Category Archives: beauty

Why Body Acceptance Needs to Be Bigger (And What That Means)

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After Parfaitdoll.com’s spotlight on Bustle.com for plus-size lolita fashion (most notably for this article interviewing two plus-size lolita cuties! Take a read if you missed it!) I got to thinking about body acceptance in lolita fashion, and other kawaii styles. Body acceptance is something we need to talk about more as fashionistas – of every stripe and style.

Fashion is a double-edged sword of self-expression. On the one hand, there is a magic to becoming your own art canvas and realizing your daydreams on your own skin and body. You can become anyone you can imagine – a princess, a pirate, a CEO, a dystopian punk fairy, and everywhere in between. On the other hand, using your own body for art can leave you feeling frustrated when the image you created can’t match your reality. No matter how creative we are, some things will not change no matter how many times we go shopping or alter thrift store finds.

And lolita fashion, which is even more expressive and dramatic than its mainstream counterparts, makes this doubly true. We are formed on the basis of a specific shared dream, the haunting fairy-tale apparition of femininity. This idea is based on a mishmash of Victorian beauty ideals, Asian beauty ideals, and the evolving new dreams and trends of modern fashion, like kawaii and uljjang styles. And with all that pressure, we really need to take a look at not just who we want to be, but who we really are. 

We are not talking about just fat acceptance or thin privilege or the myriad of other words we’ve developed and bandied around for the past several years’ of body talk revolution. We are talking about being comfortable in your skin, now, whether it is changing or stable, no matter its color, shape, weight, capabilities or anomalies. This includes not just being comfortable with what it looks like, but also being comfortable with what it can and cannot do, and what your responsibility is to care for it. Each body is unique, both in its appearance and its hurdles and needs. That’s been a hard lesson for me: that my body will always need more care and consideration than others’. Consider it the introvert of bodies – it will need extra recharging and more sensitive care. It is never going to be okay with all-nighters, crippling hangovers, or the occasional wicked sunburn of careless youth.

For me, body positivity and acceptance has been something I struggled with my whole life. Having a chronic illness and at times restricted medical diet has wrestled a lot out of my control. On dialysis, I had to cope with foreign objects and tubes and other medical body mods. The medications I took to keep me alive bloated my body and filled my abdomen with jelly-like fluid. Steroids could make me physically thin but make me feel puffy and flabby. I remember trying on clothes with the sole attempt of hiding my medical equipment, worried I would make other people feel grossed out or uncomfortable if they glimpsed my bandages or stitches. Here’s the bottom line: no one should feel ashamed of or uncomfortable in their own skin. 

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Victoria Suzanne’s Modeling Crash Course

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If you are reading this article, chances are you are about to walk a runway, whether it’s at a huge anime convention or at a charity ball, in a fashion parade or an open-air festival. If you are nervous, not sure where to start, or wondering what you have gotten yourself into, worry not: this guide has got your back.

This year is my TENTH YEAR wearing lolita fashion! (Oh god, am I the crypt keeper yet?!) Of those ten years, I think I have been doing lolita fashion shows for about seven of them, and I have learned a lot about runway walking along the way.

One of my friends contacted me recently asking what advice I would give for first-time models getting ready to walk that weekend. She had some beautiful, lovely girls, but no experience! “How do I whip these girls into shape?” she wanted to know. “What would you tell first-time models who are about to walk?”

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The Night Before: Eat Pretty

Hydrate! Drink plenty of water the night before and morning of. This will flush your system and keep you from retaining fluid, give your skin elasticity and glow, and just make you feel better. I recommend a bottle of water before bed and upon waking up. Tea is okay in moderation, but remember it is a diuretic! Keep water with you throughout the day and make sure to pee frequently.

Sleep. Seriously, if you are at an anime convention especially, or you know you have an early makeup call, go to bed. If you need to, set an alarm to start getting ready and doing your night routine. Setting alarms in my phone reminding me to wash my face and moisturize are the only way I can avoid staying up on my phone or reading. A sheet mask or night cream can be a relaxing way to switch to sleep mode and take care of your skin for the following day.

No booze. Again mostly if you’re at anime conventions, there could be a lot of partying going on the night before you model. I personally won’t drink at all until AFTER a fashion show, but I suppose one glass to be social won’t kill you. Just remember that it will dry you out and you’ll need to double hydrate. It can also mess with your beauty sleep. Nobody wants you hungover for makeup call, either.

