, and there's no one to compare yourself to and nitpick over. It might suck being alone but there will always be the opportunity to be the person who you want to be; in some friendship groups there's so much fakeness to make even the fakest of people sick. You're free to be who you want; you can nerd out over what you want without worrying what the other gyaru will think, for example.

There's a plethora of other reasons, of course, but these are what I can think of. If you have any further tips, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Stay sweet! ♥

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Monday, 15 September 2014

OOTD: Ayacon Ball

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Ayacon Ball in Stratford, London. Can I just say that I had an amazing time? I'm not sure what I expected but I can safely say that I didn't expect to have such a great time there. It was lovely seeing old and new faces and just catching up with some people who I haven't seen for the longest time! The music was great too; I have a soft spot for strings instruments and the quartet made me very, very happy.

I tried out a new style that I haven't tried before for the ball and I'm really pleased that I did. I felt like a princess. ♥

Dress: Priscilla Dawn
Necklace: Jesus Diamante
Wrist Cuffs: Peacockalorum
Rings: LoveHeartTrinkets
Shoes: DreamV

My shoes actually broke on the way to the ball which was slightly upsetting. I also felt super self conscious on the way there but I got stopped by so many people and told that I looked beautiful which was flattering and gave me a boost in my self esteem. I've always heard stories of Londoners being really rude but they were nothing but charming, friendly and lovely towards me.

Stay sweet! ♥

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Monday, 8 September 2014

10 Convention Beauty Commandments

As an avid cosplayer I'm no stranger to the world of anime conventions. I've braved the heat and the crowds for the sake of a photo or to meet a new friend and I'm all too aware of how little sleep I'm getting; socialising and drinking all night is fun at the time but it soon takes a toll. There's the stress leading up to conventions and remembering to pack absolutely everything and if you're staying far away, there may even be the event of dragging a heavy case across the country.

Usually you wouldn't put gyaru + anime together but with more and more brands such as MA*RS, GOLDS Infinity and those from other sub-styles more fashionista types are heading there. As these brands can be difficult to obtain in the West it can sometimes be cheaper just to attend these events.

It's perfectly fun at the time but it's playing havoc with your skin. No one looks good with pimples. Or wants them. Ever. End of.

That's why I'm going to impose the 10 Convention Beauty Commandments on you all!

♛ 1. Thou shalt pack in advance

It seems like it's pretty foolproof but I've been super guilty of not doing this. I've forgotten parts of outfits, part of coordinates I've had planned, I've left major parts of costumes back in my closet 200 miles away... and it's a nightmare no one wants. At the past London Expo I left my false lashes at home (and luckily the Dreamy Bows stand saved my makeup for the weekend) and at Kitacon I left a part of every costume at home. Oopsie. By making a list you won't forget anything. Also bringing a full make-up kit is a big no-no. Set a separate make-up bag aside and fill this with make-up samples, your can't-live-without essentials. You don't need to bring four kinds of mascara with you after all. One will do for a few days.

♛ 2. Thou shalt continue with face care

I'm 100% guilty of dropping most of my facial care routine at cons. I know some of you are too. Really, we shouldn't be doing this! Most pharmacies and supermarkets will sell travel sized kits of face care such as cleansers and make-up wipes so there's really no excuse not to uphold it. Instead of using a clay based face mask, disposable sheet face masks are a great, lightweight and travel safe alternative. They work just as well too.

♛ 3. Thou shalt remove make-up before going to sleep

This should be a big part of any girl's make-up routine but we've all been guilty of going to sleep with make-up on. Anyone who says they haven't is probably fibbing! Although it may be tempting to crash with a face full of foundation and false eyelashes on make sure you take it off! Make-up wipes are perfect for this situation and it takes literally 2 minutes to do. Your skin will love you for it. If you're like me and apply heavy make-up twice a day for 3 - 4 days in a row your skin will definitely love you for it.

