Monday, 8 December 2014

Gyaru vs Ulzzang

The biggest mistake I see amongst J-Fashion enthusiasts is the amount of people who get these two terms mixed up. Whether or not it's through not being educated in the way the two fashions are or through ignorance, it's actually frustrating. There are so many differences between the two that it shouldn't be difficult. I believe the main reason that the two styles get completely confused it because they're both asian make-up styles, and with gyaru toning down compared to old school it's easier than ever to get mixed up between the two.

But the two styles aren't interchangable.

Gyaru is not ulzzang.

Ulzzang is not gyaru.

With the natural beauty that ulzzang covets, most gyaru would be irritated to be mislabelled as following ulzzang trends. Gyaru is about rebelling, standing out and it's a style that is completely fake. Whilst ulzzang uses make-up it's much lighter than that of gyaru.

The two styles that have the most in common and are most likely to be be mixed up and confused is an old favourite of mine, himekaji.

For gyaru I'll be using Yui Kanno as an example.
For ulzzang I'll be using Shin Ae Sol as an example.

Throughout the years gyaru has toned down from it's hair and make-up and is much more relaxed compared to what was all over gyaru magazines back in 2008. Himekaji make-up is definitely much more relaxed compared to what would make it in the past.

Instead of big, bold eyelashes you have more natural looking brown eyelashes and there's a trend towards more natural looking lower lashes. Brown circle lenses are more trendy than blues, greens, and other colours that would be unnatural to asian colours which is a trend that's been in ulzzang for quite some time. Instead of using bold, black liner it's more common to use muted browns and eyeliner on the lower lash line? A thing of the past. It's much more popular to use eyeshadow to line the lower lashline. Blusher is still prominent but there's a trend to place it towards the eye area as opposed to the cheeks.

As for lips? Trusty pinks and neutral colours for lipsticks are still in. Some girls do rock a bright lip for a pop of colour although it's not usually the staple for himekaji girls.

Ulzzangs, on the other hand, tend to go for a even more natural look than this (some exceptions though due to the photoshoot like nature of ulzzangs but standard trend is much more natural looking).

Instead of the carefully groomed and arched brows of gyaru, ulzzang trends point to a straight brow. As for false lashes, some ulzzang to wear the more natural kinds but they absolutely aren't a staple of ulzzang make-up. You could still wear your make-up as an ulzzang girl and still be considered to following the style (whereas a gyaru without her false lashes will absolutely not be called gyaru). Natural brown or black circle lenses are the normal and although a more natural look is favoured, some ulzzang do rock different eyeliner styles; just last year the infamous gyaru 'puppy eyeliner' was trending. Blusher can be used but it's not important and it's usually light to the touch - if anything stains are much more popular. Lip-wise, ulzzang tend to go for a natural lip but the now famous gradient lip is a popular ulzzang trend.

Although the two styles do share similarities there are differences.

♥ Trending natural looking circle lenses in browns
♥ Natural lips
♥ More natural looking eyeliner are trending for both styles presently
♥ Nude tones are trending for both styles

♥ Stronger blusher is trending in gyaru compared to ulzzang
♥ Gradient lips are completely ulzzang; gyaru will tend to not favour this trend
♥ An ulzzang can be an ulzzang without false lashes; a gyaru cannot be a gyaru without her false top lashes at minimum and there's a lot of debate whether someone without lower lashes can or cannot be considered gyaru

Himekaji gyaru and ulzzang are very similar when it comes to their hairstyles.

For ulzzang, natural hair colours such as black and browns are favored. It's rare that a ulzzang will choose to dye her hair any lighter than a medium brown and any girls with hair lighter than this tend to be wearing wigs of some sort. Hair is usually kept natural or waved; styling wise the hair is kept in cute, easy to do styles. It's rare that elaborate hairdos or hair pieces will be used.

For himekaji, presently medium brown to light brown hair is trending. Although in the past gyaru were known for having blonde locks but times have changed. Their hair is very rarely straight and will always be curled or waved. It's popular to keep hair in updos such as cute ponytails, pigtails or dual-buns at the moment but it's not to say that the hair won't be worn down. Hairpieces may sometimes be used to add extra body to the hair. Gyaru will tend to use more hair accessories.

♥ Natural colours are trending
♥ Waved hair

♥ Gyaru has lighter hair colours trending than ulzzang
♥ Gyaru hair is always curled or waved; it's rare to see them with straight hair, especially in himekaji
♥ Ulzzang may choose to use a full wig whereas gyaru will usually go for a half-wig

All gyaru will follow what is currently on trend, whether they're himekaji, agejo, rokku or whatever. Most gyaru will have a favourite few brands that they will choose to follow; himekaji would be Liz Lisa, Ank Rouge, Swankiss, Larme... there's a lot. Himekaji is 'princess-casual' so they follow sweet clothing designs that a princess may choose to wear on her day off. Each style has their own rules so the gyaru who follow that style will stick to those rules.

On the other hand, ulzzang tend to wear comfy outfits and follow many different brands. One day a ulzzang could be rocking a big, comfy jumper and the next oozing glamour with a pretty dress. It's not important that your outfit is a brand name, so long as it looks good. Ulzzang will always follow Korean fashion trends.

♥ Cute clothing rules all
♥ Outfits tend to be well coordinated

♥ Gyaru will follow substyles and trends whereas ulzzang will not. Ulzzang girls may dabble in many different styles.
♥ Gyaru love their brands whereas ulzzang will go for what looks good
♥ Ulzzang cherish comfort over all else

In conclusion although there are similarities between ulzzang and gyaru they aren't the same. Both styles borrow from each other and adapt as new trends come out but they absolutely are not one and the same. Your gyaru brands such as Liz Lisa aren't ulzzang although some ulzzang may wear Liz Lisa. Just because a girl who follows ulzzang wears false lashes she isn't automatically classified as gyaru.

Both styles are different and cater for different demographics. If a girl is gyaru she'll look gyaru compared to ulzzang; although there are similarities visually it's easy to tell the difference.

Any questions?

Stay sweet ♥

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