Cut the salt. Salty foods will also defeat the purpose of hydrating – you’ll retain water, which will make you juicy when you want to be lean. Processed food and convenience food is a big cuplrit, but also be careful if you like Asian food (ramen, my favorite!) or salty fish or sushi. Junk food is a given, as well.

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So what SHOULD you eat? I recommend eating something light and protein-rich the night before or the morning of with low sodium. You want to be full, but not bloated. You know your body best, so if you’re lactose intolerant for example, skip the dairy. Otherwise, I’d suggest a mix of healthy fats like avocados, an easy protein like eggs or tuna, and some bulking greens or rice. If you can make your own food, I’d suggest some kind of eggs or avocado toast, or bring a bento of vegetables and onigiri (I made sweet potato and avocado onigiri the other day for a dinner side – easy and healthy, recipe here). Sweet potatoes are also a great way to build low-calorie Vitamin E in your skin. You can microwave them in specialty cloth bags in your hotel room and eat them with a spoon with some salt and pepper, or cinnamon sugar.

If you have allergies, tell someone. Your fashion show coordinator should know to ask this in case you are provided with food, but in case they’re not, mention not only allergies but any dietary restrictions. If you have issues with gluten or are a vegetarian, it might just be easiest to pack your own food. If you are traveling for the show, you can stop at a local market to keep fresh food in your hotel room or bring your own cooking from home. Don’t get stuck with a wheat allergy looking at a box of granola bars!

Keep reading to move onto the big event – the day of the fashion show!

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Marshmallow Girls

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Recently I ran across this Audrey Magazine article about the new Japanese trend of calling plus-size or overweight girls ‘marshmallow girls’. (I think it’s a really cute name… It makes me think of pastel marshmallows and marshmallows ropes and things I want to hug…!) For once, we got to see some bigger girls in cute fashion magazines, and I thought they looked adorable!

In the November 20 edition of the fashion magazine la farfa VOL. 4 (published by Bunka-sha), a magazine targeted a plus-size Japanese women, they introduced Goto Seina in a new feature called “marshmallow girl”. La Farfa is the first plus-size Japanese fashion magazine and recently threw the first plus-size Japanese fashion show with readers models. In her blog, Goto Seina said about the new nickname: “Of course there will be different opinions — people who say ‘you’re a pig’ or ‘you’re a fatty’, but for me, [marshmallow girl] makes me really happy”.

Particularly refreshing is the above cute image of Goto Seina wearing the same tiny shorts and thigh highs look that is popular for thin Japanese girls (Though… Puffy coats and tiny shorts still aren’t practical for winter, Tokyo… In New England we have this thing called snow, see.) I was pleased that they didn’t try to put her in something to ‘cover’, ‘flatter’, ‘minimize’, or other code words for hiding her shape.

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Anime Con Survival: Beauty Edition

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I just got back from a weekend at Anime Next – a crazy few days of public transit, hotel rooms with strangers and way too much eye-makeup. I had a great time at the con – my weekend was centered around the presence of lolita brand Baby the Stars Shine Bright. I modeled for their fashion show, attended their customer-loyalty tea party, and got an autographed poster from Isobe! I’ll be covering all of that in my next post.

Today, girly girls and beauty lovers of the world and anime conventions – cute cosplayers, lolitas, and the occasional himegyaru, I’m looking at you! – let’s talk about beauty survival. How are you going to look your best at anime conventions, particularly if you know you’ve got photo-takers headed your way? Better yet, how are you going to make sure you don’t get a hefty con hangover within the first twenty-four hours?

Face care. Especially if you’re not flying into a con and the TSA is limiting your liquids, go to the trouble of hauling your face products. Your good cleansers are important, especially if you’re caking on special event makeup or loads of lashes. If you can’t spare the space (everything I bring on public transit, like buses or trains, I have to carry myself!) go for portables. My facial tools last weekend: sample sleep packs from my last Korean makeup order, heavy-duty Japanese liquid eye makeup remover, my good foamy cleanser, and sample-sized make up from Sephora. Another great product to bring is a self-contained face mask, like these. I just got a resealable pack of them from Hong Kong courtesy of my girl Petrina of Lolita and the City (this pack from Holika Holika in VitaC). They may make you look like a lucha wrestler but it’s worth it. Bonus – if you don’t have a face mask, use your hotel coffee maker to brew hot water and round up tea bags from your concierge or continental breakfast. You can put them on your eyes in a pinch, especially if you’re short on sleep.

