The Clean Girl makeup routine is all about achieving an effortlessly put-together look with a few simple steps. And we’re not talking about a simple “no makeup” makeup look, but rather a polished, natural finish that enhances your features and complements your unique beauty.
To get you started on your Clean Girl makeup journey, we’ve created a simple, step-by-step guide that takes you through the process of looking your best, all while spending under 20 minutes in front of the mirror. And since the key to nailing the Clean Girl makeup look is all about finding the right products, we’re also going to give you our recommendations for 12 Clean Girl-approved makeup products that will help you encapsulate the effortlessly beautiful aesthetic that has flooded our social media feeds since the beginning of summer.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
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Step 1: Your Skin, But Better
The Clean Girl makeup is all about less is more and embracing your skin, but better. So, the first step is to find a good lightweight foundation or tinted moisturizer that matches your skin tone perfectly. This will give you lightweight coverage and enhance your skin's natural radiance without making the finished look appear cakey and overdone.
Product To Try: Charlotte Tilbury – Airbrush Flawless Longwear Foundation, $44
Step 2: Face-Lifting Concealer
A concealer is used to brighten up undereye areas, cover any blemishes or redness, and give an overall more awake appearance. When applying your makeup in the Clean Girl style, apply a thin line of concealer in the inner and outer corners of your eyes and from the corners of your lips out towards the cheeks. This will give your face a beautiful lifting effect and make your features look sharper and more defined.
Product To Try: ILIA – True Skin Serum Concealer with Vitamin C, $30
Step 3: Sculpted Cheekbones
Another essential when it comes to a Clean Girl makeup look are sculpted cheekbones. To achieve this, you will need to use cream contour and create a thin line just underneath your cheekbones. You can then use a brush, a damp beauty blender, or even your fingers to blend the product into the skin and create an illusion of sculpted and higher cheekbones without overwhelming the look.
Product To Try: Westman Atelier – Face Trace Cream Contour Stick, $44
Step 4: Rosy Cheeks
A rosy cheek is another key component in the Clean Girl makeup look. To get this effect, you will want to use a cream or liquid blush and apply it to the apples of your cheeks. This will give you a natural and healthy flush of color that will brighten up your face.
Product To Try: Rare Beauty – Stay Vulnerable Melting Cream Blush, $21
Step 5: Natural Flush
Additionally, if you want to achieve that natural "I just came back from the beach" flush, you can apply the tiniest amount of skin tint all over your cheeks and across the bridge of your nose.
Product To Try: SIMIHAZE – Sun Flush All-Over Face Tint, $35
Step 6: Set Everything in Place
Even though the Clean Girl makeup look usually remains on the glowy side of things, setting everything in place with translucent or pressed powder is crucial for those of us whose skin is a bit oily. But make sure to use a very light hand when setting your makeup in place, as this will help prevent shine and oiliness while leaving you looking dewy rather than matte and dull.
Product To Try: Hourglass – Veil™ Translucent Setting Powder, $46
Step 7: Perfectly Groomed Eyebrows
Perfectly groomed eyebrows that beautifully accentuate your facial features are probably one of the most important steps in the Clean Girl makeup routine. And luckily, achieving them is very simple – all you have to do is use a clear or tinted brow gel and brush your eyebrows up and out.
Product To Try: REFY – Brow Sculpt Shape and Hold Gel, $24
Step 8: Not a Single Hair out of Place
After setting your brows in place with a clear or tinted brow gel, you'll want to grab a small, precision eyebrow pencil and fill in any sparse areas. This will help to create the illusion of fuller, more voluminous eyebrows.
Product To Try: Anastasia Beverly Hills – Ultra-Slim Detail Pencil, $23
Step 9: Long, Defined Lashes
Rather than using in-your-face falsies, the Clean Girl makeup look is all about long, defined, and healthy-looking natural lashes. And all you need to achieve this is a lengthening and volumizing mascara. Start by wiggling the wand at the base of your lashes and sweeping it up and out towards the corners of the eyes to create an elongated, cat-eye effect. Follow through with a couple more coats if needed.
Product To Try: L'Oréal – Telescopic Mascara, $12
Step 10: Nude Lips
Clean Girl makeup is intended to not overemphasize any feature but to make everything look natural, effortless, and polished, which is why a nude lip is the perfect finishing touch. But first, you need to use a nude lip liner that's close to your natural lip color to line and fill in your lips. Then, you'll want to top it off with the perfect nude lipstick to create that natural finish of full, plump, and hydrated lips.
Product To Try: Charlotte Tilbury – Lip Cheat Lip Liner, $24
Step 11: A Layer of Shine
If you want to go a step further, you can always add a layer of shine with a clear or nude lip gloss. This will give you the perfect amount of shimmer and make your lips look plump and juicy, in addition to being soft and hydrated.
Product To Try: MERIT – Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil, $24
Step 12: Finally, More Glow
The Clean Girl aesthetic is all about fresh-faced minimalism, but if there's an exception to this rule, it’s when it comes to adding that extra layer of glow. To do this, you can use a setting spray with a natural or dewy finish and create a beautiful glow that encapsulates the Clean Girl aesthetic while at the same time helping your makeup stay fresh longer.
Product To Try: Milk Makeup – Hydro Grip Setting + Refreshing Spray, $36
There you have our complete guide to acing the Clean Girl makeup look and achieving something that will actually look good in real life and not just in pictures. Remember, the key to this look is to keep it simple, natural, and polished while not trapping your skin under layers of makeup. So, go ahead and ditch the heavy foundation and powder, focus on fresh and hydrated skin, groomed brows, long lashes, and a nude lip, and you'll be a Clean Girl makeup pro in no time.
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