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If you’re infatuated with the fashion culture of Harajuku in Japan, the bright lights and makeup styles in Myeong-dong (a huge shopping district in Seoul, South Korea known for its beauty products), or the Japanese word kawaii (“cute” in English)—chances are you’ve heard about the gyaru or ulzzang makeup style. In Korean, ulzzang literally means “best face,” and gyaru is the Japanese adoption of the English words “girl” or “gal.” With both of these looks, the desired effect is to look like a living doll, though both of the makeup cultures have a broad range of styles other than this.

YouTube, Instagram, and Tumblr are full of girls who love these looks, though I noticed, to my disappointment, that hardly any of them were of a race other than white. On many of the gyaru forums, darker-skinned girls were discouraged from trying to become a gyaru at all. In Youtube videos with black girls trying the style, many of the comments were “Is she trying to look Asian?” or “White eyeliner on black people looks ratchet,” and so on.

As a response, I wanted to make a tutorial to encourage black girls and girls of any other race who have darker skin to try ulzzang makeup. No one should be discouraged for wanting to try another look!

Here’s an easy, everyday ulzzang-inspired makeup tutorial for all of you gorgeous gals out there. Let’s go!

What you’ll need:

  • Foundation (optional)
  • White pencil eyeliner
  • Black liquid eyeliner
  • Black mascara
  • Blush
  • Lip balm
  • Pink or red lipstain/lipstick (optional)

How to do it:

Step One

rookiemag step 1

Apply your foundation as you normally would, unless you don’t wear any, which is totally fine, too!

Step Two

rookiemag step 2

Start tracing your eyes with white eyeliner. This is supposed to make your eyes look as though they’re larger. For the top lid, begin at the outer corner and then move toward the middle of your eye. Again for the bottom lid, begin at the outer corner and move toward the middle of your eye. Stop at or just before you reach the middle, and use a finger to blend out the ends.

Step Three

rookiemag step 3.1

rookiemag step 3.2

step 3.3

Eyeliner! You can go ahead and use whatever your preferred method is when you do your daily makeup, as long as you start where you ended the white eyeliner. I went ahead and just drew a simple wing on my top eyelids. (And yes: My lines are probably crooked. I’ve never been able to do them perfectly. *sad face*) Feel free to skip the mascara part. I only applied a little.

Add a simple dot or a few dots to your bottom eyelid to give your eye make up even more of a dolly affect.

Step Four

step 4.1

step 4.2

Blushy blush! Start at the middle of your ear and brush along the lines of your cheekbones. I even add a little blush to the middle of my cheeks and nose.

Step Five

step 5.3

Put on your lip balm first, then grab whatever lip color you have around. Instead of directly applying from the stick (if you have lipstick like I do), apply some to a finger and then rub it onto your lips. This gives your lips a less-harsh look, and more of a gradient with whatever color you choose. I went a little darker with my color—burgundy mixed with a red lip liner—though you can make it as light as you want!

step done 2

And now you’re done! I’m sure you look great, doll face. ♦

How We Live is a series centering on the lived experience and thought of black teenagers.