Japanese street style may be one of the things in the world that utterly fascinates you, and if that is the case, you would be familiar with Visual kei. What if you want to be part of the scene? Try to read Kawaii Vibe's article about all you need to know about it so you'll have an idea where to start. You'll get to see every detail you need to consider about Visual Kei if you click on the link, then in this article, we're going to cover about VK makeup tips and tricks to get you started with your transformation.
Since VK promotes genderless fashion (a lot of known Visual Kei artists are crossdressers), it goes the same with makeup, for both men and women, they can wear heavy makeup as much as how they like it. Basically, the ideal look for Visual kei is very pale, porcelain like face, contoured nose (small as much as possible) with dark eye makeup, sharp and sometimes half shaved eyebrows and pale lipstick, but some use gothic influence so they use dark lipstick instead, like some VK bands and artists, like Mana-sama. They mainly focus on the eye makeup most of the time, but there are really no rules on how can wear you eyeliner and eye shadow when it comes to VK, you can pretty much do whatever you like, though winged and sharp edges would be best.
In general, your makeup application style would really depend on what kind of kei fashion you are trying to project, since there are many kei substyles (Visual kei, Oshare kei, Angura kei, Casual Visual kei, Eroguro kei, Kurofuku kei), you just have to know more about each of them so you would know what elements you can put on your makeup. You can learn about these substyles by reading Kawaii Vibe's article about it, click on the link below to find out.
Related: Visual kei fashion: All you need to know
And using this post as a guide, you'll get to have an idea about the key things you need to remember when it comes to Kei makeup, since they all come down to a base and classic look, which is Visual kei. Let's begin!
Foundation and contouring
This is the base and the blank canvass of your art. Keep in mind that you need to make your face as pale or white as possible, so it means the foundation you will be getting is two or three times more lighter than your actual skin tone. And also, VK skin is noticeably matte, you will never see anyone donning the VK look with dewy or shimmery skin and makeup. Make sure you cover both the face up to neck for an even application and look. Blushing of any kind is out of the picture to keep that pale image going. Contouring should be done using brown shades and it is heavily focused on the nose to make it smaller and thin looking as possible, since most wearers of Visual kei are men, contouring of the nose tends to be on the heavy side since they have more manly features.
This would be composed of smoky eyes with an over the top eyeliner design, which are sometimes smudged over the crease and hood to make the eyes somewhat larger and exaggerated. Whichever way you would wear you eyeliner depends on you, it can be going downwards droopy style with a sharp edge, or a heavy cat eye. It is important to invest in false eyelashes if you're a girl, these will give the impression of bigger eyes as well. It actually depends on which type of kei fashion you're wearing but for other substyles, colors are sometimes added to the black eyeshadow and eyeliner. An example of this is Oshare kei, where the motifs are basically colorful and cute, so the makeup would also be on this range, cute colored eyeshadows are applied along with kei fashion trademark heavy eyeliner. Some designs connecting from the eyeliner are sometimes added underneath for Visual kei for a more extreme look, like dripping or veiny special effects.
There are some artists who apply a more gothic inspired makeup, dark lipstick like black, dark blue, dark purple and dark red are used instead of pale or nude ones. Mana-sama, a former member of the band Malice Mizer and brand owner of Moi-même-Moitié is one of the few who does this. Circle lenses would also come in handy in enhancing the size and brightness of your eyes, you can use black or any other color you prefer, there are no rules for circle lens wearing for VK so you can even try special colored or designed lenses like white or blood red. In some cases, different colored lenses that would imitate someone with heterochromia would also work.
Visual kei eyebrows are usually shaved either as a whole or just half then a sharp brow is drawn over it. If you want to cover your eyebrow but not completely shave them off, you can use a stick of concealer or high pigmented liquid concealer to do that. Try to apply them using a brush or your fingers, apply heavy amounts of concealer to your brow until they are completely covered, then set it with foundation and loose powder. You can then draw in a sharp tip eyebrow. Black eyebrow pencil is common but some uses different colored eyebrow pencils that goes with the color of their hair or preferred eyeshadow.
Like mentioned above, lipstick should be pale or nude, and also matte like the rest of the face, so keeping a matte lip balm would greatly help. If you're into the more gothic look, try to get yourself some dark colored lipstick like black, dark blue, dark purple or dark red. You can also apply dark lipliner on the outer lining of your lips with a much paler or lighter color on the inside, or vice versa, another example is tracing your outer lip line with black lipstick then finishing is off with a dark red one for the rest of the lips. I hope you're getting the idea.
You'll be able to watch a video below on how to do Visual kei makeup so you'll get an even brighter idea about the look that you're going for. Now, this is just an example and VK makeup doesn't actually limit itself to just this style on the video, you can still make something of your own with different elements and designs.
With the help of Japanese model Hikari Shiina (She models for Popteen and Kera magazines), you be able to see how a Visual makeup is done real time.
If you get use in doing the look, you'll understand that it can be quite easy, you just have to be really creative in doing your makeup, specially on the eye part. You can experiment with different colored contact lenses, if you want to go with a more extreme style, try wearing rimless white contacts with an elaborate design on your face using your trusty eyeliner. The purpose of knowing the key points is for you to know the basics then you can try different methods and styles for yourself.
What do you think about Visual kei makeup? Do you see yourself wearing this makeup look in the future or are you just curious about everything about it and in Visual kei in general? Why don't you share your thoughts on the comment section below!