♛ 4. Thou shalt wear circle lenses for no more than 8 hours

This is also common sense but sometimes in order for our make-up to be extra cute we force our eyes to strain and continue to wear these. Not only can it get uncomfortable and painful but it's super unhealthy for your eyes. Personally, I wear them if they're part of a costume and forego them on the evening because sight is precious.

♛ 5. Thou shalt sleep for no less than 5 hours

Sleep is good. In fact, sleep is great. So why forego it even at a convention? Granted you should be getting somewhere around the 8 mark or whatever is normal for yourself but sometimes it's tempting to stay up and continue talking to people. By making sure you have at least 5 hours sleep you'll prevent the unsightly under eye circles and bags that tend to pop up with a lack of sleep and the pimples that may pop up if your body deems you to be stressed. Sometimes sleeping at overnight at a convention can mean less than optimal sleeping conditions so eye masks and ear plugs will be your best friend. It's a small investment but the dividends it reaps is worth it.

♛ 6. Thou shalt stay hydrated

This is stupidly important and it amazes me how many people forget about this. It's absolutely important to stay hydrated, not for your skin but for your own health. Alcohol and coffee won't give you the hydration you need so it's really important to carry a bottle of water with you in your bag. With more water your skin is more likely to stay clear and glowing which is important considering all of the make-up and lack of sleep it'll most likely already be enduring.

♛ 7. Thou shalt carry extra beauty supplies

Do you know what really sucks? When your false eyelashes are pulling themselves free of your eyelid and you have no glue to shove it back in place. Carrying your essentials for reapplication such as mascara, lipstick, etc. is almost common sense but it's always surprising that people don't think of carrying their eyelash glue with them. Conventions tend to be hot due to the amount of people that get crammed inside and that can cause your make-up to melt - not a good look. By carrying a few extras you can fix up your make-up in literally seconds. It's worth the investment instead of needing to go back to your hotel room.

♛ 8. Thou shalt wear sunblock

Conventions take place at all times of year but summer is when the majority of them pop up. Summer weather tends to lead for beautiful photos except it's sunny and if you go outdoors you're risking sun damage to your face. That's why it's important to wear sunblock. Nowadays a lot of make-up carries SPF in it from BB Creams to even lipsticks. Sunblock that sprays onto your skin as opposed to a liquid is also available. There's no excuse not to apply these and it'll stop any sunburn and most importantly wrinkles.

♛ 9. Thou shalt have have clean hair at all times

The amount of people I've met at conventions who forgo washing their hair in favour of wigs is just... ugh, no. You'd think it's common sense but because of wigs I've met some people who think wearing a wig to hide their dirty hair is acceptable. Even if you're wearing a wig make sure you have clean hair. Having dirty hair just makes you feel gross and the oils from your hair can affect your face and clog your pores. After all, you're not going to sleep in a wig! Dry shampoos exist for a reason and it's easy to pick up at any beauty store. Really, there's no excuse not to do this.

Don't be gross.

♛ 10. Thou shalt sanitise, sanitise, sanitise!

Conventions tend to attract large crowds of people, each with their own unique sense of being. That being said, it's easy to pass bacteria along in big crowds. Not only can this lead to sickness (which is gonna make you look haggard) it can lead to bacteria and other nasties being transferred into your cosmetics if you touch them without washing hands. Hand sanitiser can help stop these from being transferred and potentially ruining that pretty face of yours.

As well as beauty tips, there's plenty of other tips to learn for conventions. Basic etiquette such as asking a cosplayer for a photo before snapping is polite and looking up the con schedule in advance to plan your days can be a total life saver.

Do you have any more tips? Let me know!

