My Tan Is All Natural

Probably the most opposite of what one would picture when it comes to Japanese fashion. Fake tans (orange of course), bleached hair, LOTS of colourful makeup and Western style clothing. Short, colourful and fitting are the preferred style. No it’s not 2004 again, it is Ganguro street style in Japan which became popular in the mid 1990s until the mid 2000s. Ganguro is like Geordie shore x Jersey Shore on crack.




But not only is Ganguro taking Western trends to the extreme, the style also playing into Japanese folklore and superstition. The ghost and demon costumes for kabuki and noh are very similar to the way Ganguro style is.


Although Ganguro style faded out almost a decade ago, I’m was still interested in finding clothing from that time and whether any particular pieces of that styling are still present today. It was extremely difficult to find clothing that matched the Ganguro style. Since it does not match any popular Japanese or Western street styles at the moment. It is mostly piecing together Summer clothings and apply liberal amounts of fake tan. I managed to find a lot of makeup tutorials as Ganguro has a very specific look. Some sites I looked into described it as ‘black face’ which I am not promoting in any way. This look is one that is incredibly hard to find much information on it, apart from the makeup tutorials which ended up being A LOT of bronzer applied to the face with white eyeliner drawn in rings around the eyes. The clothing as I mentioned above is mostly Summery. Short shorts and singlet tops with lots of sparkly accessories. The make up and the bleached, long hair are the aspects of Ganguro which separate it from other styles. The style is not present in other Japanese street styles that are popular today. There are some girls that continue to follow the Ganguro style and spend their time at cafes specifically for those who wear the style of clothing and makeup. But it is definitely not nearly as popular as it was a decade ago.

So with all of this information gathered, here are the best products I could find for the Ganguro look.


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Shopjbp: Foundation was the first type of makeup I tried to find. On most websites that sold Japanese cosmetics that delivered to Australia, there were two shade. Pale and paler. Not the tan shades that I’d be hoping to come across. Though looking further into the sight there was one shade called ‘Tan’ which was advertised to be for cosplay. Bronzer was the next item on my list, once again my expectations were not high. The only powder I could find was a setting one which came in one colour once again, pale.


Mihokoshop: After having very limited success with Shopjbp, I went onto Mihokoshop where the range of makeup was much larger. Foundation was still only available in paler shades, but bronzer and white eyeliner were.


The type of clothing worn for the Ganguro style can be found in most store, though not typical Japanese fashion.





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