Take off your makeup at the end of the day. Makeup towelettes are good if you’re super busy or tight on space. Throw them in your purse for touch-ups as well, or eyeliner oops if you don’t want to drag a big bottle of liquid remover. But there is no excuse to crash in your false lashes or body paint or special effects makeup. And when you wake up, your skin will be upset with you. I’m a repeat offender for this when I travel and couch-surf and makeup wipes have helped me break the habit. Currently I like these Maybelline ones, but they may dry you out a little if you’re prone to that.

Drink water, especially if you’re partying. Nothing wrong with a little hotel room after party! If you’re consuming alcohol, really go for that water before bed. But you should also be drinking one through out the day. If you can, have a bottle of water with you. If you can’t, take every advantage of those bubblers and those free water stations.

Sleep is still important. Often it’s hard to sleep at conventions, on airplanes, or away from home. Finagle that you get something besides the floor. If that’s definitely not happening, consider bringing an egg crate (toss it in the car or line the bottom of your suitcase with it) or an air mattress. And get to bed at a reasonable hour! This weekend, all my roommates were models who had the same early hair and makeup call, which helped. To assist you in your quest for sleep: a dollar store eye mask and some ear plugs, and possibly some Tylenol PM if you’re in uncomfortable sleeping situations.

Sunblock. Most anime conventions are summer affairs. If you’re spending any time outside or in direct light, grab some airbrush sun screen. Need a reason why you should always use sunblock? Check out this dude’s face. Enough said.

If you’re going to an anime convention for the first time, there’s also plenty of basic, every day con-survival tips you should read before you hit pre-reg. Make sure you check out this master poster for all the classic street smarts!

Lovely Girl Skin79 BB Cream Review

I finally got some new BB cream! I ran out of my previous BB love, Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream, a few months ago, and I have been sucking it up and using my plain ol’ Revlon PhotoReady foundation I usually save for runways or shoots. What I don’t like about foundation? It’s a pain to apply, for starters – it feels more like spackle than lotion, so I have to use a brush to literally ‘paint’ my face. For another, it ‘blanks me out’ – yes, it balances the color in my skin, but it make my skin one flat color. Not only that, I have the hunch my skin hasn’t been as healthy since I quit the BB. (Not sure what BB cream is all about? Check out my article, “What is BB Cream?”!)

I took me a while to decide on a new one to try, but I heard Lovely Girl shows very pale and neutral-toned. And I admit, I totally pick them on who has the cutest bottle, too. Pink, hearts, and butterflies? Yes!

Here it is with some other BB cream samples for color comparison. I always look for these when picking a new BB! The Oriental Pearl Gold is very shimmery and warm-toned and light-weight; the Pink Super BB Cream and Gold Super BB Cream are fairly similar but for color tone, and they’re very thick and give a lot of coverage.

Feel: This BB cream honestly feels like I’m not wearing anything. I lot of girls come to me claiming they don’t like how makeup ‘feels’ on their skin. Some BB creams can feel kind of sticky or damp due to heavy moisturizing properties, and some foundations can feel cake-y. With this BB cream, my skin feels satin-smooth to the touch and wears as if I’m bare-faced.

Look: Lovely Girl has a pale, neutral tone that looks slightly grayish before applying. Once applied, this blended in and matched my skin exactly. Often I found some BB creams are too dark or too orange on me; if you, like me, are wicked pale and cool to neutral toned, this BB will work well for you.

Properties: Lovely Girl is marked as bother moisturizing and oil-control. My skin doesn’t get very oily, but it does get dry. So far, this BB cream doesn’t dry me out and has stayed matte (non-shiny) all day.

Coverage: Lovely Girl has light, build-able coverage. I would rate it about medium – not nearly as heavy as foundation, but not as light as tinted moisturizer. It smooths your skin tone while still looking natural, and it great for daily wear to school or work.

Lovely Girl also claims to handle redness and irritation well. It’s formulated for girls aged 17 – 22 (it says… I’m 23, but fluff the rules, right?) so I assume that along with the oil control, it’s meant for girls with acne or damaged skin. I rarely get acne anymore, but I do have some old facial scars, so I’m hoping that with continued use it will fade some of my dark spots.

I also got a handful of free samples! I love these, it’s so easy to test several BB creams at once. The other sample I got…?