Stay sweet! ♥

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Monday, 1 September 2014

Barbie: Tsubasa Masuwaka's Plastic Surgery

Provided you haven't been living under a rock for the past goodness knows how long, you've most likely heard of Tsubasa Masuwaka, the darling of Popteen and Popsister and producer of both Candy Doll and Dolly Wink. She's arguably one of the most famous gyaru models out there; even non-gyaru absolutely adore her because of how charismatic she is and how pretty and cute she is. She's one of the leaders of the hime-kaji gyaru styles: she says jump, her followers all do that. Not that there's a problem with that as even Tsubasa holds a space dear in my own heart.


There is a lot of controversy surrounding Tsubasa. I've heard arguing that whether or not she's had plastic surgery, over whether or not she's too old to be wearing such cutesy styles, even over the colour of her hair. It's almost ridiculous. I'm going to take a look at one of the most controversial things surrounding Tsubasa:

It's hard to find pictures of young Tsubasa Masuwaka floating around the Internet from before she debuted as the new hottest gyaru model. But this is the Internet we're talking about, and anything can be found on here with a bit of sleuth work. Please note that due to the drastic changes there is absolutely no guarantee this is Tsubasa but these three pictures have a tendency to pop up as being attributed to being her back when she was in school and when she was working as a 'reader model'.

If these pictures are her, she looks like an ordinary girl with nothing so special about her. She almost looks like any girl you could see wandering around the streets. There's absolutely zero star factor about her and nothing that would make you look twice which is the opposite of how she is now. People age and make-up is absolutely wonderful and can be used to make yourself seem like a different person.

Just looking at these confirms that compared to the Tsubasa Masuwaka of 2014, it'd easy to deduce that she's most likely had the following surgeries:

♥ Rhinoplasty
♥ Lip Fillers
♥ Double Eyelid Surgery
♥ Cheek Bones and Jaw Bones Shaved Down
♥ Chin Fillers
♥ Cheek Fillers

Tsubasa debuted in Popteen back somewhere in 2004 and 2005 and already exhibited some of her charming characteristics. By the time she debuted in Popteen she'd had her rhinoplasty, lip fillers and double eyelid surgery completed at least.

With being one of the reasons why Popeten exploded in popularity and becoming 'the' iconic gyaru to people who didn't understand the style, the pressure was definitely on Tsubasa to keep evolving and keep herself looking young and fresh. Being the leader of make-up trends, of clothing trends and on the pages of glossy magazine covers helped to keep her in the spotlight. But with how cut throat the modelling world is, it's no surprise that Tsubasa would begin changing her image and get even further plastic surgery to help her stay relevant.

If any of you have seen the movie Helter Skelter staring Erika Sawajiri, it's very relevant to how Tsubasa probably feels. No matter how good she is there's always going to be someone younger, prettier and skinnier to replace her.

In 2008 Tsubasa launched her own line of lucrative eyelashes under the name of Dolly Wink.

Leaving behind trends of past, Tsubasa's skin began to lighten and with it so did her cheek bones and jaw line. Since her debut as a Popteen model Tsubasa had managed to find time to squeeze in bone shaving surgeries to make her face appear longer and slimmer. Granted, photoshop may have had a part to play but it was consistent throughout which points to surgery. In my opinion, this is when Tsubasa looked her very best and was at her prime.

As various new looks came into fashion, Tsubasa has evolved with them. With influences from K-Pop, eye bags became the new trendy must have. Tanned skin wasn't as desirable as pale skin and kudos to Tsubasa for staying bang on trend.

I believe Tsubasa's eyebags are a result of a cosmetic procedure. In her magazine pictures, in her promo pictures, even in her candid pictures she previously never had these until they became the new 'popular' thing to have. She also had a chin implant and potential cheek implants making her face more round and more child like and youthful. At present she hasn't changed her look for awhile now.

Personally, I don't have a problem with Tsubasa having surgery. I admire her for seeing what she didn't like about herself and changing herself for the better because if I were in her situation I would definitely do the same. As long as she doesn't take the look over the top ala Donatella Versace there's no reason for her to be ashamed.

What do you guys think? I'm really interested in hearing your opinion so please let me know below!

Stay sweet! ♥

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