*Updated* Japanese Beauty Magazine Egg’s & the Ganguro Look – Tasteless or Top?!

*updated – see video at the end*

I bought some books and magazines from Yes Asia and had to make up the value to get free shipping. So I bought this interesting looking magazine called Egg’s Beauty…well it has beauty in the title, doesn’t it?

Eggs Beauty Japanese magazine-1.jpg

I saw the cover before I bought it, I knew what I was getting myself in for. Egg’s Beauty, I think, is a magazine that is influenced (and influences) the Ganguro look.

According to Wikipedia, Ganguro means “Black Face Girls”, referring to the crux of the look; heavily applied fake tan and bleached blonde hair (which I am sure makes you look even darker).

In its most extreme form:


The one of the left really reminds me of Khloe Kardashian…look hard, she’s there.

Anyway back to the magazine. I did actually buy it to see if they had any funky tips or recommendations for products. The audience for this magazine, I am going to guess is younger than that of Voce and Maquia magazine – the layout is messier and harder to follow and the products seem to be Japanese high street ranges.

Japanese Beauty.jpg

I wonder if this magazine is largely supported by the readers. So many of the product shots are of used products (slightly…ahem dirty. Hello magazines/bloggers etc. If you are going to photograph used make up a quick wipe with a lint free cloth and Isopropyl Alcohol wouldn’t go amiss. Thanks.)

Its nice I suppose, looking at what regular girls use on their faces in Japan…

Not all of the girls in the magazine are completely ‘extreme’ – so its nice seeing that lipglosses and lipsticks they favour, which blushers they prefer. They have so much nice stuff to choose from…

Then there are a number of tutorials that are step by step. Once again, the photography is not crystal clear or spot on like that found in VOCE, Maquia etc. but its still pretty good.

I mean some of the looks, like this eyeliner with a weird loop in it is of no use to me, (I normally get that effect when applying make up in the dark) but its still interesting to see:

japanese beauty-1.jpg

They also have hair and nail sections. The diet pages made me laugh. Take a perfectly slim girl (45kg…I think thats 7 stone) and make her even twiggy-er!

japanese weght loss.jpg

Not through exercise or anything sensible like that, but some supplement drink. Tut.

Here are some more examples of the looks in the magazine.

The key things I picked out are:

– Hi-Bleach, or very lightly bleached hair

– Contact lenses – quite fake

– Fake Eyelashes a must

– Fake tan – a lot of bronzers, not so many liquid bronzers for some reason

Egg_s beauty.jpg

I think if I saw this girl in the street, it wouldn’t occur to me she was Japanese. But then again, its none of my business how she presents herself, is it?

eggs beauty japanese magazine-2.jpg

The look is HIGH MAINTENANCE and completely based on artifice. I am guessing this is a teenage/early adulthood fad, because how you can work and sustain this level of upkeep – the hair, the make up, the nails, the dress and keep a “proper” job, I don’t know. Unless you are a princess. Or you win the lottery. Or something.

Make Up Japanese.jpg



If you read this blog a lot you’ll know I’m not one for this kind of look – the excessively applied fake tan, the excessively bleached hair, plastic 3 inch nails. They’re usually the ones elbowing me out of the way in Primark to serving me on the MAC counter.

Hey, each to their own, but you can’t blame me for wanting to stick some notes (monopoly money, mind) down the front of your knickers….

Yet….after reading the Egg’s Beauty magazine, there’s something in there that I can appreciate.

There’s a sort of childishness, and a sense of fancy dress and fun (since the Ganguro look is SO far removed from what the natural Japanese complexion/hair looks like). It doesn’t take itself to seriously.

Its also about being part of a community, which is important to these girls.

And isn’t that what dressing up as a teenager/young adult is? Associating yourself with a social group, associating yourself with a type of music, making yourself fit in/stand out?

Besides, women of all cultures around the world are always darkening their hair, or bleaching it. Fake tan? Some many women, dark or light skinned use it. The Ganguro look seems like an extreme caricature, and quite a fun one at that.

Then I was comparing images I found on the net when searching for ‘Ganguro’ and what was in the Egg magazine, and the looks in the mag (I shudder to say) seem far more wearable and have been toned down. It was still extreme, for sure, but not terrifying – (I beg to differ – Mr Candy).

Oh well. I must be going soft in my old age.


It was a fun magazine to flick through and I spotted a few new brands I want to try. Its not going to replace VOCE, Biteki or Maquia but it was interesting to read.

Ok, now you have to tell me what you think. What do you think of the Ganguro look? Would you buy a magazine like this?

