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Want To Take Part In The “Clean Girl” Makeup Trend? Here’s How On A College Budget

Minimalism is back and better than ever, and the new “clean girl” look has been taking TikTok by storm! 

If you have been on TikTok in the past couple of weeks, you’ve surely stumbled your way into seeing the newest lifestyle trend, which is the “clean girl” aesthetic. You’ve probably seen one of these girls, with her hair slicked back and her face looking, well, flawless, while looking like she is wearing no makeup. That’s because this trend is all about highlighting your natural skin and features instead of using makeup to cover anything up to achieve that glowy, freshly washed look all day long. Although this is essentially a no makeup-makeup routine, most of the products these girls are using are so expensive. So, I set out to find the perfect products so that everyone can rock the “clean girl” look without breaking the bank.  


Skincare is the most important first step in creating this look. I like starting off my skincare routine with washing my face with CeraVe Hydrating Cream to Foam Cleanser. Recently, serums have been all the rage. My favorite is the Ginger Serum Shot by Sweet Chef. It’s infused with Vitamin C and is a perfect base to make your skin glowing and hydrated. To keep your skin moisturized and youthful, the CeraVe AM Moisturizing Lotion, which has added sunscreen, is a great option. These are just my favorites, but trying new products and finding what works best with your own skin is the most important!   

Foundation and Concealer 

The clean girl look is all about looking put together with little effort. If you look at any of these “clean girl” makeup tutorials on TikTok, most advise wearing just a bit of concealer. While that is totally fine if that works for you, it’s just not realistic for everyone. If you want a super natural look, NYX Total Control Pro is perfect for building coverage, while not being too thick. For concealer, Florence by Mills See You Never is a great option and has a cool metal applicator for puffiness around the eyes. Try applying foundation with a brush instead of a Beauty Blender. It allows for a more skin-like, airbrushed look. 

Bronzer and Contour 

When it comes to bronzer, the key for this makeup look is to not overdo it. When going for the clean girl look, less is more, so stick to a light bronzer. L.A. Colors Contour Stick is great for keeping your contour natural, but any kind of stick or liquid-based contour is perfect for keeping your skin looking less powdered and dewier. 


Highlight is an essential for any clean girl makeup look to make sure your skin has a natural, healthy glow. The Daily Dew Stick by e.l.f and Eye Beam by Benefit Cosmetics are perfect for this. Both of these gel-based products will leave your skin looking moisturized and shimmery. Recently, I’ve been obsessed with putting highlighter on my jawline. Apply it right above where you apply contour for a gorgeous natural glow. 


For blush, I love Morphe 2 Quad Goals Multi Platte. All of the shades are perfect for recreating a “clean girl” look, but my personal favorite is Pink Please. It comes with 3 different blush/ eyeshadow shades and one lip gel. This is perfect if you’re looking for one versatile product that you can use all the time.  


For brows, I use Revolution High Brow Gel. This is perfect to get that wet brow effect and has a spool applicator to push your brows up to get the feathered, fluffy effect. It’s super lightweight and comes in a few different shades. 


f you’re anything like me, you fell into the bold, glam makeup trends from the beauty gurus of 2016-2017. While I personally loved those cut crease looks, it wasn’t practical to wear day to day. My obsession with this phase left me with an unnecessary amount of eyeshadow palettes. And while yes, some of them could work for these makeup looks, they are definitely expired, which is so bad to use on your skin, especially around your eyes. I scratched most of my old palettes and opted for some fresh neutral palettes for this year. I personally love the Juvia’s Place The Blushed Rose Platte and 9V Vintage Rose by Morphe. For a clean day look, stick to the most minimal shades. Add just a touch of light browns with a bit of the shimmery shades in the corners of your eyes. I love these palettes because they also have some fun colors and pink shades if you want to play around with your makeup, while still allowing it to look natural. 


For this makeup look, eyeliner is definitely not a necessity, but if you want to add it, go for a brown shade over black. This makes it look so much more natural, and better for a daytime look. My favorite is Burt’s Bees’ Nourishing Eyeliner in the shade Warm Brown. 

Lip Oil 

Last but not least, the most important part of any clean girl makeup routine is adding on lip oil. Lip oils give the wet lip look of lip gloss without the sticky feel, so it leaves your lips feeling extra smooth and soft. Morphe 2 Glassified Lip Oil, NYX This is Juice Gloss, and ColourPop Lux Lip Oil are all super inexpensive and give your lips just that extra tint of color. 

Finish it off with your favorite mascara and setting spray, slick that hair back into a claw clip, throw in your best gold hoops, and you have the perfect “clean girl” look! 

Gabriella is a writer for the University of Alabama chapter of Her Campus. She is a freshman studying Fashion Design and English with a minor in Creative Writing. She is actively involved in her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, and loves spending time with her friends. Her dream in life is to move to New York City to start her own fashion line and become a published romance novelist.
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