Lover of JRock? Fascinated with Visual Kei? We all know how easily influenced we are by things we love so it really is no surprise that once you’ve been exposed to the Japanese subculture called Visual Kei, you’d be searching the internet on how to become one.
Well, rest at ease! We’ve compiled 10 steps on how to become a Visual Kei!
Research on the Subculture
Before diving into a subculture and dedicating a portion of your time and effort to it, it’s best that you do your research first. Know the history, the culture of the trend, maybe some basic terms and knowledge that revolve around it. Remember, don’t jump on the bandwagon and be genuinely interested.
Know the Music
If you do decide to look like a Visual Kei, be prepared to look part rocker. The Visual Kei fashion subculture started with Japanese rock musicians and is, up to the present, still significantly associated with them. In fact, those who are wearing Visual Kei fashion first fell in love with the Japanese rock industry and were greatly influenced by their clothes, makeup, and have loved their songs for years.
However, if you just happened to stumble upon it and loved the fashion but have no idea where it came from, then it’s better to go back to step one, do the research, be educated, and if possible, love the music as well.
If you are looking for blog posts and articles on Visual Kei, well well lucky for you! We have a whole lot of all-you-need-to-know articles on it. Click this link and you will be directed to our Visual Kei post collection.
Do the Hair
Visual kei hairstyles are not a walk in the park. I am pretty sure that you already had your fair share of research on the different kinds of VK hairstyles that you might want to try and I am also pretty sure that you wondered, “How am I going to pull this off?”
First, we have a dedicated blog post for Visual kei hairstyles, and for more details, you might want to check it out here.
If you want a quick run-through, let me give it to you. First, if you are a bit skeptical about your hairdressing skills, it is infinitely better to go to your trusty hair salon and have it done there. Of course, it can be pricey. Hairdressers might charge you more than necessary because of the extensive hair procedure such as dyeing the hair into the right color and the amount of hair glue and hair setting spray that would be used. So don’t forget to keep that in mind.
However, if your desired VK hairstyle is something you think you can totally pull off by yourself, then go ahead and try. Be prepared for the extensive process though such as letting your hair grow for a couple of months, dyeing it, and the actual styling that involves different angled spikes.
Research and look for Visual Kei Clothes
Visual kei clothing can be overwhelming and if you look at it straightly, it might seem a lot to cover and purchase. For one, if you have very specific VK pieces that you are interested in, that might prove to be difficult to look for. However, if you are creative, you can totally make the pieces inside your current closet to look stylish and Visual Kei-like.
For starters though, one of the basic pieces that can give you a slight Visual Kei-like feel are graphic tees that are pop/rock-themed. For this, you have no worries for there are numerous stores and even thrift stores that sell tons of these.
Wear Visual Kei Clothes
You’ve done it and went shopping and thrifting for VK clothes. Now, it’s time to flaunt them! If you are heading to a JRock concert, perfect! Go crazy and style them all you want. For sure, the rest of the concert-goers would be wearing a similar level of extra with you!
However, if you are a fan and is someone who is not so keen to go all crazy on a normal day, you can still wear your VK clothes, toned down style. This is where simple pieces such as ripped jeans and graphic rock/pop-themed tee would go into play. Add in a casual black boot then you are good to go.
If you are still a bit lost on the whole Visual Kei, I suggest you read our blog post on all you need to know about it.
Research Visual Kei Makeup
As with all the other aspects of Visual Kei, its makeup is also a bit more on the extra side. Another win for you as we have a more intensive article relating to Visual Kei makeup right here but just a quick run-through, prepare to wear matter foundations are a shade or two lighter than your natural skin tone, less blush for the pale look, and heavy contour to perfectly shape the face.
Other than that, VK makeup also requires smoky makeup and dramatic eyeliner. Some artists would also be heavily inspired with goth makeup looks so expect dark eye makeup and dark lip shades such as dark purples, reds, and blues and to the extreme, black lipsticks.
All of these will warrant you to either use those foundations shades you have mistakenly bought or to even change your whole makeup collection to darker shades.
Wear the Makeup
Same with the outfit, if you are going to an event where you sure fellow Visual Kei lovers would attend such as conventions and concerts then I would highly recommend you go online and be inspired with different styles of Visual Kei makeups.
If it’s a casual day and you are not so sure whether to go full rocker look, of course, there are hundreds of ways to tone down your smokey eyes and pale foundations. If you know your way around the use of makeup, you can totally be creative and still give out Visual Kei vibes by incorporating a tone down makeup into your daily routine.
Find the right accessories
Visual Kei fashion has its own specific pieces of accessories and admittedly, these are the little things that really complete the whole look. Warmer gloves, rock or gothic-inspired ring sets and necklaces, a face mask that releases a mysterious vibe, and dark nail art are just a few that you can add to your VK outfit.
And once again, you can wear your VK accessories even on a normal day, tone-downed of course. Maybe instead of multiple layers of rings, bracelets and necklaces, you can wear one of each piece and still extrude the VK aura.
Learn Japanese (Optional)
As mentioned earlier, to love Visual Kei, you are at least in love with the music. Now the thing is, if you are a foreign fan of VK, it might be a little difficult for you to really feel the whole VK vibe if you don’t understand the songs and lyrics of JRock stars and bands. Even though there might be tons of English translations only, it doesn’t hurt to learn Japanese if you have the time and resources for it.
This is totally optional though! There’s no rule that is set in stone that says only those who understand and speak Japanese are truly the genuine fans of Visual Kei and JRock. So don’t fret over small details and issues like that. However, if you are really interested and would love to give it a try, then I highly recommend you do. Even though at this point, if you are Japanese-enthusiasts or anima fan for quite a period of time, I am sure you have picked up a few words here and there.
Love what you do
Until the very end, we will always go back to the most important thing and that is to genuinely like and love Visual Kei. Don’t join just because you are pressured to do or you just want to join the bandwagon for photo ops or pictures that could gain hundreds of likes online.
Eventually, everything will come to light and you’ll just realize that you’ve wasted time and effort on one thing that you were never interested in the first place. Just save yourself the trouble and only commit to the steps above if you truly love the culture and is legit interested in it.
So there you go! A simple 10-step guide to your journey to becoming a Visual Kei! Tell us your thoughts and share a bit of your Visual Kei experience!