Update – found this video on you tube:

This I found rather more disturbing than the magazine and it did (as reader Lucky pointed out in the comments) draw attention to the obvious cosmetic surgery around the eyes – not just to add a crease, but actually widening the eye area for a dolly eye look (urgh!).

Kind of disturbing when you think about the lengths YOUNG girls must go through to get to this look – dyeing your hair and using make up is different to cutting your face when you haven’t even hit your mid 20s…your face hasn’t even settled in yet.

I don’t know what mad insecurity pushes such young women to surgery, but if my daughter came to me aged 18 and wanted an eye job, nose job and cheek implants so she could be part of a gang, I’d give her a whack around the head and make her wear a paper bag instead. Don’t tell me that’s unreasonable.

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  1. Nicolavc86 says

    i find this look that these girls want to get as far away from their natural look as they can get & be really westernised! creepy!!

  2. says

    Actually, it seems to be a healthy mixture of Ganguro, Kogal and Gyaru aesthetic.

    The girls’ contact lenses are a bit disconcerting, but I more concerned with the shape of their eyes than the actual color; methinks the next issue should be devoted solely to the best locations to get a back-alley blepharoplasty.

  3. says

    Nice, thoughtful review of the magazine! I bought Beauty Egg once at a used bookstore out of curiosity.

    Totally agree with you! Especially on the diet thing.
    I’m not a fan of the Ganguro look, as it’s just too much, but I can appreciate it as a form of expression and fun and community. I think the goth-loli trend/phenomenon in Japan is similar.
    It’s certainly interesting and breaks up the monotony in Tokyo.

    lol at Mr. Candy’s take on it all.

  4. nia says

    i think, ganguro or not, it’s up for them on how they want to express themselves.

    for me i’d buy the mag once. out of curiosity and the heck of it. hehey, first time for everything.

  5. says

    Don’t blame you, I believe that style is way too artificial looking for comfort – I can’t imagine anyone, first, having the time to maintain that look everyday and, two, having the guts to wearing that look out to either school or work… or even to the club, it’s a bit overboard. But that is just my personal take on it *_*

    In the photo you posted of the Ganguro style in its most extreme form, they look like a cross between an oompa-loompa and a clown to me. Quite disturbing…

    PS. Thank you for this unique post… it was refreshing to take a look into current Japanese street trends!

  6. says

    I actually like this “light” ganguro look. Not those monkey faces above, those. It’s amazing how much they are able to alter their natural looks, and even tho it’s fake, it looks good (to me, but well, I’m sick in mind and like fake things)

  7. leez says

    I think its refreshing to see asian girls not completely obsessed with white skin, more power to them i say.

    The ‘natural’ japanese look is a lot of upkeep too..

  8. kiwikeely says

    Well after watching the video…I wouldn’t say all, but quite a few of the “transformations” are models of the magazine Popteen (which happens to be one of my favourite magazine). I understand how the overall look appears to be highly artificial, but for many of them I just don’t think it’s plastic surgery. I’ve tried it out myself — double eyelid glue/tape/whatever, false eyelashes, colored contact lenses, enough eyeline and eyeshadow and mascara — make up really does wonders.
    it’s really uncomfortable, yes. but plastic surgery? nah…
    The Japanese don’t see it as something that needs hiding and if a model had gone through plastic surgery, the readers would be informed (just “FYI” or for your entertainment. The process may even be photographed and recorded…) Plus, many of these models needed super closeups when it comes to eye make up tutorial. and I’m pretty sure that none of their eyes looked like they have gone through plastic surgery in any shape, way or form (or at least the ones I’ve recognized, anyways).
    besides, when they had the “student” photo they were more like 13 – 14 years old. They are now mostly 17 – 22 years old, i guess crazy dieting to rid of all the baby fat on your face does enhance on the size of your eyes…(seeing that there are no excess surface area on your face to make it look any smaller). Also, for contrast wise they usually use the ugliest photo they can find possible as “before”. Learning how to pose under the photo is really important too.
    Lastly…at the end of the day, photoshop does wonders.

  9. mirage says

    this is a gyaru magazine not ganguro, ganguro style isn’t very in anymore and peaked around 10 years ago. the beauty versions of egg magazine are different from the normal egg magazine. The pictures you posted are a horrible example of the modern gyaru style.

