Japanese makeup artistry is undeniably next level. Japanese cosplayers use makeup to transform themselves into unbelievably believable versions of anime heroes, magical creatures and even different genders. This transformation is not only fun, but also a powerful form of self expression.

Recently famous Japanese model Tsubasa Masuwaka 益若つばさ released images and a tutorial of makeup for a specific type of costume play that has charmed Japanese social media.

Jirai-Onna makeup: doll-like with gothic appeal

On May 23rd, Tsubasa Masuwaka updated her Instagram. Her post of “Jirai-Onna” makeup, literally mine girl, as in land mine, girl makeup, immediately blew up online, receiving megatons of attention from followers and fans.

Tsubasa’s “Jirai-Onna” makeup is doll-like, with an appealing gothic edge.

In Japan “Jirai-Onna” refers to a woman who has a large gap between her appearance and her actual personality. The term original carried negative connotations. This is perhaps most evident in the Japanese characters for Jirai, 地雷, meaning land mine, something that seems fine at first but turns out to be very bad.

However, the number of women who want to become “Jirai-Onna” has increased recently in Japan, so the image associated with the word is changing to become more positive. This has given rise to a specific style of makeup associated with the image of “Jirai-Onna,” alternately called "Jirai-kei" 地雷系

On May 22nd, Tsubasa updated her YouTube channel with a video about “Jirai-Onna” makeup, praising “Jirai-Onna” as a great culture. “It’s a type of makeup that celebrates girls who are battling a complex that we can never ridicule”, Tsubasa added.

Tsubasa Masuwaka’s own attempt at Jirai-Onna makeup

Clearly inspired by “Jirai-Onna” culture, Tsubasa released the “Jirai-Onna” makeup image on Instagram the following day, May 23rd.

In the first post, “Jirai-Onna Makeup Part 1”, her fair skin and rouge-red lips complement her light blonde hair. The half-twin tail hairstyle and frilly maid-like costume resembles a French doll.

Tsubasa’s next post “Jirai-Onna Makeup Part 2”, sees the model sporting a chestnut brown hairstyle, decorated with dark ribbons and gothic character hair clips. This version is much darker, accentuating the gothic feeling of the costume.

*There are multiple images. Please slide to the left and right to check.

Fans who saw the first post were overawed by the cuteness, commenting “Tomaran!”, “we can’t stop looking.” Other fans praised Tsubasa Masuwaka for her youthful looks:

  • Even if you said she looks like a student, it wouldn't sound wrong. I really respect her. I worship her!!
  • Wooooahh…...tooooo cute!
  • .
  • She looks too young! Also, her YouTube video was the best.
  • We hope that Ms. Tsubasa Masuwaka continues to represent and spread contemporary trends and culture in her own way. We’ll be paying careful attention to our Instagram feeds for this very reason!

By - Toby M.