From flashy gyaru to natural girly: The evolution of Japanese makeup brand Dolly Wink

29 July 2018 by Jojo

Chances are that if you’re a fan of Japanese cosmetics that you have probably heard of the makeup brand Candy Doll/ Dolly Wink. Famous for their cute girly style this brand is still super popular with young trendy girls in Japan. You might have noticed the same model appearing on the packaging, however she’s not just a model but also the founder of the brand. Her name is Tsubasa Masuwaka, she’s a model, fashion icon, singer, mother and founder of the makeup brand Candy Doll/Dolly Wink as well as for Palty hair dye and Barbie Princess Mimi circle lens series.

Tsubasa’s rise to fame started around 2004 when she became model for the magazine Popteen. First starting of as ‘reader model’ she soon became a full time model due to her success and popularity among readers. As the name of the magazine suggests, Popteen was one of the most popular magazines for young teens in Japan at that time.

Around this time there was a gyaru fashion boom and Tsubasa soon soon became one of the main icons. Gyaru is a fashion- and lifestyle where girls wear flashy and trendy clothes, bleach their hair, wear big eyelashes and have as much fun as they can shopping, partying and hanging around fashionable areas like Shibuya.

Tsubasa’s effect on the economy was so huge that she soon gained the nickname 10 billion yen gyaru. Because of her success Tsubasa was able to cooperate with several businesses and start her own brands in the upcoming years.

Around 2008 Tsubasa launched her brands Candy Doll and Dolly Wink. In case you’re wondering, while Dolly Wink focuses on eye makeup like eyeliner, mascara and fake eyelashes, Dolly Wink produces other makeup items like blush, foundation and lipstick. While Candy Doll has their own website, Dolly Wink falls under the umbrella manufacturer Koji, a company that owns about 14 Japanese makeup brands in total.

In the beginning Candy Doll and Dolly Wink were branded to perfectly fit Tsubasa’s gyaru image. As you can see the packaging was cute but flashy at the same time using hot pink and black stripes.

Candy Doll's most popular items were by far the blushes which came in unique colors like orange or bright pink, adorable as they are they remind us of Japanese candy! As for Dolly Wink their eyeliners in cute polka dot packaging were really popular as well as their fake eyelashes. (By the way, did you check out our blog post in which we compare eyeliners from 3 Japanese makeup brands?)

Dolly Wink's Eyelashes no.1 'Dolly sweet' were a big hit. Gyaru but still natural enough, these eyelashes are still being sold in Japanese drugstores nowadays.

In her gyaru days Tsubasa spotted the typical gyaru look with tan skin and extreme eye makeup only for a short time. When she started Candy Doll and Dolly Wink her gyaru looks was already fairly natural compared to other models at that time.

Tsubasa during her gyaru peak. Teased blonde hair, bright colored eye shadow and a deep tan which was a must for gyaru at that time.

Tsubasa around the time she started her cosmetic brands, her skin was no longer tan and her hair not as huge anymore. Her makeup is also more girly and less extreme as during her gyaru peak. She still looked undeniably gyaru though rocking blonde hair, bright pink cheeks and fake eyelashes.

Nowadays though, Tsubasa is even more natural, which is also visible when you look at her makeup brands. Gyaru fashion started declining around 2010-2015 and was slowly replaced by larme kei fashion, a more modest dolly and girly style.

Tsubasa stopped bleaching her hair and went for a natural dark brown straight hairstyle. She also seems to have tossed her colored circle lenses and big fake eyelashes. She looks very dolly with her pink lipstick and blush.

The new Candy Doll packaging is less gyaru and more pastel cutesy reflecting a change in trends over the past years.

Recently Tsubasa is improving already popular products like the famous Dolly Wink eyeliner but also developing new products such as these color correcting primers.

Dolly Wink has also launched 4 new styles of fake eyelashes this July, which are more natural compared to the famous no.1. lashes. For some of these eyelashes it's even hard to believe that they are fake!

As you can see both Tsubasa Masuwaka and her makeup brands Dolly Wink and Candy Doll have changed over the years evolving along with current trends. What do you think of the revolution of the makeup brands Candy Doll and Dolly Wink? Do you prefer the old flashy gyaru style or the new natural girly style? Let us know in the comments below!

Want to know more about Tsubasa's makeup brands? Check out the official Candy Doll website and the Dolly Wink page on the Koji website. Besides the official websites and instagram of the brands, the following website was used for pictures: source.

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