Shironuri Inspiration for Lolitas

Minori in Shironuri
Minori in Shironuri
One of the longest and most lasting don'ts in Lolita has always been "Don't wear whiteface!". This don't has a pretty solid history of half-hearted Mana cosplays, bizarre Geisha misinterpretations, overly enthusiastic Visual Kei inspired crossovers, and over emphasized Goth interpretations of Lolita to back up the reason why. A "Very good try!" could quickly turn into an "Oh god what have you done?!" with a sloppy layer of white facepaint and some creative eyeliner doodles. However, the tides have begun to turn with the rise in popularity of Shironuri.

Perhaps the most famous Shironuri artist is Minori. She takes heavy inspiration not from the creepy and grotesque, but from nature and creates a soft and ethereal look that is a fresh take on the style. It is all at once girly and otherworldy, even beyond just the makeup, the hair and fashion choices look to be inspired by current Dolly Kei, Cult Party, and Mori trends. Layers of soft vintage chiffons are combined with faded flowers and vines!

While it's Minori's version of Shironuri that most people think of when they hear the word, there are many different Shironuri styles, as a quick glance at the infamous White Face Monster Party will show you, many of which are inspired by more traditionally grotesque looks.

How do you make this look work for Lolita? Personally I think the answer to this question is largely to master the makeup. The old "rule" still holds true, sloppily applied makeup will ruin whatever sort of look you happen to be going for! Luckily for us all, Minori has a pretty well done video on how she applies her makeup.

After a coat of white face paint, the Shironuri style is really so varied (afterall, Minori's ethereal look is just one of many possibilities within the Shironuri style) that you can basically do as you please, and that's exactly what people have been doing the world over since this look took off in recent years! However, there are a few trends that I've noticed within the style that seem to compliment the Lolita fashion very well. Please keep in mind that these are not "official" style names, and I am absolutely not the authority to go around dishing out names to these styles, I am merely pointing out the different types of stylings and themes within the Shironuri fashion, and even then, only the ones that I think mesh particularly well with the Lolita fashion.

Chrysalis Batlace in Shironuri
Chrysalis Batlace
There are so many dresses within Lolita that are heavily inspired by the circus that this particular styling is just too perfect for Lolita! Think a black and red color scheme and even clown-inspired eyemakeup. I would go overboard with a style like this and add touches of gold, a ruff, harlequin patterns, and a bold red sash to an outfit featuring this type of makeup.


Minori in shironuri
Minori's more ethereal stylings would go perfectly for some of the more desaturated floral print Classical Lolita dresses out there crossed over with a bit of floaty pale chiffon. Think longer dresses with an all over floral print paired with a long chiffon blouse and layered tulle underskirt in a dusty ivory, covered up with lots of layers of antique lace with some scattered vintage jewelry and a gorgeous lace and faux-flower hair corsage tucked into a teased pale colored wig.

If the more elaborate makeup isn't exactly for you, and you have little desire to color coordinate your lipstick to your wig to your dress, a more simple and doll like style of makeup goes very well with any number of Lolita dresses. Personally, I love this style best coordinated with old school Gothic Lolita dresses! There's just something about black and white dresses that pair perfectly with spooky doll-like makeup.

This is a bit similar to the ethereal Shironuri stylings, but less colorful and a bit more creepy. I would go with a completely white coordinate with something like this, especially something with distressed details, think of older h.Naoto pieces, or even something a little Alice Auaa inspired. White Cobwebby tights, tangled white wigs, trailing torn chiffon white overskirts. A little bit of color can be added with the addition of some antique styled jewelry, to make the perfect focal point and to create the perfect ghostly illusion.

Of course, none of these are really "everyday" looks, but that's really the beauty of fashions like this. You don't have to wear it every day for it to still be something special, a way for you to express a maybe more elaborate and extreme aspect of your style or personality. I know with things like this a lot of Lolitas cry "But it makes it look like a costume when you wear that with Lolita!" which I always thought is such a silly cry, because your average person thinks we're in costume already, why hold back on something you really want to do for the sake of their opinion?

You can find more Shironuri inspiration on the tumblr, Shironuri Wonderland. I would also really recommend this article about Tsunoshi, another well-known Shironuri. What do you think of this style? Do you think a coat of white paint is enough to ruin any Lolita outfit, regardless of how well it's done, or are you as excited as I am to see people take the term "over the top" to the extreme?


  1. I really love the ethereal quality shironuri makeup gives to a coordinate! I tried it myself when I put together a White Rabbit inspired coord for a Halloween tea party. It's really a lot of fun to slather on white face paint!

  2. I like shironuri and wanted to try it, but finding the right white makeup can be a bit difficult.
    I really admire the way Minori pretty much created her own sub-style of shironuri, it's so different from what others do, but at the same time she's so well known and everyone wants to emulate her style.

  3. I really like the different styles and eye-make-up of shironuri, but wouldn't paint my face white with lolita, it's just a bit too OTT for me. However, I definetely take inspiration from the style, seeing the amazing eye make-up and try it out myself ^^

  4. I like it, but I imagine it's SUPER hard to pull off.

  5. I think Minori looks really beautfiul :) I'm not a fan of shironuri style, but she is just simply stunning ^^

  6. I don't think it's something that would be very wearable everyday - firstly, that's got to be some VERY time-consuming makeup (and one that takes a good bit of practice not look awful) and secondly, in combination with Lolita fashion, it does look very much like a theatrical costume, and thirdly, I'm not sure how well any bits stuck on or such heavy makeup would last for everyday wear. It does look FABULOUS for something like a photo-shoot or a festival though. I could imagine some of the more Gothic incarnations of this at somewhere like Me'era Luna or Wave Gothik Treffen

  7. I love Minori's take on Shironuri the best. By the way, she actually use to dress in Lolita before :) Watch this interview where she explains her beginnings, and how she got into the Shironuri style.

  8. I'm not a fan of shironuri, especially with lolita - I think Minori's style and the ghostly style can look cool alone, but they're just not lolita. However, I loved the article you linked to an interview with Tsunoshi! Even as someone who's not a fan of the fashion I found it really interesting, and it was nice to hear a story from someone with less of a "I want to look like a perfect kawaii doll" attitude to fashion and more of a "fuck you I'll wear what I want one", if that makes sense? As someone who's struggled with feelings about my weight, it was really inspiring to me.

  9. Good article !!

    But Boy make Shironuri Too ♥

  10. I love the dolly take on shironuri, it certainly adds a unique twist to lolita fashion, I'll try it someday! <3

  11. Oh I just LOVE you. When I see baby pink and blue unicorn printed fluffy dress wearing lolitas cry like "Cat ears are costumey! Whiteface is costumey!" it is the weirdest thing.

  12. I really like the circus clown! That is awesome! The model was perfect for that! How can I see more of this models work?


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