Snail intensive repair cream! Snail slime (“It is not slime! It is mucus!”) is the new crazy ingredient Korean makeup buffs are liking. That, and, uh, human placenta. It’s supposed to make your skin… soft? Supple? Do I dare try the snail cream? This might be way beyond weird for me. I think I’ll stick to my rose petal and rice milk ingredients.

Buy your own Lovely Girl Skin79 BB Cream here from Pretty&Cute!

this article was not sponsored.

 

Lolita Blog Carnival: Makeup Tips You Swear By

This week’s theme for the Lolita Blog Carnival is makeup tips, so here are four of my secrets to get that ‘girl, ya look flawless’ face. I use most of these tips in my daily beauty routine to keep my skin looking healthy, and prettily made up for either sweet fashion or just going to school.

1. Let your skin breathe!

The more I learn about Japanese makeup techniques, like huge lashes and contouring, the more makeup I like to wear on a daily basis. Doing my hair and makeup is a relaxing way for me to get ready to face the day. Usually I make my cup of tea and turn on some music, and then get down to business. And when it comes to meetups, I especially torture my skin with primers, eyeliner, glue – the works. So as much as I love doing my makeup, I try to take at least one day off a week to let my skin breathe! The day after a meetup is a great day to go makeup-free. If I really can’t face going out without, I will cheat with just some BB cream.

2. Reward your face!

Even if you do give your face a daycation, you should still be taking good care of it. Make sure you do wash off any makeup you’re wearing, for starters. I travel a lot, so often instead of bringing my favorite face wash (Hadanomy collagen wash really gets that eyeliner gone!) I carry these disposable makeup-removing towelettes. I buy them pretty cheaply at places like Forever21 (rose petal or lavender fragrance) or the Christmas Tree Shop (green tea or cucumber), but you can get more expensive or medicated wipes at your drugstore or beauty shop. I also am trying different kinds of Korean moisturizers and masks lately, in an effort to be kind to my skin. Even just a homemade mask once a week is a great thing to do for you face.

3. My, what big eyes you have…

My favorite makeup technique to work on is big eyes. While I’m not interested in getting into gyaru fashion, I do admire some of their skills, like giant eyes and extensions. I routinely hunt up makeup tutorials or magazine scans and save them to my iPhone’s camera roll so I can access them on the go. Sometimes I study other lolitas’ makeup I like! Right now, I am shamelessly emulating Princess Peachie’s eye shape and makeup tips. If you haven’t seen them, check out her makeup Youtube videos! Or, if you want to see more of my favorite eye tutorials and inspirations – everything from Japanese girls to vintage magazines – check out the makeup tag on my Tumblr!

4. Brushes are a must… and can look pretty cute.

Until I started using brushes, I didn’t know how much I needed them. Putting on foundation with my fingers – or even a sponge – now just sounds silly to me. The only thing I still like to apply with my fingers is BB cream, since it is, after all, a skin product. Brushes even out your application and keep your fingers from covering your face with oil. (Make sure to wash them at least weekly!) I am way too excited to get my hands on these cute new brushes from MAC’s Holiday 2012 collection!

5. Lashes are way too much fun.

Big eyes and lashes go together – it’s hard to do one without the other. False lashes are pretty easy to master, given some practice. Make sure you trim the lash to fit your eye before applying, and then add glue (I like Duo brand in white/clear). When the glue is tacky, carefully place as close to your lash line as possible. I love collecting all kinds of eyelashes. Half-lash sets are my favorite for daily wear or for a more played-down look – they give your eyes an angelic accent without looking too fake.

 

So, what did other Lolita Blog Carnival bloggers say about their favorite makeup tips and tricks?

♡ Good Morning Lovely ♡  Commercially Alternative ♡ 2 Teaspoons of Sugar

♡ Sweet & Simple ♡ Sweet Lolita Doll ♡ Lolita Poupee

The Fresh Face Secret: What Is BB Cream?

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What’s this “BB cream” everyone keeps taking about?

BB cream is the new makeup/skincare product that movie stars, cosmetic queens, Korean pop stars and lolitas are all in love with for smooth, airy and natural looking skin. Previously used to regenerate laser-surgery patients’ skin in Korea, this product has made the leap from Asia all the way to America and even entered the mainstream. If you’re sick of flat, cakey foundation or want to streamline your daily face-up routine, BB cream has got you covered – literally.