    • Row says

      Yeah we established that in the comments plus we recently posted on the modern Gyaru style – which is still too artificial for my tastes but is nevertheless quite cute and has elements I would take from it

  10. Rina says

    Its not plastic surgery, for most of these looks its just a lot of make-up, fake lashes, circle lens contacts which makes your eyes look bigger, tape, glue just like someone mentioned above..i don’t think it’s bad, if they like it and they feel prettier like that then awesome good for them~that doesnt mean you have to like it too though. But it seems like your putting Gyaru fashion in a bad light when its not that bad. I think they look cute, and asians, especially Japan and Korea tend to be obsessed with being thin and have naturally thin bodies so its only natural they would want to be thinner. Besides when i went to japan i saw many girls with a healthy weight, i even saw some thicker girls and they were perfectly happy and confident! ^^ My friend buys egg, i own one egg magazine too..i like it ^^

    • Row says

      Hi Rina

      Thanks for adding to the debate :)

      I admit I am not a fan of the OTT look – my personal opinion – however I posted recently on the Gyaru look, the look that brands like Melliesh and Dollywink go for and said that I find the look (in a softer form) quite cute. So my opinion is not completely negative. As you said I don’t have to like the look just as you don’t have to like my view on it – it’s just an OPINION. If people agree with me, they will say so, if people disagree, they are also free to say so. Hence the title inviting debate – “Tasteless or Top?!”

      I think a lot of girls use the tape and contacts, but at the same time, a lot of people opt for surgery too – I mean, for people who are dedicated to this look, I don’t believe that they will tape up their eyes every single day – the surgery for them is probably a better long term investment. In some Asian countries eyelid surgery is completely common – let’s face it.

      I also agree that many Asians are obsessed with being thin and are also thin – however I don’t care what race you are but when you weigh 45kg (about 7 stone) you should NOT be taking diet supplements to lose further weight. If you are already that thin and want for some reason, so be thinner, at least do it through exercise not from fad treatments.

      My main problem with this look more than anything is the racial element – I don’t see how dying your hair blonde, using blue contacts and adding an eyelid crease isn’t westernizing yourself – if that makes you feel prettier and happy then great – but if it’s hiding some kind of underlying insecurity then that would be a shame.

      Thanks for your comment :)

  11. M says

    I would just like to mention that while a lot of the girls in the video appear to have had cosmetic surgery around their eyes, that is not necessarily the case. That sort of surgery is far more common in Korea, though I’m sure plenty of Japanese girls have it as well… In any case, The major thing they do is use a special glue or tape to give a double-eyelid effect. That in itself makes a dramatic difference. Paired with circle contacts and makeup/false lashes, I can see where it would look like they’d had plastic surgery.

  12. C says

    I’d like to point out one thing about the weight thing. Though for me too seeing someone weight 45 kg is kind of shocking for japanese and asian people in general it is normal to weight little less than for western people. They are naturally thinner, smaller and more delicate or slender or petite. What ever word you wanna use. Their construction is different from us westerns. Also if person was 150cm tall and weighted 60-70 kg is being over-weight at least a little bit, in West too. So though it looks kind of… bad somnetimes to see someone weight so little there are things that need to be considered, we all won’t fit in the same model. Some asians actually weight that little but look actually pretty normal and I would never quess they wegiht so little.

    Also about the gyaru style. I think everyone can have their own opinions but I wanna still say somethings. About the used make-ups: the make-up packets are probably the models’ own because in egg magazine the models do their hair and make-up all by themselves. Only thing the stylists do is to put the clothes together and ready for photoshoots. So what I understood that probably was some thing about “what’s inside your make-up pouch?” that they sometimes do in the egg magazine itself. Most of the girls in this magazine are regular models of egg magazine. Also I wanna make a notion in that fact that yes, they do this hair and make-up everyday, normal gyarus too not only these magazine celeberity gyarus. And if they use some tape or glue on theur lids, then they put those also everyday. Well, at least when they go out to Shibuya or something. If they’re in school they can’t be that bold when they are in school. It’s mostly against the rules in japan at least. But in West there are also gyarus who this gyaru look every day. And we don’t need to wear school uniforms (mostly) and we can wear makeup as much as we like. I dress kinda gyaru too but I have good nails so I don’t need fake ones, I use only my own hair and I’m growing it out right now and I don’t have those circle lenses. I probably would have the lenses but I need to order them from somewhere else so I thought I can be without. Just need other things to look right then. Although I have pretty deep brown eyes myself and they look gyaru enough without the circle lenses too…

    Wow.. this became long xD I don’t want to fight or seem accusive or anything, I just wanted to point out some facts :33 Oh, and the picture of the two ganguro or yamanba (some of these styles are hard to figure out which one is which xD) that’s a good example of the style going a little wrong. There are pictures of a lo better ganguro and yamanba and all other subgroups that there are for gyaru. But all these ganguro and yamanba, they really don’t even exist anymore. Boldest looks nowadays are manba and banba I think… Egg magazine used to be for these bold looks, but they’ve come to be a lot different. Now some of the models have kinda fair coloured skin and not overly tanned for example.