Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My first J-Fashion and Gyaru magazines~!

Thanks to a cute lolita, friend, and owner of Paradise Rose Shop (lots of super cute lolita accessories! Check it out!) I got my hands on some Japanese fashion magazines for he first time! She has recently moved to San Francisco and kindly picked them up for me while she was near the Japanese shops!
I go the ViVi 30th anniversary September 2013 issue and Ageha August 2013 issue.

As a Westerner seeing these for the first time, I'd like to comment on the quality first. These magazines are very popular in Japan, you can get them pretty much anywhere that sells magazines. Therefore for something so common, I was surprised that both magazines were made of a sturdy, thick glossy cover that I've mostly seen on textbooks here in the US, and rarely ever a magazine. The pages inside are also thick (I guess you could compare the paper to yearbook pages in terms of thickness/texture) and the print/graphics are of high quality.

The ViVi issue, since it is an anniversary issue, was quite larger than the Ageha issue in both length&width, and number of pages.

Ths issue of Vivi did not come with a gift, but Ageha did--it came with a cute Liz Lisa makeup pouch!
In terms of price, Ageha was $12.25 and ViVi was $12.85. Of course, this is over twice the price of my 900-page Sept 2013 issue of Vogue, but where the Japanese magazines may lack in content in terms of lengthy articles, I believe they are physically superior and are far more specific in their content and offer more practically useful information.

For example, Vogue is mostly perfume sample pages and photoshoots, articles on the cover girl, and advertisements. LOADS of advertisements!

Both Vivi and Ageha also had advertisements but it was more of a showcasing than blatant advetisement.
For example ViVi has a section showing makeup items and comparing them; they'd have foundation for example, on paper or eyeliner drawn on paper to show it's consistency/color.

Similarly, Ageha has photos of models in many different lenses, false lashes, and make-up, as well as clothing. They have a page showing different items for comparison and of course each is labeled with the brand/store.

The Japanese magazines do their advertising through tutorials. American fashion magazines advertise through artsy photoshoots. I feel that the Japanese magazines were more friendly and more geared towards helping you look better.

Speaking of gearing, I wanted to discuss how Ageha aand Vivi differ from each other in tersms of content.
ViVi is mostly about fashion--that is, every day cute fashion with many sections showing you how to coordinate different styles or patterns. It also had several pages wth exercise routines/tips.
The models wore light makeup (or at least it appears light) and no lenses nor false lashes. The styles presented were very innocent, girly, and sweet.

Ageha, on the other hand, is completely targeting the Gyaru audience. There wasn't a single model in the magazine who didn't have a lot of eye make-up, lashes, and circle lenses on. Articles/tutorials consisted of showing you how to do Gyaru make-up, Gyaru hair, and lose weight. The fashion brands were mostly Gyaru brands, but I was surprised to find a lot of Angelic Pretty as well! Ageha contained more advertisements for plastic surgery as well. ViVi contained one advertisement for breast enlargement and eyelid surgery, on the last page in the back.

So which do I like better? Well I like both for different reasons.

-I like Ageha for the comparisons of lashes, makeup styles and hair styles as well as clothing styles.
-I like ViVi for the outfit coordination sections, health/workout sections, and overall presentation (less cluttery with graphics).

I can't read Japanese so tomorrow I'm going to sit down with my handy dandy Google translate app and attempt to read them, however much of it is self explanatory from the images. Therefore, if you can't read Japanese, don't worry! You will still be able to follow the tutorials and you won't regret buying the magazines.

Thanks for reading, I hope this "review" was insightful♥

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