Why try BB cream?

BB cream is a the kind of miracle product a lot of girls swear by. The “BB” standards for “blemish balm” or as they say in America, “beauty balm” because of its many restorative properties. BB cream can have various properties such as:

  • scar-fading
  • whitening or brightening
  • moisturizing
  • skin repairing
  • smoothing
  • pore-minimizing
  • sun protection (added SPF)
  • anti-wrinkling
BB creams are also great for girls on the go who want a simple makeup product. It’s a stand-alone product so you can skip all the prepping, smearing and patting. It’s like tinted moisturizer, primer and foundation had a crazy night and wound up with this love child – you don’t need any of those other products if you’ve got your BB! Even setting powder can usually be skipped. BB cream can be applied with your fingers, sponge, or brush for quick face-ups on the train or during rush hour.
What I personally love about BB cream is not only its ease of application, but its light, dewy look. Whereas straight-up foundation takes color and beauty marks out of my face, BB cream smooths out my skin tone and texture without giving that blank, fake look. Love your freckles? Got a natural blush? BB cream is more sheer, so those pretty unique features of yours show through.

There are two worlds of BB cream today: Asian BB creams and the newly-created American BB creams. While many are finding out BB cream only now from such American brands as Maybelline, Garnier, Clinique, and Smashbox, there is also a strong following of Japanese and Korean BB creams outside of Asia as well.

BB Cream: Asian or American?

I’m a big fan of Asian cosmetics and skin care products myself, for two reasons. One, if you’re into Asian fashion such as lolita fashion, fairy-kei, gyaru, ulzzang, or even Asian celebrities and pop artists, you’ve probably already got a fashion style that meshes well with Asian makeup products. For example, Korean fashion lovers probably know that orange and tangerine were big for lipstick and cheeks in the past year – but not in America. So naturally, followers of Asian fashion are drawn to Asian cosmetics.

Two, to be blunt, Asian cosmetics are not messing around. When my standard American face products and makeup remover give up a few weeks after use, my Asian products are still going strong. I’ve used American makeup removers to find lots of eyelash glue, eyeliner, and general gunk still on my face, while a pass with my favorite Japanese face wash removes another full face of foundation, blush and all the glue. When my friends are unhappy with their skin, I tell ’em to hit the nearest Asian grocery store. (They look at me like I’m crazy, but I mean it!)

So, while American BB cream is most likely going to be focused on being a good makeup product and not-so-good a skin product, BB creams from Asia are not kidding around and you will see bonafide results not only when you wear it, but when the product comes off.

Okay, the cool  part about American-made BB creams is that unlike Asian BB creams which usually come in a maximum of two or three colors (beige, and uh, beiger), American BB creams come in a typical range of five colors from light to dark, at least three shades deeper than Asian standards. This means all you gorgeous mocha, bronze, and deep chocolate girls can get your BB on too! The American BBs are also more focused on coverage and less likely to be as sheer as their Asian counterparts.

I’m short on BB cream right now and can’t make it to my favorite shop for a while, so I’m going to pick up some of Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB Cream and do a quick review on it soon! (Though I am a little concerned that “glowing” is a term that here means “quietly making you tanner every time you use it until you look like you just deep-fried at a salon”!)

Where to Buy BB Cream

For American BB creams like Clinique or Smashbox, check out your local Sephora – trying them on make or break your favorite BB cream and I’d really recommend trying them in-store if you’re new to the world of BB.

If you want Asian BBs, take a look at prettyandcute.com – they have a huge selection of BBs, as well as oodles of other Japanese and Korean face products, makeup and eyelashes. Their Facebook fanpage is also a great resource, where they give more product details, makeup tutorials, reviews, and you can always see what’s new! (You can buy all of the Asian  so-pretty-in-pink BB creams from their website, too!)

 

If you’re already a tried-and-true BB girl, what are your favorite brands and labels? I’m partial to Etude House, but I really want to try out some of the new stuff we’re seeing from Holika Holika!

Midsummer Makeup with Tinkerbell: PixiGlow

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Ever since I discovered the crazy-low-priced E.L.F lurking at my local Target, I make it a priority to hit the makeup section whenever I swing by. A few weeks ago, I ran into my new makeup love, far afield from my typical Sephora and MAC purchase. PixiGlow is a new line perfect for a fresh, feminine look for summer, packed with all my favorite things: Disney, fairies, and lots of pink and cream. But don’t worry: this is not your little cousin’s sticky toy Tinkerbell lipsticks.

