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Everything You Need To Know About The Japanese-Inspired Dollcore Aesthetic

Everything You Need To Know About The Japanese-Inspired Dollcore Aesthetic



ollhouses, teddy bears, and miniature tea cups — these are just a few elements that make up the whimsical, nostalgic world of Dollcore. This trend has been bubbling up in the fashion and beauty industries with impressive results. The term Dollcore was first coined in the early 2000s, but the aesthetic itself has its roots in the mid-20th century with the rise of dolls like Barbie and the popularity of miniature houses and accessories. Dollcore took off in the late 2010s as a reaction to the seriousness of fashion trends at the time. It was seen as a way to embrace childhood memories and inject some fun and whimsy into fashion.

Japanese culture heavily influenced this trend. The Japanese aesthetic of “kawaii” (which translates to “cute” in English) has played a major role in the rise of Dollcore. Kawaii is all about adopting cuteness and playfulness, and it has long been reflected in Japanese fashion, design, and even everyday life. The kawaii aesthetic has its roots in Japan’s post-war era when there was a desire to create a sense of childlike innocence and optimism. Cute mascots like Hello Kitty and characters like the Powerpuff Girls helped popularize kawaii culture, and it quickly spread to fashion with brands like Sanrio and Baby and The Stars Shine Bright leading the way.

The doll-like quality of the kawaii aesthetic, with its pastel colors, ruffles, and frills, is one of the main aspects of Dollcore fashion. It also borrows from traditional Japanese fashion, such as the Lolita style, which combines Victorian-inspired elements like petticoats and ruffled blouses with more playful elements like cartoon characters and bright colors. This mix of old and new is a key part of Dollcore’s appeal.

How did Dollcore influence makeup? This trend features a delicate, doll-like look with soft, rounded shapes and light pastel colors. A Dollcore makeup look might include flushed pink cheeks, a hint of glitter, and pastel-colored eyeshadow. Eyeliner is often kept minimal or completely absent. The effect is meant to be sweet and youthful like a doll’s face. This trend is the opposite of the mature, glammed-up looks that have been popular in recent years.

How to create the Dollcore makeup look

The Dollcore makeup look is characterized by its delicate and dreamy qualities, aiming to capture the enchanting essence of dolls. To achieve this look, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  • Step 1: Prep your face – Start with a clean and moisturized face. Apply a lightweight primer to create a smooth base for your makeup. This will help your makeup last longer and prevent it from creasing or fading during the day.
  • Step 2: Apply foundation – Even out your skin tone using a light-coverage foundation or tinted moisturizer. Choose a shade that closely matches your natural skin tone to achieve a subtle and youthful look. Conceal any blemishes or under-eye circles with a creamy concealer, blending it gently with your fingertips or a sponge.
  • Step 3: Create soft and rosy cheeks – Dollcore makeup often features soft and rosy cheeks for a youthful and innocent appearance. Apply a natural-looking blush in a soft pink or peach shade to the apples of your cheeks. Blend it outwards toward your temples, using a fluffy blush brush for a gentle flush of color.
  • Step 4: Amp up luminosity – Create the illusion of wide doll-like eyes by applying a light shimmery eyeshadow on your eyelids. Opt for neutral shades like champagne, ivory, or pale pink. Apply a slightly darker shade to the crease for definition, blending it softly to maintain a subtle and ethereal effect.
  • Step 5: Enhance the doll-like gaze – To enhance the doll-like gaze, apply a thin line of black or brown eyeliner along your upper lash line. Keep the line close to your lashes for a natural look. If desired, apply a coat of lengthening or volumizing mascara to your upper and lower lashes to make your eyes appear more doll-like and fluttery. You can also use white eye pencil on your water line to make it pop.
  • Step 6: Define and soften brows – Dollcore makeup often features well-defined yet soft eyebrows. Use an eyebrow pencil or powder to fill in any sparse areas of your brows. Create small, feathery strokes to mimic the appearance of natural hairs. Then use a spoolie brush to comb through your brows, blending the product and giving them a softer and more natural look.
  • Step 7: Create doll-like lips – For doll-like lips, choose a soft and natural lip color. Opt for shades like baby pink, coral, or peach that mimic the natural color of flushed lips. Apply a lip balm or sheer lipstick for a hydrated and subtle look. To enhance the doll-like effect, you can add a touch of gloss to the center of your lips to create a pouty and youthful appearance.
  • Step 8: Add final touches – Complete the Dollcore look by adding a soft and subtle highlighter to the high points of your face, such as the cheekbones, brow bone, and the tip of your nose. Use a fan brush or a small fluffy brush to apply the highlighter with a light hand, creating a soft glow that enhances your doll-like radiance.

Featured image: @kvn.luong/Instagram 

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