Pixi, a makeup brand started in London’s Soho, is much-loved by its fans for being fuss-free and natural looking for that “just had a good night’s sleep” look. Now that the line is come to Target, I think it’s definitely hooking more girls stateside than ever before.

Founder Petra Strand said this about the Pixi x Disney collab:

“In collaboration with Disney, we created a unique Tinker Bell collection that captures the fresh-faced, glowing, and timeless beauty of both a Disney icon and the Pixi brand by reinforcing that makeup simply enhances and perfects your natural beauty.”

–Petra Strand, creator of the Pixi makeup line

In the video below, Petra talks about her inspiration behind PixiGlow:

 

I love that they took the Tinkerbell I’m used to seeing – the sassy, over-used Hot-Topic-lovin’ Tinkerbell who’s seen as jealous and rude in the films – and reimagined her into the fairy I fell in love with when reading the original Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. The illustration used on the packaging and the palette particularly call to a much more ethereal and sweet Tinkerbell than we usually see in pop culture today. I think this could be Disney’s attempt to bring Tinkerbell back to young adult women in much the same way they have with the Disney princess line as of late, as seen in the new Disney Couture and designer lines.

Included in the line are: “Fairy Face”, a full face palette with blush, lips and eyes; a dark green eyeliner, “Straight on till Morning”; a lip tint, “Happy Thoughts Pink”; a pinky-mauve nail polish; taupe eye shadow stick “Catching Shadows”; and powder eyeshadow “Moonlight Luster”.

fairy lips – taken from my Instagram!

So far I’ve tried the tinted lip balm Magic Tink Tint in “Happy Thoughts Pink”, which I am having a love affair with. It’s an easy-to-use crayon shape, which goes on sheer but gradually adjust to the right pink to compliment your skin by the power of, the box claims, ‘fairy magic’, by apparently is actually based on your pH levels. It never feels sticky, greasy, or heavy, like other hydrating lip balms I’ve tried in the past. After about half an hour, it feels totally absorbed, but the color remains in a light, pretty stain that looks very natural, as though you’ve honestly got nothing on. It’s just the thing to throw in your bag for a low-key summer day with a little extra color. Adding more balm will darken the color, though, so be careful if you’re a constant re-applier like I am.

I’ve been hearing good things about the Fairy Face palette, but I also thought the Fairy Dust eyeshadow in Moonlight Luster was a great compliment to warm up and highlight my pale lids. And don’t forget the adorable pink polish!

Make sure you check out Petra Strand’s personal blog, Petra, Personally – where she talks makeup, pastel fashion, and more on Pixi!

Pink Hair Goes High Fashion

While picking up my favorite drugstore indulgence, Essie nail polish, yesterday I spotted something I’d never thought I’d see at the checkout – a fashion magazine with a pink-haired cover girl! I did not even look at the title. I just slapped it down and told the cashier, “I need one of these.” What my impulse buy actually was, was Katy Perry gracing the cover of InStyle magazine with her new mauve-lollipop hair. And yes, she did the real deal – this is not a wig! While the photoshoot is reportedly modeled after scenes from Blade Runner, I feel like the curls and crazy fascinator feel more post-modern Wizard of Oz than anything else.

Pink and pastel hair in general is turning into quite the trend with the Hollywood glitterati set – anything to shake up the press, I presume – but the after-effect is trickling down into high fashion styles for runways and photoshoots. As much as I love street snap tumblrs of real girls with pink or otherwise alt-colored hair, there’s something haunting and inspiring to see how the high fashion world twists the colors.

Ellie Goulding for Glamour // above three mylitleponyhair // Katy Perry // Sam A. at Lookbook.nu // unknown

To get Katy Perry’s violet-tinged pink instead of the usual pale peach-leaning pink, try mixing a little of Special Effect’s Virgin Rose in with your usual pink concoction (mine is currently Manic Panic’s Cotton Candy Pink, heavily diluted). Mixing your own colors with the high dye is not only easy, you can create unique colors all your own with varied tones besides what everyone else gets out of the bottle.

By the way – think pink is a 21st century trend? Slate.com has evidence that pink hair was popular as early as 1914 in America. Using the power of Google, you can actually read decades old newspapers – and there it is, in black and white. I guess it’s true – everything always comes back into fashion (still, can we get off the 60s and 70s jag and try another time period now, mainstream fashion world?!)

It’s interesting to watch alt-colored hair wander out of the ‘punk and artsy’ box and mess with the idea of mainstream fashion. While I doubt it will be as ubiquitous at your local mall as, say, the average blonde highlights, it does offer a fresh perspective on the elegance and wearability of unnaturally colored hair.

In honor of this post (and because I know someone is gonna ask…) I did a complete makeover to the original 2009 Parfait Doll (then Lolita Charm) pink hair guide. (Some of the older posts didn’t transfer well from Blogspot to WordPress… unfortunately this means correcting them by hand…) Not only was it a graphic mess, but the text was just thin and poorly written. I hope you’ll find the new pink hair guide satisfactory!

Pink Please!: The Pink Hair Guide

Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here’s also the link to Pink Hair for Hope – $10 donation and you can get pink extension highlights at a salon in your state. (Connecticut has the country’s highest rate of breast cancer… please support!)

How to Wear a Wig (And Look Like a Model Doing It)

As lolitas, especially the girls who are sweet lolitas, we’ve amassed a pretty large collective group of wigs in the past few years as they rose to popularity (What is the collective known for wigs? Perhaps a tangle of wigs?) Whether you’re in love with candy colors, unique blends, fades, and splits, or simply soft natural tones, there’s nothing like a wig to instantly transform your appearance. Girls sick of long hair can have bobs to avoid the big chop; girls with cute pixie cuts can play Rapunzel for the day. I myself own plenty of wigs – long, brunette, lilac, curly, wavy, short, you name it. In lolita, wearing wigs is common, among some groups considered almost necessary, if you’re looking for a place to pin all of your hairclips, bows, and kitschy 80s toys. But how do you take the wig – often associated with costumes – from the meetup and runway to the classroom or office?

Some days when I get ready in the morning, my hair is throwing a protest. Won’t be straight, or curly, or sit flat. Rather than fight it, I simply tame it under a wig for the day, ready to negotiate with terrorist hair (and conditioner) later that evening. But how do you wear a wig for school or work? Won’t it be… like, weird?

Not so! There are plenty of ways to make your simple wig look like the best head of hair on the block.

Step I: Prepping the Wig

The first thing about your wig is to make sure you’ve styled it before putting it on. Nothing looks weirder than an unstyled wig plopped on and run with! (Things I wish someone had told me…) Start by gathering your hair under a wig cap, in a dark or light color depending on your wig (light for blondes and pastels, dark for brunettes, blacks, deep reds, etc.).
I find it best to not only pin up my real hair, and put on the wig cap, but also to pin the wig cap in place with snappy clips or whatever your pleasure is. If you have bangs, make sure to sweep them deeply to the side, not just under the front – they’ll stay under better and look less crazy when the wig comes off.

After you have the wig cap on, put on the wig, front to back. Pull the wig down so that the edge of the wig’s ribbing, for lack of  a better word, is where you real hairline is. If you’re concerned the wig may slip, there are usually a pair of elastics that hook together, kind of like on a bra. I usually clip these together for extra security, though they can be uncomfortably tight, so use at your own discretion.

If you are wearing a wig with bangs, get yourself some scissors (I use nail scissors to trim a wig and my real bangs) and start trimming the bangs until they fit your face. I leave mine about eyebrow level, useful if your eyebrows are nowhere near the wig’s color. The front of the wig’s base should be at the same level as your hairline, and the bangs trimmed to fit that position. Even if you’re planning to sweep the bangs to the side, you gotta trim ’em. Trust me. I went to a meetup once without the bangs trimmed and looked like a doof; wish I knew then what I know now…

If you want to wear this wig often for daily use and don’t trust yourself not to be Edward Scissorhands, get yourself to a salon and ask the stylist to trim it best to suit you. Wigs, layers, the whole nine yards. This will make a huge difference in the way your wig looks.

Step II: Styling Your Wig


The next step is to style your wig. You’ve got it on, now it’s time to work with it. First, if you have a ‘lolita’ wig (meaning it came with ponytail clips), take those off – they look great for lolita, but aren’t very natural looking. Now you’re left with the base wig, either curly or straight. One of the best ways to make a wig look natural is to put it in a simple style – a pair of braids, low pigtails, or a casual ponytail. You can also do unique things with the wig’s bangs – either swept to the side, straight across, pinned back, etc. Add a little hairspray if you’r worried the wig will go haywire.
Most people aren’t used to the idea of wigs doing anything but ‘sit there’ so doing something different with your wig like you would your real hair is a great way to make it look less fake. Check out a lot of the wigs on Gabalnara – they’ve been pre-styled for the photoshoots (there are even a few easy tutorials among the product pages). Here’s one with a small side braid and bow.

 

After you have a simple style, dress it up! I always wear a hair band or hat with a wig. A broad hair band, headband, a soft knit cap, a sun hat as the weather warms up… Anything really! Breaking up the visual appearance of the wig makes it seem more natural and more intentional.If your wig seems too shiny, try adding a little talcum powder with a powderpuff. If it seems too frizzy, a little wig spray can tame stray ends.

 Step III: Complimenting Your Wig

Consider your overall appearance after you’ve finished styling and accessorizing your wig. When I’ve chosen to wear a huge, full curly wig, I keep my makeup very simple and natural – too over the top and you’ll look like you got the wrong address for a rave. If you’ll be showing your eyebrows, you can consider darkening them a little for a darker wig. 

Keep in mind that you can wear an unnaturally colored wig ‘naturally’ by complimenting it well with the rest of your look. A bright pink wig (styled and accessorized) can look very darling with a more simple coordinate (lolita or not). A simple blonde bob however might appreciate a more outrageous hair accessory or some dramatic eyeliner. Like any coordinate, try to keep your look in balance – perhaps only one or two focal points. Your wig can definitely by a ‘focal point’!

 Step IV: Aftercare for Your Wig

After you’ve removed your wig for the day, give it a gentle shake out and a little finger combing. Make sure you keep your wig on a wig head or stand so it retains it shape. If you aren’t using a wig head, at least wrap it back up in the netting it came with to avoid tangling. Depending on weather conditions and styling product, wash or condition your wig every 8 – 12 wears.

 Don’t Want To Wig Out? 


If you want some of the ease and great look you get through a wig but don’t want to wear the whole deal, there are plenty of options for you! I’m fascinated with half wigs, extensions and pieces right now.  Japanese and Korean companies make plenty of hairpieces as wig alternatives, but they are best if your hair is natural and a fairly common color. If you’re a very light blonde, you might do better looking at American hairpieces. Some of the pieces that are popular include half-wigs (worn just behind your bangs), clip-in bangs, clip-in ponytails/pigtails (also called phony ponies) and faux updos and buns.

Here’s a basic collection of illustrations from wig company Prisila that explain:

 

half cap wig; clip-in bangs, clip-in extensions, and stretch wig ponytail
If you find a half-cap wig you really like (gyaru and himegyaru styles look amazing with those huge bouffanted half-wigs), but it doesn’t match your hair color, you can wear a regular wig and add the half-wig to it for bigger style. I often wear my Prisila half-cap honey blonde over another wig to make it look like one, huge full wig.

 Does it Pass the Natural Test?

Here’s the test. Grab a friend or family member, without telling them you’ve decided to don a wig, and ask if they like your new ‘do. Do they think you really went to the salon? People at school often remark ‘oh, you changed your hair!’ and I simply smile and say, ‘For today.’ You don’t have to tell everyone it’s a wig, but don’t be ashamed or secretive about it either. You’re just fashion-forward after all!

Where to Buy

Here are some of my favorite wig shops! I’ve worn many of these companies’ wigs both with a editorial lolita style and for a casual school or work appropriate lolita style.

Cyperousfull and half wigs *ships overseas*
Prisilabangs, half wigs, rope wigs (basically a long boa of curly hair), scrunchies, volumizers…
Gabalnarafull, half wigs; extensions, scrunchies, bun covers, bangs
Pretty and Cute a limited selection of wigs and extensions, but cheap and heat-friendly; I just ordered a scrunchie bun from them for $5! *ships overseas*
Yumetenbosometimes a few limited styles of gyaru stretchy wigs or bun covers *ships overseas*
MintyMixA personal favorite for unnaturally colored wigs; my pink and lavender fade wig is wonderful quality, and so ‘natural’ in style if not color that it passed the natural test at school! *ships overseas*
Cosplay Wigs USA – Typically lolita wigs; very full bases. I wore my light brown wig to school last week with wonderful results. *ships overseas*

Don’t be afraid to try something out, to stand apart, and show off your style! Keep on being fashionable!

xoxo,

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